Archive for the ‘American values’ category

Donald Trump: An American Patriot of the Same Stripe as Ronald Reagan

October 18, 2017

Donald Trump: An American Patriot of the Same Stripe as Ronald Reagan, PJ MediaRoger Kimball, October 18, 2017

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

The policy take-away from President Trump’s remarks last night at the Heritage Foundation centered around tax cuts. The president likes ‘em, and if he has his way (and on this issue, I think he will), we will see a sharp cut to the corporate tax rate (from 35 percent to 20 percent), a simplification and reduction of the individual tax rate, and a big expansion of the individual exemption (to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly).

 There is a certain kind of politician who likes high taxes, partly because he likes big government, which is the natural result of high taxes, partly because he wants most people (not his tribe, of course) to have as little money as possible.  The poorer people are, the more dependent they are. Politicians of a certain stripe want people to be dependent on the government, i.e., on them and the instruments they control.

To my mind, that unholy dialectic between political power and an agenda of enforced dependency is one of the most despicable and destructive coefficients of the administrative state. It is despicable because it deploys power for personal aggrandizement under the camouflage of helping (i.e., pretending to help) others (the “Great Society,” etc.). It is destructive because its end is the eclipse of liberty for the sake of expanding and institutionalizing the apparatus of bureaucracy (and the perquisites of the bureaucrats running it).

So I applaud the president’s plan to cut taxes and allow Americans to keep a bit more of what after all is their own money. (We tend to forget this.)

But although taxes formed the official centerpiece of the president’s speech last night, and though I liked what he said about taxes, I thought the most impressive part of the speech was its rhetorical setting.  The occasion was a meeting of Heritage Foundation supporters. Accordingly, President Trump began by talking about the importance of embracing our history, our heritage. “For America to have CONFIDENCE in our future, we must have PRIDE in our HISTORY.”

I think that is right, and I think it is worth pondering each of the three stressed words.

One of the great liabilities of so-called identity politics is that, ironically, it acts as a solvent on shared cultural confidence. The irony flows from the fact that identity politics is supposed to leave its partisans with an enhanced sense of self-worth and solidarity but in fact it tends to isolate them in rancid grievance ghettos.

Along the way last night, the president spoke up for preserving our heritage, our history, an enterprise that encompasses not just the preservation of monuments and other historical markers that commemorate our past, but also extends to the spiritual decorum of civic respect: standing for the national anthem, for example, or (since this multiethnic country was and is, as Samuel Huntington observed, a country of “Anglo-Protestant” values) wishing people “Merry Christmas” in due season.<

It is worth noting, by the way, that saying one should have  pride in our history and confidence in our culture is not thereby to issue a plenary indulgence for past wrongdoing.  The fact that people erect a statue commemorating Gen. Robert E. Lee does not in any way imply that they are racist advocates of chattel slavery, any more than erecting a statue of JFK implies that one is an advocate of satyriasis.

President Trump’s policy initiatives—the judicial nominations, the regulatory astringency, the exploitation of the country’s energy resources and enforcement of our immigration laws, the revival of America’s military assets, regarding morale as well as hardware—are important, just as taxes, a rational (as distinct from an ideological) approach to the environment, and health care are important.  But at the end of the day, I suspect that the underlying success of the Trump presidency will be located on a different plane.  If he is successful in extending the extraordinary run of economic good news—the stock market at 23,000, unemployment at about 4 percent, GDP flirting with 3.2 percent—then the material markers will add up to a triumph.

Such achievements are not only important, they are in some measure indispensable to a successful administration.  But they are not by themselves sufficient for real success.

I believe that Donald Trump understands this, which is why his most brilliant speeches—before a joint session of Congress, at Warsaw, at the UN, and just a week ago at the Values Voter Summit—are speeches that dilate on civilizational themes.  At Warsaw it was the importance of defending Western civilization; at the UN it was the importance of national sovereignty; last week it was the  value of safeguarding our “Judeo-Christian” inheritance. (Aside to the reader: can you imagine Barack Obama speaking in warm terms of our “Judeo-Christian” values?) And last night it was the link between forward-looking cultural confidence and an affirmation of our glorious if imperfect past.

