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Why this Christian is Voting for Donald Trump

I haven’t been in the mood to talk presidential politics; who the GOP nominee turned out to be is certainly a factor in that.  Nonetheless, after much deliberation (and assuming circumstances do not change drastically), I have decided to cast my vote for Trump.  The reasons are too diverse to present systematically (it would be a very long post) so instead, below are some ‘vignettes,’ as it were.

I should mention that this is autobiographical and not put forth as a persuasive piece.  Still, there are certain people–liberal progressives come to mind–who are not within my assumed ‘target’ audience.  I have no interest in justifying myself to them.  Let’s get started:

A lot of people thought that this woman, identified as Annaliese Nielsen, showed herself to be a complete nutjob in this incident.  Even liberal progressives thought that ‘maybe’ she had gone a little overboard with her conduct and her perspective is on the bizarre side.  Well, yea.

Now, two things came to my mind when I watched this that I didn’t see anyone else talk about.  First of all, there is her expectation that she will be perceived as the morally appropriate person in this situation, as indicated by her comments at about 1:30 that the video [time might not be accurate anymore as Youtube deleted the original] will be happily thrown up on the Gawker site.  “Why would she think that?” one wonders.

The other thought that came to my mind was:  “How are such people produced in the first place?”

The answer to both are roughly the same, and we know that answer will not at all involve conservative Republican Christian white males.  No, this is the product of a liberal progressive worldview that Nielsen has received and feels no shame in acting on.

So, perhaps this little video doesn’t scare you all that much.  Ok, imagine a million more people just like Annaliese Nielsen.

Now imagine them with police powers.

If that vision doesn’t send shivers down your spine, not much will.

These are precisely the kinds of people that the Democrat party produces, and then places into power.  How do you combat this lunacy?  How do you prevent this lunacy from manifesting into something far, far worse?  The GOP seems unwilling… afraid? … to challenge it.  Only Trump seems to have the backbone to stand up to such fascism.

* * * * *

Speaking of fascism.  Few people know what fascism really was.  Its equated with the ‘right wing’ when it was really, ideologically speaking, a creature of the left.  The only thing that makes it ‘right wing’ is the somewhat arbitrary decision to make ‘authoritarian’ regimes on the ‘right’ side of the political scale.  So, even though the Nazis were National Socialists, since it was an ‘authoritarian’ regime, Annaliese Nielsen believes that it is the conservatives who are closer to implementing Hitler’s policies–by Hitler’s methods.  Just because ‘conservatives’ are described as being ‘right wing.’

In fact, it is the opposite.

Since very few people (certainly your typical liberal has no idea) know anything about the Nazis or Mussolini (or the Bolsheviks, or Chavez… or, anything really) beyond what they read in one paragraph in a text book in eighth grade, they can’t possibly know that they are acting with the same kind of self-righteous rage, on behalf of the ‘common good’, as their forebears.

You can expect a country governed by people like Hillary Clinton to continue to fan these fascist flames.  The actual fascists, of course, will not know they are fascists, and will continue behave violently, and increasingly so, with the full approval of their consciences.

Meanwhile, the GOP stands timidly by, trying to satiate the bloodthirsty jackboots, instead of standing up to them and telling them exactly what they are, or, better yet, de-funding the programs and institutions that breed such attitudes in the first place.  Only Trump dares to stand up to them.

* * * * *

The Christian Conscience

I have heard many Christians talk about ‘voting their conscience.’  There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that.  I’m very concerned about that, myself.  Clearly, Trump isn’t the sort of guy that I would have preferred.  I voted for Ted Cruz — who has his own problems.

But this election has exposed a flaw in my own expectations, eg, whether or not I am right to expect to have a morally sound person to vote for in the first place.  For decades, a Christian could expect that politicians would be sensitive and respectful to ‘value voters.’  But that’s only true in the United States, and its only true in this modern era.

I began thinking about all the instances throughout history where Christians were ruled by people who were not at all concerned about addressing the concerns of their Christian ‘constituents.’  The right to influence who the ruler is by voting is itself a relatively new phenomena.  As John Zmirak put it, “If We Reject Trump, We May Be Inviting Persecution: When the election is Constantine vs. Diocletian, Christians don’t get to stay home.”  The Christians of c. 300 AD didn’t really have any say in deciding between the two, as we do today.

But then I started thinking about Christians in countries like, say Iraq, while it was ruled by Hussein.  Christians voted for Hussein.  Probably because he would have killed them if they hadn’t!  But a new possibility has emerged in my mind:  maybe the Iraqi Christians, enjoying a certain measure of freedom to practice their religion, knew full well that being ruled by Hussein was far more preferable than being ruled by the ones that would gladly step into leadership, given the opportunity…

You know, folks like ISIS.

What about those countries where Christians only have the choice of Muslims to choose from when they cast their vote?  (If they get to vote at all.)

I’m just not so sure that we ever really had the right to expect that, when voting, we could be reasonably confident that the person was a decent chap.  Nor do I think it is right to say–as is implied by many Christians refusing to vote for Trump–that a vote for Trump is an endorsement of his attitudes and behaviors.

Honestly, if our vote represented that kind of endorsement, I dare say we really ought not ever cast a vote for anyone.

I am not saying that the vote does not signify a certain level of ratification of that person, because it is at least that, by definition.

But it seems to be blown way out of proportion with Trump.  Most disturbing of all, to me, are occasional Christians who normally vote Republican who are preparing to vote for Clinton.  What?!?!?  Are you insane?

Don’t vote for Trump on account of your conscience, but don’t vote for Clinton, either.  Don’t vote at all.  In fact, to be consistent, I think you should probably never vote again.

Anyway, there is no question in my mind that Hillary is going to continue to turn the screws on Christians and her fascist followers will gleefully pile on–all the more, since they will feel like society has their back.  Which perhaps it does, since it voted for Hillary in the first place.

* * * * *

Don’t Judge Me, Bro

I can’t help but notice that many of the same people who told me in 2012 that I needed to vote for Romney, despite the fact that he was a Mormon and a RINO… you know, saying, “Not voting is a vote for Obama” are now firmly in the “Never Trump” category, even going so far as to say they will ‘judge’ people like myself who do cast a vote for Trump.

I have trouble accepting the idea that Trump is anywhere near as bad as Clinton or Obama.

* * * * *

We’re in this mess because of the GOP.  Never Forget It.

I blame the GOP for bringing us the point where Trump is the nominee in the first place.  The only reason Trump had the support he did was because Republicans finally felt that there was someone standing up for them and the principles that were important to them.  This only begs the question:  why wasn’t the GOP standing up for them and the principles that were important in the first place?

The 2010 election was a Republican landslide.  The GOP did nothing to capitalize on it.  Indeed, when the newly elected “Tea Party” representatives tried to act on their principles, elitists in the GOP joined the Dems in slandering them, saying the TP folks refused to ‘govern.’  As if ‘governing’ meant continuing to support and expand bloated government intrusions into American life!  God forbid an elected official act according to the principles that got him elected in the first place!

2012 was another Republican landslide.  Many Republicans nonetheless did not cast a vote for Romney, ticked that the GOP once again had put up RINO as the candidate.

In 2014, the electorate once again showed its overwhelming support for the small government message initiated and sustained by Tea Party conservatives.

Despite 3 consecutive landslides for the GOP, in 2015, the GOP elite tried to give us… Jeb Bush.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

I think people misconstrue the support that Trump has been getting.  I was pleased that many of my fellow conservatives were as peeved as I was, thus accounting for the fact that Cruz stayed in as long as he did.  But I don’t think people understand that the rejection of Cruz, who for better or for worse would not have burned the system down, means that the ‘base’ has lost all confidence in the system–and the GOP’s role in perpetuating it.

If Trump does not win, I honestly can’t see the GOP coming back.   Even if Trump does win, I think it is just delaying the inevitable.  The elites are not on our side.

* * * * *

Yes, Clinton Probably Will Start WW3, and I have 3 Boys Approaching Military Age

People express concern about the harm that a President Trump can do, without balancing it against the harm that a President Clinton can–and would–do.  I agree with those who fear that a Clinton presidency will spiral inevitably into a war with Russia.  Clinton, you see, has much to prove, while Trump has nothing to prove.

Clinton, like most liberals, thinks she is the smartest person in the room.  In the meantime, the smartest person in the galaxy–Barack Obama–has been constantly out-smarted by that dolt, Putin.

Clinton and Obama both presided over the burning of the Middle East.   Remember, these are the geniuses!

You could literally put a dog catcher in charge of our military and not have to worry that the world will get screwed up any more than when Clinton and Obama were at the helm.

* * * * *

A GOP Congress Makes a Startling Discovery:  Checks and Balances!

There is another aspect of this concern about a dangerous President Trump.

I wonder that no one has had the presence of mind to question the wisdom of having a position that embodies so much power and influence distilled into a single person and his agents in the executive branch.  Are we really so stupid as to think it is a good idea to put the whole fate of the economy, our schools, etc, in the hands of ONE person?

It really is stupid.

It didn’t start out that way, and for good reason.  But it raises the point that if the checks and balances of the US Constitution were actually in place, there would be far less concern about the damage any one person could do.  Sure, the president couldn’t give us a ‘roaring’ economy if he were deprived access to the levers of the economy, but then, he can’t torpedo it, either.  The president couldn’t usurp our rights and liberties if his influence was subjected–in actual practice–to the US Constitution.

And this is where it gets crazy.

The House, Senate, and even the judiciary (for a time) were firmly in the hands of the Republicans during Obama’s reign, and they did almost SQUAT to stop Obama’s plainly unconstitutional over-reaches.  (Granted, this is in part because of the precedent set by allowing Republican presidents over-reach, too.)

The pressure was on, and they still didn’t act.  Remember Eric Cantor’s fate?  John Boehner’s?

But in a Trump presidency, a miracle will happen:  the US Congress, led by Republicans, will suddenly grow a backbone and decide to apply the checks and balances that they had legitimate access to all along.

They will do that, because the GOP elites will still, after a Trump election, fear the liberal media more than those who elected Trump.

If Hillary is elected, no backbone will miraculously appear.  The GOP will once again become a rubber stamp for liberal policies, offering nothing more than words of protest.

Its one more reason the GOP’s days are numbered; as a party, it is run by people more concerned for their own interests than the people they claim to represent.  The proof is always in the pudding.

* * * * *

Trump Is ‘Bad’ but Not Nearly As Bad as He Has Been Made Out to Be

Poor Donald Trump has been hammered in the media.  Just hammered.  But many people, including Republicans, think that Donald Trump deserves it.  You know, because of his low character, or what not.  The idea is that Donald Trump is a certain kind of cretin, worst of the worst.  A threat to democracy in the way that no other GOP candidate would be.

But we would be made to think that no matter who the GOP candidate is.

That’s kind of the point.

Every. Single. Election., the Democrats set out to utterly destroy whomever the GOP candidate is.  They destroyed Bush.  They set out to destroy McCain/Palin.  They set out to destroy Romney.

This was highlighted for me by the recent Project Veritas release where the guy (Scott Foval) was bragging about how they incited violence at Trump rallies.  In typical Saul Alinsky fashion, Foval (financed by the DNC, albeit indirectly) says, “It doesn’t matter what the friggin legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherfucker.”

Don’t deceive yourself.  This is what every liberal progressive secular humanist thinks.  There is no objective moral code, right?  Of course the ends will always justify the means for such people.  It always has, and yet Republicans continue to think that the people on the other side of the ideological spectrum are more or less decent folk who, when the chips are down, still behave honestly and with integrity.  And sure, your average Dem on the street may be just that–but he’s just a dupe who hasn’t really thought out his own worldview.  If he had, he’d be just as manipulative as Alinsky, Obama, and Hillary.

