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Views on the News

Views on the News*

March 26, 2016

 

The debates have revealed what kind of President Trump would be: rude, cartoonish, duplicitous, unprincipled, insulting, anti-intellectual, demagogic, superficial, and on and on.  In contrast, the remaining candidates, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, have provided principled and detailed policies.  We voters can make informed decisions, partly based on our intellect and partly on our intuition.  Whether Barack Obama or Donald Trump, a cult of personality is based on pure emotion.  It is like being in love: the object of your desire can do no wrong, and all signs to the contrary are conveniently disregarded.  If the sales axiom is correct, that we make decisions with emotion and justify them with rationale, then the Obama-Trump phenomena are the hallmark of political salesmanship.  This axiom applies to the Democrat race, also, because Hillary Clinton’s thirty-year history with scandal and governmental abuse of power, as well as incompetence, and Bernie Sanders’ thirty-year history of little achievement but growing the federal deficit to the detriment of the American economy and moral incentives, prove that Americans are not thinking, they are reacting with emotionalism.  Voters are emotionally invested in these candidates and have attached their identities to the candidates.  The civility of the last debate was a relief for debate watchers, but it was obviously killing Trump’s ego.  In his attempt to appear more Presidential (read that as intellectual and dignified), Trump could not resort to his usual tactic of juvenile insults and boring hyperbole.  The other candidates were allowed to demonstrate their superior qualifications, especially Cruz, whose intellect, powers of reason, and principled moral character make him the obvious choice at this point in the race.  President Obama’s style and political philosophy breed conflict, a testament to his ideological roots in the radical Left.  Hillary Clinton is cut from the same ideological cloth but is less ego-centric.  Clinton feels entitled, but she is less narcissistic.  (Narcissism is Bill’s expertise.)  Clinton is the embodiment of power hungry, but she does not see herself as a messianic figure, as a tamer of oceans.  She is simpler: Clinton wants to put coal workers out of a job to further her political career.  Trump also thrives on conflict and demagoguery and is narcissistic, like Obama, but his primary motivation is not ideological, because he just loves power however he can get it, like Clinton.

(“America’s Choice: A Third Obama Term or Ted Cruz” by Matthew Continetti dated March 21, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/paigelewis/2016/03/21/americas-choice-a-third-obama-term-or-ted-cruz-n2137005 )

With provocative and occasional unrestrained rhetoric, Donald Trump can be polarizing, sometimes inviting raucous response.  The real problem that gave rise to Trump is intolerance and the soft tyranny of humorless political correctness that envelopes communication and culture in America.  No one wants to admit it, but the seeds of ideological control characteristic of totalitarian political regimes reside predominantly in the Democrat Party and in its liberal constituencies that dominate the knowledge, information and entertainment industries, the media, the universities and Hollywood.  Because of their leverage, these institutions have a disproportionately large effect on the population at large.  Slowly, over the last few decades, but with accelerating pace in the Obama years, the soul of America has been silenced by political correctness, and the nation is weaker and more divided than ever.  It’s time to connect the dots on the growing intolerance on the political left in America.  Forbes reported that at more than 400 of America’s largest and most prestigious colleges and universities 62% maintain policies that restrict a substantial amount of speech protected under the First Amendment.  On many campuses, students who question secular progressive orthodoxies, whether extreme environmentalism and climate change, socialist economics, multiculturalism and accommodation of illegal aliens or Islamists, fear grade penalties, harassment, and outright silencing.  In effect, speech codes chill freedom of expression and the competition of ideas.  Worse, it turns out that speech codes driven by political correctness foster coddled, weak-minded, and intolerant graduates, ill-equipped for employment and citizenship in the marketplace diversity of viewpoints that is the real world.  Intolerance and political correctness that has subliminally debilitated public discourse and debate has been working its way into government at an accelerated pace since Obama took office.  To “fundamentally transform America,” Obama’s stated goal at the inception of taking office, his administration undertook a concerted effort to institutionalize PC in the regulation of key areas of the economy.  Even after two different court rulings slapping down Obama and halted EPA actions on emissions, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch picked up the PC mantle on energy in an unprecedented assault on First Amendment protection of speech.  Two weeks ago, AG Lynch began actively exploring in conjunction with the FBI, the possibility of prosecuting so-called “climate change deniers.”  In spite of Islamists having established an unparalleled record of terrorism, some 20,000 assaults in the name of Islam since 9/11, the Defense Department has come under the grip of political correctness, which has forced military training to delink terrorism from Islam.  The DOD bureaucracy had almost no other choice as it was then in the midst of an ongoing purge at West Point and the Naval War College of all “vital references to Islamist ideology driving terrorism or conflating terrorism with Islam.”  The FBI followed suit in 2011 and systematically purged its counter-terrorism training manuals of some 900 pages that were considered offensive to Muslims.  There can be no doubt that political correctness puts lives in danger.  The wonder is that PC has been in ascendance for so long, and it is an irony of history that it took an unconventional presidential candidate, Donald Trump, to break the PC glass ceiling.  If the shield of political correctness protecting the Democrat Party can continue to be exposed and shattered, the GOP is likely to broaden its base, widen its majority, gain influence in the culture, and be more successful in foreign policy, defeating ISIS and radical Islamist jihad.

