Regarding NeverTrumpers, are there are two different kinds: — the sleazy grifters and the genuinely principled people who cannot swallow the idea of Trump?
The Torah (that is, the five books of Moses) imposes multiple life rules on Jews and how many of these rules a given Jew follows depends on that person’s degree of religious orthodoxy. For non-Jews, the kosher dietary laws are probably the best known commandments that religious Jews must obey.
For those Jews who keep kosher, there are myriad rules about the type of food that may be eaten, the way animals must be slaughtered, the way the food must be prepared, and the dishes on which it can be served. Keeping kosher is complicated and takes observant Jews outside of the mainstream of American eating.
For those with a deep commitment to God, however, the kosher dietary laws are simply a fact of life. Moreover, they find non-kosher food so viscerally repugnant that they wouldn’t dream of knowingly eating it.
God’s laws, though, are still subsets of an even more important principle: The Torah’s highest and most important directive is to choose life. In keeping with this directive, over the centuries the rabbis developed the doctrine of Pikuach nefesh. Per Wikipedia, which seems to be quite accurate on this point:
Pikuach nefesh (Hebrew: פיקוח נפש, IPA: [piˈkuaχ ˈnefeʃ], “saving a life”) describes the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious consideration. When the life of a specific person is in danger, almost any mitzvah lo ta’aseh (command to not do an action) of the Torah becomes inapplicable. [Hyperlinks and footnotes omitted.]
Specifically with regard to the intersection between Pikuach nefesh and kosher dietary rules, Wikipedia explains as follows:
Non-kosher food may be eaten under the following circumstances:
If no kosher food is available to the person, and failure to eat the non-kosher food may result in starvation.
If a non-kosher food product specifically is needed to cure an illness.
If necessary for recovery, a patient may eat non-kosher foods. In the Babylonian Talmud, Chapter 82a of Tractate Yoma mentions pregnancy cravings for non-kosher food (the passage discusses a pregnant woman who craves pork on Yom Kippur) as the paradigmatic example of a presumed life-threatening situation where a person is allowed to eat non-kosher food (and is permitted to eat it on Yom Kippur). [Hyperlinks omitted]
The fact that something is permitted, though, doesn’t necessarily mean someone is able to do it. I have heard stories of extremely orthodox Jews who, when rescued from Nazi concentration camps, were unable to make themselves eat if the only food available was not kosher. (This obviously doesn’t apply to quarrels about which plate to use; it applies to being offered pork or some other forbidden food to eat.) These Jews would tell their children to eat the food, but they viewed it with such revulsion — akin to your being asked to eat a piece of ancient, rotten, worm-ridden meat — that they simply couldn’t force it down. I don’t know if these stories are true, but they work nicely for my Trump analogy — or rather, for my NeverTrumpers analogy.
I look at Donald Trump, warts and all, and nevertheless happily accept him as my president. Even if I take away all the affirmative benefits I believe he’s brought to America in terms of the economy, national security, removal from the Kyoto Accord and the Iran Deal, a commitment to the Second Amendment, a willingness to attack Islamic extremism head-on, etc., I’m still incredibly grateful to him for all the negative things he prevented.
As I see it, the 2016 election wasn’t between Donald Trump and someone else who might have been just as good. That imagines an election in which both candidates hewed to a fairly middle-of-the-road political ideology that had America’s traditional well-being at its center, with the difference between the two candidates being that Trump was a little more conservative and the other candidate was a little more Leftist.
Instead, I viewed 2016 as a purely binary election with one candidate who might guide America into more traditional paths and another candidate whom we knew with absolute certainty had willingly sold American interests out to Russia, had purposefully violated national security, and absolutely intended to follow the Obama path by continuing
to have the American economy bow down to (and bow under) climate change hysteria,
to fund Iran, to pursue a “reset” with Russia that would harm central European allies,
to continue to place activist judges with little respect for the constitution on the Supreme Court and other federal benches,
to pander to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinians while showing hostility to Israel,
to pay Danegeld to North Korea,
to push for deeper and deeper divisions in America based upon Jim Crow-esque racial theories,
to enter into crony deals with big business while destroying our manufacturing sector,
to elevate criminals over law enforcement,
to destroy gun rights, and on and on and on.
While backing Trump was an obvious step for me to take, there quickly developed a class of ostensible Republicans who absolutely could not stomach Trump and who became known as NeverTrumpers. This essay is about what I perceive as two different classes of NeverTrumpers, one deserving nothing but disdain and the other being people we still respect even if their political take is different from ours.
The ones who deserve our disdain are the Bill Kristol or Jennifer Rubin types. Since Trump’s election, they’ve proven that they were never committed conservatives. Instead, it seems that, in the years leading to the 2016 election, they had merely found a profitable niche for themselves, including Kristol’s effortlessly and undeservedly stepping into his father’s impressive shoes. The same goes for Norman Podhoretz, who came to support Trump, and his louche, entitled NeverTrumper son John.
