Along the Tracks

Monday, February 16, 2004

Three claims liberals need you to believe

From the Saturday Bryan Times and Northwest Signal:


With the 2004 election season fully engaged, liberals and their media allies are hard at work to convince you, the voter, of three claims, each twisting the truth to make America appear to be faltering. Take a look at these claims skeptically as they appear on television and in news articles. Do a little research, when you can. Here’s what I’ve found:

  • The economy is terrible. In this “terrible” economy, unemployment - the touchstone issue for liberals and the media - has never risen as high as it was in the last recession 12 years ago (7.5 percent, 1992). In fact, the unemployment rate has remained lower than it has typically been during all but the peak years (1989-90 and 1997-2000 most recently) of economic expansions.

    This, of course, is no solace to those who have lost their jobs - a devastating situation for families, especially those who had lower incomes to start. Particularly vexing is the fact that manufacturing jobs - a crucial sector in northwest Ohio - are being eliminated at a disproportionate rate. Liberals blame “evil corporations” for the losses, but in fact, two positive factors have this particular negative effect: Improved productivity and improved Third World conditions.

    For the U.S., the key to success during inevitable and continual change is education and training. Displaced workers need to be given new skills which can be used in new industries. Even more importantly, American children must receive the kind of quality education that allows them to succeed in jobs created by the changing economy: high-skill manufacturing, bio-med, trade, design, innovation and information technologies.

    The liberal agenda of erecting trade barriers and ignoring the shameful failure of many schools to educate children from low-income households will not prepare America for the future. It will not save low-skill manufacturing jobs in the long run, either. The U.S. economy succeeds for all Americans when it is given the proper tools, then allowed to operate.

  • The environment is being destroyed. This is the cry of liberals - when Republicans are in power. Yet, scientific testing demonstrates that, overall, water is purer and air is cleaner than at any time since measurements began, and certainly much improved since the environmental movement coalesced in the late ‘60s. An interesting fact: During this positive transformation from 1969’s dead rivers and smog-filled cities to today’s fish-filled streams and clear skies, Republican presidents have been in office for 23 of 35 years. All the major legislation - EPA establishment, the original Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Superfund expansion - was signed by Republicans.

    Democrats talk a big game on the environment, but when push comes to shove, they don’t act. This is an issue to rev up the liberal base - and that’s all it is.

  • We are not at war. Ultimately, this is the one the liberals have to get you to swallow if they hope to retake the White House. To be honest, the president has made the libs’ job easier by trying to make everyone happy (and thus making no one happy) with his free-spending domestic policy - a first in war time. War has always meant national sacrifice, and if everyone is not asked to sacrifice, people begin to forget we are at war.

    With that opening available, many liberals are charging through, led by finger-in-the-wind John Kerry, who recently called the war on terror mostly a question of law enforcement. You may recall that was the policy of the Clinton administration (and, to be fair, Bush I and the first eight months of Bush II). You may also recall the result. A mountain of dead 3,000 high should not be made a molehill so easily.

    Those who would fight the war on terror with subpoenas rather than soldiers ignore not only the past, but the future. Personally, I’d rather not send Attorney General John Edwards in a Kerry administration off to the Hague to prosecute a captured sheik who has just successfully killed another 3,000 Americans. For all his faults, President Bush has the right policy here: force the said sheik to fight and run and hide in his own corner of world before he can attack; remove his protectors from power; and release the people of the Middle East from the oppression on which the killer feeds.

    Is that ambitious? Certainly, and there is no guarantee of success. Simply waiting for the next attack - oh, but with lawyers standing by - is a policy which not only lacks ambition, but lacks faith in the power of freedom. And if, as Americans, we can’t even agree on that - our founding principle - we really have nothing to fight for in the first place.

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