William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Why Trump? — Guest Post by the Blonde Bombshell

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As the election nears, some voters and pundits continue to be perplexed why Donald J. Trump is on the ballot.

Forget that the country underwent a political process, where the field of 17 was whittled down to Trump. And also forget that while the winnowing process underway, the media added up the numbers of the also-rans and declared triumphantly that Trump was losing, because the aggregated number of “against” votes outweighed the “for” votes. However, sad as it seems, the “for” votes were tabulated for what they were, leaving the “against” voters in the dust. Sorry, #NeverTrump-ers, but that is how math works: The one with the most votes wins (caveat: notwithstanding the special math employed by the electoral college).

Also conveniently forget that the real contenders for Mrs. Clinton were the fearsome Jeb Bush and equally formidable Marco Rubio.

The events of the past eight years have paved the way for Trump: the rise and disembowelment of Tea Party movement; the current attitude and actions of the sitting president; and the unwillingness of anyone in the GOP to not only to articulate but robustly support a coherent point of view (that, egads, may be opposition to the Democratic party line).

The Tea Party movement was born, almost accidentally, from the exercised remarks of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli as he reacted to President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; aka Stimulus or Bailout). Since 1913, taxpayers have come to terms with persistent nature of the tax system, and grudgingly go along with having their tax dollars fund policies and practices they don’t necessarily agree with.

However, the ARRA unabashedly released taxpayer funds (provided by people who tried to make good decisions, but were still struggling) to people and businesses that made genuinely bad decisions (and would no longer be struggling, thanks to the harried taxpayer). This unfair allocation of funds stuck in the craw of a proportion of the voting population. To be fair, the ARRA passed without a single GOP Congressional vote, but it did manage to garner three Senate votes. Nevertheless, the complete disregard for the will of the people mobilized what became the Tea Party movement.

Adding fuel to the fire was the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was legislation that was so lousy that it was on life support from the beginning. Since motions involving expenditures have to originate in the house, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi honed in on HR3590, which was a military housing bill that they stripped of content and dumped in the text created by Jonathan Gruber, John McDonough, and Ezekiel Emanuel (none of whom at the time were duly elected members of Congress). On Christmas Eve 2009, the Senate had 60 votes to pass the bill, and it did, without a single GOP yea.

Shortly after, Democrat Edward Kennedy died, which led to the election of Republican Scott Brown. This is important is because Congress was still engaged in a minutia of bill passing, and it was still possible that Scott Brown could cast a crucial vote.

There wasn’t a final version of the bill that both the House and Senate were happy with. The deal was made where the House would pass Reconciliation Act of 2010 that made changes to the original ACA. The Senate passed the Reconciliation Act on March 25, 2010.

But the vote in the Senate made use of the little-used “Reconciliation Rule” (not to be confused with named House bill) that permits budget items to pass with 51 votes rather than 60. Ultimately, it did not make one whit of difference that Scott Brown was elected. Although from the moment he was sworn in to the minute that the Senate voted on the Reconciliation Act, there was something in the air that felt like hope.

With the disappointments of the ARRA and the ACA, the Tea Party was poised to be force in the 2010 elections. Some of the same insider fighting that dogs Trump’s race for the White House was evident in the 2010 mid-term elections. Predictably, Tea Partiers were denounced as “racists” because they did not warmly endorse the policies of President Obama.

As a party, it was a bust. There weren’t great swells of new congressman darkening the halls of the Capitol. There were some, and a few at the state level. They could achieve some things, but because the way the system operates (or to employ a term used by one candidate, is “rigged”) there was no way that an eager first-termer can shake things up without the blessing of the party leaders. Evidently, no blessings were forthcoming.

When the Tea Party wasn’t being suffocated by the GOP establishment, it was being
deliberately swindled by the consultant class. And those efforts were largely successful.

Fast forward to the current moment. President Obama supplied the Iranians with $400 million in currency under mysterious and bewildering circumstances. There is also that little administrative loose end of turning over the oversight of the internet to the UN.

Over the Labor Day weekend, Obama pledged the US to the Agenda 21 goals. It is reassuring that he did not exactly sign a treaty, but only engaged in the pantomime of putting his name on an “executive agreement.” It is an open question if he will engage in similar statesmanship when it comes to the TPP. After all, precedent has been set.

As for the current GOP leadership, do they have a view? Where are the full-throated calls to investigate the Obama administration for the Iran cash-for-hostages deal? Why is there no interest in keeping the internet oversight under US control? Where is the opposition to Obama’s maneuvering with Agenda 21? Doesn’t the Senate have some duty to rubber-stamp treaties?

Where are the cries for health insurance reform? During the primaries it was a surprise to many that Ted Cruz led so many (failed) efforts to repeal the ACA. Where were the hearings? Where were the stories of working families who are shackled not only with five-figure premiums but also five-figure deductibles (sometimes per family member)? How did Cruz lead this fight? Was it a matter of filing a piece paper? Wow, that was effective.

Where was the pushback when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan proved to the nation that he inherited John Boehner’s “kick me” sign when he cheerfully ushered in a new budget deal in October 2015? Who needs enemies when your friends and allies treat you so poorly?

GOP legislators don’t do very much. They can muster “nay” votes when they have to, but they aren’t forging new legislation, they aren’t creating new directions that are going to signal a better future for the American public. In the last eight years, the GOP lost so many opportunities, and allowed the genius of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi to outfox and hoodwink them, not once, but over and over again.

Not only for healthcare, but also for other issues—how hard is it to sit down and think through what legislative trickery is available, and to come up with a strategy to check it? Where did they put their “thinking caps”?

The GOP establishment can win primaries, but they can’t lead. They can’t make a stand. They can’t make a decision or have an opinion and stick with it. They don’t fight for what they believe in—in fact, what do they believe in? They are like leaves blowing on the breeze, without an intention or a set direction, and without a sense of unity or purpose.

There is no perfect presidential candidate, and to pretend there is such a thing is folly. Some of the enduring criticism of Trump is that he is a flawed individual. When harping on Trump’s imperfections, the suggestion hangs in midair that, in contrast, Mrs. Clinton’s virtues are legion and worthy.

It is the voters’ duty to elect someone that they will agree with more often than not. And it is the leader’s duty to look after the interests of the citizens—not just the ones who showed up in the polls on a November day, but also the ones who will become citizens, either by birth or by oath, in the coming years.

Trump is that candidate. Trump has a point of view. He has a direction. He can listen. He can modify. He will fight.

That’s why Trump.

73 Comments

  1. It is the voters’ duty to elect someone that they will agree with more often than not.
    Says who, other than the good lady posting this? More importantly why? What evidence is there that picking among bad choices will make things better? The lesser of two evils is evil nonetheless. Why am I obligated to select between a criminal and a creep? Establish that the premise is valid before saying I’m required to vote.

  2. Having seen his speech in Mexico, I have no doubt that Trump is the best choice for president by far and away. He is already acting like a real president, more than Obama ever did, or Clinton ever could.

  3. @Gary

    Since we are always going to be voting for a man, we will always be voting for “evil” since no man is unalloyed good.

    Choosing the more good over the less good is a no brainer, unless you wish to reject involvement in the political process entirely. Of course there can be a scenario where you’re choosing between Hitler and Stalin, so checking out may be more justified.

    However regardless of the weeping and raving about Trumps failings, they seem like the failings of a man, unchastity, greed, and some worldly pride. Hilary has an actual record as a warmonger, encourager of invasion, and otherwise enemy of civilization.

    If the plan is to subject oneself and ones children to far worse outcomes and violence over a Manichean purity fetish than that strikes me as foolish and cowardly. If the case is that Trump is no joke evil evil, I have yet to hear a convincing case on that front.