In the same vein, the McCain family is supporting Biden who, while he plays a “traditional Democrat” on TV, supported every Leftist Obama policy initiative and seems on board with every one of the Democrats’ current Leftist policy initiatives. Keep in mind that this is the man who told blacks that Republicans — the party of Lincoln — were going to “put you back in chains.”
In other words, one has to question whether these people were ever real conservatives or, if like Biden himself pretending to be moderate, they just played conservatives on TV, on cruises, and at cocktail parties where they mixed with the politically connected in-crowd. The fact is that they all seem awfully willing today to back people who stand for everything they once claimed to oppose.
But then there are the people whose values haven’t changed — who still believe absolutely in conservative policies — but who experience a sense of revulsion against Trump that has nothing to do with policies and everything to do with visceral dislike. And this is where I circle back to the kosher food rules.
To me, these NeverTrumpers are not fake conservatives like Rubin, Kristol, or the McCains. Instead, these people remind me of those (possibly apocryphal) survivors of the concentration camps who, even to preserve life, could not force themselves to eat something as completely unkosher as pork or shell fish. Given a choice between dying and eating something repulsive, they chose dying.
In the same way, those who find Trump repugnant at a core level beyond reason will never be able to support him. Given a choice between Leftism and Trump, they choose political abstention. They are conservatives, so they, unlike the grifters, will never vote for a Democrat — nevertheless, because they’re the political equivalent of being kosher, they cannot even force themselves to support, let alone vote for, Trump.
Anyway, that’s my two cents. Some #NeverTrumpers were fakers and grifters all along and they therefore deserve the disrespect that comes their way. Others are deeply principled people whose sense of pure revulsion about a man who is, as even his supporters concede, not quite normal, paralyzes their ability to follow their conservative political instincts. That can’t be changed and needs to be respected.
As part of his admirable repudiation of the Wilson Doctrine, Trump absolutely should bring some U.S. troops home and station them on our besieged border.
I caught Tucker Carlson’s show tonight and really liked his opening monologue. It ostensibly went after #NeverTrumper Max Boot, but it really was about something larger, which is the foreign policy establishment’s abiding commitment to using American troops everywhere in the world except where they might actually protect America and Americans — namely, our southern border. Here’s the monologue, if you’re interested:
After the monologue, Trump spoke with a retired colonel about the D.C. establishment’s absolute unwillingness to use the American military directly for America’s benefit. The colonel believes that special interests are driving this foreign policy. I think it goes deeper than that. The elite (whether in the military or out of it) all went to the same colleges and they were all weened on the same doctrine — that doctrine being the Wilson doctrine. I wrote about the Wilson Doctrine exactly two years ago. I still like the points I made, so I’m reiterating them here, although I’m refining them and adding new material (I say this lest you think it would be too mind-numbering to re-read an entirely recycled post):
When World War I broke out in 1914, dragging Europe from the pinnacle of civilization into an abyss of mindless killing, President Woodrow Wilson, America’s first Progressive Democrat, was resolute: America would not enter into this foreign war.
Americans also had no desire to be drawn into the war, although the country quickly divided into camps supporting the two sides in the battle. Those supporting England, France, Belgium, and Russia (the Allies) only slightly outnumbered the huge German-American population that put its moral weight behind Germany, Austro-Hungary, and a few other central European nations (the Central Powers).
The socialists, led by Eugene Victor Debs and Jane Addams (of Hull House fame), felt it was an obscene inversion of the arc of history for workers of the world to fight along nationalistic lines, rather than to band together against the worldwide evil of capitalism. Many who were not socialists, but saw no good in spilling American blood on foreign soil, joined their peace movement.
Although the population was divided and Wilson clung to neutrality, as the years passed that neutrality had a remarkably Anglophile feel to it. The moment the war started, the British had cut the transatlantic cable tying America to the continent. This meant that Americans received only British war reports, not German ones. That’s not to say the Germans didn’t deserve their bad press. They inflicted horrific carnage in both Belgium and France on their abortive push to Paris. Once news of that got out, many of those Americans who weren’t already actively pro-German would have been loath to side with Germany.
Something else that made neutrality more honored in the breach than in practice was the fact that American ships could reach Britain, even as Britain blocked them from reaching Germany. This created an economic boom for the Americans selling weapons and food to England — and, of course, it was a lifeline for Britain, which could never have lasted as long as it did without American supplies.
As the war progressed, and the money the British owed American manufacturers increased, America increasingly had a vested financial interest in a European victory. There would have been a serious depression in America had Britain lost the war.
The Germans were understandably concerned about the of weapons and supplies heading from America to England. In 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the HMS Lusitania, killing over a thousand passengers, including 128 Americans. Americans were outraged that the Germans had attacked a passenger ship and were disinterested in the fact that the ship was almost certainly carrying weapons to the British. To Americans, it was bad enough that the German’s were attacking American merchant marines with their newfangled submarines, without having them attack civilian vessels. The Germans, worried that the ship’s sinking would bring America into the war, promised to stop attacking American ships.
