Freedom of speech on the internet 7

In 2011 Elizabeth Warren said:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did.

In 2012 President Obama said:

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me – because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t – look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

Whether or not they meant to be attacking private enterprise capitalism, that is what they were generally understood to be doing.

The capitalist, free-market argument is that if you own something you can use it as you like for all lawful purposes. If bakers of wedding cakes do not want to sell a cake, or florists do not want to supply bouquets, to same-sex couples, they are within their rights not to do so.

It is generally agreed that the private owners of places of public entertainment such as restaurants, movie theaters, hotels cannot be permitted to shut out some customers on grounds of personal antagonism.

Controversy has arisen as to whether the private owners of the “social media”, notably Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, have a right to refuse the use of their forums to persons whose opinions they dislike, or whether they have the same obligations as owners of restaurants, movie theaters and hotels not to discriminate against some on grounds of personal disagreement.

Daniel Greenfield writes this magisterial opinion on the arguments:

“But, it’s a private company.”

It’s a familiar argument. Bring up the problem of Google, Facebook and Twitter suppressing conservative speech and many conservatives will retort that it’s a free market. The big dot com monopolies created their own companies, didn’t they? And we wouldn’t want government regulation of business.

In a FOX Business editorial, Iain Murray writes that breaking up dot coms like Google would be “a repudiation of conservative principles”. He argues that “Twitter is a private company” and that “there is no positive right to free speech on Twitter or any other private venue.”

“The same goes for the president’s attacks on Google and the complaints of conservative censorship,” Diane Katz writes at the Heritage Institute. “These private enterprises are not obligated to abide any sort of partisan fairness doctrine.”

The talking point that Google, Facebook and Twitter are private companies that can discriminate as they please on their private platforms, and that the First Amendment doesn’t apply, is in the air everywhere.

But it overlooks two very simple facts.

The driving force behind the censorship of conservatives isn’t a handful of tech tycoons. It’s elected officials. Senator Kamala Harris offered an example of that in a recent speech where she declared that she would “hold social media platforms accountable” if they contained “hate” or “misinformation”.

“Misinformation” is a well-known euphemism among Democrats and the media for conservative political content. It was originally known as “fake news” before President Trump hijacked the term to refer to the media. The recent Poynter list of “unreliable” sites was stacked with conservative sites. Lists like these aren’t hypothetical. Poynter runs the International Fact Checking Network which had been empowered by Facebook and other sites to deplatform conservative content through its “fact checks”.

All of this got underway in response to claims by Hillary Clinton and her allies that “fake news” had cost her the election and represented a grave attack on our democracy. The call was quickly taken up by Democrats in the House and the Senate. It’s been commented on supportively by powerful Clinton allies in the tech industry, like Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google.

Dot coms like Facebook are cracking down on conservatives as an explicit response to pressure from elected government officials. That’s not the voluntary behavior of private companies. When Facebook deletes conservatives in response to threats of regulatory action from Senate Democrats, its censors are acting as government agents while engaging in viewpoint discrimination.

Free market conservatives can argue that Facebook should have the right to discriminate against conservatives. But do they really want to argue that Senate Democrats should have the right to compel private companies to censor conservatives?

What’s the difference between that and a totalitarian state?

It might, arguably, be legal for your landlord to kick you out of your house because he doesn’t like the fact that you’re a Republican. But is it legal for him to do so on orders from Senator Kamala Harris?

Defending abusive behavior like that is a desecration of the free market.

The second fact is that the internet is not the work of a handful of aspiring entrepreneurs who built it out of thin air using nothing but their talent, brains and nimble fingers.

At this point we are going to have to concede, however much it stings our political nerve to do so, that Obama got something right when he said that Government research created the internet.

The internet was the work of DARPA. That stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. DARPA is part of the Department of Defense. DARPA had funded the creation of the core technologies that made the internet possible. The origins of the internet go back to DARPA’s Arpanet.

Nor did the story end once the internet had entered every home.

Where did Google come from? “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” the original paper by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google, reveals support from the National Science Foundation, DARPA, and even NASA.

Harvard’s computer science department, where Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg learned to play with the toys that turned him into a billionaire, has also wallowed in DARPA cash. Not to mention funds from a variety of other DOD and Federal science agencies.

Taxpayers sank a fortune into developing a public marketplace where ideas are exchanged, and political advocacy and economic activity takes place. That marketplace doesn’t belong to Google, Amazon or Facebook. And when those monopolies take a stranglehold on the marketplace, squeezing out conservatives from being able to participate, they’re undermining our rights and freedoms.

“A right of free correspondence between citizen and citizen on their joint interests, whether public or private and under whatsoever laws these interests arise (to wit: of the State, of Congress, of France, Spain, or Turkey), is a natural right,” Thomas Jefferson argued.

There should be a high barrier for any company seeking to interfere with the marketplace of ideas in which the right of free correspondence is practiced.

Critics of regulating dot com monopolies have made valid points.

Regulating Google or Facebook as a public utility is dangerous. And their argument that giving government the power to control content on these platforms would backfire is sensible.

Any solution to the problem should not be based on expanding government control.

But there are two answers.

First, companies that engage in viewpoint discrimination in response to government pressure are acting as government agents. When a pattern of viewpoint discrimination manifests itself on the platform controlled by a monopoly, a civil rights investigation should examine what role government officials played in instigating the suppression of a particular point of view.

Liberals have abandoned the Public Forum Doctrine, once a popular ACLU theme, while embracing censorship. But if the Doctrine could apply to a shopping mall, it certainly applies to the internet.

When dot com monopolies get so big that being banned from their platforms effectively neutralizes political activity, press activity and political speech, then they’re public forums.

Second, rights are threatened by any sufficiently large organization or entity, not just government. Government has traditionally been the most powerful such organization, but the natural rights that our country was founded on are equally immune to every organization. Governments, as the Declaration of Independence asserts, exist as part of a social contract to secure these rights for its citizens.

Government secures these rights, first and foremost, against itself. (Our system effectively exists to answer the question of who watches the watchers.) But it also secures them against foreign powers, a crisis that the Declaration of Independence was written to meet, and against domestic organizations, criminal or political, whether it’s the Communist Party or ISIS, that seek to rob Americans of their rights.

A country in which freedom of speech effectively did not exist, even though it remained a technical right, would not be America. A government that allowed such a thing would have no right to exist.

Only a government whose citizens enjoy the rights of free men legally justifies its existence.

If a private company took control of all the roads and closed them to conservatives every Election Day, elections would become a mockery and the resulting government would be an illegitimate tyranny.

That’s the crisis that conservatives face with the internet.

Protecting freedom of speech does not abandon conservative principles, it secures them. There are no conservative principles without freedom of speech. A free market nation without freedom of speech isn’t a conservative country. It’s an oligarchy. That’s the state of affairs on the internet.

Conservatives should beware of blindly enlisting in leftist efforts to take regulatory control of companies like Facebook. The result would be a deeper and more pervasive form of censorship than exists today. But neither should they imagine that the “free market side of history” will automatically fix the problem.

We have an existing useful toolset to draw on, from anti-trust laws to civil rights investigations to the Public Forum Doctrine. This will be a challenging process, but we must remember through it all, that we have a right to freedom of speech on the internet.

Our tax dollars, invested over generations, built this system. It does not belong to the Left. Or, for that matter, the Right. It belongs to all of us.

Now how to make sure Facebook etc. do not discriminate against us because of their political bias?

President Trump is willing to help us. (Though exactly what he can do we don’t know.)

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS should advance FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Yet too many Americans have seen their accounts suspended, banned, or fraudulently reported for unclear “violations” of user policies. 

No matter your views, if you suspect political bias caused such an action to be taken against you, share your story with President Trump.

https://whitehouse.typeform.com/to/Jti9QH?fbclid=IwAR1oumZ36_InMnU29hRFZukzdSUrbBAxAaQ338B2_Lf-DYxMTJr2UBJMJWs

It’s worth trying.

.

(Hat-tip to liz for the White House link)

 

 

The case against reparations 4

It is surely true to say that no matter who you are or where you come from, you have ancestors who were slaves and ancestors who owned slaves.

That alone is an argument against the idea that, on the grounds of an ancestral debt, people living now who do not and never have owned slaves, owe reparations to other people living now who are not and never have been slaves.

Yet a number of Americans – all Democratic Socialists, in a range of skin colors, some of them male but awfully sorry about it – who want to be president of the United States, are considering a policy of paying reparations to descendants of black slaves who were brought to America from Africa.

Those who are for it do not stipulate who will pay the reparations. All American tax-payers, including the descendants of slaves? All white American tax-payers? All Americans who have some white ancestors? Or only the descendants of slave owners?

Coleman Hughes, an undergraduate philosophy student at Columbia University, has written an article at Quillette which asks all the right questions about reparations, and gives all the right answers. It is a brilliant piece of lucid argument.

Coleman Hughes

In 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates was catapulted to intellectual stardom by a lengthy Atlantic polemic entitled The Case for Reparations. The essay was an impassioned plea for Americans to grapple with the role of slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining in the creation of the wealth gap between blacks and whites, and it provoked a wide range of reactions. Some left-wing commentators swallowed Coates’s thesis whole, while others agreed in theory but objected that reparations are not a practical answer to legitimate grievances. The Right, for the most part, rejected the case both in theory and practice.

Although the piece polarized opinion, one fact was universally agreed upon: reparations would not be entering mainstream politics anytime soon. According to Coates’s critics, there was no way that a policy so unethical and so unpopular would gain traction. According to his fans, it was not the ethics of the policy but rather the complacency of whites—specifically, their stubborn refusal to acknowledge historical racism—that prevented reparations from receiving the consideration it merited. Coates himself, as recently as 2017, lamented that the idea of reparations was “roundly dismissed as crazy” and “remained far outside the borders of American politics”.

