Lazy Sunday XCV: The Best of Lazy Sunday

When I began writing this post, I thought it was the 100th edition of Lazy Sunday.  However, I double-checked the long list of “Other Lazy Sunday Installments” that I put at the end of each of these posts, and after applying the “Numbered list” option, realized I was off by five!

I traced the error back to the seventy-fifth Lazy Sunday post, “Forgotten Posts, Volume IV.”  I mislabeled it as the eightieth post.  So I’ve gone through and corrected the Roman numerals in the list following this post.  I won’t go back and change it in every post, but at some point I’m going to correct the titles of those posts, though the URLs will remain unchanged.

That will be a tedious task, but one worth doing for the benefit of accuracy (and to placate my own desire for fastidious organization).  I was excited to celebrate 100 Lazy Sundays, but it’ll be able to wait another five weeks.

But what won’t wait was my original plan—to look back at the “best” of Lazy Sunday based on pageviews.  It is Lazy Sunday, after all—why put forth the extra effort?

In addition to the best Lazy Sundays based on pageview, I’ll also highlight a couple of “Honorable Mention” posts.

I’ve enjoyed putting together Lazy Sunday posts, which give me a bit of a break on Sundays from writing full-fledged posts, but also allows me to organize some favorite posts thematically.  I’ve written so much over the past couple of years—over half-a-million words—that it’s easy to forget about posts.  Indeed, I routinely stumble upon posts I have no recollection of writing; Lazy Sunday gives me an opportunity to catch up with my literary red-headed stepchildren.

With that, here are “The Best of Lazy Sunday“:

  • Lazy Sunday XXX: Trump, Part I” (64 pageviews) – Thirty Lazy Sundays seemed like a pretty good milestone to go bigly with some posts about GEOTUS Trump.  That was late 2019, when things were looking good for Trump and America.  What a glorious age it was.
  • Lazy Sunday XIV: Gay Stuff” (55 pageviews) – The provocative title of this Lazy Sunday surely helps make it one of the more popular installments.  There was a great deal of loafer-lightened hysteria in Summer 2019, with gay Leftists sashaying their way tyrannically through the body politic, trying to get everyone with normal sexuality deplatformed.  Then the progressives came to prefer black destruction in 2020 to booty-shorted hijinks, and the gay mafia doesn’t seem quite as active these days.
  • Lazy Sunday IV: Christianity” (43 pageviews) – One of the earliest Lazy Sundays, looking back at some posts about The One True Faith.
  • Lazy Sunday XI: Walls” (37 pageviews) – I wrote a great deal about walls and border security in the earlier days of the blog.  Read all about these stony securers of national sovereignty here!
  • Lazy Sunday V: Progressivism, Part I” (36 pageviews) – To understand the issues facing the West today, conservatives must understand their opponents—the progressives.  Indeed, I think I write more about them than I do about us.  I have to be careful—if one stares too long into the abyss, the abyss stares back.  Gulp!

Honorable Mention:  “Lazy Sunday XLIX: Family” (35 pageviews) – I’ve always enjoyed writing about the family—which I think is the true basic building block of society, not the individual.  Our obsession with individuality—which, as an eccentric weirdo, I very much prize—has served, in part, to undermine the importance of the family.  It, not the individual, should be the focus of our society.  Anything we can do to support family formation and to keep families intact should be encouraged.

First Lazy Sunday:  “Lazy Sunday: APR Pieces” (30 pageviews) – The very first Lazy Sunday, this one featured some posts I wrote for American Patriot Radio, which I believe is now defunct, but the posts are still there (I just checked).  They were written during those early, exciting days of the Trump Administration in 2017, when every day brought some fresh victory of sanity and conservatism, and when Trump still had a ragtag team of outsiders spitting out policy reforms one after the other.  Talk about a great time to be alive!

That’s it for this not-quite-100 edition of Lazy Sunday.  Now to get all the editions from seventy-five on fixed.  Ugh….

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Sunday Doodles V, 8 December 2019 - Sophisticated Baby

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Deportemal II: Trump Vows Mass Deportations

On Monday, President Trump announced the deportation of millions of illegal aliens beginning “next week,” vowing that ICE agents would remove such aliens “as fast as they come in.”