By 1916, though, the Germans concluded that the Americans, because they were arming England, were a de facto combatant in WWI. The Germans therefore announced that they were reversing course on their submarine moratorium and, henceforth, that all American ships approaching Britain were fair game.
Worse, in 1917, the British revealed the infamous Zimmermann Telegram, an internal German communication. Through it, the Americans learned that the Germans were proposing a military alliance with Mexico if the Americans entered the war. Even Wilson could no longer turn a blind eye to these provocations. He therefore went to Congress in April 1917 to make the case for war. This speech was to set the tone for American foreign policy for almost 100 years.
What Wilson realized as he wrote his speech was that, despite German attacks on American ships, America did not actually have any good reason to enter the war. Germany was an ocean away and, provided that the U.S. stayed out of the war, keeping Mexico neutral, Germany did not threaten America’s security or sovereignty. Moreover, if American retreated to true neutrality — that is, if she stopped trading with Britain — Germany would instantly leave her alone.
The one thing that Wilson could not admit was that, thanks to his turning a blind eye for three years to America’s ongoing trade with Britain, a British victory was the only way in which the U.S. could recoup the credit it had extended to Britain for the preceding three years. But again, there was no way that Wilson would ever say that he was sending American boys to a charnel house for crass commercial reasons.
Faced with an unspeakable reason for entering the war, Wilson instead came up with a high-flown moral doctrine justifying America’s entry into the war. And so the Wilson doctrine was born (emphasis mine):
We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretence about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German peoples included: for the rights of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.
Although the Wilson doctrine was essentially a cover for an economic war, Wilson almost certainly believed his own rhetoric. That’s why, after the war, he unavailingly tried to get the victorious allied nations to welcome Germany back into the fold. The allies, of course, having spilled unimaginable amounts of blood and treasure, thought the American president was a ridiculous little man. They were going to wring every penny possible out of Germany. If only they could have foreseen how a bankrupt, unstable Germany would ultimately decide to recover….
While the Europeans sneered at the idealistic hick from America, the American intelligentsia, already in love with a Democrat Progressive president who promised that rational expertise would lead them to a new paradise, agreed with Wilson that America was the engine of a higher calling. It was only right and just that this superior nation would fight to better the entire world, spreading far and wide the blessings of their own freedom. It did not occur to them then, as it did not occur to Iraq supporters almost 90 years later, that America’s freedoms might in fact be uniquely . . . American.
These same “freedom-loving” Americans were unfazed by the contradiction inherent in the fact that Wilson, a KKK-loving racist, had closed civil service jobs to African-Americans the moment he entered the White House, and then encouraged segregation in every area of Washington life — and in the military. Nor did they quibble when, at the start of WWI, Wilson pursued his program of bringing democracy overseas by imposing fascist policies at home that silenced all dissent and used heavy-handed government propaganda, along with an army of experts, to control every aspect of American life. (As always, if you’re interested in how Wilson planted the seeds for much of today’s Progressivism, you can’t do better than to read Jonah Goldberg’s invaluable Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change.)
Beginning in 1917, and for the next 90 years, official American foreign policy hewed tightly to the Wilson Doctrine. The word from Washington was America would not fight for water rights, or to control people, or for empire, or for power, or for wealth, or for oil: She would fight altruistically to free people. That’s what America did in WWI, in WWII, in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq (twice), and in Afghanistan. No matter the special interests behind the scenes tugging policy one way or another, in the grand panoply of American foreign policy, America fought on the principle that her blood and wealth, when spilled on foreign shores, would free the world from tyrants, to the benefit of all, America included.
Things changed in 2008, with Barack Obama’s ascension, but they didn’t change as much as some people think. Obama, like Wilson, was a Progressive Democrat who believed in his own hype. Some, when looking at Obama’s manifest disdain for America and her values, believed him to be the antithesis of Wilson. Thus, Wilson believed America was a special nation uniquely suited to freeing the world, while Obama believed America was a deeply flawed nation uniquely suited to destroying the world.
Ironically enough, however, Obama’s dark vision led him into a Wilsonian doctrine, although one seen through a dark, fun house mirror. Because Obama viewed America as a Typhoid Mary nation, one that destroyed everything it touched, his idea of making the world safe wasn’t necessarily to make it safe for democracy. It was, instead, to make the world safe from America.
To that end, Obama pulled America out of nations in which it was actually doing good, both for the nations and for America. Thus, no matter how foolish it was for America to go to Iraq in the first place, once she achieved victory there following the Surge, remaining there did provided stability in the Middle East, did bring some measure of freedom to the Iraqis, and did keep Iraq from becoming a terrorist breeding ground. Obama, therefore, promptly pulled American troops out of Iraq, creating a power vacuum that ISIS and Iran happily filled. He also put his weight behind America’s former enemies, certain that all problems lay with America, and that it would take just a little charm offensive to bring around the Mullahs in Iran, the Erdogan Islamists in Turkey, Putin and his Russian oligarchs, and a host of bad other actors around the world.
