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Arnold Ahlert / Aug. 18, 2016

It's the Ideology, Stupid

Some advice for Trump in taking on not just Clinton, but her philosophy.

“Mr. Trump’s advisers and his family want the candidate to deliver a consistent message making the case for change. They’d like him to be disciplined. They want him to focus on growing the economy and raising incomes and fighting terrorism.” —from The Wall Street Journal

“His advisers are still convinced of the basic potency of a sales pitch about economic growth and a shake-up in Washington…"—from The New York Times

Note to Donald Trump, his advisers and the self-aggrandizing media "experts” who purport to be helping him:

It’s the ideology, stupid.

With acknowledgements to James Carville for the paraphrasing, it’s time to wise up. There is no “focus” or “sales pitch” that can shake the American public out of the doldrums that attach themselves to a choice between two highly flawed presidential candidates.

Unless. Unless that focus and sales pitch goes to the heart of what ails the nation. On Monday, following two nights of rioting, burning, looting and assaults on police and white people by black American mobs in Milwaukee — mobs energized by a completely legitimate shooting of an armed black thug by a black police officer, captured on camera —Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who by the way is black, provided a stellar example of illuminating the roots of the problem:

“The Milwaukee riots should be the last time the policies of liberal Democrats are held up as anything other than misery-inducing, divisive, exploitative and racist manipulation of the urban populations. Unfortunately they won’t. As Sheriff of Milwaukee County, I am furious that the progressive left has put my citizens in harm’s way and that I had to send my officers into cauldrons of anarchy and hatred that were created by the left.”

This spot-on analysis moves seamlessly to other arenas. Thus a sales pitch about economic growth becomes the idea that the “progressive” Left, led by Barack Obama, has produced the weakest recovery of the post-WWII era, even as the national debt skyrocketed from $10.6 trillion when Obama took office, to $19.4 trillion today.

A shakeup in Washington? Elitist insiders in both parties embrace progressive ideology’s global ambitions of amnesty for millions of illegals, massive amounts of immigration — including more Syrian “refugees” than the entire EU took in — and multi-nation trade deals negotiated in top secret. Progressives favor the practically unlimited expansion of H-1B visas demanded by tech oligarchs, who prefer employing foreign workers that undercut American wage-earners.

Foreign affairs? It is progressive ideology, courtesy of Obama and Hillary Clinton, that gave the world an “Arab Spring” enabling the rise and expansion of the Islamic State, the slaughter of Christians at genocidal levels, and the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. Progressive ideology has also put Iran on a glide path to nuclear weaponry, fueled Russian thug Vladimir Putin’s ambitions for recreating a Soviet Empire, and given the Chinese every reason to believe their expansionism in the South China Sea will remain unchecked. And Obama’s preposterous, progressive-inspired promise to “degrade” the Islamic State has given them extended time to recruit and propagandize with impunity, leading directly to the atrocities in, among numerous other places, Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and Orlando.

The progressive-inspired destruction of the nation’s moral fabric? “The failed progressive urban policy causes anger and resentment in people that simmers below the surface,” Clarke writes. “The officer-involved-shooting was simply a catalyst that ignited the already volatile mixture of inescapable poverty, failing K-12 public schools, dysfunctional lifestyle choices like father absent homes, gang involvement, drug/alcohol abuse and massive unemployment.”

Like Trump must do, Clarke makes it clear who’s to blame. “Here are the facts: Milwaukee is run by progressive Democrats,” he explains. “Their decades-long Democrat regime has done nothing to reduce these urban pathologies, in fact, their strategies have exacerbated the situation by expanding the welfare state.”

Clarke is talking about Milwaukee, yet that same progressive failure is replicated in cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and countless other urban wastelands where Democrats have maintained uncontested power for decades. Decades of societal dysfunction engendered by a progressive utopian vision known as the “Great Society” and the massive expansion of the integrity- and incentive-sapping welfare state it inflicted on the nation. Moreover, the progressive effort to promote the equality of “lifestyle choices,” decimated the nuclear family to the point where nearly three out of four black American children and more than half of all children delivered by women under 30 are born out of wedlock.

Trump must remind Americans that out-of-wedlock births spawn far higher levels of poverty and increasing levels of economic inequality progressives bemoan — even as they are the chief enablers of it.

Delivering a consistent message making the case for change? How about reminding Americans that Obama’s and Clinton’s progressive version of change — as in the fundamental transformation of an “inherently flawed” nation — has inflicted on America a virulent expansion of Us vs. Them identity politics, playing people off each other on the basis of race, religion, gender and class for the primary purpose of maintaining power? How about reminding Americans that Hope and Change™ has given rise to countless grievance groups including La Raza, the New Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, CAIR, ISNA, the Rainbow Mafia, etc., all of whom are determined to use government as a vehicle for punishing their enemies and rewarding their friends?

Trump should also remind Americans that progressive ideology has corrupted government to the point where the IRS can single out conservative groups for extra scrutiny, while denying them a voice in the political process. That the U.S. attorney general can meet with the husband of an investigation subject on an airport tarmac with no repercussions. That the FBI can take “testimony” from Hillary Clinton without recording it, or putting her under oath — and then subsequently defend her by insisting a former secretary of state wasn’t “sophisticated” enough to understand classified email markings. And that a progressive-dominated Supreme Court will eviscerate the Constitution, with one “living document” ruling after another.

It is one thing to criticize Hillary Clinton per se. It is quite another to consistently tie her to a bankrupt ideology in all its despicable, hypocritical and repressive permutations. His two recent speeches on terror and law and order were a good start. Hopefully he’ll continue hammering the messenger and the message. And hopefully he’ll accept the reality he must do so in the face of a hostile and corrupt media, a Democrat Party willing to win by any means necessary, and a segment of establishment Republicans who would sell out their base to maintain their own elitist status quo.

“There’s only one answer,” Clarke maintains, “which is for the citizens of America to expose and heap scorn on this lying and dangerous triad of big government, liberal mainstream media, and the lost souls of the urban ghettos both these institutions feed upon for their power.”

Make no mistake: Progressive ideology cannot prosper without sufficient numbers of lost souls mired in human misery and ignorance. Even worse, its adherents believe caring is all that’s required to justify the consistently catastrophic results of their “enlightened” machinations.

Tie it all together, Mr. Trump. It just might win you the White House.

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