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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Donald Trump and the Phenomenon of Manufactured Hate

Donald Trump has been an American celebrity for nearly as long as I can remember.  Before he ran for POTUS if anyone had asked for my opinion on him as a person I would have said that I don’t find him very likeable, but certainly there was no reason to hate him.  I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb to guess that most Americans didn’t have a strong opinion one way or another about this outspoken, well-known mega-celebrity before he committed the unforgiveable sin of depriving Hillary Clinton and Democrats of their rightful entitlement to the office of the presidency.  But now, according to so many leftists opining in the comments sections on Fox News, Trump is the most hated man in the world.  Everyone hates him,” one commenter smugly assured me, as if to suggest that he or she had personally polled every person on the planet.  Whoever said group think was dead? 

The Left’s hate factory has been working overtime since Trump’s election.  Terms like “fascist, racist and white supremacist” roll easily off the tongues of know-it-all college kids and apparently have taken on entirely new meanings as the Left resorts to their time-honored and generally successful practice of destroying our language in pursuit of their agenda, which currently happens to be their war on Trump, aka “the resistance.”  Oh what noble warriors are they, furiously crossing out words in our dictionaries and defiantly scribbling in their new definitions!  Hatred is being manufactured from whole cloth like Rumpelstiltskin’s fairytale spinning of straw into mountains of gold, and the righteous robots on the Left are, as usual, oblivious to their own Orwellian behavior.  

I could talk about the complete absence of evidence for the Left’s specious labeling or how peculiar it is that a popular, flamboyant celebrity who regularly hobnobbed with powerful politicians and influential celebrities apparently hid his fascism and racism from them so well until the age of 70, when it was suddenly and conveniently discovered by his enemies (like planted drugs discovered by crooked cops, lol).  Or I could talk about how Georg W. Bush was a “fascist” before Trump came along according to geniuses like Naomi Wolf,  Keith Olbermann and so many other leftists who like this game, or how Reagan was a “racist” long before Bush and Trump.  But nah.  Once again I think I’ll pass on following the Left’s trail of breadcrumbs into that rabbit hole where I’m supposed to play a silly game of arguing with liars as if they were the least bit sincere. 

The average leftist on the street or college campus knows that he or she is supposed to hate Trump for being a “fascist, racist and white supremacist” because that’s what they’ve been told by other leftists.  It matters not that they can’t define fascism, that “racist” means nothing as a consequence of the Left’s cynically evolving stance which says all white people are racists, or that the white supremacist charge is just laughable.  The powers that be blew their dog whistles, and the well-trained dogs obeyed.  If they are told they must hate Trump, then hate Trump they will.  Just don’t ask them to explain why.

Please don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t a post about hate per se.  Hate is sometimes appropriate, that’s undeniable.  This post is about manufactured hate.  It’s about a mindset that confuses the serious issue of politics and people with a frivolity that is better suited to fashion.  You know, like when you packed your beloved mini-skirts and bell bottoms off to Goodwill because the powers-that-be told you they were passé.  The styles of the day are dictated by a handful of so-called “trendsetters,” and that may be okay, but hate shoudn’t be dictated from on high. 

Some three and a half years ago I wrote a post entitled:  Obama Deserves to be Hated.  Growing up I had been taught not to throw the “h”-word around lightly.  To hate someone was serious business.  So I wrote that post only after some deep soul-searching about whether I wanted to go there.  My purpose was to let Americans know that it’s okay – necessary even – to hate those whose intent is to rob us of what is rightfully ours as Americans, even – no especially – when they do so surreptitiously.  I’ll leave it to you to decide if I was fair or not, but I challenge anyone to claim that I allowed myself to be used as someone else’s pawn. 

