Archive for the ‘ Politics & Government ’ Category

Our Developing Culture

Surely you have noticed how we are living in an upside-down world lately. Today, I thought I would simply offer some wonderful examples of how our culture has been developing.

Since we have a reality TV person now as the Republican candidate for president, I thought this might be fitting for some of his supporters:

Gov't Funding

That speaks to the reality of “reality” programs as well as the idea that government has some kind of stockpile of funds to pay for virtually anything and everything.

Which leads me to this:

Popular with Kids

And speaking of liberals:

Liberals Who Believe

Here’s the solution for liberal thinking on the gender front:

Bathroom Problem Solved

There’s no way I can leave out my own profession in this litany of what’s gone wrong in America:

Director of Admissions

When College Is Free

Well worth pondering today.

How Fantasy Worlds Work

Some politicians seem to live in a fantasy world. Well, maybe that could apply to half of the general population as well, so let me backtrack just a little. Hillary Clinton seems to live in a fantasy world.

Hillary thought she would receive a coronation back in 2008 because she was married to Bill. Didn’t happen. No problem, she surmised—2016 is the big year for the coronation. Yes, it was supposed to be that way, but her fantasy world got in the way.

First, there was her arrogance in thinking the law doesn’t apply to her. The FBI begs to differ.

Security Inquiry

Called Indictment

Until there is an indictment, Hillary can continue to live in her fantasy of having done nothing wrong. The only thing that might preclude the indictment, of course, is that Obama is still president and his Lack of Justice Department will make the decision whether to go forward with it.

She also didn’t believe anyone would offer a credible challenge within her party to the nomination she felt she deserved. While I hate to think of Bernie Sanders as a credible challenge, there apparently are enough Democrats living in their own fantasy world that he has not yet been put away completely, thereby causing Hillary added stress:

In My Seat

To me, one proud socialist and one disguised socialist aren’t all that much different. And yes, Sanders won’t be able to stop Hillary from sealing the deal eventually, but it would be fun to watch a Democrat convention displaying all the rancor and hatred that a liberal/progressive ideology inspires.

Hillary thinks she has an ace in the political deck—Bill, who, for some reason in this fantasy world, seems to have some degree of acceptance in the population. He does, at least, with those who have short memories. The rest of us, though, will never forget:

Two for One

From everything I’ve said so far, you might be tempted to think I consider Trump a better choice. If so, you are new to this blog.

Double Negative

Just when we need a strong, moral, constitutional candidate who has the convictions to turn this nation around, this is what we get instead:

Not Working

My point today is not to lead you into despair, although I recognize the possibility. Rather, I hope this stunning scenario will ensure you don’t choose a fantasy world. It’s time to get serious about our future.

No Trump Train for Me

Come on, Snyder, get on board the Trump Train. We’re going all the way to the White House, so don’t you want to take whatever meager credit you might get for being part of the Team? Besides, if you don’t get on board, we’ll blame you if we lose. You wouldn’t want that, now, would you? We’ll make you responsible for Hillary’s presidency, and you’ll never be able to live that down.

Yes, the pressure builds. But it doesn’t change my mind because I’m not tied to a political party or any political savior. I wanted Ted Cruz to be the Republican candidate. If, though, Cruz should come out tomorrow as a full-throated supporter of Donald Trump, I would not follow him into that swamp.

Just as I’m not following Republican leadership into the moral morass known as Trumpism.

Stephen HayesStephen Hayes, in the Weekly Standard, wrote some poignant words yesterday that speak for me. As he described Trump’s campaign as a “con,” he took aim at all those Republicans now lining up at the train station, hoping for a good seat:

Three months ago, most GOP officeholders and conservative opinion leaders understood Trump to be an ignoramus and a boor, a vain reality-television star and a longtime donor to Democrats who had built his candidacy on the kind of progressive populism most of them had spent their careers fighting.

Today, many of those same Republican elected officials and prominent conservatives are hailing Trump as the future of their party and the ideological movement it houses and excoriating anti-Trump conservatives who hold to the same position they took just a few weeks ago.

