Trump is no better or worse than other recent presidents

Hand-wringing about Trump’s personality and private life — when compared to most other recent Presidents — is akin to complaining that a leopard has spots.

One of the things I hear from those who hate Trump personally is that he is worse than any other president who’s ever occupied the White House. Perhaps because I’m a history major, I have to disagree with that. We’ve had a lot of truly reprehensible people in the White House plus a couple of truly reprehensible people trying to get into the White House.

Woodrow Wilson was a model of rectitude in his private life. He was also an ardent racist who segregated the federal civil service, showed the KKK-loving film Birth of a Nation in the White House because he thought it was accurate history, used the excuse of WWI to bring fascism to America, and refused to step down when incapacitated, so that his wife effectively became president of the United States. Bottom line: Awful man, awful president.

Franklin Roosevelt, despite his disabilities, was a fairly compulsive womanizer, a habit he kept up while in the White House. Many people also feel that his innate antisemitism helped enable the Holocaust.

Roosevelt’s bottom line: Awful man, effective president if you like the Leftward tilt he gave the country, and a good wartime leader.

Harry Truman was also a model of rectitude in his private life, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he came up politically through the completely corrupt Pendergast political machine that dominated Missouri. Maybe he kept his nose clean but the reality is that, when you play politics with the corrupt big boys….

Truman’s bottom line: Decent man, decent president. A rarity

John F. Kennedy was disgusting. He got into the White House because his father made a deal with the union bosses, whose last-minute get-out-the-vote effort (in a style only the union bosses know how to do), tipped the balance for him. In exchange, one of Kennedy’s first acts was an executive order unionizing federal employees. Even ardent Leftist Franklin Roosevelt didn’t do that, because he understood that the unions and the politicians would simply throw taxpayer money back and forth at each other, which is precisely what has happened since 1961. Without that dirty deal, it’s doubtful a Democrat would ever have won the White House again. After all, the biggest spenders in every election are always government unions and it’s always on behalf of Democrats.

Kennedy was also a gravely ill man (get it? gravely ill because he had Graves disease) and a drug addict, hopped up on steroids and amphetamines. There were also all the pain medications for his lifelong back problems, which were compounded by the back injury he sustained during the war.

Kennedy’s compulsive womanizing was sickening. We learned recently that deflowered a 19-year-old intern, passed her around to “service” his buddies at the White House, and when he thought she was pregnant, sent her to an abortionist even though that was illegal and Kennedy was a Catholic. We’ve also known for years that he potentially put himself under the control of the mafia thanks to his affair with Judith Exner.

His handling of the Bay of Pigs was a disaster.

Really — and ironically — the only thing that saved Kennedy’s presidency, or at least the reputation of his presidency, was his early demise. Let the Democrat myth-making begin. . . .

Kennedy’s bottom line: Awful man, with a presidency too short to grade.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was also a truly disgusting man. I love this intro from a 1998 Atlantic article about Johnson:

URINATING in a sink, inviting people into his bathroom, showing off his abdominal scar, exposing his private parts: after a while nothing surprises a biographer of Lyndon Baines Johnson. After fourteen years of research for a two-volume biography, of which the second volume, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, I have, however, found some new evidence, in three areas, that even by Johnson standards is surprising.

That intro doesn’t even mention his sadistic delight in forcing people to do business with him while he was having his bowel movements. Or his racism, for while there may  have been actual principles behind his push behind the Civil Rights Act, he definitely envisioned chaining blacks to the Democrat Party. I remember my father’s revulsion about the fact that Johnson liked picking beagles up by the ears which my father, a man who didn’t even like dogs, thought was unspeakably cruel.

Regarding those “revelations” in the Atlantic article from which I quoted, above, most of them have to do with Johnson’s feelings about the Vietnam War and his political manipulations. Still, I found this bit telling:

Johnson had “an unfillable hole in his ego,” [Bill] Moyers says. Feelings of emptiness spurred him to eat, drink, and smoke to excess. Sexual conquests also helped to fill the void. He was a competitive womanizer. When people mentioned Kennedy’s many affairs, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose.

Johnson’s bottom line: Awful man who worsened an awful war (it took Nixon to save that) and who proved to be an ineffective leader for a country besieged by overt and covert communist influences.

Nixon was another man who was faithful to his wife, but we all know about his paranoia and political dirty-dealing. Nevertheless, he was an extremely effective president before he left office.

Nixon’s bottom line: Deeply unpleasant man, yet a truly consequential president in terms of his policy initiatives, both good and bad.

Jimmy Carter, was a man of rectitude who eventually proved also to be a man who never met a dictator he didn’t like. Moreover, he was (and continues to be) such an ardent foe of Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, that one can only suppose antisemitism. It was Carter’s hatred for Israel that led my father, a Democrat, to vote for Reagan in 1980.

Carter’s bottom line: Decent man if you like smug, moralistic antisemites, and one of America’s worst presidents.

Speaking of that 1980 election, how about Teddy Kennedy, the venerable “lion of the Senate”? Manslaughter, alcoholism, compulsive womanizing, sexual assault, and colluding with Russia. There’s a peach of a man.

Teddy Kennedy’s bottom line: Awful in every respect.

Reagan was a decent man while in office. Nevertheless, I recall that when Reagan ran for the presidency, many people were distressed by the fact that he was a divorced man entering the White House with his second wife. It’s worth noting that Trump, another divorced man in the White House, and someone who definitely played the field, has not given rise to any “cheating on Melania” stories since he was elected. (I also find unconvincing the hysteria about the whole “grab ’em” uproar.) Given the colonoscopy level of scrutiny to which Trump is being subjected, I suspect he, unlike many of the presidents in this list, has not used the White House as a cat house. As every romance writer will tell you, rakes can reform.

Reagan’s bottom line: Decent man despite a divorce that could still upset people in 1980 and one of the best presidents to ever occupy the White House — and that’s true despite problems, both of his own making and the making of others, that plagued him during those eight years.

Bill Clinton. Compulsive womanizer, probable rapist, possible pedophile (on Jeffrey Epstein’s Pedophile Island), and unbelievably politically corrupt, along with his even more corrupt wife. Do I need to say more?

