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Truth, Reconciliation, And The Distribution Of Wealth

February 22, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

It’s tough for conservatives these days. We lost an administration (by hook or by crook) that, on balance, embraced our values. It mattered not whether you personally approved of Mr. Trump or his conduct, conservatives, if they are honest, will admit that his policies reflected conservative and Christian policies, again, on balance.
But that administration has been replaced by Mr. Biden’s; one that rejects the principal tenets of conservativism just as Mr. Biden personally rejects the principal tenets of the Catholic Church. In addition, it is not just turning the page from a conservative administration to a liberal one; it seems that we have turned our entire society from one which endeavored to breathe the fresh air of freedom into one that is entirely comfortable with the heavy breath of an overreaching Big Brother.
I think nothing sums this up as much as what is happening to our political holy trinity: Big Media, Big Business, and Big Labor. As I pointed out before, the 2020 election was more than a referendum on who should occupy the White House for the next four years. There was with it an undercurrent that leaves a bad taste in the mouth such as happens when you sip from a glass of expired milk.
Just as in auto racing when stewards with flags signal to the cars instructions from race control, today Big Media are signaling to us from what can only be described as mind control. The networks and major cable news outlets signal to us what we need to believe, what we are free to discard, and what we don’t really need to know. Joining as loyal fellow travelers are the major social media outlets who have now taken to censoring voices on the right.
And to complete the Big Brother act, leftist politicians — many of whom serve in Mr. Biden’s close orbit — are discussing legal means to close down or cancel any one who disagrees — such as the socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who, with colleagues, is supporting a plan for “truth and reconciliation” commissions that will systematically root out opinions and facts and opinions that AOC and her cohorts consider false. But this goes beyond a creepy congresswoman and her comrades; it permeates society.
But what surprised me was how quickly Big Business followed suit. National banks are now declining to deal with people and businesses that belong to what can be loosely — sometimes very loosely — described as right-wing. More and more are following in the footsteps of the Southern Poverty Law Center and viewing anyone not toeing the company line as racist, homophobic, or whatever pejorative fits the group at issue.
A case in point involves the retailers that are beginning to drop Mike Lindell’s My Pillow brand, as if his pillows pose an existential (the left really loves that word) threat to the well-being of the planet.
So I guess it should not surprise me too much that big industry is eager to play its part in this societal damnation. After all business is money, not liberty or freedom — unless there is a profit-motive involved — solely about money. And, not just a little bit, about good public relations. And can you blame industry? Mr. Trump’s America First policy brought back thousands of jobs to our shores that had been thought lost forever. Instead of winking at manufacturers that moved production overseas to avoid paying their workers U.S. wages, the Trump administration put pressure on business — sometimes by unorthodox measures, at least measures not seen on that scale before — to bring manufacturing, as well as non-manufacturing jobs home.
Cheap labor overseas; big profits at home. I think I understand the game. I get it, make nice-nice with the folks who will “liberate” you from the necessity of paying for high-priced help at home, thus letting you use cheap, sometimes slave, labor to make products that can be sold in the United States — and elsewhere — at a much higher profit margin than could be had if you had to pay a competitive wage here.
Which, of course, was one of the reasons why German industrialists supported the National Socialists. Cheap, slave labor was a boon to their bottom lines. But of course those perks can suddenly disappear, as the old adage says: Those who try to ride the tiger oft end up inside it. German industrialists soon found themselves subject to crippling regulations.
Robert Morris College history professor Ralph Reiland, writing for The Free Market in 1998 quoted a businessman’s letter about the Third Reich: “You have no idea how far state control goes and how much power the Nazi representatives have over our work. The worst of it is that they are so ignorant. These Nazi radicals think of nothing except ‘distributing the wealth’.”
I’m not suggesting that our current crop of industrialists would ever support anything close to a Nazi regime; but I am suggesting that they should be careful about the road they are traversing. With an administration as liberal as this one, filled as it is with left-wing and Marxist devotees, it is easy to see how cheap labor now could turn into “distributing the wealth” and crippling regulations later.
Much the same could be said for Big Labor. Labor has been the backbone of the Democratic Party for as long as I can remember. Yet this administration, after garnering labor support during the campaign, now appears deaf to its interests. Oh sure, Mr. Biden allowed the teachers’ unions to make frivolous claims as to why schools should remain closed, for which he was justifiably criticized, but he canceled thousands upon thousands of good-paying jobs — that incidentally pay much more than a teacher’s — on his first day in office through a series of executive orders.
In just one, Mr. Biden canceled a federal permit given to TC Energy Corp. for pipeline construction. TC last August signed a project labor agreement with four unions for the creation of 42,000 “family-sustaining jobs” totaling two billion dollars in total earnings for their workers. The labor unions that signed the agreement were the Laborers International Union of North America, the Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. All four labor unions endorsed Mr. Biden for president. Wait until they get to the distributing the wealth part.
But have no fear, the administration’s point man — climate czar and Herman Munster impersonator John Kerry — assured those losing their pipeline jobs they can find jobs making solar panels. That’s nice to know, especially since Bloomberg reported in 2018 that: “There is only one U.S. company (General Electric Co.) among the global top 10 wind turbine manufacturers, and one (First Solar Inc., which does most of its manufacturing in Malaysia) among the top 10 solar-cell makers. The wind industry is headquartered in Europe, and the solar industry increasingly in China.” Thanks, John.
And Big Media? Well while the left is celebrating its media darling, AOC, before it moves any further in her direction it might want to examine a bit of history. In 1797 Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Sedition Act provided that anyone publishing “false, scandalous, and malicious” statements “against the government of the United States, or either house of congress…or to bring them into contempt or disrepute” would be subject to imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of $2,000.” That $2,000 today would be over $70,000 now.
Since that is similar to what Ms. AOC is suggesting I should make clear for her that the change is the value of the money after inflation; the calendar part doesn’t change, thus the two years would still be two years. Hope she understands.
Of course none of that ended well for the sponsoring Federalists. There were 26 prosecutions for violations of the Sedition Act, mostly against newspaper editors. The act was so unpopular it became a big part of the Thomas Jefferson party’s victory over Federalist John Adams in the 1800 presidential election. The acts themselves expired on the last day of Adams’ term and no Federalist has ever achieved the presidency since, in fact, the party didn’t survive.
Now, bring on that distribution of wealth.
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every Thursday at 10 a.m. CT on Faith On Trial on IowaCatholicRadio.com.)

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