Thursday, February 15, 2018

Trump-Clinton-Obama Scandals

Trump-Clinton-Obama Scandals

I have come to the conclusion there could be some  truth in all the scandals swirling around Washington DC which are poisoning the political life of this country


I believe President Trump has something to hide regarding Russia. From the beginning of his campaign to the present his refusal to get tough with Russian aggression has been suspicious. He may be afraid they have information on him for money laundering, corrupt business deals or prostitutes or all three. He certainly acts like a man hiding something. However I have seen little evidence Trump “colluded” with Russia during the campaign. Both Hillary and Trump were attempting to get dirt on each other from the Russians with little success.


Hillary broke the criminal laws of the United States over the handling of classified information and the Obama Administration, Justice Department and some in the FBI worked to prevent her from being prosecuted for both partisan reasons and because of a fear of a Trump Administration.


The Obama Administration, Justice Department, CIA, NSA and the FBI have been investigating Trump almost from the beginning of his campaign. They feared his ties with Russia and used the criminal justice system to investigate. They got FIFSA warrants on some low level Trump campaign people (with the help of the Hillary campaign) in the hope of them leading up the chain to Trump. They were never able to prove anything about Trump and Russia and after Trump won they had to cover their tracks by telling Trump he was not the subject of their investigation. They were not telling the truth and Trump suspected as much when they refused to go public that he was not the subject of the investigation. They then used the firing of the FBI director Comey to bootstrap the appointment of Mueller to investigate the Russian collusion charge with the help of Trump's AG. When Mueller was just as unsuccessful at proving that allegation he converted his prosecution to an “obstruction of justice” investigation/prosecution and hopes to trap Trump in a perjury trap! He is also bringing criminal charges against others on peripheral issues in hopes of getting them to turn on Trump.  The Feds were never able to get the goods on Al Capone but they did get him on tax evasion and sent him to prison. They are doing something similar now.

If Muller has the goods on Russia and Trump let him bring charges otherwise this is an attempt to overturn an election. I didn’t vote for Trump, or Hillary for that matter, but I do believe Trump was duly elected.

In any case while we spend our time dealing with these issues the debt gets bigger, little gets done, and the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and North Koreas watch and wait for their chance.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Summer of 1968 !

It was the summer of 1968. I was between my junior and senior year at the University of Oregon in Eugene. I was spending the summer at my parent's home in North Bend and had a summer job as an assistant manager at a variety store called Sprouse Reitz in Coos Bay, Oregon.

1968 was a year things seemed to come apart. It was a Presidential election year,  War was raging in Vietnam and President Lyndon Baines Johnson  (LBJ) had decided to not run for reelection. Senator Eugene McCarthy was the Democrat anti war candidate going against Johnson's VP, Hubert Humphry. Senator Bobby Kennedy had just been assassinated in Los Angeles after winning the Democrat primary. Martin Luther King had been assassinated that spring and major American cities had seen riots, looting and buildings burned. National Guard troops guarded the Capitol in Washington D.C.  Richard Nixon was the leading candidate for the Republicans. California Governor Ronald Reagan and former N.Y. Governor Nelson Rockefeller were trying to block his nomination. The Democrat convention that year was in Chicago and the Republican was in Miami Beach in Florida.

We all watched on TV as the Democrats destroyed themselves in Chicago both in the convention and on the streets. Humphry ( a good man) won  the nomination but paid a heavy price.

Three of my best friends at the University of Oregon spent the summer in Eugene and shared an old house down the alley from Bob's Superette a few block from campus. Jerry Norton, Gaines Smith and Randy Gragg. It was a house only a college student could appreciate and I visited as often as I could. I loved the intellectual stimulation of being around three friends that shared my passion for  the Conservative cause. We were young and were excited about the future and we loved to talk politics and events.   All three are now gone but the memory of that summer and those friends remains.

Jerry Norton was from Coos Bay and had been my mentor in the draft Goldwater movement and Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) thereafter. Jerry had just graduated from Oregon and was waiting to go into the Army. He would end up in Vietnam, and was wounded. After the Army he worked for YAF and went on to get a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University and worked for many years in the Far East as a reporter and editor for Reuters New Service.   He died a few years ago and was buried  at Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC.

Gaines Smith was from Lake Oswego Oregon and was  "a professional student". He was a follower of Ayn Rand then called Objectivist and now called Libertarians. He was tall, dark and handsome and the girls loved him with his fake British accent. He was a very good writer. He wore a $ sign pin in the lapel of his tweed sports jacket he always wore with a black turtleneck. A few years after that summer  he moved back east for a few years working as a journalist for a Connecticut newspaper and then for the American Conservative Union.  He returned to Eugene and eventually got a job at Lane Community College as a creative writing instructor.  The Eugene Register Guard newspaper would report how he died.......... ! I attended his funeral in Eugene and spent time with his friends wondering why!

Randy Gragg was from Southern California and was active in student government at the University of Oregon and was a great Conservative debater. After that summer he would return to California and was active in the Libertarian movement. He had bright red hair. We all lost track of Randy but his obituary states that he later graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Indiana and was a pastor at a Lutheran church in Ohio.

Jerry, Gaines and Randy all went to the Republican Convention in Miami Beach and I didn't! I was so jealous. One of the few regrets in my life. In little more than a year I would be in the Army learning how to kill North Vietnamese soldiers and from my perspective how to prevent them from killing me. I ended up not going to Vietnam but it was very close. I should have gone to the Convention!

The three friends went to the convention supporting Ronald Reagan. I had wavered between Reagan and Nixon. My head said Nixon had the best chance in November and my heart was with  Reagan. Nixon won the nomination in Miami on the first ballot. Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was able to hold most of the Southern delegates for Nixon who went on to win in November. He would resign in disgrace after winning reelection in 1972. Reagan would win in 1980 and serve two terms.

