AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan
President Joe Biden’s dark and divisive speech last month declaring that “MAGA Republicans” pose an existential threat to the “very foundations of our republic” marked the latest escalation in the Democrats’ ongoing attempts to brand their political opponents as enemies of democracy. But in truth it is the radical left, not the right, that is threatening the norms and traditions that have historically defined American freedom.
Here are 10 ways that those on the left—not “MAGA Republicans”—are destabilizing democracy.
Perhaps the most glaring instance of the left’s anti-democratic streak is its embrace of censorship against its political opponents. By now, many Americans are aware of the progressive movement’s eagerness to banish from the public square any content, ideas, or figures who publicly contradict their dogmas—as most notably seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the weeks and months following the 2020 presidential election.
It’s not just Big Tech or liberal activists who are out to silence conservatives, either. Earlier this year, for instance, Foundation for Freedom Online released a chilling series of revelations outlining how the Department of Homeland Security and other executive agencies have been operating as a “domestic ‘Ministry Of Truth’ from within the US federal government”—going so far as to encourage children to report their families to Big Tech giants for questioning government talking points on COVID. How’s that for “democracy”?
Fortunately, several elected officials are already making attempts to reverse this trend. State Attorneys General Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and Jeff Landry (R-LA) this month requested that the Louisiana District Court compel the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to “turn over communications between high-ranking Biden Administration officials from the White House, Department of State, FBI and others and major social media companies.”
Spying on Parents
Another clear sign of the left’s growing intolerance for genuine democracy is the Biden administration’s willingness to deploy federal agents to intimidate parents concerned about left-wing ideologies being infused in their children’s K-12 curricula. As Critical Race Theory and gender ideology ascended to the forefront of national political discourse last year—resulting in parents voicing concerns at school board meetings—Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a disquieting memorandum at the behest of teachers unions indicating he was prepared to use the power of the DOJ to spy on, intimidate, and ultimately silence them. Last fall, a DOJ whistleblower revealed that Garland went so far as to use counterterrorism tools against these parents—a trademark of fascistic and authoritarian regimes throughout history.
Turning Schools into Indoctrination Camps
The DOJ’s war on parents is just the beginning of its hostility toward America’s democratic traditions. Under the Biden administration, the Department has begun the practice of filing briefs and issuing guidance letters as a means of coercing K-12 schools into adopting far-left social policies, including “gender-neutral” bathrooms. The DOJ and other executive agencies have routinely targeted schools that require students to use the restroom that corresponds with their biological sex—indicating it wishes to use its power to force students, parents, and teachers all across the nation to adhere to a warped far-left understanding of biology and human nature. These top-down coercive tactics can be called many things—but “democratic” is certainly not one of them.
Raid on Mar-a-Lago
While the Biden administration’s decision to raid the home of a former president—and the current president’s chief political opponent—is shocking in its own right, the DOJ’s extraordinarily aggressive stance on the matter and inability to specify why such measures were necessary remains deeply disturbing. Given the unprecedented nature of the raid, one would think the Department would feel compelled to explain itself. But its failure to do so only reinforces the narrative that the Biden regime and Washington, D.C., ruling class will stop at nothing to bring Trump down—even if it means resorting to police state tactics.
As political commentator Josh Hammer wrote of the raid in a recent Newsweek column, “The man now lambasting his political foes as ‘semi-fascist’ is the same one who just sent the federal law enforcement to execute a predawn raid on the private residence of his former, and perhaps future, ballot box opponent.” He continued: “Alas, self-awareness is not one of Uncle Joe’s strengths—nor, for that matter, is a rudimentary familiarity with Western history.”
Inflation is always and everywhere a form of stealth taxation. The money printers effectively confiscate wealth from the people without having to take the tough vote to raise taxes—thus, it’s inherently anti-democratic. Contrary to popular belief on both the left and right, the inflation crisis is far from an accident. As Claremont Institute senior fellow Christopher Caldwell wrote in a spring Compact Magazine column, “The case that Biden is to blame is close to airtight. Inflation was at 1.7 percent when he came to office. The country was poised for a boom, with unemployment at 6.4 percent and falling rapidly.” But then came reckless policies like the American Rescue Plan, which sent the economy into a tailspin and have disproportionately burdened Middle Class, poor, and elderly Americans. “Inflation is seldom an error—it’s usually a policy, if an unavowed one,” Caldwell continued. “Inflation has always signaled a deficit of legitimacy. It arises when the government has an agenda it cannot declare.” In the end, it is difficult to imagine a Biden administration policy that is less democratic than effectively confiscating thousands of dollars from every American household through runaway spending.
