Did anyone catch Meryl Streep’s speech last night? Donald Trump certainly did! His tweeted response was typical Trump fair: attack them personally, link them to your political opponent, deny the charges, remind the audience that Trump is a winner, attack the media, etc. Well, without unpacking Streep’s whole speech, here are a few thoughts on it.
It was enevitable that the left, and its propaganda arm in Hollywood, was going to find something not to like in a Republican President. This would have been the case whether the occupant was the walking faux-pas that is Trump or the less flawed Marco Rubio. That being said, it is disingenuous, bordering on the ridiculous, for Trump to pretend that Streep had no point. Trump did poke a little fun at a certain reporter’s disability. He told his rally audience, “You gotta see this guy,” and then begin flailing his arms around in mockery of this person’s particular affliction. Hey, he can do that if he wants to; he’s breaking no law! If Trump wants to establish new heights for the avant-garde of sticking-it-to-the-establishment by bucking their stupid rules about not attacking weaker people, he can. Seems a silly crusade, but ok. However, he shouldn’t lie about it, especially when the reality is so obvious to anybody with access to YouTube. Also, the PEOTUS shouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people, even Hollywood types, find his particular form communication troubling. If Donald is a little ashamed or embarrassed by what he did, he should try apologizing. However, at least be man about it.
As for Streep’s other concerns, not everything was objectionable, at least on its face. Besides her plea for civility from those in power, she called for the need of a “principled press” to hold power to account while making an authority appeal to the Constitution. What’s to disagree with? The President does need to be accountable to the Constitution, and held to account by a watchdog press (lately playing Obama’s lapdog). Assuming I disagreed, don’t even vapid liberal actors, who are as far removed from regular people as Michael Moore is from a salad, have just as much right to use their particular platform to advocate for their beliefs as anyone else does?
There is one issue, however, regarding the Golden Globes editorial that deserves addressing: consistency. I must have missed the time that Ms. Streep showed concern for the Constitution and an independent press when Barack Obama was ruling through executive fiat and having his Justice Department conduct raids on reporters who were investigating his administrations various scandals. For some reason, that didn’t seem to bother Meryl, or at least she didn’t use her fame then to criticize the President on some of the more troubling abuses of his authority. Don’t misunderstand me. It’s nice to hear from all these born-again federalists! Welcome to the party! However, it is noteworthy that when a more favorable tyranny was being perpetrated by one from her own political persuasion, Streep saw fit to not speak out.
There are many areas that Donald Trump is and will be deserving of critique. Certainly, Streep’s performance was only one of many salvos yet to come from the S.S. Tinseltown. Yet, until Streep and her class of actors-cum-political gurus address and apologize for 8 years of turning a blind eye to the violation of the principles they now seem to have whole-heartedly embraced, they’ll have zero credibility. Their criticisms will fall on deaf ears, persuading no one that doesn’t already agree. Good thing for her, credibility or persuasion isn’t what Streep’s after, nor Martin Sheen, nor any number of celebrities that have been popping up to do insipid and homogeneous political ads. Rather, what they want is to signal to their pals, other vapid Hollywood actors, to say “Look at me! I’m a good person!” Well, to that I’d say, “Mission accomplished!” Be satisfied, because you’ll have little else. I still loved Streep in Julie & Julia, however!
New info has come to my attention that Trump wasn’t mocking the aforementioned man’s disability. Though the video on its own with Trump’s words seemed pretty clear, I have to admit that this time I got it wrong.
Well, it’s official. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. The electoral votes have been certified and the 2016 election is over. So what does this mean? Well, apart from the fact that there’ll be fewer political ads, not much.
For those (both hopeful and lamenting) expecting that Trump will usher in the Fourth Reich, you will be disappointed/relieved. For those hoping for substantive change in the way of reducing the power of the federal government over the lives ordinary citizens, for a new age of fiscal and personal responsibility, and for a renaissance of the Constitution and the ascendency of individual liberty over group entitlements, you also will quickly be disabused of such ridiculous notions.
The ensconced brokers of power are all still there, playing the same game, taking and giving nothing back. Zilch will be done about the problem of government, it’s just that the infernal machine will get a new pair of hands, pulling the levers that control our lives. Donald will do his deals with the ruling class, but don’t be surprised if you won’t be favorably included in them. The age of Trump will be not unlike the age of Obama. We will have a President who respects the application of power, not necessarily the traditions of the country nor the limitations of law. The President wants what he wants, and he’ll get it legally, if he can, but he’ll get it.
High on the Trump agenda will be some kind of a infrastructure bill, spending a lot of money that we don’t have, and doing as little good as when Obama tried it. Also, the Trump daughter’s pet entitlement program will be passed, another permanent leech on an already desiccated budget. And lest we forget, Trump will get his tariffs, which are the political equivalent of threatening to slit your own throat if your opponent doesn’t play fair. How would you like to pay four times the price you currently pay for your iPhone? Who wouldn’t?
In the end, the federal government will expand its power, balloon its debt, adversely affect commerce, and hope that the generation that pays the piper for all this can handle it while also funding our retirements. At $200 trillion in unfunded mandates and counting, I wish the little tykes luck!