In the past month, we’ve all been proven wrong. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have both endorsed the idea, and House speaker Nancy Pelosi has voiced support for proposals to study the effects of historical racism and suggest ways to compensate the descendants of slaves. These people are not on the margins of American politics. Most polls have Harris and Warren sitting in third and fourth place, respectively, in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Pelosi is two heart attacks away from the presidency.

Let me pre-empt an objection: neither Harris nor Warren has endorsed a race-specific program of reparations. Indeed Harris has made it clear that what she’s calling “reparations” is really just an income-based policy by another name. The package of policies hasn’t changed; only the label on the package has. So who cares?

In electoral politics, however, it is precisely the label that matters. Given that there’s nothing about her policies that requires Harris to slap the “reparations” label onto them, her decision to employ it suggests that it now has such positive connotations on the Left that she can’t reject the label without paying a political price. Five years ago, Coates, his fans, and his critics more or less agreed that it would be political suicide for a candidate to so much as utter the word “reparations” in an approving tone of voice. Now, we have a candidate like Harris who seems to think it’s political suicide not to. The Overton window has shifted.

In one sense, Coates should be celebrating. He, more than anyone, is responsible for the reintroduction of reparations into the public sphere. Most writers can only dream of having such influence. But in another sense, his victory is a pyrrhic one. That is, the very adoption of reparations by mainstream politicians throws doubt on the core message of Coates’s work. In his 2017 essay collection, We Were Eight Years in Power, Coates argued that racism is not merely“a tumor that could be isolated and removed from the body of America,” but “a pervasive system both native and essential to that body”; white supremacy is “so foundational to this country” that it will likely not be destroyed in this generation, the next, “or perhaps ever”; it is “a force so fundamental to America that it is difficult to imagine the country without it”.

Now ask yourself: How likely is it that a country matching Coates’s description would find itself with major presidential contenders proposing reparations for slavery, and not immediately plummeting in the polls? The challenge for Coates and his admirers, then, is to reconcile the following claims:

1. America remains a fundamentally white supremacist nation.

2. Presidential contenders are competing for the favor of a good portion of the American electorate partly by signaling how much they care about, and wish to redress, historical racism.

You can say (1) or you can say (2) but you can’t say them both at the same time without surrendering to incoherence. Coates himself has recognized this contradiction, albeit indirectly. “Why do white people like what I write?” he asked [italics in original] in We Were Eight Years in Power. He continued:

“The question would eventually overshadow the work, or maybe it would just feel like it did. Either way, there was a lesson in this: God might not save me, but neither would defiance. How do you defy a power that insists on claiming you? What does the story you tell matter, if the world is set upon hearing a different one?” [italics mine]

In Coates’s mind, the fact that so many white people love his work suggests that they do not fully understand it, that they are “hearing a different” story to the one he is telling. But a more parsimonious explanation is readily available: white progressives’ reading comprehension is fine and they genuinely love his message. This should be unsurprising since white progressives are now more “woke” than blacks themselves. For example, white progressives are significantly more likely than black people to agree that “racial discrimination is the main reason why blacks can’t get ahead”.

This presents a problem for Coates. If you believe, as he does, that the political Left “would much rather be talking about the class struggles” that appeal to “the working white masses” than “racist struggles,” then it must be jarring to realize that the very same, allegedly race-averse Left is the reason that your heavily race-themed books sit atop the New York Times bestseller list week after week. Coates’s ideology, in this sense, falls victim to its own success.

But a pyrrhic victory is a kind of victory nonetheless, and so, partly thanks to Coates, we must have the reparations debate once again.

First, a note on the framing of the debate: Virtually everyone who is against reparations is in favor of policies aimed at helping the poor. The debate, therefore, is not between reparations and doing nothing for black people, but between policy based on genealogy and policy based on socioeconomics. Accordingly, the burden on each side is not to show that its proposal is better than nothing—that would be easy. The burden on each side is to show that its preferred rationale for policy (either genealogy or socioeconomics) is better than the rationale proposed by the other side. And, framed as such, reparations for slavery is a losing argument.

For starters, an ancestral connection to slavery is a far less reliable predictor of privation than a low income. There are tens of millions of descendants of American slaves and many millions of them are doing just fine. As Kevin Williamson put it: “Some blacks are born into college-educated, well-off households, and some whites are born to heroin-addicted single mothers, and even the totality of racial crimes throughout American history does not mean that one of these things matters and one does not.”

Williamson’s observation holds not only between blacks and whites but between different black ethnic groups as well. Somali-Americans, for example, have lower per-capita incomes than native-born black Americans. Yet they would not see a dime from reparations, since they have no connection to American slavery. But should it matter why Somali immigrants are poorer than black American natives? Insofar as there is a reparations policy that would benefit the poor, should Somali immigrants be denied those benefits because they are poor for the wrong historical reasons? The idea can only be taken seriously by those who value symbolic justice for the dead over tangible justice for the living.

We can either direct resources toward the individuals who most need them, or we can direct them toward the socioeconomically-diverse members of historical victim groups. But we cannot direct the same resources in both directions at once. In 2019, “black” and “poor” are not synonyms. Every racial group in America contains millions of people who are struggling and millions of people who are not, and if any debt is owed, it is to the former.

Secondly, the case for reparations relies on the intellectually lazy assumption that the problems facing low-income blacks today are a part of the legacy of slavery. For most problems, however, the timelines don’t match up. Black teen unemployment, for instance, was virtually identical to white teen unemployment (in many years it was lower) until the mid-1950s, when, as Thomas Sowell observed in Discrimination and Disparities, successive minimum wage hikes and other macroeconomic forces artificially increased the price of unskilled labor to employers—a burden that fell hardest on black teens. Not only did problems like high youth unemployment and fatherless homes not appear in earnest until a century after the abolition of slavery, but similar patterns of social breakdown have since been observed in other groups that have no recent history of oppression to blame it on, such as the rise of single-parent homes in the white working class.

Nevertheless, there is a sense nowadays that history affects blacks to such a unique degree that it places us in a fundamentally different category from other groups. David Brooks, a New York Times columnist and a recent convert to the cause of reparations, recently explained that “while there have been many types of discrimination in our history”, the black experience is “unique and different” because it involves “a moral injury that simply isn’t there for other groups”.

I’m highly skeptical of the blacks-are-unique argument. For one thing, it’s not true that blacks have inherited psychological trauma from historical racism. Though the budding field of epigenetics is sometimes used to justify this claim, a recent New York Times article poured cold water on the hypothesis: “The research in epigenetics falls well short of demonstrating that past human cruelties affect our physiology today.” (For what it’s worth, this accords with my own experience. If there is a heritable psychological injury associated with being the descendant of slaves, I’ve yet to notice it.) 

But more importantly, if humans really carried the burden of history in our psyches, then all of us, regardless of race, would be carrying very heavy burdens indeed. Although American intellectuals speak of slavery as if it were a uniquely American phenomenon, it is actually an institution that was practiced in one form or another by nearly every major society since the dawn of civilization. As the Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson wrote in his massive study, Slavery and Social Death:

‘There is nothing notably peculiar about the institution of slavery. It has existed from before the dawn of human history right down to the twentieth century, in the most primitive human societies and in the most civilized. There is no region on earth that has not at some time harbored the institution. Probably there is no group of people whose ancestors were not at one time slaves or slaveholders.”

And that’s to say nothing of the traumas of war, poverty, and starvation that would show up abundantly in all of our ancestral histories if we were to look. Unless blacks are somehow exempt from the principles governing human psychology, the mental effects of historical racism have not been passed down through the generations. Yes, in the narrow context of American history, blacks have been uniquely mistreated. But in the wider context of world history, black Americans are hardly unique and should not be treated as such.

Finally, the framing of the reparations debate presupposes that America has done nothing meaningful by way of compensation for black people. But in many ways, America has already paid reparations. True, we haven’t literally handed a check to every descendant of slaves, but many reparations proponents had less literal forms of payment in mind to begin with.

Some reparations advocates, for instance, have proposed race-conscious policies instead of cash payments. On that front, we’ve done quite a bit. Consider, as if for the first time, the fact that the U.S. college admissions system is heavily skewed in favor of black applicants and has been for decades. In 2009, the Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade found that Asians and whites had to score 450 and 310 SAT points higher than blacks, respectively, to have the same odds of being admitted into elite universities. (The entire test, at the time of the study, was out of 1600 points.)

Racial preferences extend into the job market as well. Last September, the New York Times reported on an ethnically South Asian television writer who “had been told on a few occasions that she lost out on jobs because the showrunner wanted a black writer.” The article passed without fanfare, probably because such racial preferences—or “diversity and inclusion” programs—pervade so many sectors of the U.S. labor market that any particular story doesn’t seem newsworthy at all.

Furthermore, many government agencies are required to allocate a higher percentage of their contracts to businesses owned by racial minorities than they otherwise would based on economic considerations alone. Such “set-aside” programs exist at the federal level as well as in at least 38 states—in Connecticut at least 25 percent of government contracts with small businesses must legally be given to a minority business enterprise (MBE), and New York has established a 30 percent target for contracts with MBEs. One indication of the size of this racial advantage is that, for decades, white business owners have been fraudulently claiming minority status, sometimes risking jail time, in order to increase their odds of capturing these lucrative government contracts. (A white man from Seattle is currently suing both the state of Washington and the federal government for rejecting his claim to own an MBE given his four percent African ancestry.)