But I digress.

The point is that they were going to destroy whomever was put up.  In this video, at about 11:32, Scott Foval brags about how they went after Scott Walker at the Iowa state fair.

 I suppose there are people who will find this kind of thing shocking.

If that is you, you evidently have not been paying attention.

We are not dealing with good people, here.  We’re talking about bad people who are perfectly happy to employ violence in the service of promoting their agenda.  They will continue to do so, for as long as we tolerate it.

It doesn’t matter who the nominee would have been.  It would have been made to look like our nominee is worse than Hitler and it is not inconceivable that we would be having this same kind of debate.

Full Circle Fascism

A liberal I know floated a post on Facebook about the underlying violent tendency of the average Trump supporter.  Regardless of the fact that we now know that many of the violent outbursts by Trump supporters were deliberately instigated, we can see with our own eyes that the real perpetrators have, more often than not, been people opposed to Trump.

It is not hard to understand why.  If you believe the line that being a Republican or conservative makes you a racist bigot, practically by definition, and you have been told throughout your upbringing that the worst crimes imaginable are ‘micro-aggressions,’ and opponents of Obamacare are selfish pigs beneath contempt (ie, ‘deplorables’), then of course you feel quite justified in handing out punishment–violently, even.

Examples abound once you know how to look for them.

But here is the rub.

No matter how the election goes, this fascism is going to increase.

If Hillary wins, the social justice warriors will ramp up, emboldened.

If Trump wins, I think you can expect the left to become positively rabid, openly discussing and hoping for his assassination.  These people are nuts.

So, does it make a difference who is elected?

Only in this sense:  a Trump election will buy us another couple of years to try to figure out how it is that Annaliese Nielsens and Scott Fovals are made, and STOP MAKING THEM.

I am not at all convinced that the situation is reversible.

* * * * *

A Polite Recognition

To conclude this weary post, one thing that I don’t think has been given proper weight to is the fact that Trump himself seems to be sensitive to the awkward bind that folks like myself are in.  He is crass, and rude.  He isn’t exactly the small government type.  He knows this.  But instead of tossing us to the side, he has embraced us.  He may not be a genuine Christian (I have trouble believing his conversion story) but he seems to be genuine in his respect for us.  He may not be an orthodox pro-lifer, but he didn’t throw us under the bus.

Every other GOP candidate has marginalized the Tea Party constituency and done everything in their power to disassociate themselves from them.  The GOP is ashamed of its base.

But Trump produced a list of judges that as near as I can tell, would definitely support conservative interpretations of the law (read:  a plain reading of it) and as such would not undermine the Constitutional protection of free speech, freedom of religion, gun ownership, etc.

Trump has brought conservative Christians into his campaign to serve as advisors, and taken their counsel seriously.

Trump has extended an olive branch to us time and time again, and people on my side have rudely smacked it away.

Now, it could very well be the case that Trump is just using us for our vote.  This wouldn’t be any different than what the GOP has been doing for decades, and certainly the likes of Jeb Bush would have done the same.  But it smells genuine to me.

He could have tried to build his campaign without the pro-life, small government constituency, but instead has doubled down on it, and even defended us publicly, as he did in the third debate.

We know that Clinton will continue to regard us with contempt, as nearly every progressive does.  And, frankly, as the GOP elite does.

It seems kind of strange that Trump would go down swinging on issues that are actually my issues, and I will reward that loyalty by letting him go down swinging, alone.

Do any of us think that any of the other candidates would have defended our values as audaciously as Trump has, albeit imperfectly?

Sorry, but as much as I like Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, I can still see them selling me out so as to appear ‘respectable’ to the media.

On balance, I would have preferred them, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have known what they were doing.

We will never get our values instituted if we don’t have someone willing to endure being called stupid by the media.

Donald Trump is one of the first, if not the only, persons who not only willingly endures such treatment, but doesn’t take it laying down.  Its probably our first shot in a long time for seeing our agenda actually implemented.  At any rate, it is probably our last shot.

So, I’m going to take that shot, with a clean conscience.

Win or lose, my friends, there is much, much, much work to be done.  The Trump ascendancy ought to signal that if we don’t get cracking on it, the next go around, the person who steps into Trump’s role of ‘system-slayer’ will be happy to throw us under the bus, and won’t take take Christian counsel, at all.

 

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    • Sam Pakan on October 28, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    As you may remember, I was the most reluctant convert on the bus. In fact, I was frequently under it. There’s still much I find repugnant about Trump like his handling of Cruz and Walker, but I’m beginning to see the bold side, the side which stands on the few principles he seems to be aware of. Most of all, I’m seeing the marks of a true administrator, a delegator, a man who is willing to allow others who understand issues much better than he to hold court on those issues.

    He’ll receive my vote, as well, and my conscience is equally clear. While the Annalieses and the Scott Fovals demand rule by virtue of their own arrogance and ignorance, I pray those who understand constitutional limitations will be brought back into positions of controlled authority and future generations of journalists and educators will be schooled in something higher than warmed over soviet ideology.

    • End Bringer on October 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    A pretty comprehensive argument SJ. It mirrors much of my own conclusions.

    I was personally leaning towards not voting at all this election (or ever again for that matter), as I can indeed see people of principle not wanting to be involved in an election that seems to be between Dolores Umbridge and Voldemort (as my pastor has described it), but the more I’ve thought about it in the last few weeks, the more I realize that despite my distaste for Trump on a personal level, in the end the sheer corruption and oppressive measures one KNOWS the Clintons will exert if back in the White House, needs to be actively opposed.

    I fear however, such measures are for naught anyway you look at it. If for no other reason than one can find with our modern mainstream media, which has gone beyond simple political bias to openly taking sides.

    We are living in an Orwelian society straight from the pages of 1984, where now we must rely on hackers and perhaps even foreign governments to expose the truth about our own leaders, and most of the country doesn’t seem to care. Or at minimum not care enough to get over Trump’s mouth.

    As there’s only one Man I know who lived a life completely without sin or character flaw (probably why He stayed out of politics in the first place ;)), I’ll toss my hat in with personality problems over undeniable corruption, even if the election will probably go to Clinton anyway.

    She’s got the Dead Voter block firmly on her side after all.

    • Anthony on October 29, 2016 at 8:37 am
      Author

    “we must rely on hackers and perhaps even foreign governments to expose the truth about our own leaders, and most of the country doesn’t seem to care. Or at minimum not care enough to get over Trump’s mouth.”

    No, they don’t care, and they wouldn’t care regardless of who the candidate is. I think its a mistake (granted, understandable) to think that they would have behaved differently had it been any other candidate.

    I was first alerted to this back shortly after 9/11 when a quote surfaced of Democrats discussing Bush’s popularity due to this response to that event, saying it was necessary to destroy him ASAP. They are pure power players.

    While trying to hunt down that quote, I found this interesting list:

    http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/05/01/a-short-history-of-liberals-using-the-nazi-card/

    The quote I was thinking of was by high level Democrats, but I can’t find it. The closest I found was:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104×950272

    But it all became clear when I read Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” which explicitly discusses singling out and destroying a particular person as part of the strategy.

    The real challenge is this: we will continue to see these Machiavellian attitudes out of both the typical Liberal and the power mongerers so long as we leave the root philosophy in place. They are only acting according to a view of the world that they have learned from their schools and the culture is true. The root philosophy: truth is relative, morality is subjective, there is no God so we make our own rules (and can therefore change them as it suits us, guilt-free), and so on.

    No political scheme can address these ideological elements. And since no one is addressing these ideological elements, its only a matter of time before they wash over us completely.

    That’s why I think a Trump presidency only delays things. I have no reason to think that our leadership understands the real source of the problem or would act on that understanding.

    I think everything has got to burn, first.

    But it is important that when it does ‘burn’, folks recognize just who it was that started the fire.

    (This is one of the nice things about Obama winning his second term, rather than Romney. Romney would almost certainly have allowed Obamacare to live. The notices that the price of Obamacare was skyrocketing which came out recently would then have been dutifully laid at Romney’s feet by the media, blaming HIM for it. But since Obama won re-election, the media cannot make that spin, because for however much the ‘low information’ voter tracks whatever the media dishes out, even they cannot fail to know who presently sits in the White House.)

    • Anthony on October 29, 2016 at 8:44 am
      Author

    I wanted to know a little more about Annaliese and found this:

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/annaliese-nielsen-s-lyft-rant

    This quote in the comments:

    “When I first saw this video, I just couldn’t believe it. The way this woman was talking and acting felt like she parodying an SJW. When I read up more about her and found that she was being serious, I was completely gob smacked.

    How can be people go around acting like this to others and think that its okay?”

    Folks don’t understand that there is a reason. These SJW people are made, not born.

    • End Bringer on October 29, 2016 at 9:00 am

    “I think everything has got to burn, first.”

    True. Historically there is a reason revolutions are made through violence. When the system is completely corrupt there is little alternative to turn to, and with most government institutes being increasingly viewed as mere partisan political tools options are running out.

    Frankly with 20 trillion in debt and rising, it’s not hard to imagine what’s going to light the match. It’s just a question of who the blame will land on when the time comes.

    • Dannyboy on November 2, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Interesting post Tony.

    To some extent I sympathise with your democratic dilemma. If I had a vote in the US election I would definitely cast it for Clinton – NOT because I like or support her as a candidate, but because I regard her as the lesser of two evils. I take it that this would also be a reasonable summary of your position on Trump, even if you do expend some energy towards the tail-end of this piece attempting to convince yourself that a thrice-married playboy, philanderer and self-confessed sexual-assaulter is really “on the side” of Christian conservative value voters. That’s some high tariff ideological acrobatics! It also seems to me like an act of wilful vote-justifying self-deception, even more so than it was when you did the same routine with Romney & McCain – also not your kind of conservatives, but nonetheless willing to pander. What’s impressive is that pandering appears to work! 😉

    Anyway, a few other points to make. I hadn’t heard of this Annalise Nielsen person, and listening to the tape she seems like a fairly repellant example of the self-pitying hypersensitivity and self-righteous bullying which the SJW movement can generate. You are quite correct in saying that this is a specific pathology of the political Left rather than of the Right. As such there is an onus upon those of us who are on the Left to call it out, wouldn’t you agree?

    Maybe there are some conservative/Right pathologies which it would be beneficial for you to muse on. As an example, I find the man-crush which certain sections of the ostensibly pro-liberty American Right seem to have developed for Putin – a person who, if their rhetoric matched their actual principles, they ought to deplore – quite distasteful. Trump appears to be compromisingly linked to the totalitarian leader of a sporadically hostile foreign power. Does this not concern you at all?

    This election would also be a great opportunity for you to reflect on your tarring-with-the-eugenics-brush approach to progressives who advocate for universal access to contraception. I have suggested to you before that people can want the same outcome for very different reasons, and here you have a golden example of that. You (along with many other virtuous conservative Republican Christian white males) are planning to vote for the candidate endorsed by every white nationalist/KKK publication that I am aware of having taken a stand on this issue. Does that implicate you in their beliefs?

    Perhaps we can agree that there are people across the whole political spectrum who we can be thankful do not have police powers.

    “…the Nazis were National Socialists.”

    *Sigh* Yes, and Kim Jong Un is the supreme leader of the “Democratic” People’s Republic of Korea. Because titles always accurately reflect reality.

