The Shoes Begin to Fall

[T]he guiding philosophy of the “MAGA” movement has been “victory at any cost”, from the very start. Unfortunately for them, the bill has come due.

Excepting the misguided opinions of his most delusional supporters, it is undeniable that the Trump Administration is in deep political trouble, though whether Trump is in actual legal trouble is a question for another time. Speaking only in terms of the “optics“, as the American media is fond of calling them, the situation has reached parody level. Tragically, this situation wouldn’t even be possible except for Donald’s own inability to cap his boiling pettiness, shallow conceit, and personal vindictiveness, even when surrounded by men and women who ostensibly know better.

Let’s get this out of the way, just so we understand where we are at: “We told you so.

Whether or not you were on the “Trump Train” or, more appropriately now, the “Donald Disaster“, from the beginning, or you got on board after your preferred candidate dropped out of the primaries, you have hitched your personal integrity and your political fortunes to a demonstrably unscrupulous man whose personality flaws are as obvious as they are mercurial. “MAGA” owns this sideshow freak presidency that, as much as you may protest otherwise, the mainstream media has not only the right to spotlight its inequities, they have a duty to do so.

“He referred to my hands, if they’re small,
something else must be small. I guarantee
you there’s no problem. I guarantee it.”
-Donald Trump-

When Trump talked about the size of his manhood on the stage of a nationally televised presidential debate; you own that. When Trump attacked the wife of another candidate; you own that, too. When the Donald suggested the father of one of his political rivals may actually have been involved in the assassination plot of John F. Kennedy, because he read it in the National Enquirer; you own that, too. And when he bragged about sexual liberties with women and his sexual predation on women; you own that, as well.

These are all inseparable from the person and identity of Donald Trump. Such outbursts are so normal for him that his ability to get through a two hour speech without doing or saying something morally repugnant is applauded as “being presidential“. This was once just considered normal human politeness, and no one was delusional enough to think that reading a carefully prepared speech had anything to do with “being presidential“. Our political leaders cannot be but a reflection of what we as a people esteem to be, and what a reflection it is.

Regardless, the guiding philosophy of the “MAGA” movement has been “victory at any cost“, from the very start. Unfortunately for them, the bill has come due.

“As President I wanted to share [classified
with Russia… which I have the
absolute right to do, 
facts pertaining to
terrorism and airline flight safety.”

Donald Trump

After two days of his White House staff denying Donald Trump had disclosed classified “code word” intelligence with Russian diplomats, he revealed on Twitter that, in fact, he did exactly that. This came just days after he terminated the director of the FBI allegedly for refusing to back off of investigations into connections between the Russian government and Trump’s closest advisors and staff. A termination which Trump has now been accused of bragging about to those same Russian diplomats.

If the president were anyone other than Donald Trump, this reporting would be almost completely inconceivable, but this is the same man that bragged about his genitals in front of a national audience. His total lack of anything resembling a filter, the very thing his “MAGA” supporters said was his greatest asset, is the very thing that makes the many increasingly implausible insinuations of ridiculous outbursts entirely credible. The one thing his supporters could never say is “Trump would never say that.”, because, it is a matter of demonstrable fact he very often has.

As the curtain falls the second to the last time on this three act play that is a comedy for some and a tragedy for many others, with the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the allegations of collusion with a foreign power surrounding the Trump White House, the finale promises to be climactic. Though “MAGA” holds out hope for the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, as played by the mainstream media, it is just as likely that their Caesar is set to meet a grizzly end on the Senate floor.

The only certainty is that when the final curtain falls, it will do so with a crash.

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Running Out of Rails: Trump’s 100 Days

So 100 days later, how have Donald Trump’s central campaign promises held up?

Every president has 100 days with which to set the stage for his administration, setting the tone for the rest of his tenure as president. Couple this with the great political, economic, and social dilemmas that are rending our nation apart, and that tone grows that much more important to a nation gnawing on anxieties and divisions that spilled over from the previous administration into this one. Let us not forget, however, that this man, so his most ardent supporters assured us, was a political ringer.

Donald Trump was supposed to be a titan of deal making, quite literally “writing the book” on it. His ran on getting things done, ahead of schedule, with everyone involved a winner. In a deeply divided political year, to the true believers, this was exactly what the doctor ordered. After all, for most of eight years, the Republican Party has been playing underdog in practically every political fight on Capital Hill. Finally armed with not only the White House, but a high octane deal making machine White House, the sky was not only the limit, it was promised.

When the starting bell rang and the gates opened on January 20, 2017, what we were told to expect was a thoroughbred champion-to-be. What crossed the finish line, however, has been a horse of a completely different color. With zero significant legislative victories, a handful of largely meaningless executive orders, nosebleed inducing 180º flip flops, a clown car of personnel changes indicative of vicious infighting, and a growing foreign policy scandal that simply will not go away, the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency clearly has not gone as planned.

