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President Trump’s policies versus tone

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President Trumps policies versus tone

Conservatives are stuck in a very strange situation. On one hand, we have a President who’s been more sensible from a policy perspective than many of us expected. I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to see the cuts in bureaucracy, the multiple attempt to kill off DACA, or the tax cuts.

That’s not to say it’s been a great first two years. We’ve made very little progress on the wall, Planned Parenthood is still funded, and, of course, Obamacare remains intact. And no, it wasn’t all the fault of our ineffective legislature. Just as President Obama led the way to get Obamacare passed, so too should President Trump have led the way on repealing it.

My issue isn’t with his policies. As with any politician, I judge each individual action as well as their body of work. I don’t take into account tribal loyalties. The one or two times President Obama did the right thing, I cheered, though obviously I found myself booing 99% of the time. The same goes with President Trump. When he does well, I express my appreciation. When he does poorly, I object loudly.

Like I said earlier, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that most of the policies the President has initiated have been positive. My biggest policy complaint has been his adoption of Chuck Schumer’s and Bernie Sanders’ tariffs which, as expected, have done little to help and so far haven’t yielded the major negotiation wins I believe the President expected by now. There’s still time. China may come around. But so far, the tariffs have been a bust.

No, my issue is and always has been his tone. This is what drives the strange situation conservatives find ourselves in. Most conservatives, the loyal creatures we are, have defended or even embraced any reaction, bad Tweet, or irresponsible statement the President has made. Part of it is tribalism that has engulfed both sides of the political aisle, but a good chunk of the reason many conservatives are so forgiving of the President’s rhetoric is that we hear equal or worse rhetoric from the left.

Mainstream media hates him and no longer tries to hide behind a facade of unbiased reporting. They’re proud of their partisanship and after decades of pretending to be fair and balanced, they can openly cry tears of sadness or tears of joy depending on whether the President has a good day or a bad day.

This unfair treatment by the media combined with the unhinged actions of the petulant leftists in and out of Washington DC endears the President to many conservatives. Heck, I found myself wanting to defend some of his reactions before the midterm elections even if I didn’t agree with them simply because the things he was responding to from the left were worse than his reaction.

Right now, the President has a tone problem. He has always said the wrong things at the wrong times, often because he comes to the wrong conclusions fairly regularly. Some tell me it’s because his straight talk style is offensive, but that’s not always it. Sometimes, his rhetoric is sung at such a poor tone that even his most ardent defenders have to pretend like they didn’t hear his latest statement or read his latest Tweets.

Here’s an example. This is a Tweet Saturday morning from the President.

Really? I had to make absolutely certain this wasn’t a spoof account or something.

Let’s just break it down. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are currently evacuated from their homes. Many of them have no idea whether or not they just lost everything they own. Some of them KNOW they just lost everything they own. One of the biggest fires he’s referring to is currently at o% contained.

The President’s response? Threats.

Bad timing. Poor tone. Wrong choice.

If he focuses on his policies and avoids the urge to Tweet partisan opinions all the time, his reelection would be near certain. In fact, he might even still have the House based on the economy instead of losing it over rhetoric. Great policies. Bad tone.

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Economy

Why we won’t see Medicare-for-All legislation until after 2020

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Why we wont see Medicare-for-All legislation until after 2020

We won’t see Medicare-for-All legislation presented to the public or brought to the floor of the House for one politically expedient reason.

Here’s a spoiler for those who don’t want to read the whole thing. In its current state of ambiguity it’s growing more and more popular with the general public. Once the details are brought to light, even moderate Democrats will acknowledge it would implode the economy in a couple of years at best.

In a perfect world, all basic needs would be covered. Of course, that perfect world, often referred to as communism, could only work in the minds of fiction writers and hardcore leftists. In the real world, it’s not only impossible, but has proven to be counterproductive with its stated goals. This is a basic fact that has been demonstrated throughout modern history.

Facts don’t stop leftists. Anything that gets in the way of the leftist agenda or narrative is pushed aside in favor of new “facts.” My least favorite one that’s floating around lately is that socialized medicine has been a tremendous success in many nations around the world. This is questionable at best and when viewed on a longer scale than the last few years, it’s clearly impossible to sustain.

