The End of Superficial Politics

I got to use the word “jejune” today – not too often I get to use that word, but when considering all the punditry I’ve seen since the 2016 Presidential cycle got rolling, “jejune” seemed quite appropriate. I’ve never seen so many people – including people who are supposedly smart and informed – be so utterly childish and superficial in their views.

The thing which set me off has been the response to Trump’s statements on whether or not African-American and other minorities in the United States should roll the dice on him. In the end, all Trump said was that a lot of things are very bad, Hillary represents precisely the people who created the bad and, so, why not give something new a chance? That was it – all of it, actually, quite sensible, in a way. It’s not that anyone can be sure that Trump has any answers but that we can be sure that Hillary will merely continue the status quo…a status quo which has African-American youth unemployment at more than double the unemployment rate for white youth…31% against 14%. A status quo which also has African-American (and other minority) youth trapped in failing schools, forced to live in crime-ridden neighborhoods, enduring the long-term effects of family breakdown. If there’s something Trump could possibly do to make things worse in America’s minority communities, I’m all ears. Tell me. I’m listening.

And as I’ve been listening, most of what I’ve been hearing on the anti-Trump right is mere echoes of the Progressive critique – Trump’s words are racist, apparently because they point out what is wrong and assert that Hillary and the Progressives can’t (won’t) fix it. To give an idea of the silliness we’re getting into among some on the right, I pointed out that Trump is the first GOPer in a very long time to directly address the African-American community. I was immediately hit back with all the times GOP candidates for President have addressed the NAACP! As if that is to address the African-American community! Sorry, folks, but the NAACP is a mere arm of the DNC – the NAACP is an organization which provides a rubber stamp of approval for whatever Progressive notions the left has seized on at the moment. What is the NAACP? An organization which is now fighting tooth and nail against charter schools – the very charter schools which give, among others, African-American kids a chance to escape the failed public school system. The NAACP made a choice – black kids, or union bosses (and their donations): the NAACP choose the union bosses. To speak to the NAACP is to merely speak to the DNC. It is not a worthwhile activity for Republicans or Conservatives. To speak to the African-American or other minority groups what needs to be done is to speak to them, directly. Trump did that. Yes, it would have been vastly better to do it in Detroit – but various Progressive groups would have started a riot to prevent Trump from actually pointing out, at ground zero, just how lousy Progressive policies are.

It seems that we are not allowed to discuss certain things. Make certain points. Bring to light certain truths and falsehoods of modern, American life. For the longest time, we thought it was only Progressives who were proving gate-keepers preventing certain things from being discussed. Turns out, plenty on the right are, as well. I don’t know why. Perhaps they are afraid to – it is risky. As we can see, discussing it merely brings the charge of “racist”. But that doesn’t excuse childishness – nor cowardice. The people who live in the hell-holes the left has created in America are our fellow Americans. They are part of us – they are our fellow citizens; our brothers and sisters. We must go to their aid – and even if they reject us in scorn, we are still bound to try. But here’s the thing – I think that if we do go and try, out of every ten people, nine might reject us in scorn but one might be moved to listen…and that is one more person who can help us reform our nation. If we do nothing, we’ll still be called racists, but we’ll also not have any chance of getting any of their votes…any of their aid, that is, in saving our nation.

As I’ve said all along, Trump is no one’s answer – but I will credit him with this: his candidacy has exposed the massive hypocrisy at the center of American political life. A hypocrisy which is a sick bit of theater wherein we pretend to argue, but all eventually just go along to get along.

It is time to end our superficial politics. We have real problems. Real people are actually suffering – some of them unto death. It is time to attack what is wrong – all of it, every where. It is time to start doing what is right – even if it is difficult. More than likely, we’re going to have Hillary as President – that will have to be endured. But if all we do is dance around the real issues then come 2020, we’ll fail, again, to take a step to reform our nation. Some have said that Trump ensures that we won’t get another Trump – the truth of the matter is that Trump ensures we’ll get an endless parade of Trumps, on both sides, unless we actually start to deal with the real problems. You see, as long as we keep up this kabuki theater of pretending to argue and pretending to do things – while leaving a corrupt Ruling Class to just keep rolling along – then the anger which propelled Trump will not only remain, it will grow.

