Views on the News
Views on the News*
March 4, 2017
Now that the dust has settled and Donald Trump has added the title of “President” to his name, it’s worthwhile to take a breath and look back at what transpired over the past 18 months. How did the man that millions laughed at for so many months become President Donald Trump? To say that Trump’s rise to President was as simple as a three-pronged approach would be doing a disservice to all the people who spent many sleepless nights concocting intricate strategies, quelling dangerous lies from the left, and traveling to every corner of the country for the better part of a year and a half.
· A Frustrated Middle-Class - Perhaps the most telling factor in Trump’s success has been the massive collection of frustrated middle-class families. American families still earn roughly the same amount as they did in 1995. For families that struggle with debt, it’s nearly impossible to gain financial leverage when household income has been stagnant for more than two decades. Another issue is that white males have been falling out of the job market consistently over the last few decades. Just 72.1% of white men were employed or looking for work. This is the result of increased competition from minority groups, manufacturing automation, and other factors. When Trump arrived on the scene, frustrated members of the middle class saw him as a way to rebuild the once strong middle class and restore what made America so great in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
· An Unscripted Personality - Impromptu and brash are two words that describe Trump’s personality, and it’s this unscripted personality that was the second leading factor in his campaign success. Anyone can run for public office, but the ones who are most successful are able to connect with voters in person. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and John F. Kennedy were all magnetic personalities on the campaign trail. What separated Trump during this campaign was his unscripted personality and lively rhetoric that sharply contrasted Clinton’s stoic and lethargic approach. While Clinton was lying low and waiting for Trump to mess up, the businessman was holding energetic rallies with tens of thousands of attendees. Middle-class America was sick of politicians who spoke from politically correct scripts and flashed fake smiles. Trump came in and spoke like them, rarely used a teleprompter. He explained, with confidence, the problems in America and offered practical solutions with no strings attached. This was enticing to millions of Americans.
· Ability to Control the Media Narrative - The third key factor in Trump’s rise was the real estate mogul’s ability to control the media. It’s something he’s been good at for decades and he gave every PR executive in America a crash course in what this looks like. Trump absolutely dominated television, radio, and internet from the moment he announced he would be running until the moment he was elected. If you talk to those who are close to him, they’ll tell you that every last detail was carefully planned. While Trump certainly said some controversial things, very few of what the media called “mistakes” were actually unplanned. As the media was calling out Trump and going on and on about how he was ruining his campaign, Trump was sitting in some boardroom laughing to himself. They were playing his game and he was pulling the puppet strings.
There was laughter when Trump announced he would run for President. There was laughter when he polled well in the primaries. There was laughter when he won the Republican nomination. There was laughter when Clinton surged in the polls. There was laughter when he took an early lead on election night. Trumps’ supporters are the ones laughing now. Trump came into a race that has historically been run by career politicians and exposed them for being out of touch with reality. He recognized a middle class that was frustrated and used his magnetic personality to control the media narrative and win the election.
