Giant 17

Now Cruz has gone. (Kasich was hardly ever there.) Trump is the Republican nominee for the presidency.

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Posted under cartoons, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 3, 2016

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Atheism for brunch 4

The much respected magazine, National Geographic, carries in its latest issue an article on atheism. It is titled: The World’s Newest Major Religion: No Religion.

The author is Gabe Bullard. He writes:

There have long been predictions that religion would fade from relevancy as the world modernizes, but all the recent surveys are finding that it’s happening startlingly fast. France will have a majority secular population soon. So will the Netherlands and New Zealand. The United Kingdom and Australia will soon lose Christian majorities. Religion is rapidly becoming less important than it’s ever been, even to people who live in countries where faith has affected everything from rulers to borders to architecture.

But nones [those who are affiliated with none of the religions] aren’t inheriting the Earth just yet. In many parts of the world — sub-Saharan Africa in particular — religion is growing so fast that nones’ share of the global population will actually shrink in 25 years as the world turns into what one researcher has described as “the secularizing West and the rapidly growing rest.” (The other highly secular part of the world is China, where the Cultural Revolution tamped down religion for decades, while in some former Communist countries, religion is on the increase.)

Yes. And devout Muslims are pouring into Europe by the million: an extraordinary event that will entirely change the character of Europe, but which Gabe Bullard does not seem to have noticed.

And even in the secularizing West, the rash of “religious freedom bills” — which essentially decriminalize discrimination — are the latest front in a faith-tinged culture war in the United States that shows no signs of abetting anytime soon.

Within the ranks of the unaffiliated, divisions run deep. Some are avowed atheists. Others are agnostic. And many more simply don’t care to state a preference. Organized around skepticism toward organizations and united by a common belief that they do not believe, nones as a group are just as internally complex as many religions. And as with religions, these internal contradictions could keep new followers away.

These are not “divisions”. There never was a solid phalanx of non-believers that could split apart. These are different opinions. That is all.

“Keep followers away”? “Followers” who want a cut-and-dried non-believing ideology that they can accept holus-bolus as the religious accept the doctrines of their faiths? Absurd!

If the world is at a religious precipice, then we’ve been moving slowly toward it for decades. Fifty years ago, Time [magazine] asked in a famous headline, “Is God Dead?” The magazine wondered whether religion was relevant to modern life in the post-atomic age when communism was spreading and science was explaining more about our natural world than ever before.

We’re still asking the same question. But the response isn’t limited to yes or no. A chunk of the population born after the article was printed may respond to the provocative question with, “God who?” In Europe and North America, the unaffiliated tend to be several years younger than the population average. And 11 percent of Americans born after 1970 were raised in secular homes.

Scientific advancement isn’t just making people question God, it’s also connecting those who question. It’s easy to find atheist and agnostic discussion groups online, even if you come from a religious family or community. And anyone who wants the companionship that might otherwise come from church can attend a secular Sunday Assembly or one of a plethora of Meetups for humanists, atheists, agnostics, or skeptics.

The groups behind the web forums and meetings do more than give skeptics witty rejoinders for religious relatives who pressure them to go to church — they let budding agnostics know they aren’t alone.

But it’s not easy to unite people around not believing in something.

It’s also totally unnecessary.

“Organizing atheists is like herding cats,” says Stephanie Guttormson, the operations director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, which is merging with the Center for Inquiry. “But lots of cats have found their way into the ‘meowry’.”

Guttormson says the goal of her group is to organize itself out of existence. They want to normalize atheism to a point where it’s so common that atheists no longer need a group to tell them it’s okay not to believe, or to defend their morals in the face of religious lawmakers.

But it’s not there yet.

Why does anyone need a group to tell them that it’s okay not to believe in something they don’t believe in? But we accept that there are such people, and so agree that the group should “organize itself out of existence”.

The article then goes on to discuss who the atheists are in terms of race (fewer blacks than whites, it says), the sexes (fewer women than men, and the predominance of white men a manifestation of “privilege”).

Of course no one can possibly count the atheists of the world. We get Third World commenters on our Facebook page who tell us that they have to keep their atheism secret for fear of persecution and even death.

Gabe Bullard calls the distribution he alleges a “problem” of “diversity”.  His article is right up to date with its fashionable lingo.

To do him justice, he does quote one atheist – Mandisa Thomas, a black woman – saying that “the demographics of nones don’t accurately reflect the number and diversity of nonbelievers; it just shows who is comfortable enough to say they don’t believe out loud.” And:  “There are many more people of color, there are many more women who identify as atheist.” And: “There are many people who attend church who are still atheists.”

The cheeriest part of his article is this:

Compared to past campaign seasons, religion is taking a backseat in this year’s U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump is not outwardly religious (and his attraction of evangelical voters has raised questions about the longevity and the motives of the religious right).

But then he goes on:

Hillary Clinton has said “advertising about faith doesn’t come naturally to me”. And Bernie Sanders is “not actively involved” in a religion. … Aside from Ted Cruz, the leading candidates just aren’t up for talking about religion.

Apparently he does not recognize that Leftism is a religion. It is THE secular religion. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both devotees of it. Bernie Sanders could be fairly called a high priest of it. They are as piously Leftist as Ted Cruz is Dominionist.

Bullard ends on a jocular note:

For all the work secular groups do to promote acceptance of nonbelievers, perhaps nothing will be as effective as apathy plus time. As the secular millennials grow up and have children of their own, the only Sunday morning tradition they may pass down is one everyone in the world can agree on: brunch.

We hope so.

What have atheists said about the article?

Atheist Jerry Coyne writes at his website:

National Geographic publishes article on atheism and secularism, but descends into Authoritarian Leftism and slanders against Harris and Dawkins

Well, it’s time to cancel your subscription to National Geographic — if you still have one. For a while it’s been turning into a religiously-infused tabloid rather than the educational nature/anthropology magazine that I loved of yore. In several posts I’ve documented its increasing tendency to coddle religion … and it’s only going to get worse since the magazine was taken over by Rupert Murdoch.

Now the magazine has hit its lowest point yet, polevaulting the shark in a new piece by journalist Gabe Bullard, The World’s Newest Religion: No Religion. While starting off as a decent bit of reportage about the rise of nonbelief and secularism, it suddenly descends into slander and clickbait, highlighting the “privilege” of nonbelief, the dominance of atheism by white males, and accusations that the “leaders” of atheism (whom they name) are misogynists.

And there is a comment made at Patheos which we like, although we very seldom agree with its Leftist atheists on anything except atheism itself.

The comment is made by Terry Firma. (He goes on, however, to say what he likes about the National Geographic article.)

He writes:

I wonder if any serious major publication would refer to people who don’t play sports as athletes, but that is essentially what NatGeo is doing here. Atheism is no more a religion than off is a TV channel, than being bald is a hairstyle, and than not-collecting-stamps is a hobby. People who assert that atheism is a religion either haven’t given it much thought or are trying to get a rise out of atheists.

Nicely said.

Pretzels from Neptune 6

We are about to make sweeping generalizations, with no attempt to accommodate all shades of opinion. ( Shades of opinion are welcome in comment.) 

Left and Right inhabit different universes of discourse. Completely different issues concern them.

The biggest issues on the American Left (in random order) are:

  • Climate and the Environment
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Social Justice

To elaborate a little more:

The Left – internationally – holds man-made global warming to be an urgent threat to all life on earth, and tries in the name of saving the planet to force redistribution of wealth over the whole world, the redistributing agent being ideally a world government run according to Leftist values.

The one freedom the Left passionately advocates for is that of Each to seek sexual satisfaction of any kind, and for Each to choose a personal sexual identity, all personal choices connected with sex to be protected by law and subsidized financially, where required, by government.

The Left catalogues all Americans and all foreign nations according to a race analysis, according to which the white race is privileged and oppressive, and all institutions, led by government, have a moral duty to compensate non-whites and handicap whites.