For years Gaines would tell me of his "adventures" at the convention.  Jerry had tickets to get into the convention but Gaines and Randy didn't. Gaines went to one of the many social gatherings  associated with a major party convention and met a young lady whose father was high up in the Wyoming delegation. Gaines struck up a conversation with the young lady who thought Gaines was British. Gaines played along with her mistake and said he was sad that he had come all this way to see the convention but couldn't get tickets. She volunteered to get him tickets and told him if he went to a "hospitality suite" at a given hotel at a certain time she would see that he got some tickets. So Gaines with Randy "dragging behind" walked across muggy Miami Beach and went to the hospitality suite and there was no one there! There were tables loaded with liquor but no people. Gaines and Randy sat down to wait and Randy noticed on the table between them two tickets to the convention. They grabbed the tickets and ran out of the room and down the stairs as fast as they could. They got into the Convention but were afraid to sit in those seats and so spent a lot of time walking around.

After that summer I returned to Eugene for my Senior year at Oregon  but only Gaines remained and the magic of that time and place were gone.

I sure would like to get-together with the guys again  and see what they would say about Donald Trump!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Donald Trump the Good, the Bad & the Ugly (6 months later)

One month after he was sworn in as President I posted the Good, the Bad & the Ugly on President Trump’s first month on the job.(see below)  Now that he has been President for over 6 months it’s time to revisit my view of the man and the job he is doing.
The Good
With some exceptions, I was originally impressed by the people he appointed to his cabinet and otherwise.   It is now apparent that regardless of the people he appoints that he will do what he wants and if anyone gets in the way they will be fired, or ignored.  The treatment he has given to Attorney General Sessions is appalling and the same can be said about his National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State. Good men who are trying to hold things together for a President who at best is an incompetent jerk or worse a man who has a lot to hid.  I know this is supposed to be “The Good” but I am having a hard time finding anything good to say about President Trump other than a good Supreme Court pick and the fact he isn’t Hillary. There were so many good men from my party to pick and it is a Greek Tragedy that Donald Trump got the nomination. 5 months ago I had hope for President Trump and had some doubts about being #Nevertrump during the election. I no longer have any hopes for President Trump, those doubts are gone. I made the right decision to not vote for him in the Oregon Primary and not vote for him the General  Election ( For the record I did not vote for Hillary).
The Bad
We live in a dangerous world and the enemies of Freedom in Russia, Iran, North Korea and China will take advantage of a crisis of leadership in the United States.  I originally had doubts that the Russians had anything on Trump and was critical of the Democrats and the Main Stream Media for spending so much time on it. I opposed the appointment of a special investigator. And was no fan of FBI Director Comey.   However, with what is happening to Attorney General. Jeff Sessions, I no longer have any doubts that President Trump is deathly afraid of what will come out. He is a man who acting like he has something to hide!  If he forces Sessions out and makes a “recess appointment” of one of his cronies to be AG who then fires Mueller we will have a real Constitutional crisis . The same will be true if he starts issuing pardons to his family and associates to keep them quiet.
The Ugly
President Trump is an ugly man on the inside and it keeps coming out. I agree with his stated positions on many things but do not believe he believes them and is just saying them because he knows that’s what his ardent followers want to hear. He brings out the worst in people and will continue the deep divisions exacerbated by President Obama However where Obama was a smooth operator. Trump is cruel and crude. He enjoys hurting people and I am not talking policy. As a Conservative Republican since Goldwater and Bill Buckley it hurts to see so many of my Conservative friends taken in by this con-man. I understand and feel the anger against Hillary, Obama, the Liberal Media and most of the academia  on our campuses, turning this country into Europe or worse. I see the culture of our country turn its back on hard work small government, freedom and individual responsibility.  Trump will not reverse this trend but will set back the Conservative cause for  a generation. I am not yet advocating Impeachment as it would nullity a valid election and  in turn make our  divisions deeper.  My hope is evidence will come out that will convince a large majority of Americans that President Trump must resign so that a good man, Vice President Pence, can take over.  However, President Trump along with some of his allies on Fox News (not all, there are some good people there) and other Trump agitators will poison our democracy and that he really could shoot someone on 7th Avenue in New York and his followers would stick with him. 

We are in for a rocky ride America. It’s bad and ugly but for a political junkie it is exciting.  It’s only going to get worse before it gets better and as yet I see no light at the en

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Jim Wickre Birth Family Tree (best guess based on DNA)

Click to enlarge

One of the questions I often get at the doctors office I can never answer is " in the family?" I always answer I am adopted and I don't know.

The above information about my  birth parents  is based upon circumstantial evidence based upon DNA through (1-3) cousins, "DNA Circles" * ,"New Ancestor Discoveries", Y-DNA through, family trees of the extended Hawkins, Brown, Worthen and; McMullin families and where they intersect, location and opportunity. In other words, who in those families were in Salt Lake City, Utah in the late years of World War II on or near VJ-Day and the ages and marital status of the prospective parents. Key single members of the Hawkins and Worthen families lived within 1.8 miles of each other in Salt Lake City during the key periods. The Catholic Hospital where I was born was in-between!  I welcomes additional evidence based upon family histories  or otherwise that supports this analysis or contradicts it. If true, this is a sad story of very young kids who produced a child before they were ready to be parents. I would much prefer a different result. However in the end, I was adopted by great parents and have no regrets. Information of family medical history would also be greatly appreciated! On a further note, if anyone has concerns about any breach of  privacy please let me know since that is not my intent. Both of my  purported birth parents have been deceased for  20 years or more, but if there are any others, please advise and your concerns will be resolved to your satisfaction.

My purported birth mother came from the old line Mormon families that settled Utah the Worthen and McMullin families. She was 14 or 15 when I was born. My purported birth father was from the Hawkins and; Brown family's that had settled in Kansas and later in Colorado and Washington State. However, one couple , husband a Hawkins and wife a Brown, settled in Salt Lake City.  They were Methodist. Their son was 13 or 14 when I was born. Good thing for me abortion was illegal in Utah in 1946.

On interesting fact is that I am related to a signer of The Declaration of Independence, George Ross of Pennsylvania. Look him up! There is a reason I love the musical  movie/play "1776"!  No, he is not portrayed in the movie.

*"DNA Circles" is a great feature on where they group people with similar DNA in Circles so you can see how you are related to each other based upon Family trees that have been filed for various families.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

President Trump: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!

Now that President Trump has been elected and in office for about one month here is my assessment.

First of all I am a Conservative Republican and have been one since the draft Goldwater campaign of 1963- 1962.  I voted for Marco Rubio in the Oregon primary in May of 2016 and wrote in Evan McMullin in the general election of 2016. Until the election I was #neverTrump. I believe in limited government, maximum individual freedom and the responsibility that goes with it.

The Good:
I have liked most of Trump's appointments to his cabinet and in particular General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense, Betsy DaVos at Education, Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, Tim Price at HHS, Scott Pruitt EPA, General  John Kelly at Homeland Security, Ryan Zinke (an Oregon Duck) at Interior, Mike Pompeo at CIA and Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence. I am taking a wait and see about Rex Tillerson at State and Jeff Sessions as AG.

I love the nominations/appointments of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Judge Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court and General  H.R. McMaster to be National Security Adviser.

All in all a good group of advisors around the President with a few exceptions as outlined below. I will be the first to admit I am pleasantly  surprised that he made these appointment. He now has some really good people around him.  

I think President Trump is correct that  he will NEVER get a fair deal out of the Liberal Main Stream Media and is correct in trying to neutralize their attacks on him provided he recognizes their 1st Amendment Rights.  I agree with him that many in the entrenched Federal bureaucracy  including Obama holdovers will attempt to sabotage him and his agenda and it is important for him to take them on. I am very of skeptical  alleged leaks coming from the bureaucracy. The Democrat strategy to President Trump appears to be a scorched earth policy that will cause many to rally to Trump.

I believe in enforcing the laws of this country and as long as we have immigration laws they need to be enforced in a humane manner. If laws are ignored then that breeds disrespect for all laws. Every country has the right to enforce and defend it's borders.   No question that we need immigration reform but until that happens the law is the law!

The Bad:
I  still don't personally like Donald Trump. I don't think he is a good person and I don't like his style. He is a bully and I don't like bully's. He can be cruel and often overstates his case. As much as I dislike the Main Stream Media they are not the "enemies" of Americans. He is erratic, self centered, undisciplined and thin skinned.

I strongly dislike Steve Bannon his chief strategist. I believe he appeals to President Trump's "dark side." 
It was also a big mistake to appoint Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor but thank goodness he is gone and replaced by a good man.

I don't understand why President Trump has a blind spot regarding Russia's Putin. Is it a mistake as to strategy or something darker? 

The Ugly:
President Trump's Inaugural Address was the ugliest and meanest  in U.S. history and I saw Steve Bannon's fingerprints all over it.

 The vetoing of Eliott Abrams to be Deputy Secretary of State because of campaign criticism of Trump in the campaign  was wrong!. Secretary of State Tillison needs a strong deputy to get control of the State Department and President Trump let that cloud his judgment when Tillison sought Abrams appointment.

The rollout of the Executive Order on limiting immigration from certain countries. I agree  the President has the authority to make such decisions under current  law and the courts that ruled against him did so for political and not legal ground but, non the less, it was clumsy and a self inflicted defeat.

This country is deeply divided and was before President Trump became President.. President Trump will not bring us together and will further divide us not only on policy but because of his personality.  I saw and see in Senator  Marco Rubio  a real conservative that could help bridge our differences and bring civility back into politics.. However, the country was so divided in 2016 that each side was only interested  in appealing to it's base regardless of the consequences. I firmly believe that the anger generated on the Right by Obama's 8 years of only appealing to his Left led to President Trump! I also see the Democrats still moving farther to the Left!

In Conclusion:
 I remain a President Trump skeptic. I will support him when he is attacked unfairly by the Left, the Main Stream Media, Democrats and the Obama/Hillary sore losers.  I will defend him when he makes Conservative appointments and works for Conservative policy. I will work against him when he doesn't and  if he  fails to recognize the evil of Russia's Putin. Russia, Iran China and North Korea are run by evil men and we need a President who recognizes this and takes action to protect us and the world!

I didn't vote for him, but Donald Trump is my President and because I love this country I want him to succeed!

Monday, September 19, 2016

The scene: Oregon fans flock to Lincoln ... and feel the love

By Clark Grell, Lincoln Nebraska Journal Star

There's something neat about mingling with the opposing fans when they come to Lincoln. I always like hearing their stories

For example, Jim Wickre of Medford, Oregon, was here on an all expenses-paid trip, thanks to son John and daughter Jennifer. it was a gift for his 70th birthday.

So the tree were decked out in Oregon gear and taking in the sights of Memorial Stadium before kickoff Saturday. John, 35 (actually 33) came in from Kentucky and Jennifer, 33 (actually 35) from Washington, D.C.

The tree love going to Oregon Road games.

"We've been to a lot of road games," Jennifer said "This is the nicest fans we've ever seen."

Nebraska fans have heard that before, but the Wickres can't stress it enough. "Everyone comes up to you sand says "Welcome to Nebraska" and "Have a good game tomorrow," Jim said

The Oregon fans were fun. They're a passionate bunch (and they're kinda hard to miss when they don the bright-green and yellow).

Thursday, May 19, 2016

This is how fascism comes to America

Robert Kagan is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a contributing columnist for The Post.

"The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. If only he would mouth the party’s “conservative” principles, all would be well.
But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.
And the source of allegiance? We’re supposed to believe that Trump’s support stems from economic stagnation or dislocation. Maybe some of it does. But what Trump offers his followers are not economic remedies — his proposals change daily. What he offers is an attitude, an aura of crude strength and machismo, a boasting disrespect for the niceties of the democratic culture that he claims, and his followers believe, has produced national weakness and incompetence. His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision. His program, such as it is, consists chiefly of promises to get tough with foreigners and people of nonwhite complexion. He will deport them, bar them, get them to knuckle under, make them pay up or make them shut up.

