Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ralph Nader Loves Donald Trump

I call my blog 'Confessions of a Former Social Justice Warrior' because I used to be an SJW. I was, at best, an uncommited SJW who didn't identify with socialism and all that junk but I was more or less on the team. I was suspicious of American exceptionalism, distrustful of law enforcement and totally trusted Big Government. I was a Leftist. Maybe not as extreme as many I knew but a Leftist. This changed when I encountered Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, became Catholic, and challenged all of my preconceived notions about every aspect of my world view. My politics changed and now see socialism for what it is. As Pope Leo XIII said of socialism in his 1878 encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris (On Socialism), socialism distorts the social justice nature of the Gospel, divides men and women, and is a plague on society by assaulting the God-given right to private property.

When I was a social justice warrior I was sympathetic to the socialist concern. Sympathetic but not generally supportive. I trusted big government but didn't want big government running the economy, owning private property, and, as a leftist pundit I used to like was fond of saying 'I don't want the government making my shoes.' I was fine with the government providing health care and education but not actual goods and services. The pundit in question was Thom Hartmann, who now I can see is nothing but a fraud. In those days Senator Bernie Sanders was a regular guest of his on Hartmann's nationally syndicated radio show. Ralph Nader was a rare guest as well. I distinctly remember an interview Nader did with Hartmann about a book he had written and released in 2009 with the curious title Only the Super Rich Can Save Us!

The title is curious because Nader is a known leftist with hostility to the wealthy. The plot runs something like this: a wealthy member of the "1%" notices that America is on the wrong track, together with a handful of other members of the super rich, form a political cabal bent on remodeling America...through typical Leftist methods of regulation, redistribution of wealth and a reprioritization of American interests in the model of western Europe. Why Nader thinks the super rich are going to do this is beyond my understanding. The candidate for president who transforms America is modeled after Warren Buffett, whom the Left loves to prop up as a model of what the rich should be like, despite numerous criminal accusations made against him.

The funny thing about this is that Nader is getting his wish with one small exception: instead of a Warren Buffett wealthy Leftist America is on the verge of being transformed by Donald J Trump, who is not a left winger despite what the likes of Ben Shapiro say about him. Trump's slogan and his general approach are eerily similar to those used in by the cabal of Leftist 'heroes' in Nader's book, though Trump's approach lacks the blinding naivety inherent in thinking the American people will swallow a socialist agenda wrapped in red, white, and blue progressivism.

I recommend reading Nader's book because it illustrates the delusion of the modern Left in all it's glory. However, what I recommend instead is Trump's campaign book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again. Unlike Nader, Trump's approach is grounded in reality and far more in line with mainstream American values. Purchasing Trump's book is money better spent (if you support him) and will support his campaign for President.

If you want to know more about Nader's book read the Wall Street Journal book review. It's hilarious and does an even better job of showing the difference in thinking between the two approaches to fixing the problems that we as Americans presently face.  Comparing the ideas side by side will show the stark ideological differences between the Left and the rest of us.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Rundown of the Major Polls for Trump V Clinton

This blog will have multiple focuses in the coming months. While I plan to continue talking about concepts and happenings involving Cultural Marxists and what turns them on, I'll be trying to use my political science training for something useful. To that end I'll be doing frequent commentary on the state of the 2016 presidential election between Donald J Trump and Hillary R Clinton. To kick it off, here's a round up of the latest public opinion polls.

First, the Fox News poll: As of today, Trump leads by 3, though that's within the margin of error.

According to Rasmussen, Trump now holds a 42-37 lead over Clinton. At the start of the month Trum was leading with by a paltry 41-39.

Quinnipiac released a poll a week ago showing Clinton and Trump in a 'neck and neck' contest in the three critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. So goes Ohio, so goes the nation, as the saying goes (giving some credence to the thought that Kasich may be the VP, though I doubt it). No national numbers from Quinnipiac are available yet, but I'll keep an eye out for them.

Historically the polls tighten up after the conventions. Each nominee traditionally gets a bump in support after the conventions. Whether that happens this time or not is up in the air. There are far too many factors to consider, including Trump's willingness to fight a no-holds-barred cage match against Clinton.

