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Cracking Trump



Remember that scene in the movie “Predator” where Arnold asks the alien “what the hell are you?” and the Predator repeats it back to him? Yeah, that. The world outside President Donald Trump’s immediate family has the same reaction. From Tony Schwartz (co-author of “The Art of the Deal”) to Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, everybody’s got a take on cracking Trump.

The latest is from Jonathan Chait, who posited “Social Darwinism is what truly guides Trump.” I was intrigued by his twitter post claiming “instinctive social Darwinism,” to which I responded I don’t even know what that is. Social Darwinism is a belief that cultures and social groups are subject to the same “survival of the fittest” natural selection that Darwin observed in plant and animal species.

Social Darwinism is a mostly discredited philosophy in its conclusions, which favor the rich and dismiss the poor as outworkings of inferior moral or character traits. Trump has always attributed his own success as something ineffable, an “it” that one either has or doesn’t have. Chait quotes Trump from a 1990 Playboy interview:

“The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son,” he told an interviewer. “If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination — or whatever — to leave their mine. They don’t have ‘it’ … You’re either born with it or you’re not.”

I am familiar with that interview, because I used it in my own hot take at cracking Trump, written back in February, 2016, where I too asked “what the hell are you?” and received the question back as an answer.

And this is where Chait’s attempt at the Gordian knot of Trump’s mind fails. Trump said he didn’t want a poor person in an advisory role dealing with the economy. I happen to agree with this logic. A poor person, upon winning the lottery, will most likely spend it all and have nothing. A rich person will be much more likely to invest some, and save most, because the rich are more interested in building and preserving wealth than the poor.

But do I want a rich person to be my military chief? Or my spiritual adviser? Almost certainly not. And Trump hasn’t picked millionaires for every key position. But in White House politics, those with access to the Oval Office do tend to be–well, rich. So what’s Chait’s point here?

Social Darwinism is the tissue connecting this shady conduct with the Republican Party’s highest policy priorities. Conservatives believe programs that tax the rich and benefit the poor illegitimately meddle with the natural and correct distribution of wealth produced by the marketplace. The Republican health-care bill — both what passed in the House and what Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has brought to the Senate — confers a nearly trillion-dollar tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy. That appears to be its sponsors’ primary consideration. Secondarily, it strips away an equal amount in Medicaid and middle-class insurance tax credits.

His point is that Social Darwinism isn’t just Trump’s issue, it’s the GOP’s as a whole. In other words, Republicans are bad people because they don’t believe that “the poor” as a class should be given everything social progressives see as a “right.”

Here I call B.S. Because all of Chait’s little jaunt into Trump’s mind is to support this one statement.

The best explanation for this grand act of self-sabotage (beyond his simply not understanding the policies he endorses) is that Trump, like much of the Republican Party, is an instinctive social Darwinist.

Trump is many things, in fact he is a walking contradiction depending on where the light catches him, but he’s not a Social Darwinist. Chait wrote that Social Darwinism “is the intellectual scaffolding, constructed by writers like Ayn Rand and various Austrian economists, behind the vision of conservatives like Paul Ryan and David Koch.” That’s also demonstrably false.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy was “objectivism” where happiness, productivity and objective reason were the measure of a man, mankind, and everything. Therefore, all would simply find their place in life’s Pachinko board, some of it from inherent ability, some from attitude, and some from sheer luck.

I don’t think Trump believes in this way. He believes that great people can inspire, and that the power of positive thinking (the title of his erstwhile pastor, Norman Vincent Peale’s book) can help anyone achieve their dreams. If anything, Trump sees himself as a walking example of this philosophy. He is his own hero, and therefore accountable to no one, especially writers, reporters and bloggers trying to crack his cerebellum.

Most Republicans believe some of Trump’s core philosophy, as do Democrats. Where most differ is in Trump’s unyielding belief in self, his shifting moral relativism, and his mistrust of those not unfailingly loyal to him. Therefore when we ask of Trump “what the hell are you?” we tend to get the same question back.

Chait cheated and begged the question of how Republicans think, using Trump’s mirror ball to support his pretext.

That kind of cheating will leave us all exactly where we started. We don’t know anything new about President Donald J. Trump. We don’t know anything new about Republicans, other than Chait believes they are bad people.

Ultimately, Trump is guided by his own instincts, which are neither some form of “noblesse oblige” nor some innate superiority of the rich over the poor. He is guided by winning, defeating those who oppose him, and getting the upper hand in that struggle by any means possible for which he will suffer the least consequences.

In three words: Don’t get caught. The codicil: Have an excuse.

