She’s Not Supposed To Win; But This IS a Very Weird Election…
I wrote this post several weeks on the Kimberly Klacik phenomenon. It’s almost too bad that this African-American conservative is in a district and state where it will be nearly impossible for her to win election. She is stunningly attractive, refreshingly pro-Trump, clear ideas on the issues and is running against an icon of old school Black urban politics. Did I tell you the district is overwhelmingly Democratic? (Here is Klacik’s FB page!) If she was running for Fox News contributor, she’d win that election for sure.
But what if the people are restless? Tired of too much social distancing and your favorite sub shop closed? It’s a mail in ballot. Hardcore Kim voters will make sure it is returned promptly. People might figure: I can vote for same ol’ same ol’ and that is what I’ll get: Same ol’, same ol’ politics.
Klacik’s website got hacked today. Here is what she said on FB:
Thanks all for the messages! Our website was hacked today, but it is back up now. We will not allow anyone to break our spirits (heart and US flag emoji).
I just sense something is about to happen. Somebody is threatened by Kim’s message.
I agree Klacik should not be close to winning.
But what if the voters in MD-7 says – how can we make a splash? Believe me in Klacik wins Tuesday, it’ll be a splash like a six-mile asteroid hitting the ocean! But it will draw attention to the district and its needs. And at least one old political dinosaur will be electorally extinct.
So unlike Nigel Farage before Brexit: I am sticking my neck out and saying: Yes the turnout is light and if enough people are mad at things, Klacik can win. I just sense it. Kim’s gonna win! Now Wednesday I could look foolish. But let’s see what happens!
One wonders if it’s okay for conservatives to mock women who die during abortions, or leftists who are murdered by illegal immigrants. Of course not: Quora is a fully-owned subsidiary of Google, a company completely in bed with the anti-American Left and their Chinese Communist Party minders. Quora is doing its part to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) to divide Americans, weaken America and allow for the new Chinese world order to take hold.
Neither. I think it’s incredibly sad, especially for his loved ones. But it is sad for all Americans.
Americans have reached a new low when we celebrate the deaths of fellow Americans we disagree with. This is not what Abraham Lincoln described when he took office in a bitterly divided nation 159 years ago:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Schadenfreude is a German concept and not an American one. We are better than that, and men like Lincoln knew that, and he paid for that with his life.
While I disagreed with McDaniel and those like him, I believe those who celebrate his death are misguided. It is time we follow Lincoln’s advice and get in touch with the better angels of our nature.
Two fine, sincere candidates very wrong (mostly) on issues
I was invited by a progressive friend to listen in on a debate (let’s call it a forum) sponsored by the Hanover County Democratic Committee (thank you John Suddarth) between the two candidates for the Democratic nod to face incumbent GOP Rob Wittman: The 2018 nominee Vangie Williams and a 2019 unsuccessful aspirant for state senate (against Senator Stuart) Qasim Rashad.
Let me say two things I like about this forum: They gave the issues in advance to the candidates so they could be conversant at the forum and there was a long lightning round with opportunity to explain a position.
It’s a shame positions were bad generally between the candidates.
Some items I liked about each candidate: Williams opposes abolition of the electoral college because the small states will lose power. Rashid said broadband Internet should be treated as a public utility and thus force the providers to serve the rural areas. That is not an endorsement by me of that idea but it is thoughtful. He might be right. Then Rashid said broadband Internet is a “human rights” issue. That is a silly trivialization of civil and constitutional rights.
More things I liked: Williams wants to be a problem solver. But her solution seems to be based on her long service in government. Rashid took essentially the LP position on marijuana. Qasim is the guy I would take out for a sweet tea (and I might do so) and have a free-wheeling discussion of issues. If I HAD to vote in the Dem primary (and I can but I almost surely won’t) I would vote for Qasim Rashid. I like his fervency.
Rashid started his presentation with a reference to race and millionaires getting tax breaks and Medicare for all. Williams pratted out Trump has no plan, America is not great under the President, too much income disparity (I am afraid Williams did not mean public sector wagedisparity), and yes to single-payer health care system.