And in case you’ve missed what Trump has done since he has become the presumptive nominee, Hayes provides a detailed breakdown:

In the time since he effectively captured the GOP nomination, Trump has doubled down on his slanderous claim, borrowed from the National Enquirer, that Ted Cruz’s father helped Lee Harvey Oswald months before the JFK assassination; refused to apologize for attacking Heidi Cruz’s looks, once again calling her “fair game”; picked a fight with David Cameron, leader of America’s longest-standing ally; distanced himself from his own tax plan; recommitted himself to releasing his tax returns and then declared defiantly that those returns are his private business and would not be released; backed off his proposal to ban temporarily entry to the United States for Muslims and then reiterated his support for such a ban; and, finally, lied on national television about a 1991 audio recording in which he created a fake persona—”John Miller,” a made-up spokesman played by Trump himself—for an interview with a gossip magazine, in order to boast about his virility and his virtue.

Pick and choose your favorite out of that list. The most abhorrent are the accusations against Cruz’s father and Trump’s continuing claim that Heidi Cruz was “fair game” for his team’s attacks on her. The silliest, and in some ways the most insightful, gambit was his attempt to say he wasn’t the fictional “John Miller” or “John Barron” when he publicly admitted he was years before.

I think if Trump had his way completely, his administration might look something like this:

Dream Team

All through this campaign season, I kept hoping that Republicans would come to their senses. It didn’t happen. We went from one inconceivable scenario to another:

No Way

I don’t want a Hillary presidency. It might destroy the country. I don’t want a Trump presidency. It might destroy the country.

That’s where I stand, and that’s why I won’t vote for either one. I’m not boarding the Trump Train—not now, not ever.

Stranger Things Have Happened

Yesterday, Donald Trump finally came out with his long-promised list of judges he would consider for the Supreme Court. By all accounts from conservatives, the list is excellent. Apparently, Trump’s people even reached out to National Review for suggestions, which is interesting, since NR began the NeverTrump dialogue with one of its issues.

So, I will begin by giving credit where it is due: this is a good list. Now, the problems.

First, the context of the list is for replacing Antonin Scalia; there is no promise to choose from that list for later Supreme Court openings. I still remember Trump saying that his pro-abortion sister would make a fine Supreme Court justice.

Second, all we have is his word that he will choose from this list. What is his word worth? Well, even his chief spokespeople have said that words don’t matter that much, and that all he has proposed for policies up to this point are mere suggestions.

Huge Conservative

Then there is his sordid history of constant lying. I am on the side of Ted Cruz when he labeled Trump a pathological liar. I believe the evidence of not only the last nine months, but of his whole life, backs up that charge.

Consequently, I do not trust him.

Just try to follow his weaving from one position to another on a variety of issues and what do you come away with?

Trans-Trump

The fact that he is going to be the GOP nominee is a supreme irony, given all his past associations with the liberal side of politics:

Something in Common

Yet we have this mad rush to endorse Trump by most Republican politicians. I understand the rationale of some who have pledged to support the nominee, whoever that might be, but I am not comfortable with taking that position myself. For me, it’s an abandonment of principle to give my support to this man:

Abandon Principles

That’s why there’s so much chatter about a third-party challenge, if for no other reason than to provide a conscience-grounded alternative. As a historian, I know the fate of third parties. I have no reason to think that anyone running on a third-party ticket will win the presidency, but I understand the frustration.

Third Party

Interestingly, though, if there were to be a fourth party as well, all bets are off for the two frontrunners. Let’s say, for instance, in addition to a conservative option, we also have Bernie Sanders, angry over how many states he can win and yet not overtake Hillary, deciding to run as an independent.

That scenario could result in no one winning a majority of the electoral votes, thereby throwing the decision into a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, as it did in 1824. Would that House really choose Trump, or would it instead turn to the conservative candidate?

Of course, any conservative candidate would have to be accepted by strong conservatives and moderates alike to garner enough support, but stranger things have happened—like Donald Trump getting the Republican nomination in the first place.

Do I expect that scenario to unfold? The probability is not high. But I’m watching closely. You just never know.

A Crisis of Unfathomable Proportions

These Democrat primaries have been quite interesting if, that is, you find a race between one candidate who may be prosecuted and another who promotes a philosophy that has ruined every nation that has tried it to be an interesting race.

