Service

Every child in the US needs to work a year for his or her government. We need to mandate this rule, and we need to do it fast. This is not a partisan issue. This is about restoring faith in our country. This is about helping at least two generations of Americans understand that we are by far and away the least imperfect form of government in the world. We are a noble experiment, warts and all. This is an amazing country, but it is being ripped apart. A year of service would help us regain our footing. Now, for a little background-

Division is not new to citizens of the United States. Perhaps the one common denominator since the inception of these United States has been constant disagreement between diverse factions about how we should run these United States! It didn’t take long for Jefferson and his minions to turn on Washington and Hamilton soon after Washington took office as our first President. Thus began the battle over states’ rights that continues to this day. Then of course there was that small conflagration some remember as the Civil War and others recall as the War of Northern Aggression. Either way, it was a pivotal divide that only years of bloodshed and decades of trauma slowly healed. We witnessed the baby boomers protesting all life as they knew it in the 1960’s. The Vietnam War may have been the trigger, but the antipathy toward anything deemed “traditional” dominated their thoughts and actions. The country was very divided. 

The liberals would disagree, but a review of US history since WWII would validate the premise that we finally entered a period of relative calm shortly after Ronald Reagan took office. In fact, we experienced nearly twelve years of that relative calm during the Reagan-Bush years. Alas, all good things come to an end. The Clinton administration inherited a resurgent Bush economy and rode through eight years of economic growth, but something happened. Partisan divide was rediscovered, and the quest to take Bill Clinton down became more important than the mission of bipartisan leadership to drive America forward. And the beat goes on. Since Bill Clinton was President, every administration has faced an opposition party more interested in destroying the President than in running the country. 

The left’s quest to destroy Donald Trump has set new lows on a bar that had already been lowered to the ground. Let me be clear for the umpteenth time; I do not like Donald Trump. That does not mean, however, that I can abide by the constant onslaught from the main stream media (MSM) and political left. Theirs is a false narrative. It is a endless attack based mostly on innuendo or contrived data. It is actually shameful. Let me be clear for the umpteenth plus one time; I don’t like the President’s petty tweets, and I know he too stretches the truth to serve his purpose. And I am happy to call him on it. The difference is that the left and MSM will never call themselves out on their endless drivel. 

We are witnessing the dumbing down of America. Our day to day lives are one big reality tv show. We can’t go anywhere to watch an unfettered, unbiased report of the daily news. The editors decide what news to report and the decision is decided by the network’s political agenda. To that end, the President’s Twitter activity is genius. He has circumvented the media, knowing that more than nine out of ten times that his name is mentioned by the MSM the viewer’s inference will be negative. 

One of the unfortunate byproducts of the partisan divide we have experienced since the early Clinton years is that we have two generations of young Americans (the Millennials and those right behind them) who have never seen their government function properly. All they have ever known is ineffective, bickering, petty government practicing inaction. They have grown up in a cynical, skeptical world, with little reason to have faith, confidence, or trust in any public servant. To them, WWII is ancient history. The Holocaust  is something that may or may not have happened. After all, there are leaders in the world who say it didn’t occur. They did not live to experience the atrocities and murders perpetrated upon their own people by the likes of Stalin and Mao, all in the name of a superior socialist state.

Socialism sounds great, and when a folksy senator from Vermont talks about everything being free, well, what’s wrong with that? When another senator from Massachusetts (who claims to be 1/16th Native American) preaches the evils of capitalism, it sure does make those who actually drive the engine of the US economy sound pretty evil, doesn’t it? Did you know more US citizens  under thirty years of age now think socialism is a better baseline for living than capitalism? What on earth hath we wrought?

Today’s title is “Service”. I don’t mean everyone has to put on a uniform and jump out of airplanes. Service means the Peace Corps, working in inner cities, libraries, schools, the military, you name it. Kids from all socio-economic strata do not know how special this country is. Millions of young Americans have actually been indoctrinated to believe we are not a special country. A year of service would help kids understand the United States and its role in the world. It would be a gap year; age 18. Every American kid is paid to serve his or her country for one year. Then it is off to college or vocational school, or straight to work. There are no losers. The millions who have never had to work or contribute to society because they are economically well off will benefit from a dose of reality. On the other side of the spectrum, the millions who have never worked because they live in an underclass that is artificially propped up by an entitlement state will also experience first hand the joy of contributing to a greater good while actually being paid to do so.

