Today’s protests are a preview of our progressive future
If you want to know what the United States would look like if progressives someday take over the federal government, just turn on your television set and watch the nightly chaos play out before your eyes in cities run by progressives.
Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, is an interesting example of left-wing delusion. Every night for about two months, demonstrators have taken to the streets and run roughshod in the city while the police stand by and pretty much do nothing.
When President Trump sent in federal law enforcement officers to protect federal buildings, the mayor was incensed. Why? Because, he says, the federal presence “is actually leading to more violence and more vandalism.”
Let’s see if we have this right: Federal law enforcement officers — not the vandals — are the problem. Federal agents are the ones figuratively pouring gasoline on fires that the rioters literally started — with their own gasoline.
“Nuts” doesn’t do justice to what passes for the mayor’s reasoning.
In New York City, police on the Brooklyn Bridge came under attack and were beaten bloody with sticks and clubs. In Chicago, protesters who wanted to topple a Christopher Columbus statue threw rocks, frozen water bottles, fireworks and other projectiles at police, leaving nearly 50 officers injured, including one with a broken eye socket. In Seattle, where a mob had taken over a downtown section of the city, protesters recently went on a rampage and smashed storefront windows and damaged the municipal courthouse.
In San Francisco, the progressive district attorney has said he won’t prosecute cases involving so-called quality-of-life crimes. “Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted,” the D.A. said after his election.
The coronavirus pandemic is bad enough. Throw in the daily destruction at the hands of the mobs, and one of the things that made America great — lively, vital, dynamic U.S. cities — is suffering a serious blow. Let’s hope it’s not a fatal blow.
Progressives, as I say, are running these cities. They’re the ones who aren’t doing much to end the violence and destruction. They’re the ones reciting the mantra that “most of the demonstrations are peaceful.”
If progressive figures such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have condemned the violence and destruction, if they’re as mad as hell about what’s going on, I guess I missed it.
As for former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s expected presidential candidate, here’s what he has to say about the urban chaos: “Our freedom to speak is the cherished knowledge that lives inside every American. We will not allow any president to quiet our voice.”
And what about all those cities where people are not protesting peacefully and respectfully? Is it okay to send federal troops into those places to stop the destruction? Maybe Joe Biden will have to answer that at one of the debates — assuming (and this is a big assumption) one of the journalists acting as debate panelists will ask him about it.
How this will play out in the November election is still unknown. At the moment, voters seem to be more concerned about the coronavirus than the protesters. But that can change over the next three months.
By November there might be enough Americans, frustrated and unhappy with the chaos in the streets, to get Trump off the mat, which is where the polls now have him. We’ll know soon enough.
But at some future point, if not in November, progressives likely will elect a president and a Congress and effectively take over the federal government. It’s bound to happen sooner or later.
Progressives already have taken over a large chunk of American culture — our major news outlets, Hollywood movie studios, TV sitcoms, some of our top colleges. They’re the ones cheering on the “cancel culture” where you can lose your job for having an “unacceptable” opinion. And when they’re in charge of the federal government, the future will look a lot like the present — the one we’re watching on TV every day.
But don’t worry. As the progressive mayors of our once-great cities and the likely Democratic candidate for president are all telling us, it’s just a case of people demanding change — “peacefully and respectfully.”
Just one question: Where?
Bernard Goldberg, an Emmy and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award-winning writer and journalist, is a correspondent with HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” He previously worked as a reporter for CBS News and as an analyst for Fox News. He is the author of five books and publishes exclusive weekly columns, audio commentaries and Q&As on his Patreon page. Follow him on Twitter @BernardGoldberg.