“We’re going to win so much. You’re going to get tired of winning.”
-Donald Trump-

Let’s start with what we were promised. First, Donald Trump and his stalwart supporters promised us that, despite his numerous flaws, the smash mouth real estate developer tycoon was a brilliant and strategic negotiator, the likes of which has never been seen. His pedigree as a successful deal broker that his vocal supporters claimed made him worth the gamble. With his Midas touch deal making, he promised he’d unify not only the Republican Party but the entire country. After eight years of scorched earth demagoguery in Congress and from the White House, Americans yearned for this.

Second, Donald promised to deliver on priorities that all Americans cared about: jobs. While on the campaign trail, not a week would go by without Donald eviscerating the Chinese for cheating and stealing American jobs through “unfair trade deals”. Donald promised to get America back to work by getting forceful with the Chinese. Once and for all, Donald Trump promised to not allowing China to “rape our country” anymore. He promised, on “day one“, to formally declare China a currency manipulator in breach of international law.

Third, Donald promised to secure the homeland, once and for all. His trashing of the Obama’s demonstrably feckless foreign policy, especially when it came to dealing with ISIL/ISIS. The Donald made a big show of being willing to say “Islamic terrorism“, over and over again, announcing that not only could he defeat ISIS, where Obama had proven to be totally ineffective, he said that he would do so in less than 30 days. He would not only defeat ISIS, he would do so without involving the United States in the Middle East or getting involved in Syria.

Finally, among many policies that Donald Trump (and the Republican Party) promised to do immediately was to repeal (and replace) ObamaCare. Even though legislation repealing and defunding ObamaCare has passed the Congress on numerous occasions, faced numerous court challenges, and has been the source of deep political outrage from Republicans and conservatives ever since it was passed without a single Republican vote, it withstood all of this, largely through the veto power under Obama, and helped along with a shocking betrayal by the Supreme Court. If there was ever a low hanging pitch begging to be smacked out of the political park, this was it.

So 100 days later, how have Donald Trump’s central campaign promises held up?

“…[Donald] is a chaos candidate, and he’d be a chaos president.”
-Jeb Bush-

Take just five minutes to browse any social media site, and you’ll find that the virtual (or too often very real) blood letting has only gotten worse under Trump, far surpassing even the worst days under Obama. After “The Donald” angrily declared war on the House Freedom Caucus, with several of his surrogates openly threatening political retribution, any illusion that Trump is interested in unifying either the party or the nation are simply gone. Quite simply, as far as his promise to unify party and country in his first 100 days is concerned, Trump has been a fantastic failure to the point that it defies description.

In regards to China, Trump’s drumbeat of hard line rhetoric and tough talk has turned into a soggy bowl of noodles. Very obviously, Donald Trump failed to deliver on his “Day One” promise of formally declaring China a currency manipulator. Twenty-four hours quickly became forty-eight. Days and weeks passed. Other than an executive order calling for an investigative review of trade balances, China falls completely off of Trump’s radar. Then, suddenly, Trump has done a complete 180 and said China isn’t a currency manipulator after all. On dealing with China, Trump has failed spectacularly.

Trying to deliver on tough talk on Islamic Terrorism, Donald began his administration by green lighting a military operation in Yemen that cost an American serviceman his life and killed left women and children noncombatants dead. Even after Trump has done several victory laps after the Yemen raid (that has yet to have produced any actionable intelligence) and then dropping a MOAB on some terrorists in Afghanistan a few weeks later, ISIS remains very conspicuously no “defeated“. Then, after promising not to get involved in Syria, he gets involved in Syria. After 100 days, Trump has not only failed to deliver on his promise, he’s broken those promises while getting people killed in the process. Looks kind of like a fail to me.

And as far as the low hanging pitch right in the middle of the strike zone? To be fair, he had help with the aborted “Trump Care” plan. Despite having months to come up with a plan, after conspicuously challenged by Marco Rubio to give details about his big plan to replace the failing ObamaCare, and the Republicans having years to devise their own plan, the American Health Care Act was rolled out onto the launch pad, then quietly rolled back off of the launch pad without a vote. ObamaCare was the one thing Trump and the Republicans were voted in, election after election to do something about. Honestly, 100 days is about 99 more days than should have been necessary to have fulfilled this promise.

“You know what they say about men with small hands…”
-Marco Rubio-

Trump was billed as the king of deal makers. He ridiculed his opponents as being “low energy” politicians that didn’t have what it takes to get the job done. It should be crystal clear 100 days into Trump’s phony phoned in presidency that, if there is one thing that Donald Trump knows a lot about, it’s not having what it takes to get the job done. As far as what tone Trump’s first 100 days in office have set? Probably somewhere along the lines of a flatbed of bag pipes being slowly fed to a rush hour bridge collapse.