Very little of any substance will change under this new regime. The car is still careening towards the cliff, only this time it’s the Democrat’s turn to feel bad about it. 2016 is the year the right officially un-friended the truth in exchange for the same feels-driven politics we used to criticize the left for. I imagine, the results will be just as spectacular.
If you are looking for real solutions to any of these existential national problems, you won’t find them in a President nor anywhere in DC. Too many voters and even leaders are too unprincipled and too uneducated about the issues to change any of this. And of those left who know better, they are more desirous of being a part of power than making tough choices that could save the US for future generations. The solution will have to come from the sovereign states.
For the people of Texas, we had better decide quickly whether it’s better to be a sad witness to a enormous car-crash or a passenger in that careening car. That cliff is getting closer each day, the steering is locked, and the breaks don’t work. Texas has everything it needs to be a successful independent nation including the legal right. Now it remains to be seen if we have the will and courage to act. We don’t have much time left to vacillate on this. Either we crash and burn or we tuck and roll.
Rumors of a Romney apology to Trump, the price of his being put forward as the nominee for Secretary of State, circulate in the ether of the internet. What he’ll actually say, if anything, is a matter of conjecture. Romney made a lot of scathing accusations of Trump! How do you take back those statements made with such seeming earnestness and still hold any credibility? Well, this is my approach. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Romney apology that should be. Enjoy!
Ladies and gentlemen of the press. Thank you for your kind attention today. As you know, over the last several days, there has been a lot of speculation about the possibility of me filling the Secretary of State slot in a new Trump administration. Certainly, it is well known that I have been meeting with Mr. Trump lately, and this possibility has been discussed. However, the President elect has requested that before a formal offer of the Secretary position can be made, I must first issue an apology for my criticism of Mr. Trump during the campaign. After giving this a fair amount of consideration, I have the following Statement.
In the fog of the 2016 campaign, I made several critical remarks of Donald Trump. I said that he wasn’t a conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan.1 I also said that that his business successes were exaggerated, his policy prescriptions were flimsy, his foreign policy ideas were ridiculous and discriminatory.1 Should he become President, I said, his economic policies would lead to recession. Additionally, I claimed that dishonesty was his hallmark, and that bullying, greed, braggadocio, misogyny, and third-grade theatrics marked his personal character.1 I said all things, and many others still, but I think you get the picture.
Anyway, since the election, I’ve had time to reconsider these beliefs and observations on Donald Trump, some of which were made over the course of years. I’ve been paying close attention to Donald, and how he has performed since his victory over Hillary Clinton, and I have come to an inescapable conclusion: my critique of Donald, given during the campaign, was essentially correct. As of this moment, there exists little new information that compels me to change my mind or revise my conclusions. Donald Trump remains essentially the same morally bereft con-man, now, that he was before the election. Donald has demonstrated this in many ways. For instance, consider Donald’s failure to deliver on his promise to set himself apart from his business dealings should he win the Presidency. To date, Donald has not sold his businesses, put them a blind trust, or turned over his companies to his children, with Donald staying out of company affairs and they staying out of state affairs. No. He continues to operate both the affairs of state and business, intermixing them along with his family. In fact, in countries where he holds interest, like Argentina, he seems to have used his inevitable office to benefit himself and his businesses, receiving the permits that had hitherto been stalled. The timing and the appearances of this point to impropriety. If true, this would be a gross dereliction of the grave responsibilities of the great office that Donald will soon occupy. Donald knows better.
Adding to the warning signs that Donald will be nothing more than a politician after the most cynical tradition is his rapid retreat from some of his more important campaign promises. Donald promised to tell his Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate possible crimes committed by Secretary Clinton, but has since backed away from this promise on more than one occasion. Certainly, an argument could be made about preserving the independence of the AG by not demanding an independent prosecutorial appointment, but that is not the argument being made by Trump and his surrogates. Instead, they echo the need to move on, to not hurt her, or more ridiculously, to “help her heal.” What about justice, Mr. Trump? Doesn’t that bear consideration? If Secretary Clinton committed crimes (as it appears she has) shouldn’t she get her day in court as any less politically connected American citizen most certainly would? And if not, what signal would that send to the would-be corrupt and powerful? More importantly, what does the decision to allow Hillary Clinton to escape justice portend for how the Trump administration will conduct its business? The answer to that likely will fill the country with doubt and apprehension, not hope for the country’s stability. They might ask themselves, “What separates our country from so many Banana Republics, run merely on the whim of a strong man?” What, indeed?
And what about Obamacare? Donald promised to repeal this very unpopular, failing, and oppressive law. However, it seems that after one meeting with the current President and his no-doubt highly flattering reception of Trump, Donald is willing to retain some of the more expensive and crippling parts of that law. This is disturbing, not only for how easily pliable Donald seems to be under the influence of a complimenting tongue, but also how it calls into question Donald’s convictions. I give credit to all involved for being compassionate towards those with pre-existing conditions, and certainly this is an issue that needs to be dealt with, but using the power of government to force insurers to accept them is not only improper, it will result in the government having greater involvement in the healthcare industry (which historically has been a net negative), including employing greater public funds from an already bankrupt government. Donald needs to keep his promise of a full repeal of Obamacare, and also develop free market solutions to solve this and other healthcare issues, and not just offer big government by Trump rather than Obama as a solution. As President, he’s supposed to be the people’s servant and act in their best interests, and not do merely what is politically expedient. It’s not about him. He can’t treat the U.S. as if it were merely one of his casinos, one that he can cast aside in the event it goes belly-up, safe in the knowledge that he’ll be protected while his investors have to pay the piper.
