Archive for the ‘Populists’ category

France: Le Pen Launches Presidential Campaign

February 6, 2017

France: Le Pen Launches Presidential Campaign, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, February 6, 2017

(Please see also, European Conservative Parties Are Not ‘Far Right’. — DM)

“The question is simple and cruel: will our children live in a free, independent, democratic country?” — Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front party.

“Economic globalization, which rejects any limits, has weakened the immune system of the nation by dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws in conducting economic affairs, and thus allowing another world to be born and grow: Islamic fundamentalism.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Islamic fundamentalism instrumentalizes the principle of religious freedom in an attempt to impose patterns of thought that are clearly the opposite of ours. We do not want to live under the yoke or threat of Islamic fundamentalism.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Globalism is based, as we see, on the negation of the values on which France was built and on the principles in which the immense majority of French people still recognize themselves: the pre-eminence of the person and therefore its sacred character, individual freedom and therefore individual consent, national feeling and therefore national solidarity, equality of persons and therefore the refusal of situations of submission.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.” — Marine Le Pen.

“In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad.” — Marine Le Pen.

“Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security…. That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union…” — Marine Le Pen.

“The old left-right debates have outlived their usefulness…. This divide is no longer between the left and the right, but between patriots and globalists.” — Marine Le Pen.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-establishment National Front party, has officially launched her campaign to become the next president of France.

Speaking at a rally attended by thousands of her supporters in Lyon on February 5, Le Pen launched a two-pronged attack on globalization and radical Islam. She promised French voters a referendum on remaining in the European Union, and also to deport Muslims who are deemed a security risk to France.

2279National Front party leader Marine Le Pen, speaking at a rally in Lyon, France on February 5, 2016. (Image source: Public Senat video screenshot)

Le Pen’s political platform is contained in a manifesto of 144 promises regarding immigration and global trade.

Polls show that Le Pen — who said the election of U.S. President Donald J. Trump “shows that people are taking their future back” — is one of the most popular politicians in France.

A February 2 Ifop-Fiducial poll for Paris Match, iTELE and Sud-Radio showed Le Pen with 24.5% of the vote, compared to 20% for François Fillon of the center-right Republicans party. In December 2016, Fillon, who has become engulfed in a corruption scandal, held a three-point lead over Le Pen.

The poll also showed the independent centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron with 20% of the vote, the Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon with 17%, and the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 9.5%.

The first round of the election will be held April 23. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on May 7.

Following is an abridged translation of key parts of Le Pen’s speech:

In all respects, this presidential election is unlike previous ones. Its outcome will determine the future of France as a free nation and our existence as a people.

After decades of errors and cowardice, we are at a crossroads. I say it with gravity: the choice we will have to make in this election is a choice of civilization.

The question is simple and cruel: will our children live in a free, independent, democratic country? Will they still be able to refer to our system of values? Will they have the same way of life as we did and our parents before us?

Will our children, and the children of our children, still have a job, a decent wage, the possibility of building up a patrimony, becoming an owner, starting a family in a safe environment, being properly cared for, to grow old with dignity?

Will our children have the same rights as us?

Will they live according to our cultural references, our values of civilization, our style of living, and even they will speak our French language, which is disintegrating under the blows of political leaders who squander this national treasure — for example, by choosing a slogan in English to promote the candidacy of Paris to host the 2024 Olympic Games?

Will they have the right to claim French culture when certain candidates for the presidential election, puffed up by their own empty-headedness, explain that it does not exist?

I ask this important question because, unlike our adversaries, I am interested not only in the material heritage of the French, but I also want to defend our immaterial capital. This immaterial capital is priceless because this heritage is irreplaceable. In fact, I am defending the load-bearing walls of our society.

Our leaders have chosen deregulated globalization. They wanted a happy outcome, but the result is frightful.

Globalization develops at two levels: from below with massive immigration and global social dumping; and from above with the financialization of the economy.

Globalization, which became a fact with the multiplication of exchanges, has become an ideology. Economic globalization, which rejects any limits, has weakened the immune system of the nation by dispossessing it of its constituent elements: borders, national currency, the authority of its laws in conducting economic affairs, and thus allowing another world to be born and grow: Islamic fundamentalism.

The latter has grown up within a deleterious communitarianism, itself a child of mass immigration, suffered year after year by our country.

We have thus fulfilled our first political act, which is to name the enemy.

These two globalisms, today, give a leg up to:

  • Economic and financial globalism, of which the European Union, the financiers and the domesticated political class are its zealous servants;
  • Jihadist globalism, which undermines our vital interests abroad, but which also takes root in our national territory, in certain neighborhoods, in certain places, in certain weak minds.

Both work towards the disappearance of our nation, that is to say, of France as we live it, as we love it, which is why the French have a feeling of dispossession.

These two ideologies want to subjugate our country.

