How I See Things

Caitlyn Jenner is working on Kim Kardashian to get her on the Trump Train because 2016 is just like that.

In a more serious vein, Father Frank Pavone – head of Priests for Life – has had plenty of kind words to say about Donald Trump and, from what I heard on Catholic radio this morning, is actually working in some sort of advisory capacity to Team Trump on pro-life issues. In fact, I’ve found that some pretty serious heavy-hitters in Conservatism are getting on the Trump Ranch – very likely in a naked bid to have some control over policy in any Trump Administration. This is smart – always wise to have your finger in the pie when policy is being determined – but it also shows that there is something going on out there.

Ted Cruz gave his semi-endorsement to Trump on Friday, much to the pain of some people…but not that many people, it would seem. I think that in large measure the GOP part of the population is starting to make full peace with the reality of Donald Trump. No matter how you slice it, he is carrying the GOP banner into November and I, for the first time, actually think he’s got a slight edge to win this thing. To be sure, by my calculation using RCP’s polls, if the election were held today Hillary would get 273 electoral votes and thus the Presidency…but that is a razor thing margin; and it presumes a Clinton victory in VA, CO and PA. That is Hillary winning the 2004 GW States of VA, CO and NM…those States voted GOP just 12 years ago; one of them flips red, she’s done. She’s been forced right back against her electoral “fire wall”. Now, to be sure, there’s a lot of campaign left to go and Trump could step in it, again…but the trajectory, at the moment, is all going Trump’s way (and I suspect he won’t step in it again because that is no longer part of his plan – but, we’ll see).

I’ve heard the rumors that Bush 41 might endorse Hillary. Could be true. The Bushes and the Clintons have become friends over the years and Bush family pride is still probably smarting from Jeb’s shellacking by Trump. On the other hand, the future of the Bush family currently resides in George P. Bush, Texas’ Land Commissioner…endorsing Hillary, even by HW, might make the Bush name toxic in Texas. If they want George P. to be Senator, governor or President one day, turning on Trump, especially this late in the game, might be deadly. On the other hand, I don’t think it would help Hillary – it would just be more evidence that the Establishment is against Trump; this would likely help Trump in the long term (as well as harming Hillary among dyed-in-the-wool pinkos who think that the Bush family is the personification of all evil).

As for me, I went on a Twitter rant last night and I’ve decided that I’m rather done with partisan politics. In this sense: I refuse to accept the neat and ready divisions which have been used to divide us one from the other for the past few decades. I’m Conservative because I’m Catholic and I’ll never be anything but Conservative because to be Catholic means to be all about preserving things, refurbishing them, bringing the eternal truths from the past to the present and into the future. But I’ve found that I have little really in common with many who call themselves Conservative…a lot of them seem to be so stuck on themselves and their little worlds that they don’t appear to give a damn what is happening…they only care that they are highly esteemed and respected (and they don’t care by whom they are esteemed…just call ’em brilliant and they’ll be your friend). It is true that I’ve seen some astonishingly vulgar and hate-filled things emanating from some Trumpsters (my Twitter block list is stuffed quite full with them), but I’ve seen the exact same sort of vulgar and hate-filled things emanating from some NeverTrumpers. To me, to be a Conservative also means to be a gentleman – hurling insults even at people who hurl them first is not what a gentleman does, at least in my understanding. Yes, in my life I have hurled many an insult – but I pray God I’ll never do it again. I’m done with all that. This isn’t a game of one-upsmanship. This is the life of our nation at stake – and too many people are playing around with hatred and division.

I suspect we’ll see Trump sworn in come January – but whether it is Trump or Hillary, it will be time to rebuild Conservatism. But it will have to be a Conservatism which is quite different from what we’ve had. It will have to be a ground-up, people-centered movement designed to restore decency in American life. It will have to be about fighting for justice tempered with mercy. It will have to be about protecting people from government on all levels. It will have to be about the poor and the working people far more than about the rich, who can look after themselves quite well. It will have to be about an America no one dares assail, but which does not go looking for foreign monsters to destroy; but which will destroy any foreign monster which dares to cross our path. It will have to be a movement which listens more than it talks, and which acts with determination regardless of how well it polls.