Hillary just barely beat Sanders in Kentucky last night, with both getting 46% of the vote; meanwhile, Sanders continued to act as a spoiler to the coronation by beating her in Oregon. The only reason Hillary is going to be the nominee is that she has this huge stockpile of “Superdelegates” who will get her to the finish line:

Finish Line

When she achieves this “victory,” she will act as if it is the voice of the people in her party, but she truly is one of the weakest candidates for president imaginable. Why the surge for Sanders? First, Democrat voters seem to like undiluted socialism, which means they have no sense of history, economics, or how life in general actually works.

Second, the cloud over Hillary is substantial, and Democrats are unsure they want to promote someone who may be on trial. Of course, her campaign is dismissing the seriousness of this FBI investigation, even to the point of saying it’s not an investigation at all.

Forbidden Words

With Trump and Hillary as the two probable nominees, this might make for unusual polling this year:

Hold Their Noses

I won’t have the problem because I will be voting for neither. My reasons for that have been spelled out in previous posts, so I won’t go into them here. But one political cartoon does come close to how I see our current political crisis:

Lemmings

The bigger problem, of course, is that this is not just a political crisis, as if it exists in one little corner of the nation and doesn’t affect everything else. Sadly, it does affect everything else, which makes it a crisis of unfathomable proportions.

No, Mr. Trump, You Are Not Ronald Reagan

Reagan-TrumpIn an attempt to legitimize Donald Trump’s candidacy in the eyes of conservatives, both Trump and his supporters like to say that his metamorphosis politically into a Republican is the same as Ronald Reagan’s. This is a comparison that doesn’t survive even the most casual scrutiny.

The only similarity is that both were Democrats. I would argue that Trump, essentially, still is a Democrat, but masquerading as a Republican. A fuller treatment of that thesis may be forthcoming. For today, though, let’s examine the supposed Reagan-Trump connection.

Ronald Reagan was raised in a Democrat household; he voted for Franklin Roosevelt in each of FDR’s election victories. After WWII, Reagan spoke out forcefully against the rise of fascism, for which his liberal audiences cheered. Yet one fateful day, when he ended a speech saying that if he ever found out that communists were a real threat to the nation, he would speak out just as forcefully, his speech before a liberal audience ended in silence. No applause this time.

Reagan had to reconsider his views and eventually realized that American liberalism, resident in the Democrat party, had a strong streak of sympathy for the socialist worldview.

General Electric TheaterDuring the 1950s and into the early 1960s, Reagan worked for General Electric and hosted its weekly television program. GE at that time was a bastion of conservative economic principles that spread the free-market philosophy among it workers nationwide. Reagan studied those economic principles seriously for the first time in his life and became convinced they were right.

So, to shorten the story somewhat, let’s just say that over a period of nearly two decades, Reagan carefully rethought all his former positions and came out a convinced conservative in his understanding of the Constitution, of the limitations on government, and in defense of economic freedom. He later added a strong stance against abortion when he belatedly realized that a bill he signed as governor of California opened the door to abortion on demand. Again, this was the result of careful study of the issue.

Donald Trump’s avowed conversion to conservatism doesn’t follow such a path. As late as 2008, he was supporting Hillary Clinton for president. Just a couple of weeks ago, he publicly stated that being conservative is not what matters; we just need to fix the country. Well, I would argue that the country cannot be fixed except through those exact conservative principles that he says aren’t all that important.

Trump’s assertion that he is now a conservative doesn’t pass the test. He claims a Reaganesque switch on abortion, yet continues to say that Planned Parenthood does some really good things. He would also like to see the abortion language in the Republican platform softened.

Do you really trust this man to defund Planned Parenthood and to appoint Supreme Court justices that will uphold the Constitution? You have more faith than I do.

There’s also the matter of both Reagan and Trump having been divorced. Trump’s people love to make that comparison. They say there is no difference. I beg to differ.

Trump’s divorces were entirely at his instigation. His obsession with beautiful women (I refuse to use his terminology about what he seeks) has led him twice to discard a wife so he could marry someone else. His entire attitude toward women, evidenced by his lurid language that he doesn’t mind using publicly, is an affront to common decency.

