Archive for the ‘Election 2016’ Category

Congratulations to Donald Trump!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

trump_wins_ftAnalysts will study this election for years to come.  Donald Trump overcame a media and political establishment that had dismissed him from the outset of his campaign.  There’s no doubt that they believed Trump would become a footnote in political history books, and that much like they were able to politically defame and largely demolish the Tea Party, they expected to put his supporters out of their minds and simply dismiss them in the same way.  IF you remember back in 2009, and 2010, Barack Obama was dismissive of the Tea Party movement that was just erupting, and he wouldn’t even acknowledge them, instead leaving DC when they arranged for their huge march.  The left thought they would apply the same tactics to Donald Trump and his supporters, and that would do the trick for them again. Marginalized, defamed, and categorized as “racist, sexist nut-jobs,” they expected to run right over the army of Trump supporters with equal indifference.  Donald Trump was of another mind, and that certainly played a remarkable role, but having examined the election returns, I’m prepared to say what I think made the difference.  Analysts will study and fret, trying to discover some secret key to what made them lose, or miss the analysis, but they’re all missing the point.  It’s really much simpler than all of the nuance and rationalization that’s been going on in the last twelve hours.  It really isn’t rocket science, and a cursory examination of the results will bear this out: Donald Trump won the election in 2016 because too many Americans have been desperate for change for much too long, and because the current president and his administration(but also much of the Congress) have been entirely indifferent to the suffering they’ve inflicted.

Leftists never consider the impact of their policies on individuals.  Their rationalizations are always constructed under the skewed microscope of the collectivized “good” as they conceive it.  If imposing a healthcare program on the entirety of the nation results in a driving-up of costs for average Americans, while only covering a small number of additional Americans, they don’t care.  If they evaluate their program at all, their conclusion will inevitably be that they must tax more and impose larger penalties for those who refuse to participate.  Never do they hesitate to consider that for most Americans, even those not formally a part of the Obama-care program, the net effect for most Americans of the mere existence of this law has been to drive up out-of-pocket costs for every person who is a net payer, and by some dramatic proportions in many instances.  The statists simply do not care about these impacts, and won’t even consider them in their political calculus.  It is this baked-in tone-deafness of the left that makes for the sort of shock they experienced in the wee hours of this morning when they realized Donald Trump would become president.

Leftists only talk to one another.  The entire media establishment is so thoroughly rife with leftists that they cannot see any point of view but their own.  Disagreement is not tolerated, and other points of view are summarily dismissed, mocked, and otherwise defamed.  Worst of all, perhaps, they seem to exist within a sort of echo-chamber that leads them to believe things that simply aren’t so, and this blinds them to reality, again, setting them up for the sort of massive failure they experienced on Election Day 2016.

In this election, what they failed to perceive is something rather simple, and it’s been right there before them since 2009, but they’ve stubbornly ignored it, as if by ignoring it, it would simply not exist.  This ostrich-like behavior meant they would not hear the desperation in the voices of average Americans, with whom they have very little contact, and who are, in their view, simply the insignificant people of “flyover country.”

This is where Donald Trump won, but let’s be more explicit about who it was that dragged him across the finish line to victory:  In the last week of the campaign, in horror over the looming possibility of a Clinton presidency, Republicans began to “come home” as Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence had implored, but with them, a broad range of people who are largely middle, middle-class, white, and of lower educational credentials.  Contrary to the beliefs of the fools in Washington DC, and in the media generally, credentials do not alone describe one’s intelligence or lack thereof.  Credentials make no difference whatsoever to people who are starving in sight of a bounty, denied access to it only by the aggression of government.

The knot-heads in colleges and universities who believe their credentials give them some special insight, and are of the sort who have attached too much importance to their own stations in life, and too little of the situations of their fellow Americans.  This is magnified by those in the media, and those in Washington DC, all of whom have seemed to believe they are the smartest people in any room, perpetually.  Donald Trump is to be credited for recognizing it.  The challenge for Donald Trump is to avoid “blowing it” by forgetting this lesson.  The people who elected Donald Trump are largely those who have been demolished by the giant regulatory and welfare state.  They’ve lost homes and businesses, or simply now work a ridiculous number of hours simply to keep the lights on, and they’ve seen their personal aspirations and their hopes for their children squandered by government that does not care for the dreams of individual people.  This is the lesson the left would learn, if they were not so tone-deaf, and if they did not wear blinders in the presence of “inconvenient truths.”  It’s also the lesson Donald Trump must not forget, lest he squander the very awesome opportunity he’s been granted by the American people, albeit with some significant skepticism.

In simplest terms, what won this election for Donald Trump is the absolute desperation of the American people.  What put him over the top is simply a desperate appeal to the fates by those who realized, even entering the polling places, that Hillary Clinton’s America would offer them no hope, and no chance at recovery, and perhaps worst of all, no sympathy even from those who imposed this decline.  It was a last, plaintive act of self-defense for a people who have watched their lives diminished, their very liberties under constant threat of summary debasement, and their hopes for their children and grandchildren’s future foreclosed.  These are the people who have funded the welfare state, under the ever more punishing blows of government’s whips, while they’ve gone without meals and fell behind on bills and been unable to fund their kids’ education while they’ve paid for the educations of others. These are the folk who eat Macaroni and Cheese or Ramen noodles three or four times weekly, while in line at the grocery store, they stand in fuming and  smoldering, in ever more indignant anger behind the throngs of EBT card users who enjoy surf-and-turf  paid for by the folk eating bare subsistence rations. These are the people who struggle to make mortgage payments, only to find the value of their homes in steep decline as the statists in Washington DC use public housing benefits to place entitled peoples into their formerly nice neighborhoods, new but unappreciative residents who frequently make a wreckage of the nice dwellings they’ve been provided.

Imagine the veteran, who has done his duty and wishes merely to make a living and enjoy his life, but finds his rights are under constant assault by the statists.  He might have a gun or two, and he might like to hunt, or simply shoot at paper targets, only to find that he’s been lumped-together with terrorists by the likes of Hillary Clinton, who live under a shield of heavily-armed security forces, but who do not trust law-abiding citizens who arm themselves for sport, for hunting, and for self-defense.  To know that at any moment, under the auspices of some arbitrary law, one may find his guns outlawed, and his rights turned into the claim of a criminal is to know the terror of too many Americans who have become too accustomed to being ruled by a President who boast of having “a pen and a phone.”

For too long, too many Americans have watched their standard of living in sharp decline, while working harder, and taking on more difficult but also more poorly-compensated jobs, knowing that the society around them is filled with people who don’t work at all, ever, but who also manage to live at least as well as the poor slobs who work sixty, seventy, and eighty hours per week.  These are people interested in justice, who want to see hard work rewarded, and slothfulness and incompetence punished, as nature would dictate.  These are people who follow the law, no matter how much it may be to their detriment, never willing to give an excuse to those who govern them to further deprive them of liberty.  They look around and see that the system of law and justice serves only the corrupt and the criminal, while they must live in perpetual fear of the next new law in violation of which they might act, in simple ignorance. It has been long-declared and well-established that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” except that there are now so many laws that none can possibly know all that apply to their lives and endeavors.  Government bureaucrats have no sympathy for that reality, and the statists care not for the plights of individual men and women.

It is the mother who works many hours, who may or may not have a husband to help pull that wagon, and who have finally discovered that their lives and labors and their love of their children is under unflagging attack.  They live in terror of the next electric bill, an inflated grocery bill, and they don’t understand why they must pay not only for themselves and their families but the families of others whose exertions are minimal.

It is a family who sees their values and moral standards under continuous attack.  They find that they must de-propagandize their children daily upon their arrival from the public schools, that teach no values except as collectivized notions, and who most often stand at odds with the interests of the family, its children, and its parents.

All of these people and many more like them are the reasons Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016.  They were desperate.  They need relief.  They need a respite from the never-ending assaults on their lives, liberties, and wallets.  They need somebody, somewhere, to finally understand that the grand ideas conceived in Washington DC most often result in disasters for the people who live in “flyover country.”  In a final desperate act of self-defense, they decided to take a chance on Donald Trump, knowing that Hillary Clinton offered only more of the same, and perhaps represented the final nail in their individual coffins.

Donald Trump has a fantastic opportunity, and I for one wish him well, and I sincerely hope he will not squander it.  Too many politicians make a mockery of the people who’ve elected them, forgetting their promises, or remembering them while conveniently finding ways to avoid carrying them out.  Donald Trump can win re-election easily in four years if he will only do the following:

  • Secure the nation, build the wall and enforce the nation’s existing immigration law. Mexico needn’t pay for it, but it must be built
  • Re-institute justice for all, including particularly the rich and powerful
  • Cut taxes on those who work for a living – and if he really wants the favor of the working stiff, make only the first forty hours of labor taxable
  • Repeal Obamacare (but don’t replace it with some other mandatory, equally tyrannical program)
  • Get control of the exploding welfare state, from the cost side, but also from the point of view of sheer extravagance and enticement to dependency
  • Make America a place great for business again, so that people can work and prosper by their own efforts
  • Rescind Obama’s lengthy list of Executive Orders
  • Take care of our veterans and make sparing use of a rebuilt and revitalized military relieve of silly but dangerous social engineering
  • Appoint judges who will follow the explicit mandates of the US Constitution
  • Never forget the individual aspirations and dreams of individual Americans in signing(or vetoing) laws and issuing executive orders

If Donald Trump will merely do these things, I suspect he will get a forty-state(or better) win for re-election in four years, if he wants it.  This is the truth of how Donald Trump won.  He won because for too many Americans, the situation has become far too dire.  I expect that he will have a short honeymoon period with the vast bulk of the American people.  If he can make strides to substantially carry out the important parts of the agenda he’s outlined, and can merely make a credible stab at fulfilling the short but difficult list above, he will succeed like no President since at least Ronald Reagan.  He has that chance.  He has every reason to do it.  The question now remains: Will he?

Like a large number of Americans who closed the gap and pushed him over the top, I have nothing but well-wishes and the best hopes for Donald Trump’s presidency. It was a last, desperate act of self-defense for so many Americans who determined that he was an imperfect vessel, but at least there’s a chance he won’t be nearly so foul and depraved as Hillary Clinton, whatever he may have done in the past.  We voted for Donald Trump because we knew Hillary would only worsen things, and at least with Donald Trump, there’s some inkling that he might drag the country in the correct direction for a change.  It’s become as desperate as that for too many Americans.  I hope he will recognize this, if he hasn’t already, and act accordingly to secure their continuing support. He has referred to them as the “forgotten Americans.”  In his remarks after Hillary Clinton’s concession phone call, he offered a glimmer that their  hope is justified.

Congratulations and good luck to Donald Trump and Mike Pence, along with all those who supported him from the beginning.  May their fortunes rise and fall in accordance with their fidelity to the people and to the Constitution of the United States.  Therein lies the cause of Hillary’s defeat and the repudiation of Obama’s legacy.

 

 

 

 

 

The Worst Election Ever

Monday, November 7th, 2016

crooked_hillary_ftI’ve been observing and participating in our nation’s electoral process for more than three decades. I’ve seen some awful candidates and despicable campaigns, but I can’t remember a single presidential election cycle in which I was so thoroughly disgusted with my choices(or lack thereof.)  I’ve remained quiet since the primary season because I see no point.  I had nothing to add, and nothing useful to say about the state of the primary, and given the two major parties’ nominees, nothing good to say about any of it.  The Republican nominating process was a disgusting, miserable mess.  It was dominated by open-primary states, and the GOP’s nominee was chosen not by conservatives, or even Republicans more generally, but instead by the media and by line-crossing Democrats in open primary states.  As bad as that is, the Democrat primary was even more ridiculous.  Bernie Sanders never had a prayer, as the whole party apparatus of the DNC was aligned against him, and the conclusion was determined not by voters but instead by the broken, corrupt “super-delegate” weighting of the outcome.  Bernie’s supporters would be right to feel betrayed, because it was quite literally rigged against him.  What it all means and has meant to me is that I have been a man without a candidate.  Gary Johnson, while the sole vaguely-qualified third-party candidate, proved to be a kook, Jill Stein is insane from a policy-based point of view, and Evan McMullin is just a Kristol-Romney sock-puppet.  As you can see, things are pretty slim, and conservatives don’t have much to look forward to in this election.  The question therefore arises:  What’s a conservative to do? How can a conservative maintain his or her principles and still vote in this election?  The answers seem quite negative.  The conclusions one must reach simply aren’t satisfactory.  Still, as conservatives, we have a responsibility to make a judgment about all of this.  Ignoring or evading that responsibility is the deepest betrayal of our principles we could undertake.  Let us consider the ugliest election ever, and know what our actions or inactions will really mean.

Let us begin from the self-evident premise that voting for McMullin, Stein, Johnson, or “None of the Above” is nothing more or less than a protest vote.  There’s no escaping that conclusion, and pretending to ourselves that any of these candidates have even the remotest chance of victory is simply absurd self-delusion.  It’s time to embrace the horror:  With or without us, whether we abstain entirely, or vote for one of these three protest candidates, in just about a day’s time, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be our President-elect.  While horrifying, at least to a conservative, this is the fact from which there is no escape.

It is true to say that Donald Trump isn’t even approximately a conservative.  Worse, his lifetime of bad, boorish, and perhaps worse behavior means that it’s difficult to overlook what a complete buffoon this man has appeared to be over this campaign and election cycle, but also over the course of his life.  You can worry about a lot of things if Donald Trump wins, from his insane tariffs notions, to his likely retreat on illegal immigrants and amnesty.  He rightly says Obama-care must be repealed, but then goes on to describe replacing it with another government program. He seems to be acceptable on second amendment issues, but that’s assuming he’s gotten an education and has completely disavowed his previous stance on such things as the “assault weapons” ban. His foreign policy leaves much to be desired, and it seems at times that he doesn’t know all that much about the subject. On the other hand, he has expressed a generally pro-American view, as contrasted against the America-Last stance of the current administration.  He seems to exhibit some concern for veterans, although that’s been a somewhat more spotty record in the past.  His views on Supreme Court and other judicial appointments is less than comforting.  Most of all, he’s told a huge number of whoppers during this election cycle.

Then there is Hillary Clinton.  There is nothing whatever to recommend her.  She is wrong on virtually every issue where an actual conservative might be concerned, to the extent that she could and should be viewed with real enmity by anybody even approximately interested in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  In a word, Hillary Clinton’s policy preferences are un-American to the core.  She absolutely hates the country as founded, and like the current resident of the Oval Orifice, seeks to undo the United States as a nation governed by a free people.  She detests free speech, she would act to restrict further the free exercise of religion, imposing on private citizens those restrictions that apply legitimately only to government.  Hers is the ultimate cultural attack on what it is to be an American.  Her policy on immigration is an open border.  Her view on citizenship is expansive, inasmuch as she believes we ought to be overrun by foreigners of every conceivable description in order to solidify her party’s hold on government.

More than all of this, however, Hillary Clinton is an un-convicted criminal.  She is still under investigation by the FBI, particularly with respect to the Clinton Foundation, but more, her entire career in and around government has been littered with crooked dealings and corrupting applications of power and privilege.  She owes no allegiance to the American people, but is instead a sort of mob-boss, where she and her friends exercise control over the law itself.  There is no office beyond the reach of their corrupting influence, and as this campaign season has demonstrated, almost the whole of the news and entertainment media are in her corner at best, but at worse, in her pocket.

Don’t bother to tell me this and that about Donald Trump.  As far as I am aware, his actions, some of them detestable to me, have not resulted in the deaths of Americans, and have not included treason, effective espionage for enemies of the United States, and bizarre and wholly illegal instances of thorough corruption of government offices, in and out of office.  I know he’s likely to betray the people who would put him in office, as he already has on several issues, but what he is not is a person who hates America, or Americans, at least as far as I can determine.

As a conservative, I am forced to evaluate and pass judgment on such things as this presidential election, making my choices and taking responsibility for them, not evading them and hiding behind a veneer of claimed inviolate principles.  There is no moral superiority to be found in permitting Hillary Clinton to be elected President.  As a conservative, I believe in my right to life, and my right to defend it and all the facets of it.  What I notice is that if Hillary Clinton is permitted to become President, my rights, and indeed the rights of all Americans, to their lives, and their liberties, as well as the means to defend them shall be stripped from us.  In short, as a first principle, I believe in the right of self-defense, and I believe in the moral imperative of defending one’s rights along with one’s life.  Hillary Clinton will make it infinitely more difficult for Americans to defend themselves, and worse, she will increase the number of actual threats confronting us.

She will import millions of refugees from nations torn by war, and most of those refugees will not in any way add to our national growth or prosperity. In many cases, and in many ways, they will come here to sponge off of the rest of us.  They will come here to attack us.  There’s no good in this.  There’s no improvement in the American condition by virtue of these programs.  Hillary will extend taxation to an even greater degree.  This is an attack on property rights, including the property that is your labor.  She will doubtlessly tinker with Obamacare but rather than repeal it, she will seek to extend its oppressive, crushing burden on all those who most shoulder its burdens.

Therefore, tomorrow morning when I rise, I will go vote for Donald Trump.  I do not enjoy this prospect, but there is no rational alternative.  Hillary Clinton is such a thoroughly evil creature that I cannot countenance her ascension to the presidency without my opposition by the only method that now remains to me:  I must vote for the most viable opponent to her.  That means that the Kristol & Romney sock-puppet cannot have my vote.  It means that Gary Johnson cannot count on me.  There would be no scenario in which I could vote for the walking brain-death that is Jill Stein.  No, I cannot merely withhold my vote for the top slot on the ticket.  I must do that which is despicable to me: I must vote for Donald Trump and hope that we conservatives will have some means by which to restrain him, for with Hillary, there is none.  There is no manner by which to temper her attacks on America should she obtain that office.  I shudder to think of her Supreme Court nominees.  I gasp when I think at the extending reach of her corrupt, criminal enterprise.  I must vote for Donald Trump, not because I favor the man, or would have chosen him among my top ten to lead the country, but because he is the only candidate who can stop Hillary Clinton.  He’s the only one remaining to defeat her, and for the next four years, that will have to be good enough, bad as that may be.

