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Peter Morici: Extremists from the Left are a threat to democracy too


The midterm elections, as expected, delivered the House to the Republicans, but our democracy still stands.

Congressional candidates who won the most votes will come to Washington to confront and compromise and do some good and some bad, owing earnest intentions and poor judgment.

Either we accept human frailties or abandon the Republic like ancient Rome and return to emperors and kings.

The Republican red tide proved a ripple. The party’s net gains in the House were disappointing, and Democrats extended their control of the Senate. Republicans may have figured out how to dispatch Stacey Abrams but not Donald Trump.

The former president saddled the party with many 2020 election deniers as candidates for federal and state offices. For some, voters looked past that liability. More broadly, voters could not ignore the party’s lack of substance among its congressional candidates.

Many Republicans hardly went much further than complaining about President Joe Biden’s economy to explain how the GOP would fix inflation or other problems. That enabled Democrats to capitalize on Republicans’ often unpopular stance on abortion.

The GOP could not raid the Democratic base and win enough independent voters

Overall, Biden did quite well as compared to recent presidents in midterm elections.

Stacey Abrams finally conceded defeat in Georgia, but Democrats need to put election laws in states they control in better order and stop hectoring Republicans.

Hundreds of thousands of Georgians cast early ballots the week of Oct. 17 whereas in New York, the eager had to wait until Oct. 29.

Progressive charges run deeper though. The media labels the Jan. 6, 2020, riot an insurrection, but it hardly had the potential to overthrow the Republic.

Extremists groups had designs on illegally overturning the 2020 presidential election, but most folks who showed up were likely there to express unjustified outrage.

Malefactors pushed the crowd out of control and into a menacing mob. President Trump sinned against democracy by encouraging the march on the Capitol and provoking tragic violence.

Even if insurrectionists had seized command of the Capitol buildings and did tragic harm to its occupants, they were not organized in the ways that count. They had not co-opted the police and military to enforce their crimes against democracy, compel control of the federal bureaucracy, and seize broadcast networks to proclaim a new order.

As for Trump’s claims of voter fraud and the failure of many GOP congressmen to deny those, the courts and Senate Minority Leader McConnell dismissed them.

On Jan. 6, 2005, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. James Clyburn and 30 other members of the House sought to block awarding Ohio’s electoral votes and the re-election of President George W. Bush.

How many Democrats in the House and Senate or among state governors have condemned Stacey Abrams over the last four years? Instead, they exhibit their own cognitive dissonance, and Biden wrongly attacked Georgia election laws as racist.

Real threats to our democracy abound—intolerance always cloaks itself in virtue.

Progressives in the media and many in Congress have an extreme agenda about climate change, fossil fuels, taxes, abortion, education, gender and sexual identity that conservatives and many moderates don’t share in whole or at least not to the progressive extreme.

Yet, winning elections by obtaining the most votes to oppose progressives’ implementation is somehow a threat not only to their agenda but to democracy itself. Such seditious conduct, nay thinking, must be snuffed out or at least marginalized and disenfranchised.

Consider how professional schools and accreditation groups now require critical race theory as a component of professional certification, and the proliferation of diversity and inclusion offices at universities and among employers.

At some universities applicants for faculty positions must write essays to explain how they affirm and act on the goals of the Left’s agenda.

Children have been coerced in high schools to help finance propagandizing through their student governments.

It’s frighteningly reminiscent of the cultural wiring pursued in pre-World War II Germany, the old Soviet state or what goes on in China today.

In Europe, among the new Italian prime minister’s government, neo-fascists have a place. It’s hard to see Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s attack on an independent judiciary as much different.

Intolerance is always the enemy of pluralism and respect for significant minority views.

The open-source authoritarianism of the Left—the antiwhite and misandrist groups shaking down corporate leaders for support and diversity and inclusion officers policing employees—are terribly threatening and should be pulled out by their roots.

To my friends on the Left who drink the Kool-Aid of critical race theory and the fabrications of the 1619 Project, if they want to talk about conservative threats then let’s talk about Stacey Abrams and James Clyburn too.

The Left wants to talk about conservative and structural racisms and sexism—fine, let’s talk about theirs too.

Peter Morici is an economist and emeritus business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist.

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