(“Trump’s Rise Was Rooted in These Three Things” by Larry Alton dated February 25, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/trumps_rise_was_rooted_in_these_three_things.html )
As the weeks march on in the Donald Trump presidency, the rhetoric of the Left, the Democrat Party, and the Hollywood elites has continued to plumb new depths in crassness and incivility, with far too many in a mad dash to outdo the other in being as outrageous as possible. Those vehemently opposed to Donald Trump are apparently incapable of voicing coherent and compelling criticism. Via the constant drumbeat of insinuation (or at times explicitly), far too many cannot seem to get beyond comparing Trump to the brutal despots of the past century, as well as indiscriminately tossing around Fascism in their disparagement of the conservative movement and all on the right side of the political spectrum. It has become increasingly a staple of left-wing political bombast to compare one’s adversaries to the primary villains of World War II. It has become far too easy to demean and diminish the genesis and consequences of that fateful period as the education establishment, dominated by the Left, deliberately avoids teaching the realities of that era. The compulsion to compare, either directly or deviously, one’s political opponent to Fascists, Nazis, Hitler, or Mussolini is indicative of the so-called Progressives’ inability to present a coherent argument in support of their policies. Far too many on the left side of the political spectrum, who so glibly throw around these comparisons, apparently do not know, or acknowledge, the socialist underpinning of Nazism and its parent Fascism and do not have the slightest concept of the real-life experiences of those who were there. Conservatism and adherence to the Constitution is not, by any stretch of the imagination, akin to Fascism. Nor is Donald Trump remotely close to being the next Hitler or Stalin or Mao Tse-Tung. Further, the people of this nation will never willingly go down the disastrous path these despots of the Twentieth Century laid out for their countries. During the primary season, I was not a supporter of Donald Trump; in fact I was a vociferous opponent and openly endorsed and financially supported Ted Cruz. While I applaud much of what he has done to date, I still view Trump with some degree of skepticism and wish he would tone down some of his over the top rhetoric. I acknowledge that he does possess narcissistic and authoritarian tendencies; however, so do nearly all overly-ambitious men and women. As compared to the mindset of his predecessor, Barack Obama, Donald Trump has an affection for this nation and its people. He is not someone bent on domination, destruction or violent transformation of this nation. Those who are mindlessly opposed to Trump and the conservative movement only demean themselves by making odious comparisons, either directly or by insinuation, to those in the pantheon of the most vile and evil men to ever walk the face of the earth. The various factions of the Left that traffic in this demagoguery succeed only in being complete incoherent fools, not in convincing others of their viewpoints. It is an admission that the Left knows it cannot compete in the larger arena of ideas. They know the only means they have to accumulate power and win elections is by:
· Destroying the opposition through vile personal attacks,
· Organizing and pre-planning demonstrations to appear spontaneous,
· Orchestrating occasional violence at marches to ensure media coverage,
· Utilizing their allies in the mainstream media to propagate false and misleading stories,
· Accelerating the spread of outright socialist anti-American propaganda through their fellow travelers in the education and entertainment establishment.
These are some of the same strategies utilized by the despots of recent history in their seizure of power. If there is any group in the United States today that could be truthfully compared to the Fascists, it is the current iteration of the American Left.
(“The Rampant Incivility of the Left” by Steve McCann dated February 28, 2017 published by American thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/02/the_rampant_incivility_of_the_left.html )
For over four decades, the media have created and in turn destroyed politicians (especially Republicans). The result has been timidity and a necessary deference paid to members of the Fourth Estate. Indeed, since the takedown of Richard Nixon, the media have been drunk with perceived power, ever looking for their next victim. With the progressive monopoly on journalistic education, it is almost impossible to find a centrist, much less a conservative, at major news networks or newspapers. When it comes to the power of the media, however, Donald Trump seems to be the exception to every rule. He has parlayed a career as a builder and a developer into a cash cow reality TV program (The Apprentice) and now, based on name recognition, a keen understanding of middle-class America, and ability to harness the new media, into the highest office in the land. Initially promoted for the Republican nomination by a media believing him a sure bet to lose to Hillary Clinton in a landslide and take Republican control of the House and the Senate with him, he shocked all but his most ardent supporters with victory. Not since Ronald Reagan has a Republican presidential candidate been so reviled by the press and feared by the left. Like Reagan's, Trump's election was made possible by running against or following the worst President in the lifetime of most voters. The Democrats provided in Barack Hussein Obama a president who was more clueless and anti-Semitic than even Jimmy Carter. Like Reagan, Trump could bypass the media and take his message directly to the American people, who responded to a carefully choreographed campaign in the states necessary to carry a significant electoral majority. Beginning with talk radio (Rush Limbaugh in 1988) and the internet, news was no longer a progressive near monopoly. The Drudge Report, Breitbart, and a host of other conservative websites had become a significant source of news and opinion, even if traditional conservative sites like National Review and American Spectator made fools of themselves as #NeverTrumps. Then there was Twitter. Never had a presidential candidate caused so much consternation with so few and often intemperate words as did Donald Trump with his Twitter account. And as the media, Democrats, establishment Republicans, and the entrenched bureaucracy raged, Middle America, that had been quietly seething for the past eight years, cheered. As a result, on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump became president. While Hollywood raves, Democrats obstruct, and establishment Republicans cower, the news media implode. They didn't create the Trump phenomenon, as Rush Limbaugh explains, and they can't destroy it. To Trump's loyal base of voters, they are simply the "dishonest media." All Trump-bashing all the time, and yet, depending on the poll, the president's approval holds steady at about 50%. Through it all, we America-loving conservatives can enjoy the spectacle of Democrats makings fools of themselves and the biased, leftist media imploding all over our television screens and newspapers.
