This is one of Bill Whittle’s best efforts, incisive as it is humorous. He makes the interesting point that the MSM’s biased suppression of relevant news is, itself, a form of fake news.
With the presidential debate almost upon us, this is the right time to think about the two candidates and America’s political situation.
The years to come will demand a strong president. The New York Times wrote an utterly ludicrous endorsement of Hillary Clinton, one that should be in the dictionary next to the phrase “damning with faint praise.” It basically concedes that she’s done nothing of note and says that the main reason to vote for her is that she’s been around a long time and holds the correct points of view.
While I disagree with the NYT’s conclusion (“vote for Hillary”), the sub-text that the NYT tries so hard to hide is accurate: Hillary is weak, not just physically, but also when it comes to accomplishments. To date, all she’s really done is use her husband’s fame to ascend the political ladder.
Hillary’s own people are desperately afraid of her physical and intellectual weaknesses, which is why they’re trying so hard to have the supposedly neutral moderators be her partners in the Presidential debate:
“It’s unfair to ask for Hillary both to play traffic cop with Trump, make sure that his lies are corrected, and also to present her vision for what she wants to do for the American people,” Robby Mook said on ABC’s “This Week.”
When pressed by host George Stephanopoulos that that’s “what a debater is supposed to do,” Mr. Mook said this case is “special.”
“Well, I think Donald Trump’s special,” Mr. Mook said. “We haven’t seen anything like this. We normally go into a debate with two candidates who have a depth of experience, who have rolled out clear, concrete plans, and who don’t lie, frankly, as frequently as Donald Trump does.”
“So we’re saying this is a special circumstance, a special debate, and Hillary should be given some time to actually talk about what she wants to do to make a difference in people’s lives,” he continued. “She shouldn’t have to spend the whole debate correcting the record.”
Think about Mook’s statements as you contemplate the fact that the American people, as much as anything, are watching to see how the candidates perform under pressure. Hillary’s team has already conceded that she cannot perform at all under pressure. How’s that trait going to work out when Hillary is in a face-off with Russia or Iran?
And there will be face-offs. As Victor Davis Hanson chillingly details, Obama’s eight years in office will have left us with a scarily dangerous world, one that requires strong American leadership if we are to survive in something resembling our historic self:
Russia has been massing troops on its border with Ukraine. Russian president Vladimir Putin apparently believes that Europe is in utter disarray and assumes that President Obama remains most interested in apologizing to foreigners for the past evils of the United States. Putin is wagering that no tired Western power could or would stop his reabsorption of Ukraine — or the Baltic states next. Who in hip Amsterdam cares what happens to faraway Kiev?
Iran swapped American hostages for cash. An Iranian missile narrowly missed a U.S. aircraft carrier not long ago. Iranians hijacked an American boat and buzzed our warships in the Persian Gulf. There are frequent promises from Tehran to destroy either Israel, America, or both. So much for the peace dividend of the “Iran deal.”
North Korea is more than just delusional. Recent nuclear tests and missile launches toward Japan suggest that North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un actually believes that he could win a war — and thereby gain even larger concessions from the West and from his Asian neighbors.
Radical Islamists likewise seem emboldened to try more attacks on the premise that Western nations will hardly respond with overwhelming power. The past weekend brought pipe bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey as well as a mass stabbing in a Minnesota mall — and American frustration.
Europe and the United States have been bewildered by huge numbers of largely young male migrants from the war-torn Middle East. Political correctness has paralyzed Western leaders from even articulating the threat, much less replying to it.
Neither of the candidates has touched upon these issues, and the president has disengaged entirely. Their disengagement, though, doesn’t prevent these issues from touching the US, the only question being whether that happens sooner or later. VDH, the historian, likens this summer to the one that predated WWI when nobody imagined the “the war to end all wars” was waiting to explode.
Regarding Trump, he hasn’t touched upon these issues because he understands that they’re not persuasive. That is, they’ll scare American voters, but it’s unlikely that they’ll make them more likely to vote for Trump. North Korea is something one tut-tuts about, but it doesn’t play well in the ballot box. Also, to the extent he’s not a policy wonk, if he doesn’t have briefings from quality advisers, he risks falling into media traps about the minutiae of these issues (as happened to Gary Johnson, when he totally blanked on Aleppo).