  4. Our guest blogger refers to Speaker of the House Judas?

    My Senator, Barrasso, constantly speaks of repealing Obamacare. It’s a great way to get your face on TV (his sole purpose for being a congressman) and you can repeat it for many years and do nothing about it while still acheiving getting your “pretty boy” face on TV. No wonder people despise politicians.

    As for what the GOP believes in, no one knows. Not a clue. Guess they believe in winning elections and doing nothing.

    Using the words “Clinton” and “virtues” in the same sentence could cause a black hole to collapse the universe. Thunder is crashing even as I type this. It may be too late.

  5. Say what you will about the many faults of Donald Trump but Hillary Clinton is irrevocably flawed and through her mishandling of classified material she should be disqualified to hold any position of authority.

    Pence 2016

  6. The poster spends much time talking about what the Obama administration has done to harm the country and how the Republican Congress has failed to combat him, and in this I agree wholeheartedly with him/her. (I think the Blonde Bombshell is female–see the “e” at the end of Blond, but these days one can never be sure.) However, he/she never really gives us reasons to believe that Trump would be any more than the liberal he is has shown himself to be in the past. As my wife puts it, “he has no impulse control”, and to put someone like that in charge of the nuclear football is an invitation to global catastrophe. By the way, when the Blonde Bombshell says it’s the duty of the American “to vote for someone they will agree with more often than not”, which of Trump’s contradictory statements about immigration, taxation, Planned Parenthood are the ones with which we’re supposed to agree?

    I myself am leaning to vote for Gary Johnson, even though he is the third of three evils. My only reason to vote for Trump would be that he would be impeached very soon after inauguration and Pence would become President.

  7. Bob, a vote for Trump is a vote for Pence.

    Gary, please don’t stay home.

  8. Bob: Since no president has been removed from office via impeachment, including the male Clinton, what makes you think Trump would be? Please explain what Trump does that could possibly get him impeached. We know for a fact the Obama and Hillary broke the law with complete impunity. Nothing was done nor will anything ever be done. Do you think GOP hatred alone will lead to an impeachment? On what charges? Is the GOP now not concerned about legality, only utility? I am curious how you imagine this playing out.

  9. Sheri: There’s always a first time, and Trump is so exceedingly nasty and evil (in ways different from Hillary, but shown in his career–the bankruptcies that destroyed small business people, trying to get the widow’s house for a parking lot, the lies, the lack of knowledge, the lack of impulse control) that it’s quite possible he might do something to warrant impeachment. And that’s the likelihood I have to weigh, that it would be an act that wouldn’t bring on catastrophe but only his impeachment. By the way, Nixon wasn’t convicted of impeachment, but the impeachment itself was the reason he resigned. And in Trump’s case impeachment would be likely to be something on which Democrats and Republicans would agree, so conviction would be more likely than in the previous cases.

    Yawrate: A vote for Pence would be fine if Pence would become President. And as I said above, that’s the possibility I have to think about.

  10. @ Hojos —

    Not to invoke Godwin’s law, but …

    It would be quite easy to tally the good and bad of an early 1930’s Hitler and justify him being less evil than a known alternative (i.e. Communists). In fact, many Christians justified and voted for him.

    The vote was never early 1940’s Hitler versus Stalin.

    I am glad I wasn’t alive in early 1930’s Germany, having to live with my potential choice over lesser of two evils.

    Note: of course, Clinton could stand in for Stalin in your hypothetical vote. She’s no Stalin yet, but she really hasn’t had the opportunity to show her stuff, so to speak.

  11. @Hoyos
    Manichean purity fetish? That’s a bit over the top. Here’s the problem: in my opinion, supporting Clinton after knowing her history is to be complicit in her crimes. Trump by character, experience, and trustworthiness is, again IMO, unqualified. The Libertarian (so-called) really isn’t and the Green is nuts. Were he alive, I’d write-in Jack Kemp, who from what I know of him, was an honest man.

    @Yawrate
    I never stay home. There are state and local nincompoops and bond issues to vote against (not that it does much good).

  12. That’s a pretty good summary of “why Trump” reasons, Blondie, but don’t forget the single most important reason of all: immigration! Absent that one issue there would be no possible Trump presidency. Our enemy’s plan is to submerge us in a flood of diversity that ensures them a permanent voting block and then eat us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their leisure. An awareness of the existential abyss yawning has finally frightened enough of us out of our reflexive, and suicidal, liberal tolerance to defend ourselves against annihilation. When Trump seemd to waffle on the issue last week there was a firestorm of outrage which, if he hadn’t quickly put it out as he did, would have certainly meant the end of his run. Immigration uber alles!

    And then too there’s his opposition to globalism (which is a corollary to opposing open borders). And then there’s the pleasant fact that’s he’s not an establishment Republican, those sum’ bitches, who made a fake opposition to liberals to disguise the fact that they were themselves liberals. If Donald Trump’s only lasting achievement is to help destroy the miserable, treasonous, contemptible cuckservative Republican establishment, that would be a lovely thing.

  13. Bob Kurland: Seems a long shot, but if you hate a candidate enough, I guess going with long shots appears logical.
    Nixon was never impeached. He resigned before any action was taken. Male Clinton and Andrew Jackson were impeached, but the Senate did not convict. There was talk of impeaching others (in spite of claims to the contrary), but the articles of impeachment were never implemented. Threats of impeachment work well, it seems. Probably not with Trump, though.

    Hoyos: I would like to hear the case of why Trump is pure evil, also. I cannot fathom, other than extreme egos, why so many hate Trump. Even overseas. It’s incredible. Yet these same people love a woman who was cruel and evil and took and took and took from the world. It’s all upside down. HIllary battered women her husband raped, spent her days fund raising instead of visiting disaster areas—she obviously only cares about money and power, but no one seems to mind in her case. Can’t be that’s she a gorgeous female—she’s not. I just don’t get any of this. (I do understand that the media has to back her—it’s their last shot at being in media power when a woman is elected president and they are not going to let that opportunity pass. They got a half-black president for two terms. A woman is the Holy Grail. Media types only care about themselves, so it makes sense there.)

    Gary: Staying home gave Obama his second term.

  14. If Trump really is that nasty in business isn’t that still better than being nasty/inept in the public sector a la the Clinton machine? People have choices regarding businesses. You don’t have to go a a Trump casino or hotel. People don’t have a choice if someone in the public sector makes stupid decisions and there’s no reason to think the democrat nominee would be anything but a continuance of the ineptness of the last 8 years.

    You don’t want Trump’s shirts, don’t buy them. You don’t want to give $400 million to a sworn enemy, tough luck. You don’t want classified data on a private server or have foreign interests pay for political influence, well, tough luck again.

  15. Sheri —

    Be careful. Using similar logic: Voting for Reagan gave us Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Dee O’Conner, while voting for Bush gave us Roberts and his constitutional justification for Obamacare.

    Note: and voting Replublican earlier gave us Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

  16. There is certainly a need for a competent anti-establishment candidate to try to undo some of the damage that has been done over the past 30/50/80* years (delete as applicable). The problem is that word “competent”, and Trump is showing that he is anything but.

    However, Trump is basically one man, effectively acting alone. Even as president, there is a limit to the damage he can do as president; the supreme court, the senate and house will all make it harder for him to pass any absurdities, and it could be reversed after he leaves office. Four years of pain, but with limited long-term effects. (Although a disastrous Trump presidency might make it harder for a competent anti-establishment candidate to get elected in the future).

    Hilary, on the other hand, is a cog in a much bigger machine that has been chipping away at US society for 30/50/80 years (delete as applicable), has a well thought out and consistent ideology (albeit completely wrong about almost everything), and a lot of support among influential people who share that ideology. After Hilary, there will either be another Hilary to cement her disasters and prepare the ground for the next round of idiocy, or a weak-kneed republican who will just keep whatever Clinton does and would just not make the next idiotic step.

