Bill de Blasio: the Man Who Would Be King

New York imperial mayor’s war on income inequality trumps constitutional rights

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Original image via Fellowship of the Minds, goo.gl/XEdnQq

What does Mayor Bill de Blasio think is the biggest obstacle to solving income inequality in New York City? Private property rights—the cornerstone of a free republic.

In a recent interview with New York Magazine, de Blasio, lamented that “the way our legal system is structured to favor private property.” If only he could rule New York City by fiat, determining “which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, [and] what the rent will be” the city’s cosmopolitan elite could cure the scourge of income inequality:

Look, if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed. And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents. That’s a world I’d love to see, and I think what we have, in this city at least, are people who would love to have the New Deal back, on one level. They’d love to have a very, very powerful government, including a federal government, involved in directly addressing their day-to-day reality.

Read more at capitalresearch.org

Nationalism is the Future of the Republican Party

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Ronald Brownstein’s recent article in the Atlantic reveals that millennial, Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson is losing faith in her party because of its growing nationalist wing. The cause for Anderson’s growing disillusion is real and reveals a genuine shift in the power behind the GOP. Instead of fearing and fighting the awakening giant of nationalism though, Anderson and others should embrace it in a way that doesn’t compromise their values.

Anderson is a very adept young woman who managed to strike success in Washington D.C. while still in college and is part of the millennial wave of data miners — or “data dummies” as Van Jones called them, over the perception that they remain aloof from personal voter connection—who view themselves as the future of political management. She worked for eight years with the D.C.-based opinion research and communications firm The Winston Group before co-founding Echelon Insights. After Barack Obama destroyed Mitt Romney with Millennials in 2012 (which cost Romney the election), Anderson helped formulate a guideplan on what the Republican Party needed to do to capture the Millennial vote in the future. In 2015, she released a book along the same lines: The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials are Leading America (and How Republicans Can Keep Up).

Anderson says she arrived on the right of the political spectrum after a history teacher in high school taught her class about the Cold War. “You had these examples of countries where the government had tried to manage the economy really intensely and it ended up being bad for the citizens there,” she said. “I found myself beginning to lean more right on economic issues.”

But, when Obama captured the imagination of the overwhelming majority of Millennial voters in 2008, Anderson, like many right-leaning millennials made the mistake of thinking that if only the GOP turned more leftward on social issues it could cut into the Democratic Party’s gains with young voters. This was the basis of the post-mortem guideplan: Grand Old Party for a Brand New Generation, which was based on polling and a number of post-election focus groups with millennial voters. When asked what came to mind when they thought of the Republican Party, one group of young, “winnable” Obama voters in January 2013, replied with words like “racist, rigid, and old-fashioned.”

Anderson sees the growing ethnic diversity in America as a prime reason why the GOP must change its tactics and even modify its message. Romney won the white Millennial vote by seven percentage points but lost the overall millennial vote by 23 points. Part of the reason for this is that more than 40 percent of the Millennial population is non-white. Furthermore, most of the Millennials that voted in the 2012 election leaned liberal on social and domestic issues like immigration, marriage, federalism, and government involvement in healthcare.

One key point though about the 2013 guideplan, or any political guideplan formed post-election, is voter turnout. The groups sampled were all voters in the 2012 election. Nearly half of eligible Millennial voters didn’t vote, which is not uncommon for the under-30 demographic in any presidential election. In 2016, Trump managed to galvanize millions of Americans who have either never voted or haven’t voted in years out of frustration with their options. Many of these voters were Millennials in middle America who either stayed home in 2012 or were too young to vote then.

While it’s true that the millennial generation is more liberal than their parents and grandparents’ generations, much of that is circumstantial. Millennials, more than previous generations have been through a college education system that is ideologically geared toward churning out liberal foot soldiers. They also came of age during the worst recession since the Great Depression—a recession overseen by a Republican administration. Most also had greater aspirations for themselves and their country than spending trillions of dollars and thousands of lives, fighting endless wars to spread democracy. They overwhelmingly depart with the conventional, Cold War foreign policy that John McCain and Mitt Romney offered.

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Another factor to consider is that voters born after 1996, known as Generation Z could tend to be more conservative than millennials.

Professor Jeff Brauer of Keystone College, who has studied the political habits of this up-and-coming generation believes that unlike Millennials who mostly assimilated into the Democratic Party, Gen Z-ers tend to resemble libertarians or socially moderate fiscal conservatives.

There are several reasons for this generation being more conservative than the last. Part of it is the gig and freelance economy that has given them an entrepreneurial spirit that many millennials were only forced to discover as a means to pay off their college debt before they retire. According to Forbes, 77 percent Gen Z-ers earn their own spending money by doing“freelance work, a part-time job, or earned an allowance.”

Furthermore, these people have grown up on the internet and are much more likely to research an issue themselves and form their own opinion rather than take the word of a professor, politician, media pundit, or their favorite comedian. They also grew up under the unbelievably dull and economically-stagnating administration of the first minority president. So, all this millennial nonsense about white privilege kind of falls flat.