Both candidates wanted to release non-violent offenders due to COVID. Both candidates want federal regulation of firearms (Rashid said I think so). Qasim wants a wealth tax (Williams said no – wants a “fair tax” but did not specify what she meant by that). Both supports 12 weeks PAID leave (the unpaid leave in FMLA was the trade-off and that trade-off made that unfunded mandate somewhat acceptable); neither supports nuclear power.
Really bad ideas: Rashid came out for prisoner voting. Not reformed ex-prisoners. Prisoner voting. Williams said reduce or cancel student loans based on income.
And I was open to endorsing Rashid just for the primary. But I can’t. Too many bad ideas. Let’s go after the primary for a sweet tea. Maybe liberty can prevail…or Rashad can persuade me to make Internet access a public utility.
I heard an extraordinary piece of news yesterday on John Fredericks that I hope is in error.
Fredericks said that there is a good chance, since the levers of power in the GOP Fifth Congressional District have shifted to his opponent, that Cong. Denver Riggleman could well lose the GOP Convention to his opponent Bob Good.
Now I think Bob Good ought to remain in politics. I was impressed with his background: Liberty University administration and Campbell County BOCS. I am eager to help him. This office is just not the time or the place. I tried to figure out why the incumbent congressman is in so much trouble and Fredericks speculated that it was Riggleman’s libertarianism that is the cause. (Bob Good is supposed to be a religious conservative.) Allegedly, the congressman performed (who knew a congressman could do this) a gay marriage! OOPS! And Riggleman owns a (gasp!) distillery! He makes (gasp!) WHISKEY! (Yes I spelled it right!)
Just because I am outspoken on temperance, does not mean that I could not support Riggleman. I even caused a blizzard warning in hell for endorsing Denver before! (No word on if the blizzard occurred…)
I disagree with Fredericks in part on the Riggleman issue – maybe it is not so much the liberty issue BUT just unrest and discontent among the GOP activists (and I get it) and sometimes that percolates to the surface in unhelpful ways. This would be one of them.
And libertarianism is not a bad thing, as long as it is grounded in the liberty promises of the Declaration, Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Here is Ronulus Magnus I (Reagan) on libertarianism (hat tip to Reason magazine):
REASON: Governor Reagan, you have been quoted in the press as saying that you’re doing a lot of speaking now on behalf of the philosophy of conservatism and libertarianism. Is there a difference between the two? REAGAN: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.
So I would say to the delegates to the upcoming convention to be held whenever it gets held, encourage Bob Good to run for delegate or state senate in a future race. But in THIS election, support and vote for Congressman Denver Riggleman.
I’ve written in the past about existential issues – policy questions that settle the political debate for many Americans. Some focus on Second Amendment rights, others on taxes or religion. Abortion – reproductive health care – is one of the big ones.
Most activists frame the abortion discussion in terms of rights. The pro-life side privileges the right to life for the fetus. Others fight for a woman’s right to reproductive choice. Advocacy coalitions on both sides privilege the freedom of the individuals they wish to protect.
Rights often conflict in a democracy, and the adjudication of these conflicts forms the core of politics. Madison expected factions to argue and fight and try to convince others they’re in the right and should form policy. Today we’re so polarized that these existential issues divide us in ways Madison didn’t expect. So even when one side or the other wins power and acts to implement policy, the other side rejects its legitimacy. Abortion is, after all, murder if you accept the personhood of a fetus. If you don’t, the pregnant woman’s health and personal freedom take precedence. She is, after all, the only human being involved.
Settling the abortion debate then depends in part on settling the question of when life begins. But even if one side won the argument, and its opponents accepted the legitimacy of the policy they seek to implement, this victory probably does not lead to optimal policy outcomes.
This is because the competing freedom claims of fetuses and pregnant women cannot be resolved without an answer to the question of when human life begins. If you think a zygote is a person with rights, then abortion is by definition murder, and both the women who get them and the doctors performing them should be prosecuted. If not, you naturally wish to privilege the freedom of the only person involved: the pregnant woman. Unfortunately, there is no satisfactory answer to this question, since science and religion can’t agree.