Clinton’s bottom line: Utterly reprehensible human being, who had a successful presidency, although it planted a lot of time bombs, such as North Korea, the housing mortgage crisis, punting on rising Islamic terrorism, that bit us in the ass later.

Barack Obama. No matter what Biden says, Biden Obama ran one of the most corrupt White Houses in American history, culminating with his using his administrative agencies to spy on Republican campaigns. (And yes, I’m certain he spied on all of them. It simply became focused on Trump when Trump won the primary.)

There were also the little things that ought to have distressed everyone during the Obama era, such as his inviting hate-filled, misogynist, antisemitic, anti-American rappers to the White House. There was the constant racial division that poured out of him (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” “The police acted stupidly.” Etc.). There was his increasingly openly expressed hostility to Israel, something that paired well with the openly anti-Semitic people who’d been a part of his political life for decades. He is the political Godfather of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. I could go on, but I think the next two years will do a good job of exposing just how bad Obama was.

Obama’s bottom line: It’s hard to say whether Obama has been a morally decent man personally. The press kept (and still tries to keep) such a tight lid on everything about him, before, during, and after the White House, that we really don’t know Obama the man. We do know that he’s a race baiter, an Israel hater, and a friend of antisemites, so to me that makes him an awful man. He was also an awful president, keeping the economy in chains, getting America into multiple wars, destroying our military, unleashing the malevolent Arab spring, turning on (admittedly unsavory characters) such as Mubarek and Qaddafi, pandering to Putin . . . the list is endless.

And now we’ve got candidate Joe Biden, a former Vice President and perennial senator, whom many of those who hate Trump are claiming represents the last gasp of “normalcy.” Speaking of “normalcy,” don’t forget that the phrase comes from Warren G. Harding, an adulterer and the man who had the most corrupt presidency right up until Obama appeared on the scene.

Let me count Joe’s sins: The obvious sins are that he’s a plagiarist, a liar, an unbelievably creepy man around woman and an even more creepy man around little girls, a racist (Obama is “clean”? Really?), a gaffe machine, and a man whose every political instinct for decades has been wrong. Cleverly, Biden hasn’t amassed great wealth despite a long career in politics (Harry Reid, anybody?) but as the developing Ukrainian and Chinese scandals show, that his merely a cover for his extreme corruption: He used his government power to enrich his son.

Joe also announced his run by claiming that foreign leaders are begging him to run. Does that sound good for America? It doesn’t for me. I’ve yet to see a foreign president who puts America’s interests first.

And most importantly, is all of the above “normal?” No. Joe is not normal. He’s weird, creepy, and dishonest. That’s the bottom line on Joe: Stupid and icky.

All of the above is not what-aboutism. That is, I’m not saying, “Well, sure, Trump lies . . . but what about. . . .?” “Or sure, Trump cheated on his wives, but what about. . . .?”

I’m trying to say something different, which is that, while the White House is certainly a bully pulpit, I don’t view it as an actual pulpit — because, since Washington, it never has been an actual pulpit. Moreover, the last guy I can think of who was both a model of rectitude and an extraordinarily successful president was Calvin Coolidge, who got elected 99 years ago.

I certainly don’t quarrel with those who claim that a job requirement for a president is that the president should be able to comport himself on the world stage, but I don’t confuse that requirement with moral decency. Moreover, Donald Trump does fine on the world stage. Trump, who’s been a top-of-the-world businessman for decades is, in fact, quite comfortable functioning at those rarefied echelons. Moreover, as I noted above, since Trump got elected, there haven’t been bimbo eruptions, there haven’t been nasty rappers, there haven’t been divorces . . . there haven’t been any personal scandals. He doesn’t drink or do drugs. Within the White House, he is a man of rectitude.

To the extent Trump is a sinner and a liar and a bombastic man, the laundry list I made above shows that America has never needed, and has seldom had, men of stunning moral rectitude and character in the White House. Moreover, those men who have had the best character in recent years were nothing to write home about. Jimmy Carter was arguably that man and he stank as a human being and a president. The two Bushes were arguably those men and they too were mediocre presidents at best.

Good men can be ineffective executives; bad (not corrupt, but just yucky) men can be effective executives. In my house, I want a good man; in my White House, I want an effective executive — and one, moreover, who loves America and Americans. That’s Trump.

Random thoughts on the unfolding Russia Collusion hoax

With Barr promising to investigate the Russia Collusion Hoax, it’s a good time to think about the motivations driving those who masterminded the hoax.

Yesterday was another day spent pulling out ivy, a process I found so exhausting, I couldn’t write last night. Not writing, though, doesn’t mean not thinking. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Russia collusion hoax, especially about what drove the major actors to do what they did. After all, even if they thought the risk was minimal because they were banking on a Hillary victory and doing their best to ensure that victory, the power players knew that what they were doing was both illegal and immoral. That’s a pretty big hurdle for otherwise law-abiding people to make.

To get to my answer, I’ll start by looking at what they did (and mine is a slightly different focus than most others), and then I’ll try to answer the question about what powered these people’s engines. Here goes….

I suspect that several of you, like me, remember the Watergate scandal. For any of you young’uns reading this, way back in 1972, while acting on behalf of Nixon and his innermost circle, a bunch of former government operatives broke into Democrat National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex to steal information related to the election.

To give what they did some context, the equivalent act would be for some former 49er football players, acting at the behest of the current coach to break into Seattle Seahawk headquarters to steal the coaching book for the upcoming football season. It’s an aggressive form of cheating in the midst of a fiercely fought rivalry.

With that in mind, we can see that there are some parallels to Watergate in the Russia collusion hoax and some things that differ wildly. It’s easiest to start with the obvious difference, which is that the Russia Collusion scandal did not involve outsiders acting only once to steal a playbook. Instead, it involved permanent government employees embedded deeply in our entire security apparatus — the FBI, CIA, and DOJ — working in concert for months. Watergate was kindergarten and this was post-graduate work.

