Category Archives: Jimmy Carter

No. 20 Bookworm Podcast — all about the NeverTrumpers and changing minds

I’ve got a new podcast up and this post gives you a quick rundown regarding the extraordinary treatment according Trump that makes him incomparable.

To those of my friends who preferring reading over listening, I totally understand. My preferred way of getting information is also through reading. Still, I’ve learned to love podcasts for the times when I can’t read and desperately want something to keep my brain busy (exercising, cleaning, dog walking, etc.).

For my past podcasts, I’ve written a blog post and essentially read it as a podcast. Tonight, though, I was too tired to write, but I still had some thoughts swirling around that I desperately wanted to get out. The result is a podcast that’s based purely on the information in my brain, rather than a post that serves as a podcast script. If you’d like to listen to it, you can find it at Libsyn or Apple podcasts, or you can just listen through the link below.

Here’s the gist of the podcast: A couple of podcasts ago, I mentioned that, even though it’s just me and the mic, I get stage fright. A friend recommended Toastmasters and I checked out our local chapter. Not only did I like it, I was reminded that, while the speaker thinks she’s saying one thing, different members of the audience pick up entirely different things. This goes some way to explaining the wildly different responses among conservatives to Trump. Some hear funny; some hear gross. Some see a true conservative; some see a wild poser.

I explained, though, that I think minds can change. After all, I went from being a born and raised Democrat to becoming a stone-cold conservative. I ran down a bit of my history, something that long-time blog readers know well by now, considering that I mention it often enough. It’s very much a part of who I am and where I’ve now found myself.

Then, in the peculiar way I have of taking a serpentine path from A to B to C via L, Z, and R, I worked my way to what I think is a very important point for those who keep pointing out that Trump is “doing it wrong.” Trump is the first president we’ve seen doing it [meaning behind-the-scenes White House work] at all! No other president has ever been the subject of this kind of leak, one that second guesses his every move after first running his words and actions through the “hate blender.”

The kind of gross analogy I made is that Trump is the first person who’s ever had a daily colonoscopy, with the results shown to the world on a high magnification microscope. Nobody looks good seen this way. Imagine a world in which the New York Times has a headline in 1964 announcing “President Johnson celebrates Civil Rights Act by announcing ‘We’ll have those N****** voting for us for the next 200 years.'” Or imagine if the Washington Post, which had a slobbering love affair with Kennedy, instead announced weekly the number of women he’d seduced, including teenagers. That’s what we’re getting with Trump.

As just one contemporaneous example, no president ever before had to put up with the following kind of thing from that living embodiment of fecal matter, John Brennan:

The reality is that we have no way of comparing the virtues of Trump’s phone call to Zelenskyy with how other presidents would have handled the same type of call . . . because no other president has had spies within the White House exposing his every act to a hostile media. It is impossible to judge Trump by the standard of other presidents because the media and his political opponents (who called for his impeachment the day after his election) have never before reported on or responded to a president in the way they have with Trump.

In the podcast, I directly or indirectly referred to these links:

Confessions of a Crypto-Conservative Woman

Being forgiven for our past sins

Secret service hated Jimmy Carter

The post No. 20 Bookworm Podcast — all about the NeverTrumpers and changing minds appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Andrew Johnson, Democrat, set the stage for today’s racial strife

Democrat Andrew Johnson was one of America’s worst presidents, for he set the stage for the racial strife that today’s Democrats encourage and exploit.

Yesterday afternoon, I joined a friend for a dog walking expedition. As we were walking along, we talked about the racial divisions the Left has stoked in America.

“This is all Andrew Johnson’s fault,” I said.

“Wah?” asked my companion.

“Yeah, Andrew Johnson. The moment that Johnson, a Democrat, was sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination, he set about undoing the racial component of Reconstruction. The military hung onto its strength in the South, which is why there are so many military bases still operating there. Politically, though, Johnson and his administration backed away from every effort to reform Southern culture. This meant that the losers in the war got to continue their previous behavior of denying blacks all civil rights. In other words, Johnson enabled the defeated Southerners to reduce blacks to a perfect simulacrum of slavery, only this was arguably even worse than actual slavery, for it denied blacks the food and shelter (no matter how meager) that slave owners once provided, while adding in chronic racial terrorism.

“When it came to Germany and Japan after WWII, we did something completely different: We defeated them utterly and completely, and then spent 70 years making sure they renounced the racist, totalitarian cultures that led them to unspeakable brutality in their insane drives for world domination. Had he lived, Lincoln, a Republican, would almost certainly have understood that the Union had to control the south for decades to rework its racist slave culture. I bet that the Democrat Andrew Johnson understood the same, which is why he pulled the feds out of the South as fast as he possibly good.

“Today, the South is probably the best integrated part of the whole United States –”

“– maybe because of the strong military presence,” quickly interjected my friend when I paused for a breath.

“That sounds reasonable,” I said, snatching back the conversational baton. “But it’s also because the South is no longer a Democrat bastion. It’s Republican now.”

“I bet that’s because of all the military bases, too,” my friend mumbled under his breath. I silently agreed, but I really had to take control of my monologue again.

“Whatever. The important point I’m making is that, even though today’s Republican South is way better integrated, sane, and decent than Democrat-controlled Blue bastions across America, the fact that Andrew Johnson’s Democrat policies enabled 100 years of Jim Crow after the Civil War meant that America took way too long to recover from and refute entirely the stain of slavery on a nation that was ‘conceived in liberty.’ And of course, it means today’s Lefties can ignore the fact that America wa the only country in the world that spilled blood to fight slavery.”

And yes, that is the kind of thing my friends and I talk about when we’re not talking dogs and chocolate (my other favorite subjects).

Anyway, I thought it was an excellent conversation (as is my wont when I hold forth). Certainly, the Fates seemed to agree, for this morning I opened my email and found a Prager U video about . . . Reconstruction! It says with incredible elegance the point I was trying to make — that Andrew Johnson (Democrat) allowed the South to win the peace.

If I had to list this nation’s worst presidents, Andrew Johnson would readily have a place in the top five, right up there with Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, James Buchanan, and Woodrow Wilson. It’s no coincidence, either that all five of the worst presidents in America — the most racist, least effective, or most damaging to constitutional governance, were Democrats.

If I were to expand the list to number six, there’s room for another racist, nation-damaging Democrat: Franklin Roosevelt. Scratch a scar on the American body politic and watch Democrat pus ooze out….

The post Andrew Johnson, Democrat, set the stage for today’s racial strife appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

California turned this Democrat into a conservative

My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.

Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.

Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat.

Berkeley. Ah, Berkeley! The last dregs of the hippies hanging out in their own urine or vomit while begging on campus or on Telegraph Avenue. People celebrating the day that Ronald Reagan got shot. Pre-modern history being taught through a Marxist lens which is, when you think about it, quite an amazing intellectual contortion. And a constant thread of hostility to America and reverence for the Soviet Union permeating the air…. But I was still a Democrat.