Here are the two pertinent tweets from the president:

Critics and supporters alike are asking for details on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement will process the millions here illegally.  As I write this post, I’ve just listened to part of Ben Shapiro’s podcast on the announcement; he argues that a surgical, case-by-case approach is preferable, as some illegal aliens possess skills we would want in the United States.

While I appreciate Shapiro’s measured response, I can’t agree.  As I wrote in “Deportemal,” the time for half-measures has passed.  A lengthy review process of the millions of illegal aliens—which could be anywhere from 11 to 33 million (PDF; that document shows an illegal population of 12 million as of 2015), and maybe higher (that no one can know for sure is a major part of the problem)—would bog down for years, if not decades.  Another visa process ladled on top of inherent law-breaking will merely exacerbate the problem.

Consider:  our current catch-and-release system—migrants show up to one court date, get a temporary visa and orders to report back to court, then disappear into the countryside, never darkening an immigration court again—already gives migrants an easy in.  Essentially, touching American soil is like tagging home base:  once you’re here, you’re in.

Now, imagine adding an individual review process to that.  First, you’d have to assume good-faith on the part of illegals in the country.  They have virtually no incentive to come to another hearing.  Yes, they have the opportunity to be absolved of their illegal status (I’m assuming that’s what Shapiro is proposing), but if they think they don’t, they’ll avoid the process.

Second, a whole cottage-industry of gaming the individual amnesty system will emerge.  Lawyers skilled in the ins-and-outs of this fresh bureaucratic hell will profit at the expense of their countrymen and poor illegals.  Appeals—and you know with the federal government there would be a lengthy appeals process—would linger on for months, even years, further adding to the administrative load of ICE and our courts.

If we were dealing with a few thousand people, we could demonstrate some mercy and approach this issue with a lighter touch.  Unfortunately, we’ve failed to enforce our border laws for so long that we’ve allowed this crisis to metastasize, to the detriment of American citizens and potential immigrants alike.

Republicans squandered a golden opportunity to make some real strides on immigration reform during the 2017-2019 congressional session.  President Trump has moved mountains since then via constitutional executive orders and international diplomacy, particularly his threat of slapping hefty, incremental tariffs on Mexico.  Increased enforcement of Mexico‘s southern border has, according to Shapiro, already eased the number of arrests on the American border.

In the wake of President Trump’s massive 2020 reelection campaign launch last night in Orlando, Florida, it is imperative for immigration patriots to run (and win!) in 2020, and for Americans to support Trump’s reelection.  It’s our best hope to resolve this crisis, to the benefit of Americans and the world.

For more of my writing on immigration, check out “Lazy Sunday XIII: Immigration.”

Consider supporting the blog at my SubscribeStar page.  $1/mo. gets you exclusive access to new posts every Saturday.

Patriots Fill Gap in Border Wall

As the federal government struggles to fulfill its basic duties, private citizens are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.  I wrote awhile ago about the GoFundMe page to fund the border wall.  That project is still underway, but seems to have stalled well short of its goal of raising $1 billion.

But there is hope.  The organization connected to that fundraising project, We Build the Wall, constructed a half-mile of wall along a notorious gap on the New Mexico border.

A half-mile is precious little along a border hundreds of miles in length, but it is something.  Further, the specific half-mile section the wall protects is a heavily-crossed gap in existing border fencing.  From The Daily Wire:

The half-mile segment of border wall, the group says, closes a gap frequently used to smuggle both people and drugs. [Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach added that on a “typical night” around 100 migrants and $100,000 worth of illegal narcotics passed through the half-mile hole.

The Trump Administration was working on a plan to construct around 234 miles of steel fencing, effectively sealing off the southern border with a “border wall,” but attempts to secure funding for the project have stalled. Congress refused to agree to any funding for the border wall beyond the $1.6 billion promised in the 2018 budget, and President Donald Trump’s “national emergency” declaration — which would have detoured funding to the border wall from other Army Corps of Engineers projects — was halted by a judge pending ongoing litigation.

This excerpt brings up another important point:  the consistent obstruction from Democrats and activist judges of President Trump’s America First agenda.  Even with the declaration of a national emergency, the president has been blocked from making substantial progress on the border wall.

