Sunday, January 22, 2017
Overcoming the Leftist hegemony
"President Trump". What a magical sound those words are! I was intermittently laughing and crying with happiness for a couple of hours after listening to his inaugural address. It is so good to have one of ours in the White House again. It's been a long time. The two Bushes were OK but you have to go back to Reagan to get a really revolutionary President in the White House.
Revolutionary? Yes. A believer in the American revolution and a counter-revolutionary against the Leftist hegemony; someone who will smash the Leftist ratchet: The process whereby the government and society get steadily more Leftist year by year, with no going back even being considered by the governing elite. Note the excerpt from his speech at a pre-inauguration concert below. Trump speaks there of drawing on the past, of reverting to proven ways as the change that he has in mind. What a horror for the Left!
To this day Leftists characterize conservatives as people who are opposed to change. They can't accept that it is just Leftist change that conservatives find wanting. They do that because they have to defend themselves mentally from any suspicion that conservatives may have well-founded objections to their madcap schemes. Their claim has been an obviously false charge ever since Reagan and Thatcher but it is good to see Trump reinforcing the real story.
Why is Trump so different? Mainly because he isn't. What he says was obviously close to the hearts of the millions that voted for him. But he does differ in saying out loud what a lot of other Americans were only thinking. He completely ignored political correctness when most others feared to do so. How come? How come he is so free from the mental and verbal shackles that the Left have managed to place on most people? Even the GOP in recent years have just been Leftism-Lite. How come Trump escaped that?
It's got to go back to his upbringing as the son of a very rich man. His riches would have freed his father from much need to seek the approval of others so he did not inculcate young Donald with the then current middle-class notions of what is acceptable and what is not. Donald grew up as something of a "natural" child. His instinctive feelings were minimally suppressed. So he is rude to those who are rude to him and is annoyed by the rudeness. He has not been taught not to sweat the small stuff and has not been taught that "A soft answer turneth away wrath" (Proverbs 15:1). As a kid, he went to a Presbyterian Sunday school, as I did, and he had a Scottish mother so he obviously got a lot of wise guidance, but it was not enough to suppress who he is.
And the charge that he is a rude man is one-eyed. He certainly is rude to those who abuse him but he seems also to have learned long ago the two most important words in the English language: "Thank you". He spends a lot of time thanking people. In his inaugural address he even thanked Mr. Obama for smoothing his transition to power, which visibly moved Mr Obama. Obama seems to be basically a nice guy but he has just never managed to break the mental shackles placed on him by his Marxist upbringing. He is probably not terribly bright. It was just a nice guy in a black skin that people voted for.
Trump's emphasis on the centrality and importance of the ordinary people is rather reminiscent of another great conservative, Benjamin Disraeli, who led Britain at the time of Britain's greatest eminence -- in the late 19th century. Disraeli was himself a Jew (superficially converted to the Church of England!) but he greatly extolled the wisdom of the ordinary English people, and put his money where his mouth was by greatly expanding the franchise, so that more of those he extolled could vote in national elections. Disraeli was a great success in leading his nation and Trump will be too
Thousands of Donald Trump supporters have gathered near one of Washington's famous landmarks for a concert celebrating his upcoming inauguration. The president-elect is embarking on a day of inauguration activities
The president-elect has spoken to the crowd at the inauguration concert.
We're going to unify our country," Trump told a crowd of thousands in front of the Lincoln Memorial after a pre-inauguration concert.
"We're going to do things that haven't been done for our country for many, many decades," he added. "It's going to change. I promise you."
Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway celebrated with her own personal fashion revolution
Trump is a true force of nature
By Eric Fehrnstrom
What I like about Trump is that he is a force of nature. We used to have characters like him in American politics until that unique specialness was bleached out of every member of the political class so they all look and act the same. When John Silber ran for governor of Massachusetts in 1990, he had a word to describe modern politicians: "plastic."
Only a person of strong personality, full of energy and unstoppable, can deliver on the change Trump has promised.
So on the occasion of Trump's swearing-in as the 45th president of the United States, I come not to bury Caesar but to praise him. This is after all an inauguration, a ceremony marking the beginning of something. Assuming the worst before things have even got started seems uncharitable. Let us at least toast the opening of the play and the introduction of an unfamiliar set of actors to the stage.
Which raises an interesting question: if Trump is the main character in this new unfolding drama, who is the antagonist?
There's a video on the Internet of protesters staging a "cough-in" at the upscale Jean Georges restaurant inside Trump Tower to oppose Obamacare repeal. It started with one protester hacking away, then another, until so many people joined in the spreading of germs that a fancy dining spot was transformed into an infectious disease clinic. Is this what the anti-Trump opposition looks like? Coughing on people? Voltaire once said, "Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." In Trump's case, God granted it.
Did Trump promise too much in his inaugural address?
Leftist common potatoes are saying he did -- e.g. here. He even seemed to promise a reign of peace and civililty in Chicago. Is that possible? I doubt it.
But we all know Trump's style by now. He is a positive thinker and simply expresses what he hopes to do in a very firm and confident way. He is not writing a carefully considered academic journal article. He is telling you where his heart is and identifying himself with great efforts to make it all happen. Ordinary people understand all that. It is just Leftist nit-pickers who are determined to take him more literally than they should.
Besides, if Mr Trump's promises are too broad, they do at least refer to particular issues. That's a lot more specific and a lot less sweeping than Obama's statement in October 2008 that "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America". Obama was wildly cheered by Leftists for that terminally ambitious statement. How odd that they are not cheering the LESS ambitious statements from Trump.
