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Views on the News

Views on the News*

May 12, 2018

 

Looking back, it’s almost easy to understand why many rank-and-file Democrats were absolutely shell-shocked by 2016’s election results.  The economy was slowly improving, then-President Barack Obama was still personally popular (though his policies were not), and the Democrat Party nominated one of their most experienced insiders to contend for the White House.  To make matters seemingly more convenient, the Republican Party selected a foul-mouthed reality television star with no political experience whatsoever to oppose her.  The reason the Democrats lose with the average American, both in 2016 and going into the midterm elections in 2018, is their image as being profoundly anti-American.  This goes far deeper than their stated goals for unraveling nearly every socio-political tradition that has made the United States the lone superpower on the world stage.  It isn’t just their increasingly anti-capitalist approach either, its their imagery.  It’s really hard for a political faction to gain favor with people who simultaneously suggest their entire way of life is problematic.  It’s that simple: Americans want their leaders to be pro-American, and the Democrats are failing at presenting themselves in this light.

(“This is Exactly Why Democrats Keep Losing” dated May 9, 2018 published by Facts Not Memes at http://factsnotmemes.com/articles/this-is-exactly-why-democrats-keep-losing/ )

If you thought conservatives could “make nice” with liberals, that “both sides have the country’s best interest at heart,” you were wrong.  This week more of the con-jobs and character assassinations the political left is attempting have been exposed, and if it doesn’t make you realize the Liberal Industrial Complex will stop at nothing to protect itself and destroy the Trump administration, nothing will.  The economic news was all good this week, though you’d barely know it if you watched cable news.  The unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%, which means nearly everyone who wants a job can find a job.  Black and Hispanic unemployment are at the lowest rates ever recorded.  Turns out all those liberal predictions of doom and gloom if Donald Trump were elected president were not only wrong, they were lies.  Same goes for the predictions that tax cuts would bring about pain and suffering.  Liberals can lie without fear of accountability because the people who’d hold them accountable, journalists, are on their side.  Liberals are actively seeking to undermine the rule of law and the President.  The specific charge Mueller was given was to see if how Russia tried to influence the election results.  It’s evolved into a liberal fever dream oozing into every aspect of anyone even loosely associated with the President to see if maybe they did something that can be used against them to get Trump.  In trying to destroy the President because he crashed their party, but with every new bit of “evidence,” there’s little choice but to believe it’s true.  Politics is a clique where party only matters around the edges.  Donald Trump didn’t work his way through the ranks, pay his dues and kiss the right rings as he ascended to the White House, he stormed the gates and cut the line.  He not only didn’t “pay his dues,” he beat those who did.  Upsetting the apple cart is always unsettling for those who cultivate apple trees.  The power structure in Washington lost power when Trump won, so the investigations began.  A year and a half later and they’ve discovered nothing.  Rather than admit the obvious, they’ve shifted to digging for potential “technical” crimes in an attempt to get him for something.  I don’t know if his lawyer paying off a porn star is a technical violation of campaign finance laws, and I don’t care.  I didn’t vote for Trump to marry my sister, I voted for him to be president and to make sure Hillary wasn’t.  On that count, his presidency has been a smashing success.  Electoral politics is their domain, their path to wealth.  It’s important to keep in mind that while they scream about President Trump trying to use the White House to get rich, he was already rich.  He will likely be the only person in the modern age to leave the White House poorer than he was going in.  Meanwhile, the Clintons and Obamas went into “public service” as people of relatively modest means and amassed generational wealth in and after leaving office.  Donald Trump’s biggest, non-personal sin was winning, and for that, they’re trying to destroy him.  They’ll destroy anyone and everything that stands in the way of doing that, even the country, if necessary.  They have the infrastructure to do it, the accomplices, and the will to do it, which is why they have to be destroyed first.  This week was a stark reminder of the importance of having judges who are interested in the rule of law and the Constitution, not advancing a political agenda.  While the idea of beating back the liberal mob in the fields of science, journalism, and Hollywood is appealing and important, those are but the tentacles of the monster.  The ballot box and confirmation votes in the Senate are the only way to truly destroy liberalism, and I just hope we destroy it before they destroy everything. 