We can talk about what conservatives must do in the future, should our nation survive long enough to make that question relevant, but the truth is that Hillary takes that possibility off the table.  If she’s permitted to consolidate the power Obama has already seized, and if she’s permitted to wreak further havoc on our nation’s economy and our national culture, there will be no recovery.  Not in my lifetime.  Not in my child’s lifetime.  It’s time to face the horror of tomorrow with a stiff upper lip.  I can vote for Mr. Trump, or I can accept the destruction of our nation under Hillary Clinton.  That’s not a choice, but instead a threat, and a threat that removes all other options.

As a matter of self-defense, one doesn’t seek the fight, but must be willing to fight when confronted with an existential threat. In terms of our national polity, our culture, and indeed, the whole body of law that defines our governance.  Hillary Clinton is a mortal threat to all of that. Most American would prefer to avoid fights.  None of rational intent relish the notion of defending one’s life and liberty, for all the ugliness that is inevitable in such a fight.  We conservatives would just as soon live and let live, in the main, and more often than not, we’d be happier if our fellows would simply abide by that golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Sadly, ours is an era in which the resurgence of the aggressive state increasingly attacks us, acting as a surrogate for the whims and wishes of some of our fellow citizens who have captured, at least for a moment, the power of the state to act in their favor by aggressive means, particularly theft.  In this environment, there is no way for we conservatives to fend off our oppressors if the executive branch of our government is dominated by yet another villain, perhaps worse than the current occupant of that office.

Hillary Clinton’s potential election is a serious threat to all Americans, whether they have the wisdom to see it or not.  We conservatives did not choose this fight.  It’s been thrust upon us by the ceaseless aggressions of the statists who now hold the reins of power.  Hillary Clinton is merely their latest and perhaps most corrupt and criminal agent, and the America she intends to create is an abomination before Nature and Nature’s God.  We must defend ourselves from her maniacal intentions, and we must do so whether she wins or not.  Without doubt, it is true that the world would be slightly less disagreeable to our continuing liberties should she be defeated.  In the arsenal that is an election for the defense of a nation,  Donald Trump is the only bullet remaining in the magazine for our cultural and national self-defense, and tomorrow morning, as soon as the polls open, I will be pulling that trigger.  Just as I am certain Ted Cruz felt dismay and disappointment at having to make the same choice, he acted as a responsible adult must in defense of all he loves, and voted for Trump.

He certainly isn’t the best weapon we could have, and he’s not the means of defense I would choose, but he’s the only one we have remaining. I will vote Trump.

That doesn’t mean I like it.  In the context of self-defense, who ever likes it?

 

Voter Ignorance Driving “Controversy”

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

ignorance_no_excuse_ftIn most presidential primary seasons, and indeed, most presidential elections, the actual process is invisible to most voters.  Most don’t know many details, and in most years, it doesn’t really matter much. In 2016, it’s different, and the reason it’s different is because the Republican Party is deeply divided.  Most primary cycles conclude with one candidate or another attaining the crucial majority of delegates between mid-March and mid-April.  This year, that’s not the case, and because of it, the true process has become illuminated more than usual, such that many voters, either having never participated before, or having been clueless participants in cycles of the past, now see something that’s always been there, but react to it as though it’s alien to them, the country, or the party in question.  The process isn’t alien, abnormal, or otherwise different in any substantive way, but for those who’ve been drive-thru participants in the past, they’re very shocked by the existence of a process that’s been normal for nearly two centuries, though they’re just learning of it now.  I wonder how many of these people paid any attention in civics class in high school.  I wonder how many civics class teachers failed even to mention it.  Whatever the case, as the old saying goes, “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” but rephrased for this election process, it’s not just the law of which voters have claimed ignorance, but of the entire underlying process by which the Republican Party selects its nominees.  My aim here is to alleviate that ignorance, primarily because I’m tired of this phony “controversy.”

As the first order of business, let’s establish some facts, whether we like them or not, so we can work our way through from there:

  • Political parties are private organizations.  They have their own rules, bylaws, and procedures. Their internal processes are theirs and theirs alone. The candidate the party selects is the party’s choice, but not truly the choice of voters
  • Our nation IS NOT a democracy, never has been, and had never been intended to be. Neither are the political parties (a much earlier article that covers this subject in full is here)
  • The Republican Party at the national level does not have full control of the Republican Party in each state, though it exercises some control via the national convention and the rules committee.
  • Most delegates for most states’ parties are bound in some number of national convention ballots, varying by state, but this doesn’t always mean what people think it means

These concepts have been true and available to inspection for every person who is alive today in the United States for their whole lifetime, and generations before. There are rules changes periodically, but the underlying process has not changed much since at least the nomination of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. What our contemporary electorate needs to understand is that in our system of government, their votes for President are a recommendation to the Electoral College, but not a mandate.  Their votes in primaries serve as a recommendation to the parties, but these votes are not fully binding on the parties.  This may surprise a drive-thru participant in public affairs.  If one has educated him/herself, one ought to have known better all along.  This list of bullet-points may seem like a negative thing to one who is ignorant, but if one understood the intentions of our constitution’s framers, one will understand it also because one understood it all along, having bothered to inform his/herself.

Before new readers have a walleyed hissy-fit because it seems that I’m calling so many voters “ignorant,”I want you to understand that there’s a qualitative difference between “ignorance” and “stupidity.” Ignorance is simply not having the requisite information.  Stupidity is the failure to seek to alleviate one’s ignorance due to a lack of intelligence.  Foolish mischief and prideful stubbornness result in the failure to seek to alleviate one’s ignorance for the sake of maintaining one’s internally contradictory opinion.  Ignorance can be alleviated with a modicum of effort.  Before we recoil at the “discovery” of this “hidden process,” perhaps we should actually seek to know and understand it.  In any event, the level of ignorance among registered Democrats is several magnitudes worse.  Most of them haven’t bothered even to read the Constitution.

Since the beginning of the Republican Party, it has always decided who its nominee for the Presidential election would be through a series of states’ conventions with a delegate process that has always, always varied from state to state.  The truth is, as a Republican, there’s only one state about which you really need to care: Yours!  If you want to be an elections analyst, or you’re merely very curious and hold an intense interest in public affairs,  you might want to know all the others, but it requires a lot of study. Since the various states change their rules from time to time, and since new state statutes and constitutional amendments in those states affect those rules from time to time, it is always in flux.  It is always evolving.  It always has.  It always will.  That is part of the dynamic condition of the sort of constitutional, representative republic our framers had designed.  If it ever ceases to evolve, you will know that the party has failed entirely, and probably the country as well.

All the state parties, to maintain their charters as recognized constituents of the RNC, must abide by some general rules, and agree to the rules set by the national party.  Those rules can cause the state parties to adjust their own rules so they can maintain compliance.  An example of this was Colorado, which in August 2015, changed its rules in order to protect its interests in the national convention.  Let’s see if we can get this straight, shall we?  In 2012, Colorado’s GOP held a “straw poll” to seek the recommendation of the voters at large.  That state-wide straw poll had never been binding before, but because of the RNC’s rule changes, it would have to be binding if they wanted to hold a straw poll.  In other words, delegates selected by the state party would be forced by RNC rules to go to the candidates according to the results of the straw poll, effectively converting the state from a Caucus system, to a primary election system.  The Colorado Republican Party didn’t want to be constrained in that fashion, because they feared being stuck with delegates bound to a candidate no longer in the race.  Just as now, there are delegates bound to Rubio and others who are no longer in the race, and they will be obliged to vote for those candidates on the first ballot at the convention.  Colorado didn’t want its delegates constrained in that fashion, so they changed their rules, as they are entitled.  They did so last August such that every campaign had time to know the rules and adjust accordingly. Some did, but some didn’t.

Speaking of ballots at the National Republican Convention in July, I suppose I need to cover this briefly, since it seems there is a good deal of confusion.  The way the national party, the RNC, selects the candidate who will be the party’s nominee is through a system of ballots.  (Votes, if you prefer.)  There are a total of 2,472 delegates in the Republican Party.  Half of that number is 1,236.  Add one(1,) and what you have is 1,237, also known as a “majority.” For those who are confused about this, it is important to remember that a “majority” does not mean “the most.” It means “one more than half.” A “plurality” is equal to “the most.” If the rule specified a “plurality” instead of a majority, then all a candidate would need to obtain is “the most” delegates.  (The highest total.)  The rules state, and have always, always stated, that a majority is required.  This is not something new to 2016, but it has become an issue of popular concern because there now exists a better than even chance that no candidate will make the 1,237 delegate mark.

Now, in the electoral college, in the actual general election on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, the candidate who obtains a plurality of electoral college votes is the winner, but here’s the bonus prize:  The electoral college doesn’t actually meet until December.  It is there that the new President of the United States is actually selected.  It is most often a rubber-stamp of what the electorate has recommended, because most states bind their electors to do so.  Nevertheless, it is possible, in some circumstances, for some elector or other to raise objections and to derail the rubber-stamping.  It’s not happened in American history yet, but it is possible for the Electoral College to discard the “will of the people” and select somebody else, strictly speaking.  It’s very, very unlikely. It is, however, possible. (For the record, this year’s presidential election falls on Tuesday the 8th of November, meaning this is one of those rare years in which the 1st of November falls on a Tuesday, such that the election gets bumped back to the second Tuesday of the month, because the Monday before the first Tuesday is the 31st of October.)

Returning to the national convention, let’s imagine one in which no candidate has obtained 1,237 bound delegates prior to the first ballot. It is still possible to win on that first ballot because there are usually some number of unbound delegates.  It simply depends upon how clever a negotiator one is, with respect to the unbound delegates, and how large a shortfall one has.  If nobody has obtained at least so many that with the addition of unbound delegates, they’re able to close the gap, what you now have is officially a “contested convention.”  Of course, it should also be stated again that something else is true: It is possible to have 1,237 or more bound delegates going into the convention, and still lose.  How can that happen?  Easy!  All it takes is that a candidate with 1,237 delegates has even one delegate abstain from the first ballot.  In other words, ultimately, nobody can actually be nominated with certainty until the convention. This is where the term “presumptive nominee” arises.  A presumptive nominee is a candidate who has obtained 1,237 bound delegates, but who hasn’t yet officially received the party’s nomination when the delegates cast their votes.   Even if you had all 2,472 delegates bound to you prior to the convention, if 1,236 of them abstain from the first ballot, what you have is a “contested convention.”  While highly, highly unlikely, even if a candidate somehow managed to have 2,000 or more delegates bound for the first ballot, it is strictly possible for that candidate to be defeated.  So you see, those who say that the “party chooses the nominee” are exactly, technically correct, and if the party is absolutely dead-set against a candidate, they have the ultimate ability to turn that candidate away.  That said, the party is not so likely to go this far to prevent the nomination of a candidate because it’s suicidal in an electoral sense.

One might wonder why a party would do so, or what justification there would be for denying a candidate the nomination.  One reason might be that some substantial proportion of the party finds the proposed nominee unacceptable for some reason, perhaps electability, or that the candidate’s long-term impact on the party might be substantially damaging to its ends. Whatever the case, it is possible, and has happened that the candidate who had “the most” delegates going into the convention wound up without the nomination.  This was true in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln actually went into the convention with the third highest delegate count.  If you wonder why John Kasich sticks around, here is your answer, (although Abe Lincoln, John Kasich clearly is not…) Of course, Kasich has another hurdle to clear as the rules now stand: He hasn’t won a majority of delegates in at least eight states. This is a requirement that was put in place four years ago. At present, Kasich has only won a majority of delegates in his home state, Ohio, and it’s likely the only state in which he will have won a majority of delegates by the time we get to the national convention in Cleveland, this July. Unless there is a change to rules, he won’t be eligible for nomination.

Yesterday evening, I read a story about a lawsuit against the GOP by Larry Klayman, of Freedom Watch, who you’ll probably remember/know from Judicial Watch lawsuits fame.  Klayman is an unabashed Trump supporter. His lawsuit against the GOP is over the fact that apparently, Florida delegates are bound for three(3) ballots.(In many states, it’s just one ballot, two in others, and none in states that don’t bind delegates at all.)  Freedom Watch is claiming that the delegates ought to be perpetually bound to Trump, but this is utter madness for a very obvious reason.  Let me explain Klyaman’s foolishness by way of an example:

Imagine arriving at the July convention with no candidate having obtained 1,237 bound delegates.  Further imagine that all states perpetually bound their candidates, so that no matter how many ballots they cast, they would always, always be compelled to vote for the same candidate.  How would the party ever obtain a nominee?  It couldn’t!  Think about this for a moment, and then you will realize that Freedom Watch’s foolish lawsuit is truly a nuisance lawsuit that belongs in the category of “frivolous” if ever a lawsuit belonged in that category.  His excuse, the “tort”(or “harm”) he cites in his suit, is that the people of Florida(of which he is one, thus alleging standing,) are being defrauded by the Florida and National GOP because they “held forth” that delegates will be bound.  In other words, he’s saying that because voters may not have informed themselves of the Party’s rules, they’re being defrauded.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is a toxic bit of political grand-standing, if ever there was one.  Any decent judge, of sound mind and judicial temperament, would bounce this case out of his/her courtroom faster than one can say “build a wall!” Is Klayman really alleging that he didn’t know the delegate rules for his state, and was therefore harmed?  That’s nearly the most preposterous thing I think I’ve read lately, but as I’m certain most readers will have observed, there’s no shortage of absurdity in this election cycle.

Having meandered through this whole topic a bit, I suppose I ought to conclude. My conclusion is as follows: The party selects its nominee – not the electorate – but the party tends to listen to the recommendations in various forms it has received from the electorate, where applicable.  All of this has been true for every election in my lifetime, the lifetime of my parents, and for many generations before. If a person older than, let’s be charitable and say twenty-six years of age, doesn’t know these facts and rules, it’s only possible because they have chosen never to engage themselves in discovering them.  I chose twenty-six because by then, a person should have participated in at least two presidential election cycles.  I don’t know if I knew all of this by the time I was twenty-six, but I am fairly certain I’ve known most of it since at least the age of thirty years.

It is amazing to me that people who are in their forties, fifties, and sixties now complain about this as though it’s all news to them.  The Internet has been around as a commonly accessible research tool for more than twenty years.  Most states and most state parties have had websites devoted to this information for most or all of that time.  To claim ignorance at this late date is to openly proclaim one’s complete lack of diligence.  If one can surf the web over to Ebay or Amazon, to make purchases, and so on, I don’t see how it’s possible that somebody who wanted to know this information was somehow denied access to it.  The election laws governing the states’ parties are generally available through each state’s Secretary of State website, where they may also provide links to the various parties operating in their state.  I encourage all Americans of voting age, or even younger, to learn and know at least the laws relevant in their particular states, and certainly the rules applicable to the party with which they choose to associate, if any.

The United States was established so that citizens could, through the various levels of government and attending political processes, participate fully in their own governance.  In short, being a citizen is supposed to be an active lifetime engagement for the people to determine the course of the nation.  in order to fully realize that participation, citizens should become familiar and remain up-to-date on the laws and rules applicable to their particular political interests and participation.  For most of my readers, most of this will not be news, although for perhaps some of the younger readers, it may be enlightening, but with all the, dare I say “trumped-up” controversy, I thought it critically necessary to clear the air on this issue.  Factually, this is the process.  You might not like it as is, but you have the ability to work to change it. If you think the existing parties cannot be reformed, you are also free in America to form your own and if you’re very successful, in a decade or two, you might be able to have grown it enough to have viable national candidates.  What is not true is that some giant magic “easy button” exists to  “fix things” instantaneously. Being an active citizen is something too few citizens actually do, and this is to the detriment of the country as a whole, and certainly to the parties in particular.  Ignorance of these facts leave too many Americans easy prey for demagogues, and it’s instructive to watch how, with the circumstance of the GOP nomination fight, so many Americans are easily led astray.  I dearly hope this will be a lesson for many, providing them the impetus to engage in the true blessing of self-governance in a thorough fashion they had never contemplated before.

Lastly, I would like to address the complaints of those who argue that it’s “too hard” or “too difficult” or that there is some situational constraint on one’s participation in the full political process.  I grant that at various times in our lives, it can be more and less difficult to find the time to fully participate, but I also know this: If most of us really wanted to do so, most of us could find a way.  What I’ve seen is that for many, complaining and stomping around is a good deal easier, and it satisfies the temporary emotional need.  That sort of laziness will never lead to change, however, and it’s high time that having informed oneself, each goes on to a full and unrelenting participation.

Editor’s Note: This article should not be seen as an endorsement of all aspects of the Republican Party’s rules or procedures, but instead a simple statement about the simpler fact that some form of these rules, with some variation, have been in place since the beginning of the party.  It’s also intended as a way to further that historical perspective and to alleviate some of the ignorance made plain by the reactions to this information by some people.  My intent is not to criticize the electorate at large, but to make them aware of these historical facts so that even should they fail in this election cycle to obtain their desired result, they will have no excuse for not being ready to fully participate in the next cycle, and to fight for those changes they believe are necessary. 

