Thursday, February 21, 2019

Leftist authoritarianism again

Bernie's Running Again: 'Our Campaign Is About Transforming Our Country'

What if some people don't want their country transformed? Bernie is not talking about the rivers and mountains.  He is talking about the people.  He wants to make them do various things that they ordinarily would not. His arrogance is astounding.  What gives him the wisdom and authority to disrupt the lives of 300 million Americans?

Even if a majority do vote for him what about the miniority that did not?  Can the majority give him the rightful authority to mess with the lives of the minority?  He has no doubt of it. He is a true Communist.

"I am running for president because now more than ever, we need leadership that brings us together [by force?], not divides us up," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Tuesday in a video announcement.

Sanders said it's not just about winning: "Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice."

Sanders said he is trying to raise a "million-person grassroots movement" that will "help transform this country so that finally we have a government that works for all of us, and not just a few."

In an interview with CBS News Tuesday morning, Sanders was asked for his opinion of capitalism:

"Look, I think what we see in this country and around the world is a lot of great entrepreneurs, but I think what is happening is some of these folks -- we have a system which allows these people to accumulate huge amounts of income and wealth.

"So when I talk about democratic socialism, somebody wants to call me a radical, okay, here it is. I believe that people are inherently entitled to health care. I believe people are entitled to get the best education they can. I believe that people are entitled to live in a clean environment. People are entitled to have decent-paying jobs. That's what I believe."

Sanders predicted that President Trump will say that Sanders wants the United States to become Venezuela:

"Bernie Sanders does not want to have the United States become the horrific economic situation that unfortunately exists in Venezuela right now," Sanders said. "What Bernie Sanders wants is to learn from countries around the world why other countries are doing a better job in dealing with income and wealth inequality than we are."

Sanders said his 2020 presidential campaign will be a "continuation of what we did in 2016."

"You may recall that in 2016, many of the ideas that I talked about -- Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition-free -- all of those ideas, people said, ‘Oh, Bernie, they're so radical, they are extreme. The American people just won't accept those ideas.’

“Well, you know what's happened over three years? All of those ideas and many more are part of the political mainstream.”

"So you're saying the party came your way?" host John Dickerson asked Sanders.

"I don't want to say that," Sanders replied. "I think most people would say that," he added.

In his interview with CBS, Sanders had sharp words for Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks chairman and CEO, who has warned that a radical leftist cannot defeat Donald Trump.

"Oh, isn't that nice!" Sanders told Dickerson. "Why is Howard Schultz on every television station in this country? Why are you quoting Howard Schultz? Because he's a billionaire.

"There are a lot of people I know personally who work hard for a living, make $40-, $50-thousand dollars a year who know a lot more about politics than, with all due respect, does Mr. Schultz. But because we have a corrupt political system, anybody who is a billionaire, who can throw a lot of TV ads on television, suddenly becomes very, very credible.

"So with Mr. Schultz -- what is he, blackmailing the Democratic Party? If you don't nominate Bernie Sanders, he's not going to run? Well, I don't think we should succumb to that kind of blackmail."

Schultz has argued that if you're worried about Donald Trump, Democrats need to pick a candidate who isn't so "radical." "That's also what his theory is," Dickerson told Sanders.

Sanders replied, "I think his deeper theory is, hey, I'm a billionaire, leave me alone and let me make as much money as I can without paying my fair share of taxes. He's a billionaire. He's thinking of running for president, suddenly he's a very famous guy. That is a problem with our political system."



Crowd Goes WILD When Melania demolishes Socialism at Miami Rally

First Lady Melania Trump made a rare appearance at a rally on Monday night in Miami. The audience loved it.

She introduced POTUS Trump and let all the Venezuelan-Americans in the crowd know that she, too, understands how it feels to live without freedom.     “The President and I are honored to stand with all of you as we together support the people, great people, of Venezuela,” Melania said.

    “Many of you in the room know what it feels like to be blessed with freedom after living under the oppression of socialism and communism,” the first lady told the Miami audience in a rare public appearance.

    Melania Trump was born in Slovenia in 1970. 20 years later, Slovenia dropped the “socialist” part of its name but did not became an independent republic until 1991.  She became a permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and obtained citizenship 5 years later.

    President Donald Trump on Monday pleaded with Venezuela’s military to support opposition leader Juan Guaido and issued a dire warning if they continue to stand with President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

    “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You will lose everything,” Trump said in a speech at Florida International University in Miami before large American and Venezuelan flags.  Trump added: “We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open.”

    The Venezuelan military could play a decisive role in the stalemate but has largely remained loyal to Maduro.

