Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

ELECTION FRAUD VERSUS IDEOLOGICAL DELUSION

December 20, 2020

If nothing else, the current election fraud debacle has highlighted the risks and dangers of succumbing to ideology. And none of us is immune.

We know that widespread early mail-in voting, easier to manipulate, was used for the first time with the easily disprovable argument promulgated by the Left that it was required due to the pandemic. We know that observers in swing states were blocked from observing, that dead people voted, postmarks were ignored, specious addresses were used, and that signatures were not always checked. We know that some precincts allowed ballots to be “cured” while others were not. We’ve been told of middle-of-the night vote dumps in Biden’s favor that occurred outside the realm of statistical probability, and that video evidence supports this. There is conjecture that the voting machines and software used in critical precincts were flawed and easily manipulated. We’ve been told that the judiciary has been unwilling to examine the evidence, with the credible example of at least one instance of a PA state court ruling that operating outside established election law is permissible. There is no question that irregularities and fraud occurred (despite the Left’s claims of a “perfect” election that would clearly have been riddled with corruption had their candidate lost); the question is the extent. And we’ve been assured that the unproved (and possibly unprovable) malfeasance involves at least hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of votes, enough to upend the results. Nothing of substance, to date, has been proved in court.

In light of the apparent dense smoke of circumstantial evidence in search of fire, and my firm belief that Trump did an amazing job policy-wise (but uneven politically), and the knowledge that Biden is more of an anti-Trump placeholder than a real candidate for the Democrats, I’ve found myself willing to accept the notion of a “stolen” election. After all, it seems improbable that this figurehead who couldn’t attract more than a few dozen supporters at a rally would garner the most votes in history, even more than the venerated Obama. Or, alternatively, I’m becoming the deluded ideologue I’ve labeled the Left.

For 4 years the Left and its servants, the mainstream and social media, have caricaturized and demonized the president, ignored and hidden his accomplishments, exaggerated his evident flaws, and manufactured elaborate hoaxes such as a Russian collusion investigation and as impeachment trial. While right-wing sources demonstrate bias, the ones on the Left have become so contaminated that they’re useless sources of information, with the wheat being buried so completely in the partisan chaff (or absent entirely). The final preelection evidence for this was the absent coverage of the Hunter Biden/Biden family corruption. Not only was an FBI investigation of Hunter hidden for 2 years (in a system that leaked like a sieve when it came to Trump), polls showed a depressing minority of Biden voters were aware of this reported faux “Russian disinformation” and enough admitted they might have changed their votes that the election would have gone to Trump. In light of this, it’s easy for conservatives to believe the believable but unproved allegations about a stolen election, since the opposing “information” sites have a strong track record of unreliability. Nevertheless, belief does not equal reality. As left-wing ideology becomes more prevalent and powerful there is an inevitable, necessary, and appropriate right-wing backlash, but no guarantees it won’t overreact. And it’s easy to be manipulated by either side. For example, here’s a reasonable argument of how statistical improbability as a defense of a stolen election may be flawed. Adding to this, for me, that at least two respected, reliable sources of balanced right-wing commentary I’ve followed refuse to accept the idea of sufficient fraud and/or irregularities to reverse the election without proof, and my personal ideological programming alarms go off.

Ultimately, these are issues we all have to sort out for ourselves. Part of me believes we conservatives should choose not to waste our time and effort with cries of election illegitimacy and instead focus n fighting against the policies and values of the Left, with better than even odds of reclaiming within a few years not only the White House, but the Congress. The other part cries out for no capitulation lest we lose forever the ability to believe in in the sanctity of future elections, for with even the widespread perception of doubt, the country cannot stand.

WHAT NOW IN A DIVIDED AMERICA?

November 7, 2020

It’s over—sort of. What have we learned? Right now there’s a lot of smoke indicating election fraud but pending fire. It’s clear that state election laws regarding monitoring were ignored in some blue cities. It’s clear that it’s odd that Biden’s margins in those cities were high compared to other blue cities such as New York and Miami making them suspicious statistical anomalies. It’s less clear if the claims are true that Biden had a vertical overnight climb in votes in certain contested locales with hundreds of thousands of ballots appearing overnight only in his name (the Tweets supporting this have been deleted, no surprise there). It’s also not clear if the amount of voter fraud did reach, or can be proven to have reached levels that fall into the margin of error that would invalidate a Biden victory. I predict that after the dust of the litigation settles, the court(s) will not invalidate the election. A Biden presidency will be seen by many on the Right and some on the Left as illegitimate, just as many Democrats felt about the Trump presidency, although with perhaps more than manufactured reasons for the allegation.

