In certain ways, it must be fun to be a left-winger. Pushing for any policy that seems socially just without the constraint of how it actually works out for people (i.e., ignoring the horrors left behind in socialism's wake throughout history) makes things a whole lot easier. Sounds fun, too. Just going with your heart and hoping for the best must be liberating. But the most fun leftists have must be when they sit around to talk about some of the dumb ways conservatives talk.

0
0
0
s2smodern

If you wanted to teach a class on how to cause confusion and distrust, you would follow the U.S. government's coronavirus playbook. A lot has been written about the historically low levels of trust Americans have in their leaders and institutions. There's been less analysis on what happens when a government has no faith in its own citizens. We are seeing the results today. From the start of the pandemic, health authorities have chosen gamesmanship over honesty. This has resulted in muddled and inconsistent messaging from national leaders. The end result is a broken country of citizens at one another's throats. Mask fights, deboarding flights and, of course, the crazy people driving around alone in their cars with masks on all stem, at least in part, from a government that refused to treat Americans like adults who could handle the truth.

0
0
0
s2smodern

The left had a lot of fun this week mocking a false claim in some conservative circles that President Joe Biden was planning on limiting hamburger consumption. There are a few lessons in all of this. The first is obvious and has been driven home in the corporate media: Conservatives need to be more careful on the facts. By taking liberties on the potential costs of Biden's climate goals, conservatives walked into a hailstorm of criticism that could easily have been avoided.

The second and more important lesson is that the hamburger misinformation pales in comparison to the corporate media's misinformation on Biden's climate targets. Biden has proposed cutting U.S. emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is double the hugely ambitious target set by former President Barack Obama in 2015.

0
0
0
s2smodern

The left and the right have been battling it out for months over who can freak out average Americans the most. Regular Americans were definitely not impressed by the photos of team QAnon in capes and horn helmets posing in the U.S. Capitol. Normal Americans may be mad at Washington, but they love our country and don't want to see national monuments turned into a freak party. People had the same reaction when angry left-wing rioters defaced war monuments to our nation's heroes in Washington last summer.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Less than three months ago, President Joe Biden stood in front of the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots and delivered his inaugural address. He called for unity, and Americans who see a politically fractured country welcomed it. He could have then put together an agenda that would have accomplished many of his goals while also helping heal the country. On COVID-19, infrastructure and other matters, there was a road to garnering massive bipartisan support. We focus a lot on disagreements, but in each of these areas, average citizens share a broad consensus that Biden could have reached.

0
0
0
s2smodern

President Joe Biden began his presidency with an inaugural call for national unity. Since that time, his greatest legislative achievement is a COVID-19 relief package that passed without a single Republican vote. Given the disagreement and disarray among Republicans today, it's amazing Biden could come up with something Republicans would agree unanimously to oppose. The bill was just that bad. It spent more on left-wing policies than it did on providing true COVID-19 relief.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Last week, former President George W. Bush said he's not worried about the current moment in American politics because "these populist movements begin to fritter over time." I don't know Bush well personally, but I served in his administration for eight years. As a senior staffer to Vice President Dick Cheney, I was in numerous meetings with Bush each week. While I did not agree with the president on every policy issue, I did leave my service with a feeling that, agree with him or not, Bush is a good person who cares a lot about our country.

0
0
0
s2smodern

There aren't a lot of people who tell the truth about voting rules. As the Senate takes up the bill the House just passed to drastically amend the rules that govern our elections, it seems like a good time to step back and examine what's really going on. For some reason, the truth is missing from almost all the reporting, both in the liberal press and in conservative media.

Both Republicans and Democrats approach debates over the rules and systems for our elections with the same fundamental belief: Making voting easy helps Democrats, and making voting harder helps Republicans.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Did you know America is going bankrupt? Most people don't. Maybe the saddest part about our country's state of affairs is that all our vitriol and dysfunction has come at a time when we aren't even addressing our biggest problems. It would be one thing if America collectively decided we have to be honest about where we are as a country and we were in the middle of a charged debate about how to fix it. Instead, we are fighting about trivial things while pretty much everyone in the country, on all sides of the political spectrum, has decided our real problems are so bad we may as well ignore them. Have you ever had a friend who's had some horrible, embarrassing event in their life? The last thing you want to do is mention it. That's America and our debt problem. It's so bad that we don't talk about it anymore.

0
0
0
s2smodern

If we're ever going to surmount this truly toxic period in our politics, each warring faction must realize that winning is not possible without help from the other. And by faction, I don't mean Republican or Democrat. The real dividing line in our country today is not Republican and Democrat, left and right. That still exists, of course, and in certain areas, our partisan differences are still clearly defined. The true dividing line is between the corporatists in each party and the average Americans in each party -- and despite what they think, neither the corporatist side nor the populist side can succeed in the long term without support from the other.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Estimates are all over the place, but it's now beyond dispute that Soviet policies in the 1930s led to the deaths of somewhere between 7 and 12 million Ukrainians (about the equivalent to killing every person in Michigan today). It's one of the greatest horrors in world history. The world knew little about the Ukrainian famine at the time. When independent journalists tried to get news out about the atrocity, they were accused of promoting conspiracy theories. Sound familiar? The New York Times, whose Moscow bureau led efforts to protect the Soviet Union and crush dissenting viewpoints, has since apologized for its role in suppressing news about the famine. Based on the media's handling of COVID-19 reporting today, however, it's clear we have forgotten any lessons once learned about the dangers of suppressing ideas and dissent on unproven matters the way the Times did to such tragic effect all those decades ago.

0
0
0
s2smodern

It's sort of shocking that a series of left-wing riots around the nation followed by a right-wing riot at our Capitol building haven't caused much self-reflection among the policymakers in Washington. It's convenient to think this is just some tiny group of crazies or this is all going to blow over. We have been thinking that way for years now. It's not true. Our once-great country is in a huge slide. Too many fellow citizens are hurting. Too many communities around the country are shells of their former vibrant selves. All this is a screaming wake-up call for change, yet we don't have any serious efforts underway to reform our system.

0
0
0
s2smodern

President Joe Biden could have focused on any issue he wanted in his inaugural address. His base would have loved the whole thing to be about climate change or racial justice. Biden touched on some of these policy issues, but he focused most of his address on something totally different: national unity.

If anyone reading this doesn't believe that Biden correctly identified the issue of our time, I'm not even sure what to say. It's issue one, two and three.

0
0
0
s2smodern

It's been obvious for quite a while that our country is coming apart at the seams. People on all sides are upset, and they want to punish their political opponents. We aren't able to disagree in a productive way. We demonize one another; we are too partisan; and we are definitely too angry. This isn't unique to the right or the left. It's all of us.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Salena Zito.

COOK FOREST, Pennsylvania -- It has just finished snowing here, and the forest looks magical, draped in white. It takes on a silvery blue shine under the blue sky that emerged after the storm finished leaving its mark. The silence is soon broken by the crunching of snowshoes off in the distance.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Neil Patel is off this week, Veronique de Rugy is filling in his place.

President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden are quite different from each other. It is obvious in their personalities and in their policy positions. So, we can reasonably assume that their White House management styles will also be radically different. One thing is for sure: No matter how the new administration is managed, there will be some internal conflict.

0
0
0
s2smodern