Of course, Republicans passed up a golden opportunity to act on the border wall in 2017 or 2018.  Voters need to send a strong message to candidates in both parties that getting control of the border is important.  Tax cuts and economic growth are wonderful, but for American citizens to benefit, we need strong border security, including a robust deportation system.

I’m encouraged to see private citizens banding together to solve their problems when the government won’t—few things are more American.  Nevertheless, it’s the federal government’s constitutional responsibility to protect our national sovereignty.  It shouldn’t slough off that responsibility and hope that good-willed patriots will pick up the slack.

Immigration by the Numbers

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of inviting in large numbers of immigrants from a fundamentally alien culture into Western societies.  The Somali population of Minneapolis has created a veritable “Little Mogadishu” (consider paying homage to such a blighted place) in the heart of the Twin Cities, a neighborhood riddled with crime and terrorist recruitment.

Most immigration to the United States is not nearly so pernicious—unlike Europeans, Americans generally don’t have to worry about waves of unassimilable Muslims conquering entire swaths of our major cities—but while our immigrants are more assimilable than Europe’s, the sheer number of immigrants makes that assimilation more difficult.

As I wrote yesterday, the old friction of immigration is no longer there.  Families can instantly contact one another across oceans and time zones, and travel back home—or, more likely, travel to the new home in the West—is more affordable than ever.

Couple that ease of travel with our ludicrous interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which allows foreign nationals to spit out “American” citizens if they can just cross the border when the contractions begin, and you have a recipe for invasion.

The family situation goes beyond the “anchor babies” phenomenon and the child migrant crisis.  Our immigration system prioritizes family members over skilled, English-speaking immigrants.  As Scott Rasmussen notes, nearly 750,000 immigrants annually enter the United States legally simply because they’re related to someone already here.  Immigrants can send for their spouses, children, and parents under this system—who then can bring over their spouses, children, and parents, creating the “chain migration” President Trump has decried.

The president is not alone.  According to Rasmussen, 75% of voters believe our immigration system should prioritize skilled immigrants, not family members.  That cuts across partisan lines (suggesting that immigration reform is a winning issue for electoral candidates).  And that 750,000 number reflects 66% of legal permanent residents admitted to the United States.

Remember, another key source of friction in immigration is that, in the old days, it could be years before an immigrant could bring his family over.  Indeed, some immigrants might never see them again.  It’s probably humane to allow Pedro to bring his wife and eighteen kids.  But his doddering parents?  His alcoholic uncle?  His son’s wife and kids? Where do we draw the line?

A further issue is that, with the ease of wire transfers, more and more wealth produced in the United States is sent back home.  Rasmussen reports that immigrants send a whopping $148 billion home.  That’s wealth produced working in the United States.

$30.02 billion of that $148 billion goes to Mexico.  When President Trump campaigned on Mexico paying for the wall, he didn’t mean the Mexican government would cut us a check.  Instead, he argued that the United States could tax these remittance payments to fund the border wall.

It’s an idea brilliant in its simplicity, and it shifts the costs of illegal immigration to the immigrants.  Want to pick our tomatoes at slave labor wages and send the money back home?  Fine, but you’re going to pay for the means by which we’ll prevent your mountain village from crossing over, too.

Immigration policy should benefit America and its citizens first.  I often hear the specious argument that “Americans won’t do certain jobs.”  Hogwash.  Big corporate farmers and Silicon Valley billionaires just want cheap fruit-pickers, coders, and nannies.  There are millions of working poor Americans who, for a living wage, could fill those jobs.  Alternatively, mechanization and automation could complete many of those roles.

The South went through the same issue with slavery:  wealthy Southern planters wanted cheap labor to grow cotton, and Northern textile mills were happy to pay a reduced rate for slave-produced cotton.  The losers were poor working folks and farmers.

Similarly, elites profit financially (and socially—they get to feel virtuous for employing Consuela to raise their kids) while wages for working men stagnate.

President Trump and Republicans in Congress should push again for the taxing of remittances, and a major push should begin to rid ourselves of “birthright citizenship,” a ludicrous misreading of the Fourteenth Amendment (which was intended to naturalize the former slaves and their progeny, not the children of foreign visitors who happened to give birth on American soil).

