The Bookworm Beat 5/13/16 — the “to Trump or not to Trump” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I’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:

The brilliant Kurt Schlichter:  Hillary is much worse than Trump, so clutch the barf bag and vote for Trump.

The brilliant Maggie Gallagher:  Trump has already abandoned the culture wars by accepting the Progressive narrative; he’s the economic equivalent of Herbert Hoover; and he’s utterly untrustworthy.

The brilliant Bruce Kesler:  Hillary will be worse than Trump ever could be, and our loyalty must lie with protecting America, not with protecting the GOP.

The brilliant David French:  Trump’s core values on just about everything are progressive, and he is often a grotesque and cruel conspiracy theorist.

The brilliant Jonah Goldberg:  Trump is heading a non-conservative cult of personality, and major Republican figures are deliberately falling head-first into its hellish vortex.

The brilliant Bruce Thornton:  The fight over Trump obscures the real issue, which is America’s looming financial crisis, something that is much worse than anyone will acknowledge.

The brilliant Ron Radosh:  Trump is a dangerous nationalist, protectionist, bent on destroying true Republican conservativism; at least we know what we’re getting with Hillary.

The brilliant Steven Hayward:  If the American government had stuck to its real job instead of sticking its nose and our money into everything, everywhere, we wouldn’t be having Trump or Bernie moments.

The brilliant David Horowitz:  We’re still recovering from the damage Jimmy Carter did, and that’s despite Reagan’s efforts at repair.  Do we really want to repeat the experiment with Hillary in the hope that something better comes along afterward?

The brilliant David P. Goldman, aka Spengler:  I wanted Cruz, but since I can’t have him, the hard fact is that, no matter how bad Trump is, Hillary is infinitely more dangerous on three of the most important issues:  the culture wars, the existential war against Islamism, and the economy.

The brilliant James Taranto:  Members of the #NeverTrump movement are starting to sound like the kind of shrill, angry, derogatory people they’ve always despised.

The brilliant Larry Correia:  Trump, who is awful, will be destroyed, so accept a Hillary presidency, which will also be awful.  We’re screwed.

The brilliant Zombie:  If you hate Trump, wait until you see the other Trump haters.  Zombie has a photo essay of the creatures who crawled out of rocks to protest Trump during a recent appearance in the Bay Area.  [Bookworm here:  Looking at these protesters, I’m inclined to think “whatever you’re against, I’m for.”  Indeed, when a stupid, anti-American, hard-Left young Swede of my acquaintance said he loathes Trump, it actually made me want to run out that very second and vote for Trump..]

Trump and the Heritage Foundation.  If Trump wasn’t just blowing more smoke, and really does intend to look to the Heritage Foundation for guidance when it comes to nominating Supreme Court candidates, that would definitely allay some of my fears about him.  As I mentioned above, the Supreme Court’s composition is one of my hot buttons.

And I mean it — Hillary hates the Second Amendment.  At Reason, they think Hillary’s fight against guns is doomed.  I’m not so sure.  In Venezuela, no matter how much the government takes, the people are (mostly) passive.  I wonder if law-abiding American gun owners will be sufficiently roused to protect their rights before those rights are gone forever.

Because there’s always room to attack Israel, the Obama administration, which has avoided the whole “lame duck” problem by entirely ignoring both Congress and the laws it enacts, is doing its best to worsen Israel’s situation in the most dangerous neighborhood in the world.

The Citadel holds the line.  The Citadel has refused to allow a Muslima to wear her hijab.  It’s the absolutely correct decision as a matter of principle.  As Orthodox Jews have always understood, you have to make sacrifices for your faith, rather than demanding that the society around you get in lockstep with orthodoxy’s stringent demands.  In addition, the young woman at issue is a total loser:  According to CAIR, the gal was “in tears” when she learned the Citadel wouldn’t be in her future.  Who needs a weepy wuss like that at a disciplined military training ground?

Islam’s (and Muslims’) sick, sick relationship to women and sex.  I won’t elaborate.  Just read Sultan Knish on the subject.