    Are you saying that you favour an appeasement strategy in dealing with Russia? I couldn’t be entirely sure from what you said here. Also, I found the bit about your three boys approaching military age confusing. Would you have opposed the Iraq war if your sons had been of military age at the time?

    “Don’t deceive yourself.  This is what every liberal progressive secular humanist thinks.”

    Can you tell what this liberal progressive secular humanist is thinking right now?

    Cheers,
    Dan

    • End Bringer on November 2, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    “You are quite correct in saying that this is a specific pathology of the political Left rather than of the Right. As such there is an onus upon those of us who are on the Left to call it out, wouldn’t you agree?”

    The problem DB, is that such behavior is completely in line and in fact often seen by the liberals and progressives. After all there’s little real contrast between her and with people equally ‘self-pitying, hypersensitive, and self-righteous’ over people not being able to use whichever bathroom they personally prefer, or whether someone refuses to cater pizza to a gay wedding over moral and religious objections, or various ‘race shaming’ employed by liberals.

    The only thing in contrast is that you personally find the particular target of such behavior ridiculous. If her issue was something you felt was more legitimate, you’d be cheering her on.

    If this election year has taught objective minded people anything, it’s that Liberals and progressives are a fundamentally unprincipled people who will do anything to get their way (their way usually being unbound guiltless sex without consequences). Even when it’s revealed the Elitist class they support actively work to keep them “unaware and compliant” they’ll still support them as “the lesser evil.” *rolls eyes*

    • Anthony on November 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm
      Author

    “also not your kind of conservatives, but nonetheless willing to pander. What’s impressive is that pandering appears to work!”

    Did they pander? I didn’t notice. Maybe McCain a little, by bringing Palin into the ticket. But we saw quickly the GOPE was prepared to toss her under the bus.

    Honestly, it feels nice to be pandered to, for once.

    “You are quite correct in saying that this is a specific pathology of the political Left rather than of the Right.”

    Such sweet words… I want to hear them again… they are so rarely stated… let’s hear them again… “You are quite correct…” Ahhhhhhh. Feels good. 🙂

    “Trump appears to be compromisingly linked to the totalitarian leader of a sporadically hostile foreign power. Does this not concern you at all?”

    I’m not sure what this refers to. There is some innuendo out there… perhaps this is what you refer to as “appears.” I don’t really think you understand this dynamic from the ‘conservative’ side. At any rate, given that you have just thrown your lot in with Hillary–who has taken tons of money from countries that happily murder homosexuals and so on, I feel like I need to take this criticism with a grain of salt.

    “Perhaps we can agree that there are people across the whole political spectrum who we can be thankful do not have police powers.”

    So? If I had my way, you wouldn’t have to worry about them having police powers, while if you had your way, there would be perpetual concern and hyperventilating about who has those police powers. You back a political system which empowers centralized power and authority which gives extraordinary reach to the appropriately placed.

    This is why your standard KKK/white nationalist line is completely lame. If I had my way, you could elect the kkk grand dragon to be president of the United States, and he would find it exceptionally difficult to actually do any of the harm you fear, due to the robust checks and balances of the Constitution actually being applied, and an executive office severely constrained by the limits of the same Constitution.

    Its only YOUR way that makes it extraordinarily dangerous who occupies the places of power and influence.

    ““…the Nazis were National Socialists.””
    “Because titles always accurately reflect reality.”

    Don’t be pedantic. You know full well that I firmly believe that the evidence shows distinct ideological affinities between Nazism and progressivism. I’m not going to go into it with you, because you have a clinical case of denial that I’m not going to be overcome, whereas I am daily immersed in primary sources that make it impossible to deny the world as it really is. And anyway, I meant it when I said:

    “Still, there are certain people–liberal progressives come to mind–who are not within my assumed ‘target’ audience. I have no interest in justifying myself to them.”

    “Are you saying that you favour an appeasement strategy in dealing with Russia? I couldn’t be entirely sure from what you said here.”

    Far from it. But you don’t stop bad characters by pussy-footing around. (Obama being the epitome). Like I said, you don’t understand the dynamics of the conservative position (vis a vis Putin). The conservative position rejects the naive view of the progressives that the world can be perfected, that people are basically good (if sometimes misguided or misunderstood), and so on. People with that mindset are profoundly dangerous when they are in power, precisely because of people like Putin, who giggles with glee as he out-maneuvers them easily.

    Between the two people–Trump or Hillary–the latter almost certainly increases the chance of an actual outbreak of war. For a variety of reasons but: 1., she honestly thinks she is the smartest person in the universe (she rejects Obama’s claim to the same) and thinks playing cat and mouse with dictators is a fine game and 2., she will feel like she needs to prove this.

    Because she’s actually dumber than a box of rocks, and Putin is undeniably far shrewder than American liberals give him credit for, she will likely over play her hand.

    I’m not the only one who thinks this:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/09/15/jill_stein_hillary_clinton_wants_to_start_an_air_war_with_russia_over_syria.html#!

    “Also, I found the bit about your three boys approaching military age confusing. Would you have opposed the Iraq war if your sons had been of military age at the time?”

    I have no problem with them, or myself, fighting just wars. I know that you don’t accept that Iraq was a clear and present danger, but I remain convinced of that. The more salient point has to do with whether or not the commander in chief can be trusted. Agree with him or not, it is clear that Bush believed he was acting in the interest of the nation (for a ‘war for oil’ its a little odd we didn’t get any, isn’t it?) whereas we will always wonder why Hillary is committing troops… just like we wondered with Bill… is it to save face? distract from yet another scandal? because Saudi Arabia slipped them another five million?

    And if things go really bad, in a few years, we could be involved in a war with Russia or China where, frankly, we are the ones in the wrong.

    Which, in case you’re confused, would be the opposite of a ‘just’ war.

    • Dannyboy on November 3, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    EB,

    “If her issue was something you felt was more legitimate, you’d be cheering her on.”

    And you wouldn’t? Unless I’ve somehow missed you coming out strongly against those James O’Keefe planned parenthood “sting” videos, which have been shared by every US conservative I know, this is a frankly inane criticism.

    ?”If this election year has taught objective minded people anything, it’s that Liberals and progressives are a fundamentally unprincipled people….”

    Newsflash – area man unexpectedly finds all his unshakeable prejudices fully confirmed by current events. Who could have predicted it?!

    Just to recap, you’re supporting the guy who is endorsed by the Klan, just about to go on trial for child rape, who brags about sexually assaulting women, threatens to jail political opponents and encourages his supporters to intimidate minority voters. Tell me more about these “principles” of yours.

    SJ,

    “Did they pander? I didn’t notice. Maybe McCain a little, by bringing Palin into the ticket.”

    You don’t think Romney swung pretty far Right (relative to his starting point) in order to win the primaries? It’s not quite the same as with Trump, I agree. He’s basically been channelling Alex Jones, Breitbart and WND.

    Ah, Sarah Palin – I remember those happy innocent days! Incidentally, what’s she done for the cause of Liberty and Freedom since failing to become VP? Made a truckload of money from saps, that’s what she’s done.

    “Honestly, it feels nice to be pandered to, for once.”

    Honey, I know it does. But you mustn’t let them walk all over you like this! You don’t want people thinking that you’re a cheap date. ?

    ?“If I had my way, you could elect the kkk grand dragon to be president of the United States,…”

    Yes, and if you’d had your way historically the Grand Dragon would probably be disinclined to even attempt to change things very much, since Jim Crow laws would likely still be in force across much of the Southern US. Total coincidence, obviously.

    “I firmly believe that the evidence shows distinct ideological affinities between Nazism and progressivism…. I am daily immersed in primary sources that make it impossible to deny the world as it really is.”

    I merely pointed out a very silly argument – one which I would presume to be beneath a man of your self-described expertise in the field, and yet one that for some reason you keep on making. I make no such claims to great historical scholarship myself, but I did read an extremely well-researched book on the Third Reich which stated several times that Nazism was a Right wing movement. The author was a man named Joseph Keysor and the book was recommended to me (as the definitive book to read on the topic) by an expert historian of my acquaintance…. what WAS his name?

    Re: Putin & the “Just War” theory

    So, Putin is a “bad character”. So glad that we agree on that, given your previous praise for his “toughness” against ISIS. Of course, we now know that something like 90% of Russian air strikes in Syria have been directed against non-ISIS anti-Assad forces, with significant civilian casualties. Trump seems to like him though, but then Trump has himself stated a willingness to commit multiple war crimes as president. It’s disturbing that this appears to play well with his “base”. Somehow that seems like a very appropriate word in this context.

    I would like to see a little bit more thought going into the judgement about whether a commander-in-chief can be trusted than “he believed what he was doing was right/in the best interests of the nation”.

    Everybody thinks they’re righteous.

    Cheers,
    Dan

    • End Bringer on November 4, 2016 at 10:03 am

    “And you wouldn’t? Unless I’ve somehow missed you coming out strongly against those James O’Keefe planned parenthood “sting” videos, which have been shared by every US conservative I know, this is a frankly inane criticism.”

    Well at least you’re not denying that’s how liberals operate.

    And actually a more appropriate example would be conservative protests taking place at funerals and such, which I’ve always felt were in bad taste regardless of the issues. But even then it’s only limited to a legitimate expression of protest. It’s still not anywhere NEAR the whining, name-calling, shaming, and bullying liberals employ in the streets and even the courts in order to force people to do whatever inane/insane demand that pops into their heads in the name of ‘equality.’

    “Just to recap, you’re supporting the guy who is endorsed by the Klan, just about to go on trial for child rape, who brags about sexually assaulting women, threatens to jail political opponents and encourages his supporters to intimidate minority voters. Tell me more about these “principles” of yours.”

    *snort* Don’t try to to turn this into a contest about the moral character between Trump and Clinton, DB. You’ll lose, for no other real reason than the fact that I’ve never considered Trump to be a stellar example in the first place.

    But even if I had an iota of respect for a progressive’s judgement in racial and sexual matters (in case it wasn’t clear before, I don’t), there’s absolutely NOTHING that Trump’s been merely accused of that the Clintons haven’t outright proven over and over again.

    Like I said before, it would be far more understandable as a matter of principle for people to abstain voting for either candidate entirely. But in the end this election is (or rather should be) less about Trump vs Clinton, and more about delaying, or at least making it more difficult, for a corrupt over-powered entitled establishment to carry on, or conceding that they can go right on lying, manipulating, and law-breaking as much as they like so long as abortions are safe and people feel politically correct about themselves.

    So given the choice between being an “unaware and compliant” lemming, or not, I choose not to be one even if it means putting up with a repugnant personality to do so. That’s far and away a more principled stand than you can ever manage with Hillary, DB.

    • Anthony on November 4, 2016 at 12:24 pm
      Author

    “Everybody thinks they’re righteous.”

    That’s true. But since many of these positions are contradictory, it cannot be the case that we all are, at the same time. The real truth is that none of us are righteous; it is my acknowledgement that this is a true description of reality whereas you don’t that fundamentally divides us.

    “Honey, I know it does. But you mustn’t let them walk all over you like this! You don’t want people thinking that you’re a cheap date. ?”

    Well, it would help if the Democrats stopped putting up obscenely wicked people. If it were Lieberman vs. Trump, I wouldn’t be voting in this election most likely.

    “Yes, and if you’d had your way historically the Grand Dragon would probably be disinclined to even attempt to change things very much, since Jim Crow laws would likely still be in force across much of the Southern US. Total coincidence, obviously.”

    Forgetting, as usual, that it was leftists that were neck deep in giving us the Jim Crow laws in the first place.

