On Phyllis Schlafly

Earlier this week, Phyllis Schafly died, aged 92. She was a conservative icon, and as such there was much outpouring of joy on Twitter and other apparatchiks in the leftist media.

Although I was aware of who she was, I didn’t know the extent to which she was a force for preserving traditionalist views for over half a century. Her most notable achievements came in the gender relations arena, particularly her battles to stop feminists from passing the ERA in the 1970s.

For this, she became the mortal enemy of the feminist, and therefore the eternal friend of civilization itself. Indeed, of feminism, she believed that it was “doomed to failure because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature.”

The aspect of human nature which the feminist is interested in is the fact that men and women are different, and thus have different roles to play in families and societies as a whole. Feminism rejects the obvious biological fact that men and women are different and ascribes any differences to ‘social constructs.’ It seeks to reshape the world in its image, to the point that it’s logical extension would lead one to posit that a 5’0” 105 pound woman is equally as capable of saving people from a 10 story burning building as a 6’2” 195 man.

Schalfly stood steadfast against such absurdity for decades, and thus is deserving of respect. There is a bit of a paradox, at least on the surface. In spending her adult life championing traditional views, and exalting the traditional housewife, she was a tireless worker outside the home. She gave speeches all over country, wrote and/or edited dozens of books, learned a law degree, wrote regular columns, and appeared on radio for years.

She also had 6 children, breastfed all of them, and taught them all basic reading and writing before they entered school. In short, she ‘had it all,’ which is what feminists claim their ideology offers women.

Yet the results of 50 years of feminism don’t really bear that out. Women are less happy now than they were during the 1970’s, while men have roughly maintained their level of happiness. Women are marrying later, and the fertility rate in the US is the lowest on record.

A far cry from Schlafly, who actually attained what feminism claimed to offer. Yet, Schlafly is universally met with scorn by feminists.

What squares the apparent paradox is the fact that Schlafly, in embarking on professional pursuits, had no burden, beyond a moral one to uphold traditional views. She had married a wealthy lawyer, so she didn’t need the money from her speaking fees or book sales. She could fully concentrate on her roles as a wife and a mother, while taking the spare opportunities she had to engage in activism, which she called a ‘hobby.’

She would work on her early books after 10pm, when her kids went to bed. She didn’t go to law school until she was in her 50s, at which time her children were all at least in their teens and thus didn’t necessarily need the constant supervision toddlers would have.

She ‘had it all’ precisely because she eschewed the feminist model. She married well, had children, raised them while slowly building up her professional ambitions when she could. Then, in her 50s, after her children had grown, she embarked on her largest and most expansive efforts.

The feminist model preaches to women to do the opposite –  establish a career first, then look for a husband after age 30, then have kids, then juggle them with the expanding career. It doesn’t work, for multiple reasons. Nature, not society, has given women a relatively short window to have children. Waiting until after 30 severely limits that window, and increases the likelihood of complications. Furthermore, having a child right when professional ambitions are escalating is a recipe for disaster. Both the child and the job need one’s full attention, and by definition only one can win it.

It is little wonder that the modern woman, influenced by 40 years of feminism is so unhappy. Perhaps she would be better off to take a little inspiration from Phyllis Schlafly, and much, much less from Betty Friedan.

MSNBC ‘Unskews’ The Polls – Thinks 2016 Electorate = 2012 Electorate

In my article recapping the election as it unfolded over the summer, I took some time to break down why the mainstream media making fun of ‘Poll Truthers’ could potentially backfire. More specifically, I explained why the comparison between Trump supporters’ distrust of the polls in 2016 and that of Romney supporters in 2012 was off base:

Back in 2012, Republicans were convinced that polling which showed President Obama leading were heavily skewed in favor of Democrats. They were made to pay for that optimism on Election Day, and in pointing to that experience, the likes of Perino and others have been quick to point out that the polls were right in 2012, and as such they are Gospel now.

 

The issue with that analysis starts with the fact that in 2012, Republicans had the Tea Party shake up of 2010 midterm election fresh in their memories. This, to many, marked a repudiation of President Obama’s agenda, and as such a torrent of Republicanism would sweep the nation in 2012. Romney was assured to ride on in that wave, and thus, the fact that the polls said otherwise meant they were faulty.

 

The disconnect was that Romney as a candidate was nowhere near the Tea Party ideal, to put it mildly. Thus, he didn’t come close to capturing the momentum the Tea Party had generated. In the end, he marginally improved on McCain’s effort in 2008, which meant that Obama won comfortably, despite having a lower turnout than he had four years earlier.

 

Those who took the polls as Gospel earlier in this summer are making the inverse error as Republicans made in 2012. Whereas Republicans then thought the electorate had shifted from where it was in 2008, those giddy about Clinton +12 polls in early August might prove to have been erroneous in thinking that the electorate hadn’t shifted from 2012.

Right on cue, this article from Politico confirms part of my thinking – that mainstream polls are skewed towards the 2012 electorate:

MSNBC ‘unskewed’ a CNN national poll on Tuesday that showed Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by two points, re-weighting the results to match the 2012 electorate and showing a four-point lead for the former secretary of state.

 

The poll of likely voters, released Tuesday by CNN/ORC, showed Trump ahead of Clinton nationwide in a four-way contest, 45 percent to 43 percent. But MSNBC host Chuck Todd explained that the poll, in his network’s estimation, may have oversampled white voters without a college degree, one of Trump’s strongest groups.

 

“Whites without a college degree appear to make up nearly half of their sample. In 2012, by the way, whites without a college degree was slightly more than a third of all voters,” Todd said. “The point is, your numbers may not be wrong but your weighting may be, your assumptions. So the CNN folks assumed an electorate that is not an impossible scenario for Trump, but it would be an historic shift if it occurred.”

 

With the numbers adjusted to reflect how the electorate shook out four years ago, Clinton’s two-point deficit shifted to a four-point lead, 46 percent to 42 percent.

It is my view that thinking the 2016 electorate will end up looking like the 2012 electorate is a recipe for failure, yet this is what most mainstream polls do. I believe that the 2016 electorate, owing to the large number of new/disaffected voters Trump is bringing to the table, is far more amenable to the Republican candidate than it was for Mitt Romney.

Data from that CNN poll bears this out:

CNN-Polling_2_Enthus

According to that, the electorate as a whole is less enthusiastic about going to vote than it was four years ago. But given the choice between Trump and Clinton, there is more enthusiasm for the former.

Despite that major flaw in mainstream polls, they have tightened, to the point where many of them show at best a Clinton lead within the margin of error, if not a dead heat. Given that those polls refelct the 2012 Obama friendly electorate, the Clinton campaign should have some serious concerns. Because once the relatively large, and more enthusiastic Pro-Trump portion of the electorate is truly reflected, those polls might look a lot different. Indeed, we might not find out the true extent of that until election night.

Is Oil Weakness Ahead?

The WSJ certainly thinks so (emphasis mine):

Surging demand from drivers in the richest countries helped power a big rally in crude this year. But many analysts say that surge is ending.

 

In the U.S., lower gasoline prices led consumers to drive a record three trillion miles in the past 12 months. In June, gas consumption hit an all-time high, 9.7 million barrels a day. And in July, pickup trucks, SUVs and other gas guzzlers reached a record share of auto sales.

 

Yet as the summer-driving season ends, low fuel prices may not be enough to entice consumers to pump in more gasoline. More broadly, economic growth isn’t strong enough in the U.S. and Europe to produce the necessary increase in jobs or new manufacturing that would spur large, long-term increases in oil demand…

 

….Many traders, pointing to stockpiles that are holding or even growing, are betting that a glut hasn’t eased enough to keep supporting this year’s rally.

 

Data last week showed U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined fuels growing to a record. Supplies of crude, gasoline and diesel are so high that even record demand hasn’t been enough to balance the market. Global gasoline storage has been filled to a near-record level all summer, almost 500 million barrels, according to Citigroup Inc.

I’d certainly agree with that, but mostly for technical reasons. Over the last three years of this oil bear market, there has been a seasonal pattern. A low early in the year, followed by a slow melt up through the spring, and a June/early summer top which gave way to declines through the fall. The following chart highlights this.

CL

The three arrows indicate the early year bottoms in 2014-16, and the gray circles indicate the early summer tops, and potential top of this year. This is far from certain of course, but owing to the continual bearish fundamentals, the existence of bearish technicals as well does not bode well for oil  bulls.

In the moderate to long term (at least 18 months to two years), I am rather bullish, as I expect global central banks to further ease monetary policy, leading to a rise in asset prices and commodities. Before this happens though, I do believe there will be one last swing lower to demoralize people. I’ve always maintained that the price would approach $20 at some stage. We shall see.

A Summer to Remember: The State of The 2016 Election at Labor Day

Table of Contents:

  • The Coordinated Media Attack On ‘Dark’ Donald
  • The Democratic Convention and The Khan Episode
  • Trump’s ‘Failure’ To Stay On Message
  • The Polls
  • Trump ‘Flip Flopping’ On Immigration
  • Other Narratives
  • Conclusion

 

Labor Day weekend in America generally marks the unofficial end of summer, and the beginning of football and school season, among many other things. In election years, it is the final bend before the sprint down the stretch to the finish.

This piece will look back at the themes and narratives which developed over last few months of the campaign, from the conventions onward, with a view to analyzing how we got where we are, and what is likely to take place over the next 2 months to the election.