(“Liberalism Must Be Destroyed” by Derek Hunter dated May 6, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2018/05/06/liberalism-must-be-destroyed-n2477924 )

To all those who are sick and tired of politics as usual… tired of being angry, tired of having your hot button pushed, tired of being ‘connected’ with blowhards on Facebook, tired of the ranting and the raving, the complaints, real and imagined, and the swamp that refuses to drain… take a break.  To the politicians and celebrities feverishly looking for a camera to stand in front of, tired power brokers, and reporters yelling stupid questions over forty other people… time out.  Yes, there are many things to complain about, no shortage there, but we have to put everything in prospective and understand what we are up against.  For the most part, we are battling against people who make a living out of pissing us off.  Politics is designed to get you angry and emotionally charged.  Many of them don’t even believe what they are saying.  You get furious, they get attention.  When Liberals cry ‘the end of the world’, learn to laugh.  Avoid continually unhappy people.  Poll after poll, for decades, reports that Republicans are happier than Democrats.  Unlike Democrats, Republicans don’t go against the grain: they avoid pretending that reality doesn’t exist.  As a whole, they don’t struggle with gender identity, needing safe spaces, or being offended by every little breach.  They are not chronic complainers. Most of all, Republicans tend to be more spiritual, more grounded.  Pew Research in 2014 found that 61% of Republican voters were Christians vs. 37% of Democratic voters self-identified as Christians.  Other polls from Gallup say much the same.  Christians tend to be Republican; agnostics or atheists tend to be Democrats, partly because they believe that religion teaches social inequality.  They couldn’t be further from the truth.  Christians just have a better understanding of their place in the world.  They have a strong sense of being forgiven and everyone needs that.  Politics is designed to get you angry, emotionally charged, raise your blood pressure. We need to pick and choose our fights, and many are worth fighting, but we also need to know when to back off, because backing off is not backing out.

(“Tired of Politics” by Ray DiLorenzo dated May 5, 2018 published by Canada Free Press at https://canadafreepress.com/article/tired-of-politics )