Moreover, unlike Watergate, after Trump was elected, this collusion scandal morphed into a full-blown government coup intended to take down a duly elected American president. That the Left — from the DNC, to the media, to the people down the block from me — looks upon this complacently instead of with horror tells you that the Left no longer has any allegiance to America, American values, or the Constitution. Every Leftist, no matter where situated, is enthusiastically embracing tin-pot banana republic tyranny. There are no words for how sad and how dangerous this is.

Interestingly, though, I haven’t heard anyone articulate what information these bad actors were seeking in the run-up to the election. I know this sounds like a stupid observation, and it may well be. The obvious answer is that these bad actors were seeking evidence of Russian collusion in order to create an October surprise that would bring down Trump’s candidacy.

The thing is, though, that you and I know that, while a few true believers may actually have thought that Trump and/or people within his inner circle were working in concert with Putin, the reality is that the big bad actors — Comey, Brennan, Clapper, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Priestap, etc. — knew perfectly well that there was no collusion. They knew this because (so far as we know) the only proof they could bring to the FISA court to justify spying on Trump was the Steele dossier.

We also know that these same Deep State players were able to “verify” the Steele dossier only by leaking its existence to a reporter and then, in a nice example of bootstrapping, using his subsequent report to bolster the dossier’s bona fides. Otherwise, there was no evidence whatsoever supporting the hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay accusations in the dossier. So, no, the Deep State inner circle knew that there was no evidence of collusion sufficient to justify spying on Trump.

That being the case, there were only two things they could have been looking for in the months leading up to the election when they attacked the Trump campaign using six different spying methodologies: The first thing they were probably doing, although  no one has talked about it, was engaging in a purely Watergate-type escapade. That is, they used the instruments of state to go after campaign strategies, private polling results, lists of voters, etc. That would have been bad enough and, indeed, worse than Watergate, given the nature of the actors, the scope of their investigation, and the amount of information they stole.

The second thing they were doing, though, was even worse: They brought America’s entire spying apparatus to bear on the Trump campaign in the hope that they might find an October surprise. In other words, America’s vast, all-powerful, potentially Stasi-like surveillance system was put to use for a fishing expedition against a presidential candidate that the unconstitutional fourth branch of government (that is, the permanent bureaucracy), as well as the president sitting at the head of that fourth branch of government, opposed.

This in turn leads to two questions further questions: First, considering that everyone thought Hillary had a lock on the White House, why would these Deep State players feel the need to spy on Trump? I think they did so because of what an old colleague of mine used to call the “belts and suspenders” mindset. In other words, even if your belt is doing a fine job holding up your pants, should there be even the slightest chance your pants might fall down, you can put on suspenders too.

The “belt” for these Democrat Party operatives was that Hillary polled well and that Trump was a brash outsider with no political experience (except, of course, for working with and against politicians and bureaucracies for 40 years, of course). Given that data, their pants seemed stable. But….

There was the little problem of tens of thousands of people turning up for Trump rallies, while tens of people, or maybe hundreds of people, showed up for Hillary’s rallies. Suspenders seemed called for, just in case.

What the Deep Staters were doing can therefore be likened to the “double tap” that shooters — whether they’re good guys or bad — use against their targets. If you’re a professional doing a job, you make damn sure the job is done right, and that’s true whether your work is legal or criminal.

Second, why did these permanent bureaucracy operatives dislike Trump? I think there are three ways to view this.

Some of it was class based. (Think of Kurt Schlichter’s Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy.) The brash, outspoken Trump was just too tacky — and his supporters were worse. “Deplorables” as Hillary called them. Or as Strzok said, “I can smell them at Walmart.” I bet Strzok pulled this face when that “smell” assaulted his nostrils, knowing that he was on his way to making their votes irrelevant:

Some of it was definitely policy based differences. These guys were Democrats and they wanted to see the Obama legacy continue. They knew, as did every person who voted for Obama and intended to vote for Hillary, that Trump was going to do his best to stop and reverse Obama’s policies. Where Obama opened our borders, Trump would close them. Where Obama squashed our economy, Trump would free it. Where Obama demoralized law enforcement, Trump would respect it. Where Obama turned our military into an under-funded Leftist therapy group, Trump would turn it back into the world’s finest fighting machine. Where Obama coddled Muslim terrorists, Trump would grind them into dust. You get the picture. These Leftist bureaucrats liked the Obama status quo. They wanted Hillary.

Mostly, though, I think it wasn’t love or hate or even politics that motivated our criminal bureaucratic class. It was fear. Trump ran on the promise that he would shrink the government that was sucking up American wealth and (as the Russia collusion hoax itself proved) destroying American liberty — for what can be more liberty destroying than wiping out free and fair elections? These people, therefore knew that two things were at stake for them, and they are the two things that routinely lead people to lie, cheat, steal, and kill: Money and Power.

Money (including those all-important government pension benefits) will always be a driving force in human behavior. In fact, though, I don’t think it was the main driver here. The people who masterminded what began as a major cheat on a fair election and then morphed into a full-blown coup knew that they could get money elsewhere. After all, whether in the Democrat-run media or in a private sector staffed by people who all graduated from the same Leftist academic institutions, they were all eminently employable.

What the Deep State operatives really risked losing was power. Their power optimum would be if Hillary won. She knew their secrets and they knew hers, in a merry waltz that would keep them circling the ballroom even as America collapsed around them.

However, even if a Republican other than Trump had won, they still would have maintained their power. Again, they knew the secrets of all the usual Washington players. They also understood that the usual Washington players, no matter the party and no matter their alleged fealty to “shrinking the government,” once they got a seat in Congress or a state house, never shrank government. Sure, a few regulations here and there or a few low-level jobs might go, but nothing that would threaten these power players. Republican or Democrat . . . government always grew.

But Trump, ah, Trump was a different animal altogether. He was an outsider who had a long-established reputation for cutting through things: He cut through red tape, he cut through bad business deals, he cut through realty-TV, etc. If he said he would do it, he did it and he did it damned efficiently. When Trump said he was going to shrink government, they knew in their guts that their power base was about to be destroyed. This was their own personal Defcon 1 event, one that, in their minds, readily justified jettisoning every American law and principle.

