Category Archives: Politics

The Professor: Democratic Party and Class Warfare

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.

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The Professor liked to keep his class on their toes and ready to respond to any political issue. He stopped his pacing around the room and said, “I’m going to leave you for ten minutes. When I come back, I want one of you to present a Class question. Since it is a Class project you will all receive the same grade for the selection and presentation of the question.  I expect a question that will be relevant to our political environment and yet will be a ground-breaking issue for the next decade.”

Several hands shot up as the Professor smiled and left the room. He thought he would like to watch the dynamics of the Class as they worked on selecting a question but he knew if he stayed in the class, the actions around the conference table would adjust to his presence. A big part of his curriculum was to expose students to the give and take of peer groups in the decision-making process.

Returning to the room, The Professor paused outside the class room and listened at the door for a few seconds. He was surprised at the silence. They must have come to some agreement. Walking in and taking his seat at the table, he asked, “Okay. Who is the lucky presenter?”

Edward said, “I am.”

“May I assume that the question is yours?”

“It is one I’ve thought about for some time. But it really is a class question. Should I begin?”

“Yes.”

“The Republican Party has a fairly coherent message that resonated with Americans in the last election. Today the Democrats do not have a positive message, other than opposing President Trump on every issue. Yet the Democratic messaging routinely out performs that of the Republicans. Opinion leaders in the media, entertainment and education organizations seem to be taken with the Democratic Party’s message. Why is that?”

“That is a very good question and one that will be with us for at least the next decade. The question on the first level is easy to answer but difficult to explain in believable detail.

“The Democratic Party has been moving toward European style socialism for the last hundred years and probably longer. Their success is in their messaging. Their failure is in their inability to apply the socialist message to governing. But we are discussing the messaging today. The message when stripped to basics is one of class warfare. The promise is for a redistribution of wealth.

“Material wealth always seems to end up in the hands of a minority, leaving the majority to struggle for what’s left. The message of Democrats/Progressives to the majority who are not wealthy is to set them against the minority who they believe have more than they should have. The message of the Progressives is not to create more wealth or to improve social and economic mobility. Instead it is ‘you must take wealth from the minority who hold it by very high taxation rates, economic regulations, death taxes and heavy taxes on businesses. This Progressive message is very adaptable to slogans. Remember President Obama’s class warfare sound bites: level the playing field; give everyone a fair shake; the rich need to pay their fair share; transform America by redistributing wealth among individuals and nations; and protect the middle class.

“Don’t think the progressive message of the Democratic Party is too simple to be effective. It is not. When hope is vague and distant, the class warfare message is very effective and will thrive in a failing economy.”

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The Professor and Saving the Democrats

 

“Are you all ready for the summer break? Next year you will all be sophomores. I am very pleased with this class. Because of you, I have agreed to teach this honors class for two more years. If you can put up with me, we will have more time together. Starting with Paul, please go around the table and tell us very concisely what you plan to do for the summer and what are you planning to do after graduation.”

In less than ten minutes everyone had responded to the Professor’s request. The Professor leaned back in his chair and said, “All your responses are worth more comments but with the time available, I’m going to focus on Carlos’s statement. Carlos, you said you wanted to work within the Democratic Party organization after graduation. Why did you pick that as a career choice?”

“My family and all our friends have always been Democrats. No one in the family can even remember anyone in the joint family who joined the Republican Party. When we needed something, or had a complaint, we always took it to our Democratic party contact. I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. My grandparents on both sides worked in the mills or mines. They were all union members. They would tell us stories of how tough life had been when the Republican Party was dominant and cautioned us to never let them takeover political power again.”

The Professor said, “Yes. I’m old enough to know how things were then. The base of both political parties often goes back for several generations. This last election I think is the beginning of new political alliances. The Republicans running on a populist and nationalist platform made serious inroads into working class communities. The political map today is very different.”

“Professor,” Carlos asked, “Will you give me some advice in getting started?”

“I assume you goal is to bring the Democratic Party back to its traditional place of power with working class citizens. To begin you must understand what caused this sudden and dramatic change. The Democratic Party of your parents and grandparents was the voice of the working people. It was a center and slightly left of center party. With exception of the intellectuals in the party, the rank and file were definitely not socialists and were not apologists for American power and uniqueness. Under Barack Obama and the Progressives, the Democratic Party swung rapidly to become the very left-wing of the American political world.

“During his eight years in power, the Progressives took over the party with a strong socialist and internationalist ideology. The welfare of the working-class families was ignored in favor of destroying the opposition political party and America’s economic and military power. The Progressives knowingly turned away from American working and middle-class traditions and heritage in favor of socialist principles.

