On America’s side

“The side I’m on is that of America.  And for very, very positive reasons.”  – Minta Marie Morze

 

A couple weeks ago my 10 year old granddaughter, a very bright student enrolled in the gifted program at her public school, mentioned something she learned at school, which I told her is not correct and what she learned really plays into the problems plaguing America and it also speaks to our future.  My granddaughter said, “America is a democracy.”  Reflexively, I corrected her and said, “No, America is a republic!”  Thus began a stream of back and forth, because as of yesterday she told me that her teacher still says, “America is a democracy.”  I told her again that her teacher is mistaken, because assuredly, America is a republic, set up as a constitutional federal republic.   However, watching the demise of federalism and the reliance on pop culture and public opinion polls to silence dissenting opinion, I’m wondering if America has descended into that hellish, brutish state where on the whims of ginning up anger and use of slick mass media manipulation (propaganda) to sway the mob,  the only thing that matters is the “majority rules”.

On polar ends of the American electorate, this fraying of trust or even understanding of this basic fact crops up in ever disturbing ways.  On the political left, they’ve got  angry mobs taking to the streets to compel justice by force and college bullies silencing opposing views with rules imposed by fiat, “I disagree, so you can’t speak!”.  In the Presidential run they’re wading in a shallow geriatric pool with a dyed-in-the-wool socialist resonating with disenfranchised Democrats and a pathological liar, riding on her gender and spewing paranoid vitriol about some imaginary dangerous right-wing conspiracy out to do her in, and by extension do in the American people too.  She sees a vast right-wing conspiracy around every corner.  Her answer to every problem in America is another federal program, to encroach evermore deeply into the lives of American citizens.

Freedom for local communities and states to manage their own affairs falls to the ever-expanding beast that crushed the very breath of liberty out of not only local and state governments, but out of individual American citizens.  We’ve become a people conditioned to bow to the popular opinion poll on issues, as manipulated by mass media propaganda.  When the left wants to sway Americans to a particular view – big bucks go to various activists and groups (many Soros funded) and the propaganda blitz ensues – Hollywood makes movies and TV shows promoting that view and mainstreaming it into the culture, “experts” hit the airwaves extolling it, and then the media reinforces the idea with polling data, much of it dubious, selling this view as popular and reporters will grill the outliers, who dare speak up against that view, lecturing that the majority of Americans believe the now carefully manufactured and manipulated view.  It’s a type of insidious brainwashing and peals the death of liberty and The Constitution.

Now, on the political right, the use of mass media manipulation has rarely been understood, let alone used, that is until the Trump campaign, which is using the Carville/Begala playbook, as I’ve stated repeatedly.  That’s what I see – Bill Clinton’s perfect triangulation lining up, if Hillary can avoid an indictment.  This post is not going to be a regurgitation of my own conspiracy theory, but here’s the link to my thoughts on that.  Assuredly, as I’ve stated many times, I will not ever vote for Donald Trump, because his campaign highlights the capitulation on the right to accepting manufactured hype about polls over principles.  The heart of conservatism,  weak though it beats, will not survive if it succumbs to the reality TV culture and slick mass media manipulation of Donald Trump, who rambles on about his poll numbers endlessly, but does not hold to conservative principles or even basic civility.

On the right then who, well, Ted Cruz promised to be a principled conservative who would take on Washington and he has stood up against the Washington insiders, but in the process his personal style engendered absolute loathing among his fellow senators, on both sides of the aisle (read Charles Krauthammer’s very astute assessment).  Do I agree with Cruz on the issues?  Absolutely, but here again we get to reports, many which Trump helped spread, that Cruz is so despised that many GOP establishment people would rather support Trump, whom they know is not conservative,  to destroy Cruz, who is.  In a less polarized era and where pop culture celebrity didn’t carry more credence than ideas and republican principles,  most of the other GOP candidates, admittedly with both pluses and minuses in my view, would still be able to gain some traction.  Every single GOP candidate running against Trump offers more coherent policy, offers complete sentences and thoughts,  and from this Mom and grandmother, displays better manners.  Trump may be mega-rich, but he behaves like a boorish jerk!

