The blame train continues its journey. First the democrats blamed racist angry whites for Clinton’s loss. But it turns out white’s preference for the R over the D candidate was statistically no different in this election than in those of recent memory. Indeed Clinton lost ground among blacks and Hispanics against the putatively “racist” Trump. Next came the “fake news” canard which suggested that overtly absurd “news” stories with limited ideological appeal somehow swayed the decision making process of those completely unplugged from the inside baseball of politics. Now the latest attempt at diverting blame for Hillary’s historic loss is the narrative that Russia tried to influence the outcome of the election by “helping” Trump by exposing to the public the sordid underbelly of the DNC and their candidate. The source of this narrative? None other than the CIA. You know, the folks that brought us “trust us, there really are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.” The agency with a decades long history of interfering in the internal affairs of other nations (see Iran coup of 1953), whose sole purpose is to manipulate foreign nationals into doing their bidding so as to gain a political outcome favorable to US interests, they are now the ones crying foul that the US was the victim of the exact same shenanigan they routinely engage in. Well sort of. The Washington Post article citing this revelation only refers to anonymous sources indirectly briefed by the agency. Yep, sounds ironclad to me.
What evidence that has been released is laughable at best. It is the real world equivalent of citing as proof of an Indian attack the fact that the attackers wore headdress and threw tomahawks. Because no one ever has ever thought to cast a false appearance in order to shift blame. In other words, if Russia actually did decide to engage in such a hack they would not be stupid enough to actually use tools with a clear Russian fingerprint. That alone basically tells you it was NOT Russia.
Then again it doesn’t really matter if Russia was involved. They aren’t being accused of actually physically hacking vote tallies. They are being accused of playing a role in the release of truthful information. It is indeed a crazy world where the former heart of the Soviet empire is the vanguard of truth while the American government seeks to bury it. Notice none of those on the left deny the information that was released. They can’t, because it’s all true. The best they can hope for is some sort of Cold War era McCarthy-esque ties-to-Russia smear campaign against Trump in order to undermine or delegitimize his presidency. But it won’t work because at the end of the day the people only care about the information, not how it was obtained. To wit, even with all of the recent revelations of Russian “hacking” a Pew Research poll shows 99% of Trump voters and 97% of Clinton voters would cast the exact same vote today as they did on November 8.
The Democratic Party is a peddler of envy. It’s not fair your neighbor has more than you. Elect us and we’ll right this injustice by taking from them and giving to you. But don’t feel bad about it; it’s not your fault you couldn’t achieve on your own. Forces beyond your control (racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, white privilege, male privilege, etc.) are conspiring to keep you down. You are the victim so there is no need to reflect on the results of your choices.
So it should come as no surprise that the party itself is practicing this mantra in their own affairs. Hillary Clinton’s loss is not her fault. No, it’s (now) the fault of “fake news,” the Russians, or misogynistic women. Apparently “fake news” is the latest epidemic to sweep the nation, although oddly enough it was on no one’s radar until after the election. Funny that. This grand great epidemic that didn’t warrant so much as a peep out of anyone on the left until AFTER Hillary lost. Interesting. Hillary Clinton spoke last week on the subject of “fake news” calling it an “epidemic” with “real world consequences.” She called for “bipartisan legislation” that would allow Congress to respond to such “propaganda.” Whoa-whoa there! So Trump was a monster when he spoke of “looking into” libel laws after getting upset about his coverage in the news media but Clinton calls for tossing out the 1st amendment (Congress “responding to” such speech would be just that) and no one in the media bats an eye?
Let’s define a few terms here first. True fake news is supposed to be satirically fake. It is commonly found on sites like The Onion, where tongue in cheek satire makes the comedic intent clear. Then there are soft-fake sites that try to (poorly) emulate the Onion but do so with click-baity semi-legitimate sounding headlines; but, once the story is read it becomes clear it is not real – but too late – you clicked on the link and their ad revenue just went up! What people are upset about is pseudo-fake news, that is, they are Onion-like stories that purport to be real. Lastly there are a number of sites that have been labeled as “fake news” because someone disagrees with their opinion based content. If people like Clinton got her way we would have a Department of Truth that would be tasked with reviewing all internet content and empowered to ‘take down’ any content that did not conform to officially sanctioned opinion. Want to run a blog? Just apply for your speech license comrade. You laugh – but it’s coming.