    But I dispute your premise. I think there are ways to solve problems without resorting to massive, top down impositions (tyranny?).

    I think the opposite is true. I think we would be much further along in race relations if the Constitution had been consistently applied from the beginning. By ‘beginning’ I mean right back to 1776.

    “I did read an extremely well-researched book on the Third Reich which stated several times that Nazism was a Right wing movement.”

    This is an equivocation I have already addressed which I don’t think you have given proper weight to. You quoted from the same paragraph but you seemed to have skipped over it:

    “Speaking of fascism. Few people know what fascism really was. Its equated with the ‘right wing’ when it was really, ideologically speaking, a creature of the left. The only thing that makes it ‘right wing’ is the somewhat arbitrary decision to make ‘authoritarian’ regimes on the ‘right’ side of the political scale. So, even though the Nazis were National Socialists, since it was an ‘authoritarian’ regime, Annaliese Nielsen believes that it is the conservatives who are closer to implementing Hitler’s policies–by Hitler’s methods. Just because ‘conservatives’ are described as being ‘right wing.’”

    Small government libertarian types like myself are often labeled as ‘right wing’ but plain common sense and simple honesty–not extensive historical research–makes it plain that there is no universe where my position on the role of government is qualitatively akin to the role of government espoused by the Nazis–or progressives.

    You can try to lump it together as ‘right wing’ all you want, but all that does to me is illustrate how impoverished the intellectual life is of the SPLC and its ilk.

    “So glad that we agree on that, given your previous praise for his “toughness” against ISIS.”

    Without knowing the exact quote you had in mind, I would be willing to wager that my statements were in context of the panzy-assed actions of the current POTUS, who has stood by and let (facilitated?) the Middle East burn. Maybe the reason why there are so few Christian Syrians in the population that Obama is trying to bring to the US is because the Christian ones have already been beheaded.

    It is an undeniable fact that Putin has opposed ISIS whereas Obama has not.

    “I would like to see a little bit more thought going into the judgement about whether a commander-in-chief can be trusted than “he believed what he was doing was right/in the best interests of the nation”.”

    Since it appears that Hillary (and Obama?) helped fund and equip ISIS, and Hillary’s campaign chief profited from ties with Russian companies, and Hillary likewise profited, while using her position as secretary of state to authorize the transferring of America’s nuclear materials to Putin’s control… I think we can only look at your comment here and laugh our heads off silly.

    The idea that you would think you could make hay from Trump’s alleged connection to Putin while Hillary and her cohorts are literally making money hand over fist from DEMONSTRATED connections to Putin and suggest that it is ME who needs to “give a little more thought” on the judgement of the trustworthiness of the commander of chief is absolutely hilarious. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying… in sadness, really…

    Surely you can pick a line of argument and an example that doesn’t so starkly demonstrate self-inflicted ideological blindness?

    “Everybody thinks they’re righteous.”

    But on this particular hill you’ve chosen to die on, I’m pretty sure its not you. 😉

    Perhaps you are unaware of Hillary’s crimes on this particular issue.

    There was the book, “Clinton Cash.” This came out much earlier, so we already knew a lot of what is being fleshed out in the Wikileaks. And the liberals didn’t care (illustrating that they are hopelessly compromised, so that, in my opinion, we shouldn’t give any weight whatsoever to the judgement of liberals). But perhaps you are unaware, so before you go off half cocked about Trump/Putin again as though somehow Hillary is above, you may wish to educate yourself:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0

    http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/08/01/report-hillary-clintons-campaign-mgr-john-podesta-sat-board-company-bagged-35-million-putin-connected-russian-govt-fund-2/

    This is almost certainly the tip of the iceberg.

    If I were you, I’d think long and hard before every trying to dump on Trump because of his alleged Putin/Russia connections. Find something else. This line only undermines your credibility.

    • Anthony on November 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm
      Author

    Your line of argument reminds me of something that I think Michael Moore said. He acknowledged that Trump had wide support–but not because he or his followers were racist. Rather, they had some legitimate complaints. And he seemed to despise Clinton, for the exact same reasons. But in the end, he thought you needed someone who could ‘think’ to be in such a position. You needed a master politician. That sort of thing.

    Well, obviously not all of us share the belief that Clinton is very intelligent. Setting that aside, many people have concluded that its the ‘master politicians’ (my phrasing) that have got us in all this trouble in the first place.

    If Trump is genuine, then I think this is actually one of the best arguments for voting for him. We need someone who will, 1., actually represent the legitimate interests of the US while engaging the world, 2., won’t be embarrassed or ashamed about those interests 3., won’t be confused on questions like, “Are the Castros actually decent chaps, and communistic tyrannies just another man’s opinion on economic systems?” etc or 4., doesn’t plan on secretly enriching himself under the guise of ‘diplomacy.’

    Honestly, its hard to see Trump doing worse.

    My personal opinion is that we could draw a name randomly from the working class of America and we couldn’t do worse.

    • Dannyboy on November 5, 2016 at 7:08 am

    EB & SJ,

    “Well at least you’re not denying that’s how liberals operate.”

    You didn’t ask me a question EB. I know it’s not really your style, but if you wanted to engage with what I actually believe you could try asking me, instead of complacently assuming my beliefs to be right in line with those of the cartoon Librul in your head.

    And yes, some liberals operate that way and that’s not good. What is funny to me is juxtaposing statements like yours with SJ’s later comments about the poor intellect demonstrated by people who “lump together” different viewpoints without considering the important ideological differences between them. It seems this is an error that the two of you are only capable of recognising in others.

    ?”…a more appropriate example would be conservative protests taking place at funerals and such, which I’ve always felt were in bad taste regardless of the issues.”

    Are you talking about the Westboro Baptist Church? I agree that their protests are in poor taste, although I support their right to free speech, as do many other liberals.

    ?“…there’s absolutely NOTHING that Trump’s been merely accused of that the Clintons haven’t outright proven over and over again.”

    ‘Proven’ as in proven in court? Or just proven to the personal satisfaction of Drudge and/or Breitbart? Because you realise that is not an entirely objective comparison, right?

    ?”Forgetting, as usual, that it was leftists that were neck deep in giving us the Jim Crow laws in the first place.”

    That is moderately true and completely irrelevant. It was liberals who fought to overturn Jim Crow laws against the opposition of conservatives, “States rights” libertarians and fine Christian gentlemen all across the South. This is one of those conservative pathologies I mentioned which you always seem to want to deflect attention away from with a “but liberals did X” tangent.

    I am not arguing that there are no ethical liabilities to left/liberal politics – I have already discussed some of them in this thread. Getting the two of you to admit to ANY potential liabilities within your own side of the political spectrum, on the other hand – that is an uphill battle!

    ?”I think there are ways to solve problems without resorting to massive, top down impositions (tyranny?).”

    Great. I would be most interested to discuss the way that you think that oppression MIGHT have been addressed from a libertarian perspective some other time. However, this is at best a hypothetical with no real world test case that I am aware of. The historical fact is that segregation and anti-miscegenation laws were overturned by liberal government and judicial intervention (or tyranny, if you prefer to call it that).

    On your other point, I completely agree that a bi-chromatic spectrum of political thought is much too simplistic. May I suggest that you stop applying these broad-brush categories to other people BEFORE you complain about them being applied to you?

    I would describe you as a social and fiscal conservative with a strong libertarian streak, and I think that can be an entirely respectable political position. Libertarians, in my view, tend to get “lumped in” with conservatives because small government remedies usually favour the social and economic status quo.

    Libertarianism is indeed a long way politically from any form of fascism, although as we’ve discussed before, it also contains little or nothing that could be deployed to oppose fascism. I wouldn’t trust someone who didn’t have an element of libertarianism within themselves, but in isolation it is a rather narrow political philosophy, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

    ?”You can try to lump it together as ‘right wing’ all you want, but all that does to me is illustrate how impoverished the intellectual life is of the SPLC and its ilk.”

    That is hilarious. You condemn me for lumping together the wide diversity of thought on your side of the political spectrum (actually I just followed the categories which you yourself had used), and conclude by lumping ME in with the SPLC and their “ilk” for engaging in such tactics. Truly, you two are winning at self-awareness today.

    And you have the best words. 🙂

    On the Clinton-Trump comparison, I don’t have a lot of energy to waste on trying to change your minds right now. I certainly have no interest in defending Clinton against charges of shadiness, ruthlessness or corruption, given that I believe she could be fairly described as being all of these things.

    I only have one simple question for you both, which I think is clarifying – who is the preferred candidate of Russia in this election, and who is the preferred candidate of ISIS?

    • Anthony on November 5, 2016 at 8:50 am
      Author

    “‘Proven’ as in proven in court?”

    Ah, but there is the rub.

    In any sane universe, what Hillary has done so far has thoroughly warranted prosecution in a court of law. Would she have been found innocent? Hey, its possible. But the fact is, it is demonstrable that Hillary has gotten away with doing things (that no one denies she did) that others have recently gone to jail for and moreover, courtesy of wikileaks, we know that the justice department and even a high ranking member of the FBI were in play, almost certainly immunizing her from being indicted. And this is just the start of what we know.

    If you want to hide behind the “its not proven in a court of law” thing that is your right, naturally. But what it shows the rest of us is that the system itself has been compromised. A far more serious problem.

    And to the more immediate point: when liberals take this tact, they only cement our impression of liberals. Which isn’t good, in case you were wondering. And why Trump is soaring, too, I’ll add. Which means your response here is partly to blame for the rise of Trump.

    Bravo, DB!

    This is a good summary of why people are outraged at Hillary’s treatment before the law: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC1Mc6-RDyQ

    “That is moderately true and completely irrelevant. It was liberals who fought to overturn Jim Crow laws against the opposition of conservatives,”

    But that’s not true, which is MY point. ‘Conservatives’ fought harder than liberals on behalf of civil rights for black people. They were the first to do so. Meanwhile, you have the audacity to throw at me things like ‘red lining’, failing to mention that it was instituted in FDR’s administration.

    The problem here is that you are attempting to make an argument against a point I’m not making. You’ve always misunderstood the point I’m making with these associations, which of course is understandable, because they hit a little too close for comfort. 😉

    But I already said I had no interest in debating this with liberals. There will be another time and day.

    “Getting the two of you to admit to ANY potential liabilities within your own side of the political spectrum, on the other hand – that is an uphill battle!”

    I hereby admit to some potential liabilities on my side of the political spectrum.

    Are you happy?

    Now, can we get on to recognizing the fact that none of the people on my political spectrum are anywhere near close to the levers of power where they could act on those liabilities, while the entire system is dominated almost utterly and completely by those on yours?

    Remember Annaleise. She didn’t come from nowhere.

    “The historical fact is that segregation and anti-miscegenation laws were overturned by liberal government and judicial intervention (or tyranny, if you prefer to call it that).”

    False.

    Who was president in 1957?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1957

    Which president sent in troops to ensure black kids could go to school?

    Maybe you think Ike was a liberal. *shrug*

    “May I suggest that you stop applying these broad-brush categories to other people BEFORE you complain about them being applied to you?”

    I understand that this is your main complaint. Really, I do. But you make the same mistakes over and over again. First: that you always think I’m talking about you and referring to you. I didn’t cite you in the article, did I? No, I named names, and you were not one of them. You always interpret my comments as though they are directed right at you, and then we get into this line of argument where you try to show that you are not as tyrannical as your peers, though they share the same viewpoints. But its a line of argument that is stupid because, A., it leads you to make ignorant comments about the true history of American racism as you defend yourself in knee-jerk fashion (which sends us spiraling deeper into that thicket, as you are presently witnessing… again…) and, more importantly perhaps, B., of course I don’t think that every liberal is a demented psycho.