The Coordinated Media Attack on ‘Dark’ Donald

One of Donald Trump’s most oft used phrases during his campaign to date has been ‘dishonest media.’ During campaign rallies, Twitter rants, and even in interviews with the media on media airwaves, he has called the media out for what he describes as unfair and biased treatment against him.

On one level it may seem like whining, excuse making, or just being a poor loser. But in 2016 is room to wage such a war. The approval rating of the media is at an all-time low of just 6%, and ratings are falling almost across the board. Alternative media is on the rise. Despite this, legacy media still retains an air of respectability and legitimacy, and as such anyone who the media thinks ill of stands to gain if they are able to vanquish the media in any way.

This is the framework underneath the ongoing battle between Trump and the media. The media cannot ignore him, because he drives ratings, and thus is a boon to an industry which is increasingly starved of eyeballs. Yet the media does not like him, as he stands in opposition to the Cultural Marxist agenda it supports.

The media strategy has been simple: Give Trump the floor, and then paint whatever he does with the airtime in the most negative light possible.

Take Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention. While Trump did spend a lot of time outlining the problems with United States as it stands, he did close the speech with a message that essentially boiled down to ‘we can fix it, and make it even better than ever.’

And while he did essentially yell at us for roughly 75 minutes, it was hardly an Apocalyptic tone. Rather it was one of great energy and passion.

Yet, what followed from the media was a near universal description of the speech as ‘dark,’ or ‘dystopian.’

CoAQ1zrWIAAHOHY

 

Such uniformity can only be a result of a coordinated message, or one that highlights the high levels of groupthink pervading the media as a whole. Either result belies the idea that the media is some sort of objective entity tirelessly in search of the truth, which in turn does great damage to the message it is putting forth.

The Democratic Convention and The Khan Episode

Naturally, the media generally had only positive things to say about the Democratic National Convention, despite the inconsistent messaging. On one hand, the United States was the best it had ever been, which is, of course, down to the adoption of enlightened progressive ideals. On the other, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were keen to describe an America which had record inequality and substandard basic infrastructure.

They described how the system has been rigged to favor the financial and corporate elite, mere days after hacked emails from Democratic National Committee revealed it was actively working against the Sanders campaign, and working with the media to shape both a pro-Clinton message and an anti Trump one.

All this while standing on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center, neighbored by its sibling athletic cathedrals Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field. That scene is the US system in a nutshell – loud mouth politicians talking a good game against the entities which finance their campaigns, but ultimately doing their bidding legislatively when the time comes.

The inconsistencies are down to the fact that the Democrats have to talk up the Obama presidency as an unqualified success, while simultaneously playing down the fact that the ultimate results of that ‘success’ have been economic stagnation and rising health care costs for the average American. It was a tightrope act Philippe Petit would have admired.

However what really lingered from the Democratic Convention was Khizr Khan’s speech and the fallout. Khan, a Muslim, gave a rousing speech, lecturing Trump about the supposedly Un-American merits of his policies on immigration and terrorism. At one point he brandished a physical copy of the Constitution and waved it in the air, suggesting that Trump had never actually read the document.

This grandstanding was widely praised, and given legitimacy because of the fact that Khan’s son had died fighting for the US during the Iraq war. The premise was that a Trump presidency would have robbed the nation of people like his son who would have contributed to its defense and furthered its prosperity.

The media did not in any way criticize Khan, or the Democrats, for standing atop the grave of a fallen soldier to score a political point. That criticism was only reserved for the Republicans, who a week prior had allowed Pat Smith, the mother of one of those killed during the Benghazi raid, to speak. This hypocrisy was highlighted most clearly by Steve Benen in MSNBC.

media

 

The same writer, somewhat similar occurrences, vastly different takes. Again, ‘dishonest media.’

The Khan episode was escalated thanks to an interview Trump did with George Stephanopoulos, in which Trump was made to defend himself from Khan’s charges. Trump defended himself pretty tamely, apart from a comment in which he intimated that Khan’s wife, who had stood silent beside Khan during the speech, might not have been allowed to speak, presumably because of her Muslim faith.

Admittedly, that remark was rather naughty, but it wasn’t deserving of the 10 day firestorm it engendered.

Khan was paraded around all of the major networks over the next few days for exclusive interviews on the Sunday talk shows and other prime time slots. He called out the Republican leadership by name and instructed them to withdraw their support for Trump, while intimating that anyone who had the temerity to vote for Trump lacked decency and empathy.

The media did their part by constantly griping about Trump’s ‘attack’ on a Gold Star family, preying on the American proclivity to revere its armed forces in order to drum up negative feelings about Trump himself.

The reality of this saga was that a man with a negative opinion of Trump was somehow exalted to having The Final Word. Trump pushed back against that notion, rather than the man himself, and was pilloried for it, mostly due to the ‘spirited’ nature of his response. It was never really a big deal, and ultimately never really became one, despite the best efforts of the media.

Trump’s ‘Failure’ To Stay On Message

Beyond the Khan episode, there were numerous molehills which became Himalayan in stature with the addition of media commentary. They were, in no particular order:

Trump Asking the Russians to Find Hillary Clinton’s E-Mails:

This saga kicked off when grilled about his relationship with Russian president Vladamir Putin during a press conference. The current allegations had been that the Russians had hacked the DNC emails with the intent to help the Trump campaign. Trump responded by saying that even if it was the Russians who were responsible, it would represent a lack of respect for the United States and President Obama, more than anything else. He then shifted his demeanor, looked square into the camera and said the following: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will be mightily rewarded by our press.”

Despite the obvious tongue in cheek nature of the comment, the press dusted off centuries-old laws to seriously suggest that those comments were treasonous in nature. At the very least, Trump had brought great dishonor to the campaign to lobby for foreign entities to influence the US election.

Babygate

During a campaign rally in Virginia, a baby started to cry. Trump acknowledges the moment in a lighthearted manner, saying: “Don’t worry about that baby, I love babies. I hear that baby crying. I like it. What a baby. What a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around like…don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful and healthy, and that’s what we want.”

Trump carries on talking for a few minutes, and then the baby started to cry again. This time, Trump said: “Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here… I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking.”

The key here is that prior to the second comment, the mother had already gathered her baby and was taking it to the exit as a courtesy. Trump noticed this and then made that second comment which amounts to jokingly telling her to leave when she was already doing so. This dry humor was corroborated by eye witnesses, and the mother herself in an interview.

 

 

Despite this, the episode was taken by the media as more evidence of how much of a jerk Trump is, how little empathy he has, and all the rest of it. Yet it is obvious that throughout the entire clip he is merely making fun of a light disruption and nothing more.

Trump Says Hillary Clinton is The Devil

During a campaign rally, Trump said that Bernie Sanders ‘made a deal with the devil – she’s the devil’ in surrendering his campaign, and that he should have kept going in fighting Clinton. Given that he punctuated this common turn of phrase by saying ‘she’s the devil,’ Trump was said to have made another controversial comment.

Trump and the ‘Second Amendment People’

During a campaign rally in North Carollina, Trump said the following: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The media ran with it as Trump calling for the assassination of Hillary Clinton. The reality is that Trump mentioned the NRA in the next breath. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of politics understands that the NRA and the ‘gun lobby,’ as derisively termed by leftists, have been in the way of their gun control efforts for decades.

Trump’s comments were made in the context of that legislative battle, which if won by the leftists at the level of Supreme Court, he said could not be overturned. Unless there was something that the 2nd Amendemnt People – the NRA/gun lobby – could do about it. In other words, perhaps there might be some arcane legal hijinks which could be employed after the fact, given the influence of the NRA/gun lobby in Washington.

That was my reading of it. The fact that Trump immediately mentioned the Supreme Court before that comment, and immediately mentioned the NRA after suggests that the legal battle is what Trump had in mind, rather than a battle involving a stereotypical Texas gun range attendant as the media intimated.

 

*******************

Cnms0esVIAI-b8b

I’m sure there are other outrages that I’m forgetting, but you get the gist. I’ve spilled plenty of words discussing them, and that perhaps is the point. The media has been willful in their misinterpretations of every little thing Trump has said in order to erect these mountains from molehills.

All of these ‘controversies’ were borne from throwaway comments. They were 10 or 20 second sound bites taken from hour plus long events, and used to further a narrative that Trump had become unfocused in his rallies and was not staying ‘on message.’

The ubiquity of this narrative across the mainstream media outlets is yet another example of their bias and dishonesty. The narrative itself is faulty. Trump has, to the point of being repetitive, been patently on message during his appearances throughout the summer, with his message of America First in all aspects constantly adhered to.

Furthermore, one canard which has dogged the Trump campaign from the start was his lack of substance in his proposals, despite releasing such details on his website. Even still, since the convention, he has given structured, detailed, politician –like speeches on the economy, foreign policy, immigration and veterans issues.

These events, with the exception of the immigration speech, received little fanfare beyond your standard 60 second news report. However, the various controversies I laid out, which originated from off the cuff, throwaway moments in campaign rallies, resulted in round the clock coverage, with multiple panelists shuttling in and out of television studios to discuss the latest outrage for days on end.

In short, the media itself has shown itself to be hypocritical in ignoring and all substance coming from the Trump campaign while trying to frame any slight off color remark as the Titanic iceberg. Yet again, the media reveals itself as biased, and ‘dishonest.’

The Polls

The aforementioned ‘scandals’ had an effect on Trump’s polling. Numerous post-convention polls came out over the last few months which showed that Trump had initially taken a 5-7 point lead after the RNC, and then regressed to as much as a 15 point deficit post DNC and the litany of ‘controversies.’