More importantly and immediately, we need to build the wall and deport any and all illegal immigrants.

Lazy Sunday XI: Walls

Today’s post marks twenty weeks of consecutive daily posts—140 days in a row.  I’ve written so many posts, I’m beginning to forget that I ever wrote some of them.  If you’d to support my daily scribbling, consider subscribing to my page on SubscribeStar.

Walls work.  We understand this fact on a visceral level—humans have been building walls around their cities and kingdoms since the dawn of civilization, and continue building them today.  The Israelites rebuilt the Jerusalem’s walls as a form of national and spiritual renewal.

The only legitimate question regarding a border wall along the US-Mexican border is technical in nature:  how do you build an effective barrier along thousands of miles of varied terrain?  Technical questions are difficult to solve, but that doesn’t invalidate the effectiveness of a wall once it’s completed.  Further, even tricky engineering problems are solvable.

Indeed, many of the questions that plague our nation are not difficult to answer—it’s just that the answers are unpleasant, or politically inconvenient.  When a Democrat argues that the construction of a border wall is not feasible from engineering standpoint, it’s a smokescreen.  The progressives are only concerned about expanding their voting base on the cheap, while supplying their techno-elite masters with cheap, quasi-slave labor.

With that in mind, this week’s Lazy Sunday looks back at my posts on all things wall-related.  It’s a sign of our times that anyone has had to write even this much about walls:

  • Walls Work” – the title says it all.  This piece looked at a piece from American Thinker that pointed out dramatically how effective border barriers are.  When Israel constructed a wall along its border with Egypt, “it cut illegal immigration to zero.”  I emphasize that part of the quotation in the original blog post just to make sure no one misses it.  In cast the Israeli example isn’t convincing enough, consider that the…
  • Hungarian Border Wall is 100% Effective” – yep, Hungary built a fence along its border with Serbia in the second half of 2015.  The number of immigrants entering Hungary fell from 138,396 to fifteen.  Look at those figures again, numerically and side-by-side:  138,396 -> 15.  My knowledge of scientific notation has eroded too much to write out the exact percentage of that drop, but let’s call it 100% – 15.

    Granted, Israel and Hungary both enjoy relatively short borders compared to the southern border of the United States.  But the results speak for themselves.  The billions saved in medicating, educating, housing, and detaining illegal immigrants would be worth the one-time, up-front investment.  Aren’t progressives always lecturing us about government “investments”?  Further, the upward force on wages—no longer flooded with cheap labor from abroad—would create an additional return on this crucial national security investment.

  • Buchanan on the National Emergency” – in order to fund construction of the border wall, President Trump controversially declared a national emergency in February, which then allowed him to shift around existing national security funds to build a section of the wall.  Conservatives were, understandably, dubious and concerned about this executive action, which they feared constituted executive overreach in the vein of President Obama’s “phone and a pen” rule by fiat.

    Pat Buchanan—ever the lucid, original thinker—takes Congress, not President Trump, to task.  As I point out in this piece, Buchanan argues that the president was merely using authority Congress granted him in the National Emergencies Act of 1976.

    And as I argued in the first essay on this list, President Trump has a constitutional duty to protect national security under his Article II powers.

  • Nehemiah and National Renewal” – this essay was the first of a two-part analysis of the Book of Nehemiah, and has been featured on Lazy Sunday lists before.  In this essay, I argue that, just as rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls was an act of national renewal for the Israelites, so building a border wall would be a firm sign of America’s renewed commitment to its values and sovereignty.  Of all the essays on this list, it’s the one I most recommend you read.
  • Walls Work, Part II: Sailer on Walls” – this post covered a book review by Steve Sailer, a recent feature of my “Dissident Write II” list of great writers.  Sailer reviewed Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick, by David Frye, which makes a compelling case that walls protect civilization, allow for civilization, and create stable societies.

    America enjoyed the luxury of two moats—the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans—for 150 years, before naval and aerial technology took those natural barriers away.  Now, we face a sinister, because subtle, existential threat in the form of mass illegal immigration.  A border barrier is one key step in stemming the flow—and of preserving our civilization.