All inequalities between sexes, races, and classes are considered by the Left to be unjust, the injustice being perpetrated by institutions and needing to be corrected by government using any means, including quotas for opportunity and advancement; adjustment of standards for inclusion and compensation; enforced limitations on the expression of dissenting opinion; the redistribution of wealth and power.

The Right does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:

Man-made global warming is not true and would not be a bad thing if it were.

Sex is a private matter, only of public concern if it harms children.

Race is irrelevant to all political issues.

All justice is personal, having no meaning apart from the individual; standards must be upheld; power belongs to the powerful and cannot be bestowed; wealth is inescapably unequal in a free society, equality and liberty being mutually exclusive.

The biggest issues on the American Right (also in random order) are:

  • Individual freedom
  • The economy
  • Defense
  • The Constitution

A little more:

The Right holds that individual freedom is the highest value. All innovation, all progress, depends on it.  It requires absolute freedom of speech. The prime duty of government is to protect it.

Capitalism is the only system that lifts people out of poverty and secures prosperity. The Right wants the free market to be left to operate without government interference.

The government’s duty of protection requires a strong military to defend the nation from foreign attack; to maintain America’s superpower status of which the Right is proud; and specifically at this time to stop the advance of Islam and its terrorism.

The Constitution established the best possible system of government for a free society and the Right holds that it must be upheld and defended in its entirety.

The Left does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:

The individual is less important than the collective, and individual interests are always subordinate to those of the collective.

Capitalism is evil, it values profits above people, it allows some to be rich while it keeps the many poor. The economy needs to be planned centrally by government for the equal good of all.

Wars should never be fought. Spending money on the military is a huge waste. America should not be the world’s policeman. It should not be a superower.

The Constitution is an outdated document. It says nothing about slavery. It stands in the way of an enlightened executive, such as President Obama’s, hampering his laudable efforts to change America into a more equal society.

Plainly, there is no common ground between Left and Right.

Dennis Prager writes at Townhall:

Just about all candidates for president regularly announce their intent to unite Americans, to “bring us together”.

It’s a gimmick.

If they are sincere, they are profoundly naive; if they are just muttering sweet nothings in order to seduce Americans to vote for them, they are manipulative.

In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, one of the most polarizing figures in modern American political history, said, “Maybe some just see us divided into those red states and blue states, but I see us as one America: red, white and blue.”

And President Barack Obama, who has disunited Americans by race, class and gender perhaps more than any president since the beginning of the 20th century, regularly campaigned on the theme of uniting Americans.

In his 2008 victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama said: “We have never been just a collection of … red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”

In their current campaigns for president, Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naive, and she, because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.

Bringing people together is actually the theme of John Kasich’s entire campaign.

One headline on the “Meet John” page of his website says, “BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, LIFTING PEOPLE UP.”

Senator Rob Portman said of Kasich on Feb. 1, 2016, “I am endorsing John Kasich because I believe he is the person our country needs to bring Americans together.”

And Clinton, who, according to CNN, is tied with Trump for the most negatives in presidential polling for either Republicans or Democrats since 1984, also speaks repeatedly about her ability and desire to bring Americans together.

The “Hillary Clinton for President Supporters” Facebook page has even said, “We’re in the business of bringing people together.”

What’s more, on April 6, 2016, CNN posted a YouTube video titled: “Hillary Clinton — We need a president who can bring people together.”

Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, wrote on The Hill website that “Clinton wants to bring us together”.

Beyond Kasich and Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders made this a major theme in one of his ads called “Together”, which begins with Sanders saying, “Our job is to bring people together.”

Even Trump, who divides Republicans – not to mention other Americans – like no Republican ever has, uses this mantra.

A January article on The Hill site quoted Trump saying, “I can really bring people together.”

Gov. Chris Christie introduced Trump on Super Tuesday, and a NJ.com column released that night was titled, “Christie on Super Tuesday: Trump is ‘bringing the country together’.”

For the record, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about uniting Republicans, but not often about uniting all Americans.

All calls for unity by Democrats are particularly fraudulent. Dividing Americans by race, gender and class is how the left views America and how Democratic candidates seek to win elections.

But calls for unity are meaningless no matter who makes them, because no one who calls for unity tells you what they really mean. What they really mean is that they want to unite Americans around their values — and around their values only.

Would Clinton be willing to unite all Americans around recognizing the human rights of the unborn? Would she be willing to unite all Americans around support for widespread gun ownership?

Of course not.

She is willing to unite Americans provided they adopt her views.

Would Sanders like to “bring people together” in support of reducing corporate and individual income taxes in order to spur the economy?

Would Kasich be in favor of “bringing Americans together” by having them all support increasing the size of government and the national debt? One hopes not.

I first realized the dishonesty of just about all calls for unity during a 10-year period in which I engaged in weekly dialogues with clergy of all faiths. Protestant and Catholic clergymen and women would routinely call for Christian unity. When I asked Protestants if they would support such unity if it entailed them adopting the sacraments of the Catholic Church and recognizing the pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the discussion ended. Similarly, when I asked Catholic priests if they would give up the sacraments and the papacy in order to achieve unity with Protestant Christians, all talk of unity stopped. And, of course, the same would hold true for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews who routinely call for Jewish unity.

Even more absurd are the calls of naive Christians and Jews to have all the “children of Abraham” – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – unite.

The calls themselves can even be dangerous. One would be hard-pressed to name a single free society that was ever united outside of wartime. The only truly united countries are totalitarian states.

So, why do presidential candidates repeat this nonsense every four years? Because Americans fall for it every four years.

But it’s time to grow up.

The gap between the left and right is unbridgeable. Their worldviews are mutually exclusive.

The Left is dangerously wrong.

Trump the avenger? 22

Of course both Trump and Cruz followers want passionately for the Left to be defeated in November 2016. But the defeat of Hillary and the Democratic Party, though it would be enormously satisfying to both factions, would not be enough for Trump voters. They want more. And that “more” is  revenge.

So we deduce from watching them and listening to them through the media.

We understand feelingly why that might be. The harm Obama and his gang have done to America and the world will take decades to repair, maybe even centuries. Europe will probably never recover from the Islamic invasion unleashed upon it by the devastating policies of the Obama regime towards Islam and the Middle East.

Whereas Cruz voters may be content with an election victory, Trump voters will also want Hillary in prison for a long stretch; Islam crushed; and, in as short a time as possible, Obama condemned by “history”.

Those who share that ache for revenge, will understand why all the reasons that anti-Trump conservatives pour out for not supporting Trump, fall on deaf ears.  

Michael Dansen writes at Truth Revolt:

Donald Trump is … a healthy antibody reaction to Obamaism … In a country that does not historically gravitate towards extremism at the highest levels of political office, he may be the medicine we need in order to even things out. Yes, the treatment may be harsh, but the patient is very sick.

In the words of the late, great Andrew Breitbart, if someone calls you a racist or a bigot, “Walk towards that fire.” A Trump presidency will prove that you can say things that are unflattering – but sometimes true – about preferred victim groups and the world will not come to an end. We will not re-introduce slavery. We will not become The Third Reich. We will not legalize rape. We will not make birth control illegal. There will be no reconstitution of Jim Crow. Those days are gone and good riddance.

The Right needs to learn to bring a knife, at the very least, to a knife fight. George W. Bush, who had this CRAZY notion that a country should use its military to kill its enemies, was destroyed over Iraq because he didn’t want to “lower himself” by responding to his critics. When called a “misleader” [read: “liar”] by the DNC in a July 2003 television ad over prewar intel, Karl Rove decided not to bring up the fact that WMD stockpiles actually were uncovered in Iraq.

Trump is always on offense and he’s a tougher target. Over-the-top Democrat attacks on Trump only help his cause. They’re having the same effect as protestors crashing Trump rallies – they make more people sympathetic to his campaign.