    So, its you, really, who is responsible for feeling pigeon-holed.

    In the meantime, there is this little problem: it is undeniably liberals and progressives that are bringing about some of the worst features in American life together. I have to call them SOMETHING.

    Well, these labels are what they call themselves, and it seems to fit well enough, so yea, I’m going to keep using them. It’s up to you to factor in that it doesn’t apply to everyone.

    Have I made it clear enough that I understand that there are some exceptions even among liberals? I’m trying to concede to you your basic point here as explicitly as I can, because truly… please take this the right way… you’re belaboring a point that I find a waste of time to dwell on.

    Insofar as my complaints about liberals impact you directly (because you share the same viewpoint) that’s for you to work out for yourself. Don’t send up this chaff about “oh, dear me! but you know that history records exceptions…”

    No kidding.

    “although as we’ve discussed before, it also contains little or nothing that could be deployed to oppose fascism.”

    Well, since fascism entails taking full control of the government for purposes of the ‘common good’ then obviously a country built on a decentralized basis–such as libertarianism–would by default automatically undermine the ability of fascists to do anything.

    Tyranny is only possible where there are levers of power centralized and out of the reach of accountability to those tyrannized.

    Unless you mean: libertarianism could not defeat FOREIGN fascism, which perhaps is what you mean by: “especially when it comes to foreign policy.”

    “and conclude by lumping ME in with the SPLC and their “ilk” for engaging in such tactics. Truly, you two are winning at self-awareness today.”

    Ah, actually my comment was a deliberate example of self-awareness. I was trying to be kind. Your attitude is very much like the SPLC’s and it even seems like you are getting your talking points straight from their mouth. I thought it would be rude to say what I really thought about your comments, so I put them onto another organization.

    Given your chief complaint, perhaps that was the wrong tactic. But I had the maintenance of our friendship in mind when I did that association. I hope, in the cause of the same, you can forgive me. 🙂

    “And you have the best words.”

    The greatest.

    “I only have one simple question for you both, which I think is clarifying – who is the preferred candidate of Russia in this election, and who is the preferred candidate of ISIS?”

    I think that is a great question, although I don’t know if the answer clarifies in the way you think, and not with the implications you suppose.

    I believe that Russia prefers Trump and I believe that ISIS prefers Hillary.

    But I think that Russia prefers Trump because it prefers not to have open war with the United States; and as I think I’ve made clear, I believe that a Hillary presidency increases the chance of that open war–with the United States at fault.

    The opposite of a just war.

    • Anthony on November 5, 2016 at 9:03 am
      Author

    Civil Rights Act of 1957:

    “The bill passed the House with a vote of 285 to 126 (Republicans 167–19 for, Democrats 118–107 for)[4] and the Senate 72 to 18 (Republicans 43–0 for, Democrats 29–18 for).[5] President Eisenhower signed it on September 9, 1957.”

    So… 90% of Republicans voted for this act, while only about 52% of the Democrats did. Please look at it closely. The GOP passed this bill with 9 Republicans voting for it for every Republican voting against it. But on the Democrat side, it was 1 Dem voting for it for every 1 Dem voting against it.

    Now, you could say–as you almost certainly will, given past evidence–that the GOP and Democrat parties of the 1950s was different than where they are now. A trivial point that no one disputes. Its trivial because of the principle of proportionality: the fact that the GOP is now the exclusive home of conservatives and the Dems the chief home of liberals is not an accident. THERE ARE REASONS. One of them, obviously: there were already more conservatives in the GOP of the 1950s and more liberals in the Demos of the 1950s. Like, duh.

    This is where you get bogged down, DB. You will say it was more complicated than that. Well, yea. Duh. But communication requires synthesis and some level of generalizing, or else every time we spoke we’d have to offer a fully history of the world to the present day. You know, just to ensure its accurate.

    Absurd.

    My synthesis and generalities ARE accurate and justified. Let’s say… 65% specific. You quibble with me to force me to concede the existence of the 5% outlier.

    Equally absurd.

    I think it all goes back to the fact that my criticisms of liberalism and progressives actually hit closer to home for you, rather than further. You focus on the 5% because you recognize you arguably fit, in some areas particularly sensitive to you, within the 65%.

    But that’s your problem, not mine.

    • End Bringer on November 5, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    “You didn’t ask me a question EB.”

    My original observation wasn’t a question either, but you still felt the need to try to argue conservatives (or me in particular) are just as guilty of the same behavior.

    “What is funny to me is juxtaposing statements like yours with SJ’s later comments about the poor intellect demonstrated by people who “lump together” different viewpoints without considering the important ideological differences between them. It seems this is an error that the two of you are only capable of recognising in others.”

    DB, you just got through implying if SJ ‘had it his way’ Jim Crow laws and segregation would be in full swing. And in the 10 years I’ve visited this site, I can’t think of a single example of him ever promoting racism of any stripe for you to imply such.

    The only thing that comes to mind that would justify why you made such an argument is the ol liberal line ‘white conservative Christian=racist bigot.’ Perhaps you yourself need to carefully consider just how much ideological difference you really have with people like Annaliese Nielsen.

    SJ has said it best, but I’ll reiterate DB. You seem to consistently go into spirals of denials and protests as if every observation made about progressive liberals was a personal insult. And perhaps that is indeed because such observations are more on the mark than you care to admit to yourself.

    “I agree that their protests are in poor taste, although I support their right to free speech, as do many other liberals.”

    And I, SJ, and many conservatives support Anne Nielseen’s right to free speech. If she wants to rave about Hawaiian dolls, she can do so till her phone runs out of batteries for her to post online.

    It’s the fact that liberals seem to follow the free speech up with running to the courts/government to make people comply to their will, that gets taken issue with.

    “‘Proven’ as in proven in court?”

    Hey, the only thing Al Capone ever did was avoid taxes ;).

    More seriously, I’d like to see us at least actually get to a court with Hillary. That alone would go some ways to restoring faith that the entire system isn’t just an elitist tool. But with it being so obvious even YOU can’t deny the DOJ is playing in Clinton’s field, I’m not holding my breath.

    “I only have one simple question for you both, which I think is clarifying – who is the preferred candidate of Russia in this election, and who is the preferred candidate of ISIS?”

    As SJ said I don’t think it’s clarifying in the way you think it is. ISIS would prefer Clinton, because we know she’ll care more about not offending Muslim constituents and taking money from ME countries than doing anything meaningful to combat them. Russia would prefer Trump, but mostly because he’s not Clinton.

    And while the Democrat’s cries of conspiracy would be humorous if the hypocrisy wasn’t so typical, I think Russia would have operated the same regardless of whoever was on the Republican ticket, as long as Clinton, who had a major hand in getting us in the situation we are today was coronated* as the Democratic candidate.

    * We can’t say “elected” given the farce we know the Democratic race to be now.

    • Anthony on November 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm
      Author

    “And in the 10 years I’ve visited this site, I can’t think of a single example of him ever promoting racism of any stripe for you to imply such.”

    I don’t think he’s accusing me of promoting racism. I think he’s saying that a country that actually enacted my principles wouldn’t be able to put a stop to racism. My counter to that is multi-faceted: 1., he presumes the only way to stop it is through top down enforcement and 2., he neglects to factor in that a great deal of racism is perpetuated through various institutions–institutions that possibly wouldn’t exist on my view, or (in more cases) would have their ability to inflict damage severely curtailed.

    The more power you give them to help you, the more power they have to hurt you; the more power you give to them, the more important it is that they are properly vetted. The more of them that there are, the harder it is to vet them. In a situation like ours, vetting is not possible at all. Not really. A radically decentralized system is also one where people can properly vet their leaders, because, well, its much more local and the people in question are people they probably grew up with.

    Anyway, I don’t think he’s calling me a racist or promoting racism. Although I did spy on his Facebook once that he believes every white person is racist. So I guess on that view, I qualify. 🙂

    Re:

    “That alone would go some ways to restoring faith that the entire system isn’t just an elitist tool. ”

    Exactly right. One of the guiding principles of the Constitution is that we are all equal under the law. No special treatment (by the government) based on wealth, race, etc. If rich people can skate away from behaviors that land the rest of us in prison, one cannot see the status quo remaining the status quo for very long.

    • End Bringer on November 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    *I don’t think he’s accusing me of promoting racism. I think he’s saying that a country that actually enacted my principles wouldn’t be able to put a stop to racism.*

    Perhaps he didn’t mean you personally, but it kind of implied as such, and thus I was a bit offended on your behave.

    Though if the Facebook post is true, I’d say my underlining observation stands.

    • Timaahy on November 5, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    “Trump himself seems to be sensitive to the awkward bind that folks like myself are in.”

    You are deluding yourself if you believe he cares about anyone other than Donald Trump.

    • Anthony on November 6, 2016 at 8:23 am
      Author

    “deluding yourself”

    This may be the case. I have already suggested Trump might not be genuine, but… you are deluding yourself if you believe Hillary cares about anyone other than Hillary.

    Much more demonstrably the case. Trump is a businessman. We expect businessmen to advance themselves. He engaged in exactly the sort of activities that our society considers a respectable route for advancing. Hillary is a politician. We expect politicians to “care about others.” It is NOT considered a respectable route for advancing (people understand it happens, but it pisses them off when it does; this is why both Trump and Bernie had their support). Yet Hillary has fattened up her coffers nicely.

    So the choice is between two selfish people. One who admits it and the other who cloaks it.

    Oh, and: http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/jeffrey-lord/2016/09/03/communist-party-usa-endorses-hillary-media-yawns

    • Dannyboy on November 6, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    SJ & EB,

    Re: proven in court

    I am not “hiding behind” any demand that things be proven in court. I was questioning the fairness of the comparison that EB made, namely that everything Trump has been “merely accused of”, Hillary has been “outright proven” to be guilty of. I think that is partisan pro-Trump equivocation, particularly in the light of the response I got for querying it. There are plenty of detrimental and potentially disqualifying – but still not court adjudicated – things which we have good reasons to believe about BOTH candidates. If you’re going to take the position that all these things are “proven” of one candidate but “mere accusations” against the other then I think that demonstrates a lack of objectivity.

    And I agree, by the way, that certain factions of politically correct liberalism are implicated in the rise of Trump. However, with the party system the way it is, I believe that by rights Democrats should bear the lions share of the blame for nominating Clinton, and Republicans should do likewise for Trump. Both should try to do a great deal better in future.

    Re: civil rights

    I think you are in denial about this, but I am willing to be educated if I am wrong. My position (just in case we are arguing past one another) is that the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s was a liberal progressive movement which was largely opposed by conservatives/libertarians.

    ITEM 1 – although it is true that more House & Senate democrats voted against the 1964 act, this is mostly accounted for by geographical location. There were (at that time) many more democratic senators and congressmen in the ex-confederate states. If you control for location, democrats were actually more likely than republicans to support the civil rights bill. This was the beginning of the Dixiecrat exodus to the GOP.

    ITEM 2 – the non-violent protest movement which forced the issue of desegregation was unquestionably liberal/progressive in its ideology (and even contained a number of communists). They were demanding government intervention to redress social & economic injustices, after all.

    ITEM 3 – the opposition to this movement was often led by religious conservative figures such as Jerry Falwell, William F Buckley & the National Review etc. If you read the Southern Manifesto it is basically an appeal to small government principles, DESPITE the fact that most signatories were Southern democrats (this illustrates what a poor guide political party affiliation is to the ideology of politicians sixty years ago).

