Crime in our cities is out of control, mothers can’t find infant formula for their babies, inflation is at a 40-year high, there is a nation-wide infestation of homeless people—many of them drug addicted and mentally ill, and our borders are wide-open to a stream of migrants who are unlawfully swamping our nation.
Our infrastructure—mainly roads, bridges, airports, and rail networks—is deteriorating; our K-12 education system, which was once the envy of the world, is failing our children; and federal agencies such as the FBI and the Justice Department have become partisan bureaucracies ordered to harass and prosecute anybody opposed to the current president and his cadre of socialist sycophants.
More specifically, we see brazen smash and grab shoplifters stealing millions of dollars in merchandise from stores without fear of punishment because of leftist prosecutors who esteem the criminal over the victim. We see a biologically muddled nation in which a new Supreme Court Justice could not or would not define what a woman is and where scientifically dubious gender dysphoria and transgenderism are omnipotent even though together they represent just 1 percent of our population.
We see unprecedented violence on our streets as thugs beat, stab, and shoot innocent people knowing they will suffer little or no punishment for their vicious crimes. We see unparalleled numbers of car-jackings, home invasions, threats to judges and Supreme Court justices, and deadly attacks on police.
Is this America? Is this one of the most advanced and sophisticated democracies ever created? Is this the nation that invented cardiac defibrillators, chemotherapy, microwave ovens, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, cellphones, anti-lock brakes, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), digital cameras, personal computers, and the internet yet now perversely insists biological men can become pregnant?
Is this the nation that our founders envisioned when they created the most enlightened and equitable republic the world has ever known?
Is this the nation of laws and rational reflection that our forefathers fostered? Is this the country where reasonable politicians debate policies and legislation judiciously without encouraging acrimony, polarization, and even violence?
America today seems more like a hostile, chaotic, and untamed backwoods than a sophisticated cutting-edge republic
In short, I feel like I’m living in a third-world dictatorship, and if there is one thing I know a little about, it is third-world dictatorships.
I spent about 25 years of my life as a foreign correspondent working in many of this planet’s third-world countries. I saw nations ruled by corrupt governments, tyrants, dictators, and military juntas from Asia to Latin America.
Dissent in these nations was not allowed and anybody who opposed the ruling regimes was termed a traitor, a terrorist, or an insurrectionist. Most of these people were rounded up and thrown into political prisons and “re-education camps” where they languished for months and years without due process.
Sound familiar? Think about it. That’s exactly what has happened to scores of Americans who participated in the protests at the nation’s capital on January 6, 2020.
Agree with them or not, those Americans remain locked away today in federal prisons without benefit of due process. Some are not allowed to communicate with their families. Many have complained to congressional fact-finding teams of being mistreated—even tortured, by federal guards.
Then there is the recent case of 72-year-old Peter Navarro, a retired business school professor who served as a trade advisor during the Trump administration.
Just as in third world dictatorships, the Biden Junta decided to make an example of Navarro and embarrass him publicly. So, as he attempted to board a plane at Reagan National Airport FBI agents grabbed him, handcuffed him, shackled him in leg irons, and threw him into a cell.
What was Navarro’s hideous crime? Did he murder someone? Did he defraud people via a pyramid scheme? Did he commit treason or some other felony against his country?
No, he did none of these things. Instead, he resisted a subpoena from the decidedly partisan “kangaroo committee” investigating the January 6, 2020 protests. Why did Navarro resist the subpoena? Well, for one thing, he had nothing to do with the so-called “insurrection” at the nation’s Capital. He did not break into the Capitol. He wasn’t even there that day.
So why did Biden’s Gestapo, aka FBI, seize Navarro?
The inquisitors on the House January 6 committee demanded that Navarro surrender records of his private conversations with his former boss, President Trump. Navarro refused, insisting those conversations are protected by executive privilege, so via a partisan vote, Congress voted to hold him in contempt and Merrick Garland’s hidebound Justice Department filed criminal charges against him.
I can recall seeing similar things happen in many of the dictatorships and third world countries I covered.
For example, I was with South Korean opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kim Dae-Jung as he was arrested upon his returned to Seoul following his exile in 1985. As he stepped off the plane he was grabbed and whisked away by the Korean Central Intelligence Agency and placed under house arrest.
I had known Kim since the mid-1970s and despite his various imprisonments at the hands of South Korean dictators like Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan, Kim became the first opposition leader to win election to his country’s presidency (1998–2003).
I saw dissidents who opposed the military junta in Argentina being rounded up and “disappeared” by government “security” forces in 1980-81 and I witnessed the same kind of behavior in President Augusto Pinochet’s Chile in the late 1970s and in El Salvador and Guatemala in the early 1980s.
Thirty-three years ago on June 4, I watched the Chinese Communist Party send troops and tanks into Tiananmen Square to massacre thousands of students and political demonstrators. Then, in the aftermath, I met with terrified dissidents as they hid from government agents. Many I talked with where eventually rounded up, never to be heard from again.
Now, as I watch the Democrats persist with their inquisition of conservatives and people they consider “enemies of the state” such as Navarro and others, I feel like I am back in those Asian and Latin American dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s—nations where individual rights were suspended and opposition leaders were summarily arrested, incarcerated, and even shot.
When I hear Joe Biden berate and harangue conservatives, Libertarians, and Republicans, and liken them to domestic terrorists; when I hear Biden threaten rights enshrined in our Constitution such as the First and Second Amendments; when hear him disregard the valid concerns of American citizens over such things as runaway inflation, soaring gas prices, spiraling crime in our cities, and the illegitimate flood of migrants into our country, I am reminded of the cast of dictators I have met and interviewed during my career.
Like those men, Biden behaves as if he is all-powerful and not accountable to the public. If you oppose him and his aberrant and destructive policies, you are an insurrectionist, a domestic terrorist, a white supremacist, or some other low life cretin.
So here we are, a nation that seems to be sliding inexorably backward in terms of social structure and scientific inquiry, where mathematics is considered “racist,” where men are women and women are men, where our government is creating a “ministry of truth” in the Department of Homeland Security to monitor and censor what it considers “misinformation” and those who spread it via social media.
Is this my America? No it isn’t.
President William McKinley once issued the following warning: “The tyranny of the minority is infinitely more odious and intolerable and more to be feared than that of the majority.”
He was right. America today is controlled by elitists, half-baked partisan factions, and self-centered minority groups that are retarding the nation’s growth and progress in the name of something called “equity,” scientifically contested climate transformation, and a bizarre attraction to a political system called socialism that has failed in every country where it has been utilized.
As Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787 he was asked what kind of government the founders had created.
“A republic, if you can keep it,” he replied.
It seems to me that we are well on the way to losing it.
(Ronald E. Yates is a U.S. Army veteran, an author, a former Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent, and Profess or & Dean Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois.)
His website: http://www.ronaldyatesbooks.com/
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