The Right also needs to push back against the Left’s specious income inequality arguments and their demonization of the wealthy. Democrats have been offering free stuff from rich people for 50 years. Not surprisingly, this is seductive and appealing. Rich people pay the OVERWHELMING majority of taxes in this country, but Dems still demand that they need to pay their “fair share”. Trump can be counted on to question and reject their premises – which is a major reason that progressives loathe the man with the white hot heat of a thousand suns.

As for Trump’s promised, controversial wall:

First, it is not a 2,000 mile wall. It will be built in certain sections which are the sites most common for illegal ingress.

Second, the U.S. has levers to elevate the Mexican government’s thinking on the subject of who pays for what – namely, foreign aid and impounding remittances.

Third, it’s a sordid situation indeed that Mexico City provides instructions to their citizens on how to subvert U.S. law, offers their consulates in the U.S. to help carry this out, and then calls us racists for noticing this. That Trump is controversial for being against de facto indentured servitude that’s incompatible with the melting pot ideal is the real controversy.

To opponents who hold to the “we are a nation of immigrants” school of thought: there is no limiting principle to that line of thinking and it is essentially an open borders argument. The idea that anybody who can physically get here deserves to remain here is absurd – even more so as we continue to build up the welfare state. We need more citizens who are contributing to the tax rolls, not who are net takers from them. America has traditionally gone through periods of opening the borders up through controlled, legal immigration from overseas and going through periods of assimilation and “insularity”.

We also had a common culture that was at first at least suspecting of the Dutch, Anglicans [sic] [he may mean Anglophones – ed], Germans, Catholics, the Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, etc. This was healthy as it winnowed the field of those who had what it took to be full-fledged American citizens and those who couldn’t quite hack it.

We’re not in unqualified agreement with that last paragraph. But we firmly agree with what he says next:

Do we have the right to prevent Muslims from entering our country after spasms of Islam-inspired terrorism? Yes.

He is implying that there is a sound reason to exclude Muslims. But his next point is that immigrants can be excluded for no sound reasons – even on whim only.

We also can prevent Congregationalists, left-handed people, towheads, Andorrans, etc. if that is the national course upon which we decide.

Because –

Immigration here is a privilege, not a right.

And so it is. It is the prerogative of the nation state to choose whom it will accept into its protection.

He returns to the Muslim question:

It will be a relief when we have a leader who does not say, after yet another Islamist atrocity, “First thing: get me to a mosque. I need to hug a Muslim and pronounce upon Koranic interpretations. The most important thing right now is not attending to our security concerns; it is stopping the bigoted, xenophobic, murderous impulse that lies just under the surface of our society!” …

And then he goes on to the Communist question (incidentally reminding us that from the start of the Cold War, Communists were denied immigration, or even a visitor’s visa to tour or study in the US).

For those who complain that there are some unsavory characters in Trump’s base, keep in mind that they may be scary but the left’s unsavory characters – in the media, academia, and the entertainment industry – are the inheritors of an ideology that has killed, according to The Black Book of Communism, 100 million people.

The outgoing president is also one of those unsavory inheritors. The electorate could not have made a worse choice other than an outright supporter of Islamic jihad … Oh, wait! …

Comes the hour comes the man 8

Every day, as the Fascist Left becomes more openly anti-freedom, Donald Trump becomes more necessary.

It’s bad enough that the threat of tyrannical collectivism is growing daily as the Democratic Party, and the street mobs financed by deeply evil men like George Soros, intensify their war against freedom; it’s worse that the Republican Party fails to rise to the challenge, and would rather capitulate than fight. The Republican cowards cannot even see that they have a leader who is attracting tens of thousands to their ranks and is already frightening the enemy.

David Horowitz writes at Front Page:

The mob that came to disrupt the Trump rally in Chicago was neither spontaneous nor innocent, nor new. It was a mob that has been forming ever since the Seattle riots against the World Trade Organization in 1999, whose target was global capitalism. The Seattle rioters repeated their outrages for the next two years and then transformed into the so-called “anti-war” movement to save the Saddam dictatorship in Iraq. Same leaders, funders and troops. The enemy was always America and its Republican defenders. When Obama invaded countries and blew up families in Muslim countries, there was no anti-war movement because Obama was one of them, and they didn’t want to divide their support.

In 2012 the so-called “anti-war” movement reformed as “Occupy Wall Street”. They went on a rampage creating cross-country riots protesting the One Percent and provided a whipping boy for Obama’s re-election campaign. Same leaders, same funders and troops.

In 2015 the same leftwing forces created and funded Black Lives Matter and lynch mobs in Ferguson and Baltimore who targeted “white supremacists” and police.

Behind all the mobs was the organized left – MoveOn.org, the public sector unions run by Sixties leftovers,  and the cabal of anti-American billionaires led by George Soros.

The mobs themselves were composed of the hate-filled foot soldiers of the political left.

Now these forces have gathered in the campaign to elect the Vermont communist and are focusing their venom on Donald Trump. The obvious plan is to make Republicans toxic while driving a wedge through the Republican Party. The plan is defeat Republicans in November so that the destructive forces they have set in motion in the Democratic Party can finish the wrecking job that Obama started.

One of the professionally produced signs at the Chicago mob scene proclaimed, “This is what democracy looks like.” Actually it is exactly what fascism looks like. As every student of the Thirties knows, the break up of democratic forums by Nazi and Communist thugs paved the way for Hitler’s election. Just like the mobs of the Thirties, today’s left is driven by racial and class hate, and is utterly contemptuous of the democratic process – hence the effort to hang the Ferguson cop before the trial and to prevent Trump from expounding his views in Chicago.

And what has been the reaction of the presidential candidates, particularly those who propose to save the country? It is to blame Trump as though he and not the left had instigated the riot. If you play with matches like Trump did, opined Hillary Clinton, you’re likely to start a fire. This is the same Hillary Clinton who has compared Republicans to terrorists and called them racists, and who once accused a “vast right-wing conspiracy” of inventing her husband’s paramour. The Democratic Party has officially endorsed the Black Lives Matter racists and rioters.

But it is not only the left who is attempting to blame Trump for the Chicago debacle.

According to the proudly positive John Kasich, it was Trump who created the “toxic environment” that led to the riot – not the fascist movement that has been metastasizing in our universities and streets for more than a decade. In other words, when you finally go on the attack, attack a Republican rather than a Democrat. That way you get a pass.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and their spokespeople piled on Trump as well. “Ted Cruz Claims Trump Is To Blame For Violence At His Rallies,” ran a headline in the leftwing New York Times. 

His Republican attackers attempted to shame Trump for speaking to the anger of his conservative supporters instead of bringing everyone together – those who claim we live in a white supremacist society and the whites they are attacking, those who claim that Republicans are terrorists and racists and the victims of this abuse. As though you can create unity with people who hate you because you are white or rich, or believe that America is a nation worth saving. The fact is that Trump’s anger is pretty controlled, considering the hate-filled environment of Islamic terrorists, illegal immigrants, event disrupters and rival candidates openly smearing him. 

He is often guilty of over-reach – “punch him in the nose” directed at one disrupter, but this is hardly the sin his detractors suggest in comparing him to Mussolini. That is a much great violence to the man who is its target. Aside from Trump’s compulsive over-reach what is wrong with anger in the current political context?

Is it wrong to be angry at what Obama and the Democrats and the progressive mobs are doing to our country? How is this dissociation from Trump mob attack not the same surrender to political correctness that conservatives like Rubio and Cruz claim to reject? Aren’t Cruz and Rubio angry at what is being done to our country? Why are they willing to validate the hypocritical slanders of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, two architects of our disasters? 

This is the reality we must never forget: There is an anti-American radical in the White House who – with the support of his party – has delivered nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles and a hundred billion dollars to our mortal enemies in Teheran who have declared their intentions to kill us. This suicidal deal was not an oversight, as Rubio has correctly observed, but the result of decades of thinking that America and Israel are adversaries, and our enemies are their victims.

The extremists of #Never Trump exemplify the malaise Republicans have been prisoners of for years, which is what the primary revolt is about.