 

 

 

 

Four Years Later: Mitt Romney Still Despicable

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

mitt_mobile_ftIt was bad enough that this jerk managed to blow an election he should have won.  It was thoroughly embarrassing that he let Candy Crowley “punk” him in a nationally televised debate. All that should have been the end of Mitt Romney’s appearances in our national life, but I wonder if what Mitt Romney fears most about Donald Trump might be that Trump will actually fight, get down in the muddy ditch with Hillary, and knock the Hell out of her, politically speaking, of course.  Friday, he posted another anti-Trump screed on Facebook, and this time, he said that in Utah, he’s going to be voting for Ted Cruz.  He says he’s not voting for Cruz for any reason but to cause a contested convention, but how is anybody going to take this clown seriously?  If he were able to somehow rig the nomination of a candidate other than one of the two currently plausible nominees, I’m afraid many people would have radically strong reactions against the GOP.  For instance, some of us might be inclined to exercise what I’ve termed “Trump’s Nuclear Option.”  I know I would.

Nothing is more despicable than an establishment has-been leaping onto the stage as if he has some sort of credibility with the Republican rank-and-file voters. Here’s the statement this jackass made on Facebook on Friday:

This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz.

Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.

The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.

I like Governor John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.

I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican.

How very nice of this jerk! Why didn’t he endorse Cruz?  Why did he have to say such a thing?  All this will do is to infuriate Republican voters, causing them to react in opposition to his foolish plotting.  It’s baffling that this man thinks he has even the slightest shred of credibility remaining with the Republican base.

My message in opposition to Mitt Romney’s stupid, detestable, despicable statement is here:

In the coming weeks, the GOP will continue the process of permitting the voters to express their preference as to who should be the party’s nominee for President.

Today, a past party nominee has decided to continue and further his attacks on the current putative “front-runner” for that nomination. I have compiled, therefore,  a list of questions for the 2012 Republican nominee:

Mr. President Private Citizen Romney, what makes you believe you have the moral authority to prescribe to any Republican the disposition of his or her vote?  You’ve shown no ability whatever to obtain an electoral majority in the United States.  On what basis do you now offer your advice to Republican voters, knowing you’ve been a colossal failure in your previous attempts to attain the highest office in the land?  When Candy Crowley basically let her refusal to support your assertion stand as an accusation of lying on your part, why did you not respond? (Hint: this is likely the same reason you lost to Barack Obama.)  Would you be willing to ride in a Vari-Kennel on the roof of my car? Do you think anybody actually cares if or how you answer any of the foregoing?

Mitt Romney, you are a worthless political has-been who retains no credibility among the broadest base of the Republican Party, the conservative movement, or almost anybody anywhere.  Go away now.  Shut up.  Yes, you have free speech, but what you must learn is that because you can do a thing doesn’t mean you should.

Four year later, Willard, you’ve learned nothing and you’re still despicable.

In 2012, much against my preferences, and my own political leanings, I went to the polls in November and supported Mitt Romney as the nominee of the Republican Party. I did so knowing that Mitt Romney was in no way representative of my conservative views.  I knew he had, while serving as governor of Massachusetts, implemented policies I found to be despicable in a free nation, particularly by a person elected as a Republican.  Still, I dutifully did as millions of other voters summoned the discipline to do despite many, many misgivings about Mitt. I went to the polling place and select Romney for President, and with millions of others, knew he would go down to miserable defeat.  He failed to make the arguments. He never really believed in conservatism, and still doesn’t. My last question for Mr. Romney is one I think every Republican who voted for him in 2012 despite a myriad of disagreements with his record and his campaign should have every right to ask, and have answered:

We supported a nominee in the general who we had not supported in the primary, a man who had not been our first, second, or even third choice. We supported the Party’s nominee.  Having done this on behalf of the party, and as I am again prepared to do in the election this November despite serious misgivings over all of the candidates now campaigning, I now ask you sir: Why will you not support the nominee of the Republican party despite your misgivings, just as I set aside my more sincere and severe misgivings with you in 2012? Is party loyalty only good for the base, but irrelevant for the elites?

Mr. Romney would doubtless excuse himself with some tortured, indignant statement about the various failings of Trump, but what he would not do is to answer the question.  He can’t, because he’s a despicable fraud, and it’s one of the key reasons so many of us had so many thorough doubts about him four years ago.  Go home Mitt. Go home and stay there.

GOP Says “FU”

Friday, March 18th, 2016

its-our-party-we-can-do-do-what-we-want_ftThe GOP establishment isn’t going quietly. In fact, they’re building their booby trap for those who would oust them from dominance in the upcoming elections, and those who have to date deprived them of viable candidates in the Republican primary season.  I have here stated that I’m not a big fan of Donald Trump, and that I have serious misgivings about all of the Republican candidates.  What you should know is that as much as I may not like Donald Trump’s behavior and antics, I vastly prefer him to the crooked DC UniParty that includes both Democrat and Republican establishments.  What we’ve learned today is that in order to interrupt the natural, normal primary process as the GOP establishment had already rigged it, they will use the continuing candidacy of a mail carrier’s son to foist on the party a nominee like Paul Ryan, or another establishment Republican, through the contested convention process, should neither Trump nor Cruz obtain the necessary 1,237 delegates.  If that doesn’t disgust you quite enough, and it isn’t clear enough to you how, as a voter for any candidate in the GOP primary, you’re being screwed, there’s this bit of news:  Orin Hatch(R-UT) is already aboard with the Obama nomination of  leftist radical Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court of the United States.   Perpetual sell-outs Jeff Flake, Kelly Ayotte, and Susan Collins have already expressed interest in meeting with Garland.  You need to understand how you’re being betrayed by the GOP establishment.

This is their parting gift.  If they can’t win in the regular primary process, they’re going to make your votes meaningless.  If that still doesn’t permit them to maintain power, and if they’re unable to stop Trump directly, they will support Hillary.  Assuming somehow that doesn’t materialize, and Trump has such a groundswell of support in the Fall that they’re unable to sufficiently damage him in order to elect Hillary, they are setting up their parting gift: If they believe they’re about to be ousted anyway, they are going to shove a leftist Supreme Court justice down our throats to wreck the country for decades, if not forever.  One way or another, they’re going to have their revenge, like the petulant children of Bill Clinton’s administration who stole all the “W” keys from keyboards throughout the executive departments of our government, the difference being that this will be substantially more damaging, and it will be done with far more malice.  Speaking of malice for Republican voters, watch the following video (H/T Sundance @ the ConservativeTreehouse), and listen closely just beyond the three minute mark:

That’s right, it’s THEIR party, and they’ll nominate who they damned well please.  For those who don’t quite understand this, let me explain it this way: Delegates select the nominee. Voters participate in a process by which delegates are selected, but this is where the voter’s legal say in the process ends. As a practical matter, it is true that the party selects the nominee through its delegates.  If no candidate obtains 1,237 delegates(one more than half) then the delegates who are required to support the candidate to whom they were originally allocated in the first vote become unbound in any successive votes, meaning they can cross over and vote for another candidate.  This is essentially a “contested convention” by party rules, and at present, unless something shifts wildly, it’s going to be very difficult for any of the candidates to get to the 1,237 delegates required.  What Curly Haugland is explaining in this video is that which we already know: It’s THEIR party.  They make the rules, and they determine the process, which means that they alone really possess the ability to select the party’s nominee.  They can make changes to the rules almost at will.

Haugland isn’t lying. Haugland is simply stating the facts. What voters must now realize is what many people have been explaining for decades, but that nobody seems willing to acknowledge: The whole primary process is a farce.  In the Democrat party, it is dominated by “Super Delegates” who basically are able to obviate the will of the voters at their whim.  Witness how Bernie Sanders can win the popular vote in a given state, but always loses in the delegate count. In the 1970s, the Democrats created the “Super Delegates” in the wake of George McGovern’s candidacy, because they never wanted such an apparent leftist to be the nominee of their party again. It’s the Democrat establishment’s version of “Screw-the-vote,” and it’s in clear evidence in 2016 in the race between Clinton and Sanders.

On the Republican side, a different methodology is used to obtain the same kind of result.  A myriad of candidates are inserted into the campaign to split and shape the results.  As they lose their utility in shaping the race, they’re withdrawn from the process.  This is why John Kasich remains in this race today, because he’s going to effectively siphon-off just enough delegates to make sure neither of the other two can obtain 1,237 delegates.  This will put the GOP establishment in the position of being able to negotiate with the candidates at the convention, probably even throughout the period between the last primary in early June, and the convention’s start in July.  By then, the delegate counts will be firmly known, and the deal-making will begin in earnest.  We will eventually discover who had been the better deal-maker, or if a deal had been reached at all, once the voting begins at the convention.  I would not be surprised to see a Trump-Kasich ticket emerge, with Kasich being the establishment’s lever in the supposed presidency of Donald Trump.

Whatever the case, you can bet that the GOP establishment will use a “contested convention” to set their hooks deeply into Donald Trump’s backside if he is to become the nominee.  The same is true if they were to instead broker a deal with Ted Cruz.  The basic idea here is that they will obtain certain policy concessions for the DC UniParty that will undermine whomever they ultimately decide to support in this process.  You can bet that this is where some form of “amnesty” will sneak in over the threshold, and you can expect to be thoroughly betrayed on this issue.  Whether it’s some sort of “touch-back amnesty” as Trump has previously suggested, or a “legalize-in-place-without-path-to-citizenship” as Cruz has previously advocated, you can bet the hooks will be set firmly.

The party establishments are firmly in control of their parties, and I detest the misleading comments of those who will tell you now that the “GOP establishment is dead.”  Nothing could be further from the truth, and they will never yield power in their party.  At best, they’re in hiding.  Should voters become so incensed at the process that they decide to form a new party, abandoning the GOP altogether, the GOP establishment will simply switch and work to co-opt the new party.  There is a vast political class of consultants, analysts, propagandists, public-relations pushers, and pollsters who cannot live without this process.  They’d be out of a job.  They are the folks most threatened by the two remaining Republican candidates, because either is likely to wipe out a good deal of this nonsense if they are able to obtain the nomination and win the presidency.

The Republican Party’s establishment is able to say “FU” to the voters and make it stick, certainly for now, and probably for as long as the Republican Party remains in existence. They control far too much of the process to ever be truly defeated on their own home turf.  Even Ronald Reagan discovered this as he found through the course of his presidency that he was being consistently opposed and undermined not just by Democrats like Ted Kennedy, but also from within his own administration through the establishment cronies tied to his Vice President.  If either Trump or Cruz manages to make a deal to get the nomination at a “contested convention,” you should know that exactly the same sort of thing will be in the offing, because the establishment isn’t giving up their power without a serious knock-down, drag-out fight.  We should be realistic about the betrayals that will attend any deal-making, and it’s why we must never forget that when they assert that it’s THEIR party, they aren’t lying.  It’s just that in most cases, they’re just as soon not point it out.  We should be prepared to exert our influence, to the degree we have any, with the candidate who they ultimately nominate, because the deal-making of the DC establishment is never in our favor. Never.

We Need More Gridlock!

Friday, March 18th, 2016

dc_gridlock2_ftI’ve watched most of the GOP debates, and I’ve watched a fair number of the Republican candidates’ press conferences and campaign events, and one of the things I hear Donald Trump saying is that “we need to end gridlock.” His general notion is apparently that in Washington DC, they don’t “get deals done,” or “they make terrible deals,” and the result is gridlock.  Let me be clear about my position on this, Trump’s notions notwithstanding: Our government spends more than $4 Trillion per year, and without such “gridlock” as we have, we would undoubtedly spend more.  Mr. Trump would do much better with conservatives if he finally recognized this and integrated it into his views.  Our problem isn’t gridlock, but a terrible lack of it.

For the last several years, it has been a cooperation between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, working in concert with the Presidents Bush and Obama, to expand the government and to bail out the various entities, and to print money at an unsustainable rate.  It’s easy enough to look at the mess in Washington DC, see that conservative policies never make it into the resulting legislation, and conclude the problem had been “gridlock.” There are many Trump supporters, along with Trump himself, who view this as a failure of conservatism.  In one respect, they’re right, but where they are wrong is in a belief that conservative principles are the problem, or that the relief from “gridlock” will cure the issue.

One can apply this to almost any particular topic, or subject of legislation.  Let us consider the conservative view of taxation.  We’ve certainly had some gridlock on that issue, if your particular preference is to cut taxes.  On the other hand, if you prefer increased taxation, you will note that in various forms, the total taxation by the Federal Government has increased markedly in the era of Obama.  If you’re for significant tax reform, for instance, a “flat tax,” you will believe there is gridlock on this issue.  On the overall issue of taxation, however, there’s been no gridlock: We’re being taxed to death.  This is the problem with the term “gridlock,” and this is the reason it’s such a poor term. It describes a generic sense of inaction in Washington DC, but one can scarcely conclude, looking solely at the expenditures by government, that “gridlock” may exist on issues dealing with reform, but it cannot actually exist when the printing press for government checks is concerned, or where the printing(or digitizing) of new money is under review.

To show the other side of the misuse of “gridlock” in rhetorical flourishes, there are those advocates of an “amnesty” of some sort for the tens of millions of illegal aliens in this country who will insist that we have had “gridlock” on “immigration reform.” Let me state emphatically that with respect to the laws, I will fight fervently to see to it that “gridlock” prevails on this issue, because until we begin to enforce the laws that already exist, and until the “gridlock” in the executive branch is alleviated through an effort at enforcement of existing laws, I’m all for “gridlock” in the matter of “immigration reform.”  The truth is that we do not so much need “immigration reform” as we need “immigration enforcement.”  Listen, however, to the legalization and amnesty crowd, and what you learn is that when they talk about “gridlock,” they mean that they haven’t yet succeeded in legalizing that which had been formerly(and currently) illegal.

These and many more examples like them make plain that “gridlock” is not a problem.  The real problem is that in specific policy terms, our government uses the term “gridlock” to represent inaction on concrete policies that they favor, but the American people do not.  People should be skeptical when politicians talk about a generic “gridlock” without defining the specifics of the stoppage about which they’re concerned.  Too often, politicians have seized upon general sentiments against “gridlock” as the means by which to advance agenda items their voters and supporters would not support.  A great example of that would be Marco Rubio, who ran for his current seat in the Senate, opposing Charlie Crist on the issue of “amnesty,” but who talked about “gridlock” on “immigration reform.”  In his first few years in office, he spent much of his time and energies on the issue of “immigration reform,” attempting to alleviate “gridlock” on the issue, but little had his supporters expected that his proposals would ultimately be tantamount to a full reversal on the issue that had in part propelled him into office.  Of course, Rubio claimed all along that he was working to overcome “gridlock” on the issue. What becomes obvious, however, is that “gridlock” is a matter of perspective, and where one stands regarding an issue dominates whether one will view it in a positive or negative light.

The question isn’t whether we have too much gridlock, but whether it exists in the consideration of the right policies.  When the Republicans, then in the minority in both houses, fought to stop the passage of Obama-care, this was “Gridlock” writ large on the legislative stage, and I don’t know a single person now supporting Trump who wished there hadn’t been more “gridlock” on that issue.  In point of fact, more often than not, most of the people of the United States would be better served by a form of “gridlock” that causes stoppages in the legislative and regulatory processes of our government than by letting them go on in an unrestricted fashion.  Think about all of the stupid laws and regulations streaming out of Washington DC, but imagine there had been sufficient gridlock to stop them. This is the secret that most politicians don’t want you to know about “gridlock:” The constitution is itself a device of gridlock. It’s intended that way, and precisely for all of the reasons I’ve outlined.  The framers had the wisdom to know that “gridlock” impedes sudden and ill-considered change.

Knowing that, I’m in favor of “gridlock” generally, because I know that politicians promoting precipitous change have led us into a quagmire from which we will not easily emerge.  When Washington DC is gridlocked, I know my liberties are still safe, but when the gridlock breaks, my liberties are generally at risk.  The electorate at large has been conditioned to see gridlock as an ill of Washington DC, but the people should learn that gridlock often serves to protect us from the ills of excessive, bloated government, contrary to the impressions that media outlets and DC politicians often create.  If we’re going to talk about alleviating the log-jam in DC, let us be careful to use enough specificity to focus our energies, because otherwise, opportunistic politicians will run with the theme of “gridlock as the enemy” in order to foist all sorts of infamy upon us.  That’s why I rejoice when I see gridlock in Washington DC.  May we have more of it, that we may enjoy its innumerable blessings.

 

The Marginalization of American Conservatism

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

conservatism_the_real_thing_ftThis is an issue that should concern all those who are fervent conservatives, and it’s one we must now confront as we near the end of the primary season of 2016.  In this election cycle, the predictable outcome seems more inevitable than ever, but one can’t ignore how the current GOP front-runner has at times scorned conservatism.  Much like the long-established practice of the blue-blood Republicans, what has happened in this election is that conservatism has become increasingly isolated from the remainder of the Republican party, and from the electorate at large.  This isn’t a pleasant reality for conservatives, but it is nevertheless true.  So long as we permit this to occur, we will never see the sort of electoral outcomes we would prefer, never mind the the realization of  substantive policy results for which we’ve been fierce advocates.  We have some terrible choices before us, but in advance of us making them, we must come to understand how we’ve arrived in our current predicament.  If we’re ever to return this nation to a constitutional path, we must do first by adhering to it ourselves, and we must be willing to accept our own role in our political misfortunes.  The truth is somewhat difficult to accept, but there it lies, nevertheless, awaiting the summoning our courage to confront it.  Conservatism is increasingly marginalized precisely because we have permitted its dilution and diminution through the acceptance of too many compromises of principles, and too many instances in which we were willing to form an ideological “big tent.”  There’s nothing wrong with building temporary alliances with others, but if conservatism doesn’t stake out its ideological limits, and defend its ideological boundaries, it will continue to be marginalized within the broader general electorate.

