Why the Divide

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

There is little question that Americans are polarized now more than at any time since the Civil War, and it seems to be getting worse. There is lots of blame to go around.  Democrats point to Trump; Republicans point to the Pelosi and Schumer. Yet the frustration driving this polarization has been building for a long time, much longer than the current major players have been on the political scene. It is visible at least as far as the 1960s, with the roots going even further back to the turn of the last century.   

Rather than the cause, the current political leaders are themselves caught up in a much larger phenomenon and are often just reflecting the concerns of their constituents.  Neither political camp is very happy with their side’s leaders.

This dissatisfaction is the result of the general frustration among voters who keep voting for things that never seem to happen.  Candidates campaign strongly for various changes one way or the other, and once elected seem to do little or nothing.  There is a slow drift to the left. The right wants to stop it; the left wants it to go faster; both are frustrated. To be heard, both sides become more extreme, and the polarization increases. What they don’t realize is that this is how the current system was designed to work.

At the core is Progressivism, with its separation of administration and politics. On the one hand, Progressivism seemed very democratic, pushing for and achieving the direct election of Senators, along with the initiative and recall in many places.  Even today, their successors, the Democrats, still fight to make voting easier and more readily available to more people. For some, this even includes extending voting rights to those here illegally and reducing the controls to the point that fraud becomes a serious concern.

While lose voting rules and fraud are a problem, the other part of Progressivism, the administration part, is even more dangerous. While Progressives push more democrat political institutions, it also pushes for a greatly reduced role for those institutions. Progressives wanted everyone to have a say, but they did not think that say should amount to much.  According to Progressives, by the beginning of the 20th century, the world was becoming too complex to let common people have any real control. What was needed were experts, those with knowledge and skill. 

Thus the Progressives pushed to have the real power removed from the President and the Congress, transferring it to experts or what we would call administrators or bureaucrats.  Over the last century, the actual running government has become more and more removed from the people and those elected by the people and given to those who are not only unelected but actually insulated from the public.

Thus on several occasions, when the Congress “failed to act,” the bureaucracy had to step in to do what Congress would not do. At least that is how it is often present. It is just as legitimate to describe this as, when the people, through their elected representatives, said no, the bureaucracy ignored their wishes and did it anyway. The sad part is there is little the people can do about it.

Again, this is a feature of the Progressives system, not a bug. After all, Progressives did not think ordinary people knew enough to rule. Thus they looked to experts to act on the people’s behave. Experts were better than ordinary people because they were both knowledgeable and disinterested, i.e., they would be able to put the people’s interest first. In contrast, passions and self-interest would guide the people. There are problems with both of these premises.

The progressive idea of the knowledgeable expert was based on the false assumption that science would always be like physics, verifiable, and certain. It is not.  In fact, a hundred years later, there is growing debate about whether or not the social sciences are even science.  Disagreements and schools of thought are the norm. The verification of theories is often very difficult, if not impossible. As such, now the question is not an expert, but which expert?  This focus on science has brought about a politicization that is very damaging. Follow the party line and get funding, challenge it, and be suppressed or worse. Rather than the Progressive goal of bringing the best of science to public policy, the result has brought the worse of politics to science. It should not be a surprise that the falsification of results and the failure of the peer review system have been growing scandals.

As bad as the politicization of science has become, the other Progressive assumption is even worse, i.e., that the experts are disinterested. What Progressives ignored was that experts are still people. They are subject to all the same flaws and problems that caused the Founding Fathers to create the system of checks and balances that Progressives reject.  Thus it should be no surprise that over the last 100 years, as the administrative state has grown, it has become an interest in and of itself.  While the various departments have their subject area, they all share in common self-interest. The very thing the progressives were trying to avoid in the people still exists in the expert.  Yet rather than contained by checks and balances, the experts are insulated and largely unaccountable. As the saying goes, presidents come and go, but bureaucrats are forever.

Even when the people vote for change, the bureaucrats can dig in their heels and resist. They can slow roll policy changes demanded by elected officials, burying them in red tape until another administration can come along and reverse the policy.

The net effect is that the administrative state seeks first and foremost to serve itself; the people are second. Decade after decade, this has gotten progressively worse; people on both sides keep voting for change, and nothing happens. As a result, the frustration has built while public discourse has declined.

