Trump won the Fox News debate

Yes, you can win a contest before it starts. I gotta tell ya, the people at Fox News are stupid. Dumb. Ignorant. Pliable. Oafish. Any word you want you to use that means cognitively challenged (for the politically correct).

But the Fox News morons have a lot of company at National Review.

Trump is playing these media elites like a fiddle.

When The Donald says "dance," they dance. When he says "cower," they cower. When he says "bitch and moan," they bitch and moan.

Yesterday Trump told Roger Ailes and his trained monkeys to devote 100 percent of their broadcast day to Donald Trump.

And Fox complied.

There's only one story on Fox News: Donald Trump.

Free media. Blocked opponents.

Poor Ted Cruz is out there challenging Trump to a one-on-one debate. Cruz's fans think it's a sign of toughness.

Boxing fans know it's a loser's gambit. When you challenge someone, you admit you're the challenger, the left-behind, the also-ran, the wanna-be.

(Before you embarrass yourself in the comments, by definition someone who challenges someone else is by definition the challenger.)

While Fox News carries a debate of undercard wannabes, The Donald will be raising money for wounded veterans and tweeting nasty insults about the debaters.

And the next day, you will see only the nasty tweets. And the wounded veterans. And you will hear only The Donald's narrative.

Fox News is Trump's bitch. Fox is the bottom. And not even a power bottom.

Look, folks, I've told you I don't intend to vote for Trump. I'm still a Carson guy. But I've been warning you for years.

I told you that you were reading the wrong books years ago. I gave you a list of books to read. It wasn't complete--it wasn't perfect. But it pointed you in the direction to victory.

The comments under that post argued with me. I was wrong. I was a lefty.

Well, Trump was reading the books I was reading. Or he innately got what those books taught.

While you were reading the 5000 Year Leap, Donald Trump was plotting your self-destruction.

Fox News and National Review bent over and presented themselves to The Donald.

And I'm not alone in thinking so. From the left, right, and center, people who study media, people, and psychology agree:

Rush Limbaugh: Stunned that Fox News acts like she was "jilted at the altar."

Ira Stoll: Glenn Beck faults Trump for supporting the bank bailouts that National Review supported

Charles Hurt: Beware the latest nasty virus sweeping the East Coast

I could go on, but why? Donald Trump didn't destroy the conservative coalition; conservatives did. You didn't read the right books, you didn't develop the right skills, and you didn't look in the mirror enough.

If Donald Trump is a monster, the conservative movement--tea party included--is Dr. Frankenstein.

As my wife says: own it.

 

NRO: Against Jefferson

"Aristocrats fear the people, and wish to transfer all power to the higher classes of society." --Thomas Jefferson to William Short, 1825.

National Review has entered dangerous territory: they have inadvertently made the case for Trump.

An angry screed by Kevin Williamson titled "Our Post-Literate Politics" (later renamed to "What's a Book?") makes the case that Trump supporters are illiterate, uneducated, dim-witted, racist, homophobes. To wit (via Breitbart.com's John Nolte):

Thomas Aquinas cautioned against “homo unius libri,” a warning that would not get very far with the typical Trump voter stuck sniggering over “homo.” (They’d snigger over “snigger,” too, for similar reasons.)

And

Donald Trump is the face of that insalubrious relationship, a lifelong crony capitalist who brags about buying political favors.  But his enthusiasts, devoid as they are of a literate politics capable of thinking about all three sides of a triangle at the same time[.]

The magazine's aristocratic editors have examined the species homo trumpicus and found it unfit for self-governance. Until last fall, homo trumpicus was NR's favorite fellow-traveller.

For those who don't regularly read Hennessy's View (and I seem to have a lot of new readers of late), I am not supporting Donald Trump. Also, I agree with the NR writers that Trump does not fit my definition of conservatism (which, like most conservatives, I cannot articulate in a way that you could a draw a picture from). Further, I'll give you that Trump scares me a little. Finally on this point, there are at least three candidates I'd greatly prefer to Trump and a couple more I'd probably hold my nose and vote for before I'd touch the screen next to The Donald. (Or maybe he'll be on the ballot as simply "TRUMP.") (And Jeb! is not one of them. I'll take Trump over Jeb!)

While I revere William F. Buckley, my own vision of a conservative utopia has been out of phase with NR's for some time, at least in a few ways. In 1993, for example, I wrote an essay opposing US intervention in the Balkans. I am proud that my essay was published alongside similar sentiments from Patrick J. Buchanan and Phyllis Schlafly. (Maybe it's a St. Louis thing. Buchanan cut his newspaper teeth at Globe-Democrat, and Schlafly is, of course, a St. Louisan.) I differed from my favorite magazine on the issue.

In 1994, a friend and I earned beer money by selling shirts and bumperstickers. Our best-seller said "He's Rested, He's Ready, He's RIGHT! Buchanan '96." (My personal favorite didn't sell worth a damn: "Why did I get wet when Clinton soaked the rich?")

I should point out that I have differences with Buchanan (Israel) and Schlafly (convention of states), too. But my vision of conservative utopia is probably a lot closer to theirs. And while I've dutifully bucked up and supported whatever lame Establishment punching bag the GOP sends up every four years. like many others, I'm getting pretty sick of supporting a party that prefers abstract principles and handouts to billionaires over sound policies that lift people out of poverty and give those well above poverty the confidence to jump employers, change careers, or hang out a shingle. 

My view is pretty simple and probably more libertarian than conservative. I believe that free men and women, decently educated, reasonably honest, occasionally sober, and mildly ambitious make for an exceptional nation. I believe that a government that provides the safety and security to let the men and women have their fun (without feeling the need to wear rearview sunglasses in case some crazed jihadi is sneaking up on them) is a government that engenders exceptionalism. (Unlike my definition of conservatism, I can point you to a picture of exceptionalism. It's something like Burning Man surrounded on each end by a week or two of hard work.) And I believe that an agreed-upon and complete list of things government is allowed to do lets the people plan more than 3 minutes ahead, which is a prerequisite of exceptionalism, freedom, and fun.