Last, but not least, they’ve gotten a front row seat to the decline and fall of what was once the world’s greatest university system. Most Gen Z-ers are not too anxious to go tens of thousands of dollars in debt to hear some aging hippie rant against his or her country’s history and tout the values of socialism, without at least being guaranteed a decent-paying job upon graduation.

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Anderson wonders “whether Donald Trump’s GOP has a place for people like her, who want a party that marries support for less government and robust national defense with a commitment to racial and social inclusion.” The problem though is that there aren’t enough Americans that want that policy combination to win a presidential election. That was proven in 2008 and 2012. Anderson and her fellow “moderates” got the candidates they wanted in John McCain and Mitt Romney and Obama drubbed them both.

When one side gets its teeth kicked in twice in a row, it usually helps to find reinforcements the next time around–which is exactly what Trump did in 2016. He tapped into the silent, frustrated American majority that cares a lot more about rising healthcare premiums and economic opportunity for American citizens than statements or shows of racial and social inclusion. The overwhelming majority of voters on the right wanted a president who was going to put the country first at home and abroad, uphold the rule of law (i.e. crack down on border security and deport illegal immigrants), and stop trying to turn the U.S. into a social experiment.

Most people who want the government to make a big deal about racial and social inclusion also want a government that will commit to providing free college tuition, debt forgiveness, and free healthcare for all. The coalition that Anderson wants simply doesn’t exist.

According to Brownstein, she doesn’t want to join the Democrats but is open to a potential third party with the Republican policies in the mold of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

In 2016, the U.S. got the third way it had been craving for a long time. Trump is hardly a conservative. For many years, he supported Democrats. He is the most fiscally liberal Republican president since Theodore Roosevelt and he trounced Hillary Clinton with Independents. He was practically an independent that took over the Republican Party.

Anderson is disappointed that only one-in-four Republicans disagree with Trump’s response to Charlottesville. The shocker should be that a quarter of Republicans bought the media lie that Trump made a moral equivalence between fascists and anti-fascists. He didn’t. He made a moral equivalency in the violence perpetrated by both sides, which as dozens of videos on YouTube show, the leftist protesters started.

Moderation and ethnic inclusion are not antithetical to nationalism. The reason the nation is seeing such a rise in ethnic separatism and white nationalism is because the Republican Party and the conservative movement as a whole have failed to forge an American nationalism that unites all patriotic citizens. In one of the New York Times’ recent attempts to discover whether Trump is an actual racist, Katrina Pierson, a black lady who was a spokeswoman for the Trump presidential campaign summed up this concept fantastically:

“Just because you’re a nationalist and you’re white doesn’t make you a white nationalist. Putting Americans first makes you a nationalist and in that case, I’m a nationalist. I think we should take care of our families and our children first.”

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Mankind is nationalistic by nature. The growing nationalism of Americans that found a voice in Donald Trump is not old or dying out—it’s growing stronger. The Democratic Party has already picked the politics of tribalism over Americanism and the Republican Party won’t win any brownie points from voters if it tries to keep playing sidekick to the DNC’s ideals. People on the right aren’t going to support a party that just wants to lower the top income tax rate from 39 to 35 percent and pour another billion dollars into a bloated military. If it weren’t for the appeal of nationalism, Hillary Clinton would be president and the Republicans would be in the minority in Congress. If for no other reason that shows that nationalism is the future of the GOP.

 

 

They Don’t Hate the Confederacy, They Hate America

imagesMost of the people fueling the outrage at the hundreds of Confederate memorials throughout the United States since the Charlottesville riot would just as soon pull down the monument of a Union general, or even a Founder of the nation. The issue at hand is not the right of state secession (an issue most of the historically illiterate anarchists have never studied), but whether the U.S. is legitimate nation.

President Donald Trump caught a firestorm of criticism from the media for condemning the violence that the white nationalists and the Left-wing counter-protesters engaged in because the media was incapable of understanding that he was creating a moral equivalency of their acts of violence, not their beliefs. It didn’t take long for the social justice warriors to take their hate and vitriol out on stone and marble structures, infamously pulling down a statue in Durham, North Carolina, resulting in numerous felony charges. Dozens of anti-Confederate protests on campuses and in cities across the nation have erupted since, and in Baltimore and Austin, authorities had Confederate monuments relocated under the cover of darkness.

But, is it really the Confederacy that gets under these people’s skin? As it turns out, the vandals who pulled down the Durham statue are not just concerned citizens who worry that the statue could be a rallying point for white supremacists. They were led by activists of the Workers World Party, a socialist organization dedicated to “fighting for a socialist revolution in the United States and around the world.”

So, they were, your basic boring Reds who didn’t get the memo that world socialism is so 20th century.

In Trump’s duel with the media on August 15, he pointed out that the hysteria over the Robert E. Lee statue is only a stepping stone. “I wonder,” he asked the Left-leaning media: “Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?”

It didn’t take the cultural Marxists long to answer that question. Since the Charlottesville street fights, the monuments and memories of Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, and even the Great Emancipator himself Abraham Lincoln have come under attack. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is even appointing a special committee to look at the monument issue. One of the things that committee will consider is whether to dig up and relocate poor Union General Ulysses S. Grant, who also happened to be Lee’s nemesis over an anti-Semitic order that Grant gave once while under Lincoln’s command.

