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Turning Swords Into Plowshares

A Tale Of Two Parties

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
(Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

The State of the Union and the Democrats’ response to it was a study in contrasts, which you would expect from two opposing political parties. But unlike years past, this year wasn’t about differing views of where we should go as a country, it was more a chasm between opinions of who we are as a country. 


President Donald Trump delivered. His speech, while long, didn’t feel long. It was peppered with proposals, as you’d expect from any State of the Union Address. But was also full of celebrations of America and Americans. It was a rallying cry for American exceptionalism. 

The reaction of Democrats to it was shocking. You’d expect the opposing party to disagree and disapprove of certain policy proposals – no one expected them to applaud a wall on the southern border, for example – but many Democrats, led by media celebrity Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, refused to applaud the idea of a government-led push to eradicate AIDS in 10 years. Seriously. 

When the President talked about ending the scourge of human trafficking and the smuggling of narcotics by drug cartels, Democrats weren’t interested. Do they support human and drug smuggling? Probably not, but I can’t say for sure because they oppose measures to fight them. 

On the issue of improving health care for our veterans, Democrats sat on their hands. On the concept of freedom and the United States never becoming a socialist country…crickets from the left. They didn’t even applaud a booming economy and record low black and Hispanic unemployment. 

But the different visions of what our country is didn’t end with the president’s speech. The official “Democratic Response” was a bizarro-world view of a country that does not exist. 


Stacey Abrams, the failed 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, delivered an official response that amounted to a personal list of grievances that caused her to refuse to admit she lost her election for a month. 

Abrams started off with a rambling story about her father allegedly giving away his jacket to a homeless man. She said, “sometimes my dad had to hitchhike and walk long stretches during the 30-mile trip home from the shipyards. One rainy night, Mom got worried. We piled in the car and went out looking for him – and eventually found Dad making his way along the road, soaked and shivering in his shirtsleeves. When he got in the car, Mom asked if he’d left his coat at work. He explained he’d given it to a homeless man he’d met on the highway. When we asked why he’d given away his only jacket, Dad turned to us and said, ‘I knew when I left that man, he’d still be alone. But I could give him my coat, because I knew you were coming for me.’”

It sounds like BS, but that’s irrelevant. What matters is she used that story as a springboard into a discussion of collectivism. “We do not succeed alone,” she said. The problem is this: if the story of her father is true, it was an action he took on his own, an act of individual charity, which is almost uniquely American. Democrats, however, want to use the power of government to force people to give their jackets to others. That isn’t charity, nor it is freedom, that’s authoritarian. 


Unencumbered by reality, Abrams went on to declare, “Under the current administration, far too many hard-working Americans are falling behind, living paycheck to paycheck, most without labor unions to protect them from even worse harm.  The Republican tax bill rigged the system against working people. Rather than bringing back jobs, plants are closing, layoffs are looming and wages struggle to keep pace with the actual cost of living.” 

Is this reality? It this even Earth? People living paycheck to paycheck aren’t living beyond their means, they’re victims. Those not in unions haven’t chosen not to join one, they’re being denied it somehow. There are more jobs than people looking for work, but no one can find a job and the economy is in mid-collapse. 

There is an industry on the left working non-stop to convince people that no matter how good things are, they’re secretly awful. 

Democrats need to convince people they’re victims, that they can’t get ahead without their help, without government. They create people indentured to them, it’s the key to their power. The conservative philosophy is the exact opposite – get government out of people’s way so they can do with their lives whatever they can make of it. One philosophy has been implemented in cities, places where unbroken generational control has given them every opportunity to show how what they want everywhere can work somewhere. Anyone want to move to Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, etc.? You can buy a house, and in certain sections an entire city block, pretty cheap. 


Of course, there’s a reason Baltimore has lost half its population, while Detroit has lost more than that, and it’s not that big government, collectivist progressivism has worked out so well for everyone. 

Tuesday was a study in contrasts: a choice between what’s good and what some need people to think is real. For me, I’m always suspicious of anyone who works really hard to convince people we don’t know how bad we have it. 

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