Ron grew up in the South Bronx of New York, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world.
The lowest common denominator and the Democratic Party
The Coronavirus is impervious to prejudice. The coronavirus is indiscriminate and unforgiving; and cannot distinguish between rich or poor, between black and white, between Democrats or Republicans. The Corona virus treats Christians, Jews, and Muslims with the same determination and zeal. . It can infect anyone and everyone, causing death indiscriminately with a vengeance. The Corona Virus poses an immediate and direct threat on modern society as we know it.
The apocalyptic challenges facing newly elected President Biden would seem to necessitate adopting traditional political wisdom. At times like this, one would expect that the newly elected Democratic administration would place truth and expertise in politics, in science, in medicine at the forefront of its efforts to provide hope and solutions for the American people and for the extended global community.
Instead we are witnessing Democratic rule by the rabble and the lowest common denominator. We are in the midst of the beginning of a perfect storm of ignorance. Democracy makes it possible that someone who is led rather than leads lands at the top and it seems that this is shaping up to be our current political reality.
Experts can make mistakes; they are prone to error no less than common men or women, and cannot be given or trusted with sole authority and power. Their advice should be always heeded with careful consideration alongside the voicing of opposing opinions. Yet it seems that wherever we put our foot down, we encounter a reality of a blanket dismissal of the policy decisions of the previous Republican administration’s experts, and the demonization of former President Trump.
Rather than question the effectiveness of expert based policy decisions concerning the Corona virus, many of whom voiced their professional opinions live during President Trumps many press conferences, we are subjected to divisive accusations such as Vice President Harris who falsely claims that they had to “start from scratch” concerning the vaccine distribution program. Much of the criticism being voiced today has no basis in reality or facts, but seem to be more like the result of a media hype production using focus groups and rating scales.
In the same manner that we need to unite to work together towards a vaccine based cure to eradicate the Coronavirus, we also need to be united in finding answers to what caused the pandemic. Pandering to the lowest common denominator will only strengthen those opposing national unity and increase civil refusal to be vaccinated.
This past month, the first month of the Biden Presidency, much could have been done to restart a public dialogue focusing on what’s important to the American people and how we can unite to defeat the Coronavirus in the coming year with the vaccine program. Instead this critical and formative first month was wasted by the Democratic Party leadership (a perfect example of President Biden being led rather than lead), in trying to inflict as much damage as possible to the Republican Party and former President Trumps political legacy so as to diminish the likelihood of a Republican Party success in the 2022 midterm elections.
How else can one explain the intentional political distraction caused by the post-election Democratic impeachment hearings that were reminiscent of previous Democratic induced legal proceedings; the first Trump impeachment hearings, or the Kavanagh hearings; both noted for high TV ratings yet having no real value other than to attack Republicans and anyone who dares to support their side of the isle.
The Democratic Party’s self-induced preoccupation with the lowest common denominator has permeated all sectors of life, even the teaching of basic mathematics, despite the spread of Coronavirus everywhere. Just this past month, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) encouraged teachers to register for training that encourages "ethno mathematics" claiming that White supremacy manifests itself in the focus on finding the right answer. In an ODE newsletter, a “Pathway to Math Equity Micro-Course," designed for middle school teachers to make use of a toolkit for "dismantling racism in mathematics." The event website identifies the event as a partnership between California's San Mateo County Office of Education, and others.
The toolkit includes a list of ways "white supremacy culture" allegedly "infiltrates math classrooms." Those include "the focus is on getting the 'right' answer," students being "required to 'show their work,'" and other alleged manifestations. "The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false, and teaching it is even much less so," the document for the "Equitable Math" toolkit reads. "Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuate objectivity as well as fear of open conflict." Thereby 1 + 1 no longer equals 2, and the lowest common denominator will be nothing more than a metaphor.
This past year's Democratic Party preoccupation and support of what it calls social justice and anti-racism and its manifestation in street violence, looting, burning, and violent occupation of public buildings by Antifa and Black Lives Matter is just another example of the Democratic Party wasting time, effort, and attention away from the real threat on American society, the Coronavirus.
Ironically, the Democratic Party’s tendency to cater to the lowest common denominator by legitimatizing street violence against innocent bystanders, police forces, Court Buildings and State legislatures, received a knock-out punch from no less than French President Emmanuel Macron who has had to respond to a resurgence of Radical Islamic street violence. In a long-awaited speech on the subject, Mr. Macron said that the influence of Islamism (on street violence) must be eradicated from public institutions even as he acknowledged French government failures in allowing it to spread. Macron also added, that when "I see several newspapers which I believe are from countries that share our values – journalists who write in a country that is the heir to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution – when I see them legitimizing this violence, and saying that the heart of the problem is that France is racist and Islamophobic, then I say the founding principles have been lost.”
