Trump’s One-Two Punch

Trump won in 2016 running on a strong “America First” platform.  A major component of America First-ism is prioritizing the interests and the well-being of American citizens first—before the interests and well-being of foreign-born workers and immigrants, legal or otherwise.  The appeal and the concept aren’t difficult to understand:  a government should, chiefly, operate in the interest of its citizens before anyone else.  We can discuss the best immigration policies as a nation, but those policies should always place American citizens at the forefront.

It’s such a simple and pure political philosophy, it’s a wonder it comes under such fire.  But such is the world of globalists—who want cheap labor and sacrificial offerings to Efficiency—and progressives—who think anyone who is white and cares about having a job is a racist.  Take out the mercenaries (the former group) and the insane (the latter group) and you have reasonable people, those folks that might quibble around the edges of America First doctrine, but can’t disagree with its fundamental premises.

Trump has been better than most of his predecessors on immigration, though his waffling and equivocating—likely the product of Jared Kushner’s influence—have soured his some of his earliest supporters.  His turn on Jeff Sessions and the former Attorney General’s ultimate defeat in the Alabama Republican primary this summer seemed to many Trumpists to be a betrayal of immigration patriotism.  Sessions was, indeed, the leading voice in the United States government, pre-Trump, in denouncing open borders and unlimited immigration.  With Sessions leaving the national scene, immigration patriots and restrictionists have reason to worry.

That said, it bears remembering that Trump won the presidency campaigning on building a wall, prioritizing Americans over foreign workers, and keeping American industries at home.  No one in meaningful national politics (other than Jeff Sessions and Pat Buchanan) was beating that drum prior to Trump.  Trump tapped into a deep well of resentment over the Obama administration’s decade of putting middle-class Americans last, and several decades of neglect and open scorn from national politicians.

I also don’t expect Trump to reverse the postwar consensus overnight, or to get the whole loaf all at once.  I think Trump’s basic instincts are to put Americans first, while weighing the complexities of various interest groups and economic factors.

But Trump is at his best when he cuts the Gordian Knot and drives to the heart of the issues.  If Americans are losing jobs to foreign visa holders, well, make those visas less valuable.  He’s done that with an executive order barring H1B visa holders from working in federal government jobs, and barring the government from using contractors who use H1B visa holders.

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#MAGAWeek2020: Calvin Coolidge

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.

Americans have come to expect action-packed, robust presidents, those like Theodore Roosevelt, who enjoyed two parts in #MAGAWeek2020 (here and here).  We want our presidents to be like Harrison Ford in Air Force One:  ready to take down the terrorists, saving his family and his country, single-handedly.

Part of that is a symptom of the aggrandizement of federal and executive power at the expense of States’ rights and legislative authority.  Indeed, Theodore Roosevelt is to blame, in part, for that centralization, though certainly not alone (his cousin Franklin did far more damage in that regard).  He’s also responsible—again, in part—for our vision of the president as a man of action.

So today’s #MAGAWeek2020 feature provides a counterpoint to the charismatic, blustering force of TR.  He is a president who, to paraphrase historian Amity Shlaes, resisted the calls to “do something,” and instead did “nothing.”  He is largely forgotten today, although his connection to tax cuts brought him back to popular attention in 2017.

Today, #MAGAWeek2020 celebrates the life and presidency of a man of few words, but of great significance:  Calvin Coolidge.

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#MAGAWeek2020: The Tuck

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.

Read my two-part biography of Theodore Roosevelt (with your $1 a month subscription!) here and here.

I dedicated the first two days of #MAGAWeek2020 discussing America’s manliest president, Theodore Roosevelt (Part I, Part II).  TR’s influence on the nation and the office of the presidency reverberate to the present, both for good and ill, but his impact is substantial.  One of his most vocal modern apologists—and a man with immense public influence—is the Uncuckable One:  Tucker Carlson.

There are a number of influential figures on the Right that surely have contributed to the greatness of the United States—Milo, Gavin McInnes, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, etc.—through their reporting and commentary.  All have done real yeoman’s work, at great personal and professional risk, to advance conservatism, specifically America First nationalism.  Tucker Carlson, however, is able to reach an audience—and present America First ideas to that audience—so large, his influence scuttles congressional bills.

Even more importantly, it seems GEOTUS Donaldus Magnus himself listens to The Tuck.  More significant still, Carlson never backs down and never apologizes for his positions, instead defending his views with sharpness and tact—and a charmingly boyish laugh.

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#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.

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#MAGAWeek2020: Theodore Roosevelt, Part I

This week marks the beginning of #MAGAWeek2020, my celebration of the men, women, and ideas that MADE AMERICA GREAT!  Starting today (Monday, 6 July 2020) and 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.

It’s that time of year again—a week of #MAGAWeek2020 posts!  This year, I’m kicking off the festivities with America’s youngest and most dynamic president, Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt’s presidency, like that of the similarly charismatic and action-packed Andrew Jackson, is a source of controversy among conservatives.  He was very clearly a Progressive Republican, and pushed for some of the measures that have created so many difficulties for conservatives and our nation today.  He used the power and influence of his office—his “bully pulpit”—to intervene in the economy, primarily by busting up “trusts,” major monopolistic companies with immense economic and political influence.

