Archive for the ‘Trump’s America’ category

Trump’s Constructive Chaos

October 19, 2017

Trump’s Constructive Chaos, Hoover InstitutionVictor Davis Hanson, October 18, 2017

(The old order changeth yielding place to new…. Alfred Tennyson — DM)

The Obama presidency was atypical in many ways—even when compared to other Democratic administrations, such as Bill Clinton’s. Obama tried to move the country hard to the left and, in the process, radicalized and then eroded the Democratic Party at the local, state, and federal levels. And with the loss of a once solidly Democratic Congress, Obama was reduced to running the government by fiat and edict rather than through legislative compromise and cooperation.

The national debt doubled to $20 trillion. The economy stagnated. Labor non-participation rates soared. Near zero interest rates wiped out the purchasing power of middle-class savers. Scandals at the IRS, the GSA, and the VA abounded; the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Justice Department were all politicized. The country divided further along racial and ethnic lines.

Abroad, Russian reset failed. Efforts to pivot to Asia and to deter Chinese expansionism died on the vine. Red lines in Syria were ignored. There was no containment of North Korea’s nuclear expansion. The Libyan intervention made things worse. The withdrawal from Iraq left behind a “secure” country in a word, a failed one in fact. The surge against the Taliban ended up as a telegraphed stalemate. The war against a “jayvee” ISIS stalled. There were many secrets hidden in the Iran deal.

To address these challenges, Trump could have tried carefully to patch things up in a makeshift and incremental fashion. Or he could have found such ad hoc mending largely a waste of time, and instead found a better solution in slashing and burning the mess that was left, in order to create new policies from scratch. Trump chose the latter option—and predictably, as the old order declined chaos has followed ever since.

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Almost daily, President Trump manages to incense the media, alarm the world abroad, and enrage his Democratic opposition. Not since Ronald Reagan’s first year in office has change and disruption come so fast from the White House.

Let’s consider foreign affairs first. In response to North Korea’s nuclear threats to hit the American West coast, Trump promised Kim Jung-un utter destruction. And for sport he ridicules him as “rocket man.” ISIS is now on the run. The terrorist group has given up on its once-promised caliphate—in part because Trump changed the rules of engagement and allowed American generals at the front to use their own judgment and discretion on how best to destroy their enemies. Trump has bowed out from certifying a continuation of the Iranian deal and sent it back to Congress for reform, rejection, or ratification. In the case of the Paris climate accord, he simply pulled the United States out completely, reminding its adherents that the use of natural gas has allowed America to reduce carbon emissions far more dramatically than have most of its critics. As in the case of the Iran deal, the Obama administration never sent the Paris agreement to the Senate for a treaty vote.

Domestically, too, Trump has not been afraid to make major changes. In terms of the so-called Dreamers—children who were brought into the United States illegally by their parents and protected by the DACA executive orders of Barack Obama—for now Trump has sent the matter back to the Congress for proper legislative review. On Obamacare, Trump has issued executive orders to free up the health market and remove subsidies and monopolistic regulations on how health plans are structured and sold. His reasoning was that the Obama executive orders on health care were illegal, so revising them was necessary and legal rather than inflammatory.

On cultural matters, Trump has waded into the NFL controversies, blasting players who refuse to stand for the National Anthem as unworthy to play. Trump—a thrice-married erstwhile womanizer and unlikely moralist—has condemned Hollywood mogul and sexual deviant Harvey Weinstein, and by implication the entire industry of celebrities that appeased and protected Weinstein’s vile behavior while lecturing America on its cowardly inability to call out sexual harassment.

Polls, to the extent they retain any credibility, are ambiguous about Trump’s chaotic leadership style. They show that the public is in agreement with Trump on most of these hot button issues, while not being especially fond of Trump himself—perhaps in the manner that patients may fear their oncologists but ultimately appreciate their treatments for metastasizing cancers.

So is Trump creating chaos, or simply cleaning up the political and cultural messes of the past decade—or both?

The answer is complex. To achieve perceived noble ends, the Obama administration often used dubious means, mostly through executive orders and by deceiving the public about Obamacare, illegal immigration, and the Iran deal. Now, Trump is using Obama’s own tools to reverse what Obama wrought.