Student Debt Forgiveness
Biden’s highly unpopular decision to unilaterally cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt not only further exacerbated inflation, it also undermined the U.S. Constitution by asserting a power rightfully reserved for Congress. It is wealth confiscation that no one voted on. In the words of legal analyst Andrew McCarthy, Biden’s student debt cancellation scheme is not only blatantly illegal, but also “flouts Supreme Court precedent from just last term.” McCarthy continued: “Simply stated, the executive branch, including such components as the Department of Education, lacks the authority to exercise powers of ‘vast economic and political significance’ absent a clear delegation from Congress, as the Court put it on June 30 in West Virginia v. EPA.” Biden’s naked power grab on student debt relief threatens to further erode public trust in the integrity of our “separate but equal” system of government, raising the alarming specter of an unaccountable, all-powerful executive not bound by federal law or legal precedent.
Unconstitutional COVID Lockdowns
Another staggering—yet often overlooked—instance of extreme Democrat overreach is the party’s imposition of yearlong COVID lockdowns, and later vaccine mandates, on the American people. As seen most prominently in swing states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, the pandemic provided the perfect cover for left-wing politicians to execute draconian policies that severely inhibited the individual freedoms and constitutional rights of American citizens.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), for instance, was—in the words of Newsweek—a “prominent advocate for imposing strict public health measures” that ultimately led to the most job losses and highest closure rate for businesses in the U.S. Similarly, in what would have at one time been considered a shocking instance of executive overreach and encroachment of the freedom to worship, Governor Tim Walz (D-MN) opted to limit church attendance to just 20 people for stretches of the pandemic. Moreover, a wide slate of Democratic governors—including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf—enforced unconstitutional (and scientifically baseless) mask mandates in K-12 schools, a measure that is now widely acknowledged to have hindered childhood development. Yet, even in the midst of Pennsylvania’s lockdowns, the Keystone State remained in the top 11 states for COVID deaths per capita. Of course, measures like these were also implemented at the federal level by Biden, who by way of executive fiat forced the overwhelming majority of Americans to make the outrageous choice of either taking the COVID vaccination or risk losing their jobs – including members of the military, many of whom were dishonorably discharged.
Maniacal Reaction to the Dobbs Decision
Though most on the left may lack the self-awareness to realize it, this summer’s Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was supremely democratic. By returning the question of abortion to the states, the Court is once again empowering the American people—not unelected judges or bureaucrats—to rule themselves. Of course, the pro-life movement sees Dobbs as only a preliminary success, and that efforts to protect unborn life are ongoing. But there is a great deal of irony that the very same leftists who claim to be guardians of democracy will, in the same breath, insist the American people should have no say in regulating abortion.
War on American Institutions
In what might be the most obvious instance of their antagonism toward democratic self-government, the left remains immensely hostile toward the institutions, systems, and procedures that have served as a bedrock of the American constitutional order for centuries. From seeking to pack the Supreme Court with far-left ideologues, to abolishing the Electoral College, to making Washington, D.C. a state so leftists can add Democrat seats to the U.S. Senate, the left’s willingness to destroy our nation’s most venerable democratic traditions in order to augment their own power is plain to see.
There is no clearer evidence of the left’s antipathy against democratic-self-government than its malice toward anyone who dares to dissent from their political worldview. Not only is freedom of thought to dissent integral to the American political tradition, but it is also an inviolable cornerstone of democracy. As columnist Peter Lucas wrote in a recent op-ed for the Boston Herald, “Biden’s attack on Trump and his Republican MAGA supporters as ‘semi-fascists’ out to destroy democracy is a perfect example of psychological projection. He is accusing Republicans of what he is doing.”
Going forward, if Democrats truly want to identify and stop “threats to democracy,” rather than castigating their political opponents, they may do well to look in the mirror and reflect on the damage they have done to America’s most sacred traditions and institutions – and stop themselves.
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