Posts Tagged ‘biden’

FINDING THE CENTER

October 25, 2020

I am at the center politically, philosophically, and ideologically. Or was. Or will be. Because it manifests as a moving target, constantly defined and redefined. The far Left views me as far Right, or alt-Right (or worse). The far Right views me as not Right enough. The further you get from the center, the more it sits on the horizon. So, what defines the Center?

Throughout history, even prehistory, there have been the dueling concepts of order and chaos. They have been represented in many ways. Perhaps one of the most familiar is the Taoist yin and yang, the symbol being two serpents, head to tail.

I thank one of the great probing minds of our generation, the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, for reminding us that the goal is to traverse the narrow road between the two, because one side leads to anarchy, and the other to tyranny. That narrow path is the Center.

If the Center were easy to find and negotiate, there would be no Left or Right, no tyranny or anarchy. The primary tool for balancing on this tightrope is the yardstick of Truth. But finding truth isn’t always an easy task, either. So having a Right and a Left is important, each to keep the other in check, and to keep us centered.

No one side is the repository for truth. At different times and in different places, those on the Left and on the Right have sought to lure the unsuspecting to its side with “truth.” It isn’t until anarchy or tyranny is the end result that the illusion of this false truth is exposed, and the road back to the Center, if it can be found at all, usually takes generations. The most prominent but not the only examples in our time of tyranny on the Left are the Soviet Union and China. The most prominent on the Right were Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Recent references I’ve received from a local professor attest to new tyranny on the Right developing in Hungary and Poland (although, as per my last rant, the Leftist analysts use this for rather perverse assessments of the current situation in America). Examples of anarchy on the Left can be found in the French Revolution, and the Communist Revolution prior to the consolidation of power.

Today, here in the US, we’re entering a period of anarchy on the Left which, if not checked, will lurch into Leftist fascism and attendant tyranny. The signs are everywhere. The manifest racism of the Left is being defined as anti-racism, divisive doctrines of intersectionality are being defined as tolerance, and supporting criminal over lawful behavior in the name of social “justice” is now becoming mainstream. To maintain this, there is selective reporting and suppression of events and dispensing outright lies as truths. It’s not that unchecked Rightism can’t go from order to tyranny (the Handmaid’s Tale paradigm) or degenerate from it’s own seeds of corruption (it clearly can), it’s simply that that’s not where we are at this time and this place, where the abundance (not the totality) of truth currently has found a home on the Right.

The checks and balances instantiated in our Constitution to keep us moving forward between the yin and the yang will not be supported by a Biden administration. And in fours more years of a Trump administration, I assure you, there will be no roving bands of breeding handmaids.

TRUMP AS HITLER

October 22, 2020

I was recently introduced to a series of references describing the widespread adoption of populist movements in Eastern Europe (with an emphasis on Poland and Hungary) that paint a dire fascist picture. All of these right-wing governments are depicted as consolidating power at the expense of civil liberty by circumventing their constitutions, judicial court-packing, and governmental control of the media, along with other illegal acts. For the sake of this discussion I will assume the validity of these analyses, which are internally consistent. What’s important to note, each of the references, provided to me by an intelligent, unapologetic professor on the left of the political spectrum, are clearly penned by Leftists.

