Since Donald Trump announced his run for president, he has managed to suck the oxygen out of the rest of the pack. People like Jeb! and Marco Rubio are “front-runners” and Carly Fiorina is an unexpectedly harsh critic of Hillary Clinton. Today, a Republican candidate has caught up with Trump, at least in Iowa polls and that man is Dr. Benjamin Carson.
The fact that Carson, who has been in single digits for most of this campaign so far, tied with Trump at 32% in state polls is a surprise, but not unbelievable. Carson has strong beliefs, is extremely intelligent and quite articulate if you give him more than 15 seconds to talk. He has leadership abilities that put him at the top of the pack for a non-politician.
With all due respect to Carly, (and Trump, I guess) Carson’s leadership is as a surgeon. Being good with a scalpel does not make you a great surgeon. Unlike a CEO who tells employees what to do, Carson has learned to lead among equals, doctors who are intelligent and qualified, but who also need a team leader. A surgical team is one of the most precisely accurate working groups there is, especially in the high-stakes field of separating conjoined twins.
I’m perfectly happy voting for Ben Carson for president. Although, it wouldn’t hurt if Scott Walker were his vice president.
When I think about socialism, I skip all the modern takes on it and go right back to the source, The French Revolution. It was socialism at its most pure. The 1% in the monarchy were the problem, so the people rose up and executed them. The leaders of the revolution set themselves up as the government. The first rule of socialism set in quickly. When everyone gets their needs taken care of regardless of their labor, labor becomes voluntary and scarce. Bakers literally had to be forced to bake bread so people didn’t starve.
Stage 2 of socialism involves social manipulation and authoritarianism. The French had the Reign of Terror. Basically, people were executed for minor crimes of the new socialist code, like complaining about the government. At some point the rate of killing has to slow. For the French, the leaders of the Revolution were executed. Socialists never use this as an example.
I mention this because socialists can no longer attempt a proletariat revolution. You can’t kill the rich, you can only attempt to eat the rich. Modern socialism claims that extracting the wealth from this top 1% means prosperity for the other 99% and assumes that the first rule of socialism will somehow not reveal itself.
For the last half century, the federal government has been working to move wealth from the White population to the Black and other minority populations. The 1% wasn’t working because they protected their assets. This is Stage 2. Actually, for the last century, progressives have been trying to take power from the states and individual stake holders and distribute it to the masses. This has led to the masses being less productive because of the first rule of socialism. Specifically, I speak of the federal income tax, the laws letting non land owners having the vote and the direct election of Senators.
Recently, we have seen this impotent Black rage movement, usually resulting in no social change but violence and criminality from Black people. Remember, no liberal movement wants to win, otherwise they get murdered. What’s been even longer incoming is the rage from White people who are not wealthy, but expected to pay more of a lowered income to jobless people with vague promises of unionized paradise where $15 an hour sounds like a lot of money. They might as well offer $50.
Progressives may be right that the Tea Party or Donald Trump represents angry, White men. The problem is that it represents White women, Black people who want to work hard, immigrants who worked to become citizens and middle-age adults who figured out that Democrats are frequently full of crap. I’d say to anyone who wants a government that fights crime and not “economic inequality,” you are an honorary angry White man.
The days are running together for me more than usual. It brings back to mind my teenage years when I would spend the summer sleeping almost the opposite hours that everyone else does. It also doesn’t help that the news has a certain, yet horrible, sameness. Hillary Clinton is still hiding stuff and sliding in the polls, but she’s still running for president. Black criminals are killing cops and yet White liberals bitch about an imagined authoritarian state.
I’ll miss these days in a couple of months when my time will be defined by dark and cold nights and bright and cold days.
When Mike Huckabee compared the administration to Nazi capitulators, pundits saw it as a desperate move to gain attention for a weak presidential bid. I wonder if they dare to say the same thing about Hillary Clinton. She evoked imagery of the Nazis rounding up Jews and others into boxcars when describing Republican immigration plans. The analogy would only work if being deported back to Mexico was like going to a concentration camp. I’m not sure how the Mexican government would feel about that comparison.
After 8 years nothing has really changed. Hillary may be able to push her way into the nomination this time, much like Romney did in 2012. Like Romney, she will not win the general election. The Democrats know that she can’t win an election outside of New York State. She can use all the red meat she wants, but if Obama anoints a different candidate (Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren) all his left-wing supporters will leave her, no matter her rhetoric.