The fact is, those protesting the Confederate monuments have no love for the Union. They view the U.S. as an inherently racist and white supremacist nation the way Hilary Clinton described Trump’s “basket of deplorables:” irredeemable. Although history isn’t exactly their strong point, they understand that the views of the Confederates was not that different from those of the Union. They were all people of their age and their views on practically anything (including ethnicity) would have likely been more similar to foreigners of their time than to Americans in the 21st century.

The Charlottesville violence is simply an open window for these cultural revolutionaries. Their financial backers want an economic, socialist revolution and just like Antonio Gramsci, they understand the best way to bring that about is to facilitate a cultural revolution.

It’s much easier to get people to support the overthrow a system of government if you can convince them to hate the people who instituted that government.

 

 

What do Democratic Socialists Do about a Problem like Venezuela?

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British Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn still refuses to condemn Nicolas Madero’s government in Venezuela for its human rights violations and appears even less willing to admit that the Venezuelan socialist experiment has failed.

Corbyn’s neutrality on the violence in Venezuela, which has claimed 124 lives since April, recently drew criticism from Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Andrés Mejía. When asked about the violence in Venezuela, Corbyn replied that he condemned the violence “on both sides,” arguing that violence was not the way to solve Venezuela’s problems. This, despite the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Council has employed “widespread and systematic use” of excessive force, arbitrary detention and other rights violations against demonstrators and detainees.

Mejía told BBC Newsnight that Corbyn “really has to know what is going on here” to make such a statement. Mejía added that it is not only the government crackdown that is a problem, but the 20,000 people killed every year because of crime, disease, and food scarcity. He said, “violence has not been committed by both sides.” Mejía blamed the government for arming paramilitary groups who in turn have taken the lives of millions of people in his country. He added that the mothers and fathers of those who have been killed would love to speak with Corbyn and explain how their children, many of them only teenagers have been struck down by Maduro’s forces for peacefully protesting the direction of their country.

In 2013, Corbyn praised the socialist South American nation, saying, “We salute Chavez and the people of Venezuela for turning the clock of history full circle… I look forward to the development of Venezuela, the efficiency of Venezuela, in providing good services and decency for all the people of that country.” He was not alone among Western politicians on the Left to praise the Hugo Chavez disaster. In 2011, Vermont’s Senator Bernie Sanders stated, “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina…” On another occasion, Corbyn said, “Venezuela is seriously conquering poverty by emphatically rejecting neo-liberal policies.”

Praising Chavez’ left-wing populism has become cliché for many on the Left. American actor and filmmaker, Sean Penn claimed Chávez “did incredible things for the 80 percent of the people that are very poor.” Oliver Stone made a positive film about South American socialism and Michael Moore praised Chávez for eliminating 75 percent of extreme poverty. American philosopher, Noam Chomsky even credited Venezuela for creating a better world.

The dilemma Corbyn and many others on the Left face is the question of what to do when a perfect example of socialism implodes before their eyes.
Libertarians often claim no country has ever truly had a libertarian government and a complete, free-market economy, therefore no one can disprove their theory of government. Many Marxists also accuse the Soviet bloc and Asian equivalents of faux Marxism and argue that true Marxism has yet to be put into practice. But, democratic socialists cannot credibly make such an argument about their ideology. Corbyn, Sanders, and others who support government control over nearly every aspect of the economy have their example of populist, democratic socialism in Venezuela. They cannot credibly accuse Venezuela of being a bad example of democratic socialism when they themselves have eagerly praised it as such in the past. The only alternative is to reject their lifelong ideology as a insufficient to deal with human action and global markets and admit the error of their ways.

Corbyn chose neither to accuse Venezuela of corrupting socialism, nor to disavow his former support of the country’s government. He not only refused to recognize the crackdown on protesters, but doubled down on his praise for its economy saying, “we also have to recognize that there have been effective and serious attempts at reducing poverty, improving literacy and improving the lives of the poorest people.”

The Venezuelan government is responsible for political suppression and the deaths of hundreds of its people, not to mention the millions that have suffered through malnutrition, a precipitous drop in living standards, and crime. But, Venezuelans have not always known this level of poverty. Its per capita income in the 1970s was higher than Spain’s and it was among the ten richest countries in the world. Chavez used the nation’s oil wealth to create a massive welfare system, create price controls, and stifle private enterprise. Oil prices rose shortly after Maduro took control after Chavez’ death, which sent the country’s economy into a death spiral.

But, as Corbyn points out, the Venezuelan government has made “serious attempts” to help people, therefore in his logic, the government’s intentions must override its results.

Mejía’s criticism of Corbyn’s ignorance of the situation in Venezuela reveals the disconnect between those who praise democratic socialism and those who have to live with its destructive results. Promising free things through government coercion wins votes and accolades at home. But, as Corbyn’s response to the gripping poverty in Venezuela and Maduro’s increasing totalitarianism reveals, democratic socialists do not know how to handle the situation when a socialist experiment fail.