The Bookworm Beat 7/17/16 — the “daily coup” edition and open thread
The coup that wasn’t and the coup that could be. The more news that comes out of Turkey, the more I believe that what happened there was a coup in the same way that the Reichstag fire was a “coup” — it was a staged event that gave a despot the authority to wipe out the last of his opposition. I have no doubt that the soldiers who will be executed believed in what they were doing, but I also have no doubt that they were pushed into it like lambs to the slaughter by people on Erdogan’s payroll.
What made the coup an inevitable failure is that Erdogan spent years purging the military of secular leaders and replacing them with leaders sympathetic to his own political philosophy. We have a similar situation here at home.
Obama has spent years purging the American military of conservative leaders and replacing them with leaders who believe that the military’s primary goal isn’t defending America against her enemies but is, instead, to use it as a vehicle to promote the so-called “war against climate change” and gender madness, both to the detriment of military readiness. Meanwhile, on the home front, Obama has armed the federal civil service (a bastion of Left-leaning union members who had no problem using the IRS’s vast powers to silence conservatives in an election year) to the point at which they’re more heavily weaponized than the Marines. The only difference between a weaponized IRS, EPA, FCC, or FDA, on the one hand, and the Marines, on the other hand, is that I’d still bet my money on the Marines in hand-to-hand fighting.
A lot of people worry that, if Trump is rising in the polls, Obama will declare martial law at the end of October, either because of another terrorist attack by a member of the religion of “peace” or because of more outrages by the BLM movement. Two years ago, I would have scoffed. Today, I agree that this scenario is within the realm of possibility.
However, if Hillary is ahead in the polls, the election will go forward, and we’ll end up with the most corrupt woman in American political history having at her command an emasculated, left-Leaning military and a heavily armed bureaucracy at her beck and call. And honestly, if the next president has that kind of firepower, ask yourself this: Would you rather have Trump, who does love America, or Hillary, a hard-core Leftist, in control of that arsenal?
The best thing, of course, would be seeing the military return to its proper function and disarming our “civil” bureaucracy. That’s not going to happen soon, though, so we’ve got to go with what is, rather than what we wish could be.
Quotations, quotations, quotations. I’ve noticed that, in my recent posts, I end up putting a lot of words in quotation marks to show that I’m using the words sardonically. In the above piece, for example, “peace,” “coup” and “civil” ended up with those marks on them. I do this, of course, because the Left is doing what it does best, namely perverting words’ common definitions. What happened in Turkey wasn’t a “coup,” the ascendant violent branch of Islam has nothing to do with “peace,” and a heavily armed bureaucracy is not “civil.” I don’t know how else I can express the fact that I recognize that these common words have been leeched of their common meaning.
More and more reasons to hold your nose and vote for Trump. Over at PowerLine, a former sort-of “#NeverTrump” redoubt, the guys are wising up and realizing that this is not an ordinary election and people cannot afford to be squeamish. John Hinderaker latches onto Hillary’s statement in the wake of the Nice slaughter: once again, she denies that Islam has anything to do with it. Hinderaker has figured out that, with Islamic attacks on American soil escalating, we cannot afford another leader who refuses to name the enemy.
There’s also the problem of Hillary’s Muslim ties. Huma Abedin is the most important person in both Hillary’s personal life and her campaign. Huma is a product of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the intellectual branch of the Islamist movement. Huma is a product of Saudi Arabia, and worked with a Saudi group that has now been implicated in 9/11. Huma literally sleeps with Hillary (and Huma may not be the only one).
Aside from the Huma issue, Hillary has taken tens of millions of dollars from hardcore Islamic nations — not just in the past four years, but while she was Secretary of State. It’s likely that she’ll find it impossible ever to acknowledge Islam’s role in the existential war we face.
And of course, there’s the fact that Hillary is freely admitting that she’s going to (1) pack the Court; (2) reverse the Citizens United decision (a decision holding that the First Amendment prohibits the government from not censoring corporations that criticize . . . Hillary), which means deleting the First Amendment; and (3) ban guns, which means deleting the Second Amendment. Donald Trump, no matter how bad you think he’ll be, won’t be that bad.