I could go on. Trump’s issues are not confined only to the one’s that I’ve mentioned. That is not to say that none of Donald’s solutions have been completely lacking in merit, but he’s shown little that he has the knowledge of nor any interest in dealing with the important and even existential issues that the U.S. faces, such as the $30 trillion dollars in debt that looms on the horizon like a hurricane. Should things not dramatically change in this area, meaning the dramatic reduction of federal expenditures (something Donald is loath to do), the U.S. faces an economic calamity possibly worse than any that world has yet born witness to.
I really wish that I was wrong about these things, or that Trump had, in some significant way, reformed. Unfortunately, the only thing that has changed since the primary is that this severely morally-compromised man now has real power. This does not please me. I take no joy in saying these things nor pleasure in my predictions being proved right. I care about my country, and this country needs a wise and capable President, now more than ever. I will remain ever wishful that Donald has an epiphany motivating him to rise to the requirements of his august office, but this is not the lesson of history. As Edward Johnson of the old Massachusetts Bay Colony once observed, “Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad…But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn…[T]hough good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want good men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer ill ones.”2
It has been suggested that Donald’s consideration of me for Secretary of State has always been a charade, and that Donald never really intended to nominate me for the position. Instead, what he wanted was to humble me for my previous comments, to get me to apologize and then give the position to a less independent person. Putting in Donald’s terms, he wanted to get me on my knees, as, during the election, he once bragged he could do if he so chose. Well Donald, I’m not in the habit of apologizing for telling the truth. Furthermore, I have no interest in serving in an administration where, because of Trump’s Machiavellian machinations, the status quo is such that honesty is always in doubt, where conservative solutions are often seen as means to pacify the base instead of being the determined plans of the President, and where it seems corruption is firmly ensconced even before the oath of office is administered.
Like many Republicans, I support my party for its ideals and values. I don’t support it because I like the color red. Likewise, I opposed Hillary and the Democrats based on principle, not party loyalty. If, under Donald’s leadership, my party comes to represent the antithesis of the time-honored and time-tested values of inclusion, limited government, and individual liberty, principles that have served it and the country well, then the party will no longer have me as an advocate. If recent reports are true, that Trump advisers are circulating in Congress the idea that this is no longer the party of Reagan, then I’d say that the GOP is already on that lamentable track. Under Trump, the only real principle is personal loyalty to Donald himself, not loyalty to the country, the Constitution, conservative principles, or even decency. My serving as Secretary of State would do little to changed that, and so I would rather not have history attach my good name to that of Trump. Those that have condescended to associating with Donald, good and principled people, instead of positively affecting Donald have only found themselves ethically or ideologically tainted. I will not join them. I’ve tried too hard to be an honorable person to throw that away for anyone. My public service was motivated through an interest of being some use to our beloved country, for the good. I am not so interested in power that I would principally change who am in order to gain it. Therefore, as if it’s not clear by this point, I am not interested in being Trump’s Secretary of State nor serving in a Trump administration in any capacity. I will not apologize. It is up to President Trump to prove me wrong, to prove to me and the rest of the country that he is more than just the lesser evil of a deeply divide election. Should he do this, proven though sustained ethical and wise leadership, then, I will happily apologize. To that end, I wish Mr. Trump success, and to America, I bid good luck!
Last night, Ted Cruz gave his big speech at the GOP convention. This was highly anticipated and highly controversial. The sequence of events that led to it began with Trump warning that Cruz would not be allowed a speaking slot unless he first kissed Trump’s gilded ring. Cruz shrugged it off with indifference. Perhaps being a little concerned with party unity, Trump eventually caved and asked Cruz to speak, not dictating that he also endorse. Cruz accepted. Since then, the talk among pundits and Trump surrogates was about whether or not Cruz would or should endorse Donald, with some even questioning Cruz’s party loyalty and manhood, should he choose not to. When the time for the speech came, for the first two thirds, it was extremely well received. In it, he buttressed the substance of what Conservatives believe, where up until now had been mostly lacking at the Cleveland convention. He hit all the points that Republicans have expressed care for, such as freedom and limited government, and it even included a touching anecdote about the daughter of one of the slain officers of Dallas which bookended his remarks. At many points he received enormous applause for his well-spoken monologue. However, when he arrived at the part where he urged all voters and particularly his supporters to refrain from staying home in November, a theme that should be appreciable by any Trump supporter, the mood of the throng began to change. Cruz exhorted them to vote for, “up and down the ballot”, candidates that support the Constitution… at this, a sizable portion of his audience started booing, which was followed by chants demanding Cruz endorse Trump. The raucous noise continued to the end of his speech.