In short, by instilling a sense of service and working for something bigger than oneself will help us rebuild the bedrock that drove our unique national spirit for centuries. We are a nation of people who always served when called and always volunteered without being called. We are not that nation anymore. Let’s get the politicians off their partisan benches and agree together that we can steer the mighty ship of state back on course. Let’s do our younger and future generations a huge favor by invoking the mantra of the late John Kennedy. “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” (click here for clip) Surely we can all agree that is transcends political lines and would be a great step forward for the United States. Yes?

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Letting Pictures Do the Talking

I won’t be too wordy today. The State of the Union address was really good. Consistent with my last tome, (click here if you did not get a chance to read it)  the speech epitomized why we must separate the man from the mission when it comes down to personal likes and dislikes. The mission is what matters for the United States, and the mission is a good one. This administration and a GOP run Congress are doing good things for our country. Keep your eyes on the prize folks.

A month ago, I would have said we are going to get whacked in the November mid-term elections, and we would then have to spend the last two years of the Trump administration’s time in DC parrying with a progressive, hate filled mob led by Nancy Pelosi. Now I am not so sure.

I mean, when the President of the United States celebrates the lowest black unemployment in American history, and the Congressional black caucus reacts as captured in the picture hereon, what exactly is going on? Do they see votes they have taken for granted since 1964 slipping away? Are they petrified that their minority base may actually see a pathway to living some of the American dream? God forbid if the private sector becomes the provider of opportunity, rather than big brother in DC doling out guaranteed outcomes and perpetual unemployment!

Steny Hoyer, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer are the spokespeople for today’s Democrat party, and they all looked like they had eaten some of that sushi Putin’s goons fed to former KGB agent Litvinenko in London back in 2006. They dressed and acted as though they were at a funeral. The only times they ever came close to clapping about anything was only after they looked around the room to see whether any Democrats were actually clapping. The word “clapping” is a bit of an exaggeration. They managed to make their left and right hands touch upon occasion, if only to see if they could match the sound of a pin dropping. 

If you are reading this article, you care enough to know that Nancy Pelosi called the myriad bonuses American workers have received (as a direct result of passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017) “crumbs” and “pathetic”. Given an opportunity to retract her comments, she doubled down and repeated them a week later. My friends, just how out of touch are these people? $1,000 bonuses represent real money delivered to real people.

We have seen wonderful stories about pay raises, bonuses, repatriated dollars and investment plans/commitments almost every day since the tax bill was passed. This is not a plan for the wealthy. Tax reform will help our hard working middle class, and it will create more employment opportunity for those striving to enter the middle class. You see, a rising tide really does lift all boats. 

The Democrats appear to be stuck on two themes. If it is about taxes, the playbook calls for running campaigns  based on envy and greed. If the topic has to do with any of our pressing social issues, the lens must be focused on racism. Indeed, it seems all Republicans are greedy racists. 

I think the argument is getting really stale, and most (not all) Americans see right through the pitiful, pandering, populist, shameful, insulting nature of the Democrat gameplan. Of course, the mid-term elections will be the litmus test. The GOP needs to run a spirited campaign, and take absolutely nothing for granted. If you are interested about the right strategy for the 2018 mid-term elections, read this article by Newt Gingrich. He is spot on. The GOP has the right message, but it will get no help from the media and it has historically been horrible at communicating the good things it has done for its constituents. Only time will tell whether the Republicans can get the good message across over the next several months.

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Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong

Trump and CruzWrong, wrong, and wrong-that is what I have been for the past ten months. When it comes to politics, I have never been so wrong, so often, and for so long. As I prognosticate my way to November, all I can say now is that I hope I actually am wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s because I no longer see a path to victory.

Now don’t get me wrong! I have sensed the outright anger amongst the electorate and written about it for years. But I completely missed how this anger would manifest itself. How could anyone have possibly predicted:

–an avowed socialist is giving a completely untrustworthy, manipulative career politician a run for her money for the Democrat nomination, and

–a blowhard reality television star and self-declared business mogul is vying for the Republican nomination with a renegade Texas senator best known for reading “Green Eggs and Ham” while he single-handedly protested “Obamacare?”

