After the Trump Victory

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am profoundly skeptical of President-elect Trump.  While I certainly think he’ll make a far better President than Hillary would have, he’s still no conservative, and particularly not the kind of constitutional conservative that I would have preferred.  Having said that, he did run a masterful campaign, showing the leftists in the media that they don’t influence the message as much as they think they do, and that leftists have completely misread the will of Americans across the country.  To steal Obama’s favorite phrase, “that’s not who we are.”

But now we must look to the future.  I see some “moderate” Republicans (aka RINOs) who think that we now need to “unify” with the democrats.  To “come together” to “get things done”.  I reject that notion in its entirety.  This was the same mistake that we made in 1992 and before that in the Reagan era.  We mustn’t do it again.

In the dulcet tones of King Barack I after his immaculation, “we won.”  It’s time to show the leftists exactly what havoc they have wrought, salt the fields and plow them under, and drink deeply of their tears and blood.

By which I mean we must politically show them no mercy whatsoever.  We must be uncompromising in our use of the so-called “nuclear option” wielded so fiercely by “Dingy” Harry Reid.  We must use the full force of the IRS to openly target leftist groups, just as they targeted conservative groups.  We must openly use the Department of Justice to selectively prosecute leftists who have broken the law many times over–especially including Hillary herself.  And most of all, we should use every legal power at our disposal to ensure that leftists in the judiciary are removed and replaced.

Not only would we be just in doing so, but we would be sending the message that nobody is above the law–and most especially not the leadership of the left.

Figuratively speaking, I call for a blood-letting of the highest order.  From George Soros, Tom Steyer, John Koskinin, Eric Holder, and Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, to President Obama himself, they should spend the rest of their political lives looking over their shoulders–for the next lawsuit, the next prosecution, whatever.

Now I am not suggesting that we break any laws in doing this.  Even if I thought that were appropriate–and I do not–it’s unnecessary.  There are plenty of laws on the books, and these leftist dolts have broken many of them.  They should be punished to the fullest extent of the law for those crimes.   And as for those things, like the “nuclear option,” that are not explicitly in the law, we can–as they did–do anything we like.

On a policy level, we need to precede construction with some demolition: We must undo every ideological act of the last 8 or 10 years, from Obamacare, to bathroom laws, to infringements on practically the entire Bill of Rights.  Then we need to rebuild solid legal foundations for our federalist system, capitalist economic model, and republican system of justice.

The simple fact is that the leftists realize better than we do that we are in an ideological war of domination.  They took their best shot and lost.  Now it’s our turn.  Let’s fight, and let’s fight to win.  We should accept nothing less than their unconditional surrender.

***

Parenthetically, can anyone explain to me why BLM didn’t go after Loretta Lynch, given her racist surname?

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Republican Lite vs. Conservatives

I have rarely been as annoyed at an op-ed as I was this morning by Peggy Noonan’s piece “The Divider vs. the Thinker“. I do not have the time, the stomach, or the inclination to dissect the many factual and logical errors in her piece, but I will focus on two especially egregious ones.

First, Ms. Noonan says that Occupy Wall Street “seem[s] as incapable of seeing government as part of the problem as Republicans seem of seeing business as part of the problem.”  The logical fallacy is that Republicans, or at least conservatives, are not as enslaved by businesses as Ms. Noonan suggests.  The factual fallacy is that businesses were not part of the problem, except to the extent that they obeyed the mandates placed on them by an uncaring, unthinking, and dysfunctional government.  And, at the time, there was a Democrat president and both houses of Congress were run by Democrats with veto-proof majorities.

Let us all remember Janet Reno (who, last time I checked, is a Democrat) threatening businesses who did not comply with federal investigations.  Essentially saying that if banks did not make loans to people who couldn’t repay them, they would face expensive federal investigations.  In that light, I don’t see that banks had too many options!

And let’s also remember that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank—both of whom, to put it charitably, have ethical challenges in this whole affair, given that they were both getting sweetheart mortgage deals from Countrywide—were staunch defenders of the management and financial stability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac throughout the entire Bush administration.  Of course, the Bush administration tried to reform Fannie and Freddie but were blocked by Democrat opposition.

No.  Business wasn’t part of this problem.  Government and Democrats were the entire problem.

Second, Ms. Noonan ends the piece by praising Paul Ryan by cherry-picking some of his comments to make him appear liberal and then saying that “If more Republicans thought—and spoke—like this, the party would flourish.”  This is arrant nonsense and is more of the “Republicans need to be more liberal in order to get elected” meme that leftists and some RINOs constantly tout.

In my view, John McCain lost the last presidential election precisely because he billed himself as “Democrat Lite”.  He therefore didn’t appeal to most Democrats who would understandably prefer to have the real hard-core leftist than the “lite” variety, and he also didn’t appeal to most Republicans who didn’t want any sort of Democrat, “lite” or not.

