Category Archives: ELECTION 2020

Trump 2020: Make America Normal Again

For four years, the left has up-ended everything that was once considered normal. An overwhelming Trump (and Republican) victory can bring normal back.

Over the past few days, when reading articles, conversing with friends, listening to podcasts, or just contemplating life, one word rings in my brain like a tocsin: “Normal.”

It’s not a very inspiring or impressive word. Like “nice,” it’s often one of those words you use when you want to damn something with faint praise. If you’re a kid in high school, you don’t want your prom date to be reduced to the words “nice” and “normal.” You want that date to be dazzling, gorgeous, popular, fun, cool, or whatever other superlatives we heap upon those things or people we desire.

But there’s a lot to be said for things that are nice and even more to be said for things that are “normal.”

One hundred years ago, there was another presidential election. It pitted Warren G. Harding, the Republican, against James M. Cox, the Democrat. Harding won with 60.3% of the electoral college votes. Cox got the South (except for Tennessee), but Harding won every other state. It was a decisive victory.

Harding’s winning slogan was “A return to normalcy.” That was what Americans desperately craved.

Although American participation in World War I was short compared to England’s and the Continental powers, that year had exposed a generation of American men to the incredible brutality of modern trench warfare. After only a year at the front, 116,516 men didn’t make it home. Those who did come home were changed both by the war experience itself and by their exposure to the wider world.

Another profoundly disruptive event was the Spanish Influenza. It started working its way through the troops the moment they were mobilized to military camps across America and then followed them to Europe. Meanwhile, it worked its way across the home front. At a guess, the flu may have killed 675,000 Americans out of a population of fewer than 106 million people, with most of the deaths taking healthy young people.

There was also tremendous socialist and anarchist ferment on the home front in the lead-up to the 1920 election. On September 16, 1920, a bomb went off on Wall Street, killing 38 people and wounding hundreds. This came on the heels of a series of bomb attacks across America by anarchists following Luigi Galleani.

Thinking about it, the parallels between now and one hundred years ago are uncanny. As in 1920, we’re heading into an election in 2020 on the heels of war (two decades of it), one epidemic disease (that politicized decision-making turned into an economic disaster), and a series of anarchist riots and terrorist attacks across America. All of which gets me back to Harding and his slogan: A return to normalcy.

While everyone likes a bit of excitement now and then, people crave the normal, especially people who care for young children or who are elderly. At least, they crave normal when normal is virtuous. In North Korea, normal is awful.

For the majority of Americans, however, normal has been a good thing. When our troops came home from WWII they craved the American normal as much as their fathers had upon their return from the first European War.

I was a child of the WWII generation (meaning that I was born after the war, but every adult in my world had experienced it, sometimes with incredible brutality), so I saw firsthand how all these adults also embraced normal. They walked out of the camps and off the battlefields, got jobs, got married, had children, and lived normal lives.

It doesn’t mean that they were necessarily all normal people. Looking back, my parents and many of their peers were deeply damaged by their experiences — but they were still creating lives of studied American normality. We boomers benefitted from it, although most of the boomers have been anything but grateful.

The same is true in the black community. Once the Republicans freed blacks from the slavery imposed upon them, they exploded into productivity. Leftists briefly obsessed about the deadly and vile Tulsa race riot in 1921 because they thought it would hurt Trump. What they didn’t note was that the Tulsa black community was an extraordinary, vibrant, and productive community only 60 years after blacks emerged from two centuries of slavery. Noting that, of course, would destroy the narrative that, 155 years after slavery ended, American blacks still can’t recover.

In fact, before the left got its tentacles into blacks with the welfare state, blacks were thriving. As Larry Elder points out in his extraordinary Uncle Tom documentary (which everyone should see), in many regions across America after WWII, blacks had more intact families (mom, dad, and kids), and faster economic growth than any other racial group. And think about the incredible creativity and growth of the Harlem Renaissance. Despite overt prejudice and the South and equally malevolent covert prejudice in the rest of America, blacks were still managing to thrive.

With welfare, though, leftists told black men that welfare was a form of reparations, so they should give up their jobs and their family should look to the government. That made men redundant, so many of them turned to fathering illegitimate children and engaging in crime to give their lives meaning and purpose, and created generational poverty with single mothers raising fatherless children. The left killed black normalcy.