In the end a two second analysis would reveal that actual fake stories did not influence the election one bit. Social media has become an echo chamber on both sides. The only people dumb enough to think “cbsnewslo.com.co” is a real news site are those already living in the social media echo chamber. Opinions are not changed by such sites, only reinforced.
There was a moment in the recent third presidential debate where Hillary Clinton sounded downright libertarian in her rhetoric. She said: “I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that [people] make … And I will stand up for that right.” The original quote referenced “women” rather than “people” but I think it’s safe to assume Hillary would consider women to be people. The “decision” under discussion here is abortion. Oddly this seems to be the only individual right the left is willing to defend against government intrusion. Indeed, the refrain of “my body, my choice” is reserved exclusively to abortion but not to say prostitution or recreational drugs. Why is that? Because Democrats (like Republicans) are crass opportunists who will do or say anything to get elected. Recall how Hillary was against gay marriage when it was unpopular but is now for it since public opinion has shifted. Prostitution and illicit drugs don’t garner votes but abortion does. What an odd world we live in where paying for sex is frowned upon, but paying to undo the results of sex is not.
The Democrats claim they are the party of “choice,” unless it’s an activity where they think you’ll make the “wrong” choice. Can I choose where I send my children to school? No. Can I choose to not join a union? No. Can an employer and employee choose a mutually agreeable wage? No. Can I choose to not participate in an inter-generational Ponzi scheme (Social Security)? No. Can I choose to put into my body whatever I want? No. Can I buy (or sell) any good or service? No. Can I choose to start a business without first asking, “mother may I” of the state? No. Can I keep my health plan if I like my plan? I think you get the idea. Now it is true that Republicans are also backers of many of these same prohibitions, but, Republicans have never held themselves up as the “party of choice.” It is for this core hypocrisy I skewer Democrats today. Being for “choice” means supporting it in ALL arenas, not just the politically expedient ones.
Briefly, to return to the topic that started this column, it should be pointed out third trimester abortions could be eliminated without making them illegal. Medical technology is now at the point where just about any child delivered between 7-9 months can survive outside the womb. Groups fighting abortion should shift their resources from sticks (more laws) to carrots. Use those resources to pay the full medical costs of any child that would otherwise have been aborted in the third trimester in exchange for a transfer of guardianship rights from the mother. Perhaps such an arrangement is “illegal” today. I do not know. But if so, hopefully the Party of Choice will lead the way in restoring the right for people to make such mutually beneficial arrangements, turning former foes (abortion opponents) into allies in the process.
I’m certainly no Trump fan, but the level of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance of the Clinton campaign is breathtaking. So when Bill Clinton came under fire with decades old charges of sexual assault, well that was just part of a vast right wing conspiracy to smear his good name and obviously had no impact on his ability to govern. However, when Donald Trump is the target of similar charges (although Trump barely made it to first base whereas Clinton made several home runs) from years gone by, well that is an obvious reason to disqualify him from the Presidency. Hillary’s tepid defense of women runs only as deep as their politics. If they are opposed to her or her husband then they are liars. But, if they are aligned with her, then their word is sacrosanct and it is up to the accused to prove his innocence.
Now of course the mainline Republicans aren’t much better. They were all too eager to skewer Bill Clinton over his indiscretions many years ago, but seem content to whistle past the graveyard of sexual escapades now that the Donald has come under similar fire. So it seems the general rule in politics is this: if my candidate does X that’s no big deal, but if the opposition does X then that instantly disqualifies them from holding office.
