(December 30, 2021 / JNS) There was a time in the United States when bipartisanship was the rule rather than the exception. Now the polarization in America is so extreme that anything coming close to bipartisanship is derided and dismissed. The breath of fresh air these days comes from Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia.
Despite being protested against, harassed and shamed by fellow Democrats for voting against President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better Act,” he has stood his ground. This really reinvigorates many Americans, who have seen the Democratic Party fall prey to extremists like Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and House Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
They are the main reason that the Democratic Party is on life support; they have caused oxygen desaturation in its ranks, with the carbon dioxide not only elevated in the overall atmosphere, but in the lungs of party members.
In his new book, San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities, Michael Shellenberger writes that “the breakdown of civilization on America’s West Coast” highlights the failures and derangements in San Francisco, but is applicable and prevalent throughout Democratically controlled states and cities.
Homelessness, for example, had its biggest jump between 2007-2020 in California, New York and Massachusetts. Shoplifting, looting and shootings have proliferated. Overdoses have skyrocketed.
The abject failure of “bail reform” was epitomized by the case of Darrell Brooks. After running over a woman with his SUV, he was freed from jail on an inappropriately low bail, then killed six people and wounded 60 more when he drove the very same vehicle through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
The media’s coverage of the carnage was sparse and purposefully dampened down. This was so as not to point out the glaring hypocrisy and disgrace of the progressives’ darling legislation.
The media might think that they can cover for the mistakes and downward spirals of its friendly Democratic politicians, but the American people have noticed, and 2022 will make that perfectly clear.
In his Nov. 23 New York Times column, “Can Liberals Survive Progressivism?” Bret Stephens put it best, saying that “nowhere are dysfunctions more concentrated than in the very places that were supposed to have become beacons of progressive sunshine.”
He further pointed out, “If you increase the incentives for bad behavior and reduce the ones for good, you will inevitably achieve catastrophic results.”
America is reaping the horrendous rewards of its fling with extreme progressivism. It is why the country needs to be placed in intensive care. This was apparent, but whitewashed and sanitized, in the summer of 2020, under the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic, when riots, raging mobs and church burnings were described as “peaceful protests.”
The “defund the police” campaign has “blown up” in the faces of all who pushed it, and has seriously hurt the Democratic Party.
Stephens concluded, “The country won’t be safe from them until a more serious Democratic Party can set itself free from ideas that embarrass it and endanger us all.”
Manchin should lead the way.
Dr. Joseph Frager is a lifelong activist and physician. He is chairman of Israel advocacy for the Rabbinical Alliance of America, chairman of the executive committee of American Friends of Ateret Cohanim, and executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation.
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