    Trump is a one man band; Hilary represents a mob. Their ideas are (perhaps) equally dangerous, though for wholly different reasons, but the mob always has more power to implement them. It’s a choice between the evil of incompetence and the evil of competent malicious desire; at least you have a chance of beating the incompetent.

    Doesn’t say much about US politics though if that what it comes down to.

  17. I don’t think the question is ‘why Trump?’ … rather, “Why, still, Hillary?”

    Are her constituents really so gullible to believe that her sugary promises mean anything given the only evidence of her political skills is to survive scandal after scandal [with corruption being the recurring underlying theme in pretty much each and every scandal] while enriching only her personal self-interests–not theirs??

  18. Jim: Actually, in the case of Obama, it was repeatedly stated that Republicans staying home was the reason Obama won. I believe voting records showed the Republicans just did not vote in the numbers they could have and did in past elections. The outcomes you report were later on after and election and without a psychic, could never have been predicted. It seems you are arguing we should not vote because sometimes things don’t work out. Like in the case of Obama’s re-election, which had it not occurred, would have also resulted in Roberts not making a decision on the matter. We end up with the “Butterfly Effect”.

    BB: After 8 years of Obama, you can seriously type “there is a limit to the damage he can do as president; the supreme court, the senate and house will all make it harder for him to pass any absurdities”?
    I agree this does not say much about US politics, though historically, US politics have been volatile from the beginning. It’s a characteristic of a very large, very divided nation having open elections.

    Ken: Yes.

  19. Sheri —

    Without Obama, Romney would have given us Heritage-Foundation-Care (er, Romneycare). And I can’t even fathom the evils McCain would have unleashed — we’d be bathing in radioactive dust, at least those of us left.

  20. Jim—
    I understand your flight of fantasy when it comes to alternate futures, but try not to go there too often. What Obama gave us keeps us up nights. Plus, fantasy is just impossible to disagree with because “it could have been”. We could have been hit by meteor and all this would be mute. We still could be. 😉

  21. Sheri —

    Then you should toss and turn over the evils Reagan did unleash due to his court appointments.

    What Obama proposed, Reagan made constitutional.

  22. And Trump still isn’t Hitler. He’s really not. He has no “plans” for the Church, for the Jews, for minorities, no goon squads in waiting, and has shown himself to be way more isolationist in comparison, so he doesn’t have the warmonger thing either.

    Also, I’ve heard the “poor impulse control” thing a lot and I also don’t know why people say it. He’s a New Yorker who talks like a New Yorker, but all of the businessmen with really poor impulse control are broke. Soros is pure evil, but he definitely has impulse control. Same for anyone else I can think of who’s truly wealthy. Have a few of us his businesses gone bankrupt? Sure, but as any serial entrepreneur can tell you, that’s pretty standard and his batting average is pretty exceptional for a serial entrepreneur.

    Responding to insults from one’s enemies doesn’t really translate to “he’ll go nuts and start a nuclear war!” It’s like saying Mr. Jones is grumpy, so I bet he murders hookers.

    And, yes, Manichean purity fetish. Voting for a third party candidate is a vote for making yourself feel better and is self destructive. The way the electoral college and the voting system is structured, all a third party candidate does is spin it for one of the two main candidates anyway. The only remaining motivation that I can see is an act of personal purification that would be better served by abstaining from the process in general (still destructive for the same reasons however). I say Manichean because it seems hostile to material reality and indifferent to material destruction.

    Just to say though, I really don’t mean to be personally insulting, I understand the disappointment and I voted for Cruz in the primary. It’s just that this election is really, really important. 4-8 years of Hilary will mean more than enough hostile immigration to ensure that the US is a one party state forever. We’ll never really get free of it, and we won’t enjoy the prolonged genteel senescence of Europe (at least until recently), we’ll crash down pretty hard, pretty fast.

  23. Hojos —

    You are correct. Trump currently seems to be more Benito Mussolini than Hitler. But do not discount how power corrupts, both mind and soul.

    However, if you are going to lay blame on others, you must take responsibility for what you support. It is no more valid to claim innocence by stating (in the end), I didn’t agree with everything Trunp stood for than it is to say, “I voted for Benito since he was the only who could make the trains run on time. I take no responsibility for his other actions.”

  24. Its bad business to nuke your potential customers. Trump is far safer on war as well, since war is bad for business (unless you are running guns like our fried Mrs. Clinton in Benghazi).

  25. Hoyos, you’re correct that Trump is more Mussolini than Hitler (except Mussolini was much smarter than Trump), and since his daughter has converted to Judaism, he probably won’t be persecuting the Jews. Nevertheless, you can’t rebut the notion of poor impulse control, you can’t erase his past support of liberal causes and persons, and you can’t erase his mocking of a disabled person and general nastiness and uncouthness.
    I’m not pretending to be “pure”; what I’m debating in my own mind is whether a nominal Republican can do as much damage to this country by stupidity, ignorance and a short fuse as can Hillary by being unprincipled (except for devotion to the left canon).

  26. I should add that some of his supporters–not those commenting on this post–in alt-right are even more frightening than Trump; those are also whom I fear getting into power.

  27. sorry, the more Mussolini than Hitler is from Jim Fedako, not Hoyos.

  28. Trump is not Mussolini either. No goon squads, no “all for the state, nothing outside the state”, no weird ideological formulations leading to revanchism along the borders, or desire for foreign empire. I can’t think of many, or any thing, that Trump has said would be his policy that is too crazy or oppressive at all. It’s mostly better trade deals, restricted immigration, maybe not start a war with Russia, that type of thing. Can anyone name a policy recommendation that is like Mussolini?

    “He’s uncouth” doesn’t really rate for me as a serious criticism. The woman standing next to him has been complicit in rape, murder, and war mongering. Is “uncouth” the worst thing? Plenty of “uncouth” men are valuable in a pinch, and we are in a hell of a pinch. Supporting liberal causes in the past? Versus a candidate that supports them now?

    Shooting from the hip verbally isn’t a nice quality, sure, but it still beats the oleaginous canned quality of most political speech. “Poor impulse control” from a successful businessman and lifelong teetotaler? I just don’t see it.

    It’s myopic to go from a few nasty personal remarks and then blind yourself to everything else. We are in a fight for the fate of the Republic here. Is he my first choice? No. But he is a responsible choice. If the hardest things that can be said against him is that he is occasionally unpleasant, that I can live with.

  29. It’s very clear what the fake “conservative” neocon/globalist/warmongers who co-opted the Tea Party believe in: war forever in the Middle East, American blood and treasure spilled indefinitely for their AIPAC fund-raisers.

    Pretty clear.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/23739-neocons-warmongers-and-globalists-abandon-gop-for-hillary

  30. Jim: Why should I toss and turn over what another person did? I am not personally responsible for every action of an elected official. Roberts alone (or with the other concurring judges) is responsible for he did, no one else. Is that hard to grasp? As far as my statement about the election, voter turnout does determine the winner. So staying home does affect the outcome. Those who stayed home enabled Obama’s win. That is a direct line, not speculating on supreme court decisions decades in the future. I made no comments on Obama’s record, etc. I said staying home by Republicans gave us four more years of Obama. Period. What happened thereafter was Obama and Congress and the Supreme Court, not the voters.

    Hoyos: “Responding to insults from one’s enemies doesn’t really translate to “he’ll go nuts and start a nuclear war!” It’s like saying Mr. Jones is grumpy, so I bet he murders hookers.” I like that. Too bad it’s over the head of most people.
    Germany is paying dearly for Merkel. People rarely learn except when the shooting starts. Otherwise, they just wonder along in blissful ignorance.

