Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Trump supporters are the new college radicals

Below is the first half of a big article in Newsweak.  It seems pretty factual

Stormi Rodriguez says she’d never been called a racial epithet before. Growing up in Mission, Texas, just 70 miles from the Mexican border, the 21-year-old daughter of a single, Mexican-American mother, had what she calls a “normal, pretty uneventful life,” in a heavily Hispanic part of the country. That changed one day in 2016, when she posted a picture of herself on Facebook wearing a red Make America Great Again cap. The student at Texas State University said she was promptly bombarded with abuse from the Donald-Trump-hating Left and called a variety of epithets, including “wetback.” “At college, some of my classmates called me a race traitor,’” she says.

Publicly supporting Donald Trump isn’t easy for young voters, especially in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Pop culture derides Trump daily. So too does much of the mass media. Pro-Trump college students like Rodriguez say their teachers are almost uniformly hostile to Trump, and so are the majority of their fellow students. It takes a fair amount of backbone to be young and a Trump supporter, even in a GOP stronghold like Texas.

But the more than a dozen young Trump supporters who spoke to Newsweek were firm in their commitment to the president and clear about their reasons. They don’t consider Trump racist and reject that label for themselves as well. They’re sick of “cancel culture” —when critics on social media call for a boycott of someone who has said or done something deemed offensive—and political correctness. “We’ve had it shoved in our faces all day every day, in school and then from the pop culture,” Isabel Brown, a graduate of Colorado State University, told Newsweek in July. They don’t share the attraction to socialism that seems to be felt by many in their cohort. And Trump’s unfiltered personality delights them.

They see themselves in the role traditionally played politically by the young: They are the rebels, the non-conformists, willing to stand up for what they believe in opposition to the establishment. Only this time, the establishment—on campus and in the broader society—is a culture that demands lockstep obedience to what Brown calls “far left ideas.” For whatever reason, she says, most people her age “aren’t rebellious, and aren’t even particularly thoughtful. They feel the need to adhere to a politically correct ‘progressive’ agenda.”

In this environment, she argues, “true rebellion is simply to say, ‘I disagree.’ I think conservatives were expected to be quietly polite, and we expected people would be quietly polite in return. Now we’ve learned that unless you boldly fight for what you believe in, the culture and the country will look very different.”

Young Trumpers are not a mere political curiosity. Voters age 18 to 29 are one of two demographics nationwide that may hold the key to Trump’s re-election, according to Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager. (Moderate independent and Republican women make up the other group.) The goal is not to win the young voter demographic outright—the campaign knows that won’t happen—but rather to limit the margin with the Democratic nominee in key states, and in so doing perhaps tip the election to Trump.

That’s close to what happened in 2016, though not because of any sophisticated effort by the Trump campaign. Hillary Clinton got only 55 per cent of the youth vote, down from the 60 percent Barack Obama won in 2012; many young people did not, to put it mildly, view Clinton as an inspiring candidate. (In 2008 Obama won an extraordinary 66 percent of the under-30 vote.)

“In what is likely to be another close election, if Trump can do better with young people than he did last time, that could be critical,” says Mary Snow, polling analyst at the Quinnipiac University presidential polling organization. “There are plausible scenarios in which it could be decisive.”

The Trump campaign won 37 percent of the youth vote in 2016 in a campaign that was shambolic and underfunded. It will not be this time. Trump 2020 has already raised more than $125 million and the campaign is making a concerted effort to target young voters in battleground states. Parscale, who headed Trump’s digital media effort in 2016, says this will happen via social media, his forte, but also with “traditional boots-on-the-ground type organizing.”

In both the virtual and real-world efforts, the campaign will have considerable help from outside groups—support it didn’t have in 2016. One of them is Turning Point USA, founded seven years ago by Charlie Kirk, then 18. The group organizes what Kirk calls “conservatives” on college campuses across the country, but “conservative” in this sense means Trump supporters. The group has more than 1,000 college chapters and claims more than 40,000 members. Kirk will lead them next year in an effort that he acknowledges is based on the 2012 “Obama for America” campaign targeting young voters. The Turning Point effort will be as much about “clip boards and tennis shoes” on campus as it is about social media, in what Kirk vows will be an “unprecedented’’ effort to muster the pro-Trump vote on campuses across the country. “There’s never been a pro-GOP effort at this scale before, targeting young voters,” he says. “This can be done. We will make a difference.”

Conservatives organizing on college campuses is not, of course, a novel concept. Young Americans for Freedom, a group founded by William F. Buckley in 1960, has had chapters on U.S. campuses for decades. The YAF was founded on and has continued to preach the standard conservative catechism: support for free markets and free trade, limited government and a robust American engagement abroad (originally rooted in staunch anti-communism). The YAF sees itself as the promoter of “true” conservatism” in the Buckley and Ronald Reagan mold, which is why some of its alumni had trouble swallowing the Trump campaign in 2016. Donald Trump is not and will never be a true blue conservative—which is why there will always be a sliver of “never Trumpers” within the GOP—but a lot of young voters don’t care about policy purity. The YAF’s membership rolls have increased by five percent since 2016. As Kirk acknowledges, there aren’t one or two defining issues among young Trump backers in the way that free market economics and staring down the Soviet Union motivated Reagan supporters more than a generation ago.

