Views on the News

Views on the News*

August 11, 2018


President Donald Trump is winning on all cylinders, with an approval rating of 50% at Rasmussen, which is 5% higher than Barack Obama on the exact day of his second year in the White House.  What’s truly amazing is Trump has had more than 90% negative news coverage. Meanwhile, Obama enjoyed an 8-year lovefest with the media, with eight years of genuflecting and knighting Obama a hero.  After all that, Trump beats him by points.  A majority of Americans don’t give a damn what the liberal mainstream media says anymore.  We ignore it, avoid it or mock it.  ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS and MSNBC have all neutered themselves.  No one believes their propaganda, lies and fake news anymore.  They’ve made themselves completely irrelevant.  Trump’s Twitter feed has more value than ABC, NBC and CBS combined.  The economy is winning on all cylinders:  The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s “GDPNow” measure upgraded its third quarter GDP prediction from 4.7% to 5% growth.  If that prediction comes true, right before the November elections, Trump’s GOP wins a huge victory.  In June, 155,965,000 Americans were employed, the 11th time in 19 months under Trump we’ve set a record for the most Americans working.  This is after Obama put us $10 trillion in debt to create awful growth and a nation of crappy, part-time jobs.  Hispanic unemployment set another record low.  The number for disabled Americans is also the lowest ever.  High-wage manufacturing jobs were up by 37,000 in June, bringing Trump’s total to 400,000 new manufacturing jobs.  With the economy booming and a job market this tight, worker pay raises are now the highest since 2008.  Trump has struck a nerve with his trade initiative.  Seventy-one percent of business owners surveyed by the UBS Investor Watch support additional tariffs on China.  Eighty-eight percent agree China engages in unfair trade practices.  Sixty-six percent support additional tariffs on Mexico.  Sixty-four percent support additional tariffs on the E.U.  Sixty percent support additional tariffs on Canada. Trump wins again.  Trump just keeps saying what the American people want to hear: “America first” and the people cheer.  Trump says our “friends” in the EU are ripping us off, and the people cheer.  Trump signs an executive order rolling back affirmative action at colleges, and the people cheer.  Trump rolls back Obama-era gas mileage standards, and the people cheer.  Trump demands work requirements for anyone who gets food stamps, and the people cheer.  The Democrat response is free stuff: socialism redistribution of wealth; free health care; free money for everyone; free college for everyone; free handouts for everyone; reparations; and open borders.  Trump has hit the daily double: he’s destroyed the Democrat Party and the liberal mainstream media at the same time putting the liberals into a very deep, dark hole and they may never crawl out.

(“Donald Trump hits the daily double” by Wayne Allyn Root dated August 4, 2018 published by Las Vegas Review-Journal at https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/opinion-columns/wayne-allyn-root/commentary-donald-trump-hits-the-daily-double/ )


To be “presidential” means to be dignified but masterly, simultaneously courteous yet decorous, friendly in a self-contained sort of way.  The problem with this view is that so many presidents throughout history have violated it, from Andrew Jackson and his smash-up-the-china parties at the White House to Bill Clinton’s novel deployment of cigars with Monica Lewinsky.  Donald Trump recently mocked the traditional idea of being presidential, explaining that behaving in that way is “a lot easier than what I do.” His demonstration of what he meant at a rally had the twin virtues of being amusing and appealing to his base.  From the very beginning of his campaign, Donald Trump has acted in ways that shatter our usual notions of what it means to be presidential.  Think of his comment during the campaign to Megyn Kelly about canines and Rosie O’Donnell, his description of Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man” from the floor of the UN’s General Assembly, or indeed his steady stream of provocative tweets about world leaders, contentious domestic issues, and even members of his own staff.  I was a reluctant, at-least-he’s-not-Hillary supporter of Donald Trump.  As the months have gone by and I have watched him pile up victory after victory, with his judicial appointments, his roll back of the regulatory environment, his handling of the economy, his bold and innovative foreign diplomacy, I have to wonder whether I was being too staid, too stuck in the mud.  Donald Trump is unlike any president before him.  I begin to wonder to what extent his style is an essential ingredient of his success.  Even now, eighteen months into his first term, his brashness has the capacity to astonish and alarm.  Donald Trump acts in ways that shock, unsettle, and upset the proctors of presidential protocol.  His boldness is not merely a matter of style.  He is challenging the whole post-war world order and the sclerotic bureaucracy, domestic as well as international, that has grown up to tend and nourish it.  The United States had gradually, and under Barack Obama, not so gradually, settled into a swamp of bureaucratic, politically correct lassitude.  Donald Trump has confronted that Leviathan in ways that are both novel and effective.  He has done an enormous amount to pick apart the administrative state and “drain the swamp.”  His great virtue is as a corrective.  He is an enormous risk-taker whose value to the United States and the world is contingent on the accident of his having come along a moment of maximum economic stasis and governmental overreach. Donald Trump has had the most successful first year and a half of any president I can think of.  At the same time, he has regularly upset keepers of the tablets of conventional wisdom on what is presidential.  So far, he has been a wild success.

