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Trump’s Successor

May 29, 2018

In 2016, GOP regulars could not secure the GOP nomination for one of their own. The GOP nomination for President was won by a non-politician who, alone but for the company of Rand Paul, rejected the policies of George W. Bush.

All, but Trump and Paul, drank the “W” Kool Aid and could not bring themselves to oppose “W’s” imperial foreign and military policies.

The GOP is in terrible shape nationally, but there are systemic reasons for that decline.

First, Few private sector occupations prepare Americans for elective office. Business experience is too remote from skills of political office and few businessmen can make a successful political career.

Second, You can’t grow, if none wants to enter the lists; and who can blame him. Subject yourself to a run for Congress or Governor and, if you are conservative, you place your reputation in the hands of “journalists” who despise your political principles.

Third, Running for office takes money. Candidates for the U.S. Senate will spend $10.6 million on their campaigns, which doesn’t include PAC expenditures.

Fourth, You must be motivated.

I’ve identified the leadership of the House Freedom Caucus and the twenty members of the House who have requested that a second Special Counsel be appointed to investigate the Department of Justice and the FBI as possible future candidates for the GOP nomination for President–if they can be elected to the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. Senate is bereft of conservatives. The reason for that was a decision taken at the beginning of the last century to amend the Constitution (the 17th) to elect U.S. Senators directly. That assured that candidates would run on “issues,” not “interests” of their states. In an era where ideologies dominate, Senate Candidates vie with one another to be representatives of ideologies.

If not the House, what of the Governors of the States? Presidents of the United States elected from the ranks of former Governors are: Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush.

Here’s a list of current Governors of the States. Which one is a possible successor to Donald Trump?

North Korea and American Naïveté

May 27, 2018

Even though it has been twenty-seven years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, college educated professionals in Government, Journalism and higher education have not understood the distinct “totalitarian” character of Marxist-based regimes in the former Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and North Korea.

These regimes are described as “dictatorial” and controlled by “Dictators.” That language is symptomatic of the absence of “regime analysis” that has moved not even an inch since President Woodrow Wilson set the United States on course to establish “democracy” throughout the world.

The opposite to democratic regimes that represent the people was understood to be “Dictatorships” that represented the will of “Dictators.”

Continuation of such language disguises the true nature of Marxist-Leninist regimes that seek to impose the ideology of a 19th century crank ideologue on entire nations. Thus the Communist regime in North Korea subjects its people to starvation, religious persecution, and poverty in pursuit of a Marxist dream of a classless society. In the People’s Republic of China (PRC), President Xi Jinping has devoted himself to Maoism and is attempting to impose a system of absolute control on the Chinese people–all the while consolidating all the instruments of power in his hands.

Enter President Trump, a President ignorant of most subjects necessary for the administration of his great office, who offers to meet with Kim Jong-un of North Korea and the offer of enriching the people of North Korea with commerce and relaxation of tensions between North and South Korea.

President Trump is unaware that improving the lives of the people of North Korea will lead to the overthrow of North Korea’s communist regime, and fails to see that the PRC wants North Korea to pose a nuclear threat to the West as part of the PRC’s goal of domination of South Korea, the Republic of China and Japan.

Nothing will come of meetings with the North Korean regime. Only strangulation of that regime with economic sanctions and corresponding sanctions on the PRC and any nation engaged in commerce with North Korea will cause change.

The conduct of such a policy, however, requires a strategy of what President Reagan called “Peace through Strength,” and persons with a strategic cast of mind within the councils of President Trump.

General “Mad Dog” Mattes and General John Kelly are excellent tacticians, not grand strategists, and U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo comes to that office with the political, but limited, skills of a member of Congress. Moreover, Secretary Pompeo gives every indication that he does not comprehend the ideological bent of the career Foreign Service nor the Leftist “professionals” at the Central Intelligence Agency or of the ideological thinking of a New Class of legal, educational and journalistic “professionals” who hate America.

It remains to be seen if–in the remainder of the President’s first term–that men with grand strategic ideas and command of reality can overcome the President’s complete and utter ignorance of national security and foreign policy and limited understanding of the ideological cast of mind of “professionals” who populate the administrative, deep, state.

Getting Higher Education Wrong

May 24, 2018

On Sunday, May 13,  a Left-wing “Attack Team” at The New York Times wished  the Trump Administration’s Betsy DeVos “Happy Mother’s Day.” Unfortunately, even the U.S. Department of Education is missing what ails American higher education. In this essay titled “The Left’s Attack on For-Profit Education,” I argue that both The New York Times and Trump’s people at the Department have not addressed the real problem: a college education costs too much.

