One thing that’s refreshing about our political moment is how un-self-conscious the Left has become. Take the Head-Shot Agenda of the progressives in the Rhode Island House. A group of legislators has gotten in line behind the 28-year-old Ivy League candidate for lieutenant governor whose biography contains no mention of any experience working a real job.* At least his inexperience gives him the confidence to let us know exactly what he thinks.
Consider the changes to his remarks. From the General Assembly press release about the “agenda” (emphasis added):
Big corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent just got a giant tax cut from Republicans in Congress. We’re committed to using state policy to tilt the scales back toward everyday people.
But for what he really thinks, turn to the Providence Journal, quoting from “an advance copy of his remarks”:
Just this year, big corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent used their influence to get an enormous tax handout from Republicans in Congress. In Rhode Island, we can use our power to tilt the scales back towards people who are dealing with real problems.
This is divisive far-leftism clearly displayed. In the press release, perhaps edited by more-experienced hands, Congressional Republicans have given corporations and the wealthy a “cut.” This sounds like simple American politics. But in Regunberg’s telling, the corporations and wealthy are villains. They bullied the politicians into it through “their influence”; the tax cut goes from “giant” to “enormous”; and what they got wasn’t a reduction in the amount of their own money that the government confiscates, but a “handout.” If only Regunberg would be so honest as to tell us whose money he thinks it is.
Regunberg subsequently builds on that class warfare. The anodyne “everyday people” from the press release becomes “people who are dealing with real problems,” because obviously people who run corporations or who are already wealthy have no “real problems.” They have no sick children. They have no worries. They’re not concerned about their employees (at least not as much as Aaron Regunberg is). When they get their handouts, presumably, they do nothing with it but make their paradise a little more plush. (I look forward to seeing Rhode Island’s journalists challenge his remark with evidence of pay raises and bonuses going directly to employees after the tax cut.)
Most important, though, is the shift in what Regunberg is selling. In the press release, it’s “state policy.” When he’s let loose, it’s “our power.” That’s what he wants: power. Recently graduated from college, just barely old enough to have a drink with those “everyday people,” Regunberg wants the power to take other people’s money away and tell them what to do.
Rhode Islanders have been warned.
* This post originally put Regunberg’s age at 22. I could have sworn I’d seen his birth year reported as 1996 when I checked as writing this, but it’s 1990. So, he’s older than initially stated; readers can determine whether that improves their impression of his experience or makes his lack of reporting a real job more problematic.