Biden Offers Supreme Court Seat to Anyone who Votes for Him

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Biden is being criticized for buying votes after he unveiled a new plan to give anyone who votes for him a seat on the Supreme Court.

“Anyone who votes for me will be appointed to the highest court in the land,” he said in a speech Monday to seven riveted rally attendees. “One vote = one seat. It’s that simple. That’s how it used to be in my day. We’d gather around in the town square and everyone would vote on whether to allow a new general store or saloon. The person who got outvoted, well, they got run out of town on the back of a goat. It was a real hoot. Gosh, I miss those days.”

Many say this is a clear case of court-packing. Not so fast, says the media. “Actually, this is just court rebalancing,” wrote every single journalist on Twitter simultaneously. “See, conservatives have gotten more picks in recent years, so adding 60-70 million seats to the Supreme Court is just correcting an imbalance.”

Since Biden is up in the polls, the Supreme Court has begun renovating its building to accommodate the new justices, with SCOTUS annexing Newfoundland to house them all.

Babylon Bee

The Party of Enduring Racism, Bias, and Prejudice

For three years, and without evidence, The New York Times falsely claimed that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Thereafter, their hopelessly biased executive editor, Dean Baquet, decided to switch gears. After the Mueller report imploded, at Baquet’s direction, the Times would shift its focus of its coverage from the ‘Trump-Russia affair’ to the president’s ‘alleged racism.’

“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said, apparently unaware of the historically profound idiocy of his statement. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.” Through daily bogus reporting, the ‘newspaper of record’ would now seek to expose ‘the racism’ of Donald Trump and America in general. 

A Myth for All Time

From 93% to 96% of American media is controlled by leftists, considering book and magazine publishing, major newspapers, Internet tech giants, television, etc. The Left dominates in our schools, Hollywood, and popular culture. The only domains in which the Right has dominance are radio, and perhaps YouTube and blogging.

An enduring Democrat myth propagated for decades, and ramped up since Donald Trump became president, is that the Republican Party is racist. Democrats are able to maintain this myth in part because they dominate public discourse and because most Americans, daily, are concerned with making a living and caring for their families, not with scrutinizing history. Joe Biden tells the Charlottesville “fine people” lie at every appearance, despite video footage to the contrary and Trump’s 20+ denunciation of white supremacist groups. 

Even a cursory review of American history, however, starting with Abraham Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation, reveals that it is the Democrat Party that has practiced and still exhibits fiery racist behavior.

Who formed the Confederate States of America? Was it Republicans? No, it was Southern Democrats. President Lincoln, the 16th in U.S. history, was shot and killed while watching a play, “Our American Cousin,” at Ford’s Theater in Washington DC, on April 14th, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. 

Lincoln was 56 years old, had just been re-elected to his 2nd term and, along with millions of other Americans, was celebrating the end of the U.S. Civil War, which occurred on April 9. Wilkes, a leading actor of that era, was not a Democrat, but was sympathetic to the Democrats and their opposition to Lincoln.

The Dawn of Civil Rights            

Who murdered John F. Kennedy, the 36th president of the U.S., in Dallas, on November 22nd 1963? Unquestionably Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot and killed JFK. This is explained in intricate detail by Gerald Posner in his landmark book Case Closed (1993). Mr. Posner dislodged every conceivable stone in reaching his conclusion. After illuminating Posner’s work in a 25-page feature in its publication, U.S. News & World Report declared it would never review another book on the topic because the case was closed. Oswald was a Leftist, who viewed communism favorably and espoused Marxist theory. 

Hesitatingly, JFK championed civil rights. “He ordered his attorney general to submit friends of the court briefs on behalf of civil rights litigants.” He appointed African Americans to positions within his administration. He selected Thurgood Marshall for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. He backed voter registration drives. In a second term, JFK, influenced by Martin Luther King, Jr., was contemplating civil rights legislation. 

Who murdered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray, a southern segregationist, assassinated MLK in Memphis, TN. Ray, who fled to England, was subsequently captured.

In summary, the murderers of Lincoln, Kennedy, and King, were politically Left, and certainly not Republicans. Lincoln, Kennedy, and King, each of whom had great potential for expanding the rights and acceptance of African Americans, were cut down in their prime.

A Sordid History

Prior to the Civil War and for 27 months past the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, who owned slaves? Democrats. Republicans, with a few exceptions, did not own slaves. 

Who lynched at least 5,400 blacks, from 1882 to 1968, primarily throughout the South, with the annual peak occurring in the late 1800s, when one party acted to enforce white supremacy? In a word, Democrats.

Who created the Ku Klux Klan? Politifacts says: “Back in the mid-19th century, various Klans in the South acted as a ‘strong arm’ for many local Democratic politicians…” A Confederate general, “believed to be the KKK’s first Grand Dragon even spoke at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.” Democrats didn’t launch the KKK, but they played along. 