These swings in the polls led many on the right to start to wonder if these polls were being rigged, or, rather if they were using faulty methodologies. Outlets like Reuters didn’t exactly quiet these charges when admitting that it explicitly changed its poll, unsurprisingly ending up with a result that was more favorable to Hillary Clinton.

Many of these ‘Poll Truthers’ have been admonished for touting conspiracy theories, much in the same vein as those Romney supporters, who in 2012 were famous for waiting for a Great Unskewing which never came. This is the premise of the following interview with Fox News anchor Dana Perino, who used that point to elaborate on why she excoriated ‘poll truther’ and colleague Eric Bolling on TV earlier that week.

 

 

Back in 2012, Republicans were convinced that polling which showed President Obama leading were heavily skewed in favor of Democrats. They were made to pay for that optimism on Election Day, and in pointing to that experience, the likes of Perino and others have been quick to point out that the polls were right in 2012, and as such they are Gospel now.

The issue with that analysis starts with the fact that in 2012, Republicans had the Tea Party shake up of 2010 midterm election fresh in their memories. This, to many, marked a repudiation of President Obama’s agenda, and as such a torrent of Republicanism would sweep the nation in 2012. Romney was assured to ride on in that wave, and thus, the fact that the polls said otherwise meant they were faulty.

The disconnect was that Romney as a candidate was nowhere near the Tea Party ideal, to put it mildly. Thus, he didn’t come close to capturing the momentum the Tea Party had generated. In the end, he marginally improved on McCain’s effort in 2008, which meant that Obama won comfortably, despite having a lower turnout than he had four years earlier.

Those who took the polls as Gospel earlier in this summer are making the inverse error as Republicans made in 2012. Whereas Republicans then thought the electorate had shifted from where it was in 2008, those giddy about Clinton +12 polls in early August might prove to have been erroneous in thinking that the electorate hadn’t shifted from 2012.

The possible evidence of that latter claim is the 42% increased turnout during the Republican primary over 2012 versus the 25% decrease in turnout for the Democrats compared to the last contested primary of 2008. In addition, the vast discrepancy in crowd sizes for events in favor of Trump, does suggest a shifting level of enthusiasm, despite Perino’s protestations.

The Conservative Treehouse likes to talk about what it terms The Monster Vote – the idea that there are many Trump voters who are unaccounted for by polling and surveys that will descend upon voting booths en masse in November. While I am amenable to that view, I don’t take it as a given.

What is given is that many of the polling methodologies essentially mimic the 2012 electorate. Many participants will be disregarded if they didn’t vote in the last election, which therefore leaves out much of Trump’s constituency – disaffected citizens who were not active in the political process.

Any poll which is ‘skewed’ toward the 2012 electorate may not be ‘rigged,’ but they may not necessarily be accurate or indicative of how the results will play out in 2016.

The bottom line is that conventional, pre-Trump political analysis is of little use in 2016, and this applies to the polls, despite the fact that they have now tightened, and many now show Trump with a slight lead as of this writing.

Trump ‘Flip Flopping’ on Immigration

That Trump didn’t die off earlier in the summer after the constant media attacks was rather impressive. He simply took the punches and rolled with them, maintaining his rigorous schedule as though nothing happened.

So a new narrative needed to be created, and it came in the shape of a potential flip flop by Trump on immigration, his signature issue. If by now you haven’t seen or heard about the speech Trump gave announcing his candidacy (or at least carefully edited clips of it), you have been truly living under a rock.

In that speech he defined immigration, and more specifically immigration over the US-Mexico border as one of the greatest problems we face right now. There were others, of course, but it was this that garnered the most attention for various reasons. Trump’s ‘hardline’ stance on immigration, which involved building a physical wall on the border, and deporting any and all who were here illegally both gained him numerous followers and howls of criticism.

Throughout it all, he remained steadfast in his views. That is, until this town hall appearance with Sean Hannity a couple weeks ago.

Hannity asked Trump whether there was scope in the law to accommodate those who had been in the country illegally for decades and had children and an established identity here. Trump responded by saying: “There certainly can be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people. We want people — we have some great people in this country.”

That clip was played over and over again and used to paint a picture of Trump walking back his previous hardline stance on immigration. The Anti-Trump media narrative thus became one of betrayal to the base he had built by being so strong on immigration from the outset.

Charles Krauthammer called it a ‘complete turnabout.’ Others gleefully invoked Jeb Bush on two levels, one in the sense that Trump’s ‘new’ stance had moved him to the left of Bush, and secondly because Bush, in an interview earlier in the summer, had essentially said Trump was a snake oil salesman who wouldn’t deliver on anything that he had been saying.

Trump’s apparent ‘flip-flop’ was an apparent validation that statement. Joe Scarborough of MSNBC started calling Trump ‘Amnesty Don,’ making as much fun of Trump’s penchant for branding his opposition as Trump’s position itself.

Some of Trump’s most ardent supporters started to waver. Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin both gave very critical interviews of Trump, fearful that the end was near. The media got what it wanted, at least temporarily. There was rancor and disharmony in the Trump camp for a few days, which opposition forces hoped would lead to general demoralization and an unwillingness to vote for Trump the Flip Flopper.

And over what, exactly? 30 seconds from an hour long town hall, and a questionable Buzzfeed article?

If one only took the time to listen to a bit more of the Hannity interview, he or she would note that Trump repeatedly used the phrase ‘follow the law.’ He must have said it a hundred times.

Follow the law means that if ICE finds you in the US illegally, you are deported. Follow the law means sanctuary cities should not exist. Follow the law means a wall should be built. The current law on immigration is actually quite stringent, but isn’t currently being followed diligently in the slightest. Trump has always maintained that will change under his administration. The reality is that such a change, to actually follow the laws on the books, would represent a drastic change from what goes on today.

When Trump says ‘follow the law,’ it does mean that ICE and the border patrol will do their jobs, and do it properly. This means kicking illegal immigrants out when they are found. The much maligned ‘Deportation Force’ already exists. And Trump plans on tripling its size. That he hid this behind the term ‘follow the law’ doesn’t equate to a softening.

It’s all there, in black and white on Trump’s immigration platform, which has been up since August…of 2015.

The immigration speech Trump gave last Wednesday was essentially a repetition of that platform, fleshed out with some anecdotes, statistics and testimonials. The truth is that at no moment did Trump deviate from that platform. The flip flop assertion was more media nonsense, plain and simple.

So what of Trump’s use of the word ‘softening’ in the Hannity clip? It certainly is a good question. It also  must be noted that further on in the interview, Trump clarified that there would be no citizenship, and no legal status for those here illegally, a stance he underlined in his subsequent immigration speech.

Perhaps he was trying to stir up some attention, in that the speculation of Trump flip flopping would attract the maximum attention to his headline immigration speech, in which he would reiterate to the widest possible audience his real ideas.

My personal view was that he was merely walking back the idea that he was going to turn ICE into a black ops ninja outfit from a movie that was going to be kicking down doors around the clock. It was one that Trump sort of allowed to fester earlier on during his campaign. In truth, anyone who believed that was going to happen believed in the impossible, so perhaps it was important tamp down those expectations. By no means does it represent a softening in any manner. That should be apparent from the immigration speech he gave last week.

The bottom line is that he has never been soft, and never flip flopped on immigration. He is exactly what you thought he was, good or bad.

Other Narratives

Here are some of the other, less sensationalized storylines that unfolded during the summer were are not as big, but still have a role to play going forward:

Hillary’s ‘AltRight’ Speech

Clinton gave a speech almost two weeks ago which was meant to attack the ‘alt right,’ short for Alternative Right, which has been a significant combatant opposing progressivism in the culture war. It has been mostly active on the internet, and its proficiency in that arena has impacted the presidential race, mostly due to the interactions Trump has had with it on Twitter.

The purpose of that speech by Clinton was to ostensibly reduce the whole movement to nothing more than a big group of mean racists. Instead she essentially gave the group a big shoutout, and exposed it to a much wider audience. A nice summary of the speech is included below:

If you don’t understand why simply repeating “racist, sexist, homophobic, White Nationalism, Islamophobe, xenophobe, bigotry” over and over again is not an argument, then you don’t understand the extent to which the culture is tiring of Politically Correct language policing, and will be surprised at the changes which are afoot in society.

Hillary’s Health

After Paul Joseph Watson posted this video

And Mike Cernovich posted this article:

http://www.dangerandplay.com/2016/08/12/hillary-clinton-has-parkinsons-disease-physician-confirms/

The media went apoplectic in defense of Hillary Clinton’s health, and claimed that anything other than her being in perfect health was a conspiracy theory perpetuated by the same sort of Alt-Right White Supremacist Racist Nationalist Sexists that Clinton would speak of in her speech.

Dr. Drew, who dared to raise questions about the state of Clinton’s health, and the care she was getting, strictly from the cold analysis of a physician, had his show terminated less than a week later.

Clinton ‘proved’ that she was in great health by opening a pickle jar which was likely pre-opened on the Jimmy Kimmel show, in a stunt that probably raised more questions than it answered.

The bottom line is that it may be a real issue, and events of the last few days have confirmed it. The FBI released the details of the investigation it did into Hillary’s emails on Friday. The most relevant part of the investigation as it pertains to Hillary’s health is the following:

However, in December of 2012, Clinton suffered a concussion and then around the New Year had a blood clot. Based on her doctor’s advice, she could only work at State for a few hours a day and could not recall every briefing she received.