    In remarks broadcast on state television, Maduro accused the U.S. president of speaking in an “almost Nazi style” and lashed out at Trump for thinking he can deliver orders to Venezuela’s military.     “Who is the commander of the armed forces, Donald Trump from Miami?” Maduro said. “They think they’re the owners of the country.”

    Trump said “a new day is coming in Latin America,” as he sought to rally support among the largest Venezuelan community in the U.S. for Guaido. The U.S. recognizes him as the country’s rightful president and condemns Maduro’s government and its socialist policies.

    As the monthslong political crisis stretched on, the military has blocked the U.S. from moving tons of humanitarian aid airlifted in recent days to the Colombian border with Venezuela. The aid shipments have been meant in part to dramatize the hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine that are gripping Venezuela. Trump said of Maduro, “He would rather see his people starve than give them aid.”

    For the visit, which was unscheduled, Melania broke first lady precedent by traveling to an active combat zone. To take selfies with soldiers and speak military members, FLOTUS wore a suede mustard belted blouse with dark green pants.



The dangers of democracy have become real with America's empty-headed Democratic party

Democratically elected people’s assemblies historically have been known for their mediocrity, and the U.S. has been no different. The great champion of American democracy, Alexis de Tocqueville, in 1835 observed, “I was surprised to find so much distinguished talent among the citizens and so little among the heads of the government. It is a constant fact that at the present day the ablest men in the United States are rarely placed at the head of affairs,” a condition that worsens the more democratic the government becomes.

But over the last decade, the ineptitude of our Congressmen has increased dramatically, to the point that today Congress looks like the green room for the Gong Show. The last midterm especially brought to Washington some representatives whose abject ignorance of even basic math is astonishing, and whose embrace of ideas hostile to the American Constitutional order are frightening. More troubling, some of them have become the de facto leaders of the Democrat progressives, the mangy tail that today is wagging the already scrofulous dog. The possibilities for entertainment are many, but so are the dangers to our Republic.

The rising star of this dubious cohort is the toothy, goofy Representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her Mr. Ed grin and exophthalmic stare are ubiquitous on the internet and cable news. AOC–– she has already earned an honorific acronym­––has become the face of the millennial fad of socialism that was given legs by Bernie Sander’s insurgent presidential candidacy in 2016. For Dems obsessed with regaining power and smiting the hated Donald Trump, however, AOC, though too young to run for president, has better optics and publicity than yet another old white guy who has spent his years in the Senate comfortable with the establishment status quo.

AOC, on the other hand, represents the “future” of the Democrats, still advertised as “the emerging Democratic majority,” as a 2002 book of that name called it, comprising women, minorities, and the college-educated. This new coalition was supposed to do what Thomas Jefferson did to the Federalists in 1800–– “sink federalism into an abyss from which there will be no resurrection for it,” as he accurately predicted. The election of Barack Obama seemingly confirmed the Dems’ optimism, and his carefully groomed successor, Hillary Clinton, promised to continue Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America.”

Donald Trump, of course, stood athwart this “arc of history” yelling “Hell, no!” As the progressives tell the tale, Trump was carried aloft by the racist resentment of white working-class “bitter clingers” and “deplorables.” Colluding with the Rooskies to steal votes, and enabled by the undemocratic remnants of “white supremacism” like the Electoral College, Trump pulled off a coup and deprived the Democrats of their end-of-history consummation.

In reality, the Dems’ wounds were self-inflicted. Instead of heeding the counsel of Bill and moving to the center and reaching out to the forgotten men and women of the working class, Hillary endorsed the new New Left. She didn’t even campaign in the states that pushed Trump over the Electoral College finish line. And then the Democrats drew all the wrong lessons from their shellacking.

The high profile of AOC is the premier example of this lapse in political judgment and blind hubris. Sure, she’s young and “hip,” as the bougie techno-dorks define that term. She’s got a lot of idealistic pep, an emotion prized by those who think enthusiasm and idealism are more important than coherent ideas, philosophical integrity, moral probity, and practical wisdom. And most important for the diversicrat left, she’s a “Latina,” one of those “people of color” who usually on closer inspection turn out to be indistinguishable from a white person of similar education and socio-economic privilege. Not many farmworkers or maids grow up, as AOC did, with a nickname like “Sandy.” She’s what Thomas Sowell calls a “mascot” for white progressives for whom “diversity” is only skin-deep.

