Former President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder won’t tell the truth when it comes to their redistricting strategy, but here it is: Pick a state, any state, and sue until it’s blue.
They have spent years and millions of dollars selling the false narrative that Democrats draw “fair maps” while any and all Republican-drawn maps are “partisan gerrymanders.”
While rhetorically cute, their primary goal has nothing to do with fighting gerrymandering as they repeatedly claim, but to put redistricting in the hands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats and lifetime-appointed judges.
Their strategy makes sense. There are plenty of unelected federal judges presiding over these redistricting cases who will enthusiastically toss out constitutionally drawn maps to help elect more Democrats. Here’s how to stop this.
As a First Amendment maximalist, I am inclined to reply an automatic "No" to my own headline — should journalists go to jail for spreading their seditious lies?
But a penalty of some kind, indeed a serious one, should certainly be levied for misinforming the public on the most important subject of our day, which has happened repeatedly over the last few years concerning the Russia probe.
And when these prevarications can be shown to have been deliberate, to have been done knowingly, difficult as that may be to prove, the line to sedition may have been crossed.
Thus there is an argument the reporters involved should face legal consequences. Are they guilty of sedition? Decide for yourselves: read 18 U.S. Code § 2384. Seditious conspiracy.
In a recent New York Times op-ed (5/01), fired FBI Director James Comey was back again preaching to the nation about the dangers of Donald Trump and his capacity to corrupt any top-ranking federal official of lower character than Comey’s own.
Comey seems to have become utterly unhinged by Donald Trump, especially when the president, in his Queens accent, scoffs in the vernacular—quite accurately, given the transgressions of the FBI hierarchy—about “crooked cops.”
What an affront to Comey’s complexity, his subtlety, his sophistication, his feigned Hamlet-like self-doubt—at least as now expressed in his latest incarnation as Twitter’s Kahlil Gibran.
One can say a number of things about the timing of Comey’s latest sermon and his characteristic projection of his own sins on to others. Here they are.
Indeed. Here's what Trump’s foes have to be scared about.
No doubt a lot of former Obama administration and Hillary Clinton campaign officials, opposition guns for hire, and media members are stunned and scared that the Justice Department finally has a leader willing to address the FBI’s behavior in 2016
They all worked very hard to make sure such an accounting never happened. Only in that context can we understand the frantic new Democrat-media campaign to tar the attorney general.
Like lots of millennials who have catapulted to fame, May Golan got her start on the internet, blogging about life in her South Tel Aviv neighborhood. From there she gained a platform as a social activist, with 25,000 followers on Facebook and 16,300 on Twitter.
On Tuesday (4/09), hours before she won a seat in Israel’s Knesset, she reached out to voters in one last Facebook video, wearing a T-shirt with the words “Netanyahu. Right-wing. Strong. Successful.” emblazoned in blue and white block letters. She is 32.
In other words, Golan is staunchly right wing. She’s also a lot like many Israeli Jews of her generation.
While American millennials have a reputation for liberal politics, young Israeli Jews have gone the opposite direction over time. For at least the past 10 years, these voters have identified as right wing at much higher levels than their parents.
[Note by JW – Damon Linker is on the Left, but has the integrity to report real news even if it disappoints him]
Don't be fooled by misleading stories about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's disappointing showing in Tuesday's (4/09) election in Israel.
Even if the centrist Blue and White alliance of former military chief Benny Gantz had eked out a very narrow victory over Netanyahu's right-wing Likud Party, the story of this election is not at all about the retreat of the right. (Gantz conceded yesterday 4/10.)
On the contrary, the most far-reaching consequence of the 2019 Israeli election may well be that it verified, beyond any reasonable doubt, that there is functionally no Left left in Israel. It has become a country with a center, a right, and a far right, but no electorally viable Left to speak of.
An astonishing example. The Labor Party – viewed as the equivalent of the US Democrat Party – performed so badly it may be on te verge of extinction.