In other words, the FBI confirmed that Clinton was impaired and unable to put her full weight behind her work as Secretary of State. Given that those heath issues still remain, it is not inconceivable that the same might be true of her as President.

Indeed, according to Mediaite, there are least 40 occasions during the investigation in which Clinton couldn’t recall something.

Now, this could be health related, or it could be ‘willful’ amnesia. Either way, it puts the claim that her experience is what makes her a better candidate than Trump, when that experience is full of illegality, health impaired performance, or both.

Trump Looking Presidential

Twice over the last month, Trump was afforded the opportunity to look ‘presidential.’ Once after the Louisiana floods, when he altered his campaign schedule to fly down to tour the devastation and to donate an 18 wheeler full of supplies. The actual President, President Obama, was pictured golfing in Martha’s Vineyard at the time.

The second opportunity was when Trump was invited by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to come into Mexico and discuss immigration. Trump did so, and was rewarded by appearing in front of cameras with Nieto side by side in statesman like fashion. The optics were a clear win, giving a visual of a President Trump. Trump’s words and general demeanor were also that of a president, speaking in reserved, but strong tones and generally handling himself well.

In one fell swoop, it put the lie to the argument that Trump would be a disaster on the world stage, whose thin skinned nature would result in potential global conflicts over Tweets. Yet, he went to Mexico, to meet with a man who had called him Hitler, and conducted himself professionally. Not even an awkward handshake.

Trump Appeals to the Black Community

‘What do you have to lose?’ That was the question Trump has asked the black community in recent weeks, in an effort to gain more of that vote. The premise is that as a result of over 50 years of Democrat rule in major inner cities, the conditions have deteriorated substantially for blacks in America.

Ultimately this line of argument is coming from a place of strength, given that the facts lend itself to Trump’s case. Blindly voting for Democrats has not resulted in a positive outcome, and as such one might be inclined to have a rethink.

Going Forward

And that’s where we stand, on this Labor Day weekend. Here’s what I’m looking forward to in the next 10 weeks or so until the election:

The Debates

Both sides have been relatively optimistic about the debates. Of course, the media, being on Team Clinton, believe it’s going to be a blow out for Clinton. Consider this, from the Washington Post:

Hillary Clinton is methodically preparing for the presidential debates as a veteran lawyer would approach her biggest trial. She pores over briefing books thick with policy arcana and opposition research. She internalizes tips from the most seasoned debate coaches in her party. And she rehearses, over and over again, to perfect the pacing and substance of her presentation.

 

Donald Trump is taking a different approach. He summons his informal band of counselors — including former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, talk-radio host Laura Ingraham and ousted Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes — to his New Jersey golf course for Sunday chats. Over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and glasses of Coca-Cola, they test out zingers and chew over ways to refine the Republican nominee’s pitch.

 

Trump’s aides have put together briefing books, not that the candidate is devoting much time to reading them. Trump is not holding any mock debates, proudly boasting that a performer with his talents does not need that sort of prepping.

Long story short, Trump is low informed and winging it, while Clinton is a scholar who will make mincemeat of intellectually inferior opponent.

I beg to differ, for two reasons. Firstly, The Washington Post is behaving as though Trump has never come into contact with an Ivy League educated Lawyer on a debate stage. He has. Ted Cruz is one of the most formidable debaters on the planet, having been a National Debate Champion and a Global Semifinalist in college.

Alan Dershowitz, one of the most famous Harvard Law professors around, declared that Cruz was one of his smartest ever students and that he was ‘off the charts brilliant.’ His intellectual brilliance and legal mastery of policy should have made swift work of Trump but it didn’t. Trump was able to outdebate Cruz relatively easily. The same could be in line for Clinton.

Secondly, this framing by the media, that the ‘intelligent’ Clinton will expose the ‘buffoon’ Trump sets a low bar for expectations of Trump that can only favor him. Even if Clinton expertly displays her ability to spit out memorized talking point after talking point with scholarly effectiveness, it will be only what we expected of her.

All Trump really has to do is hold his own, and not get blown out of the water on any one issue and he’ll have won. The fact that he will be relatively short on explicit policy prescriptions may even be a bonus – given the presidency is essentially a CEO position.

CEO’s rarely know the extreme intricacy of all the moving parts in their organization. Their jobs are to make sure that there are people who do know these moving parts back and front, and can give the CEO the right intel to make critical decisions going forward. In this sense, Trump’s business experience is far more relevant than Hillary’s public sector experience, and a fresh approach to the office might be exactly what the country needs.

Trump’s Work Ethic vs Clinton’s Apathy

During the primaries, Trump basically ended Jeb Bush’s campaign when he described him  as ‘low energy.’ It had such an effect because when you looked at Jeb, with his terrible posture, shuffling across the floor in a sloth-like manner, Trump’s moniker made perfect sense.

In contrast, Trump was bombastic, loud and full of gusto. Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of Trump’s campaign has been the nonstop nature of it. He is in the news every day, mostly because he is creating news every day through his daily events. He has made himself available to the media for interviews in an unprecedented manner. Many days he has been doing two campaign rallies, one in the afternoon, and then flying to another one later in the evening, filling out multi thousand seat arenas at each stop.

At each event, he has been able to bring the same energy and gusto, despite the grueling schedule. The man is 70 years old and is seemingly operating with the energy of people half his age without breaking a sweat. His commitment and relentless energy is a testament to his work ethic and should be an inspiration to most.

Clinton, on the other hand has appeared on the campaign trail at most once a week, drawing crowds in the hundreds as opposed to the thousands Trump has been getting.

CrYhAfjXgAAbS8G

She has spent most of her time in the last month collecting money from high profile donors at swanky fundraisers in Hollywood and The Hamptons.

The media has jumped on this, pointing to the large discrepancy between the amount Clinton has raised and what Trump has raised. Last month alone it was $143 million, although most of that money goes to the DNC.

The large sums have many on the left excited because they believe Hillary will use this war chest to unload on Trump via ads and other things over the home stretch, giving her a massive advantage.

Conclusion

As I mentioned earlier in the piece, Donald Trump has rendered the standard political analysis nearly irrelevant to this campaign. As such, excitement over standard ad buys and fundraising is a bit premature. Recall that in the primaries, Jeb Bush had over $150 million behind him from large donors. Yet that was only enough to purchase 3 delegates.

Hillary Clinton may go down as the female Jeb Bush in this regard. She is a legacy politician relying on an extensive network of established donors. In short, she is politics as usual. Donald Trump represents the true change those donors are wary of.

The most important thing is that the electorate seems amenable to change. Voters know that there are problems, and that the old guard politics of the Bushes and Clintons are unlikely to fix anything. Hence the enthusiasm for Trump. What holds Trump back with a certain portion of the electorate is the perception that he is a bit of a wild card. For some, that is his direct appeal.

To win those who have concerns, Trump will have to allay them in one way or another. It may be through something as simple as adjusting his cadence when speaking, perhaps coming off more like a charming grandfather rather than an excited orator. Events like the press conference in Mexico, and his visit to a black church were good steps in that regard.

In my view he has been able to get his message across as an agent of change, which is what most seem to want deep down. It is up to Trump if he can appeal to the emotional side of people as well, which he will need to do in order to secure their vote.

 

Why the ‘Resolution’ of Hilary Clinton’s EMail Scandal Helps Trump

This morning, FBI Director James Comey held a press conference in which he declared that the FBI was to recommend that the Department of Justice did not pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information via her personal email system.

There is nothing particularly surprising about that on it’s own. Very few people actually expected Clinton to be indicted. What was surprising is the fact that Comey laid out a detailed explanation of the evidence that they did have of her wrongdoing. The following is a snippet:

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.

 

For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received. These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters. There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the U.S. Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on e-mail (that is, excluding the later “up-classified” e-mails).

 

None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

To be sure, the use of the term ‘extremely careless’ is a synonym for ‘gross negligence,’ which in fact is a felony crime when applied to the handling of classified information, as per 18 U.S. Code § 793, section f. Indeed, the mere fact that Clinton had set up a private email server to house what is essentially government property is a violation of that code.

Long story short, the director of the FBI admitted point blank that Hillary Clinton committed a felony, however it was not going to recommend any sort of indictment to the DOJ.

The Clinton campaign predictably was relieved by it, and moved quickly to intimate that that the matter was now put to bed.

I wouldn’t be so hasty. In fact, I believe that Trump has been handed a gift here.

In being so explicit, the FBI has essentially destroyed many of the outs the Clinton campaign, and indeed the media who undoubtedly leans her way, would try to employ. Had Comey come out and given some sort of boilerplate statement full of legalese, any Clinton surrogate could merely point to the fact that an investigation had been done, and there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

By saying there was evidence of wrongdoing but no charges forthcoming, the FBI has basically confirmed to the American public that one of Trump’s main talking points – that the system is corrupt and rigged – is absolutely true. Furthermore, Hillary Clinton is the poster child for that corruption and she is running for president, thereby leaving Trump as the more honest candidate by default.

Trump already had plenty of staying power thanks to his status as the ‘outsider’ versus the ‘establishment’ representative that Clinton is. To the extent that there are any fence sitters who didn’t buy the claim that there was a group of insiders colluding against the public from within the chamber halls of Washington DC, they have now been shown an incontrovertible, in your face example of the system at work. One set of rules for the insiders, another for the rest of us. Crooked Hillary indeed.

To focus more on the election, Comey’s report rubbishes the main Clinton campaign rationale for voting for her over Trump. According to that view, Clinton’s experience, steady hand, competence, and extensive understanding of global politics built up over 20 years was vastly superior to Trump. The rationale was that we needed someone who knows what he or she is doing to guide us through the treacherous waters of modern geopolitics.