While a couple of the articles are a vicious anti-Trump diatribes (which doesn’t in itself invalidate all the content but does raise serious questions regarding reliability), the others were less nasty but no less biased. While clearly delineating the transformation of Eastern European governments from liberal to populist right, likely far to extremist right by the description, what’s striking are the tortured attempts to draw parallels to our current situation here in the US. Every piece implicated Trump as participating in or spearheading a similar transformation here on American soil, and espoused on the imminent dangers. (One did, correctly in my opinion, recognize Trump’s election as the culmination of prior change rather than the trigger.) Some authors were terrified (or were attempting to terrify others) that Trump was going to declare the upcoming election invalid and literally seize power. One piece validated the bestial doctrine of critical race theory. All tried to imply we’re on the road to the Handmaid’s Tale unless Trump is unseated. Not a one even hinted that the current unrest was being promulgated here by the far Left, specifically Antifa and BLM, Inc., and there was no mention of the roles of cancel culture, intersectionality, critical race theory, and the domination of the mainstream media utilizing false and suppressed “news” as an arm of the Democrat Party to further a political agenda. There were plenty of examples of corruption and verbal malfeasance attributed to Trump, some deserved, but not a word of the greater corruption and verbal misconduct by Biden and Leftists in positions of power. While one author described the dangers of court-packing and anti-constitutional behavior overseas attributed to the Right (in fairness likely penned prior to the most recent Democrat shenanigans), the threat on US soil to our Constitutional form of government via these dangerous means and others today comes from the Left, not the Right. While I didn’t see a direct reference to Trump as Hitler, there were of course implications, with references to Nazism, echoing similar, carelessly promulgated comparisons to Trump in our mainstream media and elsewhere. One article shamelessly stated all the old tropes against our country’s claims of exceptionalism, leaning heavily on carefully delineated flaws while ignoring all the stellar accomplishments.

Clearly, if I only had access to or chose to read only articles with this degree of bias, I could not come away with any different view of Trump (which he does little to dispel with his rhetoric, despite a highly defensible economic and foreign policy record, and an arguably better pandemic record than his opponents). If I already harbored these beliefs, it is likely I wouldn’t even detect the bias. The combination of the “anti-fascist” Left and the “Trump as the anti-Christ” Left explains the otherwise inexplicable willingness to accept a failing Biden as a front for the far Left over Trump by such a large portion of the electorate. The big question, only a couple of weeks away, is just how large.

COVID: WHAT TRUMP’S TRYING TO DO AND WHY IT’S FAILING

October 12, 2020

If the polls are to be believed, even allowing for the 2016 poll fiasco, Trump has lost ground over the last couple of weeks and is the underdog. Two events seem to have arrested his resurgence: His debate performance (mostly a referendum on his demeanor) and his infection with COVID-19. The debate probably hurt him less than the latter, as Trump is Trump and it’s baked into the cake. So why does he double down on his behavior with respect to the pandemic? With the Left versus Trump, this can be explained by the simple laws of political physics: Every overreaction has an equal and opposite overreaction.

No one can deny that COVID is the worst pandemic of our lives, the worst since the Spanish flu of 1918 (although about 1 million have died worldwide to date versus an estimated 50 million in 1918, likely due to our medical advances). The disease is highly transmissable but a mixed bag with respect to mortality, depending on age and risk factors. And, because of the times we live in, it has been politicized. Trump perceives his opponents are supporting lock-downs for purely political reasons, namely to suppress the economic recovery prior to the election. I believe he was being honest when he stated his early, ill-advised overly optimistic views of the virus were for the purpose of preventing “panic.” Later, however, I believe he used his inconsistent masking and social isolation practices and over-the-top optimism to counter the opposing political narrative supporting a second economic lock-down. It is reasonable to assume the Left’s use of alarmist tactics that accentuate the dangers of the pandemic and minimize the evidence refuting the need for a second lock-down is not simply for altruistic reasons. Remarks about maintaining school closures until “after the election” also give credence to this view. While many might criticize this conclusion as horribly cynical, good people (that is, most liberals) can be influenced to accept a more dire prognosis than the facts would otherwise support if it fits their belief system and is repeated often and loudly enough. It is clear from the rhetoric that at least some of the anti-Trump crowd feel that he is a greater risk than the pandemic or economic malaise. With the conflicting messages, you see some people wearing masks outside with no one in sight, while others ignore reasonable masking and social distancing precautions, usually but not exclusively along political lines. The middle ground of minimizing lock-downs to save the economy along with sensible masking and social isolation often gets lost in the kerfuffle. Sadly, Trump’s policies with regard to the pandemic have been mostly laudable but overshadowed by his personal remarks and antics, culminating in his contraction of the disease. It is worth remembering he closed the borders to infection earlier than the progressive contingent would have (and was criticized by Biden for it as xenophobic), and provided assistance and ventilators to the states that needed them and was praised for it by both blue and red state governors. He also supported the medical community in the unprecedented development of vaccines in record time. Still, Leftist politicians like NY Governor Cuomo, who encouraged riding the subways and sent infected old people back to the nursing homes, were given a pass, or even lionized. A reasonable counter-argument could be made that had Trump set a good example more people would have masked and isolated and the curve further flattened. But, especially early on, the evidence for masking was mixed (and, in fact not recommended), and later on half the country would be unlikely to view him as a role model, regardless. Furthermore, the politicians and media on the Left demonstrated a pattern of willingness to ignore or minimize the contribution of large, poorly-isolated gatherings if for the purpose of social protest. So Trump, in typical fashion, overshadows his own poorly reported successes with a politically disastrous campaign by trying to counter the alarmist Left with an unrealistic optimism that doesn’t resonate with the voters.