I’d posited that the election would be a referendum on the current state of our values. The good news is that we haven’t lost America, yet. We’re an evenly divided nation. Regarding values, we may even be faring better when one accounts for those who’ve simply been duped. This is reflected in the unexpected small Republicans gain in the House and the small (hopefully) retained majority in the Senate,with some voters splitting their tickets. It is also noteworthy that Trump gained votes in the black and Latino communities. Enough Democrats turned were turned off by the sharp lurch leftward of the party that they wanted to limit its power, underscored by the reported dissension within the party ranks following the election results.

Biden now has a binary choice. He can move to a more moderate position, like Bill Clinton did, or he can continue to support the far left positions he’s been espousing and incorporating into his platform (before Harris takes over). With a Republican majority in the Senate, the more radical path will be made more difficult, requiring robust use of the “pen and phone.”A lot of damage can be done with executive orders, as we’ve seen. However, in the post-Trump era of conservative judicial appointments, these executive decrees will hopefully be checked by equally robust litigation. If the Democrats continue to acquiesce to radical left demands I think they will continue to bleed members. A road back to a former detente is possible, but if the policies and cultural shifts remain on the present trajectory, I see at best a bifid country with leftist and conservative businesses, social media, and schools, an unsustainable situation. At worst, I see violence or secession.

On the pandemic front, I see no change. The people will continue to mask and socially isolate as they see fit, the virus will do what it does despite our efforts, and a vaccine will hopefully suppress or eradicate it in time. Biden may choose to exhort the states to lock down again. If so, the economy will suffer. The schools will probably reopen now that the election is over. I can’t predict if the alarmism will increase (since fear is a useful political tool to support power) or decrease to support the beneficence and efficacy of the new, non-Trump president. In any case, as the pandemic resolves, Biden and team will surely take full credit.

On the economic front, both parties overspend, but the Democrats extol and double down on the practice as a perceived “solution” while simultaneously favoring government over the private sector in terms of taxation and regulation, so we can expect the vigorous recovery we’re experiencing to be blunted or critically wounded.

On the foreign affairs front, Obama’s former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said of Biden, “I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Biden has followed a policy of appeasement toward Iran; if he returns to that I expect to see destabilization in the region. The “October surprise” of the Biden corruption with respect to China sounds political and conspiratorial. But when you look at the facts and the primary data being used to support them, the concern that Biden might be compromised is very real (and a friend who attended at least one meeting that included Hunter Biden confirmed this to me). Had the full electorate had the benefit of clear, unbiased reporting, I believe the presidential outcome would have been different. Now it’s unclear if the investigation will just be buried, like with Hillary, or will come back to bury him, like Nixon.

The election results show America isn’t gone, but divided. We’re a big enough country for differences; in fact, they’re our strength, and keep us centered, when not commandeered by extreme elements. The road back to equilibrium, if possible, could be peaceful, violent or a dead end. Stay tuned.

LEFTIST VERSUS LIBERAL—A VANISHING DISTINCTION?

October 31, 2020

I’ve lost 2 childhood friends simply by posting my views. A third, despite past agreements on immigration and law enforcement, maintains steadfastly that he can’t stand Trump and will be voting for Biden. He proudly considers himself a centrist and underscored this with the statement that he feels California has been governed too left for too long and felt my time would be better spent thinking of ways to instantiate more right-wing governance for balance. When I questioned how he could then wish the same fate for the country, he took umbrage and used my own formulation of a Leftist filter against me, clearly implying he thinks I’ve become an ideologue. Like the my other left-of-center friends and family, he’s smart, so this engenders in me a feeling of cognitive dissonance, and yet another reassessment of the validity of my current beliefs. Each time this journey has become shorter.