The simple rebuttal to that now is that were Hillary Clinton to apply for a job in the government today, she would be barred from access to sensitive information of any kind, owing to the ‘carelessness’ she displayed with classified material in the past. Comey said as much, saying:

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

In short, part of the penalty for doing what Clinton did would be ‘security or administrative sanctions.’ In other words, termination or a loss of security clearance. Given that Clinton is now running for an office which holds the ultimate security clearance, Comey is essentially saying that any other person would be disqualified from seeking any position involving sensitive information, let alone the presidency. But Hillary Clinton isn’t any other person. One rule for the establishment, another for the rest of us.

Once again, Comey stated that:

There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position, or in the position of those government employees with whom she was corresponding about these matters, should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

According to Comey, Hillary Clinton did not act in the way a reasonable person should have in that position. This is important because it speaks to Clinton’s competence and professionalism.

If she is indeed the most qualified, wisest, most experienced person to run, as is the argument posed by her supporters, how is it that she failed in such a fundamental aspect of her job as Secretary of State? This episode has shown that Clinton is either stunningly incompetent, or stunningly corrupt. Pick one.

As time goes on, expect the Clinton campaign, and indeed the media, to shut down those who would bring this criticism. There would be an attempt to marginalize it by saying it was old news, or a tired Republican conspiracy, or something of that nature.

And to a certain extent, they will have a point. At a certain point, the average voter will tire of hearing about emails and will perhaps start to tune out when the argument is made.

It’s potency lies in the fact that it is a destroyer of Clinton’s main argument – that she is the cool, experienced head, the adult in the room as it were. Trump must focus on the point that competent, experienced leaders don’t put the safety of Americans at risk via negligence.

Cool heads don’t try and destroy evidence after the fact, as Clinton has done deleting emails. Honest players don’t set up servers specifically to house government property outside the purview of government eyes, and lie about it repeatedly afterwards.

And speaking of lying – Comey’s admission casts further doubt on everything Clinton had said before in regards to this issue. Breitbart ran a piece deconstructing how what Comey relayed this morning was different than what Clinton had been telling the public about the saga:

1. FALSE: Hillary Clinton never sent any classified information, or emails containing information marked “classified.”

2. FALSE: Hillary Clinton turned over all work-related emails to the State Department.

3. FALSE: Hillary Clinton was allowed to use a private e-mail server.

4. FALSE: Hillary Clinton’s server was not hacked by foreign adversaries.

5. FALSE: Hillary Clinton had only used a single mobile device for email.

Does this mean that Clinton may have perjured herself in the various hearings she engaged in on this matter, and others? Who else in the Obama Administration knew of Clinton’s setup and said nothing about it? Did Obama himself know? If so, there would be grounds for further legal action. The web of disaster for Obama and the Democratic party threatens to be vast if a domino such as this fell.

As such it is entirely possible that Comey, feeling ‘pressure’ had to stall and eventually shut it down so as to not turn the wrath of the entire DC machine on his head. It further goes to the view that our government is hopelessly corrupt, and their only interest is in themselves, rather than the American people. Episodes such as this should make it clear as day that an outsider is needed, to clean up the vast mess that is American politics.

The failures of the post WWII status quo are starting to pile up higher and higher. It is up to the public to act accordingly.

 

On #Brexit

At the end of last year, I was struck by the following quote from this article in the FT, which tried to set the table for the coming political year in the West.

Countries such as France, the UK and the US are already multicultural and multifaith societies. Attempting to reverse those social changes is both unrealistic and a recipe for conflict. It is legitimate, however, to insist all citizens subscribe to certain values, to make multicultural societies work.

To me, it was emblematic of the fundamental problem with progressivism in all forms – it is completely focused on maintaining short term comfort above all else, and it has the seeds of its own destruction within its tenets. And here was the FT brazenly putting forth that line of thinking.

This sort of religious adherence to maintaining the Status Quo, regardless of its effectiveness,  is often justified by an appeal to one’s aversion to the unknown. The biggest banks and corporations, for example, simply had to be bailed out by taxpayers and central banks in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis, because the alternative would have been unknown, and therefore worse. Thus, the system and all its machinations, which had brought about the one of the worst panics in the history of the modern economy, had to be maintained at all costs.

**********

23rd June 2016 has the potential to go down in history as a date in which those costs finally proved to be too much for the average citizen to bear. In voting to leave the European Union, Britons sent a message to the globalist elites – We’ve Had Enough.

The nature of the EU itself made it a foregone conclusion that a portion of its membership would eventually reach the conclusion the Brits did. The EU, in short, is a soft fascist dictatorship. Before I get accused of hyperbole, here is the dictionary definition of fascism:

A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

While there is no singular face of EU dictatorship in the vein of a Hitler or Mussolini, the collection of ‘Eurocrats’ in Brussels, all with their unwavering promotion of ‘The European Dream,’ does suffice. Indeed, even the most ardent proponent of the EU admits, through gritted teeth, the existence of the euphemistic term ‘democratic deficit.’

The endless regulations emanating from Brussels satisfies that condition of fascism relating to government control of the capitalist setup. In terms of suppressing the opposition, the means the EU favors is a combination of outright ignoring certain democratic decisions made by voters, and a perverse level of political correctness which shames people into submission. To date, the EU doesn’t point guns at its subjects per se; rather it points the threat of being labeled racist, xenophobic, or Islamophobic.

**********

Consider the fact that the St. Georges cross is increasingly being redefined as a racist symbol of hate, such that English people who proudly display their national flag are deemed racist by extension. The aim is to suppress pride in English culture and heritage, so as to replace it with the amalgamation of ‘European.’ As such belligerent nationalism is merely replaced by belligerent pan-Europeanism.

Even of one still refuses to agree with my assessment, one cannot deny that the EU at the very least saddles its citizens with yet another layer of bureaucracy which must be waded through. It’s of little surprise that, with stagnating growth and a slow and steady decline in industry over the past four decades, Britons decided to have a rethink as to the virtues of EU diktat, and the ‘open market.’

Then, of course there is immigration. David Frum, writing in the Atlantic, had this to say about the immigration issue as it pertained to the UK.

The force that turned Britain away from the European Union was the greatest mass migration since perhaps the Anglo-Saxon invasion. 630,000 foreign nationals settled in Britain in the single year 2015. Britain’s population has grown from 57 million in 1990 to 65 million in 2015, despite a native birth rate that’s now below replacement. On Britain’s present course, the population would top 70 million within another decade, half of that growth immigration-driven.

 

British population growth is not generally perceived to benefit British-born people. Migration stresses schools, hospitals, and above all, housing. The median house price in London already amounts to 12 times the median local salary. Rich migrants outbid British buyers for the best properties; poor migrants are willing to crowd more densely into a dwelling than British-born people are accustomed to tolerating.

….

Is it possible that leaders and elites had it all wrong? If they’re to save the open global economy, maybe they need to protect their populations better against globalization’s most unwelcome consequences—of which mass migration is the very least welcome of them all?

 

If any one person drove the United Kingdom out of the European Union, it was Angela Merkel, and her impulsive solo decision in the summer of 2015 to throw open Germany—and then all Europe—to 1.1 million Middle Eastern and North African migrants, with uncountable millions more to come.

 

David Brooks, another mainstream writer, voiced similar concerns during an appearance on PBS Newshour following the vote. In it, he expressed sadness at the result of the referendum, but his real regret seemed to be that the elites merely pushed too hard in their actions. In other words, they had essentially dumped too many immigrants too soon on populations like the British.

This sort of mass migration set about a culture clash which had been bubbling under the surface for years, but is rapidly coming to the fore. The mainstream progressive narrative of the joyous nature of multiculturalism is becoming exposed as less than truthful on almost a daily basis. In the quote I opened this piece with, the FT insisted that because multiculturalism was already here, it must persist, albeit with a base level of values everyone must adhere to.

This sort of thinking goes out the window when you have to start handing out pamphlets to which explicitly detail that things like hitting women and children, fondling or groping women, and urinating in swimming pools, among other things, are frowned upon.

This is further exacerbated by the existence of a generous benefits system. The truth, which is becoming more apparent by the day, is that open borders and generous welfare states cannot coexist. One must pick one or the other. A failure to do so will lead to a situation in which new entrants to the country don’t even have to learn the language in order to be taken care of. And from there, the host culture is on the path to a slow, but sure destruction.

**********

These realities made the EU an unworkable construct, and the Leave vote an inevitable one. Given the Remain coalition was made up of the vast majority of government officials, in the UK across Europe, and worldwide; academia, mainstream media, and multinational business interests, it is clear that the referendum was also in part a referendum on the viability of the elites and their globalist agenda.

In rejecting the bid to stay in the EU, the voters made their thoughts clear. In response, so did the elites, as it were. The night of the referendum, I watched the BBC broadcast of the results trickling in. As the Leave vote looked more and more certain, the mood of the panelists and the hosts continued to sour. The grave mood was befitting the death of an important head of state, or an act of terror, rather than a democratic vote to determine the level of self-determination the country would have going forward.

In the days following the referendum, the media have played up the ‘buyer’s remorse’ angle, using the movements in global financial markets to buttress their arguments. All of a sudden, the fact that the Leave campaigners may have exaggerated some of their claims is evidence of callous treachery, despite the fact that politicians have never been strangers to such discrepancies between rhetoric and action. In most cases, however, the discrepancies favor the dominant narrative, and as such are swept aside.