I’m actually in a pretty good mood. First off, because if Trump does win, the people who are likely to be most annoyed are precisely the people who need to be most annoyed. Secondly, because the Obama Era is coming to a close – even if Hillary wins, his ability to simply usurp power goes with him. He was a unique person in a bizarre set of circumstances which won’t be replicated…Hillary might try, but everyone dislikes her and so the rock-ribbed loyalty of the left won’t be there, nor the trembling fear on the right. Hillary’s Nemesis might be Trump in November…but if its not, then it will be her utter failure in office starting on January 20th. She’s one term, if she gets one to begin with.

And, so, off we go into November. We’ll see how it comes out. Just about any scenario you can draw is plausible to at least some degree. But fear not and fret not – things will be as they will. After that, it is up to us to just do the best we can.

Book Review: Trump the Press

Just how did Donald Trump manage to get so far? Think about it. He’s a businessman and reality TV star with no political experience whatsoever and yet he managed to beat what is arguably the strongest GOP primary field in history and is now, at worst, tied in the polls with Hillary with less than eight weeks to go. That is an astonishing achievement, no matter how you look at it. And, fortunately for us, someone with a great deal of insight did look at it.

Don Surber has written Trump the Press: Don Surber’s Take on How the Pundits Blew the 2016 Republican Race. What I found interesting is that Surber started out the 2016 so conventionally – and, honestly, exactly where I was:

I began 2015 by accepting the conventional wisdom about the deep bench of Republican governors in the race. But I liked Trump’s message. No one else was willing to say what he said: Build the wall. Challenge political correctness. Make America great again. My first choice, Scott Walker, faded, while Donald Trump blossomed. The napalm-vitriol used on Trump by conservative commentators intrigued me. The hotter their hate, the more I realized his prospects were rising.

I, too, got a bit of a boost at (some) of Trump’s rhetoric. Keeping in mind that I was and remain an amnesty shill (we really can’t deport 11 million – or whatever number it really is – people), I still saw the logic behind Build the Wall. After all, the fact that we don’t control our border doesn’t mean it is uncontrolled – it just means we’ve turned it over to criminal elements who ruthlessly exploit the people who illegally cross it. Mercy, if nothing else, requires us to build the wall – and, yes, if that means a twenty foot high, concrete wall from one end of the nation to the other, then that is what we’ll have to do. Build the wall – whatever sort of wall proves necessary to ensure that 99.9% of the time, no one crosses into the United States without our knowledge. But, still, as expressed here, I retained my doubts and shifted from Jindal to Walker to Rubio to Cruz. Anyone other than Trump. But while I – and so many others – were casting desperately about for any expedient to stop Trump, Trump was winning – and Surber has found out why.

One other assumption that drove the doomsayers to their demise was that this was an unusual election year full or surprises.

Well, Trump was unusual, but the path to his victory was pretty routine. Like Reagan, he won the debates and pilled up primary wins early and often. Trump succeeded because, like Reagan, he could speak through the media filters to get his message across. In Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, his critics, too, call Reagan racist and stupid and dismissed him as a celebrity and a joke…

…Those who wrote off Trump when he entered the race will write tomes to explain what happened. It boiled down to four words: Make America Great Again.

Ignore the press, find a way to get your message out, root for a strong America. Pretty simple, huh? But no Republican since Reagan has figured it out as well as Trump has. So far, of course! Surber is pretty convinced that Trump will win – I’m still not so sure. But if he loses it won’t be because of the reasons given by the MSM and the cohort of disappointed (and increasingly irritating) Never Trumpers. If he loses, it will because of the sheer political muscle that Team Clinton can bring to bear. Remember, almost all power centers in the United States are now pulling for Hillary – they are scared to death that someone they don’t own will get in. But once you’ve read Surber’s book, you’ll start to understand how much of a disadvantage they have against Trump; and like they had against Reagan, it is because they still refuse to take him seriously. I still don’t know how I’ll vote in November – but one thing that I have learned is that Trump is a formidable candidate. I’ve been saying for a long time that I suspect Trump is working from a strategic plan. I even suspect that at least some of his verbal gaffes were tactical. Don Surber’s book lays out just how wrong the experts have been so far in 2016 and are likely to remain wrong right up until, say, Colorado is called for Trump on election night.

The book is available in Kindle and Paperback at Amazon.