In this upcoming presidential election, Republicans need to grow a spine and nominate a bona-fide conservative.  Given Obama’s job-approval numbers and the fact that an increasing number of people are identifying themselves as conservatives, we should be able to engineer a landslide victory.  Then, as I’ve mentioned many times, it will be time to govern according to conservative principles. 

We’ve given the leftists total power in the form of both houses of Congress and the presidency for two years, and near total power for another year or so, and it has done grave damage to the Republic.  The time is coming for conservatives to start fixing the mess that leftist policies have created—yet again.

On Trades Unions

We recently saw a huge debate about the role of public sector unions in Wisconsin.  In my view, the good guys won in the end, with a trouncing of the leftist public sector unions, a state supreme court election, and federal court decisions that indicate that the victory is likely to remain in place.   Even the leftists’ recall effort was thwarted, thankfully.

So now the Obama regime has attempted to tilt the scale towards the unions again, this time for private-sector unions.  First we have the radical National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) attempting to tell a major corporation where it may (or may not) produce its products.  In this case, Boeing has a clear case for overreach on the part of the NLRB.  But in a move largely ignored by the leftist press, the NLRB has also proposed wide-reaching changes in labor laws that would clearly favor unions over employers.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I have a very personal bias in labor matters.  First, I have been a member of three different unions, in widely different industries.  In each case, they have actually done me harm—and also did harm to many of my colleagues.  I’m also opposed to labor unions (both public and private sector) for political and philosophical reasons.   But most of all, I’m opposed to unions because of their bullying and coercion.  When I was “invited” to become a member of the Steelworkers, it was difficult not to notice that the union steward was accompanied by the biggest and toughest guy in the plant.

My philosophical objection is based on the principle of self-reliance.   I have also been an independent consultant for more than 10 years.  I negotiated my own prices, and negotiated other conditions myself—and my clients were some of the largest multi-national corporations in the world.  I believe that I gave them good value for their money—and they must have thought so too, because my services were in continual demand.  Union members, on the other hand, have so little faith in their own value that they resort to mob action to get their way.

I do think there’s a difference between public and private sector unions.  An hundred years ago, you could make the case for a private-sector union and the advances they made for workers in the steel mills, coal mills, and heavy industry in the United States and elsewhere.  But today, their harmful effects are obvious: overpriced labor has closed most of the steel mills, much of the heavy industry, and is close to destroying the domestic automobile industry.   Public sector unions, on the other hand are an unmitigated ill.  A recent article by James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation in the New York Times noted that “The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create.  Government workers, however, don’t generate profits.  They merely negotiate for more tax money.  When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers.  F.D.R. considered this ‘unthinkable and intolerable.’”

It is also interesting how many of the unions today (mostly on the private-sector side) act in contravention of the wishes of their membership.  Take, for example, this story of an Ohio Education Association member whose husband was running for political office—as a Republican, and the union ran attack ads against him.  As she put it, “in effect, [they] are using my union dues to attack my husband!  This is a new low, even for the OEA.”

Public-sector unions have one feature that makes them far worse than their private-sector counterparts: they end up taking enforced dues from government workers, and then using the dues directly for campaigns—essentially using the union as a money-laundering enterprise.  In short, taxpayer money goes more-or-less directly to subsidize Democrat campaigns.  (Yes, these are generally Democrat political campaigns, although not invariably.)

And, of course, we cannot ignore how the unions destroy jobs.  A 2009 Heritage Foundation study, “What Unions Do: How Labor Unions Affect Jobs and the Economy”, also by James Sherk, noted that a pattern holds true in many industries:  “Between new companies starting up and existing companies expanding, non-union jobs grow by roughly 3 percent each year, while 3 percent of union jobs disappear.[26] In the long term,  unionized jobs disappear and unions need to replenish their membership by organizing new firms. Union jobs have disappeared especially quickly in industries where unions win the highest relative wages.[27]  Widespread unionization reduces employment opportunities.”

In my opinion, with the many union missteps we’ve seen in recent months, conservatives have an excellent opportunity to make fundamental changes to labor and campaign laws.  And it is clearly time to rethink what the relationship between government, labor, and businesses ought to be.

Sarah Palin, The Party of “No”, &c.

Over at National Review Online, Jay Nordlinger does a weekly column that is often sprinkled with brief snippets that are illuminating and often fun.  I confess that I am impertinently stealing his shtick—even to the extent of throwing in a little musical snippet, because we share a great love for music.

*  *  *

Just a few months ago, leftists were excoriating conservatives for being “the party of ‘No’”.   (To which conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, answered that we were actually the party of “Hell No!”)  Take, as an example, this politico article.