More cynically, they have attempted to paint a picture of the average Leave voter being an uneducated white racist from a rural part of the country, while prominently featuring anecdotes of anti-immigration abuse both on and offline.

That these sorts of tactics have been generally well received, and even amplified on social media reinforces the fact that the progressive, globalist view of the world is still the most dominant, if not the most loudly proclaimed. On Twitter, sentiments such as the following were put forth as the new reality for the future of Britain in the context of Europe as a whole.

CltNvdcWgAAevsU

This picture, posted on twitter, was supposed to represent the ‘cost’ of Leave, in that the fine wines, pastries, fruit and waffles of the continent were to be lost, with only the drabness of baked beans left for the British to enjoy.

A shockingly high number of people don’t see the inanity of that attempt to crystallize the Brexit consequences. It isn’t as though the UK is going to start floating off into the Atlantic Ocean, away from the continent. The goods and services the continent does well are still going to be accessible in the UK, and vice versa.

More importantly, those delicacies are only made possible thanks to the differentiation in cultures that exist. In prioritizing this push to a ‘European’ culture, you lose Italian Culture, French Culture, German Culture, Spanish Culture, and so forth. The attributes unique to each culture and group of people which are responsible for the products known and loved the world over are lost in the transition to an amorphous blob of dedifferentiation that is pan-Europeanism.

For those who purport to champion the superiority of diversity, it is strange that they can’t seem to understand that such diversity is only possible if, at some level, peoples are permitted to do things their own way. In this regard, the negative stigma applied to nationalism is unwarranted.

**********

One of the more curious aspects of the vote and the subsequent fallout is the complete lack of foresight shown by those in the media, financial and political class. It was all but assumed that the Remain vote would win the day, and as such the stock markets around the globe moved higher in celebration.

A huge part of the reason for the optimism came from the fact that the most recent polling had shown a clean victory for the Remain side. That actual voting resulted in a firm victory for the Leave side pointed to the fact that there was a significant ‘hidden’ Leave contingent.

The explanation for this is that the Remain position was touted as the view which ‘respectable’ and ‘tolerant’ members of society held. Thus, it is natural that anyone who dared to see some logical points in the Leave argument would want to keep it to themselves so as to not subject themselves to the emotional shaming tactics which are part and parcel of the progressive/globalist toolkit of debate.

In other words, normal, hardworking, respectful people who are not by any means racist or xenophobic were kept silent in public simply because they dared to disagree with the Remain argument. In the privacy of the ballot box, where the threat of ostracism was voided, they were able to make their voices known. This dynamic is the antithesis of a free society.

**********

As such, the result of this referendum is only the beginning, or as per Churchill, the end of the beginning. Fascist dictatorships just hand their power away once it has been attained. Ideologies which depend on bullying those for the crime of disagreeing don’t admit defeat when outclassed in logical debates. It is vitally important that Leave voters make the result stuck by establishing a government that will follow through on the referendum’s aim.

David Cameron has volunteered to step down as Prime Minister; he must be replaced with a PM who was an ardent Leave campaigner and has no qualms about going the full distance. Half measures will only make things worse.

As I mentioned earlier, the subsequent financial tumult is being used as evidence that a mistake was made. S&P, a ratings agency which should have no credibility owing to their shenanigans leading up to the last Financial Crisis, has cut the credit rating of the UK. Any further fall in markets, or slowdown in the economy will be blamed on Brexit. As will any future terrorist attack which takes place anywhere in Europe.

These claims would be unwarranted. For a start, the global markets have been on a knife edge for nearly two years, making minimal gains in that time, on aggregate. The ‘recovery’ of the post Financial Crisis in developed economies has been tepid at best, with policy makers attempting to blow a bubble to replace the last bubble which popped in 2007.

It is only a matter of time before the post Financial Crisis bubble pops, and it is true that Brexit may be the straw that broke the camel’s back. But that is only because of the existence of the other straws.

**********

If Brexit is to be truly successful, it will be because it rids itself of the EU morass completely. That means replacing the rules and regulations which hampered British industry with…nothing at all. It must totally eliminate the extra layer of bureaucracy instead of merely replacing it with another, more British flavor. During the campaign, many Leave proponents pointed to the success of Switzerland as a model for the UK post EU. What was less mentioned was the fact that Swiss success owes largely to their greater degree of liberty and lesser degree of regulation and government control, in comparison to their continental neighbors.

Unless Britain goes down the same path as the Swiss in all aspects, the Brexit vote will not be a blow to globalism. Rather it will be a loud scream from a tied up victim which can easily be rectified by a strategically placed piece of duct tape.

In terms of this larger context, as a person who favors less government, less regulation, and a higher level of liberty for individuals, I am enthusiastic about what happened on the 23rd of June. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm for the globalists, the cat will be out of the bag. Through events such as this and the US election, the public is becoming more and more aware of the fact that their disillusionment is not without merit and the policies of progressivism and globalist thinking are mostly to blame.

The media, big business and political establishment which have got this wrong, and have been getting it wrong will start to lose their influence. The proliferation of the internet has meant that information can no longer be controlled and shape to fit the ‘approved’ narrative. Ideas and narratives must now stand on their own two feet, which can only bode well for the values of liberty and freedom.

**********

The stakes are high. Even before the Brexit vote, there were growing sentiments across Europe that the EU project is disagreeable. Anti-EU sentiment was already much greater in many countries around Europe, which suggests that multiple referendums along the lines of Brexit are on the way. Should more countries leave, the financial, political, and cultural burdens will be that much greater on the remaining countries, which will further increase the discontent. This downward spiral could essentially be the way the EU ends.

It will be the breakdown of the post-WWII order, a paradigm which was 60 plus years in the making. If elements of it have proven to be a failure, it is right that these elements are dismantled and replaced with something better. That will not come without pain, or discomfort. It is not unlike the pain the body most endure when going through chemotherapy. However, if the end result is a cancer free life, the temporary loss of hair, weight and general sickness and discomfort will have been worth it.

That point, perhaps more than any I’ve made, is the most important one to get across, for we live in a world which has a hyperfocus on short term comfort above all else. If the very culture that affords us the many comforts we enjoy is to be maintained, the opposite focus must be attained. Historically, only a major crisis has forced people to change their thinking. Much of the promise in the Brexit vote lies in the fact that the emergence of longer term thinking at the expense of the short term has happened before the point of existential crisis.

It is a sign that there is hope for those who value Western Civilization and want to see it preserved and propagated.

More On ‘Principled Conservatives’

In my Open Letter to Principled Conservatives, I described the profile of a ‘Principled Conservative’ politician in 2016. It is a politician with an exemplary ability to shout Reagan aphorisms from the rooftops while voting to increase the size of and scope government, acquiescing to Leftist ideals.

There is a cultural root to this issue, and while I touched on it in my open letter, the man behind Conservative Pundit, a Twitter parody account, hit the nail on the head. In an interview with The Daily Caller, he said the following:

…I don’t think that the problem with respectable conservatism is just that they’re afraid of being called racist or sexist or homophobic. They certainly are afraid of that, yes, but I think that the deeper problem is they’ve fully internalized a whole raft of premises about race, about gender, about “sexual orientation” that are extremely recent, extremely radical, leftist, and in many ways totally incompatible with the traditional American worldview that they purport to cherish.

 

The contemporary conservative pundit is in a precarious position. On the one hand, he agrees with his liberal friends that the United States prior to, say, the 1960s was a frightfully bigoted and hateful place, full of all sorts of phobias and -isms and other such indefensible attitudes. On the other hand, he wants his liberal friends to respect the political and cultural principles we’ve inherited from that evil and benighted past. It’s a weak position, and I don’t think many people besides other professional conservative pundits find it very compelling.

 

 

These professional pundits, such as George Will, Bill Kristol, and David Brooks, among others, have spent decades crafting a ‘Principled Conservative’ ideology on this basis. Republican candidates for office trip over themselves to adhere to it, rendering Republican elections purity contests.

These ideological battles are useless, as the policies which come of them continue to harm America. Trump has come on like a house on fire because he stands in opposition to what these Principled Conservatives have actually achieved in office, as opposed to the things Principled Conservatives purport to believe in.

That is a big difference. Take for example, the National Review and their criticism of the Omnibus bill which Speaker of the House Paul Ryan passed in December:

Since Democrats have hastened to embrace a policy of de facto open borders, come what may, it falls to Republican officeholders to offer a more sober assessment of our immigration policy — which they should. It’s good policy and — given that 9 out of 10 Americans want immigration levels either kept where they are or reduced — it’s good politics. Republican leaders should be attempting to halt illegal immigration, reduce legal immigration (especially from countries that pose a particular threat to American security), and figure out ways to assimilate immigrants who are already here and to reform the failed procedures by which we evaluate those who want to come.

Sounds great, yet the National Review is staunchly in the #NeverTrump camp, despite Trump being the only candidate who speaks to the concerns they’ve addressed. One could be mistaken for thinking the aforementioned quote was written a Trump supporter, rather than his most fervent detractors.

That is exactly the problem many on the right have with ‘Principled Conservatives.’ The only consistent principle they seem to have is to do what it takes to keep power within the Leftist Frame. This is why the likes of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and others do not engender enthusiasm.

They are vanilla actors who will play by the Leftist rules. Trump says to hell with those rules, we’ve go a job to do, let’s do it in the most efficient way we can. Trump is less concerned by ideology and more interested in what works.

