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 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?
With Google reporting searches for World War 3 are exploding in the days since President Trump started two bombing sprees, one on a Russia-controlled facility on a Syrian airfield over an alleged Sarin gas attack, another on a presumed ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan, the media and Washington are back in war-whooping mode. The military strikes have divided what was a unified Trump base of populist support, and made many wonder if Trump has already been cowed into compliance with the war agenda by the special interest elites, or perhaps, was always in their pocket. Considering the president was repeating his campaign promises about working with Russia, and not seeking to topple Syrian leader Bashar Assad as recently as a week before, others are frankly wondering, exactly what gives?
The Deep State Empire Strikes Back?
Among pro-liberty people, the most popular conclusion is that the Sarin gas incident is another false-flag incident set up by the ISIS rebels and their “White Helmets” allies (who have been caught faking such attacks before, most notably in 2013, to try to bring down the Syrian government). While Assad is certainly not a boy scout, there is no evidence he had the means, motive or opportunity to perform the attack. A brilliant MIT analysis of the incident has already shredded the claims made by the US that Syria ‘had to be’ behind the attack. How could Syria use chemical weapons they no longer had, that they had already turned over to the Russians four years ago (stored at the Russian facility that was bombed)? Why would he do so when he was about to defeat ISIS, and had been assured by the US he could remain in power? How did Syria have an opportunity to do it, when the entire world was watching them—what culprit knowingly conducts a crime when the cameras are running? As for the cave complex Trump approved dropping a MOAB (‘Mother of All Bombs’) on, what was the urgency of threat level it represented at this time, to warrant its sudden and massive destruction? What of the fact, disclosed by both Wikileaks this week and by the NY Times in 2005, that the CIA built those tunnels in the first place?
Whether the gas attack was false or real, the feeling is that Trump has used the incident to betray his base by seemingly reversing his stands on regime change, military restraint, and other American First elements of his foreign policy. As far as liberty movement champions like Chuck Baldwin are concerned, Trump is just another neocon warmonger. A variation on this view holds that Trump did not actually mean to double-cross his voters on the matter, but was just “too stupid” to resist falling for the false flag and regime change templates being pushed on him by war hawk generals, neocon pundits, and others (including his daughter Ivanka, along with his son-in-law and Soros buddy Jared Kushner, who are said to have urged him to take action). As to the possible influence Trump’s family members may be having on such major decisions, one Breitbart commenter bluntly jokes, “Amazing – a Talmudic Jew and a Paris Hilton Kim Kardashian bimbo is deciding the fate of the world. God help us.”
Perhaps the real answer is that these developments clearly represent the Deep State military, intelligence and bankster establishments striking back, furiously seeking to restore the globalist momentum disrupted by recent nationalist events such as the election of Trump, Brexit, or the pending election of Marine Le Pen in France. Even Russian officials, and Assad himself have openly expressed that the gas incident was a false flag designed by the Deep State war machine to frame Syria and justify the US bombing. Always and forever, the formula the western elite uses to trigger emotional support behind toppling yet another Mideast country independent of its influence is: accuse them of creating or misusing WMD. Works almost every time–except for Syria in 2013, when Russia took away the pretext by getting Assad to turn over the government’s chemical weapons to them.
The Empire wants its WMD pretext back, in order to invade Syria, turn it into another US client state, complete an oil pipeline through it to supply Eurupe, and to cut the territory off from Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia. So to do that, this time they have to discredit both Syria and Russia. A logical scenario that ties together the bombings with the bash-Russia CIA op that has been running in the MSM for the last half year, is to suppose the Syrian false flag was pre-planned to drop by the spring of 2017, no matter who won the election. If Hillary had won, the incident was poised to be used to fast track a full war with Syria to force regime change, and to demonize Russia for defending Assad. If Trump won, the Russia-baiting was meant to mousetrap him into doing the same thing, though perhaps on a slower path. Either way, the globalist bad guys plan to win, and they play for keeps.
Liberty Principle and Machiavellian Practice
Let’s be clear about two factors at this point. Factor one, invading or dropping bombs on countries that have not attacked us, and without obtaining a declaration of war from Congress, is not libertarian, non-interventionist, or constitutional. People who expected at least a different feel to the Trump administration have been put off by the optics of his bombing and threatening several countries within his first 100 days. Some supporters are accordingly getting off the Trump train over these actions. Or worse, they feel like they have been thrown off of it by the neocons, who seem to have taken the train over, much like the poor old man who was hauled off a United Airlines plane gestapo-style a few days ago.
Many formerly gung-ho supporters of foreign invasion and the War on Terror like Ann Coulter, and even voters in Michigan Trump had just won over, have expressed exhaustion over the unending fixation with military confrontation and belligerent diplomacy that has attended each recent Republican White House. Trump’s rapid transition into conforming to this tendency is distressing not only because of the illegality, the rush to judgement, and reversal of campaign rhetoric, but because the war mentality is, once again, crowding out all other issues (from immigration to ending Obamacare, to tax relief, and “draining the swamp” etc agenda items) Trump was elected to address. It in fact looks more like the swamp is draining Trump, not the opposite. Small wonder then, why people are worried about whether WWIII is upon us.
But there is an alternate dynamic at work, or factor two: this is the same Donald that outfoxed 16 much more experienced or better backed GOP contenders in the primaries, and outwitted the much better funded Hillary, the most intensely establishment-supported candidate in history, in the election. It’s the same guy who recently golfed with Senator Rand Paul, and actually took time to listen to anti-war Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (one of the few sensible Democrats left in Congress) during the transition period. He almost certainly knows, from either Rand, or Gabbard, or from former NSA chief Michael Flynn, that the Obama/Hillary regime was working with and funding Al Qaeda in Syria. Since Trump also listens to alternative voices like Roger Stone, and his own senior adviser Steve Bannon, it’s evident he knows about false flags and the deep politics forces trying to co-opt or mousetrap him. So this would appear to rule out the “he was stupid enough to fall for the Syrian frame job” scenario.
But that would by definition also mean that Trump is too smart to fall for it, and thus be cowed into betraying his policy and promises, especially so soon after taking office. Again, means, motive and opportunity—yes, he has the means to do whatever he wants now that he’s in power, but how would he benefit from abandoning his base of support, or jeopardizing his re-election chances with these policy reversals? And how would Trump have the opportunity to do it so explicitly, with the whole world watching him during his first 100 days? It doesn’t make sense. What does make more sense is the theory that, just as Trump has been known to downright troll his opposition, including the mainstream media, he is doing so now with Syria, to turn the traps set for him around, and ensnare them instead. Alex Jones has discussed this Machiavellian tactic here:
Andrew Jackson vs. the Empire
This analysis was confirmed by subsequent statements by Trump and top advisers, who stress he will not be conducting a full invasion, creating no-fly zones over Syria, or otherwise starting WWIII. Remember, Trump is a “Jacksonian” in his foreign policy leanings. This is a form of interventionism, to be sure, but one that commits itself only to big, but interim adventures and demonstrations of US military strength that are in the direct national interest, with an exit plan in mind—not the full scale, no-exit wars and open-ended empire building for global control that is characteristic of the modern war party, or neoconservative variety of interventionism.
