“God grants Liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.”
-Daniel Webster, 1834
This is going to be a long geopolitical and domestic politics blog post (venting). I get weary of the right-wing news media and social media echo-chamber, where every bit of anti-American propaganda, not only gets repeated without critical evaluation, it’s wholeheartedly believed. There are a whole lot of people who trust zero hedge and various pundits without any reservations. What bothers me the most is how so few people who rush to blabber on about the hot topics and frame it to feed their own belief system, actually read anything that challenges that hot take or dig deeper into the history. Often this propaganda, and I use the term propaganda, not information or news, comes framed intentionally to incite and inflame and fuel deeper divides within America. It also invariably comes framed to advance the foreign policy objectives of America’s adversaries. The goal is to turn Americans against, not only the opposing partisan side, but to turn them against foreign policy objectives that really are in America’s national interests.
The American left has a long history of embracing regimes and political ideologies that run counter to our American foundational principles, but now the right-wing, drunk on gulping down too much Trump-era populist swill, enthusiastically wave the American flag, while at the same time embracing isolationist foreign policies and the Trump doublespeak position of making excuses for some of the world’s worst dictators and despots. This isn’t going to be an anti-Trump blog post, it’s going to be a plea for Americans to actually step back and take a long hard look, at not only the “fake news media,: but the entire right-wing media echo-chamber too. Some of the most popular right-wing punditry are total frauds and as much “fake news” as CNN, the NYT, MSNBC, etc.
My blog is filled with anti-Democratic Party foreign policy and domestic policy positions, so this isn’t that I am a liberal. I really do find Trump a phony, shallow con-man and I never lose sight that he was also Bill Clinton’s former golfing buddy. He was a liberal celebrity who liked to hang out with Howard Stern and Joe and Mika. However, I don’t think Trump is the biggest “threat to democracy.” I just put him into the same category as liberal Democrat frauds like his former friends, because under all his ridiculous rabble-rousing red meat populism he throws to his adoring fans at rallies, Trump’s moral center is not conservative, not Christian, not pro-life, not pro-2nd Amendment – it’s 100% Pro-Trump. That is it. He was a liberal NY celebrity, who hobnobbed with the rich and famous. His cheap slogans that he feeds his fans, who repeat them and emblazon hats with, are not actual policies – they’re just sound bites in an endless spin information war. Trump understood the Democrat’s spin war, especially the power and influence of social media to drive public opinion, and that’s why he became such a potent threat to them. Trump was very effective at Twitter spin battles and both deflating Dem spin narratives and hijacking many of them.
So, what is the biggest “threat to our democracy.” in my view, well, here’s my answer – I think that phrase is a silly spin diversion, because our American democratic traditions depend on confidence in the United States Constitution (our constitutional republic) and our founding principles – not on one person or political party. The biggest threat is if “we the people” no longer have faith in our system. Americans losing trust in the American system is the biggest threat to America.
Trust is the keystone that keeps America strong. and without that – we will fall. That is what I believe.
So, now to the current geopolitical mess – the Biden administration is following the Obama team playbook. The Obama playbook which was a total disaster for America and led to endless foreign policy debacles abroad, divisive racial politics, abuses of power using executive branch power to target political enemies, but most of all the Obama playbook operated off of a “rules for thee, but not for me” principle. And this is where America’s foreign adversaries took full advantage of that Obama team hubris. It was interesting reading the Forstchen novels about an EMP attack, with partisan political overtones and he included a scenario where lax security with handling classified information, like the Hillary email server, followed into how the White House, operating from a secure bunker after an EMP attack, behaved.
It wasn’t only Hillary Clinton who was reckless and disregarded the rules on handling sensitive and classified information – it permeated through the entire Obama administration and it included President Obama himself. When the FBI released the Hillary email investigation notes in the fall of 2016, I read through all of them, trying to answer questions I had and things I didn’t understand, despite mountains of reporting and media coverage of that scandal. For instance, I didn’t really have an answer as to why she set up that private email server. The FBI’s chronology of the private email server, made clear to me that former president, Bill Clinton, set up that private email server in their home for his Clinton Foundation work. When Hillary was selected to be Obama’s Secretary of State, the Clintons upgraded that private server and Bill’s aide, Justin Cooper and Hillary’s campaign IT guy, Bryan Pagliano, under the direction of Huma Abedin did that upgrade.