The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.
The media are of course all full of news and commentary about DT so I don't want to say too much that others have already said. I am therefore putting up an article below concerning what I imagine is one of the lesser known things about his enterprises. It comes from a Leftist publication so is a bit snarky but I think it is interesting nonetheless
Step into the Trump International Hotel and you're immediately transported to the new Washington where Donald Trump is in charge.
It's complete immersion: You can sit at the Trump hotel bar, watch Trump on TV, observe Trump White House staffers, while sipping Trump wine. If you hit the right time like this reporter, you might even catch a glimpse of Trump himself in the flesh - he made a brief stop Wednesday night and wolfed down a steak.
"This is my kind of food," the incoming president said before a nice cut - which he famously likes cooked well done - was placed before him.
He stopped by again Thursday afternoon. "This is a gorgeous room. A total genius must have built this place. Under budget and ahead of schedule," Trump told assembled guests who included several of his Cabinet nominees.
This massive 263-room luxury hotel, in the rehabilitated Old Post Office Pavilion smack dab on Trump's Pennsylvania Avenue inaugural parade route, has become the new gathering place for the Republicans in Washington who won the election. It's been a White House-in-waiting of sorts and all indications suggest that it will continue to be a favorite spot for the new ruling class.
"I encourage you to go there," said incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer, using his first televised press briefing on Thursday to plug the president's showcase property, which opened in October. "It's a beautiful place, it's somewhere that he's very proud of."
The Trump foot soldiers, the formal advisers, the informal advisers, the people who wish they were advisers all gather here for breakfasts, lunches, and cocktails to pay tribute - and literally pay tribute with significant bar tabs - to the man who takes over the government Friday.
For Trump supporters visiting town, it's an unofficial monument on the list of places to visit. And, putting the cost of drinks aside, a fairly accessible one. You have to schedule a tour of the White House - but on most days you can just walk right into the hotel and snap selfies.
In many ways the hotel encapsulates much about Trump. He clearly loves the glamour of the place and touted it frequently during the campaign, when a blue sign hung in front of the centrally located hotel that read "Coming 2016 . . . Trump."
The place also embodies the many potential conflicts of interest that his sprawling business empire poses: Never before has an incoming president owned such a complicated business portfolio, including a grand hotel just blocks from the White House.
A series of news stories has already cropped up: The hotel marketed itself just after the election to foreign diplomats who want to get in with Trump and at least one embassy moved a holiday party to the hotel, ostensibly for the same reason. Trump said recently that profits from foreign government officials staying at the hotel will be donated to the Treasury.
But that hasn't stopped domestic groups from cozying up to the Trump Organization. In December the Republican National Committee held its Christmas party at Trump's hotel, in the Presidential Ballroom. That drew the former RNC chairman Reince Priebus, who will now be Trump's White House chief of staff. As party favors, guests got to keep red cups emblazoned with Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again!"
The conservative Heritage Foundation also held an event at the hotel, featuring incoming Vice President Mike Pence as a draw.
Democrats in Congress are raising some legal questions about whether Trump's elevation to the presidency will violate the terms of the building's lease. The structure is owned by the federal government, and the lease includes a provision banning elected officials from being a party to it.
The General Services Administration, the federal bureaucracy that oversees the building (and an agency that Trump will soon be in charge of) hasn't ruled on whether the lease will be broken when Trump becomes president.
Trump's lawyers have said he's going to turn over the operations of his company to his two sons. They said the Trump hotels and otherassets would be put in a trust, but it's unclear if that will solve the problem.
The hotel, at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., includes a cavernous lobby, which is a rarity for Washington. A soaring roof and iron braces makes the interior feel like some mash-up between the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame cathedral.
The bar seating includes tall blue chairs with deep cushions. Four flat screen TVs show ESPN, CNN, Bloomberg News, and Fox News. There's no sign of the left-leaning MSNBC.
On the menu some of the wines are so expensive that they're offered by the spoonful. Staff wheel cheese carts from table to table. Champagne carts also patrol the dining room.
Amid all the splendor, the biggest attraction for many is people watching. On any given night you might see Hope Hicks, the young spokeswoman for the Trump campaign who recently relaxed in the lobby with her parents after apartment hunting.
Or Steve Mnuchin, the Goldman Sachs banker turned Hollywood investor who is Trump's pick for Treasury secretary. A Daily Mail reporter recently spotted him at the hotel ordering a bottle of champagne to be sabered.
If you managed to get into the hotel on Wednesday night amid tight security, you would have rubbed elbows briefly with Trump, who ducked in after a dinner in Washington.
Applause broke out in the lobby when Trump arrived. He was accompanied by an entourage that marched through to the BLT Prime restaurant.
Trump seemed to enjoy mingling with guests briefly and praising the chef, David Burke. "I like this. This is the greatest chef," he said.
Then he walked up to the second level of the restaurant, and ate a pre-ordered steak. Other guests gawked, his security detail fretted, and servers tried to navigate the sea of onlookers.
One caste of Washington insiders isn't spending much time there these days: Reporters. The hotel barred a Politico journalist from entering on Wednesday and told the publication that no media were allowed in.
Heavily partisan, and tightly controlled, the new hotel - like Trump himself - is an unusual addition to Washington's traditions. Even its watering holes.
"Whether in private clubs or the Palm and the Sidecar, D.C. has always run on bipartisan mingling of pols and journalists," said Zachary Hastings Hooper, a Washington PR consultant and man-about-town. "The Trump Hotel seems to be the antithesis of that."
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Posted by JR at 1:35 AM