TBT: Trump Stands for Us

With the 2020 election still on the ropes, it’s easy to get discouragedWe’ve witnessed Democrats get away with voter fraud for decades, so what makes this election any different?  Add to the mix the moralizing self-rationalization that surely must motivate many of the poll workers perpetuating the fraud (remember, these people think they are saving the country by doing everything possible to remove Trump from office), and the situation seems dire at times.

But we can’t give up on our man.  Donald Trump didn’t give up on us.  Yes, I know he mildly denounced the Proud Boys, but as even Gavin McInnes noted, Trump probably doesn’t even really know who the Proud Boys are.  Maybe he should, but if he knew the PBs, he’d probably applaud their patriotism.

Leave that aside.  President Trump delivered—big time—for his supporters.  Three Supreme Court justices.  Hundreds of lower court judges.  Lower taxes.  No more critical race theory training for federal employees.  Substantial protections for religious liberty.  A roaring economy.  And, quite frankly, common sense.

In looking back to November 2019’s archives, I found this post from 4 November 2019, “Trump Stands for Us.”  It’s a powerful reminder for why we love Trump, and how he’s fought for us.  Now it’s our time to fight for him:

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Quick Friday Morning Fraud Update

Today is my busy day in the unorthodox rotating schedule at my little school, and I didn’t have the foresight or energy to post something last night.  So before that first bell rings and the long day of mind-molding begins, here are some reflections and thoughts on the latest election news:

It’s looking more and more like the election is going to drag on for weeks to come.  The deliberate slow-walking of vote counting in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and North Carolina just opens up the door for more and more fraud in those States, though the Trump campaign and its internal pollsters seem optimistic about all four States.  There will be a recount in Wisconsin, and almost certainly in Michigan.  Pennsylvania seemed clearly in the win column for Trump until corrupt Philadelphia officials started stuffing the ballot boxes.  Even the sheriff there has refused to enforce the court order allowing—requiring!—the Trump people to observe the vote counts.

The gall of the progressive Establishment at all levels is appalling, but it suggests their utter contempt for the rest of us.  These people hate us because we don’t embrace their kooky weirdness and abnormality—because we just want to live quiet, peaceful, God-fearing lives.

Fortunately, even if Biden wins, Republicans look poised to hold the Senate, and even picked up seats in the House.  If we can pull out a majority in the House, a Biden presidency will be a lame duck from day one.  Voting all over the nation suggests a repudiation of radical progressivism—defund the police, Antifa riots, etc.  When I have more time, I’ll write further about the potential future of national conservatism.  This Rod Dreher piece does a good job of summing it up, though (indeed, that’s my source!).

More to come.  Keep praying, and remain ever-vigilant.

—TPP

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Election Day 2020

Well, here it is:  Election Day 2020.  I got up early this morning to get to the polls around 6:50 AM, and there was already a line twenty-deep waiting at the door.  I voted around 7:25 AM, so it wasn’t too terribly long of a wait.  When I left, there was still a long line out the door, and I live in a town with less than 1000 people and two voting precincts.

Immediately after voting, I felt energized.  I may be naive, as my blogger buddy jonolan claims, but I can’t help but feel optimistic this morning.  Hopefully that optimism bears out across the country, and holds up as the results come in.

I remember in 2016 a sense of despair that the fix was in, which slowly gave way to the magic of a Trump upset.  This year I am more anxious about the aftermath of the results than I am about the results themselves (although I am praying fervently for an unexpected Trump landslide).  A narrow victory for either candidate is probably the worst possible outcome (ergo, my aforementioned prayers for a convincing, incontestable Trump victory).

Of course, if my prayers are answered and Trump wins resoundingly and Republicans dominate Congress again, there won’t suddenly be peace on the streets.  As I noted in “Progressivism and Political Violence,” the progressive Left will resort to anything—including violence—if it’s electorally denied access to the legitimate organs of power.

With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the Supreme Court is now solidly conservative-constitutionalist.  If Republicans control the presidency and a convincing majority in the House and Senate, the Left will grow even more enraged, unhinged, and violent.  Never mind they can take a bite at the congressional apple again in two years; they will array every force and tactic at their disposal to destroy us.