Trump did not create a nuclear North Korea with missiles capable of hitting San Francisco. The appeasement that did was a result of thirty years of prior presidents passing the problem onto their successors in order to avoid a messy confrontation on their own watch. At some point, a reckoning was inevitable: either North Korea would establish a de facto right to deploy both nukes and intercontinental missiles, or be judged to be too unhinged to be allowed into the nuclear club.

Trump seemingly has deduced that North Korea cannot remain nuclear, and thus is trying to force China to rein in its client, while apprising Beijing that the past few years of U.S. appeasement were an aberration, and the new pushback the more normal American response. It is always easy to lose strategic deterrence, dangerous and costly to restore it.

Condemning ISIS as a group of medieval psychopaths who can only be stopped by annihilation and humiliation is not very Politically Correct—but that’s what Trump did. Such moral and military clarity is apparently impossible in today’s asymmetrical and unconventional wars of the Middle East. But Trump’s easy reliance on overwhelming firepower was as simplistic as it may have been effective—like Alexander the Great cutting apart the Gordian Knot instead of playing by the rules and vainly trying to unravel the knot’s endless folds and loops.

By any fair interpretation, the Paris climate agreement and the Iran deal were treaties and thus should have required a two-thirds vote from the Senate. Obama knew that ratification was impossible and would likely be unpopular, so he simply rebranded them as presidential protocols, signed them, and declared that they were legally binding agreements.

Trump is following the law by turning these agreements over to the Senate for debate and resolution. But he is also following his political instincts by assuming that both of these deals were flawed and put the United States at a disadvantage. Therefore, neither will likely win majority support in the Senate. Praise for stopping an illegal and unwise treaty or blame for reneging on an existing agreement will be shared with the senators rather than rest on Trump’s shoulders entirely.

Prior to the presidential election, illegal immigration had been ignored. Federal laws were unenforced. The border was not secure. Opportunistic parties leveraged illegal immigration for their own selfish agendas: the Left to recalibrate the electoral college of the American southwest, the right to ensure cheap labor, Mexico to obtain $25 billion in remittances and a safety valve for social oppression, and ethnic activists to perpetuate a near permanent constituency that will slow down assimilation, integration, and intermarriage.

Trump has not only committed to building a wall and deporting illegal aliens, but he has addressed the problem of sanctuary cities that in Confederate fashion defy U.S. laws. An incoherent multiculturalism often results in illegal immigrants celebrating Mexico and faulting the United States, romanticizing the country that they chose to leave while critiquing the one where they wish to stay.

As far as the NFL is concerned, the entire enterprise is an easy target. Most football fans are traditionalists and resent players kneeling during the National Anthem—much more so when such protestors are multimillionaires whose lucrative salaries depend on poorer fans attending or watching their games. If a country has no borders and cannot unite to stand for a brief expression of collective patriotism, then it symbolically does not exist as a country. The NFL bet otherwise, hoping that its players could be appeased and its fans would forgive and forget. But the fans have not forgotten and the players have only grown more emboldened by concessions of the terrified owners. Trump’s political instincts proved far more savvy than those of a naïve NFL, given that the league is now losing fans and money.

Are there any constant themes in all of Trump’s chaotic controversies?

The Obama presidency was atypical in many ways—even when compared to other Democratic administrations, such as Bill Clinton’s. Obama tried to move the country hard to the left and, in the process, radicalized and then eroded the Democratic Party at the local, state, and federal levels. And with the loss of a once solidly Democratic Congress, Obama was reduced to running the government by fiat and edict rather than through legislative compromise and cooperation.

The national debt doubled to $20 trillion. The economy stagnated. Labor non-participation rates soared. Near zero interest rates wiped out the purchasing power of middle-class savers. Scandals at the IRS, the GSA, and the VA abounded; the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Justice Department were all politicized. The country divided further along racial and ethnic lines.

Abroad, Russian reset failed. Efforts to pivot to Asia and to deter Chinese expansionism died on the vine. Red lines in Syria were ignored. There was no containment of North Korea’s nuclear expansion. The Libyan intervention made things worse. The withdrawal from Iraq left behind a “secure” country in word, a failed one in fact. The surge against the Taliban ended up as a telegraphed stalemate. The war against a “jayvee” ISIS stalled. There were many secrets hidden in the Iran deal.