After law school, which I attended in a blue city that was in a red state, I returned to California. For several decades, I routinely made legal arguments before Leftist judges. These were judges who said, “I don’t care what the law is; I think there’s something here;” judges who reluctantly ruled in favor of a bank, only to warn the bank’s counsel, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat;” judges who literally read with their lips moving as they reluctantly came to terms with the fact that discovery statutes sometimes protected defendants. I learned to loath judges because, at least when it came to the ones before whom I practiced, the law was too often irrelevant to them. If the parties were similarly situated in terms of social stature or economic power, the law applied; but if you represented a corporation or a rich individual, most judges before whom I practiced would engage in amazing contortions to rule against your client. Back in those days, I hadn’t heard the terms “living Constitution” or “strict constructionist,” but I knew that, subject to a few notable exceptions, Bay Area judges were not interested in administering the law; they were all about administering their personal version of “justice.” (We’d call it social justice today.) But I was still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s, I’d watched Carter make a hash of America’s economy and foreign policy. I’d seen the economic “malaise,” the “killer rabbits,” the “lust for the Polish people.” I’d watched the Iran Revolution and the hostage crisis, and I’d seen Carter’s simmering hostility to Israel. But I was still a Democrat.

In the 1980s, I watched the Reagan economic miracle. I watched the resurgence of American pride. I saw Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul III reaffirm classic principles of liberalism and, by doing so, begin chipping away at the Soviet monolith, exposing its rotten foundations. I saw the Soviet Union fall and the Berlin Wall get quite literally dismantled. But I was still a Democrat.

In both the 1970s and the 1980s, I watched as our welfare system grew and grew and, as it grew, I watched it provide truly perverse incentives to people. The worst was the way in which women were economically rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. I understood that this behavior led to more illegitimate children, more children without any loving male presence in their lives, more children in poverty, and more children who turned to prostitution and crime as they matured. I knew that the pathologies in the black community weren’t because blacks were defective, but were because the government was paying blacks to live have defective lives. But I was still a Democrat.

My politics only started to shift in the late 1990s, not because I’d grasped that all the things I hated about California arose from Leftist principles, but because NPR was lying about Israel. That was my initial cognitive dissonance. The cognitive dissonance worsened after 9/11, when were told Islam had nothing to do with it or people such as Michael Moore likened the terrorists (who slaughtered innocents and whose goal was the subjugation of the world to sharia law, complete with sexual enslavement, second class citizenship, slavery, or death for “non-believers,” especially Jews, and the whole panoply of medieval punishments) to America’s own revolutionaries, who fought for individual liberty. (And yes, 18th C women didn’t have rights and the South had slaves, but the principles the revolutionaries advanced were inherently good and they paved the way for emancipation, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.)

After almost 40 years, I finally realized that I was no longer a Democrat. It was a shocking and uncomfortable realization. After all, I knew, or thought I knew, that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Was I now no longer good? Was I now evil?

I eventually decided that I was still good. My goals were still the goals that Democrats always loudly espoused during my early years: True equality before the law for all people, the diminution of tribal hatreds between different cultures and races in America, a thriving economy, strong national security, friendship with Israel (our ally in the Middle East during the waning days of the Cold War and the only true democratic republic in the region), etc. (Obviously, the Democrats no longer espouse many of these goals.) What I finally figured out was that the way to achieve these ends was through conservative means. Intentionally or not, Democrat means invariably achieved the opposite of those goals.

Although I am no longer a Democrat, California continues to provide example after example of failures in Leftist policies. It is a hardcore Democrat state that preserves its mandate through the corrupt practice of “ballot harvesting.” It needs this corruption because reality (which I’ll discuss more below), eventually catches up with totalitarian ideologies and people can then be kept in line only through brute force and corruption.

California sees itself a political leader in the fight against “income inequality,” yet it has one of the most unequal economic systems in America. In the coastal cities, where people make money from products sold outside of America (e.g., Hollywood and Silicon Valley), you have hard Left bazillionaires. In their hard Left cities, you have tens of thousands of homeless people living in squalor. San Francisco once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s wharf, is now the poop capital of America, as well as the car crime capital. Los Angeles is seeing typhus and other very scary infectious diseases making a comeback. In the San Francisco Bay Area, real estate, whether owned or rented, is no longer affordable, so twenty- and thirty-somethings now make a virtue of returning to dorm-style living because it’s all that they can afford.

Were a medieval person to be transported through time to land in one of California’s coastal communities, that person would undoubtedly be confounded by modern technology. However, he would recognize instantly the vast economic chasm between the aristocracy and the masses. Every medieval city had its walled enclaves for the wealthy and the rest of the city, where people lived in filth, disease, and despair.

Travel inland in California and the wealth vanishes. All that’s left is economic despair. The outbreaks of poverty that one sees in the cities — homelessness, diseases, filth — are taking hold in the large inland communities (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento), while the smaller communities are plagued by crime and disrepair. One only has to read Victor Davis Hanson’s elegies to the community that’s been home to his family for generations to understand how the Blue enclaves’ wealth doesn’t reach the rest of California even as, unfortunately, the Blue enclaves’ political ideas do reach those areas . . . and destroy them too.

Meanwhile, as its native-born or legally immigrated citizens despair, California encourages the endless flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America (with unknown numbers of Islamic terrorists sheltering among the crowd). By doing so, California Democrats, who are all about “women’s rights,” encourage unchecked sex trafficking. And California Democrats, who always claim that their policies are “for the children,” encourage coyotes to traffic in children as a way of exploiting America’s laws on behalf of illegal immigrant “families.” And California Democrats, who are all about lifting up America’s minorities, flood American minority communities with people who compete for jobs and bring in crime.

Apropos that crime, it’s completely irrelevant if some left-wing think tanks’ produce statistics “proving” that these illegal immigrants as a whole are less likely to run afoul of the law. Even if only one American is murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant, that murder is one murder too many. It should never have happened. In every case in which an illegal alien commits a crime, the “but for” cause of that crime was Democrats’ cultivation of illegal immigration. In other words, but for Democrats’ desperation to bring in illegal Latin American immigrants, a teenager might not have been hacked to death by MS-13 gangsters or a mother of four might not have been killed by a hit-and-run, drunk, illegal immigrant driver.

If there ever was an indictment of Democrat policies, California is it. The problem, though, is that we live in the version of an old joke. You know the joke, don’t you? It’s the one that has a whose wife caught him red-handed in a compromising situation.  Rather than apologizing, he demanded of her, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Even as California’s laboratory of democracy shows that every Leftist policy, when given play, creates social collapse and economic destruction, America’s Leftists, both inside and outside of California, repeatedly ask, “Who are you, the voters, going to believe? The Democrat Party or your lying eyes?”

Tragically, it’s a question that works. It took me 40 years to break free of that question, especially because the subtext was, “If you believe me, you’re good. If you believe your lying eyes, you’ve sworn fealty to the Devil.’

As conservatives like to say, reality always wins . . . but it can take a long, long time. Look at Naomi Wolf, who is rightly being ridiculed for her failure to research one of the core premises of her most recent book.

