Views on the News

Views on the News*

June 23, 2018


One indicator of progressive hatred of Donald Trump that deserves more contemplation is this: The Democrat party is moving left with breathtaking velocity.  Not only is it far to the left of Bill Clinton, it’s well to the left of even Barack Obama.  Two and a half years before the next presidential election, with a wide-open race to be the party’s standard-bearer against President Trump, there’s no telling how far left the contenders for the nomination will have to move to enthuse the most ardent party members.  Trump’s reelection campaign may well center on positioning him as reasonable and moderate.  Consider a new Gallup poll this week that revealed that party members no longer even concede that the existence of rich people is a good thing.  Democrats expect rich people to pay for government.  In 2015, the top 1% of earners paid a greater share of individual income tax than the bottom 90% combined.  The top 5% paid 60% of total individual income taxes.  If these people were chased out of the country via confiscatory tax policies, the United States would collapse.  Not only is the existence of rich people a good thing for the country overall, but if you’re poor, they are paying for all of your government stuff.  This level of rank class resentment used to be utterly alien to the U.S., even among progressives.  The Democrat party is swiftly turning radical, as its members’ beliefs make Obama look like a moderate.  Trump will be able to claim plausibly that his policies are far closer to Bill Clinton’s than the Democrats’ next presidential nominee’s are.  It is today’s party dogma, agreed upon by the presumptive Democrat presidential candidates, that the federal minimum wage should be raised by more than 100% to $15 per hour.  Obama, on the other hand, pushed for a minimum-wage hike of 30% and failed to get it, even with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress for two years.  Some 52% of Democrats want single-payer health care, according to a Pew survey last July, and the Sandersista policy of forcing the cost of state college tuition on taxpayers instead of students is catching on.  In 2013, when Bernie Sanders introduced a previous version of his “Medicare for All” plan, it had zero co-sponsors.  Last year, Sanders attracted 16 fellow Democrats as co-sponsors for his single-payer health-care bill, including future presidential contenders Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.  On immigration, an issue that in 2016 motivated Democrat voters in the bluest areas of the country but hurt them in swing states and in any case did not cost Trump any Latino support compared to Mitt Romney, the Democrats have taken an extreme position, backing open borders and protecting illegal immigrants.  A Democrat who backed a humane and sympathetic immigration policy might attract considerable support. But that kind of Clintonite triangulation aimed at appeasing the broad middle is dead. Trying to win people over in calm, soothing tones is dead, so today’s Democrats are screeching to the choir.

(“The Democrat’s Radical Turn” by Kyle Smith dated June 14, 2018 published by National Review Online at https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/democrats-radical-turn-to-left-on-health-care-immigration-class/ )