One in the name of globalized finance, that is to say, the ideology of all commerce, the other in the name of a radicalized Islam, that is to say, the ideology of the whole of religion.

Faced with these two totalitarianisms that threaten our liberties and our country, we must demonstrate lucidity, determination and unity.

Economic globalism kills by asphyxia — slow, progressive, but certain.

Islamic fundamentalism attacks us by the calculated harassment of republican resistance, by incessant demands, by demands for accommodation, none of which, for us, can be reasonable and therefore conceivable.

Nor let us forget that Islamic fundamentalism is barbaric, that it manifests itself every day in the world by killing, massacring, using in particular the vile and cowardly weapon of terrorism or mass murder.

As in all ideological wars, we find useful idiots and more or less conscious accomplices who, through cowardice, blindness or greed, facilitate these undertakings for the establishment of this barbarous ideology, the enemy of France.

To advance, the advocates of these two globalist ideologies give the illusion of relying on our principles; in reality, they falsely invoke freedom to set up their totalitarianism: it is the freedom of the fox in the chicken coop.

The first, economic and financial globalism, invokes freedom of trade, freedom of movement, freedom of establishment; all those who venture to reveal their failures are accused of ignorance, accused of some ideological drift, and are struck down with moral reproach.

Economic and financial globalism is based on a pseudo economic expertise that never yields, not even to the evidence of its economic failure and the social devastation that it provokes. The objective is to reduce man to his role as consumer or producer.

Countries are no longer nations united by matters of the heart, but by markets, spaces where the commodification of everything and every human being is conceivable, possible, accepted and even organized.

People are no more than populations. Borders are erased, as with Schengen, to make of our countries station concourses where everyone is free to come and stay and to participate in the leveling of the social protections, the reduction of wages and the dilution of culture into the smallest common denominator.

With the globalists, cultures of peoples, that is, what makes the world’s diversity, are destined to be erased in order to facilitate the commercialization of standard products and to facilitate hyper profits at the cost of ecological depletion of the planet or child labor of the Third World.

This world where economics is an end in itself and man, a simple tool in its service, plunges us into an ephemeral era, in short, an artificial and deeply dehumanized world.

The rights of people, their social situation, their well-being, the environment in which they live, become the variable of adjustment of the interests of large groups and castes.

For them, the nation is a non-tariff barrier. In their eyes, the country is an open geographical space where the only requirement is to “live together,” that is to say, not to interfere with each other.

I want to denounce this powerful alliance between the promotion of savage globalization on the one hand, and the culpable inaction, even in the face of uncontrolled immigration and its direct consequence, the establishment of Islamic fundamentalism.

If economic globalism advances with the shield of free trade, the second of these globalisms, Islamic fundamentalism, instrumentalizes the principle of religious freedom in an attempt to impose patterns of thought that are clearly the opposite of ours.

The carelessness and weakness of our leaders have been a growth hormone to this ideology that tried to sow death in the Louvre two days ago.

We do not want to live under the yoke or threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

It tries to impose upon us pell-mell:

  • The prohibition of mixing in public places,
  • The integral veil or not,
  • Prayer halls in companies, street prayers, cathedral mosques,
  • The submission of woman by prohibiting the skirt, work or bistro.

No Frenchman, no Republican, no woman attached to dignity and liberty can accept it.

Behind these two ideologies is inexorably the enslavement of people: An enslavement, at first mental, which is effected by disaffiliation, by isolation, by dissolution of traditional bonds.

Economic globalism professes individualism, and radical Islamism communitarianism.

Globalism is based, as we see, on the negation of the values on which France was built and on the principles in which the immense majority of French people still recognize themselves: the pre-eminence of the person and therefore its sacred character, individual freedom and therefore individual consent, national feeling and therefore national solidarity, equality of persons and therefore the refusal of situations of submission.

These principles for which we are fighting are affirmed in our national motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” which itself proceeds from a secularization of principles stemming from our Christian heritage.

But these two globalist ideologies do not only attack our nation. Both of them attack our Republic by questioning its indivisibility.

The answer is not technical but regal, which is why we call for the moral rearmament of the country and a surge of national energy. We call for resistance and reconquest.

There is nothing for us more beautiful than France. There is nothing for us greater than France. There is nothing for us more useful to the world than France!

I say to the French who are watching or listening to us: the fate of France is in your hands!

The Revolution of Patriotism

France is a millennial country with a history and a culture. France is an act of love. This love has a name: patriotism. It is what makes our hearts beat in unison when the Marseillaise sounds or when our national colors beat the wind of history.

It is what unites the French left and right, from the cradle to the cane, from the factory to the office. It is what pits our vision against that of the globalists.

We believe it is time to revitalize national sentiment, to live it on a daily basis, to teach our children all that makes and has made their country, to teach them to love their compatriots, to be proud of their history, to be confident in the forces of France.