With Trump monopolizing the media cycle, with the aid of the mainstream media selling people on polls over principles,  none of their messages even get noticed as the GOP’s Paris Hilton spews mostly incomprehensible gibberish.  In fact, Paris Hilton actually marketed a clearer campaign message in her cute video (see above) with easily understandable policy positions, but disgruntled GOP base voters project their hopes and beliefs onto the blank canvas that is Trump’s “making America great again”, because assuredly if you write out Trump’s rambling speeches and comments, there’s a lot less there than you’d imagine and a whole lot of conflicting ideas, beliefs, proposals, all overshadowed by the relentless repetition that he is winning in the polls (popular).   He’s created this aura of “inevitability”, which now is reaping a snowball effect, as more and more GOP kingmakers are weighing their options and opting to throw in with Trump, despite reservations that Trump is even loyal to the Republican party – they are willing to toss the reins of their party to a man who converted less than a year ago and has spouted conflicting gibberish, all based on he’s a winner and great at making deals.   Trump is already working out deals with those despised GOP establishment folks his supporters want destroyed.  Trump admitted he talked to Mitch McConnell last month – so yes, the backroom cronyism moves full-speed ahead.

That’s the gist of Trump’s campaign, because I dare anyone to actually make lists of Trump’s statements on various topics to include the incomplete sentences too, compare how they line up for consistency, try to discern core principles, then look at what he said with whom he was speaking (he’s a chameleon and can cozy up to Bill Clinton as easily as Rush Limbaugh on the golf course).  Finally, when you’ve done that honest assessment, devoid of how you feel, analyze how many times he repeated his poll numbers and stated he is winning and look at how many times he said that to divert attention from an issue or question he did not answer.  It’s a deliberate media manipulation tactic and it’s one perfected by the American political left, not GOP political operatives.

Here are a a few other oddities with the Trump campaign, from someone who has followed presidential campaigns since I was 8 years old in 1968.  Trump wrote about not liking to shake hands in one of his books – he has a germ thing and doesn’t want dirty people touching him.  Has he ever done the usual shaking hands that’s par for the course in politics?  From what I have seen he flies in, does his rallies and flies back out, then does his “connecting” with voters via late night Twitter attacks and the cable news circuit, not up close and personal.  His campaign started with Roger Stone as his campaign manager.  Stone quit or was fired in August, when the Trump/Megyn Kelly dust-up happened.  Oddly enough, Stone is still out there speaking for Trump and no other visible campaign advisers or spokespeople emerged until November, when this former Tea Party activist, Kat Pierson, started hitting the airwaves as the Trump spokesperson.  Stone, according to Wikipedia, has a book due out January 26, 2016 – “Jeb! And the Bush Crime Family”.  Note that since Stone quit or was fired he seems uneasy and nervous whenever he appears on TV defending Trump – something smells off to me, but hey I’m a woman and we roll with that female intuition thing.

Another thing I noticed is that the Trump camp sure compiled massive opposition research, which Trump and his campaign advisers (whomever they really are) dump these nasty stink bombs at the most strategically brilliant times.  For a novice politician, who can’t even spit out coherent political policies, the political astuteness of both content and timing of these attacks seems quite incredible.  Any GOP competitor rises in the polls – boom, the Trump campaign dumps a full payload.  The Trump campaign even seems to be feeding opposition research to The Last Refuge blog, which has become Trump Polling Update Central, and when Mark Levin came out criticizing Trump for attacking Cruz, yesterday that blog ran this hit piece of opposition research asserting the son of Levin’s fianceé works on the Cruz campaign.  For Trump, who isn’t much on the details, his campaign is more effective than the Dem operatives who launched that Bush DWI stink bomb years ago.  The irony of The Last Refuge blog is they no longer welcome opposing opinions from actual conservatives.  It’s Trump or the road, and they ran this hit piece on Levin, which appears to be opposition research (sleaze to damage Levin’s credibility) provided to them by the Trump campaign.  If Trump ends up exposed as a fraud, there will be a lot of very angry populist mobs, with so many conservatives investing so much hope and belief in Trump, so hope I am wrong about Trump being a fraud, as this could get very ugly, very quickly.

