Part of why Donald Trump is sucking the life out of the other conservative candidates’ campaigns is that the media gives him wall-to-wall coverage. The media always does that for the candidate it wants to win. This means that the media wants Donald to win the primaries. So let me ask you this: Has the media ever supported a candidate who will help conservative values in America? If you answered “no,” I agree with you. So why are so many conservatives enthusiastically supporting the media-backed candidate?
The one thing about Trump that I will happily acknowledge is that one of the reasons (really, to my mind, the only reason) he is so popular, separate from media hype, is his refusal to apologize. The other candidates would do better if they mastered this mindset. The other day, Kasich reminisced about 1978, a time when most women still weren’t working, something he said differs greatly from today. When Wolf Blitzer pushed him for an apology for daring to use the words “women” and “kitchen” in the same sentence, Kasich did so — despite not having done anything wrong.
Everyone knows that Donald Trump, in the same position, would have told Blizter to go Eff himself, a much more appropriate response. That doesn’t mean Trump will be a good president, but it sure makes him a satisfying candidate for people who have, for decades, Republicans crawl on their collective crawl bellies to apologize to the media for things they didn’t do.
Which gets me to Ted Cruz. It’s no secret that Cruz’s fellow Senators dislike him. Part of that is because he calls them on their failure to abide by the conservative principles that put them into office (more on that later), and part of it is because he’s smart enough and focused enough to be nasty, really nasty. Having been warned for years about his nastiness, Cruz has spent this entire campaign season trying to be nice. His timing is wrong. This is the year for him to be himself — show his anger, show his refusal to play the game, but ally it with the strong constitutional principles that Trump lacks. Senator Cruz: If you want to win this year, stop trying to be nice; get angry!
Speaking of those non-conservative Republican Senators, they represent a phenomenon that happens to every institution: The institution begins to take on such importance that the members, who draw their identity from participation in that institution, will put aside their own belief systems and supporters in order to ensure that the entity continues. The moment you elevate the entity over the individual, you have a proto-statism that is antithetical to liberty. It happened with the Catholic Church, which birthed the Leftist Pope Francis, and it’s manifest in Congress, an institution that has shifted so far Left that even ostensible conservatives would rather support Congress’s Leftist biases than the principles on which they campaigned. Anything for the entity.
Here’s a question for you: Why today’s Leftism is so much uglier than past Leftism? I mean, we all love Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,, despite knowing that Frank Capra was a left-leaning Democrat. The difference, back in the 1930s and 1940s, was that, aside from the hardcore Communists at the center of American Leftism, most of the people who embraced the Left were Leftist-lites. They actually loved America and her potential. They just felt she wasn’t achieving that potential fast enough and that the way to achieve the true Norman Rockwell America was from top-down government mandates.
Today’s Leftists hate America. To them, the Norman Rockwell vision is one of racism, misogyny, homophobia, rape fantasies, imperialist impulses, Christian fanaticism, etc. They don’t want to see America become its best self. They want to see it destroyed.
One of the ways Leftists have achieved this dystopian view is through politicizing everything. Nothing is seen on its merits anymore. Take for example the question of phonic versus whole-word reading. In a sane world, the fact that the former works and the latter doesn’t would be sufficient to put the matter to rest. In Leftist world, the question is inevitably enveloped in a cloud of accusations about racism and sexism, with wild claims about different racial and gender learning styles, all of which are destroyed by institutional discrimination.
What’s ironic is what happens to the children who emerge from an educational establishment riven by the relentless politicization of everything from reading (phonics is racist) to arithmetic (blacks and women can’t be expected to deal with absolute answers, preferring fuzzy feel-good stuff over the reality that 2+2 will always equal 4) to the food on the menu (kids should eat salsa because Ketchup is a racist sign of white hegemony, except that only Hispanic kids are allowed to eat salsa because for anyone else to eat it is cultural appropriation): Raced in this swirling mass of random, invasive political discourse, today’s children eschew rebellion. Instead, they are Stepford Children who have absorbed completely the teaching of their revolutionary administrators and faculty.
Even the ones acting out on college campuses aren’t original. They’re feisty, something that is much more fun than memorizing historical dates or scientific principles, but they march unthinkingly to the party line foisted on them since pre-school. Think about the kids you know: Their idea of rebellion is vaping, hooking-up, and drinking, rather than challenging the intellectual status quo that the adults in their lives — especially in their classrooms — are feeding them. They’re not original revolutionaries. They are, instead, the Leftist establishment drones. In this regard, little separates them from Iran’s famous child soldiers of the 1980s, who were so heavily indoctrinated that, clutching their plastic keys to Paradise as they headed into battle, they brought fear even to Iraq’s most hardened generals.