When one aspires to settle in a country, one does not begin by violating its laws. We do not begin by claiming rights. To all, and especially to people of all origins and all faiths that we have welcomed into our country, I repeat: there are no and there will be no other laws and values in France than those that are French.

On this subject there will be no retreat and no compromise.

Those who come to France are to accept France, not to transform it to the image of their country of origin. If they want to live at home, they should have stayed at home.

We will strictly apply the rules of secularism in a country whose tragic history has learned to guard against the wars of religion. We will extend the rules of secularism to public spaces and we will inscribe them in labor laws. We will respond to those who see with concern the rise of religious demands and the rise of conflicts in the workplace.

We no longer want the state to allow the spread of the hatred of France. We want a France that transmits and a France that is transmitted!

The Revolution of Liberty

The first liberty is security. You may ask how to improve security when for thirty years all governments have failed? Our method is simple: we will apply the law!

As Cardinal de Richelieu said, “to make a law and not enforce it is to authorize the thing that one wishes to defend against.”

We will re-establish the rule of law, that is, enforce Republican law in those places where it has been lost, where our rulers obviously lack the courage and willpower. We are going to put an end to the impunity of criminals, the no-go zones, the dictatorships of kingpins in certain districts, drug and weapons trafficking, burglaries, burned cars.

We will stress the certainty of prosecution, the certainty of sanction, the certainty of punishment, the certainty that delinquent aliens are automatically deported.

I say to the mothers who listen to me, support me: Do not accept that our children live in fear, in this daily violence of which they are the first victims, sometimes at the cost of their young lives.

In order to fulfill their mission, so important to this country, we will give back to our security forces the human and material resources as well as the necessary support and instructions.

We shall rearm them, including morally, with the establishment of the presumption of self-defense.

We will open suitable prison places, conclude agreements with countries of origin so that foreign offenders will serve their prison sentences in their country of origin, increase the means of justice and organize a response to criminals that can be summarized in two words: zero tolerance.

In terms of terrorism, we do not intend to ask the French to get used to living with this horror. We will eradicate it here and abroad.

Since we are at war with Islamic fundamentalism, we will apply to the enemies of France the legal devices of the state of war.

We will give ourselves the necessary technical and human means and will create the conditions and cooperation necessary for intelligence on the national territory as well as outside.

Foreigners with an “S” file [Fiche “S” or Sûreté de l’État (state security)] will be deported. Binationals with “S” files will be deprived of their French nationality and sent back to their country of origin. Frenchmen with “S” files will be prosecuted for aiding the enemy.

Places of Islamic preaching will be closed and the sowers of hatred condemned and expelled. The legal windows of Islamism, especially on the Internet, will be extinguished.

Finally, this revolution of liberty is that of our collective liberties, for state sovereignty, that is to say, for a free people to decide for themselves. This struggle for sovereignty is first, principal, essential, cardinal — it conditions everything else.

Without sovereignty, no protection is possible, no action is possible. Without sovereignty, a promise becomes a false promise.

My political opponents claim to control borders, to prevent immigration, to fight against unfair competition. They are lying to you. By refusing to free themselves from the straitjacket of the European Union, which is the decision-maker on these subjects, they refrain from any even minor inflection.

Worse, by staying in the euro, they are plaguing our economy, maintaining mass unemployment and giving the European Union the means of pressure to impose its inept views, its millions of migrants.

Everyone agrees that the European Union is a failure. It did not deliver on any of its promises, particularly on prosperity and security and, worse, it has put us under guardianship and kept us on a short leash.

Who could be satisfied with doing nothing against a system which enchains us, which does not work, and worse, whose dysfunctions ruins us?

That is why, if elected, I will announce a referendum within six months on remaining or exiting the European Union, and I will immediately engage with our European partners — many of whom aspire as we do to sovereignty — a renegotiation with this tyrannical Europeanist system which is no longer a project, but a parenthesis in history and I hope one day a bad memory.

The objective will be to find within six months a compromise that will allow us to recover our four sovereignties: monetary, economic, legislative and territorial.

If the European Union does not submit, then I will ask the French to vote in the referendum to resign from this nightmare and become free again.

In the same spirit, because we believe that France is great only when it makes its voice heard in favor of independence and world balance, we will leave the integrated command of NATO. We will re-examine our diplomacy with regard to our national interests and will give the means of our internal and foreign policy by the reconstruction of our military potential.

My commitment is to put France back in order in five years. In practice this concerns all sectors of our lives:

  • Putting our economy back in order
  • Putting our schools back in order
  • Putting our justice back in order
  • Putting our diplomacy back in order
  • Putting our security back in order
  • Putting our solidarity back in order

We open our arms to all those who share with us the love of France and wish to engage our country on the path of national recovery.