I'll finish off for now on this thought: I've seen various numbers showing 44% of Sanders supporters being willing to vote for Trump against Clinton. I'm suspicious of that claim, though I do think maybe up to 25% will do so, which is still significant. Key factors that big named analysts don't seem to be factoring in include the increasing likelihood of a chaotic Democratic National Convention (a la the Nevada Convention) and Sanders continuing to be marginalized by the party establishment. If the DNC continues on the path that it presently walks then the potential for mass defections of Sanders supporters is very real.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

This Little Republic

America is special. At a glance, the statistics don't reflect that. Presently there are about 322 million people. Americans are estimated to use 20% or more of the world's resources while only occupying only about 7% of the land mass. One in 20 people in the world is an American. In the grand scheme of things it would appear that America isn't that special. There are people in this country that desperately want you to believe that, too.

US GDP is $16.8 Trillion, with an average income of about $53,000. Our affluence is reflected in our cultural influence, as is seen in the impact of American popular culture. America's biggest export may well be popular culture, which has widespread influence. For better or worse, Beyonce is being listened to somewhere in Iran at the moment. Our artists and films are viewed and plagiarized the world over. Presently Metallica are preparing for a world tour. Last summer Lady Gaga toured Europe. Our popular culture has a huge influence everywhere in the world. No country can truly keep this export out despite their best efforts.  America has a huge influence in the world, which is itself not a profound statement to make, except that people often forget that America is in fact not just another country.

The best illustration of this is the tendency of the world to look to America to fix geopolitical problems wherever they occur. It's US forces that lead multilateral military campaigns against truly repressive regimes. It's the US that gets blamed when we choose not to intervene in terrible tragedies like Rwanda, or when our political leadership screws up by sending forces into places ill-prepared, as in Haiti. When tragedy strikes on a massive scale, be it an earthquake, volcanic eruption, or genocide, it's a safe bet that America will provide humanitarian aide. It's what we do.

People forget that all too frequently. America is exceptional. There is simply something different about us that separates us from our Canadian neighbors or European cousins. Americans used to be proud of that, too....until we weren't anymore. Whether it was the public turning against the war in Iraq or President Obama continuing to give faint praise to America and what we stand for, something has changed, and not for the better. You see it all around us. The only Americans that seem proud of America are conservatives. Progressives will continue to talk about America's failings, but conservatives will praise America as a place where anyone can change their lives, find opportunity, and even shake up the system. It's why so many people emigrate to America in the first place.

People wonder why Donald Trump is so popular. It's rather simple. First, he's actually masculine. The most masculine thing we've seen President Obama do is shoot a few hoops. Otherwise, President Obama comes off soft. In this day and age masculinity is under attack, as is the family itself. Donald Trump is masculine and that speaks volumes to people. We can argue about whether his masculinity is distorted or not, but regardless, he comes across as tough. Few would think President Obama is tough. Hell, I think Hillary Clinton is tougher than Obama.

Second, it's pretty clear that Donald Trump loves America. Where else could a real estate mogul turn into a TV and film star? Only in the United States. Trump honestly loves this country and, whether or not you agree with his methods, wants to take care of the biggest threats (as he sees them) to America. While I have no doubt that most of his competitors in the GOP field loved America as well, Trump absolutely does. It's why we've seen crossover appeal from people outside the conservative movement who've grown tired of the blame-America-first mentality that is increasingly part of the Progressive agenda. I know this for a fact because I used to be a Progressive and blaming America was something I did far more often than I realized. It makes me nauseous to think about.

Part of the rise of Trump is the social meltdown we're witnessing in some quarters, all part of the influence of the universities and their social justice agendas they allow to flourish in some departments. Trump is the backlash, which came in the form of a boisterous, humorous and angry person who wasn't going to sit by and let America get smeared anymore. Disagree with his approach if you want but don't doubt his love of America. Those forces coming out of universities are profoundly anti-American, with their Marxist ideologies and radical race-baiting agenda. Mark my words: if radical groups continue to push their weird unAmerican agenda you will see more moderates back Trump. Clinton hasn't stood up to these forces, and Obama has in some ways egged them on. Trump won't. He loves America too much for that.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Freedom of Speech

Original photo courtesy of the PSU Vanguard
I don't keep it a secret that I am still a student attending university. If you read my Twitter profile (Yes, follow me) you'll see that I'm a graduate student finishing a doctorate in public policy. I attend Portland State University, the site of two recent Trump rallies that turned into riots instigated by communists on the #RegressiveLeft. Everything I learned about the #RegressiveLeft was from my time as a social justice warrior.