Absolutely Stunning, if True

From Huffington Post:

At a private meeting of conservatives in Cleveland this summer, Donald Trump’s senior economic adviser, Stephen Moore, said the candidate planned to pay for his costly proposals by eliminating the departments of Commerce, Energy and Education; lifting all restrictions on mining, drilling and fracking; ending Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs, and offering rust-belt factory workers new jobs on oil rigs and steel mills.

Speaking at the private summer meeting of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a secretive group of powerful conservatives, Moore, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, also described how Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions had “infiltrated” Trump’s campaign operation, and how Moore and other supply-side economists were working hard to get Trump to be more supportive of free trade…

Personally, I don’t see Trump as in opposition to free trade – I just see him as reasonably suspicious of trade deals which do always seem to work out to higher profits for American corporations and lower employment rates for American citizens. My views are long known on this – I believe in Freedom Trade…free trade with free, democratic nations which having a free press can ensure against cheating (not perfectly, of course, but much better than China’s tyrannical regime allows).

Also long known is my view that we must reduce the size of government and not so much because of government power, but because the way Big Government works out to be a gigantic subsidy machine for the left. The smaller the government, the less money the left has to pursue it’s Progressive goals (and, of course, less chance for Progressives to use government to oppress us). But I’m doubtful of fighting on the hill of the Department of Education right out the gate – that is too easily painted as being “against education”, even though it is nothing of the sort. Now, someone willing to vigorously attack on the issue can, correctly, make out the case that the Department of Education has been directly destructive of education in the United States, but I still wonder at the wisdom of picking that fight right away. On the other hand, picking a fight where you actually are trying to reduce the size of government is a fight worth having – and I note, with great care, that Trump would be the first Presidential candidate since Reagan arguing for a reduction in the size of government – and he’s already staked out a position of protecting Social Security come what may, so the Democrats can’t really use the charge of “Trump wants to starve seniors” with any great effect.

Now, I don’t know how true this all is, nor how committed Trump is to it…but if it is true, it is a political earthquake.

What Media Bias? Part 201

Been a while since I did one of these – but this article has some interesting things to say regarding media bias and the 2000 election:

…The northwesternmost part of Florida is the Panhandle, which stretches along the Gulf of Mexico to Alabama. Often called the “Redneck Riviera,” it is the most Republican part of Florida, regularly giving Republicans big margins in state and national elections. The nine Panhandle counties that are farthest west—Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington—are in the Central Time Zone, and one additional county, Gulf, is split between Central and Eastern Time. According to the Miami Herald, “It is only a few miles to the Alabama border from anywhere in the western Panhandle, but more than five hundred miles and a cultural light-year to Miami.”

On Election Night, between 6:30 and 7:50 p.m. Eastern, anchors on all the major networks and cable channels reported over and over again that the polls in all of Florida closed at 7 p.m. Eastern. Not once did anyone on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, NBC, or MSNBC inform the audience that Florida has two time zones and two poll closing times. During that hour and 20 minutes, 13 journalists asserted a total of 39 times that there was only one poll-closing time throughout the entire state of Florida…

Why does that matter? Well, after 7pm Eastern, voting dropped off to practically nothing in the Florida Panhandle. It was over, you see? The Networks were already calling Florida for Gore before the polls closed in the Panhandle. The article goes on to note that the drop off probably cost Bush a net of about 11,000 votes – that margin would have still triggered an automatic re-count, but with that large a margin the result would never have been in doubt. Gore would have, at the latest, conceded a day or two after the election…no Bush vs Gore to the Supreme Court, no doubt cast over President Bush’s legitimacy. A lot of things would have been different (as an aside, I still recall very vividly that when the Networks finally did call the State for Bush, it was something like 97% of precincts reporting and Bush had a healthy lead – all of a sudden, a bunch of votes reported from heavily Democrat precincts and, presto!, it was effectively a tied race…I do wish someone had looked into that little, electoral miracle; that sudden surge in Democrat votes in FL is what caused the Networks to re-re-call FL and Gore to suddenly refuse to concede).

In light of this, you might recall the JournoList scandal – where it was discovered that a bunch of journalists had a private chat room, as it were, where they could discuss and coordinate their message…in the service of Democrats, naturally. We don’t know if there was such a thing during the 2000 election, but such things as JournoList and the massive repetition of the “polls close at 7 Eastern” lie over all MSM outfits in 2000 does indicate that the friendliness of journalists for their Democrat pals probably extends beyond mere friendliness. It might well go all the way to Democrats and journalists coordinating their efforts to tear down Republicans and build up Democrats in the public mind.