The anger has not forged the band of Republican brothers united in a single cause; i.e., the defeat of Hillary Clinton to ensure (among other things) the:

–salvation of our economy,

–restoration of a cogent platform from which we will conduct our foreign affairs, and

–nomination of a Supreme Court justice who will ensure the Constitution will not be abused by decisions made by a 5-4 liberal majority intent on making new law.

No, instead, we have witnessed palpable anger that has rejected any Republican candidate (but perhaps for Governor Kasich) who can even remotely be associated with the “establishment” (whatever that is) and has gravitated instead toward unelectable blowhards.

Now, remember, I have been wrong, wrong, wrong, so logic would dictate that as I write I am wrong, wrong, wrong! That notwithstanding, I am pretty sure I am right, right, right that if Donald Trump is the GOP nominee, Hillary Clinton will be our next President. This election should be the Republicans’ to lose, and darn if we aren’t doing just that! What a national tragedy.

I want to be very clear. I will vote for the Republican nominee, no matter who that person is. We simply cannot afford 4-8 more years of this unmitigated national nightmare. I will hold my nose and pray, but the vote will be for the GOP. As we have clearly seen and as evidenced by my being wrong, wrong, wrong, I fear I will be in the minority. The votes we need (the independents, the Hispanics, more African Americans, the millennials) will either stay home or vote for Hillary. Folks, the numbers don’t add up. We could be headed for a Johnson-Goldwater debacle. If you are a Republican and care about your country, I implore you to commit yourself to stopping more progressive leftist destruction. To not vote is to open the door for Hillary.

Then there is the Convention. The talking heads cannot get enough of the Convention conjecture. Well, I am not going to be wrong about that because I am here to tell you that I have no earthly idea what will happen when the Republican rank and file congregate in Cleveland. There are any number of scenarios; my point is that none of them are very good!

So here I am, Mr. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and I’m here to tell you to expect more of the same. I mean, anyone who has been so wrong so often for so long has absolutely no reason to believe he will start being right anytime soon!

But before I leave you, let’s see if we can depart with a smile on our faces. So check out this video of Jimmy Fallon (playing Donald Trump) talking to Ted Cruz…It is funny!

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The Rape of Dignity and the Rise of Bread and Circuses

Trump in NHWhat hath we wrought? How deeply must we plunge the knife of ignorance into our national gut? Will we die before it’s too late? Is it already too late? Is ours the greatest societal suicide story ever told? Say what you will about Jeb Bush (and many of you no doubt will) but here is (was) a dignified statesman. This was a thoughtful candidate whose sound judgment could have steered a necessarily sober path through the economic and foreign minefields that have been strewn in our path. He is gone, and we are left with a “bread and circuses” campaign. Let’s face it; the lowest common denominator has won. The manipulators of public fear (on the right) and envy (on the left) now rule the day. Mother Dignity has been disgraced and is no longer valued as an American virtue.

The pundits have already sliced and diced the rise and fall of Jeb Bush’s campaign. Even here on the American Thinker pages the common refrain is touted. Jeb and his team “were unable to adopt to the changing political landscape and were crushed by their own hubris and incompetence.” American Thinker Article

Let’s accept all arguments regarding the reasons for Jeb’s failed campaign. We’ll take them at face value. The point is this; it’s not the point!

We stand on the precipice of something momentous. We are fighting for the very soul of our nation, yet the vast majority of Americans seem wholly oblivious. There are so many anomalies occurring at the same time that one struggles with where to start in decomposing this moment in time in which we find ourselves. Shall we start with Donald Trump?

Who are his supporters? This article provides some solid information. Real Clear Politics on Trump Supporters The more things change, the more they appear to stay the same. Watch this video of Archie and Edith Bunker. Archie Bunker on Washington politicians

Can you honestly tell me Mr. Trump is not exploiting today’s Archie Bunkers? Mr. Trump is not a Republican. Mr. Trump is running a campaign based on fear and loathing. His greatest applause line now involves getting his audiences to respond to his question regarding who will pay for his wall with a resounding chant of “Mexico!” Trump manipulates crowd on border wall You can’t make this stuff up, and if you did, no one would believe you.

