You Can’t Say That About Democrats!

I did watch and/or listen to (was out driving, so part of it was on radio) a good portion of the debate last night. I admit that some of the things Trump said made me cringe – but as I thought it over, I realized that it wasn’t Trump’s rudeness which made me cringe but the mere fact that he was being rude to Democrats which made me cringe. I realized in an instant that I had been carefully conditioned over many decades to never really hit home against Democrats.

Think about it – we’ve all been conditioned. Ted Kennedy, in a drunken-drive, managed to get a woman (not his wife) killed. While that event pretty much ensured that Ted would never be President, it didn’t stop him from serving in the United States Senate for forty years after he got the woman killed. Forty years! Half a life time. And during that 40 years no one really called him on it. Oh, to be sure, some vulgar red-necks out there in fly-over country might go on about it from time to time, but not the general run of the GOP. Seven times after that incident Ted Kennedy went before the voters of Massachusetts seeking re-election to the Senate and if there ever was a GOPer who ran an ad, or even put out a flier, bringing up Chappaquiddick then I am unaware of it. And, meanwhile, Ted was just one of the boys – GOPers were proud to call him a friend; hang out with him; co-sponsor legislation with him; call him “esteemed colleague”. And then we gave the guy a State funeral when he died.

For goodness sake HE GOT A WOMAN KILLED. Shouldn’t that be a career-ending event?

Not for Democrats – and only because we’re not allowed to bring up just what it is they do. Not in any meaningful sense – and certainly not when they are in front of a national audience. That just wouldn’t do. It would be rude. Mean-spirited. A bit of the politics of personal destruction. Unworthy of anyone…who isn’t a Democrat, that is. Democrats are allowed to bring up whatever they want, no matter what the venue. And if there isn’t any real dirt on a Republican, Democrats are just allowed to make things up and never get called liars when they do…you know, like when Senator Harry Reid lied about Romney’s taxes. For decades it has gone on like this – Democrats can do really terrible things and we can’t use it against them while Democrats are free to bring against us anything they want. We’ve been like whipped dogs; quietly playing our part as honorable men and women who want what is best…but always working out to getting Democrats in power and Progressive policies getting enacted.

And then came Trump.

My goodness, what a crass, rude, vulgar man! I’m serious about that – a bull in a china shop is more elegant by comparison. Hang on him that famous sign which used to be present on animal cages in the Paris zoo: “Caution! This animal is vicious; when attacked, it defends itself”. For 90 minutes on Sunday night Hillary Clinton (and Bill), had to essentially just sit there and take it – someone talking openly (and rudely) about what they had done. Holding nothing back – just letting them have it (and it must have been even more excruciating for Bill as he’s just as much an alpha-male as Trump…just more charming; and he couldn’t hit back!). When it was done, it was clear that no matter what the election results will be, Hillary has been exposed before a national audience as someone who is unfit to be President of the United States. And saying Trump is unfit, as well, makes no matter – Hillary is damaged goods. Only a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat will ever think of her as other than a corrupt hack.

And…it was refreshing. A breath of clean, bracing air – a clearing away of cobwebs. It was invigorating. You know, like democratic politics are supposed to be…conventions are for aristocracies…democracies are rude, vulgar and crass and don’t give a darn about your rules of behavior. And from now on, we’re free to say what is on our mind about Democrats. I don’t expect most GOPers in current leadership will grasp this – certainly not all at once – but they’ve been given permission to just go at them with gusto…no matter how they do it, they won’t be able to out-vulgar Trump.

American politics are changing. The quiet dogmas of the past are fading away before our very eyes. There is no national consensus on what it means to be American, or what America should stand for. We’re working it out – and it is the nature of these things that there will be a period – perhaps quite prolonged – where things get quite hot. By every traditional measure of American politics, Hillary is the next President and that is probably what the result will be. Of course, it hasn’t exactly been a traditional year and so, hold on to your hats. But even if she gets in, all she represent is the corrupt, grasping, dying political order. In decades of public life she’s never accomplished anything other than to garner power and wealth, and that is all she’ll do as President…and, meanwhile, the American political scene will continue to seethe and boil…with people both of the left and the right furious with the status quo and looking for an answer. As Trump has very accurately said, a vote for her is a vote to keep things exactly as they are…but things as they are won’t work. Except for the rent-seekers already at the trough, everyone is getting the short end of the stick. Read a bit ago that Chicago is issuing short-term bonds…not in order to build infrastructure, but merely to keep up bloated pension payments for retired government employees. In other words, the money a Chicago taxpayer wants to go for his local school is being used to send a check to a guy who may be retired to Arizona…Chicago is essentially taking out payday loans to keep up the bribes the Ruling Class has paid to itself. This is not a system which is healthy or has any chance of surviving long term.