To address these challenges, Trump could have tried carefully to patch things up in a makeshift and incremental fashion. Or he could have found such ad hoc mending largely a waste of time, and instead found a better solution in slashing and burning the mess that was left, in order to create new policies from scratch. Trump chose the latter option—and predictably, as the old order declined chaos has followed ever since.

 

 

It’s 1968 all over again

October 12, 2017

It’s 1968 all over again, Washington TimesVictor Davis Hanson, October 11, 2017

Illustration on two contending American political forces by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

After the polarizing Obama presidency and the contested election of Donald Trump, the country is once again split in two.

As was the case in 1968, the world abroad is also falling apart.

Yet for all the social instability and media hysteria, life in the United States quietly seems to be getting better.

The economy is growing. Unemployment and inflation remain low. The stock market and middle-class incomes are up.

Business and consumer confidence are high. Corporate profits are up. Energy production has expanded. The border with Mexico is being enforced.

Is the instability less a symptom that America is falling apart and more a sign that the loud conventional wisdom of the past — about the benefits of a globalized economy, the insignificance of national borders and the importance of identity politics — is drawing to a close, along with the careers of those who profited from it?

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Almost a half-century ago, in 1968, the United States seemed to be falling apart.

The Vietnam War, a bitter and close presidential election, anti-war protests, racial riots, political assassinations, terrorism and a recession looming on the horizon left the country divided between a loud radical minority and a silent conservative majority.

The United States avoided a civil war. But America suffered a collective psychological depression, civil unrest, defeat in Vietnam and assorted disasters for the next decade — until the election of a once-polarizing Ronald Reagan ushered in five consecutive presidential terms of relative bipartisan calm and prosperity from 1981 to 2001.

It appears as if 2017 might be another 1968. Recent traumatic hurricanes seem to reflect the country’s human turmoil.

After the polarizing Obama presidency and the contested election of Donald Trump, the country is once again split in two.

But this time the divide is far deeper, both ideologically and geographically — with the two liberal coasts pitted against red-state America in between.

Century-old mute stone statues are torn down in the dead of night, apparently on the theory that by attacking the Confederate dead, the lives of the living might improve.

All the old standbys of American life seem to be eroding. The National Football League is imploding as it devolves into a political circus. Multimillionaire players refuse to stand for the national anthem, turning off millions of fans whose former loyalties paid their salaries.

Politics — or rather a progressive hatred of the provocative Donald Trump — permeates almost every nook and cranny of popular culture.

The new allegiance of the media, late-night television, stand-up comedy, Hollywood, professional sports and universities is committed to liberal sermonizing. Politically correct obscenity and vulgarity among celebrities and entertainers is a substitute for talent, even as Hollywood is wracked by sexual harassment scandals and other perversities.

The smears “racist,” “fascist,” “white privilege” and “Nazi” — like “commie” of the 1950s — are so overused as to become meaningless. There is now less free speech on campus than during the McCarthy era of the early 1950s.

As was the case in 1968, the world abroad is also falling apart.

The European Union, model of the future, is unraveling. The EU has been paralyzed by the exit of Great Britain, the divide between Spain and Catalonia, the bankruptcy of Mediterranean nation members, insidious terrorist attacks in major European cities and the onslaught of millions of immigrants — mostly young, male and Muslim — from the war-torn Middle East. Germany is once again becoming imperious, but this time insidiously by means other than arms.

The failed state of North Korea claims that it has nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching America’s West Coast — and apparently wants some sort of bribe not to launch them.

Iran is likely to follow the North Korea nuclear trajectory. In the meantime, its new Shiite hegemony in the Middle East is feeding on the carcasses of Syria and Iraq.

Is the chaos of 2017 a catharsis — a necessary and long-overdue purge of dangerous and neglected pathologies? Will the bedlam within the United States descend into more nihilism, or offer a remedy to the status quo that had divided and nearly bankrupted the country?

Is the problem too much democracy, as the volatile and fickle mob runs roughshod over establishment experts and experienced bureaucrats? Or is the crisis too little democracy, as populists strive to dethrone a scandal-plagued, anti-democratic, incompetent and overrated entrenched elite?

Neither traditional political party has any answers.

Democrats are being overwhelmed by the identity politics and socialism of progressives. Republicans are torn asunder between upstart populist nationalists and the calcified establishment status quo.

Yet for all the social instability and media hysteria, life in the United States quietly seems to be getting better.

The economy is growing. Unemployment and inflation remain low. The stock market and middle-class incomes are up.

Business and consumer confidence are high. Corporate profits are up. Energy production has expanded. The border with Mexico is being enforced.

Is the instability less a symptom that America is falling apart and more a sign that the loud conventional wisdom of the past — about the benefits of a globalized economy, the insignificance of national borders and the importance of identity politics — is drawing to a close, along with the careers of those who profited from it?

In the past, any crisis that did not destroy the United States ended up making it stronger. But for now, the fight grows over which is more toxic — the chronic statist malady that was eating away the country, or the new populist medicine deemed necessary to cure it.

• Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

The Racist Attacks on America and Trump

August 25, 2017

The Racist Attacks on America and Trump, Front Page MagazineDavid Horowitz, August 25, 2017

Let’s start by noticing the obvious. The biggest hate group in America – by a wide margin – is the anti-Trump chorus, which has advanced from calling him “unfit to be president” to accusing him (in the words of CNN’s Ana Navarro) of being “unfit to be human.” In between are malignant accusations that he is a “neo-Nazi,” a “white nationalist” and a “white supremacist” – all revelations about Trump’s character that somehow remained hidden during the thirty years he was a public figure and before he ran against Hillary Clinton. Nor is the hate confined to Trump alone but includes his aides and supporters. Congressman Jerrold Nadler and other House Democrats have even attacked Trump’s policy adviser Stephen Miller as a “white supremacist” for defending a merit-based immigration reform. The attacks from the anti-Trump left also include the charge that America itself is a “white supremacist” country.

In a nation which for eight years was headed by a black president, had two chief law enforcement officers who were black, has recently had two black secretaries of state and three black national security advisers, and has elected more than 10,000 black government officials; in a nation that has been governed for fifty years by statutes that outlaw discrimination by race and whose national culture is saturated with non-white heroes and icons – in such a nation, people who refer to America as “white supremacist” would normally be dismissed as an oddball fringe, members of a fraternity that includes people who think Elvis is still alive and on the moon. Unfortunately, we live in times that are not normal.

Recent events have turned out crowds in the tens of thousands denouncing “neo-Nazis” and “white supremacists” both real and imagined, who number in the hundreds, if that. Yet the outpouring of righteous rage in a veritable orgy of virtue signaling has extended across both ends of the political spectrum, as though Nazism hadn’t been defeated more than seventy years ago, or racial discrimination outlawed for sixty. The ranks of actual neo-Nazis and white supremacists are so minuscule that besides the universally despised David Duke and Richard Spencer there are no figures on this “alt-right” that even informed observers could actually name.

In contrast to the trivial representatives of organized Nazism, there are – to take one obvious example – tens of thousands of members of the American Communist Party, also a defeated totalitarian foe. Yet no one seems alarmed. There have been “Million Man” marches led by black racists Farrakhan and Sharpton, while “white nationalists,” and Klan members can’t attract a sufficient number of supporters to even constitute a “march.” Black Lives Matter is an overtly racist and violent group that is led by avowed communists and has allied itself with Hamas terrorists. It is an organization officially endorsed by the Democratic Party and lavishly funded by tens of millions of dollars contributed by Democratic donors like George Soros. But the self-congratulating denouncers of Nazism and white racism find nothing wrong with them.

On any rational assessment, “white supremacy” as a descriptor of American society or American institutions or a significant segment of the American right is loony toons paranoia. Yet on the political left it is now an article of faith, and also a convenient weapon for disposing political opponents. Its power as a weapon is actually a tribute to America’s success in institutionalizing the principles of diversity and tolerance. It is because America is a truly inclusive society that makes the mere accusation of intolerance is so effective.

Notwithstanding the marginal existence of actual Klansmen and “neo-Nazis” in American culture and institutions, the term “white supremacy” currently turns up 3.7 million references in a Google search – a tribute to its rampant mis-usage. Of these references, 1.2 million are linked specifically – and absurdly – to Donald Trump. The term “white nationalism” turns up 4.2 million references, of which 2.1 million are linked directly to the president. Only a slightly lower number – 1.8 million – link Trump to “Nazi.” The parity of the numbers is easily explained by the fact that in the lexicon of the left they are identical. As a leftwing smear site created by the Southern Poverty Law Center explains, “White nationalist groups espouse white supremacist or white separatist ideologies.”

The malicious charge that Trump and his supporters are white racists is the central meme of a concerted effort to overthrow the Trump presidency before it has run its course – or before it had even gotten started. The accusation is made despite the fact that Republicans who elected Trump also voted for Barack Obama, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindahl, and that Democrats – not Republicans – were the principal resistors to the Civil Rights Acts. Reality aside, just 12 days after Trump’s inauguration Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi was already denouncing Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as a “white supremacist,” while Rep. Maxine Waters was revving up the call to impeach him with her colleagues not far behind. Six months later, the lead headline at Salon.com, was proclaiming, “White Supremacy Week at the White House.” Not to be outdone, The Week, whose commentators include the Atlantic’s David Frum, and Kerry adviser, Robert Shrum, ran a piece titled, “It’s White Nationalism Week at the White House.” Really.

Obviously the terms “white supremacy and “white nationalism” can’t actually mean what they say. If they did, one would have to conclude that half the country had simply lost its mind and morals. To make sense of the terms one has to understand them as expressions of an ideology that has emerged out of its university incubators to become a dogma of the Democratic Party and progressives generally. This radical perspective, known as “cultural Marxism,” divides society into a white majority that oppresses, and “people of color” who are oppressed, attributing all racial and ethnic disparities to “racism.”

As Wikipedia explains: “The term white supremacy is used in academic studies of racial power to denote a system of structural or societal racism which privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or the absence of racial hatred.” In other words, actual racism –  racist hate by individuals – is not the problem. If eighty percent of corporate executives are white, that is prima facie evidence of what the left calls “institutional racism,” even though there are no racists pulling strings to keep non-white people down. Racism is redefined as defending the invisible system – e.g., the system of standards – that allegedly perpetuates these disparities. But note the hypocrisy. If 95% of the multimillionaires in the National Basketball Association or the National Football League are black, no one regards these as anything but disparities based on merit.

The unexamined premise of the argument that regards white Americans as racists is that statistical disparities are all the result of oppression. But who is oppressed in America? There are an estimated 65 million refugees in the world today fleeing oppression, but not one of them is fleeing oppression in the United States. Why do Haitians and Mexicans risk life and limb to come to America? To be oppressed? They come because in America they have more rights, more privileges and more opportunities than they would in Mexico and Haiti, which have been governed by Hispanics and blacks for a hundred years and more.

The reality that the academic theory of faculty leftists tries futilely to deny is that America is the least racist most tolerant multi-ethnic, multi-racial society in the history of the world. America has outlawed racial supremacies of any kind. The only group oppressed in America are illegal immigrants who cannot defend themselves because they have already put themselves on the wrong side of the law. For everyone else, the law – the civil rights laws – are their protector.

In the end, however, all the spurious outrages over white supremacy and homegrown Nazism, and all the canards about “white nationalism” in the Trump White House are not really about Trump. What they are about is America. More particularly, they are about the left’s ongoing indictment of America for the sins of its past (sins by the way that are shared by every other nation both white and non-white).

To see how the leftist attack actually proceeds – how deeply embedded it is in the liberal mind – one has only to recall the notorious exchange between CNN’s anti-Trump correspondent, Jim Acosta, and Stephen Miller, the president’s chief advisor for policy, over immigration reform. The exchange was triggered by Acosta’s appalled response to Miller’s announcement of a proposed new immigration policy that would privilege English-speaking applicants for American citizenship. Requiring familiarity with English might seem a reasonable way to make assimilation of immigrants easier and to put more opportunity within their reach in a country in which it is the official language. But not to liberals like Acosta. Acosta objected: “This whole notion of … they have to learn English before they get to the United States. Are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?”

Miller’s response was this: “Jim, actually, I have to honestly say, I am shocked at your statement that you think that only people from Great Britain and Australia would know English.” Miller’s shock was not hard to understand. According to Wikipedia: “In 2015, there were 54 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities where English was an official language.” In addition, “many country subdivisions have declared English an official language at the local or regional level.” Among these English speaking countries are Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Liberia, Belize, India, Fiji, Micronesia – a veritable rainbow of ethnicities and racial identities.

Behind Acosta’s clueless question lay the racial animus characteristic of the left’s attacks on Trump, his policies and supporters. This is the official CNN transcript: “ACOSTA (OFF-MIKE) Sounds like you’re trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy.” In other words a “flow” of whites; in other words the policy is “white supremacist,” racist. Miller’s response: “Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you have ever said…. “The notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong.” To even think the policy was racist, Acosta had to overlook the fact that non-white English speakers actually outnumber white English speakers globally. Yet the left immediately began charging Miller with being a “white supremacist.”

This embarrassing but revealing moment is what the anti-Trump movement comes down to: the racist accusation that white supremacists, backed by 63 million American voters, have seized control of the American government and need to be overthrown.

But this hateful movement is not really about Trump. It is about America. Beyond that it is about the left’s attack on the democratic societies of the West in general, and specifically their foundations in individual rights rather than group identities. This was evident in the reactions to the major foreign policy address Trump delivered in Poland on July 6. His speech was a full-throated and often eloquent defense of the West and its values, and of America’s role in defeating the Soviet Union and the global Communist empire. In a climactic passage, Trump delivered a paean to the values that had inspired the West’s resistance to the totalitarians left and right, to the values that created western civilization. These were the values – above all that of individual freedom – that the wars against Nazism and Communism had been fought to defend. What Trump said was this:

“We reward brilliance.  We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression. We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success.  We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives. And we debate everything. We challenge everything. We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves. And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are. Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.”

On finishing this tribute, Trump issued a call to the people of the West to rally again to the defense of these values in the face of the new totalitarian threats that confront us: “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

Despite, and more likely because of its reaffirmation of American values, Trump’s speech was immediately attacked by the political left. The common theme of these attacks was once again the left’s race war against Trump and the country he leads. Slate.com, an online publication of the Washington Post ran with this headline: “The White Nationalist Roots of Donald Trump’s Warsaw Speech.” The Bernie Sanders’ left at Salon.comrepeated the accusation: “Trump’s Alt-right Poland Speech: Time to Call His White Nationalist Rhetoric What It Is.” The respected Atlantic Monthly followed with this: “The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump’s Warsaw Speech.” For the left, American patriotism is white nationalism.

The Atlantic article was written by Peter Beinart, and began this way: “In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.”

The West, Beinart explained, is neither a “geographic term,” nor an ideological category. “The West is a racial and religious term. To be considered Western, a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.” Whatever else one might think, this was certainly a perverse way of looking at Trump’s description of the West, or at the way the West has traditionally understood itself. Beinart’s attack displayed the racist animus that informs leftwing politics across the board these days, and that shapes its war against the White House and a Western civilization we have all celebrated until now.

The political left is relentless in its commitment to identity politics, which is a not so subtle form of racism. This animus is rooted in a racial and gender collectivism that is antagonistic to the fundamental American idea of individual rights applied universally and without regard to origins – to race, ethnicity or gender. The war to defend this idea is what created Trump’s candidacy and has shaped his political persona.

An American patriotism – which is precisely not about blood and soil, which is the antithesis of racism and collectivism – is what drives Trump and his presidency. If we are loyal to our country we will be loyal to each other; if we have patriotism in our hearts there will be no room for prejudice; we are black and brown and white but we all bleed patriot red. This is the mantra of Trump’s inaugural address; it was the mantra of his announcement of a new strategy to fight the terrorists in Afghanistan; and it is the mantra behind the call to “make America great again.” Patriotism – a specifically American patriotism – is the loyalty that unites us and makes us equal. It is this patriotism with which the political left is at war, and the reason they hate this president and are determined to destroy him.

Obama, pre-July 4th, rips Trump-fueled ‘nationalism’

July 3, 2017

Obama, pre-July 4th, rips Trump-fueled ‘nationalism’, Washington TimesCheryl K. Chumley, July 3, 2017

Former U.S. President Barack Obama, center, waves as he walks with his wife Michelle, left, and daughter Malia, rear, upon arrival for a tour at Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Obama and his family

To Obama, failing to fight climate change is tantamount to racism — not to mention silly sovereign politicking.

Trump’s “Make America Great Again.” Obama’s all about the world view. Trump’s “America First,” and all the other countries, second. Obama? Reverse that. Throw in some hefty taxes and spread the wealth — and then and only then, does America make the list.

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Barack Obama, never one to shy from ripping a Republican in the public eye, took occasion from his childhood hometown Jakarta to tear into President Donald Trump for — at root — having too much patriotism.

Call it Fourth of July celebrations, Obama style. America waves Ol’ Glory; Obama beats the global drum.

“The world is at a crossroads,” Obama said, to the Fourth Congress of the Indonesian Diaspora, The Hill reported.

 The overall theme of his message?

Countries ought not pursue sovereign national interests at the risk of the rest of the world. He was speaking largely of the Paris climate accord, and the need for global powers to embrace it.

But he was focused on those who stood opposed to joining it.

Hmm, wonder of whom he spoke? Could it be Trump, who’s flatly refused to jump on the Paris accord train?

To Obama, failing to fight climate change is tantamount to racism — not to mention silly sovereign politicking.

“We start seeing a rise in sectarian politics, we start seeing a rise in an aggressive kind of nationalism, we start seeing both in developed and developing countries an increased resentment about minority groups and the bad treatment of people who don’t look like us or practice the same faith as us,” he said, The Hill reported.

Of course, Obama didn’t use Trump’s name.

But just in case you missed the subtle hint, Obama also noted “the temporary absence of American leadership” on combating climate change.

The change in leadership style, post-Obama, present Trump, couldn’t be more different. Trump’s “Make America Great Again.” Obama’s all about the world view. Trump’s “America First,” and all the other countries, second. Obama? Reverse that. Throw in some hefty taxes and spread the wealth — and then and only then, does America make the list.

Thankfully, it’s Trump who won last November — not the Obama-light candidate of Hillary Clinton. That alone, heading into July Fourth celebrations, is fireworks worthy. Patriotic Americans have at least four years of being considered important, in the eyes of the White House — not just tools to advance a global agenda.

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.

Don’t Get Fooled, Trump Is Winning

April 7, 2017

Don’t Get Fooled, Trump Is Winning, Daily Beast, Matt Lewis, April 7, 2016

(From the Daily Pest, generally a far-left rag. — DM)

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Most political change is incremental. The greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled was convincing the world that his presidency was floundering.

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They don’t hold Rose Garden signing ceremonies when a governmental regulation is repealed. But if they did, Donald Trump’s still-nascent presidency would be getting a lot more respect.

While the media focuses on sexy topics—Russian spy intrigue, botched Muslim bans, White House palace intrigue, emerging foreign policy challenges, and the health care bill’s collapse—Team Trump has been quietly rolling back job-killing regulations and appointing a boring (by design), yet highly competent, Supreme Court Justice who almost certainly will be confirmed on Friday.

Despite evidence to the contrary, President Trump is making changes in his first 100 days that will affect America for decades to come.

One of his key weapons has been the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a 1996 law that allows Congress to repeal recent regulations. Before Trump took office, this law had been used just once. Since taking office, however, President Trump has signed 11 of these CRAs into law, effectively reversing several last-minute Obama-era regulations.

The window for using this tactic is closing; the CRA can only be used within 60 days of Congress being informed of a new regulation. But here’s where things have the potential to get very interesting: Once a regulation is repealed, agencies are also banned from issuing new rules that are “substantially similar” to the one that was just vetoed.

Behind the scenes, some shrewd Republicans are quietly toying with the idea of anticipating liberal regulations and preemptively introducing them. It’s like the PreCrime unit in “Minority Report.” A Republican Congress and president would effectively sow the earth with salt to prevent any future regulation from being introduced. It would be a bold gambit, but this would transform the CRA from a purely defensive weapon into an offensive one.