National Review orchestrated a “Stop Trump” campaign, ostensibly to save conservatism.  My friend, Minta, sent me an email last night stating:

“This new issue of National Review is a big problem, but not for the reasons someone might think. The general view around here is that instead of the authors writing a manifesto about what Conservatism is, and what it means, they look as though they are attacking one person. They could have achieved the better result by supporting someone like Cruz. I love the authors of the Nat’l Review this time, but they are risking looking like elitist snobs. Where were these manifestos when Lois Lerner wasn’t indicted, when the IRS was going after the Tea Parties, when the military was being dismantled, when the VA was shown to be anti-military?”

Minta got it exactly right, the Trump supporters get angry when other conservatives disagree and conservative stalwarts like George Will end up screamed at by populist pundits like Bill O’Reilly, another speaker for the little people, who also is  a friend of Trump’s, so when Trump doesn’t articulate his positions clearly, O’Reilly helpfully fills in the blanks on what Trump meant and does character references for Trump too.   In this environment, Trump’s supporters are emotionally invested in Trump, in the same way Obama supporters became cultish in their belief that one man could singlehandedly transform America.  They want a Messiah or a strongman, not a President, with clear CONSTITUTIONAL checks on his/her power.   I want less government control and less power in Washington’s hands, especially after President Obama’s imperial presidency.   Herein is why I don’t think Cruz will ever gain much traction – his fellow GOP establishment peers in Washington want him annihilated and Cruz talks like an elitist Harvard lawyer.  Cruz has nowhere to go to attract voters, if he moves to the middle he loses the conservative base voters who stuck with him, the GOP establishment is throwing in with Trump and moderates will never gravitate to Cruz, with his hardline conservative record and on top of that he comes across as an elitist Harvard lawyer who talks down to the little people.  He is not someone your average Joe would want to have a beer with.   Rubio, Christie, Kasich all have more personal appeal frankly.  They come across as nice people.  Jeb is doomed by his last name, Carson hasn’t been able to convey he’s a viable Presidential choice and Fiorina, smart, does her homework, but she always comes across too scripted and worse than that she usually seems angry and uppity.  She does not convey much personal warmth.

Trump has severely damaged the entire GOP field with his scorched earth campaign style, so it’s hard for me to envision any of them being able to repair that damage by November, but this is the season where anything is possible.  And on the bright side, for this conservative, at least the Democrats have an even worse mess on their hands.  Whatever happens, the larger question of,  “Are we a democracy, where angry mobs silence dissent and popularity polls rule over principles or are we a republic grounded in The Constitution?” may become the defining issue of the 2016 campaign.  In the meantime I am looking for some good books or sources to explain Our Republic to my 10 year-old granddaughter, so if you have any recommendations, please let me know.

23 Comments

Filed under American Character, American History, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics, Uncategorized

23 responses to “On America’s side

  1. Kinnison

    I have a Masters in History, with additional post-graduate work in Constitutional Law. I taught Government, U.S. History and AP U.S. History for 17 years. Her teacher is full of beans, and needs to be corrected. The Founders wrote and said a lot about the dangers of democracy as a national government, and fashioned our Constitution to give us a representative constitutional republic. The Constitution was fashioned to LIMIT the powers of the central government and to ameliorate the excesses of “the tyranny of the majority” via democracy. It is my personal opinion that the amendment of the Constitution which changed the election of U.S. Senators from the State Legislatures to popular vote was a mistake. The Senate was meant to be representative of the individual States, the House of the people. Removing the property requirement for voting was also a mistake. The property qualification insured that voters had “skin in the game”. Someone once said that once indigent people realized they could vote themselves money from the public treasury a nation was finished…

  2. Minta Marie Morze

    Remarkable post! You are so right about America and our Foundation, about how we need to know what we are and what we’re doing.

    Liberty, this is the oddest campaign season I’ve seen in countless years.