Despite his deliberate decision not to go there when it comes to the post-Obama world, the reality is that whatever else one thinks of Trump, “weak” is not one of the adjectives that comes to mind. Aggressive, persuasive, agile, manipulative, adaptable — those are all good adjectives to describe Trump. None describe Hillary.
So at the end of this last summer before the next world war, who would you rather have in the White House? The woman too physically frail and mentally rigid to participate in the usual presidential debate or the man who is sharp as a sword and as crazy as a fox (and who actually likes America)?
Ted Cruz announced yesterday that he will, in fact, be voting for Donald Trump. In the Facebook post explaining his decision to vote for a man who treated him and his family brutally during the primaries, Cruz made the same points I’ve been making for months: First, that Hillary is infinitely worse than Trump could ever be and, second, that Trump has been carefully refining his campaign promises to assure Americans that he’ll put on the brakes before Hillary takes us over the same cliff that Obama has relentlessly edged us towards for the past eight years. Here are Cruz’s key points, although I do urge you to read the whole thing:
Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance.
Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.
Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.
Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.
Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.
Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.
These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.
There are roughly six weeks between now and the election — and in those states that allow early voting, people are already casting their votes. We have very little time left within which people can make a choice between preserving what’s left of America or starting a Venezuela slide. At the beginning of August, I analogized our situation to that in The Bridge over the River Kwai. When a Facebook friend posted that the movie was being shown on PBS in our area, I went back, looked at the post, and decided that it’s good enough for a replay, although edited somewhat for clarity:
True confession: I didn’t watch the convention last night. Mr. Bookworm, whose politics don’t align with mine, got to the TV first.
I did read about it, however, and I came away with the impression that it was a blessing that so many turncoat GOP operatives stayed away. Frankly, operatives are dull. Instead, this convention put up real people, with real concerns.
Also, the Melania “plagiarism” is a tempest in a teapot. The only thing it’s good for is giving Leftist something to say. Their problem with last night’s convention is that, other than Melania’s borrowed phrases (something everyone in politics does, Joe Biden more than most), there’s nothing they can point out without making themselves look like racists, cop haters, law-breakers, or America haters. Put another way, if the only thing that Lefties can pick on is five or six borrowed phrases, it was a staggeringly successful first night.
You’re not a fascist demagogue if you’re arguing for a return to the status quo of 2006 or so. Victor Davis Hanson made an excellent point at the top of his list at National Review (a #NeverTrump bastion) detailing the ten reasons Trump might win:
I’ll be away all day tomorrow, first doing an activity with the kids, and then listening to this year’s best a cappella groups (although this wonderful group from Israel won’t be there). I therefore hope that this post gives you lots of interesting stuff to read on Saturday.
Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? Pro-GOP? Anti-GOP? Pro-Conservative? Anti-Conservative? Who the heck knows anymore? Trump’s ascendancy has caused normally staid, solid, and scholarly conservatives to become wildly partisan for or against Trump.
I was listening to someone explain a seizure yesterday, and he described it as all the neurons firing simultaneously and randomly. American conservatives are having a seizure.
Anyway, I thought I’d consolidate in one place some of the differing viewpoints about Trump and about how best to serve America over the long haul. As you know, my hot buttons are the Supreme Court; the Second Amendment; Israel’s security, because it’s the right thing to do and because Israel is the world’s “canary in a coal mine”; and naming and then fighting the evil that is fundamentalist, radical Islam. With those hot buttons front and center, I’ve switched from #NeverTrump, which was my position when the primaries were contested, to #NeverHillary.
My dream candidate is, and has been since 2013, Ted Cruz, but that dream is dashed. Here, in reality-land, I believe that the Republican party is dead whether or not Trump wins, and that conservativism needs to be re-taught to Americans from the ground up, just as they were taught Leftism from the ground up over the past 40 years, with the Leftist takeover of American education, news, and entertainment. If Hillary gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, destroy the Second Amendment, abandon Israel, and take policy advice from the Muslim Brotherhood figures who surround her (and even sleep with her for alleged health reasons) I think America will be too destroyed ever to rebuild.