Who blocked and delayed women’s suffrage, for some 79 years? At the critical times, it was Democrats. 

Who upheld segregation throughout the early 1900s, during World War II, and into the 1950s and 1960s? Democrats. Who posted signs that said, “Colored drinking fountain,” or, “Colored bathroom?” Democrats.  

Who stood at the doorway of high schools and institutions of higher learning and said to African-Americans you may not attend? Democrats.

Who interned Japanese American citizens during World War II, for three years? President Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat.

The Party of Racism, Bias, and Prejudice

Malcolm X once noted, “Both parties are racist, and the Democratic Party is more racist than the Republican Party.” What would prompt this learned man, with vast experience in politics and racial prejudice, to make such a statement?

For 200+ years, Democrats have revealed their racism, bias, and prejudice. Yet, with a Democrat-controlled mainstream media, which party is cast as being racist and biased? Which presidents and politicians are deemed racist? Republicans. 

Throughout time, Republicans have not always acted as saints, but they can’t hold a candle in our society to the Democrat party when it comes to racism, bias, and prejudice.

Jeff Davidson

HATE is Where the Left is

Vice President Joe Biden recently asked: “Does anyone believe there will be less violence in America if Donald Trump is reelected?”

My question: Do Joe Biden and Democrats think there will be no unrest if they are elected? No resistance? Will they roll the tanks over us, without so much as a whimper in response? Will we willingly hand over our guns in compulsory “buyback” programs? Will we wear masks even in our own homes, and uncritically accept a questionable vaccine, because President Biden says we must? I honestly don’t know. But how can Biden be so sure he will be able to rule without massive dissent, civil disobedience or even violence from the other side?

Trump supporters have lives. People with lives have something to lose. We tend to eschew protest. But our lives will be radically altered once we get huge tax hikes, totalitarian regulations, fossil fuel prohibition via a Green New Deal, and the replacement of real police with political police, like Hitler’s Gestapo. There will be less to lose by coming out and fighting back, if the fascist policies of Biden’s party carry the day.

Leftists are often losers; and are always neurotic, even when achievers. Leftists either live in their parents’ basements, or feel guilty over what they have achieved. Or they are narcissists and sociopaths in search of power over others, to fill their empty, shallow souls. Why else would anyone be a Communist? Healthy, decent people embrace and cherish liberty. Leftists may care for their own property, but nothing for property rights. Their guilt turns into anxiety, and their anxiety into hatred. Check out what Antifa just did to Trump supporters at a San Francisco rally. The hate is ALL on the left.

I don’t know what resistance under a Biden-American Communist regime would look like. I hope not to find out. All I know: Maybe Joe and his smug totalitarians shouldn’t be quite so complacent.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

What Would the Founders Say about the 2020 Election ?

The upcoming election presents Americans with two clearly distinct visions for the future.  Indeed, President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden are perfect proxies that highlight diametrically opposed policies.  Correctly understanding our history properly frames the competing agendas so we can make informed decisions.

Since the inception of our Constitution, citizens have debated the proper role and scope of the government.  Because the Preamble of the Constitution defines “We, the people” as the source of government’s authority, it has been the responsibility of the American people to establish its legitimacy within the Constitution’s framework.

Americans have always had a healthy distrust of government, because history is replete with examples of its abuse and the collateral subjugation of people.  But there is evidence that relative peace and economic security have lulled us into complacency, where we’ve effectively become indifferent to government’s growth, from its modest beginnings to the Leviathan that currently controls so much of our lives.  Is the exchange of our freedoms for an ever-expansive government culturally and morally healthy, or is it a Faustian bargain?

Let’s begin with instruction from James Madison, the father of the Constitution.  In Federalist 51, he provides the principal justification for government by stating, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”  He argued for a government structure of checks and balances designed to provide countervailing influences of each branch against the other two, the “separation of powers” we’re all familiar with.  “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” Madison wrote, and the degree of countermeasures was meticulously calculated based on the potential severity of abuse.

There is strong evidence that the Founders preferred limited government, but if the balance of power among the branches is skewed, government is vulnerable to unchecked growth — and abuse.  To wit, the Founders would be shocked that their implicit trust in the Constitution has been progressively circumscribed by a bloated bureaucracy that rules by Federal Register.  That has transitioned us from citizens to subjects, thereby rendering the quaint notion of government by consent of the people a functional fiction.

Combined with a federal phalanx of recently minted agencies, from the Department of Education to the Environmental Protection Agency, that have no constitutional foundation, the sovereignty of the States as enshrined in the 10th Amendment has been essentially nullified. 

Because our public education system has failed to maintain a curriculum based on First Principles, we’ve become numb to the incremental encroachment of our hyperactive federal government.  Therefore, what would have been summarily rejected as unwarranted abridgements on our freedoms decades ago is now blithely accepted.