That this tough-guy, get-mad-and-get-even approach has gained him an increasingly large and enthusiastic following has probably surprised Trump as much as it has everyone else. Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenon he has created and now leads has become something larger than him, and something far more dangerous.
Republican politicians marvel at how he has “tapped into” a hitherto unknown swath of the voting public. But what he has tapped into is what the founders most feared when they established the democratic republic: the popular passions unleashed, the “mobocracy.” Conservatives have been warning for decades about government suffocating liberty. But here is the other threat to liberty that Alexis de Tocqueville and the ancient philosophers warned about: that the people in a democracy, excited, angry and unconstrained, might run roughshod over even the institutions created to preserve their freedoms. As Alexander Hamilton watched the French Revolution unfold, he feared in America what he saw play out in France — that the unleashing of popular passions would lead not to greater democracy but to the arrival of a tyrant, riding to power on the shoulders of the people.
This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Fuhrer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who singlehandedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.
To understand how such movements take over a democracy, one only has to watch the Republican Party today. These movements play on all the fears, vanities, ambitions and insecurities that make up the human psyche. In democracies, at least for politicians, the only thing that matters is what the voters say they want — vox populi vox dei. A mass political movement is thus a powerful and, to those who would oppose it, frightening weapon. When controlled and directed by a single leader, it can be aimed at whomever the leader chooses. If someone criticizes or opposes the leader, it doesn’t matter how popular or admired that person has been. He might be a famous war hero, but if the leader derides and ridicules his heroism, the followers laugh and jeer. He might be the highest-ranking elected guardian of the party’s most cherished principles. But if he hesitates to support the leader, he faces political death.

In such an environment, every political figure confronts a stark choice: Get right with the leader and his mass following or get run over. The human race in such circumstances breaks down into predictable categories — and democratic politicians are the most predictable. There are those whose ambition leads them to jump on the bandwagon. They praise the leader’s incoherent speeches as the beginning of wisdom, hoping he will reward them with a plum post in the new order. There are those who merely hope to survive. Their consciences won’t let them curry favor so shamelessly, so they mumble their pledges of support, like the victims in Stalin’s show trials, perhaps not realizing that the leader and his followers will get them in the end anyway.
A great number will simply kid themselves, refusing to admit that something very different from the usual politics is afoot. Let the storm pass, they insist, and then we can pick up the pieces, rebuild and get back to normal. Meanwhile, don’t alienate the leader’s mass following. After all, they are voters and will need to brought back into the fold. As for Trump himself, let’s shape him, advise him, steer him in the right direction and, not incidentally, save our political skins.
What these people do not or will not see is that, once in power, Trump will owe them and their party nothing. He will have ridden to power despite the party, catapulted into the White House by a mass following devoted only to him. By then that following will have grown dramatically. Today, less than 5 percent of eligible voters have voted for Trump. But if he wins the election, his legions will comprise a majority of the nation. Imagine the power he would wield then. In addition to all that comes from being the leader of a mass following, he would also have the immense powers of the American presidency at his command: the Justice Department, the FBI, the intelligence services, the military. Who would dare to oppose him then? Certainly not a Republican Party that laid down before him even when he was comparatively weak. And is a man like Trump, with infinitely greater power in his hands, likely to become more humble, more judicious, more generous, less vengeful than he is today, than he has been his whole life? Does vast power un-corrupt?
This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him."

mp reads snake poem to discuss immigration, terrorism

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump read a poem about a snake at a rally in Ohio to discuss immigration and terrorism. (Reuters) That this tough-guy, get-mad-and-get-even approach has gained him an increasingly large and enthusiastic following has probably surprised Trump as much as it has everyone else. Trump himself is simply and quite literally an egomaniac. But the phenomenomething larger than him, and something far more dange

Sunday, May 01, 2016

NEVER Trump!

Donald Trump is a cancer on the Conservative movement and the Republican Party that must be removed ! George Will in his column said it best today:

Donald Trump’s damage to the Republican Party, although already extensive, has barely begun. Republican quislings will multiply, slinking into support of the most anti-conservative presidential aspirant in their party’s history. These collaborationists will render themselves ineligible to participate in the party’s reconstruction.

Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One is to help him lose 50 states -- condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow a saving remnant of senators, representatives, governors and state legislators.

Friday, March 04, 2016

# Never Trump!

I have been a Republican since I worked for Richard Nixon in 1960. As a kid I had a poster of Nixon on my bedroom door from 1960 through 1962. In 1963 I read Barry Goldwater's book  "Conscience of a Conservative" and became a Conservative Republican with emphasis on the Conservative. I used my allowance to send away for Goldwater bumper stickers and worked in the Draft Goldwater movement. I joined Bill Buckley's Young Americans for Freedom  and helped form a chapter in my home town of Coos Bay/North Bend, Oregon ("The Thomas Jefferson Chapter" to be exact). I joined the YAF chapter at the University of Oregon in 1967 and became its President in 1968. I campaigned for Reagan in 1968, 1976,1980 and 1984. I voted in the General Election for Nixon in 1968 but refused to vote for him in 1972 because of his imposition of wage and price controls, his trip to Red China and his refusal to level with us on Watergate. I have voted for every Republican nominee since, even when I had to hold my nose. From the time I was an college undergrad through today I have always had a poster or picture of William F. Buckley hanging in my dorm, apartment or each of the homes I have owned. I am and will always be a Conservative.

 I pledge on everything I hold dear including my honor that I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump!!! The man has the emotional level of a 4 year old and the personality of a tyrant! The man is crude, a show off, a con artist and the worst of all a cruel bully.

He is not interested in policy issues and has no philosophy or core values other than self aggrandizement.

But, what about Hillary! No one is more angry about the last 7 years of Obama. Just read deep into this blog to see my opposition and despair to Obama and Hillary on so many issues. She needs to be indicted and sent to prison for her criminal negligence for the secret documents on her  private email server. She and Bill through their foundation are a classic examples of crony capitalism. Her actions or should I say inactions at Benghazi have made her disqualified to be President!  The cover-up afterword's is even worse. Too bad there aren't people of conscience in the Democrat party who will speak out on these issues that should cut against the grain of liberalism.