    ITEM 4 – you have stated your own belief that the civil rights act, as well as ‘Brown vs Board of Education’, were examples of government overreach. I find it hard to understand why you are falling back on the (inaccurate anyway) party politics angle to make these events seem like they were conservative-led. If they were, why do you take issue with them?

    ITEM 5 – MLK may have been cynically appropriated by modern conservatives through the use of extremely selective quotation, but an honest and complete reading of his writings and speeches does not support his retrospective identification as a small-government advocate. “The Domestication of Martin Luther King Jr” by Clarence B Jones is worth reading on this topic.

    ?So, if you still want to say that “Conservatives fought harder than liberals on behalf of civil rights for black people”, then I would appreciate an explanation or refutation of each of the above items, possibly along with the presentation of some evidence in support of your statement, in order that we may reach a common understanding of the history we have both studied.

    ?“I hereby admit to some potential liabilities on my side of the political spectrum.?
    Are you happy?”

    Ecstatic. 🙂

    Re: who’s in charge here?

    I agree that the political system is slanted towards the progressive viewpoint, and away from people with your particular perspective. Perhaps this is for the same reason that people who say they want to smash all the machines tend not to be employed as factory foremen. 🙂

    ?Re: broad-brush categories

    I think you missed my point here. I wasn’t complaining about you including ME in your fatwa, just pointing out the incongruity of you complaining about being “lumped together” with everyone else who could even vaguely be associated with conservative and/or right-wing politics, when this is exactly what – it seems to me – you do with liberals.

    ??Re: libertarianism vs fascism

    Yes, I meant fascism in other countries.

    ?Re: SPLC

    I have some disagreements with the SPLC although I respect their history as a civil rights organisation. I think they can be too ready to criticise critics of Islam as anti-Muslim (really not the same thing at all), for example. Without more elaboration on your part, and not being aware of their “talking points”, I can’t comment any further. ??

    Re: preferred candidate of Russia/ISIS

    ?So, we seem to all agree that Russia would prefer a Trump presidency. You attribute this to noble peace-loving motives on the part of the Kremlin, which I think is frankly insane, but any agreement is to be celebrated nonetheless. Now on to ISIS.

    Do either of you have any evidence for your stated belief that ISIS prefers Clinton? Have you seen any evidence which suggests otherwise? For example:

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-08-24/why-isis-rooting-trump-0

    Re: racism

    This was a point about the outcomes of libertarianism, not about racial animus – as Tony correctly understood (we having had this discussion before). My view is that government and/or judicial intervention is sometimes justified in the service of overturning social injustices. Sometimes, not always. A purist libertarian view (and Tony is a commendably pure fellow) would hold that this is NEVER true, not even in the case of historical state-level segregation and anti-miscegenation laws. I fully understand that Tony believes that these laws were unjust, but still maintains that the government/judiciary was wrong to intervene as it did.

    Thus my point – ideological purity can sometimes enable the perpetuation of injustices which the individual in question would never himself sanction. It’s a liability of libertarianism.

    ?You can propose thought experiments about how libertarian principles might have overcome the institutional racial injustice which existed in the 1950s and 60s, but that is not what actually happened. Judicial activism and the federal overruling of state prerogatives is what happened, and based on the outcome I feel that is a point against pure libertarianism.

    “I did spy on his Facebook once that he believes every white person is racist. So I guess on that view, I qualify.”

    I don’t recall the meme in question, but I do think it would be foolish to suggest that any human being is entirely devoid of racial/ethnic prejudice. Aren’t you the one who is always championing the view of how terribly flawed we all are?

    Of course the problem arises if your only concept of racism is the explicit slur-spitting whip-cracking lynch-mobbing variety, in which case virtually no one in the US is racist anymore. This is a very easy way to define a problem out of existence, without changing reality one little bit.

    • Anthony on November 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm
      Author

    “ITEM 4 – you have stated your own belief that the civil rights act, as well as ‘Brown vs Board of Education’, were examples of government overreach. I find it hard to understand why you are falling back on the (inaccurate anyway) party politics angle to make these events seem like they were conservative-led. If they were, why do you take issue with them?”

    If I recall correctly, actually my position was that Brown occurred in a context in which the great majority of Americans had already agreed that certain aspects of institutional racism (eg, segregation) were no good. This was substantiated by the fact that Congress–which is constituted of representatives of those people–doubled-down on that sentiment, with such actions as the CRA and Ike’s sending of the 101st to enforce the law.

    Was Brown still an overreach? Yes, but the damage is mitigated by the fact that the American people already felt the same way. While you may think that this validates the actions of Brown, all it actually shows is that if SCOTUS had been more patient and stayed within Constitutional limits, America would have eventually repudiated segregation ANYWAY. Only, when they did it, it would have preserved the integrity of the republican system.

    Similarly, but less egregiously, the CRA is a Federal overreach (if one is concerned about strictly adhering to the Constitution… an idea that seems to have been abandoned shortly after it was written), but its damage was mitigated for the same reason.

    So you say, what’s the harm, really? The harm is the precedent. What happens when SCOTUS rules in a way that is completely contrary to the wishes of much, if not most, of Americans, such as in Roe vs. Wade? Or Gay Marriage? What happens when one political party decides against the wishes of the rest of the country to enact a precursor to single-payer health care and votes party line to enact Obamacare?

    If you do that, you get what we call “the culture war.” And it isn’t pleasant, and it isn’t healthy, and if this kind of conduct persists, it cannot end well.

    But it also means that if the cause is indeed sound and righteous, then it isn’t really necessary to impose solutions from the top down. All you have to do is be patient and eventually most localities will adopt abortion on demand, gay marriage, and clamor for single payer. And whatever other example you may wish to mention.

    And if it is the case that this seems unlikely, perhaps it is because the ’causes’ aren’t as sound and as righteous as you thought in the first place.

    • Anthony on November 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm
      Author

    “Aren’t you the one who is always championing the view of how terribly flawed we all are?”

    Indeed. But it is also possible to have a terribly flawed understanding of how we are terribly flawed. See:

    “Of course the problem arises if your only concept of racism is the explicit slur-spitting whip-cracking lynch-mobbing variety, in which case virtually no one in the US is racist anymore.”

    And yet the whole debate is framed as though this is exactly what racism in America looks like.

    “This is a very easy way to define a problem out of existence, without changing reality one little bit.”

    This looks like a contradiction. At first you said that that ‘variety’ rarely exists but now you say “reality [has not changed] one little bit.” Which is it?

    The problem is that it is a FACT that the racism of previous decades has been transformed and defanged in significant ways, but it is USED as a political bludgeon that portrays it as being the same and just as potent.

    People who do that… are evil. Even if there are aspects of the problem that exist (and I’m fully aware that there are) there is no way in hell that I’m going to associate and join ranks with THEM. Race hustlers, and worse. They rely on ‘racism’ in order to pad their wallets. From their point of view, the worst thing that could happen is for racism to be ended, because that would be like killing the golden goose.

    Certainly, voting for them in the name of ending racism is the dumbest thing I could do, since their whole existence depends on keeping the fire burning. Shall I associate with them? May God strike me down. Three times.

    • End Bringer on November 6, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    ” If you’re going to take the position that all these things are “proven” of one candidate but “mere accusations” against the other then I think that demonstrates a lack of objectivity.”

    Except it isn’t, as everyone on both sides of the aisle admits she’s done things that other people have been sent to jail for. But she won’t see a day in court, because she’s a connected Washington elite, and the rest of us aren’t.

    “However, with the party system the way it is, I believe that by rights Democrats should bear the lions share of the blame for nominating Clinton, and Republicans should do likewise for Trump. Both should try to do a great deal better in future.”

    I believe we’ve said before Trump was never our first choice, but regardless, there’s nothing for averaged Republicans to be blamed for in nominating Trump. He’s purely the product of increasing frustration at the constant betrayal of the GOP for years. Trump’s entirely on their heads.

    Likewise I can’t really see how most Democrats should be blamed for nominating Clinton. We know the election was rigged and subverted against Sanders.

    Now supporting Clinton for president even after knowing they were duped and how Podesta’s emails show just how Democratic Elites view the average liberal as little more than sheep to be manipulated and allowing themselves to be used anyway, THAT liberals will have to own.

    “We seem to all agree that Russia would prefer a Trump presidency. You attribute this to noble peace-loving motives on the part of the Kremlin, which I think is frankly insane, but any agreement is to be celebrated nonetheless. Now on to ISIS.”

    *snort* No, we attribute Russia’s interest to self-serving regional/global dominance (but hey, Obama and Hillary practically opened the door for them). It’s just that the greater likelihood for global war directly between nuclear powers if Clinton is elected, has the potential for no one to come out ahead.

    “Do either of you have any evidence for your stated belief that ISIS prefers Clinton? Have you seen any evidence which suggests otherwise? For example:”

    You mean other than the fact Hillary helped burn the ME which led to creating them, let their influence spread, and tip-toes around instances of Islamic terrorism so as not to offend Muslims? *shrug*

    If all you need is a positive comment about Putin to insinuate the “appearance” of a connection, I don’t see why we need anymore than the Orlando shooter’s father sitting right behind her at a rally.

    “My view is that government and/or judicial intervention is sometimes justified in the service of overturning social injustices. Sometimes, not always. A purist libertarian view (and Tony is a commendably pure fellow) would hold that this is NEVER true, not even in the case of historical state-level segregation and anti-miscegenation laws.”

    My apologies for the misunderstanding then.

    Though given SJ has said numerous times if the Constitutional principles had been upheld consistently from the start, much of the ‘social injustices’ of the last centuries wouldn’t have occurred to begin with.

    But then it’s not the government’s place to battle “social injustices” as we see that can be taken to some pretty absurd lengths, like a Hawaiian doll, and will never end given flawed human nature will insure something will always be wrong somewhere.

    The only thing the government is meant to do is apply the law equally. Which is why if “social injustices” are to be addressed it’s by the citizenry. But then under that system you deal with the fact that in order to change things, you need to convince millions of minds, while under your kind of government convincing 5 judges, who are more interested in social engineering than upholding the law, is easier.

    But then your kind of government isn’t democracy, DB.

    • Anthony on November 6, 2016 at 4:43 pm
      Author

    I only skimmed your foreign affairs video.

    Looks like pro-Hillary propaganda to me.

    As for evidence, again, it appears that the US (and Hillary in particular) actually armed ISIS, so if ISIS still prefers Trump over Hillary, that only reveals that they aren’t necessarily bright folks. Hillary = free guns.

    Of course, we don’t know this for sure, because Hillary and the State Department has done everything in their power to obstruct the investigation into Benghazi. Wikileaks may finally give us the truth. But there are compelling reasons to suspect that the true reasons for the attack on the embassy is in retaliation for the gun running that the US was engaged in against Syria.

    I saw a video recently where two militants emphatically desired Hillary, because that would make it far easier for them to infiltrate the United States. If I find it, I’ll send it to you.

    I read another article where ISIS called on Muslims to abstain from voting altogether and instead attack America on election day. This was a more recent one, maybe there has been a policy update by ISIS?

    Anyway, I’m guessing that your position proceeds from the assumption embodies in that article, which suggests that an anti-Islamicist push would actually breed more Islamcists. As if the softer touch of Obama and Hillary has done better! Too funny.

    There is a sense in which wanton violence that does not discriminate between innocents and combatants will breed righteous rage. Obama has been as complicit in this as anyone else, and to think that Hillary would be different is absurd. But there is also a sense in which certain people are straight up wicked and threats to the rest of the world–Sharia-lovin’ head-choppin’ cafe-bombin’ Islamicists a case in point. It doesn’t matter to me if these prefer Trump for their own propaganda purposes, as long as we kill every last one of them if the move even an inch towards acting on their ideology.