    Bob Kurland: I still don’t understand the absolute insistence that Trump is Mussolini or Hitler or whomever. Hillary has political power, cares for no one but herself, destroyed Libya and got an American ambassador killed, but you see her as a kitten with a ball of twine, not a lioness stalking her prey. How is Hillary so sweet and adorable and Trump so horrible? Okay, you admit Hillary is unprincipled, but you fear Trump? Trump didn’t get an ambassador killed, lie to FBI and Congress and make trade deals as favors to Clinton donors. Trump went to New Orleans, Hillary to a fund-raiser in Hollywood. She’s the good guy? Help me understand this.

  31. Hoyos, Sheri–
    You’re assuming something to think that I regard Hillary as a good choice and wasn’t aware of her known criminality. That’s not so.
    What amazes me is that no one seems to take note of Trump’s past, namely his support of Democratic candidates, liberal positions, and his general bad behavior–I’m thinking particularly of his accusations about Cruz’s father, his ridiculing the disabled veteran, among many other instances–these give a better indication of his character than what he says that has lately been scripted by his advisors. Trump’s supporters seem to think that what he’s saying in campaign speeches is what he’ll act on (if they can decide between contradictory positions).
    As I have tried to say, I am in a quandary about whom to vote for–if there seems to be a chance that voting for Gary Johnson will throw the election into the House, I’ll go that way. But nothing anybody has said in the comments or the original post has yet to convince me that voting for Trump is the right thing to do.

  32. Sheri —

    Sorry, no time to respond in full. Just got an email from Dick Cheney. Turns out only I (and my $50) can stop the madness, change the direction toward liberty, and return us to the halcyon days of Bush.

  33. Bob Kurland: Supporting or voting for Trump because one does not want Hillary does not mean the person is not aware of his past. Trump made accusations against Cruz’s father, Hillary derided and mocked women whom her husband raped. Hillary got an ambassador killed—that’s more than ridiculing a veteran. Does Trump have great character? Not a chance. I think pretty much everyone knows that. Does he have more character than Hillary? I guess that’s the question.
    I understand you’re in a quandry. I’m still shocked at the complete hatred and disdain for Trump. Kent’s link may have part of the answer—maybe I just don’t see how incredibly incestual the relationship of powerful nations and people are. It’s clear this is about far more than a candidate for US president—it involves worldwide power. I can’t remember a time when other nations got so involved in our politics.

    Jim: Would that be wasted if a $50 donation to Hillary “because we’re in this together” was suddenly paid out by someone? Or are we assuring both sides are equally armed? 🙂

  34. Sheri, I looked at Kent’s link. The shrill tone, the lack of logical argument, the ad hominem name calling does nothing to persuade me that I should vote for Trump. The only web article I’ve seen that has any persuasive power for that is the one by Dennis Prager in National Review Online, “Trump, Conservatives and the ‘Principles’ Question” . See
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439712/never-trump-supporters-dont-realize-hillary-clinton-worse-option-donald-trump
    And that article is the only reason I’m still in a quandary. None of the arguments made in the comments or post have got to the heart of the matter.

  35. I found this an excellent explantation of the Trump candidacy:

    The Flight 93 Election

  36. Bob,

    If you’re looking for excellent reasons to vote for Trump, both Barbara Streisand and Amy Shumer have promised to leave the country if he is elected!

  37. @Dean Ericson

    Thanks for sharing that’s the best breakdown I think I’ve read in one place. Forwarding it to friends and family. It’s the deal.

  38. We are one Supreme Court justice away from losing the constitution entirely.
    This is the only reason you need to vote for Trump.

  39. Interesting that even at this site (like much of the population at large) many people are carrying on as if the President of the U.S. has power more analogous to that of a king. Ain’t so, not with the split between the Executive, Legislative & Judicial branches — so much of what candidates can do is dictated by law and Congressional Authorizations & Appropriations of the money to do what’s been authorized. When one understands how the government actually works, so much of any/all candidate posturing is just blather.

    Most new businesses fail in the first 4-5 years; Trump has started or been part of over 500. Of those, he’s had four bankruptcies — and most in/with Casinos in an area that failed for the competition as well…and…he was a minority owner of those (one site says his company owned 41% of those). Trump Univ. was another matter, but there one might see as much evidence of absentee oversight by Trump as anything else, if anything else on his part…

    Having a business success rate in the very high nineties (percent) is the sort of success rate qualifying as phenomenal — it takes quite a bit of illogical analytical alchemy to twist that into evidence of poor performance.

    So, we’ve got one professional politician with persistent recurring scandals — a “should-be-felon” …and… a thin-skinned easily-provoked ego-maniac who’s actually done much. Both have clear potential to use the Executive Office to accomplish much, and their personality profiles both strongly indicate inclinations to self-serving behavior, regardless of whatever they might say.

    The safest choice likely comes down to which one will be most counter-balanced by Congress — and that involves projecting the balance of power there, mostly Dem vs Rep, vs Executive (Dem-Socialist vs Rep-ish). The choice that maximizes bureaucratic gridlock, the minimization of the potential to do damage, will be best for everybody.

  40. Power corrupts?

    That’s very debatable. The evidence when examined seems to refute that, somewhat.

    Power allows the authority to act on whatever corrupt impulses they might have.

    The allure of obtaining power is irresistible to the corrupt, and they routinely employ ruthless methods to obtain it…resulting in a very disproportionate number of ruthlessly corrupt people in positions of extreme power.

    Power doesn’t corrupt so much as it entices the corrupt to pursue it, and once obtained, allows them to run amok.

    Consider the history of the two candidates, both with considerable power for long periods, and consider the nature of the respective types of overt misuse of power & position (as opposed to blunders, poor decisions, etc.). Clinton’s legacy takes quite a bit of tallying to sort thru…and one is hard-pressed to claim there isn’t a consistent recurring pattern there:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/tracking-the-clinton-controversies-from-whitewater-to-benghazi/396182/

  41. “..notwithstanding the special math employed by the electoral college”

    Or even worse! The Democrat’s more recent attempts to wrest total control from the majority of sane people: the National ‘Popular’ Vote.

    In typical backwards government speak, there has been no better name for a policy which would allow 25% of the ‘popular’ vote to override the other 75%’s votes.

    (The math is simple, I’ll lay it out on you.)
    1/2 of states go NPV.
    In those states 50.000000000000000001% vote democrat. (that’s 50% of 50%, which equals 25%)
    ALL their electoral votes (50% of the whole nation assuming a simplified spread for the example) goes to the democrat.
    EVERY OTHER PERSON IN THE WHOLE NATION votes Republican, making up 74.999999999999999% of the ‘popular’ vote.
    The Democrat with 25% of the popular vote wins the election.

    Welcome to the thought process of a Democrat.

  42. To the degree we have a duty to vote at all under the present system (I have been basic agreement, so far as I can tell, with Zippy Catholic on the issue for a couple of years now), surely we have a duty not to chose who we agree with but to chose the good?

    Yes, yes, I realize that agreement and “good as we perceive it” will generally overlap, but even those are distinct categories – agreement and actual, objective good are even more so – and this distinction needs emphasis, especially these days.

  43. @Bob… I was for Cruz. I now expect to vote for Trump.

    Three reasons:

    1) Supreme Court. With Trump, we have a chance. With Hillary, we do not.

    2) Pence. If Trump is as bad as people think, the always hostile media and the Republican and Democratic establishments will remove him ASAP. And, I have enough faith in our military to not think that Trump will push the button.

    3) Testimony by many people who have known Trump for some time, which is evidence (not conclusive) that he is not as wild as his public appearances (until recently) suggest.

    I get that he is more liberal, by far, than I would want. But, he is not Hillary. He is far more likely to choose judges that Republicans can support. He is not in it for money.