One of the main differences between 1920 and 2020 is that, for the first time in American history, we have a major political party that absolutely rejects the entire notion of normal. They rejected it on racial grounds. They reject it on sex grounds. They reject it on climate grounds. They reject it on law and order grounds. They reject normal wherever it tries to take root. This is the leftist’s way of accruing power.

Andrew Sullivan looked at “the roots of wokeness,” which is the left’s vehicle for power today, and found those roots in “critical theory,” which rejects reality — including the reality of the norm or normal. He even uses the word “normal” to explain the concept:

Most normal people have never heard of this theory—or rather an interlocking web of theories—that is nonetheless changing the very words we speak and write and the very rationale of the institutions integral to liberal democracy. (Emphasis mine.)

Sullivan relies on Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender and Identity — an Why This Harms Everybody, by James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose. I haven’t read the book, but here’s what Sullivan has to say about critical theory and its deliberate effort to remove our nation’s ability to recognize reality and define normal:

What the book helps the layperson to understand is the evolution of postmodern thought since the 1960s until it became the doctrine of Social Justice today. Beginning as a critique of all grand theories of meaning—from Christianity to Marxism—postmodernism is a project to subvert the intellectual foundations of western culture. The entire concept of reason—whether the Enlightenment version or  even the ancient Socratic understanding—is a myth designed to serve the interests of those in power, and therefore deserves to be undermined and “problematized” whenever possible. Postmodern theory does so mischievously and irreverently—even as it leaves nothing in reason’s place. The idea of objective truth—even if it is viewed as always somewhat beyond our reach—is abandoned. All we have are narratives, stories, whose meaning is entirely provisional, and can in turn be subverted or problematized.

During the 1980s and 1990s, this somewhat aimless critique of everything hardened into a plan for action. Analyzing how truth was a mere function of power, and then seeing that power used against distinct and oppressed identity groups, led to an understandable desire to do something about it, and to turn this critique into a form of activism. Lindsay and Pluckrose call this “applied postmodernism”, which, in turn, hardened into what we now know as Social Justice.

Sullivan has more to say on the subject and he’s worth reading because he’s made a stellar analysis about woke culture and intersectionality. For the purposes of this post, I’m interested only in the abandonment of objective truth.

Most people think they’re pretty clear on objective truth. When you look into your underpants, you know if you’re a boy or a girl. When you see yourself in the mirror, you know you’re a person, not a dog or a dragon. And while you recognize that your skin color may bring you closer to one racial classification than another, reality also tells you your species: You’re a human being, same as the people next to you, whether their skin is darker or lighter or their eyes narrower or rounder.

We also have the human capacity to look around and evaluate things. If you’ve learned that young black men with their pants hanging off their butts and expensive,  unlaced shoes are dangerous, you avoid them. It’s not their race, it’s the choices they make about their appearance. If you saw those same young black men, neatly dressed, standing outside a church with their family, all of them holding Bibles, you wouldn’t give your safety a second thought.

We intuitively understand that the immensity of climate is far beyond human control. We can affect our local environment and climate by excessive pollution or clearance, but ultimately Nature is always bigger. For urban dwellers who are far removed from Nature, this may be hard to understand. The moment you get outside the city, though, whether you’re in a desert, on a mountain top, in a tropical jungle, or a northern forest, you realize how insignificant we are in the grander scheme of things.

This is why the left has to pound away relentlessly at the idea of Anthropogenic Climate Change. If the left lets go of the issue for even a second, it knows that the rest of us, the normal ones, will revert to the healthy norm: If we like our local environment we should take care of it (something that wealthy nations do with greater ease than poor ones) because we can affect our locale.  However, whether we respect our environment or not, Nature will always come roaring through, whether with big things like earthquakes and hurricanes, or little things like cockroaches or locusts.

We intuitively understand that men and women are biological matched sets that exist to produce children. Because we have a higher intelligence than other animals, we can function beyond our biological baseline, building things, inventing things, and doing all sorts of other wondrous activities. Still, at bottom, we’re male and female who come together to make babies, same as all the other animals on earth.

We humans can also accommodate and respect the fact that, when it comes to human sexuality, there are people whose desires don’t mesh with biological imperatives. Gay men can impregnate women and lesbian can get pregnant, but they’d rather rely on science for those functions and keep the fun within their own sex. So the human range of normal comes with a bit of flexibility on the side. But it still boils down to man and woman, boy and girl, male and female. There is no “today I am a man, tomorrow I enjoy being a girl” in Nature.