Anyway, the above is what I think Barr’s investigation, if it is an honest one, will reveal.

Of course, the biggest question of all is the one that also ties back to the Watergate years:

There is no doubt in my mind that President Obama was in on this, whether at the very beginning, when he wanted to ensure Hillary’s victory or sometime after the election, when he wanted to ensure a re-do. In other words, Obama was either amenable to using the instruments of government to cheat in a presidential election or was amenable to bringing down the United States government because his anointed candidate lost.

I hope Barr has the courage to answer Sen. Baker’s question. I think the American people deserve to know.

(I know that some of you are troubled by trolls in the comments. I therefore want to remind you that Disqus allows you to block those people, even when I cannot do so thanks to their weasel tactics with IP addresses. To block someone, look to the far right of their name, where you will see a little down arrow. Click on that arrow to bring up a menu. One of the choices is to block that person. It’s such an efficient blocking mechanism that you won’t even see them showing up in your emails.

Incidentally, I recommend using this very sparingly. Getting outside our bubbles for a debate about ideas or an exchange of facts if a good thing. I use this only for people who are obscene and abusive without any offsetting value.)

Trump is not Right Wing because America has no Right Wing

American conservatives, Trump included, by definition cannot be Right Wing, because their primary goal is to lessen government control over the individual.

John Lott wrote an article challenging the media’s contention that the New Zealand mosque shooter is “right wing” and, naturally, tying that right-winged-ness to President Trump and his supporters. Lott based his challenge on the fact that the shooter’s manifesto, aside from some trolling about Trump and Candace Owens, aligns perfectly with the Left’s ideology and is utterly unrelated to Trump’s words or policies. It’s a good article and I recommend it.

I want to head in a slightly different direction which is to say, as I have said before, that there is no Right Wing in America, meaning that neither Trump nor his supporters can or should be smeared in that way. Moreover, there is almost no relationship between ostensible conservatives outside of America and those of us in America who identify as conservatives. We are entirely different breeds. I have a tendency to be wordy, but I’ll try to keep this as streamlined as possible.

I’ll start with the absolutely true statement that there are only two forms of government: Bigger Government and Smaller Government. No matter the label affixed to the governing entity, it’s either Bigger, which means fewer individual rights, or Smaller, which means more individual rights. This is true whether the government is a monarchy, an aristocracy, an oligarchy, a republic, a democracy, a theocracy, a junta, or whatever. It’s not the label that matters; it’s the amount of government control versus individual liberty. Of course, socialist governments, whether denominated as socialist, communist, or fascist, are all Big (indeed, Biggest) Governments by definition.

“Right Wing” and “Left Wing” are purely European concepts, dating to the French Parliament in the lead-up to the French Revolution. The people to the right of the Speaker were monarchists; the people to the Left were revolutionaries in what came to be understood as the socialist mold. Both sides demanded Biggest Government with total control over the individual.

The battle between Bigger Government political powers raged in Europe through the 19th century and continued in continental Europe right into the 1930s. During that decade, the two rising political movements were both socialist. One socialist movement, communism, demanded nationalizing all private property as party of its Biggest Government plan. The other socialist movement, fascism, agreed to leave private property in private hands, provided that the government called the shots. It was therefore still a Biggest Government ideology.*

Another quality inherent in Bigger and Biggest Government is the need for more and more territory. This is necessary for two reasons: First, governments are invariably poor economic managers. Immediately after nationalizing, there’s a flood of money, but as the free market dries up, the money stops flowing. Taking new territory brings in new wealth. Second, as Bigger and Biggest Governments inevitably become more totalitarian and despotic, they can avert people’s attention from their failings and cruelty by creating scapegoats and stirring up war fever.

The only thing that separated Hitler’s fascism from other socialist movements was that he infused it with his insane racial theories, whether about alleged Aryan superiority, the other races’ alleged inferiority and, most specifically, the Jewish race’s alleged sub-humanity, which required extermination. As was true for any Big Government, he hungered for world domination. He added to that the Muslim policy (and Hitler adored Islam) of enslaving those who couldn’t or wouldn’t get with the Nazi program and wiping out Jews entirely.

Hitler and the Soviet Union are gone, but Europe is in many ways the same as it was in the 1790s and the 1930s. In Europe, no movement advocates for “power to the people” (or, more accurately, “individual liberty to the people”). All we see across Europe are different political parties arguing that they are the better Biggest Government For The People. European political parties are, in other words, the direct descendants of the French Revolution.

Sadly, Britain and its former colonies (except for America, but more about that later), have become infected with Europeanism. They all went socialist after WWII. Once having done that, they lost the idea of individual liberty. Whether in England or New Zealand or Canada, there is no argument about Bigger Government versus Smaller Government. Instead, as with Europe, the only arguments are between political groups that promise that their Biggest Government will be better than the other party’s Biggest Government.

America is entirely different. The genesis for America’s revolution was England’s Glorious Revolution in 1688. That Revolution was followed in 1689 by a written Bill of Rights. It contains many of the components we see in our Bill of Rights. If you’re wondering why, then British people no longer have those inherent rights, that’s because Parliament, in an effort to quash America’s nascent Revolution, pulled a switcheroo, and said that, while the King owed his subjects those rights, Parliament did not. That’s why Brits can go to prison for criticizing Islam, but (so far) Americans cannot. That’s also why Brits are denied arms, even when fighting off armed intruders in their own homes, while Americans (so far) still can.

The American Revolution was pickled in the 1689 Bill of Rights. Even as the French Revolution was in full flower, with two totalitarian ideologies squaring off against each other in a welter of blood, America had taken those Rights, expanded them, and enshrined these marvelous inherent individual liberties in her Constitution and Bill of Rights. These rights truly are about “individual liberty to the people.” Every single one is geared towards Smaller Government. Each describes inviolable areas of individual rights into which the government cannot intrude.

Since its inception, then, America’s political parties have not replicated the European pattern. That is, it’s never been about this Biggest Government party fighting that Biggest Government party for total control. Instead, the fight in America has always been between those who value the Constitution and therefore want Smaller Government and those who resent the Constitution and therefore want Bigger Government.