    Johnson is a stated enemy of religious freedom and is pro-abortion. I cannot, as a Catholic, vote for him.

  44. The reason Trump is a candidate is because there are people who believe silly nonsense as exposed in this post.

    JMJ

  45. 1- Trump is an idiot
    2- The only people that support him are the white with no college education. In other word the white idiot.

    Bad luck for him there is not enough white idiot left in the USA to get him elected. But there were enough of them to get him trough the primaries.

    It is funny how big a deal the US make of the presidential election when he has very little power. In the US, congress is much more important than the president and the republican in doing nothing are working to lose both chambers

  46. Sylvain:

    I support Trump and am white with degrees. As are, I expect, most of the Trump supporters here. Perhaps you should tone it down a little.

  47. @Sylvain

    I’m going to guess that English is not your native language and that you are either foreign or a newcomer to this country.

    If you read the Constitution or follow recent history, the President has a great deal of power. Congress can pass any legislation it wants, but without the president’s signature a vote to override the veto is very difficult. Executive powers also give the President a significant amount of leeway in how the current legislation is enforced or “executed”, hence the executive branch.

    Incidentally, two college degrees, voting for Trump.

  48. @Sylvain

    ” In the US, congress is much more important than the president and the republican in doing nothing are working to lose both chambers”

    This used to be true. But no longer. Congress has delegated most of its power to administrative agencies, who issue ‘rulemakings’ instead of laws.

  49. From the Old Testament, Habbakuk:

    Wealth, too, is treacherous:
    the proud, unstable man–
    He who opens wide his throat like the nether world,
    and is insatiable as death,
    Who gathers to himself all the nations,
    and rallies to himself all the peoples–
    Shall not all these take up a taunt against him,
    satire and epigrams about him, to say:

    Woe to him who stores up what is not his:
    how long can it last!
    he loads himself down with debts.
    Shall not your creditors rise suddenly?
    Shall not they who make you tremble awake?
    You shall become their spoil!
    Because you despoiled many peoples
    all the rest of the nations shall despoil you;
    Because of men’s blood shed,
    and violence done to the land,
    to the city and to all who dwell in it.

    Woe to him who pursues evil gain for his household,
    setting his nest on high
    to escape the reach of misfortune!
    You have devised shame for your household,
    cutting off many peoples, forfeiting your own life:
    For the stone in the wall shall cry out,
    and the beam in the woodwork shall answer it!

  50. Yawrate, Hoyos,

    Yes, not all people with a degree favor Clinton. Just like not all people without a degree favor Trump. But the majority of people with a degree favor Clinton which has never happened for a democrate.

    https://morningconsult.com/2016/07/28/poll-educated-voters-favor-clinton-trump/

    I’m very familiar with the US constitution and law matters. Probably better than vast majority of American, including people on this blog.

    Veto is a presidential power that can be overturned if a law is supported by enough congressman.

    Obama has vetoed 10 resolutions none were overturned. Mostly minor resolution or the repeal of Obamacare. The funny thing is that more people voted for enacting obamacare than those who voted to repeal it, at least in the senate.

    Bush vetoed 12 resolutions and 4 were overturned.

    The great Ronald Reagan used his veto 78 times (9 overturned).

    As for executive orders, Obama is the president that issue the least executive orders, to the execptions of partial terms president (Kennedy and Ford), while Reagan issued the most in the last half of a century.

    But in the end, the president cannot write any laws, he can’t even pass a budget. He cannot even force a vote on a bill in either chambers..

  51. Sadly, in the post-modern West, a college degree may signify decrease wisdom, at least among the younger holders. US universities rigidly indoctrinate students in progressivism. We need only see the strong support for an avowed socialist candidate to diagnose the paucity of wisdom among the newly graduated.

    Vetoes are not overturned. They are overridden.

    However, the President these days is extremely powerful. Barack Obama has shown that. You say the president cannot write any laws, but that didn’t stop him from acting. Some of his immigration actions are not allowed by law, and he even said that he needed new laws to do them. Then, when the laws were not forthcoming, he did them anyway. His administration has acted outside the law on many important issues.

    Also, the Supreme Court, through “Chevron deference,” allows regulatory agencies to effectively write laws in opposition to the real laws. The President controls those agencies also.

  52. I forgot to mention. Resolutions are neither overturned nor vetoed. They are not laws.

    Also, the number of executive orders is not a measure of lawlessness. An executive order is merely how a President formalizes his executive decisions. An executive order may be used for lawful or unlawful reasons.

    As for the President not passing a budget – again, Obama has spent lots of money that he had no authority to spend.

    All of Obama’s lawlessness shows that, in our society, only a Republican President is held to account when breaking laws. The same press and Democratic Party machine that crushes Republicans who get even slightly out of line has no interest in doing so when it is done by a Democrat.

  53. I get now. Men fear the alpha leader type—the “poor impulse control” male but not the serial philanderer and White House sex addict who gave North Korea nuclear technology, not the golfer in mom jeans who gave Iran the nuclear go-ahead and funded terrorists with billions of dollars, and certainly not the grandmother with the coughing fits. Men fear the alpha. That’s why Trojan horses work so very, very well. Women live with their heads in the sand, so anything can roll past them. Pretending one’s country away is a long-time tradition. (Also, I am always shocked that no one knew the draft ended. Somehow that slipped right past everyone in America. Our boys are still forced to die for oil and warmongering people are still forcing innocents who have no choice into fighting their wars.)

  54. “Sadly, in the post-modern West, a college degree may signify decrease wisdom”

    Who raise those kids?

    “Vetoes are not overturned. They are overridden.”

    Same difference. The veto is defeated in both cases.

    “However, the President these days is extremely powerful. Barack Obama has shown that.”

    By action, you mean executive orders. He enacted less executive orders than any other president in the last century other than partial term president like Kennedy and Ford.

    His executive order on immigration was based on Reagan executive orders and even didn’t go as far as Reagan went. This is the only thing passed under its administration that was later reversed by court. Yet dozens of states laws were found inconstitutional, must of them related to abortion and voting.

    “Also, the Supreme Court, through…”

    They right or establish regulation not law. If they don’t respect the law under which the agency is created they are reversed. This happens everywhere including here in Canada.

    Notice how you claim that Obama is all powerful while Sheri says that he is a weakling.

    “I forgot to mention. Resolutions…”

    In the US to become law it requires the signature of the president or the veto has to be overridden.

    To which lawlessness are you referring to.

    Lawlessness would imply to disregard the court decision. The executive order died in court and never was enforced. Obama is the president that sent back to there country the highest number of illegal immigrant(2.5 millions, 23% More than Bush).

    Were Bush/Cheney hold to account for lying to congress when selling the Iraq war? Which law make it legal for a president to order torture.

  55. Here’s a pretty good rebuttal to the “Flight 93” piece linked in a comment above.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439859/flight-93-election-claremont-trump-piece-apocalyptic-rhetoric-overblown
    I particularly liked the following:

    “But in the end, this isn’t really about Hillary Clinton. It’s about conservatism, and the fact that it’s resilient enough to survive a single election. Properly understood, conservatism shouldn’t even be hitched to a presidential candidate — and boy, if this year’s “This Can’t Be Real, Can It?” election doesn’t teach us that, nothing will. Conservative principles are best demonstrated locally, close to home. The principle of subsidiarity won’t disappear, no matter who wins in 2016.

  56. Sylvain, apparently you did not read what I wrote.

    The number of executive orders is meaningless! It is the content of the executive orders that counts. An executive order is simply the formal means used by the President to direct the executive department. It could be one sentence or 10,000 pages. A President can also issue an unwritten order, and it can still have massive effect.

    Lawlessness means to violate the law or the Constitution. A court need not be involved in order to understand that some behavior is lawless. Sometimes courts act in violation of the Constitution, in which case they are also acting lawlessly.