Yes, that bad.

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Playing with Fire: The Syrian Problem

Inconsistency, it seems, is the only consistent policy between the Obama and Trump administrations.

In 2010, after nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, deposing two tyrannical regimes, the military forces of the United States were on the clock to leave Iraq in December of 2011. Just 4 years earlier, the entire world watched Saddam Hussein, the “butcher of Baghdad“, hang for his countless crimes against the people of Iraq. Whatever direction political opinion of the Iraq War may have been blowing in America, the wider psychological and political impact of seeing the corpse of a hated dictator hanging limply by his neck resonated across a region of the world dominated by such hated dictators.

The seeds of change had been planted in the largely Arabic nations from Morocco, on the western coast of Africa, to Iran, deep in the heart of the Middle East. The tinder of raw nerves of decades of living under repressive dictators that, until Saddam, had seemed simply a fact of life now lay exposed. The entire Middle East became a powder keg of pent of rage that, for the first time in generations, had hope for release. The smoldering discontent that would soon explode into a raging inferno of protests and civil war awaited only a single spark.

“The cause of America is in a great
measure the cause of all mankind.”
-Thomas Paine, Common Sense-

Like countless men before him throughout history, Mohamed Bouazizi did not seek to start a revolution. He was simply a man born poor under a despot in Tunisia. At age 10, he dropped out of school to support his parents and put his younger sister through school. Unable to find steady work, Bouazizi, an honest man who believed in honest work, decided to take his fate into his own hands, becoming a merchant, selling fruit on the side of the street. He would buy his wares on credit, then sell them for a small profit, about $5 (US), the next day.

This was his life, and he embraced it. Through honest work and sheer will, day by day, customer by precious customer, Bouazizi hoped only to better his humble lot in life. One fateful day in December of 2010, a corrupt police official accused Bouazizi of not having paid for a permit to operate his stand, nevermind that no such permit was required by law. Bouazizi protested, partly out of indignation but mostly because he had no money to pay the official’s bribe.

As punishment, the police turned over his cart, spilling his livelihood into the street, and seized the only thing of value Bouazizi had on him, his produce scales. After futilely trying to get his scales back for an hour, with no way to pay back his debt, continue his business, or to pay for his sister’s schooling, Mohamed Bouazizi stood defiantly in the middle of the street in front of government offices with a can of gasoline. Before stunned onlookers, Bouazizi doused himself then screamed, “How do you expect me to make a living!?

The fire he lit set the entire Arab world ablaze.

“It is change , continuing change, inevitable
that is the dominant factor
in society today.”

-Isaac Asimov-

The Arab Spring was a moment in time, a chance for great leaders to do great things, and to change the fate of the world for millions who lived under tyranny. Sadly, for those rising up against their tyrannical governments, the west has long since exhausted its great leaders. When America had an opportunity to stand with the people, who had lived for so long under the yolk of tyranny yearned for freedom and equality, America failed to be America.

The United States and its European allies, instead of siding with the people, tried to prop up dictatorships in countries like Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and even Syria. In the philosophical space that should have been filled by western values of individual Liberty and moral equality, in rushed radical Jihadism, uncontested. The battle lines in people’s hearts had been drawn, and, with the absence of American idealism, the intractable fighting began between the tyranny of political elites on one side and the tyranny of radical Jihadism on the other.

The full cost of Obama’s feckless foreign policy during the Arab Spring is spilling over into our streets, and, in no small part, set the political stage for the rise of Trump. Trump then came into the White House on a wave of bluster, slogans, and pejorative. However, if we objectively compare the “Obama Doctrine” to the “Trump Doctrine“, it’s hard to see any difference after the April 6th bombing of a Syrian and Russian held airfield. In just a few weeks, we went from “regime change” under Obama, to “not our business” briefly under Trump, and now back to “regime change” again.

Inconsistency, it seems, is the only consistent policy between the Obama and Trump administrations.

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence…
the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly
awake, since history and experience prove that
foreign influence is one of the most baneful
foes of republican government.”
-George Washington-

Let’s be absolutely clear on one point. Where there is no clear American interest, the United States should not engage in a policy of “nation building“. By “American interest“, I mean where American lives have been taken by bad actors abroad. If it were not for the lives taken by Barbary pirates, Jefferson would have had no justification to spend American lives in Tripoli. Were it not for the lives taken at Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt would have had no justification to spend American lives in Europe and the Pacific. Were it not for the lives taken on 9/11/2001, Bush would have had no justification to spend American lives in Afghanistan.

As of the time of this article, no American lives have been lost because of the Assad regime in Syria. Despite this, Donald Trump has decided to pick a fight Syria and, by proxy, Russia. By all accounts, the airfield that was bombed by US forces was up and operational again within 24 hours, but the foreign relations damage may be permanent. Whether Assad goes or stays, there is nothing to be gained by intervening on behalf of either side, with the Syrian government being geopolitically aligned with the Russians and the rebels being geopolitically aligned with Jihadists.