    I truly wish those authors had chosen to write a positive manifesto on Conservatism, because that might have been read by a lot more people, some because of curiosity. Why didn’t the same people write impassioned positive pieces for why Conservatism will prevent the Progressives from destroying America? Why did they wait till now, and WHY OH WHY go negative? The Nat’l Review writer’s look like they view themselves as the educated Elitists lecturing what they view as the ignorant Rabble—no matter how sincere they are about their views, no matter how well they state the argument, they should have structured their Manifesto about the Conservative City on the Hill. The very title they did choose will turn away too many people, and make them even more adamant and implacable in their preferences.

    I wish Cruz had continued positively, as he started. I wish ALL the candidates would have come out positively about Conservatism and its genuine answers. I would love to see a government fashioned out of such talent.

    I will go on record, though, with this: I will vote this Fall, and it will be for the Republican candidate, no matter who it is. The Cabinet positions, the Supreme Court, Justice and the FBI and countless agencies, the military, the Middle East, Israel (who needs a friend in America), the NSA and other such information-gathering groups, and many, many other reasons will drive my vote—there are millions of positions and rules and regulations to keep out of the Progressive Whip Hand.

    • Minta, Thanks for the inspiration for this post via your wonderful email! Certainly it’s always better to take the moral high road and perhaps you’re right, but watching this schism grow since the Trump mania hit, I doubt his supporters pay any attention to anyone who doesn’t worship Trump as The One. They sound eerily like Obama supporters in the beginning. For a taste of what I’m speaking about read this gem:

      http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/01/22/the-insurgency-has-only-just-begun-we-absorb-vilification-and-ridicule-as-fuel/

      • Minta Marie Morze

        Because I am one person, an individual, I have to recognize that I am not going to move mountains. The high ground is not just a good place to survey the battlefield, but it is a good place to hold one’s spot. My love is for America (as a body of ideas that is, at the moment, partially embedded in a geographical location called the United States.) I pledge my allegiance to the Flag and the Republic.

        And, seriously, had Cruz simply kept to the high ground by fighting only against the Progs, he would still be in line for the Trump followers should Trump fail, and he would be in line for the VP spot if Trump kept going. As VP Cruz could have influenced Trump, and then run for President himself.

        It is BECAUSE a lot of Trump’s followers are so “worshipping” that such devotion has to be taken into consideration. Decent, good people can be crazy for Trump—a lot of people have gotten to the point where they can’t take it any more, and at least Trump’s ego, like that of Cruz, and others, is wrapped up in a great, dynamic America. The Progs want to destroy America.

        I suppose I am going to be slammed for my point of view, but I am concentrating on what is possible, not what I wish for. I will endorse and vote for the Republican nominee, WHEN it is decided. Until then, my focus is to oppose the Progressives.

        I hope we’re still friends. :o)

      • Of course I won’t slam you for your position Minta. Having just one vote, I am not going to play the partisan game anymore – the oh, let’s rally around the GOP candidate, no matter how flawed. Geesh, I had enough of that with McCain and Romney. I’m just not seeing what can be gained with a faux conservative. So, I will not vote again for a candidate whom I do not support or trust at all. The progs may win and the house crumbles, but assuredly with a faux conservative, who is a unrepentant crony capitalist (yes, Mr. Let’s Make A Deal), the house crumbles too. Trump is already cutting those back room deals, you can hear it today, in his conciliatory tone about “some establishment people”. He’s going to sell his supporters down the river, to curry favor with the GOP establishment. Geesh, he mentioned Scott Brown as someone who would make a great VP. I just don’t see any value in holding my nose and voting for what will be more of the same or with Trump even worse than the same. I believe that man is a total fraud and as you know I think he’s pulling a fast one on all these good people who are supporting him. His supporters get all riled up ranting about an insurgency and USA, but Trump’s moving to what he’s always done – making those deals and buying political favors. I believe I see an unrepentant crony capitalist, as evidence by his smarmy shift to already talking to Mitch McConnell and talking nice about “some establishment” people… I’ll write in someone whom I do support – not decided completely at this point who that person is.

        If the house crumbles, so be it, because I honestly don’t believe Trump has the character required to do the rebuilding America needs, he’s too busy admiring his own reflection.

