There is a quote attributed to poet Maya Angelou: "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." As we watch the Democrats in power destroy the American economy, it's worth paying attention to the things they've said.
First and foremost is former President Barack Obama. On Oct. 30, 2008, just before the presidential election, he told a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."
Most Americans probably thought Obama was simply predicting his historic election as the first Black president of the United States. But he had far more sweeping changes in mind for America, including the destruction of the oil and gas industries in the name of "climate change" and absorbing millions of illegal immigrants as a form of wealth redistribution writ large.
Once elected, Obama got right to work. Steven Chu, Obama's energy secretary, had announced in September 2008, "Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," which was $9 to $10 a gallon.
In 2010, the Obama administration canceled offshore oil drilling leases in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. In 2011, a federal court held the moratorium on drilling to be illegal and ordered the leases to be reinstated. But Obama's Department of the Interior refused to obey the court order and was held in contempt of court.
Policy analysts writing at the time pointed out that the moratorium was not only damaging the economies of the gulf states but the American economy overall, sending gas prices (and therefore the prices of other goods) higher.
Ditto for immigration. Obama wanted Congress to pass an immigration bill with amnesty and a path to citizenship for millions here illegally. When Congress refused, Obama used his power as chief executive to refuse to enforce immigration law, encouraging hundreds of thousands more to come into the U.S., confident that they would not be deported.
After Obama's eight years in office, Hillary Clinton was supposed to continue the "fundamental transformation" he'd begun. But those plans were thwarted by the election of Donald Trump in 2016, to Obama's (and the Left's) shock and chagrin.
Just as the Biden administration is doing now, Obama tried to make Americans believe that the negative consequences his policies caused were somehow inevitable and irreversible. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Obama mocked Trump's promises to bring jobs back to the U.S. and lower gas prices.
"Well, how exactly are you going to do that?" Obama asked derisively at a PBS townhall. "What magic wand do you have?" Obama dismissed Trump's promise to roll back regulations as "crazy." "That is not going to make your lives better," he told Americans.
Unfortunately for President Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden and their fellow travelers, Trump's economic objectives weren't "crazy," and success didn't require a magic wand. Trump's policies permitted the American economy to flourish, with robust job creation and wage growth.
Unemployment hit record lows, including for Black and Hispanic Americans, people with disabilities and those without college degrees or even high school diplomas. His immigration policies significantly reduced the numbers of people crossing the border illegally.
Progressive politicians (and the RINO court jesters who pretend to oppose them) despise Trump because he exposed this ugly secret: When Americans run the country, as we were able to do during Trump's four years in the White House, we create incredible prosperity.
The government, on the other hand, not only does not solve problems for the American people, it creates them. And it does so deliberately.
A global pandemic and the Biden administration has given Obama & Co. the opportunity to undo the prosperity of the Trump years and move forward with their plans to remake the U.S. into a "green" socialist utopia, the damage to actual Americans' lives and businesses be damned.
Biden has doubled down on progressives' "green" pipe dreams, canceling the Keystone Pipeline and implementing policies that hobble energy production and innovation.
The Biden administration insists that higher gas prices have been caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine. Garbage. Prices were rising months before that happened.
And why restrict our own production at a time when world supplies of oil and natural gas are being affected by international events?
Under Trump, America achieved energy independence for the first time in decades. The average price of gas during Trump's tenure was around $2.25. Today in Indiana, it's well in excess of $5. In California, it's approaching $7. And prices are predicted to climb still higher. Inflation has hit 8.5%, the highest in more than 40 years.
What is Biden doing to rectify this situation? He's canceled more oil drilling leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. In other words, he is deliberately making things worse. And yet Biden heralds his decisions to cripple the economy as facilitating "an incredible transition"away from fossil fuels.
Americans don't agree. Biden's approval rating is in the toilet. And according to a recent Gallup poll, Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy is the lowest it's been since 2009. (Who was president then?)
Biden has abandoned any semblance of immigration law. Hundreds of thousands of migrants are now crossing the southern border each month. More than 1 million crossed the border illegally in 2021. Estimates place the number of people living in the U.S. illegally at approximately 11.5 million. If true, that population has increased by more than 10% in just one year. (Some experts say the number is much higher. The Foundation for American Immigration Reform estimated the number of illegal immigrants to be more than 12 million in 2017.)
More than 1 million migrants have already entered the country illegally in the first five months of 2022; Border Security reports that 267,175 illegal migrants were apprehended or detected last month.
Another caravan — anticipated to be the largest ever with up to 15,000 people — is headed to the U.S. border now. What is Biden doing? Nothing.
Obama's gaslighting strategy has become the Democrats' overall approach. We're told that we don't actually see what we see. Or if we do see it, it's not their fault.
Or if it is their fault, it's for our own good. On every issue — job creation, gas prices, inflation, immigration, crime, foreign policy — Democrats aren't telling us what can't happen; they're telling us what they won't let happen.
What we — the American people — cannot let happen is this "fundamental transformation."
Laura Hollis is a professor of teaching at the Mendoza College of Business, as well as a professor of business law and entrepreneurship at Notre Dame. Her career as an attorney has spanned 35 plus years. Her legal publications have appeared in the Temple Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, and the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. Dr. Hollis has been a freelance political writer since 1993, writing for The Detroit News, HOUR Detroit magazine, Townhall.com, and the Christian Post. Read Reports by Prof. Hollis — More Here.