It’s fascinating to me, the utter disconnection among Democrats who continually make hay over the upsetting of norms and the constant threat to our democracy that President Trump’s administration brings. But over the last week I have read or watched Congressmen and women and multiple presidential candidates suggest a laundry list of “fixes” and remedies that are an anathema to the very ideals on which our country was founded.

Upending the rights and protections of the individual to give power to majority democracy is a danger to our fabric as a nation. Gone are protections not just against government, but against a mob disguised as a rational majority.

And it’s all being done for political control of your life.

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the latest to enter the race for the Democratic nomination, in a unscripted moment of honesty praised sin taxes and bans like those he passed as mayor of the Big Apple because lower-income people can’t be trusted to spend their money properly or make wise life choices. Behavior modification through government policy is nothing new, but give points to Bloomberg for actually saying out loud what many conservatives have asserted for decades.

Contrary to our elite’s belief, Americans have the right to live as they choose, away from the dictates and norms of a life styled by our ruling class. Even if it doesn’t seem prudent.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, in an interview on CNN, said that the impeachment push is not about removing a president for obvious malfeasance, but rather “this is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year.” The potential disaster? Losing not just the presidency, but the House majority. And I have noticed more than once the efforts of Democrats to parallel many aspects of the Clinton impeachment, if not in practice, but in its themes and symbolic votes.

The reality is that American political parties are made of many factions under the umbrella of “D” or “R.” And while the old guard protects the reins of power for Democrats in Congress, their activist left flank... including the Congresswoman from New York, has demanded impeachment of this president by any and all means necessary. Never mind that the Clinton impeachment came at the end of the Clinton presidency, the president lying while under oath seems so mild by the standards of today. Today, just 20 years later, any elected official lying under oath seems like pretty standard fare.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has voiced his disdain for President Trump at every opportunity. But the governor has no problem shredding norms of government spending with his recently announced plan to once again divert road funding to fight climate change. As an added bonus, he wants to also use pension funds to help the cause. Now, I’m no economist, but many column inches have been written regarding the severe levels to which many states have underfunded their pensions, and California is no different. Under years of Democratic leadership, California’s administrative state has grown exponentially. The benefits paid to these employees grows at a rate only familiar to government, outpacing the private sector by significant amounts. Make no mistake, there will be consequences for Californians down the road while this governor plays king.

Newsom has bigger plans than just Sacramento, I believe. The Golden State may be just a whistle stop on his road to the White House, while California will be left holding an empty bag and a budget crisis.

And then there is the illustrious Senator Elizabeth Warren. Between denying sending her son to a fancy private school with a school choice activist and embellishing her ethnicity to pad her diversity score, Warren announced on the campaign trail, “My goal is to get elected - but I plan to be the last American president to be elected by the electoral college. I want my second term to be elected by direct vote.”

Well, I’d like a million dollars and a unicorn. Guess which is more likely to happen.

Not only does disbanding the electoral college by presidential fiat not pass the smell test, the bar to change the Constitution is a little higher. Honestly she has a better shot with her public health care option, and the chance of that is close to zero.

And then there is the impeachment. The political equivalent of dropping a nuke onto a political  landscape that is divided more than ever. Gone are the norms of only for the most heinous of offenses that our elected officials can make.

Just one year ago, Congressman Jerry Nadler, head of the House Judiciary Committee leading the impeachment farce, said on a Sunday show that, “a partisan impeachment process would tear the country apart.” Well, I guess that not tearing apart the Democrat coalition is rating a little higher. Today’s hyper partisanship, often disguised as civics and a moral righteousness that belies the lack of policy designed to actually help Americans is a heck of a way to enter into a contentious presidential campaign season.

Politicians like those mentioned above would do well to remember that most Americans don’t follow politics like everyone in the Acela corridor. Regular Americans are more concerned with news of new studies suggesting a full half of our workforce will be replaced by robots in the next 20 years.

Anybody have an answer as to how our society will look when half the country finds itself with no means of supporting themselves?


Having some concern is an understatement. Losing our manufacturing base has wrought increasing male mortality - and a lowering of life expectancy for men, towns hollowed out by opioids and alarmingly high rates of depression among middle aged men. What will happen when the biggest employment sector for “low skilled” work, the transportation industry, goes automated.

Here’s a hint, the solutions better not include learning to code or renting a U-Haul to live in a city “where the jobs are.”

The conversation should be about what policies are right for the most Americans, not our GDP or economic data sets, not empowering other nation’s workforce but what is right for the men and women who work hard every day to make our society function. And these conversations are essential for a healthy republic.

Questions like this are lost in the noise of a city that at best would be described as dysfunctional, and at worst, very bad theater.

Unfortunately, looking at the landscape the Democrats have wrought, where anything and everything is viewed through the lens of Trump, I’m not holding out much hope.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at or by calling (209) 862-2222.