If Trump’s intent is truly to do good for the sake of doing good, not simply for his own political aggrandizement or, worse, to deflect attention away from the many suspicious connections between his campaign and Moscow, then there are avenues for a pro-American non-intervention. It would, however, create significant long-term friction between Washington and Moscow. There are no safe alliances to be found in Syria, but there is a group within Syria that has capitalized on the political instability to try to assert their autonomy: the Free Kurdish Movement.

While not perfect, the Free Kurdish Movement has a legitimate and morally justifiable political grievance. Though the United States should not directly involve itself in the military activities and necessities of the Kurds, it is long past time for the United States to take an affirmative stance in support of Kurdish independence, but that is the topic for another time.

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Stay Off of Reagan’s Grave

Here, however delayed, is a four point argument on the differences between Ronald Reagan, a titan of American conservatism, and Donald Trump, a populist, celebrity loudmouth.

Recently, there has been a push by the Republican Party’s propaganda machine to draw comparisons between Donald Trump and Ronald Reagan. In a recent article by Tammy Bruce, she focuses on parallels between how Ronald Reagan was treated in the media to how Donald Trump is being treated by the media, which would otherwise be a meaningless, but not inaccurate comparison had she not wrote one sentence in particular that put a burr under my saddle. She writes, “I do believe there are many similarities between Reagan and Trump.

No, Tammy, there really aren’t, and your argument not only fails to support that statement, it’s ridiculous on its face. On the first premise about the media attacks, I can’t remember a single modern Republican president or presidential candidate that didn’t come under withering and often vicious attacks from the American media. So suggesting that Donald Trump is somehow “just like Reagan“, because he is attacked by the press is a sophomoric argument. Cancer, tobacco companies, and oil spills have all come under withering and vicious attacks, so is Trump like cancer?

Reality check time. In no uncertain terms, comparing Donald Trump in any way to Ronald Reagan is nothing short of a slander of Reagan’s legacy, and I will not stand for it. In fact, I was so incensed by the implication that it’s taken days for me to trim this article from fireball to a somewhat polite retort. Here, however delayed, is a four point argument on the differences between Ronald Reagan, a titan of American conservatism, and Donald Trump, a populist, celebrity loudmouth.

1) Different generations.

Ronald Reagan was a member of the Greatest Generation. The generation that experienced the First World War, then fought through the Second World War, despite the terrible cost in human life, against the racist malevolence of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. The generation that carried itself through the Great Depression. The generation that raised their children through the darkest hours of the Cold War. The generation that sent their children to fight against communist North Korea and their communist Chinese allies in the Korean War. Reagan’s generation saw the true heart of Communism and Fascism first hand. In every way, Ronald Reagan was a product of his generation.

“Our natural, unalienable rights are now
considered to be a dispensation of government,
and freedom has never been so fragile, so
close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this
-Ronald Reagan, 1964-

Donald Trump is a member of the Baby Boomers. The generation that was born in the shadow of the Cold War, after the Second World War. They vaguely remembered the Korean War. When the last of the Cold War era battlefronts escalated into full out war, the Boomers ultimately lost to a broken enemy, abandoning thousands of American soldiers to die in hellish Viet Cong prisoner of war camps and disappear into unmarked graves, and spat on the veterans who survived for defending their country. Selfless patriotism fell out of vogue. Under the Baby Boomers, divorce became fashionable and abortion legal. Trump’s generation became the “me” generation. In every way, Donald Trump is a product of his generation.

“It’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the
Vietnam-era. It is my personal Vietnam.
I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”
-Donald Trump, 1997-

2) Different ideological backgrounds.

Even while the president of the Screen Actor’s Guild, Reagan was already actively anti-Communist, anti-Socialist, and vocally pro-American. During the 1950’s, Reagan traveled the country as a spokesperson for General Electric, speaking on the importance of political and economic freedom to the American way of life. By 1964, when Ronnie gave the historic “A Time for Choosing” speech supporting the Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign, his political ideology had been sharpened by over a decade of public and personal exploration. By the time Reagan took the presidential Oath of Office in 1981, becoming the 40th president of the United States, his conservative ideology had grown deep roots for over three decades.

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”
-Ronald Reagan, 1962-

Since 1987 alone, Donald Trump changed political parties no less than 6 times. During his campaign for president, Donald Trump espoused political positions on both sides of dozens of policy issues, from public land use to taxation, from minimum wage to health care. Before 2010, Donald Trump gave substantially more to Democrats ($686,250.00 total, from 1989 to 2010) than to the Republicans ($520,390.00 total, same time period). In fact, only after first flirting with running in the 2012 presidential election did Trump stop writing checks to Democratic politicians. The only thing that is certain about Donald Trump’s guiding ideology is that he clearly doesn’t have one.