Reagan, Jane Wyman, Maureen, & MichaelWhat about Reagan’s divorce? He married actress Jane Wyman in the early 1940s. They began a family; he wanted it to stay that way. The divorce was not of his doing; he fought against it but lost. Wyman chose to leave him, not because he was unfaithful [he wasn’t] but because she had apparently tired of his political participation, among other reasons. She also had an affair with one of her co-stars in a movie at that time.

Wedding 3-4-52Reagan was devastated by the divorce and hit a low point in his life over it. When he remarried a few years later, it was a marriage that lasted the rest of his life—more than fifty years.

Does anyone really think Donald Trump was devastated over his divorces? Does anyone really believe he would be faithful to one woman for more than fifty years?

Is there anyone with even half a brain on this planet who truly accepts the superficial reasoning that dares to compare Donald Trump with Ronald Reagan?

I’ve outlined the many reasons I cannot support Trump in other posts, so I won’t repeat them all here. My goal today is to try to put to rest the silly attempt to equate the principled Reagan with the unprincipled Trump.

He who has ears to hear, please listen.

Obama’s Worldview & the Transformation of America

One’s worldview definitely matters. Take Barack Obama, for example. When he said he wanted to fundamentally transform America, he wasn’t kidding, and his inspiration for that goal is his radical worldview.

I believe that Obama’s vision is fueled by a fury against those he perceives as “oppressors.” He has an undercurrent of anger toward an orthodox Christian understanding of truth and the faith’s stance on morality. In his mind, Christianity provides the foundation of oppression.

That’s why he turns a blind eye to Muslim atrocities; they are an oppressed people simply getting back at a Christian-dominated culture that has unjustly kept them down.

That’s why he has turned morality upside-down, beginning with approval of homosexuality, followed by promotion of same-sex marriage, followed by a focus on transgenderism, leading to his decree that all public schools must allow any student who feels trapped in the wrong gender to use whichever restroom and locker room that student desires.

We Don't Care

Before proceeding, I can already imagine an objection, the tired old claim that Obama is a Christian. Well, using trendy terminology, I would respond that Obama may “self-identify” as a Christian, but his idea of Christian is more aligned with a radical, Marxist liberation theology, which is, at heart, anti-Christian. And his agenda has had the effect of putting long-recognized Christian morality on the defensive, hinting (and in some cases more than hinting) that those who hold to such ancient concepts of morality are rather bigoted and driven by hatred.

No, I don’t accept Obama’s self-identification as a Christian as legitimate.

I have two problems with Obama’s latest decree: the first is moral; the second is constitutional.

There are some people who are genuinely confused over their gender due to genetic disorders of some kind. That’s a purely physical cause, not a moral problem. But the percentage of the population in that situation, according to what I’ve read, at least, is about 3/10 of one per cent. What the Obama agenda requires is that we now reorient our entire society around those individuals.

And we all know his decree will be applied far more generously than that. Anyone who “feels” confused about gender identity will be allowed to use whatever restroom or locker room they choose. It’s a wide open door to sexual abuse; in a supposed move to be “fair” to a hypothetically discriminated-against segment of the population, the rest of the population will be forced to bow to the new morality.

It’s a certain Biblical passage now being manifested before our eyes:

Isaiah 5

Then there’s the constitutional side of things. Where, in that document, does one find the authority for a president—any president—to simply declare what will be the policy for all public schools nationwide?

Where, in fact, in that document, is there any authority whatsoever for the federal government to be involved in education at all?

Shot Constitution

I submit that no matter how long or how deeply one inspects the Constitution, such authority never will be found there. What we are seeing now is perhaps the most dictatorial action, among many other dictatorial actions, that Obama has ever attempted.

This is a clear case where states have all constitutional authority to rise up and say, “This will not happen here.” I applaud those state leaders who have spoken up already and sincerely hope more will join the chorus in the coming days.

We are supposed to be a nation operating by the rule of law, not by the whims of one man—and his party—who seeks to destroy all semblance of the rule of law.

We are a country at a serious crossroads right now. Is Biblical morality to be forever banished from our public policy? Are we finally going to kill whatever is left of our Constitution and give it a decent burial?

Or are we going to stand up for Biblical truth?

Answers to those questions are still forthcoming.