That’s the biggest problem with socialist ideas. They often DO work, but only until the money runs out. Leftists will say it’s unfair to point to Venezuela, a nation that should be the most prosperous in South America but that lies in economic ruins today. Any time Venezuela is brought up, proponents of socialism will say that they were practicing an invalid form of the failed political and economic system.

It’s through the pathways of reality surrounding socialism that Democrats do not want to travel. Not yet. They can’t risk heading into the 2020 elections allowing voters to have a clear understanding of what Medicare-for-All would mean to them. The more facts and figures are revealed about the proposals, the harder it will be to sell it to the people. Instead, they chant about Republicans not believing healthcare is a human right. Or something.

Take soon-to-be-Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example. For proposal for Medicare-for-All has a $32 trillion price tag over the next decade. Paying for it would require extreme tax increases, which is okay to most of her supporters. Why? Because the bulk of the cost would be paid by the “rich,” according to AOC. Or, as she puts it, “You just pay for it.”

When actual math is applied, it becomes clear it would be impossible to stick even most of the price tag on the “rich,” but that’s based on our definitions. If her definition of “rich” means anyone making middle-class incomes or above, then she MIGHT be able to pay for it by more than doubling current taxes.

There’d be no fiscal repercussions from that, right.

It’s imperative for Democrats to keep details surrounding Medicare-for-All hidden. The surface notion is appealing to some. If the details were examined, their base support would fall off. I’ll invoke a leftist tactic by saying Medicare-for-All would literally kill people.

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Foreign Affairs

Turkish-American relations aren’t better, just quieter than they were

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Turkish-American relations arent better just quieter than they were

President Trump said Saturday “we’re having a very good moment with Turkey.” The operative word in his statement was “moment.” In other words, relations can go south at any point, and they probably will very soon.

Diplomatic conflict with Turkey had been escalating for a year until very recently. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has balked at U.S. demands and made harsh statements about America’s foreign policy, particularly as they relate to Iran and Syria. He’s playing a game of brinkmanship, pushing his rhetoric and policies right to the edge before backing down.

Right now, he’s in his quiet mode. That likely won’t last long.

As Burak Bekdil noted at Gatestone, the list of problems between the United States and Turkey has not been reduced.

Turkey and US: Conflict Contained, Not Resolved

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/13328/turkey-us-conflict-containedOnly three months ago Turkey and its NATO ally the United States had too many issues about which to disagree: They had major divergences over Syria; they had different views on Turkey’s plans to deploy the Russian-made S-400 air defense system on NATO soil; they had mutual sanctions on top government officials due to Turkey’s refusal to free Andrew Brunson, an American evangelical Christian pastor living in Turkey who faced bogus charges of terrorism and espionage; they had a potential U.S. decision to block delivery to Turkey of arms systems, including the F-35 stealth fighter; they had potential U.S. sanctions on a Turkish public bank; the U.S. had doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium; a Turkish boycott on U.S. electronics; major differences over Syrian Kurds; and Turkey’s persistent demands for the extradition of Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric who is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political nemesis, living in self-exile in Pennsylvania.

This could be a calm before the storm between the United States and Turkey. Both nations are pushing against each other, especially in reference to U.S. policy in the Middle East. The two NATO allies will be acting more like enemies very soon unless one or the other backs down.

That’s almost certainly not going to happen.

We must be very mindful of and cautious towards Erdogan. His lust for power is quickly manifesting as a desire to be the de facto leader of the Middle East Muslim world. To do that, he’ll need to turn America into a symbolic enemy for the whole region.

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Democrats

The great ideological divide in the Democratic Party is artificial

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The great ideological divide in the Democratic Party is artificial

Since the midterm elections, we’ve seen some pretty crazy things happening in the Democratic Party. You have a small revolt against Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with a handful of Democrats in Congress opposing her ascension to Speaker of the House. There’s a freshman Representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is already trying to get her followers to run against sitting Democrats in Congress. Then, there’s the posturing by Democrats wanting to run for President in 2020.