The old left-right debates have outlived their usefulness. Primaries have shown that debates about secularism or immigration, as well as globalization or generalized deregulation, constitute a fundamental and transversal divide. This divide is no longer between the left and the right, but between patriots and globalists.

The collapse of traditional parties and the systematic disappearance of almost all of their leaders shows that a great political re-composition has begun.

Other peoples have shown the way.

The British have chosen freedom with the Brexit. The Italians have shown their disapproval in the referendum on the Constitution. The Greeks are thinking about leaving the Euro. The Americans have chosen their national interest.

This awakening of the peoples is historical. It marks the end of a cycle. The wind of history has turned. It will bring us to the top and, with us, our country: France. Long live the people! Long live the Republic! Long live France!

UN Chief Compares Populist Success of Trump and Farage to Islamic State

December 9, 2016

UN Chief Compares Populist Success of Trump and Farage to Islamic State, Breitbart, Liam Deacon, December 9, 2016

trumpfarage

Nigel Farage and Donald Trump are “populists and demagogues” using tactics comparable to Islamic State (IS), and the success of populism in 2016 echoes “fascist rhetoric”, the United Nation’s rights chief has said.

Jordanian aristocrat Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, the current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, blamed populism for an alleged rise in “hate crimes” and warned of the “banalization of bigotry” in Europe, according to the Telegraph.

He also took aim at Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, and French Front National leader Marine Le Pen in a speech this Monday at a gala dinner organized by the Hague-based Peace, Justice and Security Foundation.

“2016 has been a disastrous year for human rights across the globe,” Mr. Zeid said. “If the growing erosion of the carefully constructed system of human rights and rule of law continues to gather momentum, ultimately everyone will suffer.”

He added: “In some parts of Europe, and in the United States, anti-foreigner rhetoric full of unbridled vitriol and hatred, is proliferating to a frightening degree, and is increasingly unchallenged”.

Compared right-wing populism to Islamic State terrorists, he claiming the “mode of communication, its use of half-truths and oversimplification, the propaganda of [IS] uses tactics similar to those of the populists.”

“And both sides of this equation benefit from each other – indeed would not expand in influence without each others’ actions,” he added.

However, he also said: “Make no mistake, I certainly do not equate the actions of nationalist demagogues with those of Daesh, which are monstrous, sickening; Daesh must be brought to justice”.

Singling out Mr. Wilders’ call to stop asylum seekers entering his country and for a ban on Muslim schools, the UN boss said the policy proposals were “grotesque” and urged the audience “to speak out and up” against them.

“We will not be bullied by you the bully, nor fooled by you the deceiver, not again,” he insisted.

In a text message responding to the Telegraph’s requests for a reaction to the speech, Mr Wilders wrote: “Another good reason to get rid of the UN. I lost my freedom in my fight for freedom, and I don’t want my country to lose its freedom as well.

“That’s why we have to de-Islamize. Islam and freedom are incompatible whatever this Jordanian bureaucrat says.”

This morning, Mr. Wilders was found guilty of “incitement to discrimination” by a Dutch court. He branded the trial a politically motivated “charade” that endangered freedom of speech.

Obama tells world ‘My vision’s right,’ warns of dangers of Trump’s populism

November 16, 2016

Obama tells world ‘My vision’s right,’ warns of dangers of Trump’s populism, Washington TimesDave Boyer, November 16, 2016

(These grapes sure are sour. — DM)

obamaairfarcePresident Barack Obama points as he boards Air Force One in Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, en route to Florida, where he will speak at a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Osceola …

Facing rejection of his worldview on both sides of the Atlantic, President Obama doubled down Tuesday on the dangers of populism and declared that Donald Trump’s supporters don’t realize how good they’ve had it for the past eight years.

Declaring, “My vision’s right,” the president said Mr. Trump won the presidential election by exploiting conservatives’ “troubling” rhetoric to play on Americans’ skepticism of globalization and diversity. He accused Republicans of fanning flames of “anger and fear in the American population” over economic uncertainty to help Mr. Trump win, and warned that similar forces are threatening the European Union.

“You’ve seen some of the rhetoric among Republican elected officials and activists and media,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference in Athens, Greece, with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. “Some of it [was] pretty troubling and not necessarily connected to facts, but being used effectively to mobilize people. And obviously President-elect Trump tapped into that particular strain within the Republican Party and then was able to broaden that enough and get enough votes to win the election.”

Asked if the election of Mr. Trump and British voters’ decision to leave the European Union amounted to a rejection of his worldview, Mr. Obama pointed to his relatively high approval ratings and retorted, “Last I checked, a pretty healthy majority of the American people agree with my worldview on a whole bunch of things.”

It was a remarkable display of cockiness for a president whose favored candidate just lost the election to succeed him and who failed to persuade British voters last spring to remain in the EU.

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation, said Mr. Obama was displaying hubris and a lack of understanding of the anti-EU forces rising in Europe.