Despite ample evidence (suppressed in the mainstream media) of a problematic Biden past as least as bad, and probably worse than Trump’s*, it seems the majority of Americans may be willing to allow the Democrats to consolidate power by changing the rules (the failure to admit they wouldn’t pack the Supreme Court or “pack the country” with additional liberal states is telling). Kind of like adding innings to baseball or allowing 4 strikes if you’re not winning as much as you’d like.

Trump’s political malpractice and an electorate infused with ideologically-driven ignorance may be the downfall of an America that has changed the world for the better, and will leave future generations much poorer spiritually and economically.

*Biden has plagiarized, lied about his educational standing, been accused of sexual molestation (not investigated), been implicated in corruption via son Hunter (not investigated), made overtly racist remarks at least as incendiary as Trump’s, supports the untenable Green New Deal while simultaneously denying it, refuses to comment on packing the Supreme Court, and has publicly lauded criminals over law enforcement. Harris likely rose in the ranks on the “casting couch,” prosecuted marijuana users while laughing about it, and also publicly supports criminals over law enforcement. There’s a lot more if you look for it.

TRUMP LOSES DEBATE IN A DRAW

October 1, 2020

If you watched the presidential, and I use the term guardedly, debate last night, don’t try to read this until your double vision clears. If it seemed like it was a debate between a bully and a nasty child, that’s because it was. Trump’s strategy of pummeling to provoke instability backfired, and Biden’s ploy (doubt strategy made an appearance) of name-calling and lying did as well. For those of you that missed the fisticuffs, or can’t bear another moment without a recap, I’ll offer the following brief analysis of what I deem the most salient points.

Trump never heard the old adage, “If you give a man enough rope, he’ll hang himself.” Every time Biden tried to jump off the platform with the noose around his neck, Trump (or the moderator, Chris Wallace), reeled him in. Among the lies spouted by the former vice president were support for and denial of support for the Green New Deal in the same sentence (visit his website), overt support for the notion of America as a systemically racist nation, and the denial of Antifa as a group (basically it’s an “idea” roving about in black shirts and masks). He also claimed the provable links to his son Hunter’s pay-offs coming out of Russia and the documented risks (by multiple recent ballot incidents) of ballot tampering with universal mail-in voting were false. Probably the most perspicacious thing he said to Trump all night was, “Shut up!” Had the president taken that advice, he might have fared better.

Trump, on the other hand spent little or no time lying, just bumbling with poorly-worded answers and retorts that have and will provide the media the space they need to distort his meaning (and, believe me, for this they’ve always needed very little to no space). For instance, when Wallace asked him to denounce white supremacists, he immediately agreed (which Wallace ignored), then when badgered further Trump meandered off into a true but mangled diatribe against the Left, even responding to a mistaken reference by Biden on the Proud Boys, a controversial but not “white supremacist” group.