Normal also means we crave peace. We will fight if we have to and, if our society is terribly out of wack, we’ll do terrible things. However, the healthy human brain wants peace and, to achieve it, understands that wrongdoers need punishment, both because it is justice as to them and their victims, and to dissuade others from doing the same. Because we are a civilized, Judeo-Christian society, though, we Americans want that punishment to come through a fair, reasoned, and reliable process that does not embrace cruelty for its own sake. When we look at screaming mobs in the street, violating all norms of law and order, we are instinctively revolted.

Both candidates promise peace. Trump promises peace by reinstating the normal, which is the rule of law. Biden promises peace by saying that, if we give the rioters, Marxists, and anarchists what they want, they’ll go away and leave us alone. He’s too demented, perhaps, to remember that appeasement has never worked in the history of all humankind, but the leftists surrounding him should and do know better. They don’t want peace. They want chaos because they see that as a path to power.

We can certainly be intelligent enough to conclude that even mobs sometimes have reasonable demands. For example, I’ve long been saying that police are not social workers and shouldn’t be asked to carry out those duties. Once Kentucky town experimented with a police-social worker partnership, and it seems to have worked. (You have to be careful, though. In California, most social workers are hard leftists and they interested more in critical race theory than in solving problems.)

Conceding that there is some reason inside the madness, though, is not the same as giving the mob what it wants. The logic of law and order — of a reliable system that protects citizens from criminals and criminals from outraged citizens — demands that society must punish those who use violence to put their ideas forward. They have the choice to use persuasion and the ballot box, not screaming, violent attacks on valuable institutions. Make the wrong choice; go to jail.

Incidentally, those screaming, violent anarchists actually look abnormal. That is, they’re not normal warriors; they have a frightening aura of mental illness hanging about them.

Anyway, I’m waffling here. I’ll just wrap up. As in 1920, the lead-up to 2020 is a world of abnormality. What’s unusual this time around is that it’s not just war, disease, and anarchists that have created the abnormal. Instead, half of our political class is working on denying reality and normalcy altogether.

The ruling class does this because the only way to convince people that socialism works is to force them to believe that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that boys and girls are interchangeable, that violent anarchists are mostly peaceful, and every other bit of nonsense and fantasy leftists foist on us. Oh, and of course, they’re telling us that a manifestly senile old man is a fit candidate to be president of the most powerful nation in the history of the world.

Trump tried to bring normal back in his first term (borders, rule of law, foreign allies who actually like us, lower taxes, etc.) but was consistently blocked by the forces of anarchy, resistance, and downright madness. If we can get Trump returned to the White House by an overwhelming popular vote plus a huge Electoral College majority, plus giving him a Republican Congress, American can get what it truly needs:

Trump 2020: Make America Normal Again. 

No. 3 Bookworm Room Podcast — Michelle Obama, Tulsi Gabbard, and cat ladies

It speaks to our vapid celebrity culture that Michael Moore believes that talentless, accomplishment-free Michelle Obama is the Democrat Party’s only hope.

I am having fun figuring out more efficient ways to do the podcast. My first podcast, in addition to the days of trying to figure out how to record, edit, and publish it, took five hours to create; podcast No. 3, the one that is the subject of this post, took only 2 hours. I’m not saying that it’s a better interface from the audience viewpoint but it was definitely a better experience on my end. Here are the ideas I developed in the podcast. Alternatively, just listen to the podcast itself, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post:

Help us, Michelle Obama; you’re our only hope.

My starting point in the podcast is a Michael Moore appearance on MSNBC (h/t American Thinker) in which Moore said, with perfect, almost tearful, sincerity that Michelle Obama is the only one who can win the election for the Democrats and save America from more Donald Trump. His desperation is both charming (from a conservative point of view) and pathetic (from any point of view):

What fascinated me was the fact that Moore doesn’t make any claim that Michelle has the skills to be president. He simply argues that she can debate Trump (I think he’s wrong) and that people like Michelle Obama. In other words, if this election were held in high school, where popularity is everything, Michelle would win.

It’s no surprise that Moore doesn’t point to any of Michelle’s actual accomplishments, because she has none. She spent some time as a junior associate in a law firm, then went to work in Chicago city politics and then, as her husband’s star began to rise, got a make work position at the University of Chicago. Apparently she broke some fundraising records there, but only the naive would think this had to do with her charm and skills rather than scoring points thanks to her husband’s political trajectory. Once she was First Lady, her signature accomplishment was making school children hate lunch.

