by Matthew Boose
Excusing his tendency to hyperbole, one finds it hard to disagree when Donald Trump talks about how much better things were before the “China virus” ruined his reelection effort and set the country on a path of decline. The America that existed before COVID, the George Floyd revolution, and the rigged 2020 election is not so far in the past, but it was a completely different world.
Gas was cheap, crime was down, the border was secure, and the country was a lot freer. Words like “misinformation” were seldom heard on the lips of bureaucrats or neighbors deputized by them, and one didn’t fear losing employment or the right to travel for refusing an experimental drug. Believe it or not, before those momentous, nightmarish months of violence and upheaval that changed everything, Trump was on a glide path to victory, having been cleared of impeachment over a long-forgotten “perfect phone call” with Ukraine.
The televised drama of the Trump years has proven fairly benign compared to what followed. Consider the events of just the past week. Thousands of U.S. flights were grounded, an increasingly regular occurrence, after a “computer glitch” at the Federal Aviation Administration. Joe Biden made his long-awaited trip to the southern border, where he spent a few hours taking pictures in a Potemkin village on the frontier of what can only be described as an invasion, one which Biden has treacherously encouraged. Amidst all of this pretense and dysfunction, the administration floated a nationwide ban on a common household appliance. Biden’s gas stove ban, the progressive midwits shouted, was both a very good thing and also the latest bugbear crawling in the imaginations of delusional conservatives.
Despite Biden’s much-vaunted “normalcy,” normal has not returned. A deceptive semblance of normalcy, with a corrupt Silent Generation zombie as its face, masks a radical new reality, a tyrannical, devitalized “new normal” of mediocrity. The economy is on the verge of collapse, the price of consumer goods has skyrocketed, and crime is higher than it has been in decades. The flames of George Floyd’s martyrdom have died down, but the revolution still burns with the imprimatur of power. Never has racial hatred been more overtly expressed with such authority to so wide a swath of the country.
We hear the labor market is hot, but service at stores and restaurants is slow to nonexistent. The smell of pot, with its stench of torpor and decay, is inescapable. If you live in the city, odds are your streets have been ceded to criminals and lunatics. The suburbs aren’t safe from the constant schemes of the busybodies, either. These incompetent thugs, equipped with dubious “expertise,” are now accustomed to making more and more intrusive demands of a public demoralized by years of constant, idiotic propaganda. People are now conveyed from one hysteria to the next, almost without time to catch a breath before the next one comes along, with all of the regime-approved talking points and slogans prepared for their consumption.
Meanwhile, America continues to unravel before our very eyes. Mass immigration under Trump received loads of morally charged media coverage but was nowhere close to the scale of Biden’s silent invasion. How many Americans are aware that more than 4 million have flooded our borders in only the past two years? A Third World country wouldn’t tolerate what Biden has unleashed, but the administration has no intention to stop it, and they don’t care who knows it.
As much as one is tempted to blame the “elites”—and they are truly contemptible—the American people share responsibility for failing to rebuke the yoke of this new world order. Our acquiescence has cost us much in a short span of time. Of course, nostalgia can distort even the recent past. America was in dire shape when Trump entered politics promising to make the country “great again.” The best efforts of the most determined patriots would not have been enough to fulfill that pledge in a few years. But compared to the present, 2019 was a golden age, the loss of which it is hard not to mourn.
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Matthew Boose is a Mt. Vernon fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a staff writer and weekly columnist at the Conservative Institute. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter @matt_boose.
Photo “Donald Trump” by Trump White House Archived.