I’ve assembled here a good collection of pro and con posts about Trump’s candidacy. I have no idea if reading all of them will clarify things for you or further confuse you, but they are all interesting:
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) May 4, 2016
A few points:
1. I think that, henceforth, we will no longer speak of “black swans” (i.e., utterly unforeseeable events that alter an otherwise predictable trajectory), but instead we will speak of “orange swans.”
2. Trump is a media creation. (UPDATE: And the media, having used him to drive others from the Republican field, will now destroy him.)
3. Just like the bizarre energy force in Star Trek’s “Day of the Dove,” Trump feeds on anger and other violent emotions.
4. Trump’s rise was inevitable once states created open primaries (which I rage against here in the context of Trump’s rise). Those who thought open primaries would drive states to the center were fools. Trump appealed to a coalition of angry, entirely disaffected liberals who have been furious at the way RINOs have subordinated conservativism to hard Left values (never mind that Trump espouses many of those same values) and to Democrats who agree with Trump about everything, including his racism. (And one doesn’t have to be racist to oppose our open border — but Trump’s Democrats seem to feed on the ugly racism Trump too often espouses.)
5. I’m tempted to vote for Bernie in the California primary, because if we’re going to Hell — meaning a nation that is no longer a free-market, constitutional entity — I’d like it to be a fast trip down. Sometimes it’s easier to recover from a sudden plunge than from a slow slide. Hillary will be a slow slide, as will Trump. [UPDATE: John Hindraker, in addition to saying that Trump won a definitive victory, is an anyone but Hillary voter. I would agree if I were certain the Trump would nominate hardcore conservatives to the Supreme Court. For me, the jury is still out on that one. After Trump suggested his sister, an ardent Leftist judge, for the Supreme Court, I got very, very worried.]
6. Ted Cruz fought one of the most brilliant rear-guard political actions I’ve ever seen. In four years, he’ll be a formidable opponent and, I hope, take the White House in time to get our country back on a Constitutional track.
UPDATE: I find it very hard not to agree with everything Larry Correia says.
As the world seems so deranged that the earth appears to wobble on its axis, it’s increasingly hard to look at the news, let alone contemplate it deeply. However, I have two articles to recommend. If you read only one thing today this is the one to read:
As of tonight, we might know whether Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential candidate. And barring unforeseeable events, it is certain that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Those are two reasons (of many, unfortunately) why — other than the first years of the Civil War, when the survival of the United States as one country was in jeopardy — there was never a darker time in American history.
The various major wars — the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars — were worse in terms of American lives lost.
The Great Depression was worse in economic terms.
There were more riots during the Vietnam War era.
But at no other time was there as much pessimism — valid pessimism, moreover — about America’s future as there is today.
Among the reasons are:
Every distinctive value on which America was founded is in jeopardy.
According to Pew Research, more and more young Americans do not believe in freedom of speech for what they deem “hate speech.” Forty percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 said they agreed that offensive statements could be outlawed.
According to a series of Harvard polls, 47 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 believe that food, shelter, and health care “are a right that government should provide to those unable to afford them.” That means that nearly half of our young believe they have a legitimate claim on the labor and earnings of others for life’s basic necessities.
More than half of young Americans do not support capitalism — the source of the prosperity they enjoy and the only economic system that has ever lifted mass numbers of people out of poverty.
When young Americans see pictures of the Founders, they do not see the great men that most Americans have seen throughout American history. They see white males who were affluent (now derisively labeled “privileged”) and owned slaves.
The belief that certain fundamental rights are God-based — a view held by every American Founder and nearly all Americans throughout its history — is reviled outside of conservative religious circles and held by fewer and fewer Americans.
The view that male and female are distinctive identities — one of the few unquestioned foundational views of every society in history — is being obliterated. One is deemed “a hater” just for saying that one believes that, all things being equal, a child does best starting out life with a married father and mother.