Though they were excruciatingly obnoxious to William Barr at Tuesday's (4/09) House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Democrats would be well-advised to lay off the attorney general, maybe even treat him with kid gloves, because he holds a good deal of the future of their party in his hands.
In fact, he is positioned to make that party bleed as perhaps no one in history. And it only makes it worse that he is clearly such a straight shooter.
The big story from Barr's testimony then before the subcommittee was not that the AG plans to release a redacted version of the Mueller report within a week or even that those redactions will be color-coded four ways and annotated to explain the reasons for the edits.
Here's the real big story, and it’s really big.
Owens has at least a hundred IQ points on the supremely ignorant Ocasio-Cortez. Owens's grace and class are the antithesis of Ocasio-Cortez's empty-headed, ditzy meanderings.
Owens's videos are all worth watching, and her performance yesterday (4/09) in front of the House Oversight Committee was spectacular as you can see above. She put the Democrats on that committee to shame, especially Jerrold Nadler and Ted Lieu.
Both of them tried their best to humiliate her, to use her as a prop in their latest narrative that Trump is responsible for a make-believe rise of white nationalism and white supremacy. Yet it was she who humiliated them.
She indeed spoke truth to the Democrats in front of her, when she told them in her opening statement:
"The hearing today is not about white nationalism or hate-crimes, it’s about fear-mongering, power and control."
[Note by JW – Professor Hanson provides a masterful compendium of all twelve of the ways the pathologically fascist Democrats and media tried and failed to destroy the Trump Presidency, and then asks the crucial question at the end.]
Right after the 2016 election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein—cheered on by Hillary Clinton dead-enders—sued in three states to recount votes and thereby overturn Donald Trump’s victory in the Electoral College.
Before the quixotic effort imploded, Stein was praised as an iconic progressive social justice warrior who might stop the hated Trump from even entering the White House.
When that did not work….
On Sunday (4/07), the New York Times reported: “US Military Pulls Out of Libyan Capital As Rival Militias Battle.”
Here’s the background, and what the Times doesn’t understand: that this is an ambush of Putin’s Russia on NATO and the US.
The meeting of 29 foreign ministers from member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in Washington, DC, last week (April 3–4), marking the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Alliance, was not a joyful occasion for Russia.
During the celebration, Russia was duly identified as the main disruptor of regional security. The allies asserted unity in deterring Moscow’s provocative behavior and confirmed their resolve to increase defense expenditures accordingly.
Moscow’s urge to spoil the “hostile” celebrations of NATO’s lasting success was irresistible, but the readiness to directly challenge the security of the Alliance’s frontline states or even partners was clearly absent. So Putin found a near-perfect place for an ambush in Libya.
The most merciful thing in the world, I think,” wrote the American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft in the opening to The Call of Cthulhu, “is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”
In the Lovecraftian mythos, this refers to the occult world of the Great Old Ones, eldritch gods from outer space, as old as time itself who lie beyond our ken, dead but still dreaming. If we could only grasp their existence and see how fragile our imaginary world really is, we would go mad. Thus, we go on believing in an illusion and subconsciously hope Cthulhu and Azathoth never show us their true faces.
With the Democrat Party embracing full hardcore totalitarian Leftism, the secret to being a successful Democrat is very similar.
While President Trump was holding his Monday (2/11) rally in El Paso for a packed stadium, the hapless Beto O'Rourke was hosting his own pathetic anti-wall protest, his "March for Truth," a quarter of a mile away.
His little march attracted about three hundred people. Beto spoke Spanish while his supporters waved Mexican flags, and his gathering was close enough to the Trump event that the big rally's music could be heard.
It may be safe to say that Beto's potential run for president is over before it has begun. He is a self-serving, anti-American intellectual lightweight like Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, and every other Democrat who has thrown his hat in the ring for 2020.
There is a famous poem by Sir Walter Scott published in 1805 that perfectly describes people like Beto, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Schumer, Harry Reid , Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Left:
“We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair. Here in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” --President Donald Trump, February 5, 2019This was the President’s Declaration of War upon “Socialism,” i.e. Marxism, Fascism, and Communism.