(“Who cares if Donald Trump is ‘presidential’, as long as he’s successful?” by Roger Kimball dated August 5, 2018 published by The American Spectator at https://spectator.us/2018/08/who-cares-if-donald-trump-is-presidential-as-long-as-hes-successful/ )

If you have a hard time following the logic of some liberal arguments, don’t worry; it’s not you.  Taking a page out of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” our modern progressive friends have mastered the art of doublethink, “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”  As Orwell described the “labyrinthine” world of doublethink, it was “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy.  The examples are plentiful: “War is peace” “Freedom is slavery” and “Ignorance is strength. They are just as plentiful in real life: “Equality is racism” (if you oppose special treatment for one race, you are guilty of a hate crime). “Truth is a lie” (political correctness run amok forces people to say that which they know is untrue). “Hate is love” (attacking Trump supporters is necessary to make them see the light).  The most obvious example of this doublethink is the left’s defense of abortion.  Rather than directly promoting abortion, they say they are protecting women’s “reproductive right, ” but “reproductive rights” actually means the right NOT to reproduce, down to and including killing your own unique, never-to-be-“reproduced” again baby by sucking out its brains (partial-birth abortion).  Doublethink allows the most heinous crimes against humanity, such as the United States being founded on the principle that “all men are created equal” and then approving of slavery by declaring that enslaved people are less than human.  Consider “cultural appropriation,” the crime of borrowing elements of one culture by another.  Imitation is appropriation, and is considered the sincerest form of flattery. Generally this is applied as a thought crime only when the borrower is white or belongs to a Western culture and the “appropriation” comes from a minority culture.  If white people are to be segregated from the cultural influence of minorities, then not only will they be poorer for it, but so too will the minority cultures which could take pride in their influence and importance.  Much of the power of the “cultural appropriation” mantra comes in the form of bullying people who dare to be different.  Consider the hypocrisy of a left-wing philosophy that opposes a person of one race wearing the outer trappings associated with another race, yet at the same time argues that society has an obligation to allow men to assume the very identity of a woman, or vice versa.  Which is more of an appropriation? Borrowing clothes, or borrowing a gender?  Apparently, cultural appropriation is only supposed to be inappropriate when a “majority” borrows from an “oppressed” minority.  The twists and turns in the logic of doublethink are exhausting, and I think it is safe to say that part of the power of liberalism is that it is easier to surrender to its hypnotic fluttering rhetoric than to pin it down like a bug and analyze it under a microscope. Once you face facts, there is no going back, no matter how isolated it may make you feel.