Mr. Trump may well be the Republican nominee. Since this author has been singularly wrong about just about every political turn of events for the past eight months, the reader will not see any predictions in this article. Suffice to say we are in uncharted waters and something very big and very different needs to continue happening if Mr. Trump is to have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating the Democrat nominee. The lessons of the last half-year are that maybe something that improbable may just happen.

Let’s not forget Ted Cruz. He is a Constitutional originalist who bends from time to time to stay relevant. His is a campaign of rebellion. Washington is the enemy. This campaign speech sums it up As angry as we are at President Obama for his intransigence and refusal to negotiate anything with anyone, why would a rationale voter think Ted Cruz would be any better? Gridlock driven by the right is no better than gridlock controlled by the left.

The Republicans don’t own all the craziness. What has happened that millions of millennials now think socialism is cool? How can we have degenerated to the point where the promise of free stuff becomes a sustainable political platform? In one of Margaret Thatcher’s last stands in Parliament, she tackled the issue of socialism head on. Thatcher tackles socialism in Parliament Where are our leaders today? More importantly, do we even have the intellectual capacity to listen any longer to common sense?

Would Bernie Sanders have been given a moment’s notice in campaigns over the past century? Is it conceivable that he or anyone similar to him would ever have been more than a blip on the political radar? This is the man who says “”If Wall Street does not end its greed, we will end it for them!” See Sanders speech here Yes, this man has mastered the politics of envy.

And then there is Hillary. What can one write that hasn’t been written? Not much. So let’s just say this. This is one flawed candidate; one who is completely out of touch with mainstream America, and whose stilted, scripted performances are painful to watch. Then there is the honesty issue. Folks, there is a reason people do not trust Hillary. Compilation of Hillary Misstatements

The bread is baked and the circus is in full swing. Dignity has no home and statesmanship a thing of the past. Lord help us.

Lost in the Ozone Again

Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen“These are the times that try men’s souls.” So said Thomas Paine in his 1776-1783 newsletter by the name of “The American Crisis.” Indeed, little did he know how that phrase would have just as much applicability centuries later. We aren’t engaged in a life or death revolt against the Brits, but we sure as hell are girding our loins for a fight to restore the foundation of the house that was the United States; a structure barely recognizable today. 

The whole country is caught up in a Trumpian moment; so much so that few people bother to marvel at the fact that an avowed socialist is giving Hillary a run for her (large sum of) money. How many of you remember one of the rockabilly bands that put Austin on the map and became a cornerstone of the Austin City Limits music movement?  (Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen)  were lost in the ozone, and folks, so are we.

We have a generation (or two) of Americans (voting age 18-40) who feel disenfranchised. Astonishingly, when they listen to Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, they are not horrified. There are any number of reasons for this generational divide, but I suggest one of them is captured in my earlier blog College Education Run Amok. Think about it. We have seen the onslaught of progressive liberal brainwashing in our schools and colleges for a minimum of the past two decades. So why should we be surprised if Americans in their twenties and thirties think capitalism is a dirty word? The Berlin wall came down in 1990. Most of these kids don’t even know what evil was represented behind that wall. They didn’t grow up in a world where democracy and capitalism were inextricably intertwined, and tied just as inseparably to better lives lived. History is a long line of repetition. Alas, we are coming full circle on a straight line to a point where two generations of Americans find the lure of socialism to be a desired outcome. Lord help us.

If we take this explanation for the seemingly imponderable rise of socialist populism in the US as a credible theory, then we don’t have to go too far to see that by combining it with the reality of a large segment of the American population that feels disenfranchised and left behind, we are led directly to where we find ourselves today: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. We have not only arrived at the doorstep to the Brave New World, my friends, but we have crossed the threshold. 

Between now and March 2, we will witness caucus and primary events in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Caroline, Nevada, and then a swath of southern states in the so-called Super Tuesday event. If the pollsters are correct, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will emerge on March 2nd as the run-away leaders of their respective primary campaigns. Once again, Lord help us. 

I remain skeptical; I think the pollsters are missing the plot. But in the not too distant future, I will either be proven right, or dead wrong!