    As in Nazi Germany and Hirohito’s Japan, peace will only come once we win unconditional surrender. And not before.

    • Timaahy on November 6, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I dunno… this all sounds like window dressing.

    The bottom line is that Trump is a blinkered, ignorant, racist, sexist, self-serving narcissistic jerk. Hillary has her faults, of course. But the alternative? Please.

    Given the actual title of this post, however, perhaps the fastest way to short circuit this whole conversation would be to answer that age old question…

    What would Jesus do?

    • End Bringer on November 6, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    “The bottom line is that Trump is a blinkered, ignorant, racist, sexist, self-serving narcissistic jerk. Hillary has her faults, of course. But the alternative? Please.”

    Yeah with Trump it’s merely a repugnant personality. With Hillary it’s decades of lies, scandals, quid-pro-quo, personal enrichment, entitlement etc. And that’s all before her “faults.”

    “What would Jesus do?”

    Probably say His kingdom is not of this world, and that the issues of this temporary life pale in comparison to eternity for those who seek Him.

    • Anthony on November 6, 2016 at 7:04 pm
      Author

    “Probably say His kingdom is not of this world, and that the issues of this temporary life pale in comparison to eternity for those who seek Him.”

    Right answer.

    Which is why my life is orientated towards bringing as many people to Christ as I can, rather than in politics.

    I put it this way to Danny once:

    My goals in life are:

    1., ensure I do not compromise my own life with God.
    2., deliver my family into everlasting life, insofar and whenever it is within my power and influence to effect that.
    3., bring as many other people into the same as I can.
    4., avert another mass murdering genocidal massacre of epic proportions.

    All of my ‘political’ stuff is oriented towards #4.

    There are other things that are important, but that’s not where I’m going to invest my life.

    I believe that Jesus would approve of this outlook on life.

    “You mean other than the fact Hillary helped burn the ME which led to creating them, let their influence spread, and tip-toes around instances of Islamic terrorism so as not to offend Muslims? *shrug*”

    heh heh heh that about nails it.

    • Timaahy on November 6, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Yeah with Trump it’s merely a repugnant personality

    Well I wouldn’t say “merely”. He has a dangerous ignorance of world affairs, and an even more dangerous tendency to think complex problems can be solved with child-like solutions. But somehow it’s Hillary who you think is more likely to instigate WW3.

    As an aside… anyone want to give me odds for Trump winning the election, but losing the Electoral College vote?

    • Anthony on November 6, 2016 at 10:32 pm
      Author

    I just posted something to your FB that I think fits here:

    I didn’t read the article, but you know… Obama was in the WH and is there still even now, and Hillary was the Sec. of State for most of this. These are supposedly some of the smartest people on the planet, and yet they blew up the ME. Maybe folks need to rethink ‘smart.’

    If you had the least amount of objectivity, you would acknowledge that the ‘smart’ people bringing us ‘adult-like’ solutions have brought about a tremendous amount of suffering and the only people that can be blamed for it is THEM.

    The problem with liberals is that even after they foul up nearly everything, they still think they’re smarter than everyone else on the planet. They blame everyone else: if only we gave them more money, more power, more of everything they asked for, they’d have been able to get the job done.

    The one thing they never stop to consider is that what all the foul ups have in common is THEM.

    (And if they were really as smart as they think they are, they would be able to find a way to get the job done despite not having all the things they think they ‘need.’)

    Sorry, Tim. We just don’t share the same opinion about the ‘intelligence’ of the ‘adults.’

    As for your question, I have not immersed myself in the details of the polling or anything. I really don’t know where things stand. I do know that liberals in American threw the world’s greatest hissy fit in 2000 when Bush won the electoral college but Gore won the popular vote. I also know that if the situation is reversed this time, liberals will once again lay bare their hypocrisy by suddenly not being troubled one bit by the fact that they lost the popular vote.

    I know this because when I was following politics uber-closely, I always saw the liberals do this ALL THE TIME.

    One of the most entertaining examples was the so-called ‘nuclear option’ in the Senate.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/186133-reid-triggers-nuclear-option-to-change-senate-rules-and-prohibit-post-cloture-filibusters

    The GOP ‘threatened’ in 2005 to change the rules because of perpetual Democrat obstruction, but of course the media went crazy on the GOP and they backed down. When the GOP gave the Dems the same treatment, the Dems did not hesitate to employ the ‘nuclear option.’ And of course, the media applauded them and decried the GOP for obstructing. Don’t get me started on the ineptitude of the GOP at dealing with such duplicity year in and year out.

    (This is what we mean by the system being ‘rigged’, by the way.)

    • Timaahy on November 6, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    If you had the least amount of objectivity, you would acknowledge that the ‘smart’ people bringing us ‘adult-like’ solutions have brought about a tremendous amount of suffering and the only people that can be blamed for it is THEM.

    It sounds like you’re dumping the blame for the calamity in the Middle East solely in the laps of Clinton and Obama, and I don’t think that’s a fair characterisation. And even if you’re not blaming them for it all, you’re at least saying they made it worse than someone like Trump would have. Unfortunately we can’t re-run the tape and see how things would be if Obama and Clinton hadn’t teamed up, but surely you have to admit that, when dealing with a complex problem, it’s helps to understand it as much as you can. Actually, I know you do because, as far as I can tell, you have always prided yourself on basing your flouridation and climate change beliefs, for example, on extensive research. According to the front page of your blog, even your belief in Christianity is, in some part, based on such a principle.

    Of course, there is still the problem of vested interests, and the fact that perhaps Obama and Clinton, while understanding the situation more than most, could employ that understanding to manipulate the situation to the advantage of the United States (or themselves), rather than improving the Middle East as an end in itself (it’s not like the US hasn’t done that before. *cough* Contras *cough*). They can also just plain get it wrong, despite being ‘smart’, and despite the best intentions. I have no problem admitting any of that.

    But Trump’s level of understanding is so basic, and his proposed methods and solutions are so ill-conceived, and so simplistically derived, that their success or failure is based on pure luck, and likely to change from one minute to the next.

    Say you have a pain in your gut. You walk outside to visit a doctor, but you are stopped by a man who says he can help you. “I’ll fix your gut. I’m a tremendous gut-fixer. Just a fantastic gut-fixer. I fix the best guts. And that doctor is just a liar. And ISIS. And, you know, ISIS just did that when Assad and your gut sent an e-mail and I’ll build a wall. It will be the best wall. And you can pay for it. After I fix your gut. Because I really am the best gut-fixer. And I will make your gut great again.”

    Would you take the guy’s word for it? Or go and see the doctor?

    • Anthony on November 7, 2016 at 12:23 am
      Author

    I dunno, the guy did make a billion dollars. Maybe he’s not as dumb as you think.

    You’re right that complex problems require significant thinking and researching. But all the thinking and researching in the world can’t compensate for flawed assumptions and warped perspectives on the world.

    You’re also right (cherish the words) that we can’t re-run the tape. And of course, if we’re going to try to ease ObaClint’s culpability for setting fire to the ME by understanding that Bush helped set the stage for it, we could keep going, right? Bill Clinton was president before that, and he let Bin Laden fester. Clinton allowed Saddam to skirt the UN resolutions and overlooked the ‘Oil for Food’ scandal. We could wind it back to the first Gulf War, where the ‘smart’ people of Europe thought it was a fine idea to repulse Hussein but not overthrow him completely, leaving Hussein to slaughter hordes of Kurds and other very decent people who would be very helpful to have around these days. Yes, there was the Contras, and we could keep going, right? We could go all the way back through Carter and beyond.

    But at some point, you have to acknowledge some level of culpability and recognize that there is a thing called ’cause and effect’ which is real. After 8 years, the ’causes’ leftover from Bush have diminished considerably and now its time to look at what these supposedly elite geniuses have produced.

    To my knowledge, no one is particularly impressed.

    I see no reason to give them a pass. (Certainly, Bush wasn’t given a pass.) Its foolish to think that giving the same people another 8 years of doing the same kinds of things that they will suddenly, miraculously, obtain different results.

    Trump was not my man. I wanted Cruz. (and all evidence suggests that the Left would be crucifying him right now, too, probably trying to cast him as an idiot, too.) But there is no reason to think that Trump could actually do worse than these yahoos.

    Here are some things to think about.

    1., for as dangerous as folks are currently perceiving Russia to be, that did not stop Hillary from approving the transfer of a huge amount of America’s nuclear materials. Always a good idea to give a atomic bomb-equipped tyrant more fissile materials, no?

    2. The brainiac in action:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1409sXBleg

    So, who had been right? Romney or Obama?

    Romney. But he, too, was ridiculed. He was right, but he also was dismissed as not as smart as The Great One.

    3. How is the Ukraine lately?

    4. How is Syria these days?

    I have very strong objections to much of what I see in the GOP, but I can’t help but notice that the media slanders them left and right while the Dems get a pass over, and over, and over again.

    I say this because the media has been piling on regarding Trump’s supposed inferiority and papering over Hillary’s (and Obama’s) multiple failures. So, maybe this is not how things really are? Maybe this is just the narrative, and you buy it?

    I think there are good reasons to distrust the narrative (eg, Wikileaks has now uncovered numerous acts of cooperation between Hillary’s campaign and the media) and I am able to think for myself well enough to see that the world is definitely no better now then it was before the Nobel Peace Prize winner took office; I’d say its quite worse and that its hard to do any worse.

    Trump–if he’s genuine–at least has starting points that seem to comport with reality. And that’s a breath of fresh air.

    Sorry for the long post. lol

    • Anthony on November 7, 2016 at 7:28 am
      Author

    A timely release by Wikileaks on this topic:

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/10/30/hillary-clinton-knew-she-was-helping-islamists-move-into-power-in-libya/

    • End Bringer on November 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    “Well I wouldn’t say “merely.””

    And I would say Clinton’s problems are more than just “faults.”

    “It sounds like you’re dumping the blame for the calamity in the Middle East solely in the laps of Clinton and Obama, and I don’t think that’s a fair characterization.”

    Solely? No. But then no one else with any measure of responsibility is on the ticket, so…

    “They can also just plain get it wrong, despite being ‘smart’, and despite the best intentions. I have no problem admitting any of that.”

    Then you shouldn’t have any problem acknowledging a proven record of failure at a job is legitimate grounds for disqualifying from that person to continue having it or anything similar, regardless of personal intelligence or character. Trump you may not like on a personal level, but it must be acknowledged he hasn’t proven himself to be a failure at it yet.

    So between a proven (and safely predictable) screw up, and a guy who may-may-not fix things, I’ll choose rolling the dice on the latter with a clear conscious.

    • Timaahy on November 8, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Could this be that time that you and PZ agree?
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2016/11/08/rotten-at-the-core/

    • Timaahy on November 8, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I dunno, the guy did make a billion dollars. Maybe he’s not as dumb as you think.

    Yeah… I’m not so sure about that. Firstly, he was born into wealth… and secondly, he’s bankrupted a few of his businesses.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/debtwire/2015/08/18/a-trip-down-donald-trumps-bankruptcy-memory-lane/#5561d06775dd

    • Anthony on November 8, 2016 at 6:53 pm
      Author

    I’m not sure PZ and I are agreeing on much, there. Or, if it looks like it, there are entirely different reasons for our viewpoints. I’m quite sure that if PZ got his way, he’d be first in line to lead a new Cult of Reason in the formation of a new governmental system in the US.