Remember, it wouldn’t take much – a hint here, a short phone call there and there you have it…messages all in agreement, everyone takes essentially the same line about whatever issue is being pushed at the moment. It’s not like this hasn’t happened – Ben Rhode’s demonstrably coordinated the MSM talking points for Obama’s Iran deal, after all.

We all know that almost all journalists are liberals – Progressives; Democrats with by-lines, as Instapundit puts it. They are not in journalism to serve objective truth – most of them, given their education, probably don’t believe there is such a thing as objective truth. But they do believe in Progressive ideology – they are quite certain that the world will be a better place if Progressive ideology triumphs in every particular. We know they are not on our side – but we only partially accept that they are on the Democrats’ side. In a certain sense, we know this – but in a larger sense, we still reject it…still expect that when facts are on our side, they’ll have to acknowledge it and (however grudgingly) go along with the facts. Drop that – if the facts disprove Progressive ideology, then the facts are wrong: this is how Progressives always have and always will view matters. And if they have to simply make up facts – or work up a scandal to destroy the purveyor of anti-Progressive facts – then that is what they’ll do.

And they do it all the time – right now, they are inventing “facts” to show that Hillary Clinton’s foundation is just this wonderful, life-giving entity out to serve the poor and downtrodden, even though all the actual facts show it to be nothing but a slush fund to keep the Clintons and their minions on the gravy train. What genuine charity would hire a political hatchet-man like Sid Blumenthal at $10,000.00 a month? Don’t get me wrong, almost all major political figures have a hatchet man or woman on the payroll; it’s part of the nature of things in politics…but 10 large per month for a hatchet man at a charity? Come on! That is just a bit of payola to your hatchet man…keeping him well fed until you needed him for political work. But, if you listen to the MSM, they’re going to have you believing that the Clinton Foundation was the next best thing to Mother Theresa…and perhaps better because the Clinton Foundation is pro-abortion (remember, in the topsy-turvey world of the left, being in favor of abortion in saintly).

And, so, don’t believe them. Oh, you can read and listen to their reports – and when an identifiable fact comes across, you can believe it (but check, to be sure – and even if it’s confirmed elsewhere, run it through your “does this really seem likely?” mental filter). But remember that even when the MSM reports something true, it is bound to be mixed with lies – and as I said the other day, add an ounce of lie to a pound of truth, and you get a lie. The stories will be reported, if they relate in any way to politics, in a way which will reflect ill on GOPers/Conservatives and well on Democrats/Progressives.

As it relates to 2016, the real problem is that Trump is giving the Democrats and their MSM lapdogs a lot of ammunition – but, even then, keep in mind that as bad as Trump may be, the MSM will paint him as worse than he is (and they’ll be assisted this year by a section of the right which has decided that hating Trump is vastly more important than stopping Progressives). Don’t fall into conspiracy theory stuff about it – it isn’t a conspiracy, once you understand that the nice, attractive and well-spoken reporter on TV is as dyed in the wool Progressive as Hillary and is convinced that come heck or high water, Hillary simply must be elected President. Even if they wanted to be honest, this simple fact of life will color their perception of what is going on…and if they don’t care about being honest, then it’ll just be worse as far as telling the truth goes.

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.

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.

Backing Hillary Over Trump?

I had been thinking for a while that with the choices before us, people should be cut a lot of slack in how they chose. I still tend to hold to this, but recent news has caused me to modify my thinking a bit. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve seen people just get downright silly in how they are viewing the Trump vs Hillary campaign. People are increasingly staking out extreme positions on both sides and as heels dig in, minds shut down.

Even in the worst set of alternatives, it is up to people to think carefully over the entire situation and try to come to a conclusion based upon a rational understanding of all the facts. There are facts – about Hillary and Trump as well as the other candidates – which even if they can’t immediately determine the best course of action, can at least tell us what the worst course of action would be. In two bad alternatives, one is going to be worse than the other. Even in the thinking that Trump and Hillary represent heart attack and cancer, you can still make a choice – heart attack might immediately kill you, but if you can survive the immediate attack, you’ll be ok. Cancer won’t immediately kill you, but it is much harder to cure than a heart attack. If forced to choose one, you’re going to just have to figure what set of risks you are willing to undergo in the hopes that in the long term you’ll be ok. Now, add in this: the heart attack happens whens someone is there to immediately call 911 and get you to a hospital – the cancer, on the other hand, is already metastasizing and this latest bit is going to get into your lymph nodes. Choose.