The problem with abortion is that even resolving this dispute would not lead to a policy that reduces the number of abortions. A pro-choice win certainly wouldn’t have this effect if it means “abortion on demand.” But a “pro-life” victory in this debate and the resulting expansion of restrictions on abortion and interference in the relationship between doctors and patients only establishes the legal and medical regime for getting them. Women who want them – even anti-choice women – will get them. The question is how and where. In other words, prohibition would simply create a new black market and a new criminal class–it would not eliminate abortion.
A far better solution depends on mitigating the circumstances that increase the incidence of unwanted pregnancy. This requires a robust regime of broad health education that begins at a young age and includes discussions of the moral, physical, and emotional consequences of sexual activity in its various contexts with a focus on the real-world problems young people face (e.g., bullying and peer pressure). Such discussions must include mitigation techniques such as abstinence and birth control, and the pros and cons of each. Conservatives worry that this might lead to increased sexual activity, but replacing “don’t worry about what it is, just don’t do it” with comprehensive sex education might increase reliance on abstinence. What we need is comprehensive education for young people in a values-based framework. We should avoid shaming sexual activity while connecting the desires and internal conflicts sexuality drives in all young people with broader mental and physical health. Parents and grandparents and educators should give kids this support and teach them to make good decisions. Most will.
This is a sticky dispute, with probably irreconcilable differences between the two sides. It’s a religious question for many, after all, and personal religious views on this deserve respect.
Framing the reproductive choice discussion in terms of freedom might lead to changes in current policy. But none of the policies likely to result therefrom–completely legal abortion, abortion prohibition, or limiting reproductive choice at the margin will have the maximum possible harm reduction effect. It won’t reduce abortion. Education will.
This is a guest post by Stan Scott, a Progressive who ran for the State Senate in the 4th District last year, as part of our new Lincoln-Douglas II Debates. Stan blogs at Foggy Bottom Line, and this post and my version are cross-posted there.
Let’s Start With What It Is: Willful Taking of a Human Life
I found out in my research that there is some dissent or at least some questioning the idea that science says life begins a conception. From WIRED:
Inside the body, fertilization can happen hours or even days after insemination, as the sperm travels up the fallopian tube. This journey also induces changes in the membrane of the sperm, called capacitation, that ready it to fertilize eggs. (The discovery of artificial capacitation was key to making in vitro fertilization possible.) As the fertilization researcher Harvey Florman has said, “Fertilization doesn’t take place in a moment of passion. It takes place the next day in the laundromat or the library.”
But even fertilization isn’t a clean indicator of anything. The next step is implantation, when the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and attaches to the mother’s uterus. “There’s an incredibly high rate of fertilized eggs that don’t implant,” says Diane Horvath-Cosper, an OB-GYN in Washington, DC. Estimates run from 50 to 80 percent, and even some implanted embryos spontaneously abort. The woman might never know she was pregnant.
Assuming that fertilization and implantation all go perfectly, scientists can reasonably disagree about when personhood begins, says Gilbert. An embryologist might say gastrulation, which is when an embryo can no longer divide to form identical twins. A neuroscientist might say when one can measure brainwaves. As a doctor, Horvath-Cosper says, “I have come to the conclusion that the pregnant woman gets to decide when it’s a person.”
Lest you think I’ve gone liberal on my readers, I think that whether human life begins at conception (fertilization) or implantation or gastrulation I think it is clear that there is an awesome event going on here in the womb. It reminds me of my seventh grade biology teacher when speaking on the question of the reproduction of plants, said that how some things happen can only be answered by faith in God. Abortion almost always occurs after a embryo has attached to the womb. It is a willful taking of human life.
And good people can disagree about both the rightness or legality of abortion. But since it’s a willful taking of human life, it ought only to be allowed in rare circumstances.