Ben Shapiro a young attorney and Conservative writer and activist makes a compelling argument for my decision:

The counterargument to the #NeverTrump movement comes down to two words: Hillary Clinton. Trump will supposedly close the borders (a lie); Hillary will not. Trump will appoint conservative Supreme Court justices (unlikely); Hillary will not. No matter how bad Trump is, the argument goes, conservatives have a duty to back the anti-Hillary.
I think Trump will get blown out in a general election. But let’s assume that these critics of #NeverTrump are right. Let’s assume that but for we #NeverTrump voters sitting out the election, Trump would become president, and Hillary would go down in flaming defeat. And let’s assume that Hillary Clinton will appoint terrible justices, destroy the military, and usher in the apocalypse. Why in the world would conservatives live with President Hillary Clinton on their consciences?
Because first, it’s not on our consciences. It’s on the consciences of the people who went along with this nomination. We did not select Trump. We will not vote for him.
And if we are going to save the country, it will not rest on one or two justices on the Supreme Court. It will rest on the will of the people to resist tyranny. That will start at the state and local level. It will start with the people.
It will start with conservatives willing to say “no.”
Because if we never say “no,” we will never have the opportunity to say “yes.”
We must have a conservative party. The Republican Party is not that party, and has not been for a very long time. The Obama administration has brought about a unique moment – a transformational choice for the Party. Will they abandon all conservative principle in pursuit of victory, or will they turn back to the conservatism they supposedly espouse? This entire election cycle, the answer has been the former. In fact, for virtually my entire life, the answer has been the former. Establishment Republicans abandoned Reaganism for Bushism, and then abandoned Bushism for McCainism, and then abandoned McCainism for Romneyism. Until the last five minutes, they were ready to embrace Trump himself rather getting behind Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Now they call for conservatives to swallow hard and unify behind a man who opposes all conservative principles – to save conservatism!
In every election cycle, the establishment insists that we unify behind a candidate who does not reflect conservatism because elections are always a choice between the two worst options. They blackmail conservatives into supporting candidates who undermine the message and morality of our mission. Now Trump does the same. The establishment created the Donald Trump phenomenon with their “best of two bad options” logic, and now Trump is using that logic to destroy conservatism openly. The establishment doesn’t object to Trumpism. They only object to Trump. Strip the drunken boor antics from Trump, and you’ve got John McCain who will lie transparently to pander to the populist wing.
We don’t have to be complicit. As Ben Domenech is fond of citing, Alexander Hamilton once wrote, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.” Let us not be our own enemies.
Now is the time to say no.

I only disagree with Shapiro  on Ted Cruz who would be my second choice, my first being Marco Rubio, who I believe is just as Conservative and more electable.

In the end, long after this election, I want to be remembered for the stand I took against the forces of authoritarianism, fascism and bigotry who were on the march in my own Republican Party. I must do this to keep faith with Lincoln, Goldwater, Reagan, Jack Kemp and Bill Buckley.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse on why he can't support Donald Trump! A true Patriot!

To my friends supporting Donald Trump:
The Trump coalition is broad and complicated, but I believe many Trump fans are well-meaning. I have spoken at length with many of you, both inside and outside Nebraska. You are rightly worried about our national direction. You ache about a crony-capitalist leadership class that is not urgent about tackling our crises. You are right to be angry.
I’m as frustrated and saddened as you are about what’s happening to our country. But I cannot support Donald Trump.
Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.
Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. Much like President Obama, he displays essentially no understanding of the fact that, in the American system, we have a constitutional system of checks and balances, with three separate but co-equal branches of government. And the task of public officials is to be public “servants.” The law is king, and the people are boss. But have you noticed how Mr. Trump uses the word “Reign” – like he thinks he’s running for King? It’s creepy, actually. Nebraskans are not looking for a king. We yearn instead for the recovery of a Constitutional Republic.
At this point in Nebraska discussions, many of you have immediately gotten practical: “Okay, fine, you think there are better choices than Trump. But you would certainly still vote for Trump over Clinton in a general election, right?”
Before I explain why my answer is “Neither of them,” let me correct some nonsense you might have heard on the internet of late.
***No, I’m not a career politician. (I had never run for anything until being elected to the U.S. Senate fifteen months ago, and I ran precisely because I actually want to make America great again.)
***No, I’m not a lawyer who has never created a job. (I was a business guy before becoming a college president in my hometown.)
***No, I’m not part of the Establishment. (Sheesh, I had attack ads by the lobbyist class run against me while I was on a bus tour doing 16 months of townhalls across Nebraska. Why? Precisely because I was not the preferred candidate of Washington.)
***No, I’m not concerned about political job security. (The very first thing I did upon being sworn in in January 2015 was to introduce a constitutional amendment for term limits – this didn’t exactly endear me to my new colleagues.)
***No, I’m not for open borders. (The very first official trip I took in the Senate was to observe and condemn how laughably porous the Texas/Mexican border is. See 70 tweets from @bensasse in February 2015.)
***No, I’m not a “squishy,” feel-good, grow-government moderate. (I have the 4th most-conservative voting record in the Senate: )
In my very first speech to the Senate, I told my colleagues that “The people despise us all.” This institution needs to get to work, not on the lobbyists’ priorities, but on the people’s:
Now, to the question at hand: Will I pledge to vote for just any “Republican” nominee over Hillary Clinton?
Let’s begin by rejecting naïve purists: Politics has no angels. Politics is not about creating heaven on earth. Politics is simply about preserving a framework for ordered liberty – so that free people can find meaning and happiness not in politics but in their families, their neighborhoods, their work.
Now, let’s talk about political parties: parties are just tools to enact the things that we believe. Political parties are not families; they are not religions; they are not nations – they are often not even on the level of sports loyalties. They are just tools. I was not born Republican. I chose this party, for as long as it is useful.
If our Party is no longer working for the things we believe in – like defending the sanctity of life, stopping ObamaCare, protecting the Second Amendment, etc. – then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed.
Now, let’s talk about voting: Voting is usually just about choosing the lesser evil of the most viable candidates.
“Usually…” But not always. Certain moments are larger. They cause us to explicitly ask: Who are we as a people? What does the way we vote here say about our shared identity? What is actually the president’s job?
The president’s job is not about just mindlessly shouting the word “strong” – as if Vladimir Putin, who has been strongly bombing civilian populations in Syria the last month, is somehow a model for the American presidency. No, the president’s core calling is to “Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution.”
Before we ever get into any technical policy fights – about pipelines, or marginal tax rates, or term limits, or Medicare reimbursement codes – America is first and fundamentally about a shared Constitutional creed. America is exceptional, because she is at her heart a big, bold truth claim about human dignity, natural rights, and self-control – and therefore necessarily about limited rather than limitless government.
America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world because our Constitution is the best political document that’s ever been written. It said something different than almost any other government had said before: Most governments before said that might makes right, that government decides what our rights are and that the people are just dependent subjects. Our Founders said that God gives us rights by nature, and that government is not the author or source of our rights. Government is just our shared project to secure those rights.
Government exists only because the world is fallen, and some people want to take your property, your liberty, and your life. Government is tasked with securing a framework for ordered liberty where “we the people” can in our communities voluntarily build something great together for our kids and grandkids. That’s America. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of speech – the First Amendment is the heartbeat of the American Constitution, of the American idea itself.
So let me ask you: Do you believe the beating heart of Mr. Trump’s candidacy has been a defense of the Constitution? Do you believe it’s been an impassioned defense of the First Amendment – or an attack on it?
Which of the following quotes give you great comfort that he’s in love with the First Amendment, that he is committed to defending the Constitution, that he believes in executive restraint, that he understands servant leadership?
Statements from Trump:
***“We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”
***“When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. They were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak…”
***Putin, who has killed journalists and is pillaging Ukraine, is a great leader.
***The editor of National Review “should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him.”
***On whether he will use executive orders to end-run Congress, as President Obama has illegally done: "I won't refuse it. I'm going to do a lot of things." “I mean, he’s led the way, to be honest with you.”
***“Sixty-eight percent would not leave under any circumstance. I think that means murder. It think it means anything.”
***On the internet: “I would certainly be open to closing areas” of it.
***His lawyers to people selling anti-Trump t-shirts: “Mr. Trump considers this to be a very serious matter and has authorized our legal team to take all necessary and appropriate actions to bring an immediate halt...”
***Similar threatening legal letters to competing campaigns running ads about his record.
And on it goes…
Given what we know about him today, here’s where I’m at: If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, my expectation is that I will look for some third candidate – a conservative option, a Constitutionalist.
I do not claim to speak for a movement, but I suspect I am far from alone. After listening to Nebraskans in recent weeks, and talking to a great many people who take oaths seriously, I think many are in the same place. I believe a sizable share of Christians – who regard threats against religious liberty as arguably the greatest crisis of our time – are unwilling to support any candidate who does not make a full-throated defense of the First Amendment a first commitment of their candidacy.
Conservatives understand that all men are created equal and made in the image of God, but also that government must be limited so that fallen men do not wield too much power. A presidential candidate who boasts about what he'll do during his "reign" and refuses to condemn the KKK cannot lead a conservative movement in America.
Thank you for listening. While I recognize that we disagree about how to make America great again, we agree that this should be our goal. We need more people engaged in the civic life of our country—not fewer. I genuinely appreciate how much many of you care about this country, and that you are demanding something different from Washington. I’m going to keep doing the same thing.
But I can’t support Donald Trump.
Ben Sasse