Unfortunately, Ocasio-Cortez is, to put it politely, woefully misinformed. Her manifest ignorance is so egregious that it’s easy to believe her policy positions like the Green New Deal are parodies of progressivism, and AOL herself is a Republican Manchurian Candidate whose aim is to discredit the Democrats with contemptuous laughter. Her “Green New Deal” has already been exposed, its violation of the laws not just of economics but of physics, laid bare. It’s a preposterous wish-list redolent of commie Woody Guthrie’s “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” where “handouts grow on bushes,” just like the Green New Deal’s promise to “pay people unwilling to work.” And it’s equally ignorant of the real-world limits that keep the utopian “pie” forever in the “sky.”

What’s more astonishing is that many in her party are climbing on board this preposterous program, mostly the prospective or proclaimed 2020 primary candidates who want to draft off of AOC’s celebrity. But that crew is mediocre and politically inept in its own right. Elizabeth Warren is probably mortally wounded by her appropriation of Cherokee identity for careerist advantage, not to mention her trite, parlor pink anti-capitalism and schoolmarmish demeanor. Corey Booker, another POC “mascot” like AOC, beclowned himself at the Kavanagh inquisition with his bizarre “I am Spartacus” mangled metaphor, and his desperate pivoting from his earlier more moderate record.  Kamala Harris, yet another POC “mascot,” got her break by being San Francisco mayor Willie Brown’s squeeze, and the beneficiary of $400,000 in city money he threw her way. She followed that up with a spotty, often incoherent tenure as California’s Attorney General. And don’t forget her support for “Medicare for All” and her desire to “eliminate all that,” meaning private health insurance.

In short, the sort of candidates that portend a wipeout of 1972 or 1980 proportions. But what’s the alternative for Democrats? Their frenzied hatred of Trump and hysterical tantrums have isolated and marginalized any possible blue centrist who could revive a Clintonian “Third Way” and challenge Trump on terms that appeal to voters outside the base. So too have the Salemite #MeToo hysterics, whose imperative “to believe” ancient charges of sexual assault, and willingness to suspend Constitutional safeguards for the accused, have alienated millions of voters. And now they are eating their own, like Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, a POC accused of two sexual assaults from long ago. So too with the identity-politics Montagnards currently conducting a Thermidor against fellow Democrats like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for 30-year-old racial offenses.

As for the old white guard, People of Pallor like Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden will have a tough time going up against female POCs. Imagine the primary debates and the eggshells both will have to tread in order to avoid any “microaggressions” or “mansplaining” or “white privilege” airs or inadvertent verbal gaffes detectable only by the commissars of racialist code-talking. It’s also likely we’ll hear more accusations of sexual impropriety like the ones about Sanders’ randy staffers on his 2016 campaign. And “groping” Joe Biden has a video track record of unseemly massaging of women.

You can forget Starbucks plutocrat Howard Schultz, who compounds the crime of being white and male with the worse crime of being richer than his affluent rivals. It takes a millionaire to really hate a billionaire. And he’s already created a lot of bad blood by saying he’ll run as an independent, which the left sees as a typical flabby liberal cop-out. As Pelosi’s refusal to negotiate over couch-change for a border barrier shows, the progressives are going to want hair and blood on the walls, not engage in give-and-take.

What promises to be a political Gong Show, then, will be even more entertaining than the current collection of talentless exhibitionists. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t serious stakes at risk in 2020. I remember the Nineties, when I had fun mocking in print the goofy postmodern “higher nonsense” coming out of the academy. My concern was to defend higher education’s traditional mission of training minds in the skills of critical thought and the great traditions of Western civilization. I saw a long-term decline if such trends continued, but I didn’t realize the consequences could be so immediate and bloody.

It took the carnage of 9/11 to show the dire effects of hilarious intellectual hijinks. The fashionable self-loathing of postmodern multiculturalism had eroded our capacity to understand clearly the motives of the terrorists and their illiberal, anti-humanist, intolerant religious motives. Postcolonial darling Edward Said may have been a prep-schooled phony and an intellectual fop little known beyond the conventions and seminars of mediocre academics, but his works had poisoned the disciplines like history and Middle Eastern Studies that should have been explaining clearly the nature and motives of the West’s oldest enemy. Instead they were apologists for murderers who despised our freedoms and respect for human rights.

In politics as in academe, absurdity, while amusing, can still be dangerous. A progressive victory in 2020 will mark a revival of the destructive forces unleashed during Obama’s two terms. Trump has slowed the assault for now, but we can’t let the buffoonery of the Democrats lull us into complacency. The stakes of failure are too high.



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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1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

"Unfortunately, Ocasio-Cortez is, to put it politely, woefully misinformed"

Ocasio-Cortez is dumb as a post.