The enormity of the Coronavirus crisis demands an all-inclusive type of dialogue between President Biden and the American public. At a time like this, President Biden should make every attempt first of all to convey a sense of hope and not exploit the public’s weakness or diminishing resiliency. A responsible Democratic leadership should first convince itself and then convince the American public from both sides of the aisle, that there is, in the words of Viktor E. Frankl, meaning to the suffering that we are all experiencing this past year and that the suffering is a part of the sacrifices we must make in our commitment to our collective well-being, that we are all in this together.
Only by remaining united in the war against the Coronavirus, can we overcome the challenge.The Democratic Party must earn the trust of all Americans. The general public must be treated as equal partners to the Democratic Parties efforts to combat the Coronavirus. The continuing disenfranchising of conservative supporters of the previous Republican administration will only weaken America’s collective ability to overcome the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Life as we knew it, B.C.E. (Before the Corona Era)
The previous four years B.C.E., seem to have been forcibly erased from public memory by all major broadcasted media and social media platforms as if the public’s collective memory B.C.E began only this past week with the storming of the Capital and the ensuing violence by demonstrators expressing support for the departing President Trump. The Democratic Party and their progressive cohorts, the majority of broadcasted media and social media platforms, a euphemism for prominent voices representing the progressive left, used superlatives such as insurrection and rebellion in describing the riot/demonstration in the Capital as inexcusable lawlessness despite hundreds if not thousands of instances in which anti-Trump protesters violently demonstrated setting fire to courthouses, vandalizing police stations, and shooting fireworks at police officers, were portrayed as "peaceful." The Progressive left, the Democratic Party, and mainstream media spent the past four years B.C.E. telling the American public that descention into chaos by looting, burning, and destroying public institutions were all legitimate political tools to resist the policies of a Republican President, until now, when that fabricated narrative became inconvenient. They legitimized violence, they empowered Black Lives Matter and Antifa and now they claim outrage and indignation when the opposing side of the political isle acts in exactly the same way.
Over the past four years B.C.E, we the public have witnessed the daily reports of Churches being burnt to the ground; police stations attacked, ransacked, and burnt to the ground; Federal Courthouses and State legislatures ransacked, invaded, and burnt to the ground; whole business districts in major urban cities looted, destroyed, and burnt to the ground; murderers roaming urban streets with immunity shooting without fear or deterrence innocent bystanders resulting in skyrocketing homicide rates unseen for over a quarter of a century; old ladies being knocked down with “sucker punches”, as they returned from grocery shopping. The very same broadcasted media and social media platforms never had any hesitancy in reporting this violent reality B.C.E. as mostly peaceful, expressing the belief that the Black Lives Matter violent mayhem and the Antifa inspired anarchy is acceptable, glamorizing the violence, and excusing the lawlessness. All it took was for Trump supporters to cause the lawlessness to spark a swift change of heart. In stark difference, the invasion of the Capital was widely condemned by just about any Republican public leader given a public platform to express his or her disapproval without exception.
Seventy Five million voters who put their trust and faith in President Trump will not change their minds and will most likely refuse to be disenfranchised by those on the opposite side of the isle. They will patiently wait for the midterm elections in two years and the 2024 Presidential elections in which there is every likelihood that President Trump will run again for the Presidency. In Israel, there is an often repeated saying about those who didn’t want a particular politician as Defense minister will eventually get him as Prime Minister. Those that didn’t want Trump as a one term President might very well face a future reality in which he will be a three term President.
The past four years B.C.E. will be remembered as an exceptional period of American political history in which the prolific level of accomplishments will be viewed in historical perspective and shown to be a period that brought well-being and improvement to the lives of the majority of the American people. Below is only the tip of the iceberg of President Trumps’ and the Republican administration’s accomplishments B.C.E.
Employment: America gained 7 million new jobs, Middle-Class family income increased nearly $6,000 – more than five times the gains during the entire previous administration, the unemployment rate reached 3.5 percent, the lowest in a half-century, more Americans reported being employed than ever before – nearly 160 million, jobless claims hit a nearly 50-year low, unemployment rates for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and those without a high school diploma all reached record lows, unemployment for women hit its lowest rate in nearly 70 years.