Our Founders deliberately enshrined the Legislative Branch in Article I of the Constitution because they correctly understood that in a republic — which is not a democracy — laws and appropriations must originate with elected officials.  However, in modern times, Congress has been unduly deferential to the Executive and Judicial Branches, which has led to laws and regulations effectively written by executive or judicial fiat.

For reasons best left to cultural anthropologists, over the past several decades, the left has willfully rejected the core principles of our Founding Fathers as expressed in our Constitution.  More alarming is their ignorant reanimation of socialism, a deeply flawed system that has left millions in abject poverty and despair.

The left’s growing trust in big government, from the oxymoronic universal health care to the Green New Deal, as well as leftists’ willingness to abridge our First and Second Amendment rights, should profoundly shock the sensibilities of Americans who cherish liberty.

All our presidents have had personality quirks and moral failings, and President Trump certainly fits that mold.  However, he has also upheld our core freedoms and been a tireless defender of our nation in ways no president, Democrat or Republican, has done in recent memory. 

It’s become a serial cliché that every election cycle is deemed the most critical.  At the risk of abusing that sentiment, it’s clear that the fragile liberties we’ve naïvely taken for granted are endangered and, depending upon the election’s outcome, may be extinguished.  A vote for President Trump is our best hope of keeping the torch of liberty burning brightly, today, and for future generations.

Philip Mella writes on politics and history and has been published in The Wall Street Journal, American Thinker, and Townhall.  He is former mayor pro tem of Woodland Park, Colorado and currently serves on the 4th Judicial Nominating Commission.

The Artful Dilettante’s Reading List: Part I

The books in this Reading List have been given an unqualified Five-Star rating by the Artful Dilettante. They are masterpieces of their specific disciplines with brilliant insights into the human condition. As such, they are all but ignored in the halls of modern academia.

BANKING AND ECONOMICS


The Rise and Fall of Society Frank Chodorov
The Creature from Jekyll IslandG. Edward Griffin
Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand BasicEconomicsHenry Hazlitt
Human Action: A Treatise on EconomicsLudwig von Mises
Socialism: An Economic and Sociological AnalysisLudwig von Mises
The Theory of Money and CreditLudwig von Mises
The Anti-Capitalism MentalityLudwig von Mises
Planned ChaosLudwig von Mises
Liberty and PropertyLudwig von Mises
Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total WarLudwig von Mises
Marxism Unmasked: From Delusion to DestructionLudwig von Mises
Man, Economy, and StateMurray Rothbard
Power and MarketMurray Rothbard
What Has Government Done to Our MoneyMurray Rothbard
America’s Great DepressionMurray Rothbard
The Case Against the FedMurray Rothbard
Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign PolicyMurray Rothbard
The Panic of 1819: Reactions and PoliciesMurray Rothbard
Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human ActionRobert P. Murray
Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis Michael D. Tanner
Architects of Ruin Peter Schweizer
Capitalism and Freedom (40th Anniversary Edition)Milton Firedman
End the Fed Ron Paul
Meltdown Thomas E. Woods
In Defense of Global Capitalism Johan Norberg
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy Thomas Sowell
Marxism: Philosophy and Economics Thomas Sowell
Discovery, Capitalism, and Distributive Justice Israel M. Kirzner
Capitalism: A Treatise on EconomicsGeorge Reisman
Popular Economics: What the Rollings Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics John Tamny

Understanding the Left

(Updated) This is an essay on politics. Some of my most valued readers have expressed they don’t enjoy my posts on politics. Fair enough, I’ll be back soon with commentary on monetary policy. See you later. 

This essay is part of a larger project from last fall, to understand what’s going on with the Woke movement in the far left of American politics. This is an economic analysis — I analyze behavior from incentives. I don’t try to examine the content of ideology, but I watch its uses. I look for objectives and rules of the game that make sense of behavior. I think in terms of strategies and payoffs, in simple game-theory terms not moralistic terms. But the point of the essay is to understand a political movement. 

What about Trump? I hear this comment all the time, even when my posts don’t have anything to do with Trump. As the essay explains, I think I have an insight here into what is going on with the left. What’s going on with Trump is a different question. When I have insights about that, I’ll write about it. Not everything has to be about Trump. 

More deeply, though, I see that Wokeism has permeated all the institutions of civil society, and is a rising force that will be around for a while. In my view, Trumpism consists largely of the tweets of one man, with very little institutional force, and I suspect Trumpism will be gone November 4 if current polls bear out. If not, in 4 years. The Republican Party will rebuild on other lines. Ross Douthat’s “there will be no Trump Coup” expresses this view beautifully. Perhaps I’m wrong, but one does not have to cover everything in one essay. 

Really, the battle lines that are likely to matter for the next 4 years is the Woke millennials vs. the conservative democrats of the Woodstock generation. Understanding the left will be the task of all my moderate Democrat friends, which describes most of economics. This is dedicated to you, not to Trump supporters. 