The dichotomy between Left and Right has become so great, it’s now hard to imagine a middle. I cannot reconcile a true liberal voting a Biden/Harris ticket. I could understand, although (the stakes being what they are) would disagree with, a symbolic write-in vote or abstention. The true, or witting, Leftist believes we’re a systemically racist unjust nation in need of fundamental change, has lukewarm support for or is downright antagonistic toward law enforcement, believes in equity over equality of opportunity, and has no compunction about changing the rules of government (i.e., trashing the Constitution) if it serves the purpose, and that the judiciary should be activist in this regard. They are complicit in hiding and distorting facts that don’t support the cause, and willing to prevaricate outright in its service. They minimize or support violence when it furthers the agenda. Many old-school liberals, as their party has acquiesced to the extreme elements, don’t share the core beliefs of the far Left, but absent another home and saturated by the disinformation with little or no exposure to the other side (or repeated hyperbolic misrepresentations of it), go along. I consider them the unwitting Left. So, by this definition, an unwillingness to vote Biden/Harris would distinguish the witting and unwitting Left from the liberal.

The bottom line is, either I’m in a Rightist bubble surrounded by my filters, essentially the cult member that CNN’s anchor Don Lemon has branded me, or the Left is. I keep waiting for the convincing arguments to bring me back, and it always boils down to Trump is bad. The supporting fact-based arguments for this, as far as I have been able to ferret out, are the following: Trump was a philanderer. Trump made a racist comment regarding an American judge of Mexican descent of not being able to fairly adjudicate Trump University. Trump made a clumsily-worded remark regarding the Charlottesville protests that was (falsely) interpreted as supporting while supremacists for whom he’s been ludicrously and repeatedly asked to deny allegiance. He’s made remarks concerning the pandemic that downplay the danger to prevent “panic” and has demonstrated a laissez-faire personal attitude toward masking and social distancing. He has a heavy Twitter finger generating mountains of stupid, egoistic tweets. The rest, the manufactured Russian hoax, the Ukraine phone call-associated impeachment, were all elaborate smoke-and-mirror campaigns with provable Democrat malfeasance. The arguments in his favor: He kept most of his campaign promises. His economic policies, including a reduction in taxes and federal regulations and formation of opportunity zones, triggered an unprecedented economic boom pre-pandemic and improved the lot of minorities arguably more than any prior administration in decades (and may be promoting a V-shaped recovery). He started no new wars, moved the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, and opposed Iran, allowing him to broker a Mideast peace deal after decades of stalemate. He’s kept sanctions on Russia and aided Ukraine in the Crimea, extinguished Isis, and recognized China’s adversarial status and instituted appropriate countermeasures. He shepherded the crime reform bill. He replaced NAFTA with the USMCA. He stopped emigration from China and Europe earlier during the pandemic than his political opponents wanted and helped provide the necessary supplies and ventilators to the states while fostering fast-tracking of a vaccine. He strengthened the border policy and the wall, reducing illegal immigration and criminal entry. And he did all this in less than 4 years, despite hurricane-strength political headwinds. What has Biden accomplished of note over his 44 years of service?

If my right-wing filters are the problem, how is it a recent poll showed that 51% of those questioned believe the unfolding Biden scandal (re Biden family Chinese influence) is Russian disinformation despite clear evidence it is not, based on disseminated misinformation and with links to the facts at the NY Post censored by both Facebook and Twitter?

No, I’ve thought and rethought it, and if there’s ideologic brainwashing, I keep coming back to a left-wing source at this point in time. This does not mean that the Right couldn’t pose an equal or even greater threat in the future, especially since the rapid accession of a far Left agenda could arguably have a slingshot effect promoting the fantasy that Leftists imagine currently exists. Hence the ever-present need for both sides in a dynamic struggle to remain centered. If and when the facts support it, I’ll stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my liberal brethren to fight that, too.

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.

TRUMP AS THE ANTI-CHRIST

October 20, 2020

A friend (yes, I still have a few) and I were jawing about the sociopolitical landscape and the striking 180-degree variance in views and values that defines the current political cycle and divides the country. I’ve maintained that while many events are interpreted through the lens of our political beliefs, the gulf cannot be explained by this alone. A great deal can be attributed to ignorance, in the true sense of the word, where information is lacking. In its more typical, pejorative use, it implies a moral judgment that the person so tagged is willfully not seeking knowledge. However, in our current sociopolitical climate, it’s become evident to me that there has been a grave inequity in the distribution of knowledge in my favor, the disparity exacerbated by an induced unwillingness by many to receive even the crumbs of knowledge that manage to fall through the increasingly dense Leftist filter. The following, I contend, well characterizes a significant subset of the vehemently anti-Trump Left. Some pundits have said that Leftists, devoid of God and religion, have adopted the modern progressivism as their religion. The often volatile behavior and inability of those on the far Left (as distinct from true liberals) to rationally discuss and debate issues and events may support this notion. What’s most striking is the disproportionate hatred directed toward the current President. I remember how the Right hated Obama and the Left hated Bush junior with intensity, but those were like spring showers to today’s emotional hurricane. With Trump, the move to oust him began during his campaign, and has continued unabated throughout his administration, employing extraordinary and often ludicrous means. I’m hard pressed to find a single accomplishment of his, and there have been many, extolled in the mainstream media. Conversely, his every word and action has been criticized and/or twisted, even to the point of silliness (I used to say that if Trump declared cancer was bad, the opposition would try to explain its virtue). It’s so bad that friends have unfriended friends, and families have disowned family. Even allowing for policy differences, and I was not a fan of Obama, it’s hard to fathom this degree of acrimony. During my conversation, it hit me: To many disciples of the ideology of progressivism, Trump is literally the anti-Christ.