Naomi assumed that the phrase “death recorded” in suits involving homosexual activity meant that, in Victorian England, scores of gay men were being executed. She didn’t question that assumption, and certainly didn’t bother to do research to confirm her believe, because the assumption jived with her reality — Christians kill gays. Had Naomi questioned her assumptions, she would have discovered, as the man interviewing her did, that (a) “death recorded” was a way of saying that the death sentence was not carried out and (b) that many of those she believed were arrested for homosexual activity were, in fact, arrested for pedophilia, rape, or assault, all with a homosexual angle.

So yes, reality did finally catch up with Naomi . . . but not before she successfully occupied the public stage for decades. It took this type of embarrassing debacle for people to realize that her scholarship has always been shoddy and ought never to have been used as a basis for anything at all.

I hope that the average American is smarter than I am and that reality catches up with that average American in time for the 2020 election. Scott Adams is not sanguine. He believes that the new masters of the universe — the social media titans, working in conjunction with the major media — will warp reality so completely that Trump will not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning in 2020. I sincerely hope Adams is completely, off-the-wall wrong with this one.

The post California turned this Democrat into a conservative appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

California turned this Democrat into a conservative

My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.

Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.

Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat.

Berkeley. Ah, Berkeley! The last dregs of the hippies hanging out in their own urine or vomit while begging on campus or on Telegraph Avenue. People celebrating the day that Ronald Reagan got shot. Pre-modern history being taught through a Marxist lens which is, when you think about it, quite an amazing intellectual contortion. And a constant thread of hostility to America and reverence for the Soviet Union permeating the air…. But I was still a Democrat.

After law school, which I attended in a blue city that was in a red state, I returned to California. For several decades, I routinely made legal arguments before Leftist judges. These were judges who said, “I don’t care what the law is; I think there’s something here;” judges who reluctantly ruled in favor of a bank, only to warn the bank’s counsel, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat;” judges who literally read with their lips moving as they reluctantly came to terms with the fact that discovery statutes sometimes protected defendants. I learned to loath judges because, at least when it came to the ones before whom I practiced, the law was too often irrelevant to them. If the parties were similarly situated in terms of social stature or economic power, the law applied; but if you represented a corporation or a rich individual, most judges before whom I practiced would engage in amazing contortions to rule against your client. Back in those days, I hadn’t heard the terms “living Constitution” or “strict constructionist,” but I knew that, subject to a few notable exceptions, Bay Area judges were not interested in administering the law; they were all about administering their personal version of “justice.” (We’d call it social justice today.) But I was still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s, I’d watched Carter make a hash of America’s economy and foreign policy. I’d seen the economic “malaise,” the “killer rabbits,” the “lust for the Polish people.” I’d watched the Iran Revolution and the hostage crisis, and I’d seen Carter’s simmering hostility to Israel. But I was still a Democrat.

In the 1980s, I watched the Reagan economic miracle. I watched the resurgence of American pride. I saw Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul III reaffirm classic principles of liberalism and, by doing so, begin chipping away at the Soviet monolith, exposing its rotten foundations. I saw the Soviet Union fall and the Berlin Wall get quite literally dismantled. But I was still a Democrat.

In both the 1970s and the 1980s, I watched as our welfare system grew and grew and, as it grew, I watched it provide truly perverse incentives to people. The worst was the way in which women were economically rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. I understood that this behavior led to more illegitimate children, more children without any loving male presence in their lives, more children in poverty, and more children who turned to prostitution and crime as they matured. I knew that the pathologies in the black community weren’t because blacks were defective, but were because the government was paying blacks to live have defective lives. But I was still a Democrat.

My politics only started to shift in the late 1990s, not because I’d grasped that all the things I hated about California arose from Leftist principles, but because NPR was lying about Israel. That was my initial cognitive dissonance. The cognitive dissonance worsened after 9/11, when were told Islam had nothing to do with it or people such as Michael Moore likened the terrorists (who slaughtered innocents and whose goal was the subjugation of the world to sharia law, complete with sexual enslavement, second class citizenship, slavery, or death for “non-believers,” especially Jews, and the whole panoply of medieval punishments) to America’s own revolutionaries, who fought for individual liberty. (And yes, 18th C women didn’t have rights and the South had slaves, but the principles the revolutionaries advanced were inherently good and they paved the way for emancipation, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.)

After almost 40 years, I finally realized that I was no longer a Democrat. It was a shocking and uncomfortable realization. After all, I knew, or thought I knew, that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Was I now no longer good? Was I now evil?

I eventually decided that I was still good. My goals were still the goals that Democrats always loudly espoused during my early years: True equality before the law for all people, the diminution of tribal hatreds between different cultures and races in America, a thriving economy, strong national security, friendship with Israel (our ally in the Middle East during the waning days of the Cold War and the only true democratic republic in the region), etc. (Obviously, the Democrats no longer espouse many of these goals.) What I finally figured out was that the way to achieve these ends was through conservative means. Intentionally or not, Democrat means invariably achieved the opposite of those goals.

Although I am no longer a Democrat, California continues to provide example after example of failures in Leftist policies. It is a hardcore Democrat state that preserves its mandate through the corrupt practice of “ballot harvesting.” It needs this corruption because reality (which I’ll discuss more below), eventually catches up with totalitarian ideologies and people can then be kept in line only through brute force and corruption.

California sees itself a political leader in the fight against “income inequality,” yet it has one of the most unequal economic systems in America. In the coastal cities, where people make money from products sold outside of America (e.g., Hollywood and Silicon Valley), you have hard Left bazillionaires. In their hard Left cities, you have tens of thousands of homeless people living in squalor. San Francisco once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s wharf, is now the poop capital of America, as well as the car crime capital. Los Angeles is seeing typhus and other very scary infectious diseases making a comeback. In the San Francisco Bay Area, real estate, whether owned or rented, is no longer affordable, so twenty- and thirty-somethings now make a virtue of returning to dorm-style living because it’s all that they can afford.

Were a medieval person to be transported through time to land in one of California’s coastal communities, that person would undoubtedly be confounded by modern technology. However, he would recognize instantly the vast economic chasm between the aristocracy and the masses. Every medieval city had its walled enclaves for the wealthy and the rest of the city, where people lived in filth, disease, and despair.

Travel inland in California and the wealth vanishes. All that’s left is economic despair. The outbreaks of poverty that one sees in the cities — homelessness, diseases, filth — are taking hold in the large inland communities (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento), while the smaller communities are plagued by crime and disrepair. One only has to read Victor Davis Hanson’s elegies to the community that’s been home to his family for generations to understand how the Blue enclaves’ wealth doesn’t reach the rest of California even as, unfortunately, the Blue enclaves’ political ideas do reach those areas . . . and destroy them too.

Meanwhile, as its native-born or legally immigrated citizens despair, California encourages the endless flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America (with unknown numbers of Islamic terrorists sheltering among the crowd). By doing so, California Democrats, who are all about “women’s rights,” encourage unchecked sex trafficking. And California Democrats, who always claim that their policies are “for the children,” encourage coyotes to traffic in children as a way of exploiting America’s laws on behalf of illegal immigrant “families.” And California Democrats, who are all about lifting up America’s minorities, flood American minority communities with people who compete for jobs and bring in crime.