Why now? I worked on this project for a good deal of last year, producing this essay in January. I hoped to come back to it and produce a longer and better piece, but that’s not happening, and events and ideas are moving fast. So, until I get back to it in a few months, perhaps it has useful insights. I think I was early to the point, now common, to see in Wokeism a secular religion with political force, perhaps analogous to the reformation (let’s not forget what a bloodbath that was) or the Russian Revolution. This essay was written before George Floyd, Antifa riots, and before the whole issue became tinged with race. Perhaps that is for the best too. 

This was a speech given for Mt Pelerin in January 2020, organized by John Taylor.  Original source and context here

With that preamble, here it is: 

******

Understanding the left. 

Comments for Mt Pelerin society meetings, “How to deal with the resurgence of socialism” January 2020, Hoover Intistution

John H. Cochrane

Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution

A new wave of government expansion is cresting. It poses a threat not just to our economic well being, but to our freedom — social, political and economic.

1. A will to power

Consider the economic agenda proposed by the Democratic presidential candidates:

  • A government takeover of health care. 
  • Taxpayer bailout of student loans. Necessarily, after that, government funded and administered college.
  • An immense industrial-planning and regulation effort in the name of climate. 
  • Government jobs for all. “Basic income” transfers on top of social programs.
  • Confiscatory wealth, income, estate and corporate taxation. 
  • Government and “stakeholder” control of corporate boards. 
  • Rent controls and subsidies. Expanded, politically-allocated “affordable” housing. 
  • Expanded regulation of wages, hiring and firing.
  • Extensive speech and content regulation on the internet. 

And this is the center of the movement, not its fringe that talks of banning air travel. Though the fringe becomes the center quickly here.

Free-market economists, the few of us who remain, respond in the usual way. “I share your empathy, but consider all the disincentives and unintended consequences will doom these projects now, just as they have a hundred times before, and end up hurting the people we  want to help. Here is a set of free-market reforms that will actually achieve our common goals…”

But why say this for the 1001th time? Nobody’s listening.  We’re making a big mistake: We are presuming a common goal to produce a free and prosperous society, and somehow this crowd missed the lessons of history and logic of how to achieve it. Let’s not be so patronizing. 

If their answers are so different, it must be that they have a different question in mind. What is the question to which all this is a sensible, inevitable answer? 

Ask that, and only one question makes sense. Power.  All these measures gives great power those who control the government. 

But what should happen, if those deplorables vote in a Trump junior who will then access this great power? We can’t have that, can we. The most important power is the power to stay in power, and these measures are ideally designed to that end too.

Stakeholders on corporate boards and a federal charter? The purpose is explicit: Power for those who run the government to tell large corporations who to hire, who to fire, what to make, what to buy, what to invest, how much to charge.  And power to demand those businesses’ political support.

What happens when you put billionaires, their lawyers and lobbyists, congresspeople, and the IRS together for a once-a-year discussion of just how hideously complex financial structures will be valued, and how many millions the billionaires will consequently fork over? The wealth tax is explicitly advocated as a device to tame the political power of billionaires. It will work wonders to that effect. Support those in power, keep your money. 

Why address climate with extensive regulations and government-run companies rather than a simple and much more effective carbon tax? Well, then those who run the government get to give out the jobs and contracts. Legal and regulatory woe already already befalls the business who does not support the effort. 

Regulating the internet? It’s just too obvious. He or she who can define and regulate “hate speech” and “fact check” political speech, has enormous power to win elections. 

Consider the associated political agenda

  • Stacking the Supreme Court. 
  • Eliminating the electoral college. 
  • Eliminating the filibuster. 
  • Detailed federal control of elections.
  • Even more government control of campaign finance.

Only grab and keep power, and shove it down their throats fast makes sense of that. 

2. The great awokening

The ideological side of this movement marshals the social, cultural, psychological, and political force of religious fanaticism. 

It starts with an all-encompassing narrative of sin, and guilt; of a vast conflict between good and evil people.

Western civilization is just a stew of systemic racism, sexism, colonialism, homophobia, and genocide. Our economy and political system are dominated by huge monopolies and billionaires, enriching themselves by squeezing the little people dry. Swarms of unemployed roam the land.

Armageddon is coming, in exactly 11 years. Climate is the world’s “greatest problem,” never mind war, pandemic, civilizational collapse or the mundane smoke and bacteria that kill thousands.  But speak not of nuclear power, genetically modified foods, carbon capture, geoengineering, or mild adaptation.  How should California bring the rains, or stop the fires? Of course, build a high speed train. Build no dam, clear no wood. That would not atone for our sins. 

Climate policy has been hopelessly captured by this power-hungry cult. And sadly, by tying climate policy to this extreme political agenda, the chance of actually fixing the climate is vastly reduced. 

The IPCC writes that as a scientific fact, climate projects must “increase gender and social inequality… [promote] sustainable development… [address] poverty eradication” and “reduce inequalities.” Science proclaims that “social justice and equity are core aspect… to limit global warming to 1.50ºc.” The Green New Deal offers the same on steroids.