After the 2016 election, the so-called deep state was confident that it had the power easily to either stop, remove, or delegitimize the outlier Donald Trump and his presidency.  The Washington apparat pulled out all the stops: implanting Obama holdover appointees all over the Trump executive branch; filing lawsuits and judge shopping; organizing the Resistance; pursuing impeachment writs; warping the FISA courts; weaponizing the DOJ and FBI; attempting to disrupt the Electoral College; Trying to enact the 25th Amendment or the emoluments clause; and unleashing Hollywood celebrities, Silicon Valley, and many in Wall Street to suffocate the Trump presidency in its infancy.  But now the administrative state’s multifaceted efforts are starting to unwind, and perhaps even boomerang, on the perpetrators.  If a federal judge should end up throwing out most of the indictments of Paul Manafort on the rationale that they have nothing much to do with the original mandate of the special counsel’s office, or if Michael Flynn’s confession to giving false statements is withdrawn successfully because the FBI politicized its investigation and FISA courts were misled in approving the surveillance of Flynn, then the Mueller investigation will implode.  The Mueller investigation would likely lose so much public support that the Department of Justice could probably dismiss it with impunity.  Mueller’s overreach might well end once and for all the absurdities of the special counsel/prosecutor law that for nearly half a century has plagued the nation.  Until recently, deep-state apparatchiks such as John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe seemed immune from accountability after lying either to Congress or to federal authorities.  In a perverse way, the more Robert Mueller plays the role of the obsessed but impotent Inspector Javert, the more he demonstrates that there is no Russian-Trump collusion.  Meanwhile, he is establishing precedents that those whom he exempts from his own zeal will have to account for their own lawbreaking.  One cannot justifiably hound Michael Flynn for supposedly misleading FBI agents, when agency investigators were told by Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills that they had known nothing about Hillary Clinton’s private server during her tenure as secretary of state, despite evidence that they themselves had communicated over it.  The multiplex world of the establishment is crumbling in a variety of arenas, from entertainment to the workplace.  Certainly, the NFL is both bleeding viewers and now seen as an ancillary of the progressive movement.  The sports channel ESPN is losing its audience that is tired of being lectured about its supposed ethical shortcomings instead of being enlightened about three-point shots and no-hitters.  The century-old White House Correspondents’ Dinner is going the way of the 90-year-old Oscars: It’s an increasingly incestuous night of progressive virtue-signaling, crudity, and mediocrity that permanently turned off millions of former viewers.  Americans can forgive a lot of shortcomings in their entertainers; boredom is not one of them.  Between the Me Too movement and the Russian-collusion hysteria, not much remains of the reputations of the media and Hollywood.  Once upon a time, Americans assumed that a Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer, Dan Rather, or Charlie Rose were their go-tos for ethical and sober journalism.  NBC and CNN, which have long routinely parodied Fox News, are far less likely than Fox to permit ideological and political diversity on the air.  Silicon Valley likewise has lost its luster.  America used to love a hip Steve Jobs, decked out in black, fiddling with a new Apple gadget on stage in front of an entranced televised audience of millions.  Jobs appeared as a brilliant and typically American entrepreneur, not a partisan talking down to hoi polloi.  Things have radically changed since then, the reputation of Big Tech is one of hyper-partisan politics, data miners, snoops, Bowdlerizers and censors, monopolists, progressive multibillionaires, and adolescents in arrested development who exempt themselves from the consequences of what their ideologies inflict on others.  If the deep state really wanted to dismantle and disarm Donald Trump, it should have carefully learned how he was constructed and wired, and thus why he was especially dangerous to them.  In Wizard of Oz fashion, it’s as if the public is no longer frightened of the omnipotent imperial faces on their screens — once it drew apart the high-tech curtains and exposed tiny little nerds with nasal voices furiously working levers and gears to project deceptive all-powerful images.  Even a four-trillion-dollar industry can take only so many scandals like those at Theranos, Facebook data mining, deliberately slowed-down iPhones, fatally texting drivers, and Mark Zuckerbergs.  Donald Trump proved to be a catalyst for much of the implosion of the deep state. Then to disarm him, elites would have had to offer superior agendas to his supporters, while engaging in reasoned debates and alternative visions, working with him when they found common and shared solutions, playing the loyal opposition when there did not.  Land mines require careful handling.  Only arrogant naïfs think that they can rush in, grab them, and carelessly and safely toss them away, clueless that they themselves are exposed as reckless moments before they blow themselves up.  Instead, the government, the political apparat, the media, tech, and entertainment conglomerates sought to reduce Trump to some monstrous entity deserving of hanging, stabbing, decapitation, incineration, and shooting.  It sought to indict, impeach, and remove a sitting president, as the ancien régime rushed to break federal law with assumed ethical exemption, tapping, surveilling, lying, and leaking with impunity, assured that supposedly morally superior ends justified any means necessary to achieve them.  In other words, the custodians of the status quo arrogantly grabbed up the Trump land mine and thought they could easily toss it away, as it has blown them sky-high.

(“The Trump Land Mine” by Victor Davis Hanson dated May 8, 2018 published by National Review Online at https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/president-trump-deep-state-critics-risk-blowback/ )

With the help of the recently passed tax cuts and reform, many states and cities are getting a boost as they feel incentives to lower taxes and further spur job and wage growth.  While it is still early, the Republican tax plan is already improving the economic forecast for millions of Americans who are most in need.  After states struggled to regain revenue after the 2008 recession, as property values took years to recover, states have remained vulnerable to another, perhaps worse economic crash.  However, by passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Republicans in Congress provided new business opportunities to America’s most at risk residents.  As the tax plan works to encourage business owners to create jobs and raise wages, states are seeing a rise in both incomes and sales tax revenue.  Minnesota is on pace to have a $329 million surplus this fiscal year and Utah should bring in $500 million in additional revenue this fiscal year.  Connecticut, a state which has been experiencing fiscal weakness for years, is projected to receive a $1.34 billion surge in excess income-tax revenue.  Unfortunately, these benefits are not being distributed evenly.  States that have mirrored the federal government with low-tax policies are growing notably faster than high-tax states.  Chuck DeVore of Fox News compares the most populous 15 states, five high-tax states and ten low-tax states, to determine differences in nonfarm private industry job growth following the passage of the tax reform plan. In the first quarter of 2018, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows, the ten low-tax states saw employment growth average 0.75%; with Texas, Arizona, and Florida leading the way with more than 1% growth.  High-tax states, meanwhile, saw employment expand by only 0.38 percent, nearly half the rate of their low-tax counterparts.  Illinois, a state that has dramatically raised taxes following budget constraints, saw the most sluggish job growth at only 0.11% in the nonfarm private industry.  To continue facilitating growth, states like Iowa and South Carolina have taken steps in the state legislature to further expand tax cuts and prevent tax hikes.  These legislatures clearly see the policy is working and want to ensure it is sustainable.  While it has only been six months since the bill’s passage, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has played a significant role in spurring economic growth in states, particularly low-tax states.  States across the country must continue to keep taxes low in order to bring in businesses and jobs, and further expand revenue over the longer term, protecting their economies from potential turmoil.