Wallace, probably irritated by Trump’s aggressive interruptions of Biden, apparently decided to side with his opposition. Besides the above-mentioned loaded question implying that white supremacists have played a major role in the recent violence, he presented Trump with a question about his executive order banning the teaching of critical race theory in federal agencies, but disguised the hateful program with the term “racial sensitivity training.” Another example of moderator bias occurred when Biden refused to answer Wallace’s question on whether he’d pack the Supreme Court, claiming it would make it “the issue,” (and Lord knows, we shouldn’t waste the brief time we have for name-calling on issues). Wallace docilely moved one.

My assessment of the outcome: A draw. Those that were going to vote Trump will vote Trump, and those for Biden will cast their vote for Harris…I mean Biden. A friend of mine thinks the undecideds will shift to Biden, but I’m not as sure. For Trump, whom the polls (if correct) show as trailing, I’d count this failed opportunity to increase his support as a debate loss.

In November, if the nation votes on his deeds, he’ll win another 4 years. If it votes on his words, well, say hello to a Harris/Biden administration.

BIZARRO AMERICA

September 28, 2020

When I was a kid, I use to read Superman comics. Some of the issues featured a story line where the antagonist was an inverse copy of our red-caped hero-in-tights: bizarro world Superman. It was all childish fun. Now we’re in bizarro America, and it’s not fun at all.

A conservative friend of mine recently discussed politics with her daughter, only to be dishonored with the younger adult’s dismissal of her as a cult member. It made me think of how often Leftists employ the psychological defense of projection, and of how widespread it has become. They’ve adopted fascism by deciding what is “hate speech” and are attempting to stifle free speech by cancellation and intimidation and defining non-believers as fascists. They’ve adopted and disseminated the concept of intersectionality which is attempting to foist policies designed to force outcomes to match the prevalence of skin color while calling non-participants racist. And they’ve resurrected the ghost of racism past to redefine the present to accomplish their ends.

Racism is so abhorrent to the vast majority of modern Americans, that it can be weaponized. In a country overcome with remorse for its problematic past, an avowedly Marxist group saw an opportunity to replace social class with race and use it to forward its agenda of fundamental change. Black Lives Matter, Inc was born. With Leftist incantations, it conjured the demonic apparition of systemic racism from the grave of US history to terrorize anew, to create the illusion of a United States still standing on the necks of its black citizens (to which Biden has publicly attested). Biden and Harris have also publicly sided with violent criminals resisting arrest and against our heroes doing a dangerous job. Even clear, factual evidence fails, again and again, to discredit the cries of “systemic racism.” The nose ring of “racism” and “white privilege” has now led too many unsuspecting Americans further down the dusty, well-worn path toward increasing government control and fundamental socialist change.

While ostentatiously pointing out every stupid or crass remark the president makes and ignoring his minority-elevating accomplishments, previously sane people on the Left are making increasingly outrageous comments. Senate minority leader Schumer calls filling Justice Ginsburg’s seat an act that will “defile” and potentially “destroy” the Senate while some of his party members threaten to add blue states and “pack” the Supreme Court. House majority leader Pelosi advises Biden to skip the debates because this would “legitimize” them and because Trump “stalked” Hillary during the 2016 debates (ignoring the elaborate 2 year Russian collusion hoax on Clinton’s behalf that will likely prove to be a greater scandal than Watergate). The hysterical Left sees the Right as a cult. But they don’t debate with facts, ignoring or burying them, instead resorting to ad hominem attacks. And many of the smart people I know and love are swept along with them. For me, it’s like looking into a mirror at a bizarro world. Some of these bizarro converts, I’m convinced, could be cured, perhaps simply by listening to a single conservative source backed by real facts (someone like Ben Shapiro comes to mind). The others, I fear, are lost in a phantom world of past racism and a threatened reality of future socialism.

If you think the specter of America’s past can’t devour the present, and the future, keep watching. It’s occurring right before your eyes … or behind your back.