A new “eco-authoritarian” or “coercive green new deal” movement takes apocalyptic propaganda to its logical conclusion. If indeed civilization is going to end in 11 years, we can’t sit around and wait for democracy to wake up. “Dissenters” must be “silenced” and those unwilling to go along “thrown overboard.” Congress must “coerce … powerful interests to fall into line.” These are quotes. 

But you can be redeemed from sin through professions of faith, and participation in the great religious war.

To gain and signal virtue, you must master an ever-changing menagerie of nonsense words, repeated until they gain meaning. Say no longer global warming, not even climate change, now say “climate catastrophe.” Say not poor, say “marginalized” and “underresourced” “community.” Say not homeless, say “unhoused.” Say not “minority,” you must now say “minoritized.” Nouns are now passive verbs, with mysterious hidden subjects. “Violence,” “trauma” and “racism” are thrown out like candies, trivializing centuries of suffering.

You can even buy indulgences — carbon offsets, that, by the way, do not actually offset any carbon. 

A politico-religious cult appeals to all the people in our secular society who once would have gone to do missionary work or taken religious orders. Now they are activists for “social change,” which means government power. A cult usefully demonizes opposition, cutting off civic, scientific, or scholarly debate, and justifying the grabbing and keeping of power in a democratic society. This is the force of the protestant reformation, of Soviet communism, of Islamic Jihad. 

This movement has taken over the institutions of our society. It pervades the schools and universities, nonprofits, the media, international organizations, and the Federal bureaucracy, what political scientists call the “elites.” Conservatives and libertarians are social outcasts, and know to keep silent. 

This movement still represents a minority of Americans. But small well-organized political cults have taken over countries in the past, especially when the people in charge of a society’s institutions have lost faith in their purpose. 

3. Partisanship and polarization

The danger is greater, I think, because our system of government is falling apart.

Our government was not designed as a pure democracy. It is designed as a republic, with rights and protections for electoral minorities. A 51% majority can not take power, shove anything down the opponent’s throats, and rewrite the election rules to stay in power. 

Why not more democracy? Because then the 49% will use any means to avoid losing. America must remain a country in which a politician, a party, an interest group, can afford to lose an election; surrender power, retreat, regroup and try again, but not be totally destroyed.

But we are moving fast towards winner-take-all democracy. The checks and balances, and informal norms, restraints, rules of behavior in our government that protect electoral minorities are steadily eroding.  

Why is it happening? Don’t blame twitter. It’s simple incentives. The expansion of Federal power, of executive and judicial power, the unintended consequences of “democratic” (small D) reforms, kick it off. Winning the game by breaking a norm pays more. 

Then, once each side starts breaking the rules, the other side loses trust that they should act with restraint, to preserve their rights when the tables turn. A tit-for-tat spiral follows. 

What do I mean by norms? Consider a few increasingly quaint rules of political etiquette that are quickly vanishing. 

  • Presidents should do not routinely use executive orders, regulations far beyond statutory authority, or dear colleague letters to advance a policy agenda. 
  • Trump’s twitter and eraser follow Obama’s phone and pen.
  • Presidents don’t declare national emergencies over small policy issues like tariffs and border wall funding. 

Tit will lead to tat. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have already called for declaring climate a national emergency.  Then winning the presidency is worth breaking any norm to achieve.

  • We don’t decide major issues by one-vote margin, party-line votes, or by 5-4 Supreme Court cases.
  • Presidents get their nominees approved in most cases. Confirmation holds back from personal destruction. 

Supreme Court nominations have descended into madness. Why? The courts are deciding big policy and political issues. One justice and maybe you can shove it down their throats.

  • Impeachment is not a regular part of the political process. 

Be sure a Republican House will start impeachment investigations the minute President Warren is elected, and will start by subpoenaing every record of her life to try to embarrass her.  Impeachment will spread to the supreme court after the next big decision.

  • You don’t wantonly use the criminal justice system or investigations to take down political opponents. 

As they will do unto you the minute they get the chance. I’ll cut short the list here, but we can easily name 20 more. 

Allying with an anti-democratic religious cult that demonizes opposition is a natural strategy in the winner-take-all game. 

4. What to do?

To get out of this we must reverse the winner-take-all rules of our political game. That’s a talk in itself, which I’ll leave for another day but for one thought: 

I sense that our forebears, while equally if not more acrimonious on policies, put a higher value on the survival of the system — with one immense, tragic exception. I also sense they thought it more fragile than we do. Perhaps Americans are too lulled in confidence that our constitutional order will survive, no matter how many norms are broken. Perhaps a greater fear that the whole thing might collapse might focus people to behave a bit. Perhaps, however, the woke cult’s disparagement of our whole society leads too many people not to think it worth saving. 

5. Conclusion

Our session is titled “how to deal with socialism,” My talk has mostly been about how to understand the contemporary left.  You have to understand something before dealing with it. 