Until recently it was possible to discern a policy-based ideology of elitism.  It was the establishment consensus around the benefits of globalization, automation, centralization and uncontrolled immigration.  Over the past few decades, this elitist policy agenda was implemented regardless of actual election outcomes.  Republicans and Democrats alike encouraged trade deals and financial deregulation that replaced corporate America’s primarily local and national economic outlook with a global one.  Technology was unleashed on the American workplace with no thought given to the wrenching transition this would cause and the massive scale of retraining needed to enable our workforce to cope with it.  Political decision-making slipped from the hands of citizens to distant and unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats, as power was centralized at the federal level.  A parallel centralization took place in the economy, as over-permissive antitrust policy allowed businesses to get bigger and bigger, reducing competition in sector after sector.  Immigration was allowed to increase without limit, undoubtedly bringing its traditional benefits by adding to America’s rich history of innovation and entrepreneurship, but now featuring a dark side too, as the mass importing of cheap labor undercut American workers.  This elitist ideology brought enormous benefits to the elite themselves: astonishing increases in wealth, booming urban centers, a fabulous quality of life for those fortunate enough to be part of the new “knowledge economy.”  For those outside the elite, the 80% or so of Americans who were the victims of elitism, the result was less positive.  Incomes went down and jobs went away.  The social fabric was torn by community disintegration and family breakdown.  People lost faith in government, politics, the whole system.  They could see that it was working for those with power, not for everyone.  This is what led to the populist revolution that helped elect Donald Trump.  The elite’s reaction has been remarkably instructive.  Instead of questioning the components of their ideology, looking for new policies that would help working Americans, or supporting those of the Trump administration designed to do just that, establishment Democrats and Republicans have united around a new elitist ideology.  The new elitist ideology is personal, visceral, emotional.  It starts with selfishness, because they have benefited so tremendously from the status quo, those in the establishment portray any attempt to change the status quo as “reckless” and “disruptive.”  Just look at the hysterical reaction to Trump’s new trade strategy, or his administration’s tough stance on immigration.  These measures are presented by the elite as unconscionable assaults on the founding principles of America, but in reality these are simply policy changes that favor the interests of working people over the rich.  The next component of the new elitist ideology is bigotry.  How many times have you heard elitists condemn populist movements for their alleged “bigotry” and “xenophobia? A pretty perfect description of the view of Donald Trump’s voters, around half the country, that emerges says: “Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, lazy, uneducated POS (pieces of shit). Hillary Clinton told us loud and proud in her “deplorablesspeech , and on many occasions since the election as she trundles around the world blaming everyone except herself for her defeat.  Perhaps the defining characteristic of the new elitist ideology: the one that truly brings them all together: from establishment Republicans in Congress, to the intellectually fossilized conservative “intelligentsia,” to the media overlords comfortably ensconced in their affluent hipster enclaves, to the arrogant tech titans of Silicon Valley, to the preposterous and vain Hollywood virtue-signalers like poor old Robert De Niro is hatred of President Trump.  Their brand is hate.  They say that President Trump is undermining democratic norms, but they continue to illegitimize a president duly elected according to the Constitution.  They don’t really care about democratic norms, they just hate President Trump.  The elites condemn the president for his warm treatment of the dictator of a brutal regime, but they’ve been sucking up to a far worse regime for years.  China may not be qualitatively worse than North Korea but quantitatively there is much more cruelty and human rights abuse there.  Members of the elite don't care about the proper conduct of foreign policy, they just hate President Trump.  Look at comedian Bill Maher saying out loud what every establishment Democrat and Republican is thinking, hoping for bad news on the economy so President Trump can’t claim credit for turning it round.  Look at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi finding a way to spin every piece of good news as a negative.  There is nothing: not more jobs, not higher incomes, not even less risk of nuclear war that matters more to these elitists than their unhinged hatred of Donald Trump and everything and everyone he stands for.  That is the new and baleful ideology of the elite: selfishness, bigotry and hate.

 (“The elite embrace selfishness, bigotry and hatred of Trump and his supporters” by Steve Hilton dated June 16, 2018 published by Fox News at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/06/16/steve-hilton-elite-embrace-selfishness-bigotry-and-hatred-trump-and-his-supporters.html )

For several decades, a few black scholars have been suggesting that the vision held by many black Americans is entirely wrong.  Dr. Shelby Steele, a scholar at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, said: "Instead of admitting that racism has declined, we (blacks) argue all the harder that it is still alive and more insidious than ever. We hold race up to shield us from what we do not want to see in ourselves."  Dr. John McWhorter, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, lamented that "victimology, separatism, and anti-intellectualism underlie the general black community's response to all race-related issues," adding that "these three thought patterns impede black advancement much more than racism; and dysfunctional inner cities, corporate glass ceilings, and black educational underachievement will persist until such thinking disappears."  In the 1990s, Harvard professor Orlando Patterson wrote, "America, while still flawed in its race relations ... is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; (and) offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa."  Anti-Americanism started during the 1960s and has become mainstream and visible in the black community and dominates the American black identity making it "ruinous to black America, where we are worse off than we were under segregation by almost every socio-economic measure."  Families changed, as late as 1950, female-headed households were only 18% of the black population.  Today 70% of black children are raised in single-parent households.  In the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups.  In New York City in 1925, for example, 85% of kin-related black households were two-parent households.  According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11% of black children were born to unwed mothers.  Today about 75% of black children are born to unwed mothers.  From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults.  Today about twice as many blacks have never married as whites.  The bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.  In the labor market, in every census from 1890 to 1954, blacks were either just as active as or more so than whites in the labor market.  During that earlier period, black teen unemployment was roughly equal to or less than white teen unemployment.  As early as 1900, the duration of black unemployment was 15% shorter than that of whites; today it's about 30% longer.  White liberals and the Democrat Party are the major beneficiaries of keeping black people fearful, angry, victimized and resentful.  Racial harmony would be a disaster for leftists, be they politicians, academic liberals or news media people. As for black politicians and civil rights hustlers, Booker T. Washington long ago explained their agenda, writing: "There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public.  Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays.  Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs."