Of course, Democrats will chant, “but her emails,” and plug their ears whenever that scandal is mentioned, but the scandal while coming to light over classified information on that private UNSECURED server, skipped the more important question. Why did Hillary use a private email server in her home? The answer to that goes to former President Bill Clinton, who actually set-up that private server in their home for his Clinton Foundation work. Then when Hillary was ready to become Secretary of State, the Clintons upgraded that private server, under the supervision of Hillary’s aide, Huma Abedin. This isn’t my theory – it’s in the FBI Notes on the email server investigation, which were released in the fall of 2016. Why would the Clintons merge the Sec. of State emails onto their private Clinton Foundation email server in their home? That question was never asked by the liberal media and the right-wing media ranted about “Lock her Up” and about classified emails. The thing is classified emails on an unsecure server were only how the corruption came to light. The deeper core corruption was the Clintons set up a system merging the US State Dept. business with their foundation business on a private server in their home. They used US government information and a high political office (Sec. of State) to advance their private Clinton Foundation. Hillary wasn’t acting in the interests of the American people or even the administration she served in – she was out for their family business of raking in money from the rich and famous, at home and abroad.
Reading those FBI Notes, it became clear to me that several other Obama officials had been sending sensitive and classified information via private email accounts too, including President Obama. And that’s why nothing happened to anyone who mishandled classified information in that email scandal – it would have implicated the highest level of the Obama administration – President Obama, himself. Now this rehash isn’t about sour grapes that there was no accountability – it’s because in the world of geopolitics – it’s not about Democrats or Republicans in the eyes of the rest of the world. It’s about the United States of America.
Most Americans seem to have no concept that in the rest of the world they see America as either an ally, adversary, or a global superpower that can’t be ignored, well, couldn’t be ignored as long as America remained a superpower. The rest of the world pays close attention to American news and while American media and Americans live hunkered down in hostile partisan camps, foreign governments and entities saw opportunities to exploit those American divides and those glaring security weaknesses. It’s a given that several foreign intelligence entities knew about the Clintons unsecured private server and had accessed it, especially when that private server came to light in 2013, when a Romanian hacker, Guccifer, hacked into Clinton advisor and friend, Sidney Blumenthal’s email. The actual Clinton email server scandal didn’t become big news until the spring of 2015, when the 2016 presidential campaign began. During that two years between the Guccifer hack being reported and the spring of 2015 when the email server scandal erupted, it’s guaranteed that foreign intel agencies expended a lot of effort to exploit that unsecured private email server, where all of the State Dept. business was sitting unprotected. It’s also obvious to me that the story we were fed about Huma Abedin storing State Dept. emails on the Weiner family laptop was just an unintentional accident is not true. That’s the story Clinton operatives floated and it’s the story, former FBI director, James Comey, sold the American people. Huma Abedin oversaw the Clinton private server upgrade, right before Hillary became Sec. of State upgraded and Bill Clinton aide, Justin Cooper, testified in Congress that Abedin also managed the SCIFs in both Clinton residences – Chappaqua and their DC home. Abedin told the FBI she knew nothing about the private email server until 2015, when the story broke in the news. That is also a lie – she orchestrated the private server upgrade right before Hillary became Sec. of State in January of 2009. Be that as it may, this post isn’t about the Obama corruption, the Clinton corruption, the media corruption, of even the Trump corruption – it’s about our own corruption – “we the people.” “We the people” elect corrupt people – over and over and over again.
I’ve been a right-wing American my entire adult life, but I feel both a great deal of unease with how corrupt the right-wing news media and punditry crowd is, despite trusting so many of these sources over the years. I could easily see how dishonest the liberal, mainstream media was for decades with all their spin word games and selling Democrat narratives constantly, but I was blind that the right-wing media was just as dishonest and corrupt. That was a very uncomfortable revelation for me – to admit right-wing media/pundits I trusted were as dishonest as the liberal ones. And likewise, this goes for the political class too – the Republicans in Washington are as corrupt as the Democrats. All that binary choice stuff, of settling for the lesser of two evils, in politics just sinks us further. Trump is not a savior on a white horse, he’s a liberal New Yorker, playacting at being conservative. There is no man on a white horse coming to save America – it will take a whole lot of Americans to work together to do that.
Americans, especially right-wing Americans rant about loving what America used to stand for, but for many years, I wonder what they think America stood for, what they want it to stand for and how they think retreating from the world stage will return America to the “greatness” they desire.