  3. JK

    Don’t know this’ll help LB (I expect not if only because as the child’s [mere] Grandma you’re not likely to be allowed to be present for a “teacher’s meeting” [when the parent meets with a kid’s teacher to discuss the students’ progress]

    But anyway … four, maybe five years ago I found myself sitting in with a seventh grade History class when, the teacher-in-charge made the same erroneous declaration you relate. Perhaps unwisely, hastily, whatever I blurted out (probably much) the same “helpful assertion” you made and was immediately set upon – and it escalated to a meeting with the school poohbahs.

    I didn’t say in the class (in front of the kids) but I did with the poohbahs; “Okay, lets try repeating all together, all in synch, The Pledge of Allegiance.”

    “[We] beg your pardon Mr. JK, but what good would that be?”

    “Humor me,” I replied.

    Eyes were swiveling around in the various eye sockets until we reached the line; And to the Republic for which it stands.
    ______

    I haven’t been asked back to speak at that school.

    I can’t imagine why.

  4. Robert

    A fine discussion here. Personally as a man up in his 60s and retired, I know there is not a lot I can do alone. My memories include the ways America lost its culture to the lowest common denominator. We are a celebrity obsessed culture and now have one running for President. Not surprising. The other day on a local blog, some of us were holding forth about the tone of this current election season. Some seemed to think that the rage across the country is just as much about the voters finding a way to put the entire governing establishment on trial. We know government will lie and we now know they will lie about the big things.

    What has been the purpose of the Dem party? To tend to the needs of their client groups. What has been the purpose of the Rep party? When it was formed in the mid 19th century, it had a purpose. Later, it was pro business and anti Communism. But what since then? The Dem party has become “progressive” (like a tumor) while it takes care of its clients- and- protects government From the people. What about the Rep party? What are they for? And Conservatism? Conserve what? Gains made by Dems that have been left behind as they move on leftward while Conservatives “conserve” it for them.

    I think maybe we conservative traditional people will have to be ready for people who become fed up with the sewer culture of the Left and come looking for something more stable and fulfilling in their lives. I believe people will ultimately sense that all is not right with “group think” and celebrity worship. It will take a long time. Remember that Crosby Stills and Nash tune from back in the day…”teach your children well”? Teach adult parents well too.

    • Excellent comment Robert, You nailed it on the main problem – the sewer culture. Away from politics, I’ve pondered this trajectory of our culture via the mass communications from a family huddled around a radio listening to plays and shows in the early part of the 20th century to today where we’re inundated with an egalitarian vast pool of slop, from TV’s let-it-all-hang out daytime pathos of talk shows, to the night time reality show exhibitions. Even in the world of publishing, with e-self-publishing anyone can become a “published author” with no filter – just go to amazon.com. There’s no need to hone your writing skills and deal with hundreds of rejections from editors, who’ve got hundreds more manuscripts to weigh yours against. We’ve got this culture that rewards celebrity over accomplishment and which feeds a desire for instant success and rewards.

      I’ve been thinking about writing novels and some fictional books for children for a long time. I admire great writing and want to keep working to improve my own. As an avid reader and as an honest critic, my writing isn’t good enough yet to send a manuscript off to an editor. Please, no comments pro or con on my writing skills, as that’s not the point I want to make. Watching the ego of so many younger people churning out novels, filled with grievous grammatical errors and total incoherence of plots, which assuredly in days gone by would not have reached the public, there are those on one side who say having more books flooding the market is a good thing, but often I feel tired trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. The same with 500 channels on TV and nothing to watch.

      Online over the last decade or so, I’ve encountered blogs and “self-published authors”, where the glaring failure of our schools to impart basic English language skills jumps off of the screen. Instant gratification, instant fame, and instant success serve in place of dedication to hard work and patience to perfect a craft, competition, and learning from failure. Obama and Trump serve as shining examples of the decline. Hordes of supposedly rational people applaud their meandering rambles and disjointed speeches as soaring oratory, then I think about great speeches in history, that reverberate through time and still posses the power to move us. The comparison makes me want to weep for our loss.

  5. JK

    “My memories include the ways America lost its culture to the lowest common denominator.”

    “What about the Rep party? What are they for?”

    Much to chew on there Robert. Good comment. Thanks.