When George W. Bush ran for the office of President of the United States in 2000, not a few Texans had significant concerns.  Many who had observed his performance here in Texas took the time to try to warn the party at large that he was not really a conservative.  Bush tried to ply conservatives with a new formulation, calling himself a “compassionate conservative.”  There were a few problems with this that some of us at the time recognized, and one of them was in the implicit denigration of conservatism generally:  Conservatism is compassionate.  We need no such adjectives.  We need no such descriptors.  We need no such modifiers on what conservatism offers to its adherents.  Conservatism is the most compassionate ideology in existence, but by accepting the adjective offered by George W. Bush, we made what was tantamount to an admission that conservatism wasn’t inherently compassionate.

What conservatives across the nation soon discovered was the fact that “compassionate conservatism” meant “big-government Republican.” On issue after issue, from defense, to security, to education, to Medicare, or bank bail-outs, there was no issue in which the answer of George W. Bush would be anything other than the expansion of government and the increase of our national debt at the expense of generations as yet unborn.  It is true that Obama has essentially doubled the national debt, but we must in all honesty admit that the same can be said of George W. Bush.  The Bush “compassion” came at the expense of conservatism, and at the expense of our generations of Americans as yet unborn.  Nevertheless, we permitted Bush to fly the flag of a highly adulterated “conservatism” without respect to what the long-run affects on our movement would be.  Most of the conservative media spent much of the eight years of the Bush presidency, and much time well beyond their end, defending the ludicrous policies and positions of a conservative who wasn’t.

We’re seeing some of the same thing in the current election year.  Donald Trump talks about “common-sense” conservatism. I have exactly as many problems with this adjective tacked as a prefix to conservatism as I did to the term “compassionate.”  In fact, over time, there are or have been “Tea Party conservatives,” “reform conservatives,” “constitutional conservatives,” and “moderate conservatives,” but I think all these adjectives placed in series with “conservatism” simply dilute the meaning.  These modifiers also act as a disguise for that which is not conservatism.  Herein lies the problem for we conservatives, because I believe conservatism is inherently compassionate, wholly common-sense in its construction, and entirely committed to constitutional principles.  In other words, to attach any prefix to “conservatism” is to dilute and pollute the concept, or strictly to permit the purveyor to pose as a conservative while not adhering to all or part of the broader concept of conservatism.

The other effect of these bastardized versions of “conservatism” is that when people traveling under those phony banners continue to assert their hyphenated-conservatism, the natural result is that conservatism takes the blame for all the failures of those folk who are not conservative. For an example, consider again the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush, this time in the context of the creation of the Transportation Security Administration(TSA,) and how he created a huge bureaucracy that increased the costs of government, but now, one-and-one-half decades later, we have another costly bureaucracy that fails to meet the security testing thrown at it just as badly or in many cases in worse fashion than the airlines-owned or airport-owned security that the TSA replaced. Again, another big-government solution that has failed, cost untold billions of dollars, and conservatives and conservatism are now permanently saddled with the blame, in large measure because a putative “conservative” enacted it.

This is the problem with letting others define “conservatism,” or letting non-conservatives decide who is or who isn’t a conservative.  “Conservatism” has become so generic and muddied at this point that it’s nearly impossible for us to in the first instance, exclude those who are not actual conservatives, and in the second instance, disclaim ownership of statist programs and policies enacted in the name of conservatism.  This is a gargantuan problem we face, and it helps explain why Donald Trump can make the point that “conservatives haven’t accomplished anything,” or that “conservatives are part of the problem.”  I think it’s time to heed the warning made explicit by this entire fiasco: We must make distinct our principles from the tawdry mix of self-contradictory, expediency-based lack of principle in the broader Republican party.

I don’t pretend to know the solution in this matter, but it’s one we conservatives must address. We’re being marginalized by virtue of a popular media meme, one that gains through our own passive associations with big-government Republicans, permitting them to shelter among us, gain our support, or in some cases, enjoy our defense of conservatism when they undertake less-than-conservative policies and programs.  This happens at all levels of government, but nowhere is it more damning and punishing than at the federal level.  Let us review briefly: In the aftermath of the 1998 mid-terms, the anti-Newt forces prevailed and essentially pushed him out of leadership.  Since that date, the Republican party, in various times controlling the House, the Senate, or the Presidency(and for some period, all three) have accomplished virtually nothing, but have frequently contributed to the statist cause.  The litany of issues and instances in which the Republican party has effectively aided and abetted Democrats in ruining our republic is gargantuan both in number and in consequence. We can no longer, not even once more, permit this to happen in the name of, or under the cover of another misappropriation of the title “conservatism.”

My Disgust with GOP Politicians

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

cruz_statementOn Friday evening, as the staged riot at the UIC Trump event was in full swing, Ted Cruz came out to make a statement, that was carried live in several media outlets.  That statement began by briefly blaming the protesters, but then shifted immediately into blaming Donald Trump for the violence, asserting that he had created an environment ripe for violence, by effectively inciting it. First, let’s listen to Senator Cruz’s statement Friday evening:

I can’t describe how disappointed I am at this “blame the victim” meme being advanced in this video by Ted Cruz.  Naturally, both Rubio and Kasich made similar remarks to media, and it frankly disgusts me that they reverted purely to opportunists seizing on a chance to attack Donald Trump.  While it is true that it would seem at least superficially factual that Trump may have encouraged some violence with the “punch him in the face” remark during one of his rallies, the truth is that the statement “punch him in the face” is being considered here out of context.  What do I mean by “out of context?”

Consider that you’re throwing a party, or hosting an event, and ne’er-do-wells invade your event with the express purpose of causing trouble, or of creating mayhem.  As they’re being escorted out, or frequently as they’re being apprehended, they become a whirligig of flailing fists to either combat their removal, or to slow their removal or otherwise cause harm to others.  In this sort of context, some of these people would deserve, and would have earned a “punch in the face.” It’s not an aggressive use of force that Trump seems to have been advocating, but something of a response or defense against some of these very nasty folk who are stirring up trouble, intentionally, and by design of their attendance at the event of a person they obviously do not support.

If I support a cause, for instance, the Tea Party, and I attend the rally of a Tea Party group, I’m there to honestly support the cause and otherwise participate honestly in an event.  If I go to a rally of Planned Parenthood supporters, knowing I truly detest everything for which Planned Parenthood stands, secreting myself by disguise of clothing or signage, but then interrupt the program, and become violent as I am forcibly removed from the premises, I’m not a “peaceful protester” nor am I anything but what Trump has termed “disrupters.” I have used deception to gain entrance, and then by force of my active presence and demonstration against the purpose of the rally, I have placed the other rally attendees, security teams, and the host(s) of the rally in the position of having to use physical force or its implicit threat to remove me in order to continue the event for which they have every right to carry out as scheduled.

The people actually creating the “atmosphere” or “environment” of violence are not, in such a scenario, the host(s) of the event, the security staff, nor even other attendees who may wish to confront me or assist in my removal.  In such a scenario, the sole responsibility for violence lies with the person who instigated the incident, in my example above.  This is not really a logical controversy, and Ted Cruz is a smart enough fellow to have known better.  So are Marco Rubio and John Kasich.  Instead, they leaped opportunistically into the situation without regard for the truth.  In Chicago, at the scheduled UIC Trump rally that was ultimately canceled on Friday night, the responsibility for all of it, every bit of any violence, the rampage, and the canceling of the event, every stitch of it, lies solely with those who organized and participated in the riot for the purposes of interrupting, interfering, or otherwise diminishing the event for all those who were attending in good faith.

Ted Cruz had the opportunity to say that.  He had the chance to step in front of the cameras and microphones and be a champion of free speech, and to absolutely castigate the parties who were involved in this mob-oriented treachery.  Instead, what Senator Cruz did was to attack the victim(s).  Instead, what Senator Cruz did was to lend cover and excuse culpability of all these ne’er-do-wells who intentionally attended the event, using disguise and deception, for the explicit purpose of stifling the free speech of Mr. Trump, along with any other speakers scheduled, and naturally the crowd that was gathering to listen to him.  It excuses the damage done to attendees’ vehicles by the rampaging hordes of ne’er-do-wells and provides them with an out for their actions.

This is extremely disappointing to me.  Senator Cruz is an attorney, a man who proclaims his thorough-going support of the US Constitution, and yet I am to believe that he does not see this distinction?  It’s not as though Trump supporters were or are parading through the streets of Chicago looking for a fight, or that Trump himself were leading such a parade, aggressively seeking out protesters to confront and attack as a matter of aggression.  These supposed “incitements” to violence that Ted Cruz and the others have been citing all occurred within the confines of venues reserved by the host of the event in question, and solely for the participation of the invited, sincere participants.

This is no different from the very nasty habit of current public schools and their widespread “zero-tolerance” policy on violence, in which they make no moral or logical distinction whatsoever between the attacker and the victim who defends his or her person from the attack.  Trump never said “go out in the streets, find those protesters, beat the hell out of them, and punch them in the face.”  That would be an actual incitement to violence.  That would be an aggressive appeal for an “atmosphere” or “environment” of violence, and that would be disclaimed by every sane and rational person. I am fairly certain that if Mr. Trump ever exhorted his crowds to such behavior, he would in short order find his crowds dwindling in size, but that’s not what he’s done, and Ted Cruz knows it, and so do all the other people who’ve been attacking him on this front over the last week or more.

Good and decent people know that they should not go into somebody’s birthday party, wedding reception, public meeting, church service, or any other sort of event and create disturbances of any sort.  They also know that if they would undertake to do such things, they risk making of themselves targets for a highly emotional and direct response that may become physical in the attempt to remove them. This is not rocket science.  This is common decency, and I think it speaks volumes about the character of candidates Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich, all who made similar statements on Friday evening, that the opportunity to attack their party’s front-runner “trumped” all other considerations in the formulation of their statements.  It’s utterly despicable, and I can’t support people who displace blame onto the victims while letting the perpetrators off the hook in any way. Period.

We Know Who Staged Chicago

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

lefty_thug_ftThe problem isn’t knowing who staged the “riot” at Trump’s UIC rally that was canceled.  That’s easy. The harder part would be to prove it.  What Americans need now to do is to put on their thinking caps.  It’s time to consider the real demons at work here, and what it is that they wished to accomplish with this debacle of Friday night.  Honestly, we all should have seen this coming.  Like seeing the foreshadowing in a movie or novel, but not quite recognizing it as a “tell,” we watched the whole week long as the media led us around by the nose, increasingly pushing the meme about Trump and the violence at his rallies.  We should have realized, in light of other inconvenient truths, that something big was coming.  When the GOP establishment cronies met at Sea Island last weekend to talk about how to stop Trump, we should have known it’s because they’ve become desperate.  Where did their desperation lead them?  What was the result?  Last night’s episode was a manufactured spectacle intended to push you, and you shouldn’t permit them to do this to you.  It’s your country, and you should be offended, and incensed, when the people running Washington DC try to manipulate you, your feelings, and your votes. We should ask, all of us, what Tammy Bruce asked in the wake of the events of last night, in a tweet:

Tammy has been a Cruz supporter throughout this campaign. For her to say this is not so odd, however, because she has experience as part of the leftist mobs.  She knows how these things work, because for a large part of her life, she was part of all of that. Later, she had an awakening, and it looks like she’s now recognized what so many of the rest of us have noticed: The GOP is behind this set-up, and there’s no way to un-notice it once you’ve seen it. Try this:

Re-play the last week of media coverage in your mind.  Looking back, wasn’t it obvious where this would go?  By the time we arrived at Thursday’s debate on CNN, with the moderators pushing the theme that Trump was inciting violence, shouldn’t we have known what to expect Friday evening?  The question remains: Who is behind this?  On the first level, it’s obvious as the day is long that this was a rent-a-mob cobbled together by the likes of Moveon.org and affiliated Occu-pests, Black Lives Matter, and all the other ugly little anarchistic groups of the rabid left, but that part is easy.  You don’t need to be a mystic to understand that much.  What’s more important is reading the signs of a coordinated attack that was contrived not by some organic left-wing movement, but one that was generated deep within the bowels of the DC UniParty, for a specific purpose.  What was the purpose?  I think I’ve covered that much, but if you’re not tracking just yet, think about how you were driven this week, “played” if you will, and coaxed and prodded in the direction of a singular impression: Trump incites violence.  Even if he says no word, his mere presence incites violence.  His simple existence promotes and provokes violence.  This is the seed they spent the whole week planting.  They wanted an impression created in your mind, a linkage if you prefer, that where Trump goes, trouble of the worst sort soon follows.

Who did this?  That’s easy too.  Look at the GOP establishment.  Admit what you’ve always known about the GOP establishment, when you’ve watched them coalesce with the Democrat establishment and the media organs that support one or the other, and frequently both.  They are a UniParty, and they’ve always been.  They’re the same globalist dirtbags, whether they happen to wear a “D” or an “R,” proudly displaying their Donkeys and Elephants for your deception.  Moveon.org is closely tied to George Soros and Hillary Clinton, but you already knew that.  What you may not have realized is that Hillary and those in the Democrat establishment are kissing cousins with the Republican establishment.  Yes, go find the stories on Jeb Bush and his awarding Hillary Clinton, and go find all the dirt that ties these people together.  Remember how curious it was what fast friends George HW Bush and Bill Clinton had become?  These people aren’t two distinct groups.  They’re one.  They are the DC UniParty that rules over us, and commits crimes against we, the American people.  Neither is this a “conspiracy theory.” It’s right out in the open, and if you will merely look, you can see it. You can know.

We are so thoroughly conditioned to see a “left” and a “right” and to think of them as warring parties that we assume the Democrat and Republican establishments are at war too.  Are they?  They agree on every policy. They form “GangsOf” six or eight or whatever might be needed to get their legislative agenda pushed through.  They use exactly the same tactics, and they espouse the same putrid ideas.  One wears the mask of the donkey in public, to control the grass-roots of the Democrat party, while the other wears the mask of the elephant in the open, to control the conservative base of the Republican party.  Cast aside everything you thought you knew about American politics for a moment, and re-order it all under this structure in your thinking about political machinations, past and present, and the scale of it all becomes quite clear.  With that clarity, apply it now to what you’ve seen recently, and suddenly, there isn’t a doubt in your mind about who is the establishment, or who comprises the DC UniParty.

With that new view of things in mind, and mindful of the meeting about stopping Trump in Sea Island, and the Thursday meetings between Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich, you should realize the scale of the coordination of all you’ve seen since.  That’s right, folks, they’re all in on it. Did you notice in the coverage of last night’s events, that one right after the next, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich along with the UniParty’s media organs all said exactly the same thing?  They wanted you to know: If you choose Trump, this is what it’s going to be like, permanently.  They are driving you with your fear of chaos.  They’re using the chaos of last night in Chicago to drive you like bleating sheep, if only you will let them.

Every one of the three establishment candidates, and that’s what they are, if you hadn’t known it already, were in various ways trotted out before the viewers to express their sadness at the events in Chicago, but also to blame the victim, Donald Trump and his supporters, for creating an “atmosphere” or “environment” of violence.  If you can’t see this, please, please, if you’ve never considered seriously another thing I have written, realize that their manipulation of media was designed to create a singular impression, and that they may have at least temporarily succeeded with you.  Again, step back from what you think you have known, and look at it again in light of the idea of a DC UniParty with two heads but only one body.  Then consider again the events of Friday night, and know what it is you are facing.  Apply it.  Look at the events of even the last dozen years, things that had made no sense to you in the traditional left-right, Democrat-Republican, liberal-conservative paradigm you had accepted, and look again.

Do you wonder why they’re in favor of immigration reform that permits amnesty and legalization of the millions of illegals?  The Donkey-face tells the leftists “Hey, this is new voters for us.”  The Elephant-face says to its uncertain folk: “Hey, this is cheap labor.” Both implore their followers: “We’re a nation of immigrants…”  On social issues, isn’t it curious how the Elephant-face sells out conservatism?  On almost any issue, the Donkey-face urges its followers to accept “incrementalism.” Hasn’t it bothered you that a party that claims to be on the side “of the little guy” is every bit as much in bed, and in some cases more, with the powerful interests of Wall Street and K Street?  Both are willing to use our military as a force for the good they advocate, but not for the good of our country.  Is it odd to you that the Establishment Republicans on Capitol Hill have seemed less than fully serious in getting to the bottom of Benghazi, or the IRS’ Tea Party abuses?  Does it seem strange to you that both McCain and Romney virtually handed their respective elections to Obama, both with acts of despicable self-sabotage?  The truth is that they weren’t opponents to Obama at all.  These people are all on the same team.  Once you see that, there’s no unseeing it.  You can’t ignore it.  Spend a week or a month viewing things through this adjusted lens, and you will never again look at the world in the same way.

In truth, that’s been part of my own struggle.  I fall easily into the comfortable, well-worn path of the false dichotomy between the Democrats and Republicans.  After all, for all of my life, that’s the impression they’ve built, and quite successfully.  I have to stop myself on occasion, because I find myself wishing it weren’t true.  I find myself longing for a political environment that was in some way genuine.  It’s not. You should know why.  Our Federal Government spends over $4 Trillion annually now, and that’s a motive for any sort of murder and mayhem you might wish to imagine.  If you think that the control of such spoils couldn’t possibly lead to the establishment of such a cabal, ask yourself how many thugs are only too happy to kill you for your wallet.  What happens when more “civilized” thugs are presented with the temptations of billions or trillions of dollars?  What more motivation is needed?  Do you really believe these people are involved for love of country?  Do you think Mitch McConnell gives a damn about you or your liberty?  Do you think Harry Reid is doing what he does out of an abundance of concern for the future of the country? Do you think any of that is true?

