Don’t Assault The Constitution
Over Partisan Complaints
FRANK MIELE (6MN READ)
Many books will be written about the presidential election of 2016, which was unique in the annals of history, but in some respects it confirms the predictive genius of the Founding Fathers, who planned for every eventuality, even those which we think of as most remarkable. On the morning of Nov. 8, it appeared to many that the Democratic Party and the liberal faction in America were set to deliver the death blow to the Republican Party and the conservative faction it represents. It is therefore no wonder that progressives and leftists are up in arms over the election of Donald Trump. After eight years of “fundamental transformation” of the government of the United States by the Obama administration, it would have only taken the election of one more Democratic president to complete the process — both by providing a bulwark against the repeal of countless executive orders initiated in the last eight years and by guaranteeing the appointment of an overwhelming number of liberals to the judiciary who would rubber-stamp laws and policies as constitutional that on their face were not. Indeed, this potentially crushing blow to American conservatism — which is the prevailing philosophy in the vast majority of states — would have been accomplished handily were the presidential election decided by the popular vote rather than in the Electoral College.
Fidel Castro Died As He Lived...
Praised by Useful Idiots
JONAH GOLDBERG (5.5MN READ)
Fidel Castro died as he lived: to the sound of useful idiots making allowances for his crimes. (That's not my term: It was Lenin who called liberal apologists for Communism "useful idiots.") The gold medal in the Useful Idiot Olympics should probably go to Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada. In a statement, he expressed his "deep sorrow" upon learning that "Cuba's longest serving president" had died. One can only imagine what George Orwell could do with that one word, "serving." Castro did not serve, he ruled a nation of servants, often cruelly, while making obscene profits for himself and his family. To listen to some Castro defenders, you'd think the scales of justice can balance out any load of horrors, so long as the substandard healthcare is free. "Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century," Trudeau continued, repeating that word. "While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro's supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.'" Again, where is Orwell's red pen? "El Comandante": The term drips with affection, doesn't it? Castro's "detractors"? Would those be the families of the thousands he had executed? The survivors of Castro's Caribbean gulag? Those who didn't drown trying to escape?
Let's Fight Tyranny
WALTER E. WILLIAMS (5MN READ)
For more than a half-century, it has become abundantly clear that our nation faces increasing irreconcilable differences. At the root is the fact that there is one group of Americans who mostly want to be left alone and live according to the rule of law and the dictates of the US Constitution while another group of Americans wants to control the lives of others and ignore both the rule of law and constitutional restraints on the federal government. Should those Americans who favor the rule of law and constitutional government fight against or yield to those Americans who have contempt for the rule of law and constitutional government? Let's look at a few of those irreconcilable differences. Some Americans prefer to manage their own health care needs. Others wish to have the federal government dictate their health care. Some Americans want their earnings to be taxed only for the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government, which are outlined in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. Others think American earnings should be taxed for anything on which Congress can muster a majority vote. Though there is no constitutional authority for federal involvement in public education, some Americans want the federal government involved. The list of irreconcilable differences among the American people is nearly without end. These differences survive because of the timidity of those offended and the brute power of the federal government.
A Party of Teeth-Gnashers
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON (16MN READ)
The broken record of racism/sexism/homophobia plays on and on and on. After the Democrat equality-of-opportunity agenda was largely realized (Social Security, Medicare, overtime, a 40-hour work week, disability insurance, civil rights, etc.), the next-generation equality-of-result effort has largely failed. What is left of Democrat ideology is identity politics and assorted dead-end green movements as conservation has become radical environmentalism and fairness under the law is now unapologetic redistributionism. The 2016 campaign and the frenzied reaction to the result are reminders that the Left is no longer serious about formulating and advancing a practical agenda. In sum, for now it is reduced to a party of teeth-gnashers. The Podesta archive, when coupled with the pay-for-play Clinton Foundation, summed up the liberal ideology: progressive platitudes as cover for an elite's pursuit of power and influence. Examine a coastal Democrat establishmentarian, and there is little discernable difference in his lifestyle, income, or material tastes from those conservatives (usually poorer) whom he accuses of all sorts of politically incorrect behaviors. Self-righteous outrage is a Democrat selling point and a wise career move for journalists, academics, bureaucrats, and politicians.