My point is not that these race-conscious policies have repaid the debt of slavery; my point is that no policy ever could. For this reason I reject the appeasement-based case for reparations occasionally made by conservatives—namely, that we should pay reparations so that we can finally stop talking about racism once and for all. Common sense dictates that when you reward a certain behavior you tend to get more of it, not less. Reparations, therefore, would not, and could not, function as “hush money.” Reparations would instead function as a kind of subsidy for activism, an incentive for the living to continue appropriating grievances that rightfully belong to the dead.

Some reparations advocates, however, are less focused on tangible dispensations to begin with. Instead they see reparations as a spiritual or symbolic task. Coates, for example, defines reparations primarily as a “national reckoning that would lead to spiritual renewal” and a “full acceptance of our collective biography and its consequences”—and only secondarily as the payment of cash as compensation. How has America done on the soul-searching front? As Coates would have it, not very well. For him, the belief occupying mainstream America is that “a robbery spanning generations could somehow be ameliorated while never acknowledging the scope of the crime.”

By my lights, however, we’ve done quite a bit of symbolic acknowledging. For over 40 years we’ve dedicated the month of February to remembering black history; Martin Luther King Jr. has had a national holiday in his name for almost as long; more or less every prominent liberal arts college in the country has an African-American studies department and many have black student housing; both chambers of Congress have independently apologized for slavery and Jim Crow; and just last month the Senate passed a bill that made lynching a federal crime, despite the fact that lynching was already illegal (because it’s murder), has not been a serious problem for at least half a century, and was already the subject of a formal apology by the Senate back in 2005.

If this all amounts to nothing—that is, to a non-acknowledgement of historical racism—then I’m left wondering what would or could qualify as something. The problem with the case for spiritual reparations is its vagueness. What, precisely, is a “national reckoning” and how will we know when we’ve completed it? The trick behind such arguments, whether intentional or not, is to specify the debt owed to black Americans in just enough detail to make it sound reasonable, while at the same time describing the debt with just enough vagueness to ensure that it can never decisively be repaid.

At bottom, the reparations debate is a debate about the relationship between history and ethics, between the past and the Good. On one side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to correct for the asymmetric racial power relations that ruled America for most of its history. And on the other side are those who believe that the Good means using policy to increase human flourishing as much as possible, for as many as possible, in the present.

Both visions of the Good—the group-based vision and the individualist vision—require the payment of reparations to individuals (and/or their immediate family members) who themselves suffered atrocities at the hands of the state. I therefore strongly approve of the reparations paid to Holocaust survivors, victims of internment during World War II, and victims of the Tuskegee experiments, to name just a few examples. Where the two visions depart is on the question of whether reparations should be paid to poorly-defined groups containing millions of people whose relationship to the initial crime is several generations removed, and therefore nothing like, say, the relationship of a Holocaust survivor to the Holocaust.

Among the fallacies of the group-based vision is the conceit that we are capable of accurately assessing, and correcting for, the imbalances of history to begin with. If we can’t even manage to consistently serve justice for crimes committed between individuals in the present, it defies belief to think that we can serve justice for crimes committed between entire groups of people before living memory—to think, in other words, that we can look at the past, neatly split humanity into plaintiff groups and defendant groups, and litigate history’s largest crimes in the court of public opinion.

If we are going to have a national reckoning, it must be of a different type than the one suggested by Coates. It must be a national reckoning that uncouples the past and the Good. Such a reckoning would not entail forgetting our history, but rather liberating our sense of ethics from the shackles of our checkered past. We cannot change our history. But the possibility of a just society depends on our willingness to change how we relate to it.


 

Parody 15

Have you yet picked a victim group with which you “identify”?

If you haven’t picked one at least, you’re doomed, comrade!

You’ve gotta be one of the oppressed in America now, or you’re nothing. No, of course you don’t have to actually be oppressed, you’ve just got to belong to a group that can say it’s oppressed because it’s not white and male.

Why should only those who have actually been oppressed have all the kudos? It’s enough that some women – or all women some time ago – were kept down. If you are a woman, that’s all you need to stake your claim. Same goes of course if you’re black, brown, homosexual, lunatic, or criminal. Others like you had it rough, so you are owed.

If you’re currently homeless, an illegal resident, an alcoholic, a drug addict, or a member of M-13 or al-Qaeda, you can pass jail and go straight to the community chest for your hand-out.

But our advice to you is choose a race complaint. The most solid claim, the claim recognized as being top priority right now, is a race claim. Then you have only to put a finger in the political breeze – the one blowing from the left – to learn which race is commonly agreed to be most “unsafe” while whites occupy the seats of power.

It will be better still if you also “belong” to a radical ideology. It’s an add-on, but could make all the difference to how much respect and promotion you have a right to demand. You could probably hit the jackpot this season if your chosen ideology is Islam or Communism. Being Muslim or Communist might even get you a pass for a while if you are still white and/or male.

But hurry. The wind changes often. More often than the weather changes (though it all tends, they say, towards heating the earth to destruction within 12 years). It could, for all you know, change before you can say “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness:

For progressives that revolutionary purity now is defined by race is an ironic return to the values of the Old South, which sought to calibrate privilege by skin color. The reprehensible Confederate idea of the whitest has now morphed into the least white being the most authentically grieved and thus deserving of the greatest reparatory privileges — the constant, of course, remains that superficial appearance based on race trumps all individual characteristics.

What started with affirmative action became “diversity’, which in turn during the Obama Administration was redefined not as minority groups with either historical grievances against the majority or accepted claims of ongoing racial victimization. Instead authentically diverse were all who claimed to be racially or linguistically distinguishable from the white majority.

Then diversity as a revolutionary moment was further expanded by including gays and woke women, which essentially took the initial African-American population whose plight was the aim of affirmative action and expanded it to in theory a majority of about 200 million Americans who were either non-white or women or both.

Now the revolution cannot figure out its own hierarchy of authentic grievance groups. So it has agreed on a loose “intersectionality”, in which over a dozen and often overlapping victim cadres agree that each degree of non-white-maleness adds authenticity and become a force multiplier of left-wing radicalism.

Among leftists, Kamala Harris, as black and female, trumps Cory Booker who is just black, who trumps Elizabeth Warren who is exposed as just female, who trumps Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders who are reverse threefers as white, male, and heterosexual. …

In such a revolutionary scramble to be the most diverse and hard left, the logical trajectory ends up with a race to transcend the physical limits of victimhood.

So now appears Jussie Smollett.

He is not just left-wing, but a rabid hater of Donald Trump. And he is not just black, but gay as well. And he is not just a victim, but a hyper-victim of white bullies. And not just bullies, but bullies with MAGA hats. And he is not just a victim of white red-hats, but a victim of ski-masked racists. And not just of their blows, but of (frozen?) bleach. And not just of bleach and blows, but of lynch rope as well. And they did not just hit, but smeared and slurred. And not just MAGA sloganeering, but anti-gay, anti-black—and perhaps, worst of all, in our performance society, they slandered his “Empire” TV show!

Progressives are like a worn rope being pulling apart at both ends. At one end, there is an effort to radicalize prior radicalization, and on the other end victimhood is heading toward parody.

And what is left is the emblematic Jussie Smollett—the logical result of the revolution, who alone has staked out the only authentic and ultimate revolutionary stance: nihilism—a state where no one can possibly rival Jussie’s revolutionary grievance credentials because they cannot exist in a reality based world.

Or put another way, when no one is revolutionary enough, the revolutionary auditors end up ridiculous in their zeal for power and celebrity — sort of like Orwell’s radical pigs finally prancing about on two legs and feasting on silver, sort of like Jussie Smollett leveraging the ultimate state of victimhood for a better deal on “Empire”.

Parody, yes.

Come to think of it, parody is the non-stop Performance Art of the American Left.

Parody of oppression. Parody of victimhood.

Of leadership. Of scholarship. Of justice. Of femininity and masculinity. Of diversity. Of inclusion. Of tolerance. Of equality. Of anti-racism. Of anti-fascism.

Of being revolutionaries. Of being liberal. Of being democrats.

Of being Americans.

.

(Hat-tip to Cogito for the VDH article)

Looking on the funny side of identity politics 1

No one comments on the state of our world and human folly as well as Mark Steyn does:

Posted under Comedy by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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The Democratic Party is a criminal organization 17

After the massacre of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue last Saturday by a Trump-hating anti-Semite, for which Democrats and their lapdog media choose to blame President Trump (the most pro-Semitic, pro-Israel president ever), a Jewish correspondent, Alexander Firestone, wrote this to us, not in direct comment on the murders, but on the movement that is truly promoting violence and anti-Semitism:-

In recent years the Democratic Party has become a criminal organization. It “achieved” that goal during the Obama administration with a thoroughly corrupt “Justice” Department first under Eric Holder and then Loretta Lynch, an equally corrupt and perverse State Department first under John Kerry and then Hillary Clinton, a wholly corrupt Veterans Administration, IRS, Census Bureau, and even Department of Energy. There are probably more, but I don’t have details. Most egregious was the State Department that relentlessly pursued a policy of enabling and encouraging a murderous theocratic regime in Iran dedicated to the destruction of Israel. For the execrable Joe Biden to open his mouth about anything involving Jews is vile and obscene. There really is no limit to the hypocrisy of Democrats. One can start with the four witches; Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Nancy Pelosi, and work one’s way to Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, DNC vice-chair Keith Ellison’s fanatically anti-Semitic friend Louis Farrakhan all on stage together. You’ve seen the photograph. That picture should be plastered on every billboard in America.