One of the things I've learned is that the far left is hostile to freedom of speech.  This isn't a profound observation now but in my time in the far left I and my peers believed that we were stalwart defenders of free speech. Only the Right was hostile to speech, in our view, as evident by their opposition to pornography, video games and music they didn't like. Today opposition to those things is the sole province of the left, not the right, with maybe the exception of pornography. When I was a leftist I would've agreed with the idea that 'speech is free but it comes with consequences,' though I wasn't a supporter of no-platforming, which is itself not a new phenomenon.

There is a stock line that Leftists remember and recite without thinking: "freedom of speech only applies to the government." By this they mean that freedom of speech is only guaranteed against government censorship. This is of course absurd, as they love the Heckler's Veto. This is by definition a a redefinition of free speech because freedom of speech isn't only a value enshrined in the US Bill of Rights. No, freedom of speech is a cultural value that any democratic society requires to remain free. Yet many societies don't have free speech. One only has to look to what the leftists in Europe have done to see the effect of restricting free speech.

Power is not just in the hands of the state. There is a contextual side to power that these regressives purposefully overlook when they organize mobs to take over events and turn them into propagandizing sessions. In short, mobs have a lot of power and when mobs move to silence opposition they fail the most basic test of free speech. Freedom of speech includes the right to be heard. The purpose of free speech is to promote a dialogue. If you watch the video above you'll see heckler's using noise to silence those they disagree with at the PSU Trump rally in April.Some mocked the Trump supports with sarcastic 'I can't hear you' while banging on drums. It is only through the unhindered expression of unpopular ideas that our own ideas are challenged.

Of course, the typical Social Justice Warrior doesn't want their ideas challenged. As I've written about endlessly here, they are authoritarians (scroll through the articles to see what I've said on that subject). At its core, contemporary Leftism is a utopian movement and to achieve this utopia, like past attempts, they will stop at nothing. Even their own claimed non-violent views are malleable, as can be seen at the recent Trump rallies in California, where Trump supporters were assaulted by Sanders supporters.

This from the Catholic Herald sums up the authoritarian nature of the #RegressiveLeft beautifully:

The generic name for the well-organized leftist gangs is “antifas,” short for anti-fascists—an Orwellian irony if ever there was one, seeing that the antifas’ tactics are thoroughly fascist. When anti-Islamization groups such as PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West) hold peaceful rallies or candle-lit “evening strolls,” they are often met by much larger gangs of antifa thugs intent on shutting them down and shutting them up. If they’re lucky, the peaceful protesters are protected by the police, and, if they’re not lucky, they get beaten up.

At Portland State during the first attempt at a Students for Trump meeting, the campus police refused to show up, leaving the small group of pro-Trump supporters at the hands of the mob. Thankfully that didn't turn violent, unlike the second attempt at a meeting. The media and leftists say that Trump and others bear responsibility for violence at his rallies, which is utter nonsense. This view was beautifully destroyed by Robert Spencer, noted educator on Islam who is often targeted by the Left because he dares tell the truth about that 'religion of peace.' What the Left, especially younger Leftists, fails to grasp is that people are accountable for their actions. If someone is 'triggered' by speech into doing something violent the guilty party is the person who engaged in violent behavior, not the speaker. Rarely can someone be legally held to account for speech because the nature of action is that an actor has to make the decision to engage in behavior. Disagreeable speech cannot be used to justify violence regardless of what is said because in the end we are all responsible for our actions.

As an aside I can guarantee everyone reading this: if Ted Cruz were the front runner there would be a similar reaction to him. Why? Because the Left does not want the left-wing establishment governance of America challenged. That is the truth. A front running Ted Cruz would be met with violence for his opposition to gay marriage, transgendered bathroom access, or any number of other positions. Trump is the front runner and likely nominee and as such is the target of the Left despite his general moderate positions on most policy issues.

When violence is a hallmark of a political movement that movement is authoritarian by definition. Whether it was the Bolsheviks in Russia, the Nazis in Germany, or the myriad movements in South America against foreign occupation, these movements all have in common an outcome of authoritarian dictatorship. I doubt this will play out in the US and UK in a similar manner simply because culturally these forces are so far outside the mainstream that they are already being soundly rejected by the population. But it is a cautionary note that in this we may see similarities from other regressive movements from history.