Just Thinkin’: Liberty, Good Faith and Donald Trump

Obama pisses me off, no two ways about it. It’s been eight years of inept quagmire under him. But if I had to choose, I’d choose a quagmire of ineptitude than tyrannical efficiency and the authoritarianism that will come with Donald Trump. Of him, I’m actually wary.

Liberty is only ever truly protected by good faith between people. It is civil contract and what good is a contract if not honored? Trump does not deal in good faith and his supporters are too stupid to realize it. In the name of supposed vengeance for the last twenty years of bad politics and policies and in the name of a hollow victory, they will happily allow Trump to operate in bad faith and violate the social contract upon which civil society is founded and through which liberty is guaranteed.

Yes, of Trump and his mob, I am very wary.

NEWSFLASH: RIP Justice Scalia

America, the Constitution and conservatives lost a great defender and ally this evening. Antonin Scalia wrote some of the most well-reasoned, delightfully acerbic and philosophically sound opinions during his tenure on the Supreme Court and to lose him, not least during a contentious election year and with so many crucial cases slated to go before the court, is a palpable blow. His passing is more than just what he might have done for our country, but also it is an undeniable loss of his scholarship and philosophy, from which any true academic, no matter their political stripe, would learn.

As usual, Scalia’s body isn’t even cold, and the Leftist Death Cult is already dancing on his grave. Go to the comments sections of any Lame Stream Media outlet and see the depravity.

NEWSFLASH: Cruzin’

Despite general predictions that Trump would take Iowa, Cruz won the Iowa Caucus! So far, Trump is still leading in New Hampshire, but that really isn’t totally shocking. Tied for second place in the current polls is Cruz and Kasich. The New Hampshire primary is typically a less values-based primary and an open primary to boot, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Democrats voting for Trump in lieu of Hillary and Bernie. Keep your eyes on the Southern primaries.

True conservatives should definitely celebrate, since despite the odds, Cruz’s traditional campaign and conservatism have won the night, but we also shouldn’t rest on our laurels. It’s still a long road to November, so let’s keep on Cruzin’!

NEWSFLASH: Boko Haram

Don’t tell me Islam is a religion of peace. I’ve heard this phrase for over half my life, cried vociferously in the wake of September 11th, but actions speak louder than words. By its actions, and its own admission, THIS is Islam.

God rest their souls. God save us all.

Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people!

Psalm 3:7-8

It’s Not Just About Winning

If the choice for president comes down to Hillary and whomever can supposedly beat Hillary, I’d rather not win. Perhaps that seems like a bizarre attitude to have in a contentious election year, but as a Millennial who has gone through two presidential election cycles with lackluster, progressive Republicans as the lesser of two evils, I’m tired of hearing about nominating who “can beat the Democrats.” For the last eight years, the Right has accepted the candidate it thinks will win over the Left and ignoring its own interests for the sake of sponsoring the winner. It is a childish, shortsighted way to elect a president and it is not just the party establishment that is guilty of it this time, if Trump’s meteoric rise is any indication. What does it matter if the president is Republican if he governs like a Democrat? What is the point of winning if we sacrifice every reason we want to win at all?

The last two election cycles put forth decidedly stodgy, stereotypical politician-types, adept at talking without really saying anything and making promises but no commitments, because they were supposedly “electable.” McCain was supposed to have bipartisan appeal, with Sarah Palin there to give him a “man of the people” edge. He lost and so we got Obama. Sure, maybe we can blame 2008 on Obama being slicker than a used car salesman, running a rock star campaign and using his relative anonymity to his advantage. We can say he hustled us. There is no such excuse for 2012. By that point, it was obvious we had a radical in office, one who has zero regard for the Constitution and cares not at all for the will and consent of the governed. He had done what he wished for four years, so by 2012 we should have had ample time to prepare. Obama is charismatic and committed to his leftist principles and in those he has not faltered. Instead of putting up an equally strong-principled contender, one equally charismatic and committed, we had Romney foisted on us, who was uninspiring at best. He had a democrat-esque administration behind him and while that worked well for Massachusetts, Massachusetts is also overwhelmingly democrat. Supposedly, that made Romney just moderate enough to lure some of Obama’s voters away from him. The GOP offered up a knockoff and expected it to win against the genuine article. The only slight good that perhaps came out of that is it began to wake the sleeping giant that is the conservative base. Twice we were told we had to go under the proverbial bus in order to win and twice we lost. The Silent Majority stopped being silent.