Mea Culpa

May 23, 2018

Brenda Lee in 1960, and some others, have sung songs about being sorry and the Catholic mass recites a “mea culpa” in English, “through my fault.”

You tell me mistakes
Are part of being young
But that don’t right
The wrong that’s been done
(I’m sorry) I’m sorry
(So sorry) So sorry

It’s a little less interesting when Starbucks, Uber and Wells Fargo say they are sorry, too.

All three screwed up.

Wells Fargo is so vast an enterprise that top management didn’t know that agents were rigging the numbers of new credit card accounts. Uber has hired some bad drivers and the founder is alleged to have stolen some driverless car technology. Starbuck’s is closing one day to give diversity training to all employees at a cost of an estimated $14 million.

The cost for Wells Fargo’s “mistake” was a fine of $185 million and the resignation of that horse drawn outfit’s President and CEO.

At least one of Uber’s driverless vehicles killed someone, so that will cost big bucks. Starbuck’s mistake is imposing diversity training on employees. Forget that Lberal nonsense.

Saying sorry is just not enough when the person saying sorry is a corporation. Surely, there were ways to avoid big mistakes?

Wells Fargo grew too big and should have been broken up into three independent banks year ago and as for Uber, those fellas should have grown more slowly and spent more time vetting their drivers. As for Starbuck’s, why provide diversity training in all stores? Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Boston are cities with large European ethnic populations where relations with African Americans have been difficult. Provide diversity training selectively, unless your point is to “make a point.” I will continue to buy my coffee from Starbucks and my pastries from Dunkin’ Donuts.

 

 

A Future GOP Leader

May 22, 2018

Loss of the Presidential election in 2008 to Barack Obama spelled the end of the GOP as an effective force in Presidential politics.  Even in 2016, GOP regulars could not secure the GOP nomination for one of their own.

Though President Trump hasn’t a clue about how to administer the office of President of the United States, he’s doing a good job distracting the general public from his eccentricities and side-line business interests.

All this will catch up with him eventually and, if not Impeached, the President will be challenged for the GOP nomination in 2019.

Despite every sign that the Congressional GOP is brain-dead, the announcement that 20 GOP congressmen have requested that a second Special Counsel be appointed to investigate the Department of Justice and the FBI, identifies some that may not be afflicted with a terminal disease.

Here are their names:

McCarthy of California and Scalise of Louisiana, Zeldin of New York,  Jim Jordan of Ohio, Francis Rooney of Florida, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Claudia Tenney of New York, Jody Hice of Georgia, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Harris of Maryland, Dave Brat of Virginia, and Paul Gosar of Arizona.

The U.S. House of Representatives is a training ground for future U.S. Senators, which raises the question, “Which of these men will aspire to lead the GOP after his election to the U.S. Senate?”

After Parkland and Santa Fe

May 21, 2018

Parkland, Florida’s high school today services 3,000 students. Santa Fe, Texas’s student enrollment is 1,460.  In both schools, one student exhibited violent behavior. In the case of Parkland, the student responsible was expelled, “treated’ with mood altering drugs and “lost” to health services, his former high school and the local police. The student at Santa Fe exhibited bizarre behaviors in dress, but his demeanor did not require interventions.

In a smaller school of 500 students, both students might have been identified much earlier–but not in a school with 3,000 students or three times 500.

I know how schools like that try to cope. I graduated from North Miami high school in North Miami, Florida when North Miami was a Mecca for employment in Florida’s tourism industry and attracted tens of thousands of persons from northern states and rural areas of Florida. Teachers did their best, even using new technologies to teach basic courses, but were overwhelmed by sheer numbers of students. My high school graduating class had more than 1,000 graduates!

In any high school of gargantuan size some students will be “lost,” drop out, or be forced to leave. Some gifted students will find their calling.

Jeff Zucker, president of NBC, is a North Miami graduate. The founder of Planet Hollywood, Keith Barish, was my classmate, as was Stanley Ringler, later a Rabbi and executive with B’nai Brith. I went on to earn a Ph.D. Public speaking and debate programs at North Miami brought Barrish, Ringler and dozens of other students together and ameliorated the “mass education” we were compelled to endure.

I’m appalled, but not surprised, however, that today my former high school’s current enrollment is 2,578 schools, and that the Parkland and Santa Fee high schools also  “house” so many students.

A solution is to tear down those education “warehouses” and build neighborhood-centric schools of no more than 500 students. And, possibly, reserve one to serve as a Charter School for 500 students. That school will probably begin to attract applications from the remaining public high schools. If that happens, the other schools should be permitted to change their status.