The ideas that America should be a “melting pot” or that all Americans should identify as American are now unutterable in educated company. Indeed, many college campuses do not have an American flag on their campus because some students regard it as “offensive” — representing imperialism and capitalism.
In addition, virtually every major institution is in decay or disarray.
Read the rest here. Dennis Prager warns that we can’t give up. You’re not really fighting if you’re already winning. You’re only fighting when there’s something at stake and you think you might lose irrevocably if you don’t give it your all.
And if you have the time to read two things today, read Victor Davis Hanson on the fact that Donald Trump is the true post-modern candidate:
If you feel as if we’re finally reaching the tipping point after more than 80 years of slo-mo corporate socialism (aka fascism), you are correct. Moreover, if you want to know how this tragi-horror story ends, you just need to look at Argentina, which was similarly situated to America economically, and which engaged in the same policies we’re pursuing now, only it simply speeded up the timetable.
If you can’t wait the 7 minutes to find out how the video ends, I’ll give you the short version: It ends badly.
I received the following email from a friend. I really can’t add anything to it:
I just read the most ungodly economically ignorant article I have ever read. . . . It even beats out the $15 an hour minimum wage arguments, which at least are based on rational fantasy. [Bookworm here: Or maybe not so rational.]
Let me set this up: Bernie goes to Brooklyn, where he rails against all of the evil businesses he means to destroy, starting with Verizon. Bernie claims that Verizon has paid nothing in taxes, and that it is time for Verizon to pay its “fair share.” (I am starting to become violent every time I hear the word “fair” at this point.)
Sayeth the Bern, “[Verizon] is just another major American corporation trying to destroy the lives of working Americans.”
Verizon’s CEO responds calling Bernie an economic idiot in none too veiled language: “The senator’s uninformed views are, in a word, contemptible.”
After laying out all the facts, including the pivotal fact that, while an NY subsidiary lost money and paid no taxes, the parent company paid over $15.6 billion in taxes in just the past two years, the CEO states, “Nostalgia for the rotary phone era won’t save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers.”
Wonderful stuff. The CEO’s letter is worth a full read.
Let me say up front that this column is not an embodiment of Godwin’s law, since I won’t say a thing here about Trump’s policy positions. I’m writing only because something Thomas Sowell wrote reminded me of an interesting historical fact that few people know about the elections that led to Nazi Germany.
Sowell’s most recent column attacks what he calls “the voice of the people fallacy,” under which Trump and his supporters assume that they speak for the majority of Republican voters:
We hear many fallacies in election years. The fallacy that seems to be most popular this year is that, if Donald Trump comes close to getting the 1,237 delegates required to become the Republican nominee, and that nomination goes instead to someone else, then the convention will have ignored “the voice of the people.”
Supposedly Republican voters would be outraged, many would stay home on election day, and some might even vote for the Democrats’ nominee, whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Mr. Trump has more than once made the veiled threat that he would run as a third-party candidate if the Republicans failed to “respect” him. And of course Trump would himself decide what “respect” means.
Insofar as the voting public believes the fallacy that choosing someone other than Trump is ignoring “the voice of the people,” when Trump has the most delegates, his threat carries weight.
It’s this belief — that Trump holds the majority of Republican voters in the palm of his hand — that is behind Drudge’s headlines about Cruz stealing primaries and the threat of chaos at an unprecedented contested convention. Before I turn to the “voice of the people fallacy,” let me quickly address the “Cruz stealing delegates” and “unprecedented contested convention” fallacies.
Back in 2008, I thought to myself “The new internet media, when combined with existing conservative talk shows and Fox news, will be what finally breaks through the old media’s stranglehold on information in America. Old media is — thank God — dying.” Old media got Barack Obama elected president.
Back in 2012, I thought to myself “For the past four years, the new-ish internet media has worked hard to get out to the public the news that the dinosaur media, concerned primarily with protecting Obama’s reputation, refuses to print. The internet hasn’t proven as powerful a force as I had hoped, but these stories ought to be enough to break through the old media’s stranglehold, enabling a serious challenge to Obama’s corrupt, inept, and unconstitutional time in office.” Old media destroyed Romney and got Barack Obama elected president.
