Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that “civilization as we know it” is at risk in the 2020 election. She is right, but the threat to western civilization comes from her own side, not from President Donald Trump.
“My view is that civilization as we know it is at stake,” Pelosi said. “It’s about everything. It’s about America. We ask God to bless America.” She argued that Trump’s administration shows a “disloyalty to the Constitution.”
The House speaker developed this claim during the impeachment battle.
"Civilization as we know it is at stake in the next election." pic.twitter.com/dlRVT4Nh71
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 6, 2019
The House speaker framed Trump as a threat to civilization, to the Constitution, and to the planet, but on each count, Democrats arguably pose a far greater threat.
So-called progressives are attempting to redefine American history and western civilization in terms of oppression, demonizing the Founders and the heritage that inspired them as racist, sexist, homophobic, et cetera. Last year, The New York Times launched its “1619 Project,” aiming to redefine the soul of America. The Times insisted that America was not truly born in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence but rather in 1619 when the first slaves came to Virginia.
In defense of this, Nikole Hannah-Jones claimed that “one of the primary reasons” the patriots revolted against Britain was to preserve the institution of slavery. Yet recently, the Times had to admit that this was not the case. Instead, the American Revolution actually disrupted slavery, as both British and American forces promised freedom to slaves who enlisted in the army and fought for their causes.
America and the western heritage that spawned it are far from perfect, of course. Race-based slavery was a horrendous evil, but Americans today recognize it as evil because of the very principles of freedom laid forth in the Declaration of Independence. That declaration relies heavily on ideas expressed by John Locke, who himself took inspiration from the Scottish Enlightenment, which was impacted by Spanish Scholastics. Americans have inherited a centuries-long intellectual tradition tracing back before Plato, arguably to Moses and Hammurabi.
Yet this rich heritage is under assault from academics who insist on rejecting the “cis white males” behind it. Pointing out the tragic abuses of power that did happen throughout western history, these critics want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Meanwhile, the “indigenous” societies they hail as the alternative to the western heritage had barbaric practices of their own, including child sacrifice.
What poses a greater threat to western civilization than the recent rush to erase its heritage? President Trump and his allies are not advocating for this, but his opponents are.
Next, Pelosi suggested that Trump is a threat to the Constitution. Democrats claimed that Trump abused his power in Ukraine, by asking a foreign government to investigate Hunter Biden’s scandalous employment at Burisma and Joe Biden’s apparent attempt to protect his son from a Ukrainian prosecutor.
Yet Democrats have engaged in a concerted assault on the Constitution tracing back as far as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Wilson launched a full-scale takeover of the economy during World War I, a system described by historians as “war socialism.” FDR’s massive expansion of the federal government — dubbed the “New Deal” — so flagrantly violated the Constitution that the Supreme Court struck down its provisions repeatedly … until FDR threatened to pack the court.
Then Democrats used the courts to engage in social experimentation. Most notorious have been the Roe v. Wade (1973) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) Supreme Court decisions, which struck down state (and federal) laws protecting the lives of unborn children and defining marriage as between one man and one woman. In these and many other cases, courts essentially invented new rights by twisting the Constitution.
President Donald Trump has appointed originalist judges and justices who are restoring the plain meaning of the Constitution’s text. Sadly, these efforts are condemned as “regressive,” even though they take away unjust power that the courts have seized from Congress and the president — who are tasked with lawmaking power under the Constitution.
In extremely important ways, Trump is restoring the Constitution, not undermining it.
Finally, Pelosi suggested Trump is a threat to the planet. This echoes the oft-repeated talking point that Trump does not “believe in science” because he takes a skeptical attitude toward climate alarmism.
While Trump did pull out of the Paris climate accord, America’s greenhouse gas emissions actually fell in 2019, as clean-burning natural gas replaced coal as the dominant power source.
Meanwhile, Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden has pledged to keep oil companies from drilling in the United States if he were to become president. This would be disastrous for the climate and for America’s national security. First, other countries do not drill as cleanly as the U.S., meaning that as U.S. production drops, oil production will become worse across the globe. Perhaps more importantly, a hiatus in U.S. drilling will not prevent people from using fossil fuels — it will only make them more reliant on Russia and the Middle East. This will draw Europe closer to bad actors and make the U.S. more dependent on foreign sources.
Furthermore, the Democrats’ radical proposals to fight climate change would grind the U.S. economy to a halt, decreasing wealth-production and leaving America and the world far worse off.
If Joe Biden fails to win the Democratic nomination, Trump may face an avowed socialist in November. If Bernie Sanders becomes president, that would arguably mark the .
Trump represents a champion for western civilization, the Constitution, and the climate. If civilization is at stake in the 2020 election, Democrats are the real threat.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.