Apropos that crime, it’s completely irrelevant if some left-wing think tanks’ produce statistics “proving” that these illegal immigrants as a whole are less likely to run afoul of the law. Even if only one American is murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant, that murder is one murder too many. It should never have happened. In every case in which an illegal alien commits a crime, the “but for” cause of that crime was Democrats’ cultivation of illegal immigration. In other words, but for Democrats’ desperation to bring in illegal Latin American immigrants, a teenager might not have been hacked to death by MS-13 gangsters or a mother of four might not have been killed by a hit-and-run, drunk, illegal immigrant driver.

If there ever was an indictment of Democrat policies, California is it. The problem, though, is that we live in the version of an old joke. You know the joke, don’t you? It’s the one that has a whose wife caught him red-handed in a compromising situation.  Rather than apologizing, he demanded of her, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Even as California’s laboratory of democracy shows that every Leftist policy, when given play, creates social collapse and economic destruction, America’s Leftists, both inside and outside of California, repeatedly ask, “Who are you, the voters, going to believe? The Democrat Party or your lying eyes?”

Tragically, it’s a question that works. It took me 40 years to break free of that question, especially because the subtext was, “If you believe me, you’re good. If you believe your lying eyes, you’ve sworn fealty to the Devil.’

As conservatives like to say, reality always wins . . . but it can take a long, long time. Look at Naomi Wolf, who is rightly being ridiculed for her failure to research one of the core premises of her most recent book.

Naomi assumed that the phrase “death recorded” in suits involving homosexual activity meant that, in Victorian England, scores of gay men were being executed. She didn’t question that assumption, and certainly didn’t bother to do research to confirm her believe, because the assumption jived with her reality — Christians kill gays. Had Naomi questioned her assumptions, she would have discovered, as the man interviewing her did, that (a) “death recorded” was a way of saying that the death sentence was not carried out and (b) that many of those she believed were arrested for homosexual activity were, in fact, arrested for pedophilia, rape, or assault, all with a homosexual angle.

So yes, reality did finally catch up with Naomi . . . but not before she successfully occupied the public stage for decades. It took this type of embarrassing debacle for people to realize that her scholarship has always been shoddy and ought never to have been used as a basis for anything at all.

I hope that the average American is smarter than I am and that reality catches up with that average American in time for the 2020 election. Scott Adams is not sanguine. He believes that the new masters of the universe — the social media titans, working in conjunction with the major media — will warp reality so completely that Trump will not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning in 2020. I sincerely hope Adams is completely, off-the-wall wrong with this one.

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Trump is no better or worse than other recent presidents

Hand-wringing about Trump’s personality and private life — when compared to most other recent Presidents — is akin to complaining that a leopard has spots.

One of the things I hear from those who hate Trump personally is that he is worse than any other president who’s ever occupied the White House. Perhaps because I’m a history major, I have to disagree with that. We’ve had a lot of truly reprehensible people in the White House plus a couple of truly reprehensible people trying to get into the White House.

Woodrow Wilson was a model of rectitude in his private life. He was also an ardent racist who segregated the federal civil service, showed the KKK-loving film Birth of a Nation in the White House because he thought it was accurate history, used the excuse of WWI to bring fascism to America, and refused to step down when incapacitated, so that his wife effectively became president of the United States. Bottom line: Awful man, awful president.

Franklin Roosevelt, despite his disabilities, was a fairly compulsive womanizer, a habit he kept up while in the White House. Many people also feel that his innate antisemitism helped enable the Holocaust.

Roosevelt’s bottom line: Awful man, effective president if you like the Leftward tilt he gave the country, and a good wartime leader.

Harry Truman was also a model of rectitude in his private life, but there’s no getting away from the fact that he came up politically through the completely corrupt Pendergast political machine that dominated Missouri. Maybe he kept his nose clean but the reality is that, when you play politics with the corrupt big boys….

Truman’s bottom line: Decent man, decent president. A rarity

John F. Kennedy was disgusting. He got into the White House because his father made a deal with the union bosses, whose last-minute get-out-the-vote effort (in a style only the union bosses know how to do), tipped the balance for him. In exchange, one of Kennedy’s first acts was an executive order unionizing federal employees. Even ardent Leftist Franklin Roosevelt didn’t do that, because he understood that the unions and the politicians would simply throw taxpayer money back and forth at each other, which is precisely what has happened since 1961. Without that dirty deal, it’s doubtful a Democrat would ever have won the White House again. After all, the biggest spenders in every election are always government unions and it’s always on behalf of Democrats.

Kennedy was also a gravely ill man (get it? gravely ill because he had Graves disease) and a drug addict, hopped up on steroids and amphetamines. There were also all the pain medications for his lifelong back problems, which were compounded by the back injury he sustained during the war.

Kennedy’s compulsive womanizing was sickening. We learned recently that deflowered a 19-year-old intern, passed her around to “service” his buddies at the White House, and when he thought she was pregnant, sent her to an abortionist even though that was illegal and Kennedy was a Catholic. We’ve also known for years that he potentially put himself under the control of the mafia thanks to his affair with Judith Exner.

His handling of the Bay of Pigs was a disaster.

Really — and ironically — the only thing that saved Kennedy’s presidency, or at least the reputation of his presidency, was his early demise. Let the Democrat myth-making begin. . . .

Kennedy’s bottom line: Awful man, with a presidency too short to grade.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was also a truly disgusting man. I love this intro from a 1998 Atlantic article about Johnson:

URINATING in a sink, inviting people into his bathroom, showing off his abdominal scar, exposing his private parts: after a while nothing surprises a biographer of Lyndon Baines Johnson. After fourteen years of research for a two-volume biography, of which the second volume, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, I have, however, found some new evidence, in three areas, that even by Johnson standards is surprising.

That intro doesn’t even mention his sadistic delight in forcing people to do business with him while he was having his bowel movements. Or his racism, for while there may  have been actual principles behind his push behind the Civil Rights Act, he definitely envisioned chaining blacks to the Democrat Party. I remember my father’s revulsion about the fact that Johnson liked picking beagles up by the ears which my father, a man who didn’t even like dogs, thought was unspeakably cruel.

Regarding those “revelations” in the Atlantic article from which I quoted, above, most of them have to do with Johnson’s feelings about the Vietnam War and his political manipulations. Still, I found this bit telling:

Johnson had “an unfillable hole in his ego,” [Bill] Moyers says. Feelings of emptiness spurred him to eat, drink, and smoke to excess. Sexual conquests also helped to fill the void. He was a competitive womanizer. When people mentioned Kennedy’s many affairs, Johnson would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose.

Johnson’s bottom line: Awful man who worsened an awful war (it took Nixon to save that) and who proved to be an ineffective leader for a country besieged by overt and covert communist influences.

Nixon was another man who was faithful to his wife, but we all know about his paranoia and political dirty-dealing. Nevertheless, he was an extremely effective president before he left office.

Nixon’s bottom line: Deeply unpleasant man, yet a truly consequential president in terms of his policy initiatives, both good and bad.