(“The Left’s love affair with doublethink” by Frank Miele dated August 4, 2018 published by Daily Inter Lake at http://www.dailyinterlake.com/frank_miele_editors_2_cents/20180804/the_lefts_love_affair_with_doublethink )

The masquerade is finally over: Democrats are finally coming out as the socialists they’ve always pretended not to be.  Americans might finally get a clear choice moving forward between undisguised socialism and free market capitalism.  Promise the voters anything and everything in the hope of gaining power, the consequences be damned.  Loosely quoting the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, socialism is great fun until you run out of other people’s money.  The sad fact here is just how fast they would spend other people’s money.  The costs are staggering with universal healthcare: for a national, Medicare for all approach, it could cost up to $32.6 trillion in the first 10 years, overshadowing our already massive $20 trillion national debt.  At the state level, the costs are also sobering: California’s universal healthcare plan would cost $400 billion annually.  In New York, people are being assured that yes, taxes would have to go up 156%, but have no fears, this will actually save money in the future.  At the very heart of this universal healthcare plan is a falsehood that insurance somehow equals better care, and in many places, the quality of care actually goes down with universal healthcare.  In Canada, between 1993 and 2017, the average wait to see a specialist more than doubled to from nine weeks to over 21 weeks while the corresponding costs went up 40%.  In England, the annual budget for the National Health Service (NHS) doubled over the last 20 years, but there’s no corresponding increase in quality of life; life expectancy hasn’t gone up.  Typically in universal healthcare systems you see health services more interested in efficiency, you see death panels, you see overworked nurses and doctors, and you see a lack of innovation.  Beyond the costs and the decrease in quality of care, universal healthcare would be a smash and grab policy hurting younger generations.  We would have to steal from the idealistic and sometimes, sadly, very stupid young but healthy to fund Americans who are their opposites in all of these respects.  When the young finally figure this out they’ll be facing a hopelessly mortgaged future exactly when many businesses will abandon their states, as in they got played for suckers.  Adding to the absurdity of it all is this concept of using the vehicles of Medicare and Medicaid for all. The socialists’ idea is to ride those two broken, corrupt and nearly insolvent (at least with respect to Medicare) systems to socialist glory.  While it shouldn’t be a surprise that failing ideologies attach themselves to failing systems, it might surprise people that in 2017 alone, Medicare and Medicaid combined made $141 billion in improper payments.  By all means, do tell me how glorious it would be to run $32.6 trillion into those broken systems.  It’s almost as though the socialists and modern Democrat Party want to collapse our entire system of government and then offer Big Brother Government as the solution.  If Congress won’t tackle the root of the problem instead of simply throwing taxpayer dollars at broken corrupt systems like Medicare and Medicaid, it should at least do something to ease the pain of access to care like allowing people to form associations and shop for insurance plans across state-lines, driving down premiums by 50%.  There should be block grants for pharmaceuticals instead of forcing people to go through Medicare or Medicaid.  People should have options to put money into savings accounts, spending their money as they see fit.  Nonprofit hospitals should be compelled to have pricing and cost transparency.  Let market forces go to work and I bet we’ll all be amazed at what will happen.

(“Bread and Circus Politics” by Ned Ryun dated August 9, 2018 published by American Greatness at https://amgreatness.com/2018/08/08/bread-and-circus-politics/ )