With Obama’s ascendancy came the birth of a subset of the Wilson doctrine: America would make this world safe by leading from behind. Her absence would allow native cultures to flourish in all their morally relativistic beauty. Moreover, as a form of self-abnegation, America would send her troops — that is, her Heartland’s children — and her money only into those battles that offered no benefit whatsoever to America itself. That altruism would cleanse America of every stain Obama believed besmirched America’s soul.
It didn’t mattered to Obama that democracy died in Iran, Libya turned into a terror haven, ISIS took over vast swaths of the Middle East, the Taliban returned to Afghanistan, the UN denied Israel’s ancient ties to the land, five-hundred-thousand people died in Syria, millions of people became refugees, and Europe came to the brink of culturally assisted suicide. It was enough for Obama that, just as Wilson and his successors did, he used America to make the world safe. The only difference was that, unlike his predecessor’s, he used the American military to make the world safe from . . . America.
As the Max Boot segment on Tucker Carlson shows, the Progressive and #NeverTrump American establishment — all those university-educated types who opine about good wars and bad, while your children die — continues to hew to Obama’s Bizarro World repackaging of the Wilson doctrine: America must fight wars that do not benefit her in order to serve as a shining example. Once upon a time, under Wilson, we were a shining example of democracy (Wilsonian democracy, of course, which always had a strong whiff of fascism about it). Now, with Obama, we became a shining example of doing penance for our racist, colonialist past by shedding blood only where it didn’t help America.
Trump’s foreign policy, for the first time in over 100 years, is an America first policy. And lest anyone suddenly spring up and say, “I told you Trump was a nationalist in the Hitlerian mode,” and start singing “America uber alles,” cool your jets.
Trump’s is not a policy of conquest, a la Hitler. Instead, he simply rejects the long-held notion that America has a duty to make the world safe for democracy or that America has a duty to cleanse her soul by sacrificing the children of her heartland to virtue signal to the rest of the world. Trump simply wants America and Americans to be both safe and prosperous. He’ll do whatever it takes, at home and abroad, to make those twin goals happen.
To this end, Trump has no interest in spilling American blood and spending American dollars to make Syria, North Korea, or Afghanistan safe for democracy. He simply wants the bad actors in those nations to know that, if they engage in acts that threaten America or her reliable allies, he will stomp them like bugs, quickly and efficiently. We’ve now seen that play out in both Syria (something that also sent a message to North Korea, China, and Russia), and in Afghanistan, where an efficient use of American military might triggered this moving series of tweets.
It doesn’t matter to Trump whether America’s enemy is ISIS in Afghanistan or Iraq; Assad and his chemical weapons in Syria; or Kim Jong-un and his nuclear cuddlies in North Korea. To Trump, all of them need to be taught quickly and firmly that, as long as they leave him and his friends alone, he’ll leave them alone; and if they forget that lesson . . . well, they’d better tuck their heads between their knees and kiss their sadistic, tyrannical asses good-bye.
When it comes to America’s traditional allies, Trump will work with them provided he feels they’re not taking advantage of America’s good will and that the partnership operates, not just to their benefit, but to America’s. In that context, “to America’s benefit” doesn’t mean the good feelings that accompany the pure Wilsonian altruism of making the world safe for democracy or the Obama altruism of making the world safe from America. Instead, it means a tangible benefit to America in the form of good trading relations and fair financial dealing America partners with another nation against a common foe.
Although Trump has not articulated this doctrine, his actions to date are consistent: Leave America alone and she will leave you alone. Be a good friend to America and she will be a good friend to you . . . up to a point. She will not fight your wars for you unless it’s in her interest to do so.
So what is in America’s interest? I would argue that protect America from a unconstrained migrant invasion from the South is in her interest and that Trump has the power to act on that interest.
Thus, President Donald John Trump, notwithstanding the Democrats in Congress and in the media, and especially notwithstanding the judges in the Ninth Circuit, is Commander in Chief of the American military. Faced with a declared emergency (and yes, he has the power to make that declaration), he can send America’s military to guard our southern borders against an invasion that currently totals about 100,000 or more people per month.
The wall is a permanent, long-term solution, but we need a short term fix. Trump should act immediately to draw our troops out of at least some of the 177 or so countries in which they are now stationed, and should instead place them on our own border.
Trump needs to do this as a matter of principle to establish that we do have a border and to prevent us from becoming Rome falling underneath the barbarian hordes.
He needs to do this as a matter of national security to keep terrorists from embedding themselves in this migrant population.
He needs to do this as a matter of economic security to keep our economy from being drained by people taking jobs away from America’s working class and remitting American dollars to Latin America.
