The Donald and an excerpt from a Left/anarchist conspiracy theory
It's clear that democratic politics has to be centrist. It's the only way for a politician to maximize his vote. It's the uncommitted voter who decides who wins an election. And by the very virtue of being uncommitted, such voters are mostly pretty centrist. So no politician wants to rock many boats.
That process can go too far, however, so that the options at election time often seem to have a great sameness and stand for nothing distinctive. Both options seem boring and uninspiring. Mitt Romney was arguably one of those last time round. Like many conservatives, I certainly could not get enthused by him. And politics in both Britain and the USA at the moment are seen by many as very bland. Similar trends in the two countries are not uncommon -- perhaps because of their common demographic origins. Britain has just got a Conservative Party government with full control of both the administration and the parliament so that is a good augury for America in 2016.
And for the bored voter right now there is Donald Trump in America and the unapologetic socialist Jeremy Corbyn in Britain. Both have seen huge popularity surges. Jeremy Corbyn will almost certainly get nowhere but Trump does clearly have prospects. Both men are seen as believing in something and saying what they mean. Ronald Reagan is the last successful American politician with a forthright and "incorrect" personal style so that can sometimes be a big winner. Trump is no Reagan but he could win for similar reasons.
A bland facade does not of course mean that the actions of a politician, once elected, will be bland. Barack Obama is the past-master of presenting a bland, commonsense facade but his actions have undoubtedly been very impoverishing for Americans. Despite continuing technological progress, it is a long time since general living standards rose in America. And that is largely because of the way Obama and his congressional allies have obstructed and destroyed job creation. A far smaller proportion of the population are in employment these days than has been the case for a long time. Finding a job has become so difficult that many people have simply given up looking for one. Obama's statisticians count that as a policy success and remove such people from the unemployment statistics! See: Record 93,770,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Matches 38-Year Low
Even some informed political commentators fail to understand all that, however. Norman Pollack (writing below) is from the anarchist Left and what he sees is deliberate conspiracy. He is right to see that there is what some call an Overton window of what is possible politically but simply abuses it rather than trying to understand it. Conspiracy theories are the recourse of people who don't really understand what is going on. They are a substitute for real enquiry. So Leftists have always been big propagators of them. This guy sounds off his head. He absolutely oozes hate. He hates everybody, Democrats and Republicans alike
Republicans have had a bad rap, Democrats being equally if not more responsible for unleashing the structure, planning, and energies of militarized capitalism. Obama is the perfect embodiment of the American comprador [intermediary], a black president, an added convenience to liberals in sanctioning policies of intervention, conquest, and at home corporate consolidation (all of which he has exemplified as well if not better than any president in memory), his compradorean stature earned as the intermediary for the American war machine, foreign policy establishment, and as the mock-regulator of the business system, the seemingly benign, because of race, representative of America’s ruling class—yes, despite liberals’ denials, a ruling class to which some are members and others gladly serve.
Liberalism here is political psychopathology carried to Everest-heights, an utter sham, unworthy of even the possessive individualism Macpherson so well described emanating from a Lockean philosophic base. Our liberalism is warmed-over market imperialism zipped up militarily to stabilize a world order in which counterrevolution becomes the modus operandi to stave off decline—the more gargantuan the military forces the more safety we feel. Every push for democratization, incremental or large, is perceived as a mortal threat.
The problem is, the world can’t wait on our neuroses, actually, psychoses, after seventy years of stirred-up anticommunism which has taken its toll of shifting the political-ideological spectrum rightward. Greetings, 2016: a leadership choice so pitiful, reactionary, confrontational as to provide a macabre shadow over the land. Pity the Republicans, they do not enjoy a monopoly on war-preparation and feelings, a subservience to wealth, despisement of the environment, etc. Democrats will do in a pinch, if not already crowding them out.
Best of the First Republican Confab
By Mark Alexander
OK, the "debates" Thursday were endurance exercises, given the number of candidates on both the early and then prime-time stage. We heard from a lot of great Republicans, most of whom are conservatives and connect well with grassroots Patriots across the nation. Because, in both instances, they were answering different questions, there is not an easy "apples to apples" comparison but, as promised, I have compiled a handful of remarks from candidates on the prime-time stage that best represent their platforms.
I commend Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace for asking many good and tough questions — which you would not have heard from CNN moderators if only Democrats were on stage. I note there were some fratricidal bait questions, but most of the candidates avoided attacking each other, and focused on the serious issues threatening Liberty — the result of Barack Obama's failed domestic policies, and the abysmal failure of Obama/Clinton foreign policies.
I have only one observation about the debate between the second-tier candidates. In my assessment there was one candidate who absolutely shined above all others, and that would be Carly Fiorina, who has earned her way into the first tier. Among other things, she is the "corporate" alternative to Don Trump.
So in order of their poll rankings entering the first debate, here are just a few remarks that say something significant about each candidate, followed by my own brief assessment of who gained ground on the main stage. (You can read a full annotated transcript of the debate is posted at The Washington Post.)
Donald Trump: "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. ... We don’t have time for tone. We have to go out and get the job done. ... We need to build a wall, and it has to be built quickly. And I don’t mind having a big, beautiful door in that wall so that people to come into this country legally. ... [A single-payer health care system] works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland. ... I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said, 'Be at my wedding,' and she came to my wedding. You know why? She didn’t have a choice because I gave."