In 2012 I made the case that we stood at a tipping point where four more years of Obama could push us irretrievably down into a national death spiral. We are in that spiral now; executive orders have routinely circumvented the Constitution. Liberal federal judges now populate the bench from coast to coast; subverting our Constitution, (a document most of them see as an anachronism) and making new law is their agenda. Black Lives Matter protestors call for death to police and the President of the United States refuses to condemn their rhetoric. Instead, he says “…change takes time.” It is important to understand that this President meant to change this country from day one of his time in office. His is a community agitator/activist agenda. All one has to do is look at what he has said and done for over 7 years. I have been crystal clear since this blog began; President Obama may love the United States, but he does not love the United States I love, and he has done everything in his power to destroy it. 

So yes, we were pushed past the tipping point in 2012. We are most assuredly lost in the ozone again. So now the question is whether or not we can muster enough courage to stop the downward flow into the abyss of European mediocrity. America, do you really think Donald Trump is the person with the skills to help us start climbing back up to re-attain our position as “The Shining City upon the Hill?” (if you have never watched President Reagan’s last remarks from the Oval Office, I recommend you do so now.) 

In the next month, many of you will begin to decide. Good luck.

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The Trump Card?

 

Donald TrumpWhither the memory of elections past? For that matter, does anyone read American history anymore?

Donald Trump is merely the latest political incantation to take human form. Alas, he is shockingly amusing to pundits and political junkies, but folks, mark my words; he is this election cycle’s version of “here today, gone tomorrow.” Admittedly, tomorrow may be in early 2016 (thus allowing for several months more entertainment for the junkies) but tomorrow will arrive.

Take a walk down memory lane by enjoying this memory from the 1960’s. Or maybe you would like to listen to Donald Trump in the 1988 campaign

The point, my friends, is that the current phenomenon in this early phase of the 2016 campaign is nothing new. We have witnessed these surges for decades. Indeed, what exactly does a tidal wave do? After the surge, it recedes. There may be havoc left in its wake, but it is gone. So too will be Donald Trump.

Don’t get me wrong. The man is not stupid! Why spend hundreds of millions of advertising dollars promoting one’s name when one can run for President and get the global media to promote the name for free! Now that is raw capitalism!

What Pat Paulson did in the 1960’s (see “this memory” above) and Ross Perot again in the 1980’s (see “Donald Trump in the 1988 campaign” above) is exactly what Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing today. America’s voting constituency has never been a homogeneous block moving in lockstep toward a common goal. We have since our very beginning been a conglomeration of disparate interests, and perhaps more importantly, there have always been outliers who don’t like anyone from the perceived “mainstream”. The nerve that Trump (and Sanders on the left) is hitting may be raw, but it is not new! The Trump and Sanders coalitions are practicing a long-standing (albeit, perhaps, subliminally conveyed)) art of political protest. They are rejecting all they perceive to be status quo. Theirs is a raw energy; one that screams for the statue of liberty in favor of the I formation.

We hadn’t even convened our Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia after the American Revolution came to a close before we had our first rebellion. Shay’s Rebellion (read about it here) may have involved armed insurrection, but at its roots were people who felt disenfranchised, downtrodden, and lacking in a “voice” to combat an emerging central government. Sound familiar?

One cannot underestimate the damage to the American psyche that has been inflicted by the last seven abusive years of power. The Constitution has been subverted repeatedly. Government has been run by Executive order. Mussolini or Saddam Hussein would have called it “government by fiat.” Through the benign (and sometimes overt) neglect of senior members of the current administration (up to and including the President himself) fundamental pillars of our society (law enforcement-to protect and to serve, let us not forget) have been undermined in metaphoric ways not dissimilar to what ISIS did this past week to the ancient temples of Palmyra. Not to beat a dead horse, but in case you have not connected my dots, all lives matter. Some lives are not more important than other lives.

So people are mad, and a lot of them see the country they love disappearing before their very eyes. Indeed, watch this 1976 clip (in its entirety) and tell me if that does not explain  the Donald Trump phenomenon!

I do not discount the strength of the Sanders or Trump movements. I do, however, counsel perspective. We have seen this kerfuffle before; in fact, this phenomenon has existed for as long as we have survived as a Republic. But as the old saying goes, “the year before the election is for dating. The year of the election is for mating.

Donald Trump will not be our next President. The only way Donald Trump will effect the outcome of the 2016 election will be if he allows his already colossal ego to propel him into running as an independent. Should he take that course, a Democrat will be elected. You read it here.

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