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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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Dear Illinois Conservatives, what is the Repubican Party accomplishing for you?



Excuse me if I come off sounding like Steve Deace. I don’t mean to. However, when I elaborate on how bad the Republican Party of Illinois is, I also offer a solution. My solution is to consider joining the Federalist Party movement. Because honestly, what do you have to lose?

The 2018 Illinois Primary should be a wakeup call as Conservatism suffered defeat after defeat. The only two salvageable victories were Douglas Bennett in the 10th and David Merkle in the 2nd. Both of these candidates are longshots in November. There were also a couple of conservatives who won because they ran unopposed, Jitendra “JD” Diganvker in the 8th and Bill Fawell in the 17th. JD is a longshot, though District 17 isn’t lost yet.

District 3 Fail

Avowed neo-nazi, Author Jones won the nomination because he ran unopposed. This was the biggest headline for the GOP in Illinois. A neo-nazi is now their candidate. What is also highly disappointing is that the Republican Party had a chance to win this race in November. This is the race where the Democrats were engaged in a civil war of sorts. Socialist, Marrie Newman challenged Daniel Lipinski. If Marrie Newman had won, the District may swing red due to Newman’s socialism. But Lipinski held on, likely due to the open primary system. The GOP just sat back and allowed its own defeat in District 3. They failed to step up and challenge Jones. Is there no establishment or leadership there? Leadership would have been fielding a candidate to first ensure that a neo-nazi will not carry the torch. But instead, the GOP facilitated its own defeat.

RINO Victories Rampant

I do applaud Bennett for his victory in the 10th, but I do recognize that he won, in large part, because the two well-funded RINOs saw fit to hammer each other. Through their big money, they lost their appeal through mudslinging and robocalls. The less funded, but more conservative candidate was able to sneak a 259 vote win over the pro-abortion Jeremy Wynes. The other RINO, Sapan Shah was a close third place. But looking at the other races, RINOs came out on top when head to head with a Conservative. Preston Nelson, a strong libertarian, was no match for the RINO incumbent Mike Bost. The more formidable James Marter still lost handily to incumbent Adam Kinzinger. The largely criticized incumbent governor, Bruce Rauner, still prevailed over Jeanne Ives. Bruce Rauner, by the way, signed a sanctuary state law. So come election day in November, leftist will have two of them to vote for. And Conservatives will only vote for a party that does not represent, in their state, a limited government nor the US Constitution.

As stated by Real GOP Illinois

Bruce Rauner was always a liberal. He was never a conservative. We question whether Rauner was ever really a Republican or if he just saw an opportunity to buy the Illinois Republican Party for his own enrichment and the enrichment of his elite friends. Who has profited from Bruce Rauner? Let’s start naming names.

The Illinois GOP has no interest in a limited government. It has no interest in responsible immigration laws. It does not seek to protect the 2nd Amendment. It does not believe in protecting the unborn. How can they? They’re too busy fielding rich leftist candidates to pass on to the loyal opposition to the state’s Democratic majority. Sapan Shah, Jeremy Wynes, John Morrow all rich leftist who infiltrated the GOP ranks to garner the nomination. They failed, but Mike Bost, Adam Kinzinge, Rodney Davis, John Shimkus, are all blatant RINO incumbents representing their respective districts. Then there’s the crooked John Elleson who won the 9th.

Compared to other Blue States

I live in Maryland. I know very well what it’s like to live under a super-majority of Democrats. I know the futility of opposition. But remarkably, the Maryland GOP isn’t all that bad or at least it’s gotten better. Andy Harris, the state’s lone Republican Congressman on the Eastern Shore, is a solid conservative. Governor Larry Hogan is one of the nation’s most popular governors. He has done as well as a conservative seeking reelection in a blue state can do.

In California, there are solid conservatives running. We’ve interviewed them here on NOQ Report. See Erin CruzShastina Sandman, and Dr. Ken Wright. There is also Konstantinos Roditis a Republican but a solid constitutional conservative federalist running for Controller in California.

The Illinois GOP does not have the same interest or ambition as the other blue states. So what is the point of the Illinois GOP? It is incapable of representing and advancing small government conservatism.

A New Party

For Conservatives in Illinois, it’s time for a new party. Part of the Illinois GOP’s issue is that the GOP platform is meaningless to them. The Federalist Party addresses this exact problem

Over time, the Federalist Party will address issues in a way that is very different from other parties. Platforms today are essentially meaningless. There is no accountability for politicians within the parties. They’re able to act any way they wish. As long as they can confuse the electorate during campaign season, their adherence (or lack thereof) to the party’s platform can be disregarded.

They offer an intricate solution that not only allows some dissension but provides transparency. Read more about their solutions here. The goal of the Federalist Party is to prevent the corruption of ideals that has taken place in the Illinois GOP and the Republican Party as a whole. Give it some thought. In the meantime what have you to lose?

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Breaking: survivors are experts on everything



We were told that survivors of the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, knew more about gun violence than we ever could.