Monday, February 22, 2016

I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump!

Resistance to Trump is a test of character & integrity. Where you stood will be remembered long after this election.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

National Review: "Against Trump"

I have been a conservative and reader of National Review since the draft Goldwater days of 1963. Never been more proud of the "Flag Ship" of the Conservative movement! Trump is a dangerous man.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing". Edmund Burke

Against Trump      
By The Editors — January 21, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Movie Review: "13 Hours"

Ever since I was a kid I have been drawn to movie  about men who stand and fight against overwhelming odds hoping for reinforcements that never come. These man are always given a way out with all sorts of intellectual reasons why they should not make a stand but chose to stand and fight with their buddies for the cause of freedom!

In 1955 it was Fess Parker at the Alamo in Disney's "Davy Crockett"!

In 1960 it was "The Alamo" again, only this time with John Wayne.

In 2001 it was "Black Hawk Down" about Americans fighting war lords in Mogadishu Sudan.

In 2016 we now have "13 Hours."

All the movies were based upon real events! The two Alamos as well as one done in 2004, with Billy Bob Thornton as Crockett, are about men who are left without help because Sam Houston had none to send but they "buy time" for Houston to build a Texan army. "Black Hawk Down" and "13 Hours" are about Americans who are deserted because U.S. civilian leadership find intellectual reasons why it would be unwise to commit additional forces. After "Black Hawk Down" Bill Clinton at  least had the decency to replace his Secretary of Defense. After the events of "13 Hours"Barak Obama, his Secretary of State and his current National Security Advisor all  chose to lie to the American public for political expediency. In fact, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton lied to the families of the 4 Americans killed at Bengasi over their caskets when they arrived back in the U.S. at a short ceremony.   The lie is that they died because of a video rather than a lack of security in a terrorist attack.

"13 Hours" is told from the point of view of retired military special forces personal who have been hired as civilians to provide security at a secret CIA base in Bengasi, Libya. The move is very well done and is a running battle of 13 hours telescoped into a 2hr 24min movie. The move is based upon a book by one of the surviving security personal. The movie is powerful showing the attack and the difficulty the "soldiers" had in dealing with the CIA bureaucrats. The movie draws you in emotionally with both tears and anger. You are glued to the screen! I left the theater angry. The acting and production values are high quality... very much like "Black Hawk Down".  I will get it on Blu-
ray as soon as it is released.

The morning after the battle our President flew to Las Vegas for a fund raising event and even before the battle was over our Secretary of State went to bed!!!!! YES, I am angry!!!!