    I’m hoping to pick up Frye’s book soon, and plan to write a detailed review of my own.  That review will likely be a SubscribeStar exclusive.

Enjoy your Sunday, and remember that “good fences make good neighbors.”

–TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Walls Work, Part II: Sailer on Walls

Demographer Steve Sailer’s been nailing it lately in his book reviews.  On Wednesday, I wrote about his review of Spotted Toad’s new book on education.  Last week, Sailer reviewed another workWalls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick, by David Frye.  The key insight of the book:  walls make civilization possible (a corollary:  barbarians and invaders build bridges).

The book sounds fascinating, and like Spotted Toad’s work, it’s one I intend to purchase and read soon.  Sailer hits some of the highlights:  walls were, for thousands of years, the thin line between civilized societies and barbarians.  Where walls ended, barbarians ruled.

Walls provided effective protection against attacks until the Age of Gunpowder and heavy artillery ended their efficacy.  Constantinople withstood conquest for a thousand years before the Turks breached its great walls with the mighty bombard.

The current mania for “building bridges” is at odds with most of human experience.  Sailer points out all of the instances in which invaders have used bridges to attack their foes:  Persians crossing the Hellespont lashed pontoons togethera feat repeated when the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453.

Indeed, walls don’t just keep bad guys out; they also protect the freedoms of those within.  To quote Sailer (with an embedded quotation from Frye in italics) at length:

Frye pithily sums up:

[Where] there are no border walls, there will be city walls, and where there are no city walls, there will be neighborhood walls….

Thus, Walls concludes with a quick history of the gated communities favored by Hollywood celebrities, such as the Malibu Colony, Hidden Hills, and Beverly Park.

Of course, where there are no neighborhood walls, there will tend to be walls around yards, often with broken bottles on top.

Granted, in the United States, the Jeffersonian tradition was to defend the country with a strong navy, which allowed, among many other benefits, houses to have open front lawns. But traditional American neighborliness seems racist now, so we’ve undertaken to import millions of people from more clannish and hostile cultures.

Put another way:  a strong national defense—bolstered with well-maintained, well-defended barriers—promotes freedom at home.  You don’t need a wall around your house when law enforcement protects against criminals, the military protects against foreign invaders, and sound immigration policy keeps out criminal riff-raff.

Hungary’s border wall is nearly 100% effective at keeping “refugees” out.  There is nothing un-American or unpatriotic about a wall, and open borders are a moral hazard for citizens and immigrants alike.

History—the sum total of human experience, not the “moral arc” dream-state of progressives—supports President Trump’s border wall.  The burden of proof is on the anti-border crowd.  History suggests that societies without border barriers cannot long remain free, and will soon become militaristic conquerors devoted fully to warfare.  Walls allow the people inside to be safe and free, and to specialize beyond a constant fight for survival.

Let’s hope many more Americans read Frye’s book—or, at the very least, Sailer’s excellent review of it—and come to support the border wall and a strong immigration policy.

Trump’s Economy and 2020

There’s been a spate of good economic news lately, largely thanks to President Trump’s economic policies.  US GPD grew 3.2% for the first quarter of 2019, blowing away economists’ projected 2.5% growth.  Of the 231 companies in the S&P 500 to report their Q1 earnings so far, 77.5% of them have exceeded analysts’ expectationsUS consumer spending increased 0.9% (0.7% when adjusted for inflation) during a quarter that is usually slower after the Christmastime rush.  All of that growth has occurred without a substantial increase in inflation.

That economic news is good for President Trump, but it might not be enough in and of itself.  In better times, any president with those economic numbers would breeze into a second term, but the perception among Democrats (no surprise) and some independents (more troubling) is that the economic growth we’re witnessing isn’t benefiting everyone, but instead favors the rich and powerful.

To be clear, Trump is in a strong position at the moment.  Having emerged battered but unbeaten from the Mueller investigation, he’s bested the greatest existential threat to his presidency.  Construction on the border wall has begun, and even progressive economist Thomas Friedman endorsing a “high wall” on the border.  And loony freshman Congress members like Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continue to commit bone-headed, unforced errors.