I don’t know how it will all work out – I freely admit that I know nothing, because what I know was learned up until now, and it is all based upon knowledge drawn upon the political settlement created between 1933 and 1964. All that is out the window, now. We’ll just have to see how it comes out – but at least we no longer have to be polite to political grifters while we work it out.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Understanding Trumpism

Honest, I was going to write this article! In fact, I had a draft going…but, I got behind a bit and, anyways, Victor Davis Hanson is a much better writer than I am…so, here ya go.

As we stare in amazement at the phenomena of Trump and wonder just what the heck his followers are thinking, there is a rather simple answer. And Hanson provides it:

…What the elites now consider normal and standard seems, to a growing minority of Americans, aberrant and unhinged — and they are looking for a remedy, even if it is mostly rhetorical and chimerical.

Members of the so-called establishment do not fear receiving a memo announcing that an immigrant technician on a work visa will be taking their place or that their jobs will be outsourced overseas. For that matter, I don’t expect that my employer, the Hoover Institution, will move to Mexico to cut costs, or that National Review will hire a foreign national to write this column for 40 percent of what it currently pays.

When the son or daughter of someone in New York or Washington who despises the symbolism of the Trump candidacy does not quite top out on the SAT, or does not make it to Ghana for his or her cultural-diversity summer internship, or does not earn a prep school’s full recommendation, and so does not get into Yale or Princeton, does the parent happen to know a powerful public figure, an Ivy League insider, or a rich donor who might wish to call and put in a good word for an underappreciated but talented white male? If so, then that parent is navigating around affirmative action rather than upholding it. Meanwhile, the 18-year-old son of a truck driver in Grand Rapids, of the wrong sex and color, is out of luck…

Do read the whole thing.

Lately, Trump has been rising in the polls and looks like he’s got a shot at winning Indiana – and if he does, that is very close to game over for Cruz; Trump might well secure a first-ballot majority, or come so close that it doesn’t matter. How did Trump come back from the drubbing Cruz gave him in Wisconsin? By complaining about the way Cruz – following the rules to the letter – was securing delegates which his vote totals didn’t justify. You and I know that this is just playing by the rules and that, indeed, the arcane rules of a Republic are the best assurance against tyranny…but for most people, just watching from the sidelines, it is just unfair that someone who got more votes should come in second to the person who got less votes. Trump’s whine, as we anti-Trumpers put it, resonated far and wide across America. It just isn’t fair – and the American people, bottom line, are mostly sick of the rank unfairness of the current system.

Now, to be sure, some Trumpsters have gone full racist and/or anti-Semitic, perceiving in their minds that some sort of Minority or Jewish Conspiracy is the cause of the unfairness. This is actually a common failing among humans – to easily believe that it is the Other who has caused the problem. But leaving aside the Trumpsters who believe that, the overwhelming mass of them are just people who can see that things are lousy, well-connected people are getting an easy ride, and anyone who complains is shouted down as a racist/sexist/homophobe.

Well, not everyone is a racist/sexist/homophobe – but those who are being insulted with those terms do see their school systems collapsing; their faith insulted; their national heroes spat upon; their jobs shipped overseas or taken by someone from another land who will do it for less; their prices for basic necessities going up…and, here in 2016, quite a lot of them are very mad. And if some of them are lashing out in an rage then it must be understood that it was a provoked rage. People content with their lives and feeling that things are roughly fair don’t get enraged. Period.

And as Hanson also points out, whatever you want to say about Trump – and I’ll heartily join you in saying it – it can be matched by Hillary, by Sanders, by the majority of Democrat and Republican party leaders. By the leaders of the bureaucracy and the corporations. By those who run the outlets of popular media culture. If Trump is a lying, vulgar nincompoop then so are all the rest of them. In the race right now, only Cruz is in any way free from the dishonesty of the overall American system. The concept that some how or another electing Hillary would be an improvement over electing Trump is utter nonsense. The concept that Trump is more divisive than Obama has been is utter nonsense. The concept that Trump is not spiritually at one with all the rest of the people in charge is utter nonsense. And the people are given a choice – Trump’s clown show or Hillary’s…if the choice does come down to that, I think a lot of people will go for Trump on the simple calculation that just maybe, by some miracle, those who have been destroying America will at least get their smug hypocrisy shoved back in their faces. Whether that will be enough to elect Trump remains to be seen – but such an action by tens of millions of American voters in November won’t be an act of stupidity, nor an irrational act. What would be stupid and irrational is voting for Hillary as an allegedly superior option – everyone who isn’t a blind partisan knows for a fact that Hillary is a crook…we don’t know, for certain, that Trump is.