Yet because both schools are variations on interventionism, the two factions often work together, or can be confused with one another. Quite a few full-out interventionists, like Charles Krauthammer, think Trump is coming around to the globalist total war mindset based on his recent limited actions: “What we are back to is the traditional American understanding of national interests as a broad definition, going all the way back to Harry Truman…” Excuse me, Mr. K, but ‘the American tradition’ goes back a bit farther than 1945. It goes back to the first 65 years of US history, not the last 65 years. The real American tradition, from Washington to Jackson, is to avoid long and total wars based on needless internationalist commitments, and to exercise military strength in bold, but short term ways, only when it furthers the American interest. That is the Jacksonian, limited intervention path Trump is taking, not the UNlimited war and pure empire, globalist path supported by Krauthammer.
This works out to act as a net anti-war, or limited intervention policy, compared to the constant militarism and long war model promoted by the empire builders. In this light, Trump could be simply using a “limited strike” intervention as a positioning tool to later embarrass the establishment. It would be much like his expressing support for Paul Ryan’s Obamacare-lite bill, whose defeat humiliated the Speaker, and led to Trump forging closer ties with the Freedom Caucus and Sen. Paul.
Reagan is said to have used the 1983 Grenada military action as cover for pulling out of intervention in Lebanon (the latter of which deeply displeased the neocons). Could the same thing be happening here? What if the missile strike is in fact a preamble to an independent inspection of the Syrian facility, and when no Sarin gas is found, Trump announces it was a false flag set up by the radicals, exonerates Assad, and it leads to the President re-committing to focusing on ISIS and working with Russia? If this is political theater, Trump thus would have “shown strength” (via the bombing), and showed he could “stand up to the Russians,” but the war party would not be able to complain when circumstances changed his mind.
More Signs of Theater
In other words, principled supporters of peace and liberty have been so focused on “the snapshot” reality that these actions are interventionist, that they are not noticing how they may be part of a “full motion picture” that sets Trump up to basically avoid war over the rest of his term. Ancient Chinese secret: If you pulled the trigger last time, when you bluff next time, you will be believed. Call it cynical, but Trump has pulled the trigger in order to have a stronger negotiating stance with countries going forward, and in order to shut the war hawks up—from this point on, they won’t be able to paint him as “weak” if he decides not to escalate things up to full scale war later in the Mideast, North Korea, or anyplace else.
It’s something of a reverse bait and switch from the usual scenario where “long wars, all the time” neocons bait Jacksonian people into supporting a war using short term code words like “it’ll be a cakewalk,” then once started, declare US forces have to be there forever “until the job is done.” Could Trump, hopefully, be doing the reverse, by baiting the war party with the prospect of conducting or financing long wars (via big bomb drops, and hawkish rhetoric coming from his generals and Cabinet people), but only delivers short term strikes designed to help quickly end the conflicts? As a libertarian, any such lawless militarism and intervention is wrong, of course, but in the absence of a pure liberty person in charge, Trump’s limited strike approach is an effective method for eclipsing or neutering the war hawks. Trump is a patriot on instinct, but has no fixed ideological rudder. In the absence of such, his limited strike tricks will have to serve to contain the neocons, as per the old song lyric, “if that isn’t love, it’ll have to do, until the real thing comes along.” It would have been nice, in fact, if Rand Paul also had made himself a close adviser to Trump earlier on, to help consistently steer him on foreign policy after the convention and election, so he could have been one of the finalists for Secretary of State (this time, or next time).
Trump has likewise mounted the MOAB strike using this same quiet “turn the tables on the Deep State” approach. The CIA has been facilitating Al Qaeda and ISIS for years in Afghanistan with the cave network that they built. So, bomb the blazes out of the cave complex, and presto—end of the CIA-created problem. The establishment can’t complain, else it would expose their covert operations. The president, true to his nationalist promises, can thus take out a lot of the deep regime’s infrastructure, while making himself, and the not co-opted parts of the military look good. Trump has put it this way: “What I do is I authorize my military,” in response to a press question about the use of a massive bomb in an assault on Islamic State group positions in Afghanistan. “We have the greatest military in the world, and they’ve done the job, as usual. We have given them total authorization, and that’s what they’re doing.”
Of course Trump has no such authority to pass on to the military, neither constitutional, nor even under the War Powers Act. He is doing brazenly what his predecessors have been doing using a modicum of pretext or other excuses. The main/only saving grace behind this kind of intervention is that it is apparently Jacksonian in nature (i.e., intended to be short-term, big show of strength), and not all-stops out long war, maximum troops invading and dying, ongoing empire-building that the neocons prefer. As far as meddling goes, call it a form of harm reduction, compared to the 150,000 troops on the ground, full invasion scenario we would be engulfed in under a President Hillary.
It is kind of the opposite of the posture of previous administrations, that would talk the limited war talk but deliver long war and ongoing quagmires everywhere. Trump is instead letting his hawks talk the full war, regime change talk while delivering short-war, shock and awe moments of military action to keep the war party happy. He’ll permit the remove-Assad talk, but not do the full invasion it would take to do it, etc. By doing so early in his term, he can bluff about performing expanded actions later, and will be believed (since he is known to have pulled the trigger previously), giving him a better position when negotiating.
For the same reason, the full Monty interventionists will not be able to paint him as weak if Trump later declines to go further than commit to such short war, in and out operations. The question is, will Trump stop here, or truly capitulate to the full regime change, more empire agenda of the neocons?
Silver Linings, Bottom Lines
Time will finally tell which direction The Donald is actually going, and how deep his resolve really is. In the meanwhile, the weight of the above considerations point to there being no World War 3, and possibly no full war at all under Trump’s reign. There will be hawkish theater, and triangulation of both the hawks and the liberty side, who will be united in constant protest to keep Trump from falling over the cliff. The global statist elite’s machinations will be somewhat, or even substantially destroyed by Trump’s countermeasures. And even a partial unveiling of the secrets kept by the Deep State, once the rock is kicked over, will be putting a lot of its minions out of business forever. While highly pessimistic about the White House’s current direction, Antiwar.com editor Justin Raimondo explains the single biggest positive ideological outcome of the Trump reversal:
The silver lining in this dark cloud is that Trump’s most vocal supporters are now thoroughly alienated from him, as he abandons his domestic agenda and is sucked into yet another useless war in the Middle East. Here’s the lovely Ann Coulter railing against the “Strangelovian generals” who surround the formerly “awesome” Trump – and it’s music to my ears. Here’s Ryan James Girdusky of Red Alert Politics, a popular pro-Trump site, denouncing the Syria strike on Fox Business News. Here’s Laura Ingraham citing Iraq war veterans’ warning against entanglement in Syria. And the verdict from Lou Dobbs and Trump’s many fans in the world of talk radio is a resounding no.