Let me cite Secretary Clinton, yes Hillary Clinton, who said abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” But not in the way she means.
I mean that abortion should be safe and legal in rare situations and here is my proposal:
Abortion should be legal only in three situations:
Life of the mother is in danger (or a serious physical threat to her life)
Rape or incest promptly reported to the authorities
A child is likely to be born with a serious deformity that will affect his or her quality of life in a substantial way.
Now, I do not say abortion is RIGHT (not sin) in some – even most of those situations. I would probably say abortion IS sinful in situations two and three described above. And after say 20 weeks, I’d drop situations two and three.
Now, we turn to the law. Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court case decided in 1973 (January 22 – that is why the March for Life occurs about that time) which found that the Substantive Due Process clause of the US Constitution stated that in the early stages of pregnancy the abortion decision was up to the mother, her doctor and/or her pastor. But after viability, there was a different rule and then the state could protect life.
Substantive Due Process is a judge-made interpretation of the due process clause to invalidate laws the courts did not like. It depends on who’s ox is being gored as to do you like substantive due process. It protects abortion and contraception but also private schools, parental rights and by extension homeschooling. Substantive due process is problematic is that it is difficult to establish what are the parameters and limits of the doctrine to prevent judges from having the last word on laws in a democratic republic.
I think the solons in Washington thought they had decided the matter for good and only some extremists on both sides (Roe did NOT hold that a woman had an absolute right to an abortion) would fuss about legal abortion but the opposite occurred.
It must be respected the pro-life position; they believe they are saving babies or future babies from certain death. Now almost every politician in the state legislatures (and most in Congress as well) were male. It might have been better if those male legislators had been more discreet and sensitive in their language/discussion of intimate decisions of women.
The seven to two judgment in Roe v. Wade declared “violative of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment” a Texas criminal abortion statute that intolerably shackled a woman’s autonomy; the Texas law “except[ed] from criminality only a life-saving procedure on behalf of the [pregnant woman].” Suppose the Court had stopped there, rightly declaring unconstitutional the most extreme brand of law in the nation, and had not gone on, as the Court did in Roe, to fashion a regime blanketing the subject, a set of rules that displaced virtually every state law then in force. Would there have been the twenty-year controversy we have witnessed, reflected most recently in the Supreme Court’s splintered decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey? A less encompassing Roe, one that merely struck down the extreme Texas law and went no further on that day, I believe and will summarize why, might have served to reduce rather than to fuel controversy.
But Justice Blackmun tried to, in Roe, write a comprehensive decision that answered every conceivable future question. Roe was described by Professor John Hart Ely in the Yale Law Journal as legislation and a decision that does not “pretend to be” constitutional analysis.
“[The abortion decision] is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be….What is frightening about Roe is that this superprotected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.”
I would rather have no legal abortions at all than unfettered judicial law-making. And I prefer not to have either one.
By the way, if you want to see how extreme the pro-abortion forces are, consider this paragraph from the Time article cited above on Ginsburg:
Kate Michelman, then president of the National Abortion Rights Action League, called on the Senators to determine “whether Judge Ginsburg will protect a woman’s fundamental right to privacy, including the right to choose, under a strict scrutiny standard.” The questioning was strong enough that Ginsburg’s husband Marty Ginsburg, one of the fiercest advocates for her judicial career, got academics to call the White House and clarify that she was talking about the Court’s thinking in 1973, not the ultimate decision.
I still think abortion ought not to have become a federal question. I believe the Sanders objections could be enshrined in law beyond state objection through the establishment of legal defenses required by the PROCEDURAL Due Process clause. In fact, Roe v. Wade could be upheld in such a way as to gut most “choices”. Overruling the case is not necessary.
But before we overthrow Roe, let’s consider the other side of the issue: If abortion is a willful taking of human life, than technically the government could assert jurisdiction over all women of child-bearing age similar to Ceausescu’s Romania where there were inspections of pregnant women. I would suspect few pro-lifers would agree with that kind of of regime and I certainly do not.