The capacity of human beings for making the same mistake again and again is exceeded only by the capacity of their governments to enshrine those mistakes in law.  A difficult situation is made untenable when the error involved has dangerous ramifications for everyone, not just those making the mistake.  This is where 21st-century America finds itself today, relative to that perennial error known as socialism.  The base of support for this long discredited ethos is multi-layered, with each layer supporting the error from a different foundation.  The largest element stands on a foundation of ignorance, simply unaware of the history and track record of collectivist schemes in general and socialism in particular.  Absent a frame of reference, this group is vulnerable to the socialist's siren song and soon find themselves singing along about fairness, equality, and justice, not realizing that the composer of the song lacks the instruments necessary to play it, unless he first takes them from someone else.  This group is the weakest, and a great many members can be peeled away from the collectivist concert by opening their eyes to the nuts and bolts of their newfound political plaything.  Once realizing that the price of admission involves the surrender of personal choice, they either abandon the effort or graduate to the next group.  The next echelon recognizes the shortcomings of socialism but is unwilling to accept these inevitable failures as fundamental flaws of the system itself, preferring to either ignore the murderous history of the creed entirely or blame the failures on interference by outside, nefarious influences.  In their eyes, every stumble must've been the result of being tripped; every fall surely must have been preceded by a shove.  These are the true believers, standing on a foundation of near religious fervor, willing to risk life and limb to prove to the world that socialism can work, if only operated by the right people, with the right funding and the support of right-minded people.  It is a rare occasion that sees one of this crowd abandoning the "faith."  Only abject, personal disaster can move them, as any outside attempt will be seen as validation of their paranoid worldview.  The final level know full well the ramifications of the policies they are advocating; they know the history; they understand the fatal flaws and are fully prepared to sacrifice the lives and fortunes of as many people as necessary to gain and maintain power.  Undergirding their plan is a longing for unfettered power and unaccountable control.  They know the system well enough to have monetized it, operating it as a machine from which they draw wealth and power to themselves.  They orchestrate the narrative by using the true believers to mobilize the first group, those ignorance of socialism and its hellish consequences, to fight the "other," whoever that might be at the time.  This is the genesis of #Resist.  To this nation's eternal credit, we shunned one such leader during the last presidential election.  Now we must erode the influence of the leaders that took her place and the true believers who yet do her bidding by educating the first group, the ignorant and misinformed.  We have a history of success on our side, because freedom blooms wherever planted, while socialism cannot boast of a single blossom, much less fruit.  They cannot deny the trail of bodies numbering in the hundreds of millions, victims of their unforgivable error.  We have to shine the light in the darkest corners, because there is an entire generation of “useful idiots” hanging in the balance.

(“Socialism can’t flourish without ignorance” by Joe Herring dated August 4, 2018 published by American Thinker at https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2018/08/socialism_cant_flourish_without_ignorance.html )

With the 2018 midterm elections coming up soon and the 2020 Presidential election not too far off after that, it is doubtless that President Trump’s administration has delivered significant and tangible benefit to the American people.  The many concerns that many of the talking heads spouted before the 2016 election, ranging from him destroying our economy to starting World War III, have not materialized and show little signs of doing so.  Many of us took a leap of faith in voting for then-candidate Donald Trump.  Even if we resonated with his message and did not believe the lies and distortions piled upon him, he still was a very new path compared to the traditional Presidents we had been used to for many years.  Besides being not a politician but rather a businessman his whole life he also broke down many of the norms that had traditionally governed our political discourse and electoral process in the past.  His campaign seemingly defied the laws of physics, soaring in the polls despite gaffes, media attacks, and with nominal funding compared to his well-moneyed opponent campaigns.  He did not back down but fought back.  He called out things bluntly, sometimes too much, but in a way that clearly the American people had been long wishing for.  Despite that, we were told day after day by the media until election night how Trump had an astronomical chance of winning, with The Huffington Post’s “poll of polls” having famously put Hillary Clinton’s chances at over 98%.  Few of us agreed with everything of what then-candidate Trump proposed, did, or said.  But when the final choice came down to it many of us understood that, despite our reservations, our country had begun drifting too far from the constitutionalist republic we have long been and we needed to reign in a far-left that would only be emboldened otherwise.  President Trump looks quite certain to run for re-election in 2020, despite the initial naysaying by his critics that he would call it quits after just a few months of his Presidency or seek a quiet return to the real estate and media sectors.  While some Never Trumpers still hold out for a primary challenge I think most of us know that remains just amusing, and no more, in a party where the President retains an almost 90% approval rating.  Many of us now look at these upcoming elections with clearer eyes and knowing hearts, as the fateful events of 2016 so proved that all the multi-factor models and chorus opinions of the then-pundits did not compare to our knowledge of how this country truly worked and its people really felt.  I remain happy with my vote for then-candidate Trump and look forward to voting to re-elect President Trump in 2020. 

(“Would You Vote for Trump Again?” by Erich Reimer dated August 10, 2018 published by Town Hall at https://townhall.com/columnists/erichreimer/2018/08/10/would-you-vote-for-trump-again-n2508555 )


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:

·    Preface at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/welcome/preface.php


David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY