Waiting for epiphany.

In this Aug. 29, 2020 file photo a man is attended to after being fatally shot during a protest in Portland, Ore. A surge in deadly gun violence, and an increasingly visible homeless population have many questioning whether Oregon’s largest city can recover. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)

I keep waiting for a mass awakening. I keep waiting for that large cohort of Americans who, though they vote for Democrats and call themselves liberals but yet remain somewhat tethered to the real world, to have an epiphany.

I’m waiting for an enterprise story in the New York Times or on ABC that examines liberal policy on the basis of its actual results. I am waiting for one of the usual talking heads to ruin Chuck Todd’s day one Sunday morning on Meet the Press and begin to admit to the failures of policies that liberals constantly promote.

For it seems that such an epiphany is overdue and, in the end, unavoidable. Any objective and sober analysis of readily observable facts reveals in stark, undeniable detail that liberalism destroys everything it touches.

Examples abound.

We can start with our major cities. Iconic American cities like Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland have in common that they were once clean, vibrant and prosperous. But they also have in common the fact that they have for decades been governed exclusively by Democrats.

Today they are to varying – but in every case worsening – degrees unsafe, dirty and dysfunctional. Their schools are urban hellholes from which as many as half of students never graduate. Crime is rampant. Prosperity is increasingly elusive. The resulting misery falls disproportionately upon non-whites and the poor.

Speaking of the poor. Since 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson in his State of the Union message declared, “unconditional war on poverty,” U.S. taxpayers have spent – depending on whose estimate you use – upwards of $28 trillion on a nearly uncountable list of federal anti-poverty programs. Were it not for federal spending on poverty, there would be next to no national debt.

For that massive outlay – an outlay that liberals constantly insist isn’t enough – we have gotten exactly nothing. The poverty rate in America today is essentially unchanged from the day when the War on Poverty was declared. Among the most perverse effects of the War on Poverty has been the dissolution of black families. In 1960, 24 percent of black children were born into fatherless homes. Today the rate of fatherlessness in black homes stands at a heartbreaking 73 percent.

Far from lifting blacks and other minorities out of poverty, decades of Democrat promoted-policy has served only to make poverty more difficult to escape.

There are many other examples. The bluest of the blue states are depopulating. People with the means in states like New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois are packing up and fleeing high taxes and diminishing prospects.

Home schooling has become an industry.

In my naïve brain I keep thinking that at least some nominal liberals will begin to notice all of this and thus begin the process of reexamining their liberalism. I keep thinking.

Eventually, 60 Minutes will have to run a segment addressing some of this, right? At some point, the failure of leftism will become impossible to ignore, won’t it?

I keep thinking. I keep hoping.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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15 Responses

  1. Buddy Saunders says:

    Great column, Paul! You ask, “At some point, the failure of leftism will become impossible to ignore, won’t it?” That reckoning may come sooner than we think. Biden’s puppet masters think they are wholly in the driver’s seat. They believe they are free to double down and then double down again on the same decades old failed agenda you describe. We are already seeing the consequences.

    While the moron cohort will never learn, most Democrats will see enough of the light to back away from the “Biden” agenda. But the real engine for a much needed national reset will come from the vast majority of Americans who already smell that old and too familiar stink from the left..

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      I love the optimism, Buddy, and I pray that the scales will fall from the eyes of the Liberal Leftists in charge of those inner city war zones that Paul describes. However, we must realize that these mayors and local leaders were elected, and in many cases, by landslides. Until I see the electorate in these once great cities quit looting and burning at every opportunity, and exhibit a little compassion over fellow citizens, instead of twerking over dead bodies, excuse me if I am just a tad pessimistic.

  2. Richard Anderson says:

    Very good essay Mr. Gleiser.

    Antifa – (anarchist, fascist, Marxist)
    BLM – Black Lives Matter (ditto)
    Cancel culture
    CRT – Critical Race Theory
    LGBTQ agenda

    All of the above have commonality in that they all are bound up in the ugly tentacles and destructive facets of COMMUNISM! Communism is EVIL and it is the ENEMY. It is anti-family, anti-America, and anti-God. This should be a wake-up call to ALL Americans.

    On another, but parallel attack from beyond our borders, America has an enemy regime that is working to bring about our destruction –if we allow it. That ENEMY is CCP China, specifically the Chinese Communist Party government that adamantly HATE everything the United States of America is and stands for.

    AMERICA, the America we all love as Founded in 1776, a land of Liberty, Justice, and Goodness, a Capitalist country where rugged individualism is still prized and cherished, a Constitution Republic established in Freedom under GOD.. can yet repel these attacks and achieve victory but we must FIGHT with all our might using all our strength, and as a Nation TURN to GOD above Who is ALL powerful.