Someone did – and they appear to have chosen the cancer.

One-time GOP gubernatorial candidate and current Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. The stated reason for this being that Trump is a budding Hitlerian nightmare who will destroy American democracy. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who’s commitment to the truth and to scrupulously following the laws enacted by American democracy is so well known.

I can’t, of course, look into Whitman’s mind and soul and see the real reason she’s decided to back the hopelessly corrupt, completely dishonest and incompetent Hillary Clinton. I could easily understand why Whitman would refuse to vote for Trump – but her stated reason for backing Hillary against Trump simply isn’t rational. I can only suspect that Whitman’s actions are motivated by sheer stupidity…or that her allegiance was never to the Republican Party, but rather to the Ruling Class of which she is a member. I do discount stupidity as the motivator as her successful business career indicates she’s at least literate (given her advantages, the mere ability to read would ensure she rose high in the corporate world) and thus has been able to read the papers and know that the person she’s going to vote for – and raise massive amounts of money for – is corrupt to the bone.

People do ask me what I’m going to do on November 8th – I always answer the same way: I don’t know who I’ll vote for, but I certainly will not vote for Hillary. This is because of the candidates for President (including minor party candidates) Hillary is clearly the worst possible choice (with some exceptions to be listed below). Trump has done a lot of very disreputable things over the years – some very fast and lose activities in business which an honorable man wouldn’t do. Additionally, he has made a lot of statements which are simply unacceptable. On the other hand, Hillary has deliberately and maliciously lied over and over again to the American people and these lies have served to protect and advance her quest for wealth and political power. A bit of sharp practice by Trump to make a buck simply does not compare to the kind of behavior that Hillary has engaged in – and his vulgar statements, bad as they are, are just words…stupid words, bad words, words which ought not to be spoken…but, just words. Words don’t hurt any man or woman with any sense of self respect.

Outside of moral questions, even putting it in terms of who will be most baleful to the eventual attempt to restore American greatness still comes down on Trump’s side. Hillary has already participated as First Lady and an elected and appointed official of government in undermining the rule of law in the United States. She has already weakened America’s position in the world. She has already coddled America’s enemies and dismayed America’s allies. The direct consequences of policies she advanced led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. The direct consequences of policies she advanced have Iran taking over Iraq, ISIS on a rampage in the Middle East and a flood of refugees into the West…with the real refugees having to flee their homes because of failed policies Hillary backed, and fake refugees taking advantage of the crisis to infiltrate western nations. Trump has never held elective or appointive office – what he may do while in office is unknown. He might turn out as bad or even worse than Hillary but no one can possibly know this. We know what Hillary has done. She is giving every indication that she will keep on doing what she has done. What she has done has proven disastrous to the United States and the world. Putting Hillary into office means ratifying certain disaster. Putting Trump into office means rolling the dice.

Times come where there is no fast and easy answer to a question. This is one of those times. You can choose your heart attack, or your cancer. You can choose a bout of the ‘flu (Green Party), or a bad hangover (Libertarians). You can also choose to not decide – don’t vote for anyone, or write in a name. You still can vote for Hillary for rational reasons – these being either in hopes that the GOP will then clean up in the 2018 midterms; that as the economy is likely to enter recession and it’d be better if a Democrat caught the blame for it; that the GOP is finished and it is better to burn it down in 2016 in hopes of a new party by 2020. If any of those are your reasons, then I’ve got no problem with your choice. But whatever you choose, don’t try to sell me on the notion that Trump is so demonstrably bad that Hillary is a better choice. He’s not and she isn’t.

Have You No Decency?

It is, essentially, the question asked of Trump and his supporters all the time. As for Trump, it appears that the best answer would be, “not much”. But I would like to point out that the people who are using Captain Khan against Trump are the same people who called Captain Kahn and his fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines War Criminals. Have you forgotten? Don’t you remember from about late 2003 until January 20th, 2009 that our military was derided as full of stupid people who couldn’t get into college and thus got “stuck” in the military? Don’t you remember the endless stories about how our soldiers were behaving like beasts? That the overly-soft prison at Gitmo was compared unfavorably to GULAG? Does Code Pink strike a bell? ANSWER? Does anything that happened as far back as last week matter to anyone any more?

