Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

President Donald J. Trump is receiving much praise from friend and foe alike for the unofficial State of the Union address that he delivered before a Joint-Session of Congress on Tuesday night.

Chris Wallace, of Fox News, and Van Jones, of CNN, represent the view of no small number of pundits when they declare that Trump “became the President” with this most recent speech.

Indeed, stylistically and, in some respects, substantively, the President’s address was among the more powerful and memorable that had been given before that body.  And it undoubtedly had its share of highlights. President Trump:

–forcefully reiterated his resolve to construct a border wall and deport and ban criminal illegal immigrants.

–reminded the nation once more of the real-life victims of violent illegal immigrants by welcoming their loved ones—themselves victims—to his address and referring to them by name.

–insisted that he was the President of the United States, not the world, and that the creed by which the government would conduct itself during his tenure is simple: Buy American, Hire American.

–reminded the country of President Obama’s lies and broken promises that Obamacare would not upset the desire of Americans to keep their doctors and their insurance plans.

–distinguished himself from the 44th President by underscoring the importance of supporting, rather than undermining, law enforcement in its struggle to preserve civilization against the threats posed to it by criminals.

–called out the Obama administration for presiding over what could be among the worst of economic recoveries while adding to the national debt an amount exceeding that of all of his predecessors combined.

–alluded to a young, attractive black woman who he had invited to his speech and who served as a concrete illustration of the success that students can achieve if they are free to escape the monopoly of the public school system.

–acknowledged and thanked the widow of a slain Navy Seal, his guest who received the longest applause in the history of these Presidential addresses to Congress and the nation.

Trump articulated himself in his own inimitable manner.  The Democrats, in glaring contrast, appeared small, petulant, and even offensive. Their antics will surely cost them more losses in the future.

This being said, I can’t say that I liked all that I heard.

First, to resounding bipartisan applause, Trump expressed his commitment to infrastructure spending. “Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways, gleaming across our very, very beautiful land.”  Invoking “another Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower,” who “initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program [the system of interstate highways],” Trump declared: “The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.”

To achieve this objective, the President announced that he “will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment” that will be “financed through both public and private capital [.]”

One trillion dollars.

Second, the President proposed, as he happily admitted, what amounts to a historically unprecedented increase in defense spending. “I am sending Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

Third, Trump’s determination to repeal and “replace” Obamacare is genuine enough. While the replacement, whatever it is, may prove to allow for more flexibility for states and individuals, the bad news for liberty-lovers is that this new scheme will be every bit as massive and every bit as centrally directed as the monstrosity that it will succeed.

Not only does Trump want to make sure that taxpayers arrange for those with “pre-existing conditions” to have coverage, he also maintains that “we” (government) make it possible for everyone else to purchase health care coverage.  In addition, “we” (government) must “give our state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid [another Big Government program] to make sure that no one is left out.”

Fourth, the President thinks it is the task of the national government to make “child care accessible and affordable” and “to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave [.]”  He evidently also believes that income-earners and wealth-creators should have more of their resources confiscated by government and redistributed so that “we” can “invest in women’s health [.]”

Fifthly, Trump ominously echoed George W. Bush in describing “education” as the “civil rights issue of our time.”  “I am calling on members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth [.]”  Some range of choices is better than no choice at all, I suppose, but it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that an agenda of so-called “school choice” that the national government will “fund” remains a centrally-directed, Big Government, plan by another name, for the options afforded the “disadvantaged” are still predetermined by central political authorities.

Finally, Trump opened his speech by condemning a recent string of crimes directed against Jewish community centers and cemeteries.  These events “remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

While hate and evil are certainly worthy objects of condemnation, if the President was determined to tackle them in this venue and on this occasion, I wish he would’ve targeted the hate and evil that neo-communist leftist terrorists—those whom Democrats call “protesters”—have been unleashing on his own supporters in cities around the country.  It would have been refreshing to have heard him call upon Democrats in Congress to join the rest of us in condemning the violence, intolerance, and hatred of those on their side of the political divide.  Or maybe he could have condemned those hordes of gutless cyber-thugs—let’s call them the Unconscionables—who called for the raping of his wife and his assassination.

Time will tell where we go from here.

 

 

 

Not long ago, a conversation transpired on a nationally syndicated radio program between the host and a writer for The New York Post.  Both are supporters of Donald J. Trump. Referring to the relentlessness and intensity of the opposition to the President on the part of the left, the host asked his guest whether the latter believed that the madness will soon have to come to a head. The Post writer replied that, in time, when the country improves materially, Trump will get the credit that he deserves and calm will set in over the land.

I wish that I could believe that this is so.