The reality of all those indulgent “rules for thee, but not for me” antics within the Obama administration allowed America’s adversaries to easily acquire sensitive and classified information constantly – yes, it’s guaranteed that the Clintons private server was accessed by several foreign entities, but the national security nightmare went way beyond the Clintons private server – it was throughout the entire Obama administration, where officials, including Obama, did not follow sound security protocols to safeguard American intelligence and information. Back in the 1990s, a common criticism leveled against the Clinton administration was that many of the WH officials would never have passed a traditional security background investigation, including President Clinton. GWB had more old-school type people in his administration and following the security rules. However, there was the lying though, especially about Iraqi intel and WMD there too and that’s why I don’t want to make this about which party is worse. With Obama, Trump, now Biden, being the Obama JV team, it’s more of the same lax handling of information.
President Trump spent more time on promoting himself and fixated on fighting with the media than he ever spent worrying about America’s problems at home or abroad. In fact, even with that J-6 disgrace, all the people who did get arrested were left on their own. He continually fundraised off of that, proclaiming he’s a victim, but he never spent one cent to aid any of those J-6 defendants with legal counsel – not one cent. With the latest crazed Dem effort to indict him, Trump was back out there trying to incite his followers to get out and protest. I did see a former, strident Trump-supporter pundit tweet that no Repubs should listen to Trump and go protest in a blue city, because Trump wasn’t going to spend even a penny to help them, if they got arrested. I believe Trump is about Trump, but there were policies promoted during his presidency that I supported. There again Trump usually went out and threw his own people under the bus or created unnecessary obstacles to get those policies implemented.
This veered off from the geopolitics, so let me try to get back on track in this rant. America, being a world superpower, has allowed Americans to prosper and build a standard of living that can not be sustained, if America retreats or is relegated to “just another country” status. A lot of Americans want it both ways – they want all of the perks of being a superpower (all those nice things we have in our homes, a standard of living unheard of in world history, a veritable land of plenty), but they now don’t want to burden any of the responsibilities that come along with being a world superpower.
Ukraine has become an area where America’s adversaries successfully feed anti-American propaganda into the right-wing media ecosystem by masking it as anti-Biden, anti-NATO, and painting Russia as a victim. Putin launched a full-scale invasion into Ukraine. Russia and China haven’t been “pushed” closer because of America and Europe aiding Ukraine – Russia and China were plotting to wage an economic war against America and the West for years – yes, YEARS. The signs were there with the ever increasing fossil fuel and economic deals they were ironing out and implementing. Here’s a Foreign Policy article:
“Just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Putin and Xi famously declared their “no limits” partnership in a 5,000-word statement that rattled Western countries. As they drew closer politically, so too did their economies. Trade between Beijing and Moscow skyrocketed by more than 30 percent to nearly $190 billion in 2022, particularly as China bought up Russian crude oil at heavily discounted volumes. That year, Moscow was also Beijing’s second-biggest supplier of crude oil, coal, and pipeline gas, according to Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.”
Got that – “weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.” What, I believe Putin expected when he invaded Ukraine, was a Western response like the Afghanistan Withdrawal debacle and western disunity. That the West actually banded together to help Ukraine came as a shock to the Russians and Chinese. Never fear though, the American right-wing media has been filled with non-stop pro-Russia propaganda, especially Tucker Carlson and that retired COL. he brings on to spew against aiding Ukraine, talk about how spectacular Russia’s military is doing and predict Ukraine failure. They also absolve Putin of blame for launching a full-scale invasion into Ukraine.
While Trump’s former friends were people like the Clintons, Tucker Carlson, was friends with Hunter Biden. I always look to where people came from and Trump was a pampered rich kid, who sought out rich and famous liberal friends. Tucker Carlson isn’t from a working class background – he’s part of the elite. His step-mother is a Swanson Enterprises heir. One of the emails on the Hunter Biden laptop was Tucker seeking Hunter’s help to get his son into Georgetown, where Hunter is a graduate. That email was from 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president. I don’t trust anything Tucker Carlson says and the text messages recently released in the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News, just highlight how dishonest some of the big name Fox pundits are – they want to keep their right-wing followers angry about the Democrats and “fake news,” and will sell any story to keep them watching. Sure, the liberal media and Democrats are hyping these FOX text messages for their own partisan objectives, but the bottom line is these text messages are legit and show just how dishonest and disingenuous those big name Fox primetime pundits really are. A Tucker Carlson is no different than a Chris Cuomo, in my estimation.
Now to the big picture, I believe aiding Ukraine is important for America and important for our European allies, if the US hopes to remain a world leader. How the Biden administration has handled the Ukraine situation and their insane belief they can wage a two-front war – aiding Ukraine to fight Russia and at same time waging a war against American fossil fuel production is where I disagree.