    In fact, the liberal wing of the Supreme Court considers themselves to be the Constitution, rather than the interpreters of it. How else could they have found a right to gay “marriage” in the US Constitution. You can be absolutely certain that those who created the Constitution did not intend gay marriage. They did not intend that the federal government have any say about marriage, except where it involves interstate travel or commerce. The Constitution was written in the spirit of natural law, while the liberal justices have abandoned natural law and in fact all of western civilization that preceeds the progressive era.

    As to the power of the President. Obama is an international weakling. This was demonstrated most clearly last week when the Chinese refused to even roll out stairs to his aircraft, forcing him to disembark through the rear of the aircraft rather than onto the red carpet. Since the Chinese have been dealing with subtleties of diplomatic protocol for thousands of years, this was clearly an intentional major insult.

    But, Obama has been far more powerful than the laws and Constitution allow, within the US. His immigration actions have been shown to be unconstitutional. But, others have not yet reached the courts, but they are also illegal.

    As a simple example, he uses the excuse of “prosecutorial discretion” to justify not enforcing immigration law against millions of illegal aliens. But, in the US< prosecutorial discretion is meant to be far more narrow. Otherwise, the executive could simply ignore any criminal law it does not like – just as Obama is doing with immigration.

    I won't bother to list more examples, but there are plenty.

    Note: talking about Reagan is completely irrelevant.

  57. John,

    ”Lawlessness means to violate the law or the Constitution. A court need not be involved in order to understand that some behavior is lawless. Sometimes courts act in violation of the Constitution, in which case they are also acting lawlessly”

    This is a bunch of BS. Law by nature causes conflict of interpretation. Courts are there to resolve these conflicts and the Supreme Court is the ultimate judge of the law. One might not agree with their interpretation of a law but their judgment is where the bucks stops. Since not all judges are great at there job there are court of appeal that can correct a wrong judgment. But judges in court of appeal and the supreme court are usually not idiot even when I disagree with their opinion.

    The difference is that people like you categorizes as lawless anything that they don’t agree with.

    ”In fact, the liberal wing of the Supreme Court considers themselves to be the Constitution, rather than the interpreters of it. How else could they have found a right to gay “marriage” in the US Constitution.”

    This is a good example of misunderstanding an interpretation of the court. In its judgment SCOTUS did not define what marriage is for any religious group but define what marriage is for the state. Before being able to get married a couple has to get a license. The license is provided by the state not by the any particular church. The state also recognized to type of marriage before the judgment the wedding celebrated in a church and a public wedding celebrated outside the confine of a church for people who don’t have religious beliefs per se. In no way did the judgment stated that a church had to celebrate a wedding. A Priest cannot be forced to celebrate a gay wedding in his church. He may have to wed a gay couple if he work for the government since the state is neutral in matters of religion.

    Marriage provides access to different advantages under the law and:

    ”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”.

    When the government wrote DOMA under Clinton they define what marriage is and they made a law that affected the religious right of people that did not agree with the definition of different of the different Church (religious beliefs are individual right not organisational right). The government definition of marriage clearly was illegal regarding the constitution and did hurt people that didn’t share that definition. It also prevented these people access to legal advantages provided to married couple. It is a matter of individual freedom.

    ————————————

    ”But, Obama has been far more powerful than the laws and Constitution allow, within the US. His immigration actions have been shown to be unconstitutional. But, others have not yet reached the courts, but they are also illegal.”

    To biggest problem with your argument is that Obama deported more people than all the president of the last century combined. He has not stopped deportation he has put it on steroid.

    Talking about Reagan is relevant since his executive order on immigration went much further than Obama’s

    http://www.pensitoreview.com/2014/11/17/impeachable-18-immigration-executive-orders-by-republican-presidents/

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/219463-when-reagan-and-ghw-bush-took-bold-executive-action-on

    ” In fact, Obama could learn a lot from presidents Ronald Reagan’s and George H. W. Bush’s executive actions to preserve the unity of immigrant families, and move past Congressional refusal to enact immigration reform. ”

  58. Bob, that article simply ignores the large beast in the room: SCOTUS. If Hillary gets one judge on there, all the rest just goes away. Conservatism may work fine in private in one’s house, but in public it will be crushed. Already, Kennedy foreshadowed this with his gay “marriage” opinion, which happily proclaimed that Christians will still be able to have their religion in their churches. Obviously, this was a slap at the heart of Christianity – that you live the life, not just worship in a Church.

    I expect to see tax deductions for religious organizations eliminated, but *only* for those who do not toe the LGBT line, and whatever new power-play cause the left comes up with. Already, Catholic Charities are shutting down. I expect to see Catholic schools crushed, for not toeing whatever new sexual “freedom” is invented by the progressives.

    And, that’s just for the religious.

    Hillary has stated she wants to amend the 1st Amendment. But, she doesn’t have to and she knows it. A pliant majority on the Supreme Court and she can do whatever she wants. Who is to stop her? Congress? That hasn’t worked too well in stopping Obama, even with a usually constitutionalist majority on the Supreme Court – a majority that died with Scalia.

    Obama has demonstrated how progressives will use executive action to crush dissent. The execrable “guidance” (threat) document to public schools about transexual bathroom “accommodation” is a great example. Public schools toe the line, or lose federal funding.

    The sexual crusade that has now reached the point of total unreality is not being pushed because progressives want to help anyone. It is simply their tool to eliminate the last vestiges of opposition.

    It is analogous to the scene in 1984 where Winston is told to say that four fingers are five. His interrogator holds up four fingers, and asks Winston how many there are. Winston says four. After enough torture, he says five. He is tortured again, because internally he believes there are four.

    We, the dissenters from progressivism, are Winston. It matters not whether it is “transgender rights” or some other nonsense, the point is made. And, there will be more. I don’t know which is more likely – incest rights or polyX rights. Probably the latter first, then the former, and then pedophile rights. Eventually they will use up sexual perversions, and find another field in which they can do the same thing.

    The most important aspect of this is the illogic. If you can force someone to agree to something at least a bit logical, you have power. If you can force them to agree to something utterly illogical – like transgender “bathroom rights” – they you have a lot more dominance.

    So, yeah, conservatism will survive. But it won’t matter, because it will lose whatever little power it has now.

    This is why I will hold my nose and vote for Trump. With Trump, there is a slight possibility that our system of government will survive. With Hillary – yes, the apocalypse may very well now be here. We may hit a point where there is no road back other than a revolution, and we know how badly those tend to turn out.

  59. Sylvain, this gets tiring. I know full well what the courts are *supposed* to do. You imagine that it actually works that way. You probably believe in unicorns, also.

    DOMA did not define marriage. Marriage has been definid by natural law and western civilization. The founders didn’t think they needed to define it, because it was obvious and thoroughly understood. It was the union of opposite sex individuals, with the purpose of both civilizing the human response to the sex drive, and of doing the best possible in raising the children, the natural outgrowth of it. It has been that for thousands of years. It is that in the Bible – but it isn’t defined there, it is *assumed* because it is natural.

    DOMA was enacted because the courts were doing a terrible job of interpretation. They continued to do so in overthrowing it. RFRA was enacted for the same reason. Neither managed to rein in the Supreme Court ultimately, because too many jurists were too fond of their power.

    The problem you and liberals in general have is a belief that the courts can suddenly discover a meaning in the Constitution that the founders and everyone since somehow missed. This is the essence of “living constitutionalism” and it is horrible idea. The other problem is that progressivism *assumes* that the technocratic elite will make the best decisions and will do so selflessly.

    Conservatives, and the founders of the country, understood that things don’t work that way. We know that power corrupts. We know that in the real world, the best decisions often arise from the chaotic operation of the free market – whether in goods or ideas. That is why checks and balances were put into the Constitution.