Jimmy Carter, was a man of rectitude who eventually proved also to be a man who never met a dictator he didn’t like. Moreover, he was (and continues to be) such an ardent foe of Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, that one can only suppose antisemitism. It was Carter’s hatred for Israel that led my father, a Democrat, to vote for Reagan in 1980.

Carter’s bottom line: Decent man if you like smug, moralistic antisemites, and one of America’s worst presidents.

Speaking of that 1980 election, how about Teddy Kennedy, the venerable “lion of the Senate”? Manslaughter, alcoholism, compulsive womanizing, sexual assault, and colluding with Russia. There’s a peach of a man.

Teddy Kennedy’s bottom line: Awful in every respect.

Reagan was a decent man while in office. Nevertheless, I recall that when Reagan ran for the presidency, many people were distressed by the fact that he was a divorced man entering the White House with his second wife. It’s worth noting that Trump, another divorced man in the White House, and someone who definitely played the field, has not given rise to any “cheating on Melania” stories since he was elected. (I also find unconvincing the hysteria about the whole “grab ’em” uproar.) Given the colonoscopy level of scrutiny to which Trump is being subjected, I suspect he, unlike many of the presidents in this list, has not used the White House as a cat house. As every romance writer will tell you, rakes can reform.

Reagan’s bottom line: Decent man despite a divorce that could still upset people in 1980 and one of the best presidents to ever occupy the White House — and that’s true despite problems, both of his own making and the making of others, that plagued him during those eight years.

Bill Clinton. Compulsive womanizer, probable rapist, possible pedophile (on Jeffrey Epstein’s Pedophile Island), and unbelievably politically corrupt, along with his even more corrupt wife. Do I need to say more?

Clinton’s bottom line: Utterly reprehensible human being, who had a successful presidency, although it planted a lot of time bombs, such as North Korea, the housing mortgage crisis, punting on rising Islamic terrorism, that bit us in the ass later.

Barack Obama. No matter what Biden says, Biden ran one of the most corrupt White Houses in American history, culminating with his using his administrative agencies to spy on Republican campaigns. (And yes, I’m certain he spied on all of them. It simply became focused on Trump when Trump won the primary.)

There were also the little things that ought to have distressed everyone during the Obama era, such as his inviting hate-filled, misogynist, antisemitic, anti-American rappers to the White House. There was the constant racial division that poured out of him (“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” “The police acted stupidly.” Etc.). There was his increasingly openly expressed hostility to Israel, something that paired well with the openly anti-Semitic people who’d been a part of his political life for decades. He is the political Godfather of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. I could go on, but I think the next two years will do a good job of exposing just how bad Obama was.

Obama’s bottom line: It’s hard to say whether Obama has been a morally decent man personally. The press kept (and still tries to keep) such a tight lid on everything about him, before, during, and after the White House, that we really don’t know Obama the man. We do know that he’s a race baiter, an Israel hater, and a friend of antisemites, so to me that makes him an awful man. He was also an awful president, keeping the economy in chains, getting America into multiple wars, destroying our military, unleashing the malevolent Arab spring, turning on (admittedly unsavory characters) such as Mubarek and Qaddafi, pandering to Putin . . . the list is endless.

And now we’ve got candidate Joe Biden, a former Vice President and perennial senator, whom many of those who hate Trump are claiming represents the last gasp of “normalcy.” Speaking of “normalcy,” don’t forget that the phrase comes from Warren G. Harding, an adulterer and the man who had the most corrupt presidency right up until Obama appeared on the scene.

Let me count Joe’s sins: The obvious sins are that he’s a plagiarist, a liar, an unbelievably creepy man around woman and an even more creepy man around little girls, a racist (Obama is “clean”? Really?), a gaffe machine, and a man whose every political instinct for decades has been wrong. Cleverly, Biden hasn’t amassed great wealth despite a long career in politics (Harry Reid, anybody?) but as the developing Ukrainian and Chinese scandals show, that his merely a cover for his extreme corruption: He used his government power to enrich his son.

Joe also announced his run by claiming that foreign leaders are begging him to run. Does that sound good for America? It doesn’t for me. I’ve yet to see a foreign president who puts America’s interests first.

And most importantly, is all of the above “normal?” No. Joe is not normal. He’s weird, creepy, and dishonest. That’s the bottom line on Joe: Stupid and icky.

All of the above is not what-aboutism. That is, I’m not saying, “Well, sure, Trump lies . . . but what about. . . .?” “Or sure, Trump cheated on his wives, but what about. . . .?”

I’m trying to say something different, which is that, while the White House is certainly a bully pulpit, I don’t view it as an actual pulpit — because, since Washington, it never has been an actual pulpit. Moreover, the last guy I can think of who was both a model of rectitude and an extraordinarily successful president was Calvin Coolidge, who got elected 99 years ago.

I certainly don’t quarrel with those who claim that a job requirement for a president is that the president should be able to comport himself on the world stage, but I don’t confuse that requirement with moral decency. Moreover, Donald Trump does fine on the world stage. Trump, who’s been a top-of-the-world businessman for decades is, in fact, quite comfortable functioning at those rarefied echelons. Moreover, as I noted above, since Trump got elected, there haven’t been bimbo eruptions, there haven’t been nasty rappers, there haven’t been divorces . . . there haven’t been any personal scandals. He doesn’t drink or do drugs. Within the White House, he is a man of rectitude.

To the extent Trump is a sinner and a liar and a bombastic man, the laundry list I made above shows that America has never needed, and has seldom had, men of stunning moral rectitude and character in the White House. Moreover, those men who have had the best character in recent years were nothing to write home about. Jimmy Carter was arguably that man and he stank as a human being and a president. The two Bushes were arguably those men and they too were mediocre presidents at best.

Good men can be ineffective executives; bad (not corrupt, but just yucky) men can be effective executives. In my house, I want a good man; in my White House, I want an effective executive — and one, moreover, who loves America and Americans. That’s Trump.

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Politicians’ external behaviors do not prove whether they have a strong moral core

I don’t particularly like a friend one of the Little Bookworms has, although I feel quite sorry for the young woman. She’s in her late teens, with staggeringly low self-esteem that she buries by indulging in drugs, alcohol, and gender fluid sexual engagements. I don’t worry, though, that she’ll be a bad influence on my child who has – thank goodness – a solid moral core that resists this type of depressing debauchery. In any event, my child is a legal adult and can consort with whomever she likes.

The reason I mention this unhappy young woman is that my Little Bookworm met the young woman’s latest boyfriend. Of that young man, my Little Bookworm had this to say: “He’s a really interesting guy in his early 20s. He’s a total straight arrow. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.”

I asked the logical question: “What’s he doing with your friend then?”

The answer surprised me. “He’s a drug dealer.”

Well! I immediately told Little Bookworm that, while I have no legal control over her social life, she would do well never to socialize with either the friend or the boyfriend again. I reminded my children ad nauseum when they were growing up that San Quentin (which we can see from our home, so it’s a very real place to them) is filled with prisoners whose primary mistake was to have the wrong friends. If the boyfriend gets arrested while my Little Bookworm is in the same apartment he is, Little Bookworm will find herself in an adjoining jail cell.