As Chief of Staff John Kelly said at his press conference last week, Trump’s agenda is “what’s good for America,” period, full stop. Donald Trump is a forthright and voluble American patriot of the same stripe as Ronald Reagan.  That is one of the reasons (not the only reason) he is so despised by the America-hating Left.

What interests me more, however, is the persistent contempt in which Donald Trump is held by some aspects of the America-loving Right.  To take just one paradigmatic example: my friend Bill Kristol, energetic political commentator and founder of The Weekly Standard, is not (litotes alert) a supporter of Donald Trump.  In a recent tweet, Bill had this to say:<

Bill Kristol 

I like Gorsuch, decertifying Iran and leaving UNESCO. But they’re not worth the degradation of our public life that is the Trump presidency.

Here’s my question: in what does the alleged “degradation” consist?  That Donald Trump tweets?

That can’t be right, since Bill himself avails himself of that demotic medium.  That he does not speak like a Harvard graduate?  That may be part of it, but Bill knows as well as I do that the end of rhetoric is persuasion, and no one can deny Trump’s masterly powers of persuasion. Donald Trump may be an imperfect vessel for our national hopes, but then of whom may that not be said?  In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on national television “we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office.” I am pretty sure she was not talking about her husband. No, she was talking about Donald Trump. But what can that mean? As far as we know, Donald Trump (unlike Bill Clinton) is not guilty of sexual assault. Certainly, he has never said he was. Yes, there was that crude Access Hollywood video—a video, remember, that captured a private conversation between two bragging men more than a decade ago.  But how many crude locker-room expostulations equal one Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office?

I think the statute of limitation has been reached on that leaked video. Indeed, I think the most disgusting thing about it was the secret taping and malice-directed release of the video.  Trump’s language was crude: no argument there.  But how do we calculate the crudity and malevolence of those who made the tape and then released it in the hope that it would destroy a political rival?

Besides, it’s my sense that Donald Trump is not now the chap he was when Graydon Carter made his nasty quips about him in the 1980s or even when Trump was palling around with Billy Bush in 2005.

That is no surprise. The history of the world is full of redemption and conversion stories, from Saul of Tarsus to Henry V and beyond. Quoth the King at the end ofHenry IV Part 2:

Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn’d away my former self.

The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating.  It seems to me that in just nine months Donald Trump has given us a lot of savory tidbits to chew on.  Some people might object to the style.  But how about the substance?  In any event, it seems ungracious, not to say short-sighted, to withhold any possibility of reformation from a man just because he had the temerity to win an election without the permission of the would-be governing class.

The New Civil War

August 19, 2017

The New Civil War, American ThinkerTom Trinko, August 19, 2017

(Please see also, Anti-Israel Academics Launch Campus Antifa Group for Faculty. — DM)

The first “shots” in our new civil war were fired after Charlottesville when many Democratic leaders claimed that they had the right to use physical force against anyone they didn’t like.

While cowardly leftist leaders are trying to portray themselves as fighting Hitler they are really fighting anyone they don’t agree with. Remember that some Democrats said that Rep. Steve Scalise had it coming since he opposed gun control and that Democrats have been silent when left-wing violence was used to prevent Republicans marching in a parade in Portland.

Facing a continued loss of power because their radical agenda is toxic to most Americans, the Democrat leadership — which includes the MSM — have decided that they have the right to physically attack anyone who stands in their way.

Like their Nazi and Communist forefathers, today’s Democrat leaders are comfortable sending swarms of Brownshirts out to beat into submission anyone who stands between them and power.

Under Obama, Democrats renounced the rule of law by declaring that they could choose to not enforce laws they didn’t like and make up laws that Congress never passed. Now they’re saying that they have the right to attack anyone who dares speak out in disagreement.  Rep. Scalise wasn’t a Nazi or white nationalist, nor were the Republicans in Portland, or the speakers that Democrats forcibly prevented from speaking in Berkeley. Yet the Democratic leadership’s condemnation of all of those events has been muted at best.

While the first American Civil War was fought to protect that particularly Democrat institution slavery, the new civil war Democrat elites are starting to wage is about transferring power from the people to the rich white oligarchs, judges, and government bureaucrats.

As then, Republicans stand for freedom and Democrats stand for slavery.

The Democratic elite has issued a call to war by supporting and endorsing violence against people who don’t agree with them.