    God bless The U.S.A..

    • Matthew E says:

      As mentioned in previous editorials, systemic racism no longer exists , but did when ” War on poverty” began I’m betting, and emphasis is about minorities and liberal policy,hard to think there wasn’t much Conservatism policy involved in shaping economics then till now. Outsourcing ( overseas) of so much manufacturing and other jobs in last 30-40 years I’m sure wasn’t based solely on liberal policy. The fact that wages as mentioned in recent editorial as well have been stagnant for as long as well, that certainly could help explain much poverty . I’m trying to put my finger on how liberal policies has created such high fatherlessness in primarily black Americans, but based off what I’ve been hearing folks say most my life ,I think I know. I was guilty of thinking that way somewhat myself until I realized that it’s really just a small slice of the” subsidies pie”. Yea it’s a whole lot of money alright referring to ” covering national debt ” . Delinquent tax belonging to big business etc hasn’t helped either. Hiding profits offshore doesn’t help. We could use some infrastructure funding, but oh well. Poverty in America will never improve, Liberals and Conservative policy makers( politicians) alike primarily cater to ” BIG MONEY” ,we as often said by Shaun are a profit driven society, it’s the incentive for all ,not morals not anything else. The Epiphany I’m hoping for is for the the majority of Americans to finally realize that both sides are often every bit as phony as the other,and when that little voice says What? they listen.

    • Richard Anderson says:

      Just recently, U.S.N. Admiral Gilday, refused to answer Congressman Banks questions at a congressional hearing about a racist book by Ibram X. Kendi which is required reading by our young sailors, a book which IS racist and aim is to cause those who read it is to hate America. This is WRONG!! The United States of America is NOT a racist country and the whole matter surrounding that term is being used by leftist democrats to foster this LIE.

      This book should be removed from the Navy’s required reading list and Admiral Gilday should be fired from his post for promoting this “garbage” which has no redeeming value whatsoever to anyone.

      Calling out those who advocate for kooks like Kendi who would divide America with their kooky books is a part of the solution to making America a better place to live for us all.

  3. Barbara Butler says:

    America needs to not only wake up – America needs to act. Are we sleeping through all of the tearing up and disposal of The Constitution of the United States of America? I have only one thing to use and that is praying to God that He guide us through this plan that we are to bow down to these driving forces that want to take America’s freedom away from us. He is the Almighty and Powerful God and controls everything. We, your children pray for your help in ridding us of the policies that those in our government are trying to establish and to help us keep America safe from harm. You are our protector and we praise you Lord.

  4. Matthew E says:

    Regarding the cost of ” War on Poverty “; our nation using prisons as means for solving our social ills is costing an enormous amount, hence here comes private prisons,got to get in on that ,right? Profit driven thing again. It’s said we need to distinguish between who we’re mad at and who we’re afraid of. Non violent offenders have been filling our prisons, at an extreme cost to taxpayers. The state of Kentucky can testify to that. What’s causing these repetitive cycles in so many? I’m sure it’s not solely a liberal policy issue. We imprison far more in USA , than anyother country, watch the news lately? Mass shootings almost daily, I guess it’s not working so well it would seem. Maybe it is all just a result of liberal policies, being that there’s been very little conservative political influences for so long ,even in all the poorest states in the Union that are ” Red”.

  5. Darrell Durham says:

    The most amazing part of the human body is the brain. It is what distances us from animals. Education is the basis for development, and life experience is what affects our position on the ladder of success. The wealthiest people are those that saw a need and did what was needed to fill that need, ex. Heinz, Croc, Hershey, Sanders, Ford, etc. Surely some suffering of the masses occurred, but imagine where we would be without these minds. Many more profitted than suffered as a result, and laws were enacted along the way to lessen the negatives. The capitalist system rewards hard work and inovation, not laziness and satisfaction. If you don’t like the current state of affairs, WORK to try to make it better! I struggle to understand how slavery is labeled as white supremacy, as people of all races have been enslaved by all other races. At the end of the day, your finishing position is more influenced by your effort for yourself than other’s effort against you. The most successful people have won against ALL odds. I believe this has led to the numbers we see that Paul mentioned. The poor are told “We will help you succeed” because it isn’t your fault you are poor, and after almost 90 years worth of effort, poverty still exists. Mother Nature allows creatures to evolve to make life easier, and the species’ that don’t to not survive. The point of my rambling is that WE are responsible for our own way. If you don’t like the road you are on, YOU should make a turn in another direction. Self-reliance and self-respect are amazing feelings to experience. However, they lead to free-thinking and independence, which democrats can’t allow. When you make it for yourself, you are less likely to allow someone to take it and give it to someone else. To the point that wages and wealth equate to happiness is laughable. I am in the lower income level (<30k/yr.) and I am very content. Many more people are richer than I as far as 1040 forms can measure, but fall far behind in measures of success. I built my house, I raise a garden to help feed my family, I paint houses for a living, taking immense pride in providing for a home for someone else! God bless America and all it represents!! Which side do you want to be on?