I’m not necessarily going to suggest that the Left’s hate for Trump isn’t real.  On the contrary it’s scary real.  But if it’s all justified on myths and lies, where is the hate really coming from?  First it comes from the Left’s insatiable craving for power, and Donald Trump had the audacity to deprive them of their satisfaction.  But to admit to hating someone for besting you at your own game, well that sounds a lot like whining doesn’t it?  And then, of course, there’s all that goes along with that power:  the opportunity to dismantle the Constitution by putting activist judges on the Supreme Court, by increasing taxes so that the government (i.e. them) spends your money instead of you, by over-regulating to micro-manage your every behavior, to neuter our military and to subjugate us to the global powers that be.  That’s what the anger and the hate is really about, but the leftists can’t say all that out loud.  It sounds kinda bad.  Kinda unamerican.  So if that means Donald Trump must be a white supremacist, then so be it.


To comment on this post please visit The Pesky Truth, where it is re-posted.  I cannot respond to comments on Blogger.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Dear Joel Mathis: Liberalism, Not Nationalism, Killed Compassion in America

         Here is a photo of what the “free” press allows me to freely share when I search for images of the illegal immigrant caravan/invasion heading to America.

In his essay published in The Week magazine, self-described “liberal” Joel Mathis ponders the question, “Has nationalism killed compassion in America?”  The piece is an unintentional tribute to Ronald Reagan’s famous quip, “It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so.  Follow along, and you’ll see what I mean.  My remarks are in red.

There's been some heavy lifting lately, in the non-Trumpist precincts of our politics, to rescue the idea of "nationalism" from the clutches of President Trump and his alt-right followers. Lest liberals and progressives be tempted to throw the baby out with the bathwater, we're reminded in books and essays that nationalism has its uses — forming the glue that provides us with social cohesion and a welfare state, among other goods.  These "nice-guy nationalists" make good points. There's just one problem: America's best-known nationalist is the president. And he's not much interested in social cohesion.

In the interest of time I’ll leave aside the bizarre claim that “a welfare state” is one of the benefits of nationalism in order to focus on the even stranger claim that it is Trump who isn’t interested in social cohesion.  Ever since Barack Obama emerged on the national political scene the Left has perfected the devious art of projecting their own sins on the opposition and then attacking them for it, and this notion that it is Republicans in general, and Trump in particular, who divide us is one of their most cynical projections.  Statistics show that race relations began their steep decline under Obama, the predictable consequence of Obama intentionally stoking racial tensions (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”)  Moreover, who could plausibly deny that the entirety of the Left’s political strategy is vested in the politics of division when Democrats are continually pitting minorities against whites, women against men, poor against rich, and when it’s become the Left’s norm to openly disparage “old, white men?”  While the Right promotes the melting pot, the Left promotes multiculturalism, yet  history proves that social cohesion fails when immigrants reject assimilation or embrace the Left’s tales of perpetual victimhood. 

"You know what I am? I'm a nationalist," Trump declared Monday night in Texas. "Okay? I'm a nationalist."

To get a sense of what this means in Trump's hands, it's good to take a look at the so-called "migrant caravan" currently marching north from Guatemala to the United States border. From the accounts of people on the ground, it appears this caravan is composed largely of people fleeing deprivation and violence in their home countries. It's the sort of thing you or I would do if our families were similarly endangered; ardent nationalists have decided to treat these fleeing families like an invading military.
"An assault!" Trump told told the Texas rally.

"Migrant hordes," writer Rod Dreher blogged at The American Conservative.

Even The Associated Press got in the act, calling the caravan a "ragtag army of the poor" in a tweet that was later deleted.

But the people forming the caravan are not an army. They aren't seeking collectively to capture land or dislodge governments. They are merely individuals seeking a better life and traveling in the direction they think most likely to help them find it.

"Treating this as an 'invasion' is a bad idea, and it's going to end horribly if it is treated such as that way," an independent voter said Monday on Fox News, and that's perhaps the most sensible statement made on any cable news network this year. 

Parents sometimes refer to medicine as “candy” to entice their children to take it, and this psychology is not lost on the sly Left when they try to manipulate their way past our natural defenses by insisting that we not call things what they really are.  Illegal aliens are “undocumented,” insists the liberals in the Orwellian speak that we’ve become accustomed to.  And now an invasion is not an invasion.  It’s just an innocent, happy parade of people wanting a better life.  I might prefer to live on the French Riviera but I don’t gather 13,999 of my friends and march on France.  The U.S. has a process for considering applications for asylum.  Purposefully ignoring that process in a calculated effort to take advantage of loopholes in our immigration system and create chaos at our border is what makes this an invasion, and Democrats – always the useful idiots - are cheering it on. 