To fix this is conceptually easy. Rollback the administrative state and start putting more and more control back into the legislative branch.  However, in practice, it will be extremely hard.  It may even be impossible. For one, the spiritual successors of the Progressive, the Democrats, like the administrative state.  At the moment, the administrative state runs somewhat in their favor, and more importantly,  votes as a block for the Democrats. Another is that the administrative state can fight back. Over the last 100 years, this administrative state has built up a lot of allies who have a vested interest in the status quo to assist them.

Ultimately this will come down to who rules whom. The founders set up a government where ultimate authority rested with the people.  Some of that system remains. Then there is the Administrative state that rules with varying degrees of independence from the people. One side or the other will win.  We can move back to a system where ultimate power rest with the people.  Or we will have the progressive system, where there is an illusion of power from the people, but the real power rest with the experts.  The jury is out on who will win.

Jul 28th, 2020
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Defending False Narratives

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

We all believe things that are false. After all, none of us is perfect and all-knowing. Life is complex and complicated. In the steady stream of information that bombards each of us every day, there is a lot of truth, but also a lot of error.  Even within the parts that are true, there is a lot of nuance, complexity, and even seeming contradiction that can lead us to incorrect conclusions.   

This complexity and difficulty are seen when trying to determine the cause of an airline crash.  Given the ways these planes are built and maintained, the cause of a crash is rarely one thing.  It is a series of things that occur, any one of which the plane could have survived. Events in life are even more complex, which is why so many questions in history are still open to discussion.  That the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand triggered World War I is clear. What caused World War I is still open to discussion.  

Such discussions occur even in dispassionate settings where participants have little or no vested interest in the outcome. It gets far more difficult when there is a vested interest.  There is no question that slavery was the key issue that led to the Civil War.  Without it, there would be no civil war.  For some Marxists, this was problematic. They have a narrative that sees economics as the driver of human actions. As such, they sought to downplay the issue of slavery to a pretext. For them, the real cause was in the economic differences of the industrial North vs. the agricultural South.

On the other side, some have a narrative that sees slavery as the only cause. The truth is more complex. While slavery was the essential issue in the conflict, not everyone in the North was fighting to end it, and not everyone in the South was fighting to defend it. There were a lot of other factors, such as Union vs. States Rights, to name just one.

When studying history, as a general rule, the farther back in time one goes, the less chance there is for vested interest, and thus a narrative, to interfere. Few today have a vested interest in the conflict between Rome and Carthage, or Athens and Sparta.  As such, it is easier to focus just on what actually happened. The reverse is also true. The closer we get to the present, the harder it is to set aside vested interests and focus on what is happening. Narratives dominate. 

Because of vested interest, much of the news is little more than current events politized into false narratives. What fits is accept. Information that does not quite fit is twisted and distorted to fit. If it cannot be made to fit, it is ignored.  COVID is a great example of this.

Even the name is politicized.  The standard practice leading up to this virus was naming diseases by the location where they were discovered, animal, or physical.  Thus we have Swine flu, Avian flu, West Nile Virus,  Hong Kong flu, and Lyme disease, named after a city in Connecticut, to name just a few.  This practice was not controversial. Thus when COVID-19 first appeared in the city of Wuhan China, it was called the Wuhan flu.  

When Trump started talking about the Wuhan flu and the Chinese virus, his critics applied their narrative that he was a racist. When they did, what had been Trump using the correct name became the latest example of his racism. The narrative must be preserved, so within a very short period, the Wuhan flu not only became COVID-19, but to say otherwise is now racist. This false narrative is now so enforced by the powers that be, that even my grammar checker wants me to change the name of Wuhan flu to COVID-19 or coronavirus. According to my grammar checker, “Phrases like Wuhan flu can encourage bias and misinformation.”  What was standard practice last year is racist this year.  Why?  Trump did it, and the narrative says it must be bad.

Does Lyme disease encourage racism again those who live in Lyme, Connecticut? Are we going to change the name of Lyme Disease? That is an open question.  It depends on whether or not the absurdity of the claim that the name Wuhan flu is racist becomes too apparent.  If it does such that the narrative is challenged, the name for Lyme Disease will be changed to protect the narrative. Those doing so will then congratulate themselves on how enlightened they have become. The people of Lyme, Connecticut, will be able to rest easy, knowing that the burden of racism has been lifted.