Islam is a mental illness.  Sultan Knish takes on the fact that whenever a Muslim commits an “Allahu Akbar” murder, we’re assured that the problem isn’t Islam, it’s mental illness.  Say that often enough, and it starts to look as if Islam is, or causes, mental illness.  Robert Spencer makes the same point, with different examples, and his own inimitable style.

Stupid cisgendered Bible.  I’ve always read the Bible as being pretty clear about there being two sexes:  male and female.  One Catholic institution in Southern California, though, has decided that the Bible must be wrong, and has denominated as a “hate crime” the statement that there are two sexes.  Another gift to the world from those Leftists who insist that they’re the party of “science.”

Damn that cisgendered Captain America.  His manly heterosexuality is destroying a thousand gay fantasies.  Incidentally, this is one of the problems I’ve had with homosexuality ever since a friend of mine came out of the closet:  For too many gays and lesbians, everything in their lives is viewed through a sexual filter.  Thus, no one is ever a great science teacher who happens to be gay.  Instead, he’s always a gay man who happens to be a great science teacher.  The focus is in the wrong place.

The media is manipulating you.  You already know that the media is manipulating you.  Even knowing that, though, you should see Raymond Ibrahim’s disturbing post showing just how much you’re being manipulated. He graphically points out that the same media that went crazy over the photo of a single drowned toddler routinely hides hundreds of photos of brutally slaughtered Christian children who had the horrible luck to be born in Muslim territory.

Feeling is the new thinking.  I’ve written repeatedly about one of my most important “crossing the Rubicon” moments, back in the 1990s, as I journeyed from Left to Right.  It was then that I heard an NPR report about a school grappling with a rash of thoughts.  A reporter sat in on a gathering of students and “facilitator,” during which the facilitator urged the students to think about how they’d feel if something they had got stolen.  At the end of the report, because there were still a few sane people on the Left back in the 1990s, the reporter noted that the facilitator never once mentioned that, as a moral matter, stealing is wrong.  The best that the facilitator could do was to try to get the kids to feel some empathy (and it was clear that he failed in that effort).

That “feelings” mentality, of course, now permeates everything.  (Thanks, Oprah!)  To my surprise, though, the New York Times actually printed a very good opinion piece decrying the mental rot that arises when feelings trump all other things.

Being mentally prepared for violence.  A few years ago, neuroscientist and professional atheist Sam Harris wrote a superb post about being mentally prepared for violence, so that one can deal with it when it appears.  I highly recommend reading it.

Incidentally, I have noticed that in the past few years Sam Harris has figured out what many on the Left still deny — namely, that there is a problem with Islam.  I think this realization has also led him to understand that atheists are perhaps wasting their time attacking God’s existence.

What matters more is to address how people relate to their faith in God and, through that faith, how they relate to their fellow man.  You cannot prove or disprove God, but you can certainly prove that the Judeo-Christian tradition is focused on life, individual worth, and morality, while the Muslim tradition . . . well, not so much.

Let there be light.  Wow!  At the moment of conception, a bright light appears.  One doesn’t have to be guilty of reading too much into that fact to be awed.

Interesting looks into the past:  I forget how, but I landed on an interesting site called Rare Historical Photos, which has both iconic photos and unknown photos, with a special emphasis on war photos.  I was fascinated by the picture of German children playing with hyperinflated German currency, which provides an image to go with my Dad’s childhood stories, as well as the photo reminding us of Japanese brutality when the Bushido cult held sway.

Speaking of Japan and the bomb, Truman was absolutely right to drop the atom bomb, an act that destroyed the evil Bushido cult in one fell swoop, while instantly saving millions of lives and more than offsetting the number it took (many, if not most, of whom would have died in any event).  Only a person as pig ignorant and resistant to knowledge as Barack Obama would want to apologize to the Japanese for ending their Bushido nightmare, as well as for saving the lives of American troops and the hundreds of thousands of people imprisoned by the Japanese (among whom was my mother).

A great PSA about drinking and driving:

Regarding those demands for Trump’s tax returns. Once again, somewhat against my will, I find myself in sympathy with Trump’s position, and here’s why:

Obama Trump smart billionaire

Pop goes the jihadi: A video that you can really just watch over and over and over and over . . . mostly because this video runs on an endless loop.