Is Donald Trump America’s Churchill? On a Facebook group to which I belong, one of the members, after reading a Churchill biography, posted an interesting question — is Trump America’s Churchill? He pointed out some interesting similarities: Wealthy, privileged backgrounds; bombastic and eccentric personalities; dalliances with the soft Left (Liberal party for Churchill; pre-Bernie Democrat party for Trump); egos that allow them to ride roughshod over Leftist orthodoxies; strong philosemitism (Churchill deeply respected the Jews; Trump strongly defends Israel and has an orthodox Jewish daughter and son-in-law who play a big role in his political thinking and campaign); etc. What do you think?
I thought it was an interesting comparison, and before anyone objects on the ground that Trump, unlike Churchill, is an idiot, he’s not. He’s a very, very smart man, who’s just not smart in the way that Leftist culture demands — i.e., he didn’t go to an Ivy League college, he doesn’t support climate change, he says there’s a problem with illegal immigration; and he says there’s a problem with Islam.
Oh, and one more Trump/Churchill comparison: They both use very simple language. Churchill, of course, spoke to a more educated populace, but if you look at his famous “We will fight them” speech, the words used are extremely short and simple (and Anglo-Saxon, except for the French word “surrender”). This was a speech for everyone, not for the elite. In the same way, as Gringrich explains, Trump deliberately speaks to everyone, not just the elites, using terms that a modern American 4th grader can understand (which is why his speech is so much less elegant and refined than Churchill’s, because the latter got to speak to 1940s British 4th graders):
This is not a guy who’s shallow or simple, but he is a guy who knows an immense amount about marketing, which is why he talks at a fourth-grade level. He talks at the lowest level of any candidate in either party, not because he’s stupid. He does it because he knows if you talk at a fourth-grade level everybody can understand you.
Writers who are true to themselves are conservative. I’ve written before about my current fascination with the show Supernatural, and it’s not just because the actors are nice to look at. It’s well-written, clever, well-researched, imaginative, and held up by very workmanlike actors who are comfortable in their roles.
It’s also a show that grapples with good and evil. Readers who had seen more of the show than I pointed out, correctly, that as the seasons advance, the show departs from Judeo-Christian orthodoxy (e.g., God is missing and the angels are engaged in a civil war), but the show’s conclusions about war, morality, and individual liberty are interesting. Despite occasional snarks about Dick Cheney, Kenneth Lay, and other conservatives, the conclusions the show draws are invariably conservative: Individual liberty is the greatest good; we must constantly fight evil; human life is valuable and worth preserving; sometimes in the course of a good war we end up with an evil ally; the concentration of power in a single individual or group is corrupting; etc.
Watching the show reminds me of a point I made years ago about J.K. Rowling. While she’s a typical British Leftist, her Harry Potter books, like the Supernatural episodes, are conservative: Human life matters, we have an obligation to identify and fight evil, good people are not evil if they kill in a good cause, etc.
In other words, when people are artistically and intellectually true, no matter their politics, they inevitably hew to conservative values. Leftist values are inherently dishonest, and people who can make themselves embrace that dishonesty in daily life when they rub shoulders with college professors, the media, and their Leftist friends, cannot accept it in their art, which is the one thing to which they must be true.
America’s job is to defeat, not re-define America’s enemies I’ll be seeing Andrew McCarthy speak next month. (For Bay Area readers, you can attend too if you sign up in time. If you’re going, let me know, and we can find each other there.) In his article about Hillary’s and Obama’s, not to mention the whole West’s, pathetic response to the no-so-Nice Islamic attack, Andrew McCarthy makes an excellent point, one we’ve heard before, but which he phrases with power:
Even to one so superficial as Clinton, it should by now be perfectly obvious that that there is no “Islam,” at least not if we are talking about a monolithic belief system. There are sects of Islam, all vying for supremacy in what is, in the main, a conquest ideology — with the various splinters having very different ideas about what conquest entails, and with no papal analogue to impose order by decreeing orthodoxy and condemning heterodoxy.
Clearly, some of these sects are our enemy. And just as clearly, these sects also have a legitimate claim on the designation “Islam.” That does not mean they have a monopoly on the interpretation of Islam (there, again, being no such monopoly). But it does oblige government officials responsible for national security to deal with jihadists and other sharia supremacists on their own terms.
Why? Because the objective is to defeat our enemies, not redefine them. To defeat the enemy still requires knowing the enemy. Try as he might, Obama is unable to fundamentally transform Sun Tzu.
Obama-Clinton policy is to deny Islamic standing to jihadist terrorists. To be fair, it is an exacerbation of Bush policy. More importantly, it is pointlessly suicidal.
Yeah! What he said.