Bottom line: This isn’t your grumpy uncle’s socialism, singing Pete Seeger union songs from the 1930s. It’s new and different.  What is the question to which its goals are an answer? Only one makes sense, a political will to grab, expand, and keep the power of the federal government. 

That political program is married to a new secular cult. That movement has already taken over most of the “elite” institutions of our country, and disarmed the rest, who now feel guilt rather than pride of and hope for the American project. 

Politicians have chosen partisanship, and chosen to ally with this jihadist cult, because the expansion of government power has made our system much more winner-take-all and shove-it-down-throats of electoral minorities. 

Fix that, I think, and we survive. Leave it in place, and they just might win and take all. 

This isn’t about 2020. It will be with us for decades.

Update:A millennial correspondent sent me the following fascinating response, with a well deserved slight rebuke.  There is more nuance and a great deal of internal debate on the left than I gave it credit for. 

I think we agree to a surprising degree on the fundamentals, especially the way that the expansion of executive and judicial authority is exacerbating partisan polarization and threatening the foundations of the constitutional system. But the biggest substantive disagreement I have with the essay is that I don’t think it models the left coalition accurately, and in doing so I think it understates the opportunity for those who care about markets and civil liberties to find allies on the left.

When I look at the big internal fights in the contemporary left I see a robust debate over the limits of government power. Some examples:

 – Criminal justice: The left mostly agrees [with libertarians, as well as among themselves] that Black Americans face unfair treatment by police, courts, and prisons [and schools, in our previous correspondence]. Biden thinks the solution is to put more money into the system for training and oversight. More radical groups want to defund police and prisons entirely. [In our previous correspondence I pointed to libertarians such as Alex Tabarrok arguing how over-policed we are. We don’t need cops with guns to give out traffic tickets.]  

– The role of the Democratic party: Electoral groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) think that the best way to pull the country left is to run for office and govern as Democrats. Grassroots activists think that the Democratic party is captured by corporate interests and that the only way to make change is through direct action like community organizing and distributing mutual aid.

– Housing and land use: Scott Wiener, Democratic State Senator from San Francisco, has drafted four major bills to deregulate home building and legalize apartments in California. DSA San Francisco recently endorsed his challenger because they want more public housing instead.

 Maybe I’m being naive, but I’ve seen libertarian-leaning groups like Niskanen and YIMBY have a lot of success at working with the left’s own skepticism of government these past few years, so I don’t understand the panicked tone of the essay. To be “woke” in America is to believe that racism and sexism are built into the systems that govern us, and that these systems have more influence than the prejudice of individuals. Whether or not you agree with this belief, you should note that those of us who accept it also accept by definition that the government can do harm. [In previous correspondence, I had pointed to teachers unions, and what they do to low income and minority education as an instance of “systemic racism.”] 

 I see a lot of fear coming from conservatives in tech, media, and the academy who are concerned about their right to talk about politics without facing retribution from their employers. I think this concern is reasonable, but here again I would urge us to find common ground, because leftist speech is also policed by these same institutions. Some leftists don’t grasp the danger yet, but describing them as “jihadists” or “a cult” isn’t going to convince them. An engagement with the fault lines in their coalition and a willingness to articulate shared values just might.

Narcissism: Masters of Overcompensation

Narcissists pay a much steeper price for their defenses than they realize.

A consensus now exists that narcissists hide, both from themselves and others, deficits in their self-image. And they typically overcompensate for their underlying sense of  inferiority by displaying to the world a calculated manipulativeness that all-too-easily can fool those around them, seduced into believing what the narcissist tells them, or shows them as representing the essential truth of their being.

If the narcissist’s over-confidence is fake, if it’s all a mask to cover up worrisome self-doubts they’ve probably been afflicted by since childhood, it’s still pivotal to their defense system. And their various mechanisms of defense are massive, in many ways defining their entire personality. But the circumstance that their egos are pumped up artificially is betrayed by how rageful they get in the face of criticism.

In fact, anything that threatens their need to feel superior can lead to their fiercely projecting onto others what, legitimately enough, they’ve been accused of. Even a well-intended suggestion can provoke them and be sharply rebuffed because they take it as implying that the other person doesn’t think they’ve done something well enough.

The reason that eventually narcissists exhaust their support system is that over time those whom they victimized can’t help but recognize they’ve been used. For the narcissist’s relationship with them has been governed by self-interest all along, without their victims’ having felt any genuine interest in them. If the narcissist has lorded it over them, it’s because narcissists are always on the lookout for what in the literature is known as “narcissistic supply,” referring to individuals who’ve tacitly agreed to serve them and whom they can assuredly feel better than.

What makes narcissists over-compensate—vs. compensate—for their chronic anxieties and insecurities is that, deep down, they believe that to be okay, they must be more than okay. And, too, viewed by others this way as well. Which explains why they so often lie about themselves through boasting about things they’ve typically not accomplished but perhaps played a minor role in assisting someone else in achieving.