And who are America’s fundamentally uneducated, non-analytical, unquestioning, dangerous little Leftist drones supporting in 2016? Bernie, a man who espouses a political principle that has failed wherever and whenever tried, whether that failure occurred with a bloody bang or a weaselly whimper.
I have a conservative friend who likes Bernie, though, for one very specific reason: Bernie is an absolutely honest ideologue.
Hillary has proven that, while she’s hitched her life’s wagon to the Leftist star, her only true fixed principle is Hillary. She will say and do anything in service of herself.
Although Trump is being treated as the Republican “outsider” version of Bernie, he is in fact that male equivalent of Hillary. Trump’s political opinions seem to be tied much more closely to conservative polls than to conservative principles.
Even Ted Cruz is being untrue to himself. While he is undoubtedly a completely committed constitutional conservative who loves America (and that’s why I support his candidacy), he’s trying to campaign as a meek and mild guy whom everyone should like. Cruz needs to come out soon as what he really is: The authentic Cruz is a smart as shit guy who can run intellectual rings around anyone, and who will be cowed neither by the media nor the political institutions in Washington.
But back to Bernie. Like Cruz, Bernie is he’s a true believer. His faith in big government remains untouched by Soviet Gulags, North Korean concentration camps, imprisoned Cuban dissidents, collapsing European institutions, and any of the other utterly predictable ends for socialist governance. As my friend said, Bernie is our political Man of La Mancha — intellectually honest and completely crazy.
Don Quixote makes for a great classic (and tragic) novel, but is that really what America deserves? Well, maybe. As Mencken said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
Finally, a comment on the cost of big government and human productivity. My husband, bless his heart, earns a nice living, for which I am grateful every minute of every day. As for me, because I followed the traditional female path of dropping out of the job market in order to raise my family, my work doesn’t sell for a very high price. Nevertheless, because I’m good at what I do, when my clients need a hand, they still call on me. I accept the work, not because I want to do it or because I need to do (thank you, Mr. Bookworm!), but because my clients are also my friends and they’ve asked for my help.
Last year, I helped a client take two cases to trial between January and the end of June. I worked 40-50 hour weeks while still caring for my household (including three teens) and my mother. During that half year, I ended up earning less than a fifth of what my husband earned for an entire year of work (with his hours ranging from 20-60 hours per week. and with 100% of his energy devoted to work, because I took care of everything else).
Because of my husband, my earnings were taxed in a higher bracket than they would have been otherwise. I also had to pay around 14% in social security taxes. The net result was that my accountant said “You shouldn’t bother working. It’s not worth it for you, personally, to expend the effort in order to have only about $10,000 left untouched by the government after six months of work.”
One could argue that, because my husband and I together earn a very decent salary, I shouldn’t cavil about the fact that our collective wealth is subject to a high tax rate. That’s certainly true. But I also value my time. To work 700-800 hours — very hard, stressful hours — for only $10,000 would be a good use of my time only if I desperately needed the money (in which case I would do any moral and legal work, and consider it good). Since I don’t need the money (for which I am grateful), I’m not going to work this year if I can help it.
You can applaud or denigrate my personal calculations. But let me ask you a larger, societal question about the economic decision the tax code drives me toward: Is it worth it to society if I work?
The answer to that question requires two sub-questions: First, do I provide a product or service that benefits society? Yeah, I know that some of you are thinking “the fewer working lawyers the better.” But the fact that I’m a productive member of society should count for something, shouldn’t it?
The second question is does the government earn more or less depending on whether I work? I think the government is killing the goose that lays the golden, or at least a pretty copper, egg. It’s true that this year the government gets most of what I earned. Next year, though, it will get nothing at all. Wouldn’t the government have been better off getting a smaller amount, but with some assurance that I will continue to work and provide that small amount annually? I am the Laffer Curve.
One more thing about those disincentives to work. I was at a local chain drug store yesterday. The manager and I got to talking about foreign travel. He said that he and his family had enjoyed a great trip to Mexico a few years before. “And you know what? Those people in Mexico speak better English than my employees do.” He’s certainly right about his employees’ deficient English language skills. They don’t understand what I say and I don’t understand what they say, which is a disincentive to go there.
I opined that money is a great incentive to mastering skills. For those in Mexico plying the tourist trade, good English means more money; for those in his store, good English doesn’t affect either their earnings or their job security. The incentives were different. He seemed surprised to have the matter stated that way.