The Bible, a perennial best-seller now in disrepute in many quarters that I’m finally close to completing as a bucket list item, underscores something that most of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, have known: the claim by believers that Christ “died for our sins.” To paraphrase the ideas of the New Testament, accepting Christ as the son of God and following the rules of behavior as laid out in the Gospel absolves you of sin and paves the way for eternal life. With this as a template, viewing Trump as a mirror image explains a lot. Just about everything the Left perceives as bad, be it COVID, climate change, “systemic” racism and misogyny, whatever, is attributed to Trump (and, by extension, the “deplorable” followers). If you believe this, he is surely evil incarnate. To the progressive Left, he’s become the center, or secular sponge, for most of our current societal ills, just as Christ is defined by Christians as the repository of the cure for all human sin. And thus, removing Trump is seen as a giant step toward resolving those ills. It’s safer, and simpler that digging deep into the real root causes, many of which would reflect negatively on well-intentioned, deeply held beliefs.

The danger of the gulf between belief and reality is that when he’s gone, and the problems remain, as they inevitably must, the havoc will already be done. Because those that constructed the straw man anti-Christ so widely accepted as the new, progressive Gospel will have already moved one giant step closer to the goal—fundamental socialist change—and the road back is a hard one.

NEXT: TRUMP AS HITLER

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.

COVID AND TRUMP—THE MEDICAL AND THE POLITICAL

October 3, 2020

So now he’s got it. The public reaction is as expected, and a bit unexpected. Many anti-Trumpers have unsurprisingly wished him ill, if not death, and have made snarky remarks about hsi getting what he deserves, and “karma.” What is surprising is that some far Leftists (Rachel Maddow comes to mind as an example) have appropriately wished him and Melania well despite their disagreements with him and oft-professed outright hatred. And, in fairness, Trump did set himself up for criticism with his off-and-on support for masking and do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do tepid support for social distancing. The argument on the Left, however, that the pandemic is on its face a Trumpian failure of management, like most Leftists arguments, loses validity when we actually inject facts. Despite Trump’s intermittent, and sometimes over-the-top proclamations of optimism with respect to the virus (motivated, per Trump, by a wish to prevent panic), he did restrict travel from China and then Europe (and was criticized for it) at a time both sides were uncertain of the virus’ eventual impact here. It is conveniently ignored by the Left-dominated media that Pelosi was sightseeing in Chinatown in a virtue-signaling show of her lack of Chinese xenophobia for the cameras, Biden was actively labeling Trump xenophobic, Cuomo was sending infected old folks back to the nursing homes, and Cuomo or de Blasio (or both) were telling people to ride the subways and have a good time. Trump gets zero credit from these same media sources for providing the support requested by the state governors of both political stripes (for which he was publicly thanked by them) and ramping up ventilator production, a resource that ended up never being overwhelmed. So his handling of the pandemic is a mixed bag with, as usual, his deeds outshining his words and personal example.

Medically, the president falls in a “high risk” category for complications by dint of age and (over-) weight and has a roughly 1-5% chance of this depending on whom you ask. So, God-willing, he’ll have a mild infection and rapid recovery. I’ve found Ben Shapiro’s analyses to be sober and factually grounded, and I agree with him that Trump’s medical course, considering human nature, is likely to affect policy with respect to economic lock-downs going forward, even though it should not be dictated by anecdotal evidence but by the data.