Even if they are certain that he is entitled to it, leftist will never give the President his due. And for as long as Trump is in office, and probably even long afterwards, leftists will spare no occasion to manipulate other Americans into seeing things their way.

From Democrats in Washington D.C. to those of their ideological ilk in the media, academia, Hollywood, and the streets, the left has been traumatized by Trump’s upset victory.  For that matter, it isn’t just the American left that remains shocked to its core, but leftists around the world.  It is telling that in spite of Trump’s massive rallies and the personal connection that he established with his supporters, leftists apparently could not so much as conceive of the possibility that Hillary Clinton could lose to the Republican nominee.

Although fake news outlets and their phony polls consistently showed Trump losing in a landslide to Clinton, the President won 2623 American counties compared to Clinton’s 489. If we subtract that bluest of blue states, California, Trump would have won the popular vote by over a million votes (and this is assuming, counterfactually, that there was no voter fraud).  If you subtract New York also, he would’ve won by 3 million votes over 48 states.

Trump swept most of the country, making it painfully obvious to Democrats that their party is now largely a coastal party.  As far as the Electoral College goes—and this, let us not forget, is how presidential elections are supposed to be decided in the United States—Trump crushed his opponent with 306 votes to Clinton’s 232.

The left’s collective head exploded.  After a month or so of waxing outrage over Trump’s refusal to say in advance of the election whether he would automatically accept the outcome if Clinton won, leftists still refuse to accept the outcome after Trump actually won.  First they demanded phony recounts.  Then they tried to coerce the electors of the Electoral College to deny Trump the votes that he earned.  When this dirty tactic failed, leftists contrived a conspiracy theory of epic proportions: Trump, they tried to convince the country, had won in an immense landslide because Vladimir Putin wanted for him to win.

Now, as leftist millionaires and billionaires (like the evil George Soros) finance massive anti-Trump protests and violent left-wing, neo-communist and anti-American terrorists wreak havoc in the name of “demonstrating” against Trump and “fascists,” Democrats in Congress are on a quest to create any opportunity that they can to impeach the President and bring about his downfall.

Trump and his army of some 63 million or so “Deplorables,” against overwhelming odds, defeated the elitists of both parties and the Regime that they constitute along with the media, academia, and Hollywood.  Hard leftist and alt-leftist (neoconservative) Regimists threw every weapon in their arsenal against the Donald—all to no avail.

The Regime didn’t just go down to defeat.  It suffered a humiliating defeat.

Democrats have lost over 1200 seats at the national and state levels since Obama has been elected (yes, he’s not only been terrible for the country, he’s been terrible for his party).  Republicans control the legislatures in some 32 states and the governorships in about two-thirds of the states.

And then along came Trump.

Leftists’ whole world is crashing in around them.  They will never accept their losses—even if that means dispatching thugs to terrorize innocents, destroy property, attack police, set fires, issue calls for “punching” their opponents “in the face,” organize demonstrations, and lie through their teeth to delegitimize and/or impeach President Trump.

But here’s the question that, to my knowledge, no prominent Trump-supporter in national media has yet to ask:

What are the rest of us going to do about all of this?

It’s true that in writing, talking, and, thus, exposing the hysteria, deception, and violence, commentators go some distance toward combatting leftist rage. Yet given the fever-pitch of the times, this has begun to feel inadequate. More needs to be done.

First, conservatives and others who are appalled by the hostility of the left should organize boycotts of every commodity produced by those who regard them as, well, deplorable. The left doesn’t hesitate to engage in boycotts. Neither should we. Those who repudiate our values must be made to pay a steep price for their actions.

Second, while “conservative” talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and some others deserve credit for affecting what changes in the media landscape that they undoubtedly achieved over the decades, they especially could do more than they currently are doing.  These top-tier hosts have abundant resources at their disposal. It’s hard to imagine that it would cost them very much at all to organize some pro-American, anti-left demonstrations.

They could help bus in hundreds of thousands (and maybe more) exacerbated, yet proud, Second Amendment-availing patriots to Washington D.C.  Perhaps Bikers for Trump and Truckers for Trump could join them, bringing the city to a standstill.  Uniformly dressed in, say, red—the color for courage—or maybe dark blue—the color for justice—the sea of pro-American demonstrators, hoisting their American flag poles high, could put the leftist thugs, terrorists, and bullies on notice that a new day has indeed dawned and they are no longer going to tolerate being pushed around

Shows of force are necessary.

Any violent-prone, “antifa” terrorists would enter these zones at their own peril.

Since the left will never stop fighting, the right must start fighting with the same tenacity.