“They did this very abruptly and successfully. Their globalization priorities overrode America first responsibilities. Jobs, decent pay with good working conditions and benefits were no longer the top priority. Control of the media and education using class warfare rhetoric to replace the traditional working class goals of improving the status of the family via education and hard work. Every parent wanted life to be better for their children than it was for them. If you look at the leaders of the Democratic Party today, it will show a clear dramatic move to the left. One of the heroes of the party today is a declared Socialist who is not even registered as a Democrat. It will be a long way back and that journey is not for the faint hearted.

“Carlos, my advice is to begin working this summer as a low-level party volunteer in a role that gives you daily contact with people and party officials. Watch, learn and do not offer much advice to your superiors. Keep good notes, make numerous contacts, pick a catchy subject and use your writing and analytic skills to get published. Once you have established your credibility you can move up the party ladder at the next opportunity. Take advantage of every speaking opportunity. Get comfortable with yourself. You have chosen a hard and nearly thankless path. But it needs done. I don’t think you or anyone will be able to bring the Democratic Party back to the point your parents will recognize it, but you may be part of the task of saving what can be saved to form the foundation of a new party.”

 

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Filed under Barry Kelly, class warfare, Conservative views, democrats, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Politics, Progressives, Republicans

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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Filed under Conservative views, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, political solutions, Politics, Putin, Republicans, Sunni, trump

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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Filed under Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, General, Intelligence & Politics, management theory, political solutions, Progressives, Republicans

The Professor: The Transfer of Power in America

“I had a different lecture prepared, but what I have observed for the last weeks has me so concerned, I have another message for today,” the professor said after his honors class had settled into their seats. He could tell he had their immediate attention. “There are several attributes of our way of government that are unique and commendable. Perhaps the most unique is our long tradition of the transfer of power following presidential elections. For a ruler and the ruling group to peacefully give up power to an opponent group is the most startling of all the benefits our country’s founders built into the Constitution.

“Since our independence, our political parties have often held contentious political campaigns. When the votes were counted, the party with the majority of electoral votes claimed the right to govern for the next four years and the losing party peacefully assumed the role of the opposition party and mostly assisted in the orderly transfer of power while the world looked on in wonder.

“This time, it is different. This time the stakes were very high. Either the nation continued the Obama/Clinton path to socialism or elected Donald Trump to lead us back to individual freedom, capitalism, and a free-market economy. There was another less visible choice: Give up much of our uniqueness and sovereignty for equal membership in a world government. Very basic issues. Another eight, or even four years, of progressive rule and it would be nearly impossible to return to the constitutional government designed by our founders.

“President Obama, progressive Congressional leaders, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the liberal media, ranking members of the civil service, many liberal university professors, and the hidden financiers and organizers of street violence are vigorously resisting the orderly transfer of power from one party to the other. They claim the Trump administration is illegitimate. He lost the popular vote, the Russians assisted him, the electoral college system needs to be scrapped, and all his cabinet choices must be fought with all the resources and energy the progressives can bring to bear to defeat this illegitimate Republican victory.

“Today, the traditional Democratic Party has been captured by the far-left wing of the party and is in danger of becoming a party of both coasts. California, Oregon, Washington, New York, and a handful of other northeastern coastal states. It is hard to imagine a democratic system of government based on only one viable party. The socialists/progressives won’t give up resisting an orderly transfer of power. Not only they, but all of us will suffer from the collapse of America’s ability to celebrate a peaceful transfer of power every four years. Our democratic republic is at risk today. My generation and America depend upon your strength and wisdom to save this great and unique nation.

“This subject is so important to me that I want to devote the next class period to discussing this problem. Please reflect on what I’ve said and be ready to discuss it further.”

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The Professor: America’s Great Pillars

The Professor looked up as his small honors political science filed in through the door and took a a seat around the conference table. He let them get settled before speaking.

“I’ve looked over your papers on the staffing of the Trump Administration. You’re making progress,” he said, giving a slight smile. “I’ll select a few of them to be presented before the class. Today, I want you to reflect upon why America is such a different kind of place than most of the rest of the world. What happened? Was it caused by circumstances, sheer coincidences, divine intervention, or some other phenomena? To help you open your minds, I’ll tell you what I think. Recognize that what I’m going to say is, at best, thoughtful conjecture. Please don’t ask me to lay out proof. Most of recorded history is slanted to meet the views and limited observations of the writers. Recorded history is such a small percentage of what happened in the passing of time that, I believe, it should only be used to help you get your analytic thinking started.