I’d much prefer we lived in a polity where common decency was observed – you know, where people at least tried to tell the truth; didn’t exaggerate and/or flat out lie for political advantage; treated the opposition with respect due to all human beings. But, we don’t live in that sort of polity. I date the vileness in American politics to the Bork confirmation hearings where Ted Kennedy – the liberal “Lion” of the Senate – actually got up and said that Robert Bork would approve laws which allowed Gestapo-like cops to break down American doors at will. From that point on, for the left, there have been no standards of decency – you can say whatever you want about your opponents, launch the most disgusting slanders, and it is up to the opponent to prove it isn’t true. Of course, this only works one way – only liberals are allowed to be disgusting…non-liberals have to just sit there and take it and never, ever answer back in kind.

When the TEA Party emerged in 2009, it was made up of excessively polite, middle class Americans who would never hurt a fly. It was presented as a racist, fascist, violent organization out to destroy all that is good and true. No surprise at all that a good number of those TEA Partiers have taken the measure of things and figured out that if you’re to be hanged for a sheep, might as well go for it all. Trump is the long-delayed response to the unfair, nauseating way the left has operated for decades.

I don’t like this, at all. There was a time in the past when I would have gotten right into the insult-fest, but I’ve come to realize that getting down in the muck with Progressives just gets me dirty. But I’m also not going to wring my hands in horror over what Trump and his people say – whatever they say, it doesn’t hold a candle to the things Progressives say, and have said for ages, for all the world as if insulting people is part of normal, political discourse. Maybe Trump’s mouth helps him get his clock cleaned on November 8th, maybe it helps him to victory. I don’t know, and I don’t much care. I’d like to see a return to decency – but any such return will now require both sides to quit it…and given that the left has been doing it longer and worse, I think it is up to them to realize they’ve gone too far, for too long.

Post Convention – Like We Really Cared About Them – Open Thread

Of all the Convention speakers, I think I caught about 30 seconds of some Democrat droning on about something as the TV channels switched between re-runs of some doctor soap opera and Fixer Upper on HGTV. In other words, I didn’t in the least care to hear what a bunch of people I repose no trust in had to say. On the other hand, following along on Twitter with the jokesters was hilarious. I am certain, however, that Hillary came out 2nd best in it and it was because of Obama’s assertion that Hillary is the best qualified person in history to run for President…if that’s the case, why didn’t the Democrats nominate her in 2008?. I think normal people who don’t follow politics will consider the whole thing a farce. But, we’ll see, shan’t we?

Along with following the jokes on Twitter I did notice plenty of highly educated, very experienced Conservative political pundits wailing and moaning and gnashing their teeth of the Democrats’ new-found respect for patriotic sentiments. Oh, my goodness, went the comments – because of the idiot GOP voters, the Democrats get to be the patriots! This pretty much finished many Conservative political pundits for me – for crying out loud, it’s not like the Democrats are being truthful here, guys! Give me a break! They are just lying – as they always do – in order to wow the suckers. Perhaps it will wow the suckers but if your definition of “love of country” is “make patriotic noises if it’ll help you win votes”, then I want no more to do with you. The bottom line is that we’ve lost and lost and lost and now got Trump because the GOP has played it’s own base for fools. We – the run-of-the-mill, average, everyday GOP/Conservative Americans – wanted certain things done. Certain fights to be had (even if we lost them); certain principals to be upheld; certain demands to be made and adhered to come heck or high water. The GOP leadership didn’t do this – they said they’d do it, and then as soon as they had garnered our votes, they went off and surrendered. And, so, Trump. Suck it up, sunshine – Trump isn’t our fault, he’s yours.

Who will win? Probably Hillary – she’s got the money and the political infrastructure. Both candidates are terribly unpopular and it may come down to a low turn-out election where Hillary’s superior resources can drag enough people to the polls. But, no one can really tell – it is notable that about 10 days ago, Rasmussen was the only pollster showing Trump ahead…now that almost all other polls show Trump ahead, Rasmussen has him behind. I’m putting this down to what I’ve expected all along with 2016 polling – no one can be sure who to poll. So many regular voters are disgusted and so many irregular voters are (at least in theory) excited that it is going to be very hard to detect who is really ahead. Some pollsters are very smart and they may be able to create an accurate model of the electorate…but we won’t know, for sure, if any of them have done that until after the election. To be sure, if polls show Hillary consistently up by 5 or 10 by late October, then it’d be safe to bet the she wins on November 8th…but even then, not 100% for sure. And ditto for vice-versa.

