Category Archives: political solutions

The Professor: Realities and Challenges in the Trump era

A fictional discourse between a learned political science professor and his students.

In little over a month, I’ll be seeing some of you in my honors seminar. For those of you who have other plans and commitments, I’ll continue to send you my thoughts and analysis of current events.

I believe this next class maybe the most important one I’ve ever taught. There is too much at stake for any American who loves this country to sit on the sidelines. The realities are fundamentally frightening. We have just come thru an extraordinary period of destructive national government policies. I’m not being a pessimist when I say, we cannot survive as free democratic nation unless we can recover from the results of the last ten or so years.

First the realities as I see them. The nation is deeply divided between the people who want the welfare promises of socialism and those who believe there is no individual freedom and prosperity under any form of socialism. In a cradle to grave government, there are very few individual choices. An absence of individual choice defines the absence of freedom. President Obama knowingly presided over a transformation process that would ultimately lead to a socialist government. A process that Hillary Clinton would have continued. Remember they both made no secret of the allegiance they paid to Mr. Saul Alinsky.

It was Mr. Alinsky, a brilliant revolutionary writer, who provided the intellectual under pinning to the Progressive movement, including the name. Mr. Alinsky stressed to his followers that the terms socialism and communism would not attract wide support in America and to use the term progressive instead. He also used the terms ‘leading from behind’ and ‘the issue is never the issue.’ I will cover the political takeover of the center/left Democratic Party by the Progressives. Today the Democratic Party of the American political scene is only a misleading name for the Progressives.

The Progressives do not accept that Donald J. Trump won the national election and is now their president. They are doing, and will do anything to bring down his Presidency before it can establish itself and bring America back. They are supported and, even led, by the national media, our higher educational institutions, and the entertainment world. The deluge of misinformation and lies from our once renown media outlets, is having an effect. Without the Presidents tweets, there would be no other broadly disseminated information source. I believe that is true but am still amazed by the weirdness of that statement.

Even though President Trump won the election and selected his cabinet and other government employees, his own Department of Justice, is at best, not engaged and at worst, actually hostile. How else can you explain the existence of a Special Consul when no crime has been identified and it is staffed and run by those openly opposed to the Trump Administration? How could this happen when the Attorney-General and his deputy were appointed by the President?

In my seminar, we will examine the past policies of President Obama and apply the America First principle to both domestic and international actions. Advanced warning, don’t sign up if you base your arguments on emotional beliefs. Just the facts, please.

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The Professor: A New Terrorism?

The Professor’s class for the Spring Term was over. He had one course to teach during the summer. For those students and those who would return for his honor’s seminar during the Fall Semester, he decided to send them periodic pieces on important political events. He began with, “You can’t get away. Social media and my emails can reach you anywhere. Of course, you can always opt out by filling in a 23 page questionnaire I will send you on request. Like it or not terrorism is something all political scientists majors should understand. In many ways you are the first line of defense. Several years ago, during my brief career as a novelist, I wrote extensively about the terrorism of the last decade. I don’t mind advertising them now as I’m putting all of them on Amazon’s publication program for very low prices for both paperbacks and ebooks. I have taken the section below from my first novel crafted some ten years ago, and titled, Justice Beyond Law.

The goal of terrorism is to create an increasing frequency of attacks against the population that will cause the security forces to appear unable to protect the nation’s streets. In the past terrorism has been limited to attacks against targets with high political impacts. These attacks can and have caused mass deaths and billions of dollars in property damage but they do not spread terror throughout the land. The terrorists want deadly acts that cause the citizens to change their way of life and to believe the nation’s security forces cannot protect them.

Carefully managed terrorism can successful destroy an enemy.  An enemy that was previously thought to be invincible. It isn’t as most terrorists and their supporters thought that each terrorist act had to be sensational to be successful.  Many isolated sensational terrorist operations like the attack on the World Trade Center ended up by making the nation’s resolve stronger and its internal security procedures more effective.  Average citizens expect that important people and national landmarks are the targets of terrorists.  What is far more effective is to have people from all classes lose confidence in the ability of the government to protect their lives and property.

It is too hard for terrorists to continually hit high-profile targets. The detailed planning and logistical effort required to hit high impact targets cannot be sustained.  If, however, the terrorists concentrate on soft or unprotected targets they can continue a drum beat of assassinations and sabotage.  Then, the government using their forces of law and order is unable to protect the people. We are in a war against terror by radical Muslim Jihadists. Wars are not won using the forces of law and order and the language of ‘political correctness.’

The media will spread the fear of the impact of terrorist’s acts and by attacking their own government blunt effective responses, causing citizens to lose confidence and no longer trust the authorities to protect them. This is the new terrorism.

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The Professor: Divided America

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an East Coast liberal arts college.