(“Tax cuts give the economy a boost as states, cities see immediate benefits” by Natalia Castro dated May 11, 2018 published by Daily Torch at http://dailytorch.com/2018/05/tax-cuts-give-the-economy-a-boost-as-states-cities-see-immediate-benefits/ )

 

Iran is trying to spread a violent Shia revolution throughout the Mideast and across the world, and in making the decision to commit murder and mayhem abroad while oppressing their own people, the ruling mullahs sealed their fate with President Trump. Instead of using the sanctions relief they gained under the deal President Barack Obama negotiated to expand their economy and human rights at home, they used their cash windfall to develop a ballistic-missile program and spread terrorism throughout the region.  They daily threaten Israel with destruction and put proxy armies on Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon.  They are trying to put Saudi Arabia in a similar vise by arming rebels in Yemen.  These and other aggressive actions made Trump’s decision an easy one.  Nuking the nuke deal wasn’t just the best course; it was the only responsible and realistic course.  The status quo is more dangerous than dramatic change.  As the president said, he is withdrawing from the pact not just because the terms are terrible, which they are.  It’s also because the deal is too narrow and because Iran’s malignant behavior has actually gotten worse.  He called the sunset provisions of up to 15 years “unacceptable” and added, “If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East. Everyone would want their weapons ready by the time Iran had theirs.”  That is just one of the under­appreciated flaws of the deal.  Long before the terms expired, the prospect of Iran getting nukes would have triggered others in the region to get one first, so instead of restraining Iran, the deal more likely would have sparked a nuclear-arms race.  The deal’s advocates should have learned from the violent suppression of Iranians who demonstrated against the regime in 2009 that the mullahs cared only about retaining power and spreading the revolution that began in 1979 with the overthrow of the shah and the seizing of American hostages.  If the mullahs and their henchmen were willing to kill and torture thousands of their own citizens for daring to criticize them, what was the basis for assuming they suddenly would become peaceful members of the international community?  Trump’s decision, which keeps faith with a campaign promise, predictably infuriated the usual critics.  To their discredit, they trotted out a parade of horribles while neglecting to address Iran’s behavior and its unwillingness to negotiate major changes to the pact.  Stripped of exaggerations, the critics’ warnings are based largely on a desire to avoid confrontation now at any price, the future be damned.  That approach might make some sense if Iran were a normal country, but its actions since the overly-generous 2015 deal show that it remains a gangster regime fixated on regional domination.  Its goals are not compatible with international norms, so blocking its access to the global banking and trading networks is the only peaceful recourse.  As Trump stressed, the military option is still available.  If Iran races to build a bomb, he warned, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.”  The president made two other key points that addressed the concerns of some critics, especially those of European leaders.  First, he left open the possibility of making a new, improved deal and said he believed Iran’s leaders eventually would come to that conclusion.  When they do, they would find him, “ready, willing and able” to negotiate.  He also turned on its head the argument, especially on the American left, that withdrawing from this deal would make it more difficult to achieve a breakthrough with North Korea.  The president said the doubters have it exactly backward, insisting that his actions send a “critical message” to others who question his resolve and would make North Korea more likely to give up its nukes.  “The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them,” He then announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on his way to North Korea to finalize negotiations involving the president’s historic meeting with Kim Jong-un.  His approach to national security leverages America’s strengths instead of being paralyzed by potential pitfalls.  Trump is proving to be the same bold disrupter on the international stage that he is in domestic politics.