“In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat.”
-Donald Trump, 2004-

3) Different professional backgrounds.

Ronald Reagan came to prominence as a celebrity, possessed of a personal charm and movie star good looks. Unlike Hollywood celebrities of today, Reagan didn’t “study” to become an actor. Instead, he majored in economics and sociology, and, though not an outstanding student, he graduated with a well rounded education. After college, he went into sports broadcasting, which lead into his career as an actor. His involvement in the actor’s union took him into more political realms, especially after he became president of the Screen Actors Guild. After serving in the Army Reserves during World War II, he found himself more and more interested in political philosophy, most specifically in the growing threat of Communism. It was this personal investment in pro-American ideology that lead to his run for governor of California in 1967 and ultimately for president in 1976 and 1980. Ideology, not personal celebrity, guided Reagan’s political ambitions.

“There are no constraints on the human
mind, no walls around the human spirit,
no barriers to our progress except
those we ourselves erect.”
-Ronald Reagan-

Donald Trump was born into the real estate business built by his grandmother and father. His obsession with his own personal wealth and celebrity began immediately. He studied at an Ivy League school, a fact he repeatedly reminds people of, studying business, though his academic records, like Obama’s, remain sealed. He was already involved in his own business ventures in college, and the degree, something his father insisted upon, was only tangential to his pursuit of wealth and celebrity. By the time Trump was in his 40’s, he was already a world famous billionaire, known mainly for slapping his name on everything from board games to airplanes, from frozen meat to luxury casinos. Almost all of these companies have crumbled into bankruptcy, still his personal brand persists. Personal celebrity, not ideology, guides Donald Trump’s ambition.

“I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they
let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em
by the pussy. You can do anything.”
-Donald Trump-

4) Different personal backgrounds.

Ronald Reagan was born in a small town, the child of 2nd and 3rd generation Irish and Scottish Americans. Reagan’s father was a salesman and his mother a homemaker, both deeply religious people. Ronald went out into the world, becoming a sports announcer, which lead him by chance to Hollywood, where he started acting. It was in Hollywood that he met his first wife, Jane Wyman, with whom he two children, and adopted a third. His involvement in the screen actor’s union created an irreconcilable difference between himself and Jane, and she divorced him in 1948. A year later, Ronald Reagan met Nancy Davis, and the two dated for three years, before marrying in 1952. They had two children and spent over half a century together, until Ronnie’s death in 2004.

“Whatever I treasure and enjoy… all would be
without meaning if I didn’t have you.”
-Ronald Reagan, to his wife, Nancy-

Donald Trump was born in Queens, New York, the fourth child of 3rd generation German American and 1st Generation Scottish American. From very early age, Donald was involved in his father’s real estate business. Accustomed to wealth, Donald grew into an unruly and cruel young man, bullying other students at his school. He became so unmanageable that his parents enrolled him in a military academy, hoping to reform him. At age 31, Donald married Czech model, Ivana Zelníčková. Their rocky marriage ended in 1991, Donald having later admitted to numerous infidelities, the final straw being with actress Marla Maples. Donald married Marla in 1993, then divorced her just 6 years later in 1999. In 1998, Donald became involved with his current wife, Melania Knauss, who he married in 2005 and then allegedly cheated on in an affair with Karen McDougal.

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what
(the media) write as long as you’ve got a
young and beautiful piece of ass.”
-Donald Trump-

I have long since personally written off the Republican Party as philosophically bankrupt, and this misbegotten attempt to take credibility from Ronald Reagan and staple it cheaply onto Donald Trump’s rudderless presidency simply goes to prove just how bankrupt the Party of Reagan has become. This is why the GOP is desperate to draw political connections between the historically popular Ronald Reagan and the historically unpopular Donald Trump for obvious reasons.

While many Americans view Donald Trump negatively (55% disapproval per Gallup), his political agenda in Congress remains politically dangerous for members of Congress who would ultimately pay the price for aligning themselves with him. Loss of control of Congress would be devastating to the Republican Party’s hopes of pushing through any long term legislative changes. This is why these propagandist vultures are trying to open up Reagan’s grave to carve off pieces of his legacy.

This must not be allowed to happen. For better or, more likely, for worse, Donald Trump’s personal political circus is his own. To Tammy Bruce and all of the other GOP pundits I say leave Ronnie’s legacy alone. Don’t taint his memory with Donald Trump’s dishonor. If Donald is going to somehow succeed as president, he will do it alone, and evoking Ronnie’s memory isn’t going to save him one moment of shame, nor should it.

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The High Road: Walking the Walk

What is just, what is honorable, and what is dignified has long since been abandoned by both major political parties.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost-

There is no question that the deep political divisions torn through our national fabric for 8 years under Barack Obama made the election of Donald Trump inevitable. There is also no question that Donald has brought his own particular brand of polarizing politics to the Oval Office, not the least of which being his childish habit of responding to any and all criticism with petulant whining and petty insult that might at one time have shamed his millions of supporters into silence. This, quite obviously, is no longer that time.