We must remember, too, that electoral victory does not equate to cultural victory.  The Left dominates the institutions and entertainment.  Leftist dogma increasingly shapes our basic assumptions about the world.  Those assumptions run deep, infecting even conservative Christians, the very group equipped intellectually and spiritually to resist such corruption.

But Leftism, for all its falsehoods and inconsistencies, is seductive to untrained minds and to well-meaning hearts.  It whispers sweet lies and promises.  In this way, it is truly demonic; indeed, it is satanic.  Satan appears as a being of light; his ugliness and wickedness only reveal themselves later.  Such has been the course of Leftism in American history.

But for now, let’s focus on winning that electoral victory.  If you haven’t already, get out and VOTE for Trump and Republican candidates at every level.  Let’s win the levers of power—and then begin the much harder work of repairing our broken culture.

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One Final Appeal

The 2020 election is tomorrow, and the fate of the country hangs in the balance.  Yes, such melodramatic rhetoric crops up in every election, but it’s very real this time around.

By this point, many Americans have made their choices, but I implore undecided conservatives and centrists to cast their votes for President Trump—and for Republicans at every level.  Sure, there are still some RINOs in our midsts, but a semi-reliable RINO is better by far than a reliably destructive progressive.

Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell might not always vote the way we would like them to, but there’s no denying they’ve been effective at supporting President Trump’s agenda in deed, if not always in words.  But actions speak louder than words; I can put up with a token denouncement from McConnell if he keeps packing the courts with conservative constitutionalists and playing procedural hardball with the Democrats.

Of course, the main attraction is Trump himself.  If he were any other person in American history, we’d be lauding him as the greatest president of a generation.  But because his style is combative and pugilistic, conservatives are all too eager to denounce him as “reckless.”  The irony is that Trump would have been unable to accomplish everything he has in his first term if he didn’t possess that scrappy sensibility.

I had a conversation last week with a conservative friend who agonizingly arrived at the point where even though he dislikes Trump’s style, he realizes the Democrats have nothing to offer but death and destruction.  Voting for the Democrats was never on the table for him, but he felt he could not morally support the President—until he thoughtfully considered the president’s record.  As he put it, “‘Peace in the Middle East’ used to be a joke.  Then Trump actually did it.”

Trump is the obvious choice for peace, prosperity, and national renewal.  Joe Biden is a puppet of the progressive Left, which will shunt him out of office in favor of Kamala Harris—a calculating, cruel, corrupt politician lacking any scruples whatsoever—at the first opportunity.

Don’t let that happen.  Vote for Trump, vote Republican, and vote to Keep America Great!

MAGA!

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What is Civilization?

This morning while getting ready for work I listened to a fascinating discussion between Milo Yiannopoulos and “groypers” Steven Franssen and Vincent James.  I don’t know much about Franssen and James, other than that they are fairly prominent figures on the Dissident Right, but the discussion (which is available at Censored.TV to subscribers—I highly recommend forking over the $10 a month for a subscription) covered a broad range of topics, from 9/11 to the future of America and traditionalism.

Out of that far-ranging discussion came a brief debate between Milo and his guests near the end of the exchange.  The gist of it boiled down to the question “what is civilization?”  Milo’s contention—an interesting one—is that by abandoning our cities, we are, essentially, abandoning our greatest cultural products:  our art, our architecture, our institutions.  These cultural artifacts took the blood, sweat, toil, and ingenuity of the American people to build, so we’re capitulating to the Leftist mobs when we flee our cities instead of fighting for them.

In true Milo fashion, it’s a compellingly contrarian argument:  why surrender what we fought so hard to build?  I am a big advocate of normal, decent folks abandoning the cities in search of a better life in the country (to the point I think we should consider subsidizing families in rural areas), but makes a strong case.  If we want to preserve our heritage, we shouldn’t hand it over to looters.

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TBT^4: Happy Birthday, America!

It’s a bit late to commemorate Independence Day (and I did it already on Saturday), but it’s #MAGAWeek2020 (read installments here, here, and here), and it seemed fitting to dedicate this edition of TBT to America’s Birthday.

I’m reblogging a reblog of a reblog from the old site.  Last year’s post was “TBT^2,” or “TBT Squared.”   Well, to be mathematically consistent, I had to square that square, which I think makes it “TBT^4,” or “TBT to the power of four.”  I sure hope I’m right.  Regardless, next year will be “TBT^16,” and so on.