Having delivered myself of this practical advice, I begin to think about the difference between apparently moral trappings and genuinely moral conduct. After all, other than the small problem of drug dealing, the boyfriend sounds great – clean cut and clean-living. The package looks good, but the core is rotten.

Looking back in time, we all know about that famous dog-loving, non-smoking, teetotaling vegetarian who sent six million Jews to the gas chamber and started a war that claimed 40 million or so lives within just six years. Hitler, like the boyfriend, was a mass of objectively virtuous behaviors that hid another rotten core.

The opposite can be true too. That is, there are people whose lives appear superficially vice-ridden, but who nevertheless have a strong moral compass. Take Winston Churchill, who was in so many ways Hitler’s opposite during WWII.

Churchill was undoubtedly an alcoholic. He showed exceptionally bad judgment during WWI, leading to the Gallipoli disaster. Many have credibly accused him during WWII of promoting plans that led to unnecessary loss of life, whether of his own troops or German civilians. In addition to loving his wife, mother, and daughters, he had a strain of misogyny that revealed itself in some of his most brutally memorable insults to women who got under his skin.

Despite all those behavioral problems, Churchill had a rock-solid inner morality, one that allowed him immediately to take Hitler’s measure and to be a sure compass during the dark, dark days of WWII. He was Hitler’s light-filled antithesis.

We grow them like that at home too – people whose external behavior is at odds with their true moral (or immoral or amoral) center. Jimmy Carter is Southern Baptist who has always lived a life of traditional rectitude – he is a committed husband, a devout church-goer, and someone who regularly donates his time and energy to building housing for the poor.

I should admire Carter, but I don’t. I loathe him because that pious mantel is wrapped around a man who is a committed anti-Semite, one who routinely sides with the debauched death cult that is Hamas and its followers, a group of people who seek Jewish genocide, murder homosexuals and Christians, suppress women, and use children as shields for their children. No matter how conventionally pretty Carter’s little acts of selflessness, he is (to my mind, at least) a fundamentally bad man.

And of course there are the Clintons. What can we say about the Clintons? Hillary has been married to only one man (although he did allegedly tell an adulterous girlfriend that she cheated on him constantly . . . with women). She’s stood by her man through thick and thin, which seems like the act of a solid, faithful spouse. Still, one cannot help but suspect that her decision to stick it out was driven, not by a commitment to her marriage vows, but by her understanding that she would need someone whose charisma could pole vault her from one job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly to another job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly, a pattern that Hillary planned (and plans) to repeat right up until she sits behind the desk in the Oval Office.

To those of us who don’t respect Hillary, the fact that she’s held positions of importance (in all of which she’s conducted herself badly) or that she pays lip service to every Leftist political shibboleth of days past and present does nothing to hide her toxic soul: Hillary is a compulsive liar, a user, a shamefully unindicted felon, and a person motivated by a greed so deep and pure that many of us cannot even begin to contemplate what drives her from one act of crime and corruption to another.

You’d think that after having grubbed in $150,000,000 over a sixteen-year period, Hillary’s greed would be satiated and she’d lie low, but she can’t. Hillary is compulsively greedy and dishonest, a manifest fact that shocks those who believe core morality matters and a fact that, even more shockingly, couldn’t matter less to the legions of Leftists who will do anything to get her into the White House.

Bill is in a class by himself too. He’s such a charming, compassionate man, who really does seem to feel everyone’s pain. A more naturally gifted politician it’s hard to imagine. While I suspect most Americans would cringe at the thought of having Hillary seated next to them at a dinner party, I’m pretty sure most Americans, even those who hate the Clintons – both their politics and their corruption – would have a good time if they ended up with Bill as their dinner partner.

These superficial virtues, though, cannot should never allow us to forget that Bill is almost certainly a rapist, he’s definitely guilty of sexual assault short of rape, he’s a workplace harasser, he’s best buddies with a pedophile, he’s a perjurer and, like his wife, he will do absolutely anything, including selling out his own country, to fill his coffers. His soul is black. But there’s that charm. . . .

As they do with Hillary, the Left so desperately wants to ignore that black soul and forgive Bill his sins, never mind that he has no interest in forgiveness. It’s that need to pin atonement upon him, when he hasn’t really atoned at all, that resulted in one of the most perverse posts I’ve ever seen at the Wonkette blog, home to a hardy, and somewhat . . . um . . . intellectually esoteric collection of rapidly Leftist feminists.

A Leftist named Rebecca Schoenkopf gamely, and rather admirably, decided to tackle head-on an interview that Katie J. M. Baker did for Buzzfeed with Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who has claimed for almost forty years that Bill Clinton raped her.

The interview is a good one and deserves to be read. Broaddrick has never changed her core story in the 38 years since she alleges that Bill trapped her in a hotel room and raped her. Moreover, she’s mostly kept out of the limelight, so she cannot be accused of having made a profitable or high-profile career out of slandering Bill Clinton. Indeed, she might have stayed quiet still were it not for Hillary’s “feminist” insistence that “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

For the 73-year-old Broaddrick, whom Hillary did everything possible to silence and discredit, these assertions were a bridge too far. Suddenly, on Twitter, she started speaking out. “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73….it never goes away.”

Broaddrick comes across as a credible woman who was used badly by both Bill and Hillary and who never got the justice she deserved. But I want to return to Ms. Schoenkopf who, having read the interview, felt compelled to address it.

To her great credit, Schoenkopf has to concede that Broaddrick’s story is credible. To those who challenge Broaddrick, whether because her story has become more detailed over the years or because she speaks with right-wing organizations, Schoenkopf points out that (a) rape survivor’s do that as they grapple with the event and (b) Broaddrick hates Hillaru so she’ll naturally be drawn to those who support her as she speaks out against Hillary. Schoenkopf notes that, once one addresses these points:

that’s pretty much all the “I don’t believe Juanita” crowd has. Her friends found her with bruised lips, crying, right after the rape allegedly occurred. That’s what we call “contemporaneous evidence” when we believe women.

Once having accepted Broaddrick’s story as true, however, Schoenkopf seeks to rehabilitate Bill without any help from Bill himself. She first says that it was probably just an 80s power thing that had him respond to a woman’s repeated noes by assaulting her so badly she was left bruised and bleeding.

No.

I lived through the 1980’s in America. They were not like the 880’s in the Muslim Caliphate nor are they like the 2016’s in any ISIS-controlled region. Even back in those benighted times 35 years ago, men understood that trapping an unwilling woman in a room and using brute physical force as a way to have intercourse with her was a criminal act, no just macho posturing.

Bad as that bit of historical rewrite is, the worst thing Schoenkopf does it try to cleanse Bill’s criminal, blackened soul without demanding that he make any effort himself in that direction:

To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable (I’m Catholic; we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize). It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.

Sorry, but stopping committing crimes is not good enough. There’s no indication that he stopped because of conscience. There’s every indication that he stopped only because the higher his profile, the harder it became to get away with rape and other forms of sexual assault. In addition, the higher his profile, the easier it was to get women to bed him without his having to make any effort. He has no remorse. He has never repented.