Weekend Open Thread

Nothing better proves the complete hypocrisy of the left better than the way they’ve treated Obama’s non-action on the Louisiana floods. The left only cares about people when they can wring political advantage out of it – there’s no upside in highlighting disaster in Louisiana (Democrat President, Democrat governor), so there’s just nothing to care about.

LA Times tracking poll shows Trump once again with a national lead – not that big a thing, but the LA Times did pick up the previous Trump surge in the polls. I suspect that Trump’s “pivot” (as it were) over the past week is going to bring most GOPers home to him…and that will work to increase his poll numbers.

Libertarians should focus on liberty. Of course. But they don’t seem to be – in fact, in 2016, I’ve seen them as de-facto Democrat Lite.

Ed Morrisey’s review of the Ben Hur reboot. He gives it 4 out of 5 stars. I’m very wary of watching remakes as 99% of them suck very, very badly. This is especially a tough hill to climb for me because (a) I was always a big fan of Charlton Heston and (b) that version of Ben Hur is now a beloved memory of my youth. I think, though, that I might give this one a shot.

A Palestinian who rendered aid to a Jewish woman is facing persecution by his fellow Palestinians. Couple this with that Egyptian athlete who refused to shake hands with the Israeli in Rio and you really get to the crux of the problem: all too many Muslims refuse to concede the basic humanity of Israelis. Obviously, given the subject of the story, some of them do – but enough of them don’t to cause all the trouble.

The glories of socialism – Venezuelans raid zoo for food.

Some people are upset at questions regarding Hillary’s overall health – but I think it just natural. She’s pushing 70 and Trump is over 70…both of them should be observed closely as to whether they have the sheer physical stamina for the job. And there’s Trump, out on the hustings day in and day out…while Hillary keeps to a light schedule and just isn’t in the news all that much. To be sure, part of this is just in the nature of things – Hillary is disliked and her advisors have probably carefully explained to her that the less people see her, the better her chances…but surely the Democrats can come up with enough friendly audiences to keep her busy?

Honest conversations about race are anything but. The bottom line is that the Progressives don’t want such a conversation as anything relevant and true on the subject indicts them. But, meanwhile, the right also doesn’t want such a conversation because, well, I guess we’re afraid to have it. But it does need to be had – and Trump, to his credit, has at least dived into it. I’m praying that we on the right start seriously talking about it – and, more importantly, listening about it. The future of our nation really revolves around how we resolve this issue…Tribalism is what can break us apart and finish us as a people. We must become united.

Some Odds and Ends

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. – Winston Churchill

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln

We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves. – St Thomas Aquinas

Did you know that Herman Goring had an elder brother? Albert Goring. Helped Jews during the Nazi regime.

The SS America after a long and glorious career, wound up on the rocks. Let’s hope this isn’t prophetic.

Russian bombers are now based in Iran.

Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone. – Hilaire Belloc

The Sherman tank, built during World War Two, was giving good service in the Israeli armed forces as late as the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It has been up-gunned, but clearly that was a design that worked very well.

An ISIS fighter was receiving welfare. Of course.

To succeed in the world, it is much more necessary to possess the penetration to discern who is a fool, than to discover who is a clever man. – Charles Maurice de Tallyrand.

God is more ready to pardon that we have been to sin. – St. Catherine of Siena

The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board. – Grover Cleveland

Anything But Trump Open Thread

Hillary is, without a doubt, the most dishonest person to ever enter American political life. She’s even scrubbing her own website when statements made in the past don’t square with current reality.

What is going on in Milwaukee is what happens when some people – in this case the DNC and their MSM water-carriers – decide to inflame hatred for political purposes. People have already died because of this – but we’re supposed to think Hillary and her allies are the calm, reasonable people…

The people who rule our world are coming to despise those they rule. I do believe a great deal of the push for mass immigration around the world is that the Ruling Class wants to dissolve their constituencies and elect new ones.

