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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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Democrats

Democratic mega-donor Ed Buck arrested after third overdose at his residence

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Democratic mega-donor Ed Buck arrested after third overdose at his residence

When a second man died at Ed Buck’s home last year, we called on him to be investigated and arrested. But, as predicted, he was not. Now that a third man was overdosed but did not die, police have an eyewitness to the Democratic mega-donor’s penchant for injecting men with methamphetamine. Now, he’s been arrested.

Buck was arrested late Tuesday night and will be charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office with running a “drug den” in which people come and exchange favors, likely sexual, for access to Buck’s drugs. Democrats who have received money from him in the past are scrambling to distance themselves from the progressive California “hero.”

Jasmyne Cannick, an activist and show personality who has been calling for Buck’s arrest from the beginning, could barely contain her excitement over the news.

Other Twitter reactions were as expected… harsh:

As Ed Buck prepares to face the judge Wednesday, those who have been calling for justice against this powerful man, such as Jasmyne Cannick, finally have hope that he will face the music for his alleged crimes against so many.

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Foreign Affairs

The Israel elections, explained for Americans

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The Israel elections explained for Americans

Many Americans are unfamiliar with how the Israeli elections work and what it takes to “win” them. Today’s election is no exception with many Americans simply waiting for the end results (which technically could be weeks away) or not having a concern about them at all. As noted before, these elections will have as big of an impact on our foreign policy as any foreign elections can have.

So, how do they work? Who won? What happens next? Let’s take a look at some answers…

Israelis vote for parties, not candidates

The first big deviation from America’s system of government is that Members of the Knesset (MKs) are selected by the parties, not the people. The people vote for the parties, and those parties are given seats in the Knesset based on their percentage of the vote. The threshold is currently 3.25% to get some of the 120 Knesset seats. Those below the threshold do not get a seat, which is important for the last election in April and Tuesday’s election. More on that later.

The two major parties – the conservative Likud Party and the center-left Blue and White Party – only make up about one-fourth to one-third of the voting population. The next tier of parties are the centrist Yisrael Beitenu Party and the Israeli-Arab coalition of parties, the United Arab List, which is considered to be generally to the left in policies despite holding conservative Muslim values socially. The other parties fight to get whatever seats are left over.

Party leaders are chosen to fill the MK seats as well as cabinet positions, with the party most likely to form a coalition government chosen by the President.

Forming a coalition government

61 MKs are necessary to support a Prime Minister and form a government. Since no single party has every had more than 50% of the vote, a coalition of like-minded parties join together to recommend one leader as Prime Minister.

In April, Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition because Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu Party refused to stay in the conservative coalition because they wanted to pull protections for orthodox Jews from having to serve in the military. Other members of the coalition wouldn’t budge. Instead of risking the baton being passed to Benny Gantz and the center-left Blue and White Party, Netanyahu called for new elections, which is what happened Tuesday.

Exit polls indicate they’re in the same boat with neither Likud nor Blue and White able to form a government without Yisrael Beitenu, which seems to have expanded their seat count. Netanyahu had hopes the smaller conservative parties could have broken the threshold and given him a few extra votes for a conservative government. Gantz hoped the Blue and White would have a decisive victory and claim more seats than Likud, potentially giving them the floor even if his coalition was smaller. It looks as if neither happened.

Liberman is calling for a centrist unity government, but there are challenges that may prevent this. Likud would have to abandon the members of their conservative Zionist coalition by removing the protections against military service requirements for ultra-orthodox Jews. Blue and White has indicated they would not form a unity government as long as Netanyahu was leading Likud.

Unless things are very different from the exit polls, some very tenacious negotiations are ahead behind the scenes.

One way to avoid stalemate

With Likud and Blue and White both needing Yisrael Beitenu’s seats to form a government, it would seem likely that both sides will be making offers. But there’s another option. If Likud’s coalition is close enough, they can go to individual MKs and seek defections in exchange for positions. This may seem like a hard option for conservatives as it would mean inserting progress-minded people into positions of power, but their coalition is insufficient to form a government otherwise.

It’s inconceivable that a single issue about protections for the ultra-orthodox would make the militant Lieberman essentially crown Gantz as Prime Minister, but that may be the case. This is why it’s important for Netanyahu, if he’s chosen to form the government, to act quickly. There will be pressure on members of his own party to dump him and form a unity government with Gantz and Lieberman, and while they have claimed to be loyal to their leader, the risk of losing power overall may sway them.

It’s time for Netanyahu to take decisive action and pull together 61 MKs before his grasp of his party and his nation slips away. It could be disastrous for Israel with an aggressive Iran, emboldened, Hezbollah, and unruly Gaza if Gantz is put in charge.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Democrats

Conservatives need Elizabeth Warren to win the Democratic nomination

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Conservatives need Elizabeth Warren to win the Democratic nomination

In politics, the idea of killing two birds with one stone is highly sought after. There are a ton of birds in DC, and knocking off more than one with a single action saves time, money, and energy. For conservatives, the two birds we need to knock off are the Democratic candidate who will eventually take on the President in the general election and the rising embrace of socialism among those who believe the Democratic establishment is done.

Beating either Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren would do the trick. But as the Sanders campaign seems to be sinking, the Warren campaign is surging. So it’s time for us to focus our efforts on learning everything we can about Warren and her policies in hopes she can win the nomination.

If former Vice President Joe Biden gets the nomination, President Trump should have no problem beating him. But doing so will only invigorate the radical progressives in the Democratic Party who believe their guy, Sanders, should have won in 2016. They believe the Democratic Establishment stole the election for Hillary Clinton. They will believe the same thing if Warren is beaten this year by Biden.

Sanders’ defeat to the Establishment launched the current popularity of socialism. A Warren defeat at the hands of Biden would make the socialist movement even stronger for 2024. But if President Trump crushes Warren, as he almost certainly would, then the socialists can no longer claim they were cheated. They won’t be able to play victim to the Democratic Establishment. They will have put up their chosen candidate and lost fair and square.

Socialism, as a result, will die in the political womb that it’s currently in.

Some fear Warren’s credentials and her ability to galvanize the people with her speeches. But as long as she’s promoting Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal, and other radical policy proposals, she should be summarily trampled on by the lucid electorate in 2020. There’s no need to fear Warren. If anything, the only thing we should fear are the sheep who could fall for her sales pitch. If hat happens and Warren were to win in 2020, then America will get what it deserves for allowing the sheep to be led to the slaughter. As for the rest of us, we will be busy trying to rebuild after the debacle.

As much as I don’t like the prospects of a nation under a President Warren, I’m confident enough in the President’s campaign and the awareness of the American people to recognize the existential threat her policies represent.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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