This begs the question of how the American right came to be such an unabashed reflection of the American left’s worst stereotypes? The answer begins with the contentious finale of the 2000 presidential elections. After the Gore v Bush decision in 2000, despite all of the scandals, the infidelities, and the rising partisan wrangling, Democrats became convinced they were somehow wrongly cheated out of another 8 years of power in Washington.

After all, the economy seemed to be on track (thanks to the compliant media minimizing the bursting dot com bubble), the incumbent president seemed to be popular (thanks to the compliant media minimizing the revolving door of White House scandals), and the world seemed to be at peace (thanks to the compliant media minimizing the rising threat if Islamic Jihadism). How could an insurgent political campaign by then Governor George W. Bush usurp the heir apparent, Vice President Al Gore?

Just 16 years ago, the Al Gore lost because the Democrats had vastly underestimated the desire “to restore honor and dignity” to the Oval Office after 8 years of scandal. Oh, what a difference 8 short years under Obama has made.

“I did not have sexual relations with
that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
-Bill Clinton-

It was in no small part because of the media’s muted reporting of Clinton scandal after scandal that caused American voters in even swing states to demand better from their White House, and they didn’t believe anyone attached to the Clintons could deliver. George W. Bush ran on that “something better” and won because he wasn’t part of the intolerably corrupt Clinton machine. The Democrat political apparatus, however, did not go quietly into the night.

The American media gorged themselves on the political blood of the Bush administration during his first months of office, attacking him constantly on every issue, from his quirky speech patterns to his political policies. Bush weathered the ceaseless criticism with the quiet fortitude that was the hallmark of presidents going back to Washington, with few exceptions, and a cordial Texas charm that was all his own. Then, on one sunny and clear Tuesday morning in September, everything changed.

Amidst the despair and horror of the ash and smoke of where the Twin Towers once stood, that quiet fortitude became fierce resolve, and a peace time president that had run on tax cuts and domestic policy reform became a war time president. For the Democrats, Bush was suddenly unassailable, at least unless the Democrats wanted to risk looking as though they were trying to undermine the president’s leadership while America was at war.

The American media, however, had the story of the century to cover, and, just two years later, would have the ammunition they needed to begin what would become the media’s main weapon against Bush: The Second Iraq War.

“The first casualty when war comes is truth.”
-Hiram W. Johnson-

In the year and half between the start of the Iraq War in 2003 and the election in 2004, the mainstream media went all in on defeating Bush. Dan Rather reported an unsubstantiated narrative attacking Bush’s Vietnam service record that backfired on him, CBS News, and broadcast journalism. Cable news outlets spent precious political capital on assassinating Bush’s character and defending John Kerry’s flailing campaign. Even NPR, after decades of feigned nonpartisan reporting, became openly critical of Bush.

Which stories mainstream media would report and which they would not depended on if it benefited the Democratic Party as much as it did on ratings. Unfortunately for the media and the Democratic Party, the truth won out. After George W. Bush handily won reelection in 2004, despite the combined attacks on “his” Iraq War by the Democratic politicians and their allies in the media, the Democrats finally became completely unhinged.

Radical elements within the Democratic Party realized it was no longer enough to merely have a compliant media. They needed to have a complicit media and to completely control the cultural narrative. It couldn’t be about journalism anymore. The future of their party was in propaganda. With the help of their younger demographics, the Democrats soon fully integrated their platform into the rise of social media platforms, such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006).

The propaganda “meme” war against Bush and the Republican Party was on, and they were taking no prisoners.

“George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
-Kanye West-

From that point on, it wasn’t enough to merely suggest that Republican policies failed to address the needs of minority communities (whether they did or not), or that Republican attempts to defend religious liberty and family values might cause discomfort to those with alternate life styles or beliefs, or that Republican attempts to trim entitlement spending might cause economic difficulty for the poor. The policies became “racist“, “homophobic“, “greedy“, “agist“, “sexist“, and “fascistic“.

With “Republicans are racist, homophobic, sexist, greedy, agist, bigots” on full blast, the left elevated the least qualified human being they could possibly find to run for president, Barack Obama. For 8 long years, any criticism of Obama, no matter how well founded or from what quarter it came, was dismissed as the angry rambling of bigots and racists. Dissent was not only not tolerated, it was openly persecuted.

Innocent Americans were treated as though they were complicit of the worst injustices of the past and present, and once it became obvious that they were convicted of gross bigotry no matter how they acted, most simply stopped caring. Embracing the mantle of “racist, homophobic, sexist, greedy, agist bigots“, these people elevated the least qualified human being they could possibly find to run for president, Donald Trump.