This narrative also appears in the issue of the travel restrictions imposed by Trump at the end of January. Predictably, given the narrative, this was condemned by his opponents as racist.  Later that day, Biden said,

“this is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”


It is important to note, as the article reported, that the “science” at that time, i.e., the officials,

“insisted the risk to Americans from the flu-like illness is low. The outbreak has claimed more than 250 lives. None of the U.S. cases have been fatal, and all but one of the patients contracted coronavirus while they were traveling in China.”  


Thus the narrative said for Trump to ban flights from China for a low risk was xenophobic.  It would be another month before the majority of people would become concerned about COVID and six weeks until the country was locked down. So at this point, Trump’s actions were seen as a xenophobic overreaction. 

Looking back, the facts cannot be changed, but the narrative must be preserved.  So now, Trump’s travel restrictions, and other actions, are mostly just ignored with the claim that Trump did nothing to stop the virus.  Given the narrative, not too surprisingly, when fact-checked about Biden opposing the travel restrictions saying they were xenophobic, that is fact-checked false.   

It seems that Biden didn’t directly say the travel restrictions were xenophobic. That inference, which was commonly made at the time, came from the fact that Biden’s comment about Trump policy came just after he announced the travel policy.  Silly us for assuming that Biden was talking about xenophobic policies just after policies restricting travel from China were announced. Silly for us for thinking there was a connection.  As for Trump’s policy itself, if mentioned at all, it is now downplayed as not all that effective.

While the narrative is defended, it is still false.  It has to be.  Something like COVID is too complex and complicated to fit a simple narrative like Orangeman bad.  If nothing else, there is still way too much we do not know, and we know a lot more now than we did just a few months ago.  Did Trump get every thing right? Of course not.  No one did.  Trump, the Governors, Republican and Democrat, and health officials are doing the best they can in a very difficult situation where there are a lot of unknowns.

A major problem is that the data is mixed.  Even now, anyone claiming they know for sure what we should have done, or what we should do is fooling themselves and probably following a narrative.  Anyone focused more on blaming opponents than seeking solutions is trying to impose a narrative.  In a few years, we may be able to assess heroes and villains, but not now. If there is a villain now, it is the media trying to force everything into a narrative, rather than giving us the data and letting the chips fall where they may.

This is not to say there is no room for disagreement. There is. Given all the unknowns, there must be.  Should states open or close? Should kids go back to school?  Do masks do any good, or do they make things worse? The data is mixed on these and many other questions.  There is plenty of room for discussion and disagreement. Condemnations and narratives do not help.  Unfortunately, too many people are answering these questions based on narrative and not on the data.  That is a sure way to be wrong.

Jul 21st, 2020

Early Polls and Trump

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

A constant theme in recent press coverage is how all the Polls show Biden winning the election. There are three main issues with polls.  The first is polls can be manipulated by how the question is phrased, and the ordering of the questions. But in this case, I think that is a minor issue.

The second is more significant. Polls track public opinion, which is strongly affected by press coverage, particularly for those who only casually follow events. Several studies have shown the coverage of Trump by the major media is about 90% negative.  Granted, Trump has a casual relationship with the truth. Still, the vast majority of his problems center around boasting and hyperbole. These are easy to adjust for.  The media also has a big problem with the truth, but it is much harder to adjust for.

For example, before COVID, Trump was fact-checked false, for saying the black unemployment was the lowest in history.  Ok, I thought, the truth is probably black unemployment is really low, which it was at the time.  I happen to stumble across something recently commenting on this “fact-check,” which was that Trump’s statement was considered false because the data have only been broken down this way since the 1970s. In short, he should have said lowest on record, rather than lowest in history.  Do you honestly think other politicians are held to this standard? Of course not. The same fact-checker declined to fact-check Obama’s and Biden’s absurd statements that they had a scandal-free administration. Why? Because what is and is not a scandal is subjective. Double-standard?

Then there are the three years of the near-daily falsehoods that were Trump/Russia hoax.  This hoax was the creation of the still-emerging Obamagate scandal.  You can add to this the press’s current ongoing attempts to hide Obamagate, which I believe is far more serious than Watergate. But the press’s lies go beyond that, and here are a few other examples, old and new.

Following Charlottesville, it was widely reported Trump said there were good neo-Nazis and white supremacists, a charge that continues to this day.  If you read the transcript or listen to the tape, he said, “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” He did say those words, but he was talking about the issue of should statues be taken down. I believe Trump is factually correct in this.  He then went on to say about removing the statuses,

“So you know what, it’s fine. You’re changing history. You’re changing culture. And you had people — and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists — because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. Okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”  

Yet the media ignored this part of what Trump said and reported that he said there were good neo-Nazis.  In short, they lied.

