Big Agenda Matters
By Lloyd Billingsley
A shorter version of this review appeared earlier at The Daily Caller.
“Conservatives were justifiably worried that America’s decline was reaching a point of no return,” writes David Horowitz. After the recent election, many breathed a sign of relief, but as the author of Big Agenda sees it, “one battle is over, but there are many more to come.” To prevail, the combatants must want to win, but as the author notes that has not always been the case with Republicans.
In 2012, for example, Mitt Romney possessed strategic intelligence on his opponent yet failed to deploy it and duly lost the election. In 2016, Romney blasted fellow Republican Donald Trump as “a phony, a fraud,” a charge the openly fraudulent Clinton gleefully used in her attack ads. Veterans of the Bush White House announced that they would vote for Clinton, and somebody named Evan McMullin launched a presidential run in Utah, as Big Agenda notes, “in the hopes of blocking a Trump majority in the Electoral College.”
In the six years they controlled both houses of Congress, the Republicans failed to conduct an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. They threatened to defund the Obama agenda then wound up funding it. Likewise, they failed to investigate Huma Abedin, a Muslim Brotherhood acolyte joined at the hip to Hillary Clinton.
These and other examples of the Republicans’ ineptitude, “failure of nerve” and “cowardice” prompt Horowitz to wonder what they failed to understand about the perils of the nation, and “the destructive agendas of the left that threaten its future.” Here the author draws on his vast experience.
The progressive movement operates on “almost religious convictions,” which is why members move in lockstep, and demonize anyone outside their ranks. The movement divides society into “oppressor” groups such as whites, males, Christians and heterosexuals and victim or “oppressed” groups such as “people of color” and the LGBT squads. For Horowitz this is “the old Marxist wine in new bottles,” with similar results of division and dissention.
“Progressives dream of a world of political correctness and politically enforced equality, where everybody is taken care of by taxing the rich until there are no more rich,
universities and schools admit no ideas that are hurtful or offending, environments have no pollution, countries have no borders, and nations have no armies. Progressives are so enthralled by their dreams of a heaven on earth that they see those who oppose their dreams as evil, which is why they hate them.” But as the author shows, progressives amount to more than utopianism and demonology.
With Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals as their bible, they have built a vast power base in government bureaucracies, government employee unions, and educational institutions in particular. Horowitz cites Janet Napolitano, the former Arizona governor and Department of Homeland Security boss under Obama. As president of the University of California Napolitano deems unacceptable “microagressions” statements such as “America is the land of opportunity” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job.” At the same time, as the author observes, UC Berkeley hosts a Center for Race and Gender that includes “Islamophobia Studies,” all funded by California taxpayers.
This movement commands almost total control over the Democratic Party and is too powerful for leaders to deviate from the path. For their part, Republicans are afraid of being called “obstructionists” and stigmatized as heartless, racist, or xenophobic. That fear leaves them ill-equipped for conflict with the interlocking directorate of progressive power. But as the author shows, it is possible to take it on and win.
Horowitz charts government union threats and thuggery against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Yet Walker “demonstrated the will to stand up to them” and prevailed.
In similar style, Hillary Clinton charged that supporters of Donald Trump were “irredeemable,” a veritable “basket of deplorables.” Trump supporters were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic— you name it.”
Trump fired back that “Hillary has tremendous hatred in her heart,” and as Horowitz notes, “never had any Republican dared to characterize a Democratic opponent in such damning moral terms to a national audience.” Trump continued to defy political correctness in brawling style, and he won. It will take that kind of defiance to “save America,” as the Big Agenda subtitle says.
“The strategy is to expose their hypocrisy and turn their firepower against them,” Horowitz explains, “to focus on the races, genders, ethnicities, and classes who suffer because of their policies and under their rule. The strategy is to go for the jugular.”
To turn around the battles conservatives have been losing for so long, “they must begin every confrontation by punching progressives in the mouth.” The attack must take away progressives’ “moral superiority and smugness.” Let this reviewer volunteer an example of how that could be done.
In the Sessions hearings, Senator Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT) charged that David Horowitz, who wasn’t there, made “apparently racist” statements, which he did not. When dealing with Blumenthal, conservatives should always point out that he is a liar who said he served in Vietnam but did not. But it’s not just about rhetoric.
