Sunday, November 27, 2016

Superiority is a State of Mind

Why is the American public considered racist and bigoted in the eyes of the liberal elite?  

After Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 liberals were elated. His election was a culmination of 50 years of striving for civil rights and equality for all men.  But, like the day after a New Year’s Eve Celebration, a hangover set in.  With the realization that Americans were not racists after all, liberals sought another cause to rise above the rest of us.

They rallied about healthcare, global warming, and gay rights, among other causes.  But too many people of differing political perspectives agreed on these issues and no majority consensus could be established to secure liberals the clear cut moral superiority.  As such, liberals have taken the mantel of a racist America once again to retake their moral high ground. 

To understand the return of racism we need only look to the need of liberals to be superior.  For many, they see themselves as “evolved” beings.  Better than most, they are morally evolved, which they then conflate to being intellectually evolved.  They alone are egalitarians whose sense of fairness means they are right and do not have to explain themselves.  Ergo, political discourse is a thing of agreement by and between liberals of the same view.  Whereas all others are racists, sexists, homophobes, etc.  The labels are there to quash debate and disagreement.

Liberals are not superior and Americans are not racists . . . or for that matter homophobes, sexists, or any of the other labels that are part of liberal identity politics.  Liberals need to appreciate their efforts in helping to bring tolerance and equality to the nation, declare victory, depart with identity politics, and join in fact based debate to reason good public policy.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Post Election: What Now?

This election is a defeat of every major player in politics: the media, both parties, and government institutions.  All were repudiated by voters who, over the past 16 years, were told one thing, but experienced another. 

The Democratic Party and their identity politics clearly lost, but how did the Republicans lose as well? Well, frankly, they did not want Donald Trump.  Many in the party would not come-out to support him and still others actively worked against him. 

The media may be the biggest loser.  Mired in bias, disenchanted voters turned away from their reporting and lecturing.  Voters were absolutely fed up and were as angry at the media as they were with politics and politicians.

So what now?  We just don’t know. We do not have a “normal” Democratic or Republican politician as president. We do not have a media that has received a message against hyper-bias reporting.  We do not see the defeated Democratic Party regrouping and assessing what happened, but instead doubling-down on identity politics.  But we do have hope.  

The incoming president is not a politician.  He has not held elected office and his first job in government is president.  This is as improbable as the Cubs winning the World Series!  This also brings a ray of hope that the new “non-normal” president leads to something different…something new…something that rises past politics and puts the good of the nation before the benefit of the party.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mr. Trump Goes to Washington

It appears the surveys, media and political pundits got it wrong . . . and for good reason.  The most improbable candidate, who spat on political correctness, who had to win all the states a Republican must win plus some Democratic states, where everything had to go exactly right and then something more – actually won.

We must further recognize the terribly flawed candidate of Hillary Clinton.  Mired in lies, corruption, and investigated for criminal behavior, she just could not excite liberal, urban, minority, and millennial voters as an agent of change.  Unenthused by Clinton, this election was to her base as 2012 was to Mitt Romney when his conservative base of voters stayed home because they were unenthused with him.  Clinton (nor Trump) had the confidence of voters, who when surveyed, a majority viewed unfavorably.  Trump won the election as much as Clinton lost it. 

However, this belies the underpinnings of what lead to Trump’s election.  First, President Barack Obama declared his policies and legacy were on the ballot – and they were and all were rejected.  Second, the nation voted to obliterate the past 16 years of government’s unrestrained growth that correlated with the nation’s crippled economic growth, unnerving deficits, uncontrolled debt, unsustainable entitlements, and dysfunctional foreign policy.  Third, the media was repudiated for untrustworthy and bias reporting.  Fourth, and not to be understated, was the suffocation of political correctness and its assault on speech, religion, and family.  PC revulsion created a new class of “dark voters” who would not participate in surveys or gave false answers for fear of reprisals for being politically incorrect.  These “dark voters” were invisible to the mountain of polling done and made these surveys irrelevant. 

As such, does Donald Trump’s election bring hope to America?  At this point there is no way to tell, but it does send a message to parties, politicians, and media that they are all in ill repute.  D.C., to quote from Obi-Wan Kenobi, is a “wretched hive of scum and villainy.”  The feasting on and redistribution of income by government done at the expense of tax payers has reached a crescendo.  Voters expressed their dissatisfaction with excesses, lack of accountability, agencies that target groups and business out of political favor, special interests, and party politics that are put before the good of the nation.

Democrats and Republicans beware, as both parties are in the cross-hairs of voter wrath.  Democratic PC dogma to brand folk who do not agree with them as science deniers, homophobes, sexists, racists, or simply the “deplorables” got Democrats kicked-out of local and national offices.  Republicans crow they won the Electoral College, but fail to mention they lost the popular vote – again.  And both parties that rushed to “identity politics” were blind to voters who simply saw themselves as individual Americans. 

Parties failed to realize that a large measure of middle-income voters do not see government as the solution to their economic malaise, but see government policies as the cause of it.  Good politics should be about good policy that is reached through compromise.  Free people and free markets, more than government, are the answer.  Republicans need to accommodate some liberal items to govern.  Democrats need to accommodate conservative policies because Republicans have been given a majority by the voters.  Parties must not be captive to the vocal few but serve a wider audience. 


This election had the two most unfavorable candidates.  More people voted against a candidate than they did for a candidate.  However, this distain may have a silver lining as expressed by one disgusted voter about the choices he had: “Next time I’ll pay more attention!”