Trump, we are told by gloating NeverTrumpers, has no principles. But so what? His followers do, and they are now an army of dovish “deplorables” whom we are happy to welcome into the anti-interventionist movement. Many are now readers of – and contributors to – this site, and with the War Party on the march, we expect many more to follow in their wake.
The antiwar movement is no longer the preserve of coastal elites, Chomskyite professors, and obnoxious “social justice warriors,” who kept it marginalized, brain-dead, and impotent. The Trump phenomenon, and the subsequent betrayal by a President who was elected on the strength of his resolve to avoid the mistakes of the past, has introduced some much needed ideological diversity into the ranks of anti-interventionists. As my mentor Murray Rothbard proclaimed way back in the early 1990s, “The Old Right is back!”
We may have lost the White House – but we’re about to take Flyover Country! And that is a cause for celebration.
As the very late winter storm that hit the northern US has symbolized, snowflakes can be stubborn things. Ever since the Hillary Death Star exploded, or Lady Sauron’s castle came crashing down (pick your metaphor) as Donald Trump was elected President, the entire statist regime has acted as if time itself froze, and has been frantically trying to find ways to cancel what happened. I took a few months off of blogging to enjoy this political suspension of time, or endless time-out being taken by the establishment as they try, like the hapless cats or wolves in the old Mighty Mouse Cartoons, to figure out just “who did this” to them:
But the story of the sore loser snowflakes has been often told in the days that have followed the election, then inauguration of the Donald. What is of more urgent importance is what this iconic election has taught pro-liberty people about beating the whole insider controlled system, what the new administration basically represents, and where we are now in the battle to bring back an order more friendly to peace and freedom. To those issues, I have a few observations.
Lessons from the 2016 Election
Just an itemized recap, not a full exposition:
1. The outsider movement rules. From Brexit to Trump, the populist/nationalist anti-establishment movement has arrived and looks like it’s here to stay. The insider Bush and Clinton dynasties were both crushed, with the Republican establishment in particular appearing like it will be cracked up for at least a decade as a result of the outsider ascendancy. 2016 may be the last time a Democratic candidate positioned as a “centrist” can prevail against the increasingly dominant progressive wing of the party for its nomination.
2. Big money does not rule. The hold the “kingmaker” mega-donors have held over who gets a major party nomination has been broken, or at least an alternative pathway has been found to challenge them. A candidate can spend just 50 million in the primaries, and 100 million in the election battle, and prevail over insider-backed rivals spending 5-10 times as much.
3. The millenial Democrats were right. All year, the Sanders supporters brought much of the same enthusiasm to the Democratic race that the GOP outsiders had. Their ultimate point was simple: if the party had just nominated a likeable progressive with no baggage, instead of appointing an unlikeable, scandal-ridden elite corporate shill, they would have won the thing. Instead, they went with Hillary, and lost. The millenials will be back in four years, in a primary race not controlled by Hillary. This means the “moderate Democrat” model of the Clintonistas is broken with this election, and a Sanders-like or Sanders approved figure will likely be their nominee in 2020.
4) The legacy MSM no longer controls the narrative. The new media finally overtook the elite-backed corporate media with this election, not only with audiences, but in terms of dominating the coverage. The attempts of the MSM and Clinton campaign to marginalize, belittle and smear the alternatives finally met a strong push back, which ended their ability to PC-browbeat people into compliance. Wikileaks destroyed the veneer of integrity the CNN set enjoyed, and it will take them years to regain the public’s trust. The future belongs to Breitbart, Drudge, Infowars, and RT.
5) The blue-collar Democrat cross-over vote is back. Previously called the Reagan Democrats, moderate Democrats without a college degree making under $50,000 are back as a swing factor voting bloc. Trump pried them loose from the Democratic plantation through genuinely engaging them and their concerns about the loss of jobs, and the loss of credibility of Democrat pols on economics. Many of them also want relief from the non-stop obsession of left authoritarians with PC, cultural Marxism/liberalism, and identity politics. The hard left move expected with the next Democratic nominee in 2020 and onwards will no doubt extend the trend of driving blue collar voters away from the party in future Presidential cycles.
6) Trump outperformed Romney in all ethnicities. The 29% latino vote for Trump entirely undoes the original narrative that the GOP “had to” stay away from immigration, and pander to the group in order to be viable in the Presidential election. Trump showed the issue was overrated, or that the latino issue was only a factor in a few battleground states where they have a presence. The latter view has been proven correct based on the election results. That revelation also skewers the open borders, or ‘no borders matter’ position held by those who think that is the only proper libertarian approach to immigration. Clearly, a large segment of the population does believe the borders matter, and thus the government has a right, delegated to it by the people, to appropriately vet migrants seeking to relocate.
Indeed, what I’ve found on the issue is the open borders Libertarians talk abstractly about private property and freedom of movement, and do not acknowledge any Libertarian concept of free immigration with protected borders. Meanwhile, the rest of us are looking at the actual scoreboard of freedom, and have noticed we got more government force, more welfare state, less private property rights and less freedom of movement in the last several decades when more open borders immigration and amnesty policies/laws were adopted. Nationally successful liberty candidates like Ron Paul noticed too, and accordingly then developed a more complete libertarian approach to the issue. Trump, despite his many flaws, may show us how the scorecard can move back to more net freedom as he tries to implement his vetting and wall-building policies.
The Deep State: Out of the Shadows
Donald has ‘trumped’ the establishment, but who controls that establishment, to the extent of sustaining an intense massive attack campaign against him for months after the election, including riots, across both parties and the national media? One of the most delicious developments of the last few months has been the normalization of the term “the Deep State,” formerly a not-widely known deep politics term to describe the shadowy establishment persons, tactics and institutions dominating the structure of the American political order. At the heart of its operations are techniques used by supposedly “foreign intelligence” agencies like the CIA or “domestic law enforcement” entities like the FBI to ensure status quo politicians get into power, or continuously get pushed to the forefront (why do we see Sen. John McCain on TV 50 times more often than the other 50-odd GOP Senators?). Meanwhile any alternative figures who in some way challenge the war party/intelligence/bankster complex are defeated, marginalized or utterly disgraced (with assassination reserved as a last resort). Only “conspiracy theorists” used to be associated with raising this and related concepts, or noting the covert ops, surveillance and disinformation campaigns that come with them. But the ferocious push back against Trump (who is instinctively not a status quo person, who somehow got past them) since November 8 has made the elite’s machinations so obvious, that now everybody’s talking about it.