Don’t look away in terror.  Confront it.  Know it.  If ever we are going to take our country back, it is from the DC UniParty’s grip that we must wrest it.  Friday night’s events in Chicago had been their doing, and for once, we ought to recognize it and finally disclaim it.

 

The UniParty’s Trumped-up Riot

Friday, March 11th, 2016

thuglandOn Friday evening, Donald Trump was scheduled to appear at a rally in Chicago.  As the crowds gathered, so did the protesters, but there was an odd aspect to the protesters: There was no consistent aim of the protesters. It was more of an amalgam of mostly left-wing groups, from representatives of Black Lives Matter to various other ethnic groups, and anarchistic groups that look more or less like the Occu-pests of 2011-12 vintage.  La Raza and Moveon.org are involved, as are all of the other usual leftist suspects.  I’ve got news for you if you think this had been an “organic” incident, however, even as the Trump event was canceled.  Even now, Megyn Kelly is pontificating on the way Trump somehow incited, or invited it all.  Yes, there you have the proof that there’s more to this than just an organic bit of chaos.  The rent-a-mobs were ginned-up for a single purpose, and it wasn’t to confront Trump’s supporters, or even Trump himself. It was all to feed an impression that Donald Trump is unfit for the presidency, and that if he’s elected, the American people can look forward to many iterations of this same sort of scenario.  They were leading with this line of attack in the CNN debate last night, and I knew it was coming.  Why? Because the DC UniParty comprised of the Democrat and Republican parties’ establishments are trying to leave a bad taste in peoples’ mouths, and fear too, about what Donald Trump’s nomination, candidacy, and potential presidency would mean.  They’re pushing fear.  This is a manipulation.  How do I know? The protestors have admitted in interviews that they weren’t really sure why they were protesting. When you observe mindless protests, you must know that somebody, somewhere is driving them.  If this was only the leftists, it wouldn’t happen until after Trump secured the nomination.  The fact that it’s happening now is the key.  The Democrats have no interest in stopping Trump unless they’re worried they can’t beat him.  The GOP, on the other hand, has been conducting a campaign to defeat him.

You’d better become accustomed to the idea that the DC UniParty doesn’t want anybody selecting an unapproved candidate, Donald Trump or otherwise.  The whole purpose of tonight’s “riot” was to generate as much negative media around the name “Trump” as possible.  Yes folks, this is a psychological operation(a “Psy-Op”,) intended to give the other GOP candidates a chance to espouse their indignant disgust, and to attach blame to Trump while not explicitly blaming him.  Statements like “Trump isn’t to blame, of course, but he has helped create an environment…”

If you can’t see through all of this, I don’t know what to tell you. We conservatives have had some terrible games played against us, but this is one of the worst in recent memory.

Now, all of the conversation will turn to the liability that Trump bears in this whole affair.  The problem is that the GOP establishment, now fully unified with the Democrat establishment, are interested only in stopping Trump.  Twice in thirty minutes, I’ve heard mention of the Michelle Fields incident, and it’s couched in terms of Breitbart as a “pro-Trump” media outlet.  The problem with that is this:  Breitbart is owned by Robert Mercer.  He’s one of the largest single contributors to… drum roll please… a Ted Cruz SuperPac.  Mercer gave at least $10 million dollars so far this cycle.  One must therefore wonder how “pro-Trump” Breitbart will ultimately be.

Never mind that, let me be blunt about all of this:  Anybody who provokes the GOP establishment to show its true colors to this extent may or may not get my vote, but will certainly have my support in making his or her opinions known.  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t appreciate Trump’s vulgar language, and I don’t like some of his stunts and rhetoric, but this is a concerted effort to shut him down, to interfere with the political advocacy of Americans, and to run a Psy-Op against the American people.  The idea here is to defame Trump by association with this “riot,” and that’s all I need to know to understand that the DC UniParty, comprised of establishment Democrats and Republicans, set this whole thing in motion to provide a chance to attack him and to try to drive people away from him.  As conservatives, we should never accept this, and we should never let our silence serve as tacit support of this infamy.  Most of all, we should recognize that this is an attempt to drive us. Who benefits?  Who is doing the driving?  Real people were undoubtedly injured in some fashion tonight, but they are the eggs being broken to make the UniParty’s omelet.  What I believe we must reject is this attempt to interfere in the open political process.  I didn’t wear my country’s uniform to come home and submit to the extortion of these leftist mobs, funded by the globalists and their cabal of DC UniParty bosses who contrived all of this.  Enough is enough.  This sort of thing is terrorism of the mildest sort, but left unopposed, it generally results in worse.

A Moment of Pause Regarding Trump’s Supporters

Monday, March 7th, 2016

trump_crowd_ftOne of the things that’s become increasingly annoying to me throughout the course of this campaign, and a thing to which I may have inadvertently contributed on an occasion or two, is the meme that’s been spread like a virus through the DC Beltway echo-chamber: “Trump’s supporters are…angry…stupid…racist…thoughtless…mean…ignorant…Kool-Aid-drinkers…” After watching the race unfold on the battlegrounds of Twitter, Facebook, and in the media at large, and having watched their portrayal in the establishment media, I am prepared to state unequivocally that this is nonsense.  The vast majority of his supporters are no more than one of those things, but more, I’d urge conservatives to ignore these media portrayals for one very important reason they may not have considered: Until recently, it had been we conservatives who had been attacked with these same portrayals.  I want you to stop and think about all the election campaigns in which the media, and the GOP establishment portrayed conservatives and Tea Party folk in the very same light.  We conservatives have a responsibility first to the truth, and the truth is that whatever we may think about Donald Trump, his supporters are now being painted with the same broad brush of infamy, and in the same broad strokes, by exactly the same people.

I know a fair number of Trump supporters, both in my circle of friends and associates, and also in my extended on-line family.  None of them fit the meme described above, except in one dimension, but it is the same dimension that has aptly described conservatives for most of a generation: They, as we, are angry with Washington and the seeming one-party establishment that is comprised of an elite media, elite Democrats, and elite Republicans who all hold any opposition in complete contempt.  I think this explains another phenomenon that is genuine, though less visible due to the media’s one-sided coverage: There are a number of Bernie Sanders’ supporters whose second choice is not Hillary Clinton, but amazingly, Donald Trump.  Why would this be?  Most of us have become so jaded about the dirty tricks in campaigns these days that it would be easy to dismiss this as more Democrat trickery.  Oddly, I don’t believe that’s actually the case here.  I believe it represents something much more fundamental, and infinitely more organic: Those who support Bernie Sanders are being undercut by the same Washington DC establishment uni-party, and they see in Trump somebody who has joined the fight against a common enemy.  When I talk to the rare Sanders supporter in my broadened local circle, what I find is that Sanders’ supporter share every bit as much of the same contempt for Hillary as conservatives feel for Mitt Romney, for instance.  This common ground with Trump supporters is an interesting, but I believe wholly organic outgrowth of an overwhelming sense of disgust in the nation with Washington DC and the two parties that together rule over us.

We conservatives have been led to believe by popular media that Trump’s support is a wholly-contrived exposition of Democrat tinkering, but while I’ve seen some evidence that this has been the case in pockets, the truth is that most Trump supporters I’ve had the chance to meet are perfectly sane, rational people who have decided something more compelling than the argument that their conservative principles ought to drive their choice.  It is their general argument that Trump represents a true outsider movement, in terms of the DC Beltway uni-party establishment.  They are prepared to temporarily lay aside their deeper convictions about the particulars of various issues in order to oust the uni-party crowd.  Despite my attachment to conservative principles, I know they have a very powerful point, and in truth, we might consider it thoroughly before rejecting it outright.

Here, I think they make an argument that is difficult to contest: As long as the DC-beltway crowd remains in singular, oligopolistic control of the narrative, the law, and the whole of our national machinery of governance, we will never reverse the direction of the country, and no conservative principles will ever be adopted in the halls of power in our nation’s capital.  Their argument is that in an emergency, you might well temporarily suspend your strictest adherence to your long-held principles in order that your principles be preserved at all.  In essence, they’re applying the legal concept of the “rule of necessity” to popular politics and political philosophy. Their argument therefore rests on the plausibility of the claim that we are in some sort of national emergency.  The question we must ask is “Are we?”

Our country is now twenty trillion dollars in operating debt.  We have unfunded liabilities of two-hundred trillion dollars.  We have a monetary system that has been corrupted to fund big government and big money on Wall Street with a cheap-money bubble that cannot and will not be sustained much longer.  Our borders are porous and present no serious impediment to criminals, terrorists, or any illegal entrants.  Our national security infrastructure is in a severe state of disrepair and neglect.  Our political elites continue to enjoy fabulous wealth largely on the basis of cronyism.  Average Americans are out of work, underemployed, or simply destitute as the people who run the DC uni-party continue to enjoy record profits on the backs of the rest of the country.  The crisis is surely real, and it is clear that their position is justified.

If their position is justified, so is their inflexible support of Donald Trump.  Their basic argument is that nobody who has been a part of the Beltway Bubble ought to be trusted in this critical moment for the Republic.  You might point to Ted Cruz as an outsider, as I have done, but let’s be blunt: Ted Cruz was a part of the team that argued on behalf of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.  Ted Cruz was a clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist. Ted Cruz may be disliked by parts or even the entire parcel of the uni-party establishment, but the case can certainly be made in earnest that he is one of them, or has long operated among them.  The argument of Trump supporters is that none who have been a part of the DC Bubble ought to be president now, and that it’s too great an emergency in terms of our national future to permit any chance that we will, at this late date, be betrayed once again.

That’s a highly patriotic position to take, among people who are quite diverse in an ideological sense, and many of them have adopted it as the basis of a movement’s justification for accepting a candidate who many of them will readily admit is an imperfect vessel for their particular views.  One of the things that Trump’s supporters fervently believe is something that is quite attractive to many voters, including this conservative: Donald Trump is the only candidate on the ballot who can explode the DC establishment. He’s the only person among all the candidates with a clear-cut motive to unmask the uni-party establishment, to expose their serial crimes, and to prosecute them.  I think this is where much of the pro-Trump fervor originates, and I also believe it is where the GOP establishment’s shrill denouncements of Trump originate.  They are terrified of him, not merely because he would wrest control from them, but that he would be in a position to unmask their deals and extensive profiteering from government operations, and then prosecute them.

That’s a powerful motivation I would concede makes a very strong argument in favor of their position.  We conservatives have known for many years that the GOP’s establishment operates in general coordination with establishment Democrats and the media, and they’ve used that coordination against us in a myriad of situations over the last three decades.  Rather than joining the DC uni-party in decrying Trump’s supporters, we might reconsider and try to see them as allies, even if we believe their chosen candidate is less than perfect as the platform for our ideas, because many of them come from among our own number, but have merely decided that defeating the DC establishment is the only way we can ever win.  On that basis, if I’ve been dismissive of Trump supporters, I’d offer an earnest apology. I had believed the general meme of the DC establishment about your character, but having come to know some of your number, or having discovered some of your number among my friends, I’ve come to understand your earnest motives.

The problem with 2016’s primary season is that it has threatened to splinter the GOP’s broadest coalition forevermore, but in truth, if I am asked whether I would prefer that conservatives keep company with Trump’s supporters or those who cleave to the GOP’s establishment in Washington DC, it’s really a no-brainer: I prefer the broad coalition of Trumpsters to the snooty, elitist Bill Kristols of the world, and I make no bones about my own enmity for the uni-party establishment in Washington DC.  The Trumpsters make a compelling argument about the importance of truly rooting out cronyism and corruption in both parties in Washington DC, long before we can ever actually implement our principled stance on any particular issue. It’s true. We conservatives should pay first respect to the truth, and we should note that the same people who have defamed conservatives in one election after the other, or masqueraded as conservatives in one election after another, are the people who are now defaming Trump’s supporters, and it should give us pause.

Donald Trump’s “Nuclear Option”

Friday, March 4th, 2016

trump_nuke_gop_ftI would warn the stupid, vile Republican Party establishment to be careful about fooling around with the convention in Cleveland this Summer as the means by which to substitute one of their own for Donald Trump, should he remain the front-runner, and should he fail to obtain 1237 delegates or the eight-state majority-delegate needed to win the nomination.  I cannot deny that whatever else I may think about this race or Mr. Trump’s candidacy, I am enjoying the fact that the Republican establishment is now trotting-out, in full-on panic mode, failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the desperate hope that they can derail Mr. Trump.  The GOP establishment ought to take care in trying to rig a “contested convention” that includes tricks and deceit that will not only wreck the GOP’s presidential aspirations, but also will leave Donald Trump in the motivated position to deploy his nuclear option.

What could Trump do?  I urge Republicans on Capitol Hill to be wary of playing games with the nomination process. All four-hundred-thirty-five House seats are up for re-election in November, as are one-third of the one-hundred Senate seats.  While Trump certainly couldn’t possibly deploy a field of opponents for all the Republicans, particularly at that late date, there is something he could easily accomplishment that would rapidly wreck the GOP establishment’s day.

Mr. Trump’s supporters are very loyal, and while they may not be quite large enough to gain him all 1237 delegates needed to secure the nomination outright, they are more than large enough to swing Congressional elections by fifteen or twenty percent.  His supporters are angry, and they are right to be, as are all who have become disgusted by the feckless GOP.  If the GOP establishment tampers or tinkers with this nomination process, his coalition of independents, conservative blue-collar Democrats, and not a few fed-up conservative-to-moderate Republicans may make a complete wreckage of the Fall’s Congressional elections, and will easily help defeat the Republican’s Presidential nominee.

The Republican Party would deserve  it.  Trump is playing by the rules, at least to date, and those elected/former officials in the GOP who have said they won’t support Trump if he’s nominated have already provoked that response.  If they try to manipulate the nomination process in Cleveland, dismissing a Trump nomination if he obtains more delegates than any other candidate, but not the whole 1237 needed, his supporters may rage against the GOP machine, but if Trump joined the campaign trail against the GOP in September, October, and November, the GOP stands a strong chance of losing both Houses of Congress along with the White House and the Supreme Court.

This is Trump’s “nuclear option.” If the party tries to cheat him, I think he might rightly attempt to blow the party to tiny pieces, and at that point, I must admit that my sense of justice would convince me to help him.  One way or another, the GOP establishment needs to die.  If they arm Trump with the righteous sword of a vengeful  justice, they will have earned it.

Stupor Tuesday

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

cruz_v_trump_ftHere we are on another Super Tuesday election, and once again, there’s no clear answer to our troubles. Some things, however, do seem clear and unambiguous to me. Marco Rubio is unacceptable by any measure. His support of amnesty with the “GangOf8” immigration reform bill disqualifies in my view. There is no circumstance under which I could support Rubio.  Dr. Carson is finished, no matter how long he remains in the race. From here to the convention, I don’t think there’s any chance for his numbers to improve, and I don’t believe he’s a serious candidate.  Governor Kasich is running a pointless candidacy also, perhaps in some ways worse than Carson’s. Kasich should run for the exit, but he’s stubbornly remaining in the race so that he can be beaten in his home state of Ohio, perhaps slightly less thoroughly than Rubio will be flogged in his home state of Florida.  This leaves us with two remaining, plausible candidates.  At this point, considering any of the others is an exercise in futility.  I guess it comes down to what you believe, who you believe, and what it is that you think the election of 2016 will actually mean for the country.  This is where conservatives must wear their thinking caps and consider the whole of the race, and not just the immediate gratification of the primary vote.  It’s enough to make one consider intoxication as a potential antidote.  Myself, I’m in a bit of a stupor over it all.

Ted Cruz appears to be the most solidly conservative in the field.  He is not, however, without problems.  His support for increasing H1-B visas is very troubling to me, as is his support for fast-track authority(TPA) for the TPP for whomever may be sitting in the Oval Office.  There is no doubt that the TPP is a terrible deal for the American people, transferring wealth and sovereignty out of the country and essentially locking the US into a perpetual disadvantageous trade contract that imposes severe restrictions on our own economic independence.  I oppose the TPP for this and many more reasons, and I don’t understand why Senator Cruz, a self-professed “constitutional conservative,” would go along with such a deal.   I also don’t believe he’s been entirely honest with us about his role on the spiking of the “GangOf8” legislation.  It’s clear from video available that he wanted to do something (other than deportation) with the eleven or twelve million illegals(and I suspect many more) who “live in the shadows.”  All of these things are bothersome and worrisome to me.

Donald Trump has ever been a liberal, and in many respects, this makes him worse.  He’s also made a career of marketing himself like a carnival barker.  His failures over the course of his whole career are legion, but that in and of itself isn’t necessarily damning: At least he was willing to take risks.  The problem is that in so many of these cases, he took risks with other peoples’ money, and squandered it.  One might argue that this is the nature of business, just as one might argue that paying off politicians is just a part of doing business, but I don’t see how we’re any better off having the briber rather than the bribed running the country.  His position on social and moral issues certainly seems less than solid too.  His continued support for Planned Parenthood is quite troubling to me.  I also find his mouth to be a volcano of bilge, with cursing o’plenty, although it seems in the last week or so that he’s cleaned some of this up, perhaps in recognition that it hurts him. That makes me wonder if a victorious Trump would return to form soon after.  He has a long history of saying things that are despicable in any context in which I’d care to be included.  His talk about his sex-life and his descriptions of women, and all the rest of his endless, lifelong debauchery seems to me a disqualifying problem.  The New York Times, certainly not the most reliable source, implies that it has in its possession “off-the-record” taped conversations with Trump that may indicate that he’s a good deal more flexible on immigration than his campaign rhetoric indicates. As he explained to Hannity on Monday night, “everything is negotiable.” Many of his larger problems won’t be revealed, conveniently, until the Republican Party is saddled with him as their nominee, by which time he may be embroiled in court over a lawsuit against him and “Trump University.” Mostly, the problem with Donald Trump is that he hasn’t done or said anything to relieve me of the fear that he’s completely untrustworthy, not just on social issues, but primarily with respect to his signature issues on which he has provided little specific detail.