So where do we go from here? There’s always the curse of getting what you want. (One reason why Jesus does not answer every prayer with yes.) If Roe is overruled or severely limited, the GOP and pro-life Dems and Libertarians better have some reasonable solutions to this issue. The result of getting this issue wrong is to ensure most women vote a straight liberal Democrat ticket in most of the states and the Federal government for a generation, maybe two. I recommend pro-life lawmakers adopt something like the Sanders position with some serious but science/evidence based regulations of abortion based on abortion being a willful taking of human life.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased Trump Derangement Syndrome symptoms from moderate to acute, with rampant emotionalism erasing all sense and reason.
I didn’t like Barack Obama. My dislike for him started with his policies and, eventually, extended to his person. Policy-wise, I didn’t like his frequently expressed belief that America wasn’t a very good country, I didn’t like his open hostility to the Constitution, his endless plans to circumvent the Second Amendment, his disdain for American immigration and border laws, his love for the regulatory state, his Affordable Care Act, his embrace of the Islamists who emerged from the Arab Spring, his Iran Agreement, his willingness to break the economy in service to the idea of anthropogenic climate change, his appointing activist judges, the racial filter through which he viewed the world, his fondness for dictators such as Raoul Castro and Recep Erdogan, his using the military as a vehicle for gender and sexuality experiments, his hostility to Israel, his cronyism with big business (which I call “crony fascism”), and I could go on and on.
You’ll note that I am very specific about the policy disagreements I had with Obama. On those occasions when he acted in a way that comported with my political values, I tried hard to give credit where credit was due. Doing so pained me because I disagreed with him often enough that I just wanted him out of office, but just is just.
From disliking his policies, I came to dislike Obama himself. I didn’t like the way he constantly hectored the American people for their perceived failings. I laughed at the way he became stutteringly incoherent when he was off the teleprompter. I didn’t like all his nasty cracks about people (including when he said of Hillary, “you’re nice enough,” which is a mean insult). I didn’t like the cop-hating, Israel-hating bureaucrats, politicians, and celebrities with whom he hung out. I disliked his jug ears and his condescending, supercilious tone. I sneered at his frequently displayed ignorance about the world, about history, about culture, and about language.
But with all that growing dislike for the man, I never lost sight of the fact that what I really didn’t like about Obama was his ideology. More than that, I never melted down into a puddle of incoherent, inchoate, vacuous emotionalism that saw me literally howling my anger or working hard to dehumanize him. At the end of the day, I think I saw him for what he was: A leftist whose policies I disliked and whose mannerisms came to irritate me a great deal.
It’s very different on the left. We’re all familiar with the video of the screaming woman at the inauguration, her mouth open in an existential howl that comes from the very depths of her being:
The left has never stopped that screaming. Their hatred for Trump (aka Trump Derangement Syndrome) transcends any policy differences. While I hated Obama’s policies and therefore disliked the man, leftists despise the man with every fiber of their being and therefore are incapable of even seeing his policies. Everything is wiped out under blind rage.
On Facebook, where I follow some leftists, the posts are illuminating. Had I posted politically on Facebook, I might have said, “I think it’s a big mistake to embrace the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and I really hate that Obama is doing that.” I might even have added, “Typical Obama.” But I always would have led with the policy.
On the left, however, the posts are always along these lines: “Drumpf is a *&#@ $#@^* $@%@!!!” The people I know — otherwise perfectly nice, kind people — are either hurling unprintable obscenities at him (or his children, their spouses, and his wife) or they’re wishing horrible deaths upon him and his family.
With Trump Derangement Syndrome infecting them as acutely as COVID-19 could, policy no longer matters. Each post just sees them verbalizing that green-clad person’s endless howl. Their posts are the written equivalent of the two-minutes of hate from 1984, something the power brokers keep alive for the masses in order to prevent rational thought:
Looking at all this emoting, it’s not surprising to learn that leftists have higher incidences of mental illness. What I’m seeing is that they are people who too often think from the gut, the physical place where feelings reside, not the mind. Living life that way is going to be painful, and you’re not going to have a lot of resources to fall back upon when things don’t go your way.