He needs to to this as a matter of health security, as these migrants are harboring a medieval melange of diseases. (It’s bad enough that the homeless policies in our West Coast Progressive cities are incubating medieval diseases too.) It’s also a matter of health security because heroin and other drugs are flowing across the borders into America’s heartlands, wiping out populations.
And lastly, he needs to do this as a humane policy for Latin Americans. First, it will stop human trafficking across our borders, with children traded like cattle to facilitate coyotes who push “families” over the border and with women (and children) subject to terrible sex abuse, both on the road to America and once in America. Second, it will force Latin American countries, both at the government and the citizen level, to address their own problems. As long as we provide a safety valve, they have no incentive to do so.
At 102 years old, it’s time for the Wilson Doctrine to be given a gold watch and a nice speech, and then to be sent into decorous retirement. It has no place in the modern world. The continued reverence for the doctrine that infects the Democrat Party and the foreign policy establishment (but I repeat myself) needs to end if America is going to survive as a sovereign country whose leaders works to benefit American lives.
I’ll end this post by stealing a shtick from another post I wrote, this one after hearing Trump’s inaugural speech:
My recent trip to Southeast Asia occasioned a whole lot of flights — nine to be precise. We made long-hauls to get halfway across the world and short-hauls to allow us to fit four countries into a short time-frame. Nine flights means watching nine in-flight safety videos. My current favorite is United’s, because I like Gershwin and I appreciate the effort to make the video entertaining:
If you don’t want to watch the entire video, just go to the 1:50 mark in the video in the video. That’s the point at which United does the “oxygen mask” portion of the video:
If necessary, an oxygen mask will drop from above your seat. If a strap appears, pull down on the strap to access your mask. Firmly pull the mask to extend the tubing. Place the mask over your nose and mouth, and slip the band over your head. The band does not require adjustment. To start the flow of oxygen, breathe normally. Make sure your mask is secure before helping others. (Emphasis mine.)
For those wondering why the safety instruction insists upon the seemingly counter intuitive advice for a parent to put a child’s safety needs second, rather than first, the answer is that, if the parent becomes debilitated from lack of oxygen, he can help neither himself nor someone else . . . and debility happens very quickly indeed. This following video explains exactly what happens in a low oxygen environment. It’s impressive to see how quickly a person goes from feeling fine to being incompetent, with death following swiftly:
You’ve probably already figured out my analogy by this point. Trump’s speech is the equivalent of an in-flight safety video regarding oxygen masks. For the past 16 years, America has been pouring her resources outwards, away from her own needs, and she’s near death now.
America, as the world’s preeminent country does have a role in helping maintain some sort of balance in the rest of the world. However, that responsibility does not mean we must carry the entire burden of protecting other countries from themselves or turning them all into little Americas. That’s not going to work. It’s never going to work. But we can still use our might to tilt the balance here and there in responsible ways.
Importantly, though, America cannot provide that stabilizing service if she does not take care of herself first. And if mewling #NeverTrumpers and their Progressive fellow travelers think things are bad if America doesn’t act around the world now, they have no idea how bad it will be if there is no America at all
Reading unhinged Leftist delusions about Trump’s criminality — despite the Mueller report’s exoneration — reminds me strongly of people with dementia.
When she was already in her high 80s, my mother had to go to the hospital for heart surgery. The surgery went very well and gave my mother another five good years. What didn’t go well, though, was the hospital stay.
Those of you with elderly parents may already be familiar with something called “sundowning,” which is a form of dementia that worsens at night. Although it’s technically a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s also very common in elderly people who do not have dementia, but who are thrown into an unfamiliar setting — especially a hospital setting that sees them woken up at all hours of the night and living in a sort of perpetual twilight. (As you may have guessed from its name, sundowning is associated with disrupted Circadian rhythms.)
On my mother’s first night after surgery, the nurses telephoned me at 3 a.m. because Mom had been hysterically calling out for me to rescue her. They hoped that I could talk her down. I couldn’t, though, because although she recognized my voice on the phone, she was convinced that I was an alien being who had kidnapped her daughter and taken the daughter’s (that is, my) place.
Because the phone call didn’t help, I threw my clothes on and headed to the hospital. I shouldn’t have bothered. My mother was in the grip of a deep hallucination and didn’t recognize me. It was very strange having her desperately calling me to rescue her even as I stood there in front of her. I went back home.
When I returned to the hospital the next day, Mom filled me in on exactly what had happened to her that night. The nurses, she told me, were using the mobile computer carts that they brought to the bedside to run an illegal retail business selling designer clothes. They had kidnapped her and brought her down to a cellar beneath the hospital, put her at a sewing machine, and brutally forced her to sew clothes for ten hours to make products for their illegal business. She’d demanded that they bring her daughter to her (that would be me), because she knew I would rescue her. I never came, though. Instead, they sent an impostor to trick her. Later, when they returned her to her bed, the patient in the next bed was dying, and they forced mom to nurse the patient.