“Whenever the media loses control over a powerful term, be it “fake news” or “deep state,” they react with infantile rage, and immediately demand cessation of the term in its “unapproved” use,” writes journalist Robert Barnes. He points out that the self-styled mainstream media (MSM) is quite upset over this turn of events, as it exposes their participation in the game. “The failure of the media to expose the deep state’s miscalculations and their misdeeds, remains one of the great media failures of the last decade. Why did the media say there were WMDs in Iraq? Because the deep state told them so. Why does the media say there cannot be tapped calls on Trump two days before Wikileaks discloses massive CIA spying capabilities through smart phones, and even TVs? Because they refuse to expose the deep state. Instead, they pen pieces saying the deep state doesn’t exist, or only exists even as an historic idea in Turkey. What a bunch of turkey that is.”
Many or most events of the last few decades come into a vastly different light once the deep state lens is similarly applied. The killing of JFK, as is now widely understood, was probably the result of a push back against his plans of ending intervention in Vietnam, reintroducing the printing of US Notes issued directly by the Treasury (apart from the private banks’ racket called the Federal Reserve), and most importantly, his firing of CIA director Allen Dulles and vow to de-fang the CIA. The Deep State responded by sinking its fangs into JFK at Dealey Plaza—and please note that the key operative/patsy involved (Oswald) was both a CIA asset and FBI informant. Less well noted was the role of the regime in removing President Nixon from office a decade later “over Watergate” (but actually, it was out of revenge for his finally dislodging J. Edgar Hoover as head of the FBI, which is why Deep Throat figure W. Mark Felt, the second in command at the agency, so eagerly leaked info to journalist/intelligence asset Bob Woodward).
The techniques of organized political ruination, by bullet or scandal, don’t change much over the decades. Even freelance ruiners like Sen. Joe McCarthy were not immune to being eliminated, as their actions were not in line with, or under the leash of the deep regime. Historian Charles Burris writes “it was the CIA under director Allen Dulles, and the Agency’s Operation Mockingbird media assets (including Newsweek) that targeted McCarthy for vilification and ultimate destruction, just like the deep state Obama remnant operatives in CIA and their contemporary media assets are targeting Trump…CBS chairman William Paley, Fred Friendly, and Edward R. Murrow were part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Operation Mockingbird to provide deflection and cover for the CIA’s ‘family jewels’ of the day. CBS News president Sig Mickelson (1954-61) was liaison to the CIA. Because of his frequent communications, Mickelson even had a direct private phone line installed to the Agency. CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was a former military intelligence officer also connected within this elite nexus.”
The Post-CIA President
Through these devices, the elite insider regime, enforced by the tentacles of the intelligence community through the major parties and legacy media, has controlled the Presidency and senior political offices for decades, including the election process—which is why alternatives of all third party stripes keep getting single digit results (with the LP’s Gary Johnson being the most recent example), or why non-corporate controlled alternatives (from Paul to Bernie Sanders) within the major parties have found the game fully rigged against them.
Trump (again, for all his faults) represents the first time in 36 years that a non-CIA asset or puppet defeated the deep state, and so can be reasonably called the first post-CIA President of the modern era. Whether this unique situation continues depends on 1) whether he stays alive, 2) whether he continues to shake off unremitting pressure from the war hawks to commit to more long wars in the Middle East, or even confrontation with Russia, and 3) whether he survives the current disinfo campaign to delegitimize him by discounting every factual claim he makes, or trying to make him look like a Russian double agent. Time, as they say, will tell.
The Next Wave
Given the bluntness and various non-coherent elements of the Trump presidency, the most the liberty movement can expect from him to do on its behalf is to act as a continuing wrecking ball, taking on and taking down establishment or globalist dogmas over the next few years. One doesn’t ask for much complexity or precision from a demolition ball, you just let it swing—as that action paves the way for building a better, pro-liberty new establishment to displace the old, statist one. Come 2020 or 2024, the way should be clear for a fully principled libertarian candidate who can get past the deep state obstacles to more realistically obtain the White House. In the meanwhile, the movement can now concentrate on the elections below the level of President, and work on regaining unity via building an ‘umbrella,’ or coalition of factions that can create a viable base for upcoming liberty candidates.
We certainly had the beginnings of such a grassroots network during the early part of the Ron Paul sub-movement ten years ago, but some then claimed many “defected” from the liberty cause and rolled over to populist “distractions” like Trump, or even to white nationalism. In reality, it’s more like many Paul supporters defected from the broader liberty grassroots movement that fostered them, and started glombing for their own version of the very elitism that they were supposed to be fighting against. We went from a unified grassroots under one umbrella, inclusively tolerating the varied members of the coalition, to a “oh we can’t we can’t be too associated with truthers/birthers/tax honesty, or Tea Partiers/socons/10th amendment etc people” mindset that presumed the grassroots must be top-down managed, instead of the network itself managing the movement.
Instead of embracing the populist end of the movement as expressed by the growth of the alternative media, the “top-down” folks buy into and repeat the same smears and false narratives the MSM use to try to re-marginalize it (e.g., wholesale dismissing the alt right as “white nationalist,” or “fake news,” or other forms of deplorable). This is like wanting a revolution, while seeking cultural approval by the status quo that is demonizing us. Don’t they understand the whole point of the old media creating the devil figure is to then “link” everybody and everything else they don’t like (such as the Pauls) to the devil figure? The whole point of the MSM is to stay in control of declaring what is deemed “mainstream” and what is not. Once the movement fully embraces its populist source of support, its unity can be restored, and we can get things done faster for liberty.
And speaking of that Paul Revolution, and the frustrations of those who believe its failure to win represents a defeat of the full liberty movement: There was no decline and fall of the liberty movement during the last decade, because there was no rise. It was a misfire. The movement centered itself around the Pauls with the wide expectation that the presence of an authentic liberty candidate within the two party primary scene would, by itself, result in stronger likelihood of winning a national election.
In reality, both Pauls ran (literally or effectively) educational campaigns that failed to put together a voting coalition that could win even one primary, nor successfully confront and overcome structural barriers to liberty. So the movement, or at least the Paul iteration, misfired because it was not inclined towards growing to embrace really building those coalitions and tackling those barriers. What the electoral future of the Paul movement now entails, given that the GOP will control the White House for likely 8 years, is a de-emphasis on presidential politics and a greater concentration on Congressional and state races. There will (and should) also be a re-engagement of the populist and grassroots segment of pro-liberty sentiment, that DID grow during the decade, even as the Paulite or intellectual side declined. As above stated, the faster that happens, the better for liberty.
As of this writing, the deer has been shot, but is still hurdling through the woods. The crazy and unprecedented events of the 2016 election have two gigantic kills to its credit pending the formal results on November 8: A) The twin defeat of both the corporate, globalist, authoritarian ‘conservative’ establishment embodied by the Koch brothers, Jeb Bush Inc and the neocon warmongers, and of the corporate, globalist, authoritarian ‘liberal’ establishment controlled by George Soros, the Bill and Hillary Clinton machine, and their army of operatives in the legacy mainstream media (or MSM). B) Burying the myth of the “low information voters” as caricatured by that same desperate, PC-bullying MSM (discussed further down). Both demises speak well to the rise of liberty coming following the election and in 2017 going forward.