City planning commissioner resigns and moves out of city – because city policies are artificially keeping housing prices sky high. This sort of thing advantages those who already have – and keeps out interlopers of an unacceptable social background. We used to call it “segregation”, now we call it “housing policy”…but as it was in the past so it is today: people who got what they want diligently work to make certain that they keep it and no one else can get it.

Our use of air conditioning is a worse threat than ISIS – but our convicts must be provided it as a Constitutional right. We’re very close to Peak Liberal Idiocy, folks.

Globalization saved the middle class? Perhaps, if, that is, you define “middle class” as “college educated people who don’t actually make, mine or grow anything for a living”. You see, a guy working construction or in a factory should be middle class – in other words, with one income be able to afford a house, auto, raise kids and provide for their future and his and her retirement without necessarily needing government subsidies. I’m in favor of free trade – but I point out, with great care, that we can’t have free trade with tyrannical regimes. They cheat. All the time. Free trade must be absolutely fair and reciprocal on both sides. Nothing wrong with free market competition, but don’t try to sell me the notion that there is a free market between the United States and China.

Remember when we were all called Islamophobic racists for pointing out that within the stream of legitimate refugees there were bound to be terrorist infiltrators? Well, we were right. As usual.

Turns out ultra-leftist Mayor De Blasio’s Administration is pretty much like every other ultra-lefist government out there – corrupt. Under a free market, the rich become powerful; under socialism, the powerful become rich. Always. Everywhere. Never even the slightest variance – whenever you get a leftist government, the people who run said government rake it off like no tomorrow.

Trump is Doomed: Here’s How He Can Win

That is the consensus – and looking at the polls, there’s not much one could say otherwise. Keeping in mind my view that the electorate on 11/8/16 might be very different from what we expect, the bottom line is that all factors in the election indicate that Hillary will win. Probably a bit narrowly in the popular vote, but with a crushing margin in the Electoral College. Right now, there’s no indication of a collapse for down-ballot Republicans, but that could emerge if people decide not only that Trump is unacceptable, but that if we’re to return the Clinton dynasty to power, might as well go all-in and give it a Democrat Congress.

But, Trump could still win this. All he needs do is complete the un-Conservative circle he started to make in the primaries. Remember, Trump is not committed to Conservatism – he has nothing to lose by alienating Conservatives, especially as such a large number of prominent Conservatives are firmly #NeverTrump, and some are rapidly drifting towards #ImWithHer. To be sure, Trump has offered Conservatives some olive branches – he’s pledged some rather solidly Conservative judicial appointments, offered a series of tax cuts and some rather substantial regulatory reform in order to bring Conservatives on board. It hasn’t worked – and, I think, it won’t work. Because Trump is not a movement Conservative – in other words, because he hasn’t been selected, burnished and propelled along by the gate-keepers of Conservatism – Conservatives, as such, will not come over to him. So, what, then? Simple – go full on populist.

Hasn’t he already done that? Not really. He’s done the border security/fight the terrorists part of populism as well as rumbled about trade deals and such…but to go full populist he’d have to start offering some specific goodies to the people.

Earlier today on Twitter a friend posted a bit noting that Trump’s support among young Americans is lower than even Nixon’s was – and Nixon, remember, was busily fighting the Vietnam War which required a certain number of young people to be drafted and shipped off to get shot at. Rather difficult to gain the love of people in that situation. It immediately occurred to me that Trump could massively shake up that problem by simply proposing to annul student loan debt. Hillary – propelled by Bernie – has made some noises about offering some relief on student loans but if Trump were to go her one better and say that such debts will simply be cancelled, a very large number of people would immediately be grateful to him. Now, if he were a Conservative he’d couple this with a proposal to abolish the student loan program, but he’s not a Conservative…so, he just goes with annulment. And, remember, whatever Hillary says about student loans, her bit is still keeping the debt there and providing mechanisms where the indebted youngsters can become government serfs in return for debt relief…Trump would be offering to let them off; she can’t top that. And running as Mrs Responsible in the campaign, she can’t even try to top it.