So far, all I’ve given you are my impressions about leftism and my assurances that people I know really do say the things I allege that they say. Now’s the part where I simply quote the professional leftists, the columnists and comics, for proof that their hatred for Trump is no longer a rational thing. The difference between them and my friends is that the professionals express their Derangement more elegantly, going beyond mere howls and obscenities.
Take Frank Bruni, a New York Times opinion columnist. After praising George Bush, whom he despised with the heat of a thousand suns during Bush’s presidency, he turns on Trump a hatred equal to the heat of a million suns. Indeed Bruni even concedes of himself that he’s gone beyond rational thought (emphasis mine):
In Trump’s predecessors, for all their imperfections, I could sense the beat of a heart and see the glimmer of a soul. In him I can’t, and that fills me with a sorrow and a rage that I quite frankly don’t know what to do with.
Americans are dying by the thousands, and he gloats about what a huge, rapt television audience he has. They’re confronting financial ruin and not sure how they’ll continue to pay for food and shelter, and he reprimands governors for not treating him with adequate adulation.
He’s not rising to the challenge before him, not even a millimeter. He’s shriveling into nothingness.
He leaps from tone deafness to some realm of complete sensory and moral deprivation.
“I want to come way under the models,” he said on Friday, referring to casualty projections. “The professionals did the models. I was never involved in a model.”
“At least this kind of model,” he added. No context like a pandemic for X-rated humor.
The article’s title, by the way, is “Has Anyone Found Trump’s Soul? Anyone?”
Tom Nichols, of The Atlantic, doesn’t like Trump either and, again, this is an existential howl, not a political analysis:
There has never been an American president as spiritually impoverished as Donald Trump. And his spiritual poverty, like an overdrawn checking account that keeps imposing new penalties on a customer already in difficult straits, is draining the last reserves of decency among us at a time when we need it most.
Nichols explains that it’s not just that he believes Trump to be the least religious, most corrupt, most insane president ever. Nope. Aside from all that, there’s an inchoate, visceral hatred that transcends everything:
What I mean instead is that Trump is a spiritual black hole. He has no ability to transcend himself by so much as an emotional nanometer. Even narcissists, we are told by psychologists, have the occasional dark night of the soul. They can recognize how they are perceived by others, and they will at least pretend to seek forgiveness and show contrition as a way of gaining the affection they need. They are capable of infrequent moments of reflection, even if only to adjust strategies for survival.
Trump’s spiritual poverty is beyond all this. He represents the ultimate triumph of a materialist mindset. He has no ability to understand anything that is not an immediate tactile or visual experience, no sense of continuity with other human beings, and no imperatives more important than soothing the barrage of signals emanating from his constantly panicked and confused autonomic system.
Tell me that this isn’t the written equivalent of the visceral hatred that Big Brother’s supporters were taught to feel for Emmanuel Goldstein.
At the New Yorker, Stephen Marche is so overwhelmed by Trump’s awfulness that he believes it can be described only through the metaphor of nightmares — and, of course, Trump is Hitler:
It’s in Dreams That Americans Are Making Sense of Trump
A surrealistic dreamscape with multiple Donald Trumps.
Martha Crawford had her first Trump dream in 2015. In it, a friend who was going out of town on business asked her to check on his apartment while he was away. The address he gave led to an apartment on the top floor of a six-story building where, on the sofa, illuminated by the glare of an enormous television, she said, “Donald Trump, in a large adult diaper, sat sleeping with his chin on his chest.” She watched Trump sleeping for a while, then filled a large metal dog bowl with kibble and slipped it across the table. When Trump awoke, he began gobbling, loudly, with his mouth open. Crawford was alternately “filled with disgust and then flooded with pity.” She ended up buying him a flip phone, “for emergencies only.” This was to be the first in her collection of Trump dreams.