AN OPEN LETTER TO TRUMP

July 12, 2020

Dear Mr. President:

As a citizen and a constituent it pains me to say you’re a terrible politician, and hence a failure. I know you were elected as an outcry against the status quo, and your training and background are as a businessman and an entertainer. Like many, I thought not being a politician was a plus. I was wrong.

The decline of our nation has been so insidious, so well crafted, that at least half the country now believes that the system is evil and must be excised, or are oblivious to what the notion of “fundamental change” means. The Left has convinced too many that “hate speech” must be exorcised, and they define what it is. They have convinced too many that dissidents to their ideology of diversity, intersectionality, and “anti-racism,” nothing more than Orwellian terms for separation, socialism, and racism, should be “canceled,” demonetized, muffled, and unemployed. They are taking the nation down the path of the Soviet Union, China, and Venezuela. And too many can’t see it despite its unfolding right before their eyes. The increase in racial tension, the violence, the suppression of dissenting voices—and you are, in large part, to blame.

I will give you credit for your energy and perseverance. Few people, at any age, could have swum against the political currents as you have, righting an anemic economy, passing criminal reform legislation, confronting Chinese deviousness, and increasing the security at our border. You have been consistently demonized beyond your flaws, and they are many, and lied about. It’s not surprising you’ve had judgment lapses in the setting of a 2-year hoax promulgated by the Left of Russian collusion with the full-throated support of the mainstream media, followed on its heels by an outrageous politically-motivated impeachment. And without recognition of any accomplishments. To the contrary, everything has been blamed on you, including COVID-19. You have become, to many, the devil-incarnate. It has been the second most impressive marketing campaign ever undertaken, only eclipsed by resurrecting the image of the United States, probably the fairest, most tolerant nation in the world in 2020, as the most systemically racist and economically elite. But I still blame you.

To quote a prominent conservative thinker and commentator, you constantly commit political malpractice. There are still many of us out there that believe in the fundamental principles that undergird the country. Many of us can still distinguish between the value of equality of opportunity and the evil of enforced equality of outcome. Many of us still understand the reason our Constitution defends all speech, because tomorrow someone who disagrees will decide your speech is “hate speech.” Many of us still understand that anti-white hatred and discrimination is also racism. We see that the cities suffering the most, tragically presided over and populated by the same citizens of color that blame you, have been run for decades by the very people calling you out. We are not fooled by references to past sins to paper over the present in service of a malignant movement, and can understand statistics and hard facts that undermine the Leftist talking points being used to fundamentally change the country. And you’ve failed us with your tweets. You take a step forward with grand speeches, and instead of pressing forward, presidentially, and underscoring the inevitable outcome of the ascendant Leftist agenda of more violence, race hatred, and restricted speech, your ego takes over and you take two steps back, devolving into self-absorbed tweets about trivia, such as Bubba Wallace and the noose incident. You’ve reinforced the media’s false narrative so many times that even those who don’t like the lurch to the far Left that has consumed the Democrat Party won’t vote for you.

I know you think your tweets helped you win the last election. I used to think so too. Now I realize you won in spite of them. I now believe you would have won not only the electoral college vote, but the popular vote as well if they had been less off-putting. I believe the current polls, indicating double-digit losses to probably the weakest presidential candidate ever (yes, that includes Hillary) reflect your own political sabotage. There are few votes out there for Biden; he’s a place-holder—they’re anti-Trump. The current climate of violence and racial tension fomented by the Left should be your political ally. Even the COVID-depleted economy, in the setting of your prior demonstrated success, should be a friend. But instead, your political malpractice and malfeasance has let us down. Under your continued leadership, our recovery would by no means be assured, but it will assuredly be devastated by your opponent and his as yet unnamed but likely far-Left running mate. And your intransigence may also shift the balance of power in the Senate.

If you can’t overrule your temperament and ego and place wisdom between your twitter finger and the screen, and quickly, you will fail the country. Too many of us are counting on you.