After all, the three greatest mass-murderers of all time were “Socialists” – Hitler the National Socialist (30 million), Stalin the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (40 million), Mao the leader of “the Socialist revolution” of the Chinese Communist Party (60 million).
The reason Trump's outspoken opposition to socialism is so timely, more necessary than ever in our country, is the catastrophe of America’s schools. While few were noticing, our educational system -- from the earliest years through college -- has been turning, indeed has turned for the most part, into a virtual indoctrination program for socialism.
As the shutdown heads into its fourth week, the nation is getting used to the radical idea that we can actually do without the fleets of bureaucrats who, in the immortal words of the Declaration of Independence, have been "sent hither to harass our people and eat out their substance."
For decades, as the federal leviathan has grown ever larger, and poked its voracious snout into all manners of unconstitutional fodder, the people of the United States have largely sat idly by, hoping to catch some of the droppings from the creature's maw in the belief that it will not eat them too as it forages merrily along.
Still, life has gone on otherwise pretty much as before -- and the longer the shutdown continues, the more easily the way we were can be forgotten.
So the longer Donald Trump wrangles with his two superannuated cartoon antagonists, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the stronger the president's position becomes.
On the one hand, higher education’s professional schools in medicine and business, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs in math, science, and engineering, are the world’s best. America dominates the lists of the top universities compiled in global surveys conducted from the United Kingdom to Japan.
On the other hand, the liberal arts and social sciences of America’s universities are expensive engines of propaganda and intolerance.
Few believe any more that current liberal-arts programs have prepared graduates to write persuasively and elegantly, to read critically and to think inductively while drawing on a wide body of literary, linguistic, historical, artistic, and philosophical knowledge.
By and large, the bachelor’s degree, even in a liberal-arts major, no longer certifies that a graduate will be able to read, reason, compute, or draw on a body of knowledge far more effectively than those without an undergraduate degree.
The decline of the university has been an ongoing tragedy since the 1960s, but the erosion has accelerated because of ideological bias and its twin, incompetence. Here are five major recent and additional catalysts.
[The President’s magnificent address to the nation on border security last night, 1/08, with full transcript following]
America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation.
But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings.
Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.
This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul. This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.
Just as the Republican Party is purging itself of hackneyed lawmakers, bitter neoconservative commentators, and insatiable interventionists, along comes Mitt Romney to remind us of what we definitely are not missing.
In a late New Year’s Day sermon published in the Washington Post, the incoming senator expressed his disappointment in the president and, by extension, in all of us. It was filled with the sort of juvenile platitudes that at one time mollified Republican voters, but now either amuse or enrage them.
The reaction on the Right to Romney’s missive was fast and furious. His niece, head of the Republican National Committee, sided with Trump, while the President again teased the man he once teased with the prospect of a cabinet position, tweeting yesterday morning:
Yet, something new seems to be emerging across the country. Politicians have long felt the need to disguise raw political agendas in the pretense of principle. That pretense has disappeared.
In this Age of Rage, voters seem to have no patience, let alone need, for leaders speaking of abstract principles. They want immediate unequivocal action in supporting or opposing President Trump.
For Democrats, that all-consuming purpose has led to the abandonment of core unifying values, including many that first drew me to the Democrat Party. While they would vehemently deny it, Trump is remaking the party in his inverse image. This past month shows how far that transformation has gone.
Pittsburgh—It’s just before 7 p.m. on a frigid December night, and already the Allegheny Elks Lodge No. 339 on the city’s North Side is filling up quickly—both the long bar and the tables in the adjacent hall.
There’s a woman collecting for a 50-50 raffle. (You may as well give in; she won’t take no for an answer.) Elks volunteers young and old are manning the bar and the kitchen, where the special tonight is a gourmet grilled cheese (black forest honey ham, Gouda cheese, and bacon).