An Open Letter to Principled Conservatives

Dear Principled Conservatives,

I suspect that today, the 4th of May 2016, most of your greatest fears have been realized. Donald J. Trump is going to be the Republican Nominee for President of the United States. The immediate fall out has been intense, with many on social media burning their Republican cards, literally and figuratively. Many have pledged to support Hillary Clinton in the fall, and feel no compunction in doing so. In their eyes, a guaranteed continuation of the Obama Doctrine in all respects is superior to Donald Trump.

I understand your line of reasoning, because the fact of the matter is that Donald Trump is not a principled conservative, at least in the Ronald Reagan mold.

The Reagan Revolution, which many of you cite as the foundation for your conservatism, probably began in 1964, with Reagan’s famous ‘Time for Choosing’ speech. While it was full of memorable quotes, I’d like to highlight the following:

…And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

 

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

From this sentiment grew an ideology based on economic and social conservatism. Added to this was a military toughness which developed as a response to the threat of communism spreading across the globe. Most of those views are what the self-styled ‘Principled Conservative’ of 2016 purports to hold.

In my view, two strains of Conservatives apply this label to themselves – the ‘Establishment’ Republicans who have descended from the Reagan/Bush political family tree, and their supporters – and the Tea Party types who rose up at the beginning of this decade, partly in opposition to those Establishment strain.

Both groups have failed, for different reasons.

The failure of ‘Establishment’ Republicans is rooted in the discrepancy between the rhetoric and the actions. As much as you might recoil at the sound of terms like ‘neocon’ and ‘RINO,’ the potency of those terms come from the fact there is some truth in them.

Over the last four plus decades, Republican administrations and Congresses have overseen massive increases in the size of government, exactly what Reagan spoke so steadfastly against in 1964. During election season, many Republicans trip over themselves mentioning Reagan, weaving his ‘government is the problem’ threads into the fabric of their campaigns.

Yet when the final figures are tabulated, government is always bigger. The amounts the average taxpayer, present and future, are to be responsible for, are always larger.

Any attempt at serious cuts in government spending can’t be done because even slowing the advance of government would be admitting that the campaign promises can’t be kept, which in turn would be effectively ceding power to the Democrats.

This is the frame establishment Republicans have ended up working from. The desire to maintain power became superior to the desire to do what is right for the American people.

It’s been much the same trend with respect to social conservatism. In this regard, mainstream Republican candidates have often played lip service to ‘Judeo-Christian values’ and vowed to stand up for the traditional family. Yet it was Reagan himself who introduced no-fault divorce in 1969 as Governor of California, ushering in a wave of broken families and ultimately a fatherless generation. Once again, the actions didn’t match up with the rhetoric.

To the tea party strain of Principled Conservatism, your failures have been more operational in nature. Where the establishment strain talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk, you talk the talk and run the walk.

If the United States is an aircraft carrier which is going in the wrong direction, you are attempting to turn it around by tying a rope to a row boat, tying the other end to the aircraft carrier and paddling with all of your might. It’s a futile effort.

Free Northerner wrote a fantastic post about why right-wing activism in its current form will fail. I suggest you read it in full.

The gist of it is that the cultural and political zeitgeists are dominated by progressives. They currently hold the power, and determine what is and isn’t acceptable.

Because of this, a true adherence to the Reaganesqe tenets of Principled Conservatism, to the letter, is becoming more and more unacceptable. Establishment types have come to understand this over the years, which is why they’ve evolved to betray those principles once in office in an attempt to hold on to power.

In many ways, I can sympathize with these politicians for behaving this way. After all, they are human, and as such are subjected to the observations of Lord Acton with respect to power. This is why the Founding Fathers were so torn over the idea of giving the government lots of it in the first place.

If you as Principled Conservatives are actually prepared to walk the walk in terms of the ideology, you will first need to have a culture which is amenable to such an ideology. How, for example, do you expect to actually cut spending enough to run a balanced budget, when roughly half the country doesn’t pay taxes, and thinks the half that does isn’t paying enough?

How do you expect to cultivate a society of strong families and tight knit communities when nihilism has replaced faith, and the idea that there is something larger than oneself is foreign to most?

Andrew Breitbart famously said that politics is downstream from culture. That means that the culture has to change before the politics. Both strains have failed to understand this. The Establishment strain has tried to mold its politics to the culture, while the Tea Party has tried to jackhammer the culture with its politics.

The end result is Establishment candidates who end up adopting non Principled Conservative views, or a handful of hardline Tea Partiers who are easily marginalized and dismissed. Both strategies are losing strategies.

If you actually do want to implement true, principled conservatism, as opposed to merely using the idea as an avenue for power, the only way to achieve it is to reshape the culture.

The quickest way of doing that, believe it or not, is a Donald Trump presidency.

As I mentioned before, the culture is controlled by progressive ideals. Despite what you may feel about Trump, the bottom line is that he is a winner, and has a winner’s attitude. You simply don’t acquire billions of dollars and then seemingly on a whim walk into the most crowded Republican Primary field ever and come out the victor, all the while being a rookie, without having some sort of predilection for success ingrained in you.

That habit of success, when applied to the country writ large, is going to transform it positively. Recall that this is an America which prefers to be apologetic to the rest of the world about its exceptionalism, a stance directly opposite to what Reagan held.

The course modern politicians, including Principled Conservatives, have set us on is one that makes America more like the rest of the world. Trump, on the other hand has been explicit in his wish to repudiate the ‘false song of globalism.’

Trump’s campaign seeks to free America from the chains which it has tied to itself over the course of the last 50 years. These chains include phenomena like political correctness, globalism, excessive regulation, the transformation from an economy resting on savings and investment, to an economy resting on credit expansion and conspicuous consumption.

If, and only if such trends are reversed, Reagan style conservatism will both be palatable and effective in the United States once again.

*****

It was Jeffery Lord, a Trump supporting political commentator on CNN who had the most poignant remark in the aftermath of the Indiana Primary last night. Paraphrasing, he stated that the Reagan/Bush domination of the 80s elections ushered in a certain complacency in the GOP. The growing web of lobbyists, donors, strategists and so forth created a DC echo chamber which grew further and further away from the public at large. In short, the GOP became the very ‘little intellectual elite in a far distant capitol’ which Reagan had feared. When the average American thinks of the GOP, they think of images like the following:

republicans-laughing

It screams ‘out of touch.’ Yet the GOP remained supported, by a constituency who saw them as their only hope, for simply being less bad than the Democrats.

And then they stopped supporting.

The canary in the coal mine was the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in 2014. His defeat by a Tea Party candidate in a primary was the first of a sitting Majority Leader in history. John Boehner was next to fall, and finally the heir apparent to the throne of GOP Establishment politics, Jeb Bush, was eviscerated by Donald Trump.

I implore you, Principled Conservatives of all stripes, to heed the call. Understand and accept the change in trend, or get left behind. To the Establishment strain, you are holding a losing hand. To the Tea Party strain, you are holding a winning hand, which is being played poorly. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you will be able to seize the opportunity that comes with a Trump Presidency.

This opportunity is to actually restore Principled Conservatism. For example, media and entertainment entities which promulgate political correctness and other leftist culture staples are starting to struggle and will need replacing.

Instead of hand-wringing, Principled Conservatives should be working to build alternatives, molded in the image of the truths that Principled Conservatism speaks to. The likes of Milo Yiannopoulos, Mike Cernovich, Steven Crowder, and others have built impressive outlets for views consistent with many of Reagan’s views, despite not being Principled Conservatives by the letter of the label.

As it is with Trump. I completely disagree with him on some of his major positions, in particular on trade. I don’t agree with the GOP Establishment view which supports ‘Free Trade,’ because their version of it is a falsehood. Real Free Trade doesn’t involve government decree at all.

I still support Trump, because I believe that at a fundamental level, his candidacy is an catalyst for course correction. Once the aircraft carrier has been turned in the right direction, we can concern ourselves with the details of how we move forward, in that right direction.

You, Principled Conservatives, want to be there when that discussion is had. Getting behind Trump is the first step. There is still time to punch your ticket to the Trump Train. Don’t wait too long though.

So It Begins – Donald Trump is the Presumptive Republican Nominee for President of The United States

Tonight was a potentially historic night in the modern history of the United States. Donald Trump won the Indiana Primary tonight, but more importantly, Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s most fervent challenger, suspended his campaign.

This leaves Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee – confirmed by RNC chairman Reince Priebus:

Of course, John Kasich is still involved, but at the time of this writing he is literally fourth in a two man race. It doesn’t get more pathetic than that, and his official elimination is but a formality at this stage.

The focus now shifts to the general election, but before giving my early take, I think it’s instructive to examine my own path to the #TrumpTrain.

I’m generally a minimal government, pro free market type of guy, and as such I’ve had little to pick from in the elections I’ve been old enough to vote in. When the 2016 process got going, I was resigned to going with Rand Paul, a guy who had a good background, being Ron Paul’s son, but ultimately was lukewarm in terms of the ‘oomph’ needed to rally people around him and embrace his ideas.

Paul did have a small sliver of fervent grassroots, Tea Party types, most of whom he inherited from his father, but beyond that he was very much a lone wolf doing his best to fight against the system from within it. I knew he had little chance, but I still stayed interested in the event a miracle happened.

I had little time for candidates such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and even Chris Christie, all of whom I saw as ‘more of the same.’ More of the Mitt Romney/McCain/Bush/Dole set, whom the US electorate as it stands in 2016 has no time for. I posited that if one of those ‘establishment’ types won the nomination, the Clinton coronation was all but assured, despite how poor a candidate she is.

When Trump announced his candidacy, I laughed him off like everyone else did. In truth, I knew very little about him; I never watched The Apprentice or read The Art of The Deal. I knew of him, only through his real estate empire and his status as a media figure. He’d have the odd interview on CNBC or CNN that I’d happen to catch in passing, but I wasn’t totally knowledgeable about him.

I believed the stock opinion about him that everyone put forth, namely that this was a publicity stunt, he was only doing it as promotion for a new TV show, and so on. I certainly didn’t take him seriously.

That all changed when Trump went after John McCain, and the whole row over Trump’s ‘war hero’ comment. I didn’t really care for the remark so much as the response to it from all involved. Nearly to a person, Trump was admonished. The liberals and conservatives, in all forms of the media and the candidates running, all called for him to apologize, and Trump refused. And his poll numbers went up.

My interest in Trump was piqued in that moment, simply because everyone I had come to disagree with over the years – liberal and conservative pundits, the aforementioned establishment candidates, John McCain himself – was united against Trump. That simple fact made me want to take Trump’s side.

That was in mid July 2015. During the final two weeks of that month, many commentators and pundits continued to attack Trump, declaring his candidacy over. While his steadfast defiance in the face of that assault was admirable in my view, I still had reservations about some of his views, and still do to this day.

At the time, I thought that Trump could be useful in the sense that, paired with a Rand Paul as running mate, for example, a lot of good could be done in the view of small government conservative types. My rationale was that Trump, being the showman that he is, would draw the American public under the tent.

Once there, he could sell the limited government, conservative principles that a guy like Rand Paul would be all about. In other words, Trump would filter through the message of Republicans like Paul so as to be more palatable to the American electorate. This was my hope in those late July days.

Then came the famous Fox News debate in August.

With the first question of the debate, Bret Baier asked the candidates if there was any one of them who would refuse to sign a pledge not to run as a third party candidate. Trump was the only one who raised his hand.

Then, Megyn Kelly asked him a loaded question about his relationship with women generally, pointing to some boorish remarks he had made on TV and on social media.

These questions, asked of the front-runner at the time, pretty much exposed the game to me. It looked like an attempted hit job, and it confirmed to me what the McCain episode had brought to my attention – the ‘establishment,’ as it were, was ALL aligned against Trump, even from within his own party.

In those first five minutes of that first Republican debate, I punched my ticket for the #TrumpTrain.

The rest of the debate was also memorable for the way Rand Paul tried extremely hard to take shots at Trump. He was totally out of his depth, and my hopes soured on his chances. When he dropped out of the race, it was of little surprise to me.

At that stage, I had fully understood what was going on. Donald Trump, while perhaps far form perfect, was the first candidate I’d come across that had the potential to affect true change. As I’ve intimated earlier, I’ve long been of the view that Republicans and Democrats were two sides of the same coin in many respects. I personally rejected that coin.

Trump is an enigma, a phenomenon that has not been seen in American politics in decades, perhaps ever. Many commentators have run themselves ragged trying to explain it, but to me it is clear as day. Trump represents the ‘reject the coin’ view that many Americans share, but so did past candidates such as Pat Buchannan and Ross Perot.

What separates Trump is his unparalleled skill in persuasion and charisma. I mentioned as much in an earlier post describing the cultural implications of a Trump presidency:

The combination of his wealth, business expertise, virtually 100% name recognition, multi decade exposure to the media and charisma has enabled Trump to dominate discussion. Once in that position, he has used it to put forth an unambiguously anti-Marxist, anti-establishment message, to the horror of the elites.

Scott Adams, known for his Dilbert cartoons, has done a great job describing Trump’s persuasive efforts in detail in a series of posts which has spanned the last 6 months or so. I’d highly suggest you read them, as they are instructive.

This is incredibly dangerous for those who want a Democratic president, especially if Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee. Although at the time of this writing, many are suggesting that Clinton is the favorite, I don’t buy it. I believe Trump will win, and even go as far as to say that in the end it won’t be very close.

I say this because I believe that my own path to Trump support will be mirrored by millions by the time November rolls around.

Again from the Cultural Implications post I referenced earlier:

Consider that from 1980 to 2013, a member of either the Clinton or Bush family has been in the White House or among the President’s Cabinet. To the extent that the United States has deteriorated over that time, the establishment from both parties has directly overseen it. The bottom line is that modern day Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Their continued underwhelming performance in service of the American people is leading many to repudiate the coin entirely.

 

Yet it is that establishment in politics, as well as the media, which has opposed Trump almost universally. Although he has addressed many of the realities facing Americans, Trump has been shouted down as racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic. He has also been ridiculed as an unhinged, clownish bully.

There are two phenomena here, both of which have been waning of late, at least in my view. The first is the Red Team/Blue Team dynamic which has been exacerbated by cable news. I do believe that we’re entering an age when rigid political labels cease to matter, and people will care more about what ‘works.’

More importantly, the second phenomenon, Political Correctness Fatigue will set in. We live in a world in which the threshold to being called a bigot is crossed by correcting someone’s grammar. At some stage, normal human beings will tire of having normal human interactions being regulated by a handful of thin skinned individuals.

The only thing preventing the vast majority of normal people from making their disgust for political correctness known is the fact the PC Police is firmly in charge at the moment. If you step out of line, your employment could potentially be on the line. We’ve seen various reports of people being fired over things they’ve said on social media. PC mobs have even become proactive in tracking down the employers of miscreants on social media with the sole purpose of getting them fired.

In the current setting, nobody will speak up against overzealous social justice warriors. That angst has certainly been bubbling under the surface, as evidenced by the overwhelming anti-PC views espoused by those who post in comment sections all over the internet. It is telling that many of the politically correct set have closed down comment sections over the last 18 months in response.

Donald Trump is, in my view, the catalyst which will bring the backlash offline into the real world. His brash, anti-PC comments, which will surely persist, will continue to help him in the polls, let alone do him no harm. These ‘ABSOLUTE MADMAN‘ moments will serve as the ‘coast is clear’ signal for normal thinking people to log off the internet and speak freely in public.

Despite this, Clinton’s main strategy still will be to use the gender politics part of the PC machine, bludgeoning the public about how great it will be to have a female president. Her continued failure to see the light on this, and many other topics will cement her as the ‘establishment,’ old order, status quo candidate.

In being the epitome of Democratic establishment politics, Clinton mirrors the position Jeb Bush held for the Republicans. While beating her won’t be as easy as it was to beat Bush, Trump is still the ‘outsider’ candidate, running in an ‘outsider’ year. One only has to look at the way Bernie Sanders is running Clinton to the wire to understand this.

I don’t think this dynamic can be overstated going into the general election. Donald Trump is the candidate who represents change, change from the two party establishment which ha been so comfortable for nearly 40 years.

He’s won the Republican Primary without outside donors, without pandering to anyone but the American people, and without speaking in political tongues like any other candidate would have. This is going to present, perhaps for the first time in my lifetime, a real distinction between the candidates.

Ultimately Clinton will dispose of Sanders, owing to the fact that the establishment’s ‘unbound’ superdelegates are all in Clinton’s pocket, further highlighting the difference between her and Trump as the establishment insider. Where Clinton has an inbuilt advantage over Sanders, Trump had to fight off schemes of all sorts to prevent a contested convention. This will set up a battle royale for the presidency.

Political Correctness vs Reality > Feelings

Establishment vs ‘The People’

Feminism vs Traditional Values

Globalism vs America First

The importance of this election can’t be overstated.

The Importance of Fathers and Strong Families

The importance of fatherly influence was on full display over the past week or so publicly. Consider the following two videos:

 

It’s not about race, or socioeconomic status.

It’s about fatherhood. I am making an assumption here, namely that a substantial percentage of the kids in the second video do not have fathers who are consistently in their lives.

If they did, they wouldn’t need a judge to tell break down the facts of life to them. The fact that they are hearing this message from a county judge suggests that there was no influence in their lives to stop them from descending to that point. In the absence of fathers, children, especially boys, will seek out other influences to fill the void. In poorer, urban areas, this tends to be ‘the wrong crowd.’ This is how they end up in the streets, under the wings of criminals who know nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, the draw is great given that these older males do offer mentorship on some level.

Contrast that to the Trump video, in which he recounts telling his children every day – no alcohol, no drugs, no cigarettes, to the point of irritation. Of course any teen would be irritated and annoyed, but the undeniable truth is that adhering to that simple dictum is going to set one up to be most productive individual possible. In Trump’s case, his children turned out to be well rounded, well spoken individuals, who did not fall into the trap of wealth that ensnares many rich kids.

In today’s world, however, people are going to have problems with both videos. I’ve seen many comments to the effect that the judge was too hard on those kids, and I know for a fact that there are many (mostly single mothers) who would lash out if someone spoke to their kids like that.

On the other hand, I’ve seen a few state that Trump’s parenting style was too harsh and restrictive as well.

In many ways that is the problem. In 2016, we’ve become a bit too blasé and indifferent with respect to social mores and proper behavior. We very much live in an ‘anything goes’ culture. You can explain any level of deviance merely by stating what year it currently is.

Most of that starts in the family, or rather the lack thereof. Our ‘modern families,’ which increasingly consist of combinations other than biological parents and their children, have brought with them increasing amounts of dysfunction.

If I could only change one thing about society, it would be to restore the social stigma surrounding raising children outside the confines of committed monogomous relationship. The bottom line is that children are going to seek out guidance from some source. The further it is away from the father, the more likely there is to be damage.