No. Cruz did not endorse Trump, a point of consternation for the Trump cult, and embarrassing to the other GOP regulars who had already done so, if only begrudgingly. Cruz was not, however, openly critical of Trump, even congratulating him on his nomination. For me, I think perhaps Ted was even too kind to this man that threw every bit of slime that he could at him during the primary, including attacking his wife and accusing his father of being complicit in the JFK assassination. If the reception of Cruz’s otherwise innocuous remarks weren’t obvious enough, then let me be plain, Donald Trump and his most ignorant supporters don’t deserve Cruz’s endorsement. Their booing him when he spoke of conscience and Constitution merely punctuates how bereft they are of principle, derelict in a sea of ignorance. Nonetheless, if Trump wanted Cruz’s endorsement, I believe he could have had it. Together with extending common decency, something Trump is loath to bestow on an opponent, all he had to do is affirm his own loyalty to the Constitution and Liberty. The fact that he couldn’t do this should be a concern to all freedom loving Americans. Yet, this is not even the main concern. Cruz’s speech was an embarrassment to Trump, not because it lacked endorsement, but because it was a glaring demonstration that Ted is and was true to the very principles that Donald Trump only occasionally pretends to believe in. Ted may now be playing the role of the weeping prophet, telling a dissolute people that which they would rather not hear, but his words were nonetheless potent, and true. His presence was a reminder of what could have been. Imagine. We might have had this competent, resolute principled, ethical, and gifted candidate as our nominee to cast a stark contrast to the corruption and avarice that is Clinton. Instead, what we ended up with as head of our party is a glitzy humbug, unconvincing in his assertions of conviction and plagued by his own numerous ethical scandals.
If recent reports are true, those of Trump offering the presidency in all but name to would-be VP Kasich with Trump merely retaining the POTUS title and all self-honoring duties, then there may be a good shot that Mike Pence, the nominated VP, will be the real President in the event of a Trump victory. That sort of rationale might be enough for some Conservatives to ultimately, with great pangs of conscience, pull the lever for Trump and against Hillary, but last night’s speech made something very clear. Trump may be the current head of the national Republican Party, but Cruz is its future. Trump may hold the reigns of GOP power and its errant heart, but Ted Cruz, unbowed and undaunted, holds its soul.
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland *
It is a dark time for the American Republic… Prospects in the race for the GOP nomination have become increasingly dim. It seems now that there is no candidate that will make it to 1237 delegates before the party meets in Cleveland to hold their convention. Trump is currently in the lead. However, because he decided to more or less forego a ground game, he had been trailing Cruz in new delegates since Marco Rubio dropped from the race, losing in UT, CO, WY, WI, and ND. He’s since made up much of that ground by winning his home state, but will shortly run out of states he’s assured to win. Ted Cruz will almost certainly crush him in the West, and do really well in California, perhaps win. ** However, the result will be two candidates with many delegates, but no majority. This means there will be no nominee before the convention and less time to rally the troops for the general election. Additionally in bad news for the Don’s camp, many of Trump’s delegates seem poised to bolt the Trump camp for Cruz on a second ballot. ** This realization has caused a lot of panic on Team Trump. Trump has made accusations of a system rigged against him, *** his once official adviser (Roger Stone) has threatened to release to the Trump mob the hotel room numbers of delegates who might abandon Donald, **** and Trump supporters have become so brazen in their issuing of death threats to low-level GOP officials and GOP delegates ***** that even a fatwa-hurling ayatollah would be hard-pressed to compete! In such an environment, many pundits are predicting disaster extraordinaire for the GOP. There are some that fears the Republican establishment will conspire to give Trump the nomination in order to avoid blood-shed, figuratively and literally, ending with the GOP losing the election to Hillary for its lack of the #NeverTrump wing of the GOP and the other YUGE majorities of just about every demographic that will not vote for Trump. ****** Others say that if Ted Cruz becomes the nominee, Trump will bolt, taking 44% of his supporters willing to leave the GOP ******* and either runs on a third party ticket or endorses Hillary, spitting his last political breath in the face of the Republican Party. Both seem a hopeless business, but there is another possibility. Imagine that Ted Cruz wins, and Donald Trump endorses Cruz! I know! It seems crazy, doesn’t it? But there are reasons that hint at a slim possibility that such a thing might actually happen. In the following, I will present my reasoning for Trump, the magnanimous!
Trump doesn’t really want to be President
In the midst of the clowning that is the Trump circus, many might have missed the departure of a few advisors from the Trump campaign. One of these had been there from the very beginning, Stephanie Cegielski, and in her open letter announcing her departure, she made an interesting claim: Trump doesn’t want to be President. “Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.” ******** To emphasize this point, Stephanie added, “He doesn’t want the White House. He just wants to be able to say that he could have run the White House.” ******** But now, “[Trump’s] ego has now taken over the driver’s seat, and nothing else matters.” ******** If true, this would explain why Trump seems so reticent in learning the issues, winging it so often. From his domino effect gaffes on abortion to not understanding what the Nuclear Triad is, Trump has been far removed from expertise on the issues and has shown little interest in learning about them. After all, if you don’t really want the job, why prepare for it? Donald may be in a place where he’s looking for a way out, a plan to withdraw with some semblance of dignity. If Donald goes into Cleveland almost matched with Cruz in delegates, and if Cruz bests him on a second ballot, that might be fair enough for Trump to give in gracefully. If Donald loses to Cruz, his supporters will rage and rail, but Donald might utter a huge sigh of relief, as someone who has just dodged a bullet!