Home ownership: Homebuilder confidence reached an all-time high, and home sales hit their highest reading since December 2006. Home prices hit an all-time record high.
Massive Deregulation: Ending the regulatory assault on American Businesses and Workers. Removed nearly 25,000 pages from the Federal Register – more than any other president. The previous administration added over 16,000 pages. Provided the average American household an extra $3,100 every year as a result of deregulation.
Trade Agreements: Ended the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and replaced it with the brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA contains powerful new protections for American manufacturers, auto-makers, farmers, dairy producers, and workers. The USMCA is expected to generate over $68 billion in economic activity and potentially create over 550,000 new jobs over ten years. Signed an executive order making it government policy to Buy American and Hire American, and took action to stop the outsourcing of jobs overseas.
Middle East: The Abraham Accords and the establishment of a strategic alliance between Israel and the Arab Sunni nations creating a unified defense against the fanatic and unpredictable Iranian regime hindering their ambitions for nuclear capability.
American Energy Independence: Unleashed America’s oil and natural gas potential. For the first time in nearly 70 years, the United States has become a net energy exporter, the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, natural gas production reached a record-high of 34.9 quads in 2019, following record high production in 2018 and in 2017, the United States has been a net natural gas exporter for three consecutive years and has an export capacity of nearly 10 billion cubic feet per day.
It was President Abraham Lincoln who asked at Gettysburg about the American nations’ ability to endure and move ahead as a unified nation in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Lincoln’s sweeping pardon of all Confederate soldiers at the end of the American Civil War sends an important message to our politicians and to all of the American nation about the importance and necessity for unity. Instead of punishing the Confederate soldiers, President Lincoln forgave them. President Lincoln believed in the Constitution, in the supremacy of the Democratic political system, and the potential of all Americans and not only his political allies. President Lincoln understood that after years of violence and division, restoring American stability would require meeting halfway with his political opponents. Today’s political reality demands of the incoming Democratic administration to adopt President Lincoln’s wise message to today’s leaders.
Corona and “the end of history“
In the summer of 1989, the American magazine The National Interest published an essay entitled "The End of History?” Its author, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, announced that the great ideological battles between East and the West were over, and that Western liberal democracy had triumphed. The ascendancy of Western liberal democracy would not only end the cold war but would lead to a general calming in world affairs. Fukuyama claimed that humanity has reached "not just ... the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: That is, the end-point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."
The "end of history" thesis has been repeated so often over the years until it has, despite much evidence to the contrary, acquired a ring of truth. That is, until the Coronavirus pandemic appeared seemingly out of nowhere to challenge this almost uncontested given in current modern intellectual thought. The notion that nations of the world would all adopt a kind of liberal democratic model and join together in a fraternal bond of human society seems to have been largely overlooked by China, the nation most responsible for unleashing the Coronavirus on humanity. With hundreds of millions infected and tens of millions dead or permanently maimed by the coronavirus, it seems that the expectation that “the end of history” would sway authoritarian nations to succumb to the universalization of Western liberal democracy with its balance of liberty and equality has been proven false.
The expectation that “the end of history” is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution seems further than ever from the truth, and resonates today during the coronavirus pandemic like a false prophecy. As nations of the world enter their second and third lockdowns and as nations begin to administer coronavirus vaccines only to be encountered with disbelief, doubt and apprehension among common folk throughout the world, it seems that “the end of history” will not be like the civilization shifting period of the French revolution nor that of the Industrial Revolution but more likely an evolvement of “Ground Hog Day” with every day bringing more corona infected victims just as the day before has.
The intolerable reality of Western governments that do not function while allegedly violating the basic rules of governing has become the newest mantra to explain why the coronavirus has spread so extensively among the nations of the world. The fact that pharmaceutical companies in the West were given significant financial research and developmental assistance by Western sovereign nations, particularly the United States, resulting in an effective vaccine within less than a year of development seems to be largely ignored and at best belittled. The leaders of public thought; social media, internet, media, and broadcast journalists all seem to be in a self-imposed coma as the coronavirus vaccine becomes a reality with an over 90% level of efficacy, unrivaled in the world of vaccines.
China is employing an army of narrative manipulators through the internet to spread a message of blame aimed at the free and Democratic world’s failure to respond to the coronavirus, and little stands in their way. With the media and their babbling talking heads toeing the line, with internet companies who control social media employing across the board censorship, it seems as if the victims of the coronavirus are being blamed for its rampant spread and not those who unleased this deadly virus to the world.
