The flawed ‘hope’ agenda

Lib­er­als whine that hope is gone, but hope did not de­liver on its prom­ises

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Tammy Bruce

Michelle Obama, in her fi­nal in­ter­view at first lady, spoke to Oprah Win­frey for an hour, and the head­lines make quite clear what her mes­sage is: Af­ter eight years of her hus­band’s “hope” agenda, hope is now sud­denly gone.

Sadly, here is a woman who is a role model for so many, who has an op­por­tu­nity to fur­ther her hus­band’s agenda of bring­ing hope through en­cour­age­ment but in­stead de­clares hope dead.

As a fem­i­nist, gay woman and fis­cal con­ser­va­tive, my cir­cle of friends is di­verse — con­ser­va­tives of all stripes, but also lib­er­als and lib­er­tar­i­ans. What unites us is our com­mit­ment to want­ing the fu­ture to be bet­ter than the past. But af­ter Mrs. Obama’s com­ments, I started re­ceiv­ing calls from my lib­eral friends in a sort of de­pres­sion de­vel­oped by a myr­iad of com­pletely false premises.

“He’s con­trolled by Rus­sia! Hil­lary lost be­cause of Rus­sia and racism!” And the con­cerns of my gay friends, “He’s go­ing to over­turn gay mar­riage!” One gay cou­ple who has adopted two fab­u­lous chil­dren were ac­tu­ally be­gin­ning to panic about Don­ald Trump want­ing to take their chil­dren away. Nei­ther of those things are true, of course.

Case in point: Hil­lary didn’t lose be­cause of the Rus­sians, she lost be­cause peo­ple who voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 and 2012 voted for Mr. Trump this time, and mil­lions of Democrats stayed home. Ac­cord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Ex­am­iner: “The rea­son Trump was able to win the pres­i­dency with fewer votes is a col­lapse in the Demo­cratic coali­tion that sent Barack Obama to the Oval Of­fice twice. Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton re­ceived about 6.56 mil­lion fewer votes than Obama’s nearly 66 mil­lion votes in 2012.”

So Michelle Obama, ar­guably, was right, but not in the way she meant. It was the Demo­cratic Party’s losses that ex­posed how Amer­i­cans did lose hope af­ter re­al­iz­ing hope is not a plan of ac­tion, but an as­suage­ment when things go wrong. Democrats stayed home be­cause they’re not bet­ter off now than they were eight years ago.

In her com­ments to Ms. Win­frey, Mrs. Obama said as much by not­ing, “We feel the dif­fer­ence now. Now, we are feel­ing what not hav­ing hope feels like. Hope is nec­es­sary … . What else do you have if you don’t have hope?”

This, you see, has been the prob­lem. Many Amer­i­cans re­spond to that by notic­ing they don’t hope be­cause they don’t have a job; they don’t have se­cu­rity at home; they don’t have enough in­come so they can restart their sav­ings ac­count or col­lege fund; they’re not sure they won’t be at­tacked by a ter­ror­ist at the mall or at a night club; they don’t know if their child will come home from school with tu­ber­cu­lo­sis or a strange new form of po­lio; they also don’t know if they’ll ever get a doc­tor’s ap­point­ment with their in­sur­ance plan that is bankrupt­ing them.

As a fem­i­nist, I’ve grown in­creas­ingly ap­palled at the head­lines and facts il­lus­trat­ing the re­sult of the Obama hope-based agenda:

• 3.7 mil­lion women have been pushed into poverty due to Mr. Obama’s poli­cies.

• Sui­cide rates are up, surg­ing to a 30year high, es­pe­cially among women.

• The heroin epi­demic and sui­cide are ma­jor con­trib­u­tors to the first de­cline in Amer­i­can life ex­pectancy in 22 years.

• A record 95,055,000 Amer­i­cans are out of the work­force en­tirely.

• Nearly half the young black men in Chicago are out of work and out of school.

• Black teen un­em­ploy­ment rate is nearly 6 times the na­tional av­er­age.

• 46.3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are on food stamps, 1 in 5 Amer­i­cans are on food stamps or other gov­ern­ment aid.

So en­ter Don­ald Trump, the first Repub­li­can nom­i­nee and now pres­i­dent–elect, to em­brace the gay pride rain­bow flag at a pub­lic event. He’s made clear he has no in­ten­tion of chang­ing, some­how, gay mar­riage which is the law of the land.

He does in­tend to make our im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem more or­derly, he will se­cure the bor­der and has pledged to keep out un­vet­ted in­di­vid­u­als from ter­ror­ist-spon­sor­ing coun­tries. Con­sid­er­ing the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Europe and com­mit­ted by ji­hadists who in­fil­trated France and Ger­many through the refugee stream, to say noth­ing of the at­tacks here at home, this is an ob­vi­ous na­tional se­cu­rity pri­or­ity.

He will also de­port the more than 2 mil­lion crim­i­nal il­le­gal aliens roam­ing our streets. This is help­ful for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the women who de­serve to not be mur­dered like Kate Steinle, shot by an il­le­gal alien re­peat felon as she was walk­ing along the San Francisco pier with her fa­ther. Her last words? “Help me, Daddy.” She later died at the hos­pi­tal.

So when my lib­eral friends call me, dis­traught at what Mr. Trump might bring as a sup­posed ho­mo­pho­bic, misog­y­nist agent of the Rus­sians, I point out the real threat to in­di­vid­ual free­dom has been more than clear if you don’t al­low your­self to be dis­tracted by bizarre con­spir­acy the­o­ries from the same peo­ple who would rather you not no­tice what they’ve done to us for the past eight years.

It was the Demo­cratic Party’s losses that ex­posed how Amer­i­cans did lose hope af­ter re­al­iz­ing hope is not a plan of ac­tion, but an as­suage­ment when things go wrong.

Tammy Bruce, au­thor and Fox News con­trib­u­tor, is a ra­dio talk show host.

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