Gary Bauer / Jul. 26, 2016

Perception vs. Reality

A big debate erupted in the media over the weekend. Many talking heads feel our political discourse is "too dark." They say the rhetoric is exaggerating America's problems. My initial reaction is that many of the talking heads who live and work in the cloistered environments of Manhattan and Washington, D.C., aren't actually experiencing the problems average Americans are confronting. Anyone who tells you that things are okay is whistling past the graveyard. Most Americans know that. As I noted last week, a recent Gallup survey found that just 17% of Americans are satisfied with the state of the country. And with good reason.

A big debate erupted in the media over the weekend. Many talking heads feel our political discourse is “too dark.” They say the rhetoric is exaggerating America’s problems. My initial reaction is that many of the talking heads who live and work in the cloistered environments of Manhattan and Washington, D.C., aren’t actually experiencing the problems average Americans are confronting.

Anyone who tells you that things are okay is whistling past the graveyard. Most Americans know that. As I noted last week, a recent Gallup survey found that just 17% of Americans are satisfied with the state of the country. And with good reason.

Most Americans believe race relations are worse, even though we had eight years of the first black president and two black attorneys general.

Food stamp dependence remains at historically high levels.

Home ownership is down.

Household incomes are down.

Murder rates are rising.

So many Americans are discouraged by the economy that a record number of them have dropped out of the labor force.

Young Americans are losing faith in America.

From Orlando to France, Germany to Turkey, terrorist attacks seem to be occurring with greater frequency. There is a growing sense that our leaders are incompetent and don’t know how to protect us.

Nothing To See Here

The incompetence of Western leaders has been most evident lately in Germany. The country has experienced four terrorist attacks in recent weeks, yet after every atrocity German authorities rush to deny or downplay the obvious.

Ali David Sonboly, a German-Iranian teenager, opened fired at shopping mall in Munich last week. Nine people were killed and 21 were wounded. Big media and German authorities first tried to suggest that the shooter was a right-winger.

Then police said he was mentally imbalanced, but at least he acted alone. Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said Sonboly acted as a “classical shooter without any political motivation.”

Whoops. A day later, German police arrested a 16-year-old Afghan accomplice.

Then a Syrian refugee, wielding a machete, attacked and killed a pregnant woman and wounded two others at a bus stop. German authorities said it had nothing to do with terrorism because the attacker “has a record of getting into trouble.” What does that mean?

Then there was an explosion [Sunday] near an outdoor music festival in Ansbach. Authorities rushed to blame it on a natural gas leak. But then they discovered that a Syrian refugee had blown himself up after he was denied entry into the festival due to his suspicious backpack. Fifteen people were wounded by the blast.

German authorities were quoted as saying that they had not determined whether he was trying to kill others or whether he just wanted to commit suicide. The conservative news outlet Breitbart pointed out that suicidal people generally try a number of methods, but backpack bombs usually aren’t one of them. And now here’s the latest — CNN is reporting that the Ansbach bomber had in fact pledged his allegiance to ISIS.

The German government admitted several months ago that it had lost 130,000 migrants. They just found one of them.

Western leaders seem to think that their main job after every attack is to deceive us. They seem determined to make sure that their citizens do not reach the obvious conclusion that Islamic supremacists are responsible for these attacks. If they did, they might demand serious action like major immigration reforms and real border security.

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