Curiously, some narcissists, if they happen to be especially talented or gifted, and inwardly driven to prove themselves, have made major contributions to art, science, and culture generally. So we certainly wouldn’t want them all gone. After all, we might really miss our Picassos, Beethovens,  George Gershwins, Thomas Wolfes, and so on.  

A narcissist’s grandiose bragging—unconsciously designed to bolster their false, self-flattering identity, and to keep their underlying insecurities safely cradled inside—could, as noted by Prestin Ni here, relate to their “physical attractiveness, material (trophy) possessions, social popularity, exciting lifestyle, merit-badge achievements, high-status associations, or other envy-worthy attributes. [And that their fragile ego] is boosted not by positively affirming [their character] but by putting others down.”

All of which is to say that a narcissist’s victims are regularly denigrated by them and pay a high price for their unwitting involvement with such a disjointed individual. But that’s what it costs to, however unknowingly, accept the one-down role to which they’ve been delegated as a narcissistic supply.

What’s especially striking here is that, largely without any sort of developed conscience themselves, they rely on their victim’s conscience to get what they want from them. Again turning to Preston Ni, by cunningly inducing guilt in their unsuspecting victims, they can emotionally bribe them to “win favors, concessions, sacrifices, and/or commitments.”

So it’s hardly uncommon for these victims—after, that is, they’ve managed to escape the narcissist’s clutches, or even been rejected by them—to wonder, “What’s happened to me? I never felt this negative about myself before.”

The DSM-5, the manual which lists the various criteria for diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder, describes the narcissist as “often envious of others or believ[ing] that others are envious of him or her.” And here their overcompensating for never-healed psychic wounds from the past takes the form of discounting others’ happiness or prosperity so they won’t be compelled to admit that anyone has it better—or has done better—than they.

Denying or disavowing the true state of affairs, their resentment is more or less neutralized, or turned into righteous anger. It works a lot better for them to see the world as unjust than having to concede that they’re not superior to or better off than others.  

From an existential perspective, it’s tragic that although narcissists may successfully conceal haunting memories and insecurities through their overcompensating defenses, these self-protective mechanisms preclude any chance that they’ll someday get beyond them. Growth and change require a certain openness to experience and, particularly in intimate relationships, a willingness to allow oneself to be vulnerable. And those whose defenses put them squarely in this personality-disordered category stubbornly refuse to challenge themselves.

Challenging others—one additional way of understanding the interpersonal ramifications of how they cope with reality—carries a price for them that, finally, may be even higher than that paid by those they’ve repeatedly victimized.

It’s 2019. What if I had told you…

It’s October 2020. What if I had told you, just one year ago, in October 2019:

The government would be paying millions of people upward of $75K a year, to stop working, indefinitely?

At least 50 percent of the world’s population would BE IN HIDING, never leaving the house, because of a cold virus with a 99.99 percent survival rate?

The Democratic nominee for President would threaten to confiscate all guns, pack the Supreme Court, and jail or otherwise threaten people who refuse to take a government-mandated vaccine?

That a Marxist organization, masquerading as a civil rights organization, would have paralyzed all major American cities, including New York City, to the point where everyone has fled, demanding immediate redistribution of wealth and defunding of all police — and getting the support of virtually ALL American corporations; and succeeding in defunding half or more of the police force in major American cities such as Seattle and Minneapolis and (to a lesser extent) New York and Chicago?

That the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives would impeach the President without evidence, on purely partisan lines, and threaten to do the same over and over again; and that if the President refuses to leave the White House, even if being reelected, she would somehow get the U.S. military on her side to escort him out?

That the overwhelmingly Democratic U.S. Postal Service would be charged with collecting all ballots and entrusted with a competent, nonpartisan counting of all ballots in the very important upcoming election?

If you would have thought me crazy for predicting these things a year ago today, then what are YOUR predictions for the coming year … or the coming month, for that matter?

Michael J. Hurd

White Americans are More Demonized than the Jews During the Holocaust

After 55 years of special privileges and special pleading for black Americans, where do we stand? Integration has failed. Black Americans, or more correctly, those who speak for them, want black-only towns, black-only college dorms, black-only dining halls, and a black national anthem. Except for the black anthem, that’s what they had a half century ago prior to “affirmative action.”

How is it that when blacks demand segregation, it is not racism?

As Lawrence Stratton and I demonstrated in our book The New Color Line (1), racial quotas were strictly prohibited by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Nevertheless, the law was stood upside down and quotas were imposed. As a result many young whites, especially males, had their careers foreclosed. Less qualified people took their place in universities, in employment and in promotions. New wrongs against whites were justified by white liberals as compensation for past wrongs against blacks. The sins of the fathers were visited upon the sons.

This is the New Justice.