Note: I chose these remarks because Trump's popularity is based almost solely on his indifference to "PC" and "tone." However, the most telling thing about Trump was not in his answers, but in this question from Kelly: "Mr. Trump, in 1999, you said you were, quote, 'very pro-choice,' even supporting partial-birth abortion. You favored an assault weapons ban as well. In 2004, you said in most cases you identified as a Democrat. Even in this campaign, your critics say you often sound more like a Democrat than a Republican, calling several of your opponents on the stage things like clowns and puppets. When did you actually become a Republican?" In response, Trump said, "As far as being a Republican is concerned, I come from a place, New York City, which is virtually, I mean, it is almost exclusively Democrat. And I have really started to see some of the negatives."
Jeb Bush: "I’m going to have to earn this. Maybe the barrier — the bar’s even higher for me. That’s fine. I’ve got a record in Florida. I’m proud of my dad, and I’m certainly proud of my brother... I am my own man. I governed as a conservative, and I governed effectively. And the net effect was, during my eight years, 1.3 million jobs were created. We left the state better off because I applied conservative principles in a purple state the right way, and people rose up. ... The new normal of 2% [GDP] that the Left is saying you can’t do anything about is so dangerous for our country. There’s six million people living in poverty today, more than when Barack Obama got elected. 6.5 million people are working part-time, most of whom want to work full-time. We’ve created rules and taxes on top of every aspiration of people, and the net result is we’re not growing fast, income is not growing. A 4% growth strategy means you fix a convoluted tax code. You get in and you change every aspect of regulations that are job killers. You get rid of ObamaCare and replace it with something that doesn’t suppress wages and kill jobs."
Scott Walker: "Let’s be clear, we should be talking about Hillary Clinton ... because everywhere in the world that Hillary Clinton touched is more messed up today than before she and the president [came to power]. ... It’s sad to think right now, but probably the Russian and Chinese government know more about Hillary Clinton’s email server than do the members of the United States Congress. ... This is not just bad with Iran, this is bad with ISIS. It is tied together, and once and for all, we need a leader who’s going to stand up and do something about it."
Mike Huckabee: "It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who’s very high in the polls, that doesn’t have a clue about how to govern. A person who has been filled with scandals, and who could not lead. Of course, I’m talking about Hillary Clinton. ... The problem is we have a Wall Street-to-Washington access of power that has controlled the political climate. The donor class feeds the political class who does the dance that the donor class wants. And the result is the federal government keeps getting bigger. Every person on this stage who has been a governor will tell that you the biggest fight they had was not the other party. Wasn’t even the legislature. It was the federal government, who continually put mandates on the states that we had to suck up and pay for. And the fact is there are a lot of things happening at the federal level that are absolutely beyond the jurisdiction of the Constitution."
Ben Carson: "America became a great nation early on not because it was flooded with politicians, but because it was flooded with people who understood the value of personal responsibility, hard work, creativity, innovation. And that’s what will get us on the right track now, as well. ... If I was trying to destroy this country, what I would do is find a way to drive wedges between all the people, drive the debt to an unsustainable level, and then step off the stage as a world leader and let our enemies increase while we decreased our [military capability]."
Ted Cruz: "I believe the American people are looking for someone to speak the truth. If you’re looking for someone to go to Washington, to go along to get along, to agree with the career politicians in both parties who get in bed with the lobbyists and special interests, then I ain’t your guy. ... We see lots of 'campaign conservatives.' But if we’re going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative, someone who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative. ... We need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling the utter the words 'radical Islamic terrorism.'"
Marco Rubio: "This election cannot be a résumé competition. It’s important to be qualified, but if this election is a résumé competition, then Hillary Clinton’s going to be the next president because she’s been in office and in government longer than anybody else running here tonight. ... Here’s what this election better be about: This election better be about the future, not the past. It better be about the issues our nation and the world is facing today, not simply the issues we once faced. ... God has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates. The Democrats can’t even find one. ... What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States. Future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave the chance to live. ... I run for president because I believe that we can’t just save the American dream; we can expand it to reach more people and change more lives than ever before."
Rand Paul: "This is what’s wrong. [Mr. Trump] buys and sells politicians of all stripes... He’s already hedging his bet on the Clintons. He’s already hedging his bets because he’s used to buying politicians. ... The Fourth Amendment was what we fought the Revolution over! John Adams said it was the spark that led to our war for independence, and I’m proud of standing for the Bill of Rights, and I will continue to stand for the Bill of Rights. ... I don’t want my marriage or my guns registered in Washington."
Chris Christie: "I’m the only person on this stage who’s actually filed applications under the Patriot Act, who has gone before the ... Foreign Intelligence Service court, who has prosecuted and investigated and jailed terrorists in this country after September 11th. ... This is not theoretical to me. I went to the funerals. We lost friends of ours in the Trade Center that day. ... I will make no apologies, ever, for protecting the lives and the safety of the American people. We have to give more tools to our folks to be able to do that, not fewer, and then trust those people and oversee them to do it the right way. ... If we don’t deal with [entitlement reform], it will bankrupt our country or lead to massive tax increases — neither one that we want in this country."
John Kasich: "The court has ruled [on same-sex marriage], and I said we’ll accept it. And guess what, I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who happens to be gay. Because somebody doesn’t think the way I do, doesn’t mean that I can’t care about them or can’t love them."
Trump: ‘I Would’ Shut Down the Gov’t to Defund Planned Parenthood and Obamacare
Donald Trump said he would support congressional action to defund Planned Parenthood even if it involved shutting down the federal government, and added that he supported doing the same to cut off funding for the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
Because there were not enough votes to move the Planned Parenthood defunding bill forward in the Senate, some lawmakers have called for tying the defunding to the spending legislation needed to fund the government past Sept. 30, whether through an appropriations bill or a continuing resolution.
While such a legislative arrangement potentially could pass in the GOP-dominant House and Senate, the White House has stated it would veto legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood. That scenario could lead to a government shutdown.
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