President Trump is also targeting regulations that aren’t susceptible to the CRA. Last week, he signed an executive order to thwart the “Clean Power Plan,” which President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency unilaterally instituted to curb carbon dioxide emissions (or kill the coal industry—take your pick).

Because this regulation isn’t recent enough to fall victim to the CRA, it will be harder to roll back. There will be court challenges. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

Of course, the most obvious evidence that Trump is changing the future is the Neil Gorsuch nomination. Supreme Court Justices are given a lifetime appointment, so it’s hard to overemphasize the potential impact of confirming a young nominee who shares your worldview. But this could be just the beginning. Rumors swirling about the possibility that Justice Anthony Kennedy might soon announce his retirement serve as a reminder that Trump could dramatically shift the balance of the Supreme Court for decades.

It’s also important to note that there is a link between judicial appointments and regulations. As I noted back in January, Neil Gorsuch has criticized Chevron Deference—an extra-Constitutional principle that says that courts should defer to agencies in terms of their interpretations of statutes. In the future, Republicans hope to move these decisions back into the purview of the legislative branch.

The rap on Trump is that he gets media buzz and attention but doesn’t do the work. But what if the story of his early administration is quite the opposite? While the media has focused on the shiny objects—the scandals and legislative failures—they have all but ignored the fact that the Trump administration has been quietly changing America. Whether by design—or by coincidence—Trump’s gains have been overshadowed by the chaotic, the urgent and the interesting.

In a world that fetishizes positive action and putting points on the board, there’s endless breathless play-by-play for a game where the trash-talking, flashy quarterback is sacked repeatedly. Meanwhile, the real action is taking place under the radar, where the team is assembling an impressive roster of defensive linebackers who can handle blocking and tackling in the trenches for years to come.

Although this stands in sharp contrast to Trump’s action-oriented rhetoric, it doesn’t lessen the fact that, slowly but surely, he is moving the country in a more conservative direction. There’s no telling how many federal judges, never mind Supreme Court Justices, he might appoint. There’s no telling how many bureaucratic regulations he might repeal.

Most political change is incremental. The greatest trick Donald Trump ever pulled was convincing the world that his presidency was floundering.

Syrian-American Reformer Commends Syria Strikes, Urges Vigilance

April 7, 2017

Syrian-American Reformer Commends Syria Strikes, Urges Vigilance, American Islamic Forum for Democracy, April 7, 2017

By reducing a dictator’s capacity to kill, we have a chance of re-establishing America’s position in the world as a moral authority, and we can begin again to re-commit ourselves to the sacred commitment of ‘never again,’ something Barack Obama failed to do.”

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The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) welcomes the news of targeted strikes in Syria, meant to send a message to Bashar al-Assad and his allies that the use of chemical weapons will not stand. Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, the son of Syrians who fled the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s father, today said:

“When news broke that the United States had begun a narrow campaign of targeted strikes against regime targets in Syria, I felt immediate gratitude – on behalf of my family members there, and for our country, which has watched in horror for six long years as the Assad regime has carried out mass torture and murder of its civilians. While I am hopeful that these strikes are indicative of a bolder, firm Syria strategy – I am under no illusion that they will end Assad’s murderous rule, or that any transition in Syria will happen swiftly or easily. In many ways, we who have loved ones in Syria, and we who care about the human condition – are taking what we can get here – with hope that there will be more, even bolder action in Syria. What this action by President Trump does indicate is that the needle of American policy in Syria is moving closer to being on the right side of history. To secure our place there, however, we must remain vigilant, remembering that a conflict with Assad is necessarily a conflict with Russia, with Iran, and with Hizbollah. These limited, targeted strikes should continue, focused on reducing Assad’s access to resources, especially weapons. Every reduction in his assets is a reduction in his capacity to murder and maim civilians. By reducing a dictator’s capacity to kill, we have a chance of re-establishing America’s position in the world as a moral authority, and we can begin again to re-commit ourselves to the sacred commitment of ‘never again,’ something Barack Obama failed to do.”