(“Saved by our bold disrupter” by Michael Goodwin dated May 8, 2018 published by New York Post at https://nypost.com/2018/05/08/saved-by-our-bold-disrupter/ )

 

Make America Great Again” are four words that helped Donald Trump crush Crooked Hillary and take him all the way to the White House.  Democrats were left shattered as Trump appealed to a certain audience who had been left behind by the Obama administration for too long.  People are beginning to like him overseas; acknowledging his difference, decisiveness, relatability, and clear messaging.  From a communications perspective, Trump unequivocally has had a positive whirlwind effect.  He has done this by leveraging previously disregarded leadership tactics coupled with an understanding of his various target audiences.  Trump managed to identify the audience that matters most, prioritize it, and enable it.  Trump's informed and considered leveraging of social media and information operations has been outstanding.  He has expertly created a profile that generates engagement, accentuates his points of difference, and therefore generates discussion, which indubitably enhances his agenda.  The age of lazy opinion is over.  We now have an incredibly well educated population who are not satisfied until the why and the so what are satisfactorily answered.  Trump has been able to galvanize opinion with modern audiences.  

·    Information environment and the advent of social media.  Social media have been among the main reasons for Trump's ascendancy to the presidency.  He has correctly identified that the way to drive engagement and build his brand was to talk to people on the same level and by the same means, and in a timely fashion.

·    Data.  The Trump campaign was able to increase the odds of resonance and cut-through considerably through targeted and precise advertising.  The role of data in achieving campaign success was identified and effectively utilized from the beginning to the end of Trump's presidential campaign.

·    Millennial generation.  Millennials are arguably the most important cohort to be engaging with.  The role and significance of the marginalized and disaffected should never be neglected, because they feel marginalized and have been dealt a bad hand.

·    Fake news versus real news: taking advantage.  If fake news is used effectively, it can reinforce your Normative Social Influence (NSI) and negate any progress toward Informed Social Influence (ISI).  The efficacy of messaging on social media is further distorted by the sheer volume, which increases the opacity of the information environment exponentially and makes it increasingly difficult for one's message to be heard.  Trump overcame this by remaining agile and consistent in his nature and narrative.  The real issue is making your message heard through the clutter of fake and real news and by building up a trusted brand.  This is what Trump did masterfully.

What actions did Trump take to achieve success?

·    Used insights to understand his audience.  He identified the current audience behavior and sentiment and set out to appeal to it and identified key intervention points.  By successfully understanding his target audience, he was able to draw out actionable insights to maximize the effectiveness of his campaign.

·    Leveraged his point of difference as a candidate.  Trump leveraged the fact he was not a politician by nature and that he stood for change, something different, something that would achieve results.  He was able to pursue the narrative of "things have not worked in the past; I am the unconventional, successful breath of fresh air."  This is a compelling narrative to any person who does not believe that the government represents him.

·    Used unambiguous, entertaining, and easily digestible language.  Trump's rhetoric on Twitter, no matter how inflammatory, offensive, imprudent, and shocking, has been orchestrated.  This makes Trump "exciting" and engaging for all people regardless of political affiliation.  Even those who do not support him and disagree with his anachronistic and abhorrent behavior still check in to see what he is up to.

·    Remained consistent in persona and messaging.  Identified the role of conversation cohort messaging, along the lines of commonality irrespective of demographic.  He was able to achieve cut-through, persuasion, and engagement.  Complementary to this, he orchestrated his image so that he was seemingly accessible and relatable.

So what makes a good leader, and is the President doing it?  Many analysts and experts talk about efficiency, time-keeping, adaptability, and the ability to inspire people.  Donald Trump certainly has covered all those and more.  Through policy, the economy hasn't faltered, and his foreign policy decisions on the Koreas, Iran, and Syria have all been lauded by world leaders so far.  There seem to be substance and action behind his Twitter account.  On the world stage, Trump is delivering on what he said he would do.

(“Why Trump is Winning on Foreign Policy” by Jamie Monckton dated May 10, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/why_trump_is_winning_on_foreign_policy.html )

 

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.

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/