Regarding Bernie Sanders, much of the Democratic Party has embraced his so-called “Democratic Socialist” program. There ain’t no such animal. All socialism is National Socialism.

The media refuse to print the fact that in the late sixties Bernie Sanders and his wife were card-carrying members of the CPUSA; still passionately Stalinist long after the death of Stalin. It is possible they left the Communist Party sometime after that, but if so, I never heard of it.

Operationally, it all comes down to what happens on Tuesday, November 6. If the Democrats can claim a plausible victory either in the house or senate, then they will be encouraged to continue down this path of psychotic Leftism. That must not happen. To make the sane who may be still among them realize that this road leads only to disaster for them, Democrats must suffer horrendous losses. Nothing less will suffice. Therefore, we must encourage everyone we know to vote against all Democrats; no matter the office, the opposition or any other factors. Nothing else matters except defeating Democrats; any and all Democrats. I would go so far as to say that voting for any Democrat at any level in this election is a mortal sin.

A sin against humanity, yes.

Also to be accused is the Women’s Movement led by the Hamas agent, Linda Sarsour, which is supported without a blush by the Democrats – for whom far too many Jewish voters still cast their votes.

Gynocracy, dark and strict 13

There really are millions of Americans who want to be cared for by government like little children.They will vote in November 2018 for Democratic Socialist Party candidates who promise to give them free health care, free college education, free housing heated and lighted by solar energy, free abortions, a guaranteed minimum income, and free humiliation if you are a white male.

But no freedom.

Few will have the governing power, the parental power. Only a dozen or so non-white dominatrices.

The Mothers.

Female (or self-identified as female) persons who want to organize and control everyone.

They might include Kamala Harris and Maxine Waters, but not Nancy Pelosi or Elizabeth Warren. Sorry, you last two ladies, but you are too white, too Caucasian, even if you have a tiny bit of something darker in your DNA.

The Mothers will open the southern border of the United States and invite the populations of Central and South America to come and live here.

Matthew Boyle writes at Breitbart:

As the Democrats drift further leftward into openly embracing socialism, House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warns the political battle ahead of the midterm elections just two weeks from now is no longer a traditional partisan battle. Instead it is one where the country must confront and reject extreme ideas from the left.

McCarthy said:

The debate today is different than the one we had before with Republicans versus Democrats on the size of what government can be … It’s no longer Republicans versus the Democrats, it’s America versus socialism. The movement in this Democratic Party [is] toward clear socialism, that’s what they’re doing on healthcare – government-run, it’s all government telling you what to do and when to do it instead of unshackling and unleashing the great powers of liberty and freedom.

With the latest caravan of thousands of prospective illegal aliens streaming from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. border right now, McCarthy said, people in the United States “should be upset because in Congress we had put a bill on the floor for immigration reform that would deal with this and end catch-and-release and not one Democrat voted for it”.

McCarthy has put forward legislation that would fully fund President Donald Trump’s planned border wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

“It’s very simple,” McCarthy said of his bill, which is titled Build the Wall, Enforce the Law, and would fully fund the border wall and include enforcement measures like Kate’s Law and blocking sanctuary cities among others.

It would fully fund the wall. You’re watching individuals try to come and just cross the Rio Grande, and not have any wall there and just move across. But what it also does is say “enforce the law”. Think about the MS-13 gang members that will be a part of this caravan, or those who are smuggling [the opioid] fentanyl. This increases the ability to send them back, a bill that we voted on before, but it also deals with sanctuary cities who are a magnet for bringing people in and I just heard a report where they were interviewing some people in the caravan and they have been deported three, four, five times and now they’re coming back through. We know what happens there, with Kate’s Law we need it and why we need it, but then it also goes through and makes sure we’re supporting ICE. If anyone has not been to the border and spent some time with Border Patrol, you don’t understand the challenge that you have when you have a lawless society and no protection along that southern border. That’s why I put the bill in …

McCarthy predicted the midterm election is very much, in addition to a bigger picture battle of ideas between those who believe in America and those who believe in socialism, a referendum on immigration policy.

He has been blocked particularly by Nancy Pelosi, who still has some power of influence though she seems to be rapidly losing her marbles.

There has never been a more clear contrast for two weeks from now. Think of this: If the Democrats … take the majority inside Congress, Nancy Pelosi will become the Speaker. Look at just two of the bills that I put on the floor recently. One, going through and supporting ICE. More than 170 Democrats voted against that or voted “present”. Or what about what we’re finding in these very liberal-controlled cities like San Francisco that allows illegals to vote in their school board races? Well, I put condemning that on the floor a resolution, 140 Democrats voted against condemning it or “present”. This is the city, and the person who represents this city is Nancy Pelosi, she would become Speaker. So what would she try to do with the rest of our election laws throughout? There is encouragement [from Democrats] of who’s coming through in this caravan, of making this happen. I mean, here we had a bill that was put on the floor that would deal with our security along the border but also fix our immigration system but not one Democrat would vote for it because Pelosi would not allow them to even though it was a common sense bill that actually put us in a new place for this country. This is what the contrast is about in just two weeks.

The Democratic Socialists believe that almost all the migrants slogging towards the US border will vote for them. Eventually. Or even immediately and illegally in the forthcoming November elections if they make it here in time.

About that, they may be right.

Under a lidless gaze from high dark towers 1

Is the American Left totalitarian in its ideology, policies, inclination?

Victor Davis Hanson thinks it is. He writes (in part) at National Review:

A definition of totalitarianism might be the saturation of every facet of daily life by political agendas and social-justice messaging.

At the present rate, America will soon resemble the dystopias of novels such as 1984 and Brave New World in which all aspects of life are warped by an all-encompassing ideology of coerced sameness.

Or rather, the prevailing orthodoxy in America is the omnipresent attempt of an elite — exempt from the consequences of its own ideology thanks to its supposed superior virtue and intelligence — to mandate an equality of result.

We expect their 24/7 political messaging on cable-channel news networks, talk radio, or print and online media. And we concede that long ago an NPR, CNN, MSNBC, or New York Times ceased being journalistic entities as much as obsequious megaphones of the progressive itinerary.

But increasingly we cannot escape anywhere the lidless gaze of our progressive lords, all-seeing, all-knowing from high up in their dark towers.

When there is a Republican president, a Republican Congress, a Republican majority in the Supreme Court, and a majority of the states (33 of the 50) have Republican governors, does the Left have the power to inflict its “political agendas and social-justice messaging” on America?

The answer is yes. The faithful do it from inside government agencies.

The Peter Strzok–Lisa Page texts, along with the careers of former FBI director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCabe, reveal a politicized and in some sense rotten FBI hierarchy, beholden far more to its own exalted sense of a progressive self than merely to investigating crimes against the people.

Lois Lerner was a clumsy reflection of how the IRS long ago became weaponized in service to auditing deplorables. Former CIA director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper used their supposedly nonpartisan positions to further political agendas. That each in his own way is clownish does not mitigate their rank efforts to graft intelligence agencies onto political causes.

The same deterioration is true of many in the Department of Justice, who, along with the FBI, misled FISA-court justices, as if that were the only, or perhaps the easiest, way to obtain politically driven surveillance on U.S. citizens. Americans now are woke to the reality that straying too much into the forbidden zone guarantees that their communications can be monitored on the pretense that they’re colluding with some nefarious power. Yet if foreigners are the menace, why did our proverbial best and brightest traffic with a paid foreign spy at election time to sabotage a political campaign, then trump even the improper use of electronic surveillance with the insertion of paid informants?

They do it through the social media companies.

Google, Facebook, and Twitter are facing accusations of censoring social-media accounts and massaging Internet searches according to their progressive political agendas. The masters of the universe have given us the stereotype of 20- and 30-something social-warrior geeks, fiddling with their algorithms to virtue-signal their left-wing fides to a global audience. …

First-time congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng, a conservative from central California, found her video ad blocked on Facebook and Twitter. Apparently, her description of the Cambodian holocaust that her parents fled was too graphic or politically incorrect, or both. But then again, in California, everything is politicized, from plastic straws to single-user restrooms, in an Orwellian effort to distract us from the fact that we do not have enough water, usable roads, or workable public schools to remain a civilized state.

They do it through the news media and the institutions of education. They do it through”newspeak” – the control of vocabulary.

Language is especially enlisted to disguise bothersome reality. During the Obama administration, no one would ever have known from “overseas contingency operations,” “man-caused disaster”, “workplace disasters”, and “holy struggles” that radical Islamic terrorists were seeking to kill Westerners from San Bernardino to Paris. As in the case of illegal aliens, undocumented aliens, illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants, immigrants migrants, the progressive rationale is that anyone killed or harmed by a terrorist or migrant is usually a nobody and so an acceptable casualty in the greater war against incorrect speech and attitude.

When our public colleges now find that an increasing number of newly admitted students cannot do college-level work when they begin their courses, administrators drop the old idea of catch-up “remedial” classes or compensatory “remediation” courses. The new language conveys that students are now suddenly qualified, or at least it virtue-signals the university’s effort to be suitably sensitive to the fact that in California nearly half of those entering the CSU system cannot read or compute at what previously had been thought to be a college level.

And since the Left is now dedicated to the destruction of “white privilege” and the demotion of the white race, Whites on the Left announce from their dark towers that they are not white:

Our very names and identities have become politicized. Desperate to highlight their progressive purity (or to enhance careers), politicians sometimes reinvent their nomenclatures and ancestries to suggest solidarity with those deemed racially, ethnically, or economically oppressed. … [Is] their intent to pose as poorer, more victimized Americans without actually having to become poorer or more victimized?