Bill – charming, brilliant, even lovable – is a rotten apple who can be forgiven only if one re-writes entirely the definition of remorse and repentance so that those concepts have nothing to do with the actor’s soul and everything to do with his sycophants’ desire to resurrect his credibility.

The last joker in this deck of presidents and president wannabes is Donald Trump? It’s actually hard to get a grip on Trump’s behavior because of the foul miasma that the drive-by media has created around him. After a youth and midlife spent womanizing (but not raping), he seems to have settled down to marital fidelity. He’s also temperate in his behaviors, because he doesn’t smoke nor drink, and apparently has never done so. One could characterize him as an older man who, having sown his wild womanizing oats, has settled down and has the external morals of an elder statesman.

The Left, however, cannot accept a temperate, normal Donald Trump. The fever swamp that passes for a media today insists that (a) he’s an amphetamine addict and (b) that he’s a NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) devotee. The last is especially funny because this is put forward as the reason he’s hiding his tax returns – as if an internationally known businessman would place front and center in his returns a charitable write-off to a pedophile organization.

The media derides Trump as a monster who tries to boot old ladies out of their homes, while his supporters (many of whom have known him personally for decades) characterize him as a generous, spontaneous, compassionate man who doesn’t hesitate a moment to help out people in need. He’s either a corrupt, inept businessman who’s sued constantly, or a pragmatic man who takes minimal risks, turns real profits, and has a knack for cutting through the red tape and getting the job done. He’s a bully or a warrior. He’s a genius or a fool.

The real question, though, is whether any of the above tell us about the real Trump, the man beneath the weird hair, the crazy outbursts, the crude attacks, the savvy business deals, the generous charitable contributions, the teetotaling (and tweaking?). I don’t think so. Everything I’ve described is window-dressing, none of which is an insight into the man’s soul.

I do have some hope, though, that Trump is one of the good guys and that’s for a reason personal to me: Just as I immediately recognized Obama because he was identical in affect and behavior to a handful of malignant narcissists who have been in my life and made me quite unhappy, Trump reminds me strongly of a dear friend.

Trump and my friend have so many traits in common: quirky, original, often brilliant minds; explosive tempers; mountains of eccentricities; pit bull-like fighting instincts, that include the inability to walk away from an argument or insult; loyalty; and great charm. That’s my friend’s outer shell, just as it’s Trump’s outer shell.

With my friend, this shell is a difficult, prickly one, but the rewards of calling him a friend are tremendous. He has such a deep, strong moral core. You can rely on him for insights about difficult times and help during times of need. He knows what is right and what is wrong. For now, until proven otherwise, I’m going to hope that, once one wipes away the slime the media throws at Trump, he’ll be just like my friend: brilliant, difficult, brave, and truly worth the effort.

[It occurs to me that someone who ought to be included in this post is Oskar Schindler, a ne’er do well who had one of the strongests consciences to emerge in Nazi Germany.]

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room

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Politicians’ external behaviors do not prove whether they have a strong moral core


Article written by: Tom White

Politicians’ external behaviors do not prove whether they have a strong moral core

I don’t particularly like a friend one of the Little Bookworms has, although I feel quite sorry for the young woman. She’s in her late teens, with staggeringly low self-esteem that she buries by indulging in drugs, alcohol, and gender fluid sexual engagements. I don’t worry, though, that she’ll be a bad influence on my child who has – thank goodness – a solid moral core that resists this type of depressing debauchery. In any event, my child is a legal adult and can consort with whomever she likes.

The reason I mention this unhappy young woman is that my Little Bookworm met the young woman’s latest boyfriend. Of that young man, my Little Bookworm had this to say: “He’s a really interesting guy in his early 20s. He’s a total straight arrow. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs.”

I asked the logical question: “What’s he doing with your friend then?”

The answer surprised me. “He’s a drug dealer.”

Well! I immediately told Little Bookworm that, while I have no legal control over her social life, she would do well never to socialize with either the friend or the boyfriend again. I reminded my children ad nauseum when they were growing up that San Quentin (which we can see from our home, so it’s a very real place to them) is filled with prisoners whose primary mistake was to have the wrong friends. If the boyfriend gets arrested while my Little Bookworm is in the same apartment he is, Little Bookworm will find herself in an adjoining jail cell.

Having delivered myself of this practical advice, I begin to think about the difference between apparently moral trappings and genuinely moral conduct. After all, other than the small problem of drug dealing, the boyfriend sounds great – clean cut and clean-living. The package looks good, but the core is rotten.

Looking back in time, we all know about that famous dog-loving, non-smoking, teetotaling vegetarian who sent six million Jews to the gas chamber and started a war that claimed 40 million or so lives within just six years. Hitler, like the boyfriend, was a mass of objectively virtuous behaviors that hid another rotten core.

The opposite can be true too. That is, there are people whose lives appear superficially vice-ridden, but who nevertheless have a strong moral compass. Take Winston Churchill, who was in so many ways Hitler’s opposite during WWII.

Churchill was undoubtedly an alcoholic. He showed exceptionally bad judgment during WWI, leading to the Gallipoli disaster. Many have credibly accused him during WWII of promoting plans that led to unnecessary loss of life, whether of his own troops or German civilians. In addition to loving his wife, mother, and daughters, he had a strain of misogyny that revealed itself in some of his most brutally memorable insults to women who got under his skin.

Despite all those behavioral problems, Churchill had a rock-solid inner morality, one that allowed him immediately to take Hitler’s measure and to be a sure compass during the dark, dark days of WWII. He was Hitler’s light-filled antithesis.

We grow them like that at home too – people whose external behavior is at odds with their true moral (or immoral or amoral) center. Jimmy Carter is Southern Baptist who has always lived a life of traditional rectitude – he is a committed husband, a devout church-goer, and someone who regularly donates his time and energy to building housing for the poor.

I should admire Carter, but I don’t. I loathe him because that pious mantel is wrapped around a man who is a committed anti-Semite, one who routinely sides with the debauched death cult that is Hamas and its followers, a group of people who seek Jewish genocide, murder homosexuals and Christians, suppress women, and use children as shields for their children. No matter how conventionally pretty Carter’s little acts of selflessness, he is (to my mind, at least) a fundamentally bad man.

And of course there are the Clintons. What can we say about the Clintons? Hillary has been married to only one man (although he did allegedly tell an adulterous girlfriend that she cheated on him constantly . . . with women). She’s stood by her man through thick and thin, which seems like the act of a solid, faithful spouse. Still, one cannot help but suspect that her decision to stick it out was driven, not by a commitment to her marriage vows, but by her understanding that she would need someone whose charisma could pole vault her from one job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly to another job for which she was unqualified and in which she did badly, a pattern that Hillary planned (and plans) to repeat right up until she sits behind the desk in the Oval Office.

To those of us who don’t respect Hillary, the fact that she’s held positions of importance (in all of which she’s conducted herself badly) or that she pays lip service to every Leftist political shibboleth of days past and present does nothing to hide her toxic soul: Hillary is a compulsive liar, a user, a shamefully unindicted felon, and a person motivated by a greed so deep and pure that many of us cannot even begin to contemplate what drives her from one act of crime and corruption to another.