(“P.C. – R.I.P.” by Scott Powell dated March 18, 2016 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/18/p-c-r-i-p/ )

In the last 50 years, the liberalist has replaced the capitalist as the person who economically exploits the middle class.  The term “liberalist” should now be used to denote anyone who profits from public pensions or the regulatory power of government.  America has a liberalist class because its economy has been prosperous enough to finance it.  Poor nations do not have economies with GDPs measured by trillions of dollars.  The U.S. economy has been large enough to subsidize the liberalist class who, unlike capitalists, do not create firms in the private sector or create jobs.  The only jobs liberalists create are jobs for more liberalists, force-financed through taxation.  One would expect that liberalism would want to grow the tax base in order to support its own growth. This is because liberalism does not create wealth, it exploits the private sector in order to obtain wealth. They can also increase their wealth through governmental manipulation of two things: public financial policy and the banking system. This exploitation has escalated so rapidly in the last ten years that the taxpayers can no longer afford to support the liberalist class.  An important factor in the distribution of economic and political power was the introduction of state-sanctioned banks.  The wealth seized by liberalists through borrowing and taxation now exceeds $32 trillion dollars; an amount obtained when one honestly adds the $4.6 trillion of Treasury debt, the $8.3 trillion of public pension and municipal bond debt, and $19 trillion of national debt.  By comparison, private firms must produce marketable products or they will be forced into downsizing, liquidation and bankruptcy.  Liberalism is the latest socio-political-economic model for transferring wealth from one class of people to another, using the two biggest sources of the power to move income; banks and governmental power.  While government controls banking, it does not have absolute control over the allocation of political power.  In order to gain power liberalists had to convince voters, through the use of liberal ideology, to transfer power to them.  Then liberalists amassed more power through public sector unions.  The overall strategy of liberalism is to gain political power and then use that power to create government policies that further extend their power and influence into the future.  Liberalists have used the power of Federal entitlement programs to build their public sector unions and make minority groups beholden to them through the distribution of wealth obtained from others.  America’s economy is rapidly changing from a capitalist economy to a liberalist economy.  Government financing of liberalists now consumes over 40% of the nation’s GDP and there are no economic or political factors influential enough to limit future growth.  Anti-monopoly laws established in the late 1800s limited the growth of corporations, but no laws exist to limit the growth of government.  Thirty-one states have provisions in their state constitutions stating that government pension benefits cannot be diminished or impaired.  The liberalist rules America, not the capitalist.  A liberalist, like a capitalist, is an individual person.  The capitalist must utilize the laws of supply and demand, economy of scale, price theory; and respond to market demands to be successful.  These economic laws have an objective existence of their own.  In contrast, the rules of liberalism have been developed from the basic framework of Marxism, empowered by progressive rhetoric to seize power and wealth. Liberal concepts are open-ended so the wealth they can amass is unbounded.  Workers have more to fear from liberalists than capitalists, since liberalists have the power to change the rules of their game while capitalists cannot.  This makes liberalists immune to the economy. Their pensions are immune to change.  Capitalism has financial limits, liberalism does not.  In fact, liberalism broke the rules of home mortgage lending and used financial engineering to expand their wealth at the expense of the working class.  The capitalist has been replaced by the liberalist as the politically elite class with overwhelming power and wealth.  Liberalism and capitalism seem to be at odds with each other, but because liberalism has no natural economic constraints, and uses the power of government to enable itself to violate the financial rules governing the private sector, liberalism has won out; the American worker has lost.