Politically, there’s mostly downside. Most obviously, as mentioned, his lip service to masking and social isolation while serving as a less than stellar example has given fuel to those that have criticized him. It is true that the evidence for the value of masking came late and remains mixed, but it is reasonable to do both in situations where people are likely to be in close contact, especially indoors. The criticism of the Left rings hollow with hypocrisy, though, as we’d be hard pressed to find a single outcry from their ranks during the frequent mass protests. Additionally, Trump will be denied the opportunity for live rallies for at least 2 weeks and could miss out on the next debate opportunity. Overall, I don’t see the president’s illness as affecting those that have already made up their minds whom they are voting for. For the likely vanishingly small segment of the population that remains undecided (and that could determine the result in a close election), it seems unlikely to help him in the face of the constant Leftist anti-Trump drumbeat. That being said, a small portion may give a sympathy vote.

Barring a serious change in the president’s health, the election may have already been decided, and it’s just a matter of waiting for the results to roll in.

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.

WHEN RIGHT IS RIGHT, WHAT’S LEFT?

August 24, 2020

I’m the only conservative among the blood relatives in my family. For years I’d related a decade old telephone conversation with a relative as an example of parallel liberal-to-conservative sociopolitical evolution, (he’s stayed back East, I’ve migrated from NY to CA). So I thought it was time for my next 10-year call. He’s a smart and logical guy, and after the familial updates, we got around to discussing COVID and I expressed my view that eventually we’d overcome the pandemic, but I wasn’t as sure about the rent in our sociopolitical fabric. He responded, “Yeah, we need to get that guy out of office.” I’d erroneously assumed that if anyone would be immune to the “orange man bad” rhetoric, it would be him; and his casual response indicated that, like others on the left, he was certain I shared his beliefs. We avoided lengthy discussions of the issues, agreeing that we would be unlikely to change the other’s mind, but he did ask what seemed to me to be his litmus test of the depth of my eccentricity: my view on climate change (the implication being it is “settled science”). Both of us lacking the time for an in-depth discussion, I accepted that I’d likely be viewed a “flat-earther” and simply indicated that I’d researched the subject, listened to speakers on both sides of the issue (yes, there are two), and believed the climate is warming but don’t subscribe to the alarmist take that is being used for political purposes, or the validity of the proposed “solutions.”

Interactions like this with people I respect that have a divergent world view are profound and frequently cause me to pause and reevaluate my current beliefs. However, the opposing viewpoints and reportage, rather than becoming more coherent, are diverging more and more from the overt reality, sometimes expressed through hyperbole, and often via omission or outright lies. These tactics are not limited to the Left, only extraordinarily more extreme and frequent to an extent that continues to amaze me. There is little question the apparent success the radical Left has achieved would not have been possible in the absence of control of the mainstream media, an educational system with preconditioned minds, and the ability to disproportionately filter major social media sites such as Twitter, Google, and to a lesser extent, Facebook. For normally intelligent, logical and discerning people to look at all the information and boil it down to “Trump” seems to me to be impossible. There are bad people who are willfully using misinformation to accrue power, but the people I’m referring to are honest, well-intentioned, and bright. So only two possibilities remain: I’m wrong or they are misinformed. My having acquired a conservative state of mind via a liberal upbringing and a difficult evolution, I’ve excluded delusion through nurture. And there are countless historical and contemporary examples of the end result of what is happening now in the US, if one is willing to critically examine them. In addition, my perception spans a couple of decades, long before COVID, Black Lives Matter, Inc., or Trump. So my only conclusion is that good people on the left are being pounded again and again with the same inaccurate or incomplete information; they are far less likely to seriously listen to conservative sources than I am to visit liberal/Leftist ones—I can hardly avoid them. My occasional visits to some right-wing opinion sites I normally avoid due to excessive pro-Trump bias confirm that even they cite facts more frequently and completely than the Leftist equivalent.

I recognize that it’s difficult to go to places at odds with our deeply ingrained ideology, and the instinct is to dismiss views that make us uncomfortable. Simply put, no one wants to be “wrong.” Withdrawing into the protective cocoon of “it’s Trump’s fault, and things will be better if only he’s gone” can be comforting, but also simplistic and lead to wrong conclusions. I could rehash details ad nauseum to support this, but it’s already been done, by me and others. Instead, I choose to hope that many of these bright, busy people just haven’t started paying enough attention yet, but will be investigating more thoroughly in the time remaining before the election. And, perhaps, there are a lot already out there that see, but are afraid to speak before going to the ballot box. In any case, the result will demonstrate the net value system of our great but beleaguered nation.