Upstairs a six-lane sparkling white and red art deco bowling alley straight out of the 1920s is filled with young people from a local league. The floor above that is where lodge meetings are held; it is a beautiful ballroom also straight out of the Roaring ’20s.
The beer is cheap and cold. The food is cheap and tasty. Soon the entire building is packed to the rafters, people lining the walls in the hall and the bar. It’s as if Frank Capra made a movie in this century.
Civic life like this has been dying for decades, accelerated by the isolating effects of gaming and smartphones, and the anti-social components of social media. Today, the sense of community, security and civic duty that fraternal organizations can cultivate is returning.
Thanks to the flow of foreign information into the Hermit Kingdom, North Korea is changing from the inside out — and Kim Jong Un is running to catch up. The growing split between the North Korean people and the state is proving difficult for the Kim regime to reverse.
The influx of foreign media and knowledge has been growing for years, and like the red pill from The Matrix, it has the power to transform North Koreans’ understanding of the world. It permeates all levels of North Korean life, and civilians are becoming increasingly self-aware.
Foreign media infiltrating the North — South Korean dramas, in particular — have done the most to reshape the way North Koreans view their southern neighbors and, in turn, their own realities. From fashion to an awareness of human rights, foreign ideas now increasingly color the lives of ordinary North Koreans.
By “rule of the best” ( the Greek aristokratia), I mean the ancien régime was no longer understood to suggest wealth and birth (alone), but instead envisioned itself as a supposed national meritocracy of those with proper degrees, and long service in the top hierarchies of government, media, blue-chip law firms, Wall Street, high tech, and academia.
The 2016 election and refutation of the ruling class did not signal that those without such educations and qualifications were de facto better suited to direct the country. Instead, the lesson was that the past record of governance and the current stature of our assumed best and brightest certainly did not justify their reputations or authority, much less their outsized self-regard.
In short, instead of being a meritocracy, they amount to a mediocracy, neither great nor awful, but mostly mediocre. Let us count the ways they are and how Donald Trump is their repudiation.
These people, these Democrats in Congress, are among the most privileged persons on the planet. They have enjoyed, more than most, the blessings bequeathed by the Founders, the authors of the Constitution. Yet they are determined, like Obama, to transform us into something this nation was never meant to be: a land without borders.
While all of them are on record supporting a border wall in the past, now that Donald Trump is president, they all oppose it with every fiber of their being. They know that it will work, and they cannot abide Trump having a win. These people – Schumer, Pelosi, Gutiérrez, etc. – are truly venal.
It should be obvious to every American by now that our “progressive” regressive Left does not have the best interest of Americans at heart. Quite the opposite. They have become a Curse blighting our beloved country.
I debated for a few minutes. Dues have inflated since I joined in the eighties and are now a hefty $450 per annum. Nevertheless, spendthrift that I am, I bit the proverbial bullet and went for it. Call it the inability to break a bad habit. Or an addiction to the non-stop influx of screeners that arrive at my door every December, not that I watch many of them. (I suspect I'm not alone in that.)
But it wasn't just the money that had made me hesitate. On one level, I wouldn't have re-upped up for $4.50, let alone $450. I mean -- what was the point of this? Does anybody care who wins the Oscar anymore? I certainly don't -- and I'm a voter.
Here’s why this year the Oscars will continue on their downward spiral toward life support.
That’s as prosecutors once again work overtime to turn extramarital affairs and the efforts to keep them secret into impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors.
Except it’s worse. Unable to get the witnesses to compose the stories they want, today’s prosecutors are discovering they can simply compose the crimes by manipulating the pleas of men desperate to protect their families. That never happened in 1998.
The Michael Cohen Sentencing Memo of November 30 took aim directly at both Cohen and President Donald Trump. It was used, unethically, to cast the president as directing a criminal conspiracy to make “secret and illegal” payments. Then again, when has Mueller and his gang done something ethically?