But now the shoe is on the other foot.  Leftists in the House haven’t put forward a budget—a constitutional responsibility—in more than two years; while mouthing mendacious rhetoric about fiscal sanity, they’ve opposed every fiscal sanity measure that the Republicans in both the House and the Senate have proposed.  Who’s the party of “No” now?

*  *  *

I’m continually amazed by the silliness in all this talk of how “weak” the Republican Presidential field is.  Let’s cast our minds back—not far—to the last election cycle.  The Democratics had two first-term Senators running.  One had been first lady, but not much else.  The other was a Chicago machine politician who had really done nothing but made a few good (at least from a leftist perspective) speeches.  And then there were a bunch of also-rans:  Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kuchinich, and so on.

Why was nobody talking about how weak their field was?  Why didn’t they focus more on the whackos amongst them and their many gaffes?

Well, besides the obvious left-leaning tilt of the media, which makes it unlikely that they would point out anything even potentially negative about their own favored side, the left is also far more willing to bash and name-call than the right is—at least on an institutional level.  (Yes, I know that there’s plenty of name-calling on the right too, but I think there is a significant difference of degree…and the left is far meaner than the right.)

But what really galls me is when we do it to ourselves.  And I’m not just talking about RINO idiots like David Brooks—who appears to know his Trollope, but is a little weak on his Federalist Papers.  I’m talking about guys like Newt Gingrich, who used to be a genuine conservative leader in the House.  Now he’s doing more damage to the Conservative movement than our opponents.

*  *  *

Contrast and compare:

Hillary Clinton:  “But I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we’re Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.”

Eva Longoria: “…[Obama] keeps getting beat up lately because there’s such an extremist movement happening and it’s a very dangerous.”  She added that Obama has governed in a “state of emergency.”

*  *  *

A friend has grown to like the music of Richard Wagner and asked me to recommend a good recording of the Ring of the Neibelung.  Personally, I have yet to hear a recording better than the first stereo recording with Maestro Georg Solti and the Vienna Philharmonic.  It’s difficult to find now, but the question made me re-visit my own copy.  What a glorious sound, and what an outstanding cast:  Hans Hotter, Birgit Nilsson, Kirsten Flagstad, Dietrich Fischer-Diskau, Christa Ludwig, George London, Wolfgang Windgassen, and many others–every one could legitimately be called “great.”

The sound technology is old enough that it might offend an audiophile, but the interpretation and singing are, in my opinion, unsurpassed.

In Defense of Capitalism

I should never have to write an article with this title.  As far as I’m concerned, the burden of proof is on anyone who wants to change our economic system to show that their proposed system is better.  To date, none of the modern critics of capitalism have done that.  Marxism/Leninism/Maoism and Socialism writ large have utterly failed at what they purport to desire: the establishment of a system which is “fair” by equalizing outcomes.  (Of course, that is by itself inherently unfair, but that never seems to bother the leftists…)

As I’ve pointed out in other articles, Capitalism has brought freedom and liberty to more people than any other economic system.  Conversely, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and all of the other variants that have been tried at various times and in various countries have invariably led to tyranny, oppression, and often genocide.  Consider Albania, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, the Eastern Bloc, the People’s Republic of China, and many others.  Those societies that have adopted a capitalist system have, by and large, not experienced tyranny or oppression.  Milton Friedman pointed out that Capitalism has also liberated people from grinding poverty, which Socialism and other leftist models have signally failed to do:  “Great achievements in human history come from individuals pursuing their separate interests.  The only cases in which the masses have escaped from grinding poverty…in recorded history…are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.  And if you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that.”

Capitalism implies the existence of certain rights, including the right to make decisions, the right to private property, and the right to exchange your property with another person.  In short, we call this freedom.  Non-capitalist systems invariably limit or do away with these rights—that is, they take freedom away.

Capitalism also implies a moral code.  There are legal, moral, and regulatory limits to the ways in which people can exchange property.  Non-capitalist systems almost invariably do away with a moral code, which causes amoral or immoral consequences.  In the Soviet Union, for example, the express lack of a moral code in society was the proximate cause of behaviors that would, in any other society, be unthinkable.  Stalin’s purges, the reign of terror, the gulag, and the many violent crimes of the October Revolution were all examples of the amorality of the Socialist system.  To quote from Dr. Robert Nash in the Free Republic: “Capitalism should be viewed as a system of voluntary relationships within a framework of laws that protect people’s rights against force, fraud, theft, and violations of contracts. “Thou shalt not steal” and “Thou shalt not lie” are part of the underlying moral constraints of the system. After all, economic exchanges can hardly be voluntary if one participant is coerced, deceived, defrauded, or robbed.”