Why was there no #Never Obama movement in 2012? For Republicans such a movement would be unthinkable. It would be too angry. It would be called racist. On the other hand, no one will call us racist for attacking a fellow Republican. So let’s join the left in smearing one of our own and hope that we can scrub off the stigmas that Democrats have tarred us with in the process. We’re not racists. Let’s not fight Obama, which will prove that we are. Let’s have respectful words for the lynch mob left.  If we capitulate the disaster unfolding before us, maybe it will go away. That is what the Trump crowd is angry about and mainstream Republicans should be too.

At the outset of the presidential debates all the Republican candidates pledged to support the party’s choice in November. Extra pressure was put on Trump to do so and he did. But now that millions of Republicans have cast their ballots for Trump, Rubio and Kasich are threatening to renege on their pledge, and destroy both the party and the country in the process.

And Cruz, while sniping at Trump’s alleged role in inciting the leftists is notably non-committal about whether he will support a Trump primary victory. None of them explain how you can fight fascist leftists without actually fighting them and opening yourself to the charge of anger.  

Perhaps it is money from the #Never Trump crowd – the extremists who want to thwart the popular vote and fatally split the party – that is behind this perfidy. But as someone who until very recently held high opinions of Rubio and Cruz, I am hoping that it is not too late for somebody to wake them up. I am hoping that somebody says: Cut it out. Come to your senses. Your scorched earth warfare is threatening the very existence of the right. Trump isn’t the enemy. Like you he is opposed to the Iran deal, supports a secure border, recognizes the Islamist threat, wants to reduce taxes and make the country solvent, and is greatly expanding the Republican base. Attempt to beat him at the polls if you think he shouldn’t be president but let the voters decide the result, and respect their decision. The alternative is a fratricidal war that could drive large numbers of conservatives away from the polls, and whose beneficiaries will only be America’s enemies at home and abroad.

Which Republican candidate has the force, the fortitude, the guts, the stones – and the following – to stand up to the persistent and now violent onslaught by the fascist hordes of the Left?

The hour has given birth to the man.

A political revolution 7

Former Governor Mike Huckabee told Fox News that Donald Trump’s success represents a peaceful “overthrow of the government” and that the Republican establishment should be glad it’s being achieved with “ballots, not bullets”. He added that the Trump phenomenon was a “political revolution in the Republican Party and in the country”. 

THAT IS THE POINT

After Obama, and the utter failure of a Republican-majority Congress to oppose the evil that he has done, a political revolution is necessary, and Donald Trump – with all his faults that two of our readers insist on pointing out to us over and over again – has emerged as the leader of it.  

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Joan Swirsky writes at Canada Free Press:

Sure enough, presidential candidate Donald J. Trump racked up impressive statistics in his Fox News debate tonight, effectively trouncing the competition that included Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Once again, however, Fox’s Megyn “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” Kelly ambushed Mr. Trump by falsely stating that the Better Business Bureau had given Trump University a D-minus rating, when in fact it’s rating is, as Trump asserted, an A! …

(Sorry about the small print. Efforts to make it bigger have failed.)

SWIRSKY030416-1

The same trouncing happened last week when Trump’s victories in the primaries garnered him the lion’s share of electoral votes by winning Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia, which, according to Philip Bump of The Washington Post, “no Republican has ever won going back to 1960”.

Both pundits and pollsters attributed the massive turn-outs to Mr. Trump’s having excited, inspired and therefore mobilized the electorate — in some cases well over 100% increase above the 2012 midterms. In one instance, Mr. Trump beat Sen. Cruz by 450,000 votes; in another he beat Sen. Rubio by over a million votes! …  Trump had “significant support across educational, ideological, age and income classifications”.

In his victory speech last week, looking and sounding presidential, Mr. Trump accurately proclaimed: “We have expanded the Republican Party.”

This ought to have been music to the ears of Republicans everywhere, especially “establishment” types who constantly seek to attract influential voting blocs comprised of African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people, all of whom — mysteriously, incomprehensibly, self-destructively — have huddled under the Democrat tent for decades, gaining not a micrometer of progress in their personal lives, wages, schools, crime rates, the pathetic list is endless. Trump, only nine months into being a politician, has accomplished this incredible feat. But the more he succeeds, the more the Grand Poobahs of the Grand Old Party, as well as the media (both right and left), have devolved into what appears to be a clinical state of hysteria.

Think about this. Barack Obama’s record violates every principle and value that Republicans and Conservatives claim they stand for … and yet those same Republicans and Conservatives — in full control of the Senate and House — have been notably absent in mustering up anything more than mild rebuke to counter Mr. Obama’s assaults on our country. But to them, Trump is the real threat!

That’s what the frenzied GOP, media, and also-rans are trying to do, figuratively closing any openings in what they believe is their own personal Ship of State now that the threatening weather called Donald Trump is upon them. …

Ironic, isn’t it. If any entity deserves a comeuppance, it is the very arrogant, go-along-to-get-along, ineffectual, leftist-whipped, emasculated, cave-to-Obama, bow-to-the-lobbyists, accommodate-the-Arab-lobby establishment! Impotent? Emasculated? Yes, money and power are mighty motivators, but it is a tacit acknowledgment of their own sissified selves that is now spurring Trump’s critics into action.

And they’re trying their damnedest! On March 2, a gaggle of Republican national security leaders — no doubt many of them members of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations whose animating raison d’être would be threatened by a Trump presidency — wrote an open letter to Trump expressing their “united opposition” to his candidacy. They don’t like his “vision of American influence and power in the world … advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars … rhetoric that undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism … insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border…,” on and on. Comical, isn’t it, that everything they’ve failed to address with any seriousness or success compels them to slam the guy who promises to address those issues and succeed.

On March 3, 22 Republicans declared that they would not vote for Trump.

August writers like the Wall St. Journal’s Bret Stephens have been apoplectic about Trump for months,sparing no slur or invective. Author and military historian Max Boot has dug deep into his assault repertoire to make sure no insult has gone unhurled. And the usually dazzling Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online is simply unable to contain his hostility to Trump’s candidacy, just as most of the other writers at NRO have jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon. And that’s not to omit the florid hysteria emanating from com.

We have often quoted Bret Stephens and Andrew C. McCarthy with admiration and respect – and will again – but they fail to understand what is happening in the country.

On March 4, desperate anti-Trump operatives pimped out good ole patsy Mitt Romney to go before a teleprompter and read the words written for him by an anti-Trump operative. …

But no one forgot that Romney, a lifelong liberal, lost both senatorial and presidential elections and that the last image of him — etched indelibly in the American public’s consciousness — was of him debating his rival for the presidency, Barack Obama, and simply folding like a cheap suit!

Romney — who The Wall St. Journal called “a flawed messenger” — didn’t look or sound like he had dementia, so it’s strange indeed that he barely mentioned the endorsement Trump gave him for his campaign for president, and the lavish praise he heaped upon Trump.

Romney’s hit job evoked the following 22-word, devastating and well-deserved tweet from Trump: “Looks like two-time failed candidate Mitt Romney is going to be telling Republicans how to get elected. Not a good messenger!”

All of the abovementioned people — and dozens I haven’t named — are growing frustrated that their old tricks of marginalizing and finally destroying the target in question haven’t worked. They long to emulate the JournOlist of 2007, when over 400 members of the leftist media colluded to quash any and every criticism or fact-based doubt about Mr. Obama’s Constitutional eligibility to hold office, to intimidate any critic into silence.

To this day, has anyone seen even one of Barack Obama’s college transcripts, his marriage license, a doctor’s evaluation? Now it’s the Republicans — actually those cocktail-swigging “conservatives” who routinely cozy up to the lobbyists they’re beholden to — who have gotten together to defeat Trump. These feckless so-called leaders decided that their target, a self-funded former liberal, was worth more of their negative, insult-laden literary output and passionate commentary than the Marxist-driven, jihadist-defending, anti-Constitutional, anti-American regime in power.