Trump’s thin skin is only skin deep
Anyone who has been paying attention to this campaign season is familiar with the legendary sensitivity of Donald Trump. For a tough guy who tells it like it is and loves to dish out copious amounts of insults on his opponents, Donald doesn’t seem to take criticism well. Trump can go from zero to victim in less time than it takes for a fouled NBA player to flop dramatically on the court. However, there is good reason to believe that Trump doesn’t entirely mean what he says. This is a major reason why I defended Trump, saying that I didn’t believe him to be truly racist, but rather reckless and Machiavellian. That’s small consolation, to be sure. Continuing, some have observed a pattern in Donald, in that he seems to do much of his campaigning with a wink and a nod, almost as if Trump is breaking the fourth wall of the reality series Celebrity GOP Nominee to let us know that it’s all part of the show. This is true of many of his policy ideas, such as his supposed assurance to the New York Times that his bluster on illegal immigration is just a little something for the crowd. ********* Or consider, after denigrating Wisconsin governor Scott Walker during the WI primary, Trump later suggested that Walker would make a good running mate. ********** Even his advisors are telling us that Trump may not be 100% serious. ********** These are good indicators that Trump, once he realizes that it’s over, won’t seek a vendetta on the GOP, let alone try to start a bloody riot that will keep him from getting his next TV gig and generally hurt his name in business forever. In fact, Trump might even help them consolidate support behind Cruz rather than going home to sulk or even endorse Hillary. Even if he thinks he was out-cheated by Cruz, which is doubtlessly a position he holds solely for strategic purposes. Much like Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo from The Godfather, he understands that it’s not personal, it’s only business.
Trump loves his money way more than his chances at a third party run
In the event of a Cruz nomination, many of the affectionately named Trumpkins will want him to run third party. Certainly, doing so would appeal to Trump’s huge ego, but there are problems with this that even Trump must see. First of all, with only approximately 16% of the GOP possibly willing to follow Trump into a third party run (Trump support is around 37% ************ of GOP, with only 44% of them willing to abandon if Trump doesn’t get the nomination *******), Trump would be destined to fail. He might cause the GOP to lose enough votes to throw the election to Clinton in a perverse re-run of Perot’s presidential ambitions, but he would not be the winner himself. Also, many states have sore loser laws; as many as 45. ************* Trump would either have to invest a lot of time and money challenging these laws or promote a longshot write-in campaign. In either event, he would probably lose. All of this would amount to Trump spending a lot of his own money, something he has been hesitant to do thus far, preferring media appearances to TV spots and ground-game. I have no doubts that Trump would risk his donor’s or investor’s funds on such a foolish venture, but he’d never leave himself unprotected. Huge monetary investment in his own independent campaign may be a bridge too far for Trump, even with his large ego. I’d bet that he’d rather make nice with the GOP than sink money into a guaranteed failure. Also, there’s a good chance that many of his hard-core supporters, folks that live by the maxim that “Trump said it. I believe it. That settles it,” would accept this and not flee the party.
There are few analogues to today’s Presidential contest. The conventional wisdom could be right, and the GOP could be headed for disaster, even if Hillary is able to keep Bernie Sanders supporters from feeling disenfranchised when she wraps up the nomination. However, since the conditions are so different from other election years, perhaps the results too can be very different from what you might expect. We can from this moment on despair and mourn the fall of the Republic and the Republican Party, or we can be cautiously optimistic that cooler heads will indeed prevail after passion has run its course. Imagine, if you will, a spot light opens on the podium at the convention that nominates Cruz, Trump takes the stage and begins, saying, “I’ve gone up against a lot of guys, KILLERS, believe me, and beaten them all; out-played them all! ‘Cuz I’m a player. Ask anyone. But I got to hand it to Ted, frankly, he outplayed me. ME! Donald Trump! That’s why there’s no one better to endorse for President of the United States than this guy! Now, let’s go and make America great again!” Perhaps we can take a page out of Alice’s book and try to believe a few impossible things before breakfast. Either that, or spend the next three months with Pepto handy to sooth our anxious stomachs as we wait for Armageddon.
With the next Super Tuesday hitting tomorrow, on the ides of March, I thought that now would be an appropriate time to promote the idea of the GOP beginning the healing process. You know it has to happen; we have to reassemble, bind up each others wounds, and come together and form a United front to oppose the Democrats and their chosen leader: the felonious Hillary Clinton. The damage of the last seven years needs to be undone, and that can’t happen if we remain apart, so healing might as well begin today. Join me, brothers and sisters, won’t you?