Robert Mueller’s legal team may write a damning report on Trump’s ethics, based mostly on flipping minor former business associates of Trump’s and transient campaign officials by threatening them with long prison sentences.
So far, we know that the U.S. government decided to intervene in a political campaign to help one candidate and to smear the other — under the pretext of Russian “collusion.” That would be Obama’s government helping Hillary to smear The Donald.
And so it hired or made use of spies and informants including Hank Greenberg, Stefan Halper, Felix Sater, and others to contact Trump campaign officials to catch them in supposed collusion traps.
It enlisted the help of foreign intelligence agencies, specifically the British and Australians.
It misled FISA courts into granting warrants to spy on Americans and, post factum, threatened long prisons sentences with those surveilled and interviewed.
Why has Robert Mueller investigated absolutely none of this?
These sanguine claims are made despite the fact that internal controls are often so poor, or even nonexistent on election integrity, that it is nearly impossible to know if voter fraud has even occurred.
In every critical area—voter identification, voter registration, duplicate voting, absentee ballots, ineligible voting, ballot custody, ballot destruction, counterfeit ballots, voting machine tampering—gaping holes exist that invite systemic fraud.
But so what? How relevant is voter fraud, if the entire system is already rigged to favor one party – the Democrats – over the other?
Come to California to see what’s going to roll out across America in time to guarantee a progressive landslide in 2020. It may be perfectly legal. But it’s so rigged it would make Boss Tweed blush.
The team Mueller hired really foretold the story — Andrew Weissmann as the stop-at-nothing pit bull and a group of Democrat lawyers, including some who have represented the Clintons, had the obstruction of justice charge ready to go on day one.
The investigation, I believe, has come up truly empty on its central charge related to the president — collusion with the Russian government. They are now trying to find someone, anyone who had any contact with Julian Assange with the aim of calling that collusion-lite.
But mostly what Mueller’s team is doing is bludgeoning witnesses on unrelated charges to piece together a case against the president. They are shaping that case through the indictments -- and threats of indictments -- that are being used to get guilty pleas to make the president seem like an obstructor or co-conspirator. They are literally creating the crimes.
Let’s review what Mueller and his team are doing:
President Trump scored major successes at the G-20 summit that concluded over last weekend in Argentina (12/01-02).
Specifically, the community of nations agreed in their official communique to “necessary reform” of the World Trade Organization, a top White House priority, recognized the decision of the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and to still utilize “all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment.”
In addition, the Chinese promised to up their purchases of U.S.- made goods and to discuss other demands in exchange for postponing an expected hike in tariffs; President Xi also committed to designating the deadly drug Fentanyl as a controlled substance in China, and vowed to help with de-nuclearizing North Korea.
It was an all-round win-win for the president, who needed one.
As the fall elections approach, it's clear that the Left side of the aisle is getting nuttier by the day.
The public spectacles of the two funerals, Aretha Franklin's and John McCain's, brought forth the usual characters from our long-running American sitcom-cum-political soap opera.
Lecherous Bill Clinton, race-hustler Al Sharpton, shakedown artist Jesse Jackson, and anti-Semitic hate monger Louis Farrakhan in Detroit for the Queen of Soul.
Leading lights of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party, including George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Joe Lieberman, in Washington for the now-sanctified Maverick – who seemed not to have the dearly departed on their minds, but their bête noire in the White House, Donald Trump.
Old feuds, such as that between Bush and McCain, were forgotten as, like Marc Antony over the bleeding corpse of Julius Caesar, they delivered their orations designed not so much to praise McCain but to bury Trump.
The great engine of American capitalism is once again firing on all cylinders, as shown by the 4.1 percent annualized growth of America’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of this year.
Most Americans (with the exception of Democrats in Congress) are celebrating the good economic news. There is quiet rejoicing in many European and Asian capitals as well, since their mostly sluggish economies will now be drawn along in America’s powerful wake.
But there is one capital where the American economic renaissance is definitely not welcome news. Consternation reigns in China, where President Xi Jinping is nervously watching his “China Dream” of dominating the United States go up in smoke.