What all this means is that America definitely has a Left Wing. American Lefties, just like those people who sat to the Speaker’s left in the 1789 French Parliament, want a non-aristocratic, non-monarchic government, but one that nevertheless holds all power while individuals hold none. Barack Obama perfectly described the mindset of this American Left Wing when he complained that the Constitution is “deeply flawed,” “imperfect,” and imbued with a “fundamental flaw.” He later clarified that the problem was that the Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties.”

To the true Leftist — to the Obamas of America — America’s Constitution fails because its primary purpose is to prevent Bigger Government. Robespierre and Marat would have approved of Obama’s viewpoint. Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Washington would not.

As I pointed out above, though, America does not have two parties battling for totaling government dominance. Thus, while it has a Left Wing, just as other nations do, America does not have a Right Wing: The political party and people opposing Leftists are not arguing for a Bigger Government, albeit a different Bigger Government than that which the Leftists (aka Progressives or Democrats) demand. Instead, unique in the world, those opposing America’s Leftists demand Smaller Government.

Seen in this light, Trump, for all his bombast, is the perfect exemplar of American Small Government constitutionalism. Since the day he entered office, he has worked to shrink government.

Trump wants to shrink the regulatory state, which is an unconstitutional fourth branch of government that embodies Bigger Government. He wants individuals to keep their money, not have America’s police power grab it for government coffers that politicians, bureaucrats, and cronies can abuse. He does not believe America must be the world’s policeman or, worse, the world’s nanny. He is therefore ending the Wilson Doctrine, something that arguably has no place in the 21st century. Trump is working to reinstate the Rule of Law, starting at America’s border, something that exists, not to serve government, but to serve individuals.

Most importantly (I think), Trump believes in the inviolability of the individual right to bear arms. He understands that individuals are safest when the government fears them, rather than when they fear the government. In other words, while Obama and his ilk are classically Left Wing, Trump, and those who support what he is doing, are the antithesis of Right Wing.

Additionally, to the extent Right Wing is used as doublespeak for racist Hitlerites who want to enslave the world, Trump and his followers cannot possibly fall into that category. Even if some of them, including, solely for the sake of argument, Trump himself, have bad motives (hating blacks, LGBTQs, Muslims, etc.), this hatred is meaningless if the political party has willingly abandoned the engines of power necessary to effectuate those bad motives.

One last thing: For those wondering why American Republicans and conservatives (who seek Smaller Government and therefore cannot be Right Wing) are routinely labeled “fascists,” thank Leftists in academia for that. After Hitler left Europe in ashes, socialists in America and Europe needed to do everything possible to disassociate Hitler and his fascists from socialism. They therefore began to teach that fascism was Right Wing and that conservatives/Republicans are Right Wing . . . and therefore they are Hitlerian fascists. As George Orwell knew, it’s amazing what you can do if you control language.

And yes, the above was long, but I did cover more than two centuries of history and most of the world’s continents.
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*England was anomalous in the 1930s because it still had something of representative democracy with individual liberty. However, the growing Labour movement (i.e., the rising socialist, Bigger Government movement) frightened many in the old landed classes. They had never trusted democracy and still yearned for a Bigger Government aristocracy. Seeing that this was not coming back, they were willing to throw their weight in with fascism because it would allow them the illusion of private property not to mention the money a fascist government was willing to pay private owners, in the form of retained profits, for ceding actual power to the government.

#DearFellowJews: a hashtag to help a #Jexodus (or #Jexit)

Jexodus (or Jexit) asks Jews to leave an increasingly anti-Semitic Democrat Party, something I’m trying to facilitate with tweets to my #DearFellowJews.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news of late, you can’t have missed stories about anti-Semitism. For example, for many years now, France has periodically been roiled by grotesque anti-Semitic murders, including one that happened in connection with the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, in January 2015.

I mention that massacre specifically, because it was an event that lifted for Leftists American Jews, even if ever so slightly, the veil hiding the anti-Semitic rot at the heart of the Democrat Party. As you may recall, in January 2015, Islamists committed a mass murder at the headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo because it had dared to mock the eminently mockable Mohamed. Two days later, a member of the same radical Islamist community entered a kosher market in Paris, took hostages, killed four people, and injured nine.

The massacre did not occur because anyone in the Hypercacher market had mocked Mohamed. No one had, of course. The only reason the Hypercacher massacre happened was because Islamist murderers always use the opportunity of a massacre to include a few Jews. Thus, when Islamists committed the exceptionally bloody Mumbai massacre, they wasted resources deviating from their central massacre just so that they could torture to death a rabbi and his wife who had a small Chabad House in Mumbai.

In a way, this Muslim massacre technique (a big massacre that includes, as a sideline, brutally killing a few Jews) is comparable to Hitler’s Holocaust: For Hitler and Germany, the primary goal was world conquest. However, just as was the case with the Islamists, Hitler’s anti-Semitism was so all-encompassing that he willingly diverted resources from the main goal to accomplish a secondary goal that was neither ancillary to nor necessary for world conquest. Indeed, it lessened the chances for world conquest, but Hitler couldn’t stop himself.

But I digress. This is not a post about rising anti-Semitism around the world. It’s just a prelude to a post about rising anti-Semitism in America and, more specifically, about the anti-Semitic rot at the heart of the Democrat Party . . . which brings me back to the purposefully anti-Semitic attack on Jews in the Hypercacher market in Paris.

Obama, by then well into his second term as President, had something to say about that event: He casually remarked that the Hypercacher victims were “a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris” whom terrorists “randomly” shot. It was bit of cavalier word-play manifestly intended to hide the fact that the dead and wounded were not just a “bunch of folks in a deli” nor was their shooting random: It was a deliberate, targeted anti-Semitic attack.