And all of my beliefs are built upon the idea that people, by their nature, can govern themselves. One requirement of self-governance is choosing representatives, including presidents.

If I'm wrong on that--if people truly cannot government themselves and cannot form governments that function--then the whole concept of liberty and everything written on the subject from John Locke to Thomas Jefferson to William F. Buckley, was a lie, an error, a sham, a horrible mistake. On that point, Locke, Jefferson, and Buckley agree with me.

So yesterday National Review, in its screechy cat-fight of a hissy fit, determined that 41 percent of Republican voters (and 100 percent of Democrat voters) fail the self-governance test and need an aristocracy to rule them. Assuming half the voters are Democrats, that means NR has written off, not 47 percent, but 91 percent of American population. Nearly everybody but the National Review's editorial is, by their reckoning, too ignorant and illiterate to own their own lives.

And this is where the fun begins. 

National Review's anti-Trump symposium warns that Trump is a modern day Hitler ready to seize autocratic power in America, and that Americans need an autocrat to rule them in their vast ignorance and bigotry.

Put syllogistically (a word that should satisfy Mr. Williamson and most of the NR symposium authors):

If Donald Trump is an authoritarian with conservative-ish pretenses, and if the American electorate's ignorance requires authoritarian rule, then Trump is the best authoritarian for the job. 

I utterly refute National Review's pessimistic, aristocratic, and undemocratic conclusion. I reject the middle leg of their pro-Trump syllogism because I believe we are competent to run our lives and to decide on a working government.

And on that, Jefferson concurs:

"The people, being the only safe depository of power, should exercise in person every function which their qualifications enable them to exercise consistently with the order and security of society. We now find them equal to the election of those who shall be invested with their executive and legislative powers, and to act themselves in the judiciary as judges in questions of fact. The range of their powers ought to be enlarged." --Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, 1814.

Either we can govern ourselves, or we can't. I think we can; NR thinks we can't.

But I admit to taking great satisfaction in the pain and suffering Trump causes to snobbish blowhards like the one told his NR readers that 41 percent of Republicans can't govern themselves.

As always, I'll end with the words Dennis Miller gave us: that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.

 

 

Who’s Fit?

Take a look at Drudge. I’ll wait. The day doesn’t really matter.  It’s always full of stuff that makes you think rivets are flying out of the planet like a jalopy in a cartoon.

  • Two girls beat another girl into convulsions over the course of eight minutes while cowardly young men quiver in fear.  (But an old lady steps in and protects the victim.)
  • Syrian security opens fire on demonstrators killing 90.  (But it’s Good Friday.)
  • U.S. Dollar collapses as fear of government debt makes everything American worth less. (But Greece and other European countries even worse.)
  • Japan warns that earthquake aftermath could cause them a double dip.
  • U.S. spending could hit debt ceiling in a week.

These are everyday headlines from an abnormal time. Times as odd as a football bat.

Abnormal Times Breed Abnormal Leaders

The next president or two cannot be ordinary.  As much as we like the underdog and plain, common sense, everyman, there are times when Providence and history conspire to demand a GIANT of a person.

The Depression and World War II would have crush Truman.  Not that Roosevelt’s policies were right, but his stature was.  he was a giant.

Winston Churchill was a giant.

We’re in another era that calls for giants. At least one—one in every country that hopes to survive.

France had no giants in the 1930s.  Nor did Poland or Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, on and on.  The countries without giants fell to monsters.

The World Thirsts for Leaders

You know the difference between the Depression-WWII era and now?

All the giants of that era are dead.  So are most of the people were young then, the ones who fed their families during the Depression, then conquered the monsters in the war.  They’re mostly gone. And those that remain are too old to fight.

The Baby Boomers are the age that Roosevelt was during the last crisis era Gen X is Truman’s age, Eisenhower’s, Patton’s, and Bradley’s.  Gen Y will become the heroes of this era when the history’s written 40 years from now.

But if we don’t get some national GIANTS, who knows what language that history will be written in.

Is Trump the Giant?

trumpI’m not saying Trump’s my first choice. Nor will I pretend I believe he’s an ideological Tea Partier.  I bet he can’t tell you how many Constitutional Amendments there are.  I bet he’s not conversant about Article I Section 8, nor about the 9th and 10th Amendments.  I’d be surprised to learn that he knows the issue in Wickard v. Filburn.  Has he read The Federalist?

As dear and important as those things are to us in the Tea Party movement, I’m not sure how important they’ll be in the next four years.  I’m not sure how important anything we’re talking about today will be four years from now.

The United States on the verge of defaulting on its loans.  U.S. Treasuries are on the verge of being dumped.  The U.S. Dollar’s value is plummeting.  The Fed holds $trillions and doesn’t know what to do with it. George Soros is pushing to issue his own international currency.

The U.S. economic system is about to collapse under 70 years of illegal government activity funded with irresponsible, Ponzi scheme borrowing.

The next president better be Churchill and Reagan, Lincoln and Washington rolled into one.

Stardom and Chutzpah

In modern America, two qualities are indispensible for national leaders: stardom and chutzpah. That’s just be accepted. Those qualities alone are no guarantee of success.

Success requires strength, decisiveness, and a bit of national pride.  These are the qualities Obama lacks.

I see only two potential candidates with all of these qualities:  Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.

That disturbs a lot of people. Left, right, and center.

Can you name another giant personality with the will and resources to challenge for the world’s highest office?

P.S.  If you haven't read this post, please do.