On a positive note, it is affirming that America is still able to produce men who are willing to run to the sound of gunfire when duty calls!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Thomas Sowell: Misinformed Electorate, Not Trump, Is Real Danger

Thomas SowellBY Investor's Business Daily

Tue, Sep 15 2015 00:00:00 EA13_
Tomas Sowell
In a country with more than 300 million people, it is remarkable how obsessed the media have become with just one — Donald Trump.
What is even more remarkable is that, after six years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor.
No doubt much of the stampede of Republican voters toward Trump is based on their disgust with the Republican establishment. The fact that the next two biggest vote getters in the polls are also complete outsiders — Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina — reinforces the idea this is a protest.
It is easy to understand why there would be pent-up resentments among Republican voters. But are elections held for the purpose of venting emotions?
No national leader ever aroused more fervent emotions than Adolf Hitler did in the 1930s. Watch some old newsreels of German crowds delirious with joy at the sight of him. The only things at all comparable in more recent times were the ecstatic crowds that greeted Barack Obama when he burst upon the political scene in 2008.
Elections, however, have far more lasting, and far more serious — or even grim — consequences than emotional venting. The actual track record of crowd pleasers, whether Juan Peron in Argentina, Obama in America or Hitler in Germany, is very sobering, if not painfully depressing.
The media seem to think that participation in elections is a big deal. But turnout often approaches 100% in countries so torn by bitter polarization that everyone is scared to death of what will happen if the other side wins. But times and places with low voter turnout are often times and places when there are no such fears aroused by having an opposing party win.
Despite many people who urge us all to vote, as a civic duty, the purpose of elections is not participation. The purpose is to select individuals for offices, including president of the United States. Whoever has that office has our lives, the lives of our loved ones and the fate of the entire nation in his or her hands.
An election is not a popularity contest, or an award for showmanship. If you want to fulfill your duty as a citizen, then you need to become an informed voter. And if you are not informed, then the most patriotic thing you can do on Election Day is stay home. Otherwise your vote, based on whims or emotions, is playing Russian roulette with the fate of this nation.
All the hoopla over Donald Trump is distracting attention from a large field of other candidates, some of whom have outstanding track records as governors, where they demonstrated courage, character and intelligence. Others have rhetorical skills like Trump or a serious mastery of issues, unlike Trump.
Even if Trump himself does not end up as the Republican nominee for the presidency, he will have done a major disservice to both his party and the country if his grandstanding has cost us a chance to explore in depth others who may include someone far better prepared for the complex challenges of this juncture in history.
After the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, we are entering an era when people alive at this moment may live to see a day when American cities are left in radioactive ruins. We need all the wisdom, courage and dedication in the next president — and his or her successors — to save us and our children from such a catastrophe.
Rhetoric and showmanship will certainly not save us.
Donald Trump is not the only obstacle to finding leaders of such character. The ultimate danger lies in the voting public themselves. All too many signs point to an electorate including many people who are grossly uninformed or, worse yet, misinformed.
The very fact that the voting age was lowered to 18 shows the triumph of the vision of elections as participatory rituals, rather than times for fateful choices. If anything, the age might have been raised to 30, since today millions of people in their 20s have never even had the responsibility of being self-supporting, to give them some sense of reality.
We can only hope that the months still remaining before the first primary next year will let voters get over their emotional responses and concentrate on the life and death implications of choosing the next president of the United States.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Jonah Goldberg takes on Donald Trump to save the integraty of the Conservative Movment