Those of us paying attention to Obama in 2008 were not surprised by this cavalier attempt to cover up manifest anti-Semitism within Islam. We knew about the Los Angeles Times hiding “a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat….” We knew that Obama ran with a hard Left crowd that celebrated the “Palestinians,” who are carpetbaggers who came to the Holy Land in the mid-19th century and considered the Jews, whose ties to the Holy Land extend back in an unbreakable march of over 5,000 years, to be interlopers.

These examples, though, informed only those few Jews paying attention. This stalwart 22% of American Jews refused to vote for Obama in the 2008 election in significant part because they knew that Obama came in with a slimy trail of anti-Semitism in his wake.

When we tried to raise this anti-Semitism with the 78% of Jews who were unbelievably excited about Obama, they dismissed us as paranoid. The Khalidi bash was mere rumor because no sensible newspaper would ever sit on something as newsworthy as that. As for the anti-Semites with whom Obama traveled, well, hadn’t every president made kissy faces with Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson and Al “Diamond Merchants” Sharpton?

We were also told that Presidents can’t always choose their followers so we shouldn’t take it too seriously when they have some extremists backing them — a bit of wisdom that vanished when a minute speck of white supremacists threw their backing to Trump who had never attended secret racist meetings but had, instead, won awards for his work benefiting the African-American community.

Almost immediately, Obama’s nascent presidency exposed a few more problems our president had with Jews. In his first major overseas appearance, Obama went to Egypt subtly implied that Israel came into being, not because of her 5,000 plus years in that land, but because of the Holocaust — a grotesque canard that Muslims advance to support their claim that they are victims of the Nazis too: That is, were it not for Europe’s guilt about the Holocaust (which Muslims claim never happened), the Western imperialists would never have dumped white Jewish Zionist supremacists onto the beleaguered, victimized Muslims.

Obama’s slimy anti-Semitic associations also followed him right into the White House. Immediately after his first inauguration, Obama’s beloved Reverend Wright, who hated America, made it patently clear that he didn’t like Jews either. But again, the 78% of Jews who voted for Obama told us we were hypersensitive, paranoid, unfair, and unrealistic about how the world works.

As Obama’s years in the White House began to add up, those of us Jews who were suspicious never had anything to allay those suspicions. Instead, we saw him treat Benjamin Netanyahu like trash (and we saw Veep Joe Biden do the same. Moreover, we didn’t like it when Clinton treated her opposite number in Israel like a whipped child. And those Jews paying attention got really worried when Obama went out of his way to court Iran, which has as a central part of its government platform the genocidal destruction of Israel. It didn’t get better when Obama shipped pallets full of cash to Iran and lifted sanctions in exchange for . . . nothing. But . . . “world peace!” we were told.

People noticed things and, by 2012, the 22% of Jews who distrusted Obama in 2008 expanded to 31% — but that wasn’t enough to stop him then and still hasn’t been enough to stop the Democrats now.

Funnily enough, though, for all those Jews who were cavalier about Obama’s actions towards Israel and his sleazy acquaintances, Obama’s remark about some random folks in a deli hit close to home. I think that’s because every Jew I know has stories of relatives who died in or survived the death camps. These relatives weren’t some random folks who happened to be caught in a Nazi dragnet. They were people whom the Nazis killed solely because they were Jews. And for Obama to say that the people in the Hypercacher market died randomly, unrelated to their Jewishness . . . well, that bugged a whole lot of Jews who had forgiven Obama much more serious acts of active or passive anti-Semitism. Of course, by then, Obama was on his way out of the White House, so it didn’t matter anymore.

But still, it was an opening; it was the thin edge of the wedge. It raised in people’s minds the concern that the American Left really might have an anti-Semitism problem. And even while too many Jews joined the rest of the Leftists in donning pink hats and marching down the streets with obscene signs, Jews across America have noticed — have been forced to notice — that the Women’s March has been taking over entirely by people who are open in their loathing, not just for Trump, but for Jews. And by people who venerate Farrakhan who likened Jews to termites and called them Satanic. (And don’t forget Bill Clinton’s willingness to stand side-by-side by Farrakhan at Aretha’s funeral.)

And then there’s Ilhan Omar. She’s pretty and she’s very articulate in intersectionality victim-speak. But people, especially Jewish people, started noticing that Omar obsessively kept making rancidly open anti-Semitic statements. In a way, she is as compulsive as the Charlie Hebdo murderers who couldn’t stay away from Hypercacher, as the Mumbai killers who couldn’t leave the rabbi and his wife untouched, or as Hitler who compulsively undermined his own war effort just to kill the Jews.

People also noticed all of Omar’s “sorry, not sorry” fake apologies. And they’ve been noticing that the Leftist media, including the New York Times, has been spinning like a top to cover for Omar’s remarks: If only the Jews wouldn’t give her a reason to be anti-Semitic, if only AIPAC weren’t all about the Benjamins, if only people would understand her intersectional suffering, if only this and if only that.

And Jews have noticed, oh, boy! have they noticed, that the Democrats in Congress have been incapable of doing to Omar what the Republicans did to Rep. Stevens King the moment he awkwardly said something even vaguely supportive of white supremacy — they slammed him against the wall, stripped him of committee assignments, and made it clear that the disavowed everything he said, might have said, might not have said but sounded as if he said, etc. But not the Dems. They stand with Ilhan. She’s still on a prestigious committee that can see her doing massive damage. Moreover, they’re compulsively watering down the language of their “we stand against anti-Semitism” statement so much that it’s a statement against nothing at all, except that Congressional Dems really disapprove of Islamophobia, especially when it intersects with people being castigated for anti-Semitism, or something….

So I’ve been tracking all those things today on Twitter, first by saying “Dear Fellow Jews,” and then by actually creating a #DearFellowJews hashtags. Here are my tweets:

One of my Twitter friends even got into the act:

I wish others would follow Yosef Cornfeld’s example.

Here’s the thing: As I’ve often said before, people will go along believing in a certain worldview until something very personal breaks through for them. I turned conservative in large part because (a) public radio kept lying about Israel and (b) it was obvious that welfare incentivized illegitimate babies. Once those two things created overwhelming cognitive dissonance, I turned away from my old Democrat Party allegiance.