As my Mom was otherwise lucid that morning, I tried to show her that the patient in the next bed was alive and well and that the computer in her room was limited to patient data. I told her that I had talked to her on the phone and come to the hospital. I also pointed out that Mom wasn’t any good at sewing now that her vision was diminished. None of that mattered. Even while she acknowledged as true every single fact I told her, she nevertheless clung steadfastly to her narrative. It had happened and nothing could persuade her otherwise. She believed in that delusion until the day she died.
The next night, Mom called for me again and again I spoke to her on the phone without her recognizing me. This time, though, I didn’t go to the hospital because doing so would be pointless.
When I visited her the next morning, she had a new night-time adventure to report. She told me that she had been sleeping in her bed when she saw three Germans arrive from “there” (pointing to the window). The Germans came to her bed and stood around her as they discussed using her body in strange and torturous ways for scientific research. She was frightened and called for me, but I didn’t come, which was a tremendous betrayal of my alleged love for her.
This morning, Mom was able to walk, so I took her to the window — the same window through which, she assured me, the Germans had arrived. When we reached the window, I pointed out that (a) it could not open and (b) her room was on the third floor of the hospital. Because that evidence was before her eyes, she readily agreed that my facts were correct. But again, she refused to deny her hallucination. It was another one she clung to until her dying day.
Although my mother was an intelligent woman, had a lot of common sense, and was closely tied to reality when she wasn’t in the hospital, those visions were all-encompassing. They felt completely real to her. It was apparent that they had interwoven themselves so completely into her synapses that she could not accept that they were anything other than the truth — even if they conflicted with common sense, physics, trusted sources, whatever. They had happened.
You all know where I’m going, of course. People suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome invested themselves so completely and thoroughly in the Russian Collusion theory that nothing will shake their belief that it happened. That mass delusion, that collective hallucination, has become as real to them as the chair on which they sit, the food they eat, or the face they see in the mirror. And because it has profound emotional resonance, playing as it does on their fears and their fantasies, their hates and their hopes, they cannot let it go.
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you two posts I saw on my real-me Facebook page. One is from a die-hard Proggie and the other from a #NeverTrumper. Both are people whom I’ve known for decades, so I can attest to the fact that they have jobs (one of them, indeed, is a leader in his field), they have families, they have friends, and they manage their lives with reasonable skill.
They’re also completely delusional. Here’s the Proggie’s take on what we know to date about the Mueller report:
Just remember that the report says there was not enough PROOF to prove collusion at this time.
He is still a criminal.
He is still a liar, cheat and fraud.
He is still a horrible person.
Not enough proof? At this time?! Let’s talk about what 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, and all their support staff did for two years (and here I’m quoting from the Barr letter): They “issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.”
And after all that effort, here’s what Barr summarizes as the Special Counsel’s findings on collusion:
The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Do you see any language there about “not enough proof at this time,” because I sure don’t. Or how about in this paragraph about Russian efforts at sowing disinformation:
As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.
Again, I’m not seeing any hedging statement saying, “The Special Counsel thought there was something there, but damned if he could find any proof after those 2,800 plus subpoenas, after reviewing God alone knows how many documents, and after talking to approximately 500 people.”
That’s just disinformation, though. What about the computer hacking? Surely that’s where my Proggie friend saw language about “not enough proof at this time.” Hmmm, not so much:
But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
This wasn’t a case of “not enough proof.” As Barr summarizes it, this was a case of NO PROOF. NADA. ZILCH. NOTHING.
There was no proof whatsoever that anyone in the Trump campaign, from Trump on down, did anything wrong with regard to the Russians. Indeed, reading between the lines, blame can only go to one place for Russian behavior vis-a-vis the 2016 election: The Obama administration, which failed to (did it even try to?) stop the Russians.
But facts are irrelevant. My Proggie friend is in the Stygian depths of Trump Derangement Syndrome. He’s in the political equivalent of that hospital basement with my Mom, sewing clothes for nurses to sell through their hospital computers. He can no longer distinguish reality from his fantasy. The fact that the Special Counsel’s efforts, aided by a team of die-hard Hillary supporting Democrat attorneys, couldn’t find diddly-squat to tie Trump to collusion is meaningless. He has hardwired himself to a fantasy and cannot let it go.
And then there’s the #NeverTrumper. . . . He was absolutely horrified that Trump said that the people in government who pushed the collusion story had done a very bad thing — indeed, a treasonous thing — and that he intended to look into their conduct. Here’s what the Proggie had to say:
He should be thankful for possibly dodging a bullet but instead he seems to want to demonstrate he is unfit for office (as the National Review once wrote – any office, even Travis County dog catcher…)
Huh? Did I just understand this man to say that someone who has just been exonerated entirely (go back to the Barr quotes) should be grateful that he “dodg[ed] a bullet”? What bullet? Is the #NeverTrumper saying Trump should be grateful that he survived a treasonous cabal of political operatives anxious to hang onto power, aided by a Special Counsel staff composed entirely of his political enemies, all trying to stage a coup that successfully wiped out the 2016 election? That bullet?
