Things have come to a pretty pass when the most “moderate” Democratic presidential candidate wants to make history by bringing along a “first gentleman” instead of a first lady.
That’s where things stand after the latest Democratic debates, townhalls and other glimpses into the bizarre strain in American politics known as progressivism.
The aforementioned “moderate” is Pete Buttigieg, the openly homosexual South Bend, Indiana mayor whose legal spouse is a man. He did take issue with fellow candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s crowd-pleasing vow at an LGBTQ Democratic Town Hall to strip churches of their tax exemptions if they refuse to marry same-sex couples.
Mr. Buttigieg gently informed Mr. O’Rourke that his plan to bring in the Brute Squads to terrify worshipers might mean “going to war not only with churches, but I would think with mosques and a lot of organizations that may not have the same view of various religious principles that I do, but also because of the separation of church and state are acknowledged as nonprofits.”
Well, we don’t want to go to war with mosques, so perhaps the churches will be safe from Beto, who also wants Brute Squads to seize guns that he doesn’t like. But let’s not get complacent.
This is only for now. progressivism’s driving philosophy, grounded in Darwinian atheism, is that we’re relentlessly evolving toward a more “equal” society where differences will disappear and we’ll all be singing Kumbaya around a fake campfire (avoiding carbon emissions).
Mr. Buttigieg talks a good game, but still offers clues to his real feelings. He began his rebuke of Beto by saying, “The idea that you’re going to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they haven’t found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage — I’m not sure he understood the implications …”
The key phrase here is “haven’t found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage.” The unsaid word is “yet.” He means it’s only a matter of time before all churches abandon biblical morality and embrace sexual anarchy, with or without coercion. Why threaten them openly? It might wake up clueless Christians who still vote for Democrats, thinking that this abortion-loving, open borders, Bible-hating, confiscatory cabal is the party of JFK and Hubert Humphrey.
Or even of Bill Clinton. The entire current Democratic leadership is radically socialist, from the presidential candidates on down to the freshperson Congresspersons Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.
They all support Marxist policies, such as Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, a government takeover of health care. In fact, Miss Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Omar have endorsed Bernie for president, and Ms. Tlaib may soon join them.
Struggling to carve out a “moderate” middle lane, Mr. Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota question how the government will pay for socialist medicine. But they love the idea in principle.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who seems to be overtaking Joe (“Ukraine, I Kraine, We all Kraine”) Biden as the frontrunner, continues to move further left in every way. Asked how she would pay for her version of a government health care takeover, ending private insurance for 140 million Americans and costing $32 trillion over 10 years, she answered “the wealthy” and “big corporations.”
Ah, the hated 1 percent, the club in which she and carbon-spewing jetsetter Al Gore are members. Meanwhile, she repeatedly insists that “costs will go down for hard-working, middle class families.” If you believe that, I have a Great Society to sell you that will cost a pittance.
Even Bernie Sanders, the most candid communist among the many roaming Capitol Hill, admits taxes will have to be raised on the middle class. That’s where the money is.
Economics aside, the most frightening aspect of the progressive takeover of the Democratic Party is its open hostility to actual Judeo-Christian beliefs and those who espouse them.
This past week, Attorney General William Barr belled the cat in a speech at Notre Dame, saying, “the problem is not that religion is being forced on others, the problem is that irreligion is being forced — secular values are being forced on people of faith.”
He added: “This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secular forces and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia, in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”
The only thing worse than its direct attack is the left’s subversion of churches to bend to its worldview. It’s part of an overall campaign to “capture the culture,” as Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci famously put it. It’s why so many churches are silent or complicit.
By the way, Mayor Pete’s father, Joseph A. Buttigieg, a Notre Dame professor who died in January, was president and a founding member of the International Gramsci Society.
Gramsci’s dream was to turn the West communist by taking over its value-transmitting institutions.
We’re in the end game now, unless liberty-loving Americans wake up and fight for freedom like we mean it.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times.
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