Archives for August 2021

Money, Power, and Revenge: The Truth About “Critical Race Theory”

Nearly six decades ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for a better world, imploring us to judge others by “the content of their character.” He offered a vision of an America that united people across racial, political, and economic lines—a vision that we can all believe in.

Dan Backer

The proponents of “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) offer no such vision. They only propose a world of endless grievances and revenge, petty cons, and abusing their power to ruin lives.

Where Dr. King saw a world of equals, CRT envisions only victims and vengeance. Where Dr. King called upon Americans to see the content of each others’ character, CRT calls for acts of theater and human sacrifices to cancel culture. Where Dr. King offered equality before the law—the only true, objective equality—CRT proposes only “equity,” the subjective decisions of petty tyrants over who gets what, when, and how. 

CRT is an enrichment scheme perpetrated by self-proclaimed “victims.” It is a sham that makes money for CRT’s rabid proponents, granting them power over the lives of others and exercising revenge for a seemingly endless stream of slights—real or imagined. CRT doesn’t solve problems; it shreds the social fabric of a nation by perpetuating an “us” versus “them” mentality.

While the proponents of CRT insist their platform only serves to expose America’s racist past, nothing about it offers a way to shape a better future. The evidence of CRT’s do-goodery is strikingly scarce. It lays the blame at the feet of all white Americans, no matter their thoughts or actions. If “Whiteness” is inherently oppressive and evil, then America is a morally bankrupt entity that deserves nothing but reproach—then America is evil and so are all patriotic Americans, white or otherwise.

At the heart of CRT is the concept of “equity” (not “equality,” which is an important distinction). The proponents of CRT believe in equality of outcome, with all Americans ending up at the same place, rather than the meritocracy implied by equality of opportunity.

Which brings us to the fundamental question: What does CRT’s better world look like? I can see Dr. King’s vision of a world in which we are all equal before the law, treat one another as we wish to be treated, and succeed or fail based on our own merits. But CRT’s world of equity is indescribable at best and insidious at worst. What makes that world better for everyone?

In effect, CRT only exists to empower a select few in acting out their perceived sense of grievance through racist vengeance against those whom they determine are—always undeservedly, of course—better-positioned in life. CRT seeks to control the allocation of money—other people’s money—with its proponents grifting their way to success through seven-figure consulting contracts. It is a revenge-based form of propaganda embodied by the woman wishing death on parents who don’t buy into it. CRT’s proponents are in the business of punishing children who don’t bow down to them.

The worst irony of all is that CRT does nothing to fight actual racism. According to new research out of Israel, propaganda like “Critical Theory Race” programming cannot train people to be less racist. Encounters aimed at forcing the heavy-handed eradication of racist thought, through weak tools like “diversity training,” do not ultimately alter discriminatory views and behavior. In the words of behavioral scientist Roni Porat: “The paucity of organizations in the field that apply proper scientific methods to examining the effectiveness of their programs is a worldwide problem.”

I’m reminded of Daryl Davis, a black man known for attending Ku Klux Klan rallies. Inspired by Dr. King, he taught us all how to engage in real, meaningful interactions, rather than scoring cheap political points. Davis went out and hugged actual KKK members to convince them about his humanity, and he changed hundreds of minds in the process.

But CRT is not meant to combat racism—because its fundamental premise rests on the endless existence of racism and anti-white racism being the only cure. CRT is not meant to bring Americans together or offer us a better vision of the world. It is a left-wing ideology with a cute cartoon, but one that never answers the question: Who pays? Who decides? Who controls?

The entire CRT machine is about money (other people’s money), power (to decide how money they don’t deserve should be spent), and revenge (for every petty slight, real and imaginary).

At its core, “Critical Race Theory” is more of the age-old, ugly ideology of divisive, hateful racism, and its proponents can’t describe their better world because they dont offer one.

Today more than ever, we must stand united in rejecting hatred and division—no matter the fancy new label—while upholding Dr. King’s dream of a better world.

Dan Backer is a veteran campaign counsel, having served more than 100 candidates and PACs, including two of the largest pro-Trump super PACs. He is a member of Chalmers & Adams LLC, a political law and litigation firm.

Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Drug Pricing Will Help Our Senior Citizens

By: Marsha Volkema

Chronic diseases, defined as medical conditions that last longer than a year, and which require continuous medical attention, affect a shocking number of Americans. In the United States, nearly 60 percent of adults have a chronic disease, and older adults are disproportionately affected by these chronic conditions, with 80 percent living with at least one. Tragically, chronic diseases are also the leading cause of death among older adults in this country, and the current steep price of prescription medication only worsens this reality, putting our senior citizens at serious risk. 

Growing old is a natural part of the human experience and something that should be celebrated. However, in order to enjoy the later stages of life, there are often unique health challenges that must be addressed. Unfortunately, our current system often leaves many of our country’s senior citizens by the wayside, especially when it comes to prescription medication. Too many Americans have had the heart-wrenching experience of watching their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents suffer unnecessarily simply because they cannot afford the prescription drugs they need. Our lawmakers need to ensure that our older generations can afford the medication that allows them to continue living healthy lives.

This is especially pertinent here in Arizona, where we are faced with a rapidly expanding senior population. Data from July of last year shows that residents over the age of 65 have been the fastest-growing demographic since 2010, increasing by more than 48 percent. Additionally, in 2018, Arizona ranked 12th in the nation for the percentage of our population over the age of 65, and we were also the 4th fastest aging state. 

With 75 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64, and over 90 percent of Americans over the age 80, using prescription drugs, rising prescription drug prices are hitting Arizona’s seniors extremely hard. In the last year alone, nearly 1.7 million Arizonans could not afford the medicine they were prescribed. As a state and as a country, we cannot continue to allow our friends and family, especially our senior citizens, to go without the prescription medication they need in order to maintain a humane standard of living. 

Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug pricing on behalf of the American people would put an end to predatory price gouging by pharmaceutical companies, and it’s estimated that it could save nearly 100,000 lives annually. This solution is not only practical and effective but also very popular with Arizona residents. Over 4 million Arizonans are in support of allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies, and 87 percent of our state’s registered voters are in favor of requiring drug companies to negotiate with Medicare. 

Due to the popularity, practicality, and necessity of this initiative, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug pricing is an obvious choice for our congressional delegation in Washington. But we are counting on leaders like Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who has made it clear on multiple occasions that she will fight to expand Arizonans’ access to affordable and quality healthcare, to step up and take action by pushing for legislation that allows for Medicare negotiation to be passed into law this year.

Marsha Volkema is a senior on medicare, former healthcare worker and long-time activist in the west valley.