Let us conservatives accept from the outset that there are no perfect candidates.  Still, we should be able to discern who is more perfect.  We should be able to rely on their records. Others rely to some extent on the character of those who have endorsed these candidates, although I think in many cases, this has led to a wholly unsatisfactory outcome in many instances.  I can think of a dozen or more candidates the Tea Partys have been urged to support who upon election, turned out to be more of the same, and often pro-amnesty jerks.  Marco Rubio is a grand example of the type, but he is hardly the only one.  The truth is that conservatives have been betrayed in one form or fashion in election after election, to the extent that many of us feel shell-shocked by it.  On the one hand, we have a Republican establishment that is clearly a syndicate of global elitists, who will side with their cohorts in the Democrat Party to ruin and wreck conservatives any time we can manage to get a leg up, but on the other hand, we have a situation in which it seems that the mathematics give us just two plausible outcomes.

If Rubio, Kasich, and Carson remain in this race, it helps Trump. If they get out, it helps Cruz.  Rubio cannot and will not be the nominee. The math in no way supports him.  This leads one to question: “Why are these guys staying in, when none of the three have won a state, or even seriously threatened to win a state?” Now we get to the nub of the issue.  We have had it told to us all through this primary season debacle that Cruz and Trump(along with Carson) are the outsiders.  Is this really the case?  We’re told that Rubio is an establishment stooge, and it makes plenty of sense, right until you ask: “Why is Rubio still in this race?” No Republican who hasn’t won Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina(first three contests) has ever gone on to win the nomination. History isn’t lying, so why is Rubio staying in?  It must be for another purpose, and I think we can take a reasonable guess at it.  Who is hurt by Rubio enduring in this race, and who is helped?  Based on the available polling data, there is a strong dislike of Trump in the Rubio camp. Cruz would likely capture something on the order of ninety percent or more of Rubio’s support, depending upon whose numbers you believe. In the Cruz camp, Rubio enjoys no such advantage. If Cruz were to exit, roughly half of his support would go to Trump and half to Rubio, with a few here and there for Kasich or Carson. What this means, in fact, is that the only two people presently having any chance at the Republican nomination are Trump, and Cruz.  This means that with every passing day in which Rubio, Kasich and Carson stay in this race, Trump becomes all the more inevitable.

With all of this in mind, we must ask reasonably once more: “Why is Rubio staying in?” It is the presumption of many that he is the “establishment track” candidate, but the GOP establishment isn’t going to back a guy they know has no chance of winning unless they’re using him to split the vote on behalf of a candidate they believe can win. Who would that be?  Cruz? Kasich? Carson? Or Trump?  Even if his financial backing flees, I suspect Rubio will stay around in order to secure a VP slot on somebody’s ticket.  I wonder who that might be.

Let’s look at that again: Trump has a long and storied history of supporting liberal Republicans and a whole host of Democrats.  If Rubio’s candidacy was genuinely anti-Trump, as he now pretends is the case, why would he stay in? In a head-to-head in Florida, Rubio loses to Trump, and Trump walks away with all ninety-nine delegates because it’s a winner-take-all state. Cruz, by contrast, could actually beat Trump in a head-to-head absent Rubio. That would give Cruz all the Florida delegates, and place him on the fast-track to the nomination.  What you can learn from all of this is that the people who are still bank-rolling Rubio via the SuperPACs aren’t doing so because they think Marco can win, but because they actually want Trump, and will use Rubio’s continuing presence to split up the vote that would otherwise go almost entirely to Cruz.

Do you see the point here? Given the nature of Donald Trump’s support from the endorser-class, one might have concluded he was the only genuine outsider, but the question we must now ask, as Rubio is being used as a lever to depress Cruz is: “Who is spoofing whom?”  I believe the real establishment candidate is he who benefits from the continued presence of somebody other than himself in the race. Who is that? Does Cruz benefit from Rubio, Kasich, or Carson remaining?  No.  Does Rubio benefit from Cruz, Carson, or Kasich remaining? No. Does Trump benefit from Cruz remaining in? No.  Does Trump benefit from Rubio, Kasich and Carson’s remaining in, so long as Cruz is an active candidate? YES!

There are only two viable candidates remaining in this race. I will not tell you how you ought to vote.  You’re all grown folk, and you hardly need me to offer you advice.  What I will tell you is that what I see implicit in the numbers is that Rubio, Kasich, and Carson are remaining solely to be spoilers.  The question must be only: “For whom?” Only Trump and Cruz have a shot at winning this race.  The question before you is whether you will a.)support Cruz, b.)support Trump, or c.)support one of the spoilers who gives/helps give it to Trump. Of course, you can also sit home. As I said, this has been a disturbing primary season, and any conservative would probably be somewhat justified if they wanted to just drink their frustrations away, but escape into an inebriated stupor won’t solve the problem.  Conservatives must now think, and think carefully, in order to choose.  Wait until the day after the general election in November to imbibe. By then, we may all need a drink.

 

Editor: This column was supposed to auto-post at 7am this morning, but for some reason failed. My apologies to readers. I usually vote on the way in to work, didn’t this morning, after work, my precinct ran out of ballots while in line, still waited 20 minutes after polls closed, fairly certain my precinct was strongly pro-Cruz.

Cronyism and the Wreckage of a Nation

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

cronyism_ftOne of the topics that comes up in conservative circles is the notion of “Crony Capitalism.” It’s a term that was re-introduced into the popular political vocabulary by Sarah Palin in the era of the Tea Party’s ascendancy, and with good reason: Too often, our politicians are for sale to the highest bidder. More often, the politicians actually use their influence as a sort of legalized protection racket. The powerful, very wealthy people and institutions are able to fork over large amounts of money to politicians as an obvious quid pro quo for the politician’s help, support or protection. Like anything else, however, I detest the misleading association between the two words: “Capitalism” and “Crony.” The problem is that the concept described by the term “Crony Capitalism” isn’t “capitalism” at all.  It’s just “cronyism.” Capitalism doesn’t operate this way. Cronyism does, so for my purposes, and for the purposes of discussion on this site, as a matter of justice to the concept of “Capitalism,” I’m no longer going to aggregate the two distinct words into a single term.  Capitalism is the greatest economic system ever conceived or practiced, because it requires respect for the individual rights of participants.  Cronyism knows no such boundaries, and is merely a form of graft and corruption disguised within and operating in the shadows of capitalism.  It’s time we make this distinction, but more, it’s time we consider both sides of Cronyism’s ledger.

Politicians who peddle influence and who use their position as a form of de facto protection racketeering are scoundrels of the highest order.  From the early Tammany Hall chicanery to the latest scandals in our modern era, the politicians should bear most of the blame, because upon their shoulders rests the highest moral culpability, for two basic reasons: One cannot purchase that which is not for sale, and the seller of influence/protection is the person who raised his or her hand to swear an oath to the Constitution.  The purchasers of influence/protection can only buy what is offered for sale, and they didn’t swear an oath to uphold the constitution or the laws enacted thereunder.  The fact that they are slightly less guilty does not let them off the hook, because they’re guilty of a serious moral breach: They’re cheating the system, and they’re undercutting the actual free-market process that is capitalism.

Let us consider the much-celebrated case of a theoretical businessman who offers the members constituting a controlling majority of a national government cash, kick-backs, and other material favors and/or prestige if they will support his latest venture.  There is no doubt but that every member of that controlling governmental majority who accepts such an offer should be placed behind bars, and never let loose again in elected office.  What of the businessman?  What should be done to him?  Should he be permitted to walk away Scot-free, to perpetrate the same crime over and over again?  Should he be held to account?  If so, by whom?  The same scoundrels with whom he conspired?  The truth is that in most cases, both parties, even caught and exposed, walk away mostly unscathed, which is why they continue to do so, over and again. Most often, the wrist-slapping goes to the purchaser of favors and protection while the seller abruptly retires from political office if the heat becomes too great. Most of the time, however, they get away with it.

Mark Levin has recently popularized the notion of using the Article V process to amend the constitution by action and amending conventions instigated by the states.  It’s still very early, and it will take a long time to bear fruit, but if the American people press it, it could become a movement that gains traction.  I think this is the natural process for amending the constitution to address the problem of cronyism.  The only way to stop cronyism, or even slow it substantially, will be to give the law really big, sharp fangs, and to make it more certain that the buyers and sellers of favors, influence and protection will be apprehended in a timely manner.

The mechanisms and triggers built into such an amendment would need to be very precise to limit prosecutorial abuses, and political misuse of the law. That’s always the difficult part, and it’s why such an amendment ought to be considered thoughtfully, but also at the soonest possible opportunity. In terms of the sanctions against offenders, I consider that to be the easy part:

  • Forfeiture of all property, money, of the individual and/or organization
  • Subject to the same individual, criminal sanctions as in treason, i.e., a capital offense

Who would administer such a law?  The Justice Department has proven to be wholly incapable of operating outside of political influence and chicanery. Leaving such powers under the umbrella of the Executive would be wholly unacceptable.  Leaving it under the control of the Legislative branch would be no more plausible, for the reasons already discussed. Lastly, placing it under the existing Judicial branch, that owes its continued funding to the Legislative branch and its appointments to the Executive seems no more fruitful. It might even require the establishment of a very limited fourth branch of government with the sole responsibility of investigating and prosecuting under the constructs of this single amendment. How we would get any of this accomplished in our current political system is questionable, and I make no claims to know the precise methodology for success, but something must be done in this vein.

Our entire political system is rife with corruption.  It extends from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue all the way down to Anytown, USA. Most of us turn a blind eye to it, or simply shrug in helpless acknowledgement that we’re in serious trouble. A relative few of us participate in it, and that’s more the shame.  What we are witnessing with the widespread proliferation of cronyism, on both sides of its ledger, is the absolute destruction of our republic. Do you need an advantage over your competitors? Is there somebody or something you need to bulldoze? Simply beat a path to the controlling jurisdiction’s door and buy your advantage or demolish your target under cover of the law you’ve purchased. Do you need more money for your campaign coffers? Simply threaten legislation against an industry and watch them fill your coffers as a method of self-defense.  They’ll happily pay protection money for their interests.  The little guy, without deep pockets? He’s got no prayer.  He will either be steamrolled by the politicians whose influence he cannot afford, or bull-dozed by their customers, with whom he cannot financially compete.

There are most assuredly two sides to the cronyism coin.  It exists at all levels of government, in both parties, almost end-to-end. We have effectively lost our country to it, with no end in sight but for the demise of America as we had known it. Whether you’re black or white; man or woman; rich or poor; able or infirm, this system of cronyism is going to consume us all, one by one. Every one. No matter how big you think you are, there’s always somebody bigger.

Life Without Principles: The New America

Friday, February 12th, 2016

constitution_ablaze_ft

Given the feedback I’ve gotten over a previous column, both here and on Facebook, I’m inclined to believe that the country will not be salvaged or saved. What I’ve been told by people who I had long believed to be conservatives is that ideology is “BS.” Principles are worthless. Ideas and philosophy don’t matter. It’s all pointless babble, with no power to affect change, and that it must be discounted in favor of expedience, electioneering, and the perceived political exigencies of the moment.  I understand that there are people who find themselves in a place of complete and utter political disenfranchisement (welcome to my world,) but to suggest that ideas, principles, and philosophies don’t matter is to say nothing matters, not even life itself.  I was told in a Facebook comment today that I should be willing to set aside my principles for “the good of the country.”  What in the name of John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt does that mean?  Without my principles, how am I to know what is “the good of the country?” Without my principles, I might consider “the good of the country” to be whatever I imagine on a whim. Do I surrender my principles to Donald Trump’s judgments? To Sarah Palin’s? Without principles, how do I know if any of them are right? How do I know? There are some people who I trust a good deal, but I don’t surrender my intellectual or moral sovereignty to anybody. Ever. For once, I’d like all of the proponents of life without principle to consider what it is they’re advocating, assuming they’re still able.

Get up tomorrow morning. Go to work. Why?  Why bother? Who says you should pay for your own way in life? Who needs principles?  Choose your mate. Your soul-mate. If s/he displeases you, ditch and get another. Why try to work it out? Who says children need parents and an intact family?  Why are you hung up on principles?  Need food? Go take it from your neighbor.  Sure, it’s stealing, but we don’t have time or need of principles of private property, or any of that old-fashioned nonsense about good and evil, the ten commandments, or any other idea. We don’t need that.  Just do what you want to who you want when you want!  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Why bother with that? They’re all out to screw me anyway, and they will do unto me whatever they want, because they don’t have need of principles either.

To Hell with principle. Principles never seem to get me anywhere, anyway! If I stick to principles while others cast them aside, or never bother to consider them, I’m the sucker, and I’m the one at a disadvantage! No sir, no principles any longer.  I don’t worry about principles, or holding fast to my beliefs. I can go with the flow. I can be anything I want to be, any time I want to be whatever it is I’m considering.  I don’t have a care in the world about principles, because they simply act as a constraint upon me, but upon nobody else. That makes me the sucker, so no more principles.  In politics, I want to win, whatever principles I need to reject, discard, or otherwise eject from my thinking. As long as my candidate wins, principles don’t matter.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this line of thinking has come to dominate your thought processes, you’re on the wrong website.  LEAVE NOW, and never return, excepting as your folly becomes clearer in your mind.  I find this despicable in every possible meaning of the word. If you accept life without principle, I will have nothing to do with you, as no decent person on the face of the planet should.  Had you any principles remaining, you would be ashamed for even suggesting such a thing, never mind practicing it. It is despicable that in a nation founded upon an idea, the people of the country would devolve in character and wisdom to such an extent that in the throws of their allegedly patriotic fervor, they would reject ideas and ideals. It makes me sick – physically, demonstrably ill.

People have prevailed upon me to consider how a certain candidate will “Make America Great Again.”  I then ask: “What made America great in the first place?”  By what standard of value had American been “great?” On what principle were those standards of value based?  How can I even determine what is “great” without principles?  How can I know if it’s better or worse or just the same if I’ve cast off the ideology by which I am able to make such determinations?  How will I know?  Whose judgment shall I trust?  Upon which principle will my judgment rest once I’ve cast them off? This is something none of them can or will answer.  There can be no honest answer to this without either an immediate confession of error or a de facto admission of idiocy.

The United States, as currently constituted, was founded on a series of ideas about self-governance, limited government and natural rights.  Those principles, yes, principles, are the basis of everything we do and have and know in this country in terms of our relative prosperity, our material wealth, our technological advancement, and every other tangible exhibit of our modern culture.  None of it would have been possible without  principles, and you will neither restore or even retain your country if you now discharge those principles in favor of intellectual and political expedience.  Put another way, if you have come to believe that you can “Make America Great Again” without reference to principles, what you have done is to become part of a cult of personality, having surrendered your intellectual and political sovereignty to the perceived exigencies of the moment.  Good luck with that. In all the history of the world, such a movement has never succeeded.  Most frequently, they result in the rise of despots and the enslavement and purging of human beings in the million.  Of course, what do I know?  One of those antiquated principles to which I adhere is: “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”(George Santayana – one of those useless philosophers.)

If that’s your schtick, so be it. Go forth to whatever end your folly will have earned for you.

Donald Trump Lied About Conservatism

Friday, February 12th, 2016

trump_bsa_ftWatching the 2016 election season unfold, I’ve become a bit tired of two things in particular about the media, and Donald Trump.  In the first instance, Trump is wholly unwilling to discuss details of his plans, and the media dutifully accepts his empty rhetoric in an unquestioning manner almost as thorough as some of his supporters.  In the second instance, Mr. Trump is lying, and it’s a big lie that we conservatives must debunk.  It could be that Trump is just ignorant, so that when he spews his lie, he’s simply the parroting of talking points emanating from the rabid left and the DC establishment. Either way, a lie is a lie, whether it originated from Trump’s own mind, or he’s merely passing it along unthinkingly.  So what’s this big lie? On Thursday, Trump tweeted that conservatives are to blame and that conservatives have failed the country.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, but once again, debunking it requires the examination of a few salient details.  His throngs of supporters won’t be moved by this, just as they won’t be moved by any other rational argument. By and large, they’re proving immune to facts, reason, and details.  It should come as no surprise to conservatives that in one respect, I think there’s a nugget of truth that makes Trump’s lie seem superficially plausible, but it’s just a nugget.  It’s time to deconstruct Trump’s lie.

djt_conservatives_tweet

The first thing one must consider in answer to Trump’s assertion is: “Who are the conservatives?”  The truth in answer to this question is that actual, thinking, breathing, ideological conservatives constitute a minority of the Republican party.  The truth is that there are almost no actual conservatives in Washington DC, and to have been the party to blame for the state of the country, that is where one would have needed to be, not simply in a geographical sense, but in the sense of political efficacy.   Actual conservatives haven’t had any power to speak of in Washington DC for nearly two generations.  From the time of the middle of Reagan’s second term, there has been little one could properly label as “conservative” in our nation’s capital.  Where one can find any justification of Trump’s lie, despite the reality, is that for too long, we conservatives have let people who had no real attachment to conservatism pose as our representatives.