    • Dannyboy on November 10, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Well, what an interesting day yesterday was for me to arrive back in Europe!

    Apparently the promise to stop all Muslim immigration has already disappeared from Trump’s website, so there may be some buyer’s remorse for the Alt-Right to deal with over the coming months. It will be fascinating to see how the Trump presidency unfolds.

    And it looks like a popular vote – Electoral College split. It seems that Republicans are not great at winning the popular vote even when Democratic turn-out is depressed by a weak candidate like Clinton. I vaguely remember someone being very outraged about this kind of event in the past:

    “…there’s nothing sadder for a democracy when the most important decision for the country is not even truly in the hands of the people. Not that I expect much outrage from Democrats if the popular goes to McCain while the electoral goes to Obama.” – EB, “Re: Presidential Election predictions” thread, reply #25 on: November 04, 2008, 10:08:45 PM »

    If you have any current outrage on this point, EB, feel free to express it now.

    Anyway, briefly…

    “If I recall correctly, actually my position was that Brown occurred in a context in which the great majority of Americans had already agreed that certain aspects of institutional racism (eg, segregation) were no good.”

    That is somewhat true. About 55% of the electorate approved of the Brown vs Board of Education ruling, according to Gallup polls at the time. This is approximately the same percentage who approved of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and also the same proportion who today approve of the legality of same-sex marriage.

    On the other hand, only 20% supported interracial marriage at the time of Loving vs Virginia. How long should that couple have waited to get married, would you say?

    So anyway, I guess that (moderate and consistent fellow that you are) you would say that the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage was an overreach, but one mitigated by the fact that the American people already felt the same way. 🙂

    “But then your kind of government isn’t democracy, DB.”

    Of the two of us EB, you are the one on record as saying that you don’t favour democracy as your ideal political system. I am ok with it, and despite the documented instances of voter suppression (and even isolated voter fraud – by Trump voters) I accept this outcome as the legitimate product of a democratic system. That is very different from calling it the will of the majority, but it is what it is. You won’t hear any of the kind of pitiful whining about how “the system is rigged” that has been emanating from the US Right lately from me.

    • Dannyboy on November 10, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Also, I eagerly await an analysis from you two of the many reported instances of racial abuse against immigrants and people of colour since the election results were announced. Something very similar happened in the UK after Brexit. If Annalise Neilsen means something about the Left (and I’m willing to believe that she does), what do these events mean about the Right?

    • Anthony on November 10, 2016 at 8:10 am
      Author

    “So anyway, I guess that (moderate and consistent fellow that you are) you would say that the recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage was an overreach, but one mitigated by the fact that the American people already felt the same way.”

    It’s always been your thing that opinion polls should determine policy, and my thing that actual elections should be what determines it. If you go by actual elections, it is ridiculous to think that Americans support same sex ‘marriage.’

    Your feeling that actions are justified merely by taking the temperature of the mob at a given point, and my feeling that we ought to work through the rule of law, is one of the fundamental differences between us, I think.

    I am presently reading literature–written by gays–on how best to manipulate public opinion. Very good stuff! Some day, maybe I’ll share with you some of the results of the research. In the meantime, I hope you will forgive me if I refused to be so easily manipulated.

    “On the other hand, only 20% supported interracial marriage at the time of Loving vs Virginia. How long should that couple have waited to get married, would you say?”

    This is a typical argument from progressives. I think it even has a name, but I can’t recall what it is right now. Maybe you can help.

    I think it would be better to critique the whole concept (“We’ve got to obliterate society to get what we want because otherwise in the meantime, such and such won’t get X!”) rather than specific examples.

    I will only tell you what I did: when I came to realize that my locality was a breeding ground for tiny tyrants, I moved. If others want to be subject to the petty whims of progressives, that’s their prerogative.

    You do realize that in “Loving vs. Virginia” the word ‘Virginia’ refers to a location, not a person?

    • Anthony on November 10, 2016 at 8:24 am
      Author

    “what do these events mean about the Right?”

    Were these alleged incidents carried out by Christians?

    If not, I don’t see why its on me to justify their behavior at all. It’s always been my position that when people come to the view that people are merely animals, they have permission to behave like animals themselves, and naturally it is quite alright to treat others like animals, too.

    Where such people happen to fall on a ‘left/right’ scale of arbitrary design (why not ‘up’ vs ‘down’? and I am diagonal, anyway, so why should I defend the ‘uppers’?) doesn’t mean anything to me.

    At any rate, as secularists continue to undermine Christianity within the United States, leading to less and less Christians in our midst, I’d say that you can expect much more violence. You won’t be able to blame it on Christians, for the simple reason that there are not very many of them.

    The framers of the US Constitution had 2 things in mind. 1., the belief that we are endowed BY OUR CREATOR with certain attributes and 2., nonetheless, we have fallen into corruption, and cannot be trusted with absolute power.

    Since these two things are REAL (see: http://sntjohnny.com/front/not-us-vs-them-its-reality-vs-unreality/2968.html ) you will NEVER be able to eliminate crime, thuggery, etc. But what you CAN do is mitigate the harm that such people can do by, in the first place, ensuring that none of the available levers of power have the ability to do a great deal of harm.

    • Anthony on November 10, 2016 at 8:40 am
      Author

    Got any videos of your “reported instances” like this one?

    http://www.infowars.com/shock-video-black-mob-viciously-beats-white-trump-voter/

    • End Bringer on November 10, 2016 at 9:48 am

    “Apparently the promise to stop all Muslim immigration has already disappeared from Trump’s website, so there may be some buyer’s remorse for the Alt-Right to deal with over the coming months. It will be fascinating to see how the Trump presidency unfolds.”

    I don’t know anyone personally who thought there would be an actual Wall-or-China-esque structure built in the southern border, or that ALL Muslims would be banned. People just believe he’ll actually secure the border instead of the open-door Obama arbitrarily and unilaterally decided to allow, and that we’ve seen cause serious problems in Europe, and will take a far less tolerant stand to violent Islamic terrorism than Obama (actually calling it Islamic terrorism was one of his main appeals).

    I think it was put this way best – Liberals and the media take him literally, but not seriously. His supporters take him seriously, but not literally.

    “If you have any current outrage on this point, EB, feel free to express it now.”

    Oh, I do have a problem with it. I think it would be much better for the country as a whole if the people had a more direct say, or if the Electoral map was more balanced so some States didn’t have disproportional influence. If that meant Hillary had won, so be it.

    But then on the other hand, I’d want those votes to be far, far more secure against tampering tan they currently are if it’s that important, and with Democrats being so firmly against even the mildest of measures, unless the results are a huge blowout in the millions, we can’t really say with certainty that Hillary truly won even that legitimately, or if it was due to utilizing illegals and dead voters on the rolls, electronic ballots switching results, or just individuals writing in family and friends who didn’t personally show up themselves.

    With the Left showing how far they’re willing to go to win, this election, and till voting is more protected against fraud, then I don’t see why we should have much faith in it.

    “Of the two of us EB, you are the one on record as saying that you don’t favour democracy as your ideal political system.”

    I’ve also been on record saying this world isn’t ideal, and will never be till God comes down and smacks Mankind upside the head. And of the two of us, I’m not the one under any illusion what kind of government my ideal actually is.

    “I am ok with it, and despite the documented instances of voter suppression (and even isolated voter fraud – by Trump voters) I accept this outcome as the legitimate product of a democratic system. That is very different from calling it the will of the majority, but it is what it is. You won’t hear any of the kind of pitiful whining about how “the system is rigged” that has been emanating from the US Right lately from me.”

    Well that says a lot about you. Unfortunately, what you seem to have missed throughout much of your comments on this thread is that it’s not about YOU personally to begin with.

    That Trump won doesn’t invalidate any claims of whether the system is rigged in favor of liberal progressives any more than pointing to the Tuskegee Airmen as an argument American institutes like the military weren’t discriminatory against blacks in the early 1900s.

    All it proves is that rigged systems can still be overcome with enough effort, which is what happened here with Trump.

    “Also, I eagerly await an analysis from you two of the many reported instances of racial abuse against immigrants and people of colour since the election results were announced. Something very similar happened in the UK after Brexit. If Annalise Neilsen means something about the Left (and I’m willing to believe that she does), what do these events mean about the Right?”

    I’d ask for more documented proof. SJ already showed the video I was going to use, but just to drive it home further:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/people-have-to-die-anti-trump-protester-calls-for-violence-on-cnn/

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/09/twitter-erupts-with-calls-for-donald-trump-to-be-assassinated/

    As far as my analysis go – this was a bitter election year with passions on both sides inflamed, and people, being inherently sinful, on either side turning violent is no great surprise. The problem is liberalism (and evolution in particular) has no inherent means of stopping such behavior, and believe anything and everything liberals do is morally justified ‘for the common good’ that’s only upheld by liberalism.

    As such, things are far more likely to turn seriously violent simply because the Left didn’t get their way.

    • Timaahy on November 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    What you guys really need is:
    1. Compulsory voting; and
    2. President decided by popular vote.

    Done.

    You’re welcome.

    • Timaahy on November 10, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    The problem is liberalism (and evolution in particular) has no inherent means of stopping such behavior

    Huh? Have you been drinking?

    • End Bringer on November 10, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    “What you guys really need is:
    1. Compulsory voting; and
    2. President decided by popular vote.

    Think the first was widely implemented in Iraq.

    “Have you been drinking?”

    Celebrating! Tuesday the home inspector gave a glowing review on the house I’m buying (knowing the home owners for years as I do, it wasn’t surprising, but you can’t be too careful). Then went to see Hacksaw Ridge instead of waiting for the news. Powerful movie. Gibson and the cast deserve an Emmy. Heck, give them ALL THE EMMYS! Frankly, the Washington elites being defeated was just the icing on the cake to the great day I had. Much to be thankful for.

    • Anthony on November 10, 2016 at 10:54 pm
      Author

    I have some ideas on how I might revise the electoral system but in the main, I don’t think its nearly as bad as it seems. I like checks and balances, and this is one that ensures that politicians extend their concern beyond the large population centers. Which, by the way, Trump did, but Clinton only barely. Besides, we may yet discover that Trump did win the popular vote even in this election.

    So I wouldn’t get our undies in a bunch about it.

    A more important consideration for me re: the electoral college is how large is the variation. Even a number as large as a million is still a relatively small percentage of the whole. People seem to forget, though, that the amount of electors is tied to the population, so, realistically, the deviation really can’t get that large.

    In the 2000 election the variation was a half a million and Bush’s electoral win was only by a spread of like, 10. I can see why that would rub people the wrong way. In this case, Trump’s electoral spread is going to end up being around 80. So, it is easier to put the couple of hundred thousand extra on Hillary’s side into a larger context in which we see that the country really did, as a whole, repudiate her.

    The bottom line is that if Hillary thought she could make the argument, she absolutely would have tried.

    • End Bringer on November 11, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Also to those reported instances of Trump supporters being the ones to attack people, there needs to be more evidence than just a suppose victims word – http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=55837

    • Anthony on November 11, 2016 at 8:10 am
      Author

    Yes, I think I saw another like that, too. In today’s era where everyone is quick with their phone, its hard to believe anyone is able to get away with anything so terrible without some other person documenting it. Add to that the documentation that Veritas has now given us that Democrat organizations actually PAY people to instigate and fabricate, and the evidence by Wikileaks that the media collaborates, it is plain common sense to withhold judgement unless we see it with our own eyes or a proper police investigation is done.

    This is the boy who cried wolf, after we found out that Soros paid him to do so.

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