I like the layer of commentary, like my piddling blog posts are Talmudic commentaries on other rabbinical commentaries (or, since I’m Christian, Biblical commentaries on other Biblical commentaries of the Bible).  It’s interesting seeing how what’s changed over the years in this throwback posts.

For example, last Independence Day I had my first SubscribeStar subscriber.  That was fun!  I was also in New Jersey—one of the nicer trips I’ve taken.  This year, it was a Southern Fourth, with lots of barbecue and hash.

On a more somber note, America has seen better days—but also far worse.  I have to remind myself of that latter point, as it’s easy to get black-pilled and give into despair.  It’s a commentary on the softness of my own life that today’s ructions—piddling when compared to conflicts of the past—seem insurmountable.

But even if America is on the rocks in some areas, God is still in control.  We’re still the greatest country in the world, despite what the BLM and AntiFa ingrates think.  To be quite frank, if they hate America so much, they’re welcome to move.

With that, here are past Independence Day posts:

“TBT^2: Happy Birthday, America!” (2019)

It’s Independence Day in the United States!  God Bless America!

I hope everyone has been enjoying #MAGAWeek2019.  Remember, you can read those full entries only on SubscribeStar with a $1/mo. or higher subscription.  Your subscription also includes exclusive access to new content every Saturday, as well as other goodies from time to time.

I’m happy to announce, too, that I have my first subscriber.  You, too, can support my work for just $1 a month (or more).  That’s the price of a large pizza if you paid for it over the course of an entire year—you can’t beat that!

In case you’ve missed them, so far #MAGAWeek2019 has commemorated our second President, John Adams; our first Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton; and our national cuisine, fast food.  You can also check out all of #MAGAWeek2018’s entries.

This Fourth of July I’m in New Jersey, and spent a great day yesterday at Coney Island in New York City.  Despite not liking rollercoasters, I rode the historic The Cyclone, which was first constructed in 1927.  I also visited the New York Aquarium, and tried a cheese dog at the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand, the one that will host America’s favorite hot dog-eating contest today.  It was all quite touristy, but very fun.

To commemorate the Fourth of July, I’m reheating last year’s TBT feature, itself a reblogging of a classic Fourth of July post from 2016.

Enjoy your independence, and God Bless America!

–TPP

“TBT: Happy Birthday, America!”  (2018)

Two years ago, I dedicated my Fourth of July post to analyzing Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  In the spirit of MAGA Week 2018—and to preserve the TPP TBT tradition—I’m re-posting that classic post today.

A major theme of the blog posts from that summer was the idea of America as a nation, an idea I still find endlessly compelling.  The election of President Trump in November 2016 has reinvigorated public debates about the nature of American nationalism, as well as revived, at least partially, a spirit of unabashed patriotism.

As a child, I took it for granted that America was a special place.  When I learned American history as a child, I learned the heroic tales of our Founders.  While revisionist historians certainly have been correct in pointing out the faults of some of these men, I believe it is entirely appropriate to teach children—who are incapable of understanding such nuance—a positive, patriotic view of American history.  We shouldn’t lie to them, but there’s nothing wrong with educating them that, despite its flaws, America is pretty great.

“Happy Birthday, America!” (2016)

Today the United States of America celebrates 240 years of liberty.  240 years ago, Americans boldly banded together to create the greatest nation ever brought forth on this earth.

They did so at the height of their mother country’s dominance.  Great Britain emerged from the French and Indian War in 1763 as the preeminent global power.  Americans had fought in the war, which was international in scope but fought primarily in British North America.  After Britain’s stunning, come-from-behind victory, Americans never felt prouder to be English.

Thirteen short years later, Americans made the unprecedented move to declare their independence.  Then, only twenty years after the Treaty of Paris of 1763 that ended the French and Indian War, another Treaty of Paris (1783) officially ended the American Revolution, extending formal diplomatic recognition to the young United States.  The rapidity of this world-historic shift reflects the deep respect for liberty and the rule of law that beat in the breasts of Americans throughout the original thirteen colonies.

America is founded on ideas, spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and given institutional form and legal protection by the Constitution.  Values–not specific ethnicity–would come to form a new, distinctly American nationalism, one that has created enduring freedom.

***

Rather than rehash these ideas, however, I’d instead like to treat you to the greatest political speech ever given in the English language.  It’s all the more remarkable because it continues to inspire even when read silently.  I’m writing, of course, about Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  Here is the transcript (Source:  http://www.gettysburg.com/bog/address.htm):
“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.“Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.“We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate. . .we cannot consecrate. . . we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth. “

 ***
The Gettysburg Address is elegant in its simplicity.  At less than 300 words, it was a remarkably short speech for the time (political and commemorative speeches often ran to two or three hours).  Yet its power is undiminished all these years later.  President Lincoln was only wrong about one thing:  the claim that the “world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here” has proven untrue.
I will likely write a deeper analysis of the Address in November to commemorate its delivery; in the meantime, I ask you to read and reread the speech, and to reflect on its timeless truths.
God Bless America!
–TPP
To read different versions of the Gettysburg Address–there are several versions extant–check out this excellent page from Abraham Lincoln Online:  http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/gettysburg.htm.

#MAGAWeek2020: Theodore Roosevelt, Part II

This week is #MAGAWeek2020, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Running through this Friday, 10 July 2020, this year’s #MAGAWeek2020 posts will be SubscribeStar exclusives.  If you want to read the full posts, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for as little as $1 a month.  You’ll also get access to exclusive content every Saturday.

Yesterday featured Part I of this two-part biography of President Theodore Roosevelt.  Part I dealt largely with Roosevelt’s life and achievements outside of the presidency; today’s post will examine his accomplishments as President of the United States.

Upon the death of William McKinley—a great, if now neglected, president in his own right—the young Theodore Roosevelt ascended to the presidency.  Old Guard Republicans had sought to smother Roosevelt’s career in national politics with a long, dull tenure as Vice President.  Now—thanks to the tragedy of an assassin’s bullet—Roosevelt took the “bully pulpit.”

Roosevelt was a Progressive, in the context of the time—he embraced a number of ideas Progressive reformers pushed—but he was also fundamentally conservative.  Roosevelt sought to conserve America’s promise of a “square deal to every man,” a promise that was seriously threatened.

To read the rest of today’s #MAGAWeek2020 post, head to my SubscribeStar page and subscribe for $1 a month or more!

TBT: Trade War with China is Worth It

Amid this whole coronavirus situationconundrum, crisis, globalist meltdown—we should keep in mind that it’s all China’s fault.  That’s why GEOTUS keeps calling it the “Chinese Virus” and the “Wuhan Flu,” because those names are completely accurate.  Of course, the media is having conniption fits about the supposedly “racist” intentions and implications of those names (which are quite mild compared to my favorite, “Kung Flu”).  It’s why the only real response to charges of racism—which are designed to make conservatives apologize in panicked fear—is to ignore them.

Regardless, it’s worth remembering that China is to blame.  Whether it was the result of abhorrent, unhygienic culinary practices (the infamous “bat soup“) or a malicious (or incompetent) leak of an engineered biological weapon, China unleashed this plague upon the world.  Perhaps the strongest argument against uncritical globalization is just that:  we made ourselves excessively dependent upon a regime that is fundamentally opposed to our very existence, and which rejects our deepest held values and beliefs.

In retrospect, then, President Trump’s trade war with China looks all the more prescient.  We’ve become so dependent upon and integrated with China, we’re running short on the ingredients for essential medicines because of China’s disease.  Supply chains have been seriously disrupted, and will continue to be, it seems, for some weeks.  Thank goodness the tariffs began moving production of some goods back to the United States.

That’s an important lesson to remember:  paying a bit more for your washing machine is worth the price of having domestic production.  We don’t need to make everything in the United States, but saving a hundred bucks or so on a major appliance isn’t worth gutting our industrial capacity and leaving our middle and working classes out of work.

Oh, well.  A lesson learned too late is still a lesson learned.  When this whole fiasco is over, let’s consider a healthy dose of autarky going forward.

With that, here is August 2019’s “Trade War with China is Worth It“:

There’s a lot of disingenuous scuttlebutt flying around about a looming recession, the inverted yield curve, and the costs of the trade war with China.  I can’t help but think such doom and gloom reporting is part of an effort to undermine President Trump.  Investor and consumer confidence are emotional, fickle things, based as much on feeling as they are on hard economic data.