Bedtime for Hillary
First, what of the amazing “October surprise” of FBI director James Comey finding a spine, or else covering his tail, by announcing he would be extending (i.e., re-opening) the investigation of the Clinton email scandal? The re-opening occurs apparently because of an unrelated probe into the antics of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, wherein it was discovered he himself had at least ten thousand Clinton emails from her private server (or more–the Wall Street Journal says it’s 650,000), on one or more devices he shared at home with wife and chief Hillary aide Huma Abedin. This represents a staggering reversal of fortune for Hillary, aka Lady Sauron 11 days before the election, based on her lead in several (questionably sampled) polls, and it seemed to catch everyone in the establishment and MSM off-guard. My own take:
1) Hillary is game-set-match, DONE. Having a federal investigation hanging over her a week before the election, is absolute poison. She is the fatally-wounded deer as mentioned above. Although her team is lawyering up by trying to shift blame to Comey for deciding to re-launch, it contradicts the previous praise she heaped upon him, and is simply serving to extend the news cycle of the story.
2) This is unequivocally news that even the entire mainstream Clinton-kept media can’t ignore, meaning it will dominate coverage through the final week of the campaign. Hillary will remain the news focus, in a very negative way, not Trump, and there is no way to shift the narrative back to Trump in time that will compare to the PR damage just brought to her by the FBI.
3) The new FBI probe, since it was caused by the Weiner probe, creates the delicious irony that Hillary is being brought down by a sex scandal (even though it’s not one of Bill’s). Is Anthony Weiner the Gollum of our saga, who somehow has destroyed Lady Sauron’s quest for the ring of power in one stroke, where all others could not? Will the direction of a nation turn on one man’s “my precious” sexting addiction? In that case, as Gandalf would say, the pity of Huma (in putting up with him so long) may turn out to rule the fate of many:
4) Hillary’s collapsed standing can be measured by the outlier ABC poll that had her up by 12% the previous week, but only by 2% in a subsequent ABC poll. Not that the 12 point lead was valid to begin with, but, a 10 point drop in a week? And the newer poll did not reflect the news about the re-opened investigation. If the most Hillary-friendly polling shows she’s crashing through the floor, look out.
5) How the re-opened probe has immediately impacted the race is reflected by this poll, and by this comment about an early voting center in FL yesterday:
Earlier today Fox Business had a reporter at a Coral Gables voting precinct. When the news come on about the re-opening of the investigation the reporter stated that a huge number left and said, “that’s it, I’m not voting for her.” This is good news in the Dem predominate Miami-Dade area.
This constellation of elements basically spells the doom of Lady Sauron and all her Nazgul minions, just before political judgment day, with Hillary flipping from “measuring the drapes” mode to Dead Woman Walking within minutes following Comey’s announcement. The turnabout in events also allowed Trump to appear more “qualified” to be President, as it underscored statements he made in prior months, warning about “perv sleazebag” Weiner, such as this tweet in August: “I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information.” The current confirmation of such concerns have helped reverse months of efforts by Team Clinton to paint Trump as “disqualified” based on his 2005 lewd hot-mic remarks, or one unsupported sexual assault charge after another. How can she complain about Trump’s manners, voters wonder, if she has exercised (at the least) bad judgment, that puts her under repeated formal investigation? With this episode, the independents and undecideds have broken for Trump and away from Hillary, forever.
Put bluntly another way, God works in mysterious ways, or in Ben Franklin’s words (well, at least from the play 1776), “Revolutions come into this world like bastard children—half compromise, half improvise.” The adjustments the anti-establishment voters have made to accept an egotistical, often inelegant candidate like Trump as their instrument of change represents the compromise, while the self-destructive obsessions of Weiner (who has ruined his career, his marriage, and now the entire Clinton dynasty, over a sexting habit) has provided the improvise. Mysterious ways for mysterious days, indeed.
The Last Chance
But what does all this have to do with liberty, one may ask, since neither major party candidate can be said to hold coherent libertarian views? Well, besides the obvious, immediate, record-setting benefit in increasing LP candidate Gary Johnson’s standing or poll numbers (which will help build the party’s influence for years), there is the “turning point” aspect to this race, on several major issues. Given the passing of Antonin Scalia and four other members of the Supreme Court having reached the age of 75 or older, the two candidates in position to win the election will probably replace 3 or 4 Justices in the next term. To pro-life people this means the election represents the very last chance to realistically reverse Roe vs. Wade, and many other bad judicial activist decisions of the post-WWII Court that defy the original intent of the Constitution, or common sense. A Clinton victory would mean loading the court up with lock-step liberal activists for a generation, whereas Trump has at least promised to appoint more constitutionalists in the mold of Scalia.
The same applies to other “final shot” matters such as ending Obamacare, globalist trade treaties, and the prospect of major war. Hillary has made it clear she will ‘fix’ the Affordable Care Act by adding and enforcing more penalties upon those who choose to not participate with it, and expanding subsidies to transform it more into the mold of the “Hillarycare” plan of the ’90s, or to an outright single payer plan that Congress and the public already soundly rejected. She will doubtlessly pull a Romneyesque “etch-a-sketch” following the election and go right back to supporting the TPP/TTIP trade deals, as well as the international big government they bring in, thereby permanently surrendering US sovereignty on trade issues to a global bureaucracy. Trump (who backs a repeal of both Obamacare and the trade deals) represents the last good opportunity for voters to back out of both arrangements.
Trump has also spoken repeatedly about cutting deals with Russia, and focusing on quickly defeating ISIS (not of confrontation with Putin, or use of anti-terror rhetoric to mask a policy of more regime change and no-exit/long wars throughout the Mideast). But Clinton has spoken of almost nothing else except creating more tension with other nuclear powers, including escalating the Syrian conflict (by creating no-fly zones over Russia’s objections). No wonder that Russia recently performed a massive national defense drill participated in by 40 million people, in expectation of an up-coming collision with the US over its Empire or nation-building schemes. The election is a final chance to stop the madness by going on a less inteventionist path than the war-party jam sessions planned by neo-cons, that might lead to an nuclear exchange.
The King of All Gun Grabs
In addition, the ability to protect and maintain the individual right of gun ownership is at stake, as early as next year. The right is formally acknowleged by the 2nd Amendment, backed up by the writings of the Founders (e.g., in the Federalist Papers) and historic court precedent (most recently by the 5-4 Heller decision in 2006, written by Scalia himself). But this means nothing to the gun control freaks, who want the Amendment to be “reinvented” to mean it only applies to state regulated militias (note: “militia” meant the general population in the 1700s, not a government controlled army, and “well-regulated” meant well managed, be it by a person or the state). Once the traditional meaning is cancelled in this fashion, the control freaks then intend to openly usher in gun confiscation and mandatory turn-ins by executive order, or in compliance with global gun control agreements or UN policy.
This discussion is not theoretical, as the choice, on this issue, is real. There is a case headed for the Supreme Court THIS YEAR, where five gun control freak votes WILL overturn Heller, which affirmed the historic or original intent meaning of the 2nd Amendment, as protecting the right of individual gun ownership. Whether the fifth vote is filled by Obama appointee Garland, or by a Clinton appointee, a Democratic White House will be nominating anti-Heller justices. The intent of the overturn side will be, again, to re-brand the amendment to mean it is only about recognizing the right of states to regulate militias. Once in place as a court precedent, fortified by additional liberal justices Hillary would appoint, it’s lights out for individual gun rights, and lights on for unlimited gun grabs or restrictions:
Of course, no government can ‘take our rights away’ (inalienable rights do not come from the state, and supercede any government decree). But most governments do not honor or recognize basic human rights, and free countries that stop doing so no longer function as free countries. One can preen “let them come and try to take them” all you want. Tell that to the Australians, 30% of whose gun owners lost their guns when draconian laws, also sold as “common sense gun control” led to them being taken from them in the ’90’s. Yes, they will always have gun rights, but yes, the state came and took their guns anyway. We should functionally want our country to remain free, as demonstrated by the nation defending the gun rights of its people, not the nothing burger of “knowing I have gun rights,” while having no access to guns, in an unfree state. We should want a something burger, not liberty that is all hat and preening, but no cattle. So, a Supreme Court that neutralizes the Second Amendment’s recognition of individual gun rights is to be avoided at all costs.
But if this happens, count on MAJOR resistance to the tyranny of the “from my cold dead hands” variety, from free men and women who remember this country was started by people like Paul Revere. In addition to gun owners directly resisting confiscation, it will be time for secession, led by the most red states, to escape the tyrant’s heel, while the rest of the states work on replacing the globalist Democrats and Republicans in Congress with true freedom minded statesmen. Get enough in, and they could constitutionally vote for removing the federal courts from having jurisdiction to rule on gun and other issues. That would nip Hillary’s abuse of the courts in the bud.
Beyond that, pro-liberty people can use the defection of many GOP establishment leaders from supporting Trump against them in future Presidential cycles (assuming we have future elections, once Hitlery is in power–she might just cancel them altogether). The breaking of the vaunted “loyalty pledge” by so many senior Republican candidates cracks up the party, in terms of containing future alternative candidates and movements. The Never-Trump guys have now made it easier for a future liberty Republican candidate to break with the GOP and run third party, if they don’t win the nomination. Our candidate can cite their rebellion as a precedent, to justify not staying ‘loyal’ to any new milquetoast moderate insider they try to foist on the rank and file.
The Low-Info Issue
Beyond the above, this election has served to refute one of the bedrock dogmas of cultural left condescension: namely that their opponents are an uninformed “basket of deplorables” who can be dismissed as irrelevant, treated with distrust, or demonized as prejudiced extremists. The great unwashed (under this view) are “irredeemable” and so are to be ignored, discounted, and subordinated to the superior, more educated, reason-based expertise of the managerial elite dominating the media and institutions. At the very least, we must turn to the latter set to even hope to become better or more completely advised about important news and issues affecting the country. The rubes just need to shut up, and follow their betters.
In other words, it’s the old election year Democratic bromide, “when all else fails, call your opposition racist, sexist or redneck.” Yet this notion has certainly been rebutted over the course of this election season. Internet and citizen journalists, whistle-blowing leakers, and even candidates have outdone the traditional media in breaking vital stories, engendering trust with audiences, and establishing the most insightful or dominant memes of the campaign. These parties have done so by being supported precisely by the “low educated” or low info factions the “smart set” have constantly dismissed as nuts or bigots. Consider the belittlement that descended upon the internet regarding health concerns the new media expressed about Hillary due to her weird appearance or actions at rallies or other public events. They were ridiculed, UNTIL, of course, this viral cell phone video got posted to YouTube on 9-11:
Thank you, Zdenek Gazda, for showing with one act of citizen journalism how controlled the ‘real’ media is. Without the video, the regular reporters would have dismissed Hillary’s collapse as “conspiracy theory” even if witnesses came forward afterwards. If the media there had themselves seen or recorded the incident, would they have reported it? If the Veritas videos had not come out documenting (in smoking gun fashion) how the Clinton campaign funded and coordinated violence at Trump rallies, would the MSM have ignored that too? All of these revelations have come from the supposed “low information” sector, not the mighty legacy media.
Wikileaks alone has demonstrated the media is not balanced in its delivery of the news, to put things mildly, and have been in total lock step collusion with the Clinton campaign to get her elected. But despite the MSM’s ‘deplorable’ narrative that most of the tens of millions of populist opponents of government and the PC regime are kooks or bigots, this group has built a more massive “new media” and web-based machine to inform each other, and the country as to what is really going on. The legacy media has been forced to go into aggressive blackout mode (not reporting on negative Hillary stories or the Wikileaks bombshells for weeks, and bottlenecking social media discussion of the FBI announcement) to maintain their illusions of supremacy over the populists. But the raw numbers don’t lie: CNN has an average national audience tuning in of around 300, 000, while Alex Jones has 3 million daily listeners, and Breitbart has 31 million subscribers. These larger audiences can no longer be told by the 300k midget that they are “fringe.” The revolution will not be televised, but the populist media revolt is not being contained.
Further, two more things revealed by the MSM blackout and Wikileaks email drops is 1) the utter contempt Team Clinton has for its own voting blocs, whom they also belittle as “low-information voters,” and 2) the media appears to regard their real goal as not to better inform, but to in fact NOT inform people, thereby deliberately keeping the public in “low information” mode to suit its purposes. Hillary’s staff emails casually throw around epithets such as “stupid black people,” or millenial “young people are stupid,” or addressing Sanders supporters as “living in their mother’s basement,” latinos are “taco bowl eaters,” etc. The emails are brimming with discussions as to how to keep the email scandal details from the public, how to ensure Hillary never gets a serious question asked of her she was not prepared for, how to cover up payments going to the Clinton slush fund “Foundation,” and other horrors. Whatever this all is, it’s not representative a free republic based on honest discourse, transparency, or respect for the electorate. By willfully keeping them in the dark with biased or non-reporting, while pretending otherwise, the elitists have lost the authority to complain about them being uninformed. The legacy media has failed the test of liberty, by being so structurally committed to fraud, instead of fairness and openness. As such, this becomes a low information election to determine if the blackout and collusion-based regime of the elite media will continue its chokehold over communications, or will be mostly displaced by the more honest and trusted new media dominated by the populist outsider dynamic that has emerged with Trump, Brexit, and the liberty movement.
Ahead of the Curve
One more theory, in fact, as to why the FBI Clinton probe is breaking so close to the election, also involves the Wikileaks factor, whose daily dribbling of tens of thousands of incredibly incriminating emails (leaked to them from who knows where) may actually also be putting Obama and Comey in jeopardy of being prosecuted. Re-opening the investigation based on the Weiner matter may be just a cover, according to this caller on the Rush Limbaugh show:
…Well, the jig is going to be up. In other words, if they didn’t front load it to come out now, they were gonna release — Assange, WikiLeaks — Hillary’s emails next week, the actual emails. So I think they’re coming out ahead of time saying, “Hey, we just found this place we didn’t look at before. The FBI didn’t have access to the NSA,” or whatever they’re gonna say, “and now this is the new stuff, we actually found her actual emails, Hillary’s actual emails,” which as you know, we haven’t seen. We’ve only seen everybody else’s about her. So I think we’re just getting ahead of it, realizing the jig is up…because they realize that WikiLeaks had her emails. They were gonna come out, so they needed to get ahead of the story before the public sees those emails.
This might explain why, prior to Comey re-activating the probe, very few of the 33,000 emails written by Hillary herself had been revealed to the public. Perhaps the government has been covering them up, but Wikileaks is about to drop them, and that is what is causing all the chaos, including the internal revolt at the FBI over Comey’s previous whitewash of the matter in July. We will all know shortly what the deal truly is, though it will likely not be able to save Lady Sauron from her fate. Ah, what a Halloween!
Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has been on an unprecedented roll. As a result of soaring in both national polls consistently putting him at 8-11% (or as high as 13% in states like Colorado, 15% in Ohio), and from conducting a record number of high-profile media interviews, he has achieved a new milestone for a modern third party candidate—he’s actually receiving return fire from both conservatives and liberals trying to arrest his momentum. Johnson has been hailed as a tactical genius for running what may be the most successful alternative campaign since Ross Perot in 1992 (i.e., on track to getting at least half of the 19% Perot got). But he has also been savaged as a nerdy “psychopath” who is acting as a spoiler to elect either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, depending on which side is complaining about his presence in the race.
Clearly, somebody is scared. According to an analysis at the Libertarian Republic, Johnson in theory even has a better chance of victory than Donald Trump, given the billionaire’s high negatives. What is upsetting the “big boys is not only the fact of Johnson’s much higher than normal national poll numbers, but the ‘hang time’ of his popularity—he simply hasn’t faded as we enter the final months of the campaign. This breaks the mold, this is a tremor in the force, as far as the movers and shakers are concerned. It’s an indicator, among other things, that the political establishment’s control over the public’s perceptions (telling the voters who to pay attention to, who to disregard) is now broken, and didn’t stop being broken at the end of the major party primary season. From Trump and Sanders, to now Johnson and Jill Stein (of the Green Party), We the People are deciding on the merits who to consider a serious candidate, not the media pundits and mega donors. No wonder The Powers That Be are sweating hard.
Who Knows What Aleppo Is?
The most peculiar, electrifying, watershed moment in the campaign so far has certainly been Johnson’s gaffe on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program on September 8, where he was cryptically asked “What do we do about Aleppo?” His oblivious response—“So what is Aleppo?” was followed by a more or less on-point answer about the mess created or aggravated by US meddling, blundering and presumption in Syria and the Mideast region. But the damage had been done, as the Main Stream Media now had their magic “Rick Perry–oops” moment sound bite to beat him up with, including instantly spreading the meme that he was now “disqualified” as a candidate:
This is a blessing in disguise for Johnson. LP candidates are usually not treated as important enough by the media to have their own flaps. Apparently somebody at NBC networks finally noticed Johnson has been pulling crucial votes away from Hillary, and is not happy about it. Gary is “too high” in the polls, and has gotten “too big for his britches,” so it was time to bury him. Notice in the video that host Joe Scarborough immediately piled on (probably having gotten talking points fed to his ear piece). Johnson’s important enough to get a news cycle!
His eventual answer to the question, while clearly showing signs he was caught off-guard, was a sensible expression of how US foreign intervention was and is making a bad situation worse. Senator Rand Paul (the other liberty candidate of the year, Republican division) would have said substantially the same, except more confidently, and without initially appearing uninformed. Perhaps he can make lemonade out of that substance, from the lemon that was his way of presenting it. Gary can also mention that the New York Times also got the details wrong about Aleppo, Syria in reporting the Johnson flap, twice. They first erred in calling it the capital of the Islamic State (wrong, ISIS’s de facto capital is Raqqa), then later “correcting” that to say Aleppo was the capital of Syria itself (wrong, Damascus is). I wonder, is the Times now “disqualified” from doing reporting, following the media’s new “one strike, you’re out” gaffe standard?
Again, the crucial aspect of the episode is that the media bothered with trying to bury Johnson at all. The MSM wouldn’t do that unless, unless—Gary Johnson matters. Being at 8% or higher may not earn him a slot at the upcoming debates (falling short of the 15% bar as per the stilted, third-party excluding criteria of the Commission on Presidential Debates, or CPD), but it is certainly more than an asterisk, as it shows the LP option has real drawing power this year. So much so, in fact, that traps were set for him to fall into, to ensure the CPD would have the cover to keep him out of the big Donald/Hillary face-off, and from there drop the LP’s poll numbers back down to obscurity, “to restore the normal order of things.”
As extra insurance that third parties would be kept out of the debates, TPTB even managed to get the judge overseeing a long standing lawsuit Johnson has running against the unfairness of the debate commission to drag out the proceedings, intending to stall the progress of the case until—you guessed it—after the election, even though discovery had been completed and the briefs had been filed. Then in August, the judge tossed out the suit altogether, perhaps because the delay tactics had become too obvious. Translation: the elite establishment covers all the bases when it comes to steering who gets to be seen by tens of millions in the fall election struggle. The outsider trend of the past year has thrown the overlords for a loop, but they still expect to use foils like their Commission to control the finish line. The entire point of the CPD’s existence, in fact, has always been to look like an official public body as it excludes other choices, while taking the brunt of the criticism (including legal challenges) for doing so, that should have been directed squarely at the Republican and Democratic party machines that are behind the excluding. Through such devices, they maintain a rigged system while keeping their direct fingerprints off the dirty work.
Is Johnson Hillary’s Running Mate?
On the other end of the spectrum, both establishment conservatives and the “alt-right” have also laid into Johnson, out of concern that he may be a stalking horse for Hillary, and over his seeming embrace of certain anti-liberty, slavishly PC notions (see later). Heading the pack on the mainstream side have been organs like National Review, or most reporters on FOX News. The latter savaged Johnson over the Aleppo remark (they were less offended by his lapse in knowledge, as by Johnson’s lack of commitment to prioritizing foreign policy down to the most recent headline details, to suit their fixation on the subject). Within the alternative media, both Breitbart and Alex Jones’ Infowars show have taken Johnson to task:
At least the alt-right’s complaints are mostly substance-based, unlike the establishment’s “waaah, you broke our little rules” usual control games. When Johnson made the pragmatic decision to largely triangulate, not attack Hillary voters, and run a left-libertarian style campaign, he should have foreseen the trade-off to get those votes was going to be attacks from the anti-Hillary forces. While the LP is absolutely benefiting from this strategy in the interim, to hopefully get a 5% or more election result per state in November (and with it, permanent ballot status for the LP across half the country), its ongoing affect on the party’s image is indeed troubling. Is winning the votes worth losing the liberty cause? Exactly what is Johnson and running mate William Weld doing making so many questionable remarks that seem to favor gun control, restricting religious liberty, carbon taxes or other new taxation, globalist trade deals like the TTP, Presidential executive orders, and the like? To liberty populists, theses stances make Johnson sound like he’s Hillary’s running mate, not just a candidate triangulating her.
And why has he gone out of his way to express hostility to much of the alternative media, and populist sentiment on these and other issues, even joining the MSM in casting much of the liberty movement as being extremist or racist? The grassroots alternative media and its supporters, after all, is where most of the resistance to the statist/PC regime is today. It’s a bad thing for pro-liberty people to be recycling the same smears laid against every successful mass movement that is opposing the statist and globalist regime. Johnson’s strategy is thus good for getting the LP short term votes, but the theme of his campaign conforms more to that regime, than to liberty.
The alt-right is opposed to him because he strikes them as being more pro-globalist, left authoritarian, and cravenly PC-controlled than pro-liberty. This creates an unnecessary divide in what should be a major alliance between liberty forces, in effect re-instituting the rift between the libertarian and patriot movements, factions whom Ron Paul had recently unified. So while Johnson’s approach for the moment is currently confounding the right and left, it is a move that isolates the LP side of the grassroots from achieving inroads in building or insuring a broader coalition going forward. That is regrettable, given several populists have come to Gary’s defense over Aleppo, and might be more supportive if many of his stances weren’t dividing the liberty movement:
Pragmatism, Populism and Principle
Johnson’s tactics are therefore good for building the LP in the short term, but not likely to win a national election in the long term. He basically has found a seam between the high unfavorability numbers of both major party contenders, coupled with an issue set appealing to millenials disaffected by Bernie Sanders’ primary defeat, and has used that opening to carve a 10% niche vote in the fall election. But this practical niche vote breakthrough does not translate into a winning majority vote—that problem will have to be figured out by the “regular,” more platform or principle-compliant LP candidates and major party liberty candidates that will follow the 2016 race. For the meanwhile, that means bearing with Johnson’s approach even where it displays certain inconsistencies or incoherencies.
When one does go through Johnson’s stances on issues, for example, it does have to be said he does seem to provide ammo to his enemies on the point of sacrificing principle for pragmatism, while often shunning populist expressions of liberty. While many of his issue stances sound like normal liberty pronouncements, a lot of the positions lack context or show the direction of those issue points, thus do not convey an accurate picture of Johnson/Weld’s “libertarian” views. I’m speaking as one who supports Gary and the LP, but really, a lot of items on his agenda amount to neocon hijackings or mutations of the liberty agenda upon scrutiny, not principled positions. The “fair tax” is not pro-liberty, it’s a replacement of one version of legalized theft with another. TPP, which Johnson supports, is not “free trade,” it’s managed trade via international big government. Free immigration does not equal not having lawful naturalization procedures to process migrants, in a manner that protects both their and current citizens’ safety or property from force and fraud. Etc., etc.
The Role of Populism and Nationalism
So what is the solution that will integrate these elements to produce a longer term expansion of a pro-liberty coalition? In a word: embracing populism and nationalism (aka, sovereignty) interests of the public, while steering them in a liberty direction. The relevant political issue for the liberty movement, has been how to dialogue about liberty to the public for the purposes of winning a national campaign. The closest we have come was not with Johnson, but with Ron and Rand Paul. If either had won a major party nomination, the presumption is the existing coalitions within it could have carried them to victory in the fall election. Given the defeats of Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012 trying to explain liberty in a straightforward, rational way, Rand Paul attempted a careful rhetorical approach, especially on foreign policy, that stressed pragmatic maneuvers, verbal compromises or empty gestures, etc, to produce a conciliatory relationship with the ‘mainstream’ political leadership and media (or statist establishment) towards promoting liberty.
But while effective in minor instances, this approach failed to gain votes or to reach what should have been friendly voting blocs, and failed to succeed in changing the media’s coverage or leadership’s statism-driven policy framework. What did appear to work was the approach of the ‘outsiders,’ who did reach the voting blocs the Pauls should have reached, and engaged in open opposition to the MSM’s biased practices and marginalization tactics. This is an anti-elitist, or populist trend, that acts as a useful carrier system for promoting policies that run against the establishment. E.g., in the case of foreign policy, Donald Trump got farther in advancing a mainly non, or less interventionist policy by “dressing it up” with nationalism, which was his version of finessing the issue, than Rand got with the rhetorical approach. This “nationalist impulse” also appeared to work well as a presentation vehicle for non-collectivist trade (anti-TPP) and migration policy, for the purposes of engaging more voters.
Liberty opposition to statism is intellectually persuasive to us, the members of the choir, but is not, in truth, emotionally compelling enough to overcome the statist frameworks influencing most of the mass public. We need neither embrace nationalism, nor demonize it, in order to use it as a tactic to get votes for liberty candidates and policies. Its use in foreign policy, as one example, “sells” intervention in a manner a straightforward anti-war appeal does not, because ‘America First’ displaces the emotional memes pushed by the War party to prioritize foreign meddling. Populism and nationalism should be considered as neutral additional aspects of the political grid, re-imagined in a three dimensional way, and as the opposites of elitism and globalism:Our movement reached a maximum 10% plateau with the Pauls pursuing an issues-only, rationalistic approach in defacto educational campaigns. Absent solving the framework-changing dynamic above, we apparently can only educate that 10%, or liberty base vote. Going beyond that base (be it inside a major party, or through the LP) will require getting past the status quo frameworks, and getting past the establishment obstacles that set and enforce those frameworks. That is why the future of the movement depends on adding such strategic political competences to our efforts, not just concentrating on the intellectual factors.
At the least, we can’t just keep ridiculing the LP for being a “failure” because they supposedly lack those competencies, while giving the failures of the Paul candidacies a pass, because we want to ignore developing those competencies. The answer is not to demonize Trump or other “outsiders,” but to take cues from his and similar successful case examples to learn how to engage reachable voting blocs, how to win primary contests, and how to defeat media bias.
What we learned from the three Paul losses, versus the Trump victory within the GOP, is that the consistent liberty candidate we want will have to openly battle the media, the donors and the party leadership (aka, the populist impulse), while building a coalition outside of the 5% liberty base. Thinking we can win primaries from just the 5% base, while being polite with the MSM, or without making peace with the reachable party factions above, is a recipe for continued defeat. The grammar for how to get a non-kingmaker approved, alternative candidate to victory has been established by the outsiders. Take it and win, or leave it and keep losing.