You see, surprising though it may sound, America’s economy may now be growing at a faster clip than China’s. And this changes everything. Actually, as the photo of the US and China First Ladies symbolizes, ever since Trump, it’s no contest.
It’s possible to derive some comfort from contemplating the Chinese. Sure, unless something radical is done, Western civilization is going to collapse due to the most intelligent women having the fewest children, combined with massive low IQ (and highly fertile) immigration from the Third World.
So argues Edward Dutton in his forthcoming At Our Wits’ End. Some will then argue that surely civilization will be preserved by the Chinese. Unfortunately, research is showing that this is just wishful thinking.
Such as leading IQ researcher Professor Richard Lynn actually proclaiming in his book Dysgenics that China’s one child policy—introduced in 1979 and abolished in 2015—was the savior of civilization.
Unfortunately for China, this is not what research by a young Chinese psychologist has found -- that such dysgenics has caused a drop in overall Chinese IQ. The problem is compounded by research showing that Northeast Asians are genetically less intellectually creative than Europeans. It asks: Why Do Northeast Asians Win So Few Nobel Prizes?
I first became aware of Donald Trump when he chose to make cheating on his first wife front-page news.
It was the early '90s. Donald and Ivana Trump broke up over the course of months. Not that divorce is shocking, mind you; among the glitterati marriage seems more unusual. Nor is infidelity exactly novel.
But it requires a particular breed of lowlife to advertise the sexual superiority of one's mistress over the mother of one's children. That was Trump's style. He leaked stories to the New York tabloids about Ivana's breast implants -- they didn't feel right. Marla Maples, by contrast, suited him better.
She, proving her suitability for the man she was eager to steal from his family, told the papers that her encounters with the mogul were "the best sex I've ever had." It wasn't just Donald Trump's betrayal that caught my eye, nor just the tawdriness: It was the cruelty.
The paradox of the individualistic society is that it can only exist if individuals embrace virtues that are greater than their own needs and whims.
A society where each individual acts as a little tyrant, pursuing his desires with total selfishness at the expense of everyone else becomes collectivist as the little tyrants turn to a series of big tyrants to get what they want no matter who gets hurt by it.
As individual virtues and social compacts break down, selfish squabbles escalate. Tribalism turns into legal civil war. Laws become the means by which one group imposes its will on the other and by which one man seizes the property of another. The people come to view the system with contempt. All virtues and principles are abandoned as neighbor turns on neighbor in resentment and hatred.
Ideas can exist objectively. Feelings only exist subjectively. Identity politics resolves this problem by treating the objective response to feelings as privilege. But even subjective empathy can never truly approach the subjective experience of the crybully.
Even a member of that same identity group will differ in some way from the multiple intersectional identities of the crybully. And that difference is its own privilege. This isn't really politics. It's self-help narcissism crossbred with stale Marxism.
It is seldom that the fate of a nation can be traced to what happened on one particular day. But that may be what happens in the United States of America today, Tuesday, March 15, 2016.
That is because the front-runners in both political parties are not merely inadequate but appalling -- and the vote in today’s primaries in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina may be the last chance for the voters to unite behind someone else.
The trends that brought us to this crucial day go back for years. But whatever the paths that led to this crossroads, we are in fact at a crossroads and our future, and our children's futures, depend on whether we can come up with some presidential candidate better than either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
In other times and in other conditions, one bad president could not ruin a great nation. We survived Jimmy Carter and we may survive Barack Obama, but there is no guarantee that we can survive an unlimited amount of reckless decisions in a dangerous world.
Charismatic leaders like Trump who articulated the just grievances of the people have often risen to power on the basis of that talent alone. And those who put them in power have often paid a catastrophic price afterwards. That story was repeated in countries around the world in the 20th century.
Will that story be repeated in America in the 21st century? The vote today may give us a clue.