One of the biggest failures of leftist economic models is their tendency to view resources as a “zero-sum game.”  Milton Friedman talked about this phenomenon too:  “There’s a terrible tendency, and most economic fallacies derive from that tendency, to think of everything as what the game theorists have come to call a “Zero Sum Game”.  To think there’s a fixed cost and if I get more you must get less.  If somebody was able to make a fortune for himself, he must have done it by grinding under his heel the poor people.  Because the pie is fixed and he takes a bigger part.  The great insight behind the free market, the great insight of Adam Smith’s great book “The Wealth of Nations”, was that it is not a zero sum game–that it is possible for both people to afford to a transaction to benefit.  And that this insight can be used to organize people’s activities over a very wide area.”

I would go a step further.  To the critics of Capitalism that have currently besieged New York and other cities around the nation, I would answer:  What hurts people around the world is NOT an unequal distribution of wealth, but an unequal distribution of Capitalism.  If we were to bring a Capitalist system to those countries that are poorest, you would, in time, see people become free, self-reliant, and ultimately relieved from the grinding poverty that they currently endure.

The thugs occupying Wall Street (and elsewhere) offer only tyranny and oppression.

Democrats Have Contempt for Ordinary Americans

I am infuriated, outraged, nearly apoplectic about Vice-President Joe Biden’s comment that Tea Party Republicans have “acted like terrorists” in negotiations of the debt-ceiling deal.

I have noted several times the repeated calls from Democrats for “civility” and to “tone down the angry rhetoric”.  This is just another example of their complete, total, and utter hypocrisy.

It is especially ironic since it would be far closer to the truth if one were to accuse the administration of being terrorists:  an economic record that is unmatched since the great depression, a spending spree that beggars imagination, a foreign policy record that makes Chamberlain look competent, and a domestic policy record that is best compared to a train-wreck.  It’s almost as if they are intentionally attempting to destroy the country.

Let’s not even talk about the personal corruption of both the President and Vice-President (and many of their cronies), as ably documented by Michelle Malkin in “Culture of Corruption.”

How could it possibly be acceptable for a so-called “public servant” to refer to his constituents in such a manner?

I urge every American—whether or not they agree with the Tea Party—to join me by contacting the Vice President and demanding an apology for this completely unacceptable behavior.  His contact page is here.

UPDATE:  A reader was kind enough to remind me that the Democrats actually have terrorists on their side:  Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers–a close personal friend of the President.   So this is typical leftist projection.

“Good Intentions” vs. Reality

We conservatives are always being attacked by leftists for being “cold-hearted” or “uncompassionate” or whatever.  But there’s a major factor that’s missing in these charges: what actually works.

Leftists are considered compassionate for supporting poverty programs.  Yet since the “War on Poverty” began in 1964, we see that the number of people below the poverty line are exactly the same as they were (when adjusted for population), in spite of billions of dollars “invested” in poverty programs.

Leftists are considered compassionate because they support federal education programs.  Yet since the Department of Education was founded, education—by virtually any measure you care to use—has gotten worse.  And it has done so for every socioeconomic group.

Leftists are considered “concerned” or “caring”, because they supported the establishment of the Department of Energy in the 1970’s.  The reason for creating the Department was “to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”  Forty years later, we have an agency with a budget of more than $26 billion, and a dependence on foreign oil that is as bad or worse than it was when the department was created.

Leftists are considered compassionate because they support entitlement programs.  Yet those programs are going broke, are so poorly designed that there’s real doubt as to how long we can keep funding them, and often harm the very people whom they purport to help.  “Aid to Families with Dependent Children” (AFDC), for example, is practically single-handedly responsible for the destruction of the black family.

And on and on and on.  In each case, a supposedly “compassionate” program costs a fortune and either does harm or doesn’t work—and in most cases both.

No conservative that I know objects to helping people who are in need, who need a “helping hand”.  We do often question how that help is given, whether government or private charity is a more effective means of helping, or what level of government (federal, city, state, local) ought to be involved.  And for that, we’re pilloried for being uncompassionate.

It’s a poor excuse for leftist thought that simply argues that more money at the federal level towards a “good cause” is the only means of being compassionate.  In his 2006 book “Who Really Cares”, Arthur Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, has some very interesting statistics:

  • If leftists donated blood at the rate conservatives do, the nation’s blood supply would rise 45%.
  • Americans who believe in “income redistribution” give 75% less to charity than Americans who do not.
  • Political conservatives donate more money than leftists, despite having incomes that are on average 6 percent lower than leftists.

To put the kindest spin possible on it, conservatives believe in donating money and time to those in need on an individual basis and not though government.  Leftists believe in using government—with all of its coercive mechanisms—to enforce charitable giving.   And in the governmental process, the money is generally wasted on programs that are ineffective and often harmful.

If it’s the purity of intentions you want, by all means, vote for leftists.  But if you want things that actually work, vote for conservatives.  But don’t ever forget who is more “compassionate”…