The ironic part about that philosophy is that both Bill and Hillary Clinton share it. Trump is just better at it than Hillary (but not necessarily better than Bill). How easily do intellectuals like Chait forgive one side’s addiction to self and power but attribute the other side’s use of the same to evil.

I suggest we all stop trying to crack Trump–which leads to headaches–and simply judge him on his actions and results.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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  1. Susan Malouff

    July 2, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    It has been proven that the teachings of Norman Vincent Peale are not only false but dangerous as well. Although he used other words to describe his methods of self empowerment they are, in fact, methods used for self hypnotism. Using self hypnotic methods consistently can lead to mental illness, Borderline Personality Disorder to be precise. Thus, you are mistaken, as Trump’s beliefs are clearly a combination of Prosperity Gospel and Social Darwinism, with both “religious” beliefs negating Biblical teachings and the true meaning and understanding of Christianity. Make no mistake, Trump has followed these beliefs throughout his life, as his father’s belief in Social Darwinism left a lasting effect on him as well as the beliefs and teachings of Peale, whom he refers to as “his pastor”. That being said, due to his behavior it is clear that Trump has been using Peale’s techniques consistently for years because he is, in no uncertain terms, showing signs of severe mental illness which makes him very dangerous to the United States and American people.

    • Steve Berman

      July 3, 2017 at 5:04 am

      Come now. Let’s not disparage the president or the dead. But you have proven my point and even acknowledged that I’m right. I’m not mistaken at all. Let’s assume Trump has BPD and look at some of the most common symptoms (I am not a psychiatrist, are you?).

      • Markedly disturbed sense of identity
      • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment and extreme reactions to such
      • Splitting (“black-and-white” thinking)
      • Impulsivity and impulsive or dangerous behaviours
      • Intense or uncontrollable emotional reactions that often seem disproportionate to the event or situation
      • Unstable and chaotic interpersonal relationships
      • Self-damaging behavior
      • Distorted self-image
      • Dissociation
      • Frequently accompanied by depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse, or rage
      • I believe Trump has at least 7 out of 10 of these to some degree. Trump integrates some elements of the Prosperity Gospel but without the Gospel part. I don’t see Social Darwinism as integrated into his teaching. Social Darwinists do not say “I love all people” as a general rule. They focus on who in society isn’t pulling their weight. Trump never talks about that.

        The man is “me” all the way down. I actually think he is a well-adjusted sociopath who has learned emotional responses and mimics them as well as he can. His one-time friend and mentor Roy Cohn said (before he died) “Donald pisses ice water.”

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Culture and Religion

Armbands and the death of a Republic



Weeks ago, David Hogg and sister unleashed a new fashion statement for “their” movement. In an attempt to copy Tinker, they want people to protest guns by wearing armbands. The movement Lauren Hogg named #ArmbandsForChange encourages students to make their own armbands, a surprising move for people trying to capitalize off of the death of 17 students. Nonetheless, obvious criticism and comparisons to Nazis ensued. However, I believe Corey Stallings of LowderWithCrowder correctly opined:

Before you break out the hammer and nails to crucify me, I’m not saying the kids are Literally Hitler. I’m not a leftist, after all. I know their choice of armbands wasn’t intentional and they’re copying student hippies from the ’60s. Alls I’m saying is a group of armband-clad underaged lemmings marching in the name of big government isn’t the best look, regardless of their intentions.

We have to cut the kids a little slack on account of their ignorance. They lack experience and perspective to understand the complexities of issues and their actions. This is also why it’s silly to let them dictate American gun policy.

Also, while we’re on the subject, armbands, ribbons, and other grandstanding gestures don’t do anything for a cause. I have yet to find a single person who changed their opinion on a subject thanks to a clever Twitter hashtag. Facts and stats, on the other hand, are effective like Michael Moore taste-testing for Little Debbie. Unfortunately for anti-gunners, facts to back up their views are scarce. Which leads to the dependence on superficial gestures. Which might accidentally harken back to Nazis.

The March for Gun Confiscation is taking place, and while armbands aren’t a major theme, the implications of what they are doing are a reason for liberty overs everywhere to brace themselves. Mob mentality has a dark history and they compare to a little-known story that impacted the Founding Fathers and our history.

Not Quite Tinker

Tinker v Des Moines is a case about students who wore armbands to protest US involvement in the Vietnam War. This is what 14-year-olds learn about in high school government classes. In both cases, armbands are involved; however major differences arise. For Tinker, it was a passive method of protest. Also, Tinker was honest, in that, the Vietnam War was the subject of protest. The Hoggs, on the other hand, want major gun restrictions, to put it mildly. They mask this intent under the guise of protesting gun violence, a term coined by gun control activist in the first place. The scopes of these respective protests are vastly different. One protested a poorly executed military misadventure, the other wants to take away the rights of the people. The latter is quite aggressive. As Stallings noted, the facts aren’t on their side, so they rely on emotions to dictate policy and conversation. They are trying to awaken the mob. Emotions and intimidation are all part of a time-tested means to advance evil. The Nazis are only one example. Another brought down a Republic.