First, all sides and all supporters of particular candidates are going to have to accept that, in all likelihood, Ted Cruz is going to be the nominee. Yes, I know you may not believe it now, and it may be a bitter pill to swallow for some of you, but its going to happen. Rubio will likely lose Florida, and that will be it for him. Kasich, whether or not he finally wins a state at Ohio will be inconsequential as it is likely to be his last hurrah. Ultimately It will come down to Cruz vs. Trump. Tomorrow, Cruz will pick up many delegates and may even surprise a few people. Personally, I believe Cruz will take IL, NC, and MO. Trump will have a good night, at least taking FL, but in all likelihood it will be his peak. In this two man race, the math and the polling from there on in will favor Cruz heavily, getting him to the magical number of 1237 by June. This will not end up in a brokered convention, and probably not even a contested one, rather Cruz will win fair and square. It’s going to happen, and you need to get ready for it.
Rubio and Kasich fans will probably do fine in voting for Cruz. They’ll get basically what they want in Cruz, with a few more checks on governmental power. The establishment types will have a more difficult time. Under Cruz they’ll actually have to produce results and reform the government along Constitutional lines. Sorry, this time we’ll get a real Conservative, not a moderate, not a compassionate conservative, and things will finally change in Washington. I know that’s a lot of power and influence to give up, but it’s still better than losing with Trump as the nominee or even worse winning with Trump, with all the uncertainty and instability he may bring. However, the group that will have the most difficult time in accepting another candidate other than theirs will be Trump supporters, as they have a very deep emotional connection to their candidate.
If you are a Trump supporter, you may not believe me now, but as you get some distance from Trump, it will become more and more apparent that he was lying to you. If you review what he’s said, how it changed from day to day, how reticent he was to give you details, and the hints that he and his surrogates quietly admitted that he wasn’t being genuine, it’ll become clear that Trump wouldn’t have kept his word to you once he was in power. Cruz, on the other hand, will deliver on the best of what Trump promised, such as immigration reform. Yes, I know it was fun to hear Donald curse, and it probably felt good that he gave you permission to act out in licentious ways, but once calm returns, I’m sure you will agree that sort of thing isn’t exactly the right way for a U.S. President to behave, nor a U.S. Citizen. I know you feel aggrieved because of Obama’s imperial Presidency, illegal immigration, or the way you have been portrayed as Snidley Whiplash by the media and education elites, but you can’t allow that grievance to give you permission to act out in violent or negative ways. Otherwise, what do you say when Black Lives Matter protesters or other victim-identity groups cause the same destruction? How is it really different? Also, random violence and racial prejudice are wrong! They just are, and I think you know that. Before you take out your frustration on an ethnic group, remember that we are a nation of individuals, not groups. You’d expect no less treatment for yourself, so please extend the same courtesy to others. I think you’d find that there are plenty of non-white people in this country that you might have a lot in common with, if you’d just give them a chance. To do otherwise just isn’t the American way.
In the end, Cruz will be the nominee, and we all need to support him. If we’ve said unkind things to each other, we should man-up and set that aside. If your favorite bit of legislative pork is going away, you should just accept it and think of the greater good for the country and not lament the loss to special interests or slices of power. It needs to be understood that there’s not going to be a registry for U.S. Muslims and continued funding for Planned Parenthood; those things are bad. Try to focus on the good things that will come with a Cruz Presidency, such as a flat tax, economic recovery and expansion, the repealing of job-killing Obamacare, government back in it’s proper place, and more power for the citizens to run their own lives. Yes, the time has come. Come together over Cruz!
Yesterday, January 21st,2015 , Mark Levin dropped a bombshell on his radio show audience, saying that word had reached him that a representative from one of the Republican campaigns for President was investigating him in an effort to shut him up. Next, Levin went ahead and spilled the beans about the theoretical dirt that might have been held over his head. It seems that Levin is engaged to a woman whose adult son works for the Cruz for President campaign. Levin stated his belief that this wasn’t anybody’s business and downplayed the insinuation that his fiancé’s son’s political affiliations have had an effect on Levin’s views, stressing that he didn’t care which campaign the young man worked for. However, even though Levin maintained his intellectual independence, he also openly admitted his own connection to the Junior Senator from Texas, in that Levin had “supported Ted Cruz for a long time” and had also encouraged the likes of “Sarah Palin” to support Cruz in his US Senate race a few years back. 1 Levin went on, vowing never to be silenced and also to disclose the identity of the campaign that was responsible, even offering a $5,000 reward for verifiable tips.
Lately on Levin’s show, Levin has been very critical of Presidential candidate Donald Trump, primarily concerning his Campaign’s personal attacks on Ted Cruz, going so far as to describe them as “Nixonian”. 2 If Levin’s allegations are true, considering the fact that the Don has lately been the popular talk show host’s person of negative interest, suspicion could fall on Trump. Certainly, Trump hasn’t been averse to using creative means to encourage the silence of others. Earlier this week, Trump made threats of legal action to reporters when he was confronted with his use of junk bonds to finance a deal that ultimately went south, and even though he previously repudiated their use. 3 Trump reportedly said in response to this line of inquiry, “If you write this one, I’m suing you.” 3 Nevertheless, it could be still another campaign that is unhappy with Levin’s recent positive coverage of Cruz, wanting for that to halt. In that case, Cruz’s immediate inferior, the Rubio campaign, coveting a number two slot in Iowa or in New Hampshire and desirous that a prominent talk show like Levin’s stop giving Cruz positive coverage, would be next in line after Trump to benefit should Cruz falter.