There was a glimmer of hope in the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections. Both looked like a return to core conservative principles, a heavy check and balance for Obama’s increasingly outrageous liberal agenda and governance. Important cases about key social and economic issues were slated for the Supreme Court. It looked like the government was listening again: stick to your principles, listen to your base and stand your ground against the would-be tyrant in the White House. Our hopes have been systematically dashed. Our conservative champions revealed their true colors, conceding to the Left on their false promises that they would make concessions as well, only have several disastrous budget deals- the latest as of October 2015 from former conservative darling Paul Ryan- and the Supreme Court betrayed us by allowing the Affordable Care Act to stand, tearing down DOMA and Prop 8, before finally stuffing gay marriage down our throats last June. The party establishment failed us.

The cycle has started again. The base is still angry that we have been used and abused by the GOP, but Trump is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Nothing about him is conservative. He is, very simply put, an executive first and foremost. He is determined to get things done and on the surface, that is admirable, but the things he wants to get done are not generally in line with what the base wants to get done (he supports universal healthcare, has no problems with taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, supports and has benefited from eminent domain, to name a few) and perhaps more importantly, how he wants to get those things done sounds more and more like extreme executive orders. Hasn’t that been one of the biggest outrages of Obama’s administration, that he bypasses Congress and all constitutional checks and balances with executive orders to force his agenda through? Trump is no better. He is half a speech away from promising to make all the trains run on time. His definition of Making America Great Again is not necessarily conservatism’s definition of making America great. And the refrain through all of this? He can beat Hillary. He’s electable.

We are falling into the same trap we have fallen in the last two presidential elections: we value winning over succeeding. Our justified anger at the Washington Cartel (as Cruz aptly named it) has become senseless mob mentality, our reason overruled by the visceral emotionalism evoked by Trump’s firebrand campaign. There is no denying that there is something supremely satisfying about Trump’s unapologetic lack of political correctness. He says what a lot of us have been thinking and protesting for years to one degree or another. However, Trump uses his bluster and brazenness to disguise the key fact of his campaign: he is not a conservative. There is more to conservatism than being a loud mouth. His plans to use his potential executive powers in a manner very similar to Obama. It poses the question: did conservatives object to Obama’s executive overreach or just the reasons he was overreaching? If the answer is the latter, then do we truly value the Constitution? Or do conservatives just want to win, regardless the cost? It is the perpetual quandary of whether the ends justify the means- and the answer is clear to true conservatives.

The point of winning the presidential election is to succeed. It is not just picking the candidate who is going to win, it is picking the candidate who will lead America successfully. Supposedly, the conservative belief is that proper, constitutional leadership is success. Conservatism itself stems from an adherence to the Constitution, since everything we hold dear, such as limited republican government, free enterprise, individualism, states’ rights, civil society and national security flourish under the Constitution. Indeed, the Constitution was written with those things in mind by the Founding Fathers. If we are truly committed to those ideals, then we should be rallying behind the candidate who will best protect them, not one who will institute them by fiat, which is essentially what Trump intends to do in office.

It is not about winning; it is about succeeding. Trump talks a good game and he could possibly even win the general election on populist sentiment. That does not mean he will succeed. I would rather lose the election and let liberal policies fail in their own right than win and fail under false-conservatism. If Trump is elected and does all he says he will do, all the not-conservative things, in the name of conservatism, conservatism will not succeed, nor will it survive. And the great tragedy is it will not have even been given a real chance in the 21st century.

