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I finally understand ‘America First’ and it’s not so bad

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I have always struggled with President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. Its historical links to Charles Lindbergh and anti-Semitism bothered me. A year ago, then-candidate Trump’s inability to elucidate a clear set of goals frightened me. And as president, Trump’s foreign policy gaffes and flat-out alienation of some foreign leaders is quite troubling.

In his Warsaw speech, I think we’ve finally seen the outlines of what “America First” really means, and to me, it’s not so bad.

To explain, I have to go back into history, and to the roots of our current Western globalist presuppositions.

Four fantasies

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stood before Congress and delivered a speech that reverberates in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country, today. It was called the “Four Freedoms” speech, and in it, FDR outlined “four essential human freedoms.”

They were freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. In a speech, these concepts sound absolutely wonderful. In practice, they are impossible to achieve. That’s because of the most troubling aspect of FDR’s speech: These freedoms were not for America—they were for the whole world.

The first three freedoms were postfaced with the words “—everywhere in the world.” The freedom from fear was defined thusly: “translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.”

These “Four Freedoms” were really four globalist fantasies. Even Roosevelt know they were nothing more than rhetoric. He used them in a speech asking Congress for money to pay for armaments!

In FDR’s speech, patriotism was defined as an act of sacrifice to these world principles. Roosevelt called for more defense dollars, raised from taxes instead of war bonds. “If the Congress maintains these principles the voters, putting patriotism ahead pocketbooks, will give you their applause.”

The world has been applauding ever since. Congress, and the military, addicted to tax dollars, has used the “four freedoms” to fight five wars since World War II. America has become the human rights super-hero of the world, and has been held accountable when we fail to live up to the super-hero status.

President Barack Obama was the pinnacle and embodiment of FDR’s globalist fantasies. Obama bought every word of FDR’s vision. “The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society,” Roosevelt said.

It’s impossible.

The great, unsolvable problem of the “Four Freedoms” is that, in scope, and in the human experience, they cannot be fulfilled. In fact, the attempt to fulfill them will result in one or more of those freedoms being consumed by the others. As an example, the freedom from fear where nations are disarmed would make impossible the protection of the freedom of speech and freedom to worship. Standing against evil is a business that requires arms and force.

Roosevelt knew that once the Nazis were defeated, another great evil or threat would rise up. The UN, as wonderful an idea it was for nations to solve their differences without war, was pie-in-the-sky. Within 4 years, the UN flag would fly over hundreds of thousands of American soldiers fighting Communist Chinese. So much for “freedom from fear.”

But the West ate up the “Four Freedoms” and used it as the basis of European pluralistic society. Meanwhile, America footed the bill for 46 years of standing up to the Soviet Union. In Germany, where paying taxes is considered the highest form of patriotic duty, they still yearn for Roosevelt’s vision. They can’t stand our current president.

America First

Thursday, in Poland, citizens heard and understood a vision that marks a break from FDR and Obama. President Trump illustrated the value of American leadership in a way not seen since Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate.

After Trump’s speech, I believe I understand “America First” as Trump intended it to be understood. It’s an undoing of FDR’s four fantasies, and a restoration of America’s freedoms and our leadership among nations that value those freedoms (not try to sell them like snake-oil).

You see, the U.S. Constitution—and the Declaration of Independence that preceded it—never promised Americans FDR’s “Four Freedoms.” The Constitution barred our government from interfering with free speech and freedom of religion. It never promised that other governments would do the same.

Our founders never promised a freedom from want or fear. Those things are part of being human. Charity and comfort cease to be what they are when the recipients of those virtues claim ownership of the fruit and demand the tree. Instead of war bonds purchased by individuals as a patriotic act of sacrifice, a tax is a burden on all.

The world cannot be sold on buying a Coke and singing in harmony. Religious freedom must be defended. Freedom of expression must be defended. Most nations–even in the West–don’t offer those freedoms to the degree America does. The West has been buying FDR’s four fantasies for so long that they believe “just a little more time” and we will see it happen.

Then Brexit. Then radical Islamic terror. Then Russia destabilizing Ukraine and invading Crimea. Then Syria, then Iran, then North Korea–shall I go on?

I believe Trump sees “America First,” at least the way I see it, is to mean that we will run our country in the way that allows America to help others, but not to guarantee their own freedoms. Those freedoms are for their own citizens to purchase, not demand. The Poles who heard Trump’s speech understood this, having paid a high cost.

“Our citizens did not win freedom together, did not survive horrors together, did not face down evil together, “ Trump said, “only to lose our freedom to a lack of pride and confidence in our values.”

Our freedom. Our values. Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness—on these we stand. Unfortunately, speeches don’t govern, or tweet, or make deals with tyrants. But in principle, I support Trump in what he’s finally managed to elucidate to America and to the world.

If Trump’s “America First” succeeds, FDR’s four globalist fantasies may finally cease to ring. And that’s not such a bad thing after all.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Thomas Cosgrove

    July 7, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Stop sending me so many emails. You are overwhelming me.