If it is indeed verified that the Trump campaign, rather than the Rubio campaign or one from the other candidates for President, has been engaged in a silencing campaign of one of his harshest critics in the media, that would certainly go a long way in supporting Levin’s allegation that the Trump Campaign is engaged in the politics of personal destruction in the mold of Richard Nixon, and it leaves one to wonder who else might be on Trump’s enemies list.
A few weeks ago, Donald Trump gave a 95 minute speech to voters in Fort Dodge Iowa.* In this speech, in which Trump sounded a little lubricated, the Don hit all of his usual talking points plus adding to it a newer repertoire that included comparing Ben Carson to a child molester, * dropping the S-bomb when talking about dropping bombs on ISIS, * and calling the people of Iowa, those he wants votes from, stupid for supporting Carson. * The reaction to this around the media was as the drumbeat of doom for a Trump candidacy. A lot of pundits, including yours truly, thought that this was the moment when the Don finally jumped the shark and he was about to hemorrhage supporters… but then it didn’t happen. In fact, his stock went up while his chief rival’s went down. How could this be? Normally, bombastic populism has a shelf life that lasts only until it becomes too repetitive or too offensive, yet Trump thrives with even support from some principled conservatives. Indeed, their support is given in spite of the fact that the substance and detail of Trump’s speeches rarely ever rise above discussions pertaining to a wall, making America great, and the importance of a high energy candidate. Nevertheless, Trump is, according to Reuters, taking thirty-five percent nationally, ** well above his other rivals, and has also closed the elect-ability gap, pulling ahead of Hillary in a potential match up. *** So why Trump? Why has Trump been the recipient of so much unflinching support and what should be done about it, if anything? In the following, I will give my take on the phenomena that is Trump.
At the heart of Trump’s popularity is his political incorrectness. Trump is not averse to insulting the people or ideas that he dislikes, and if you call him out on it, he’s more likely to double down than apologize, i.e. if you accuse him of calling you ugly, he’ll say you’re fat too. The hallmark of the Trump candidacy is in the Don’s refusal to be obeisant to any of the sacred cows of politics. He says it just like he wants to, and no matter how outside the mainstream of polite discourse his words are, he nonetheless benefits. Normally, this is not a good way to instill confidence in potential voters that you are the one with the temperament to be President, but Trump can’t seem to shake loose his supporters. If he balks at the proposal of defunding Planned Parenthood, saying, “We have to help women,” **** even after they’ve been caught red-handed committing multiple systemic felonies (he later claimed he didn’t say this), ***** his numbers are maintained or increased. Similarly, when he came out with a plan for socialized medicine, he scares away few, even among those most opposed Obamacare, the beta version of socialized medicine.****** Under normal circumstances, both these positions would be deeply troubling to most of what now forms Trump’s base, but strangely, it hardly seems to register. Why don’t these policy matters seem to matter to Trump’s followers? I believe that the reason for this is found in our intolerant political culture and in the cult of political correctness that exists in this country. Currently, we live in a land where a loud and self-righteous few seem to be calling the moral shots for everyone else, and as such many people feel marginalized by politicians and the media for their race, religion, and sexual orientation, even though they are the norm. Many Americans are tired of working hard, taking care of themselves and their families, barely making it, only to be rewarded by a collective wagging finger in their face rebuking them for their so-called privilege: if they believe that foreign visitors should respect US immigration laws, they are branded xenophobic, racist, and anti-immigrant; if they believe that the word marriage should apply as it has, between a man and a woman, no matter what other accommodation are made for those that have other preferences, they are labeled bigoted and anti-gay; and if they believe that there should be some restrictions ( however minor) to abortion, perhaps taking the fetus’ ability to feel pain into account before tearing them limb from limb, they are denounced as anti-woman. People with defensible and reasonable opinions have found themselves told not that they are mistaken, but that they are evil to disagree with these self-appointed pontiffs of political purity. Americans are just plain tired of the injustice of having their motivations constantly questioned but their concerns never addressed. And while some candidates, like Bernie Sanders, become timid and submissive in the face of such rabble-rousers, like when representatives from Black Lives Matter took over his platform with threats and aggression, Trump, on the other hand, who is often characterized with ism pejoratives, shows no sign of a similar collapse into a pile of submissive apologies, no matter how loud they shout. Trump chooses to either give them a second dose of acerbic rhetoric or has them thrown out of his rallies. ******* His supporters see him show courage in the face of almost universal condemnation in the media, steadfastness where lesser men would kowtow, and his supporters love him for it. Because of this, his supporters either don’t pay attention to the few policy details that escape from the Trump camp or they’re willing to give great latitude to the candidate that skewers the social cry-bullies.