Nationalism may provide us with social cohesion — and that's good — but it is also a garment best worn lightly. That's a tricky, perhaps impossible, expectation: In many cases, nationalism asks us to disregard our own moral sense in favor of group loyalty.

Morality tells us that when people are hungry, we offer them food.

Morality tells us that when people flee violence, we offer them protection.

Morality tells us that all humans are worthy of moral consideration, no matter their origins or circumstances.

First, morality tells us that when you are hungry or need protection you don’t break down the door and help yourself to what others have worked hard for.  You knock on the door and politely ask for help, at which time it is the homeowner’s right to determine whether your need is genuine and whether you are an innocent victim or just looking for an easier way at someone else’s expense.  In America we call that respecting the rights of others, and that is the moral thing to do.  Another moral tradition we once had in America was to reject the evil temptation to falsely impugn – for political gain -  peoples’ motives by coyly suggesting that ethnicity or financial status is the reason for their objection to thousands of people marching on our border.  Never mind that this charge is rich coming from people who’ve popularized the denouncement of “old, white men;” it is the rejection of U.S. sovereignty and U.S. law that’s inspired Trump and conservatives to condemn the “caravan,” and it is Mathis himself who stoops to immorality by using the group’s shared ethnicity as an excuse to pull the tired, old race card.  By the way, wouldn’t you love to know how many poor, uneducated, non-English-speaking immigrants are included among Mr. Mathis’ close circle of friends? 

Nationalism often — not always, but often — asks us to disregard those moral considerations, or at least to quiet them a little bit, to place a higher importance on defending the integrity of arbitrarily drawn borders than we do the lives of people trying to escape inhumane situations. Nationalism tends to divide humans into "us" and "them" and tells us "they" are worth less. Frequently — and Trump has based his entire political persona on this idea — it tells us that "they" are probably bad people. Why? Mostly because they're not us. How do you get to be us? Well, it's all kind of an accident of birth, really. At best, it's absurd. In many cases, nationalism is simply racist.

There it is again of course – the race card.  The truth is, Trump has based his political persona on the concept of putting America first.  Not white America.  Not black America.  Not male or female America.  Just America.  You can see it.  You can feel it.  It’s palpable, and his focus on treating the country as a whole, rather than dividing us into subgroups as the Left always does, flies in the face of these trite accusations of racism.  Is he nationalistic according to its real definition?  Yes, in the sense that he wants to promote our interests and our culture.  There’s nothing wrong with that unless you’re a leftist mired in the standard creed of loathing America.  As for “arbitrarily drawn borders,” one could say that the borders of Mr. Mathis’ property are just as arbitrarily drawn, yet that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t fight for them if necessary. 

The nice-guy nationalists advocate a rather bloodless view of nationalism's benefits, but the history of the last century, with its wars and genocides, provides plenty of evidence that nationalism can turn very bloody, indeed. Still, it probably is utopian to think we poor humans can get very far without organizing along national lines. And "Morality Is Complex and Transcends National Lines!" is a poor riposte, politically, to the pithiness of "America First!" This column isn't going to win any elections.

The caravan keeps advancing north. So what to do? How do we balance the benefits of nationalism — and the legitimate obligation to protect our citizens and their well-being — against the need to look out for our neighbors beyond our borders?

In the short term, you can treat the caravan like what it is — a collection of needy, dispossessed humans fleeing dire circumstances — instead of as an invading army to be met with force. Instead of cutting off aid to the caravaners' countries of origin, let's figure out how to help them, now, where they are, before they get to our border. Difficult? Sure. Worth it? Probably.