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Guns and Crime

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

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It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

That will change soon, possibly today. Brennan, a prominent volunteer for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and current Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, released this statement:

On April 8th, 2017, Al Alvarez raped me. On April 9th, 2017 I learned that the system is broken.

I have pursued every form of justice available. But it has become clear that this system is not built for survivors.

The details of the assault portrayed in reporter Kate King’s Wall Street Journal report published today are accurate. But to date, I have received no justice.

I decided to come forward because I know that Al Alvarez, and all perpetrators, must be held accountable, must never rape again, and the justice system needs a complete change with regard to sexual violence.

New Jersey residents are only given a two-year window to file a civil suit. After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action.

It is clear that leadership from the Murphy administration is needed to create meaningful policy change on several levels to make sure future victims do not have to endure what I have. I urge Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General’s Office to eliminate the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault, and to direct prosecutors to be more aggressive in taking on these criminal cases. Further, the Murphy administration and the General Assembly should pursue legislation to ensure New Jersey’s police and other first responders are better trained to handle sexual assault victims.

Finally, sexual predators like Al Alvarez are only able to stay in power when those around them do nothing. Several senior level members of the Murphy administration were aware of my assault and failed to take meaningful action. Al Alvarez remained employed at a senior level in the Murphy administration until just a few weeks ago, when he knew the Wall Street Journal article was coming out and opted to resign. The failure of members of Gov. Murphy’s staff to respond in an aggressive, proactive fashion is unacceptable.

To other sexual assault survivors in New Jersey, I urge you to join me in coming forward if you are able. I will stand with you, because when we stand together, we are safer and stronger. Our voice is our power. Together, we can finally receive the justice we all deserve.

Murphy has not commented other than saying Alvarez should not have been hired. He was made aware of a “sensitive matter” that needed to be discussed by Brennan in June and claimed his staff would set up a meeting. That was the last Brennan heard from Murphy.

Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of aide sex assault allegation questioned

https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/governor/2018/10/14/murphys-handling-sexual-assault-allegation-called-into-question/1642517002/His accuser, Katie Brennan, was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she spent more than a year seeking action against Alvarez for the alleged sexual assault before directly emailing Phil and Tammy Murphy in June. Phil Murphy responded within the hour, according to the Journal.

“Hang in,” he wrote. “We are on it.”

But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October. The alleged assault happened in April 2017.

Standards set by the #MeToo movement dictate that credible accusations should be believed. Brennan appears to be extremely credible, having reported her rape immediately after it allegedly occurred. Alvarez offered a $15,000 settlement that would have been attached to a non-disclosure agreement, which Brennan refused.

Where is MSNBC? Where is CNN? Where is Alyssa Milano?

Social media is starting to take notice. In particular, they’re going after Murphy and his wife for speaking out in support of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Katie Brennan

My Take

I am a strong proponent for what the #MeToo movement once promoted and how it started. The original intent was to embolden women who had experienced sexual misconduct at the hands of men in power over them. The goal was to give courage to those who were in very tough situations.

Recently, the #MeToo movement has been weaponized. I’m not going to draw comparisons between accusations against Kavanaugh and Alvarez. That would be unfair to Ford since Brennan’s accusations against Alvarez are much more recent and have the benefit of an immediate report to the authorities. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as of now, either the story hasn’t reached the right people or the right people have chosen to ignore it.

We can’t let them.

It’s not as if this is a political hit job against Democrats. Brennan’s image was used in Murphy’s campaign handouts and she was outspoken as a “Young Democrat of the Week” in New Jersey as a result.

Katie Brennan NJ Democrat

I don’t like when something as heinous as rape gets politicized, but silence from mainstream media and the #MeToo movement is deafening. Would they be avoiding the story if Brennan had accused a Republican?

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Culture and Religion

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

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Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/political-correctness-problem-according-to-80-percent-of-people/I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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Entertainment and Sports

Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

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Man who identifies as transgender woman wins Cycling World Championships

Rachel McKinnon. a transgender woman who was born male and possesses all the physical advantages of a man, won the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships in Los Angeles. It’s the latest event that draws questions about the fairness of biological males competing in female events.

Despite outcry by biological females and men alike, it is being billed by some as a victory for the LGBTQ community and transgender men or women around the world. Critics point out that biological males have an unfair advantage over biological females when it comes to activities that require physical strength, speed, or endurance. That doesn’t seem to deter those competing in these events.

Biological Male Wins World Championship Event in Women’s Cycling

https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/10/14/biological-male-wins-world-championship-event-in-womens-cycling/McKinnon celebrated the victory on Twitter, writing: “First transgender woman world champion … ever.” Later, the professor responded to criticism from “transphobic bigots” by tweeting:

Allowing biological males who identify as transgender women to compete in women’s athletic events has been a controversial subject, as critics argue that it puts female competitors at an inherent disadvantage.

My Take

Unlike some of my colleagues, I have no problem with transgenderism. What I have a problem with is the unfairness of women’s competitive sports being infiltrated by those who have clear and scientifically demonstrable biological advantages over their competitors.

If performance enhancing drugs are frowned upon in sports, what could be more performance-enhancing than growing up with the musculature and hormone advantage of a man, then competing in women’s sports?

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