“He is a president really in denial with regard to the sweeping changes that are taking place both at home and abroad, especially across the Atlantic,” Mr. Gardiner said in an interview. “The biggest development in Europe in the last few years has been growing support for sovereignty and self-determination. He continues to lecture Europe and European politicians about the right path forward. I think it’s a message that is stuck in a time warp.”

The lame-duck president, whose legacy initiatives are imperiled by an incoming Republican president and Republican-led Congress, said Americans will realize eventually how dangerous it is to foment discrimination based on race or religion. He said it’s a lesson that Europeans who favor breaking up the European Union should heed as well.

“My vision’s right on that issue,” Mr. Obama said. “It may not always win the day in the short term in any political circumstance, but I’m confident it will win the day over the long term.”

After eight years of denying that he pays attention to polls, Mr. Obama pointed to his job approval ratings (57 percent in Gallup) as proof that there was a “mismatch … between frustration and anger” among Mr. Trump’s voters. He speculated that voters simply felt a “need to shake things up.”

Mr. Obama also pushed a theme of “You’ll miss me when I’m gone,” predicting that voters in the U.S. and Britain will eventually realize that he was correct in his assessment of the political forces at work. He forecast that Mr. Trump’s supporters will grasp soon, probably before the Republican faces re-election, how good things have been during his administration.

“Time will now tell whether the prescriptions that are being offered, whether Brexit or with respect to the U.S. election, ends up actually satisfying those people who have been fearful or angry or concerned,” Mr. Obama said. “I think that’s going to be an interesting test, because I think I can make a pretty strong argument that the policies we put forward were the right ones, that we’ve grown faster than just about any advanced economy. The country is indisputably better off, and those folks who voted for the president-elect are better off than they were when I came into office, for the most part. But we’ll see whether those facts affect people’s calculations in the next election.”

He said he has pushed an agenda for economic equality over the past eight years but congressional Republicans have blocked him.

The president’s 52nd and final foreign trip was not supposed to become a postelection autopsy. It was planned before the election as part sightseeing tour — Mr. Obama had never been to Greece — and partly to offer a fond farewell in person to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Mr. Obama counts as his closest partner over his two terms.

Mr. Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton changed all that. Now Mr. Obama is traveling on a mission to reassure anxious European allies that Mr. Trump will keep the U.S. commitment to alliances such as NATO and will largely preserve the continuity of U.S. foreign policy.

Mr. Obama praised Greece as one of only five NATO members that spends the advised 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense, despite its heavy debt burden and austerity measures.

Thousands of Greeks protested Mr. Obama’s visit. Riot police fired tear gas Tuesday night at demonstrators marching a few miles from the presidential mansion where Greek leaders were hosting a state banquet for Mr. Obama.

About 7,000 people, among them many hooded protesters and members of the communist-affiliated group PAME, marched through the streets of central Athens holding banners reading, “Unwanted!”

Police clashed with the protesters after they tried to break through cordon lines to reach the parliament building and the U.S. Embassy. Some demonstrators threw two gas bombs at police before dispersing into nearby streets close to Athens’ main Syntagma Square.

In a separate protest in the northern city of Thessaloniki, protesters burned a U.S. flag.

Mr. Obama was visiting two days before the anniversary of a bloody 1973 student revolt that helped topple a military junta that took power in 1967 with U.S. government support.

Before Mr. Obama left Washington on Monday, he conducted an hourlong press conference at the White House, hoping that questions about Mr. Trump’s election wouldn’t follow him overseas. They did.

A reporter for NBC News reminded Mr. Obama of an interview he conducted in January with “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer, who had asked the president if he felt responsible for creating the conditions for Mr. Trump’s candidacy. At the time, Mr. Obama replied, “Talk to me if he wins.”

The NBC reporter asked the president Tuesday if he felt responsible for Mr. Trump’s victory.

“I still don’t feel responsible for what the president-elect says or does,” Mr. Obama said. “But I do feel a responsibility as president of the United States to make sure that I facilitate a good transition and I present to him, as well as the American people, my best thinking, my best ideas about how you move the country forward.”

Mr. Obama warned that “we are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’”

“I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is going to be defined by what we have in common as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict,” he said. “Take Europe. We know what happens when Europeans start dividing themselves up and emphasizing their differences and seeing a competition between various countries in a zero-sum way. The 20th century was a bloodbath.”

Mr. Gardiner said Mr. Obama has no real understanding of the forces reshaping Europe.

“I think President Obama remains a figure of tremendous hubris who does not really understand the changes taking place across the world, and whose administration has been incredibly weak-kneed in terms of projection of American influence and power,” he said.

“For a president with such an embarrassing foreign policy record, President Obama’s been an extraordinarily self-confident figure. His record doesn’t match his arrogance,” he said.