The left has gone from endorsing Nazis marching in a neighborhood full of Holocaust survivors to endorsing attacks on Nazis wherever they might appear. We all hate Nazis, but as Americans, Republicans believe in freedom of even odious speech, which is why we’re not tearing down the statues of that mass murderer Lenin that exist in America or the statues of Democrat Robert Byrd, who was a senior official in the KKK.

Republicans have uniformly, including President Trump, condemned Nazis and white nationalists. Yet Democrats are attacking us for not being sufficiently “woke.”

The time for pretending that Democrat leadership is patriotic is over.  It’s time to shout from the rooftops that the Democratic leadership is a fascist cabal intent on overthrowing democracy.

It’s unclear how many of those who voted for Hillary support the clear fascist policies of the Democratic party.  We know that those people tend to be low-information voters who get their “news” from the MSM. Hence, they live in a bubble of lies which make Democrat policies look semi-reasonable.

Even intelligent people fall victim to the Democrat Big Lies. A liberal physicist, for example, was shocked to learn that Osama greenlighted 9/11 because Clinton’s fleeing from Somalia taught Osama that Americans were cowards. He’d never heard that.

Similarly, today many Americans believe that Trump was defending Nazis because the MSM is lying about what he really said.

That’s why we need to be careful and not condemn all Democrats; many of them are honestly unaware of the facts just as the citizens of Nazi Germany didn’t have a clue about how WWII was actually progressing or how the citizens of North Korea thought for decades that though they were starving, they had it better than those poor capitalist South Koreans.

It’s clear that not all of those who voted for Hillary were actually voting for her agenda of taking power from the people and giving it to the elites.

Unlike the average Hillary voter who never heard most of the negative news about her, the Democratic leadership has sinister motives. For decades, they’ve been waging war against America. It started with FDR, a big fan of fascist dictator Mussolini, who began moving this country down the path to socialism with his failed big government policies. Few people remember that those policies didn’t work; it took WWII for the U.S. to recover economically from the Depression.

The next big step was disempowering Americans by giving near absolute power to the unelected Supreme Court. That court overthrew the laws of all 50 states by legalizing abortion for any reason at any time in pregnancy based on a “right to privacy” which is nowhere in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court also created numerous rights for criminals and redefined marriage over the votes of 55,000,000 Americans.

In parallel, the Democrats increased the power of unelected government bureaucrats to the point that they felt empowered to demand that Catholic nuns pay for abortions. To Democrats the 1st Amendment only applies to causes they, the Democrats, support.

Trump’s election was a visceral scream from America saying that we want our power back. That we don’t want to be ruled by pretentious, stupid, elitist fascists like Pelosi and the Clintons, or by RINOs whose first loyalty is to the state, not the people.

The Democratic leadership is now following Mao, who said that political power grows from the barrel of a gun, while Americans are being forced to defend the core American belief that power flows from the people.

Just as the original Democrats repudiated Lincoln for opposing slavery, modern Democratic leaders are repudiating his belief that the government is of the people, for the people, by the people.

The elite bicoastal ruling class is nearly all white and racist to the core, but they use lies about Republicans, spread by the fawning liberal media, to justify violence.

Today Democrats have crossed the Rubicon.  By saying that it’s okay for Antifa to shut down speakers they don’t like and physically assault anyone they don’t happen to agree with Democrats have renounced the rule of law and summoned the whirlwind of civil war.

Why have Democrats once again started a civil war to achieve their ends?

They thought they had everything sewed up. When Hillary won she’d pack the Supreme Court with fascists who believed that they could make up whatever laws they liked. Hillary would, like Obama, ignore the Constitution and further strengthen the administrative state while waging a war against non-Democratic whites and Asians and ensuring that Blacks stayed uneducated so they couldn’t see how Democrats were exploiting them.

But contrary to their expectations, the American people said no. We don’t want to be ruled, we want to be represented — which is why the Republican failure to get rid of ObamaCare is so offensive.

Even with the lying media spreading Democratic talking points 24/7 the majority of Americans want to be free, not enslaved — not told how much soda they can drink or what type of entertainment they can like — Democrats support violent misogynistic rap music while condemning Americans for liking NASCAR. The Democratic message calling on Americans to accept slavery because, according to Democrats, Americans can’t manage their own lives — the same line Democrats used to justify slavery– can’t win elections because American’s aren’t that stupid. As a result, the Democrat leadership has decided that their only way to power is violence.