Why We Can’t Trust Mitt
GREG LEWIS (5MN READ)
Amid the rampant speculation about who Trump will select as his Secretary of State, the one issue on which Trump must focus is his own professed war against the globalist elite. While the pro-nationalist, anti-globalist movement has recently scored critical victories with Brexit and Trump’s election, globalists are not just going to walk away from the fight. To this point: It is highly likely that Mitt Romney is a stealth globalist candidate for the office of Secretary of State. If Trump is blind to this possibility, the populist foundation on which his presidential campaign was built might well suffer a devastating blow. The increasingly centralized control that has always been the key component of the globalists’ political and financial power has meant that the party designations Republican and Democrat are no longer meaningful in defining what politicians and political candidates stand for. The only meaningful way to distinguish one politician from another today is to determine if he or she is a populist or a globalist. The important thing those designations accomplish is to let us know whether the political figure is in favor of government by and for the people or government by and for the elite. Given that the words “Republican” and “Democrat” are no longer meaningful, we are now able to see that the 2012 presidential election was not a contest between a Republican and a Democrat, but a contest between two globalist candidates.
DR. THOMAS SOWELL (5MN READ)
People who call themselves "progressives" claim to be forward-looking, but a remarkable amount of the things they say and do are based on looking backward. One of the maddening aspects of the thinking, or non-thinking, on the political left is their failure to understand that there is nothing they can do about the past. Whether people on the left are talking about college admissions or criminal justice, or many other decisions, they go on and on about how some people were born with lesser chances in life than other people. Whoever doubted it? But, once someone who has grown up is being judged by a college admissions committee or by a court of criminal justice, there is nothing that can be done about their childhood. Other institutions can deal with today's children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and should, but the past is irrevocable. Even where there are no economic differences among various families in which children are raised, there are still major differences in the circumstances into which people are born, even within the same family, which affect their chances in later life as adults.
You Are Being Lied To
DANIEL GREENFIELD (10MN READ)
Media schizophrenia. Every quantum leap in mass communications also made possible a vast improvement in propaganda techniques. Nazi and Soviet propaganda looks as crude to us as a Babbage calculating machine. Virtual reality isn't something that's coming. It's here. It's been here for a while. The potent combination of media budgets and crowdsourced social media distribution has allowed for a previously unparalleled level of propaganda that creates and inhabits its own virtual reality. There's a name for that sort of thing. Schizophrenia. What happens when the schizophrenic media reality collapses when it comes into too sharp of a conflict with reality is the same behavior that schizophrenics exhibit when their perceptions of the world conflict with the real world. The people venting and rioting and screaming were living in a cozy reality. Everyone in that progressive reality understood that history was on their side, that the majority was with them and that the right was a decaying mass of racists and corporations soon to be swept away by the tide of change. But this wasn't reality. It was a carefully constructed narrative that fooled even the people who were building it. It was a virtual world overlaid over the real world. Its narratives were so integrated with the real world that it seemed as if it were real. There were stories and polls. Everyone in their social media bubble, except a few crazy uncles agreed with them. All the celebrities were on board.
Communists & Socialists
Going Bonkers Over Trump
PAUL KENGOR (8.5MN READ)
Are Communists any different from Democrats in abhorring the election of Donald Trump? If you're in the mood for a little levity this weekend, take a gander at the websites of Communist Party USA, People's World, and the Democrat Socialists of America (among other leftists-in-arms), where they are going absolutely bonkers over Donald Trump's big win. To say that these comrades had been ready for Hillary is an understatement. Since early summer, with the defeat of their beloved Bernie, it was as if the ghost of Saul Alinsky had leapt into their collective keyboards and started typing copy for their girl-wonder. They were fired up for Mrs. Clinton, clearly seeing her as the next Democrat Party revolutionary to pick up Obama's torch of fundamental transformation. It is a tragic testimony to the party of Truman and JFK that the modern Democrat agenda is hard to separate from the goals of Communist Party USA. The Communists were shaking the pom-poms for Hillary throughout the campaign, unabashed and unashamed. They were also not reticent about eviscerating Donald Trump, who was their boy Hitler to their girl Trotsky. But with The Donald's victory, the Communists' concerns have morphed into outright hysteria. They are now in full panic mode, full propaganda mode, full mass-organizing mode. Agitate, agitate, agitate is the old Marxist maxim, and that's precisely what these American Marxists and socialists are doing right now.
The Times That Try Men's Souls
TABITHA KOROL (13.5MN READ)
Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., publisher of The New York Times, and Dean Baquet, executive editor, issued their reflection to their readers. After reviewing it several times, I realized that the election of Donald J. Trump to the highest office in our country did much more than anyone could have anticipated. Not only did Trump fight the establishment, press and academia, and motivate American citizens to awaken from an eight-year period of fear and despair to demand a reversal of Obama's executive orders, but he inspired the principals to make an unprecedented outreach to the public with a kind of desultory apology. They professed a purpose of rededication "to report to America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories...impartially and unflinchingly." Although it was their use of biased analyses and writing assumptions over accuracies that diminished their readership, it is evident that they miss the point when they attempt to reassure their depleted readership that they can they can "rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage." It is precisely that same coverage and same corruption that the American public will no longer tolerate. Is it possible for a publisher and executive director to plan for a future without defining and owning up to the past?