I’ve still no dog in this hunt – and I’m still unsure of what to do. I’ll probably remain unsure what to do until November 8th…after I’ve skipped past the Presidential contest to spend a great deal of time carefully going over the crucial city judge election contests and then stare blankly at the screen for a while, weeping softly… But as the co-author of The Worst President in History: the Legacy of Barack Obama, I will state firmly that neither of the two candidates will be as bad as Obama has been (and have you picked up a copy? I just re-read it a bit and it’s quite good…and selling fairly well for an independent publication with no advertising budget…just go on over to http://www.worstpresidentbook.com and buy it, today!). Part of this is because of the massive damage Obama has already done – hard to burn down a building a second time, ya dig? But mostly because Obama really has been a horror from day one…how in heck we elected someone out of the corrupt Chicago Democrat machine will always amaze me. If you haven’t read the book then you are likely unaware of the level of just sheer graft that has gone on – and while Hillary and Trump are not likely to be watchdogs against graft, it would take some spectacular efforts on their part to go beyond Obama’s cronyism. They can’t possibly be more un-Constitutional than Obama because there’s pretty much no provision of the Constitution that Obama hasn’t tried to violate (often with great success). Both of them are also quite old – we might luck out and find that either of them wind up a one term President. We can deal with four years of either of them – at all events, fixing this country is a generational thing and if we don’t get started until 2021, it won’t be that much harder a task.

And, so, off to the general election we go. Will there be debates? Not sure – some are saying Trump will shy away from them, fearful of Hillary’s razor sharp intellect (no, seriously; some people are saying that – stop laughing!). Some are saying Hillary will shy away from them because she doesn’t want Trump bringing up her rank corruption to a national audience (for a very large number of people, it would be the first time such things as the e mail scandal were really presented to them). It might make an interesting argument – what with Trump demanding that “unfair” MSMers be excluded and Hillary saying she can’t appear on stage with someone like Trump.

Trump will shoot his mouth off. Count on it. Each time he does, it will be announced that his most recent statement has finished him. File those with the 1,000 times his candidacy has already been declared dead because of his verbal monstrosities. It might be that his mouth eventually sinks him, but it hasn’t so far so don’t count on it doing so in the future. Hillary is going to run a “Rose Garden” campaign – pretty much acting like she’s already President, already has the election in the bag, giving carefully scripted interviews (but perhaps not a single press conference – too much risk that someone will ask a question not pre-vetted by the Hillary campaign)…and leaving it to surrogates to hammer Trump relentlessly. Trump will relentlessly bait Hillary (and Obama) hoping to make them lose their cool at some point – we’ll see how disciplined they are. Trump’s only hope is if several million people who don’t normally vote – or who normally vote Democrat – come his way. To really get them to the polls, he’ll have to build up some sort of good ground game…we’ll see if he’s disciplined enough to do that (or at least smart enough to let the pros do that for him).

I expect the House to remain Republican, and for the Senate to probably remain GOP, as well (looks like we might lose one or two, but will probably pick up Reid’s seat in NV…so, a net loss of one). If somehow Hillary pulls of a landslide, it might be different – but even then it might not. Nixon won in a blowout in 1972 with no significant change in Congress.

Some Thoughts on the State of Things

Sorry I kinda left the blog hanging during the GOP Convention – had a long-planned vacation to go see family and this time, something moved me to not bring my laptop along with me. As I am technologically limited, I never could figure out how to post from a smart phone or tablet, and this meant I couldn’t do any commentary while I was away.

I don’t feel bad about this, at all.

I do, however, feel bad – well, upset is a better word – about the overall situation.