If they can’t win in the battlefield of ideas, they’ve decided that they need to silence, by the use of force, any voices they don’t like.

The Democrat leaders have turned to the communists they so admire — remember Obama wishing he could rule like the dictator of China does? — and decided that what they can’t win by the ballot they can win with the baseball bat.

Unless we all take a stand now, this spiral of violence initiated by Democrats will lead to a truly horrible future, just as the Democrat’s violent defense of slavery was the cause of the greatest tragedy in American history. If Democrats had voluntarily abandoned slavery, we could have avoided America’s most costly war. Instead we had to fight to end the scourge of slavery.

Contact the Republican leadership and make it clear that instead of condemning Trump for his stand against all violence, they need to attack the Democrat’s support of violence.

There is still time to avoid a massive escalation of violence but if we fail to take a stand against the Democrat’s use of force we will see our streets running with blood.  We know Democrats don’t care about that, because they don’t care about the thousands of Blacks shot in Chicago each year, but we do because we care about all Americans.

Take action and pray that we are not forced to relive the Civil War in order to prevent Democrats from destroying our democracy.

Brigitte Gabriel and Dave Rubin: Terrorism, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Linda Sarsour

July 9, 2017

Brigitte Gabriel and Dave Rubin: Terrorism, The Muslim Brotherhood, and Linda Sarsour via YouTube, May 19, 2017

(The transition of Lebanon from a vibrant homogeneous society into an Islamist state where Muslims, formerly friends of Christians and Jews, became violent enemies — about five minutes into the video — bodes ill for much of Europe. Although this video was posted on YouTube on May 19th, some of the content suggests that the interview occurred significantly earlier.  — DM

 

Into the heartland

May 4, 2017

Into the heartland, American ThinkerLloyd Marcus, May 4, 2017

While fake news media would like us to believe they have successfully killed traditional American values, wholesome values are alive and well in the heartland.

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Rumors of my death are exaggerated. The reason my wife Mary and I dropped off the face of the earth is because we have not had internet for almost a week, which as y’all know feels like an eternity. We drove up from Florida to close on our new home in a tiny West Virginia town, population 500. Why?

To move close to our parents and family.

The drive up from Florida was quite interesting. The number of Trump signs on display in yards, rooftops, and billboards tells me Trump has connected with everyday Americans like no other president before him.

It seemed that every time we pushed the search button on our radio another faith-based station came up. While fake news media would like us to believe they have successfully killed traditional American values, wholesome values are alive and well in the heartland.

My wife’s brother-in-law said when it snows, his neighbor plows out the road for everyone with his tracker. Mail is delivered at a central location for his group of neighbors. The mailboxes and poles were in need of repair. A neighbor took it upon himself to repair and refresh the mailboxes. Another neighbor fills potholes in their road. All these things were done without ridiculous paperwork, meetings, or government.

How small is this town, you ask? The internet company cannot hook us up until May 23rd. We can make calls on our phones, but they do not work as a hot-spot. I’m on-line at the library which is open limited hours on different days; closed from noon to 1pm for lunch with parking for 7 cars. I keep telling myself, take a deep breath and embrace the solitude.

There is no home mail delivery. When we went to the post office to sign up for a P O box, the cheerful clerk said, “Are you the Marcuses? Y’all bought the white house.”

We had to pay a $200 cash deposit at the Town Hall to get our water turned on. The clerk said, “Are y’all the people who called the other day? Y’all bought the white house.” The pleasant clerk said she would call “the” maintenance man to turn us on. One hour later, he showed up and turned on our water.

Most expressive were seniors Virginia and her husband Daniel who greeted me with big smiles when I walked into the library. “Welcome!” Virginia gave me the scoop. “Lunch at the Senior Center is $2. Today is hot dog day.” Virginia filled me in on all the churches, concluding that anyone we choose will be fine. Virginia said they are all good friendly people.

As a black guy, not once have I felt a twinge of the stereotypical racism attributed to the south — quite the opposite. Everyone has been warm and friendly.

The only store in town is Dollar General. Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes are over 20 miles away.

Mary and I stopped into “the” bank. “Y’all bought the white house.”

Yes, I am experiencing culture shock, but the people are nice and I think it is going to be fun.