If you ever wonder how this could happen, why Republicans and self-described Conservatives could rebel so ferociously against a candidate who promises to strengthen our military, bring jobs and industry back to America, seal our borders against the onslaught of illegal aliens, and make America great again, wonder no more.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Doesn’t it always come down to money? Money leads to power and influence and control, all of which politicians — that too-often pliable and buyable species — lust for. It’s not only the ephemeral day-to-day power they fear losing, it’s the entire network they’re enmeshed in, which involves all the treaties and deals and “arrangements” they’ve signed onto and the pelf it promises to keep on yielding. (For Exhibit No. 1, see The Clinton Foundation and the mountain of cash it reaps.)

Imagine their fear of a president who actually cuts the pork, actually strikes deals that don’t line his own pockets, actually exposes the bad deals that have been made by the bad players in Washington, D.C. Imagine what Trump will learn about the massive under-the-table, self-serving deals that were made in the Iran deal and others.

The same lust for power applies to media moguls whose wealth is not limited to TV stations and newspapers but to the very deals made by government and on Wall St. No one knows this better than Mr. Trump, the author of the mega-bestseller, The Art of the Deal. That’s why his critics are so terrified. They pretend to be offended by the kind of comment or gesture that they themselves express routinely. But they’re really afraid of being in the presence of someone who is utterly immune to either their blandishments or strong-arm tactics.

As Mark Cunningham wrote in theNew York Post: “All the noise about Donald Trump’s ‘hostile takeover’ of the Republican Party misses a key point: Such takeovers only succeed when existing management has failed massively. And that’s true of both the GOP and the conservative movement. Trump’s a disrupter but most of the fire aimed his way is just shooting the messenger.”

Monica Crowley, editor of online opinion at The Washington Times, explains that the “emotionally fragile Republican ruling class” deluded themselves into thinking that Mr. Trump couldn’t possibly win. “Then actual voting began. And the first-timer, the brash anti-politician, began racking up resounding victories …”

In addition, Crowley writes: “Like his style or not, Trump is an in-your-face guy. Voters want that kind of guy taking it to President Obama’s record, to Hillary Clinton … and to the unbridled, destructive leftism that has rendered America virtually unrecognizable.”

And, I might add, taking it to the wimps in the GOP!

The man who will clean the Augean Stable 8

A great new movement, a grassroots rebellion, has arisen in America. Those who realize this, and understand why, have no trouble seeing Donald Trump as president of the United States after the disastrous, almost ruinous, deeply depressing presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

Conrad Black understands it. He writes at the National Post, of which he was formerly a proprietor:

Donald Trump polled extensively last year and confirmed his suspicion that between 30 and 40 per cent of American adults, cutting across all ethnic, geographic, and demographic lines, were angry, fearful and ashamed at the ineptitude of their federal government.

Americans, Trump rightly concluded, could not abide a continuation in office of those in both parties who had given them decades of shabby and incompetent government: stagnant family incomes, the worst recession in 80 years, stupid wars that cost scores of thousands of casualties and trillions of dollars and generated a humanitarian disaster, serial foreign policy humiliations, and particularly the absence of a border to prevent the entry of unlimited numbers of unskilled migrants, and trade deals that seemed only to import unemployment with often defective goods. I was one of those who thought at the outset that Trump was giving it a shot, and that if it didn’t fly it would at least be a good brand-building exercise.

Americans, unlike most nationalities, are not accustomed to their government being incompetent and embarrassing. History could be ransacked without unearthing the slightest precedent or parallel for the rise of America in two long lifetimes (1783-1945) from two and a half million colonists to a place of power and influence and prestige greater than any nation has ever possessed — everywhere victorious and respected, with an atomic monopoly and half the economic product of the world. Forty-five years later, their only rival had collapsed like a soufflé without the two Superpowers exchanging a shot between them. International Communism and the Soviet Union disintegrated and America was alone, at the summit of the world.

And then it turned into a nation of idiots, incapable of doing anything except conduct military operations against primitive countries. The objective performance of the latter Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations, and the Gingrich, Reid-Pelosi, and Boehner-led congresses, and most of the courts, have for these 25 years been shameful and as unprecedented in American history as the swift rise of America was in the history of the world. The people turned out rascals and got worse rascals.

We would not be so hard on Newt Gingrich. He’s been saying sensible things about Trump.

Donald Trump’s research revealed that the people wanted someone who was not complicit in these failures and who had built and run something. Washington, Jackson, the Harrisons, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and others had risen as military heroes, though some of them had had some political exposure. Jefferson and Wilson were known as intellectuals, Madison as chief author of the Constitution, and Monroe and John Quincy Adams as international statesmen. What is called for now is a clean and decisive break from the personalities and techniques of the recent past. Donald Trump doesn’t remind anyone of the presidents just mentioned, but he elicited a surge of public support by a novel, almost Vaudeville, routine as an educated billionaire denouncing the political leadership of the country in Archie Bunker blue-collar terms.

Last (Super) Tuesday, he completed the preliminary takeover of the Republican Party.He demonstrated his hold on the angry, the fearful, and the ashamed by passing the double test: he had held no elective office, but he was a worldly man who knew how to make the system work  and rebuild American strength and public contentment. All the other candidates in both parties were vieux jeu, passé. Only a few of the governors (Bush, Christie, and Kasich) had run anything successfully, none of them had built anything, and all were up to their eyeballs in the sleazy American political system — long reduced to a garish and corrupt log-rolling game of spin-artists, lobbyists, and influence-peddlers. Bernie Sanders gets a pass, but he is an undischarged Marxist, and while many of his attacks on the incumbent system and personnel have merit, his policy prescriptions are unacceptable to 90 per cent of Americans.

It was clear on Tuesday night that Trump’s insurrection had recruited the Republican centre and pushed his opponents to the fringes. The conservative intellectuals, including my friends and editors at National Review, as well as Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and some of the think tanks, attacked Trump as inadequately conservative. They are correct — he isn’t particularly conservative, and favours universal medical care, as much as possible in private-sector plans, but a stronger safety net for those who can’t afford health care, and retention of federal assistance to Planned Parenthood except in matters of abortion. Traditional, quasi-Bushian moderate Republican opponents and liberals  were reduced to calling him an extremist — claiming he was a racist, a “neo-fascist” said Bob Woodward, America’s greatest mythmaker and (albeit bloodless) Watergate assassin, and a “Caesarist” by the normally sane Ross Douthat in The New York Times. (He was confusing the triumphs of the early Caesars with the debauchery of the later Caligula and Nero and the earlier bread and circuses of the Gracchi, but it is all bunk.)

John Robson [a columnist and editorial writer for the National Post], took his place in this queue on Monday, claiming Trump was squandering an inherited fortune (he has multiplied it), and concluding that Trump is “a loathsome idiot”.  The sleaziest dirty tricks campaigner of modern American history, Ted Cruz, claimed Trump was in league with gangsters.

We would not be that hard on Ted Cruz.

On Tuesday night, Cruz ran strongly in his home state of Texas but his support is now confined exclusively to Bible-thumping, M16-toting corn-cobbers and woolhats, and he has no traction outside the southwest and perhaps Alaska. The orthodox Republican candidate, Marco Rubio, is now a Chiclet-smiled, motor-mouth loser, having first been exposed as such by Chris Christie (the New Jersey governor who could have won the nomination and election four years ago and is now running for the vice-presidential nomination with Trump). Rubio should bite the dust in Florida next week. On Super Tuesday evening Donald Trump made the turn from rabble-rouser to nominee-presumptive. The only early campaign excess he has to walk back is the nonsense that all the 11 million illegal migrants will be removed, and then many will be readmitted. Of course the selection process must occur before they are evicted, not after.