That said, the scuttlebutt on the Dissident Right is that economic success alone won’t secure Trump’s reelection, and that excessive focus on it might actually alienate the blue-collar workers that delivered Trump victory in 2016.  The general argument is that, unless Trump doesn’t come down hard on immigration, even economic growth won’t save him.

I don’t fully buy this argument, but there might be some truth to it.  When the economy is already good, voters begin looking at other issues more closely.  If a worker loses his job to an illegal immigrant, or if the plant moves to Mexico, it doesn’t matter how good the economy as a whole is doing.

One alarming sign of trouble:  former Vice President Joe Biden and Texan weirdo Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke both are competitive against Trump—in Texas!  Granted, it’s very early in this process—the 2020 election is an eternity away, politically speaking—and the media loves to trumpet Democratic victories in historically deep-red States.  But the situation in Texas, like other border and high-growth States, illustrates the importance of the immigration issue.

A quick summary:  ultra-progressive California taxes and regulates its most productive citizens out of the State, while importing cheap labor illegally (supporting it with sanctuary cities, etc.) so the uber-wealthy Silicon Valley tech titans have gardeners and nannies at slave wages.  Enough Lefties bleed out into Arizona, Texas, and other reddish States with low taxes and good law enforcement.  Those States also struggle with illegal immigration, and are demonized for trying to protect their borders.  The result:  the purpling of Texas.

To clarify:  I think President Trump is well-positioned to win in 2020, especially if the Democrats nominate a wacko or a blatant race-baiter (like Kamala Harris).  He’s got a tougher fight against a perceived moderate like Biden or Pete Buttigieg, but momentum and incumbency are on his side.

Regardless, it is vital that President Trump return to his key campaign promise from 2016:  securing the border.  Not only is that crucial for tapping into the populist discontent that catapulted him into the Oval Office, it’s the only way to preserve the United States we know and love.

Hungarian Border Wall is 100% Effective

Pundit Dick Morris has a short piece on his website, DickMorris.com, about the Hungarian border fence.  It’s a quick read, but here are the key excerpts:

Along its 109-mile border with Serbia, Hungary has built a 13-foot-high fence featuring concertina wire (barbed wire in circles). It took six months to build (July-December of 2015) and cost $106 million. It was built by contractors and 900 Hungarian soldiers.

The fence consists of three rows of razor wire with a sturdier 11.5-foot-tall barrier inside….

And the Hungarian fence works! Before the barrier was built, in September of 2015, 138,396 migrants entered Hungary over the Serbian border. Within the first two weeks of November, the average daily flow had dropped to only 15 people.

Hungary and its populist-nationalist leader, President Viktor Orban, have faced a great deal of backlash and scorn from the progressive, bureaucratic autocrats of the European Union for their border control and immigration measures.  But Hungary is intent on keeping itself culturally Hungarian—it cannot effectively absorb the millions of potential migrants that began pouring into Europe from Syria and North Africa a few years ago.

President Orban is often cast as some latter-day Hitler, but he’s merely doing his job:  he’s putting the people of Hungary and their interests first, behind the interests of foreign vagabonds.

While researching this post, I learned that the European People’s Party—an umbrella party of “center-right” parties (as many outlets described it) running in the European Parliament’s elections this May—is barring Orban’s Fidesz Party from participating.  Apparently, part of their concern is that Orban’s Fidesz Party has posted humorous ads depicting George Soros and Jean-Claude Juncker (the Leftist super-villain billionaire and the President of the European Commission, respectively), suggesting the two are in cahoots to control Europe.

Well… aren’t they?  Isn’t the “center-right” European People’s Party supposed to represent a challenge to the Eurocrats (if anyone knows, I’m only asking semi-rhetorically)?

Two takeaways:

1.) Leave Viktor Orban alone.  He’s helped protect his country at a time when other European nations turn blind-eyes to Muslim rape gangs.

2.) The original point of this post:  President Trump can follow the Hungarian model and build an effective wall on the cheap.  Granted, we have more than 109 miles, but copy-paste that approach along our long border with Mexico, and could get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Open borders and progressive politics are the real dangers to liberty and prosperity, not an unabashed nationalist in Central Europe—or one in the United States.  Build the Wall, Drain the Swamp, and Leave the European Union!