In the long term, the United States can consider how its policies may actually create the refugees it so desperately wants to reject. U.S. policies, for example, helped create the circumstances that allowed the MS-13 street gang to flourish in Central America. Maybe we should do less of that kind of thing?
In the same vein, perhaps Trump — who needs to serve American interests — might come to understand he does not best serve an "America First" vision with his preferred "we-win-you-lose" deals with our allies and rivals. America's security and prosperity can best be enhanced by assisting the security and prosperity of people around the world. It's that vision, not some utopian altruism, that has guided much of the postwar world order that Trump seems ready to undo.

The migrant caravan is still hundreds of miles from the American border, but it's not too late to seek constructive solutions. Right now, though, it's the regular nationalists — not the nice-guy kind — who are running the show.

What intrigued me most about this piece was the headline asking if nationalism has killed compassion in America because I see things quite differently.  I think it is liberalism, not nationalism, that’s killing compassion in this country.  Liberals tell us that instead of teaching a man to fish so that he becomes self-sufficient that we must fish for him whether we want to or not.  We get no say in determining whether the man is capable of fishing for himself.  If he has no fish, that alone, we are told, is proof that he is entitled to our fish.  And if we have the nerve to point out that perhaps the man was napping rather than fishing or that he refuses to learn to fish, well then we are racists who should not be allowed to speak. We are told that our borders are “arbitrary,” that the people who come here by the millions to use our schools, our hospitals, our roads, our police, our courts and who – by virtue of evading the system – sometimes bring crime and disease, just want a better life.  Our own desires for a better life are of no consequence.  Conservatives’ accounting for the hundreds of billions of dollars illegal immigration costs us as Americans are rejected as “lies” by the Left, while they refuse to engage in any truthful accounting themselves.  The actions of the Left with respect to illegal immigration engender feelings of powerlessness in those of us who believe that we are entitled to have a say in the immigration policies of our nation, and who believe all our laws should be enforced, not just those that are convenient to the Left.  To whatever extent compassion is dead in this nation, THIS – this political game-playing with our laws and immigration policy – THIS is what has killed it.  Turn the mirror around, Mr. Mathis, and take a good, long look.  This is what you and your leftist friends have wrought.

One last question for Mr. Mathis and any liberals who happen to read this: 

Have you considered the moral implications of what happens now to the people truly in need of asylum after you’ve made such a mockery of our generosity?  No?  I thought not.


Links in Mr. Mathis' original piece did not come through when pasted here.  Follow the link in the first paragraph to see those, if you want to be extra bored.

If you want to leave a comment on this post please visit  The Pesky Truth, where it is re-posted.  I am unable to respond to comments on Blogger.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

So What’s Wrong with Socialism?

"We have to say yes to socialism — to the word and everything.  We have to stop apologizing.”
~ Jim Carrey, on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”

“Medicare for all, ending student debt, ….it seems like if there is maybe a shining spot in this Trump tragedy, it’s that it’s made the Democrats sort of rediscover who they are.”
 ~Bill Maher

The appetite for socialism is on the rise again in America.  “Democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders, once considered a marginalized, fringe player in U.S. politics, is now respected and revered by many inside one of this nation’s two major political parties.  Other “democratic socialists” like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are becoming rising stars in the Democrat Party as well.  When I read the comments following articles on Fox News about Ocasio-Cortez or on the subject of socialism in general, those in favor of socialism (a minority of readers at Fox, to be sure) typically answer the critics by pointing to the nation’s military or local police or fire fighters as positive examples of “socialism,” or they’ll talk about Social Security or Medicare or public schools.   With such a narrowly selective view of what it means to embrace socialism it’s no wonder people – particularly the young – are mystified by the critics.  So it’s time - yet again - to get some clarity on what socialism actually is and what’s wrong with it.

Socialism, per Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, is defined as follows: 
“Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
Let me repeat:  “…governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” 

That goes a tad bit beyond military, police and fire protection, or even Social Security, wouldn’t you say?  I’d like to point out the irony of this nation’s Left, so often critical of our military and police, using these services as their shining examples of socialism.  Now, I know that “democratic socialists” like Bernie Sanders attempt to distinguish socialism from “democratic socialism” by supposedly drawing the line at having government take physical control of the means of production; but when their plan is to tax the pants off of the producers to finance their socialist agenda, they are – for all practical purposes – making government the de facto owner of the means of production, correct?  Still, socialism apologists will read this with wide eyes and ask, “Gee, what’s wrong with that?  What’s wrong with sharing the wealth and making things more equal for everyone? What’s wrong with ‘social safety nets’ like Social Security and Medicare?”