Jonah Goldberg the Conservative commentator at National Review has taken on Donald Trump much as William F. Buckley Jr. did against  the John Birch Society in 1962. Today Jonah wrote the following:
Dear Reader (and those of you with better things to do),
There have been times in the past when I’ve gotten crosswise with certain segments of the conservative base and/or with the readership of National Review. And, because, like the Elephant Man, I am a not an animal but a human being, I have always had at least some self-doubt. That’s as it should be. People who share principles should not only hear each other out when they disagree; they should be able to see each other’s points and hold open the possibility that one’s opponents have the better argument.
This is not one of those times, at least not for me.
I truly, honestly, and with all my heart and mind think Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters are making a yuuuuuuge mistake. I think they are being conned and played. I feel like a guy whose brother is being taken advantage of by a grifter. I’m watching helplessly as the con artist congratulates him for taking out a third mortgage.
Anger Is Not an Argument
Now, before I go on, let me clarify a few things. I get it. The base of the party is angry. They’re angry about Obama’s lawless chicanery on immigration. They’re angry about the GOP’s patented inability to cross the street without stepping on its own d*ck and then having to apologize for it. They’re angry that the Left’s culture warriors are behaving like an invading army that shoots the survivors even after they’ve surrendered. They’re angry that Republicans have to bend over backward so as not to offend anyone, while Democrats have free rein (and at times free reign) to do and to say as they please.
Enter Trump, stage left. He makes no apologies. He’s brash. I can understand why some see him as a breath of fresh air. If you want to give him credit for starting a worthwhile debate about sanctuary cities and illegal immigration, fine. I think that argument is way overdone, but certainly reasonable enough.
Maybe you just like him. On that, we can respectfully disagree, as there is no accounting for taste. Perhaps you just like his musk and the way it assaults your nostrils, which is fitting, given his line of cologne. Fine.
I, on the other hand, find him tedious, tacky, and trite. He’s a bore who overcompensates for his insecurities by talking about how awesome he is, often in the third person. Jonah can’t stand that.
You see the next Teddy Roosevelt and all I see is someone who talks big and carries a small schtick.
‘Sup Britches?
In words George Will shall never write, this is a good moment to talk about my pants. Earlier this week, Donald Trump attacked Charles Krauthammer and me. By the way, I don’t blame Trump one bit for his hostility. I’d hate me too, if I were him. Still I do marvel at how this supposed Master of the Universe can be unnerved by such criticism. If it takes so little effort for me to set up shop in his head, by all means, let’s give him thermonuclear weapons.
Anyway, when asked about me, he said:
I’m worth a fortune….I went out, I made a fortune, a big fortune, a tremendous fortune… bigger than people even understand….Then I get called [a failure] by a guy that can’t buy a pair of pants, I get called names?
As the intern said to Bill Clinton, this puts me in a weird position. I don’t like to brag, but I’m actually quite adept at buying pants. I don’t enjoy it. But I can do it. It never occurred to me to put it in my bio or anything — “Jonah Goldberg is a senior editor of National Review, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a successful pants-buyer” — but maybe I should.
Now, I will say that I sometimes choose not to wear pants, and not just because I’m so fond of my spaghetti-strainer codpiece (which affords me the satisfaction of telling really attractive women, “Hey, my eyes are up here. Thank you very much.”) But these are my choices. If I want to identify as a pantless American, who are you to say otherwise?
More to the point, what I find so gaudy about Trump is his constant reference to the fact that he made a lot of money, and his expectation that it somehow makes him immune to criticism or means that he’s a better person than his GOP competitors, never mind yours truly.
The Trump-Pets Blare.
Moreover, I find it horribly disappointing that his fans like this about him. If you met someone in real life who talked this way, you would think he’s a jerk. But somehow he’s awesome when he does it on TV?
His biggest fans disappoint in other ways as well. I marvel at how they can simultaneously despise Obama’s arrogance but revel in Trump’s. (I chuckle at all of the people who tell me he’s a heroic truth-teller for “telling it like it is” and “calling it as he sees it” but who at the same time fume at me when I tell it like it is about Trump and call it as I see it.)
But most grating of all are the people who sincerely think he should be the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
On this, I’m afraid we’re going to have to disrespectfully disagree. First of all, he’ll never be President of the United States. I won’t go into all of the reasons I think this, but a few off the top of my head: his enormous negatives, even among Republicans; the Midas’s hoard of oppo-research material that surely lurks beneath the surface; and his comments about women, which alone would turn the gender gap into a chasm. To borrow a line from Mark Steyn, a President Trump would have more ex-wives than the previous 44 presidents combined
But my objection isn’t to the political analysis of Trump supporters. It’s their judgment of the man that stews the bowels.
The Purest RINO
Which gets me back to the grifter thing.
I’ve written many times about how I hate the term RINO because conservatives should consider themselves Republicans in Name Only. The Republican Party is a vessel, a tool for achieving conservative ends. It’s nothing more than a team. Conservatism is different. It’s a body of ideas, beliefs, and temperaments. The amazing thing is that Trump is both a RINO and a CINO. I’m sure he has some authentic and sincere conservative views down in there somewhere. But the idea that he’s more plausibly conservative — or more loyally Republican — than Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, or any of the others is just flatly absurd. It is vastly more plausible that he is a stalking horse for his dear friend Hillary Clinton than he is a sincere conservative.
Trump supporters need an intervention. I want to sit them down at the kitchen table, reach into a manila envelope, and pull out the proof that he’s a fraud. The conversation would go something like this:
Immigration: You seem to think he’s an immigration hardliner, and he’s certainly pretending to be. But why can’t you see through it? He condemned Mitt Romney as an immigration hardliner in 2012 and favored comprehensive immigration reform. He told Bill O’Reilly he was in favor of a “path to citizenship” for 30 million illegal immigrants:
Trump: You have to give them a path. You have 20 million, 30 million, nobody knows what it is. It used to be 11 million. Now, today I hear it’s 11, but I don’t think it’s 11. I actually heard you probably have 30 million. You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that.
Question: Just how many rapists and drug dealers did Donald Trump want to give green cards to?
Abortion: In 1999 he said, “I’m totally pro-choice. I hate it and I hate saying it. And I’m almost ashamed to say that I’m pro-choice but I am pro-choice because I think we have no choice.”
Man, it’s like he’s channeling Thomas Aquinas there.
Now he says he’s pro-life. But I’ll spare the mocking on this because at least he’s flip-flopping in the right direction, and I don’t like to second guess peoples’ professed religious convictions.
Obamacare: The man wrote in his own book and said elsewhere that he was in favor of Canadian-style socialized medicine — which would put him to the left of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and on pretty much the same page as Bernie Sanders.
Hillary: Speaking of her, Trump praised Hillary Clinton and her healthcare reform plan — in 2007! She attended his (most recent) wedding. He donated to her campaigns and to the Clinton Foundation. In 2008, he couldn’t get his head around the fact that Obama didn’t pick her for VP. “I’m a big fan of Hillary. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a friend of mine.”
Economics: People tout the guy’s business record. But he represents almost exactly what his supporters think he opposes. He’s a crony capitalist par excellence. He gives to whatever politician can grease the skids for his next deal — and he makes no apologies for it. He’s an eminent domain voluptuary. He abuses bankruptcy laws like a stack of homemade get-out-of-jail-free cards.
Parlez vous Conservative?
The most troubling defense is this claptrap that he “tells it like it is.” Well, first of all, no he doesn’t. He tells it the way you want to hear it, which is an entirely different thing. He is like William Jennings Bryan, only his cross of gold has an all-you-can-eat buffet under it, and looks remarkably like a capital “T.”
'The people of Nebraska are for free silver, and I am for free silver,' Bryan announced. 'I will look up the arguments later.' That is Trump’s approach. He’s saying what understandably angry people want to hear him say.
He reminds me a lot of Mitt Romney, at least in one respect. I always said that Romney “spoke conservatism as a second language” (a line some people ripped off, btw). That’s why Romney called himself a “severe conservative,” talked about how he “likes to fire people,” and anathematized the “47 percent.”
Trump is even less truly conservative, but he’s trying to speak in an even grubbier dialect of conservatism. And, having grown up in the tabloid politics of New York, he’s better at faking it.
Eventually, I suspect, this will be the cause of his undoing. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know about conservatism, and at some point he will say something that even his biggest fans will recognize as a damning revelation about the real man beneath the schtick. The only question is whether he implodes before or after he does permanent damage to the GOP’s chances in 2016.
The Conservative Heart
Look, these are rough times for conservatives, for reasons too lengthy, and all too familiar, to go into here. But none of our problems — demographic, political, cultural — can be solved unless conservatives take the cause of persuasion to heart. All of our problems can be fixed by convincing people to join our cause. That is what politics is about — persuading people that their interests and concerns are better addressed by coming to our side. And, given the degraded nature of our culture, I won’t deny that having a celebrity on our side has its utility. But it’s only helpful if that celebrity convinces people to switch sides. As a purely mathematical proposition, it is insane to believe that Donald Trump will convert more voters than he will repel.
For those who are interested in persuasion, I heartily recommend Arthur Brooks’s new book, The Conservative Heart (full disclosure: He’s my boss at AEI and a friend). I’ll be writing more about it in the future because I think it’s an important book. But I will say for now that it is almost a mirror image of Trump’s approach. It’s thoughtful, humble, fact- and data-driven, and informed by a deep moral case for conservatism. It won’t satisfy your desire to scream at the opposition, but it will equip you to explain to the opposition why they are wrong.