Friday, February 26, 2016

The Willful Blindness of Trump Support

     No one with even a modicum of intellectual honesty could have watched or listened to the Republican debate last night and concluded that Donald Trump is anything but an intellectual lightweight and a congenital liar, just like the beneficiary of his political donations, Hillary Clinton. Not only should The Donald have been thoroughly mortified by being exposed as a man of the Left by his fellow debaters, but his supporters, if they were being the least bit rational, should run away from him in droves. From his blatant lie about his position on healthcare exposed by Ted Cruz, to his juvenile response to moderator Hugh Hewitt because he dared ask a question Mr. Trump did not like, once again Donald Trump has shown himself not only to be unworthy of the Oval Office, but any position  in government short of that of Johnny mopping toilets in some remote government installation.
     But it really is not Donald Trump's fault, after all he has more than likely been a defective human being most of his life. No, I blame the those who have bastardized the term conservative in order to feel some self-justification and self-righteousness for supporting a candidate who is as far away from the definition of that word as his likely Democrat opponent, should he actually win the Republican nomination.
     Conservative talk show host Dennis Prager says often that Leftism is the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years because of its ubiquitous presence in education, entertainment, media, and even in this nation's religiosity. Now it appears Leftism has infected the Republican Party and conservative movement, as evidenced by the support for Donald Trump.
     The real delusion of Trump supporters is not only that they believe he can or will actually do what he says, but that they are somehow anti-establishment for supporting a candidate that is far Left of the so-called Republican establishment.  It is probably the biggest political dichotomy I have seen or read about ever. The Trump supporters seem uniquely blind, almost willfully so, to the serious flaws of their candidate that would preclude him from the running for most who call themselves conservative. This kind of willful blindness was not even this hyperbolic in support for President Obama in 2008, a real achievement for Trump supporters.
      The problem with those who say they will vote for Trump against the Democrat, if he is the nominee, is that they miss the bigger picture. If a Democrat like Trump can run for and win the presidential prize as a Republican, what is the point? The president is leader of his Party. In Trump's case he will blend the two Party system into a one Party rule. And that my friends will be much worse for the country than four years of a Democrat president with a Republican congress.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Who Benefits From Bush Withdraw?

     The "Let's make a point crowd" is celebrating Donald Trump's victory in the South Carolina primary last weekend. Marco Rubio and his supporters are also celebrating a second place finish in said primary contest. The Ted Cruz campaign is trying desperately to convince themselves that their third place finish in South Carolina is not a harbinger of a campaign that may be running afoul of a Republican electorate that may be coming to grips with a reality that if the Republicans do not sport a candidate that can win in November, the Democrat will most assuredly win. The Carson campaign, which ever increasingly is an army of one, is vowing to fight until the end. John Kasich is hoping to hang in until the Ohio primary on March 15, hoping for the surge he has promised supporters is coming. And Jeb Bush has called it quits in his bid to be the third Bush to become president.
     The Jeb Bush campaign ending in a crash and burn style reminiscent of the Hindenburg serves to illustrate two very important items. One, that money in politics does not have as much influence as some wish to convince the gullible that it does, and two, that Donald Trump has hit a ceiling in this campaign which may reverse itself into a floor as more candidates drop from the race. I have always maintained that the Trump campaign is one that depends on a crowded field. And that a candidate which has the highest negative numbers in presidential history can not even win his Party's nomination, much less the general election, with such animus aimed at him by a majority of Americans.
     The most likely beneficiary of the Jeb Bush withdraw from the race is Marco Rubio. In fact, with each of the remaining candidates, their exits from the race would most likely be a boon to the Rubio campaign. His recent surge and the sobering up of the Republican electorate that they must nominate someone who can actually beat Hillary Clinton, bodes well for a Rubio nomination. With Rubio poised to gain more support, and Trump having hit his limit of support, the two thirds of Republican primary voters who not only do not support Trump but have a vomiting reflex at the sound of his voice, will inevitably give their support to Senator Rubio.
     Donald Trump is many things, conservative is certainly a proven commodity he does not posses. Marco Rubio has that specific commodity in spades, and provably so. So why do so many so-called conservatives support Trump? It is simple: They care more about making a point and sticking it to the so-called establishment that has been demonized by some in Right-Wing radio, than nominating someone who can win. Not that congressional Republicans have not made mistakes, but the Trump supporters, and to a degree Cruz supporters, have succumb to the temptation of making themselves feel good instead of actually doing what is good for the country.
     The best that Trump can hope for is that Rubio does not get the required delegates, which will mean a brokered convention in Cleveland this July. After which when he loses such a battle he can go third Party based on the Republicans "treating him unfairly." This of course will precipitate a Democrat win and all those self righteous emotional cripples that support Trump can get on their high horses and say they told everyone that Rubio would not win. Not acknowledging that they would be the cause of such a loss. But delusion is the main ingredient in the Trump stew, and his supporters lap it up and ask for seconds.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Marco Rubio "Gets It!"