  60. John,

    What do you think happens when transgender use bathroom?

    If you didn’t know, women bathroom stalls are all divided and cloison unlike male urinal.

    1- No women ever got attacked by transgender in the bathroom, but they have been attacked by men in women bathroom.

    2- male to female transgender are often attacked, beaten, raped when using male bathroom.

    3-I have regularly notice women using male bathroom because the line were too long for the women bathroom.

  61. Sylvain,
    You are missing the point, again.

    First, the general agreement is that if someone has male genitalia, they should use the men’s room, and vice versa. This is only common sense. The main concern is when people claim to “identify” as a gender opposite from their genitalia. They may be mere voyeurs – there is no way, given current definitions, to determine if they are actual transgenders, whatever that term really means. If you let a man who claims to be a woman use the stalls in a women’s room, that man can put a camera or mirror under the stall. Some people apparently get a big thrill out of this. That is a violation of privacy.

    But, it will happen.

    Of course, of much greater concern is locker rooms and shower facilities. They were also attacked. Even crazier, the government refused to allow a reasonable accommodation, which was a separate bathroom for the transgender.

    Of course, the main point of this is the federal government *forcing* this on people. Whether people’s concerns are “rational” or not, this is a major issue for millions of people. They will be upset by it. It is ironic that the same movement that is all about “safe spaces” won’t let ordinary people have their own.

    Finally, the number of transgenders is microscopic. To force the entire country to go through this on behalf of a very tiny number of people is objectively nuts.

    This is being done for two crass purposes: (1) to hurt conservatives politically, since they are more likely to object to insane mandates than the tame progressive voters; and (2) to demonstrate to all that reasonable people are powerless in the face of their new masters, the progressive elite.

    See my comments above about Winston. Do you understand what is being said there? George Orwell wrote this about Leninists, but modern progressives are simply the heirs to Marxist-Leninism.

  62. John,

    The argument of natural law is about the stupidest one that exist. There is no natural law, except in the work of some philosophe.

    The Founding Father held that all men were created equal. Which they did not believe since women were not considered a person under the law, and that slave had no rights as per the Dred Scott ruling (even then they went through a century of segregation). So not all men were ever created equal. At least until very recent history.

    Considering DOMA: (if this is not a definition of marriage than what is)

    ”Section 3. Definition of marriage

    “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.””

    Before that law there were no definition throughout the corpus of laws. Nothing for the court to ponder upon.The law was clearly unconstitutional.

    The original Rfra was passed to protect Amerindian religious rights:

    http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2014/06/what-is-rfra-and-why-do-we-care/

    ”Here is the back story: In Employment Division v. Smith (1990), two American Indians who worked as private drug rehab counselors ingested peyote as part of religious ceremonies conducted by the Native American Church, and they were subsequently fired. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the firing, with Justice Antonin Scalia saying that using a religious exemption in conflict of a valid law “would open the prospect of constitutionally required exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind.””

  63. Sylvain,
    Enough. Your lack on knowledge about natural law does not support your assertion that it is nonsense. Obviously you need to do some reading. The founders of this country were well schooled in the subject, as were any literate people in the west in those days.

    Your assertion about the lack of definition of marriage is a deflection. Of course there was no definition of marriage, because *everyone* knew and agreed upon it. You don’t need a legal definition of that which is completely understood.

    It is only our modern ever-more-totalitarian progressive elite who decided that they should change it.

  64. Since I cannot edit a comment, let me add something I left out. Natural law is the foundation of the British and American system of justice. Go do some reading.

  65. John,

    If your understanding of the law is so flawless how come your side is always on the losing end of the battle.

    Natural law has never been universal, it never included every individual of a society. If these law were so natural it would have applied to all men and women.

    It is very recently that individual took the upper hand over the totalitarianism of the conservative/reactionary elite. It is not a surprise that Briggs reject democracy, and would prefer an emperor ship (as long as his kind are favored).

    What you call:”ever-more-totalitarian progressive elite” is nothing else than individual freedom. Or universal application natural law. No one is forced to have an abortion, get gay married. You don’t have to like the LGBT. You can still be a bigot, a racist or whatever you want. The only thing is that you can act to deprived the right of other individual to live their life as they intend.

    The best analogy to life is baseball. Its an individual sport, where the quality of each individual as to be different and complementary to win. It is not enough to have the best hitter or pitcher, you need different qualities to win the world series.

    The current trend toward individual rights started centuries ago but was accelerated by the horror of WWII. All the categories mentioned in the Chart on Human Rights were persecuted under the Nazi regime.

    ”Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

  66. You are right – natural law has not been universally recognized. However, it is the basis of the most successful civilization in world history – the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, etc. Furthermore, it is based on rather obvious things, like the fact that men and women are fundamentally different,, no matter how they “self identify.” It is based on the obviousness that children are best raised by a nuclear family (and obviousness supported by tons of modern research, for those who worship at the god of scientism). It is based on the obviousness that murder of others is wrong – even progressives, so far, accept that without, except they choose to define others as anyone not still inside their mother.

    Personal freedom is not being forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Personal freedom is not being forced to pay for an abortion. Personal freedom is not being fined for using he or she when someone wants to be called by some new, made-up pronoun. Personal freedom is not being forced to pay for contraceptives. Personal freedom is being able to live a religious life, not just worship inside a church. Personal freedom is being able to decline taking photographs for a gay wedding without being fined.

    Believe it or not, If gays want to have a wedding, that’s okay. I don’t think it should be illegal, and it has not been illegal since 2005 or so. Gay “marriage” is not about freedom, since that freedom already existed, it is about granting gays a state license that they can then use to bludgeon others into accepting their lifestyle. I was in favor of civil union laws for gays long before most people had ever heard of gay marriage.

    Abortion is a different matter – abortion kills a human being, so it is a conflict of rights between the mother and her unborn child, and the state most certainly has a valid place in preventing murder. The issue is what is the definition of when that baby becomes a human being deserving of rights. The progressives would say: not until the baby is born, at which point the magical progressive god mysteriously confers human-ness on it. This even though the baby is viable outside the mother long before that, such as my granddaughter born 5 weeks premature.

    Progressives now are crushing Christian charities. Adoption agencies are not allowed to operate unless they are willing to place the unborn child with gay couples or, in the future, polygamists or whatever – despite the wishes of the natural parents. Catholic charities are going to be prevented from leading prayer if they want to maintain their 501c(3) status. Already, states are moving to force Churches to not state their doctrine at *any* event to which the public might attend, because it might offend an LGBTQXYZ person.

    Progressivism is totalitarian exactly because it wants to use the power of the state to narrowly constrain personal freedom, even while hypocritically proclaiming to be for freedom. Under progressivism, you are free to do exactly what the progressives say, and exactly how they say it. The ever encroaching regulatory state is loved by progressivism.

    Conservatism is for freedom, which is why we are against most of those regulations. We believe that free people make better decisions than government bureaucrats. We also know that human nature has not changed in thousands of years, and that even long dead white males may have had greater wisdom than many modern credentialed elites. Progressives believe that only progressive elites are capable of making good decisions.

  67. John,

    ”You are right – natural law has not been universally recognized. However, it is the basis of the most successful civilization in world history”

    If these laws were natural by definition they would have applied to everyone. If they don’t they are not natural. If they were they would be observed everywhere in nature. But they always only applied to a certain category of men in a certain society, at least until recently.

    Only in the last century did the natural law has started to be applied equally between all members of society. Individual freedom can be universal but cannot be unrestricted. The right of one individual to life and security of his person is more important than the right of an individual to kill and beat someone.

    The right to acquire property by an individual (recognize has a basic principle of capitalism) supersede the right of an individual to discriminate on a customer.