But, will even that enable us to identify “problem” students?

The greater problem is American popular culture that demonstrates the attractiveness of violence in the form of video games, television programming  and extreme activities. All these are having an impact on “pre-Millennial” Americans.

Older “Millennials” are attracted to prescription drugs and a variety of opioids whose misuse is shattering families and killed 64,000 in 2017. Will some from this age cohort, whose behaviors do not lead to death, be attracted, later in life, to violence against fellow workers, elected officials or persons in authority?

In an earlier era, families, churches, religious colleges, and the general culture directed the actions of young Americans to socially constructive lives. No such social “controls” are effective today and the civic responsibilities of citizens were removed from higher education in the campus disruptions of 1968-1973. For forty-five years, college students have not been taught what their responsibilities are to one another.

 

After Trump

May 20, 2018

Conservative Republicans have mixed feelings about President Donald Trump, especially if they served in the Administration of Ronald Reagan. Tens of thousands of young conservatives came of age during the campus riots of 1968 and 1973. Those who chose graduate school were philosophically inclined and gravitated to the  University of Chicago, Cornell, the New School and the University of Notre Dame. Some of them even sought out Michael Oakeshott at the London School of Economics.

Or, if they wanted a career in the Law, legal studies at Columbia, Yale or Chicago were the places to go.

Ronald Reagan’s Administration was an “old Man’s” government, however, and harkened back to the good old days of battles with Labor Unions, battles with Nazis and Fascists and especially, “D-Day.”  The World War II generation were not children-oriented and once, having come into their own, did not promote conservative young Republicans who came of age in the 1960s.

We who worked on the Goldwater campaign saw that close up. Lip service was given to “Youth for Goldwater,” but Barry Goldwater’s “conservatism” was skin-deep. His campaign was not based in Burkean conservative ideas championed by Russell Kirk, but was attracted to weaponized Enlightenment ideas like “natural rights.”  Even his wife, Peggy, supported Planned Parenthood in Arizona.

Despite the age differences between young and old Republicans, anti-Communism united us all–except internationalists like Nelson Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger and Nixon-era appointees who saw a world where Communists and Capitalists divided the world into  respective spheres of influence and ditched all ambitions to nuke one another.

Ronald Reagan, to his credit, argued that we must win the intellectual and political battle with the Soviet Union and developed policies best described as “Peace through strength.”

That era is gone, and Reagan’s own inattention to life beyond 1980 placed a representative of East Coast internationalism, G. H. W. Bush, in the position of Vice President. Personally charming, but clueless about economics (even though he studied that subject at Yale), G. H. W. Bush lacked a strategic cast of mind, lacked even the slightest understanding of what Russell Kirk called “the Conservative Mind,” and was loved by career government executives wherever he served—especially at the CIA.  As Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Bush missed entirely the strategic idea of Richard Nixon’s “China Card” and sought to establish good relations with that totalitarian state.

Of course, G. H. W. Bush was not alone.

Liberal Internationalists sought accommodation with Soviet and Maoist regimes, not policies whose end was removal of this virus from the bloodstream of Western intellectual culture.

We paid a price for that type of “Republican” with defeat of Gerald Ford by Jimmy Carter, the defeat of G. H. W. Bush by Bill Clinton, the losses of John McCain and Mitt Romney to Barack Obama. After eight years of a Marxist educated President from Illinois, the American voter was ready for radical change.

The takeover of the GOP by a celebrity, former Democrat, anti-immigration Populist, proponent of tariffs over free trade, and Big Spender, former television personality Donald Trump delivered a rebuke to Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio–and the list goes on.

We must now ask, “What will happen in 2020?” Will it be a coronation of Mike Pence? Or will we experience a reprise of 1964 when the GOP was wiped from power and influence and a Democrat politician–dominated by his sexual libido–assumed office and expanded a land war in Asia, introduced welfare programs that Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan demonstrated were destructive of fundamental virtues and created a system of welfare dependency, blew the federal deficit into the stratosphere, and fostered a “New Class” devoted to growing, administering, and becoming wealthy on the administrative state.

The Presidential election of 2020 has the potential to bring democracy in America to collapse and give generations of college “educated” Americans who have been denied a civic education since 1973 an opportunity to try something else besides democracy. Even Donald Trump has suggested that elections may have proven to be dated, instruments of an earlier age, and not necessary, at least not as frequent as every two, four, or six years.

All conservatives, for or against Trump, need to ask, “What’s next?”