Speaking Truth to Pouters:
Electoral College Edition
BRIAN CHERRY (5MN READ)
In the wake of the election, liberals are rioting, attacking police, threatening suicide, and breaking a bunch of stuff that isn't theirs...simply because they lost. Unable to accept defeat with grace, most of these precious little snowflakes are demanding an end to the Electoral College as some sort of election participation trophy. In their unhinged, post-election, ranting about the popular vote vs. the Electoral College I have heard every argument under the sun. Such as, The Electoral College is an outdated system. It's a racist system. The Popular vote is the true voice of the people. The coasts are where the smart people live, so they should have more say in the election winner. One leftist managed to work the words "Star Chamber" into his assessment of "how the President REALLY gets selected". This is all just noise. The truth is that Democrats hate the Electoral College for the exact same reasons that aficionados of underage nookie hated that To Catch a Predator show. It keeps them from getting away with some really bad things. Voter fraud is real. In some states it's not only real, but it's really easy. In Virginia, where Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe is Governor, thousands of criminals received pardons and had their voting rights restored ahead of the election. Some watchdog groups claim enough felons went to the polls to hand Virginia over to Hillary. This was done amidst legal challenges and a court order that insisted McAuliffe could not simply add convicts to the voter rolls en masse. While a reasonable discussion can be had over the voting rights of people who have paid their debt to society, a pre-election pardon and restoration of voting rights at best looks improper. At worst is improper and meant to give one candidate an advantage over another.
The National Popular Vote Fallacy
PAUL R. HOLLRAH (12MN READ)
My most recent column exposing the fraud that is the national popular vote movement has finally struck home. On Tuesday, November 15, I received a lengthy response from a staff member of the National Popular Vote (NPV) organization, attempting to refute my claims for the superiority of the Maine-Nebraska system of electoral vote allocation. As I read their arguments, it could not help but consider the political risks of making false and unsubstantiated claims for the national popular vote to members of the state legislatures, none of whom are dummies. The following is my response to the national popular vote email: NPV - "Dividing more states' electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system."; PRH - I can't respond to that statement because I have no idea what "worst features of the Electoral College system" you refer to. Anyone who reads the Federalist Papers will understand that the Framers wanted the members of the lower house of the legislative branch, the US House of Representatives, selected by the popular vote of the people. They wanted the upper house of the legislative branch, the US Senate, selected by the political institutions of the states (the state legislatures), and they wanted the president and vice president to be chosen, not by the people and not by the political institutions of the states, but by the states themselves. That's why electors are state officials for a day. I suspect that few Americans have taken the time to learn this distinction. To short-circuit the Electoral College in favor of a national popular vote is to totally reverse the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
The Death of the Democrat Party
GREG LEWIS (5MN READ)
The collapse of the Democrat Party has been under way since Obama took office. Democrats have lost upwards of a thousand state legislature seats in the past four elections, giving Republicans control of both the House and Senate in two-thirds of the states in our country. And Republicans now control all three federal branches and will be able to shape the Supreme Court for the next generation-plus. The election results were nothing less that the coroner’s signature on the Democrat Party’s death warrant. For starters, Democrats have built an ideological wall around their collective intellect that would be the envy of Trump supporters if it were on the Mexican border. They start with a statement of politically motivated untruth, then proceed to build a truth-proof façade out of manufactured data and bought-and-paid for research conducted for the sole purpose of supporting a political agenda. Ignoring analytical thinking and even the consideration, let alone acceptance, of legitimate data, that process was the foundation of the losing Democrat campaign. Accepted leftist myths — from global warming to inequality of pay for men and women to the denial of the legitimacy of nationalistic government based on the people’s will and conducted for the good of American citizens — are among the foundational elements of a self-referential philosophy that has the Democrat Party committing political suicide.
Blacks & Politicians
WALTER E. WILLIAMS (5MN READ)
Donald Trump's surprise win has millions of Americans, many of whom are black, in a tizzy. Many, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, are writing about what it means to be black during a Trump administration even though Trump's presidency has yet to begin. My argument has always been that the political arena is largely irrelevant to the interests of ordinary black people. Much of the 1960s and '70s civil rights rhetoric was that black political power was necessary for economic power. But the nation's most troublesome and dangerous cities, which are also cities with low-performing and unsafe schools and poor-quality city services, have been run by Democrats for nearly a half-century — with blacks having significant political power, having been mayors, city councilors and other top officials, such as superintendents of schools and chiefs of police. Panic among some blacks over the upcoming Trump presidency is unwarranted. Whoever is the president has little or no impact on the living conditions of ordinary black people, even when that president is a black person, as the Obama presidency has demonstrated. The overall welfare of black people requires attention to devastating problems that can be solved only at the family and community levels.