The Dutch Republic

Before the United States, the Dutch had a Republic. The Dutch Republic was a maritime empire dominating Europe in world trade. They even had the world’s first stock market. But all the while, the Dutch struggled with a division between people who believed in the ideals of Republicanism(Republicans or Patriots) or the people who wanted a strong government leader, the Orangist (monarchists). The Orangist supported the royal family, in this instance is William III Orange.

There’s a Dutch movie on Netflix called Admiral. It’s about how Admiral de Ruyter, one of the greatest admirals of all time, navigated both war and politics. Better action scenes than most of Hollywood. It features Charles Dance, who played Tywin Lannister, so there’s some familiarity for the American viewer. Anyway, in the movie, the Orangists are depicted wearing Orange armbands.

In history, Charles II made an alliance with the French and German states to coordinate an invasion of the Netherlands. The statesmen, Johan de Witt had long helmed the Republic and through multiple wars, but this war would be his last. The alliance caused such a panic, that mob rule took over. The Orangists seized Cornelius de Witt, Johan’s brother for “conspiring against William III” and tortured him. Violent demonstrations took place. Johan de Witt resigned. He shortly after went to see his brother. The mob seized the de Witt brothers and tore them to pieces and hung the remains against a lamppost. 1672 was the fall of the Dutch Republic. Though the rise of William III, the eventual King of England following the Glorious Revolution, would save them from England, the Dutch Golden Age was ending.

History Matters

The mistakes made in the Dutch Republic were noted by the Founding Fathers. In Federalist 20, James Madison critiques the Dutch Republic as an example of a failed confederacy. He refers to the United Netherlands as “imbecility in government.”

A weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution, for want of proper powers, or the usurpation of powers requisite for the public safety. Whether the usurpation, when once begun, will stop at the salutary point, or go forward to the dangerous extreme, must depend on the contingencies of the moment. Tyranny has perhaps oftener grown out of the assumptions of power, called for, on pressing exigencies, by a defective constitution, than out of the full exercise of the largest constitutional authorities.

The Founding Fathers put in place many precautions in order to prevent mob rule or imbecility in government as seen in the Dutch Republic. The confederacy, Madison argues was ineffective, and true patriots know that we must avoid the same mistakes.

Hoggs and Mobs

Whether it be larger forces than them or they themselves, their actions are dangerous. I don’t believe that these kids were trying to be Nazis; however, they are, likely knowingly, trying to incite a mob. A more accurate comparison than Nazis would be that they are like the Orangists, wearing orange coincidentally used to protest guns every June. Their protest is assertive and, if successful, will strip the natural freedoms away from many Americans, especially their age group of young adults. Their armbands are identifiers in which they intend to normalize and further mobilize their calls to control the liberties of the people. Calls to actions such as theirs are why the people necessitate a Constitution empowering a unique federal system including a Bill of Rights to specifically protect freedoms from a single tyrant and or the tyranny of the majority.

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The Republican Party showed its true stripes and proved David Leach right all along



Republicans can avert a shutdown if they turn the narrative

Over the recent years, the Republican Party told us that they needed control of the House. We gave them the House. Then they said we can’t do enough, we need the Senate. We gave them the Senate. Then they said we can’t do enough, we need the White House. We gave them the White House, even if it’s not the guy they really want. But now I turn on the cable news shows and they now say they just have a thin majority.

Can’t the Republican Party make some kind of stand for little “r” republicanism? Can’t it make a stand for conservatism? Can’t it make a statement for liberty and freedom? Can’t it make a statement for private property rights? Now it needs a greater majority that is basically mission impossible, especially in the Senate.

The Republicans overwhelmingly have decided to pass the omnibus bill which was put together by mostly progressive thinking lobbyists. Granted military spending will be increased but so will the Democrats beloved welfare programs which they have used to buy votes and gain more and more power. It will also fund Planned Parenthood which in spite of shining a light on shady dealings of fetal parts, getting abortions for underage girls under the table, or not really investing in pap smears or mammograms as it will continue to keep its bread and butter of pre-born baby murder going strong. I really believe that many politicians in both parties benefit from abortion due to the fact they seek constant sexual flings with just about any women who work under them as these young ladies try to move ahead in their careers.

The Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer (his pet projects will be funded) are so happy with this bill cause they know it’s only going to benefit Washington and the Democrat Party.

For all the faults Rand Paul has, including his support of Mitch McConnell’s last election campaign, I have to give him credit for speaking out against this current omnibus spending bill. It seems that if the Democrats want to spend more of the taxpayers’ money it is wrong. If the Republicans want to spend more money, than its OK…but it should not be OK.

Sadly conservatives who have not read Pastor Cary Gordon’s book A Storm A Message A Bottle or watched his series of animated videos Five Steps to Political Epiphany. They will protest the election by sitting out the election, instead of using their write-in blank or third-party options since Duverger’s law forbids this. Meanwhile, President Trump might go down in history as the bigger spender than Barack Obama.

We can’t any longer tolerate any more excuses. Regardless if the Democratic left is in the majority or the minority they seem to have the power in the elected branches of government. They have the power in other areas of government no matter what. We can learn one thing from Bible Believing Christians when they start a new denomination when breaking away from a bigger one. They break away because the establishment in the old denomination they are breaking away from does not repent of their apostasy (while claiming new truths). They try and they try, but like the American Gladiator event Pyramid they just knock you down to the bottom time and again. The only thing you can do is to let them go their way and let the denomination implode as they try to prevent themselves from being corrupted. It proves Jesus that you can’t put new wine into old sheepskins. We must do the same thing and try to build a new political party that can replace the Republican Party. The Grand Old Party is not what it used to be.

Mr. President, you made a choice and that choice was to sign the bill and take what you can get. Conservatives like myself, Steve Deace and Mark Levin, would call this a betrayal of conservatism. Either you are naive and/or a fool about politics, or a true charlatan, or something in between. All I can say to you is only “proved” that Benjamin Wilhelm and David Leach correct, and it will show in this midterm election. You screwed the pooch just as the Republican Party elite has done many times before, and the Democrats wildest dreams are coming true. Your likely impeachment, single-party rule, making America a new Soviet Union or some kind of socialist experiment, and the Democrats desire to become Demi-Gods.

Your own words you said on TV so many times are coming back right at you like a boomerang…”You’re Fired.”

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Guns and Crime

Is Operation Choke Point making a comeback in GOP-controlled Washington?



In 2013, Barack Obama and Erik Holder launched Operation Choke Point (OCP), an initiative that gave the government power to use banks and financial institutions to track down companies suspected of illegal activities.

Like just about everything else Obama did, OCP violated our Constitutional rights—in this case the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. However, the community organizer also used OCP as a back-door method to dismantle the Second Amendment by using banks to shut down “risky” gun dealers by denying them bank services. In 2015, a gun store in Hawkins, WI, was driven out of business when their bank closed their account simply because they sold guns and ammo.

Obama’s dictatorial use of OCP eventually led to the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act (FICPA) in 2016. Co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the bill was designed to prevent the government from using banking services to target firearms businesses for doing nothing more than exercising their Constitutional rights.

FICPA was revived in 2017 in the House, and while it hasn’t become law yet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last summer that he was committed to ending the unconstitutional program.

But all of this transpired before the high school shooting in Parkland, FL. Since that tragedy, there’s been a new willingness by Trump and the GOP to abandon liberty in the name of safety. Gone is the commitment to protect the Constitution. Instead, a Dianne Feinstein-friendly approach to chipping away at the Second Amendment has taken its place.

Already on record as being in favor of denying due process rights in order to seize our guns, Trump has joined hands with Republicrats, Trumplicans, and Democrats—sorry if that was being redundant—to advance a host of anti-Second Amendment schemes.

One such scheme is a proposal known as “Fix NICS.” Though supposedly an improvement to background checks, this bill is so flawed that it would give government the power to seize guns simply for having unpaid parking tickets. Bad news, right? That’s not the worst of it. Fix NICS is part of the new Omnibus bill to finance the government for the rest of the year.

Since we’re talking about gun control and finances once again, it looks like Operation Choke Point could be on the way back. Citigroup announced yesterday that they will cease doing business with firearms dealers unless they adopt a host of anti-gun proposals, such as not selling guns to anyone under 21.

According to Citigroup’s head of global public affairs, Ed Skyler, this new policy isn’t intended to “rid the world of firearms.” However, it should be noted that Skyler served under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for eight years. As you’re probably aware, Bloomberg is the founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, a major player in the anti-Second Amendment movement.

Will Trump and the GOP keep OCP from making a return? Will they stop people like Bloomberg? Or will they cave to anti-gun hysteria and welcome them into their Constitution-killing fold. Based on recent history, the answer to these questions aren’t looking too good.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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