Other things Trump can do:

Propose a hefty hike in SS benefits for current retirees – for a lot of years there has been no or minimal COLA hikes in SS benefits because, officially, there hasn’t been inflation. But, of course, there has been and a lot of elderly people are feeling the pinch. Offer a 10% hike in 2017, and a lot of oldsters will sit up and take notice…and it would completely kill any Democrat attempt to portray Trump as someone who is against Social Security.

Propose a big increase in the child tax credit – bump it to five thousand dollars per child. Parents who are raising children are heavily burdened financially; something like this would be an immense relief for them, and a huge incentive to vote Trump.

Propose a 20% reduction in the number of non-essential government employees. Remember them? They are the people who were furloughed when the budget shut down happened…and everyone asked, “if they are non-essential, why do we have them, at all?”. Make an issue of it. Say that it’ll help pay for the boost in SS benefits. It’s a bit of a class warfare thing – in this case, the Government Class against the Governed Class. Given the contempt most people hold government in, this is a winning issue…make Hillary defend non-essential government employees with their fat pensions.

Propose that refugee settlement and Section 8 housing be moved to the high-end neighborhoods. This is another bit of populist class warfare…and it ties into the fact that all those calling anti-refugee people racists are living in neighborhoods the refugees won’t be settled in…and they are the same people who call for more housing aid for the poor. Ok. Give it to them – where it hurts. Make them defend the current system of shoving poor people into poor neighborhoods…

You can probably come up with more along these lines. The whole idea is, as I said, to complete the Trump process – but with real teeth. As I’ve said from the beginning, Trump is no one’s answer…but Hillary is everyone’s corrupt nightmare. If we’re going to have this, then let’s have it in a way which at least gives a bit to the people and sticks it a bit to those who have been busily ruining the nation. The people are angry – such a program as this plays into it.

Now, do keep in mind that I remain Conservative – Distributist to the core. But I’m not going to get Conservatism or Distributism from Hillary or Trump. I’ve no dog in this hunt – this is just me pondering how Trump could still win this. One thing which has struck me among Conservative pundits is their inability to think these days – Trump has seemingly blinded them. They are so worked up at how un-Conservative Trump is that they have lost their ability to ponder what is happening and how out of this nettle, Trump vs Hillary, we might yet eventually pluck a flower which is Conservative government. We have to roll with it in 2016 – and hope for better days in the future.

Back From Vacation Open Thread

Once again, sorry to just cut out on everyone – but, once again, long-planned vacation…and, once again, didn’t bring the laptop with me. Anyways…

There are two kinds of barbarism – the kind where a people simply hasn’t risen far in civilization, and the kind where people reject civilization. It is the latter form of barbarism which is always most threatening to civilization. You see, a people who haven’t risen to civilization are hardly a threat to civilized people – think spears vs machine guns. On the other hand, those who have got a bit of civilization’s ability but who reject the civilization can take down a civilization. Remember, a good number of the barbarian generals who overthrew Roman power were former generals in the Roman army.

There are lots of ways to reject civilization but the most insidious is to reject any notion of keeping one’s word: of being honest. That is what threatens us – and Hillary is, currently, the leading contender for Barbarian in Chief. She does not tell the truth – from what I can tell, she’s incapable of telling the truth even when a short blast of just telling the truth would work to her advantage (for instance, had she just come clean about Benghazi it would have been a three day blow up…and then a nothing, given the short attention span of the people). Hillary cannot be trusted; not by anyone. To be sure, given the nature of things, she will in general advance leftwing causes in office, but even a leftist should understand that if push comes to shove, she’ll betray them as rapidly as she’ll betray anyone else.

Yes, Trump has a problem with the truth – but I don’t detect in him the complete rejection of truth I see in Hillary. And, right now, the election is Hillary’s to lose – so, she should be our main concern.