I’m perplexed by flag-waving Americans, who rail against any American aid and want isolationist policies, yet they rant about America First and returning America to past glory. They expect America to be a powerful country like in the past, while not caring that Russia and China have been aggressively working to build an alliance to knock America into backwater status for years, I have heard no answers. All they rant about is senile Biden, dastardly Democrats, and buying into every crazy conspiracy theory, that centers on fueling anti- US government paranoia. The right-wing news media ecosystem is as corrupt as the liberal media and as infested with hostile foreign information operations and propaganda. The left-wing news devolved into insane propaganda since 2016, when #Resist replaced any sort of journalistic standards, so they filled their news media space with every former Trump crony, who turned on him or assorted crooks, swindlers, frauds and angry women, who they could find to trash Trump and try to destroy him, by any means necessary. And yeah, the left-wing media is still hard at work on their #Resist project, evidenced by the recent Trump indictment.
Bottom-line for me is I recognized the Global War on Terror was a disaster as the insurgency in Iraq was growing and training the Afghan security forces had turned into a bottomless pit of graft and corruption, with the US pouring in arms and aid that disappeared into thin air. So, I was slower than many people, who advised against invading Iraq, but I did eventually catch on that our endless wars, with all their stupid slogans masquerading as strategy, were not being won. I understand why so many Americans don’t want US troops engaged in faraway wars that they don’t think are our fight, but when it comes to Russia and China – well, Ukraine isn’t only about Ukraine – it’s about that Russia-China alliance that’s growing and is committed to replacing the US as the leader on the world stage.
If America abandons Ukraine, America will be pushed into backwater status quickly and trust in America will evaporate. If that happens the American standard of living will drop and we will be facing an ever-increasing array of threats, at home and abroad, with fewer and fewer allies. That’s the reality of walking away from your strongest allies and a treaty, NATO, which has served as the centerpiece of American foreign policy post WWII to keep America and our closest allies safe. Winston Churchill coined the phrase “iron curtain,” to describe the Soviet Union’s aggressive takeover of eastern Europe at the end of WWII and it seems sad to me that so many right-leaning Americans, who proclaim how much they love vets and those who served, can so easily mouth excuses for Putin’s full scale invasion of Ukraine and ignore history. So many European countries, even the wacky liberal ones, quickly saw the threat from that Russian aggression and there’s been a rush for them wanting into NATO. That isn’t because they want a world war – they fear Russian aggression escalating. Putin isn’t the good guy here and Russia isn’t the victim.
Remaining trapped in the scorched earth partisan spin war way of thinking and ranting about “the other side” keeps America locked into reacting constantly to the latest media Outrage of the Day or racing down propaganda-filled rabbit holes, that keep Americans isolated, disunited and fighting among ourselves. We aren’t responding based on any sort of principles or calm reflection – we are just spin addicts getting the next hit. It’s way past time to start ignoring most of the incendiary political and cultural “national conversations” and piles of flaming garbage that pass for hot takes and “news.” The only way to rebuild any semblance of a united country is to begin talking to other Americans and listening to opposing viewpoints and ideas. If all you do is get fired up and angry about every alarming headline, you have ceded control to your emotions.
When we look beyond our water’s edge, we are neither Democrat or Republican, we are Americans. Many Americans don’t seem to realize that is how the world views us. How do we view ourselves as Americans? I suppose most people muddle about for some political concepts in the founding documents or for others it’s all about social justice or diversity. I think America is still struggling for a national identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union and our rise to being the world’s superpower. Samuel P, Huntington wrote an interesting book, Who Are We? The Challenges To American National Identity in the early 2000s. I think he was right that we are still in a sorting out period about our national identity, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, where the Cold War played a major part of our national identity, but a nation is made of people and the character of those people will define the national identity.
We, as Americans, probably need to take a long hard look in the mirror and first figure out who we are as individuals and ask, “What do I really believe?” If you can’t see beyond media-driven partisan anger and outrage, you certainly can’t Make America Great Again or unite our country. I come from an old school, where if you give your word, you keep it, especially with making a solemn vow or taking an oath. I swore an oath to defend the constitution. For me, it’s deeply disturbing to hear talk among some people on the American right about a “national divorce,” and I’m shocked at how easily so many Americans have rushed to embrace this idea, which would only aid America’s adversaries and make it easier for them to extinguish America’s light of liberty.
I’m not ready to throw in the towel on America. I look to all those Americans who came before me and all of their sacrifices that made the cushy lifestyle we enjoy even possible. I pray that their tears, toils and struggles weren’t all for naught.