Now that the GOP is officially the Party of Trump, I’m really just waiting for a new, Conservative party to arise. That, I think, is where the crux of the matter is – we don’t have a Conservative party. And 2016 shows that in the GOP, we never really had one. I guess we all sort of forgot that Reagan’s Conservatism was never favored by the overall GOP, nor by the GOP leadership. To be sure, he was a tonic against Carter and then when things went very well in his first term everyone was on board for four more years…but in spite of all Reagan’s gifts, he never moved the party fundamentally to the right. In 1988 we all loyally trooped to the polls to elect the Elder Bush, who had been a loyal VP for 8 years, and that was pretty much that – the right was out of the business of running the GOP. Since then, it has been a mere series of frustrations as Conservative policy ideas were watered down or shoved aside in the name of keeping ourselves viable at election time…and the best showing we’ve had nationally since then was W’s 51% of the vote in 2004. And, meanwhile, the nation hasn’t just drifted left, but has gone hard left as fast as it could, absent complete Progressive control of all branches of government.

In light of this, Trump isn’t a freakish event, but a culmination – something which was bound to happen. You see, the only way to have prevented Trump was to have a Conservative party all these years pushing the United States to the right. Had that been the case, then the working class would not have been alienated; immigration – legal and illegal – never would have got out of control; American power would have been effectively used to keep the peace; the economy would be strong and growing; etc and so on and on. As we have had a Progressive series of governments with, at best, only a short tap on the breaks from time to time via Conservative opposition, we have all the things which have gone wrong – and have called forth a demagogue who at least addresses the issue of how lousy things are (even if he never addresses the issue of how to actually make America great again). Remember, we almost got a full-on Progressive version of Trump in the form of Bernie Sanders as the Democrat nominee…recent revelations confirm what we all suspected: it took the united and relentless activity of the entire Democrat establishment to ensure that Hillary got the nomination…anything short of that and we’d be discussing Bernie’s choice of some Che Guevara clone for VP.

The election is still officially Hillary’s to lose – Trump, on the face of it, has a nearly insurmountable task ahead of him. Unless things are so screwed up in the American electorate that people – many of whom haven’t voted much or at all for decades out of disgust – that a majority is willing to take a spin with Trump, just to see what happens, and on the theory that it can’t possibly be worse than whatever Hillary would cook up for us. Anecdotes aren’t evidence, but I know more than one two time Obama voter who is eager to pull the lever for Trump. And that is among people who vote – I’ve been wondering out loud for months now if there is an even larger block of people who don’t vote (or rarely vote) feeling the same way.

Be that as it may, whether Trump or Hillary emerges victorious on November 8th, the fundamental problem will still remain that we don’t have a Conservative party. To be sure, I think that with Trump Conservatism will have more opportunities to slam on the breaks from time to time, but the general thrust of things will still be towards the left. Until we start to change the direction of American policy, doom still awaits us. We simply must get a Conservative party – perhaps there is still a chance of a Conservative take-over of the GOP (especially if Trump flames out in November), but I’m getting ever more doubtful of it. But take over the GOP or start a new party, the task of Conservatives is to create a political vehicle whereby Conservatism – unhindered by Progressivism – is brought to the American people in stark contrast to the way we currently do business. Eventually, our time must come – because this rotten system cannot forever sustain itself by a mixture of debt, fake money and corruption. It will fall apart – and if we have a Conservative party clean of it all, then the people will turn to us (even if in mere desperation) when things do finally go smash.

Meanwhile, we’ve just got to grin and bear it through 2016 – vote your conscience, as Cruz suggested. But, also, if I may offer a bit of advice, don’t get too wrapped up in the Trump vs Hillary contest. It also isn’t too productive, in my view, to get so angry about Trump that we forget that it is Progressivism, as such, which is the enemy…what I mean is don’t get so anti-Trump that you start to work out in practical terms to be pro-Hillary. No, a refusal to vote Trump is not an automatic vote for Hillary…but taking Progressive talking points and making out that Conservatives agree with them is to attempt to throw the election to Hillary. Stay away from that, if you can. Despise Trump until the cows come home, if that pleases you…but, remember, any credibility the right provides to Progressivism is yet another nail in Conservatism’s coffin. The right can never ally with the left – not even for a moment; they will take our help in dispatching whatever enemy they’ve currently got, and then turn ruthlessly on those on the right who helped them.

Finally, be of good cheer. No matter how lousy things look, never fall into despair. Remember, Conservatism is right – it is the correct world view. While I understand we’ve got some fellow Conservatives who don’t believe in God, let’s not forget the fact that almost all Conservatives do believe in God…and, because of this, we know we’re going to win, in the end.