Let us remember: During the month of December 2019, doctors in Wuhan, China reported several cases of an unusual pneumonia, seemingly associated with a wet market selling wild animals. Chinese authorities mismanaged and withheld public risk communication about the outbreak. They did not immediately notify the World Health Organization (WHO) as required of its member states. Then Chinese authorities rebuffed requests for samples as well as offers to assist with epidemiological investigations from the WHO and U.S. government, while initially focusing on a theory of animal-borne disease, and downplaying the possibility of highly-infectious human-to-human transmission. In updates during the outbreak’s first critical weeks, Wuhan officials advised residents to guard against seasonal infectious diseases by wearing masks, avoiding closed or crowded spaces, and to see a doctor if experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms, but did not highlight increased potential risk from the outbreak.
The Chinese health authority’s gravest and most deadly mistake was to prohibit unauthorized disclosure by medical and epidemiological physicians and health officials about the coronavirus to the world. Today’s reality of corona spreading virtually everywhere throughout the world is the result of China’s actions and inactions during those initial critical weeks as the world woke up to the emergence of the corona pandemic.
Today, when every single passenger on a train or bus is staring at a small device connected to the internet and allowing themselves to be willingly manipulated to believe or disbelieve what may very well be a false and misleading interpretation of reality; can be seen as a successful result of China’s narrative war of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the tides of history hit the shores of reality, and “the end of history” becomes just another bestseller from an earlier generation, what can we expect in the near future? Despite the successful development and distribution of the corona vaccine, the pandemic will not fade away anytime soon; face masks, social distancing, limited public engagements (worship, restaurants, culture, sports) will be with us for an extended period. This will be explained and accentuated as continuing proof of the West’s inability to provide an effective response to the coronavirus pandemic for its people and many if not most of the internet dependent public will accept this without question. China will move on as if it’s not her problem, not her responsibility, and will refuse to be held accountable.
Update on Team Trump's Lawsuits and Recounts
The following article written by Tyler O’Neil appeared on PJ Media on Nov 12, 2020: For those of you who are Trump supporters, please be advised that the resolution of the issues raised below, do not guarantee they will put the president over the top. With all the misinformation out there, it is important to be updated with real hard facts and accurate information as to the status of the Presidential Elections. Currently Biden has a projected tally of 290 electoral votes and President Trump has a projected tally of 232 electoral votes as of this writing.
On Thursday, the campaign to reelect President Donald Trump gave reporters an update on the campaign’s lawsuits and recount requests across the country. Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director, urged patience and said the campaign has “a solid, comprehensive strategy that is tailored to the conditions on the ground in each state and according to the laws in each state.”
Over 72 million people now have voted for President Trump, and those Americans deserve to know that this election was free, fair, safe, and secure,” Murtaugh said. He warned against the rush to “instant gratification” in reporting preliminary results that suggest Democrat Joe Biden has won the election, and said that Biden voters also deserve to have the election process scrutinized to root out fraud and abuse.
Murtaugh insisted that media outlets should not ignore “the very real evidence of irregularities” in the election process, including disturbing reports of “stacks of ballots being run through scanners multiple times” and election officials treating voters differently based on what county they live in.
Trump campaign general counsel Matt Morgan ran through the state of play in five of the key swing states.
Morgan began by noting the campaign’s legal victory in Pennsylvania earlier on Thursday. “The secretary of state continues to play fast and loose with statutory dates and deadlines,” he alleged.
Commonwealth Court President Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled that Pennsylvania Secretary Kathy Boockvar lacked the “statutory authority” to change election law days before the election. Leavitt ordered the county boards of elections not to count any ballots that had been segregated.
Last week, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ordered Pennsylvania election officials to segregate a section of the ballots that came in after 8 p.m. on Election Day.
It remains unclear exactly how many ballots would not be counted for this reason.
Leavitt’s order represented the latest in the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s litigation against Boockvar. The state’s GOP filed the initial lawsuit on July 10, 2020, and it reached the Supreme Court shortly before Election Day. A 4-4 order let the state Supreme Court decision stand, allowing officials to count mail-in ballots received up to three days after Election Day. The Trump campaign asked to join the case on November 4.
According to The Wall Street Journal, about 10,000 ballots arrived during the three days after Election Day, far below Biden’s lead of more than 45,000 votes.
