Richard Kronenfeld
Adult Ba'al Teshuvah Ph.D. Physicist

Trading Down

Embed from Getty Images

History is replete with one-sided trades: Eisav trading his birthright to Yaakov for a bowl of lentil stew with a side order of bread; Native Americans trading title to Manhattan Island to Peter Minuit for $24 worth of trinkets; Spain trading the Louisiana Territory and Czarist Russia trading Alaska to the United States for millions of dollars; Boston Red Sox owner and Broadway producer Harry Frazee trading Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for a six-figure sum to finance his production of the musical “No, No, Nanette.” You get the idea.

Unquestionably the worst trade in world history is being made now by the American people as we trade our democratic republic, our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, our children’s education and upbringing, our international standing, and our self-respect for “freebies” from the government – free college tuition first and foremost — except that none of it is really free. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Someone somewhere has to pay the freight. And we’ll all find out the cost when America completes its descent to the level of the Soviet Union or the People’s Republic of China. Note, by the way, that Peter Schweizer’s book Red Handed: How American Elites are Helping China Win details how America’s political, corporate, and cultural elites are selling us out and making billions from the Chinese Communist Party for doing so.

Astute observers might have seen this coming with the rise of the American Left. Why should the elites have to bother with criticism when they can weaponize our social institutions to suppress dissent and get around the Bill of Rights by having the government subcontract repression to private parties, as shown most recently by the revelation that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), founded to protect us from cyberattacks, went beyond its legitimate functions to police the political speech of the American people. As Mr. Schweizer reported in the Gatestone Institute newsletter, “CISA ‘has facilitated the censorship of Americans directly and through third-party intermediaries.’ The agency, under the administration of President Joe Biden and under the leadership of Jen Easterly, ramped up efforts to flag ‘misinformation and disinformation’ on social media. According to documents the committee obtained only through subpoena, CISA considered the creation of an anti-misinformation ‘rapid response team’ capable of physically deploying across the United States to stamp out what it would decide constituted such ‘misinformation.’ The agency went, for example, from ensuring the digital security of American voting systems to censoring criticism of those systems.

“The internal communications of agency staff and members of its outside advisory group show they knew they were on thin legal ground. Members of CISA’s advisory committee agonized that it was ‘only a matter of time before someone realizes we exist and starts asking about our work,’ the report said.

“After the Biden administration was sued in federal court, CISA outsourced its censorship operation to a non-profit group funded by CISA itself. The Judiciary Committee report charges that the outsourcing was an implicit admission that CISA knew that its censorship activities were unconstitutional. CISA, meanwhile, said that it outsourced material to another agency to ’avoid the appearance of government propaganda.’ …

“There is more to see here, however, and more to root out than just a thwarted attempt by a government bureaucracy to police the political speech of the American people in violation of the First Amendment. It is the use of funded or politically affiliated non-profit groups to do the government’s dirty work for it. Note that when pressed by a pending lawsuit over its actions, CISA offloaded its ‘election misinformation’ activity to a non-profit organization called the Center for Internet Security (CIS). It was this group, CIS, that served as a singular conduit for election officials to report what they alone determined were false or misleading claims about elections to the large social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter, according to the report.

“This parallels the behavior of the Justice Department under then Attorney General Eric Holder during the Barack Obama administration. The Government Accountability Institute did research into the DoJ’s pattern of using ‘consent decrees’ to force private companies with threats of anti-discrimination lawsuits to donate funds to one or more designated non-profit organizations on a list helpfully provided by the Justice Department. These groups were largely ‘social justice warriors’ who would then use the money to exert political pressure. This practice was immediately banned by the Trump administration when it took office in 2017, but that ban was quietly reversed by Biden four years later.”

And so, my fellow Americans, as we descend into the abyss of a “fundamentally transformed America,” as Barack Obama proclaimed it to cheering crowds, in which ”subversive manuscripts” have to be passed from person to person covertly to avoid detection by the secret police, as were samizdat like Boris Pasternack’s Dr. Zhivago; in which neighbors are encouraged to spy on neighbors and workers to spy upon co-workers to ferret out anti-state activities such as opposing the “woke” K-12 curriculum and transgendering children without parental consent or pro-life activism; in which a substantial portion of our vocabulary is banned from public use; and in which religion has to be practiced behind closed doors and drawn window shades, we can comfort ourselves by luxuriating in the flood of trillions of devalued dollars being bestowed on us by our betters. Just remember that, unlike the Russian people in the first parliamentary election following the Bolshevik Revolution, we voted mostly unwittingly for this tyranny and will undoubtedly do so again wittingly in 2024 because it is human nature that for most of us, greed surpasses principle. George Orwell was right in his predictions; it just took a little longer than 1984 for them to come to fruition.

About the Author
I'm a native New Yorker (Brooklyn, to be precise) transplanted to the desert as a teen-ager. I hold a Ph.D in Physics from Stanford and have taught mathematics and physics at the high school, community college, and university level. I'm an adult ba'al teshuvah and label myself as centrist Orthodox and a Religious Zionist along the lines of OU, Yeshiva University, and Mizrachi.
Related Topics
Related Posts