Trump’s Presidency was always surreal, even before his radical incompetence confronted a pandemic. Crawford has been a clinical social worker and a psychotherapist in New York for twenty-five years. Starting in 2016, her clients “were reporting dreams with Donald Trump in a way that’s not common for other Presidencies,” she said. “He was a looming figure in people’s psyches.” She realized that it was in dreams that Americans were making sense of Trump. “In the year after the election,” Crawford said, “I was on chemotherapy for cancer and I couldn’t do much. I couldn’t go protest in the streets. I couldn’t go volunteer. I needed to contribute in some way.” She took inspiration from Charlotte Beradt’s “The Third Reich of Dreams,” a portfolio of dream descriptions from German men and women that were collected between when Hitler became chancellor, in 1933, and the outbreak of the Second World War. In the aftermath of Trump’s election, Crawford started a blog on which people could post dreams anonymously. Then she started gathering dreams from social media. Soon she had three thousand.
This reflexive, mindless Trump hatred can be seen on the other side of the pond too. Leftists I know have been thrilling to Britisher Nate White’s answer on Quora to the question “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” Note that the answer has nothing to do with policies. It’s all stylistic. Having created a sub-human caricature in their minds to describe Trump, leftists on both sides of the pond feel a reflexive revulsion to that caricature:
Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.
For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace – all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.
So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.
Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing – not once, ever.
I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility – for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.
But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is – his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.
Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.
And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults – he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.
There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.
Benjamin Wittes has penned an inadvertently funny article trying to square the caricature of Trump as an authoritarian (never mind that Trump has relied much less on Executive Orders than Obama did) with the reality that, during this pandemic, Trump has been anything but authoritarian. Because Wittes cannot acknowledge that the caricature might be wrong, he’s added a new layer to the man who works every day and sleeps four hours a night — Trump is lazy, says Wittes (along with the usual hint that Trump is Hitler):
Before the pandemic occurred, worrying that President Donald Trump might take advantage of a crisis like this one to chip away at democratic constraints on his power would have been within reason. Yet Trump has taken a different approach: complaining.
Three years into Trump’s presidency, his approach to governing continues to be authoritarian in character: He lacks any appreciation for the importance of democracy and the necessity of checks on his power. He admires strongmen around the world, as he’s expressed again and again in his declarations of affection for leaders such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The powers of the presidency that he seems to take the most pleasure in exercising are those best suited to aggressive, unilateral wielding and entirely free from constraint—most notably, the pardon power. Add this all up, and there is a case for real worry about how the pandemic—a bona fide state of emergency—might allow Trump to exercise his most antidemocratic instincts in the name of public health.
The seminal thinker on dictatorship in the time of emergency is the German jurist Carl Schmitt, who famously wrote that “the sovereign is he who decides on the exception.” In the view of Schmitt—notorious in political-theory and legal circles for his membership in the Nazi Party—any liberal constitutional structure will eventually be swallowed by a state of emergency, when law recedes and dictatorship emerges to counter a crisis. For a sovereign willing to seize the opportunity provided by a state of emergency, a pandemic would certainly seem to provide one.
One could be forgiven for having been concerned that Trump might unleash his inner Schmittian in responding to the virus. He certainly talks like he would. But had Schmitt seen Trump, his famous axiom might have read a little differently: “The sovereign is he who purports to decide on the exception but actually sloughs off all the work on Andrew Cuomo while reserving the right to whine about whatever Andrew Cuomo does.”
Finally, I commend to your attention David Horowitz’s smart analysis about the “Trump Derangement Pandemic.” He does an excellent job separating the reality that is Trump — a larger than life man who loves America, has good sense, can be very kind, and can make mistakes and be vulgar — from the soulless monster that lives in the leftist psyche. I’ll quote the first few paragraphs to whet your appetite and strongly urge you to to FrontPage Magazine to read the rest:
In this spring season, America’s future is fraught with uncertainties as a result of the pandemic unleashed by Communist China’s malicious concealment of a virus it had apparently developed in a Wuhan laboratory. Will the nation be able to “re-open” as the president desires, or will it descend into a long-lasting depression with millions unemployed? At the same time, a much greater uncertainty haunts the horizon. This uncertainty is a product of the ferocious hate for the president and his supporters ginned up by the political Left ever since the 2016 election. The anti-Trump fervor is so intense it has divided the nation into two alien camps until there is hardly any longer a national conversation, or a united front in the face of the deadly contagion.