 

The class had just started when Alison raised her hand. The Professor nodded, and she asked, “Everyone talks about a bi-partisan process in Congress to pass needed legislation. I don’t see how that is possible. It seems to me that the bi-partisan approach to legislation is a thing of the past and is just not possible today. Am I right?”

“When the country is divided, so will the Congress. The wider the divide between our two parties, the more difficult it is to put together a bipartisan vote in the House or Senate to pass any kind of legislation. In the past, while both parties worked to elect a strong majority in both houses, it has only been in the last decade that one party is dedicated to achieving a long-term one-party rule. This has been true since the Progressives have dominated leadership positions in the Democratic Party. Your best source for this recent political direction is the writings of Saul Alinsky, a brilliant revolutionary writer who was once a ‘political organizer’ in Chicago. Alinsky has made a profound effect on the liberal left-wing of the American political scene.

“You can sum up his teaching by saying that as long as your intention is to seize power for the Progressive Party (his term for socialism and communism), the end justifies the means and you are free to choose whichever side of any issue that will help you destroy the political opposition. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton chose the Alinsky doctrine to push for a one party ruling government in America. They came very close to success. The danger is still there. Approximately half the voters in America have accepted the socialist message. Remember, in most cases people have voted themselves into a socialist government. Voting yourself out of socialism is a very difficult problem. Venezuela today is a perfect example.

“When the democratic/progressive party is devoted to destroying all political opposition, bi-partisan legislation is a hard challenge. If a champion arises from the very diminished number of moderates in the old Democratic Party who could champion America issues of well-being, social mobility, economic prosperity and national security,  then maybe the numbers of socialist followers in America could be diminished and there could be a return to bipartisan government. There is not much time left as the Progressives today control the national media and nearly all our universities.

“Alison, does that answer your question?”

“Yes, but how can we who do not believe in socialism and its ‘leading from behind doctrine prevent a Progressive takeover?”

“Don’t stand on the sidelines and whine. Become real players. Get in the political fray at all levels. Speak out. Americans are a remarkable people and given a choice will pick the right course.  But only if that choice is laid out and explained, Otherwise, the Progressive/Socialists will play their seductive song over and over until it becomes a reality. At that point, returning to a free society with individual choices and freedoms will require more than words. It will require a people’s revolution in the streets of America.”

 

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The Professor, Syria, and cruise missiles

The Professor liked to walk up the two flights of stairs to his office and adjoining classroom. He had used the elevator for the last month but feeling stronger today he took the stairs. At the top, he had to stop for a few minutes to catch his breath. Certainly, didn’t want to walk into his class until he could say a hearty ‘good morning’ to his honors students.

The students were all seated and talking about the airstrike on a Syrian airport used in a sarin gas attack a few days ago when he entered.

“Well, I see you are all into current affairs. With a little luck and hard work some of you will be part of future discussions and planning that go deciding to use lethal action in support of national subjects.

“Let’s continue with the discussion. Edward, what is your take on the president’s decision?”

“After seeing the images of the gas attack victims, I don’t see how President Trump could continue with his predecessor’s example of non-involvement or leading from behind. Strong words were not going to prevent Assad from committing more atrocities that are clearly war crimes or crimes against humanity. Add to that the fact that Assad and the Russians signed an agreement that guaranteed Syrian stocks of poison gas would be destroyed and a few days ago Russian supplied planes dropped poison gas bombs on civilian targets. That signed agreement turned out to be false and some decisive action had to be taken. Obviously, both the Syrians and Russians knew about the poison gas attack and didn’t believe there would be an American military response. I fully support the cruise missile attack.”

Several hands went up, and the Professor said, “Who wants to present a different argument? Okay Carlos, the floor is yours.”

“I don’t believe the Trump national security team was thinking beyond the mechanics of the airstrike. What happens now? Do they know what the Russians or Syrians will do in response? I don’t think so. Putin is not likely to give up his warm-water sea port at Tartus. Getting an ice-free sea port for their war ships has been a Russian national security objective for a few centuries. He will take more chances to keep Tartus. After all, he believes he is Russia’s latest czar.”

“Whose wants to go next? Alice, you’re up.”

“I want to put this airstrike in a larger context. For eight years, America has perfected the use of words in place of actions. Our military has been severely underfunded. Our traditional allies don’t trust us to break out of our isolation. What’s worse, our enemies no longer respect us. We can be good at the use of diplomacy but without the resolve to use force when necessary, diplomacy is ineffective. North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran do not believe we have the will to use military force. The cruise missile strike last night has changed the rules. Our enemies must reconsider their aggressive actions and our allies can take heart that we now have competent leadership who will protect American national interests. Was it not noted that powerful Sunni Arab leaders came for a visit and went away with new hope for American backing against Iran? Do you not think those fearful of Russian and Chinese aggressive actions now have new hope that America will again be a force for peace?”