George H.W. Bush was no conservative.  Bob Dole was no conservative.  George W. Bush was no conservative. John McCain is no conservative.  Mitt Romney is no conservative.  I can extend this list to include current candidates like Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio to an extent, and any number of other conventional Republican politicians.  Paul Ryan is certainly no conservative, but neither were his immediate predecessors, John Boehner and Dennis Hastert.  Mitch McConnell and his caucus of establishment Republican cronies aren’t conservatives either, but the problem is that we have permitted them to claim conservatism, and we’ve allowed them to thereby define conservatism by the association with us.  Most Americans simply don’t pay much attention to politics, and in their barely-informed state of political ignorance, they’ve accepted the following basic formula: Republican = Conservative.  They may have accepted also: Democrat = Liberal.  Both of these are tragically wrong, and I will suggest to my conservative brethren that we are at least somewhat collectively guilty for letting this stick.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve permitted this to happen.  We’ve been so busy trying to expand the “big tent” of conservatism that we’ve permitted the party-crashers of the establishment to redefine what conservatism is, at least in the popular culture, by their constant association with us.  It’s been going on since Teddy Roosevelt, who was a progressive in Republican clothing.  For my part, here on this website, I’ve always endeavored to make clear the distinctions.  One cannot go through the columns of these pages and make any mistake about the fact that the form of conservatism advocated and advanced here has no relation whatsoever to the Republican party, never mind its establishment.

Of course, the truth is far removed from Trump’s nonsensical allegation.  Most actual conservatives, I’d nearly assert all, do not support the actions of the establishment, moderate, “center-right” wing of the Republican party.  Most conservatives actually detest those people, and would replace them with actual conservatives if it was in their power to do.  Every time conservatives have gone along with the GOP establishment in order to try to move things in the right direction, two things have been true almost without exception:  The GOP establishment betrays us, and we wind up moving backward.  A case in point is immigration: Those who call themselves “conservative” but are aligning themselves with Rubio in this election cycle have a very “YUGE” problem: Their guy is an amnesty-monger, having proposed the most exasperatingly un-conservative bill proposed by a Republican in quite a long time.  The so-called “Gang-of-8” bill was a nation-destroying monstrosity, and it would never have attained launch, much less threatened passage, without the efforts of people who claim to be “conservative.”

This is the problem exposed by Trump’s lie: It’s only plausible because we conservatives permit others to define what is conservatism.  We permit the misapplication of the term to people who may on occasion, for their own political expedience(and too frequently, ours) to associate with us and our body of political philosophy.  Since the greatest number of Americans don’t really pay that much attention, and use generic labels in order to short-cut thinking, we have a responsibility as conservatives to define what that means, and to take great pains to differentiate conservatives from anything else.

The facts supporting Trump’s assertion dissolve the moment one asks: “What is a conservative?” The laundry list of non-conservatives mentioned above is just a sample, but it should serve as a decent basis for understanding the problem in its proper context.  When Donald Trump talks about “the conservatives failed,” what he’s actually saying is that “Republicans have failed.”  That’s demonstrably true.  The problem is that conservatives haven’t failed, largely since they’ve never really held power in Washington, except for the briefest few years immediately after the ’94 “revolution” in the House of Representatives.  Even its leader, Newt Gingrich, isn’t really a conservative, but some of the people around him were, and a few of the people who led early efforts in those environs were, but they were short-lived as was the influence of conservatism.  To find substantial, muscular conservatism, one must return to the first term of Reagan’s presidency, which is why conservatives so thoroughly long for a Reagan-like leader.  It’s also why the fakers, the so-called moderates in the GOP, can’t wait to bury Ronald Reagan in long-forgotten history of the Republic.

We conservatives must separate ourselves from the GOP establishment in a political and cultural sense.  We must create clear separation from the party’s moderates because by failing to do so, we permit the broadest brush to be used in defining our cause, our philosophy, and our values.  It won’t be easy to do, but I believe it must be done.  The most promising of the current crop of GOP candidates, who may be able to draw this distinction, is probably Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX,) simply because on so many issues near and dear to the hearts and minds of conservatives, he bucked the political trends in Washington DC, abandoning even his own party at times, apparently on the basis of principle.  It may be that for him to fully set conservatism apart from the muck of establishment GOP politics, he will find himself required to loudly and forcefully make the distinction clear, not merely in his words, but in the clear-thinking actions of his office, so long as he may be in it.  Otherwise, Trump will succeed in painting him, and conservatism, as just more representative of the whole of the Republican party, and with such a faulty attribution of blame, conservatism label will continue to be the generic container into which the wider voting public will file all Republicans.  I suspect Trump knows all of this, but his campaign isn’t one of nuance or detail.  Quite to the contrary, his campaign is one of generic sloganeering, with thinly-veiled emotional appeals substituted in place of syllogisms.

It’s because I do believe that Trump knows the difference that I consider this attack on conservatism to be a lie on his part.  There is some small chance that he is so thoroughly ignorant that he doesn’t understand the distinction, but I suspect that’s not the problem.  I believe that Trump is gambling on and playing to the electorate in a disingenuous fashion, knowing that his prospective voters don’t understand the distinctions anyway, and won’t be motivated to discover them.  Thus far, he’s been largely correct in this assumption, although it remains to be seen whether it will hold up through the entire campaign season.

The problem for conservatives is “Yuge” because they’re stuck in the same sort of problem, in almost exactly the same fashion, as is the basic reputation of “capitalism.”  This is not coincidental.  Capitalism continues to be blamed for all the evils of statism, in its various manifestations, because few are interested in learning the distinctions between what America’s actual economic system is, and why capitalism bears no actual resemblance. In much the same fashion that we haven’t even had approximately conservative governance in more than a generation, so too is it the case that capitalism was vanquished in America by the enactment of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Sherman Act is wholly antithetical to capitalism, and whatever economic system we may have had since, it is not and cannot be labeled as “capitalism.”  Of course, once again, the propagandists for statism have managed to re-cast the meaning of the term in precisely the same way that “conservatism” has been redefined so as to include all “Republicans.” It’s nonsense, of course, but that fact does not stop them from doing it. One must be attentive to details, in a disciplined way.  It’s an article of faith among those same propagandists that our system of government be referred to as “democracy,” but that bears little resemblance to the actual form of government our Constitution’s framers designed and ratified. The United States is, by definition of its organizing document, a “constitutional representative republic,” but too often, as a matter of ease and propaganda, folks drop that longer, much narrower description, and it is to the detriment of the body politic, unless you happen to be a propagandist or advocate for statism.

The truth Trump won’t tell you is that had conservatives had their way over the last three decades, we would never have approached the state of desperate gloom under which we now suffer.  What he won’t tell you is that statism is the responsible political philosophy, in large measure because he has been among its practitioners and advocates.  When he proposes solving the “student loan problem” with another government program, he’s advancing statism. When he proposes replacing Obamacare with what seems to be a Canadian or British-styled single-payer healthcare system, he’s proposing more statism.  He’s doubling down.  When he states that eminent domain is an important tool in private initiatives, he is declaring statism in big, broad terms, while he is defiling the good name of capitalism to do it.  Donald Trump isn’t a capitalist, but instead a cronyist.  He has greased palms and bought favors with campaign contributions as much as any person who has ever sought the office of President, and maybe more.  His well-documented use of government officials and offices in the name of his private concerns is evidence neither of capitalism, nor conservatism, and that to date, he has gotten away with this mislabeling and slander is at least in part the fault of we conservatives.

After all, it’s the same thing: Jeb Bush calls himself a “conservative” and most of us won’t bother to debunk his claim.  His brother called himself a “compassionate conservative,” but too few of us challenged his claim though it was obvious in most notable respects that his presidency was rife with the growth of statism, and the advancement of anti-capitalist measures.

Yes, Donald Trump is probably going to succeed in blaming conservatism for the sins of GOP establishment, moderate actions.  His lie will stand mostly unchallenged because most of us will not even stand for our claimed political philosophy.  While I can’t do a thing about that, I can and will continue to speak out about the lies of Trump in this regard: Conservatism is not to blame for the ills of this country, any more than one can blame capitalism, and for the same exact reason: We haven’t practiced either in so long that the terms have lost their true meaning.  Trump knows this, and he’s gambling that his supporters won’t discover it either.  It’s our job, the job of actual conservatives, to educate the electorate on the differences.

Editor’s Note: The Tweet image was added again after the fact because either I didn’t save the article with that image in it, or it dropped it, or something or other. Anyway, that is what I am referencing. Conservatives didn’t HELP the GOP betray its voters.

 

 

Trump Hammers Cruz as “Maniac” But Looks The Part Himself

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
Angry or Manic?

Angry or Manic?

Donald Trump had one heck of a weekend. First, he questioned Ted Cruz’s “evangelical” credentials, and went to great lengths to attack him on ethanol subsidies, pandering to Iowa voters.  As if this wasn’t enough, he actually asserted that Cruz was a maniac in the Senate, firmly ceding his own “outsider” credentials. Is this attack by Trump going to succeed, or is it, as Mark Levin said on the air Monday evening, a foolish move?  FoxNews is eating it up, because they hate both men.  To them, Trump is a maniac, but so is Ted Cruz.  They are considered “maniacs” by the FoxNews establishment crowd for different specific reasons, and I think it’s instructive to understand why this difference matters.  He even went on to join in a leftist attack on Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the few justices fighting to uphold the constitution.

When Trump goes to great lengths to say “Cuba isn’t known for its evangelicals,” he’s taking a rather bigoted view of Cuba. Many Cuban exiles resumed their faith in full fervor after successfully leaving Cuba, and in fact, it was their faith, at least in part, that caused them to flee.  More, Trump has never been a friend to evangelicals, so what’s with the petty attack on Cruz on this basis?  Score one for Trump’s religious and ethnic bigotry.  Not only did he make [faulty] assumptions about Cubans and evangelicals, but he also made an assumption that this would play to Iowans.

Trump went on to point out to Iowans that Cruz opposed the ethanol subsidy.  I have news for you: Virtually everybody outside the corn-growing states oppose the ethanol subsidies, because frankly, it’s driving up the cost of food and fuel, as well as making a wreck of gasoline-burning power equipment, from automobiles to lawn-mowers to outboard motors. Even many within corn-growing states oppose the subsidies, because they have to pour this diluted gasoline in their cars and shop at grocery stores where every item that has corn as an input, from corn chips to corn-fed beef is inflating in price due to the use of corn in the production of ethanol.  This was a purely cynical attack intended to take advantage of Iowans by pandering to something peculiarly interesting to them.

What’s most disconcerting about Trump’s little rampage this past weekend is that the attacks he launched on Cruz were launched squarely from a leftward point of view.  I even observed Brit Hume, a notorious establishment shill, going on to attack Cruz on this basis, intimating that Iowans have a short time to discover the reason so many in the Senate don’t like Ted Cruz.  I don’t need Brit Hume to tell me, because I already know. It’s the same reason I supported Cruz in his Senate run against Texas RINO David Dewhurst, and also why people like Senators Lindsey Graham(R-NC) and John McCain(R-AZ) can’t stand Cruz: He’s willing to fight. They’re not.

The odd thing is that this may well backfire on Donald Trump, because up until now, he’s been running as an “outsider.” This series of attacks plays directly into the hands of the GOP establishment. Cruz has been no friend to the GOP establishment, and Iowans know it.  I’m not sure that Trump hasn’t sabotaged himself here, because his attacks on Cruz sound suspiciously similar to the attacks launch against Cruz by the DC insiders.  In so doing, Trump is eating into one of his few distinct virtues: He’s been the quintessential outsider,  at least until now, but with the latest series of attacks on Cruz from the left, he may be unintentionally ceding that ground to Cruz.  If so, Trump may come to lament this last weekend.  His attack on Antonin Scalia is perhaps the worst outlier of the weekend, because while one might rationalize his attacks on Cruz as just part of the political fight, but the attack on Scalia by going along with Jake Tapper was pure folly.  Scalia has been a leading light for constitutional conservatives for years, and this scurrilous attack on him by Trump is perhaps a bridge too far.  This speaks more to Trump’s own maniacal nature than to anything one might say about either Antonin Scalia or Ted Cruz.

As a purely political matter, Cruz ought to avoid being drawn into a knock-down, drag-out with Trump, because that’s where Trump excels.  Cruz is best in well-reasoned, well-controlled discourses when the tempo of the exchange supports close examination.  If Trump has any inkling of the misstep he may have taken over the weekend, he’ll reverse course on some of this as quick as he can.  Discerning conservatives and independents will notice that Trump really yielded some of his claim to being an outsider this weekend, and this may well cost Trump mightily.  If one considers that among the ‘outsiders,’ (Trump, Cruz, Carson, Fiorina) constitute nearly seventy percent of the support from Republican primary voters, Trump ought to think and think hard about yielding his position as outsider so easily.   The notion that Cruz is looked upon in a negative light by most of his Senate colleagues is not a bad thing, particularly in the vast expanse of the electorate between the coasts.  From the point of view of most Americans, most of the Senate is comprised of detestable Washington DC insiders who hold the American people in contempt.

The Republican candidates are scheduled to debate Tuesday night in Las Vegas.  It will be interesting to see whether Trump squanders his lead by continuing this line of attack, or whether he thinks better of it and resorts to more rational arguments that might appeal to conservatives.  To date, his one peculiar virtue had been his take-no-prisoners style of assault on the GOP establishment, but if he isn’t careful, he may well blow it.  The GOP establishment is only too happy to see Trump going after Cruz, and this could well be his undoing with the Republican base.

 

 

 

Why I Like Donald Trump

Saturday, December 12th, 2015
Hamming it up

Hamming it up

I like the mockery Donald Trump has been making of a goodly portion of the establishment of the Republican Party.  They deserve it.  I love the fact that he’s driving the media berserk.  After ten minutes of watching almost any news network on TV, one is left with the impression that Donald Trump is somewhere between evil genius and outright loon.  Trump is a shrewd media manipulator, but I still don’t know anything concrete about what he believes.  I can’t identify a consistent ideology much beyond “what will get me the most press right now.”  Still, despite all his philosophical and ideological shortcomings, one can’t help but love to watch the way he drives the Washington DC, insider cartel absolutely crazy. Despite the gnashing of teeth from within the Beltway, the American people are eating it up, with each episode gaining him ground.  I understand it.  America is looking for a leader like George C. Scott’s portrayal of General George S. Patton: No nonsense, a bit of bravado, and an unambiguous statement of the goal, without worrying about who may be offended.  How many times have conservatives lamented the lack of bluntness?  Still, this cannot be the sole criteria by which we choose our president, any more than a sunny disposition can be the sole criteria for choosing one’s doctor.  We need much more.

Trump’s entire campaign seems to hang on the catch-phrase “making America great again.” That’s all well and good, and I very much enjoy that process, like most conservatives, but I’m not sure I understand what Donald Trump thinks made America great in the first place.  Listening to him, there’s no evidence that he’s for any reduction in the size and cost of government, yet I believe part of what made America great was economic freedom, and it has been only in the progressive, statist era that America’s true greatness reached its apogee and began again to wane.   I’m not sure Mr. Trump sees it quite that way.  The problem is that by reducing everything to a slogan about “making America great again,” I’ve not heard too many specific details, and the few I’ve heard thus far are less than inspiring.  For instance, Mr. Trump is for a single-payer healthcare system!  If there is anything that has helped America to begin losing its standing and financial stability in the world, it is the increasing socialization of our medical care and insurance schemes since the late 1960s.  More the dependency-creating welfare-state of which a single-payer system would be an integral part is part of what is destroying America’s greatness, so I don’t understand Trump’s logical [in]consistency.

In point of fact, Trump is not conservative, but then most Republicans claiming that label don’t really deserve to wear it.  Jeb Bush said famously “I used to be a conservative,” but Rubio, Christie, Kasich and a lengthy list of the others are not conservatives either.  In fact, I think the closest things to genuine conservatives we have in this race for the nomination are senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.  Huckaby and Santorum might make legitimate claims to a fair piece of social conservatism, but in terms of economics and finance, I don’t believe either of them is overwhelmingly conservative by accounting of their actual political records.  Dr. Ben Carson is a brilliant, amiable man, who I like very much, but who also probably isn’t ready to be President of the United States.  The point is that we can’t throw out Trump for his lack of conservatism unless we’re also willing to discard Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Huckaby, Santorum, Lindsey Graham(who I would not support for dog catcher in Tumbleweed, Arizona,)  or Carly Fiorina, none of whom are particularly conservative, or worse, are simply establishment hacks. For my part, I’m willing to discard them, and indeed, I’m will also to discard Trump because what I’ve discovered is that Mr. Trump simply hasn’t formulated what I would consider to be a self-consistent plan that exhibits any detailed understanding of how to “make America great again.”  Of course, that doesn’t make him any worse than the laundry-list of folks noted above, but it should give pause to those who are rushing off to support him.

I like Trump’s energy.  I wish it were more focused.  I like his general notion about “making America great again,” because I believe it’s something that could be accomplished, but I haven’t seen any evidence that he has a plan to accomplish it in any plausible manner.  I like that he comes up with short-run, topical slogans, because that’s always easy for voters to digest and understand, but I detest the fact that he seems to stop at the slogan-formulation stage, and never brings any substantive plans along by which these slogans are to be realized.  In short, he’s a lot of huff and puff, but no stuff.  There’s no there there.