Senator Elizabeth Warren claimed falsely — albeit not quite in the clumsy fashion of left-wing political activist and professor Ward Churchill — that she was part Native American. Socialist New York state senate candidate Julia Salazar recently and falsely rebranded herself as a virtual foreign-born immigrant. Was their intent to pose as poorer, more victimized Americans without actually having to become poorer or more victimized?

White-male aspirant for a Texas Senate seat Patrick Francis O’Rourke has used the Latino nickname “Beto,” probably on the assumption that “Beto O’Rourke” might ensure a little more street cred among Texas’s Latino voters. I suppose “Pat O’Lopez” would be too shameless? But then again, California Senate candidate Kevin de León has added both a “de” and an accent to remind voters that he is not just an Anglicized Kevin Leon who could be mistaken for a third-generation Portuguese American.

Americans have long accepted that Hollywood movies no longer seek just to entertain or inform, but to indoctrinate audiences by pushing progressive agendas. That commandment also demands that America be portrayed negatively — or better yet simply written out of history. Take the new film First Man, about the first moon landing. Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong became famous when he emerged from The Eagle, the two-man lunar module, and planted an American flag on the moon’s surface. Yet that iconic act disappears from the movie version. (At least Ryan Gosling, who plays Armstrong, does not walk out of the space capsule to string up a U.N. banner.)

Gosling claimed that the moon landing should not be seen as an American effort. Instead, he advised, it should be “widely regarded as a human achievement” — as if any nation’s efforts or the work of the United Nations in 1969 could have pulled off such an astounding and dangerous enterprise.  …

Julia Salazar, whom Hanson refers to, is a “Democratic Socialist” running for a Democratic Party seat in the New York State Senate. She claimed for unexplained reasons to be a Jewish immigrant from Colombia, though she was born to a Catholic family in Miami and is intensely anti-Semitic. When the Jewish periodical The Tablet exposed her lies, “the response from Salazar and her supporters was to accuse the Jewish community of racism”. They – 

” … insisted that as a ‘woman of color’, she was a victim of Jewish racism. The Democratic Socialists of America backed their candidate and repeated her anti-Jewish slurs.”

– So writes Daniel Greenfield at Front Page. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another “Democratic Socialist”, is a rich man’s daughter who pretends to be a low-waged resident of the Bronx, where she has won the Democratic primary and  will be elected to Congress in November.

So our betters who claim the moral high ground and know what’s best for us, are liars, slanderers, poseurs, hypocrites, illiterates, and subversives. 

And they are would-be totalitarians, those up there in the dark towers.

The woman who knows how to save the United States 8

“Community organizer” is a euphemism for “Communist”.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who just won the Democratic primary for the 14th Congressional District (NY-14) in New York City (which includes much of the Bronx and Queens), is a community organizer.

She is also, reports the Washington Times, “a card-carrying member of the Democratic Socialists of America — a socialist — and she just won a congressional primary in New York City.”

The paper adds: “What a face slap to America. What an affront to all the Founding Fathers forged.” It makes her “an enemy of America”.

It does.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)* are also Communists. They don’t say they are, but they are:

We are socialists because we reject an economic order based on private profit, alienated labor, gross inequalities of wealth and power, discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, disability status, age, religion, and national origin, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo. We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships. We are socialists because we are developing a concrete strategy for achieving that vision, for building a majority movement that will make democratic socialism a reality in America. We believe that such a strategy must acknowledge the class structure of American society and that this class structure means that there is a basic conflict of interest between those sectors with enormous economic power and the vast majority of the population.

Communists do not like nations. They do not want borders.

(Bernie Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist and refers to the Scandinavian states as realizations of his ideals, but he took his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, not Denmark, Sweden, or Norway.)

According to In These Times, this is Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s agenda:

Open borders; Medicare for all; tuition-free public college; housing “as a human right”; a federal jobs guarantee (ie. everyone can work for the government); replacing fossil fuels with “renewable energy sources” (to combat “man-made global warming”).

I’m advocating for a working-class agenda, for the safety and security of working-class people, it means healthcare, housing and immigration. They’re issues of, “Can I stay here tomorrow?” If there is any seat in America that is advocating for the abolishment of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] it should be NY14. It is a district that is 85 percent Democratic. We have very little to risk by taking bold and ambitious positions. Even for those who aren’t immigrants, we are all so deeply invested in the lives and the future of immigrant families in NY-14, and everybody here cares about this issue.

I support Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) plan for a $146 billion investment in Puerto Rico. I think that if Congress really cared and if Congress actually had a vision, we could use Puerto Rico as an example for how we can approach the ravages of super storms and climate change moving forward. Puerto Rico’s entire power system has been wiped out. … Costa Rica can operate on 100 percent sustainable, renewable energy. Puerto Rico is a small island and I believe we can make those investments to make that happen. …  I think that we need a Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico, and to switch to 100 percent renewables on the island. It’s a small enough place that we can do that, and we can show the world what recovery in an era of extreme climate change looks like. …

I think Obamacare should go further, for instance, but I don’t think that Obamacare was bad. It just wasn’t good enough.

I believe that the Republican Party is long gone, and the only real hope for responsible governance is the Democratic Party. So I believe that the fight for the Democratic Party is really the fight over the future of this nation.

This nation? The open borders she wants would eliminate this nation.

She believes that government should be the supplier of all needs.

How would government pay for all that it supplied “free”?

Well, she knows how. According to this biography, she has a degree in Economics. “Born to a working-class Puerto Rican family in the Bronx, New York, Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University, majoring in economics and international relations, and later worked for Senator Ted Kennedy’s office where she focused on immigration issues.”

I really wonder how many members of the Democratic Party actually have a degree in economics like I do. The Pay-Go plan (Nancy Pelosi’s plan) is so indicative of a lack of understanding of how we need to grow. I’m advocating for the ideas because I have an understanding of how the economy works. If we did Pay-Go during the Great Depression, we would still be a developing nation. We need a New Deal.

President Roosevelt’s NewDeal was a failure. Designed to cure the Depression, it failed because FDR did not understand what caused the Depression: government interference in business, fixing prices.

But government interference in the economy is Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan:

There has almost never been a period of substantial economic growth in the United States without significant investment. And no investment pays off within the same cycle. No investment pays off within the same year — especially a governmental investment. … The idea that we’re going to austerity ourselves into prosperity is so mistaken, and honestly I feel like one of the big problems we have is that, because Democrats don’t have a deep understanding of or degrees in economics, they allow Wall Street folks to roll in the door and think that they’re giving them an education. They’re not. It’s a con, and they’re getting conned because they don’t understand the transformative power of the purse that Congress has. It’s not just Democrats. I don’t think most of Congress understands how economics works.

She understands how economics work: she would print money, as Roosevelt did.

As the socialist president of Venezuela did. 

So if  her agenda were to be implemented, how much longer would it take for this nation to be brought to ruin than it took President Maduro to reduce Venezuela to misery, destitution, and starvation?

And is that what the people of the Bronx and Queens really want?

 

*Breitbart reports: The DSA is the largest socialist organization in the US and is known for its far-left ideology. It was established in 1991 by six members of the House of Representatives, including Bernie Sanders, Ron Dellums and Maxine Waters. Read all about it here.

The tragic destructive insane force of feminism 10

Women on the whole are less strong than men. Why pretend otherwise? And children are dependent and need kind, warm, personal guarding and guiding. Government and its institutions cannot look after them as they need to be looked after. Government is not kind, warm or personal. Children need a mother or the nearest thing they can have to a mother. Again, why pretend otherwise?

Multitudes of women and children have suffered irreversible harm from the changes in custom brought about by the Left and all its sub-movements, especially feminism

What can we know about those famous female feminists? What drives them? Sure there are lots of men who describe themselves as feminists too, but they are aiders and abettors in this vast social tragedy. The women are the working demons.

An insight into the personality of one of the most infuential of the demonesses has been provided by her sister.

Mark Tapson has written an article about the siblings at Front Page, in which he draws attention to another article written by the sensible sister.

Feminist icon Kate Millett passed away recently in Paris at the age of 82. Her 1970 book Sexual Politics, called “the Bible of Women’s Liberation” by the New York Times, had a seismic effect on feminist thought and launched Millett as what the Times called “a defining architect of second-wave feminism”. … Kate’s sister Mallory, a CFO for several corporations, resides in New York City with her husband of over twenty years. In a riveting article from a few years back bluntly titled, Marxist Feminism’s Ruined Lives Mallory revealed what she saw of the subversive undercurrent of her sister’s passionate radicalism.

So we go now to Mallory Millett‘s article published at Front Page on September 1, 2014. (We quote extensively from it, omitting parts where she refers directly or indirectly to God, Bible and church, because God, Bible and church in our view are quite as rotten repositories of trust as government. Both she and Mark Tapson ascribe some of the blame for the ruination of modern family life to militant atheists and atheism itself. Obviously we disagree with them about that.)

I was a young divorcee with a small child. At the urging of my sister, I relocated to NYC after spending years married to an American executive stationed in Southeast Asia. The marriage over, I was making a new life for my daughter and me.  Katie said, “Come to New York.  We’re making revolution! Some of us are starting the National Organization of Women and you can be part of it.”

I hadn’t seen her for years.  Although she had tormented me when we were youngsters, those memories were faint after my Asian traumas and the break-up of my marriage.  I foolishly mistook her for sanctuary in a storm. With so much time and distance between us, I had forgotten her emotional instability.

And so began my period as an unwitting witness to history. I stayed with Kate and her lovable Japanese husband, Fumio, in a dilapidated loft on The Bowery as she finished her first book, a PhD thesis for Columbia University, Sexual Politics.