For my Mom, her “turn away” moment was the media’s lie that Michelle Obama was a the new Jackie Kennedy. For Brandon Straka, who created the “Walk Away” movement, it was seeing video proving that Trump had not mocked a handicapped reporter. Once he saw one Leftist media lie, he knew there were more. For increasing numbers of African-Americans and Hispanics, it’s seeing that Trump’s policies, by keeping out competition from illegal aliens and letting businesses keep money to grow jobs, are benefiting not hurting them.

Once something breaks through the cognitive dissonance in which the Left seeks to confuse and then bury people, it’s over . . . for the Left.

In the title to this post, I used the phrase #Jexodus. That’s not mine. I stole it from SultanKnish:

A high pressure media campaign has rolled out across major papers, the New York Times, the Washington Post, not to mention the usual digital media smear sites, normalizing and defending Rep. Omar’s anti-Semitic comments.

The Progressive Caucus is standing by her. As is the Congressional Black Caucus, which has met with Farrakhan, and has its own issues with anti-Semitism. Look for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and some of her cohort, which have defended Omar’s anti-Semitism, to start claiming the heads of some of her Jewish critics, like Rep. Engel, as the Corbynization of the Democrats get underway.

The Corbynization of the Democrats will leave Jews with few options as the party turns not only anti-Israel, but overly anti-Semitic, as Corbyn’s Labour has. And it’s important to note that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and her DSA mothership are Corbyn allies.

When the process is properly underway, only the most radical leftists of Jewish origin, who are willing to work non-stop to defend anti-Semites, will be able to remain in the party.

Meanwhile the Jexodus momentum is slowly building. The process is partly generational. It will decisively split millennials between Jewish and leftist allegiances. There will be plenty of leftists with Jewish last names vocally defending the DNC’s anti-Semitism, but they will not consider themselves Jewish, except where briefly politically convenient, whose those who identify as Jewish will leave.

This will be a slow and ugly process. Jexodus would make it quicker. It’s the difference between leaving Egypt and having to be expelled.

If you’re on social media, please help the Jexodus (or Jexit, if you prefer). Using hashtags, write #DearFellowJews posts and explain to them the beauty of #Jexodus and #Jexit. It’s time, because if Jews wait too long, every day will be Hypercacher day somewhere in America.

(Regarding the photo for this post, you can read here)”>here the story about this amazing moment in Jewish freedom.)

North Korea negotiations reveal media’s ignorance

The pause in North Korea negotiations reveals that the media is locked in a dangerous imaginary world where negotiations play out like bad old-time movies.

To date, the stupid Leftists in the media have been trained like Pavlov’s dog to expect “a win” whenever there’s a summit with a foreign leader. Past presidents have always emerged from the meetings with “a deal,” even if that deal was either illusory or, worse, gave away the store.

Media hacks therefore have no template within which to fit an actual negotiation, such as the one Trump is conducting with North Korea. That’s why we end up with these headlines (to which I will not hyperlink):

Trump-Kim Summit’s Collapse Exposes the Risks of One-to-One Diplomacy (New York Times)

Trump Kim talks: What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse? (BBC News)

Trump Cuts North Korea Summit Short After Talks Collapse (iHeart News)

Will nothing go right on this trip? Officials have to manually push stairway from Air Force One after they broke down in Vietnam – just like Trump’s disastrous summit with Kim Jong Un (Daily Mail)

Hanoi summit collapse could be ‘big blow’ to North Korean leader’s pride, experts say (ABC News)

Summit Collapse: How Trump’s Hanoi Talks With Kim Unraveled (Bloomberg)

Aside from the Borg-like repetition of the word “collapse” (those “journalists” must all drink coffee around the same cooler), the collective media is displaying its inability to see beyond a Hollywood moment. You know what Hollywood moment I mean.

To the media, every negotiation is one of those old black-and-white films in which the leaders of two nations on the brink of war are sitting around a conference table, exhausted, their ties loose, their shirt sleeves rolled up, five o’clock shadow on their faces, ash trays stacked with cigarette stubs. If they walk away, the negotiation is over and the world explodes into war. Then, suddenly, our hero rushes in with a brilliant idea or a piece of breaking news. Instantly, the stalemate is broken, the joyous negotiators dance around the room, and the hero and his girl fall into each other’s arms, the world once again saved.

That’s certainly the stereotype past presidents played into with their announcements about “successful” summits — even if it meant spelling success “caving in to foul dictators.” You’d think we would have learned back in 1938, after the Munich (“Peace in our time”) Agreement between Hitler and Chamberlain that this is not how the real world works. But, egged on by an ever credulous media, we’ve learned nothing.

Thankfully, Donald Trump does not live in a Hollywood movie nor is he moved by the brigade of media stupid Leftists. Instead, Trump lives in the real world of real deals — and one of the absolute necessities of pounding out real deals that benefit all parties (especially yourself) is a willingness to walk away from the table. As he explained in a press conference, “Sometimes you have to walk.”

Kim tried to offer Trump this deal: North Korea promises to de-nuclearize in return for the U.S. actually getting money into the broken North Korean economy. This is, of course, the same deal every past president has made with North Korea, and the outcome has always been the same: North Korea broke its promises even as the Americans fulfilled theirs to enrich North Korea’s coffers. Incidentally, it is also the same deal that Obama made with Iran, with exactly the same result. It’s a fool’s deal, intended to keep the media happy. It’s also the classic definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.

Indeed, in the CBS story about the pause in negotiations, the reporter makes this telling admission: “The summit was truncated, to the surprise of the press, with the elimination of a lunch and a signing ceremony previously on the schedule.” (Emphasis mine.) I’ll bet the press was surprised. That’s not part of the usual Hollywood script.

Thomas Lifson, not only one of the best political thinkers out there, but also a former Harvard Business School professor back in the day when that still meant something, explains what Trump was really doing:

President Trump wisely sent North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, back to Pyongyang from Hanoi, where he can tell the generals and security police commanders, on whose support he depends, that they are not going to get sanctions relief without giving up their nuclear arsenal.