In 2015, I thought to myself, “This is it. We’ve got an extraordinary selection of candidates. The public is tired of the direction the country has taken, and the Democrats have managed to summon up only a corrupt old white lady, a white nonentity from Virginia, and an old white Communist. The dinosaur media will find it impossible to elevate Hillary over the amazing Republican line-up.” The dinosaur media, with unprecedented help from Fox, gave Trump at least 25 times more coverage than the other candidates, amounting to an incalculably valuable in-kind donation. The result was a Republican candidate that the majority of America, including vast numbers of people to the right of center, wouldn’t vote for if their lives depended on it. In other words, the old media — with Fox’s help — got Trump nominated as the unelectable Republican candidate. Next, with help from Democrat super-delegates, the media will guarantee Hillary’s nomination and election (and no, she will not be indicted).
Bush didn’t, Obama wouldn’t, but the next president should: Call into the Oval Office the leaders of Muslim communities throughout America to say, “Because of the First Amendment, the fact that you and the people in your community practice Islam is irrelevant to us in America. Your faith is your business. What is relevant to me as leader of this nation is whether you support America or not. When all of you leave this office, you need to carry a single message to your communities: ‘You are either supportive of America or working to undermine America. If you’re in the latter category, you are on notice here and now that my administration will use every constitutional means available to track you, capture you, prosecute you, and imprison or deport you.’ End of story. Thank you for coming. Goodbye.”
Having got that off my chest, I’m about to engage in a speed round-up, because I’ve got about 40 articles — really good articles — to share with you.
A Cruz convert explains why. The most interesting point is that Trump started with something no other Republican has had since Reagan — vast name recognition.
Slowly catching on to the fact that Trump is the Republican Obama. I’ve been saying from Day 1 that Trump is a white Obama. He promises hope and change by using government power to shape America to his will. And let me say, that is my sole problem with Trump: That he’s all about big government, precisely as Obama is. I find that unacceptable. Jonathan Tobin is another one who’s finally figured out the whole Obama Doppelgänger thing.
Trump is a special interest candidate. And that special interest is Donald Trump.
Is the media sitting on big Trump stories? Ted Cruz thinks that there are some horrible stories to be told about Trump, which wouldn’t surprise me given his sordid personal life and . . . ah . . . colorful business life. Once Trump is the candidate, says Cruz, the media will “suddenly” discover stories that make Trump unelectable. I think Cruz is right because we all know the media, don’t we?
Trump’s enemy list makes me like him. George Soros has given money to 187 different special interest groups that are attacking Trump. (To be honest, a lot of them are attacking Cruz too. Indeed, on Sunday, I heard a New Yorker news hour on NPR during which the speakers agreed that Cruz is the more dangerous of the two leading Republican candidates because he actually believes in the Constitution.) In other words, here’s a list of 187 Soros-funded organizations that try to destroy anything conservative.
Will Trump win the nomination? Scott Elliott, an extremely astute election watcher and a man with a history of accurate election predictions, is not a Trump fan. He’s therefore created the “Stop-Trump-O-Meter,” which tracks the outcomes of state primaries and projects the outcome at the convention. Even if you’re a Trump fan, you’ll like Scott’s meter, because, if you ignore the name, it tells in a clear way where the candidates stand in the Republican primary.
If you destroy the polite people, you create room for the impolite ones. Glenn Reynolds points out that the GOP, RINOS, and the Leftist media establishment did everything possible to destroy the happy, tidy, law-abiding Tea Party. Now they’re horrified that destroying the Tea Party left rage in its place.
USA Today editors question Hillary’s fitness for office. USA Today, in its quest to be “America’s newspaper,” the one read in more hotel lobbies than any other paper, is careful about taking strong partisan stands. That’s why it’s impressive that the editors see Hillary’s penchant for secrecy, and the security-evading steps she took in pursuit of her paranoia, as a serious impediment to the presidency.