“Individual freedom and justice are the two pillars upon which our system of government has been built. From those two pillars come the rule of law and individual freedom of choice. I believe what we were in the 1600s and what we are now is due to the freedom individuals had to seek their own destinies. America is a great nation, the greatest nation in the history of the world. But we are not great because of what the early settlers brought with them. Rather, we are great because of what they left behind in Europe and Asia.

“Our black citizens from Africa never had that same opportunity. Whatever impediments to progress and individual freedom they left behind, they found no advantages when they got here. They did not get off the slave ships into a land of individual freedom and opportunity for them. Instead, they found slavery, and slavery is as far from individual freedom as you can get. Their freedom of choice did not even begin for centuries, until after the Civil War.

“For others, the cultures, rulers, and religions their ancestors sailed away from did not recognize the individual as the basis of society. Conformity to the culture and religion and obedience to the monarch was the code to survival. Nowhere was empowerment of the individual encouraged or tolerated. The genius and drive of individuals to seek their potential and, in the process, build the nation and give the opportunity for masses of people to rise above the subsistence level was never allowed in Europe or Asia when America was being settled. The concept of equality in Europe, Asia, and most of the rest of the world is still not based on the freedom of the individual. To achieve the control necessary for the centralized management of goals, individual freedom is discouraged.

“In those lands, equality is achieved by pulling down or penalizing individual success for the good of the many, instead of encouraging a general uplifting of society. The Fabian socialists, until now mostly in Europe, would argue that approach is simply sacrificing the few for equality of the many. This approach has not worked so far, but its adherents seem to have difficulty recognizing the lessons of history and the costly record in human terms of centralized social engineering from the left or right.

“We have just elected to abandon another quest to level the playing field via social engineering led by a progressive elite. Instead, we need to work toward equal opportunity for all citizens by understanding that equal opportunity does not mean everyone gets an equal share of earned wealth. We all have different levels of ability, motivation, discipline, and luck. To have true individual freedom, we must let those factors play out with little or no meddling by bureaucratic centralists with the ‘best of intentions.’

“It is the people who built this great nation. Not as directed by the government, but by the individual efforts of Americans striving to improve themselves and the country they lived in. For sure, America has natural resources, a good climate, and a protected strategic location. But those are not the reasons we are and can remain a great nation. Greatness is from the work of a proud and free people.”

The Professor paused for a moment to let his words sink in.

“There, in some 700 or so words, I’ve covered hundreds of years, maybe many more. Now it’s your turn. Take the rest of the class to write down your thoughts and reflections on what makes America great, then and now.”

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The Professor: Obama’s Real Legacy

“Welcome, class. Today it is my turn to pick an opening subject,” the Professor said to his honors political science class, smiling. “Two of them. The first is about the art and science of polling, and the second is my version of the ‘Obama legacy’ now that he’s no longer in office.

“Later in the semester, we’ll get some experience in poll-taking from one of my political friends. One of my basic rules of human behavior is that people do what they know how to do even if their experience is not applicable to understanding and predicting current events. That is what pollsters are doing today. The polling models to cover the election where almost universally wrong. The existing sample polled did not represent most of the voters. Polling depends on the relevance of the sample. If the sample of voters polled does not represent the actual voting pool, the results are going to be misleading. That is what happened.

“It will take time and testing to develop a more relevant sample of voters. In the meantime, the pollsters and their consumers will continue with the old model that the Trump campaign destroyed. Do not pay much, if any, attention to them until the polling innovators have time to develop new models.

“Now for my broad-brush description of the ‘Obama legacy.’ By now, you all know about my personal political beliefs, but I believe most historians will agree with my general points. Perhaps the most important part of the Obama legacy is how his tenure has moved the political center of American politics to the center-right. President Obama’s focus on transforming America by redistributing both individual and national wealth was a push to move America into a socialist economy. National health insurance, heavy regulation of banking and finance, energy, and manufacturing designed to bring the means of production and distribution under the control of a government of elite intellectuals all were pieces of the socialist mosaic. The other pieces were political moves to enhance the office of the president, weaken the legislature and move toward a one-party system by discrediting and destroying the Republican Party.

“He encouraged class warfare with his constant slogans of ‘level the playing field,’ ‘give everyone a fair shot,’ and ‘reduce income inequality.’ President Obama never missed a chance to play the race card in any police/community street violence and immigration issue.

“President Obama also presided over the weakening of America’s military strength and economic power in favor of international organizations in order to bring about a new world order from the vestiges of western colonialism. Perhaps, most of all, he failed to protect the nation from radical Islam and to provide both the hope and reality of increasing prosperity to our citizens.

“That’s my version of the ‘Obama legacy.’ Does anyone disagree?”

No students raised their hands, and the Professor nodded. He knew he had presented the facts fairly; he hoped history would do the same.

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