The 2024 lines are being drawn now

Back in the nineteen sixties, Buffalo Springfield captured the mood of that time with their hit song: "For What It's Worth."  Today's world is similarly aligned, but over a new confrontation: dogmatic know-it-alls versus those of us who just want to be left alone.  A few years back, New York's publishing magnate–turned-mayor, Michael Bloomberg, was asked why he went to so much trouble to limit the portion size of soda pop being served in restaurants.  "Government has no greater responsibility than the health of its citizens" was his answer.  No attention was paid to whether people get to drink soda-pop at home or order a second helping when dining out.

I wish I had an answer for this obnoxious lurch toward totalitarianism, but the best I can do is say that megalomania might be catching.  Those who populate our political class are largely there because they seriously enjoy telling other people what to do.  Never did it ever occur to them to actually study the perceived problems that are catching their attention.  Instead, they spontaneously bloviate obvious nonsense similar to Bloomberg's.  At the recent climate conference at Davos, Switzerland, former vice president Al Gore erupted in a hysterical tirade worthy of judicially compelled in-patient psychiatric treatment.  At least he didn't start foaming at the mouth — but it's still pretty scary to realize that he almost got elected president.

Joe Biden, somehow, did make it into the White House.  Unlike Gore, however, Biden's nonsense is not really of his own making...but, rather, that of the puppet masters pulling his strings.  Biden has always been a lame hack who was never worthy of higher office beyond the Senate — hence his numerous failed attempts for just that.  Obama's picking him for the vice presidency was mostly a gesture to the party's old guard, in order to compensate for his own meteoric rise as an inner-city radical community organizer.

At long last, we finally have on the other side a conspicuous rise of conservative militancy.  Mr. Trump was on the leading edge of this trend.  Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) is a new addition and a superior counter to the left's AOC.  House speaker Kevin McCarthy is a well timed convert to the movement.  Governors Ron DeSantis (Florida) and Greg Abbott (Texas) burnished their street creds by shipping busloads of illegals to New York and D.C. in broad daylight.  There are several others, but attention is now being focused on next year's presidential contest. 

Biden's incumbency has become a millstone around the necks of his former supporters.  Two years in the limelight have indelibly cast him as a senile incompetent.  And yet, the nomination is his...if he's allowed to want it.  Meanwhile, his possible replacements are frozen in place, lest they damage his chances as Ted Kennedy did to Jimmy Carter in 1980.  Some may break away from the pack, so stay tuned.

Mr. Trump, on the other hand, is still putting plenty of butts in the seats.  My hunch is that his real purpose is to cause the usual enemies of freedom to exhaust their supply of ammunition and thoroughly bore the public with their ad nauseam smear tactics.  Again, just a hunch — but even with a complicit corporate news media, the woke mob is so devoid of true talent that California's Governor Hair Gel actually seems to be a serious contender.  Of course, there's always Kamala, Hillary, and (my man) Beto.  But then again, Trump may also be suffering from an excess of familiarity.  Sometimes an element of mystery can be an asset — just ask Mr. Obama.

All the while, the Kool-Aid-drinkers of the woke totalitarians have shot for the moon by demanding an end to gas cooking stoves.  Yeah, the docile sheep are so accustomed to being pushed around that they will gladly comply.  Really?  Never mind the absurdity of substituting electricity for natural gas when producing household heat (gas is more efficient, and electricity is produced by gas, coal, and uranium, primarily).  How supplicant can we be?  Sadly for them, not enough.

Another front in the brewing confrontation is the re-emergence of school choice as a particularly attractive reform.  In addition to being an obvious result of the COVID scare, the various teachers' unions have gone out of their way to wear out whatever welcome they still had left.  In practically all endeavors, lack of serious competition lowers the quality of the results.  The only reason for a government monopoly for "free" K–12 education is its ability to collect taxes.  So let's leave that in place while granting the consumers of this service the ability to shop around and make their own decisions. 

The pathetic defenders of the status quo continue to rely on the dogmatic squeal: "Most parents aren't competent enough to make good decisions for their children's education."  Yeah, they're much better off relying on nameless, faceless, and unaccountable bureaucrats to control their family's destiny.  The troops are really lining up on this one.  A particularly significant arising combatant in this process just happened to have finished first in his class at the U.S. Military Academy.  Former secretary of state (etc.) Mike Pompeo, while addressing a conservative meeting in Las Vegas, stated that the most dangerous enemy facing the United States is neither Xi Jinping nor Vladimir Putin.  It is the teachers' unions.

Man the barricades.

Image via Picryl.

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