Scared Stiff?

by Mike Pyatt

Mike Pyatt

Some may recall the failed “Scared Straight” initiative, a 1978, 52 minute documentary narrated by Peter Falk, with a group of juvenile delinquents in a three hour session with hardened convicts, at New Jersey’s Rahway State Prison. It was an attempt, albeit unfruitful, to terrify young offenders, to “scare them straight” so those teenagers will avoid prison life. It was punctuated with raw language to add a sense of prison language to further shock the kids. Longitudinal studies concluded that such programs where not efficacious at deterring crime. It was about as effective as graphic photos of lungs blackened from nicotine in jars to deter smoking. Many studies indicate, whether it’s smoking or crime, “parents are the single strongest influence on their teen’s choice to smoke, drink, use other drugs, or refrain from dilatory behavior.” Who’s scared?

Your’s truly had a scary experience this week, that would frighten most conservatives. CNN ran five back-to-back towns halls of Democrat hopefuls at St. Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, co-sponsored by Harvard’s Institute of Politics. This five-hour menagerie dominated by Senators, led off with Minnesota Amy Klobuchar, followed by Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren, Vermont’s Bern Sanders, who’s not even a Democrat, and using baseball analogy, the clean-up hitter was California’s Kamala Harris, and pinch-hitter, South Bend, Indiana’s Mayor Peter Buttiguieg. If Harris’s their clean-up hitter, it could be a long, miserable season.

Confessing to spending five hours at the feet of CNN hosts Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and Don Lemon is legitimate ground for readers to subtract points off your’s truly’s IQ-there’s not much remaining. At times it was painful, prompting a knee-jerk response to hit the recall button, returning to Fox News for succor. Let’s call it OpResearch. Although this writer missed most of Klobuchar’s comments, the transcript indicated she said nothing fresh. From the narrow array of questions, it appeared there were few conservative finger prints on the mic that night.

Candidates were lobbed a range of soft questions to America’s left-leaning party, from Medicare-for-all, to the Green New Deal, to reparations for slavery, questioned by undergrad students at a school where the average student’s family earns nearly three times the national average. Questions tilted unequally toward elitist Harvard students, representing a pollsters delightful age range 18-30. Our baseball analogy is stymied by the “softball” questions to the rivals. No tough ones about killing babies after the third trimester. We know their response. Nonetheless, we should have them on record. Eerily, the silence on Venezuela, border security, and same sex marriage, was deafening. Not one question or query from the talented hosts of CNN. Two thirds are openly homosexual. Anderson Cooper asked Mayor Pete why he “came out?” Buttigieg replied, “Because I wanted to start dating again.” He acknowledged “his partner in the audience. Earlier this month Mayor Peter remarked, in a question about his faith, that his marriage to husband, Chasten Glezman, in 2018, brought him “closer to God.” “God doesn’t have a political party,” he reminded viewers. Was this the “Twilight Zone?” With a homosexual candidate seeking the highest office in the land, one might anticipate a question like, “Are the American mainstream voters ready for a homosexual and his husband in the Oval Office?” Are they?

The crowd erupted when “climate change” “free college” “LGBT” or “student loan forgiveness” was uttered. No more than three questions about foreign policy or global politics. Of course, it was haute couture to bash President Trump, either directly or less than subtle inference. Sanders and Buttigieg both agree with Trump on NAFTA and “free and fair trade.” Neither would admit it. Mayor Pete, Sanders and Warren bragged about breaking up big corporations. Warren said her plan to tax the wealthy, after all the freebies, “we’ll still have nearly a trillion dollars left.” They better stoke that money printing press. Mayor Pete said there must be a pathway to citizenship, and in some ways, “They pay the way for the rest of us. No one asked him what that meant. Bernie and Mayor Pete disagree on incarcerated felons voting. Sanders believes it’s part of citizenship-and incarceration’s voter suppression. Harris cravenly commented, when asked, “We should have a conversation about it.”

Bernie was quick to point out that his ideas, once labeled as too extreme and “crazy” in the 2016 presidential election-are now in the mainstream of the Democratic Party. That should “scare stiff” the average citizen who hasn’t tuned in to politics lately. No mention in five hours about the rising influence of China, casting an ominous shadow on the global economy. Nothing about the NATO alliance, Putin’s growing pressure on North Korea, or our involvement in several ongoing military conflicts. The most penetrating question was directed at Sanders by a female student, Samantha Frankel-Propell, declaring her grandparents had fled Soviet Russia in 1979, and she wanted to know why Bernie would extol socialism in America, when it had failed miserably in every other country. Bernie, somewhat dismissively, “schooled her” on his version of the difference between democratic socialism and authoritarian communism. Anyone with a whit of political and economic acumen knows there’s no difference-only in degree of sophistication and time.

Most chilling was Kamala Harris’s vow to take executive action, if elected, to enact sweeping gun control measures if the congress doesn’t pass legislation for dramatic “gun safety laws” in her first 100 days. The good news is she’ll never make it. The bad news is another Democratic candidate would if elected. What were the overarching themes on CNN’s extravaganza? Absolute irate disdain for President Trump, and nothing can stop their elitist Progressive onslaught. Hatred is the oxygen of the Democrat Progressive Left. Pete Buttigieg, on camera, is charming, most articulate, quick on his feet, Rhodes scholar, less strident, not pugilistic, more engaging-and most treacherous for those reasons-and more. If Uncle Joe stumbles into the fray, can he deliver? The idea of “Prince Charming” always eclipses the real “Prince Charming.” If CNN’s goal was to scare voters stiff-it worked on this conservative. An imperfect President Trump looks better every minute.

Winston Churchill once described socialism, “a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” With due respect to Sir Winston, today it’s more than a philosophy. It’s kleptocracy in which those in charge live extraordinarily well, and only the general population are made miserable. Victor David Hanson’s correct, “The current socialist trajectory is divorced from reality.” He added, “soft socialism inevitably turning hard and ending in the mass poverty of a North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba.” That hasn’t deterred them from their beguiling march believing that the future is theirs for the taking, pushing this expansive socialist agenda. It was clearly on display in CNN’s world. Can one square free income whether one works or not, with 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat. We hear some among you are idle.” What do you think?

Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s roderickstj@yahoo.com

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