As such, I suspect that major media outlets are attempting a bank-shot:  scare investors and consumers enough, and they panic into a recession.  President Trump’s greatest strength at present is the booming economy and low unemployment rate; take that away, and loopy, socialist Democrats have a much better shot in the 2020 elections.  With Leftists like Bill Maher actually hoping for a recession to unseat President Trump, that’s not a far-fetched speculation at all.

The inverted yield curve is a bit academic, though, and I don’t think it’s going to have the scary impact its prophets of doom hope.  Oh, a curve on a graph is inverted—scary!  Most Americans aren’t going to respond to that in any substantial way.

On the other hand, the negative media attention around the trade war with China could negatively impact perceptions of the president.  Trade wars, in which countries throw up tariff barriers against one another’s imports, often ratcheting up the duty levels, is a game in which both sides lose out over the long-run—that is, assuming they don’t have other viable trading partners, and that they’re both evenly matched economically.

And, yes, the trade war has had some drag on the American economy—but it’s been so minuscule, only a few sectors have really felt the pain.  Meanwhile, China is really struggling.  Getting Trump out of office would serve China beautifully, as narrow-minded neoliberal economists would likely push a Biden (or Harris—gulp!) administration to end the tariffs.  China has the dubious luxury of an authoritarian system that can direct its economy, while President Trump must survive reelection to keep his trade policy going.

The case for maintaining the trade war is compelling (and it pre-dates Trump:  one of Mitt Romney’s advisers in the 2012 election, Oren Cass, wrote an essay for National Review calling for a trade war with China in 2014).  The best recent summary for why the trade war is beneficial actually comes from my hometown paper, The Aiken Standard (kudos to my Dad for sharing this piece).

Greg Roberts spells out the case in “Facts behind the U.S.-China trade war“; I highly recommend you give it a read.  As Roberts points out, in a normal trading relationship, the price of each trading nations’ currencies would fluctuate based on its relative trade imbalance with its trading partners; this fluctuation would occur until some rough equilibrium in currency values is reached.

China—in violation of its agreement not to do so upon entering the World Trade Organization—has continually depressed the value of its own currency in order to encourage a trade imbalance with the United States.  Because the Chinese currency is held artificially low, it is cheaper for the United States to import Chinese goods than to export American goods to China.  Why?  Because the Chinese currency is cheaper, Chinese goods are less expensive, and can be bought and imported cheaply.

Because China is a currency manipulator, it is not acting per its agreement upon joining the WTO.  Further, Roberts points out other violations, including China’s requirement that firms wishing to manufacture in China turn over their patents, blueprints, and other intellectual property to the Chinese government as the cost of doing business.

Here are two relevant paragraphs:

Has China kept its promise? The answer is a resounding no, since the Peoples Bank in China, which is controlled by the Communist Party, routinely devalues its currency to maintain, in the case of the U.S., a positive trade balance, which, for us, means we have a trade deficit with China, now totaling more than $300 billion annually.

China agreed to many other provisions when it joined the WTO which the country has not kept, to wit not requiring the transfer of foreign technology as a condition of market access; enterprises in China that are owned or controlled by the government have expanded rather than diminished; foreign banks have not been given the access that had been agreed to; the theft of intellectual property has not abated; among many others.

Clearly, China has acted in bad faith repeatedly.  Further, the United States has a number of alternatives for trade in the region, including Vietnam.

Also, the goods China receives from the United States are the stuff of life—soybeans and other agricultural products.  Does the United States need more cheap plastic crap?

Give Roberts’s analysis a read.  It’s the best, most succinct summary of the trade war I’ve read recently, and it will convince you of the necessity of holding the line against Chinese economic aggression.

Post-Trump America

Well, the craziness of yesterday has subsided, and I’m almost finished with report cards.  Student-musicians apparently did quite well at their Music Festival, and life is (hopefully) about to calm down a bit before getting insane all over again in about five or six weeks.

All that said, I’m still pretty worn-out today.  Fortunately, my good blogger buddy photog, proprietor of Orion’s Cold Fire, wrote a post yesterday, “Building on Trump’s Revolt,” which raises some interesting questions.  Foremost at the back of every Trumpist’s mind:  who takes over after Trump?

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