I don’t think that’s what my #NeverTrump buddy is arguing. I think he’s arguing that, despite the most thorough exoneration in American political history, Trump’s lucky he didn’t get caught . . . doing whatever nefarious hallucination is winding around like some tapeworm in the #NeverTrumper’s delirious imaginings. No wonder, then, that this #NeverTrumper thinks that Trump, an innocent man, is “unfit for office” because he stated that he intends to bring justice to those who almost succeeded in carrying out the first true political coup in American history.
My mother’s excuse was that she had an aged brain. All of us who are aging can look at her and think “there but for the grace of God go I.”
It’s different when it comes to the people who wrote those ludicrous statements, both of which are untethered to explicit and undisputed facts. These permanently sundowning Proggies and #NeverTrumpers who proudly display their hallucinations for all to see on Twitter and Facebook, and in MSM articles and TV shows, can’t claim age-related dementia. They’re in the primes of their lives.
Instead, like drug addicts, they did this to themselves. They’ve wallowed for years in unwholesome, destructive, dishonest, and deranged fantasies, and now they’re trapped in a state of permanent sundowning, completely unable to distinguish their sick fantasies from reality.
And if that analogy doesn’t work for you, I’ve got one more, from the late, great C.S. Lewis. If you’re a C.S. Lewis fan, you may remember a scene from The Last Battle, his parable about the Apocalypse. In that scene, although the dwarfs have survived Aslan’s judgment which allows some eternal life while consigning others to perdition, they are unable to appreciate their good fortune. Even though the dwarfs are sitting in a glorious sunlit field, they are convinced that they are in a dark and dirty shed. And when Aslan places a feast before them, they perceive it as disgusting refuse that they trample into the dirt as they fight each other.
Do I need to say more? It’s enough to know that, like my mother in the hospital cellar, those in the grips of Trump Derangement Syndrome are forever mired in a dark, smelly stable, eating dirt.
Ted Cruz announced yesterday that he will, in fact, be voting for Donald Trump. In the Facebook post explaining his decision to vote for a man who treated him and his family brutally during the primaries, Cruz made the same points I’ve been making for months: First, that Hillary is infinitely worse than Trump could ever be and, second, that Trump has been carefully refining his campaign promises to assure Americans that he’ll put on the brakes before Hillary takes us over the same cliff that Obama has relentlessly edged us towards for the past eight years. Here are Cruz’s key points, although I do urge you to read the whole thing:
Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance.
Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.
Third, energy. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and relentless efforts to crush the oil and gas industry. Trump has said he will reduce regulations and allow the blossoming American energy renaissance to create millions of new high-paying jobs.
Fourth, immigration. Clinton would continue and even expand President Obama’s lawless executive amnesty. Trump has promised that he would revoke those illegal executive orders.
Fifth, national security. Clinton would continue the Obama administration’s willful blindness to radical Islamic terrorism. She would continue importing Middle Eastern refugees whom the FBI cannot vet to make sure they are not terrorists. Trump has promised to stop the deluge of unvetted refugees.
Sixth, Internet freedom. Clinton supports Obama’s plan to hand over control of the Internet to an international community of stakeholders, including Russia, China, and Iran. Just this week, Trump came out strongly against that plan, and in support of free speech online.
These are six vital issues where the candidates’ positions present a clear choice for the American people.
There are roughly six weeks between now and the election — and in those states that allow early voting, people are already casting their votes. We have very little time left within which people can make a choice between preserving what’s left of America or starting a Venezuela slide. At the beginning of August, I analogized our situation to that in The Bridge over the River Kwai. When a Facebook friend posted that the movie was being shown on PBS in our area, I went back, looked at the post, and decided that it’s good enough for a replay, although edited somewhat for clarity:
The older of my two dogs is very high-strung and she got so frightened by the wind that carried the fog in tonight that I’ve had to sequester her and me in my home office so that Mr. Bookworm, who needs to get up for work tomorrow, can sleep. She shows no signs of settling, so I’m blogging.
No matter how you slice it, Trump is the less risky gamble. Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Publius Decius Mus quite graphically presents the issue that I have been arguing all summer:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
Precisely. Trump, with all his flaws, is better than Hillary. Up until a few months ago, one could argue that Hillary is just another garden-variety Leftist and that the American republic will survive despite her.
That’s all changed now. Knowing as we do of her extraordinary corruption — whether in running the State Department as a Pay-for-Play profit center for herself, her husband, and her daughter, or deliberately exposing all of America’s state secrets to try to hide her gross malfeasance — electing her to the presidency means that America has fully embraced banana republic status.
In the wake of a Hillary victory, thanks to Comey and the American voters (including all those #NeverTrumpers), there will no longer be a rule of law in America that applies equally to all citizens. We will in one fell swoop have destroyed a legal system that goes back 1215 when England first put into writing in the Magna Carta a policy saying that no one, not even a king, is above the law. As of now, Hillary and her cronies are above the law and it will be a disaster if the American people put their imprimatur on that utterly corrupt, anti-democratic principle.