(“The Rise of America’s Liberalist Class” by Michael Bargo, Jr. dated March 23, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/03/the_rise_of_americas_liberalist_class.html )

The liberal mainstream media share all the views and characteristics of the left, among these is the left's view of truth.  There are honest individuals with left-wing views, and dishonest individuals on the right, but truth is not a leftist value.  Everything the left believes in is more important than truth: social justice, economic equality, reducing carbon emissions, expanding the power of the state, battling sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and above all of these, destroying its conservative opposition.  The media's coverage of President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court should serve as one of the most blatant examples of both the left-wing orientation of the news media and their willingness to play with truth.  After Garland's nomination, every major mainstream news outlet, both print and electronic, depicted the judge as a “centrist.”  The Los Angeles Times featured a news analysis, in which a reporter wrote that Garland may actually be "the most moderate Supreme Court nominee anyone could expect from a Democrat President… a superbly qualified judge with a cautious, centrist record."  There is no truth to any of these reports, something easily proved by both Judge Garland's decisions and, amazingly, by the newspapers' reports themselves.  After describing the judge as a moderate and centrist, the LA Times reporter writes: "If the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a staunch conservative, is replaced by a moderate-to-liberal Justice Garland, the court would tip to the left on several key issues, like abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gun control, campaign spending, immigration and environmental protection."  The very same author who describes Garland as a centrist believes that Garland votes left on essentially every major issue confronting the nation and the Supreme Court.  The New York Times headlined that Garland is a centrist, it published an article on the nomination noting that "If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years."  By their own accounts, the liberal media lied in describing Garland as a centrist, and the more research one does, the bigger this lie appears.  The Wall Street Journal wrote that Garland is so anti-small business and so pro-big labor, that "This is the first time in the NFIB's 73-year-history that we will weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee."  The editorial board wrote that they can't think of a single issue on which Garland would vote differently from the four liberal Justices that already sit on the bench.  Those are all the fundamental issues that divide the left from the right.  The entire left is lying about Judge Garland, because getting a fifth left-wing vote and weakening the Republicans is far more important than truth.

(“Judge Garland and the Left’s Disdain for Truth” by Dennis Prager dated March 22, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2016/03/22/judge-garland-and-the-lefts-disdain-for-truth-n2137592 )

Russia announces the withdrawal of its forces from Syria, and the decision is a surprise to President Obama, so he is shocked, a feeling he experiences often.  He was astonished when Vladimir Putin intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2015.  He was startled when ISIS conquered a fair portion of Mesopotamia in 2014.  He was jarred when Putin invaded Crimea, and launched a proxy war in eastern Ukraine that same year.  Rogue states pursue policies contrary to what Obama the Wise sees as their self-interest, and the Presidential response never varies because he is stunned, saddened, and filled with sangfroid.  Bewilderment happens when reality dispels illusions.  It’s not just ideology that drives Obama’s cluelessness, it’s narcissism.  Barack Obama knows better than the “foreign-policy establishment” that his team snidely dismisses as controlled by Jewish and Arab money.  He knows better than the elected leaders of Great Britain, France, and Israel, and the monarchs of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, of whom he is so contemptuous.  He knows better than his critics, whose arguments he pores over in obsessive detail, coming up with explanations, rebuttals, and straw men to dismiss them.  What graces Obama with superior insight and prudence is the simple fact of his own existence, because he is his own proof of his superiority.  In what mental universe other than the President’s does being raised in Hawaii and Indonesia and spending adulthood rising through the academy and U.S. political institutions grant someone a deep (or even superficial!) understanding of Zionism, of the Holocaust, of four wars for survival over 25 years, of unending terrorist violence directed toward civilians, of hijackings and kidnappings and bombings and stabbings, of SCUD attacks from Iraq, rockets from Lebanon and Gaza, incitement and de-legitimization campaigns from Tehran?  Conversely, what in President Obama’s life story leads him to comprehend the Palestinians, addicted to enmity and resentment and violence, victims of institutional collapse and official corruption, awash and adrift in the worst movements of the last 100 years, from nationalism to socialism to pan-Arabism to Islamic fundamentalism?  Does Obama actually believe that buried in every disagreement with him is an assumption of his inferiority?  This idea of Barack Obama’s existential power, this notion that his very being is what gives him empathy with and moral authority over the world, has gripped the President and his supporters from the beginning.  His international background, son of a Kenyan and a Kansan, who spent time in Indonesia and Pakistan, is why Obama declared himself a “citizen of the world” in his 2008 Berlin speech.  His personal familiarity with Islam inspired him to deliver the Cairo speech in 2009, when “he spoke about Muslims in his own family, and his childhood years in Indonesia, and confessed America’s sins even as he criticized those in the Muslim world who demonized the U.S.”  Confidence is one thing, but Obama is more than confident, he’s narcissistic.  He looks at the world and sees nothing but his reflection: rational, cool, unmoved, and always right.  When reality surprises him, it’s not because he’s in error, it’s because Putin or Assad or the mullahs have failed to live up to the standards he’s set for them.  Forget about them being true to themselves, only that they’re not being true to Barack Obama.  Barack Obama, lest we forget, is all that matters.

(“President Obama Is a Political Narcissist” by Matthew Continetti dated March 19, 2016 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432981/barack-obamas-foreign-policy-narcissistic )

 

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 this week to the issue sections.

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/