 

While violence has always had a home on the political left, and while the left in America has been engaging in violence from at least the time of the late 1960’s, forces on the thuggish left became emboldened during Obama’s tenure in the White House. Within the last year or so, they have become especially brash and merciless toward Trump supporters.

This came to a head at Berkeley a few nights ago when “protesters” prevented provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from delivering a planned speech. Mobs of anti-Milo and anti-Trump demonstrators were on the scene.  No small number were self-described “anti-fascists” (or “antifa”) clad in black with masks concealing their faces.  Things turned feral as fires were lit, Molotov cocktails were thrown, property was destroyed, officers were assaulted, and innocents were tear-gassed and beaten up with various weapons.

And the police arrested…no one.

While it’s true that most of those on the left do not physically engage in violence, for two reasons this is neither here nor there.

First, it only took 19 terrorists on September 11, 2001 to murder nearly 3,000 innocent Americans while causing pain and suffering to many more. Within an hour or so, fewer than two dozen immigrants brought the country to a standstill and irrevocably altered its history.  A minority of rotten apples, however small it may be, can ruin the bunch.

Second, those leftist Democrats in political office, the media, academia, and Hollywood, those who aren’t literally initiating violence against innocents, are hardly off the hook. The rabble in the streets functions as their strong-arm wing, the Democrats’ foot soldiers. Those Democrats who object to this characterization of their relationship to the thugs, who explicitly disavow violence while qualifying their denunciations with the very same anti-Trump vitriol that gave rise to the violence, want to have it both ways.

The Democratic left’s demonization of President Trump and his supporters—after all, it was the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who described “half” of those backing Trump (over 30 million Americans) as “deplorable”—created the climate of hatred, irrationality, and thuggery that is now consuming cities and college campuses around the country.

(Can there really be any doubt about this?  When four black Chicagoans videoed themselves pummeling, torturing, and taunting their white cognitively challenged victim while shouting “F**k Donald Trump!”, a leftist colleague of mine was quick to remark that it is highly unlikely that the guilty parties were really upset by Trump’s election.  I suspect that he was probably correct.  Yet as I was equally quick to respond, if our suspicions were correct, this would show only just how powerful the Democrats’ anti-Trump rhetoric has been, for even those, like the scum in Chicago, who aren’t politically engaged can’t avoid being influenced by it.)

The Democrats who control the Government-Academic-Hollywood-Media Complex are like the proverbial person who runs into a crowded theater and screams “Fire!”  In demonizing the President and his tens of millions of supporters as “racist,” “sexist,” “Islamophobic,” “homophobic,”  “xenophobic” and the like, the non-violent Democratic left aid and abet their more overtly thuggish counterparts on the streets.

It’s one thing for them to disagree with President Trump. It’s another thing entirely for them to, in effect, incite mobs to hurt innocents.  It’s also inexcusable for them to do anything other than unequivocally, routinely, condemn this mob action.

This, they have not done. When Democrats renounce the violence of street punks while either refusing to acknowledge the role that their language played in enflaming it or rationalizing, if not overtly justifying, it by blaming the victim, they convict themselves.

To be clear, the Democratic Party and its apologists aren’t really that bothered by the fact that riots are being executed—as long as they are done for the sake of “protesting” Trump and it is those to their right that are being harmed.  This is the message that anyone who is listening must receive. 

So, perhaps I’m overreacting, but it seems to me that this is not politics as usual. The current situation feels more like a civil war that is beginning to heat up than anything else. The only problem is that while the Deplorables—those who are not attacking innocents, police, private property—just won a major victory in defying, well, everyone and electing Donald Trump, it is their side only that is all too often getting  physically hurt.

In a future essay, I will propose ways for law-abiding patriotic Americans to deal with those who would harm them.  For now, however, we’d be well served to call to mind Confucius, whose doctrine of “the Rectification of Names” underscores the importance of calling things for what they are.

“Protesters” or “demonstrators” do not act violently.  Those who act violently for any reason other than self-defense are thugs, criminals, felons.  Those who act violently in mob are rioters.

And those who act violently toward innocents for the sake of altering the direction of government or government policy are terrorists. 

To reiterate, those leftists who have been wreaking havoc, those who the left media call “protesters” and who the right continually characterizes as “snowflakes” and “crybabies” are indeed domestic terrorists.

Were those who besieged the American embassy in Benghazi in 2012, murdering four Americans—were they “protesters” or “snowflakes?”  So far, anti-Trump terrorists haven’t murdered anyone. This, however, doesn’t mean that their actions couldn’t have easily resulted in the deaths of innocents. Nor does it make their actions any less terroristic.

Second, the terrorists are not “anti-fascist.”  They are anti-American neo-communists, or neo-coms, militant leftists who want nothing less than the fundamental transformation of the United States from what it has always been into something more on the order of the utopian totalitarian order of their fevered imaginings.