(“Blind to Real Problems” by Walter E. Williams dated June 20, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2018/06/20/blind-to-real-problems-n2491776 )

Six months ago, Republicans in Congress joined with President Trump to redesign America’s tax code and enact sweeping tax cuts.  We were determined to let families and local businesses keep more of what they earn.  The new tax code was built to help American companies and workers compete and win anywhere in the world.  Now something big is happening to America’s economy.  Since January, more than one million jobs have been created.  This has brought claims for unemployment benefits to their lowest level since 1969, and there are now actually more job openings than people looking for work.  While this economic turnaround has come as a shock to most Democrats in Washington, it’s no surprise to millions of working families across America.  They were overtaxed and overregulated for far too long, and the result was a decade of slow growth.  In only six months, the economy has been reinvigorated, and the best is yet to come. That’s because the new tax code leapfrogs America’s competitors abroad.  The U.S. is now at the head of the pack—one of the best places on the planet to find that next job, to build that new manufacturing plant, or to set up company headquarters.  As a result, businesses of all sizes are now investing in American workers and communities.  They are bringing back their dollars from overseas and investing at home again.  It’s no coincidence that small-business optimism has hit its highest reported level in 35 years.  There is a new hope and a new optimism that wasn’t here before.  To call it a sudden change from the sluggish Obama-era economy would be an understatement. For a decade, it was like America’s economy was going through a 25 mph zone.  Now that the high taxes and uncompetitive regulations are gone, we’re on the open highway again.  Families and business owners are hopeful about their economic outlook for the first time since the Great Recession.  A growing economy means real change for millions, and it’s uplifting to hear from so many people who are excited about their futures again.  A Gallup poll found that satisfaction with the direction the U.S. is heading has reached a 12-year high.  This simply wouldn’t have happened without meaningful tax reform.  The scary thing is that Democrats want to take all of this progress away.  They think Washington should keep more of families’ hard-earned money.  Critics continue to deny that tax reform has had any positive effects, and they have actually pledged to raise taxes.  Clearly, Democrats are interested in seeing only doom and gloom.  Meantime, Republicans are finding innovative ways to keep improving the tax code to ensure it will remain competitive and pro-growth for Main Street businesses.  They’re going to change the culture of Washington so the U.S. doesn’t find itself in the same situation they faced last year, with a tax code that was an anchor dragging down the economy.  Given the choice between keeping taxes high and allowing families to keep more of their money, Republicans chose, and continue to choose, the American people. Empowering families to run their own lives is at the heart of the American Dream, so it’s the key to our nation’s economic success, and it’s the reason that, six months into tax reform, Americans are more hopeful about their future.

(“Six Months After Tax Reform, Something Big is Happening” by Kevin Brady dated June 21, 2018 published by The Wall Street Journal at https://www.wsj.com/articles/six-months-after-tax-reform-something-big-is-happening-1529623581 )


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.  Updates have been made this week to the following sections:

·    Civil Rights at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/civilrights.php

·    Employment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/employment.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY