The first part of this post is adapted from a talk given to the Queens Libertarians in Whitestone, New York on March 10.
Back in the ’90’s, when I and my fellow local LP members were trying to figure out resource and cost-effective methods of chapter building (to at least further higher meeting attendance), quite by accident, we stumbled across what would later become a more well-articulated, and celebrated developmental methodology. Instead of only trying expensive advertising in local papers, or tedious phone tree calling to get the same folks to come out, we also mailed out “community notice” postcards to the 10 or so key media sources in the area, that summarized the upcoming meeting. We also mailed out a newsletter to current members that reported on our topical meetings (which were merely discussions—we had no regular guest speaker program until later).
The outcome of this initial multi-pronged promotional effort was 1) a solid trickle of new prospects who would visit each month, solely from seeing our notice in the community paper, and 2) steady attendance by other paid members, who kept coming back because they felt they were being kept in the loop via the chapter newsletter. It was the older methods that turned out to deliver only tepid results, so we de-emphasized them to focus more on what was working. By doing so, we inadvertently completed a simple-Simon version of growth hacking, which Wikipedia defines as “a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels, product development, sales segments, and other areas of the business to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.” This combination of marketing with testing to determine the best use of old or innovative technology has been the key to building a number of new enterprises, such as Air BnB (whose growth exploded when it tested integrating its business model with Craigslist) and similar ventures.
Liberty-Friendly Innovations, Growth Hacked
The developments and innovations in American politics over the last decade, I maintain, justify considering porting the tactics or dynamics of growth hacking over to the libertarian universe, and more broadly the “liberty movement,” which encompasses individual freedom and free market supporters ranging from the LP, to paleos or constitutionalist conservatives ala Ron and Rand Paul, and other alternative voices. This adaptation is useful in light of the inability of the LP or libertarians in general to gain more ground in terms of our public image, or in achieving major election victories and policy success using the older approaches. One advantage of adopting ideas for which we already have “proof of concept” in place, is that it permits us to skip the experimentation stage, and proceed to scale up our operations without taking on new risks. Certain tested and now proven methods are already on hand to help liberty, if we will only will ourselves to apply them.
The developments since 2007 that have paved the way for this liberty 2.0 power wave include the Ron Paul ‘R3volution‘ (not a typo, that’s how supporters spelled it), the Tea Party, the populist trend that elected Trump, and even such things as the rise of Mayor DeBlasio (he was, after all, the first Democrat elected Mayor of NYC following twenty years of GOP or Independent incumbents). Each example had benefits and deficits, serving as laboratories on how to do things differently, to achieve something different. Like many things in life, more was learned by the failures than by their wins, depending on the instance. And each case accomplished more in terms of bringing aspects of the liberty agenda to mass public attention, or mainstream acceptance than running the same old-style LP candidacy, membership drive, or issue campaigns of yore. Those traditional efforts are largely forgotten right after they are mounted, with no permanent impact made on the public, let alone the establishment, or “swamp”—how many regular people really remember Gary Johnson at this point, for example?
The Paul campaigns for President showed we could run a high-profile libertarian campaign in the Republican primaries, and use online resources to efficiently organize national grassroots support for the effort. But it turned out to be an incomplete strategy that wrongly assumed the elite-kept media and top GOP party apparatus would ultimately ‘play fair,’ then line up to fall in line to support a true liberty figure for the nomination. In fact the MSM and leadership used all manner of devices to marginalize Paul in plain daylight, or else disrupt his campaign’s momentum, to protect the elite’s preferred contenders. Paul himself had no apparent plan or inclination to effectively confront this obstacle, or to build a winning voter coalition to overcome it. The Trump and Outsider phenomenon showed how to get a (somewhat) populist-friendly candidate or issue (like Brexit) to succeed against the established order (i.e., run somebody with the independent resources and temperament to bluntly confront it). The thematically pro-liberty aspect of this development, however, has been resulting policy that is, at best, incoherent from an intellectual libertarian perspective, or at times more driven by Trump’s ego than by principle.
The Tea Party showed us that we could succeed in “primarying” or ousting DC incumbents (Dem and GOP) who have participated in the fiscal insanity (of over-spending and constant borrowing) that is tanking the US economy long-term. But the swamp’s response to this originally non-partisan movement was to swiftly repackage it as a conservative subset that was just upset over Democratic overspending (“pay no attention to those Republican over-spenders behind the curtain”). Thus co-opted back into a standard partisan rhetorical box, the neutered movement became much less effective. Finally, DeBlasio demonstrated how an obscure progressive figure could leverage his base in order to winning major office, despite being a fatally flawed statist-to-the-max politician as far as his policy record goes.
Four Ways to Hack
One clear pattern emerging from these movements since 2007, is the power of taking on establishment statism along the primary front, where incumbents (and their protection racket) are more vulnerable, and the smaller voter turnout can be exploited. A liberty candidate can make a bigger splash on public reception here than in the fall election, where the media, the big party machine, and the money factor (or lack of such funds) can be counted on to drown out or marginalize alternative voices. In association with having a primary race focus, the following relatively new, proven techniques (involving reverse triangulation, the BOSS approach, self-reimbursing campaign financing, creative branding, and leveraging local resources, etc., to advance candidates and causes) have emerged that can growth hack liberty projects going forward:
Triangulation- As discussed in a past article, triangulation is a very useful positioning tool for creating a situation that improves the stature of a targeted figure or viewpoint. In classic use, the target person to be ‘up’ positioned gets a lesser figure (who has safe tenure or is in a safe seat) states an issue in an inflammatory or ‘extreme’ way, drawing in the political opposition to heatedly respond. The target figure then steps into the flap as “the statesman” and states the same view in an NON-inflammatory way, thereby appearing to be “the statesman” or reasonable party. Thus a position that would have been risky for the “statesman” to originally introduce (or act as the rainmaker for) becomes normalized or mainstreamed, following this calculated sequence. Certain voting blocs could be engaged based on a triangulated approach (through the candidate provocatively attacking those opposed to that bloc, drawing attacks from those opponents, thereby causing that bloc into supporting the candidate for being “their champion”).
Since the 2000’s, the alternative movements above described have shepherded in a “reverse triangulation” variation, where the ‘extreme’ party initiates the flap sequence, in order produce such a strong opposition response that the public in general end up reacting by adopting a more moderate, or ‘common sense’ variation of the original ‘extreme position. The key case example of this is in action would be the notorious “(toy) guns for tots“ incident in NYC of 2002. Gun grabbers on the City Council at that time had already banned handguns, and had moved on to ban toy guns that were replicas. When manufacturers then decided to sell brightly colored toy guns that could not possibly be mistaken for real firearms, the grabbers proposed a bill to ban brightly colored toy guns as well. On the day of the public hearing about the bill, members of the local LP staged some street theatre at a Harlem school, handing out brightly colored toy guns to students. This “extreme” stunt set off fireworks at the hearing, and in the NYC media as well, denouncing the LP over the action. But the funniest thing then happened—the public reacted to the flap with a “what, um, why are they banning brightly colored toy guns?”—and poof, a bill that that was going to pass, didn’t pass.
In other words, it was one of the few days the LP actually did its job, and made a real difference, even if the exercise took the brave activists out of their comfort zone. In subsequent years, reverse triangulated controversies have more often been employed at Paul, Tea Party, or Trump rally events to act as the ‘tip of the spear’ to both freak out the establishment, and to spur the public into concurring with the “common sense” aspects of the more liberty-friendly position. The radical side that initiates well-selected flaps in this manner ultimately is investing faith in the mass public to choose liberty, once the issue is properly framed or presented to them.
B.O.S.S. Plan- Also outlined in an earlier post, the Bi-partisan Open Seat Strategy, which I’ll just repeat verbatim:
Most seats are in areas that are not competitive for the purposes of liberty candidates winning the election, that is, they are dominated by GOP or Dem hacks who win with above 55+% of the vote. Recognizing that 95% of seats are gerrymandered to support Republican or Democrat (statist) incumbents, we should focus instead on running in a primary or special election where the incumbent is retiring, passed away, or removed by scandal. Run on a liberty platform to win the nomination of the dominant party in the district or area (say, if it’s a deeply Democratic district, run a Ron Paul Democrat, or if it’s a Republican district, run a Ron Paul Republican).
Field for suitable candidates using the local Campaign for Liberty/pro-liberty meetups and mailing lists, or from the local LP. Upon winning the primary for the vacated seat, the liberty candidate then has the inside track to win the election. An example from a few years ago of how this results in victory is the Kerry Bentivolio case in Michigan (a Ron Paul supporter who won a US House seat by being the only GOP candidate in the primary when the incumbent Republican retired). The BOSS approach should thus create higher percentage opportunities for liberty people to win seats, regardless of which major party way the district rolls.
The best way of enacting this strategy is to use it to concentrate mainly on the 5-10% of races in the country where one could win on a BOSS basis, instead of the usual routine of just running quality liberty candidates in election campaigns against strong incumbents, only to almost certainly lose each race. Executed properly, BOSS sure beats remaining indefinitely limited to only “educational campaigns,” or reacting to fitful banter over political trends from Black Lives Matter, to porn stars suing Trump. Having a local bank of credibly funded, already vetted liberty candidates at the ready to enter into an open seat contest wherever it shows up will vastly improve the LP and other liberty candidates’s odds of actually winning major office. Adopting this strategy will also give the LP an additional purpose, namely, to vet the real, principled candidates needed to run on either the LP line, or on a major line when a BOSS-suitable situation opens up. Our end game should be to get libertarian/liberty-friendly legislation passed or policies put in place. Whether this is done by Libertarians elected through the LP, or liberty candidates who used the R or D label to gain office, but govern as libertarians nonetheless, the bottom line is to get that policy result. A party label is a vehicle, not the destination. Our true political home is a free country, not a major or minor party structure.
Self-Reimbursing Funding- Affluent candidate self funds primary campaign by putting the funds in a corporation, which lends it to the campaign. Upon winning the primary, the loan can be paid off from government matching funds. This tactic could persuade more affluent libertarians to run.
The key example of this, of course, is the Trump candidacy, since the Donald mostly lent himself the $50 million (via one of his entities) he used to fund his way to a primary victory, precisely in order to give him the option of using government matching funds, plus traditional fall fundraising to pay himself back. Trump ended up not exercising that option, and of course the whole “use state funding” scheme can be rejected as un-libertarian. Yet it is a practical and proven means of helping to convince a otherwise reluctant but affluent prospect to a) self-fund their campaign, b) thereby improve their chances of winning, c) avoid the toil of regular fundraising early on, and d) run a primary race while remaining independent of mega-donors or establishment/swamp political infrastructure.
Area/Local Leveraging- Run in a liberty-friendly local district (e.g., college area) for local office. Use the base vote to run for a well-selected larger seat (e.g., citywide or Congressional). In the example case of Bill DeBlasio, he rose to power by winning a city council seat, from which he ran for Public Advocate, one of the three citywide elected positions in NYC. Because fewer people vote in the primary (and still fewer bother to vote for the positions below that of Mayor), most of the votes DeBlasio got for the citywide seat came from his local Park Slope district. Upon winning the 2009 crowded Democratic primary on this basis in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, he had the inside track to win the election for Public Advocate, which later led to his 2013 run for Mayor. Now that’s leveraging.
Putting this all together in one composite example, a prospective candidate who has the means to seriously self-fund (say, to a six or seven figure level), and is a high profile/well branded personality, may be persuaded to run for major office based on mixing up the above proven tactics. An upcoming seat with a retiring incumbent should be targeted, whose primary (of the area’s dominant major party) could be won based on triangulating the most urgent issues identified by voters in the district or area. Based on a self-funding primary effort (set up with an option to reimburse the campaign), the candidate could end up winning it, thereby have the November election already wrapped up, and could then use that local base to later run and win citywide or larger regional office. This can work as a dynamite formula for forging a viable liberty politician’s career, for more and more candidates going forward, providing a solid basis for ongoing liberty action.
One more note: Don’t think that the enemy isn’t busy working on ways to growth hack tyranny, especially after their utterly unexpected loss of the White House in 2016. The Authoritarian Swamp Command has been in overdrive trying to reverse the tide of the outsider wave, using many old, along with some new tactics to re-establish their domination of the political order. They have the money and power to pursue this, and are for doggone sure working hard on it.
For example, the plan of the establishment for the last two years has not been to simply defeat Trump and the populist movement, but to completely ruin both. That’s why they pushed those last minute sexual assault charges against him in the election, and then disgusting hotel sex charges in the dossier. They couldn’t find a way to plant child porn pix on his PC or lure him into having a sex chat with a minor (as they did to frame former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter), but they probably tried. One rumored plan is for Mueller to accuse him of financial crimes by going into his business ventures spanning back decades. Whether he finds anything or not, the Democratic NY Attorney General then plans to dog Trump with the same charges at the state level.
Plus, Hillary keeps on quacking away with excuses about why she didn’t prevail in the election, precisely because her elite military-intelligence industrial complex (MIC) and Soros masters have informed her she would still have the backing of the entire Deep State/NWO cabal (which includes the CIA-kept media) for yet another run. Elite party leaders really think they have figured out or learned from their election rigging mistakes from 2016, and will get the fraud right next time. Expect an extra effort to pack FL with enough Democratic votes to make up for losing by 1% to Trump in ’16. Also expect rigging in the Midwest states to reverse the loss of MH, PA and WI Dems suffered in ’16. They’ve even thought hard about mirroring the unexpected Trump phenomenon by pushing the ultimate counter—floating globalist celebrity Oprah Winfrey as a possible 2020 contender. Anything, it seems, to reverse the results of 2016.
Indeed, sometimes to the exclusion of all else, Democratic plotters seem particularly focused on turning Florida reliably blue, via drop shipping legal and illegal immigrants into the state, among other methods. To repeat, Trump won FL by only 1%, so they’re close. If they then can do the same with Texas, it’s game, set and match for making the electoral college insurmountably blue in all Presidential races going forward. THAT’S why they treat everything else as irrelevant, or as dispensable—they know with the solidly Democratic states they currently control, they just need two more major states in their column, to have a permanent Democrat lock on the White House and the country. This factor alone, in large part, explains why populist pro-liberty folks have been somewhat forgiving of Trump’s frequently un-libertarian flaws, foibles, flips and other flops. The ascendancy of Trump in leading the populist liberty agenda has, for better or worse, kept us from teetering over into a total statist abyss.
Korea Update: Unification Wins
Meanwhile on the national policy front, there have been two gigantic developments, the first being the equivalent of a “Nixon goes to China” moment in American political history—Trump has signaled he would be meeting as early as May with North Korean (NK) dictator Kim Jong-un, pending that country ceding to US will by committing to the complete “de-nuclearization” of Korea. This breakthrough (if it does lead to direct talks) can be attributed to either the intense economic sanctions the US put upon NK to end its nuclear weapons testing, or to diplomatic efforts to re-unify the two Koreas strongly supported by the public, and by South Korea (SK) President Moon Jae-in (as recently displayed at the Winter Olympics), or both.
Naturally, the war party neocons, and FOXNews heads pounced on this news to push the hard line that the outcome was a response showing Trump’s ‘toughness’ on NK was paying off. They pronounced the real problem all along was the prior, Democratic incumbent was (as usual) ‘too weak’ to deal with the ‘rogue’ and brutal nation, and that the ultimate goal needs to be completely disarming NK (nuclear or conventional), subjecting them to complete subjugation by way of no-warning inspections of all their defense systems, and even regime change to oust Jong-un. (Neocons always forget to mention all the times Democratic incumbents also talked tough against NK, and all the times GOP incumbents were tough with the nation, to no avail in changing NK policy.) In other words, they are re-running the same tired, pugnacious, and destructive playbook that produced the stalemate of the last 65 years, along with the quagmires we still have in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, et al across the Mideast. To the hawks, too much intervention, and confrontational belligerence is never enough, as has been noted by Sen. Rand Paul and others in Congress.
Good for Rand. He and Trump were literally the only GOP candidates in the 2016 primary field who openly repudiated (i.e., rejected those war party swamp projects, not scapegoated the Democrats over ‘mismanaging’) the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and called them the quagmires that they are. If only Trump had not surrounded himself with generals who keep pushing for the very regime change, one-sided ‘diplomacy,’ or long-occupation dogmas he campaigned against. Our nation is supposed to be run by civilians, not generals. It took less than four years each to resolve the Civil war, WWI, and WWII. If there was a military solution to Afghanistan, generals would have figured it out after 17 years—since they haven’t, obviously there is none. Trump should have appointed more generals with a less-interventionist or realist perspective, consistent with the policy he ran on.
The US military is funded to the tune of 700 billion+ a year, and was funded to that level during the Obama years as well. That’s larger than the next 12 nations combined, and is at that level to support the US global EMPIRE, not to protect the borders of our country. One half to two thirds of it could be cut, and we would still meet the requirements to defend this country as per the Constitution. To keep 30,000 troops in Korea after 65 years is but one of the absurd consequences of this “we must dominate everywhere,” Empire-first (instead of America first) approach. That posture has enabled even a brutal dictatorship such as Kim Jung-un’s to plausibly assert it had to develop nukes as a form of deterrence, due to its sovereign right to exercise self-defense. Will the Empire ever acknowledge that its never-ending military build-up and hundreds of bases worldwide, has encouraged other nations to justify retaliatory build-ups? Does the Empire even recognize other sovereign nations do, in fact, have a right of self-defense?
The way out of the NK impasse on its nuclear weapons deployment ability is, ideally, to end sanctions, pullout US troops and to end military exercises in the region, in return for verifiable weapons de-nuclearization by NK. The simplest route to this would be a tightly defined, multi-national agreement to have NK suspend making nuclear weapons, with regular inspections based on the template of the Iran deal. The nations in the region (SK, Japan, Russia, China) all border on North Korea and would agree to have a stake in resolving the issue by participating in monitoring its compliance, following an Iran-style inspection model. In that case, there is no need for “no warning” inspections in a NK agreement, as the wait time (as with nuclear facilities anywhere) is too brief for the country to hide nuke components if they had any. The real ‘teeth’ in the Iran deal was that it kept BOTH sides honest, as violations on Iran’s side would result in the re-imposition of sanctions, as we’ve seen, and the multi-country verification scheme also cuts out the US’s tendency of unilaterally claiming the other party has violated the deal. A true ‘deal’ has to be acceptable to both sides, and not a one-way endless laundry list of things neocons demand, that NK will never agree to.
The FOX heads seem to want an overly broad deal they can then unilaterally, and more easily accuse NK of violating, so as to set up a pretext for US military action (based on a “there, you see, those guys can never be trusted” mantra). Or. they want a ‘deal’ where the US gets everything they want, while NK gets nothing. This is the same prescription for disaster that broke up the NK deal brokered by Clinton in the late ’90’s–the G.W. Bush administration neocon crazies reneged on it, upon which NK in turn withdrew from it, and resumed their nuclear build-up. This led to the war party claiming NK had “violated” what was an already broken deal, so back we went into ratcheting up sanctions, and belligerent “diplomacy.”
The sanctions and tough talk blusterings were NOT working, as both have been going on for years. It was the unification drive (initiated by SK against US wishes) that brought NK to the table. Both Koreas realize the nuclear issue has to be dealt with for unification to happen, using an Iran-like template. A NK nuke deal should be set up the same way (no nuke creation, with multi-national monitoring, in exchange for a lifting of sanctions) to give both sides incentive to accept the agreement. Trump’s main contribution to the breakthrough has been his willingness to enter into direct talks (again, against war party wishes). To his credit, the President has also broached the “shocking” subject of withdrawing US troops from South Korea after all these years, as part of his attempt to get a fair deal with countries on the trade front (more below). Trump’s hawkish advisors should not mess things up by using the negotiations as a one-way bludgeon to create a pretext for war.
Free Trade Nationalism
Second, the Donald also announced he would implement a tariff strategy to bring various countries ‘who have not treated us fairly’ or economically wrecked us to heel for their transgressions, as fulfillment of his long-desired intent to pursue a policy of economic nationalism. While his heart is in the right (anti-globalist) place, this course of action presumes 1) it’s the fault of those countries for our economic difficulties, 2) that tariffs will work as a corrective action, and 3) that it is the only way to pursue an ‘America first’ trade policy. The rest of us are scratching our heads wondering, but, what if none of these particulars are true, and, what about our bloated big government, the 21 trillion in debt this nation has run up, the monetary distortions brought by Federal Reserve and Wall St cronyism upon our economic system, etc, as more likely suspects?
A tariff is a tax, and it gets passed on to us. A tariff leads to other retaliatory tariffs. In an escalating trade war, everybody loses. This is Economics 101. Just speaking up for the libertarian alternative, integrated with a nationalist perspective: G. W. Bush pushed for tariffs, did that improve the US economy or trade position? Nope. From a market 101 point of view, what happens when costs go up for any business? Don’t they just get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices? Yep. So aren’t tariffs a prescription for for more trade unfairness, rather than less? Yes. The problem is not free trade, but with state-enforced managed or open trade. As in other economic matters, the state should get out of the way, not try to micro-manage it, or set up a ‘fair’ racket that serves as yet another form of corporate welfare.
So one can be a free trade nationalist and oppose tariffs, on the basis that they are bad for the country and the economy. Just as corporate or crony capitalism is a corruption of true capitalism, corporate or managed “free trade” is not real free trade. Mercantilist big corporations misuse these terms to push government policy that create international sweetheart deals for them, while dumping the expenses onto others. The real level playing field should be for all people and companies, big or small, to have the same freedom to trade with others abroad, not for a handful of big boys to use government to force open access to foreign markets, regardless of the details. Tariffs only add to government-caused distortions of the balance, they do not cure it.
As Thomas DiLorenzo summarizes it: “One of the first things Dub-Yuh did as president was to impose tariffs on steel imports. The U.S. steel industry has claimed to deserve “infant industry” protection with tariffs and quotas for at least the past 160 years. Some people never grow up. Trump has followed suit with tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which will increase the price of everything made of steel and aluminum (i.e., American-made cars), rendering vast portions of the U.S. economy less competitive in international competition.
Thousands of American workers will lose their jobs as a result. It will also loot the pocketbooks of American purchasers of American-made goods that contain steel and aluminum, i.e., Trump’s working-class political base, with higher prices. Other countries will retaliate with high tariffs on American-made goods, causing even more unemployment among Trump voters in the export-related industries. Trump just shot himself in the foot with a bazooka.”
The one positive aspect of Trump’s drive to get a fair deal is that it includes suggestions that trade should be linked to pulling out of all these perpetual troop deployments the US has abroad, that covers the defense needs of foreign nations (effectively giving those countries trade profits without military expenses). That prospect (beginning with pulling out of SK) is tremendously pro-America first, though as Justin Raimondo has noted, don’t expect neocons and beltway libertarians to support it. Bottom line, we don’t need an apparatus of tariffs to make America great again, or to solve trade problems that were created by corporate welfare, the banksters, and by the mass exporting of jobs away from the US. More government force, more bureaucracy is not the answer.
This country started with only 3-4 crimes identified as felonies at the federal level: counterfeiting, treason and piracy (cross-state kidnapping was added later). We operated perfectly well for 140 or so years without all these alphabet soup bureaucratic entities coming along adding tons of new felonies to the books to lock people up over, or classifying 100 million new secret documents each year. We didn’t need spies overseas, the FBI spying on us at home, secret FISA courts, nor wars and meddling abroad. Nor did we need all their additional regulations and army of enforcement agents. Constitutional limited government can, and did survive without all of this. The managerial elite of the total state is NOT, and never will be our friend. I say, undo everything the cult of the omnipotent state has foisted on us, from 1901 onwards. A large part of bringing back liberty in the 21st century, involves repealing the 20th century.
With the dawn of Year Two of the Donald Dynasty, the battle lines of the Deep State versus the Outsider revolution have both expanded and realigned. Some friends of the latter are felt to have become enemies (Steve Bannon, more on later), while many bitter never-Trump foes have seemingly come to terms with the billionaire, and he with them in order to get things done. Much of the harmonizing has happened to enable the passing of major tax cut legislation, and some of it is just opportunistic Republicans hitching a ride on President Trump’s rocket ship. So far, the economy has been roaring back due to the Trump tax and regulation reductions, although Peter Schiff warns of a pending downturn. The phenomenon of the establishment DC set adopting to his ascendancy has resulted in a bit of “ret-conning” of the Trump legacy, to make it more conform to “how the world works,” as far as Washington is concerned. That at times has involved persuading Trump to use the ring of power, or swamp-controlled government, in order to execute his policy goal to “Make America Great Again.”
The Taking of Populisim 1-2-3
“Ret-con” is defined as new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events. In Trump’s case, the elite is trying to recast his project to “drain the swamp” into traditional two-party partisan puppet show terms, where he is only seeking to drain Democrats (also known as Dems) from office. The promise to end regime change, interventionist quagmires in the Mideast has been retooled (for now) into mission creep projects of another sort (create a border defense in northen Syria, protect Israel’s interests, ensure ISIS doesn’t reconstitute itself, etc—anything but a “let’s WITHDRAW, already” stance. “America first” has been re-calibrated into more a catch-all phrase that often stands more for whatever policy or staff hiring Trump was talked into this month, than what he campaigned on.
These changes were most effectively accomplished from inside the Trump White House, through the personnel he brought in, he thought, to help him reform the government. The tactic has been performed to help the elite make up for the failure of the insiders to defeat Trump in head on battle, or by their originally disregarding him as a fluke. That establishment ended up fluking themselves into total defeat over the last two and a half years on this basis. They laughed when Trump came down the escalator, and didn’t take him seriously. Then they underestimated his ability to fight back and outmanuever them, when they mounted a late drive to try to keep him fom getting the nomination. And then they ignored the more honest polling done by IBD, LA Times and Rasmussen showing the election race was close. Trump was not a fluke, he simply picked (or broke) the lock the elite had on the election process, while they were too distracted by their arrogance to notice.
Having blown it the traditional way, the elite has gone to the infiltration route to undo the Trump agenda. The short version of the new Deep State plan could be to triangulate Trump by 1) infiltrating his Cabinet with neocons or Goldman Sachs white-shoe boys who butter up his ego, while 2) having the MSM deliberately act in the obviously asinine oppositional fashion they have, drawing the right in to defend Trump all the more earnestly. End result, Trump tends to accept the white-shoe/neocon/war party staff counsel as gospel (at best), or as a preamble to their attempt to outright depose him later (at worst). As the Donald would say, Sad.
Sound and (Fire and) Fury, Signifying…
One of the chief watchdogs who saw this trend emerging was senior advisor Steve Bannon, who left the Adminstration in mid-2017 to return to work at the Breitbart site, and to promote true non-swamp candidates running in 2018 to remove swampy Republican incumbents. For issuing this outright threat to the statist order, he received tremendous pushback, to which he at times responded in the same less-than-tactful, more-like-windbag fashion that Trump does. This culimated in Trump recently repudiating Bannon for comments he made to tabloid level author Michael Wolff in his book Fire and Fury, where he openly complained about mistakes made by Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and even Trump’s son Don Jr. while working on the campaign, and in the early days of the Administration. To Bannon, these errors were dreadful, but being excused strictly because the staffers were relatives of Trump, and came at the expense of furthering the policies the base supported.
This kind of thing explains why Bannon dared to challenge ‘Javanka.’ He knew it might come down to holding loyalty to the agenda, or to a Javanka/swamp/neocon-compromised Trump. To many populist voters, he was right—Bannon looks more on point in fighting the swamp than Trump, who appears to be currently brokering deals with the swamp. If this is the case, Bannon will be largely vindicated as events (and Trump compromises) go on. The populist agenda has become short-sighted, as it has no national leader in power if Trump goes away. Bannon was (at his best) pointing to the need to get more non-swamp people elected, to give the movement legs post-Trump. And he was showing people had to have the stones to be more loyal to the agenda than to the nepotism (that is, Trump standing behind his daughter Ivanka’s non-populist advice), or neocons and Goldman Sachs set corrupting the Trump WH, especially at crunch time for any controversy. We can only hope somebody takes up the organizational mantle for primarying swamp politicans (since the flap also resulted in Bannon being forced out of Breitbart, and losing some tycoon support for his primarying project). Bannon’s departure is a victory for the McConnell gang, not for populists.
A prime example of this difference between “agenda vs. vagina” priorities is Roy Moore’s loss in the special election in Alabama, where Majority Leader Sen. McConnell’s forces (Republicans, mind you, not Democrats) spent $30 million trying to defeat the GOP candidate. This loss was then blamed on Moore being a “flawed candidate,” and was used to put one of the nails on Bannon’s coffin (since he campaigned for him). What it actually signaled, for GOP voters in the Outsider era, is the umpteenth reason why the emphasis should be on DRAINING THE SWAMP, not merely “electing more libertarians and conservatives.” The swamp largely consists of swamp hack Democrats, AND swamp hack Republicans, who will cave to PC or to a statist liberal drumbeat whenever push comes to shove. Establishment fill-in Republican Sen. Luther Strange was just a fresh rookie swamp hack, who would have been folding under establishment pressure for decades to come. Pro-liberty populists should instead vote against new swamp GOP creatures from getting into office at every opportunity, even if that means letting a Democrat win instead.
Phony sex charges, and especially election fraud did in Moore. 92% Democratic turnout in AL, in an OFFyear, SPECIAL election? When has that ever happened, anywhere? And if one assumes the national attention the race got is responsible, how can there have been only normal offyear GOP turnout by comparison, for such a heavily covered campaign? The message of Alabama is that the swamp is going to cast ANY non-swamp person running as a “flawed candidate,” and subject them to last second sex smears. In truth, Moore was not a flawed candidate, he was a winning candidate who got smeared by fraudsters. The swamp intends to run this “last second sex lies” scam again and again on non-swamp candidates, just as they tried to with Trump last year. Many of us suspect that if Mo Brooks had won the AL primary instead of Moore, it would have been him who got suddenly beseiged with sex charges, from women swooping in out of nowhere. By dating several teenaged girls (to better ensure he would marry a virgin), Moore was acting as a Christian southerner who followed a legal and widely practiced habit of AL people of that time. Nobody even brought it up for 40 years, until just before he was going to be elected. With Moore, they took a guy who was ABOUT TO WIN, and who had no history of sex scandal, and made him look like a loser and a pervert. He won’t be the last to be so ambushed, so get ready.
These ambushers are the SAME exact establishment swamp people who, if Trump had lost in 2016 based on similar sex lies and rigged voting, would be babbling “Trump lost because he was a lousy candidate, Republicans should have never nominated him, and should never do anything like that again, blah, blah blah.” We all know the MSM had that talking point ready to launch on election night, but couldn’t do it, because he overcame the fraud and won. This is all about the crooked machinations of the never-Trumpers working in the case of Moore, with swamp pundits acting in their familiar role as get-away drivers for the election fraud. Real populists object to decent men being personally ruined by the elite’s machine. We’ll see how much of their reaction results in new non-swamp seats won in the 2018 mid-terms.
Who Owns Populism?
The populist liberty agenda, and draining the swamp, is bigger than both Bannon or Trump, so separating the two is necessary to keep the movement from becoming just a personality cult of Trump. Ultimately, the issue is over fighting the deep state, not over choosing between the deep egos of Bannon or Trump. Steve Bannon did not create Trump’s victory, but it is undeniable that he and Kellyanne Conway helped him win the election campaign. Bannon guided Trump to stay in touch with his base and stay agenda focused, while Conway helped him on message discipline (e.g., persuaded him to repeat his main stump messages more, while conducting fewer side battles on Twitter). Trump did NOT win all by himself, give his senior people some credit. The point remains, the populist movement is the AGENDA (economic nationalism, controlling illegal immigration, less foreign intervention, draining the establishment swamp), NOT Trump or Bannon. That agenda existed before Trump became its leader. The problem is the tendency of movements to become too much of a personality cult around one figure, to the point that only what that figure does is treated as the center of everything, instead of what the thing was supposed to be about. We may be at that tipping point now, with Trump morphing into some of the same incoherencies (e.g., being pro-life at home, but defacto pro-war, and thus pro-death, on every front imaginable abroad) that are characteristic of swamp conservatives.
Bannon wants Trump to hold to the mark of the agenda, not defend every dumb action of Javanka, or neocon/Goldman Sachs staff in his cabinet, or to push a loyalty cult. Bannon, like Trump, is sometimes “sloppy” in how he expresses himself (or even in his physical appearance), hence the current flap. I tend to think he is “sloppy” like a prophet, in the way John the Baptist would not visually go over well in a boardroom. When a movement gets too consumed over appearance than substance, watch out, it may be going into free fall. Give me sloppy progress, over neat compromise. To those who object to Bannon attacking Trump’s family, by calling son in law Jared Kushner “treasonous,” or questioning Ivanka’s influence in the Trump White House, I would ask: So, John the Baptist shouldn’t have complained about Herod’s wife? If you knew what Ceasar’s “best friend” Brutus was plotting, or where things were heading, wouldn’t you risk ‘insulting’ Caesar by pointing it out? To Bannon, the message is more important than loyalty cult delicacies. It’s hard to talk about whether Trump’s advisers are deviating from the agenda without naming the main names. The stack of things Javanka have done that have made things worse for Trump, vastly exceeds the harm done to him by a few honest complaints Bannon made about it to an author.
The Fall of FISA, FBI and Reputations
Bannon is, indelicately, alerting Trump about his weaknesses—as in when Bannon called Jared et al’s meeting with the Russian “treasonous,” he was not referring to treason against the US, but against Trump’s campaign and agenda. He felt they were sabotoging him, by opening up Trump to ongoing foreign influence or money laundering investigations later, which has turned out to be exactly the case. As is about to be exposed in a hotly argued over classified Congressional memo, it now appears everything related to how Trump came to be put under federal surveillance (and later, endlessly investigated over collusion) was dishonestly contrived, to weaponize the Obama Justice Department to go after the opposition candidate. This same crooked apparatus (including some of the same staffers), seems to be behind the cover-up of Hillary Clinton’s email and slush fund related crimes, along with the orchestrated attempts to get her off the hook over multiple Title 18 felony violations. The whole matter has deeply wrecked the reputatons of the FISA court, the FBI, the DOJ and specific senior officials including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and special prosecutor Bob Mueller, among others.
Comey made his famous July 2016 press conference remarks protecting Hillary, despite it NOT BEING HIS JOB to publicly make such comments at all about a pending investigation. The FBI Director was only supposed to quietly recommend indictments over any violations to the DOJ, making it THEIR job to announce a decision. He held his press conferences because, as the token Republican in the Obama regime, his judgment would put a ‘bipartisan’ veneer on dismissing the email charges. Comey’s entire high-profile status at the FBI was about being a shill for team Hillary, in order to whitewash away their scandals.
Mueller is playing a similar role, using his rep to legitimize the probe into “Russian collusion,” that so far has not come up with any evidemce. That precious “impeccable reputation” is the key to Mueller’s power, and his utility as a swamp functionary for the elite. Don’t fire him (that’s their main trap, as that would give Dems the pretext to stretch this out as an “obstruction of justice” crisis). Instead, announce Mueller is himself formally under investigation as part of a major conspiracy to obstruct justice, in the Uranium One and other swamp cover-ups. I think that “all of a sudden” Mueller would then wrap up his investigation like lightning.
On the merits, the president’s attorney Ty Cobb is right, the Russian collusion inquiry is a nothing burger, and should soon be over. But Mueller’s investigation is not being substance driven, but agenda driven. So Trump’s attorney should be, as a matter of legal competence, warning his client to prepare for the long haul. The Democratic opposition to Trump surely is playing things that way, and still seeks to undo his agenda by hook (the fall elections) or crook (screetching about ‘collusion’ or finding a pretext for impeaching him).
The Democratic plan cleanly interlocks with the Mueller investigation. The Washington Post earlier reported that Mueller intends for his probe to go on deep into 2018 or 2019–meaning at least, until the midterm elections. The party can use that to credibly run on the smoke and mirrors about “Trump-Russian collusion” fueled by Mueller. Then, if they win back the House on this basis, he will suddenly come forward with “findings” that the collusion took place, to give Democrats the pretext they need to go forward with impeachment proceedings. It’s all about providing political cover, not evidence.
The Justice department (under that otherwise authoritarian disaster, Jeff Sessions) is possibly playing “rope-a-dope,” and taking hits from both the left and the right while it is quietly conducting investigations over all this politicized self-dealing, dark money and corruption. He’s hiding that his DOJ has been on to Mueller’s entrapment plan all along, and has been quietly counter-investigating the swampers for months. There are said to be thousands of sealed indictments, awaiting a formal announcement about prosecutions to come. We will know one way or another by the end of this winter, whether Sessions is fully part of the compromised swamp, or else is done playing rope-a-dope. A huge data dump is supposed to happen soon (from the Inspector General’s office) showing the corruption the Sessions-led DOJ has quietly uncovered, that WILL lead to prosecutions. If this is true, it had to be done on the sly by Sessions to catch the swamp off-guard. Once again, the swamp believed they were outfoxing Trump, this time thinking they could goad him into “obstructing justice” (by shutting down the investigation, or falling into a Mueller perjury trap). They planned this only to find out he was letting the probe run on, in order to peter out on its own, and to discredit itself over and over. Once again, Trump has outwitted them.
The Voter Immigration Tango
The showdown in Congress on the DACA non-legal immigrants is not about high libertarian principle (on either the open borders or protected borders side), but about votes. Trump wants to fulfill a main campaign promise going into the midterms, and the pro-amnesty Democrat side (with RINO GOP allies) wants to ride an emotional issue into taking back over majority control of Congress. Making good on the Wall is also vital for Trump to show that his administration will not be a repeat of the one sided victories of the Reagan era, where the economic conservatives got their tax cuts, but cultural conservatives got nothing. And the Wall is no longer a strictly Mexico vs US thing, as the majority of immigrants coming across the southern border are not Mexicans.
Yet another reason why Democrats are so furious they lost to Trump is the census issue. It goes beyond loyalty to Hillary, or even to packing the Supreme Court with 9th circuit liberals.The master plan of Democrats was to fast forward the demographic hijacking of Congress and the electoral college, by counting all the illegals as Americans in the 2020 census. This would allow them to permanently gerrymander the GOP out of majority status in the House, while they kept working on turning states like Florida permanently blue by packing it with more illegals. But with Trump in the WH and the GOP running Congress, they can’t control the census or gerrymandering afterwards. So in the interim, they place their hopes on securing more amnesty for the Dreamers, who they expect to help them finish flipping key states blue by the 2020 elections.
Trump’s proposal to provide limited amnesty for the DACA population in exchange for getting funding for his Wall has been genius, because the top Democrats have already rejected it. That again shows they are not interested in a deal, but more votes in November, while Trump appears to have compromised in good faith.
It’s an empty gesture. Trump can sound sympathetic to Dreamers, knowing the votes are not there for amnesty (just as they haven’t been there for 12 years when this was debated before). So Trump is offering a DACA for the Wall etc deal, knowing the Dems won’t get amnesty even if they take the deal (which they won’t). In fact, they’ll keep countering with a “DACA, and DACA only, or no agreement on the budget.” Bottom line, Trump bet he would look reasonable, while the swamp would not in an election year, and they would even get the blame for the government shutdown for a change. This is exactly how things played out in mid-January (when Democrats blocked a “continuing resolution” (CR) to keep the government going. A lot of Democratic Senators caved once the shutdown was on, causing some radical Dreamers to protest at Minority Leader Sen. Schumer’s house—how long before one of them does something really stupid, that forces the moderates to disawow them? And the public (Dem and GOP) have agreed in polls that putting the illegal DACAs before funding services for legal citizens was wrong. Since we now have the vote on record of the Dems blocking the CR, so they now own the 2018 government shutdown.
Meanwhile swamp Republicans pushing for DACA (even in the context of Democrats not agreeing to immigration reform). will be vulnerable to being primaried by anti-swamp, anti-amnesty GOP voters. Come March, no DACA deal will have passed, so Trump can begin to deport the dreamers, having given Congress enough six months to provide them amnesty. White House aide Stephen Miller should have made it short and sweet in his pitch to Trump on this: “Sir, you won’t win on DACA or the Wall if you cave. Come March, announce you are beginning the deportations.” Because he is a compulsive “winner,” Trump has thus war gamed this out perfectly. OFFER a limited amnesty deal, in exchange for the Wall etc, knowing Democrats and RINOs will never go for the wall. So we don’t GET an amnesty deal, but Trump ends up better positioned as the one who was trying to deal.
I myself have been critical of an emerging Trunp cult when it comes to issues like the PR beat down Bannon got, but the DACA battle is the opposite of Trump caving. As I’ve noted before, life is more like a movie, than a snapshot. Trump offers a DACA deal, the swamp rejects it, so the DACA deal doesn’t pass. Trump gets DACA amnesty to fail, without getting the blame for it failing. Pay attention to the whole movie and its end game, instead of a scene you may not like. It’s been evident for months that Trump is playing out such a strategy, that puts the Dems in a corner on immigration, and it is working. The fact that immigration ‘hardliners’ like Miller and Sen. Tom Cotton are on board with it (remember, they have attended Trump strategy meetings) is an additional, objective indication that it is in fact his strategy.
Israeli Entanglements 2.0
On top of this, anti-amnesty hardliners like Ann Coulter have certainly been holding Trump’s feet to the fire on the issue, especially by also telling him “enough already” with going back into a ‘foreign interventionism first’ mode when it comes to international policy. Coulter certainly has the moral authority to call Trump on this latest drumbeat for still more long wars and confrontation in the Mideast, as she carried water for the interventionists throughout the GW Bush era. She also has been Trump’s strongest defender on immigration, and took a ton of derision from the MSM for predicting he would win very early on. Yet, spurred on by neocon White House staff, the more-war, more confrontation Generals in his cabinet, and the FOXhead commentators he listens to on cable each week, Trump has “ret-conned” himself on the matter of brokering a peace deal in the Mideast. Trump announced the US will recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and will be movng the US capitol to that city by later in his term. The Palestinians view this move as patently a non-recognition of their sovereign claims to the area, an arrogant ignoring of international laws recognizing Jerusalem as shared territory, and as a repudiation of any notion that the US could be an honest broker in the dispute. The UN voted overwhelmingly to the same effect in late December.
To each side his own. If the US wants to implement its already voted for decision (by Congress, in the ’90’s) to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, regardless of the negative impact on solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that’s our business. If most of the nations of the world do not support it (as again evidenced by the recent UN vote), because it worsens the conflict and violates long standing international law recognizing Jerusalem as a shared city, that’s their business. The UN doesn’t dictate to the US, and the US doesn’t dictate to the UN. Just because the US wants everybody to automatically fall behind the Empire as it “leads,” doesn’t mean most of the rest of the world wants to be led by it (just as voters in 30 states didn’t want to be led by Hillary). It’s called democracy.
But here’s the thing, as the saying goes: Most Palestinians are NOT terrorists or enablers of such, and what they have wanted is STATE-for-peace (recognition of Palestininan statehood, independent sovereignty, defined borders and the tight to defend itself), just like Israel and any other self-determined people. Israel has not yielded an inch on those matters, and has taken more and more Palestinian land via settlements since 1967. So while Trump’s announcement is consistent with the law Congress passed in 1995 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol, let’s not think that demonizing one side while taking an “only Israel’s claims matter” position is contributing to resolving the dispute. Most Israeli Jews polled last year believe in a two state solution, a shared Jersulaem, and an end to settlements. The US can promote a different view, but let us not imagine this decision is engaging the rest of the world, when in fact it is disengaging from it. US Interventionism is the real isolationism.
The “statehood” deal offered to Palestinians in 2000 was the classic swiss cheese arrangement where Israel controls and patrols all the checkpoints to, from and inside the territory, with no real INDEPENDENT sovereign control or property rights for the Palestinians. That’s not statehood, be it of the ‘one or two’ variety. Palestinians do not want a sham state where they continue to be controlled as a colony, and want one with fixed borders (i.e., no more Israeli settlements). To repeat, last year’s polls in Israel confirmed that most Palestinians AND Jews in Israel support a two state solution, and an end to the settlements. It is the Likud government that is holding up the progress. Could it be that the reason for some extremists in Gaza conducting (somewhat amateur hour) bombardments be that the present arrangement was NOT conveying a true state status to them? And that if the Palestinians did have recognized statehood and borders, there would be no motivation for the violence? (And please remember, at least some of those bombings were likely Mossad false flags, designed by controlled provocateurs to vilify the Palestinian side and thus justify Israel not recognizing statehood.)
It’s not as if Jordanians fire weapons over the Israeli border, despite Arabs and Muslims being on the other side in Jordan. Why not? Because, their statehood and borders are respected. Once statehood is mutually acknowledged and substantively delivered, peace will finally follow. The point remains that Jordan has had no border issues with Israel for decades, which establishes that peace with Arabs/Muslims and Israel is doable. If BOTH sides bilaterally acknowledge each other states’ right to exist, then negotiations can proceed. But one people UNILATERALLY demanding the other side recognize its sovereignty, while aggressively denying acknowledging the other people the same right, is clearly not working, and hasn’t worked for 70 years.
Time to Disentangle
Nor has the Israel-only propaganda line that “there is no Palestine” been accurate or helpful as that dogma has been thoroughly refuted as a matter of history, geography, and international law. It’s one thing for Israel to claim its right to the territory, but quite another to assert that any other claim is therefore illegitimate or fully superseded. Should the US return all land it “stole” from the Native Americans, who also controlled the land hundreds of years before us? Like it or not, controlling or occupying territory for centuries does give the US a legitimate sovereign claim to the land, so Palestinians have the right to the same. That right does not go away because another party is making a competing claim, it just makes it a dispute that should be RESOLVED, not ignored. Two thirds of the world’s nations agree—Palestine has the same sovereign right to exist, and to self defense as any other people.
Statehood is the issue. Balfour referred to Palestine as a real state in the declaration letter 100 years ago, and the UN referred to Palestine as a state the same time it declared Israel to be a state in 1948. In that context BOTH sovereign peoples have the right of self-determination to define their homeland. What matters is where a self-determined people say their home is. Palestinians say it’s Palestine, just as Jews said it was Israel. In both cases, that settles the matter. In addition, the vast majority of Palestinians and Muslims and Arabs are not terrorists or extremists, but keep getting lumped in with the latter (as if they share collective guilt about the violence) by the Israel-only advocates. The one-sided fixation with framing the dispute only from Israel’s perspective (“we’re the victims, they are the haters”), I repeat, shows why this matter is so intractable, as demonizing one side will not resolve anything. Until both sides of the conflict get their sovereign rights respected, there will still be a conflict.
Most Palestinians are peaceful, and the home they have a 1400 year history in and claim to is Palestine, not modern Jordan. The issue is the disputed territory that includes Jerusalem. To imply that the territory is NOT disputed, which is what the new policy will do, will not resolve the conflict. I.e., “facing reality” cuts two ways. Accordingly, the best way to a deal in the Mideast will come from giving BOTH sides what THEY say they want, not what Israel keeps saying the Palestinians want. The Palestinians have not accepted the swiss-cheese “statehood” deals they have been offered, because none of them came with providing the state true sovereignty,defined borders, and a right to defend itself, just like Israel. A “deal” that only recognizes Israel’s sovereignty, and control of all the checkpoints it wants in the Palestininan areas, is 100% not a deal. In all the past proposed agreements, Israel gets to treat Palestine as a defacto colony, not as a fellow country.That is why these bad deals were rejected. And characterizing all aspects of Hamas as “terrorist” runs counter to international conventions, that holds that a people under occupation cannot be demonized as “terrorists” if they fight their occupiers.
The US stays entangled in these squabbles because we choose to interject ourselves, by funding all sides of the Mideast, arming Israel to the teeth, and wanting to use our military clout to crowd out Russia, China or Iran from having an influence in that hemisphere. But what does all of this meddling have to do with defending our borders? Or with Congress declaring war, which is the only constitutional basis for our deploying force or military support anywhere? The intervention serves the aims of the Empire, not America the Free Republic the Founders imagined. The right libertarian answer is: Cut all foreign aid, period. No welfare to Palestine, Israel or anybody else. And let’s turn over trying to negotiate the Mideast conflict to an international body, rather than continue to act as both the referee, and Israel’s tag team partner in the same match. We are not supposed to have entangling alliances with ANY nation, according to the Founders, let alone give any other country ongoing welfare. The federal government is simply not supposed to be supplying ongoing foreign aid/welfare to dozens of countries.
“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” –Jefferson, Inaugural Address
“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” –George Washington
But the drive to meddle is strong with the swamp, and Trump continues to succumb to its power trips on certain subjects, like occupying Syria, and ‘fixing’ the nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Because he chose to further solidify US entanglements with Israel, who want no rivals in the region, Trump (and through him, the US hegemon) continues to pester Syria (with ongoing troop deployments, even after defeating ISIS) and repeated attempts to blow up the nuclear deal reached with Iran under Obama (and five other nations). The war party crazies advising Trump appear to want the US to have unilateral veto powers over a multilateral agreement. The key issue remains that Iran’s verified compliance with nuclear inspections has frustrated the neocons, who have no objective basis for asserting their usual “threat, threat, threat” rhetoric ahead of invading and bombing yet another country that has not attacked us.
They also seem to want a nuclear “deal” where they get everything they want from Iran OUTSIDE of the nuclear issue (a complete end to any future missle plans it might have, inspections of all its military facilities, regime change, no more support of Hezbollah, etc). while Iran gets nothing in return (no lifting of sanctions, ever). The problem is no nation on earth would agree to such a one-sided deal. Meaning, what the war party really wants is war, not an agreement.
This goes likewise for declaring Iran (a country that has not launched a war against anyone in 200 years) to be an aggressor or enabler of terrorism (Saudi Arabia is the actual main exporter of terrorism in the region). Iranians vote in their governments, and have voted mostly for moderates in recent elections. Iran’s desire to remain independent is only a “problem” for globalists and interventionists who want the US to hold dominant influence in every hemisphere. The real beef is the one globalists supporters of a perpetual US Global Empire have with countries (like Iran) who want to remain independent from the US. Our country is not (or no longer) threatened by these nations, so we should withdraw from their region, period. The globalists do not want us to withdraw from intervening in these regions, because they want the Global Empire to dominate everywhere. “Sovereignty for me, but not for thee.”
It’s been a wonderfully long two months of catastrophes for the statist establishment, from orchestrated but failed propaganda campaigns to use NFL games to push the racism meme, to the most laughably botched covert op in modern history in Las Vegas, to the total PR collapse of Hornywood, to sex scandals bleeding over from Hollywood to DC and the MSM, to the collapse of efforts to block the release of the remaining JFK files, and final unravelling of the DC ‘narcocracy’ (to use internet commentator Michael Rivero’s great term) with Uranium-gate, Dossier-gate and related insider dealing. This cascade of national and (ultimately) global elite implosions have cost the insiders billions in dollars, reputations, and presently many voters and customers, who are poised to tune out these many faces of the same old devil, the big state/big media axis, while adding to the momentum of the populist liberty wave overtaking the country and world.
The NFL Takes a Knee on Responsibility
The state-propped up subsidized industry that is professional football was the first entity to get massacred this fall, when it permitted its players to escalate the controversial practice of “taking a knee” rather than saluting during the playing of the national anthem, or otherwise politicizing the pre-game ceremony. While it’s true that playing a game about moving a pointy pig-skinned “ball” ten yards at a time down a field has nothing to do with patriotism (or robotic pledge rituals for the same), it certainly is a widespread expectation of audiences (AKA, the market) that players making 6-7 figure sums working in that business will pay token respects to their country at each event. On Twitter, President Trump mouthed off over the simple point that the NFL owners could have resolved the issue in no time, if they just changed their organizational rules to ban these shows of apparent disrespect, in the same manner they have prohibited other non-game related gestures or displays.
But that’s not how they responded. The team owners issued no new policy to scuttle the knee-taking, and players continued to use the pre-game airtime for PC messaging (e.g., carrying on a “race, race, race” baiting mantra). Despite all their power and authority, the owners truly dropped the ball by not exercising individual responsibility to resolve the situation. The public, taking their cues from Trump, came to the conclusion the football executives were in on the gag, or passively approved of the players’ behavior, and the rest is history. Dropped attendance and sales, with some fans burning their season tickets, and the worst TV ratings in decades have followed the 2017-8 season. Sports network ESPN has been part of the fallout, losing viewers over their defense of the PC preeners and social justice warrior (SJW) agendas driving the knee takers. In all, another “smear Trump/the country over racism” or other epithet propaganda effort has crashed and burned, with the country electing to push back against their football habit being used as a brainwashing vehicle. The swamp has lost hundreds of millions, and partially wrecked pro football, trying to weaponize the NFL to sustain its information-control efforts.
But the losses sustained by the sports industry may turn out to be a puddle, compared to the avalanche of disaster that has befallen the entertainment and mass media world in the wake of sexual assault and harassment scandals that have broken since October. Following the NY Times expose of top film producer Harvey Weinstein, and later stories on director James Koback, actors like Kevin Spacey and other show biz big names, the scab has been ripped open concerning the predatory hedonism of current Hollywood. The exposure of the sexual hijinks of many other public figures in the media have followed, including Charlie Rose, Louis CK, and even Al Franken (former Saturday Night Live head writer, now US Senator). The mass disclosure of these rapes, gropes and similar allegations, and the fact the predatory habits of many of these figures were an open secret within the industry, has done untold damage to the media, including depressed ticket sales for recent film releases.
Although several of the top actresses who broke their silence (Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, etc) have reported the assaults women have experienced from the likes of Weinstein et al as if they were always one-way affairs–i.e., “only men are sexual sinners”—the details of many of the encounters suggest the mogul was genuinely surprised when a new starlet resisted his lude casting couch advances. This suggests the moguls understand many of these women sleep their way up the ladder in show biz, such that by the time they get access to the top perv in charge, it’s just assumed they will sleep with him, too. This is precisely the real reason why many or most of those women stayed silent for so long. Many of them probably freely participated in the sex and drug culture of Hollywood, whether they liked doing so or not, in order to advance themselves. Once compromised, it’s hard for them to be whistleblowers, because their own sins might also then come out.
In fact, if unwanted intimate groping is going to be no longer acceptable in Hollywood, why is it tolerated when done by the TSA at our airports? If the media is going to expose sexual abuses in Tinseltown, why haven’t they also gone after the sexual abuses going on that Caribbean “orgy island” that Spacey, Clinton and certain others have frequently visited? Where is the consistency? Are these people to be trusted in shaping the cultural norms for others, through their films and other media products? It thus must also be plainly noted that the “new morality” (the cultural normalization of promiscuity, and treatment of casual sexual contact as acceptable) embraced by social liberalism, has led to incoherencies in their engaging in responsible relations. After all, if one really thinks sex should be casual, inconsequential or not a big deal, why not use sexual favors to get ahead, or why not push for it as a price for elite access? If a big shot predator gets aroused seeing half-nekkid, very immodestly dressed actresses and models at media parties or award shows each week, why not assume they can also casually expose themselves at times? This thinking runs counter to traditional human instinct, which holds one should not publicly dress immodestly on ANY day of the week. While the definition of modesty may differ with, or across cultures, it is supposed to apply to all social appearances as a relevant factor. The loss of this understanding does contribute to fostering a predatory sexual culture, in Hollywood or elsewhere.
This day of reckoning for the MSM and entertainment industry (who voted 93% for Hillary) may finally make pro-family audiences (like evangelicals, who voted 81% for Trump) reconsider the dollars they have spent consuming the product put out by incoherent sexual predators. For example, the Christian publication Ted Baehr’s Movieguide has reported for over 25 years that about two thirds of Hollywood’s box office revenue comes from family ticket buyers watching family films—but moviemakers then take 80% of that money and use it to make the R-rated trash that comprises the rest of their fare. Perhaps families have finally figured this out, or are about to, in the wake of Hollywood’s self-inflicted reputation massacre.
The Real Issue
Others have wondered, however, whether the “sexpose” explosions of recent weeks have been simply 1) another distraction by a media dying in influence, to throw attention away from the establishment’s other failures, or 2) a setup designed to defend the deep state at its darkest hour. Under the ‘distraction’ view, the point has been to draw attention away from the Uranium-gate and Dossier-gate investigations, which may lead to indictments of senior swamp creatures. Good Grief, the swamp thinks, if those scandals further unravel, it might expand to reveal the covert drug running ops the Bush and Clinton clans have been conducting (in different forms) going all the way back to the ’80’s. Exposure of that “narcocracy” could bring the whole government down—so, let’s talk about Hollywood sexcapades instead.
A good sex scandal can also be counted on to make the public forget how many times the MSM have been caught peddling “fake news” with regards to floating the Russian collusion story. Legacy media outlets like the NYT, AP and CNN have all had to retract whopper false stories, like the ’17 Intel agencies agree there was Russian influence over the election,’ and other false claims. One such fake story from last spring, a fact-free hit piece about a Trump official having Russian ties, led to the firing of three reporters.
Congressman Trey Gowdy has pointed out that the Congressional committees investigating Russian collusion will be through interviewing all the witnesses by the end of the year. That will be the point at which they can clearly declare “all done, there’s nothing there,” after which what will the MSM be able to do? Much of the public is already wondering why more evidence-based stories, such as former DNC head Donna Brazille’s recent admission that Hillary Clinton had essentially bought herself outright control over the DNC a year before her Presidential nomination, has gotten very little mainstream coverage. If this had been a story about a top RNC official who disclosed that Trump had bought his way into controlling the RNC to secure the nomination, it would have been a lead 20 minute story on all three networks’ evening news.
But perhaps that is the real issue: to cover current headlines only as they can be used to beat up Trump or the populist movement. Under this ‘set-up’ view, it’s just as alternative media predicted a few weeks ago. The MSM was going to use the Weinstein et al sex exposes (which they could no longer cover-up, since the dam has broken) as a means of restoring their reputation as reporters of ‘real’ instead of fake news. Then they would use that position, like night follows day, to resume smearing Trump and pro-liberty figures with sexual assault charges. Those attacks didn’t work last year because they had no real evidence, and the media had already revealed how severely biased they were. So this year, the swamp is leading with proof in test cases (by throwing their liberal Weinstein et al buddies under the bus), which serve as bait to restore the public’s trust–then it’ll be back to attack mode on their real targets. This is the MSM’s “round two” attempt to demonize their opposition.
“Moore, Moore, Moore, How Do You Like Your Love?”
Speaking of which, the sudden public relations massacre that conveniently descended upon conservative Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, one month before the special election in his state, illustrates why it’s important to consistently distinguish the cases of sexual abuse claims that come with undisputed evidence from day one (like the photos of Franken groping women, or legal records of settlements) from vague statements about events from decades ago, which the MSM demands we accept on face value. While bad sexual behavior or harrassment happens everywhere, the rule of law, due process or presumption of innocence should also prevail everywhere, be it in the court of law or public opinion. This consistency should include critically accounting for EVIDENCE and HISTORY, concerning both the accused and the accusers. There have been whispers about the accused Hollywood big shots for decades, including court settlements and squashed police investigations, or other impartial sources. There was NO track record of women accusing Moore of anything like this, let alone under-age sex, UNTIL right after the regular election, driven by very biased sources. So the claims against Hollywood are based on a real track record, while the claims against Moore are a high tech lynching, based on this consistent analysis. One other way to look out for this is to identify the timing of the changes as calculated. Men have also been ruined (or lynched) over trumped up sex charges for decades, that also happens everywhere. Just saying, we should exercise discernment and critically evaluate the charges, and their likely motivation.
In the case of the judge, none of the accusers had an actual sexual encounter with Moore, and only the then-14 yr old (later Democrat activist) was under AL age of consent. The most recent claim that Moore child-locked one woman in his car, is belied by the fact that cars didn’t have such locks at that time. The yearbook “love note” entry another woman claimed he wrote appears to be forged (letters and numbers written in different styles, two different inks used, etc). Other witnesses have gone on record stating they do not recall her or Moore ever being at the restaurant the accuser claimed they met at. One accuser has a history of being active with Democratic campaigns. Another has falsely accused several pastors in the past. The fact is the history of those leveling the allegations is suspect, and there are many more things pointing to this being a set-up. To repeat, the key sign it was coordinated is that the story, and drumbeat of calls for Moore to quit the race all broke after Election Day. Meaning the swamp wanted to wait until that point to concentrate their attack, and give beating Moore their undivided attention through December 12. The cynicism is summed up by one blog commenter this way:
“As they are all wringing their hands about the reprobate Roy Moore, Nancy Pelosi is talking about due process and how wonderful the “icon” John Conyers is and what great things he has done for women. The pure political hypocrisy is breathtaking.”
As with other aspects of Sex-gate, there are issues behind the Moore smear charges. With the establishment, the end game remains the same: keep political alternatives out of power, and regain control over the narrative (a big part of which, is marginalizing alternatives). The real objection to Moore is his more blatantly bible-friendly ideology, which is anathema to liberal Democrats, establishment Republicans and secular left-Libertarians alike. Judge Moore is reviled (and has been twice removed from the bench) for holding the dreaded traditional view that the government can and should “acknowledge God” (by such acts of token homage as installing a statue displaying the 10 Commandments in his court), and by his decisions challenging the shaky, preposterously bad 5-4 gay marriage decision of the US Supreme Court. It’s somewhat unlikely the libertarian Founding Fathers would have objected to either of these stances, but modern secularists (who hold to a draconian separation of God and government) seem to feel they know more than the Founders. Moderates and secularists also seem to prefer a mushy middle that focuses more on fiscal matters as the be all and end all, than on honoring the Author of liberty.
The elite GOP is just as hostile to true cultural conservatives like Moore as the left is, as they do not want the latter replacing them in senior positions in DC, ever (please note how year after year, none of the more serious pro-liberty members of Congress ever get elected to the top party leadership spots). As for the left-Libertarians, they will have to eventually get away from lazily conflating everything the social right believes with theocratic authoritarianism. Some social conservatives are indeed authoritarian, but most just want the government out of the business of attacking the family. They oppose social liberal authoritarians who have much more aggressively imposed their values on others, by using the system to force legalized child killing on the whole population, and creating bad case law to impose gay marriage on the red states that did not want it. They hold the sanctity of marriage cannot, by definition, extend to blessing a union based on sexual perversion. There are many more (formerly Reagan) Democrats who are socially conservative libertarians, who also are attracted to pro-liberty populism on this basis, than there are fiscal-only conservatives. On balance, the future of libertarian success and attracting more voters lies more in making peace with the pro-family social right, than with shunning it.
Vegas Covert Op?
Last but not least, in October there were the actual gun massacres in Las Vegas, and later at a Texas church, that prompted the usual opportunistic gun-grabber outcry that “something must be done” to either restrict gun access from the latest “lone nuts,” or further crack down on “lone wolf” terrorists. Among recent “common sense” legislative suggestions have been calls for bans on ‘bump stocks’ that may help make gunfire automatic on some models, or adding mental health provisions to background checks, and many other things. And as usual, the thrust of the proposals is to increasingly criminalize non-reporting of this or that disqualifier to the holy background check database. In fact, if the gun control freaks get their “many other things” put into effect, average Americans will lose their gun rights. Eventually, there will be a zillion “common sense” qualifiers, since folks on the gun control side never seem to stop coming up with new provisions. If guns are withheld due to “mental health” concerns, for example, what’s to stop deep state bureaucrats from defining that phrase in the broadest ways, like “oh, you use a tax preparer? It must mean you’re not mentally competent–no guns for you.” Or, “you voted for Trump? Must be mentally incompetent, no guns…”
But a few problems have stopped the grabbers cold with regard to propagandizing the latest cases. The Texas shooter already had a criminal record, but it was the bureaucrats who hadn’t added the info to the registry database. It turns out an armed local NRA gun trainer was able to shoot and wound the killer as he was fleeing the scene, which made it easier for police to chase him down (before the suspect shot himself). Thus in this instance, it turns out background checks may not help, while a citizen carrying a firearm did help. What these details certainly did not help was the standard gun control narrative. As for the Mandalay hotel shooting, the more details that have shown up (almost entirely from independent reporting and leaks), the more it appears it was definitely not a nutty lone wolf gunman, and the basic timeline of the incident became so questionable that the county sheriff and FBI stopped holding press conferences about the matter—a clear sign that another cover-up was disintegrating, in front of the media and the entire world. Could this have been yet another false flag, with another set of black operators assigned to shoot at us, to get us to thereafter give up on guns?
There is a counter-theory out there that alleged shooter Stephen Paddock (who had no past criminal, military or mental health record) was actually an FBI asset who was conducting strawman purchases of weapons on their behalf, in a sting operation to catch some ISIS/Antifa operators. A speaker actually started to say “Paddock was an arms–” before he was cut off in one press interview. Only the op went sideways, perhaps when the bad guys found out he was an informant, who then went to his hotel room, killed him, and conducted the massacre. This would explain the “lack of motive”—Paddock had none, because he didn’t do it.
The FBI is in cover-up mode because they are still (supposedly) after the ISIS culprits, who remain at large, and out of sheer embarrassment over the agency being implicated in arms sales. This overall fits the facts much better than the “retired multi-millionaire with no record suddenly goes supervillian with automatic weapons” story. Really, if only as a mental exercise, just apply the “Batman credibility test” to the Vegas official story. Apart from suspending belief for the purposes of entertainment, does anybody believe a wealthy tycoon would be jumping rooftops at night, beating up thugs dressed up as a six foot bat? Likewise, does the notion that a very rich senior citizen with no record or motivation, would be setting up a sniper’s nest to shoot over 500 people make any sense? Does that sound any more credible than the basic premise of Batman? Is it more realistic, or more like Santa Claus?
I’m calling it Santa Claus. It will be interesting to see if the surveillance footage is ever made public, or if the ballistics evidence at the murder scene will show that the alleged shooters’ weapons were involved. If neither get released (and we’re still waiting for those two things, 2 years later, with regards to the San Bernardino case) that strengthens the view that a cover-up is going on. The resident of the room next to Paddock reported there were multiple shooters, a claim which is backed up by message traffic on the police scanners, on the ground reports, and by the leaked dinner receipt (see image) showing multiple parties were in his room during his stay. Why did nobody notice all the firearms in the room (from the ‘guests’ to the maids and staff who had access to the suite), and again, where is the security footage showing him get them into the hotel and into position? Why was the security guard who is said to have first discovered the sniper’s nest allowed to leave the country for several days? Why the absolute media silence on the 17 ambulances at a nearby Hooters hotel that were treating victims of shootings going on there at the same time as the Mandalay? And why have so many survivors who claimed to see more than one shooter, subsequently died in later weeks? These issues are just the tip of the iceberg of anomalies and counter evidence, as one can read a larger summary of the controversy here. Until the vaunted “authorities” come clean on these issues, it’s safe to say the Vegas shooting is an extremely botched covert op and cover-up, that has massacred the credibility of “official investigations.”
Freedom After Massacres?
All these PR infowar disasters are a net plus as far as those opposed to the cult of the omnipotent state are concerned, as it shows the crack-up of the statist order is widening. The order of the swamp is increasingly failing to do anything right, or without it backfiring on them. Stop-gap measures of the elite to restore control are not working, with literally none of their memes–be it race-race-race, or collusion-collusion-collusion, or now sex-sex-sex carrying the day for them. The latest elite trick has been to start already floating contenders for the Republican nomination in 2020, such as billionaire Mark Cuban (of Shark Tank fame). The kingmakers actually think they can just dial up a new tycoon, use him to split the GOP or Trump vote so as to get the Democrat elected, and thereby make the outsider wave go away. But the Cubans of the world need to understand that Trump didn’t win simply because he was a famous billionaire. He won because he promoted populism, nationalism, less foreign intervention, and pro-middle American issues. All the self-funding in the world will not help Cuban if he runs on the same globalist, elitist liberal glop that brought down Hillary and the rest of the deep state.
Freedom can rise from the elite massacres if we knowingly navigate through them looking to build on, and not scold the coalition that elected Trump. Pro-liberty supporters should continue to work on fielding consistent libertarian candidates who ALSO can appeal to these populist oriented voters, and join them in pushing back against the career politicians from both major parties. This effort should devise ways to achieve this whether or not those parties permit it, or try to block it. The deep state establishment has made major party reform just as difficult as building a third party. It took an unusual billionaire who could embrace populist themes like Trump, to just barely prevail against them in the last primary process and election. The existing order crushes and purges the reformers, be they inside or outside the GOP. The normal routine is for alternative movements or candidates inside the majors to get marginalized (like the Pauls 2008-2016) whenever they ran, or to get co-opted and neutered by the GOP (as with the Tea Party).
There is a new third solution, as discussed in my last post—namely, use the minor parties to vet the real, principled liberty candidates, then run them in open seats on the major party line (where incumbent pols are retiring, or removed by scandal). Let them run in the primary or special elections, and they should have a better chance to win. This way, the reformers keep their independence and can resist being converted into swamp zombies by the establishment special interests, or getting smeared/marginalized into irrelevance. Only by replacing the power of the swamp critters in both major parties in this manner will we eventually change anything. For now, we should work on the above kind of solution, while enjoying the swinging wrecking ball of truth that is massacring the old order.
With the summer of 2017 mercifully coming to an end, the pecularities, pettiness and potential revealed by events over the past few months should give us hope that the net progress or turnaround so long sought by liberty lovers is actually coming to pass. Hurricane Harvey has served as a touchstone to differentiate the real tenor of the country (as shown in the heroic rescue efforts of people throughout south Texas by true grit Americans), from the contrived conflicts created by elitists to tear people apart (as in the case of the VA riots).
The Deep War Continues, In the Eye of the Storm
But while Harvey was a category 4 hurricane, it otherwise served to create an eye in a larger political storm, interrupting the fevered, but artificial campaign to bring down Trump, and the entire outsider ethos he brought in. As Breitbart has analyzed it, the defining element that explains the US news trends of 2017, remains the election of 2016. “It is what Trump’s victory said so clearly about the MSM’s inability to influence public opinion and, by extension, the outcome of elections. What has also remained unspoken is the media’s desperate and dangerous reaction to this waning influence. As a 25 year media-watcher, I have never seen anything close to the propaganda campaign the national media launched to defeat Donald Trump last year. It was 24/7, it was coordinated across every news outlet, it was all-hands-on-deck. And Trump still won. Which can only mean that the media’s influence has eroded to a point where, despite hurling every kitchen sink available, they suffered a humiliating loss last November.”
The entire elite was humilated last year, and they are still furious about losing information control over the masses. Meaning: the cultural war is already ending, and the populists and traditionalists have basically won it. Trump was the trailing end of it (as the Democrat end of the globalist system had lost over 1,000 seats at all levels before his campaign started). That’s why the entire Deep State establishment has been shrieking and freaking out. The populist pro-liberty victory stopped the barbarians just as they were at the precipice of turning the Supreme Court into the 9th circuit for generations, canceling the protection of individual gun rights, launching more full scale no-exit Mideast wars, slyly censoring the alternative media online, and permanently locking the US into globalist bureaucracies (from TPP to the Paris Climate accords, etc) that would have ended our sovereign control over those matters, with no ability to reverse it.
In light of their defeat, with much more to come in the 2018 midterms if the prediction of “Democratic Doomsday” (their losing 7 or more vulnerable incumbent Senate seats) comes true, the ongoing effort of the MSM has been to conjure up a scenario where Trump can be removed from office (the soft way, via Continuity of Government (COG) protocol, or the hard way, by assassination). The most recent tactic has been to get the MSM to ceaselessly declare the President may be in some way mentally unfit, or is “dividing the country” too severely to be competent to serve, to the point where they persuade his Cabinet to vote him out of office (as per the 25th Amendment). Two little snags with this elite deep war scenario are that the public doesn’t trust the legacy media anymore, for them to be credible in delivering that message, and events like the massive recovery effort related to Hurricane Harvey are showing the country is unifying, not dividing, despite the best efforts of the false flag artists to stage division. That by itself is an interim victory for liberty.
The Summer of PC Pettiness
If 2015 represented the summer of PC bullying, 2017 is plainly the summer of PC pettiness, with a sudden microwaved fury erupting over statues from an old war. It was thought that the removal of the Confederate flag from many public/government spaces over the last two years was a sufficient reasonable concession to satisfy the cultural left authoritarians, but as usual, it appears they were just getting started. Their agenda swiftly moved to demanding the taking down of all statues representing respect for Confederate icons (some of whom were black or native American), or even tearing up the “wrong” cemeteries, and vandalizing statues even in private spaces or on private property.
This represents not a desire to merely put the past in the past, but total intolerance of any display of dissenting opinion, as well as denying the dissenters the right to retain even a social memory of their heritage. Perhaps the collapse of the Trump-Russian collusion story (most recently repudiated by even the progressive Nation magazine) has forced the deep state to roll back to the “Trump is a racist” narrative in order to stay on point in running him down. The wheels of contrivance and political distraction have been falling off the Charlottesville, VA confrontation since the day it happened, but a few highlights in brief:
–Videos, and eyewitnesses, and the local police, and journalists on the scene have verified that the protest (of the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee) had been peaceful, until a smaller group of costumed crisis actors (some dressed as Klansmen or Nazis, some as left wing BLM and Antifa agitators) showed up together, and both new factions started to incite violence.
-The Antifa professionals were particularly nasty, throwing bags filled with urine and feces into the main crowd, and attacking
various uncostumed attendees (including reporters) with bats or sticks with nails. This classic provacateur manuveur caused the event to get violent, magnified by the cops standing down and not keeping the peace (e.g., by keeping the polarized groups separate), and even steering people fleeing the scene into the direct path of the agitators, leading to more violence.
-A complete video of the driver who ran over protestors (killing one of them) shows he was originally driving cautiously through the scene, until his car was attacked by Antifa protestors with bats, at which point he sped from the scene recklessly.
–Video and eyewitnesses also verify that the costumed crazies (in KKK or Nazi suits, AND the masked Antifa gangstas) were seen coming off the same rented buses, a tell tale sign of orchestration.
–American Thinker came out with a scathing report and other blog posts showing the whole confrontation was planned and organized in the spring, months before it “spontaneously” erupted on the streets in the summer, as one of several planned instigated violent events. If right-wing white supremacists are construed to be a bear, the object was to poke the bear, then blame the bear for the resulting violence, then magically ‘link’ other political factions to that racial violence.
-The organizer of the event (Jason Kessler) turns out to be somebody who voted for Obama, and who had worked for Democrat activist groups for years, and against Trump in 2016! The bulk of the so called spontaneous counter-protestors turn out to have been funded by everybody’s favorite Hungarian billionaire, George Soros. How he doesn’t get prosecuted for repeatedly organizing race riots, I’ll never know.
-Antifa, given initial positive media coverage in the wake of the VA riot (despite attacking reporters there) has since proceeded to ‘mess up’ or squandered the PR gift it was given on a silver platter, by conspicuously beating up still more liberal reporters and peaceful, non-white supremacist demonstrators at subsequent events. Even mainstream Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and cautiously establishment GOP leaders like Paul Ryan have now publicly condemned the group, and the Justice department has revealed the group is now classified as a violent criminal organization. American Thinker points out that “Antifa and BLM are every bit as fascist as any of the supremacist groups; they are more violent and there are more of them.“
Additional items could be cited, but you get the picture. According to Wikipedia, there are currently only 3-6,000 members of the KKK, and only a few hundred neo-Nazis in the US—all closely watched (where not outright infiltrated) by one or more federal agencies. Violent right wing extremism is, in short, a very tightly controlled, highly monitored micro-problem in a nation of 326 million people, but don’t tell that to the race-baiters, who want to foment alarmism. Charlottesville was a staged conflagration, designed to get us up into each others faces about race, and to smear as racist sympathizers anybody not 100% compliant with the mainstream PC playbook. The point behind the smear campaign is hilariously obvious—Hillary Clinton only got 88% of the black vote in 2016 (normal numbers for Democrats are more like 93%). Donald “what have you got to lose?” Trump succeeded in shaving away part of the Democratic base vote, so this is a planned campaign to polarize the electorate enough to get them back. The NRA was the subject of a similar massive attack ad campaign in the mid-90’s, after Democrats noticed that 22 of the 27 candidates the gun rights group had strongly endorsed in 1994 had gotten elected. As always in politics, a smear campaign is an effort geared towards defanging the target’s political power. The end game this time is to call Trump a racist, then tag the entire GOP, or the entire right as being aligned with racism. In other words, they’re trying to execute the same plan that failed in 2016! Well, good luck with that:
Is the South Rising Again?
And as for the point behind those statues, and calls for them to remain in place: Yes, it’s entirely proper to note that the Civil War (or more accurately, the war between the states) ended over 150 years ago, but it’s just as proper to note that everybody should ‘move on,’ not just the Confederates. Hey statue bashers, if the war is so over, why are you still fighting it? Aren’t there much bigger and more pressing things to be upset about? What’s more heroic– defacing a statue that’s not harming anybody, or risking life and limb helping to rescue a flooded out family in Houston? And while the winning side is entitled to the spoils of victory, the truth about what happened, or what caused the war in the first place is not subject to their control. People in a diverse country like the US have the right to honor the truth as they understand it, be it through statues or other tributes. In the case of the southern states, their actual cause (states rights, which included the right to secede from tyranny, that same right the Union fought for 80 years prior) was right, regardless of who won the war. Would anybody say the cause of the American Revolution was wrong, and unworthy of honoring or rememberance, if Britain had won?
History is not white hat vs black hat absolutes. The fact remains that, in 1861, more Union states were practicing slavery than were Confederate states. The main issue was not slavery, nor white supremacy (at the time of the war, most Caucasians in the US, north or south, thought whites were superior to blacks). The tyranny was the Unionists telling the Southern states that they couldn’t secede. Gen. Grant personally owned slaves, Gen. Lee did not. A recent book that published thousands of letters written between Confederate soldiers and their families reveal they held that the main issue of the war was loss of states rights, period. Judge Napolitano has also pointed out the major role of tariffs (punitively issued by the Union states against the South) in inciting the war.
And it goes almost without saying the Democratic Party was one of the largest perpetrators of racism in the US, from the Civil war era to the civil rights movement. The founder of the KKK was a Democrat, Democratic states created and enforced Jim Crow segregation, and several revered Democratic Presidents or figures expressed nakedly racist attitudes. Are their statues coming down? Among the more humorous ironies of this event, that shows how the attempt to socially re-engineer public opinion can backfire, sales of Confederate flags or related memorabilia have actually rocketed up in recent weeks (including purchases made by black supporters of states rights), and more groups are now funding the commissioning of NEW Confederate statues and tributes on private estates. This represents a profoundly heroic repudiation of PC attempts to demonize the Confederate cause, or its bullying attempts to monopolize all opinion about the war for the rest of time. The truth will not be buried, or cowed into silence. This turnaround is a victory for liberty.
The War for War—Tales from the Front
The elite has tried desperately to restore momentum on the war agenda, and their various contraptions have sadly had partial success so far in the new administration. The Deep State, seeing Trump coming, wanted to maintain hostile relations with Russia to support the ongoing MIC project of global empire-building, and regime change in the Mideast. The point behind the entire collusion narrative was to monkey-wrench any attempts by Trump to improve overall relations with Russia upon taking office, and to provide bi-partisan cover for Congress to lump new sanctions on Russia. Now that Congress has voted to do just that, notice that the Democrats have started to move away from the Russian narrative, as if on cue. The whole collusion narrative, it seems, was a false flag to get the new, more permanent sanctions legislation passed, to head off any peacemaker President from pursuing saner relations with Russia. The military/intelligence industrial complex has likewise brought tremendous pressure on Trump to continue the non-stop intervention program in the Mideast and elsewhere, and to many, the drumbeat superficially appears to be working. Or is it?
Seemingly bowing to the pressure, Trump has announced a modified “fight to win” strategy in Afghanistan (the details of which are to be kept quiet), including increasing troops there for the time being. As with Syria, on the surface, from a “snapshot” point of view, it looks like a simple reversal of what Trump campaigned to do. But what is it under the surface, or in the months that follow? I say we pay attention to the full movie, not the movie still. The current war party line is that the US (Empire) must stay in Afghanistan, because a) ISIS has emerged in the country due to President Obama ignoring the threat while he was withdrawing troops, and b) the Taliban can’t be allowed to take back control. The neocon’s all-purpose excuse for this new build-up? Oh, the Democratic President showed he was “weak” in handling the rise if ISIS (the standard war hawk FOXhead approach of blaming Democratic foreign policy). But in truth, Obarry didn’t “ignore” ISIS when he pretended to withdraw from Iraq, he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intentionally created them, by defacto supplying them with all those guns, ammo and supplies left behind as the troops were drawn down. Then when the extremists showed up suddenly stocked up with all these weapons that magically showed up “from nowhere,” the US Empire had its pretext to stay in Iraq and extend the quagmire.
ISIS and Al Qaeda were/are Islamist extremists, but they are first and foremost mercenaries, working for who ever pays them the most (CIA covert ops, Saudi Arabia, sometimes MI6 or the Mossad, etc). Their job has been to fight and terrorize to create a continuing pretext for the Empire to keep intervening in the Mideast. Trump privately knows this, from his talks with previous advisors like Gen. Michael Flynn, and so he has been shutting down the Deep State’s false flag use of them in Syria by conducting a Jacksonian, close-ended plan (military mop up, and cutting off their funds and supplies) to defeat them within months, followed by a pull out.
The Afghan plan is similar, in that the SECRET point behind adding troops now is to use them to remove the weapons and supplies first, THEN pull out of the country in 18 months. Trump can then have cover to say he gave the troops the “chance to win” mopping up ISIS, but leave ISIS with no stockpile to start things up again as soon as the troops are gone. He just can’t say this publicly, as it would reveal the strategy. This “I can’t reveal my plan” device is similar to the loophole he used when Trump finally conceded during the primaries that “I won’t run third party” if some other Republican won the nomination, but crucially added “if I’m treated fairly.” That gave him room to rescind the promise when, like night follows day, the media and GOP leaders did treat him unfairly later. So the non-reveal rhetoric in the current instance allows Trump to disguise an exit plan for Afghanistan as a long war escalation, confusing both the enemy and the neocons alike. My own suggested solution? Bring back the free, American Republic, and repudiate the US Empire, by ending the hostilities with the Taliban. Withdraw all of our troops from the region, as fast as we can pack them and our material on the planes.
Although Afghanistan is the longest active war in US history (now lasting longer than the Civil war, and both World Wars combined), the Korean war is technically the longest US war (as it remains unresolved after a 64 year- old ceasefire). In one of the few positive achievements of the Clinton era, the US helped negotiate a suspension of North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, and supported a path for both North and South Korea to finally reconcile. Then the war-crazed neocons of the GW Bush administration came in and scuttled the process (by reneging on US obligations under the deal), whereupon North Korea (NK) reacted by resuming their weapons program, and abandoned the path to reconciliation. The neocon’s all-purpose excuse for this screw-up? Oh, the Democratic President showed he was “weak” in trusting the NK ‘madman’ (not keeping a war stance is always “weakness” according to war party, just as the current dictator of NK of the time is always a “madman”). The deep state war party gave us the ongoing North Korea quagmire et al, then deceive us into more wars by making us scapegoat one party or the other, for enemies that were created by the MIC/CIA controlled establishment.
The neocon brigade, from Sen. John McCain on down, have castigated Trump for allegedly using overly aggressive rhetoric about NK’s current round of provocative rhetoric and missile test launches. To understand McCain and Co on war, you must note that their focus is on ginning up the US Empire to attack Mideast nations that are NOT a real threat to us, or threatened us, with no WMD or capability of delivering them on us. In the case of North Korea, that nation actually HAS nukes, CAN deliver them to US targets (at least Guam, it seems), and actually HAS issued threats to us, so Trump’s tough response is appropriate.
But McCain knows the North Korean situation distracts from the neocon/war party agenda to attack places like Iran, a nation with no nuclear weapons that has not launched aggression against another country in 200 years. An actual threat from NK makes their obsession with starting wars of regime change against countries that pose no real threat look phony, because it is phony. NK exposes that the war party agenda of prioritizing war in the Mideast is misplaced, or downright based on conquest and empire-building, not actual defense of our lands. My own suggested solution? Bring back the free, American Republic, and repudiate the US Empire, by ending the hostilities with North Korea. Encourage the reconcilation path between the North and South, end the sanctions and one-sided trade pact, and withdraw all 38,000 of our troops from the DMZ, as fast as we can pack them and our material on the planes.
Liberty Progress, Vs. Wheel Spinning
In the meantime, despite his deliberately ambiguous, on and off public weathervane signals on foreign intervention, domestically, Trump is serving as a wrecking ball, broadly whacking away at the enemies of the emerging new liberty establishment. The major exception to this so far has been the authoritarian policy regime of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who seems determined to revive a war against pot, while ramping up the due process-free and anti-property rights policy of asset forfeiture. But overall, with the overall demo work getting done to the deep state, we can then get to the renovation that needs to be performed, creating net progress for liberty. Notice specifically, in the election Trump did many of the things the little Napoleons of our movement (be they called pro-liberty, Paulian, or Libertarian) kept screaming for the LP or the Pauls not to do—from openly talking about election fraud, to dangling the threat of running third party, to embracing America first or pro-sovereignty interests, to fighting PC, to questioning Obama’s birth/citizen status, to raising conspiracy and collusion issues, to outright insulting or deflating the media and other candidates, to seriously bonding with socons, etc—yet did far better than did Gary Johnson or either Paul, who tried to get traction using rationalistic pitches or wheel-spinning alone. His governance so far, though quite defective on several libertarian fronts, reflects this same connection to the populist “liberty street.”
The outsider, alt-right populist wave has demonstrated itself to be a far better and more complete political vehicle for couching a viable, electable liberty message than the dry, utterly-consistent-intellectual-agenda-above-all-else emphasis that has dominated the LP and Paul movement to date. This presages a near future where the much, much larger populist liberty factions within the alt-right and patriot media will likely take over the LP or the “intellectual” side of the liberty movement, and not the reverse. At this point, they have acquired and established more authority to lead it and take it to victory than we have.
A Blueprint for Liberty Action
As I repeated endlessly over the last year: A major party nomination will not be handed to our liberty candidates, they will be fought and marginalized ferociously. We can bemoan the institutional obstacle all we want, but we still have to have a credible plan to deal with it. We will NOT overcome it by running the same exact one-dimensional candidate as before, who is right on the issues, but has no effective means of defeating the blackout or winning primaries. We caannot keep ceding the “ugly work” of establishment busting and coalition building to Trump, we need to master the arts ourselves. I’ve suggested three basic electoral approaches going forward to advance liberty, both nationally and locally:
1) Run candidates with a ‘Ron Paul’ like mind, and a William Wallace like alpha vibe. Much of the public has to be reached by means other than reason, as they are turned off by the ‘brainiac’ form of libertarianism we usually lead with. A charismatic, libertarian populist candidate who presents as a rousing “libertarian of the heart,” while retaining the core liberty ideas, can do better at reaching the masses. John McAfee was one possibility when he tried to win the Libertarian nomination for President in 2016, though he had an iffy background with the law and lack of preparation that limited his appeal. Other examples may include Kurt Russell, Adam Kokesh, Augustus Invictus, Alex Jones, etc.
2) Run liberty candidates who will also engage the voting blocs needed to build winning coalitions, and will aggressively fight the establishment barriers to liberty. This is the fundamental lesson learned from the last three election cycles, and cannot be sidestepped. A candidate who only satisfies the 5% liberty core, or can even grow the base towards 10% as Ron Paul did, does not get us to the 51% needed to win primaries and elections. If running within the GOP universe the candidates need to appeal to socons, tea partiers, or disaffected anti-establishment dynamics of the party. That means speaking to their issues and concerns from a liberty perspective, not just barking our issues at them. The candidates also need to be able to figure out how to “disable the tractor beam” of the media and leadership that constantly tries to marginalize liberty, or PC shame it into conformity.
3) Pursue a Bi-partisan Open Seat Strategy (BOSS) to get more liberty candidates elected locally. Most seats are in areas that are not competitive for the purposes of liberty candidates winning the election, that is, they are dominated by GOP or Dem hacks who win with above 55+% of the vote. Recognizing that 95% of seats are gerrymandered to support Republican or Democrat (statist) incumbents, we should focus instead on running in a primary or special election where the incumbent is retiring, passed away, or removed by scandal. Run on a liberty platform to win the nomination of the dominant party in the district or area (say, if it’s a deeply Democratic district, run a Ron Paul Democrat, or if it’s a Republican district, run a Ron Paul Republican).
Field for suitable candidates using the local Campaign for Liberty/pro-liberty meetups and mailing lists, or from the local LP. Upon winning the primary for the vacated seat, the liberty candidate then has the inside track to win the election. An example from a few years ago of how this results in victory is the Kerry Bentivolio case in Michigan (a Ron Paul supporter who won a US House seat by being the only GOP candidate in the primary when the incumbent Republican retired). The BOSS approach should thus create higher percentage opportunities for liberty people to win seats, regardless of which major party way the district rolls.
Another example of enacting this strategy is to use it to concentrate mainly on the races in the country where one could win on a BOSS basis, instead of the usual routine of just running quality liberty candidates in election campaigns against strong incumbents, only to almost certainly lose each race. The LP has a demonstrated track record of doing the latter for decades, and apart from the educational aspect, or representing a true libertarian option on the ballot, it leads to few or no victories, or even emerging coalitions. Austin Peterson (another contender for the LP Presidential nomination last year) is apparently now set on running for US Senate in his home state of Missouri, but is following the loser template of trying to beat a strong incumbent. He should instead be running for a MO House seat that is being vacated, as that would give him his best chance. Perhaps his Senate announcement is an exploratory trial balloon to first find out where his strength is in the state, then to run there for Rep. But if he can win at either level, I do like the idea of a movement person like Petersen in an elected position near Iowa, as he could later run for President in the Iowa Caucuses as a regional favorite son.
Implementation on any of these fronts would be progress. In summary: The liberty movement needs to 1) get better at building a 51% coalition beyond our 5.1% ideological base so as to win elections and get legislation passed, and 2) become more effective at overcoming the statist barriers to liberty in the legacy media and major party institutions, who always and forever have sought to marginalize or neutralize alternatives. I have suggested we draw lessons from those campaigns and movements that did succeed in doing both, and apply them to our efforts. The answer does NOT lie in ignoring those successes, or retreating into focusing on campaign or activism models that did not win primaries, or produce any movement towards changing anything legislatively. We must grow beyond only having correct liberty beliefs, to matching them with correct liberty action.
With this past month commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of John F. Kennedy, perhaps the last decent U.S. President produced by the Democratic Party, many of its rank and file members may now be wondering just what has become of the party.