The appeal of Trump is, as much as anything, attitudinal. In an era of suffocating political correctness, on campuses in particular, the president’s incorrectness is, for many, not just refreshing but liberating. “He’s patriotic, he’s pro-America, he wants to bring back the American spirit and he’s not afraid to say it, and I’m all for that,” says Brown, a Turning Point USA alum who worked for Prager University, an online education site started by conservative talk show host Dennis Prager. In September she started graduate school at Georgetown University in biomedical science policy and advocacy.

The various ways that Trump has broken with convention don’t repel these young supporters; it attracts them. Take his addiction to Twitter. Brown, 22, who grew up in a conservative Colorado household in which her parents stressed the “importance of forming one’s own opinion at an early age,” loves the fact that Trump tweets almost daily: "It's the way he communicates directly with his supporters," she says. "We love it."

Nearly all the young voters interviewed for this article praised Trump's outspoken patriotism. "Trump loves America," says Kearyn Bolin. "I love that about him." The biracial Texas State student was raised in Houston by a single mom. She wasn't always interested in politics (and was too young to vote in 2016), but her mother paid attention to Trump. “She always said America is a business and it would be good for a businessman to run it.”

In 2017 Bolin, 20, attended a Turning Point USA meeting and liked what she heard— particularly in comparison to the anti-Trump rhetoric she encountered all the time on campus. “Trump delivers on his promises. He means what he says and says what he means. I think that’s what a president should do.”

Many Trump fans have tales of being bullied; an exchange of views doesn’t seem to be possible, they say. When Stormi Rodriquez started a Turning Point USA chapter at Texas State, she says she was physically threatened. “There were some protesters outside the meeting, including one guy who came up to me and was pounding his chest like he wanted to fight. It was very, very scary. Believe me, whatever political ideology that guy associates with, I want no part of.”

“What has happened to the left to make it so closed-minded,” asks Brown, “where if you don’t agree with every little bit of their policy agenda you’re  castigated as an evil, racist xenophobe and they just shut the discussion down?” She has lost relationships with friends and even relatives who can’t abide her support of Trump. She handles this, she says, by moving on, concluding that anyone who will let politics get in the way of friendship or familial love and respect “is not someone I needed in my life to begin with.”

Tales of friendships lost are common. Allison Ackles, 21, a senior at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, says she was very close to a group of about 10 friends at school when she went to a Turning Point USA event in Dallas two years ago. Her friends were all standard-issue college-age lefties, and when she returned from the conference—” a transforming event” she calls it—” I told my friends that I was thinking more conservatively now. All ten of them ultimately stopped speaking with me.”

To many young Trump supporters, the left has simply “lost its mind,” as Kirk puts it, on a whole range of issues. Take economics: At this summer’s Turning Point USA convention in Washington, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul brought a packed ballroom to its feet when, echoing Trump, he proclaimed that “America will never be a socialist nation.”

“It’s really strange that so many Democrats seem to embrace socialism when the economy is so strong,” Ackles says. Trump “is doing a great job…Unemployment is low for everyone—African Americans, Hispanic Americans, everyone. There are plenty of jobs. What’s not to like?”

Spencer Ross, 23, a recent college graduate from Richmond, Virginia, agrees. He grew up in a rock solid Republican household, he says, and thinks the case for capitalism is self evident: “You had to either be asleep in economics class or just be ignorant” to support some of the policies the major Democratic presidential candidates favor, he says. “Free healthcare for illegal immigrants—really?” says Ross. “Did they actually all raise their hands in support of that?” (At the June 27 debate in Miami, all 10 candidates on stage did just that.) “They all apparently believe in the magic money tree that they can shake and get whatever they need to pay for everything. It’s insane.”

More HERE 


The Anti-Trump Whistleblower Story Looks Like Another Phony Scandal

The so-called whistleblower "scandal" that the media is hyping up every which way has Democrats once again falling all over each other to declare another "impeachable offense," despite having virtually no details about the conversation between Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. But, like everything else that's been thrown at Trump, this appears to be another phony scandal. The Daily Wire's Ashe Schow reported Saturday that the whistleblower complaint "is nothing more than a rumor reported by someone in the intelligence community." In fact, CNN reported this fact, but buried it in an article:

The whistleblower didn't have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower's concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration's determination that the complaint didn't fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

Schow noted, "this is yet another anonymous source giving more context on what another anonymous source told a different outlet, but it still calls the entire story into question." The original Washington Post story, despite being on the front page, was vague, relying on “two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter” who were “speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly." They alleged that Trump had made a “promise” to a world leader—which, based on what we know right now, is incorrect.