Again, Trump is no saint, but it does seem odd to get so upset over his mere words in contrast to Clinton’s deeds. As they say, actions speak louder than words. Clinton was actively involved in the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in Libya and Syria. As Secretary of State she directly shaped policies of the Obama administration that led to destabilization of Libya by overthrowing Kaddafi. This Libyan power vacuum led to a widening of the conflict in Syria as the US-armed rebels in Libya moved into Syria and morphed into ISIS. So while some may fear what sort of rash behavior the loudmouth blowhard that is Donald Trump might engage in, I’d say we should be more fearful of the person for whom we have an actual record of action. Clinton either knew that this bloodshed and destabilization would result or she was unable to foresee the obvious consequences of such interventionism – either is sufficient to disqualify her from being given even more responsibility.
Trump is a businessman. Businesses try to achieve their goals with the least expenditure of resources. War is costly in comparison to peace, so that supposition and Trump’s own words suggest he would be more likely to invest in non-violent resolutions. Peace is far more profitable.
So whereas Gary Johnson is the far better candidate than either of these two loons, if you are convinced voting for Gary is “wasting” your vote (however false that premise may be) then at least vote for the candidate less likely to get us embroiled in World War III with Russia (as Clinton’s mentor Obama seems poised to do right now). After all Trump and Putin are pals, right?
There is something eerily similar to the behavior of politicians competing for votes and that of divorced parents competing for the love of a child. There are two strategies deployed in this endeavor. Tear your competitor down with insults or build yourself up through gifts. With either approach there is little daylight between Democrats and Republicans. With Trump’s recent speech directed at working women we see that the difference between Democrats and Republicans is in degree, not kind. Both are quite willing to violate the rights of the individual upon the altar of compulsory collectivism, because you know, feelings. Trump promises six weeks of paid leave for working women. Clinton promises twelve weeks of paid leave for anyone caring for someone. Why so stingy though? It’s not their money after all. Why not promise a year of paid leave? Or two, or ten? Oh, that’s right, because of course we all know there are thresholds of cost that no business could bear. Let’s be reasonable after all. So in the pursuit of reasonableness our wise overlords-to-be dial back the burden-meter until some, but not all, business could manage to survive. Since only 12% of companies currently provide paid family leave we can draw the reasonable conclusion that this is a fairly expensive benefit. Were it not expensive then naturally every business would provide it (duh). And what adjective describes somebody that can afford really expensive things? That’s right: wealthy! So what kind of sorting might we expect to see if a large expense is imposed on large and small businesses alike? That’s right – smaller businesses will shut down leaving only the larger wealthy ones behind. Likewise the (artificial, government imposed) barrier to entry for new competitors will be so high that none will pass. I can almost understand Trump proposing this. As a large business owner it confers a competitive edge to his corporate interests. But the Democrats, those supposed champions of the “working men and women” leading the charge against the evil one percenters, they are in fact giving those ultra-uber rich businesses the greatest benefit imaginable: eliminating sources of competition. The irony is I’m sure Bernie would have supported a similar mandate while remaining blind to the fact he’s helping the very businesses he decries.
Such mandates further the goal of augmenting dependency on the state by slowly dissolving agency of the individual. The state views the employee as being too weak and stupid to make the best decision for themselves. If an employee would prefer more pay and less leave time, that’s not allowed. If an employee would prefer a higher wage in exchange for flexible working hours, that’s not allowed. If an employee would prefer having a job at lower wages vs. having no job at all, that’s not allowed. Mandated paid family or maternity leave is no different than a mandated minimum wage (i.e. price fixing). All benefits boil down to a monetary cost. If you mandate paid leave (the seen benefit), then you’re going to have to pay for it by subtracting from somewhere else (the unseen loss). That could be the rollback of non-mandated benefits, smaller bonuses and raises, or fewer workers hired. The last is most insidious as it leads to increasing unemployment despite no one losing their job. It further increases the work-load (and stress) on existing employees. When that happens many would gladly trade a lower wage for a smaller workload and less stress – but – that’s not allowed because children can’t make those sorts of decisions. Only the parents – the state – are wise and responsible enough to make those kind of decisions. Thank you wise and omniscient Dear Leader.