On the other hand, Trump has staked out a number of positions I consider to be abominable.  The single-payer healthcare business he supported through the 90s is among them, but I’ve also noted with chagrin that Trump supports the Supreme Court decision in Kelo, in which eminent domain was used to condemn homes and property for use in commercial developments.  His general disrespect for private property rights and his use of government to take what he wants ought to serve as a cautionary note to anyone who considers supporting him for President. Remember this:

These are just two highlights among a lengthy list of deficiencies.  Still, it is entertaining to watch the Republican establishment and its slate of candidates from Jeb to Marco lose their minds over Trump.  Trump may entertain me, and I truly enjoy watching the likes of Jeb Bush lose his cool, and to watch the entire Democrat Party membership go crazy, calling him “Hitler” and so on.  Perhaps they should call him “FDR” instead. Franklin Roosevelt interred Japanese for the duration of the war, most of them US citizens!  Watching the media, especially FoxNews, obsessing over Trump makes me laugh.  Megyn Kelly’s semi-pseudo-exasperation over the media’s obsession(and eye-rolling, on-air confessions of the same at her own network) tickle me pink.  Her assault on Trump:

Megyn asks Donald about his Republican credentials:

The GOP establishment’s media harpy is hilarious when she loses her mind over Trump.  Trump apparently agrees:

Of course, FoxNews acts as a megaphone for the establishment wing of the GOP:

My point, lost in the haze of Donald Trump’s bombast, is that while he is highly entertaining to watch, and while I heartily enjoy seeing the DC beltway cartel lose their minds over his politically-incorrect remarks and comments, I don’t believe he has the philosophical consistency for which I’m looking in a President, and I also don’t believe his overall record on areas of significance are in any way in accord with conservative thought. His views on eminent domain are in accord with the Supreme Court, but in the current context, that means they’re anathema to traditional Americans principles and values.

Still, a conservative must take a certain amount of pleasure in the GOP establishment having been driven to plotting over measures to stave off a Trump nomination by setting aside any Trump electoral success through the use of a brokered convention.  That anybody drives the party “blue-bloods” to this level of terror is absolutely a fascinating occasion I wholly endorse…but I still can’t vote for him.

JEB Suggests Trump-Clinton Conspiracy; Did Trump Give Clinton a Medal?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
Aid and Comfort, JEB?

Aid and Comfort, JEB?

On Wednesday, NewsMax reported that JEB Bush tweeted about an alleged conspiracy between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While I’m certainly no Trump fan, and I wouldn’t doubt any conspiracy involving Hillary Clinton, I have a question for Mr. Bush: If past entanglements and relationships between Clinton and Trump are the basis for this argument, ought I not consider JEB’s own entanglements and relationship with Clinton as the basis for a possible Bush-Clinton conspiracy?  Readers might wonder what I’m talking about.  I could point to the great and fast friends George HW Bush appeared to become with the Clintons after his defeat in 1992, but no, I needn’t reach that far back in time, or even go to Bush relatives.  Instead, we need only ask the following: While serving as the Chairman of the Board of the dubiously named “National Constitution Center,” JEB stood forth on a public stage to hand out the Center’s Liberty Medal.  It just so happens that on the 10th of September, 2013, almost exactly one year after the Benghazi terror attack that killed our Ambassador, the woman who asked “…what difference does it make?” in congressional testimony on the matter stood forth on the stage with none other than JEB to receive the Center’s Liberty Medal.  Hillary received the Liberty Medal from JEB!

Per Mr. Bush:

“Former Secretary Clinton has dedicated her life to serving and engaging people across the world in democracy,”

and:

“These efforts as a citizen, an activist, and a leader have earned Secretary Clinton this year’s Liberty Medal.”

Now it’s all well and good if Mr. Bush wants to assert, along with his lapdogs in the media(Bill Kristol et al) that there is a deep, dark conspiracy between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and considering the characters involved, I would not doubt it, but I wonder whether JEB understands just how foolish the facts make him look. After all, Donald Trump never stood on a stage on behalf of an organization named “The National Constitution Center,” handing out a medal to Mrs. Clinton.  Frankly, at the time, I thought it an unforgivable, disqualifying misadventure on JEB’s part, but in light of his suggestion of a Hillary-Trump cabal, it now seems all the more ludicrous.  Conspiring with the enemy, JEB? That’s what he’s implying Trump is doing. How about giving aid and comfort, JEB? Isn’t that to which hanging a medal on Mrs. Clinton amounts? (The so-called “Liberty Medal,” of all things!!!)

While I trust Donald and Hillary roughly as far as I can throw their combined weight, I don’t trust JEB either.

Obamacare Profiteer Seeks Republican Nomination – And You May Give It to Him

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Just a Little Profit?

It should come as no surprise to readers of this site that there are Republicans who sought to use Obama-care as a personal profit center. It’s fair to say that some of them, in and out of office, were only too happy to see the new business opportunity the scandalous program represents, and now at least one of them seems poised to run for President. Jeb Bush, son of former President George HW Bush, and brother to former President George W. Bush, just divested himself of Tenet Healthcare in order to conceal this fact or at least make it “old news.”  I’ve cautioned readers in the past that the reason Obama-care would be difficult to repeal is that too many Republicans are making too much money from it.  Here, a darling son of the DC Republican establishment demonstrates the point: Why on Earth would they repeal a profit center? All that is important to this sort is power, but neither liberty nor any virtue associated with it moves them. What Republicans like Bush should get from us is only our contempt, but given the recent history of Republican primary politics, there’s a fair chance that we’ll instead reward him with our support. If we wonder why it’s so hard to elect a conservative, we needn’t look beyond our collective conservative mirror.

Friday, I received a phone call from the RNCC soliciting a donation. In simplest terms, I told the man “Not no, but Hell no!” I took a moment to explain to him that this was because the Republicans had abandoned us on Obama-care and immigration immediately after their victory in November. He offered that it hadn’t been the time to expend the “political capital.”  That’s a sorry excuse, and I told him it was because both issues were causes of personal profits for too many inside-the-beltway Republicans who were bought and paid-for by lobbyists on these issues.  I asked him why it was that Republicans were saving all this “political capital,” suggesting that this was an excuse to cover their profiteering on Obama-care and immigration.  He scoffed, so I abruptly told him to tell the RNCC to get bent, and hung up.  The last thing I like to do is be rude to somebody the day after Christmas, but this guy earned it.

That it would be less than a few hours later when I would learn that, predictably, Jeb Bush had been among the Obama-care profiteers is perfectly fitting for our current political environment.  Frankly, I’m waiting for Karl Rove to affix a crown of thorns to this guy and nail him to a cross if that’s what will be needed to sell him to unwitting conservatives. The Bush family is at full tilt, and I knew when Jeb’s son ran(and won) office in Texas, 2015 was going to be the year Jeb chose to further pollute the American body-politic and try to resurrect the Bush name among conservatives.

The Bush family has spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out how to weasel Jeb into office.  Even before his second term had expired, George Bush’s mastermind Karl Rove went to work on the problem: How to recover the Bush name?  In order to do so, they needed a patsy, one so dismal that before it was done, people would be begging to have the Bush clan retake power.  They found one in Barack Hussein Obama.  I have known, and I suspect you have known conservatives who have declared they would vote for the devil if it meant wresting control of the White House from Democrats after two terms of Obama.  What do you think had been the point of the “Miss me yet?” campaign designed to compare George W. Bush favorably with Barack Obama? It’s all about rehabilitating the Bush family name.

Conservatives had ought to wise up. The Republican establishment is about to pull its usual divide-and-conquer maneuver so that it can saddle the party and America with another “lesser-of-two-evils” choice. The Bush family is gambling that you’ve become so desperate that you won’t care about Jeb’s profiteering on Obama-care. They hope you won’t notice, or even having noticed, won’t care about his continual drumbeat for open borders, or his insane “Common Core” education plans. No, the Bush family is hoping you will let them continue to re-invent America in their communitarian, Utopian vision. Welcome to the New World Order, a regime in which Americans are poorer, and less educated, while uniformly chanting “Bush! Bush! Bush!”

It’s already begun, of course, as CNN reports that Bush is now the early front-runner among GOP hopefuls. All of this leads me to a question: When did Americans decide that a monarchy was fine? On the left, we have the Clinton clan, and also on the left we have the Bush clan, both parading as “moderates” with respect to their chosen parties, and both being much more statist than their respective marketing would have you believe. Jeb Bush once [in]famously stated that he “used to be a conservative,” while responding to critics of his moderate-to-left policy preferences, but the fact is that nobody named Bush has ever been a conservative, instead having been at war with the conservative grass-roots of the party since the 1970s.  If Jeb evinces any confusion by that statement, it is that he hasn’t known what conservatism looks like, and had been permitted to wear that label as though it had ever actually applied to him. It doesn’t.

If conservatives don’t pull their heads out of the sand, and fast, deciding to skip over the pointless candidates who are entirely media creations at this point, settling instead on an actual conservative, get ready for another miserable primary year in which Republicans feed conservatives to the wolves. I’d ask you to consider how many of the currently polling individuals are really just creations of FoxNews, but who are neither conservatives nor crowd-drawing candidates with any hope of victory in 2016. Dr. Ben Carson?  Former Gov. Mike Huckabee? The New Jersey Blowhard? Can any of these defeat Jeb Bush? Plainly, no. Are any of these anything much beyond stalking-horse creations of FoxNews? No. There are a number of conservatives who still pine for Rick Santorum.  Can he beat Jeb Bush? Not a chance.  In all the Republican Party, there exists only a handful of people who have the kind of muscle it will take to derail the Bush train, but if they don’t step up to bat, we’ll never know for sure. Instead, we’ll be shafted with another 4-8 years of diminishing liberties and declining culture under yet another center-left Bush.

I understand that when conservatives get desperate, they will gladly accept another Bush over the leftist bogey-man of the moment, and left with no other choice, they’ll board that train, but for Heaven’s sake, it is time for conservatives to outsmart these people for a change.  If conservatives begging queuing-up behind the litany of second-tier candidates now under consideration, they will be divided-and-conquered just as in 2012.  Mitt Romney was effectively a test run for the Jeb Bush strategy, and Karl Rove knows it. If you will recall, Romney stayed around 25% support for the entirety of the 2011 silly season, knocking off conservative after conservative as they rose and fell.  Michelle Bachman. Rick Perry. Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum. Mitt Romney bested them all because conservatives were so desperate that they hopped from bandwagon to bandwagon at the first sign of weakness.  This strategy kept conservatives chasing their tails, while Romney basically survived with his base of support sticking with him through the process.  In the entirety of 2011, Romney never rose above 25-30$ support, and never fell below 20%.  More conservative candidates, along with relative unknowns, rose and fell like sine waves on an oscilloscope as conservatives rushed from one to the next in order to find a conservative champion who would not falter.  By design, I think, there were none.

If conservatives are to have a chance in 2016, they must identify a candidate soon, and must stick with that candidate until victory.  At present, I can only think of two or three conservatives with the chops to beat Bush, and as yet, none of them have made any firm indication that they might run.  Rather than pursue pipe-dreams, however, settling for the laundry-list of unknowns and also-rans FoxNews is serving-up, conservatives ought to spend some time talking about the kind of presidency they want to see in January 2017, and how to go about getting it. If you’re willing to settle for another Bush, or have one thrust upon you, fear not because Karl Rove is busy working on that, and has been since 2007.  Even if Jeb fails in 2016, you know they’ll try to derail any other Republican candidate who gets the nomination, because they’ve got another George[P. Bush] warming-up in the bullpen right now in Texas, who they will trot-out in 2024 or 2028.

If electing an Obama-care profiteer is an idea that seems to you too ghastly to consider, understand that if the Bush family has its way, you will soon endorse that action out of desperation.  The Bush family doesn’t mind providing the presidents America just barely elects, so long as they’re in charge.  Their continual quest to drag conservatives to the left in abandonment of our principles, one at a time, should be all the reason you need to oppose them and put an end to this seemingly unending American decline under their leadership.  It’s time for something different.  It’s time for a conservative. Obama-care profiteers need not apply.

 

 

2016: What’s the Point?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

I hear and read endless speculation about this one and that one, and who’s in and who’s out, always superseded by the next day’s news, and always bereft of any measurable facts.  All of this can be both entertaining and frustrating.  All of it may be altogether pointless.  You see, the country is dying now.  By the time a new president is inaugurated in January of 2017, on our present course, it may not make any difference.  The country may be closing in on that tipping point, if we haven’t passed it already, at which nothing will be done to save us, irrespective of party, principles, or propaganda.  Our nation is deathly ill, if not terminal, and yet the politicians continue to chatter on as though there’s no end in sight.  Ignoring the stock market, which is many thousands of points over-valued due to cheap money practices at the Federal Reserve, this economy is a wreck.  As always, I urge my readers exercise care in what they believe or are willing to consider plausible.  In this post, I intend to revisit a topic I haven’t covered in a long while, because I think you ought to consider it.  The subject is the very real possibility of a hyperinflationary great depression that will make the 1930s look like a day at the beach.

As a reference to what hyperinflation looks like, here’s a graph of the infamous hyperinflation in the German Weimar Republic:

German Hyperinflation 1918-1924 (Wikipedia)

Long-time readers will remember I have used John Williams’ ShadowStats website as a reference in the past.  The nature of Mr. Williams’ warning hasn’t change, except to become substantially more strident inasmuch as such a calamity now seems to be possible at any moment.  For those of you who don’t remember, here was his Hyperinflation forecast of 2012:

2012 Hyperinflation Special Report(pdf format)

In 2014, Mr. Williams has updated his report, once in January, with a second installment in April. Here are links to these two in PDF format as well:

Hyperinflation 2014 – The End Game Begins

2014 Hyperinflation Special Report, Second Installment

 In these reports, Mr. Williams goes to extraordinary lengths to describe to you what I’ve told you right along, since the birth of this website:  Any alleged “economic recovery” was a fraud, and the nation is in deepening financial and economic trouble. Naturally, it’s not as though you hadn’t suspected it on your own, the obvious signs being what they are, but with the drumbeat of media, many people are soothed into complacency over a long enough time such that they begin to doubt what their own eyes and wallets are telling them.  In these most recent installments, Williams goes into great detail, putting numbers to the assumptions, providing actual data to support his conclusions.  In this sense, it is time for another reality check, because while the bulk of the people you know may well be ignoring hard reporting, in favor of popular media garbage, somebody ought to be warning them.   Chances are that being the good citizens most readers here tend to be, and being the sort of people who are trying to save their nation from disaster, you’ve been warning them right along.  Now, when they dismiss your warnings, you can dare them to read these reports.

If you’re among that number of people who are desirous of dismissing all of this as “Chicken Little” talk, I’d dare you directly.  Read these reports and if you aren’t at least a bit concerned, concerned enough to learn more, there’s no reaching you anyway.  In 2011, Sarah Palin and others were sounding the alarm.  She was ridiculed and mocked,  but the hard data supported her warnings.  All along, I’ve been warning you of the dangers of the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, and the grotesque expenditures of the Federal Government.  In the years since 2008, when this latest crisis began, the Fed has borrowed into existence a sum approaching(if not exceeding) fifty trillion dollars.

All of this money-printing or “digitizing” will necessarily lead to a calamity of unprecedented scale.  There can be no escape from the laws of economics, any more than there can be an escape from the law of gravity.  The only question is: When? As Mr. Williams points out in his report, the conditions are already in place.  It’s simply a matter of triggers.  With that in mind, I’d ask my readers to prepare to the extent they are able.

Some will argue that all of this is tantamount to alarmist fear-mongering.  but Williams does offer this, in his second installment for 2014:

“Conceivably, immediate massive and fiscally painful action by the federal government to restore and maintain long-range U.S. government solvency still could avoid the looming dollar collapse, but the related political issues appear now to have been pushed off until after the 2014 midterm election, again, as those controlling the government continue to push politically-difficult choices and actions as far into the future as possible. That has been explicitly demonstrated in actions by both the White House and Congress in the last several years. Nonetheless, despite political efforts to dodge the issues, the U.S. dollar and the deficit do matter, and the looming financial storm likely will break before the election.”

In other words, getting our financial and fiscal house in order could still serve to avoid this calamity, but as he notes, and as we are all too aware, the probability of that being done is low. The question isn’t “Will there be pain?” The real question is whether it will be pain we choose while we maintain the ability to moderate it, or an uncontrolled and apocalyptic pain from which there will be no recovery.  We’re very much like a stage four cancer patient in that only the most radical treatments have any chance of saving us, and the chemotherapy and radiation will be so severe and thorough as to inflict more pain than we might want to endure, but failing to choose this, the results are known and unavoidable.

I have significant doubts as to whether there exists the political will to induce pain via the radical treatments necessary.  The politicians in Washington DC are hoping to stave-off this calamity through the current election cycle.  I believe this is folly, but I also know they’re banking on the notion that they will be able to deal with this after the election, but you and I know the truth: There’s always another election.  The dust will still be settling from the 2014 election when the first real moves for 2016 begin.  They will already begin to make the political calculi about how to survive through the next election, or how to save the next election for their respective parties, but none of them will be thinking about any of this. The truth is that saving the nation will be furthest from their minds.

We have a president who is a functional economic illiterate, driven by dogma of a failed ideology.  We have a Congress driven by short-run notions of self-preservation of their power.  We have a people who possess a low tolerance for bad news in good times, and a complete intolerance for self-imposed discipline particularly where it implies any sort of pain.  It’s time to consider what all of this will combine to create in the coming years, if you haven’t done the math already. People are talking about 2016 like that represents some sort of panacea, but ladies and gentlemen, our nation may not make it until 2016.

 Editor’s note: I realize that the linked reports from John Williams’ site constitute a fair bit of reading, but like most issues, the devils lie in the details. Understanding the roots of our impending calamity, and the historical precedents as well as the actual manipulations of statistics by the current regime are critical in understanding what is afoot. While it’s a lot of reading, it’s entirely worthwhile.

Note 2: There was an error in the links to the two 2014 reports. These have been fixed.