“The creatures outside looked from pig
to man, and from man to pig, and from
pig to man again; but already it was
impossible to say which was which.”
-George Orwell-

Never in the history of the presidency has there been a man so totally unconcerned with “honor and dignity“, whose claim to infamy was based almost entirely upon personal infidelity, an obscene obsession with his own personal wealth, shameless self promotion, and a callous vindictiveness that still defies definition. As the left and right tussle in the mud beneath the golden pig, both sides have falsely laid claim to the high road.

What is just, what is honorable, and what is dignified has long since been abandoned by both major political parties. Out of their evil, nothing good can come, so our only salvation lies in abandoning them to their petty mud slinging. As conservatives, we must rededicate ourselves to the principles of Liberty, not to dirty politics, and to Justice, not to vile slander. We must patiently and mindfully take the road less traveled: the high road.

While both high and low roads will have the same destination, it is which path we chose in getting there that defines who we are once we reach it.

Liberty is For The Win!

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Tug of War

The fight for conservatism has devolved into a fight for the very soul of the conservative movement.

“We are five days away from fundamentally
transforming the United States of America.”

-President Barack Obama-

In 2008, President Barack Obama, then the Democrat presidential candidate (spoiler alert: he won), announced in a passionate stump speech before a cheering crowd that the stated position of his Democratic candidacy was “fundamentally transforming” America. If his goal was a dominant Democratic super majority for years to come, the election results from 2016 are enough to show that he clearly failed. If, however, this “transforming” was merely shifting the political goal posts leftward, then clearly he succeeded far beyond his wildest expectations.

Sure, the fact of Republican victories of numerous governorships, state legislatures, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and now the White House fly in the face of this. I’m not going to argue that point. What I’m going to argue is that the days of “Government is the problem.” and laissez-faire economic policy, once core to the national platform of the Republican Party, are clearly over, sacrificed to an oligarchy of bankers & billionaires who seem poised to reshape the country into an extension of their corporate hegemony.

As it becomes increasingly uncertain what the party of “Honest Abe” stands for anymore, or if it stands for anything at all, there can be no doubt that the Republican Party is no longer an effective opposition party in any sense of the word. Even after maintaining six years of political (off and on) ascendancy, it has failed to act as though the Congress is coequal to the presidency, almost as if noone in the GOP has read the Constitution or, at the very least, really believe in it anymore.

“We have a plan.
-House Representative Phil Roe-

Does anyone actually remember how outraged we were when a lame duck Democratic Congress passed the Affordable Cair Act in the middle of the night without a single Republican vote? Does anyone actually remember the bitter taste when the Supreme Court ruled not only once but twice on the supposed constitutionality of the ironically named Affordable Care Act? Does anyone actually remember the betrayal of the GOP Congressional leadership failing to defund the ACA in budget fight after budget fight and continuing resolution after continuing resolution? It sure doesn’t seem like it.

Now, while the Republican Party is making a great show of repealing and replacing the ACA, I can’t help but notice that the Republican leadership seems to have assumed the federal government has any role in telling the American people and the States what kind of insurance they should have or should be available, despite the continued absence of any such enumerated power in the United States Constitution. Who in the Republican Party is leading the fight to dislodge this obvious federal overreach into the private affairs of the people beyond the Constitution? Exactly no one.

For years now, the Republicans have made a great show of chasing their own political tails, but the debt ceiling has continued to rise, the deficit has continued to bankrupt future generations, and the policy direction of the country has continued to lurch leftward. Now we’re supposed to abandon every principle of constitutional conservatism and just go along with it, because we are supposedly on the same “team“? I’m afraid that I have to respectfully decline.

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that
he himself does not become a monster.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche-

The fight for conservatism has devolved into a fight for the very soul of the conservative movement. If, as a political movement, we do not stand for limited federal government, constrained to a few enumerated powers within the United States Constitution, then we’re merely arguing about the color and placement of deck chairs as the Titanic sinks beneath the waves. By failing fighting on this issue, the Republican Party is simply agreeing with the tyrants, albeit via a very circuitous and theatrical path.

If the left’s position is government has the duty and necessary power to intervene in the private choices of the people in their business, their labors, their health, and even their beliefs, then the natural opposition position of the right must necessarily be government does not have a duty and necessary power to do these things. If the left’s position is government has the duty and necessary power to confiscate and redistribute capital, the natural opposition position of the right must necessarily be government does not have a duty and necessary power to do these things.

How many people “on the right” hold actual opposition positions? In the tug of war of politics, there is a left end of the rope and there is a right end of the rope. Are you certain which end of that rope you are pulling?

Liberty is For The Win!

We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW

A Hot Cup of Freedom

In 2017, tyranny will be served a nice hot cup of real freedom.