Donald Trump recently picked an interesting quote of Benito Mussolini’s to re-tweet on Twitter:
On one hand, I can understand the sentiment. I myself have often quoted Emiliano Zapata’s famous line “Better to die on your feet, than live on your knees” and it doesn’t necessarily mean I know much about Zapata (which I don’t), much less whether I would have agreed with him about much else.
Still, Trump’s use of “Ilduce2016” in his tweet hashtag caught my eye as somehow strange, almost a little too enthusiastic. So I found myself wondering, if Trump finds this historical figure inspiring, perhaps we should study the other teachings of the “Duce” to see whether there are other areas where their philosophies are similar.
[This is the most eloquent and moving explanation of support for Trump I have ever seen. One caveat is that the GOP Elite does not run California, the Democrats do and totally. –JW]
During the most recent Detroit debate (3/03), even a reformed “inclusive” and “presidential” Donald Trump still was crass and vulgar. (Has a candidate ever crudely referred to the size of his phallus, and in our sick world is that a Freudian admission of doubt, or a macho reassurance in LBJ fashion?)
Trump gave more than enough evidence that his positions are liquid and change as often his perceptions of his flatterers and critics. He is a blank slate, who as president could build or tear down a southern wall with equal ease, depending on the dynamics of the political deal of the moment.
In the debate, in passive-aggressive fashion Trump pouted and pounced, furious that others had broken the Golden Rule and done unto him what he has done unto others. His entire moral universe is predicated on a preteen morality of liking those who praise him, and hating those who criticize him.
All that said, I doubt Trump will lose much of his 35-45% support in the next rounds of elections. There are quite understandable reasons why.
Today, Evangelical communities in the US number anywhere between 60 and 150 million people, depending on who is counting. They form the backbone of American support for the Jewish state. It is the support of the Evangelical community, rather than the Jewish community in the US that ensures that come hell or high water, no matter how Israel is demonized in the media and in academia, the majority of Americans continue to support Israel.
But will this support last?
One of the more surprising aspects of the 2016 elections is Evangelical support for businessman Donald Trump. Trump in many ways personifies everything that people who take the Bible seriously are supposed to oppose. He owns casinos. He curses and uses profanity in his public appearances. He has donated to Planned Parenthood and forcefully supported abortions on demand. Trump has also insisted repeatedly that he will be neutral toward Israel.
Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of Evangelical support for Trump is that he takes these positions as he runs against primary opponents who all wear their faith on their sleeves. All of his opponents have records of standing with the Evangelicals on social and other salient issues – including support for Israel. What are we to make of this seemingly inexplicable phenomenon? To understand, the Christ at the Checkpoint conference taking place this week in Bethlehem is a good place to look.
President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating is regularly accepted as a proxy measure for the level of Russia’s internal cohesion. And his support remains on a sky-high plateau, where it has stood since the explosion of jingoism caused by the annexation of Crimea in March 2014.
However, powerful and divisive forces are eroding this purported cohesion, turning Russian society into a disillusioned and apathetic crowd—resembling the nation that failed, 99 years ago, to turn the dethroning of Tsar Nicolas II into a lasting liberating moment.
Stalin’s grave on Red Square was covered with flowers last Saturday (March 5), on the day of his death; and many Russians still cherish or long for a “firm hand,” no matter the millions of destroyed lives such authoritarian leadership has historically produced (Slon.ru).
This urge to escape from the apparent dead end of the present by reliving the “glorious” past translates into a desire to ignore the disasters that mark Russia’s current decline.
The worst political blunder of all time, according to scientist Freeman Dyson, was the decision of the emperor of China in 1433 to cut off his country from the outside world.
In the wake of that decision, China lost its position in the forefront of human achievements and fell behind, over the centuries, to become a Third World country.
Before the end of this month, the United States of America may break that record for the worst political blunder of all time.
Professor Dyson attributed the Chinese emperor’s blunder to “powerful people pursuing partisan squabbles and neglecting the long-range interests of the empire.” That can be our path to disaster as well.