It was once represented by such iconic liberty figures as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson (at his central bank busting best), and Grover Cleveland. That history has been largely supplanted by the current spectacle of endless bashing of Donald Trump, openly homicidal gestures expressed against the same, GOP baseball shooters, mainstream media meltdowns over PC violations, triggered snowflake syndrome, campus and protest violence, frequent cursing outbursts by senior DNC and elected officials, and by party leaders pursuing a comical “the Russians are coming” collusion investigation mania that their GOP counterparts were rightly ridiculed for fomenting decades ago during the Cold war and the McCarthy era. Unlike the Libertarian Party, who can be said to be coming off a great year that constituted a “breakthrough moment” as I past described it, the Democrats seem to be experiencing a “breakdown moment” of crisis at this time.
It gets worse. Over the 8 year expanse of the disastrous Obama era, Democrats lost over 1,000 seats at the federal, state and local levels, leading to its minority vote status in both houses of Congress, most state legislatures, and most Governor positions across the nation. The general absence of achievements of the Obama reign, as well as an actual increase in foreign wars during his term over those launched by G.W.Bush, not to mention his conducting ten times more drone strikes, didn’t exactly help things.
Nor did the anti-millenial and anti-working middle class vibes given off by the Clinton Presidential campaign (including her coldly dismissive “we’re going to put the coal miners out of business”), which probably greatly contributed to fracturing the base of the party in the 2016 election, as seen by the loss of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from the blue column—states that hadn’t gone GOP in 30 years.
A Tale of Two Democratic Parties
Despite the urgency of getting those midwest states back if they want to ever return to the White House, the Democratic leadership is nonetheless insisting on continuing their dump Trump campaign via pushing the Russian narrative, as opposed to simply rebuilding the party, based on delivering on the issues relevant to their rank and file. It’s as if that leadership is only listening to their true masters, those in the Deep State establishment, who have given them marching orders to hammer away on the “what did Trump tell Comey, or Comey tell Trump” nonsense 24/7, to the exclusion of all else that matters. It’s no wonder then, that certain elder statesmen with a semblence of a reputation left for independence, like Bernie Sanders, are talking about forming a “People’s Party” to splinter off from the husk of what clearly looks like a dying major party. The below two videos illustrate the current gulf within the Democratic universe, as in:
The curious thing is that the interviewer Maxine was blasting is a correspondent from the Young Turks, a leading progressive media outlet, not a pro-Trump or anti-Obama group. Yet all that mattered to her was spreading the impeachment narrative. That, in a nutshell (emphasis on nut, when it comes to Waters) is the difference between a party hack who is obediently pushing an establishment meme, versus an authentic progressive who is focused on, well, making progress on matters of substance. You don’t have to agree with Turner’s ideology to know she is primarily responsive to real people across the country who share her concerns, instead of to party elites. If the leadership had any sense, they would be building up a figure like Turner (who, as a black 2016 Sanders supporter from the Midwest, would make an ideal coalition national candidate, for the purposes of reunifying the millenials and working class voters under the Democratic umbrella).
The fact that this is not their emphasis tells you all you need to know about how the party, like the GOP, is first and foremost controlled by the establishment special interests of the Deep and Total State. Also notice the role of triangulation tactics in all of the recent “crazy outbursts” by politicians like Waters or by media figures. Notice that the Democrats making the extreme comments or actions are invariably from safe liberal districts, or are in a position in the media (like Kathy Griffin) to “take a bullet” and suffer a temporary blow to their career. Most incumbents in competitive districts stay away from wild statements or stunts like the plague. Yet the “crazy” or extreme comments serve their purpose: to set the table for other “saner” pols to prattle on about the issue “sensibly,” but along exactly the same track intended by the “crazy” folks spinning the issue in the first place.
For example, Team Clinton has triangulated the recent severed head of Trump flap, to make Chelsea Clinton (who’s being groomed for a Congressional run in 2018 or 2020) look more sensible by voicing measured objections to the stunt. That’s the whole point of the tactic, to set up the groomed figure to appear statesman-like and above the passion. Leg one (Griffin) does something incendiary, to draw the other party to attack her strongly (leg two), Then “moderate” Chelsea walks in and looks responsible (leg three). CNN likewise looks “moderate” when it fires Griffin over the episode, thus putting on a display of outrage proving it is a “responsible” network, instead of the fake news propaganda factory it has been exposed as over the last year.
Reinventing the Election, Remarginalizing the Deplorables
That Deep State, which includes the legacy mainstream media (or MSM), the permanent bureaucracies (especially intelligence), as well the establishment honchos heading the major parties, is plainly concerned not with rationally rebuilding the party or engaging its grassroots, but with preserving their power at the top, and original plans to expand that power. This appears to be the real reason why the establishment is so upset about Trump beating Hillary. Upon Clinton getting elected, EVERYTHING was cued up to set in motion the final, irretrievable movement of the US into globalism and endless liberalism, from packing the Supreme Court and ending individual gun rights, to locking the US into the Paris accords on Climate Change and into TPP, to shutting down the entire alternative media, to accelerating military confrontation with Russia, etc. Trump has reversed, stopped or deeply slowed down all of this, and the Deep State is furious their plans were all ready and set, but could not go.
What’s happened is that the MSM minions have lost their cover of being the sole “reliable” source of accurate news and commentary, in light of the new media. They’ve been caught lying too many times by regular people (not just by news or internet junkies). The Deep State powers that be (CIA, Soros, banksters et al) have nonetheless sternly told the media “oh yes, you WILL continue to push our narrative, no matter how much credibility you’ve lost!” The same goes for the Democratic political leadership. The Dems knew there was nothing to the collusion charges all along. The point was to pound Trump on it relentlessly, using it as bait to goad him into doing something that looked like obstruction. That’s why, like clockwork, the last round of Congressional hearing questions were all about obstruction of justice—they wanted to lure Trump into the trap and impeach him over that charge. So far he hasn’t fallen into the trap. If even that fails, their plan B to get rid of him may be to get their bankster friends to raise interest rates and crash the stock market, then blame the economic downturn on Trump. Or failing that, a plan C to paint Trump as “mentally unstable” will be tried, etc, etc.
Is it a mere coincidence that the partially successful purge of conservatives at FOX News is happening at the same time a suit was filed against Alex Jones, or the ongoing “fake news” campaign of the MSM continues to try to remove or re-marginalize the alternative media? It’s most likely a co-ordinated attack plan the establishment had set to go into motion after Hillary was elected. With her in office, the DOJ would have joined in the suits and accelerated the criminalization and purging of the new media. Since she didn’t win, these developments represent the establishment’s implementing what parts of the plot they could, as vengeance for losing the election. The PC set are determined to re-monopolize the mainstream media, as they see that the emergence of FOX (flaws and all), and the alternative media destroyed their wall to wall propaganda campaign to roll Hillary into the White House. They feel they can not have FOX be out there in 2020 correcting the record as they did in 2016, and that they have to re-marginalize Drudge, Breitbart and the other internet alternatives.
2020/2024 White House Early Contenders
While that campaign will continue to go on trying to re-con the public into accepting the MSM as the “only” true news source, and its narratives as the “only” proper way to think about events, the Democratic elites are hard at work getting candidates ready who will sell this project to the voting base, while reclaiming the Presidency. So who is the Democratic leadership high on, and relatively youthful (sorry Bernie, and Senator Warren) for the purposes of carrying the torch in the Presidential race in 2020 or beyond? Some examples, in no particular order:
Chelsea Clinton: The party’s SJW contingent (as well as the Clinton machine) still wants the Democrats to get the first woman elected President, and if Hillary couldn’t do it, perhaps her offspring can. Chelsea is a Clinton with almost none of the scandal baggage of her vile parents, but has all of their deep pockets, connections, and national branding. Upon election to Congress (most likely Nita Lowey’s House seat in Westchester, by 2020), she WILL be a front runner in 2024, whether we like it or not. She also has the youth and “clean slate” standing to build a voting and speech record as a Millenial and/or pro-working class Democrat, instead of coming off as a Wall Street puppet. Chelsea can thus pretend to be with the Sanders crowd and thereby unify the split in the party, all the way until (circa 2024) she runs for President. Then she can turn off her cloaking device once in the White House and reveal herself to be another Soros and corporate controlled crony, just like Papa and Mama Clinton.
Kamala Harris: The newly elected first black woman US Senator from California also fits the PC check boxes of Democrats still hungry to get a “first woman” in the White House—woman, non-white, so left she’s essentially communist, and has done absolutely nothing, just like Obama. The thinking is Harris can attract the female vote while re-energizing the black base vote (that waned in 2016, since Obama was not on the ballot). On the negative side, as a standard left coast politician, her ability to attract blue collar Midwestern votes is almost non-existent. She may be vulnerable to the usual coruption allegations about her past record as state Attorney General, or her current backing, with charges floating around like “a lot of cocaine from the SFPD drug lab went missing and she covered it up,” or “the daughter of one of her casino Indian overlords had 5 felony weapons charges reduced to misdemeanors, and she was a felon prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition….” One to watch–carefully.
Andrew Cuomo, Bill DeBlasio, Cory Booker et al: The typical bland set of thoroughly establishment-compliant, east coast male liberals in safe Democratic seats, who are supposed to be considered in any Presidential race round-up. On paper, they all have strong or respectable resumes, but likely in practice, they’ll turn out to be Martin O’Malley. The same problem the above two women face has to be mentioned with respect to these guys, namely, do any of them play in Peoria? Does all the Democratic elite intend to offer are coastal liberals who can’t appeal to millenials, or Midwestern folks? In theory, former VP Joe Biden could engage at least the blue collar voters, but the baggage of his age (78) by 2020, and association with the Obama years may offset any advantage he may have to outreach to them, let alone to recover the 3 lost states.
Scarlett Johansson: Yes, the A-list Hollywood actress most associated with flipping around in a tight black leather suit has expressed an interest in running. Two words of advice, post Trump: DON’T LAUGH. The last celebrity with the deep branding in the culture, and the deep pockets to run who everybody laughed at, and hard, is now President. So, let’s look at Scarlett’s credentials:
Clearly, she’ll fight for us once in office! Seriously, post-2016, the fact remains the current President successfully introduced a new business model for winning a political primary race, one based on star power, self-funding and maintaining independence from the system, not on traditional political experience or fundraising ability—and many Trump-hating liberal stars have noticed. Trump only spent $50 million to win a major party nomination, and from a look at the Forbes list of the richest celebrities, there are a lot of them out there with the net worth to afford that, to give running for office a shot. If these A-listers who are making north of $20 million a movie are so serious, they can commit to stepping away from their careers, and spending the same $50 million of their own money, just like Trump did, to win a major party nomination for President. C’mon Clooney, Johansson, etc, if you think you’re that popular, and that America needs better than Trump, time to put up or shut up!
Will Democrats Consider a Liberty Remedy?
In the meanwhile, the Dems should consider, at the rank and file level, embracing a liberty agenda delivered with a genuine populist/nationalist flavor, in order to revive their sagging fortunes. This is because, as has already been made painfully evident from the tumult created by the “outsider” candidates in the last GOP primary race, along with the Hillary/Bernie clash, grassroots Democrats can no longer expect the establishment overlords at the top to do so for them. Those leaders are plainly not fixed on raising key issues at this time, they are fixed only on bringing down Trump, to satisfy the elites. To address this, there has to be an anti-establishment movement within the party that parallels the success of the same dynamic that prevailed in the GOP universe across 2015-2016.
A left-libertarian agenda can facilitate this, as it can pick up fresh, popular positions that have been left on the table by the right since Trump took office. Restoring civil liberties destroyed by the surveillance state, Patriot Act generation of laws and bureaucracies comes immediately to mind. Gravitating towards pushing to greater national prominence consistently anti-war, anti-regime change Democrats in Congress such as Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii could work wonders to unify a real populist left outsider movement, to match the one seen on the Republican side. The physically and intellectually attractive Gabbard could electrify the Democratic vote in 2020 if she were on the ticket, in the direction of somewhat reducing foreign intervention (which is exactly why the party establishment opposes her).
Establishing a more consistent federalist approach to cases involving a conflict between the federal and state governments, in the direction of favoring constitutionally limited federal government (thus reviving Jefferson and Cleveland’s vision) would shore up the credibility of the party as also being capable of abiding by the rule of law. As in, if Democrats are going to defend states rights when it comes to “sanctuary cities” that harbor unnaturalized immigrants, do it the right way—defend the right of states to do so constitutionally (based on the 10th Amendment, nullification, historical precedent and such) and consistently apply the same federalist approach to other issues, whether it’s for defending states that have decriminalized marijuana, or those states that decline to recognize gay marriage, transgender bathrooms, or overreaching federal gun control edicts. Showing that the party could put the Constitution ahead of identity politics could win back real votes from middle America, instead of repelling them.
Calling for serious criminal justice reform, in conjunction with further decriminalization of drugs, would be the final piece of the puzzle in creating a populist pro-liberty agenda within the Democratic universe, especially if they could deliver on each front. The implications of doing so would be tremendous for re-igniting enthusiasm within the black and latino communities who have been disproportionately incarcerated due to the current laws. The socialist edge of other subjects (like environmental or climate change issues) could be taken off if the Dem populists adopted a market-based approach to addressing the matter, instead of pining towards creating another national or global bureaucracy. This liberty agenda could indeed remake, save or outright resurrect what is frankly a Zombie party at this point in history, by adopting a populist vision much more responsive to its population, without demonizing all others outside it as ‘deplorable.’ The big question is, will Democrats allow themsellves to be saved by Liberty?