The focus must be the Democrat’s “monopoly control of the inner cities of America and its responsibility for the misery and suffering inside them.” Education vouchers will break control of teacher unions, who now confine captive students in schools that don’t teach. For the author “it is unconscionable that K– 12 children should be indoctrinated— at taxpayers’ expense— in the anti-American prejudices of the political left.”
The IRS “must be investigated and reformed to prevent Democrats from using it to suppress the opinions of their political opponents.” The author calls for prosecution of those IRS officials “who participated in the effort to prevent conservative think tanks and advocacy groups from tax exemptions available to their liberal adversaries.”
In the author’s view, the term “undocumented” substituted for “illegal” signified that America’s laws deserve no respect and that “American citizenship as a set of
commitments and obligations (and not merely rights and privileges) is meaningless.” Further, “the erasure of the American republic is the core agenda of the Democratic
Party.” Sanctuary cities, are “seditious threats to the safety of all Americans,” and elected officials who break the law “need to be removed from office and prosecuted.”
In the concluding “Battle Plan” for the first 100 days, Big Agenda calls for nixing amnesty, restoring Guantanamo, replacing Obamacare, a step toward the imposition of government monopoly health care, which Democrats advertise as “single payer” and the “public option.” The conservative battle plan challenges EPA overreach and calls for countermanding previous executive orders.
In similar style, left-wing Justice Department officials should be fired, U.S. immigration laws enforced, and illegals with criminal records deported. On this issue President Trump can take guidance from a Democrat, the late Barbara Jordan, the first African American elected to Congress from Texas after Reconstruction.
“Deportation is crucial,” Jordan contended. “Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave. The top priorities for detention and removal, of course, are criminal aliens. But for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process.”
After the election, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry ganged up on Israel at the UN. It therefore makes perfect sense that the author’s battle plan calls for relocation of America’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “It is time to stand up for our one staunch ally in the Middle East,” he writes, “and recognize that there can be no peace as long as Palestinians support terror and deny Israel’s right to exist.”
Those on the front lines could use more guidance about how best to roll back government employee unions. Likewise, the outgoing president has politicized the “intelligence community,” as the tide of fake news confirms. Some of the toughest battles will behind the scenes and allies there, like those abroad, will need all the help they can get.
As with all books by David Horowitz, Big Agenda delivers more than it promises.
Here followers of Bernie Sanders can learn that “socialism is theft.” As the author knows, democratic capitalist society is not a utopia but the arrangement that best promotes opportunity, guards individual rights, and of course preserves liberty, which is what America is all about. But after the eight years of a counterrevolutionary president, can America be saved?
The author believes that the movement galvanized by Donald Trump can stop the progressive juggernaut and change the American future, but only if adopts the strategy of his campaign: “Be on offense; take no prisoners; stay on the attack.” What matters “is not what we say but what we do.” The stakes are high and “along with Reagan, we must fight to defend liberty in order to bequeath it to the next generation.”
Readers might recall that in the early going President Reagan fired the air traffic controllers of PATCO, a government employee union. Even Soviet officials got the message that Reagan would back up his words with action. In that spirit, this reviewer suggests another part of the battle plan for the first 100 days.
In 2009 at Ford Hood, U.S. Army major Nidal Hasan, a self-proclaimed “Soldier of Allah,” gunned down 13 unarmed American soldiers, including private Francheska Velez, 21, pregnant and preparing to go home. President Obama called this “workplace violence,” not even “gun violence.” The mass murderer Hasan was sentenced to death in 2013 but the president did not carry out the sentence. Neither would Hillary Clinton, had she been elected president.
During his first 100 days President Donald Trump, as commander in chief of U.S. armed forces, should carry out that death sentence. The president should keep this promise: “I am going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.” He should keep his promise to “knock the hell out of ISIS,” and every 9/11, instead of waiting to be attacked, the president should bust up some terrorist operation in a manner visible by the dawn’s early light.
Likewise, if a small boat ignores the call to stay away from a U.S. warship, authorize Navy gunners to blow it out of the water. That will avoid attacks such as the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Such decisive actions will send a message to radical Islamic terrorists, and all adversaries at home and abroad, that President Trump means business.