It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group”, a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China. We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”

Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?

“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.

They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women.  It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was “to invade every American institution.  Every one must be permeated with ‘The Revolution’: The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.”

… To me, this sounded silly.  I was enduring culture shock after having been cut-off from my homeland, living in Third-World countries for years with not one trip back to the United States. I was one of those people who, upon returning to American soil, fell out of the plane blubbering with ecstasy at being home in the USA. I knelt on the ground covering it with kisses.  I had learned just exactly how delicious was the land of my birth and didn’t care what anyone thought because they just hadn’t seen what I had or been where I had been.  I had seen factory workers and sex-slaves chained to walls.

And it is still happening in shithole countries.

How could twelve American women who were the most respectable types imaginable – clean and privileged graduates of esteemed institutions: Columbia, Radcliffe, Smith, Wellesley, Vassar; the uncle of one was Secretary of War under Franklin Roosevelt – plot such a thing?  Most had advanced degrees and appeared cogent, bright, reasonable and good. How did these people rationally believe they could succeed with such vicious grandiosity?  And why?

I dismissed it as academic-lounge air-castle-building.  I continued with my new life in New York while my sister became famous publishing her books, featured on the cover of “Time Magazine” [which] called her “the Karl Marx of the Women’s Movement.”  This was because her book laid out a course in Marxism 101 for women.  Her thesis: The family is a den of slavery with the man as the Bourgeoisie and the woman and children as the Proletariat.  The only hope for women’s “liberation” (communism’s favorite word for leading minions into inextricable slavery; “liberation,” and much like “collective” – please run from it, run for your life) was this new “Women’s Movement”.  Her books captivated the academic classes and soon “Women’s Studies” courses were installed in colleges in a steady wave across the nation with Kate Millett books as required reading.

Imagine this: a girl of seventeen or eighteen at the kitchen table with Mom studying the syllabus for her first year of college and there’s a class called “Women’s Studies”. “Hmmm, this could be interesting,” says Mom. “Maybe you could get something out of this.”

Seems innocuous to her.  How could she suspect this is a class in which her innocent daughter will be taught that her father is a villain?  Her mother is a fool who allowed a man to enslave her into barbaric practices like monogamy and family life and motherhood, which is a waste of her talents.  She mustn’t follow in her mother’s footsteps. That would be submitting to life as a mindless drone for some domineering man, the oppressor, who has mesmerized her with tricks like romantic love.  Never be lured into this chicanery, she will be taught.  Although men are no damned good, she should use them for her own orgasmic gratification; sleep with as many men as possible in order to keep herself unattached and free. There’s hardly a seventeen-year-old girl without a grudge from high school against a Jimmy or Jason who broke her heart.  Boys are learning, too, and they can be careless during high school, that torment of courting dances for both sexes.

By the time Women’s Studies professors finish with your daughter, she will be a shell of the innocent girl you knew, who’s soon convinced that although she should be flopping down with every boy she fancies, she should not, by any means, get pregnant.  And so, as a practitioner of promiscuity, she becomes a wizard of prevention techniques, especially abortion.

The goal of Women’s Liberation is to wear each female down to losing all empathy for boys, men or babies. The tenderest aspects of her soul are roughened into a rock pile of cynicism, where she will think nothing of murdering her baby in the warm protective nest of her little-girl womb.  She will be taught that she, in order to free herself, must become an outlaw. This is only reasonable because all Western law, since Magna Carta and even before, is a concoction of the evil white man whose true purpose is to press her into slavery.

Be an outlaw! Rebel! Be defiant!  (Think Madonna, Lady Gaga, Lois Lerner, Elizabeth Warren.) “All women are prostitutes,” she will be told.  You’re either really smart and use sex by being promiscuous for your own pleasures and development as a full free human being “just like men” or you can be a professional prostitute, a viable business for women, which is “empowering” or you can be duped like your mother and prostitute yourself to one man exclusively whereby you fall under the heavy thumb of “the oppressor”.  All wives are just “one-man whores”. 

She is to be heartless in this.  No sentimental stuff about courting. No empathy for either boy or baby.  She has a life to live and no one is to get in her way.  And if the boy or man doesn’t “get it” then no sex for him; “making love” becomes “having sex”. “I’m not ‘having sex’ with any jerk who doesn’t believe I can kill his son or daughter at my whim.  He has no say in it because it’s my body!” (Strange logic as who has ever heard of a body with two heads, two hearts, four arms, four feet?)

There’s no end to the absurdities your young girl will be convinced to swallow.  “I plan to leap from guy to guy as much as I please and no one can stop me because I’m liberated!”  In other words, these people will turn your daughter into a slut with my sister’s books as instruction manuals. (“Slut is a good word. Be proud of it!”)  She’ll be telling you, “I’m probably never getting married and if I do it will be after I’ve established my career,” which nowadays often means never. “I’ll keep my own name and I don’t really want kids.  They’re such a bother and only get in the way.”  They’ll tell her, “Don’t let any guy degrade you by allowing him to open doors for you. To be called ‘a lady’ is an insult. Chivalry is a means of ownership.” …

I’ve known women who fell for this creed in their youth who now, in their fifties and sixties, cry themselves to sleep decades of countless nights grieving for the children they’ll never have and the ones they coldly murdered because they were protecting the empty loveless futures they now live with no way of going back. “Where are my children? Where are my grandchildren?” they cry to me.

“Your sister’s books destroyed my sister’s life!”  I’ve heard numerous times. “She was happily married with four kids and after she read those books, walked out on a bewildered man and didn’t look back. The man fell into despairing rack and ruin. The children were stunted, set off their tracks, deeply harmed; the family profoundly dislocated and there was no putting Humpty-Dumpty together again.” …

The character of the American woman has been distorted by this pernicious movement. From where did this foul mouthed, tattooed, outlaw creature, who murders her baby without blinking an eye and goes partying without conscience or remorse come?  And, in such a short little phase in history?

Never before have we heard of so many women murdering their children: Casey Anthony killing her little Caylee and partying-hearty for weeks; Susan Smith driving her beautiful little boys into a lake, leaving them strapped in the water to die torturous deaths; that woman who drowned her five children in the bathtub?  “Hey, if I can kill my baby at six months of gestation why not six months post-birth, just call it late late-term abortion.”

… When those women at Lila Karp’s table in Greenwich Village set their minds to destroying the American Family by talking young women into being outlaws, perpetrators of infanticide, and haters of Western law, men and marriage, they accomplished just what they intended.  Their desire — and I witnessed it at subsequent meetings till I got pretty sick of their unbridled hate – was to tear American society apart along with the family and the “Patriarchal Slave-Master”, the American husband.

We’re all so busy congratulating each other because Ronald Reagan “won the Cold War without firing a shot” entirely missing the bare truth which is that Mao, with his Little Red Book and the Soviets, won the Cold War without firing a shot by taking over our women, our young and the minds of everyone tutored by Noam Chomsky and the textbooks of Howard Zinn. Post-graduate Junior is Peter Pan trapped in the Never Neverland of Mom’s (she’s divorced now) basement. Christina Hoff Sommers says, “Moms and dads, be afraid for your sons. There’s a ‘war on men’ that started a long time ago in gender studies classes and in women’s advocacy groups eager to believe that men are toxic… Many ‘educated women’ in the U.S. have drunk from the gender feminist Kool Aid.  Girls at Yale, Haverford and Swarthmore see themselves as oppressed.  This is madness.”

If you see something traitorous in this, a betrayal of my sister, I have come to identify with such people as Svetlana Stalin or Juanita Castro; coming out to speak plainly about a particularly harmful member of my family.  Loyalty can be highly destructive.  …  I was one of the silent but at last I’m “spilling the beans”.  The girls have been up to something for years and it’s really not good. It’s evil. We should be sick to our souls over it.  I know I am. And so, mass destruction, the inevitable outcome of all socialist/communist experiments, leaves behind its signature trail of wreckage.

So much grace, femininity and beauty lost.

So many ruined lives.

We would add, so much happiness lost. There are few sources of it, and raising one’s children is very often one of them – for many men and women the best of them.

To return now to Mark Tapson’s report of his conversation with Mallory Millett, she  told him this:

So, they plotted for Hillary Clinton to go to the White House simply because she was female. She is a proven liar, a persecutor of her husband’s sexual victims, a woman whose campaign for President was remarkably incompetent. Yet, they were certain (still are) that she was up to running America and to be the Leader of The Free World! She couldn’t even run her own campaign. But that didn’t matter to Kate and her pals. She was a woman and that was enough. Is this not sexism? Is this not madness?  

Yes, it is madness. Mallory made it clear that her sister Kate was clinically insane:

Kate’s life story is a saga of our family desperately trying to have her involuntarily received into a mental institution where they may have helped her. She vividly chronicles most of it in two of her books, Flying and The Looney-Bin Trip. Over and over our elder sister Sally, our mother and I, and various nephews and nieces endeavored to have her hospitalized.

This was especially true after an incident when I was trapped alone with Kate in an apartment in Sacramento for a week and she did not allow me to sleep for five days as she raged and ranted, eyes rolling in her head, frothing at the mouth and holding chats with “little green men”. Not knowing a single person in Sacramento, I had nowhere to turn. Too terrified to go to sleep, I wasn’t sure she even knew who I was but I could imagine a butcher knife thrust into my back as I slept. Big sister Sally came from Nebraska to rescue me.