⦁ This article is based in part on wire service reports.

What do YOU belong to?

April 30, 2016

What do YOU belong to? Dan Miller’s Blog, April 30, 2016

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. –DM

The Demorat and Publican parties appear to believe that since we belong to them they own us and can control us. Until recently, they were right. Now, at least for the Publican Party, not so much.

The Federal Government also believes that we belong to it, that it owns us and that hordes of unelected bureaucrats can and should control us; it’s all for our own good, of course, they would say (but it’s mainly for theirs). Perhaps, if we continue to change the Publican Party, we will have opportunities to change the Federal Government as well. The Demorat Party is hopeless.

Doesn’t thinking about the loving, benign dictators who believe they own us send warm, pleasant tingles down your leg? Or was that just a painful muscle spasm? They don’t mind, so it doesn’t matter.

The Political Parties

Many if not most now belong, or have belonged, to either the Democrat or Publican party. They tend to reward us by selecting the candidates, particularly the presidential candidates, whom they believe can keep or put them in power. They work very hard to save us from having to make such difficult choices. Since we “belong” to them, it must be only fair to accede gratefully to their wishes and vote as directed. At least that seems to be their view.

Until the current presidential election cycle, it worked quite well for the establishments of both parties. This time, it has not worked at all well for the Publican establishment. Despite its efforts to have a congenial establishment member nominated, it has not succeeded. Trump now has about 1,002 of the 1,273 delegates needed to get the nomination on the first ballot; the only other candidate with a significant number of delegates, Cruz, has only 571 and appears to be crumbling in his “must win” state of Indiana, where Trump has a substantial lead in the polls.

Trump is the top choice among the solely self-reported Republicans surveyed, taking 42 percent compared to 34 percent for Cruz and 17 percent for Kasich.

The businessman is also the top choice among the self-reported independents and Democrats deemed likely to vote in the primary, leading Cruz by 10 points among that group.

While Trump holds a 13-point lead over Cruz among men, 45 to 32 percent, his lead among women is narrower — 36 to 32 percent.

According to an article by W. James Antle III at The Washington Examiner, a generally anti-Trump publication,

Ted Cruz has a problem that a win in Indiana Tuesday may or may not be able to fix.

Not only might he be unable to stop Donald Trump from winning the 1,237 delegates needed to win the Republican presidential nomination on the first ballot, but Cruz is now so far behind Trump that it will detract from the credibility of a contested convention choosing anyone else even if he is still able to force one. [Emphasis added.]

The Tea Party senator from Texas is well ahead of John Kasich, but is now in Kasich territory. He will likely need hundreds of delegates to switch in order to push him over the top.

That’s not really what Republicans had in mind.

Most reasonable contested convention scenarios assumed a certain degree of closeness in the race. “Donald is going to come out with a whole bunch of delegates,” Cruz explained in February. “We will come out with a whole bunch of delegates.”

Cruz is now 431 delegates behind Trump and 672 short of a majority. He has won 3.2 million fewer votes while Trump’s tally is now higher than Mitt Romney’s at the end of the 2012 primaries. [Emphasis added.]

Are Republicans really still contemplating handing Ted Cruz the nomination in Cleveland? Or worse, Kasich who has won only Ohio? Or some white knight who has received zero votes?

“Those are the rules!” anti-Trump Republicans exclaim. In widely misinterpreted comments, Marco Rubio argued that as a private organization it’s up to GOP delegates to decide the nomination.

“That’s the meaning of being a delegate,” he said, “is choosing a nominee who can win.”

But the delegates’ role in the nomination process has largely been a formality for forty years. The American public has come to understand their primary votes as deciding the major party nominees. And in practice, that is how it has now worked for decades. [Emphasis added.]

For the nominee selection to be made by ignoring the primary votes at a contested convention,

The delegates would regain their power at the precise time faith in the Republican establishment is at an all-time low and its preferred candidates were all rejected by the voters. Some GOP voters don’t even like the alleged Cruz-Kasich alliance. [Emphasis added.]

And it would all clearly be happening because influential Republicans didn’t like the outcome of the election. [Emphasis added.]

Yes, Trump is at risk of a contested convention because he is a weak front-runner. He is facing higher than normal intraparty opposition at this phase of the campaign.

The alternative is to nominate candidates from other factions of the party that have demonstrated that they are even weaker, people who have been rejected by an even higher percentage of Republicans.

For all the talk of Trump’s inability to win in November, national polling shows Trump with comparable support to Clinton on the Democratic side, with Cruz and Kasich not doing as well as Bernie Sanders.

Even if Cruz wins in Indiana, Trump should have easy wins in most of the remaining primary states and should, therefore, win substantially more than a majority on the first convention vote. If he does not, Cruz and Jeb Bush will be happy; or at least Cruz will be happy until the nomination goes to someone else.