The Post filled out its story with information about a “standoff” between Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and Congress.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson – who was appointed by Trump – determined the whistleblower complaint to be of “urgent concern,” according to the Post. But Maguire argued he was not required by law to turn the complaint over to congressional Democrats seeking to impeach Trump.

The reason Maguire didn’t turn the complaint over is because of what CNN reported – that the person who made the complaint had no direct knowledge of what was said and was merely reporting a rumor. Why the inspector general determined it “urgent and credible” remains to be seen.

All the reactions to the story since have been based on speculation as to what occurred on the call. Trump is alleged to have pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and offered a quid pro quo... which, according to the Wall Street Journal, there wasn't:

President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ’s son, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on a probe, according to people familiar with the matter.

“He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” whether allegations were true or not, one of the people said. Mr. Trump didn’t mention a provision of foreign aid to Ukraine on the call, said this person, who didn’t believe Mr. Trump offered the Ukrainian president any quid-pro-quo for his cooperation on an investigation…

Nevertheless, if you can dream it, someone is alleging it. Even Hillary Clinton has chimed in with an eye-roll-worthy tweet:

Just like the Russian collusion hoax, there's no evidence of this yet, but that isn't stopping people like Hillary from making her allegation, or others declaring an incident they know nothing about an impeachable offense. In March 2012, Barack Obama was caught on a live microphone whispering to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he needed Russia to give him space on issues such as missile defense, before adding: "This is my last election, after my election, I have more flexibility.” It was on tape, but few in the media cared. Some even defended Obama, but generally, it was treated as much ado about nothing. As of this moment, all we have is speculation about Trump, and the media is once again calling for impeachment.

So far, all we know is that the whistleblower at the heart of this situation didn't actually overhear anything. The one thing we do know is that in 2016, Joe Biden successfully pressured then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to ax the country's top prosecutor, who was investigating his son's company, by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees. Biden even bragged about it.

The prosecutor, who was fired, was leading a corruption investigation into a company that employed Biden's son, Hunter

This whistleblower "scandal" may be another nothingburger for Trump, but it could be a much bigger problem for Joe Biden.



Pelosi plan takes a sledgehammer to Medicare

The proposal puts the U.S. health care system on a pathway toward socialized medicine

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is surrendering to the radical, socialist wing of the Democratic Party on health care, according to her new, $32 trillion drug-pricing proposal leaked last week.

The Pelosi plan takes a sledgehammer to the Medicare system at the expense of patients, innovators and free enterprise and puts the U.S. health care system firmly on a pathway toward Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders-style socialized medicine.

The proposal empowers government bureaucrats to set the prices of the top 250 prescription medicines. If a manufacturer does not agree with this price or refuses to “negotiate,” the government will hit it with a 75 percent excise tax on the gross sales of a drug from the previous year — not a 75 percent tax on profits, but a 75 percent tax on sales.

The pan would also impose foreign price controls on American drugs by forcing manufacturers to calibrate prices of lifesaving medicine to those of half-a-dozen nations from Australia to Germany.

The bill would impose a retroactive inflationary penalty for drugs covered under Medicare Parts B and D. This retroactivity (which goes back to 2016) is particularly egregious because it would punish manufacturers for past decisions made, the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on ex post facto laws be damned.

The Pelosi plan does not constitute a good-faith effort to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. Instead, the proposal represents a giant step toward government controlling the means of production within the pharmaceutical industry — a textbook example of state socialism.

Medical innovation only exists because manufacturers are able to invest significant time and money in research and development. This is especially important to senior citizens, whose quality of life is often governed by access to lifesaving medicine.

On average, it takes more than a decade to bring a new drug to market. Of all the experimental drugs under development, 90 percent do not receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration and never come to market. In 2016 alone, American drug companies invested $90 billion for therapy research and development of drugs, more than three times the R&D money spent by the National Institutes of Health.

This process is inherently risky — more than 150 experimental Alzheimer’s therapies have been tried over the past 20 years. Despite these challenges, American innovators continue striving toward a cure for Alzheimer’s. This persistent search for a cure contributes significantly to the estimated $300 billion in annual costs associated with the disease.

Prescription drugs comprise just 14 percent of health care spending. Hospital services comprise 30 percent of health care spending, and is growing at a faster rate than pharmaceutical care.

The United States is a world leader and accounts for almost 60 percent of medical innovation in the world.

This innovation means more lifesaving and life-preserving medicines, and contributes to a strong U.S. economy and supports high-paying jobs across the country.

Mrs. Pelosi’s plan to impose punitive taxes, foreign price controls and retroactive penalties would cause research on drugs to fight Alzheimer’s and other diseases to come to a screeching halt.

More HERE 


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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