    From that linked essay first to David Duff in email then, replying to yourself over on M’s, ‘Over to y’all Folks’ post.

    “Within a mere presidential campaign, however, candidates can now promise almost anything and everything to particular audiences in different arenas, even things that are contradictory, and this entails almost no political cost at all. This is exactly what Romney did in 2012 with respect to the economic and the security arenas.”

    Kurth, James: FPRI – 12/12

    • Robert

      JK, we are in a real fix in this country. Since we are iced in around here, I have read so much good material lately right here and elsewhere, I can’t always attribute what to whom as I should. Your above quote is quite good.

      • JK

        Re, your ice Robert, appears your “be patient period” will be the same as my recent. (I plugged in 35.25°N 81.33°W which I figure is close enough) and came up with a 50° for Tuesday .. preceded by in the vicinity of 45° so kick the LL Beane’s off and keep reading.

        But for now – throw another stick on the fire.

        We’re too old for adventures.

      • JK

        You okay Robert? Looks kinda ominous if I’m ballpark close (I’ve used some Geological features/breadcrumbs you’ve “deposited” many places).

        http://outagemap.duke-energy.com/ncsc/default.html

  6. Robert

    Good morning JK, we are fine here, just iced in. There are swaths of power outage an hour or so south of here and well to the west. Around here we seemed to be in a “sweet spot” with most snow to the northwest, most freezing rain southeast. It’s clear today so major melting will happen which is what I need to get out on my little county road to a major road.

  7. JK

    “Nearly” the same looks like (except that mine began early Tuesday last, the fifties Thursday) my trouble being was all the forecasting conditions read snow – my failure not looking at History, rather depending solely on the observables.

    I’d put the studdeds on, which would’ve been fine (if it had been snow) but the rain fell earlier than expected. And soon as we lost the sun the bottom fell out and the mercury retreated like a, oh, a “normal” (meaning – not a D) testosteroned teenager stumbling upon a picture of Hillary rather than a centerfold of yore.

    I, personally, got lucky. Managed a trip to the Missouri beer store, unluckily only picking up a six-pack. Unluckier still, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s road conditions reporters utterly failed to update the road conditions website – which, as I knew slight freezing rain was falling in my county (heavier the closer one got to Missouri) …

    … Which website I, well-aware of roads to the north, yet IDriveArkansas showing “All Clear” – while the MoDot site enables one to view Traffic Cameras and what I saw on our neighbor-to-the-north’s website … well I got prematurely discomfited and so, rather than simply driving either east or west to an adjacent beer-bearing Arkansas county, I chose bivouac.

    One bright spot I’d hoped for the benefit of my fellow blog-followers, my experiences I faithfully typed as commentary my “Endurances” would – as the storm neared them – would at least know to stock up on the beer before the snow [ice] closed in on their positions.

    Having got an email from Virginia I’m somewhat comforted that my sacrifice wasn’t in vain. That guy heeding my sorry tale made certain and stocked up with two 30-packs. “Icehouse,” he further informed me.

    Me replying to his email Bastogne-like, the single word, “Appropriate.”

    • And here I am thinking about milk, bread, dog food for the 5 dogs and toilet paper….

      • JK

        Well. The necessities (toilet paper etc) are always well laid in. Always.

        The problem with beer is the “Use By” date.

        (For instance, when the ’09 ice-storm with its 11 days absent electricity, I was in a apartments sharing mine with fully 30 tins of sardines and beau coup rice [It wasn’t to do with ‘intuition’ – more experience I readily admit] tho I should probably add .. it’s “a hillbilly thing.”

        Another f’rinstance. The same propane on hand then, albeit upped volumn-wise, the lantern mantles, the cooking means, albeit also supplemented by a catalytic heater – were taken from my storage unit and placed very much closer to hand fully fifty days ago.

        My pickup then carried 3 days supply rations ‘n water – since upped to 7. I did only start carrying toilet paper [in the truck] quite recently tho’ … that was intuition, due to the influence/presence of a woman although in my defense I always previously did carry paper-towels, even in the summer.)

  8. We actually had a few snow flurries here yesterday, lol. Quite unusual for this part of GA.

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