Sincerely,

A Worried Constitutionalist

PERCEPTION AND TRUMP’S CHANCES IN A POST-COVID WORLD

April 30, 2020

A left-leaning friend (yes, some still talk to me) sent me an article citing the evidence that Trump is sun-downing politically. It references the polls that almost universally favor Biden over Trump in the upcoming election, and the real possibility of a spill-over of fortunes to the Senate. While polls (like climate and COVID models) can be completely misleading (witness the 2016 election), the ubiquity of the results raises real questions as to whether the president, and the Republican party, can remain in power.

As is always the case, perception, rather than reality, will rule the day. There’s no question that Trump himself, with the help of derangement-fueled media bias, has sorely, and potentially fatally damaged his chances. It appears that the more he’s in front of the camera, the more opportunity for a faux pas. But let’s look at both sides of the issue.

In the pre-COVID world Trump was able to offset his missteps, while frequent, with large, well-attended rallies populated by enthusiastic fans (the 30% alluded to in my prior rant) which also aided in generating campaign funds, and, according to some political pundits, served to convert a silent cadre of independents. This, of course, no longer exists. Trump’s attempt to get the daily pressers to do double duty, as informer/leader-in-chief and campaigner, seems to have backfired. The main selling point of his campaign, the ballooning economy, has deflated with a prick of the corona virus. So right now it’s Trump versus Trump, and Trump is losing. The question is, will the American public be able to see past this to the other side? The opponent, Biden, is older, has demonstrated on multiple occasions signs of early cognitive failure, likely dementia, and has tracked so far left he’s not close to the man he was. There are allegations of sexual impropriety that will likely never be proved, and will be suppressed by the “mainstream” media but highlighted by the Trump campaign. Ditto for improprieties related to Ukraine and his son Hunter. He is supported by a party that not only engages in policies that favor big government, more regulations, and more debt and are demonstrably antithetical to the business community, while extolling these policies as solutions. The Republican party engages in these same policies, to a lesser extent, while decrying them, and succeeded in at least reducing regulations under the Trump administration.

I’ve never been of the mind that our fiscal trajectory is sustainable, even pre-COVID and post-Trump. I felt his interventions were necessary but insufficient to right the ship, and the robust surge in our economic fortunes would peter, kind of like the course of the virus itself. You don’t assure long-term economic prosperity by buying it with ever-increasing debt and promises of unmet entitlements left to future generations to sort out, if possible. To me, it appeared that the economy was a sick patient given the appearance of robust health with the use of adrenaline and steroids. The idea of fiscal austerity as being essential to continued liberty, a cornerstone of our Founding Fathers’ principles, had fallen by the wayside. Now, on top of all this we have the stress of an acute infection, real and metaphorical as it relates to the economy, piling unprecedented acute debt on the chronic. In the past, we dealt with this by manipulating interest rates, printing money, borrowing, and taxes. Now, interest rates are already low, money is being printed during a contracting rather than an expanding economy, we’ve already borrowed more than we should, much from our enemy, China, and the engine for generating taxes, fueled by rampant and now anemic consumerism, is sputtering now and for an indefinite future. Meanwhile, untold numbers of people who supported the boom with their buying are without sufficient cash reserves for an emergency, or their retirement nest egg, much less wholesale consumerism.

I don’t know that leaders of either party are up to the task of dealing with this crisis, but the choice is clear: Does the country want to change leadership on the basis of an act of God that is decimating the economy, from a man and a party that has demonstrated the ability to rejuvenate the economy at least in the short term, to a man and a party that, based on their expressed policy preferences, can only accelerate economic decline? It will depend on external events but also on how Biden is perceived, if and when the wraps are taken off him. I can’t imagine he’ll do well in a face-to-face debate; expect the Democrats to try and limit his exposure. It also depends on how many more missteps Trump makes, and the course of the virus and economy, both not presently working in his favor. And it depends on how effectively the media can paint Trump as evil, stupid, and racist, with many of these aspersions already “baked in the cake,” as it were.

Perception is everything.