    ”Personal freedom is not being forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding…”

    On personal freedom: Personal freedom is an individual right not a corporate or business right.”

    Here is the definition of property according to Cornell Law

    ”property
    Anything (physical or intangible) that can be owned by a person or entity.”
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/property

    The declaration of human rights states article 17:

    ”1-Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
    2-No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property”

    In the US code you have something similar, I’m just not sure under which title. But in the US code it also makes a difference for a place of business. In fact a place of business cannot discriminate. When you have a place of business, you have an obligation to sell to everyone, except for legal exception like alcohol to children.

    On abortion:

    The bible is very clear on when life begin:

    Genesis 2:7 ESV / 33 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

    “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”

    Life begin at first breath not in the womb. Abortion doesn’t kill a life.

    The problem with conservatives is that they complain that their personal freedom to mistreat and discriminate others is more important than the freedom of everyone living their life as they intend. It was so when natural law was not applied universally. But it is not the case anymore. Religious freedom is great as long as everyone share your beliefs.

    Individual freedom is attached to the body. The reason is simple this is the barrier we can act upon, in this material world. The problem is not what people believe but their action. When this action become public and affect the other individual it causes conflict. The conflict is settled toward the person who is affected closest to its body.

    Christ didn’t judge others, he told them what they had to do to reach god. He told them to stop the sinful act, he did not deprive them of their dignity. He did not discriminate against those he disagree, because he knew that the sin of other did not affect his person and his spirituality.

  68. Sylvain, I’ll keep this short.

    First, that others did not discover natural rights until the west prospered from learning about them doesn’t make the idea wrong.

    Conservatives care about freedom from government dictat. If people do things we disapprove of, we still want the government to stay out unless it is a crime.

    As to Christ, he did judge people. But this is not about judgement, it is about freedom to live one’s life without the government telling us what we can and cannot do.

    I stand by it, and you demonstrate it: progressivism is fascist in nature, and seeks to constrain and reduce freedom. It always has “good reasons” – the most popular is “ending discrimination.” That does not diminish that it ultimately will lead to the total end of freedom, and that will be just fine with its leaders, because they will be in charge.

  69. Let me clarify: if gays want to live together, have wedding ceremonies, have medical powers of attorney, etc, that should be legal, and it is.

    If the government seeks to punish someone for refusing to take part in the ceremony, that is evil – pure, unadulterated totalitarianism. We fought our bloodiest war to end slavery.

    You, of course, resort to the idea that corporations are not people. That is irrelevant, because it is *people* who are forced to go against their conscience, by the totalitarian forces of the government, willing to use deadly force if they are thwarted. That the people happen to be in corporations is utterly irrelevant, it is the people who lose their freedom.

    If you were in an artistic profession, how would you like it if you were forced to create art for a Nazi ceremony, complete with anti-Semitic symbols and slogans? That is absolutely no different from forcing a Christian to create a cake for a gay wedding. In either case, the baker – the creator of the work – is forced to act against their conscience.

  70. “First, that others did not discover natural rights until the west prospered from learning about them doesn’t make the idea wrong.”

    It is not what I meant in saying they were not universal. They were not universal because the right to life and liberty did not apply to everyone in a society that had discovered it.

    Where was the natural law in Greek, Roman or even early American society? Slave did not have those rights. Hundreds of Blacks in the US south where hang for no reason after they were freed and the who white who killed them were never prosecuted. The Church through the inquisitions killed thousands of people, for sure natural law didn’t apply there. For thousands of years women were not considered persons. If they were raped it was the father or the husband that received compensation for the loss of value of their daughter. In many cases the daughter couldn’t even inherit from their husband or father.

    The closest thing to natural law are the different law like the Canadian Charter of Human Right and Freedoms and Bill of Rights

    This is natural law:

    ”Fundamental Freedoms

    Marginal note:Fundamental freedoms

    2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

    (a) freedom of conscience and religion;

    (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

    (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

    (d) freedom of association.”

    ”15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html

    “Conservatives care about freedom from government dictat.”

    Yet conservative write/wrote laws that banned interracial marriage and law about sodomy:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/21/12-states-ban-sodomy-a-decade-after-court-ruling/7981025/

    What can be more intrusive than the government going into your bedroom, or in the case of women having the government force rape you with a trans-vaginal ultra-sound.

    ”You, of course, resort to the idea that corporations are not people.”

    Not at all, corporation and business are considered people under the law. In the US it was recognized in the first few years after the US Constitution was created.

    Still corporation are not human. Just like 4 Scotus judges, I disagree about the Hobby Lobby ruling (which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t respect it). How does a Hobby Lobby store goes to church? Since it cannot congregate it cannot have religious rights.

    One does not participate to a wedding by baking a cake (although no one said that the cake had to be good). The inscription on a cake is different since it concerns the freedom of speech and not to speech (see the Azura bakery and Hands off t-shirt ruling).

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/denvers-azucar-bakery-wins-right-to-refuse-to-make-anti-gay-cake

    http://www.advocate.com/politics/religion/2015/04/29/anti-gay-kentucky-t-shirt-maker-wins-court
    And it is also different for the photographer who has to be at the wedding, either at the church or at municipal court. I’m actually surprised by this ruling though I suspect that it has more to do with with how the case was presented. I have the feeling they failed to present how it affected the individual, instead they stated it has a company policy. I would get this reverse, they just have very bad lawyers. Photographer working for the company could refuse to photograph the wedding, then the company could refuse the contract for lack of staff. That’s the problem when people don’t understand the law.

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/court-holds-that-wedding-photographer-cannot-refuse-service-to-gay-couples/

    The need for the license is to gain access to the legal benefit that the government offer. And again the court did not rule on how any single church has to define marriage. The court defined marriage strictly for the government.

    “because it is *people* who are forced to go against their conscience”

    People working for a company can refuse to do certain task for religious consideration. This is not the same thing for the company itself

    ”If you were in an artistic profession, how would you like it if you were forced to create art for a Nazi ceremony, complete with anti-Semitic symbols and slogans?”

    Like many other your are comparing apple and oranges. Your example doesn’t affect the same law, it affect freedom of speech.

    Provide example of Jesus judging others.

  71. Every time I start to think that maybe there’s something to the “Flight 93” argument, along comes a cogent argument against it. For example, David French’s piece in the Corner:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/440006/problem-every-intellectual-defense-trump-ive-ever-read

  72. The article is overblown. The author, just like the rest of us, does not know the real Trump.

    I like the argument that with Trump, you are playing Russian roulette with a revolver. With Hillary, you are doing it with a semi-automatic. That accurately catches my view.

    But, here’s a bit more.

    Trump will be impeded in any nefariousness by the full weight of the press, by the Democratic Party, and by most of the federal bureaucracy. Those same groups will happily let Hillary get away with pretty much anything.

    Trump is likely to put Republicans in his administration, and any Republican will be a lot closer to preserving our Constitutional rights than any of the Democrats Hillary will appoint.

    Trump will also likely put conservatives on the bench, unless he wants to lose what little Republican support he has. Hillary will put living constitutionalists on the bench, which absolutely guarantees the end of religious liberty, 2nd Amendment rights, and free speech, states rights and federalism.

    Trump’s national security team will likely have people who understand the danger in the world (although some might initially be too soft on Russia, as was GW Bush and Hillary). Hillary’s are likely to be the sort of folks that brought us the Russian reset, disastrous retreat from Iraq, the Syrian “red line”, the Iranian nuclear “deal” and the general loss of deterrent power by the US. This in itself is more likely to lead to a disastrous war than anything Trump is likely to do.

    Also, Trump could be impeached. If so, he would be succeeded by a Republican. If Hillary is impeached, she will be replaced by a man who was a communist fellow traveler back when that meant something.

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