We were told that their suffering made them experts.

We were told that we couldn’t scrutinize their claims, either because they’re children or because to do so would demean their suffering as survivors of an unspeakable tragedy.

In short, we were told they were off limits.

I can understand granting leniency to grieving survivors. People should be left alone to mourn. But once they take to the podium to push an agenda, they become public figures, and public figures are subject to public scrutiny.

In addition to that, I care nothing about the fact that the Parkland activists are children. Their youth will not stand as Kevlar in the public sphere. If they want to take the stage with adults, receive the right to vote as adults, and lobby for legislation like adults, then I’m going to evaluate, criticize, and tear apart their arguments exactly the way I would for an adult who said such embarrassingly idiotic things.

To do any less essentially concedes permission for insufferable ignoramuses like David Hogg and Cameron Kasky to continuously spread lies and malicious attacks against Dana Loesch, conservatives, and an organization whose sole mission is to defend a constitutional right.

More importantly, once these survivors are handed an open mic on gun control, they’ll feel justified and even obligated to sound off on other topics they know equally little about.

As seen in an official Twitter interview on Monday, David Hogg has apparently graduated from his factless tirade against firearms to a more encompassing position as shaman supreme for identity politics. To name just a few examples, Hogg flaunted his virtue-based expertise on white privilege, the patriarchy, college debt, healthcare, and net neutrality. He insisted that the underrepresentation of women and minorities in government is responsible for the lack of diversity of thought in politics, that the NRA is turning America into a dictatorship with its dirty money, that the political elite only want people in retirement homes voting, that Bernie Sanders is to blame for difficulty in suing gun manufacturers, and, of course, that the NRA has blood on its hands.

Never mind that virtually everything he and his classmates said was false. Never mind that there’s no such thing as a full semi-automatic weapon. Never mind that the 2nd Amendment applies to far more than just handguns, or that almost every problem he listed is the result of bigger government, for which he now enthusiastically stumps.

Because he’s an expert, you see? He’s a survivor, so his moral legitimacy outweighs your capacity for reason. Forget what your fully developed prefrontal cortex is telling you, forget everything you’ve learned by actually studying the issues at hand, and listen to this wise, irreproachable child! Don’t worry about every stupid thing he’s said or done, and certainly disregard the virtue signaling.

Instead of criticizing, be grateful that you’ve lived to see these marvels of the universe, these angelic children who’ve come to save us from woe. Like a phoenix from the flame, they have risen out of the ashes of devastation to become the mainstream media’s most indispensable analysts. What would we do without them? How would we know which policies to implement and whom to accuse of murder by association?

After all, studying the issues is futile. Thank goodness for survivors — children so morally superior that they’ve become the undisputed experts on every problem facing America.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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So-called conservative media enters through the wide gate



In the article I wrote a few days ago entitled Fundamental Transformation of the USA: Donald Trump Edition, I shared how Trump has succeeded in replacing conservative values with the so-called values of the life-long New York liberal and how Republicans have been willing accomplices.

The consequences of this reality have been manifested in many ways. From the reality TV White House to losing numerous special elections at the federal and state levels to Democrats, Trump and the GOP have all but guaranteed that a Blue tsunami in November will wipe them out.

Though they do so for entirely selfish reasons, there are those in the Republican party who are abandoning all things Trump in an effort to distance themselves from his poisonous brand of nationalist/populist style of politics. Unfortunately, for these and others in the GOP, the selective nature of their criticism of Trump likely comes too late to save them.

Equally tragic in this comedy of errors—apologies to William Shakespeare—has been how formerly conservative voices in the world of media and political punditry have sold their souls to Faustian Trump. Just as the party of Reagan has done, media conservatives in-name-only like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, to name a few, have allowed conservatism to be rebranded with a giant Trumplican T.

Trumplicanism has been a boon of sorts for those who Daniel Horowitz refers to as “clickservative” media outlets more concerned with online traffic than they are with only the truth, as we see with two members of Trump Pravda, Breitbart and FOX News.

Politico is reporting that Breitbart’s readership is in free fall now that Trump mouthpiece Steve Bannon is no longer in charge. Meanwhile, FOX News, complete with a line-up of former conservatives, is growing now that it has become all Trump all the time.

While there are those who point to Trump Pravda to validate their decision to become a Stepford Trumplican, I point to it as proof that Matthew 17:3 is true when it says, “Enter by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.”

There are some promising signs that there are a still a few people willing to live their convictions. Earlier this week, FOX News contributor Ralph Peters resigned because he felt the network had become a “propaganda machine” for “a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.” While he is only one voice, Peters validates the sad reality of how conservatism has no place within the Republican party in the age of Trump.

Personally, refusing to become a member of the Trump echo chamber—which means I choose truth over Trump—has cost me financially and in other ways. But as the Strident Conservative, I refuse to compromise conservatism for clicks, so I will go through the narrow gate. I hope you will too!

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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