This is where, as a critic, I’m supposed to point to the predictable human tragedy unfolding in Venezuela, where socialism was working just great until it wasn’t and now people are struggling just to survive.  Or I’m supposed to point to America’s national debt, now $22 TRILLION and rapidly climbing, and the prospect of an unimaginable catastrophe of our own when the bill for our “social safety nets” finally comes due (don’t worry, it’ll probably only happen to your children).  Or I’m supposed to give you a crash course in simple economics or human nature in the hopes that people will finally get it.  Or maybe I should talk about the dismal state of our public schools and how the Left has used the socialist nature of our education system to take almost complete control of it.  Sorry to disappoint you but I’m not here to argue the obvious flaws of socialism.  There’s no point in bothering the socialists with the realities of economics or human nature.  They just cover their eyes and refuse to see it.   

What’s wrong with socialism, “democratic” or otherwise, is that it is a complete contradiction to the notion of individual freedom that this nation was founded upon and that is supposed to be protected by our Constitution.  Maybe, just maybe, that’s why the Kavanaugh fight was so bitterly fought by the Democrats. 

Go back and read Merriam-Webster’s definition of “socialism,” or research the rhetoric from people like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and take note that the word “voluntary” is conspicuously missing from that definition and from the Left’s passionate speeches.  That’s why “socialism” is a dirty word to those who read between the lines and truly comprehend the implications of it.  Socialism – democratic or otherwise – is forced wealth transfer, also known as “theft.”   When Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez excite their cheering crowds with their schemes for imposing socialism on this nation, people are actually cheering at the prospect of being able to legally steal from their fellow citizens.  Nice, eh?  To make it more palatable and side-step the sound logic against it the Left cunningly inserted the word “democratic” in front of “socialism” because changing the names of things that we rightfully associate with evil is what they always do.  “Democracy” - and the notion of voting – attaches positive feelings to something that amounts to the proverbial “two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner,” as so brilliantly put by the eternally wise Benjamin Franklin.  Unfortunately community organizers like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are trying to supplant their own version of wisdom for that of Benjamin Franklin’s and all of the Founders who sought to preserve individual liberty.

There are times when it makes sense for us to do things as a unit, the military being the prime example which is why it is expressly provided for in the Constitution.  If and when our nation comes under attack or needs to assert itself militarily, what moron would argue that this can be done on an individual level?  But what excuse, other than wanting someone else to pay your bills, is there for socializing healthcare, retirement or a college education?  All of these things are attainable on an individual level as evidenced by the fact that people have been doing so for centuries.  There is no practical imperative that justifies depriving citizens of their freedom for such things.

The biggest rub of all when it comes to the Left’s attempts to turn us into a might-makes-right socialist nation is that they could have as much voluntary socialism as they want.  Nothing is stopping Bernie Sanders and his followers from pooling their resources for healthcare, retirement and higher education or anything else they want to socialize on their own.  They don’t need to persuade us to exercise that kind of freedom.  They could start tomorrow if they wanted to.  The problem is, they want our money and they want the power to control these things for everyone, as they do with public education; consequently our freedom to say “NO” is very annoying to them. 

Margret Thatcher’s famous quote, “Socialism is fine until you run out of other people’s money,” is often invoked as the simplest explanation for what’s wrong with socialism, but it is perhaps a bit too simple as it doesn’t fully capture her feelings towards socialism as well as this quote from Stephen Pollard for his  book review of Claire Berlinski’s “There Is No Alternative’: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters,” in which he wrote: 

“[Berlinski} is quite right, for example, to stress that Thatcher's crusade against socialism was not merely about economic efficiency and prosperity but that above all, ‘it was that socialism itself—in all its incarnations, wherever and however it was applied—was morally corrupting.’"