Michelle Obama is nothing more than a media product: From the very first day, the media has been singing her praises. She’s the new Jackie O, she has the most gorgeous arms, she’s incredibly stylish, she’s brilliant, she’s hip, she’s charming. Peel away the slavish praise and there’s no visible there there. Indeed, the only way in which Michelle Obama compares to Jackie O isn’t about style; it’s about the fact that, like Jackie, Michelle married well and then, after leaving the White House, became fabulously rich and started leading a louche Rivieria lifestyle, something I find decidedly at odds with American values.

Once upon a time, we elected presidents based upon their accomplishments, whether in or out of politics, before they got to the White House. Washington led the Continental Army to victory. Adams, Jefferson, and Madison were towering intellectual giants of the Revolution. Jackson was a war hero. Lincoln was a successful lawyer and effective politician. Grant won the Civil War. Teddy Roosevelt won everything. Wilson (a vile man) was president of Princeton and governor of Virginia, Truman was a successful WWI commander and had a long political history (one that was fairly clean despite the dirty Democrat Midwestern political machine), Eisenhower helped win WWII, Kennedy served with honor in WWII, Reagan had a long career in politics and served as California governor. I could go on but I hope I’ve made my point. Even George Dubya, while a disappointing president, wasn’t elected just because he was H.W.’s son. He also served successfully as Texas’s governor and was an experienced businessman.

And then there was Obama, whose only accomplishment was . . . being Obama. When he took the White House, he’d never achieved anything significant for anybody but himself by constantly attaining higher and higher positions in which he did nothing of note. That didn’t matter, though, because Obama — handsome, Ivy League educated, well-spoken, and hard Left — was part of America’s new aristocracy.

The old aristocracy, the British kind that we broke with in 1776, ignored accomplishments and looked to lineage. For example, that’s how Charles II finally won the throne, long after his father was executed and Cromwell died. He got it because he was born to it. As a ruler, though, he left much to be desired, with a courtier writing of him:

Here lies our sovereign Lord the King,
Whose word no man relies on.
Who’s never said a foolish thing
Nor ever done a wise one.

The list of foolish monarchs, men and women who got power because they were part of the ruling class, is legion. Sometimes they surprised people by ruling well and wisely; more often than not, people were lucky if these “in crowd” rulers at least had the wisdom to choose good advisers.

America, as I noted, has now developed its own aristocracy, one made up, not of blood, but of the “proper” beliefs and connections. I learned this in 2008 when a Leftist friend told me that it was irrelevant that Sarah Palin, who was running for Vice President, was a much more accomplished executive and politician than Barack Obama, who sought the Oval Office. The problem with Palin, he said, was that “she’s not one of us.” She’s not a graduate of a prestigious college (preferably with a graduate degree), she’s not driving a hybrid car and, most importantly, she doesn’t hew to the Democrat party platform. Not only do “we” dislike her politics, she is not worthy of political victory.

Same goes for Trump, one of the most successful men ever to sit in the Oval office. All that kinds for Moore and his ilk, though, is that Michelle is a new American aristocrat. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, and all the other Founders, the ones who fought for a true republic, must be weeping in their graves.

Don’t get fooled: Tulsi Gabbard is just another Leftist

Tulsi Gabbard is a beautiful woman. She’s easily the most beautiful person ever to run for president. She’s also proven that she has the killer instinct to strike like a rattlesnake (witness her recent attack on Kamala Harris). Moreover, her military record and hostility to Islamism make her appealing to centrists. Unlike the other vet on the Democrat stage — Buttigieg — she lacks the poorly disguised existential anger that hides behind his cute little chipmunk face. Buttigieg knows that his Christian God doesn’t approve of his lifestyle and is busy trying to rewrite his faith to suit his desires. It’s not a good look.

Don’t be fooled, though. Just as Williamson, behind the New Age gibble-gabble, is a generic Leftist, the same is true of Tulsi. Just look at her official website.

As is true for all the top tier Democrat candidates, Tulsi supports socialized medicine, although she pays lip service to keeping some sort of private insurance around (probably for the rich people). She voted for the Medicare for All Act of 2019 and mounts the usual attacks on insurance and pharmaceutical companies:

No one should be forced to choose between putting food on the table and paying for life-saving medication. But that’s exactly what’s happening to millions of Americans as a result of Big Pharma’s chokehold on Medicare. They’ve managed to buy access into Congress, barring the government from negotiating cheaper prices for consumers, so they can continue to price-gouge those trying to buy life-saving medication and rake in profits at the expense of the American people.