And this is why I refuse to be drawn in to insult wars against Trumpsters. Trumpism is a failure just waiting to happen…but just going along with what we’ve already got is a failure that is already upon us. I do wish the Trumpsters would see through Trump and realize that Cruz is the best option. If Trump goes down to flaming defeat in November, I’m hoping that the Trumpsters shake off Trumpism and in 2020 go for a Cruz or a Walker or a Jindal. But Trumpism is a going concern simply because those who have been running the show have been running America into the ground, and profiting greatly off the resultant disaster. Unless and until the Republican Party embraces revolutionary reform of the United States, Trump or someone like him will always find a ready ear at least among a large minority of Americans.

The State of the Race

Is Trump done? Not at all. He only needs to secure on the first ballot 482 of the remaining 798 delegates outstanding. That is about 60% of the remainder, though, so he’d have to do much better going forward than he has so far. And that is much more difficult for him to do because there’s only three in the race, now, and Trump has made himself ever more toxic to everyone but his core supporters.

Cruz, meanwhile, has the nearly impossible task of getting about 90% of the remaining delegates to secure a first ballot nomination – anything can happen in politics, but it is almost a certainty that Cruz won’t be able to do that. But that, at any rate, doesn’t seem to be Cruz’ plan right now – the reason he’s working hard at getting his people into the delegations to the Convention is he figures (a) he can’t get a first ballot majority and (b) neither can Trump. Many of Cruz’ people will have to vote Trump on the first ballot but after that, it’s pretty much anything goes…but as these people were selected with massive input from Cruz, it is highly unlikely they’ll go for anyone other than Cruz, unless the convention deadlocks after multiple ballots are taken. Then Cruz backers might start looking around for a non-Trump, non-Establishment alternative. Of course, Cruz also has to worry not just about how Trump does, but how Kasich does…if Trump plus Kasich equals “nominating majority”, then Kasich might well throw his support to Trump, putting him over the top. Whatever amount Trump falls short, it will be vital to Cruz to make sure he falls farther short than whatever Kasich has.

It occurred to me today that as well as securing himself friendly 2nd ballot delegates, Cruz may also be making a play to take over the Party. Remember, regardless of who they are pledged to vote for on the first ballot, Cruz-backing delegates will be voting on the rules for the Convention. If Cruz gets enough of his people in there, then Cruz sets the agenda for the Convention. And given how diligent Cruz has been at this nuts-and-bolts stuff, I’d be shocked if among his selected delegates there aren’t people who have mastered the rules of parliamentary procedure. People who know that stuff can tie things up in knots, and untie them just as swiftly…while those who don’t know the rules won’t know what hit them. Given that Trump has proven himself manifestly ignorant of the nuts-and-bolts of politics, I’d expect the Convention to steamroller Trump…and, also, go a long way towards making sure Establishment types don’t parachute someone else into the nomination.

I have to admit to being ever more impressed with Cruz. I’ve always admired his firm stance on Constitutional government, but he’s also showing rare ability to just work the system – set up, it must be said, by people who despise him and wanted to precisely keep out people like him – to his advantage. He prepares. He studies. He does the mind-numbingly boring stuff it takes to get things done. Of course, he can’t do it alone so he must have hired some really cracker jack people to help him out. Given the towering unpopularity of Hillary and her massively dispirited base, I’m starting to think that Cruz might be able to make mince meat out of her in the fall. We’ll have to see – and, of course, it is not even remotely certain that Cruz will prevail in Cleveland. Lot of politics to go through before we get there.

Bernie is, however, done – he never was other than done, anyway. The Democrat Party has determined that Hillary will be the nominee. Lot of factors probably playing to that. Not least is the fact that the party it honeycombed with Hillary loyalists…but it is more than that. It is her “turn”, you see? Democrats really think like that – not all of them, but enough to grind it out. But it is still remarkable that Hillary has yet to put Sanders down. I suspect it will be end of April, start of May before she manages it…and then only with the sort of chicanery which often gives her as many delegates from a State as Sanders gets, even when he blows her out among the voters.