  6. Matthew E says:

    You make some good points. The big names you mentioned, they were folks that developed, invented, things that people liked and wanted,not so much a need. In this country for a long time there has been confusion between needs and wants,its one of our biggest flaws,yes America has flaws ( issues). I understand that 70 % of our economy is based off of retail goods,mostly wants not needs. And yes money does not make one content ( happy ). It is a shame most never are satisfied with a comfortable simple existence here in this country. But in our defense many are affected by conditioning ( programming) if you will, we are taught and exposed to a lot of pretty shiny stuff from birth,and we want stuff and more stuff. Many people get upset when they have difficulty getting that stuff, which is a big part of our culture unfortunately, we’re seeing all the stress,anxiety, bitterness in people now more than ever, that being added to fear mongering, political fear mongering, is amplifying this mindset.The saddest part it’s not going to change , chasing the almighty DOLLAR , exploit what and who can to get it!

    • Richard Anderson says:

      Some people may believe what you say, but not most.

      Your view here is that I detect the real crux of the matter is that some people have a a problem with jealousy and envy. And that is tragic and wrong on their part.

      Our country, The United States of America, is one based on FREEDOM, where every person has free agency –freedom to make choices. I can say about myself that I am not jealous or envious of anyone. But rather I am very PROUD to live in the greatest country upon GOD’S green Earth where ANYONE is FREE to pursue their dreams, to improve themselves and their lot in life, and to make it happen.

      A final thought here. Capitalism to some, a very few, in our country is a dirty world. To me, it is a sterling word as it embodies the whole of American free enterprise from a hot dog stand to a steel making company. The ability to earn a return for one’s effort, or an incentive for the risk taking to EARN a profit. In my book, there is certainly nothing bad about the dollar, and what I have described is not exploitation, but goodness, a GOOD thing to improve the lives of ALL our citizens.

      Capitalism creates the most good, for the most people, for the lowest cost, benefiting of our society MORE than the wicked concept of socialism* (*i.e. a system which is bound up in envy and jealousy and corruption) ever could. There is no country on Earth where socialism has succeeded, NONE.

      Sometime perhaps, listen to the song, “This Is My Country,” and perhaps then you may understand how many, including myself feel about AMERICA. Here is a link…


      America, My Home. God bless the U.S.A..

      • Matthew E says:

        Apparently you see the word exploit as only a negative term ,well it’s not. Another example is ” to take advantage of” . Not sure where envy and jealousy comes from what’s been said , but I’m sure that been said fair amount by some really bright talking heads out there. Not sure how capitalism and Socialism and the comparison comes to mind from what was said, well now that I think about it a little it makes sense. It’s being repeatedly said over and over and over these days,somehow it’s connected to everything one way or the other . As I’ve said before I hope when none of this ” Socialism ” drama, exaggeration, never happens some folks aren’t to disappointed. Eventually it’ll be something else ,it all seems to run it’s course.

        • Michael Reagan says:

          Definition of socialism. 1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. 2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property. Ah, Matthew – Obama Care, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Government housing loans and the banks, Government ownership of General Motors IS Socialism. ANYTHING the government does to bring ANY private ownership endeavors under it’s evil control is Socialism. Exaggeration? Never happens? HA! You have already missed the boat my friend. It will run it’s course when the Government has control of everything in our lives; unless we stop it.

          • Matthew E says:

            Yea,social security, medicare, roads and highways,bridges, fire depts,police depts, just to add a few more,covid relief funds is another good example. Prepare for hardship,no handouts, pull yourself up by the old boot straps,as some say. Socialism is Socialism can’t pick and choose I’m sure all would agree.

  7. Jim Lee says:

    Another good one my friend. Thankfully, we have people like you to spread truth to the uninformed.
    I’ll share this with my friends across the country. Keep up the good work sir.

  8. Ron Eagleman says:

    Yes Paul, a very timely and important essay! May we just cut to the chase regarding these Democratically controlled cities? The ones who have been elected are not qualified to manage a snow cone stand! These “managers” would not even realize that they need ice to make the snow or cones to hold the snow. Until the ones who are doing the electing have an “epiphany”, and start casting ballots based on qualifications, rather than promises, we will continue to be hoping. But the overwhelming evidence cited in the commentary gives hope that there is a “road to Damascus” on the way.

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