I haven’t seen much news today, except that Trump and Clinton are still at the top of their party’s polls, but neither of them has broken 50%. I have to admit, I’d like to see a debate between them. They’re both so self-absorbed it’s like a black hole of delusion.
During a live broadcast on station WDBJ in Virginia, a Black former employee of the station murdered a reporter and camera operator on air. He got away and posted on social media sites his own video and a manifesto of his belief that racism was the reason for all his woes.
The people who call for a conversation on race do not believe that words can solve anything. They (and by “they” I mean the white people who run these groups) want White people to give up their freedom to the government and eventually to the kind of socialists who end up killing everyone who gave up their power.
They also want White people to give up their guns. Somehow, the ownership of guns by law-aiding citizens makes them appear in the hands of criminals who will never give up their guns willingly. If you think the media was for gun control before, see how it gets now that their own have been taken out by guns, even if it was another person in the media.
From what I understand, Megyn Kelly went on an unscheduled vacation for 11 days after the first Republican debate. Her moderation was criticized by leading candidate Donald Trump. She returned on Monday and spent some time interviewing Trump detractors. Trump, in his usual fashion, decided to re-ignite the flame war with Kelly to the dismay of programming head Roger Ailes.
I was going to talk about Trump’s economic populism. While people like Bernie Sanders like to include people by claiming they are all oppressed by the corporations and need to rise up, Trump is the example of how America is great, because people can be rich and famous. I think maybe fortune and fame isn’t as important as what Trump is most famous for. He does not suffer fools.
Even if you like Megyn Kelly, (I’m indifferent) there are people who are not kind or fair to you, even if it’s just a terrible server in a restaurant. There’s something really cathartic about being able to tell someone off once in a while. For Donald Trump, once is a while seems to be every single time.
Currency started so that people didn’t have to carry around pieces of gold to do business. In the old days, money existed as a substitute for actual valuable tender, such as precious metals. This became difficult, as keeping metal in a vault made it unusable to make things. Most countries instead use the “full faith and credit” of their treasury. We call this fiat currency. It exists because we say it does.
China often finds that their currency inflates to the point where other countries (mostly the US) pay more for their products than they could spend domestically. China’s response is to change the value of their money once in a while. This works, but it takes a lot of the faith out of their fiat currency. This is part of what we saw in the stock market today.
Even if this is like 2008, we won’t avoid a recession. Pulling out of Chinese currency would lead to a depression immediately. 1000 points is a drop in the bucket by comparison. The long-term policy is to stabilize currency, but that fiscal soundness will always look dumb compared to traders riding high on financial speculation.
So buy bonds instead of stocks. Buy gold instead of bonds. Buy goods instead of gold. I suggest shotguns and toilet paper.
There are two strongly connected questions about the Trump phenomenon. The first is why do people support Trump? The other is why is Donald Trump running for president? To some extent, it’s the same question.
On the night of the first debate, I was rambling on a podcast about Trump vs. Ted Cruz or Rand Paul. Cruz and Paul cover similar territory, aren’t afraid to buck the system and they also have some history behind them. My first stab at an answer was that Trump is defiant, much like the first leaders of the Tea Party movement. Cruz and Paul were Tea Party candidates, but they actually had to join the system once they won.
Rick Santelli kick started the idea of a Tea Party as an act of defiance, but the Republican Party was heading in that direction. Filibuster can be a political risk, but the Republicans were close to having that option taken away from them for over a year during the Obama administration. Republican leaders in Congress were emboldened because working in the system killed their party and they had nothing left to lose.
Having nothing to lose is a heady sensation for most people. Instead of all the things you usually worry about, survival mode kicks in. You become unafraid, decisive and bold. That feeling is usually short-lived. Like the Republican Party, bold action can give you back the things you lost, giving you something to lose and reasons to be afraid again.
Enter the man who can’t lose. Donald Trump is the very definition of F.U. money. He is so financially secure that bad business deals, high taxes and expensive divorces can’t destroy him. He crossed the point of having something to lose to a point of being too powerful to be taken down. I think that answers the second question. Donald Trump knows he has nothing that can be taken away by the American political system and he thinks that everyone else running does. He sees himself as the only one who can (or will) say the things that need to be said.
People are responding to that quality. Scott Walker, for example, may have the history of action, be he often has to watch his words because of politics. Voters can sense that trepidation in everyone but Trump. Trump may be the honey badger of politics, but the honey badger gets the honey.
I had to go into work on a Saturday. In my case, I’ll just take off a few hours during the week. Then I came home and did some home improvement. Basically, I have nothing today. Although, I do have something planned about Trump and why he’s so big right now.