In all three circumstances, it’s the Democratic Establishment that is old and out of touch versus the young, aware new Democrats. Sometimes these new Democrats call themselves Democratic Socialists. Sometimes they lay claim to the Democratic Party as a whole.

The Establishment is supposed to be the “moderate” wing of the party while the Democratic Socialists are the far left. Here’s the problem with that notion. They both say pretty much the exact same things. There are nuances in how they say it, but the end results are the same. For example, they both promote healthcare for all. It doesn’t matter whether some call it “Medicare-for-All” and others don’t give it a name. When the chips are all on the table, they’ll end up in the same place.

Healthcare is just one example of top priorities listed by both “sides” of the Democratic Party. On gun control, they’re in lockstep. The only difference between the “moderates” and the far-leftists is the number of times they say they “respect the 2nd Amendment” in their speeches about the varying ways they want to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

There are a few issues in which the money flowing to the Democratic Establishment keeps them quiet while the radical leftists go all out. Climate change, for example, can be easily misconstrued as an issue with a unified position within the party, but it’s far from it. Establishment Democrats push for a light version of environmental solutions that will make them appear tough on carbon without harming their benefactors. The left-wing takes it up a few dozen notches, calling for an end of fossil fuels in a decade.

But the environment is a small issue, despite the attention given to it by the leftists. I don’t mean the issue of climate change and the attacks on the energy industry by leftists are insignificant. I mean it’s a small divide between the opposing sides within the Democratic Party. One could be fighting the oil companies while the other is owned by the oil companies and they can still sit together for lunch in the Capitol Hill cafeteria.

Some would argue the Republicans are the exact same way, and to some extent this is true. But the ideological divide that separates the very small minority of true conservatives is much wider for one big reason. Establishment Democrats and far leftists are in total agreement that government needs to grow, especially at the federal level. Establishment Republicans agree. True conservatives vehemently disagree.

Unfortunately, there are so few limited-government Republicans in DC that it hasn’t really made an impact. Even under President Trump, budgets are through the roof, and while he’s cutting bureaucracy, more is being added in its wake.

This is important to understand because it means the leftward lurch we’re seeing in the Democratic Party is very different from the conservative push that spawned following the passage of Obamacare. Where conservatives failed at pulling the party to the right, leftists will succeed in pulling their party to the left.

Today and onward beyond 2020, we’ll see two things happen. The first is what we’re witnessing today with the artificial chasm forming between the old Democratic guard and the new leftist ideologues. This will grow as we see presidential hopefuls jockeying for the Bernie Sanders mantle. In fact, they’re going to try to out-Bernie the Vermont Senator himself. We’re already seeing Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris pull to the left of the party on the First Step Act. Their reason: it doesn’t release enough convicts back onto the streets.

Then, there’s Eric “Nukem” Stalwell. He’s unofficially launching his presidential campaign by threatening to confiscate guns.

This will continue until the 2020 Democratic nomination is decided. That’s when we’ll see stage two. This is where it gets dangerous.

The second thing that will happen is the bridging of the chasm in the party. Republicans solved it by bringing “conservatives” over to the mushy middle, making them embrace Establishment concepts for the sake of being practical. It’s why the ideologues won in 2015 by passing a clean Obamacare repeal, but the Establishment won in 2017 by pushing forward every Obamacare action they could think of without even considering a clean repeal. They only acted conservative when they knew President Obama would veto it.

Democrats will do the opposite. The old guard will see Ocasio-Cortez, Harris, Booker, Beto O’Rourke, and other far leftists doing so well with the base. Then, they’ll embrace them. Those who are too pragmatic to leave the Establishment will be shocked when they realize the Establishment merges with the far-leftists. When the chasm disappears and the dust settles, the Democratic Party will be firmly controlled by Democratic-Socialists.

This is why the divide is artificial. They’re not stupid. The Establishment sees the writing on the wall. They’ll fight it for as long as they can without making enemies, but they are well aware that their choices are to adapt or get booted.

As far to the left as Democrats seem today, we haven’t seen them fully unleash their lunacy. The moderate Establishment that gave them candidate Hillary Clinton is rapidly being replaced by the far-leftists. Democratic-Socialists are going mainstream.

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