The insouciance of white Americans makes it easy for them to be brainwashed and indoctrinated. And they are. So many of them have been imbued with guilt that white city governments are unable to protect white businesses from looting and arson. The Democrat Party is so infused with white guilt that its response to rioting and looting is to defund the police. Yet, according to the press prostitutes, the Biden/Kamala duo are leading the presidential race. The Democrats know that Biden will be removed as medically unfit and Kamala, an anti-white racist, will become president if guilt-ridden Democrats win.

What will be the future of white America if Kamala is in the White House? This is something that all Americans need to contemplate.

White Americans, being essentially an insouciant people, have no comprehension of how demonized white people are. Of course, no one tells them, and they are too busy with their golf game, watching their college football team, and remodeling the kitchen to care. Whiteness is so demonized that it is destroying science, “a white construct” and thereby racist. Physics itself has been declared to be “a mirror of colonial patterns and social inequality” (2).

Even mathematics is now declared to be racist by white mathematicians themselves—the Mathematical Association of America. Mathematics, the brainwashed mathematicians say, is polluted with racism. Apparantly even 2+2=4 is a white racist construct.

Nonsense, you say. If only. You can read about it here: (3).

(1) https://www.amazon.com/New-Color-Line-Paul-Roberts/dp/0895264625/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=The+New+Color+Line&qid=1602630401&s=books&sr=1-3

(2) https://www.rt.com/op-ed/498873-decolonizing-light-physics-racism/

(3) https://www.rt.com/op-ed/503367-thought-crime-mathematics-fear/

Paul Craig Roberts

America Lives under Two Constitutions

What is seem in the confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett is yet another example of the left’s ongoing attempt to displace the written Constitution of 1787 with an unwritten one based on progressive dogma.  This has been a continuing process for more than fifty years.  According to Christopher Caldwell in his Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties, it began with the civil rights movement, when the Democrats and many of the leading institutions of America started to force a de facto constitution on America.  Caldwell calls it the  “Constitution of 1964.”  That was also when the civil rights movement become America’s defining principle, and everything — history, written law, attitudes, and even science  — has to be interpreted from its perspective.

The 1787 constitution focused on liberty and ordered rights.  It also limited the scope of the federal government.  In contrast, the Constitution of 1964 is centered on equality, but equality in a revolutionary sense.  At first, this equality was sold to the country at removing discrimination toward blacks and providing them with equal opportunity.  When that did not meet progressive objectives, the push went to demands for equal outcomes.  Affirmative action became racial quotas by another name.

Having achieved that objective, the progressives moved ahead.  Under the banner of equality, space had to be created for any group that thought itself marginalized.  This included not just racial minorities, but also homosexuals, women, illegal aliens, Muslims, and now what’s called transsexuals.  This is the Rainbow Coalition of the Democrat Party.  In the view of the progressive left, the only group not deemed marginalized is Christian, white, straight males.  And a group not marginalized in a country of marginalized groups is “privileged.”  In the progressive mind, it is therefore a moral necessity to discriminate against white males under the rationale that this will then make everyone equal.  By necessity and design, the progressive idea of equality results in gross inequality in the form of special privileges and preferential treatment for some and disfavor for others.  This is an affront to the Constitution of 1787…and the Civil Rights laws as written.

The progressive view on equality also helps explain why anti-Americanism is so prevalent in the Democrat Party and on the left.  As R.R. Reno explains, coming together as a nation is invariably cast as an act of discrimination by those groups and individuals who do not subscribe to the majority view.  The complaint is that they are not sufficiently included.  And since complete inclusion is a progressive requirement for equality, patriotism is akin to Jim Crow laws and has to go.  Nationalism, too, and for the same reason.

The progressive project flies in the face of human nature.  Therefore, to push its agenda, the left must rely on government coercion to achieve its objectives.  This brings us to a second aspect of the Constitution of 1964.  Governance by principles of the republic as founded has to be replaced by the administrative state, where “expertise” and efficiency take priority over the people’s will.  The experts and bureaucrats will decide what is good for society, not the people through their elected representatives.  This results in bigger and non-responsive government accompanied by reams of bureaucratic regulations and red tape.  To sustain this type of system, the progressives need judges who are in accord with it.  ACB is not.

Right now, America operates under two constitutions — the written one of 1787 and the implicit progressive Constitution of 1964.  Neither one is strong enough to completely displace the other.  In my opinion, the progressive constitution seems to have the upper hand.  America would not have Roe v. Wade, homosexual “marriage,” and Obamacare otherwise.  This will be especially true if the Democrats sweep in November. 

The Barrett confirmation hearings has nothing to do with her qualifications.  Looking at the matter objectively, Barrett could run legal and intellectual circles around any woman and most men who ever sat on the Supreme Court.  This certainly includes the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The sole reason for the Democrat resistance to Amy Coney Barrett is that she supports the original constitution as written and not the faux one the progressives need to move their agenda forward.

Peter Sturkiss, American Thinker