The Professor smiled at Alice’s comments then said, “Divide yourselves into two groups, one pro the cruise missile strike and one against. I’ll give you ten minutes to get organized for the team debate. I know from personal experience that people like us can’t function without fresh strong coffee. While you’re sorting yourselves into opposing groups, I’ll arrange for coffee and doughnuts.”

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The Professor’s Random Thoughts

The professor felt the intensity in his honors class had dropped after the election. As he sat in his favorite reclining chair and looked out over the bay, he admitted it was his fault his students didn’t seem to have any passion for their choice of study. They all were very intelligent but seemed to be unwilling to show any passion in defending their beliefs and opinions. His gaze fell on the brown spiral notebook he kept beside his chair to jot down his thoughts before he lost them. No question at 86 his short-term memory was becoming very short-term. He idly flipped through the pages. Suddenly he sat up. Why not? The pages of random thoughts he had jotted down might just be the thing to put some more passion into his class room. A couple of times a month he would select several of these cryptic entries and email them to his students. Maybe he could encourage them to jot their raw musings down and exchange them with their peers. Before he left his office, he had emailed his first batch.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:          Pick one of the thoughts  and be prepared to discuss your choice in the next few classes.

President never had a quarrel with the workers of the intelligence agencies, only with their politicized and corrupt leaders who gave us Ben Ghazi, the ‘talking points’ and false intel reports on ISIS. Good riddance.

Unless the moderate Democrats weed out their socialist/progressive members, America will end up with a one-party system. Not a good thing for the long-term.

It is difficult to see any bi-partisan cooperation between the Progressives and the Republicans, now or in the near future. The Progressives know this may be their last chance in a longtime to push America into the socialist fold with them in charge. They will do anything, legal or not, to destroy the Trump movement. The uproar on the part of the Progressives over a temporary ban on unvetted immigrants from areas mostly or partially controlled by ISIS or its affiliated groups is a perfect example.

The power to control the flow of immigrants is and has been under the powers of the President. But a liberal judge from Washington State has ruled that Washington and Minnesota have standing to bring a lawsuit against the Federal Government, a very long stretch. This Judge has no access to classified national security reports and is in no position, Constitutionally or otherwise, to make a ruling on immigration that endangers the safety of people living in America. It is all about destroying the Trump Presidency.

President Trump ran on a program of ending UNVETTED immigrants from the areas of the world that are hotbeds of terrorism . (Incidentally the same countries the Obama Administration identified.) Now President Trump is carrying out his campaign promise. HIs order is legal, timely and will help protect American citizens. It is not a ban of Muslims nor is it a permanent order. The socialists, progressives and the political correct champions are up in arms against a needed legal order. They are still fighting the results of the ballot box. Guantanamo Bay was never a recruitment aid for terrorists and this Executive Order, temporarily stopping immigration from terrorist controlled areas, is not either. Jihadists are as angry with America as they can get already. Our actions do not control their drive to kill us regardless of what the RINOS like Senators McCain and Graham are trying to spread. These are the same Republican Senators that supported Obama in his effort to close Guantanamo Bay. America first is not an immoral slogan.

Water boarding and most other enhanced interrogation methods are not torture and are not repeat not illegal. Regardless of the whining by Senators Graham and McCain and members of the ‘cupcake’ generation, captured enemies of America do not volunteer information for free beer and cigarettes. The war against terrorism and radical Islamic jihadists cannot be won with law and order methods.

Don’t pay much attention to polls for a while. They have not recovered from their failures in the US election and Brexit and are still selling their old models. President Trump’s low approval ratings are probably due to the pollster’s failure to reach the audiences they missed so badly.

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The Professor: Russia, Hacking and the Election

“Okay! We’re all here. First the question period. I know you see this as a chance to listen to me rather than the reverse. That’s okay with me. You know by now I’m not the usual teacher. I want you to leave this University knowing how to think and find solutions to problems. Part of that is to encourage you to think outside the box. But that is only part of the process of analyzing problems and selling your solution. You must develop an instinct to know when thinking inside the box is just as important. Most complex problems require both kinds of thinking. Why search for a new type of solution when there is an existing one that works well?

“So, who has a question they would like me to discuss?”

The Professor pointed at Alison and said, “Alison, let’s hear your question.”

“TV and the print media are constantly railing about the Russians hacking into our elections to favor President-elect Trump. It sounds like this is more about partisan politics than it is about Russian influence. What is really going on?”