It doesn’t seem to occur to any of these Lefties that bringing companies into the government fold is fascism. If you’re scared of corporations now, just wait until they’re in bed with government. Then they’re really scary and there’s no free market to protect you.

Also like her fellow Dems, Tulsi wants to socialize American higher education by forcing American taxpayers to fund community and two year colleges and to pay for “middle-class students” at public universities. This is free money for Leftists.

More scarily, publicly funded higher education is a way to complete the indoctrination of all American young people. Colleges are Ground Zero for every crazy idea floating around now: socialism, identity politics, virtue signaling, and the general insanity that we see about race, gender, feminism, etc. Colleges are why corporations are virtue signaling themselves into bankruptcy (see Gillette’s ill-advised ads) — college grads with useless Queer, or Gender, or Race degrees eventually leave Starbucks for mid-level management jobs and destroy companies from within. They also infest the social media companies that are trying to destroy American political discourse.

Tulsi is an abortion extremist. She doesn’t say so explicitly, but she supported 2013’s “Women’s Health Protection Act” which would have removed all state mandated limits on abortion. This means abortion up to and even after the moment of birth.

When it comes to so-called “climate change,” Tulsi checks the “generic Dem” box there as well:

Here are a couple of other Tulsi climate sound bytes, all of which are aimed at returning us to a pre-modern era of green landscapes and starving people:

As president, I’ll tackle climate change by ending subsidies to big fossil fuel and agribusiness corporations, ban offshore drilling, harness innovation to create jobs in renewable energy, provide better opportunities for our farmers, and ensure every American has clean air and water.

And

We need to invest in 100% renewable and safe energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal. I also support a ban on fracking, ending the $26 billion/year in fossil fuel subsidies, as well as all subsidies or waivers to the nuclear power industry, which should itself be completely responsible for paying for its own insurance and paying the long term cost for safe storage of nuclear waste over centuries. I will also work to provide other incentives for a renewable energy economy.

On race, Tulsi voted yes on the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals.” No, it’s not voting for reparations, but it’s getting the ducks in a row to vote for reparations. My parents came to this country in 1954 and struggled, always. Most of my classmates growing up were the children of people who had escaped Communist China or Communist Vietnam with the clothes on their backs. Why any of them, who had nothing to do with slavery, should pay reparations to people who were not themselves slaves is beyond me.

On immigration, Tulsi talks about border security, but it’s pretty clear that she wants to fast-track citizenship (that is, voting status) to those who cheated:

The only area in which Tulsi sounds actually conservative is that her passionate anti-War stance is combined with a desire to strike back at radical Islamism. In that way, she’s somewhat like Trump insofar as she and Trump have broken with both the Wilson doctrine and the Obama-led peace movement. I’ve written about Trump’s stance at some length here, so I won’t repeat it now. I’ll just say that, as between Leftist Tulsi and promising-keeping, conservative Trump, I’ll keep Trump for foreign policy, thank you very much.

The Rule of Law applies even to cat ladies

The last thing I want to blog about is a bit random. You may have seen the story from Garfield Heights, Ohio, about a 79 year old woman being sent to jail for 10 days for feeding stray cats.

At first glance, it sounds like government run amok, but it’s really not. Feeding feral cats is not innocuous. Feral cats have lots of nasty diseases and the food you put out for them brings in other animals, such as rats and raccoons. I know this because, about 15 or so years ago, I spent two years of my life working on a crazy cat lady case. She’d started putting food out for cats and was eventually feeding every raccoon and rat within an umpteen block radius. These animals, some of which could have been rabid, were breaking into surrounding homes and threatening children.

Heck, just think about what’s going on in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle, San Francisco, and all those other Leftist-run cities that allow human behaviors that encourage rats and raccoons. Those cities are starting to have medieval diseases. There’s nothing cute about engaging in behaviors that encourage vermin.

I don’t care that this gal is a cute little cat lady. What matters is that she refuses to stop illegal behavior that civil government rightly discourages. It’s a step in the direction of public health and the rule of law to make her take things seriously (something she clearly hadn’t done after numerous citations).

If you want to listen to the podcast, which roughly parallels the post above, you can click on the player below. Alternatively, here’s a link in case you can’t get the embedded link to load. I really would like to make a go of it, so assuming you find the podcast somewhat meritorious — I’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word:

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