You’d think that after having grubbed in $150,000,000 over a sixteen-year period, Hillary’s greed would be satiated and she’d lie low, but she can’t. Hillary is compulsively greedy and dishonest, a manifest fact that shocks those who believe core morality matters and a fact that, even more shockingly, couldn’t matter less to the legions of Leftists who will do anything to get her into the White House.

Bill is in a class by himself too. He’s such a charming, compassionate man, who really does seem to feel everyone’s pain. A more naturally gifted politician it’s hard to imagine. While I suspect most Americans would cringe at the thought of having Hillary seated next to them at a dinner party, I’m pretty sure most Americans, even those who hate the Clintons – both their politics and their corruption – would have a good time if they ended up with Bill as their dinner partner.

These superficial virtues, though, cannot should never allow us to forget that Bill is almost certainly a rapist, he’s definitely guilty of sexual assault short of rape, he’s a workplace harasser, he’s best buddies with a pedophile, he’s a perjurer and, like his wife, he will do absolutely anything, including selling out his own country, to fill his coffers. His soul is black. But there’s that charm. . . .

As they do with Hillary, the Left so desperately wants to ignore that black soul and forgive Bill his sins, never mind that he has no interest in forgiveness. It’s that need to pin atonement upon him, when he hasn’t really atoned at all, that resulted in one of the most perverse posts I’ve ever seen at the Wonkette blog, home to a hardy, and somewhat . . . um . . . intellectually esoteric collection of rapidly Leftist feminists.

A Leftist named Rebecca Schoenkopf gamely, and rather admirably, decided to tackle head-on an interview that Katie J. M. Baker did for Buzzfeed with Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who has claimed for almost forty years that Bill Clinton raped her.

The interview is a good one and deserves to be read. Broaddrick has never changed her core story in the 38 years since she alleges that Bill trapped her in a hotel room and raped her. Moreover, she’s mostly kept out of the limelight, so she cannot be accused of having made a profitable or high-profile career out of slandering Bill Clinton. Indeed, she might have stayed quiet still were it not for Hillary’s “feminist” insistence that “every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

For the 73-year-old Broaddrick, whom Hillary did everything possible to silence and discredit, these assertions were a bridge too far. Suddenly, on Twitter, she started speaking out. “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73….it never goes away.”

Broaddrick comes across as a credible woman who was used badly by both Bill and Hillary and who never got the justice she deserved. But I want to return to Ms. Schoenkopf who, having read the interview, felt compelled to address it.

To her great credit, Schoenkopf has to concede that Broaddrick’s story is credible. To those who challenge Broaddrick, whether because her story has become more detailed over the years or because she speaks with right-wing organizations, Schoenkopf points out that (a) rape survivor’s do that as they grapple with the event and (b) Broaddrick hates Hillaru so she’ll naturally be drawn to those who support her as she speaks out against Hillary. Schoenkopf notes that, once one addresses these points:

that’s pretty much all the “I don’t believe Juanita” crowd has. Her friends found her with bruised lips, crying, right after the rape allegedly occurred. That’s what we call “contemporaneous evidence” when we believe women.

Once having accepted Broaddrick’s story as true, however, Schoenkopf seeks to rehabilitate Bill without any help from Bill himself. She first says that it was probably just an 80s power thing that had him respond to a woman’s repeated noes by assaulting her so badly she was left bruised and bleeding.

No.

I lived through the 1980’s in America. They were not like the 880’s in the Muslim Caliphate nor are they like the 2016’s in any ISIS-controlled region. Even back in those benighted times 35 years ago, men understood that trapping an unwilling woman in a room and using brute physical force as a way to have intercourse with her was a criminal act, no just macho posturing.

Bad as that bit of historical rewrite is, the worst thing Schoenkopf does it try to cleanse Bill’s criminal, blackened soul without demanding that he make any effort himself in that direction:

To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable (I’m Catholic; we’re all forgiven, if we’re sorry, and Broaddrick says Bill Clinton personally called her up to apologize). It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.

Sorry, but stopping committing crimes is not good enough. There’s no indication that he stopped because of conscience. There’s every indication that he stopped only because the higher his profile, the harder it became to get away with rape and other forms of sexual assault. In addition, the higher his profile, the easier it was to get women to bed him without his having to make any effort. He has no remorse. He has never repented.

Bill – charming, brilliant, even lovable – is a rotten apple who can be forgiven only if one re-writes entirely the definition of remorse and repentance so that those concepts have nothing to do with the actor’s soul and everything to do with his sycophants’ desire to resurrect his credibility.

The last joker in this deck of presidents and president wannabes is Donald Trump? It’s actually hard to get a grip on Trump’s behavior because of the foul miasma that the drive-by media has created around him. After a youth and midlife spent womanizing (but not raping), he seems to have settled down to marital fidelity. He’s also temperate in his behaviors, because he doesn’t smoke nor drink, and apparently has never done so. One could characterize him as an older man who, having sown his wild womanizing oats, has settled down and has the external morals of an elder statesman.

The Left, however, cannot accept a temperate, normal Donald Trump. The fever swamp that passes for a media today insists that (a) he’s an amphetamine addict and (b) that he’s a NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association) devotee. The last is especially funny because this is put forward as the reason he’s hiding his tax returns – as if an internationally known businessman would place front and center in his returns a charitable write-off to a pedophile organization.

The media derides Trump as a monster who tries to boot old ladies out of their homes, while his supporters (many of whom have known him personally for decades) characterize him as a generous, spontaneous, compassionate man who doesn’t hesitate a moment to help out people in need. He’s either a corrupt, inept businessman who’s sued constantly, or a pragmatic man who takes minimal risks, turns real profits, and has a knack for cutting through the red tape and getting the job done. He’s a bully or a warrior. He’s a genius or a fool.

The real question, though, is whether any of the above tell us about the real Trump, the man beneath the weird hair, the crazy outbursts, the crude attacks, the savvy business deals, the generous charitable contributions, the teetotaling (and tweaking?). I don’t think so. Everything I’ve described is window-dressing, none of which is an insight into the man’s soul.

I do have some hope, though, that Trump is one of the good guys and that’s for a reason personal to me: Just as I immediately recognized Obama because he was identical in affect and behavior to a handful of malignant narcissists who have been in my life and made me quite unhappy, Trump reminds me strongly of a dear friend.

Trump and my friend have so many traits in common: quirky, original, often brilliant minds; explosive tempers; mountains of eccentricities; pit bull-like fighting instincts, that include the inability to walk away from an argument or insult; loyalty; and great charm. That’s my friend’s outer shell, just as it’s Trump’s outer shell.

With my friend, this shell is a difficult, prickly one, but the rewards of calling him a friend are tremendous. He has such a deep, strong moral core. You can rely on him for insights about difficult times and help during times of need. He knows what is right and what is wrong. For now, until proven otherwise, I’m going to hope that, once one wipes away the slime the media throws at Trump, he’ll be just like my friend: brilliant, difficult, brave, and truly worth the effort.

[It occurs to me that someone who ought to be included in this post is Oskar Schindler, a ne’er do well who had one of the strongests consciences to emerge in Nazi Germany.]

Cross-posted at Bookworm Room