Cruz cheating in Jesus name amen

I do not “belong” to any party; I am merely a registered Publican. Being either a member or a registered Publican allows one to vote in Publican primaries when they are generous enough to have them. Party caucuses? In some cases, members considered sufficiently subservient to the party establishment have at least a modest say in selecting the delegates to the national Publican convention. Those merely registered get to gripe if delegates pledged to someone they don’t want are chosen, but that’s about it.

The public has, to a greater extent than I can recall, been focused on this year’s selection of delegates. That may well be due in large part to Trump and his supporters. The public will very likely be no less focused on what those delegates do at the nominating conventions. Assuming that the Publican establishment is aware of that focus and takes it seriously, it may well affect the outcome.

The Feral Federal Government

bugblatter-beast

Our selected, and elected, Congresscriters and Presidents get to shape “our” enormous unelected bureaucracies which usurp the role of Congress in legislating. Then, “our” unelected civil “servants” selflessly undertake the difficult task of interpreting the rules they created as well as those the Congress bothered to enact and the President didn’t veto. As noted at The Federalist,

Administrative agencies are creatures of legislation but directed by the executive branch, which has no constitutional authority to pass laws. Their powers derive from statutes that delegate the quasi-legislative authority to issue binding commands in specified contexts. Administrative agencies generally operate independently from Congress and the courts and possess discretionary rulemaking authority.

. . . .

It will take a new kind of president to roll back the administrative state altogether. State resistance alone is no longer enough. Without any pressure from the executive branch, Congress will remain content to pass off touchy political decisions to administrative agencies, which, unlike politicians, cannot be voted out of power. Congress, in turn, can blame the agencies for any negative political consequences of those choices. [Emphasis added.]

We may never recover the framework of ordered liberty that the Founding generation celebrated and enjoyed. But for the sake of our future, and to secure the hope of freedom for our sons and daughters, our grandchildren and their children, we must expose and undo the regulatory regime of administrative agencies. It’s our duty to do so. [Emphasis added.]

In far too many ways, “our” Feral Federal Government resembles that of the European Union. The de facto seat of the EU is in Brussels, Belgium, where hordes of unelected bureaucrats dictate to the member states and their citizens. The seat of “our” Federal Government is in Washington, D.C., where hordes of unelected bureaucrats dictate to the States and to the “folks” who live there. According to Pat Condell, the EU is on the verge of collapse. Will that also be the fate of “our” own little EU? And of the political parties which empower it?

Conclusions

A more efficient and less costly Federal Government would be nice. A smaller, more efficient and less costly Federal Government, much of the power of which has been returned to the States, will be much better. Perhaps the return of significant powers to the States will even awaken some of the more somnolent States and their citizens. For the most part, people in States far removed from Washinton pay little attention to Federal actions until they have significant direct impact on them. Decisions made locally are more likely to have direct local impacts and to attract higher levels of local interest. “Mere” local citizens seem likely to demand voices in what is to be done and how.

Which of the still viable candidates for President is likely to give us the type of Federal Government I envision? Hillary Clinton and her supporters? They like their party and the Federal Government as they are. Trump and his supporters have done much to diminish the power of the Publican Party establishment. They have broken some stuff that needed to be broken and are rebuilding the system on a more populist foundation. As I wrote last September, To bring America back we need to break some stuff. Perhaps they can begin to break “our” bloated Nanny State and recast it in ways comparable to what they have done to the Publican establishment. Doing so could and should put power back where it belongs, in the hands of the States and of the people.

Off Topic | Trump, Conservative Ideolgues and Populists

January 24, 2016

Trump, Conservative Ideolgues and Populists, Dan Miller’s Blog, January 24, 2016

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

Conservative ideologues want to keep things essentially as they are, making only marginal and generally ineffective changes. Populists want to change things to be more consistent with what “we the people” want. Often, what we the people want is better than what our “leaders” want or try to provide. Under these definitions, Trump is a populist, not a conservative ideologue. That’s good.

According to Dictionary. com, these are attributes of “conservatives:”

Disposed to preserve existing conditions, restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

According to the same source, “populism” means:

Any of various, often anti-establishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.

Grass-roots democracy; working class activism; egalitarianism.

National Review recently published an entire special edition devoted to attacking Trump on the ground that he is insufficiently conservative. Whom did National Review support in 2008 and 2012? Guess or go to the link. He did not win.

NR - Trump

Writing at PJ Media about National Review’s special issue, Roger L. Simon argued that 

Many of their arguments revolve around whether Trump is a “true conservative.” Instead of wading into the definitional weeds on that one — as they say on the Internet, YMMV [Your Milleage May Vary] — allow me to address the macro question of what the purpose of ideology actually is. For me, it is to provide a theoretical basis on which to act, a set of principles. But that’s all it is. It’s not a religion, although it can be mistaken for one (communism). [Insert and Emphasis added.]