After that there was an enormous effort by the family wherein we all took Kate to court for legal commitment in Minnesota.She hired a male feminist hotshot New York lawyer and managed to swim back out into the world to hurt, menace, and harm ever more people. When Sally called last September to say Kate dropped dead in a Paris hotel room that morning, I was flooded with such indescribable relief that she could no longer spread her filth, lies and misery, nor could she go on threatening the lives and safety of others. Once, she wrote an entire book describing her deep passion for her lover, Sita. Sita’s response was to kill herself. My biggest anxiety about Kate has always been that one day she would take out a family of five on the Saw Mill River Parkway as – laced with liquor, wine, lithium, marijuana, and God knows what else – she hurtled, ranting and raging, up that difficult road. For many years I have braced for that call in the night.

She had enablers everywhere. She was worshiped on all seven continents. We did a massive intervention with twelve of us: family and friends, a psychiatrist, two ambulances standing by, several cops, and she managed to elude us all by hopping on a plane for Ireland. Her “instability,” as you put it, was apparent enough to both airline and cops in Shannon that she was committed by the police straight from the plane to an Irish psychiatric ward whereupon her ubiquitous groupies – this time Irish – managed her escape through a second-story window in the middle of the night.

Without a doubt, over time, once she became enmeshed in the larger group of leftist activists around the world, her madness, buoyed by their lunacy, became even greater and more impossible to penetrate. Their groupthink is so dense, so full of lies, the vocabulary is so deceptive and intricately designed to brainwash, that just to witness it and their interactions from a distance is beyond alarming. After we buried our mother I never spoke with Kate again, as I’d finally come to accept that there is no honest communication with this mental illness that is today’s liberalism.

All those academics, men and women, all those journalists, all those Leftist women activists, have helped to destroy our civilizational shelter of long-proved custom on the hysterical demand of a raving madwoman and her pack.

Leftism itself is an insane movement. As insane as any religion, and as cruelly destructive as the worst of them.

Trump, Trumpism, and THEM 2

It’s altogether too much for THEM to bear! The man is a billionaire who loves life, lives well, and enjoys himself tremendously both at work and at play; has a wife who is one of the most beautiful women in the world, and is also graceful, gentle, intelligent and competent; has handsome successful children and bright charming grandchildren; and, on top of all that, has become the most powerful man in the world. To add a final insult to THEM, he is perfectly healthy at the age 0f 71; immensely energetic and strong; and fully capable of continuing to do what he wants to do.

And then, try as THEY might to find something he has done terribly wrong to blot his intolerably immaculate escutcheon, THEY cannot find anything!

Actually, it is even worse for THEM. Far worse. Because not only is he victorious, THEY are defeated. Probably (with luck) irrecoverably. He has risen to power at a moment when THEY had  almost conquered the world; almost made it poor; almost brought the nations – possibly even including the USA – into universal homogeneity at the lowest level of subsistence in subjection to THEM running a world communist government (in order to “save the planet” from people using cars and making things in factories); almost destroyed Western civilization.

We are enthusiasts for Trumpism because we are warriors against THEM.

As such, do we exaggerate his achievements? If so, by how much? Overlook his flaws? If so, what are they?

As a corrective to our possibly overindulgent judgment of the president, we reproduce an article by Victor Davis Hanson; surely a reasonable and fair assessment of the Trump presidency thus far and prospectively. It is also necessary to know that it appeared at the mostly, persistently, and emphatically anti-Trump National Review:

As President Trump finished his first full year in office, he could look back at an impressive record of achievement of a kind rarely attained by an incoming president — much less by one who arrived in office as a private-sector billionaire without either prior political office or military service.

As unintended proof of his accomplishments, Trump’s many liberal opponents have gone from initially declaring him an incompetent to warning that he has become effective — insanely so — in overturning the Obama progressive agenda. Never Trump Republicans acknowledge that Trump has realized much of what they once only dreamed of — from tax reform and deregulation to a government about-face on climate change, the ending of the Obamacare individual mandate, and expansion of energy production.

Trump so far has not enacted the Never Trump nightmare agenda. The U.S. is not leaving NATO. It is not colluding with Vladimir Putin, but maintaining sanctions against Russia and arming Ukrainians. It is not starting a tariff war with China. The administration is not appointing either liberals or incompetents to the federal courts. A politicized FBI, DOJ, and IRS was Obama’s legacy, not Trump’s doing, as some of the Never Trump circle predicted. Indeed, the Never Trump movement is now mostly calcified, as even some of its formerly staunch adherents concede. It was done in by the Trump record and the monotony of having to redefine a once-welcomed conservative agenda as suddenly unpalatable due to Trump’s crude fingerprints on it.

On the short side, Trump has still not started to build his much-promised border wall, to insist on free but far fairer trade with Asia and Europe, or to enact an infrastructure-rebuilding program. Nonetheless, Trump’s multitude of critics is unable to argue that his record is shoddy and must instead insist that his list of achievements is due mostly to the Republican Congress. Or they claim he is beholden to the legacy of the Obama administration. Or they insist that credit belongs with his own impressive economic and national-security cabinet-level appointments. Or that whatever good came of Trump’s first year is nullified by Trump’s persistent personal odiousness.

At the conclusion of Trump’s first year, the stock market and small-business confidence are at record highs, and consumer confidence has not been higher in 17 years. Trump’s loud campaign promises to lure back capital and industry to the heartland no longer look quixotic, given new tax and deregulatory incentives and far cheaper energy costs than in most of Europe and Japan. Trump has now ended 66 regulations for every one he has added. Few believed a Republican president could cut the corporate-tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent while capping state- and local-tax deductions for mostly high earners to $10,000. Those are the highlights of a comprehensive tax-reform and -reduction agenda that will likely accelerate the economy to an even more rapid growth rate than Trump’s first two full quarters of annualized increases in GDP of more than 3 percent. Dozens of large companies are already passing along some of their anticipated tax cuts to employees through increased wages or bonuses — dismissed as “crumbs” by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Rising workers’ wages and anticipated tax credits and savings for the lower and middle classes for now are rendering almost mute the age-old fights about state-mandated minimum-wage laws.

The mostly unheralded nixing of the Obamacare individual mandate — once the great ideological battlefield of the Affordable Care Act — will insidiously recalibrate the ACA into a mostly private-market enterprise.

Domestic oil production is slated to exceed 2017 record levels and soon may hit an astonishing 11 million barrels a day. “Peak oil” for now is an ossified idea, as are massive wind and solar Solyndra-like government subsidies and the mostly unworkable Paris Climate Accord. Gas, oil, and coal production are expected to rise even higher with new Trump initiatives to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge field in Alaska, encourage more fracking on federal lands and offshore, and complete needed pipeline links while encouraging coal exportation.

For all the political horse-trading over extending or ending the Obama executive orders on DACA, illegal immigration has declined according to some metrics by over 60 percent. It is now at the lowest levels in the 21st century — even before the ending of chain migration and enacting of new border-security initiatives. Abroad, the ISIS caliphate is for all purposes now extinct. Its demise is in part due to Trump’s outsourcing of the conflict to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who liberated ground commanders from Obama-administration-era legalistic rules of engagement. Trump’s appointees, such as Mattis, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have worked in concert to restore U.S. deterrence.

Variously called “principled realism” or a new “Jacksonianism”,  the Trump doctrine has now replaced the “strategic patience” and “lead from behind” recessionals of the prior administration and not emulated the neoconservative nation-building of the George W. Bush administration. New pressures on nuclear North Korea have prompted the toughest U.N. trade sanctions in history on the rogue state. After Trump’s fiery and erratic rhetoric and muscular displays of U.S. naval and air power in the Pacific, Pyongyang has agreed to landmark talks with Seoul. China is slowly beginning to pressure North Korea to stop launching missiles. Beijing’s Asian neighbors are beefing up missile defense and growing closer to the U.S. For now, the bad cop Trump and the good cops Mattis and McMaster have encouraged friends and frightened enemies, although the shelf life of such diplomatic gymnastics is limited.

Trump almost immediately voiced support for mass demonstrations in Iran, in a manner Obama failed to do in 2009. An ironic fallout of the disastrous 2015 Iran deal may be that the theocracy so hyped its cash windfalls from American relaxation of embargoes and sanctions that it inadvertently raised Iranians’ expectations of a rise in the standard of living. Then it dashed just those hopes by squandering hundreds of millions of newfound dollars in subsidizing Hezbollah, conducting a costly expeditionary war to save the genocidal Bashar al-Assad regime, and likely continuing an exorbitantly costly nuclear-weapons program. What is different about Iran’s internal unrest this time around is twofold. The Trump administration is not invested in any “landmark” deal with Tehran that requires ignoring protesters in the street. Trump also does not envision revolutionary and terror-sponsoring Iran as a “very successful regional power” with “legitimate defense concerns”. Rather, he sees Tehran, along with ISIS and al-Qaeda, as the chief source of Middle East unrest and anti-Americanism.

Moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, in line with past congressional mandates, along with threatening to curtail Palestinian aid, only reifies what is now widely accepted. The new Middle East is not the old. There are no longer any ongoing and viable “peace plans”, “road maps”, or “summits”.  America is becoming energy-independent and immune to oil boycotts. There are new and greater threats than Israel to Arab regimes, from nuclear Iran to the scourge of Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Syria. Patience is wearing thin as after 30 years the Palestinians still cannot create transparent and consensual government. Seventy years after the birth of Israel, the Palestinians still insist on being called “refugees” — when most of the world’s millions of displaced persons decades ago moved on.