In Trump we really have no idea how he will govern or if he can at all.  He is not really a Republican, Democrat, conservative, or liberal.  Heck, he is not even a politician.  We cannot tell if any of the statements he made during the election process are real or illusory.

We wish Mr. Trump well as he goes to Washington with the hope he can bring better policy and compromise.  That he will see people individually instead of by identity.  He will get only one shot at this.  He can, if he chooses, transcend parties and become an historic figure, he could fail into divisiveness, or simply fade into history as the most improbable candidate that got elected...but nothing more.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Watergate 2.0

Watergate was an event that roiled President Richard Nixon to leave office.  It involved a group of men who burglarized the Democratic Nation Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.  While Nixon did not commit the crime or direct it, Nixon chose to attempt to cover-up or prevent investigations of the crime.  It took investigative reporting, non-partisan political hearings, and cooperation of some independent minded men in the bureaucracy to expose the issues.  Nixon, conferring with Republicans, realized he could not avoid impeachment and, rather than fight, put the country in front of his personal interest and resigned.

Fast forward to 2016 and, we argue, this election cycle is Watergate 2.0.  However, in this version the press helps Nixon, the Republicans circle the wagons around Nixon, the bureaucracy covers for Nixon, and Nixon puts his interests in front of the country. In 2016 Hilary Clinton is Richard Nixon and Watergate 2.0 poses a great threat to our liberty and prosperity.

The framers designed the Constitution to separate power so that no man or group of men could consolidate power.  It also protected the most fundamental rights of freedom of speech and press to assure free men could speak to and against power.  But when government, press, and politicians conspire toward a political person or ideology, then freedom itself is at risk.

Clinton represents a collusion to consolidate power.  It is incredible that a candidate with a 30 year history of failure and corruption could advance to the highest political office, and doing so with relative ease.

Backers of Clinton argue this is a historic moment to elect the first woman president, and that she has the temperament and experience to effectively pursue her legislative agenda.  But electing a woman for a women’s sake is not the purpose of any election.  Looking at her tenure as Secretary of State there is a trail of failure that follows her in Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq and, of course, Benghazi.  Europe fared no better with the Russian intervention in Ukraine and China was allowed to expand its military in the South China Sea.

When assessing Clinton’s domestic policy she declared to be left of President Obama.  If we give credit to Obama policies for seven years of a growing economy, slower increases in the cost of healthcare expenses, lower  unemployment (U-3 Index) to under 5%, cutting the budget deficit in half, and high stock market, then we must also give him “credit” for the slowest economic growth since the Great Depression, the highest increase in health insurance premiums, the highest level of real unemployment (U-6 Index) of over 9% seven years after the recession ended and the lowest workforce participation since the 1970s, cutting the budget deficit to exceed the highest level previous to his taking office with a doubling of the debt to over $19 trillion, and providing low interest money to give the highest stock market in history and fueling the wealth of the richest Americans.

Regardless of who wins the office of president, either candidate will face a battle after election.  If Trump, then press, Democrats and even some Republicans will work against him on a host of issues.  Trump, as a neophyte in D.C., will have to find allies with political savvy to make him relevant and during his campaign he has offended many of the allies he will need in Congress.  If Clinton, who is knowledgeable in the ways of D.C. politics, she will face a united Republican opposition who will continue hearings in her potential crimes and fill the air with the specter of impeachment, all of which will work against her efforts to be relevant.

The problem with the Clintons is the daunting threat their actions pose when concealed or protected by politicians, agencies and press.  This enables the consolidation of power.  This disheartens voters.  This is acid on the trust of fundamental institutions.  This breeds populism that can heighten into the tyranny of the majority.

Policies left of Obama means more regulation, taxes, expanded unaffordable entitlements, growing debt and ballooning deficits if these policies are enacted.  Policies to the left of Obama mean the president will continue to attempt circumventing Congress to enact laws by decree.  And a liberal Supreme Court will be a threat to the Bill of Rights when liberty collides with liberal views of whatever they deem “equality”.

Liberals clasped their hands and told us the lesson from Watergate was that no man is above the law.  But the real lesson was that no Republican is above the law.  It is another story if you are a Democrat where the liberal battle cry is the nobility of the ends justifies the means.  A President Clinton is Watergate 2.0 that will stab at freedom and growth.

Arguably, neither Trump nor Clinton is an existential threat but they do represent what could be a zenith to the America followed by a gradual decline – the new normal of deteriorating growth and dependency on government.  The way to avoid this is for Americans, who a majority surveyed, believe both choices are bad, demand better.  The hope we have is for a one term President Clinton or President Trump and that the institutions that protect liberty remain strong enough to weather the next four years.

We must recapture our political processes.  We can do this if we are informed and vigilant.  The great 18th century political thinker J.J. Rousseau famously wrote about the people of England in Social Contract: 
The people of England think they are free. They are much mistaken. They are never so but during the election of members of Parliament. As soon as they are elected, they are slaves, they are nothing. And by the use they make of their liberty during the short moments they possess it, they well deserve to lose it.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The 2nd Collegiate Forum: Which Candidate's policies would be best for the college graduate's future?

US Vigilance worked in collaboration with the Nixon Foundation once again to bring together a panel of 5 bright California college students to discuss the outcome of the upcoming election. Moderator Nick Roman, host of KPCC's All Things Considered, steered the panelists through their thoughts, as college students part of the Millennial generation, on which Presidential candidate's policies would be best for the college graduate's future.

If you missed the even earlier this month at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, CA check out the video of the event here!