Vote for Kirk

Oh WaPo….WaPo, WaPo, WaPo, what are we supposed to do with you? Clearly your ability to critically think and analyze…well, anything…is sorely lacking, but you’re good for a laugh. Every court needs a jester I suppose, but remember, eventually shticks become repetitive and unfunny, which is where you’re rapidly heading. Your recent article on how Ted Cruz was incorrect about Captain James T. Kirk’s capability to lead, thus making a Kirk-esque character ideal for president, would have been perhaps a bit funnier if the analysis wasn’t so utterly blasé and superficial. Sorry, but neither Spock nor Picard are better captains than Kirk. The evidence (such a serious term for television episodes, no?) presented in the article to prove Kirk as essentially incapable without his sidekick Spock (completely ignoring the old country doctor), were limited to those moments in which Kirk is *gasp* human, complete with human failings, through which he must battle, as all people must, in order to do the right thing.

What about the episode “Arena”, during which Kirk is faced with an extreme situation without the benefit of Spock and Bones at his side? He successfully manages to rig together a makeshift cannon in order to give himself an edge over a physically superior foe and yet, when the time came to deliver the killing blow, winning his freedom from the third-party aliens who had captured him, he chooses instead to show mercy. Or “The Corbomite Maneuver”, during which Kirk (after Spock fails to come up with a logical solution to their predicament) successfully outwits a supposedly deadly enemy, saving his crew from destruction and, when the enemy ship Fesarius is damaged by the Enterprise’s escape, puts together a boarding party to offer aid? What results is an agreement that an emissary of the Federation (by extension, humanity) is chosen to accompany the alien Balok in order to facilitate the exchange of cultures. The one time Spock is put in direct command of anything in a critical situation, “The Galileo Seven”, all the logic Spock employs still gets two crewmen killed. “I’ve taken every logical step, yet still two men are dead.” Bones’s reaction sums it up perfectly, “A little less analyzing, Spock and a little more action.” Spock succeeds in that episode when he finally takes a Kirk-esque risk to jettison the fuel and ignite it in order to signal the Enterprise. Kirk is the quintessential leader, a man of purpose and action, but he is not a mindless, aggressive brute, as the WaPo author seems to believe. He is a leader, willing to communicate, committed to fulfilling the Enterprise’s five year mission and represent Star Fleet in an ambassadorial capacity, but when push comes to shove, he’s not afraid to act decisively based on principle. He does not hide behind “multiculturalism” or use “moral uncertainty” as excuses to let wrongs go unchallenged nor allow his crew to be imperiled, such as in “The Return of the Archons” when a tyrannical computer posing as a god mentally subjugates the inhabitants of Beta III and threatens to crash the Enterprise. Kirk’s strength is in his principles, his commitment to his crew and to Star Fleet’s mission. Picard may have been the first freshman to win the academy marathon, but Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru with the quintessential mindset necessary for any leader: there is no such thing as a no-win scenario. Kirk does not give up, nor does he hide behind moral relativism as an excuse for inaction.

This is the sort of leader today’s America needs. There’s no denying that there is great and possibly terrible change on the wind. We have amassed enemies both foreign and domestic, are facing economic instability and our culture is at war with itself. We do not need another leader prone to pontificating in place of acting, one more likely to capitulate to our enemies than to stand up to them or one more enamored with his own fame than with leading our nation lawfully. We do not need Khan’s treachery or Trelaine’s childishness. Picard, while not my preference since I found Star Trek: Next Generation dreadfully dull, isn’t necessarily bad, just not the leader for a times such as these. He is the peacetime leader, the ambassador for when the wars are won. When asked some years ago about how their characters would have handled Saddam Hussein, Shatner said Kirk’s response would be to tell Hussein to “drop dead.” Even Patrick Stewart joked that Picard would “still be talking.” Kinda says it all and kudos to Cruz for recognizing it.