Another big thing helping Trump is his opposition to and from the Republican establishment. Disappointment is not an unusual thing associated with the typical rank-in-file Republican voter, and this because of a GOP establishment that seems to be expert at pandering to their base, while shortly afterwards surrendering to the other side. It seems that with every GOP election victory, the GOP voter has to think really hard to find something that is better or even different than if Democrats were in charge. I know, some of these political machinations are nuanced, and that there have been causes quietly advanced by the GOP, such as reducing the budget deficit by two thirds, but on many high profile issues such as defunding Obamacare or Planned Parenthood, or stopping the Iranian nuclear deal, there’s inexplicably been very little traction if not capitulation with the Democrats, and this even while there were steps that could have been taken. Simply put: promises were made in an election cycle and promises were broken. There are notable exceptions, such as Senator Ted Cruz (currently in a statistical dead heat with Trump in Iowa), ******** who has made himself a pariah to GOP leadership by trying to force them to do more than have show-votes and pay lip service to their constituents, but by and large the public perception of congressional Republicans is that they have betrayed their voters by not being willing to take a stand. It’s not so much that the GOP is believed to surrender too often as much as it is believed that they never try. Then Trump comes along, calls the career politicians out and positions himself as just the right outsider to give the people the results they’ve been promised. Rankled by this, and also in fear of the loss of potential Latino votes and the loss of wealthy business donors that a Trump candidacy represents through his stance on illegal aliens, the GOP establishment has been attacking Trump. Also, they’ve advocated bringing back last cycle’s candidate, Mitt Romney, to fight Trump since the current crop of establishment candidates have failed to catch on, ********* and in a brazen act of political machinery, the Virginia GOP has tried to institute what amounts to loyalty oaths from their party members to keep them from voting for either Trump or Cruz (the other contending anti-establishment candidate). ********** I understand their fears, if not totally sympathize with them. Trump’s campaign is still weak for lacking detail, and it remains to be seen how far insults and platitudes will carry a candidate who doesn’t have, for instance, the historicity of being the first black president, to buttress his otherwise lacking attributes. If this election is lost, it may be the end of the GOP as we know it and perhaps even the country. However, I think the establishment’s primary fear is winning with Trump rather than losing with him, and the main reason for this, whether it’s that they fear that a President Trump will not be controllable or that they fear he will do damage to the country, is debatable. If the GOP hired me as a paid consultant, I would tell them that if they want to effectively diminish the Trump-candidacy, they should first stop attacking him. Next, they need to immediately replace the GOP leadership in places like the Senate, substituting toxic figures like Mitch McConnell with proven conservative reformers, and do so in a very public way in order to combat the some-what deserved perception that they are an adversary to be overcome by the electorate rather than a champion to be supported by it. I have my doubts that they’d do anything so common sense as that, so great seems their contempt for their own base, but the resignation of John Boehner was a move in the right direction. What the GOP establishment doesn’t realize is that when they strike at Trump, as they irresistibly must do, they will continue have the opposite effect to the one they want, and much like Obi-Wan, will make him more powerful than they could have possibly imagined.
The last quality of the thus far successful cocktail that is Trump is his entertaining personality. His populism wouldn’t resonate with the people for so long if he wasn’t as funny and likeable as he is. Even when he acts like the insult comic of Presidential candidates, he’s still likeable. Whether it’s messing up his hair at a rally to prove that it’s real, getting in zingers at a debate, or appearing on SNL and The Tonight Show to engage in self-deprecating humor, Trump has crafted himself as a likable character which is an advantage he has over the seemingly detached and cackling Hilary Clinton. And as it seems a universal truth that likeable candidates win, while angry or scolding candidates seldom do, this quality, which I confess is the part I appreciate most about Trump, should serve him well. Of course, this feature is not without its downside. Many wonder what place irreverent humor and comedic performances have in a Presidential candidate. But since Nixon’s appearance on Laugh In, *********** Presidents and candidates have appeared on entertainment forums in order to reach voters that they might otherwise not be able to. Certainly, it’s possible for him to overdo this so that he destroys any real credibility that he has as a serious candidate, but as long as he puts proper limits on this kind of exposure, I think that it will only help him.
I am not a Trump supporter, but the idea of a Trump Presidency, going back to 2011, is one that I have believed and do believe could win, maybe. Other than beating Hillary, I’m not sure that the public who would vote for Trump understand all that they would be getting with his Presidency. If they did, I doubt that they would be such ardent supporters as they are now. What I believe will happen with the Trump candidacy is that he will say something so outrageous, that he loses enough primary voters to cost him the nomination. That process may have already begun with his ill-conceived ridiculing of a disabled reporter last week. ************ Even so, I think that Trump will end up having a positive effect on the GOP campaign in that his positions and political incorrectness will rub off, making the eventual nominee all the tougher for it. However, if he does indeed go the distance and become the GOP candidate, I will vote for him. I’d rather give the devil I don’t know a try versus the devil I do, and the GOP should take care that they don’t make an HRC presidency inevitable by running interference in the primary. Of course, I’ll have to hope in Congress to restrain Trump’s more liberal tendencies (repressed shudder). Third parties are out for me, as they should be for all Republicans, because they only help the party you agree with less win, such as in the Wilson election or both terms of Bill Clinton. I have lived through too many years of Clinton incompetence, corruption, and cronyism, and lived too long under the foreign policy disaster that is the Obama-Hillary State Department to give that record another spin. I hope the GOP will see it the same way and stop all this foolish talk about splitting if Trump is the candidate. I held my nose and voted for McCain and Romney; they’d better hold their noses and vote for Trump, if it comes to that.