In light of the current dominance of Big Tech oligarchs and officious technocrats in the government and private sector, however, conservatives would do well to reassess Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency.  While conservatives typically abhor excessive federal activity and intervention, Roosevelt’s robust execution mitigated the worst excesses of the Gilded Age robber barons and renewed the promise of a “Square Deal” for every American.  For that reason and more, he should be celebrated for Making America Great Again.

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Lazy Sunday LXVIII: Phone it in Fridays, Part II

A quick note:  tomorrow marks the beginning of #MAGAWeek2020, a week-long celebration of people, places, concepts, innovations, etc., that MADE AMERICA GREAT (AGAIN).  #MAGAWeek posts are SubscribeStar exclusives, so you need a subscription of $1 or higher to gain full access to these extended posts.  You can check out #MAGAWeek2018 and #MAGAWeek2019 Lazy Sunday posts to get a better idea of the kind of content you’ll see this week.  God Bless America!

We’re continuing our review of Phone it in Friday posts with editions IV, V, and VI.  Hopefully they’re as good as the original Star Wars trilogy.  At the very least, they can’t be as bad as the prequels, or as woke as the new trilogy.  ¡Dios Mio!

  • Phone it in Friday IV: Conferencing” – I hate meetings.  I’ve been in enough of them to know that they are typically a soul-sucking waste of time, and their agendas are often way overstuffed, usually with information that could be explained easily enough in an e-mail.  That said, I love conferences.  This post was a review of a private school association’s annual teachers’ conference, which our faculty had not attended in some years due to various conflicts.  I find that, unlike meetings, conferences are full of opportunities to learn and to network.  There’s an air of sociable conviviality at a good conference—and cheese Danishes.
  • Phone it in Friday V: Ode to Friday Evenings (and Weekends)” – This post was truly a phoned-in edition of Phone it in Friday—it was late, I’d had a long week, and I needed to slam out some content to appease the WordPress Daily Post counter.  I explain that magical period “from about 3:30 in the afternoon until around about bedtime Friday night” when everything is alive with possibilities for the weekend ahead, and when you’re at the furthest possible point from official responsibilities.  Now that I’m on summer vacation and was doing distance teaching for two months prior to that, everyday is Friday, essentially (except for Wednesdays, when History of Conservative Thought meets).  I’m trying to enjoy unlimited Fridays while I can!
  • Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day” – This post wasn’t really about Valentine’s Day, per se, but it did include Z Man‘s excellent “The Lovecast” episode of his weekly podcast, as well as photog’s post about bringing back matchmakers.  I also reflected on some positive signs during a trip to a rural Hardee’s, which was remodeling:  “It was also heartening to see a Hardee’s in rural Lugoff, South Carolina spending the money to remodel.  Times are good.”

Well, that’s it for this classic trilogy of Phone it in Friday posts.  The fun continues next Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: Independence Day 2020

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America turns 244-years old today.  We’re living through a moment that is unusually difficult, as racial grievance mongers and hipster terrorists loot cities and topple statues.  Even Mount Rushmore, where President Trump gave a powerful speech last night, is under attack—some defeated tribe sees it as a legacy of white imperialism (which, let’s be honest, ended millennia of Neolithic tribal warfare).

But America survived worse than our present crisis.  We went through a similar—and, to the discredit of today’s milquetoast (yet, to be clear, still dangerous) activists, far bloodier and gutsier—wave of radical upheaval in the 1960s and the 1970s.  We saved Europe in two World Wars.  We endured the Great Depression—and many other economic downturns.  We’ve been through four presidential assassinations (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and Kennedy).  We reconciled following a protracted and brutal civil war.

It’s easy to forget sometimes, when the Leftist mobs and their corporate and governmental enablers seem so dominant, that America has conquered far greater crises than these current ructions.  What we have achieved before, we can achieve again.

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Trump Takes Action on Big Tech

President Trump finally did it—after years of calls from blackballed conservatives, GEOTUS signed an executive order yesterday removing liability protections for social media companies that censor users based on their political views.

Here is a lengthy excerpt from Fox News‘s reporting:

The president’s order, which also cuts federal funding for social media platforms that censor users’ political views, came just two days after Twitter took the unprecedented step of slapping a “misleading” warning label on two of Trump’s tweets concerning the fraud risks of nationwide mail-in balloting. The move immediately backfired: Experts disputed that Trump’s tweet was actually misleading, in part because mail-in balloting has been linked to ongoing fraud; Twitter’s fact-check itself contained false statements; and Twitter failed to apply the standard of review to other users.

At Thursday’s signing ceremony, Trump called the fact-check “egregious,” and held up a photo of Twitter executive Yoel Roth, who heads up the site’s fact-checking and rules-making operation. Fox News reported on Wednesday that Roth has mocked Trump supporters, called Trump’s team “ACTUAL NAZIS,” slammed “scary trannies” in New York City, and called GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a “bag of farts.” (In a statement, Twitter did not dispute Fox News’ reporting, but called it “unfortunate.”)

“My executive order calls for new regulations under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it so that social media companies that engage in censoring any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield,” the president said.

Essentially, social media platforms have always had a choice:  either act as a publisher, in which case you’re liable for what users post, but you can remove and censor content as you see fit; or act as a neutral platform, in which case you’re protected from liability for what users post.  Twitter, Facebook, et. al., are trying to have the best of both worlds—ban political posts and users with which they disagree under the companies’ “Terms of Services,” while disclaiming responsibility for everything else.

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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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