Trump’s Tribalism

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

A friend and I have been discussing what presently holds America together. It’s a grandiose question full of dire import (the end of the Republic, the death of America) and the potential for overwrought hand-wringing and silly wishful thinking (if only we had a George Washington!).

Both Left and Right and had staked out their territory on their respective positions and demographics. As of 2016 we seemed heading towards a turning point: would the Left finally triumph in a definitive sense? Was this the Flight 93 election? The tribes were well-established, the battle lines drawn, but then along came Trump who not only rewrote the political playbook, but re-framed American politics and national identity. What has he done?

Whither Have We Come? Whither Shall We Go? 

From the start, America was a pragmatic and propositional nation. The early colonies didn’t exactly get along with each other. The constitutional convention was called for out of necessity, and the resulting constitution bears the marks of compromise. To call the American founding purely pragmatic, though, would be to miss the significance the Founders and their compatriots placed on ideals (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) and the importance of sound character (Never tell a lie. Early to bed, early to rise…etc.). Bereft of these propositions,  Americans feared a descent into tyranny.  The Founders were optimistic, though wary of human failings.  The Constitution itself was designed to keep human ambitions and passions in check but was not sufficient to curb abuse. Men must be self-governing. As Lincoln put it some years later, “If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher.” The American experiment could work if Americans remained good citizens. Continue reading

The Politics of Victimization: Trump Beats The Left At Their Own Game

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A recent hack from Gucifer 2.0 has revealed that the DNC has intentionally sought to minimize the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the Democratic Party. In an effort to contain the virulence of these activists, the DNC has recommended that its operatives and politicians listen politely to the activists but limit their influence. The memo also instructed candidates to advocate policies that “rebuild the relationship between police and community” by exploring ways to reform police training and limit abuse. The position clearly leans towards the “cops are guilty” mentality, but also demonstrates the DNC’s unwillingness to let their radicals get out of line.

This, of course, prompted a reply from BLM: “We are disappointed at the DCCC’s placating response to our demand to value all Black life. Black communities deserve to be heard, not handled. People are dying.”

No surprise there.

And of course, this underscores Trump’s message: the Democrats don’t care about African Americans, they just care about the votes of African Americans. Consider the fact that for decades the Democrats have controlled some of America’s biggest cities and African Americans still languish in the ghetto. Something isn’t working and Trump’s saying as much. While the liberal media has gone ballistic over this, they refuse to countenance the fact that they, not hick Republicans from the midwest, bear responsibility for the state of the inner cities. African Americans, more than anyone else, have suffered in countless ways over the past decades under Democrat rule and now under the Obama administration (the slow “recovery” has hurt them more than most). If a black Democrat in the Oval Office can’t help his own people out, why not take a shot with the billionaire? Oh, and the alternative? Hillary: a woman whose husband oversaw the slashing of welfare benefits and a dramatic increase in black incarceration. And yet the Democrats still maintain a chokehold on the black vote. The irony: before emancipation the Democrats owned the black vote (3/5s per slave) but now they completely own the black vote (one whole vote per person!).

But Trump actually wants to change that and he’s forcing the Republicans, who have for too long disregarded the black vote as not worth the effort, to actually acknowledge the barriers that confront African Americans. Trump is insisting that the GOP stop talking about abstract freedom, and limited government as the panacea for everything, and actually make a case for how they will make things better for Americans, including minorities. Truth is he has always talked about making America as a whole great again, now he’s just playing the left’s game and emphasizing minorities who are part of that thing called America.*

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Kissinger: Realism in Theory

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Say what you will about Clinton, at least she has the sense to pay heed to the demon Kissinger. I may like Bernie’s non-interventionist ways (and that’s about the only thing I like other than the fact that he channels the crazy uncle), but his hating on Nixon’s right hand man is sophomoric at best (Bernie: “Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country.”). It is rather amusing: a socialist Jew hating on a socialist-killing Jew. Blood doesn’t run thicker than water, apparently. Continue reading

Bernie’s Economic Safe Space

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Whenever I see Bernie Sanders speaking I simply picture him wearing a wizard costume with loose and floppy sleeves flapping around his wrists as he waves his arms overhand at the audience in an attempt to invoke some magical spell on them. So far, the old alchemist seems to be convincing people he can accomplish his craft. Bernie has made many people confident that he can turn dirt into gold and then throw it out on the waiting masses by the overflowing handful. It’s an effective method of electioneering. Many leaders throughout history have used the bread and circuses method, and, sadly, it appears that most of our juveniles never read Juvenal. Traditionally it has never been very difficult to get a following of people when you’re offering free stuff. Despite young people’s skepticism concerning religion, they do seem ready to believe a fiery preacher offering miracles. I don’t doubt Bernie’s good intentions, but his socialistic goals are not very feasible economically speaking.

There are two fatal issues with Sanders’ promises to Americans. The first is his offering of free education, despite the already plummeting quality and rising costs of college in the US. The second flaw is his hard-nosed approach to banks and corporate America. Bernie is very good at pointing out the problems, but his solutions only travel further down the road of impracticality, revealing a complete lack of reasonable implementation of his views. I’ll dig into both issues and try to explain what I mean. Continue reading