One more thing: As Publius Decius Mus explains, Hillary’s been wrong about every single policy stance she’s ever taken (including the ones where she’s changed her stance repeatedly according to the latest poll data), while Trump, in his fumbling, bumbling way, has been right about all of the most important policy issues facing America. So maybe he’s not so bad after all.
Hillary’s cough has sounded awfully familiar to me — and today I finally figured out what Hillary’s endless coughing jags bring to mind. To back up a minute, though. . . .
As anyone following the news knows, Hillary’s been coughing a lot . . . an awful lot. Just today, while campaigning in Cleveland, Hillary practically coughed a lung out. Moreover, she was rude enough to cough into her hand, which has been de trop ever since the swine floor, rather than her elbow, the more socially acceptable way to cough:
Watching Hillary hack away, I finally figured out where I’ve heard that cough before. Think back, way back, to the Ernie Kovacs Show. I’m too young to have watched it in its first iteration, but I did see it when it was replayed on PBS back in the 1970s. One of the images that stayed with me was Kovacs’ character “Eugene,” who brings sound effects to everything he does. Near the end of a sketch, he checks out the books on a shelf, with one of those books being Camille (the English translation of Alexander Dumas fils’ La Dame aux Camélias). I’ve queued the following clip to the correct moment, but if it doesn’t start correctly, go to 9:51.
Yup. Hillary sounds exactly like the consumptive prostitute coughing in Ernie Kovacs’ comedic moment. I won’t draw any analogies, although I can’t help but add that the prostitute in Camille was surprisingly virtuous, ending any actual comparison with Hillary. What I will say is that I’m glad to have chased down the fugitive memory that was haunting me every time I heard Hillary hack.
Once again that this blog’s motto is proven correct. My blog’s motto is “Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts.” The only thing wrong with the motto is that the word “liberal” is a poor substitute for a whole category of Leftists and totalitarians of all political and religious stripes. Otherwise, it’s entirely accurate — as is beautifully shown by the story of Kasim Hafeez, who was raised on a steady diet of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic conclusions. These conclusions led him to being a rabid anti-Israel activist — something that changed dramatically when he read Alan Dershowitz’s The Case for Israel. Confronted with actual facts, Hafeez did a volte face on his previous prejudice and now tours campuses as a pro-Israel activist.
Facts favor conservativism, which is why the mainstream media works so hard to hide them.
How hard does this media work to hide facts? This hard: Larry Correia minces no words when he describes how appalling the American media is when it comes to reporting the news. He sees them as engaged in a four step dance of information death:
First, is there anything we can milk from this story to bolster our worldview? Y/N
Second, is there anything in this story which could potentially make democrats look bad? Y/N
Third, is there anything in this story which will make republicans look stupid or evil? Y/N
Fourth, does this event in some way affect us personally? Y/N
This algorithm explains why, when George Bush waited three days during Hurricane Katrina before making an official visit, so as not to disrupt rescue efforts, every outlet painted him as an out-of-touch racist. Meanwhile, when Obama refuses to leave the golf course, only to announce that, in the face of the worst Hurricane since Sandy, he’ll visit sometime next week, the media is utterly silent. Go here and read exactly how Correia’s questions play out in real time.
In the same vein, Ann Coulter details how the media relentlessly twists anything that a conservative says, throwing it before uninformed Americans as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, when it is more often a combination of vicious lies (often leavened by gross ignorance and staggering laziness):
Last August, Trump said the following about the way he was treated at the first GOP debate: “(Megyn Kelly) starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions, and you know, you can see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever, but she was, in my opinion — she was off base.”
This was nearly identical to what Trump said about Chris Wallace a few sentences later: “There’s a big difference between Mike Wallace and Chris Wallace because I watched them last night, you know, blood pouring out of his eyes, too.”
Suddenly the words “her wherever” were being described as a clear-cut reference to Megyn’s menstrual blood! (I have it on good authority that Chris Wallace has never menstruated.)
Trump expressed shock, saying of his accusers, “They have all dirty minds — I never even thought about it … I was thinking of ears or nose.” (Accused by the same forces of something revolting, Whittaker Chambers gasped, “What kind of beasts am I dealing with?”)
The day after Trump allegedly referred to Megyn’s period, I happened to have a number of social engagements with people who hadn’t heard about the scandale. So I gave them Trump’s exact words, told them the media were in hysterics about it, and asked them to guess why.
None of them — an Obama-voter, a conservative actor and a union organizer — were able to guess the ludicrous interpretation being placed on Trump’s words. At least one was visibly angry about the accusation (probably because he was on his period). But after a few weeks of media propaganda, even he flipped and became totally convinced Trump was, in fact, referring to Megyn’s menstrual blood.
Most people are highly suggestible. That’s why companies spend billions of dollars on advertising.