There is every sign that this outcome in Hanoi is a predictable stage in the process of obtaining consensus among the North Korean ruling class that they must give up on the strategy of confrontation and isolation, with their survival guaranteed solely by nukes, and instead open up to the outside world and the prosperity market economies can generate.

[snip]

President Trump abundantly signaled that he is not in a hurry for a deal — any deal — at the expense of getting a suboptimal result. He set the expectation that, while optimistic about eventually getting to his goal of denuclearization, it might be a longer process than the short attention span media would prefer.

Aside from the practical realities behind Trump’s willingness to pace the deal to get what he wants, Lifson hones in on the idiocy of the word “collapse,” which implies that the negotiating parties parted ways with recriminations and threats in the wake of complete failure. To the contrary:

It is clear from Kim’s language that the talks didn’t “collapse” into bitterness and a refusal to proceed. Both leaders remained cordial and continue to affirm their mutual goal of getting to a deal. So far as I have been able to discover, this was the first time a North Korean leader has ever faced a press conference with Western media asking questions. That in itself is a significant factor in opening up North Korea to the process of getting toward acting as a normal country does. It is a long process, to be sure, but this is a step in the right direction.

Lifson explains as well that, while Kim has the appearance of a total dictator, that’s not true. Even the worst dictator in the world needs a cadre of people loyal to him who will be his attack dogs to protect their own turf. Before he can do anything, he needs to assure his loyalists that they will benefit from the deal. Otherwise, the sword of Damocles that hangs over every dictator’s head (“Sic semper tyrannis“) has a habit of falling, even if only to make way for the next generation’s brutal tyrant.

Trump has patiently been prepping for this moment for a long time. He knows what he wants — North Korea must give up its nuclear weapons in fact, not just in theory. He also knows what he can offer in return — North Korea’s return to the community of nations, along with Trump’s willingness to hold off on using his even bigger nuclear arsenal.

Returning to the community of nations is a huge carrot for an isolated, impoverished country in which even the supreme dictator lives in chronic fear. Holding the talks in Hanoi was a brilliant idea because it is the living embodiment of a way station on the road to true prosperity. Two years ago, I blogged about the thrumming economy in Vietnam and that’s nation of shopkeepers idea is going to seem more accessible to the North Koreans than suddenly promising they’ll be Switzerland. Kim knows Switzerland, for he went to school there, but he’s not a fool and knows that his country needs a slower trajectory.

Having laid the groundwork, Trump, the most experienced practical negotiator ever to sit in the Oval Office, is going to be patient and do it right: Kind words for his negotiating partner, strong positions on core issues with flexibility on ancillary issues and, always, the manifest willingness to walk away from a bad deal.

Some people, including NeverTrumpers have launched a different attack on Trump. They are saying that it’s an absolute disgrace for Trump to treat Kim respectfully because Kim has so much blood on his hands. Yes, it’s absolutely true Kim has blood on his hands, but he’s also got functional nuclear weapons in his arsenal. Given that latter reality, we have two choices: negotiations or war. At this stage, negotiations are still a lot better than war.

If we agree that negotiations are the way to go, we again have two choices: a good outcome for the U.S. or a bad outcome. Trump wants a good outcome and he’s smart enough to know that he will get this, not by insulting and demeaning Kim, but by appealing to Kim’s ego. It’s not clear if stupid Leftists, in or out of the media, or NeverTrumpers understand this, but people who live in the real world do understand that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you’ve ever read Dale Carnegie’s brilliant How to Win Friends & Influence People, which was originally published in the mid-1930s, you may remember that he opened the book by talking about “Two Gun” Crowley, a murderous gangster who was captured in New York in 1931 after a two-hour shootout with police. Crowley was an incredibly dangerous man who thought nothing of killing people, especially police.

Carnegie, however, added an interesting coda to the story of Two Gun’s capture:

But how did “Two Gun” Crowley regard himself? We know, because while the police were firing into his apartment, he wrote a letter addressed “To whom it may concern.” And, as he wrote, the blood flowing from his wounds left a crimson trail on the paper. In his letter Crowley said: “Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one—one that would do nobody any harm.” (Carnegie, Dale. How To Win Friends and Influence People, p. 4. Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.)

Two Gun wrote those words just hours after gunning down a police officer in cold blood. Even as he was being led to the electric chair, Two Gun denied being a murderer and insisted that he was acting in self-defense. Carnegie points out that Al Capone saw himself in the same light — not as a cold-blooded murderer and bootlegger, but as someone just doing good for his fellow man. The infamous Dutch Schultz also explained in an interview that he was doing good.

According to Carnegie, a letter he received from Lewis Lawes, who had been Sing Sing’s warden, these famous criminals were just like their criminal brethren:

[Lawes] declared that “few of the criminals in Sing Sing regard themselves as bad men. They are just as human as you and I. so they rationalize, they explain. They can tell you why they had to crack a safe or be quick on the trigger finger. Most of them attempt by a form of reasoning, fallacious or logical, to justify their antisocial acts even to themselves, consequently stoutly maintaining that they should never have been imprisoned at all.” (How To Win Friends and Influence People, pp. 4-5.)

That is human nature and Carnegie fully understood that, human nature being what it is, you get nothing by interfering with people’s best view of themselves:

If Al Capone, “Two Gun” Crowley, Dutch Schultz, and the desperate men and women behind prison walls don’t blame themselves for anything—what about the people with whom you and I come in contact?

John Wanamaker, founder of the stores that bear his name, once confessed: “I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”

Wanamaker learned this lesson early, but I personally had to blunder through this old world for a third of a century before it even began to dawn upon me that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.

Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.  (How To Win Friends and Influence People, pp. 5-6.)

I would not be at all surprised to learn that, just as Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (the substance of which Trump heard every Sunday while sitting in the pews at Peale’s church) strongly influenced Trump’s thinking, so too did Dale Carnegie’s seminal book. You can use verbal abuse to try to force people to bend to your will but, if you want people voluntarily to give you something, you have to be nice. And that’s what Trump is doing with Kim — he’s being nice, not just to pander to Kim’s tyrannical ego, but to allow Kim to save face, and be the big man, even as he gives up his only ace in the hole.