Importantly, these anti-American neo-com terrorists are also Democrats, if not formally or officially, then in spirit, for their ideas are essentially one and the same as those that have been greasing the wheels of Democrat politics for decades.

 

 

 

On Inauguration Day, January 20, a mob of howling leftists arrived at the campus of the University of Washington to prevent Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos from delivering a scheduled speech.

Milo is a foreigner, a particularly flamboyant homosexual Jew who is a provocateur par excellence.  The consummate troll, Milo delights in shattering such Politically Correct icons as feminism, Black Lives Matter, Islam, gay activism, and the like while gabbing about his black boyfriends.

He is also an unabashed Trump supporter who affectionately refers to the President as “Daddy.”

In other words, despite his membership in more than one of the left’s protected classes, Milo’s political background has made him an object of the left’s hatred.

When four or five anti-Milo (and anti-Trump) thugs and self-styled “protesters” began aggressively pushing and shoving an attendee at the Milo event, the threatened peace-maker pulled out a gun and pulled the trigger.

One of the aggressors was shot.

No charges were filed against the shooter.

Interestingly, this episode received remarkably little coverage—even though it was captured on video.  I suspect that there are at least two reasons to account for this.

First, the video clearly reveals the thuggish conduct of the anti-Milo forces.  Most of those in the so-called “mainstream” media are, after all, of the same ideological mindset as the latter.  Thus, media apologists have an interest invested in concealing from the public leftist activists’ not infrequent bursts of unprovoked violence.

The second reason, however, that may explain the lack of coverage of this shooting is more interesting: It reveals to the world an all-too rare instance of a Trump supporter fighting back against leftist agitators that clearly meant to do him bodily harm.  Moreover, it shows this would-be victim defend himself by way of a legal firearm.

I submit that while journalists and commentators, the overwhelming majority of whom are left-leaning Democrats, would have happily supplied ample coverage of a case of Trump-supporting belligerents and, say, their minority victims—hell, so badly did they want to cover such cases that they produced no small measure of fake news involving hoaxes—they do not want to depict the leftist “demonstrator” as the proverbial bully who got what he had coming to him.

They do not want for those millions of Americans who reject the radical left-wing politics of the rioters—let’s call them “the Deplorables”—to defend themselves, to meet the violence of the left with the same.

A friend of mine, a man of the left, has on more than one occasion felt the need to underscore to me that not all leftists condone violence.  Of course, I reply, this is true.  Yet equally true is that all of the politically-oriented violence presently on display in our country is emanating exclusively from the left.  Nor is this a new phenomenon.

That individual leftists eschew violence is a good thing, to be sure, but that their ideology has historically been accompanied by aggression and bloodshed is a brute fact that demands an explanation.  At the very least, decent or otherwise non-violent leftists have an obligation to refrain from fueling the flames of bigotry by promoting hysteria and lies about their opponents.  Preferably, they should loudly, resoundingly reject the violence whenever and wherever it occurs.

“Snowflakes” is the current term of choice that many have given to those who refuse to accept Trump’s election. Some of the latter lend themselves to this kind of ridicule. However, the danger with applying “snowflake,” “cry baby,” and the like to all who have taken to the streets is that it threatens to render innocuous a not insignificant number of this group that in reality pose a grave danger to society.

Those who bombard police and civilians, men, women, and children, young and old, with obscenities, bricks, bottles, and any number of other weapons should not be mocked. They should, they must, be dealt with accordingly. Those right-leaning commentators who continue to treat the phenomenon of leftist violence against innocents as if it was a laughing matter are guilty of acting as irresponsibly, as recklessly, toward the members of their audiences as they would be guilty of doing the same if they encouraged their children to laugh at the bullies who routinely assaulted and terrorized them for their lunch money.

I am not encouraging violence. But I am encouraging self-protection and self-defense.

Self-protection consists in avoiding those circumstances—like mobs of angry, screeching, irrational people—that increase one’s odds of being in a physical altercation.  It consists in a heightened awareness of one’s surroundings. Self-protection, the avoidance of trouble, should always be the chief objective.

If, though, due to no fault of one’s own, one finds oneself without any option but to fight in self-defense, or perhaps in the defense of others, then one must do what must be done in order to get oneself and/or others to safety.  This may very call on one to get downright nasty.

It may call on one to become…feral.

It’s a tragic commentary on the times that a survival guide for otherwise peaceful Americans is now necessary to deal with violent thugs suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.

But this is no laughing matter and the thugs promise to only become more emboldened is they are sure that those on whom they set their sights will be easy marks.

The fuse to the powder keg has been lit.