Even the formidable and adversarial journalist Megyn Kelly acknowledged that he looked and sounded like a president. He spoke fluently and in sentences and without bombast or excessive self-importance. He is placed exactly where he needs to be for the election, after Hillary Clinton finishes her escapade on the left to fend off the unfeasible candidacy of Bernie Sanders. (This is if she is not indicted for her misuse of official emails — Obama is nasty enough to have her charged, and almost all prosecutions of prominent people in the U.S. are political, but she is now all that stands between Donald Trump and the White House, but is almost a paper tigress.) Trump sharply raised the Republican vote totals and the fact that he carried 49 per cent of the Republican voters in Massachusetts, a state with almost no extremists in it, indicates how wide his appeal has become.

Obama may well be “nasty enough” to have Hillary charged, but is he law-abiding enough?

Hillary Clinton was, as Trump described her when she unwisely accused him of being a sexist, a facilitator of sexism; simultaneously the feminist in chief and First (Wronged) Lady, as spouse of America’s premier sexist. She was elected in a rotten borough for the Democrats in New York State, and was a nondescript secretary of state. She has been caught in innumerable falsehoods and her conduct in the entire Benghazi affair (the terrorist murder of a U.S. ambassador) was reprehensible. Her indictment for various breaches of national security and possible perjury is regularly demanded by former attorney general Michael Mukasey and other worthies. …

All these and more failures, as well as unseemly activities with the Clinton Foundation, will be mercilessly pounded on in the campaign. Donald Trump will not simulate the languorous defeatism of the senior Bush or Mitt Romney, or the blunderbuss shortcomings of Bob Dole and John McCain. (Romney’s savage attack on Trump on Thursday served to remind Republicans of how he squandered a winnable election in 2012 and faced in all four directions on every major issue.)

It really is incomprehensible why Mitt Romney laid himself open, with his vituperative attack on Trump, to an obvious blow in retaliation; that he failed miserably when he was a Republican nominee for the presidency. Any opinion of his on any candidate could only remind everyone of his failure. He figuratively lay down in front of Trump and begged, “Kick me!”  Which Trump obligingly did – though not too hard.

Eight years ago, it was time to break the colour barrier at the White House. Now it is time to clean the Augean Stable. Donald Trump has his infelicities, though not those that malicious opponents or people like John Robson, who simply haven’t thought it through, allege. But he seems to have become the man whom the great office of president of the United States now seeks. He is far from a Lincolnian figure, but after his astonishing rise it would be a mistake to underestimate him.

We prefer him not to be a “Lincolnian figure”.

But we like Conrad Black’s turn of phrase when he says that “the great office of president of the United States now seeks” Donald Trump. 

Certainly an enormous number of Americans want to place him in that office. Which might be the same thing.

Why the Trump phenomenon is important 35

We have had three emails about the article we quoted yesterday (see the post immediately below). Two of the three agreed with it.

We quote what Alexander Firestone wrote, with his permission:

This is a very impressive article and is almost certainly a correct analysis.

When Obama was first elected in 2008 both House and Senate went democratic with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid running the show there. That situation allowed passage of Obamacare among other vile things. Two years later both houses went Republican with John Boehner elected as speaker.

Rank-and-file republicans expected John Boehner to be the principal voice of the opposition to Obama’s lunatic ideas and policies. That was his job. But he did nothing. No one ever heard his voice. I defy anyone to name a single issue or a single bill in which Boehner told the White House to go to hell and got it thru. 

Six years utterly wasted and Obama more-or-less given a blank check.

That’s what’s wrong with the Republican establishment.

For six years the Republican Party establishment did nothing to oppose the systematic dismantling of this country by the Obama administration, from the “reset” with the former Soviet Union to the abandonment of Poland, the Czech Republic, the UK, NATO, the Ukraine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, India, et al.; to the attempted embrace of Iran, China and North Korea; to the disasters of Libya, Iraq and Syria; to the abandonment of American Veterans thru the corrupt VA; to insane quantitative easing; to multi-trillion dollar deficits, and the transfer of trillions of dollars from American savers to banks and Wall Street operators; to IRS scandals and the corruption of the Justice Department under Holder and now Lynch; to the systematic dismantling of the US Navy; to the release of hundreds of terrorists from Gitmo to resume their activities unimpeded, etc., etc. The list can be expanded ad nauseam if not ad infinitum.

Did anyone hear even a squeak from Boehner?

No. And that’s why the Republican establishment has been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the rank-and-file, blue collar workers (both democrat and republican), conservatives with and without religious or social agendas, and the millions of hard-working Americans who feel betrayed by our elites.

Yes, the Obama administration and the liberals are the enemies of this country, but the supposed opposition did nothing to oppose any of this because, as this article makes clear, they were paid off by the left to just go along.

That’s why the Trump phenomenon is so impressive and so very important.

Now it is the personalities that matter. Specific issues, programs, etc., have become irrelevant. Quoting some old speech by Trump, or Cruz or even Hillary is of no importance and will change nothing.

Hillary is corruption incarnate.

Trump is the anti-corrupt Washington candidate, and he owns that role.

That’s what it all boils down to. All else has become irrelevant, and one is morally obligated to come down on one side or the other. There are NO other options. Carping at something Trump once said doesn’t help at all.

We concur. The enormous popularity of Trump is a rebellion against the deep corruption in the centers of power.

It is a sign of the health of America.

The GOP – thwarted and vengeful? 14

The Republican establishment is appalled at the prospect of their nominee being Donald Trump.

What might they do about it?

Kevin Rex Heine writes (in part only – so please follow the link and read the whole thing) at RIGHTMI.com

To say that the 2016 Republican Presidential Campaign has become interesting since June of last year is a bit of an understatement, to say the least. An out-of-the-blue “chaos injection” on June 16th (that FOX News polling saw coming as early as March 31st, but no one else picked up on until late May) became the nationally-recognized front runner not five weeks later, completely leapfrogging the “heir apparent” (who promptly went into a freefall, and has now exited the campaign). Because of this chaos injection, one candidate, who was until that point considered to be irrelevant, leapfrogged to become the national runner-up about five and a half weeks later (and was the national front-runner for three days in November), and two young guns are now openly tussling for second place nationally, neither of whom were supposed to have a realistic chance to begin with.

As should have been expected, the thorough derailing of the coronation train for the republican heir apparent makes the professional political establishment very unhappy, and, of course, they’re hell-bent on doing something about that. But the reason that all of their scrambling is increasingly ineffective is that they don’t seem to really understand the causa provocare of the outsider’s challenge, perhaps because they really don’t understand the degree to which the typical voter is disgusted with the political status quo in America, or why. Thus, predictably, the flailing increasingly exposes them for who they are and what they intend, which conversely makes the outsider’s job that much easier. …

Beginning with congressional leadership action in late 2013, carrying through the 2014 national and state party decisions to modify the primary calendar and delegate allocation and binding rubrics, and concluding with the state legislative actions in early 2015 to set the 2016 primary calendar into law, the roadmap was set to secure the nomination for one John Ellis Bush, and accomplish it knowing that their hand-picked candidate would only rarely poll outside the 15% to 20% range of popular support until after the “game day” primary on March 15th (Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio). Anticipating viable “outsider” challenges from Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, and even Rick Perry (Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum being considered either irrelevant or improbable, and Donald Trump completely unanticipated), the split-and-fracture strategy was implemented, and augmented by compromising from within the four anticipated challengers (a sabotage job that only Cruz seems to have recovered from).

Thus, with every single intel tripwire triggering in the exact order and construct needed to validate the hypothesis, the 2016 presidential cycle was looking to be a colossal exercise in futility for the grassroots activists and main street voters, as the coronation trains to Cleveland (republican) and Philadelphia (democrat) were designed to produce a very specific general election match-up (Bush vs. Clinton), which would be a win for the professional political establishment and deep pocket financiers regardless of the November outcome. And then . . .

… The one and only reason that Cruz has no path to nomination, absent Trump, is because the RNC/GOPe “roadmap to Cleveland” was specifically and explicitly designed to prevent Cruz (along with Perry, Walker, Paul, and Carson) from ever securing enough delegates to become the nominee, or enough delegation majorities to force a floor fight over the nomination. The roadmap was designed to produce exactly one predetermined result (with a backup option in the event that ¡Yeb! failed to gain traction), and lock it down on the first ballot in Cleveland. The one and only reason that both Cruz and Carson are still in the mix is that, eight months ago, Trump came in and proceeded to singlehandedly shred the establishment roadmap, and systematically demolish two years of meticulous backroom planning.