A Confession of Liberal Intolerance
NICHOLAS KRISTOF (8MN READ) - THE NEW YORK TIMES
We progressives believe in diversity, and we want women, blacks, Latinos, gays and Muslims at the table — er, so long as they aren't conservatives. Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We're fine with people who don't look like us, as long as they think like us. O.K., that's a little harsh. But consider George Yancey, a sociologist who is black and evangelical. "Outside of academia I faced more problems as a black," he told me. "But inside academia I face more problems as a Christian, and it is not even close." I've been thinking about this because on Facebook recently I wondered aloud whether universities stigmatize conservatives and undermine intellectual diversity. The scornful reaction from my fellow liberals proved the point. "Much of the ‘conservative' worldview consists of ideas that are known empirically to be false," said Carmi. "The truth has a liberal slant," wrote Michelle. "Why stop there?" asked Steven. "How about we make faculties more diverse by hiring idiots?" To me, the conversation illuminated primarily liberal arrogance — the implication that conservatives don't have anything significant to add to the discussion. My Facebook followers have incredible compassion for war victims in South Sudan, for kids who have been trafficked, even for abused chickens, but no obvious empathy for conservative scholars facing discrimination.
The Fall of the House
of Obama Is Coming
MARC A. THIESSEN (7.5MN READ) - THE WASHINGTON POST
The safety-pin-wearing left is aghast at the realization that President Donald Trump could actually follow through on his promise to "cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama" on his first day in office. He should do it. Every president reverses some executive actions of the previous president. After President Obama took office in 2009, he revoked a series of executive orders issued by President George W. Bush — including Bush's executive order barring federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research; his executive order implementing the Mexico City Policy, which bars funding for international groups that provide abortions; his executive order interpreting the Geneva Conventions with regard to the CIA's detention of captured terrorists; and several Bush executive orders limiting the power of labor unions in dealing with federal contractors, among many others. Obama also used executive orders to reverse Bush's terrorist interrogation policy and order the closure of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay. Obama's actions were not unprecedented. Bush not only reversed executive orders of his predecessor, Bill Clinton, but in 2002 he actually withdrew the US from a treaty Clinton had signed — the Rome Statute creating the International Criminal Court. The reason Obama's legacy is so vulnerable today is that the 44th president relied more on executive actions — issuing not only executive orders, but also a record number of rules, regulations and agency directives to legislate around Congress and impose his agenda.
Carpe Diem, Mr. Trump
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON (11.5MN READ)
The Latin poet Horace's advice of carpe diem — to seize the day and not worry about tomorrow — should be Trump's transitional guide. The attacks on Trump won't even wait until he takes office; they begin now, well apart from rioting in the streets. And they will continue to be of several types. Of the personal sort, expect more "investigative" reporting and "speaking truth to power" op-eds about his tax returns, his supposed theft of the election, his purported instigation of turbulence and mayhem, his locker-room talks about women, his business conflicts of interests in office, Trump University, and so on — perhaps written from the high moral ground by the WikiLeaks journalists of the Mark Leibovich, Dana Milbank, Glenn Thrush, Wolf Blitzer, or Donna Brazile sort. The nexus of attack will not be a dramatic scandalous revelation — it will be intended to induce bleeding from a thousand tiny nicks and cuts, all designed to reduce his moral authority and thus his ability to ratchet back the progressive decade. Another trope, as we are now witnessing, will be of the hysterical policy brand: Trump will cook the planet, put y'all back in chains, conduct war on women, traumatize students, destroy dreamers — all the boilerplate extremism designed to put Trump on the defensive so that he will settle for half an agenda and "reach out" to cement his respectability as a "listener" before the court of DC fixtures, the campuses, the foundations, the think tanks, the media, the social circles of Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
DR. THOMAS SOWELL (5MN READ)
The good news is that we dodged a bullet in this election. The bad news is that we don't know how many other bullets are coming, or from what direction. A Hillary Clinton victory would have meant a third consecutive administration dedicated to dismantling the institutions that have kept America free, and imposing instead the social vision of the smug elites. That could have been the ultimate catastrophe — not just for our time, but for generations yet unborn. In one sense, Donald Trump's victory was a unique American event. But, in a larger sense, it represents the biggest backlash among many elsewhere, against smug elites in Western nations, where increasing numbers of ordinary people are showing their anger at where those elites are leading their countries. There, as here, mindlessly flinging the doors open to peoples from societies whose fundamental values clash with those of the countries they enter, has been a hallmark of arrogant blindness and disregard of negative consequences suffered by ordinary people — consequences from which the elites themselves are insulated. Nor is this the only issue on which the blindness of elites has set the stage for a political backlash. The anti-law enforcement fetish among the insulated elites has even more tragically sacrificed the safety of the general public. This too has been common on both sides of the Atlantic.