For anyone not in thrall to anti-Trump obsessions, the spectacle of Trump hatred is mystifying, even unfathomable. It’s not that the criticisms of Trump are harsh – that is the currency of democratic politics. The problem is that they are not merely harsh but veer on the lunatic until communication with those who voice them seems impossible. It is why the national conversation and a semblance of national unity in the face of threats seem almost hopeless.
A recent New York Times interview with the comedian and Bernie Sanders impersonator Larry David crystalizes the problem. “You know, it’s an amazing thing,” David told the Times, “[Trump] has not one redeeming quality. You could take some of the worst dictators in history, and I’m sure that all of them, you could find one decent quality. Stalin could have had one decent quality, we don’t know!”
Where to begin? Stalin was a totalitarian dictator who killed 40 million of his own countrymen – in peacetime. How does such a preposterous comparison even occur to a man as intelligent as Larry David, who as a comedian is also a student of character, and would normally be more judicious. How could he be so far off the mark?
I’ve seen people wondering since the pandemic started whether leftists will revisit their principles. After all, it appears that, on their side of the aisle, all of the things they’ve promoted — urban dwelling, public transportation, socialized medicine, re-usable bags, and reverence for China — have accelerated the virus’s spread in America. Meanwhile, the facts on the ground show Trump reacting with remarkable promptness to the virus, increasing his response every time new information about the virus’s seriousness appeared.
For those sick with Trump Derangement Syndrome, though, there is no cure. Facts are irrelevant. Trump-hatred is every bit as much a religious faith as anthropogenic climate change is. As is true for all faiths, it cannot be falsified. Every new fact must be pushed through faith’s prism until it aligns with faith’s principles. For true believers, nothing will change how they see Trump. To them, he will always be a confusing amalgam of Satan, Hitler, an evil genius from a Hollywood movie, and the most stupid man alive.
“Its a numbers game but, shit don’t add up somehow”
Mathematics Mos Def (Mos Definitely)
Black On Both SidesProduced by DJ Premier Released 1999.
The Corona Virus Pandemic, ground zero Commonwealth of Virginia. Well, I am an essential Armed Government Security Officer at a Commonwealth of Virginia office building. My people are on the front lines at work. Mandy is working from home from a makeshift office in the middle of our living room. Both of us thankful to be working.
According to the Virginia Department of Health as of April 12, 2010: 39,985 Virginians have been tested.
5,274 Total Cases in Virginia.
872 Hospitalizations in Virginia.
141 Deaths in Virginia. According to a report by WTVR-TV the CBS affiliate in Richmond, Virginia over 306,000 people filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the last three weeks.
But the big shock is according to Statista 8.54 million people lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2019. Let all of that sink in for a moment…….
8.54 Million people live in Virginia.
972 Hospitalizations for Corona Virus on Virginia.141 Deaths in Virginia.
A Government mandated shutdown by the Governor of Virginia.
The needs of the many clearly outweigh the needs of the few per Spock in Star Trek the Wrath of Khan. We are doing all this for 141 deaths? Mos Def is correct, with his above referenced lyrics. So, everything on mandatory shut down. How much longer are we going to go through this? We are not New York or California. The Corona Virus is clearly not impacting us like it is in other parts of the United States.
And let us look at this Stimulus Package. I was talking to my good friend Bob Shannon of the King William Tea Party. He bravely said we are breaking our grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s piggy banks on this. We need to get back to normal on this Virginia. Our leadership clearly is making poor choices. Limiting the freedom and free movement of its citizens. Closing down businesses and determining what is essential and non essential.
This is a bad time in our Commonwealth. It is time for all Virginians who can to go back to work. We cannot place life on hold for the rest of us for only “the few”.