Accepting these truths also means accepting the reality that Cruz has exactly two options if he wants any post-convention relevance: (a) Do whatever is necessary to mend fences with both Carson and Trump, and position himself to provide constitutionally-sound policy advice to Trump post-convention, and perhaps even post-election. (b) Broker some behind-the-scenes deal with Rubio, and position himself to become Rubio’s running mate (or Rubio to become his), on the assumption that a combined Rubio-Kasich-Cruz effort can force a contested convention. …

Given that Donald Trump had floated the idea of campaigning for POTUS before (1988, 2004, and 2012), as well as for Governor of New York (2006 and 2014), one could forgive the professional political establishment, deep pocket financiers, and corporate media talking heads for not taking the guy seriously on Wednesday, March 18th, 2015, when he launched his exploratory committee for the republican POTUS nomination. But in the thirteen weeks between then and the Tuesday, June 16th, formal announcement of his candidacy (“I am officially running for president of the United States.”), Trump did things that he wouldn’t do if this were a mere publicity stunt – stock divestitures, disconnecting conflicts of interest, and escrowing certain real estate sources of income. Yeah, he’s serious about this, and because he isn’t owned by either Wall Street, or K Street, or the RNC/GOPe party apparatus, by the time that the professional political establishment, deep pocket financiers, and corporate media talking heads actually figured out that “The Donald” was, in fact, quite serious about his stated intentions . . .

The timing of Trump’s entry into the campaign was, I believe, intended to take advantage of the entire RNC/GOPe 2016 primary construct, once it was locked into place, in a way that allows him to use the rules changes against the very people those changes were designed to benefit, effectively hoisting them on their own petard. Should Trump secure a majority of the convention voting delegates (Rule # 40(d)), and a majority of the delegations of at least eight states severally (Rule # 40(b)), then, according to Rule # 16(a), which binds delegates to the outcome of their statewide (or district-specific) popular vote on at least the first ballot at convention, one Donald John Trump, Senior, becomes the nominee of the Party of Reagan. Game, set, and match to Trump, and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it . . . on paper.

Trump was also savvy enough to know what he was walking into … brilliantly [exposing the weakness of] the road map during a presser last August (full video here). Yet, since his entry, he has spoken the truth both to the powerful and the common on trade reform, immigration reform, foreign policy failures, tax reform, and veterans’ issues (among many others). In doing so, he has forced the other candidates, on both sides of the aisle, to respond by engaging in serious discussions on those very same issues. He also had the stones to go after George W. Bush regarding 9/11 and Iraq, which is supposed to be sacred ground to “republicans” … And that wall on our southern border? Notice that neither Felipe Calderon nor Vincente Fox are questioning whether the wall should be built, but only that Mexico will not be paying for it (a distinction that the press is somehow overlooking). Yet, there’s something that neither of them wants us to know about, which likely provides a means (in addition to renegotiating trade agreements and impounding the foreign aid) to raise enough money – at Mexico’s expense – to pay for the wall. …

But –

Just because the game may soon be all but over on paper doesn’t mean that the powers that be are going to quit, no siree! The uni-party globalists are aware that a Trump win ultimately means that their hands will be forcibly pried from the public trough, and they don’t care for reversing the decline of America that not only they, but also their philosophical ancestors, have been engineering for a shade over a century. The prospect of a nominee, and in all likelihood a president, who isn’t owned by them (therefore doesn’t answer to them), has detailed insider knowledge of what needs to be done to restore America to greatness (plus openly “America first” in his thinking), and is well aware of what they’re up to, has them quite concerned. And those of us who’re paying attention are seeing the indicators that they’re preparing to reach deep into their bag of dirty tricks.

Students of history may recall the “Republican Disunity” 1964 campaign ad run by Lyndon Johnson, which focused on public remarks from republican governors Nelson Rockefeller (New York), William Scranton (Pennsylvania), and George Romney (Michigan), said remarks calling the credibility of republican senator and presidential nominee Barry Goldwater (Arizona) into question, and saying in effect that Goldwater’s nomination and election would essentially end the Republican Party. This was the ad that ultimately gestated the principle now known as Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment.

(Which was, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”)

More recently, in the 2014 U. S. Senate primary runoff in Mississippi, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pulled out all the stops to defend one of the establishment’s own (Thad Cochran) against an insurgency challenger (Chris McDaniel). Recall that McDaniel won the initial matchup on June 3rd, but because he finished 1,719 votes short of an outright majority, a runoff election took place three weeks later. During those three weeks, racist attack ads, paid for by prominent republican senators and Karl Rove’s super PAC motivated black democrats to show up and boost Cochran to a 7,667-vote runoff win. (Apparently, a little vote buying didn’t seem to hurt, either.)

Now, while you’re thinking about Goldwater and McDaniel, allow me to also remind you of Christine O’Donnell, Joe Miller, and Ken Cuccinelli, each of whom upset an entrenched establishment insider in their primaries, and each of whom was subsequently and openly betrayed by the Republican Party in the general campaign. These five names should suffice to remind you that the RNC/GOPe will not hesitate to burn down their own house, as long as they retain their seat at the public trough. And yes, that means that the professional power brokers and deep pocket financiers will have no problem with a Hillary win this year, because they will still have the access that they crave, and the damage to liberty and the republic be damned.

The signals were already being sent late last year, that the professional political establishment was preparing to lay the groundwork for one of two options, either (a) force a contested convention, so as to block Trump’s nomination on the convention floor and insert a more suitable option, or (b) field an independent general election candidate – à la George Wallace – who can potentially pull enough states to force an Amendment XII Electoral College deadlock, and throw the election to the House of Representatives. Option A requires the candidates already in the field to be able to, individually or collectively, hold Trump below the 1,237 delegates needed for nomination majority; option B requires someone acceptable to the RNC/GOPe, who could credibly conduct an independent campaign against both Trump and Clinton.

Do you think it a coincidence that now – after convincing wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada (and a credible second-place finish in Iowa) – that the attacks on Trump start to ratchet up in volume, intensity, and viciousness, attack ads that will be using paid acting talent in an attempt to force Trump to respond, and take him off his message? Do you think it ironic that the Isolate-Ridicule-Marginalize strategy includes last cycle’s news, who has been conspicuous by his heretofore silence, suddenly weighing in to state his absolute certainty that there must be some sort of bombshell hiding in Trump’s tax returns? Do you find it curious that there is now intel that the deep pocket financiers have already developed a contingency plan in the event that neither Rubio nor Kasich have gained any traction by March 15th? Does it surprise you at all that the person currently envisioned as the savior of the RNC/GOPe professional political establishment [Mitt Romney], is not in the current field of candidates?

And you can bet that Donald Trump is well aware of what the power brokers and financiers are up to, as he made subtly clear at a Mississippi rally roughly two months ago. Even better, we now have the probability that a certain former chairman of the Republican Governors Association [Chris Christie], previously thought to be a part of the plan to grease the skids for a JEB nomination, may in fact have been a Trump mole the entire time. That hypothesis, if true, would explain much.

If this analysis is right, Donald Trump, far from being the oafish clown so many are making him out to be, is extraordinarily smart, highly politically astute .

Thus far, he has outfoxed them all.

 

(Hat-tip for the Heine article to Sonya Kantor)

The war within America 3

Is there a war on Christianity?

In Islamic countries, in Arab countries in particular, there is. In the Islamic State it is a war of annihilation. And the Christian Powers do nothing to save the victims. There does not even seem to be any emotion about it among Christians in Europe or America.

Is there a war on Christianity in America itself? Some say there is, and a lot of emotion has been aroused over it.