“Morally corrupting.”  Yep, I think that says it well. 

As for Jim Carrey and his call for us to “say yes to socialism,” this is precisely what we might expect from someone who makes his living talking out of his ass.
Just say NO to socialism.


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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Why Should Women be More Liberal Than Men?

Whenever I hear stats that show women are more liberal than men, I am ashamed for my own gender which, for those who don’t know me, is female.  After nearly a century of fighting for the right to be seen as equals to men, too many of us have traded subjugation in the home and the work place for subjugation of our minds and souls to a political Party whose only objective is to grow their own power.  It is the worst of ironies to see women work so hard for a seat at the table in America’s boardrooms and government only to foolishly vote away their own liberty and autonomy at the ballot box.

The Democrat Party has turned women into children, or at least it’s trying to.  Democrats seduce women with promises of securing special treatment and insulating them from the consequences of their own life choices (by abortion on demand, for instance), but the price is steep.  The government handouts and freedom to be irresponsible are crumbs – to borrow a word from the inane Nancy Pelosi – compared to what is lost.  Yes, you might get more family leave – at the expense of others - or preference over men in occupations that are male-dominated so your company can meet some arbitrary quota forced upon them by your government, or birth control subsidized by your fellow citizens; but you sacrifice the character of your country in the process.  Justice is supposed to be blind, not weighted in favor of one race or gender over another.  Speech is supposed to be free, not denied to those with whom we disagree.  Slavery is something that we are supposed to reject, not suborn through targeted taxation.  And with each passing day it gets worse.  Are women so childishly shortsighted and selfish now that they will throw away the ingenious protections passed on to us all in our Constitution – at great sacrifice by our forefathers – for the scraps promised by the Democrat Party if you just help them secure the power they want?  It’s demoralizing to think that this is the case, but the reality speaks for itself.

I suspect that any liberal women who have the balls to read this post (hey – you wanted to be treated like men!) will scoff and sneer that what they’ve gotten in exchange for selling us out to the Democrat Party has been worth the while because it couldn’t otherwise be attained.  My response to that is:  Really???  You can’t compete with men based upon your own skills and intelligence?  You – strong, independent woman - can’t find a way to afford your own birth control, and you’re unwilling to personally sacrifice for the sake of raising your own family?  Is this what you want us all to believe?  If so, that’s truly pathetic.

I’d like to remind liberal women that George Soros is a male (only in a technical sense, of course).  So is Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Tom Perez, Keith Ellison and the majority of Democrats in congress.  They’ve used you to secure their own power, and Hillary Clinton tried to do so as well.  You are a pawn in the Democrat’s game of chess, when you could instead be the master of your own game if only you would find the self-discipline and character to resist the temptation to get what you can at others’ expense. 

Am I being too hard on liberal women? Is it possible they actually believe the Democrat Party has the pure-of-heart agenda they purport to have?  To believe that is to willfully disregard the evidence.  The party for “the environment” flies hither and thither in their corporate jets to their multiple homes and Martha’s Vineyard vacations, showing their true colors when it comes to environmental concern.  The party for “racial equality” now talks disdainfully about “old, white men,” hobnobs unapologetically with anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan and cheers on groups like Black Lives Matter.  The party for “women’s rights” and #MeToo partied hardy with Harvey Weinstein, tried to elect for POTUS the loyal wife of a man with serious sex-related charges against him from multiple women, and leaked Christine Ford’s letter to the media with zero regard for how it would affect her.  That’s the reality of the Democrat Party.  That’s who they are, and if you can’t see it it’s because you are choosing not to. 

None of this is to say Republicans are perfect.  Far from it, usually.  But the critical ideals that this country was built upon – individual liberty, equal justice for all, the rule of law, free market capitalism, states’ rights, American sovereignty and autonomy – these are what must be sacrificed in order for the Democrat Party to thrive.  Are we to believe that men value these gifts more than we do?   If that’s the case then the “progressive” movement has failed women, because we’ve gone backwards.


To comment on this post please visit The Pesky Truth where it is reposted.  I am unable to respond to comments on Blogger.