Ideology should function as a guide, not a faith, because in the real world you may have to violate it, when the rubber meets the road, as they say. For those of us in the punditocracy, the rubber rarely if ever meets the road.  All we have is our theories. They are the road for us. If we’re lucky, we’re paid for them.  In that case, we hardly ever vary them. It would be bad for business.

Trump’s perspective was the reverse. The rubber was constantly meeting the road. In fact, it rarely did anything else. He always had to change and adjust. Ideological principles were just background noise, barely audible sounds above the jack hammers. [Emphasis added.]

When National Review takes up arms against Trump, it is men and women of theory against a man of action. The public, if we are to believe the polls, prefers the action. It’s not hard to see why. The theory has failed and become increasingly disconnected from the people. It doesn’t go anywhere and hasn’t for years. I’m guilty of it too. (Our current president is 150% a man of theory.) Too many people — left and right — are drunk on ideology. [Emphasis added.]

Were the “old White men” who wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence, and those who fought for the colonies in the Revolutionary War, conservative ideologues? Did they want to preserve existing conditions under the King of England, his governors and military? Or were they pragmatic populists, as well as men of action, who opposed the King’s establishment and offered unorthodox solutions appealing to the “common” people? It took a lot of pushing from such revolutionaries as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, but the pragmatic populists won.

I don’t want to suggest that Donald Trump is this generation’s George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin. Times are now sufficiently different that doing so would be frivolous. Among other differences, there should be no need to go to war now because we still have an electoral process, flawed though it may be. Nor are we ruled by an unelected, hereditary king; we are ruled by an elected president who considers Himself a king, ignores or twists the Constitution to fit His needs, often ideological, and acts by royal executive decree when the Congress declines to do His bidding or goes about it too slowly to suit Him.

Be that as it may, what’s wrong with the populist notion encouraging members of the governed class — the “vulgarians” — to have greater voices in how they are governed than those who govern them, often to their own benefit, while mocking those whom they govern? Sometimes we the people make mistakes and sometimes we get it right. Ditto our dear leaders. Why not give us a chance for a change?

Into which category — conservative ideologue or populist — if either, does Donald Trump fit, do we need him now and, if so, why?

Here’s the 2012 video Whittle referred to in the video above:

Which of the current Republican candidates has taken, or is the most likely to take, positions comparable to those suggested in the above video?

In September of last year, I wrote an article titled To bring America back we need to break some stuff. There, I quoted Daniel Greenfield for the following proposition:

What we have now is not a movement because we have not defined what it is we hope to win. We have built reactive movements to stave off despair. We must do better than that. We must not settle for striving to restore some idealized lost world. Instead we must dream big. We must think of the nation we want and of the civilization we want to live in and what it will take to build it. [Emphasis added.]

Our enemies have set out big goals. We must set out bigger ones. We must become more than conservatives. If we remain conservatives, then all we will have is the America we live in now. And even if our children and grandchildren become conservatives, that is the culture and nation they will fight to conserve. We must become revolutionaries. [Emphasis added.]

I also suggested that if we don’t seek real — even revolutionary — change we might as well try to join the European Union. That would keep things pretty much as they now are and would, therefore, be more the “conservative” than the populist thing to do.

Our unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy could merge with that of the EU and our Congress could merge with the impotent EU Parliament.

Here’s a new Trifecta video about a proposal by the Governor of Texas to amend the Constitution which, he contends, has been broken by those who have improperly increased the power of the Federal Government while diminishing that of the states.

The Constitution is not broken. It’s just been poorly interpreted, twisted and otherwise ignored. In recent years Obama — who claims to be a “constitutional scholar” — has done more to ignore, twist and misinterpret it than any other president I can remember. Depending on what amendments might be adopted and ratified, an Obama clone (Hillary Clinton?) might well do the same; perhaps even worse. A president can personally stop that process by not doing it. A president can halt poor judicial interpretations only by nominating judges unlikely to make them.

Conclusions

Trump is not perfect; nobody is. However, he says what he thinks rather than spew multiculturally correct pablum. Few are sufficiently thick-skinned to do that. A “vulgarian,” he is not politically correct. Others are because they don’t want to offend. Trump recognizes that Islam is the religion of war, death and oppression and does not want the further Islamisation of America, which is already proceeding apace. Few leaders of either party are willing to take that position, mean it and act on it effectively if elected.

We are mad, not insane. We want to give we the people a bigger and stronger voice in how and by whom we are governed. If, by voting to make Trump our President, we make a big mistake so be it. Worse candidates with fewer qualifications have been elected and reelected. During His first and second term as President, Obama has gone far in His quest to transform America fundamentally and in the wrong directions. If Trump does not come sufficiently close to correcting course to meet our expectations during his first term, we won’t vote to reelect him. In the meantime,

Opps. I almost forgot this