Meanwhile, a lot of GOPers and/or Conservatives are leaving off the ever more bogus #NeverTrump and getting ready for #ImWithHer. I honestly don’t understand this, at all. I understand not wanting to vote for Trump. I understand writing in someone, voting Third Party or not voting for President, at all…but to do things which might help Hillary to victory is a complete rejection of anything a Republican and/or a Conservative is supposed to stand for. And I call BS on those who are saying that Trump is so bad that Hillary is a better alternative – that is a flat out, bald-faced lie. Trump has said words which are questionable – Hillary has advanced policies which cost lives, as well as engaged in serial corruption not just to enrich herself, but to subvert the very rule of law in the United States.

Wage growth under Obama? You didn’t really believe there was, did you?

Obama legacy: an Islamist Turkey.

For all Trump’s troubles, down-ballot still looking ok for the GOP. No real surprise – after all, Nixon won in ’72 in a crushing blowout and yet the GOP gained nothing down-ballot.

Weekend Open Thread

Remember how I’ve theorized that Trump is working from a plan and that part of the plan is to pull non-traditional voters into the GOP side? Not just disaffected Democrats, but also people who simply don’t vote much, or at all? Well, I was right:

Most presidential campaigns spend their time and money appealing to people who vote regularly in elections. Not Donald Trump. According to a Trump campaign memo obtained by FiveThirtyEight, the campaign pursued a highly unorthodox strategy of courting unlikely voters during the primaries, focusing on people who rarely participate in GOP primary elections. The campaign relied on free media, including Trump’s frequent TV appearances, to turn out regular voters, according to the memo…

Do read the whole article; well worth your time. As I’ve said, Trump is a lot of things – but he isn’t stupid…and it appears that his plan to run in 2016 dates back to at least 2012, and possibly earlier. I’ve now heard rumors that Cruz is putting his data at Trump’s disposal for the general…that, coupled with the RNC’s newly robust GOTV and whatever the heck it is that Trump’s got back there getting out non-traditional voters means that we aren’t even close to the end of this campaign. But whatever you do, don’t expect Trump to “pivot” and become anything like a regular candidate. The whole thing of Trump is to eschew the normal way of doing business. Will it work? If you bet, then bet heavily against it…but maybe lay down that $10 on the long-shot, just for fun. Oh, and as an aside – victory goes to the side which is most prepared…and while Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip speaking style has caused him headaches (and may well cost him any chance of winning), I do believe it was all prepared well in advance.

Hillary says she just short-circuited in her answer (lie) about the email issue. Which means if we lose we’re going to lose to an android who isn’t programmed to tell the truth.

In South Africa, the ruling ANC suffered a massive electoral blow in municipal elections. They are still in charge, but it does appear that after a couple decades of the ANC coasting on Mandella’s moral authority, the people of South Africa are getting tired of economic stagnation, high crime and government corruption. Now, will the ANC actually allow itself to lose an election? That will be the real test – if they do allow themselves to get booted at the next national election, then South Africa is fine…if not, then it will descend into a Third World wasteland.

Maybe Donald Trump didn’t see a video of it, but the Iranians don’t seem to be shy about showing the pile of cash we sent them as non-ransom for non-hostages which weren’t released just because the cash got there before the plane with the hostages left Iran.

The iconic Gadsden Flag (you know, “Don’t Tread on Me”) is racist – this apparently on the Progressive theory that everything in America prior to 1/20/09 was racist.

Been reading some articles lately which are making the claim that the reason why Trump is given a pass by his supporters is because of Progressive absurdity on such matters…someone pulled together a bunch of quotes about a GOP candidate who was just this racist, sexist, homophobic proto-Nazi out to destroy all that is good and decent in America…thing is, all those quotes were pulled from 2012 articles about Romney. If Romney is the personification of all evil, then everyone even moderately to the right is evil. And if that’s the case, screw ’em. In for dime, in for a dollar. Progressives – maybe you should curb yourself a bit on the accusations of people who mildly disagree with you being evil? Just a thought.

CIA guy who helped Hillary cover up Benghazi endorses Clinton…this is supposed to be a “wow, see how bad Trump is – even CIA guys are endorsing Hillary” thing. But, as with all things connected to Hillary, it’s bull.

Seems that people are joining the Dallas Police Department in large numbers. Gives a bit of hope that in spite of relentless Progressive propaganda to the contrary, there’s still some spirit left in the United States.