     So the final Republican debate before the nation's first primary in New Hampshire today is over, and the endless analysis has been in full swing since Saturday night. Much of that analysis has focused on candidate Marco Rubio actually using the same words to answer the same attacks from the Republican version of Jabba the Hutt, Chris Christie. My, my where has our politics gone when a politicians actually repeats himself? The fact that Donald Trump's campaign is exclusively anchored in the redundancy of the ridiculous has somehow eluded some of Senator Rubio's harshest (and I might add most childish) critics. But then Trump supporters are nothing if not blind to the same flaws in their candidate that they exaggerate in others.
     No one who is criticizing Mr. Rubio for his repeated answer has actually dealt with the substance of what he stated. This is a tactic learned by the Left from Saul Alinsky and passed to the Right through useful dupes like Mark Levin. I agree that Marco Rubio could have handled his canned response much more effectively, but it does not mitigate the fact that Marco Rubio "gets it," and Chris Christie, et al does not. And the "It" is the fact that Barack Obama is not the disease but just the latest symptom of the disease.
     Barack Obama has executed a brilliant plan that Leftists have dreamed about for generations. He has struck just the right balance in the economy, which encourages dependence, while at the same time is growing just enough to silence critics. He has used race and victim-ology to enact a bigger role for the federal government in local policing. He has been successful in his foreign policy of reducing American influence in world events, which has been a core dream of the Left for many years. He has increased the role of government in individuals lives while reducing it in the world at large. And all this he has done by dancing around the edges of constitutionality.
     Marco Rubio was right and wise to highlight that the Obama America is one of design, not incompetence. And furthermore, that Leftism is the cancer that eats away at the heart of American values and the healthy body of Liberty. Senator Rubio understands better than the spittle-producing Christie how important it is for us as conservatives not to focus on Barack Obama (who is leaving office in less than a year) but on the cause of our discontent and sickness. And that cause is Leftism.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Culture of Name-Calling

     Young children on a playground will often participate in a favorite juvenile tradition, i.e. name calling. Usually the target of such an activity is one who is perceived to be different from a norm imposed by the standards of the group. Other times the target is another child who is perceived to be weaker or stronger than the name caller. The act of name calling is meant to achieve two results; a) to marginalize the target from the rest of the group, and b) to make the name caller feel superior. Our recent political debate, especially on the Right, has degenerated into a hyper-version of the school yard tradition of name calling.
     The reckless abandon with which some on the Right have succumbed to the ignorance of name calling is an alarming development. We see this behavior being enacted by some in talk radio, so-called conservatives on social media, and in the general population of those on the Right side of the political spectrum. I have grown ever so weary of the ease with which the insult of Rino (Republican in name only), or "establishment" is withdrawn from the intellectually lazy holster of those who disagree with a Republican leader on even one issue.
     To Witt: Consider the case of Marco Rubio. Here is a guy who most conservatives agreed was the kind of candidate they would want to represent the Republican Party in a presidential election. Senator Rubio makes the "mistake" of trying to work with the majority Party in congress at the time, the Democrats, and a Democrat President, to achieve the best result he could under those conditions to solve the issues surrounding illegal immigration. For that "mortal sin" he has forever been labeled a Rino/member of the establishment.
     The real dichotomy of the position of those who call Senator Rubio a Rino for supporting the Gang of 8 bill, is that they also say the same thing about former Speaker John Boehner, who opposed the Gang of 8 bill and essentially kept it from coming to a vote in the House of Representatives. But this is exemplary of the complete capriciousness of the name calling Right. There is no real rhyme or reason to their tactics. They are more about demoting the esteem of those with whom they disagree in the eyes of others, than they are about promoting any superior ideas or values of their own.
     Another prong of the name calling strategy is to mis-characterize a person's position as something that it is not so they can be figuratively tar and feathered with an untrue accounting of their beliefs. Again, taking the example of Marco Rubio and the Gang of 8 bill, those name callers on the Right characterized the bill as amnesty. This of course is the dirtiest of words for those one-issue voters who think illegal immigration is the most serious issue facing this great nation. But the Gang of 8 bill was not about amnesty at all, as any intellectually honest person who read the bill would acknowledge. But the name callers do not deal in truth, but narratives that they create which advance their political agenda.
     The Democrats and those on the Left have always populated the school yard of political debate. It is just a shame that so many on the Right have now followed them to that playground of the weak-minded and intellectually immature. We can measure our dedication to our Founders' values, and the principles enshrined in our founding documents, by the honesty and decorum with which we conduct ourselves in the public arena of political debate. Under those terms, some of the members of our conservative movement have failed miserably.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Politics of the Extemporaneous