(“The media implosion continues” by Robert Turner dated February 28, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/02/the_media_explosion_continues.html )
The Obama Democrats spent more than a year forcing ObamaCare to the finish line, seizing the opportunity to achieve their deeply held goal, at great cost to many of their own political careers. Now the Republicans face their own "gut check" time, after promising repeal over the past four election cycles. The suddenly changing ObamaCare approval polls, the raucous town hall protests, the negativity from certain GOP quarters, and the seeming lack of a coherent message from the Republicans and suggests that "it wouldn't be surprising if some lawmakers are starting to wonder whether repeal is worth the hassle." Republicans owe their majorities in both the House and Senate to their repeated pledges to repeal ObamaCare. If they break that pledge, they will pay dearly for the betrayal come election time. There will be a far bigger political price to be paid, however, if Republicans renege on their pledge and lose a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to replace a government entitlement program with free-market reforms. Republicans have a duty to follow through on the promises to which they owe their majorities, no matter the political risks. The partial repeal strategies that have been floated by some Republicans – "tinker around the edges, add some free market window dressing," but leave most of the spending and the Medicaid expansion "largely intact," not to mention the law's structural framework, all of which would remain as playthings for future Democrats. If Republicans pursued this strategy, they would no doubt try to argue, out of one side of their mouths, that people won't be losing their ObamaCare coverage, and then with the other, tell conservatives that they delivered on their promises, and then they will cross their fingers and hope and pray that voters are too dumb to tell the difference. Conservatives will realize that they've been had, and that Republicans pulled off what may be the biggest broken promise in American political history. Even if the Republicans lose power as a result of repealing ObamaCare, "it will have been worth it." They will have used their power to get something important done, turning back the drive to big government health care. The Democrats have been playing the long game for a long time, and it shows in the results. If the current Republicans succumb to their usual weak-kneed instincts, the Democrats can say I told you so and add the public option to ObamaCare, and we can kiss that freedom goodbye. Our best hope is that President Trump can lend a spine to his Republican Congress.
(“It’s ‘gut check’ time for Republicans” by Joseph Smith dated March 1, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/03/its_gut_check_time_for_republicans.html )
We're often told by advocates of climate change that the "science is settled," but in fact, "science" itself is in a deep crisis over making claims it can't back up, especially about climate. Science is facing a 'reproducibility crisis' where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests. The University of Virginia's Center for Open Science estimates that roughly 70% of all studies can't be reproduced. This includes the field of climate change. Being able to reproduce others' experiments or findings from models is at the very heart of science. Yet, radical climate change advocates would have us spend 2% of global GDP, or roughly $1.5 trillion a year, to forestall a minuscule amount of anticipated warming based on dubious modeling and experiments. Meanwhile, the federal government spends literally billions of dollars a year on climate change, with virtually none of the money funding scientists who doubt the climate change threat. There is no serious debate, which is a problem for all of science. Worse, our government's own science fraud is a big problem. Mythical claims of a "consensus" among scientists about climate change continue in an effort to shut up critics. Those who dissent, and literally thousands of scientists and engineers do, are shouted down and harassed. Princeton University physicist Will Happer said: "There's a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult. ... It will potentially harm the image of all science." New EPA Director Scott Pruitt has called for an open debate on climate science, rather than the name-calling and outright dishonesty of the past. Real science has nothing to fear from more openness and discussion, but everything to fear from more politicized dishonesty.
(“Is Global Warming Science Just a Fraud?” dated February 24, 2017 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/is-global-warming-science-just-a-fraud/ )
There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. No updates have been made this week to the issue sections.