As night fell, the sound of the river flowing into the sea accompanied by a chorus of frogs and insects filled the darkness that enveloped the fisherman’s pier. The smugglers waited for the moon to rise in the shack at the end of the pier, passing the time with small talk and playing cards. The sky was clear, so when the near full moon did finally break the horizon, the blackness of night was lifted into an umbral blue, and the men picked up lanterns and headed outside, spreading out along the pier.

Aware that there was always a chance of a patrol approaching, they remained alert for the faintest sound of approaching footsteps or approaching lights. Only when a flash of light came from the sea accompanied by the sound of the knocking of waves on the side of an approaching ship did the smugglers allow themselves to relax a little. The leader of the smugglers went to the end of the pier and signaled the approaching ship that all was clear.

While the sailors furled the sails and dropped anchor in the eddies of the river, the ship’s captain arrived on the first loaded longboat to take payment for the cargo. The sailors quickly unloaded their longboat and headed back to the ship for another load. The smugglers on the pier counted and loaded the crates onto waiting wagons at the far end of the pier. Once the last boat load was unloaded, the ship’s captain returned to his ship with his money.

The American smugglers returned to the fishing shack and put a kettle on to boil. Cracking open one of the crates, they enjoyed the fruits of their illicit labor: a hot cup of smuggled Dutch tea.

“In this manner, popularity may be united with hostility
to the rights of the people, and the secret slave of tyranny
may be the professed lover of freedom.”

-Alexis de Tocqueville-

Now that the rush of the holidays are over and the new year is upon us in earnest, we have a few moments to sift through the highs and lows of a year that many will be glad to see sink to the bottom of the swampy bog of history. While there’s an unhappy amount of things that many will be glad to see go, it’s necessary to take a clear eyed look at the year so we don’t succumb to the lullaby of time and drift back into the dreamy rhythms of our normal politics free lives.

Among many things made painfully clear in 2016, there can be no denying that a vast majority of Americans no longer subscribe to the highest principles of the American Revolution. Most believe they are somehow “free“, while simultaneously living under a government that regulates their food and drugs, their commerce, their banks, their labor, their environment, their fuel, their land, and even their religious convictions. All the while taxing their livelihoods for the courtesy of interfering with what they take into their bodies, how they transact their business, what they believe in, and even the very air they breathe.

This is not to say that there aren’t functional benefits to having some level of government, because there are. It’s to say, when we consider taxes on private incomes weren’t even thought of as Constitutional until the Progressive Era, at a $552 billion budget deficit in 2016, the price tag on all this “freedom” is obviously bankrupting us. Still, precious few Americans stop to even wonder if this is even how things were supposed to be at all?

Being all that they’ve ever known, they cling to it, while pretending this is what it means to be free.

“[I]n violation of that sacred property, which
Heaven, in decreeing man to earn his bread
by the sweat of his brow, kindly reserved to
him, in the small repose that could be spared
from the supply of his necessities.”
-James Madison-

The Founding Fathers were not afraid to break laws that they knew to be tyrannical. They preferred Dutch tea, because it was free of British taxes, even when the after tax price of British tea was eventually cheaper than the illegally acquired Dutch tea. It is a point of literal fact that the Founders were not only proponents of tax evasion, they were guilty of it. The evasion of British taxes, as the Founders saw it, was a patriotic duty.

So how have we become a docile society, content to bend a knee to a government that not only fails to protect us from dangerous drugs, infringes on our freedom of trade, causes bank failures, destroys our labor markets, soils our rivers, causes high fuel prices, and in every conceivable way destroy our personal freedoms, while pretending all the while to be free? How ignorant and gullible must we be to so obviously fall for this?

It seems very clear that Americans have forgotten that the men and women who inhabit the offices of government are no less infected with gross ignorance and blind dependence on popular superstition than the rest of us. Meanwhile, politicians makes a great show out of pretending that they aren’t, yet the American people have been conned into giving away their freedoms and the bread earned by the sweat of their brow in exchange for a century of empty promises.

This must end.

“Government is not the solution to our problem;
government is the problem.”
-Ronald Reagan-

In 2008, when Barack Obama was elected, he won election by promising solutions to all of the pressing problems of the day. The people believed him and gave him the presidency. In 2012, when Barack Obama was reelected, he won election by promising solutions to all of the pressing problems of the day, for many of which he was the architect. The people again believed him and gave him the presidency. In 2016, Donald Trump won election by promising solutions to all of the pressing problems of our day…

In 2017, tyranny will be served a nice hot cup of real freedom. Together, this year, we will break the cycle. Tyranny will fall.

Happy New Year.

Liberty is For The Win!

We just checked, and it turns out that fighting for Liberty isn’t free, because it requires time and energy to research, prepare, and propagate this message for you. Please drop just a dollar a month into the proverbial tip jar and become a Patriot Patron. Of course, don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. Keep this fight for Liberty going! – @LibertyIsFTW