Jay Michaelson writes at the Daily Beast:

Why try to understand complicated things like demographics for the decline of your faith when you can blame gays and liberals for waging a “war on religion”?

Among the Christian Right, and most Republican presidential candidates, it’s now an article of faith that the United States is persecuting Christians and Christian-owned businesses —that religion itself is under attack.

Religion has been under attack for a very long time. But are Christians under serious threat? Now? In the United States?

“We have seen a war on faith,” Ted Cruz has said to pick one example. “His policies and this administration’s animosity to religious liberty and, in fact, antagonism to Christians, has been one of the most troubling aspects of the Obama administration,” he said.

Well it is true that the Obama administration does not seem to like Christians. It is reluctant to admit Christian refugees from the wars in the Middle East, while it insists on bringing in tens of thousands of Muslims. But is it against religious liberty?

The writer thinks the very idea that Christianity is under assault is a “bizarre myth”. But he also thinks it is true “in a way”:

Why has this bizarre myth that Christianity is under assault in the most religious developed country on Earth been so successful? Because, in a way, it’s true. American Christianity is in decline — not because of a “war on faith” but because of a host of demographic and social trends. The gays and liberals are just scapegoats.

The idea that Christians are being persecuted resonates with millennia-old self-conceptions of Christian martyrdom. Even when the church controlled half the wealth in Europe, it styled itself as the flock of the poor and the marginalized. Whether true or not as a matter of fact, it is absolutely true as a matter of myth. Christ himself was persecuted and even crucified, after all. So it’s natural that Christianity losing ground in America would be seen by many Christians as the result of persecution.

According to a Pew Research Report released earlier this year, the percentage of the US population that identifies as Christian has dropped from 78.4 percent in 2007 to 70.6 percent in 2014. Evangelical, Catholic, and mainline Protestant affiliations have all declined.

Meanwhile, 30 percent of Americans ages 18-29 list “none” as their religious affiliation (the figure for all ages is about 23 percent). Nearly 40 percent of Americans who have married since 2010 report that they are in “religiously mixed” marriages, which means that many individuals who profess Christianity are in families where not everyone does.

These changes are taking place for a constellation of reasons: greater secular education (college degrees), multiculturalism, shifting social mores, the secular space of consumer capitalism and celebrity culture, the sexual revolution (including feminism and LGBT equality), legal and constitutional changes (like the banning of prayer in public school, and the finding of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage), the breakdown of the nuclear family, the decline of certain forms of family and group identification, and the association of religion in general with nonsensical and outdated dogmas. The Pew report noted Americans are also changing religions more than in the past, and when they do so, they are more likely to move away from Christianity than toward it.

While we like to hear talk of “nonsensical and outdated dogmas”, the rest of that paragraph needs critical examination. Quite a few of the impersonal causes listed are in fact the result of liberal policies: multiculturalism, the legal and constitutional changes, the breakdown of the nuclear family. Feminism is a leftist cause. And the Left has promoted “LGBT equality” for political rather than moral reasons.

So while changes in public morals regarding women and LGBT people (and how the law treats them) are part of the overall shift, they are only one part of an immensely complicated set of factors — and I’m quite sure I’ve left out some of the most important ones. Probably the never-ending stream of sex scandals, from the Catholic clergy  to the Duggar mess, haven’t helped either.

But no one likes a “constellation of reasons” to explain why the world they grew up in, and the values they cherish, seem to be slipping away. Enter the scapegoat: the war on religion, and the persecution of Christianity.

It’s much easier to explain changes by referring to a single, malevolent cause than by having to understand a dozen complex demographic trends. Plus, if Christianity is declining because it’s being attacked, then that decline could be reversed if the attack were successfully repelled. Unlike what is actually happening — a slow, seemingly irrevocable decline in American Christianity — the right’s argument that “religious liberty” is under assault mixes truth and fantasy to provide a simpler, and more palatable, explanation for believers.

We think he is right that there’s a “constellation of reasons” for the decline of religion. While we think a decline in religion is highly desirable, we cannot help but notice that Leftist intolerance is among the reasons for it. 

Take, as an example, Christmas. The weird idea that there is a “War on Christmas” orchestrated by liberal elites — Starbucks cups in hand — is, on its face, ridiculous, even if it is widely held on the right. Shop clerks saying “Happy Holidays” aren’t causing the de-Christianization of Christmas — they’re effects of it. Roughly half of Americans celebrate Christmas as a cultural, not a religious, holiday: Santa Claus and Christmas trees, not baby Jesus in a manger. So that’s what businesses celebrate. It’s capitalism, not conspiracy.

And long may it flourish!

Unfortunately, even if the war on religion is fictive, the “defense” against it is very real and very harmful. This year alone, 17 states introduced legislation to protect “religious freedom” by exempting not just churches and religious organizations (including bogus ones set up to evade the law) from civil rights laws, domestic violence laws, even the Hippocratic Oath, but also private individuals and for-profit businesses. Already, we’ve seen pediatricians turn children away because their parents are gay, and wife-abusers argue that it’s their religious duty to beat their spouses, and most notoriously that multimillion-dollar corporations like Hobby Lobby can have religious beliefs that permit them to refuse to provide health insurance to their employees on that basis.

Meanwhile, the “war on religion” narrative appears to be gaining ground.

The fining of Christian business men and women for refusing to bake cakes or supply floral decoration for gay weddings makes the “narrative” plausible enough. (See eg. here and here.)

According to data from the Public Religion Research Institute, 61 percent of white evangelicals believe that religious liberty is being threatened today. (Only 37 percent of non-white Christians believe this, suggesting that what’s really happening is an erosion of white Christian hegemony; the “browning of America” goes hand in hand with the de-Christianizing of America.) They believe they have lost the culture war, and even that LGBT people should now pity them.

In other words, “religious liberty” is not merely a tactic: it is a sincerely held belief among the religious right, which, not coincidentally, feeds into the belief that we are living in the End Times — something an astonishing 77 percent of American evangelicals believe.

We shouldn’t think of Kim Davis and her ilk as motivated by hate. Actually, they are motivated by fear, which is based in reality but expressed in fantasy. Christianity is, in a sense, losing the war — but the fighters on the other side aren’t gay activists or ACLU liberals but faceless social forces of secularization, urbanization, and diversification.

There’s not really a villain pulling the strings of social change, but like the God concept itself, mythic thinking creates a personification of evil who is fighting the war on religious liberty, the war on Christmas, the war on Christianity. These malevolent evildoers are like a contemporary Satan: a fictive embodiment of all of the chaotic, complex forces that threaten the stability of religious order.

Leftists really do have “a sincerely held belief” that they are on “the right side of history” – as Obama likes to say he is. History itself, according to Marxist dogma, is a force moving inexorably towards global collectivism. Leftism is itself a religion. (See our much read essay Communism is Secular Christianity, January 14, 2015, listed under Pages in our margin.) How many adherents does it have world-wide? For all we know, they outnumber the 1.6 billion Muslims, and the 2.2 billion Christians.

Jay Michaelson believes that inexorable forces determine the direction of human affairs; that human agency has little or nothing to do with it.

He “mixes truth and fantasy”. Christianity may well be a declining religion. We hope it is. It did much harm in its time, and we cannot see that its fading away is a regrettable loss to humankind. And the fading away of Islam would be an enormous boon. An abandonment of old religious beliefs generally would remove a major cause of conflict. But other than Islam, they no longer pose a serious threat.

The serious threat comes from the Left. The Left is in power in most of the institutions of the West, most notably and dangerously in the media, the academy, and above all the executive branch of government of the United States. The Left, in the person of journalists and educators teach and preach statism and collectivism, and the Obama administration forces its will on the nation by executive order.

They are “pulling the strings of social change”. Many of them may believe – just as Christians and Muslims do – that what they are doing is to achieve good ends. They may not all be malevolent in intention. But they are doing much harm nonetheless, by making war on personal liberty.

Posted under America, Arab States, Christianity, Europe, genocide, Islam, jihad, Theology, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Sunday, December 27, 2015

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