Morgan also referenced a lawsuit the Trump campaign filed against Boockvar on Monday, accusing the secretary and county election officials of violating voters’ rights to equal protection by favoring some mail-in ballots over others and of violating the Constitution by usurping the state legislature’s authority on election law. The lawsuit laid out ten reasons to suspect Pennsylvania’s election results are “irredeemably compromised,” and asked the court to prevent Boockvar from prematurely certifying the results.
Hearings in this case have been scheduled for next week.
Morgan announced that the campaign had filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to allow the legal team “time to confirm our well-founded theory that Pennsylvania officials have counted thousands of invalid votes.” He also repeated the lawsuit’s claims that Boockvar and other election officials have prevented the Trump campaign’s poll watchers from observing the ballot-counting.
On the observer issue, the campaign filed a claim in the state Election Court on Election Day. While a lower court in Philadelphia rejected the campaign’s claims, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania gave the campaign a win, ordering that observers must be able to view “all aspects of the canvassing process within six feet.” The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear the case.
Morgan noted that under Pennsylvania law, if the difference between candidates comes down to half of one percent or less, that triggers an automatic recount. While the order not to count segregated ballots may not give Trump a victory in Pennsylvania, it may trigger a recount.
Legacy media outlets called the race, and Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral, votes for Biden. Pennsylvania is critical for Trump’s efforts to flip the results.
Morgan noted that Georgia’s secretary of state announced a hand recount on Wednesday, and laid out the rules for the recount today. The recount will start on Friday. The Trump counsel predicted that the recount will be finished by next Wednesday, November 18.
The Georgia Republican Party and the Trump campaign filed a lawsuit against the Chatham County Board of Elections the day after Election Day, claiming there was evidence that officials had mixed absentee ballots received after the polls closed with those already being tabulated, in violation of state law. A judge dismissed the matter two days later.
Morgan also noted that the Trump campaign requested a recount on November 4, citing a “razor-thin race” where Biden has a 20,000-vote advantage. Recounts are set after all the county canvassing boards return their results to the state for certification on November 17 or November 18. The state must complete the recount within 13 days of the formal order and the requesting campaign usually pays for it up-front.
As former Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) noted, state recounts have often not shifted many votes. In the 2016 presidential election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested a Wisconsin recount, which resulted in a net gain of 131 votes for Trump.
Morgan noted that the campaign had argued in the case Trump v. Hobbs on Thursday. The campaign sued Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, alleging that her office incorrectly rejected some votes cast on Election Day in Maricopa County. The campaign requested a manual inspection of the ballots and asked for a judge to block the state’s final vote certification in the meantime.
The lawsuit claims that an electronic tabulation machine alerted voters to irregularities with their ballots. While state law allows voters an opportunity to fix their ballots after the machine flags problems, some poll workers allegedly encouraged voters to override the error message. Hobbs’ spokeswoman denounced the allegations as “a repackaged ‘Sharpiegate’ lawsuit,” referring to since-dropped legal claims that voters’ use of Sharpies on ballots disqualified their ballots.
The Trump campaign sued Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D-Mich.) on November 4, claiming that officials failed to give Republican poll watchers “meaningful access” to watch ballot-counting. The lawsuit asks the court to stall the counting. On November 7, a Michigan judge denied the attempt to halt the counting of absentee ballots, partly because the suit targeted the wrong defendant (Benson does not oversee absentee ballot-counting) and it came too late (counting had ceased by that time).
The Trump campaign is seeking to appeal the matter.
The Great Lakes Justice Center, a conservative legal group, filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Michigan residents on November 9, alleging that Detroit elections officials counted ineligible absentee ballots and improperly excluded observers from the ballot-counting process. The lawsuit also cites a Detroit elections employee who claims she saw city employees coaching voters to cast ballots for Biden in the weeks before the election. The lawsuit asks judges to block state officials from certifying the election results.
Chief Judge Timothy M. Kenny of the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Michigan is expected to rule this week.
On November 10, the Trump campaign filed a federal lawsuit alleging that Benson and officials in Detroit’s Wayne County had blocked Republican poll watchers from observing the counting of mail-in ballots. The lawsuit asks a judge to block state officials from finalizing the results.
It remains unclear how much these lawsuits will impact Biden’s margins in these key states, even if they succeed. Many of the claims in these lawsuits, backed up by eyewitness affidavits, are extremely troubling and deserve serious investigation. Trump supporters should not expect, however, that the resolution of these issues will put the president over the top.