Yet as Trump heads into the 2018 midterms, his favorability ratings are unimpressive. Because of loud Democratic threats of using impeachment proceedings to undermine the Trump project, the 2018 fight for the House is taking on historic importance. It is not just a referendum on the Trump agenda, but likely a means to seek to discredit or remove Trump himself — even if the prosecution in the Senate would likely never find the necessary 67 votes. In sum, an embattled Trump now finds himself in a war on all fronts. The first and most important conflict is one of favorability. Trump’s actual approval ratings, as in 2016, are probably somewhat higher than the low 40s reported in many polls. But Trump’s image is still astonishingly dismal in relation to his unappreciated achievements. For congressional Republicans to survive the midterms and retain majorities, Trump perhaps has to hope that the economy will grow not just at 3 percent but even more robustly — with marked rises in workers’ take-home wages due to tax cuts and labor shortages. Is it really true that politics can be reduced to “It’s the economy, stupid”? Obama failed to achieve 3 percent growth per annum over his eight years. As a result he may have lost both houses of Congress, but he also was reelected. More likely, no one quite knows the exact political consequences of economic growth. Between November 1983 and November 1984, the economy grew at 7 percent and ipso facto ushered the once “amiable dunce” Ronald Reagan into a landslide reelection victory over a previously thought-to-be-far-more-impressive Walter Mondale. Yet this time it may be that 3 percent GDP growth will not mitigate Trump’s personal negatives but 4–5 percent would.

It is said that Trump is also at war with himself, in the sense that his tweeting alienates the key constituencies of women voters and independents. Conventional wisdom assures that Trump’s off-the-cuff invectives only fuel his critics and overshadow his achievements. In the heart of immigration negotiations, Trump was quoted secondhand as having called Haiti and other formerly Third World countries “sh**hole” countries and thus undesirable sources of mass immigration to the U.S. Whatever the reliability of reports of the slur, Trump is certainly not the sort of politician to have said instead, “It would seem wiser to encourage diverse immigration, including immigration from the most developed countries as well as the least developed” — even as many people privately agree with Trump’s earthy assessment that immigration should be far more selective and include a far greater variety of countries of origin.

Both Trump’s spoken and electronic stream-of-consciousness venting can be unorthodox, crude and cruel, and often extraneous. But can anyone measure whether and to what degree his Twitter account energizes and widens his base more than it loses him supporters otherwise sympathetic to his agenda? The orthodox wisdom is that Trump should let his achievements speak for themselves, curb his raucous campaign rallies, and restrict his daily tweets to expansions on his agenda and achievement and leave the feuding to subordinates. When Trump has avoided ad hominem spats, and been filmed conducting policy sessions with his cabinet and congressional enemies and friends, he has looked and acted “presidential”.  How good then must Trump’s record become to overshadow both the prejudices against him and his own inner demons to achieve favorability ratings that will provide coattails for his congressional supporters and fuel an even more ambitious second-year agenda? Again, time is running out, and in the next ten months the economy must boom as never before or Trump must learn to sound more like a Ronald Reagan than a Howard Stern.

Trump is simultaneously at war with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Once again, the critical element is time in the sense of the looming midterm elections. So far, after months of media speculation and press leaks, there is no evidence of Russian–Trump collusion. Robert Mueller’s investigative team has been riddled by charges of conflicts of interest, workplace unprofessionalism, and political bias. The basis of the entire writ against Trump, the Fusion GPS–Steele dossier, is now mostly discredited. The file’s lurid sexual accusations alone likely won it notoriety in 2016 among journalists and Obama-administration enablers. The more that is learned about the Steele opposition-research file — paid for by the Clinton campaign, polluted by Russian rumor-mongering, peddled to the FBI, manipulated by the Obama administration to justify FISA surveillance, likely leaked to pet reporters by Obama-administration and Clinton-campaign officials — the more apparent it may become that Mueller is investigating Russian collusion in entirely the wrong place. Another irony is that pushback against the Mueller fishing expedition may prompt reinvestigations into the earlier election-cycle-aborted inquiries about Clinton email improprieties. The Obama administration also likely acted improperly in ignoring the Clinton–Uranium One connections and Hillary Clinton’s violations of agreements with the Obama administration to report the sources of all private donations to the Clinton Foundation during her tenure. So far resistance at both the Department of Justice and the FBI to releasing documents pertaining to all these avenues of interest has stymied House and Senate inquiries. If the Republicans lose the Congress, these investigations will shut down entirely. Democratic majorities will give Mueller a free hand to do as he pleases without worries about past complaints over the ethical shortcomings of his investigation. Select Intelligence and Judiciary Committee hearings will likely give way in the House to impeachment proceedings. But if within the next nine months there are new explosive revelations about the improper or even illegal uses of the Steele dossier and the Clinton scandals, while the Mueller team settles for face-saving indictments of former Trump subordinates for transgressions that have little to do with the original Mueller mandate to investigate Russian–Trump collusion, then Trump will win the legal war. In that case, Trump finally will not only weather the collusion crisis but find himself a political beneficiary of one of the most scandalous efforts to subvert a political campaign and improperly surveil American citizens in recent American history.

Trump wages a fourth war against the proverbial mainstream media, whose coverage, according to disinterested analyses, runs over 90 percent anti-Trump. Negative Trump news fuels Trump-assassination chic in popular culture, the rants of late-night-television comedians, the political effort to grandstand with impeachment writs, calls to invoke the 25th Amendment, and lawsuits alleging violations of the emoluments clause. The threats of a Madonna, the raving of Representative Maxine Waters, the boasts of the “Resistance,” the efforts of blue states to nullify federal immigration law or to dodge compliance with unwelcome new federal tax statutes, and the conspiracy fables of Representative Adam Schiff are all fueled by media attention and preconceived narratives hostile to Trump. The anti-Trump news is still determined to accomplish what so far the Clinton campaign, Obama holdovers, and deep-state bureaucrats have not: so discredit Trump the messenger that his message becomes irrelevant. Trump apparently fights his war against the media in the fashion in which toxic chemotherapy battles cancer. His personal and electronic rants against “fake news” and “crooked” journalists are intended to exhibit media biases and thus discredit negative coverage just before the public tires of Trump’s own off-putting venom. On the one hand, Trump’s anemic approval ratings might suggest the media are winning in their 24/7 efforts to portray Trump as a Russian colluder, rank profiteer, distracted golfer, tax cheat, sexual predator, trigger-happy warmonger, or senile septuagenarian. On the other hand, the media are polling worse than Trump. And his battle has nearly destroyed the credibility of CNN, which has fired marquee journalists for false anti-Trump narratives, been embarrassed by hosts mouthing scatological venom, suffered employees’ hot-mic wishes for Trump’s death, and seen its anchors and special correspondents reduced to on-air rants. For now, no one knows whether Trump’s war against the media is pyrrhic, in that he may defeat his journalist enemies and even render their entire networks discredited, but at such costs that he is no longer politically viable.

Trump is waging a fifth and final war against Democrats. So far Trump has sucked all the oxygen out of the Democratic atmosphere. Politicians and operatives are so obsessed with proving Trump a liar, a cheat, a pervert, a con artist, or an incompetent that they have offered so far no viable opposition leader or alternative agenda. But will just being not-Trump make Democrats preferable? The centrist Democratic party of the 1990s no longer exists. It has become instead a coalition of patched-together progressive causes. The redistributionism and neo-socialism of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are now Democratic economic mainstays. Barack Obama’s lead-from-behind legacy remains Democratic foreign policy. Identity politics still constitutes the culture of the party establishment.

In more practical terms, for all the animus against Trump the person, his agenda — tax cuts, deterrence, reindustrialization, middle-class job growth, closing the borders, the melting pot — is increasingly polling well. In many cases, Trumpism is more popular than Democratic signature issues such as tax hikes, larger government, more entitlements, open borders, more identity politics, and European Union–like internationalism.

The idea of Oprah Winfrey as the 2020 Democratic nominee and the unwillingness of Democrats to secure the border reveal what can happen when a party is reduced to defining itself as not being the incumbent president. The Republicans learned that lesson in their four-time failure to defeat the hated Roosevelt. Democrats in the 1980s had little to offer the country other than not being the supposed buffoon Ronald Reagan. Shutting down the government is also rarely a winning strategy for an out party — as the Republicans learned in their politically disastrous 1995–96 showdown with Bill Clinton. In 2018, it may be enough for congressional candidates to run on anti-Trump invective without expressing strong views on the issues or identifying with any particular national leader. But it won’t be so in 2020, especially if the Trump agenda grows more popular and Trump allows it rather than himself to become his signature message.

For now, all that is certain about Trump’s first year is the 2016 truism that past prognostications and current polls are irrelevant. The jester candidate, Donald Trump, destroyed, not just beat, his 16 primary rivals. The doomed candidate Trump defeated the most well-financed, experienced, and media-favored Democratic candidate in memory. The inept President Trump’s first year was not liberal or directionless, but marked the most successful and conservative governance since Ronald Reagan’s. Trump’s critics insist that his comeuppance is on the horizon. They assure us that character is destiny. Trump’s supposed hubris will finally earn an appropriately occasioned nemesis. But in the meantime, nearly half the country may be happy that the establishment was not just wrong but nearly discredited in its non-ending, prejudicial dismissal of the Trump agenda and, so far, the successful Trump presidency.

So: HOWL globalists, socialists, warmists, feminists, Muslims, and Democrats.

He is impervious to your insults.

He is charitable and generous. Yes, he is.

He is not a “racist” or “anti-woman”. Certainly not.

He does not take drugs, drink alcohol – or even coffee.

He has not colluded with the Russians, or any other foreign power. (Obama did with the Russians and the Iranians. Hillary Clinton did with anyone who would pay her.)

He flourishes, he laughs, he acts, he wins.

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