“I think you know most of the answer, but I’ll tell you what I think. Great powers have been intercepting the communications of both opponents and friends throughout history. Hacking, as a form of collection, is at least five decades old. From a very primitive beginning, it has gotten much more sophisticated. The point here is that all powerful nations are engaged. So no one should be surprised that foreign nations will attack our communications systems, particularly those used by important people who don’t have the sense to protect their information. Hacking is not an act of war. A hacking attack on the national grid, the transportation system and some others would be. But senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain, who are making such a scene about wanting to punish the Russians and discredit the landslide victory of Donald Trump over the hacking and disclosure of emails associated with the Clinton campaign, are just over-heated politicians who can only be cured by term limits.

“These two senators sat through the entire tenure of the Obama Administration and, even with a Republican Congress, did next to nothing to stop the destruction of our military forces, the mistreatment of veterans, and the alienation of our allies. Closing of Guantanamo Bay and stopping Trump seems to be their main agenda.

“The Obama intelligence organizations have decided that the Russians were attempting to influence the election by releasing hacked items from Democratic email servers. President-elect Trump doesn’t trust their analysis. He shouldn’t. These are the ranking officials that lied about the Benghazi ‘talking points,’ refused to conduct a real investigation of Hillary Clinton’s illegal server and the consequent mishandling of highly classified material, and produced intelligence on ISIS to fit the White House view of them as the junior varsity. Are these people to be trusted? I think not. The rank and file of the several intelligence organizations are solid, hard-working men and women who take incredible personal risks to serve the nation, but their leadership is suspect.

“I don’t believe anyone in the Obama Administration wants a real investigation of Russian, Chinese or other hackers. Too much would be uncovered, such as what classified material did these hackers get from the Clinton email server.

“Bottom line is that what is going on is a failed President leaving office and trying to rewrite his record and constrain his successor.”

 

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The Professor: What Does the Election Mean?

“Before I start this morning session, do you have any fundamental questions to ask?”

Several hands were raised, and the Professor nodded at Carlos, who asked, “What does this election mean in the context of two-party government in the coming decade?”

“A good but very broad question. The Democrats or Progressives who now control the party picked a very poor candidate who had poor people skills and a heavy load of not very acceptable baggage. The Democratic message was more of the same, even though it was clear most Americans thought the Obama Administration was on the wrong course. People wanted to take a chance on change and Hillary Clinton offered more of the same.

“In its desire to push a very socialist agenda, the Democratic Party lost touch with the people, who I believe were fed up with the ideology of both the right and the left. President-elect Trump presented the people with a pragmatic approach. A decade ago, he could have fit into either party. This man made his fortune by recognizing problems and working to solve them. With him, ‘the issue is always the issue,’ unlike both Obama and Clinton who follow Saul Alinsky’s axiom that ‘the issue is never the issue.’ The difference is that the Alinsky Progressives were focused on seizing power to bring about a transformational distribution of wealth; people like Trump were about solving problems and making things work.

“This landslide election is a rejection of the Progressive socialist ideology and a return of the voters to a more central political position. If the Democrats continue to push a socialist agenda in 2020, the party will self-destruct. But there will always be nearly half of the citizens holding on to an embedded belief that being rich is bad and that peace is achieved not through strength but through understanding and appeasement. To them there is no need for a strong military or a strong national economy.

“These people believe President Obama’s deliberate weakening of the military and his total focus on distributing wealth nationally and internationally were needed steps to bring about equality and social justice in both America and the world. This belief is rooted in two primary drives. One is the distrust of European immigrants for wealth and corrupt aristocratic government. Our history has seen the establishment and demise of several local communes based on the philosophy of ‘from each according to their ability and to each depending their need.’ The other is the emphasis the Christian religion puts on the message of love, forgiveness, the evil of wealth, and the belief that peace and justice come from treating other people and nations the way you would like them to treat you. That is a wonderful belief for individuals dealing with others, but it doesn’t work on a larger scale or between nations. Instead, it results in the development of elite leadership and the use of force. The use of coercion to achieve social change and economic functioning has always resulted in elite rule and the loss of individual choice. Nevertheless, the ‘have-nots’ of any society have always resented the ‘haves’ and will be attracted to the slogans of the socialists championing ‘a fair shot for everyone,’ ‘income equality,’ and ‘a balanced playing field.’

“In our last three presidential elections, more than half of the people have voted for a candidate pushing the same old slogans. The problem for the Trump Administration will be to mix governing with pragmatism and a populist message. All our citizens must see they are sharing the better life.

“Otherwise, it will be an even sharper turn toward the hate-America, guilt-driven governing philosophy of the Obama/Clinton era. I’m not sure we can continue to pull back from the progressive abyss so much of our world has fallen into.

“Personally, I am pleased and excited by the possibilities of a new administration. You will all have to work hard to lead our nation between the excesses of both the left and the right of our two-party system of government. Both contain the seeds of tyranny. There is a place in the center that is right for us.”

 

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