Category Archives: Eight Decades of Insights

The Professor: Trump and a Progressive Coup

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. 

Robert had just asked, “Is a coup possible in America?”

The Professor smiled and said, “Robert, that’s a very fundamental question. Especially because of the polarization we now have in America. Coups don’t have to be the result of armed conflict or widespread street violence. Remember most dramatic changes in the form and substance of government has occurred through the ballot box and not out of the barrels of guns.

“More correctly, most dramatic changes in the form of government are the result of several voting cycles. The journey to socialism, communism or fascism is an incremental process. Many years ago, I wrote a small book called “Stepping Stones to Tyranny” that explains the process of the gradual loss of choice and individual freedom. The successful socialist revolutionary will pose several issues to the public, none of which seem dramatic. National health care is a good example of a single, but critical first step. Each step results in an expansion of government and a corresponding reduction of  life choices available to individuals in a free society.

“The results of a recent move of a nation into a socialist economy, is Venezuela. The message of Socialism is a seductive one. Voters attracted by the benefits and class warfare rhetoric don’t see they are losing the power of choice or individual freedoms until it is too late. For the Socialist/Progressives to be successful they need a population that has been brought to the promise of ‘cradle to grave’ care over decades. We are close to that point in America, which is why I believe the Progressives have a real shot at establishing a one-party socialist government if they can get rid of the Trump Administration by any means.

“I don’t think there is much doubt that the Progressives/Liberals control our education system, especially in colleges and universities. They certainly have won over most of t national media. The Black and Hispanic voters favor Socialist candidates by wide margins and they have the highest birth rates in America. Illegal immigrants from South and Central America will vote for Progressive Candidates. Our largest population centers on both coasts vote for liberal candidates. Take away the Electoral College and go to a popular vote tally to determine winners and the Progressives could win the next national election. Among registered voters, those who voted twice for Obama, once for Hillary Clinton and today believe the election was stolen from her by the Russians are already in the Progressive/Socialist camp.

“Look how far the Progressives have come in pushing their anti-Trump agenda. They have caused the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, Mr. Mueller a former FBI Director, to investigate collusion between the Trump Administration and the Russians. This all without any evidence that any crime was committed. The Progressives have won a victory simply by keeping the anti-Trump media drum beating its mind-numbing tune. Play the big lie often enough and people will believe it. (A tactic out of the Nazi playbook.)

“The stay behind Obama followers, who have embedded themselves in the Trump Administration, are leaking real classified documents and making up others to damage the Trump Administration. Of all traitors that expose national secrets, leakers are the easiest to find. It is a huge stain on the record of the FBI and The Department of Justice (DOJ) that they are not even conducting a serious effort to find the leakers. Under the Obama Administration leaks made the President look good. Those leakers where never found either.

“The last barrier the Progressives must break through is the ‘rule of law. Unless Mr. Mueller can motivate the FBI and the DOJ to investigate and prosecute offenders, no matter who they are, this important safeguard of freedom will be gone and the Socialist will have won.

“Yes, Robert, I believe a coup in America is possible. Your generation may be the last hope we have of keeping a government consistent with individual liberty alive.”

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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.

*******

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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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: 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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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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