     If there is one thing I deplore it is pettiness. The pettifoggery of focusing on the insignificant, even if it may contain a kernel of truth, is in my opinion dishonest and a betrayal of the truth. It seems as though the single-minded focus on the extemporaneous has become a mainstay of our politics on the Right. The Left of course has engaged in this practice for many decades, in fact their entire ideology is centered on diverting the public's attention from what is truly important to that which is much less significant. But this behavior, or more to the point, this bad behavior, has grown into a cancer on the Right which threatens to destroy the healthy tissue of our principles.
     I submit as evidentiary to my thesis the recent campaign to nominate a Republican candidate to challenge the Democrat nominee to become the next President of the United States vis-a-vis this November's election. There is myriad issues being discussed and debated in the campaign, that is a fact. But the main thrust of focus in both the Left stream and Right stream media are the issues that run contrary to the tenets of importance as they relate to choosing another president to lead this country through the next four years.
     The entire campaign of the front runner, Donald Trump, is built upon the foundation of frivolity. And that inconsequential-ality of frothy rhetoric has spilled over into the other campaigns in the Republican presidential race. It is the substantial support for Donald Trump and his methods of campaigning that has caused the other campaigns to devolve into the kind of childish behavior that many of the practitioners of such behavior have criticized. To Witt: the incessant focus by some on whether or not Ted Cruz is even eligible to run, in consideration of his Canadian birth to an American mother.
     Then there is the recent dust-up over some Cruz campaign staffers forwarding an erroneous media story about his fellow candidate Ben Carson dropping out of the race. Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis knows I am no Ted Cruz fan. But I can believe in a major campaign inundated with the thunderstorm of media and information, erroneous information could be forwarded about a fellow candidate. And while Ted Cruz's staffers were guilty of not properly vetting the story they received from CNN, I do not believe it was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Carson camp.
     Conservatism has always been about accepting the truth whether or not it may support the conservative goals in the short term, because it will always support the principles of Liberty in the longer term. I am chagrined to see many of my conservative brethren boarding the train of devolution that is fueled by the extemporaneous. The petty bickering and name-calling that has become more prevalent on the Right recently is not worthy of the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley Jr, Jack Kemp, et al. We would be wise as conservatives to once again set ourselves apart from the Left by living the values of the constitution and the intellectual temperament of the aforementioned individuals.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hash Tag: RancherLivesMatter

     The Oregon standoff that started with anti-government separatists occupying federal property because their "principles" gave them permission to do so, and ended with one of the ring leaders of the group, Levoy Finnicum, receiving his wish to "die for the cause," is exemplary of what happens with the break down of the rule of law. The very nature of groups like the Oregon vigilantes is that they become demented by the delusion that their "cause" is above the law. It is the path for all extremists to become hopelessly drunk on the wine of their own self-righteousness and empowered by their mangled interpretation of shared values.
     I am not here to prosecute the merits of the grievances that lead them to such heights of irresponsible and anti-social behavior, but rather to evaluate how it worked out for them in the end. These ranchers may have a legitimate gripe against an ever encroaching federal government, but they lost any support from the general public when they allowed themselves to occupy not only federal property, but a pedestal that sits high above the rule of law. If there is one thing the average American dislikes more than out-of-control government telling them what to do, it is out-of-control zealots who break the bonds of civilized society to prosecute a war against what they see as oppression.
     I suppose the sparse supporters of Levoy Finnicum and his gang would point to the rugged individualism of the western ranchers as the motivation for their behavior. But rugged individualism does not translate into an excuse for anarchy. Whether that anarchy is in the wide open spaces of a wild life preserve in Oregon, or the tightly populated city of Baltimore Maryland. When believers in a cause become the purveyors of violence, their cause ceases to be of importance and their behavior becomes paramount.
     I am not much of a Twitter user, but I fully expect (if it has not already happened) for a new hash tag campaign to emerge named #RancherLivesMatter. They already have their own version of "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." As repulsive to the values of the rule of law the actions of the BlackLivesMatter group are, as consistent conservatives we must also find just as repulsive the actions of the RancherLivesMatter folks. The seeds of anarchy which germinate into the full fledged flower of tyranny, must be opposed by all those truly interested in the cause of Liberty and the continuation of the values enshrined in this great nation's founding documents.