This is not a one-off.  Recently there were reports of how the “peaceful demonstrators” were tear-gased so the President could have a “photo-op.” Yet the peaceful demonstrators sent eleven police officers to the hospital and did a lot of property damage.  Whether or not “tear-gas” was used depends on whether one classifies pepper spray with the more common forms of Tear gas. Meanwhile, Democrats taking a knee in the rotunda, is “a tribute” to George Floyd.  

Then there were all the reports that Trump said George Floyd would be happy about the recent job numbers. Like his comments following Charlottesville, this was the result of carefully editing Trump’s remarks to change the context.  He was talking about the unity in the country demanding equal justice under the law.  Again here is what he actually said.

Equal justice under the law must mean that every American receives equal treatment in every encounter with law enforcement, regardless of race, color, gender or creed, they have to receive fair treatment from law enforcement. They have to receive it. We all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen. Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, “This is a great thing that’s happening for our country.” This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.

In short, the major media will ignore completely anything Trump does or says that is good. If there is any ambiguity in his statements or actions, they will use that ambiguity to cast them into the worst possible light. When that isn’t enough they will just lie about what he says and simply make things up. Even when the story is not about him, they will twist it so that they can condemn him. And this is where most people get what they know about Trump.  It even catches me in at times. Several times, I believed the press and only later found out they had lied.

Granted, Trump is often his own worst enemy, and there are times the media does not have to make things up.  But frankly, he has gotten much better over his time as President. Meanwhile the media, and the Democrats,  have gotten much worse. So, of course, this shows up in the polls, which at the moment are still more how do you view Trump than who you will vote for.

This has been the case for most of my life. While it is far worse now, the press has always been biased in favor of the Democrats.  As such, the Republican candidate for President is normally behind in the poll at this point.  Bush was behind Dukakis by 17 points at this point of the race. The Polls always tighten the closer you get to the election, for the press becomes less important, and people focus more on the issues.  Again I believe the choice will become clear and will be binary. (Yes, there will be third parties, but they rarely matter, and when they do it is as a spoiler). Trump or the Democratic nominee are the only effective choices.  It will be Trump’s record vs. their promises. Trump’s record is strong and is much stronger than I would have thought when he became President.

Finally, one of the major fears today is fear of the left.  Fall into their crosshairs, and you can lose your friends, family, even your job, as the editors at the NY Times found out.  Thus, many Trump supporters keep it hidden, even from pollsters. I know, I have talked to them. For Polls, this is a well know problem sometimes referred to as the Bradley effect, named after a candidate for Governor in California.

The polls in 2016 showed Clinton easily winning, but she lost.  I do not believe many of the people that voted for Trump 2016 (or perhaps more correctly voted against Clinton) will now vote for Biden or any other Democrat they are likely to nominate. I do know of people who did not vote for Trump last time who will vote for him this time. Even some of the former Never Trumpers will vote for him. In short, his support has grown. He will win all the red states he did last time, and the election will come down to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He only needs to win one.  It is very possible he will win all three and possibly a few more. 

After all, are the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and  Defund the Police, really winning campaign slogans?  Is setting up an independent country in the middle of Seattle going to inspire people? People normally vote economics, and the economic conditions are very likely to be in pretty good shape come November. The unemployment rate was suppose to still be going up, yet it is already dropping rapidly, and the Stock Market is nearly back to its pre-COVID Highs.  But voting one’s pocketbook assumes there are no security concerns, and the Democrats are on the wrong side of that issue at the moment.  After all, is it really just a coincidence that the majority of these problems are in areas that Democrats have run for decades?  

So yes,  I think Trump will win in November, and I don’t think the polls matter much at the moment. Could he lose, sure, a lot can happen between now and the election. But as things look now, it is looking really good for Trump.

Jul 17th, 2020
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Obamagate and Flynn

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

Obamagate is bigger and more dangerous than Watergate. But if you follow the mainstream media, you may not know that. Watergate involved the misuse of the powers of government to cover up a break-in; the goal was to spy on Democrats at the DNC headquarters. This was done by members of the President’s campaign committee. Obamagate is the attempt to use the powers of government (FBI, CIA, Justice Department, etc.) to spy on, hinder, disrupt and sabotage, an incoming administration. At its core, it is the interference in the peaceful transfer of power, which is one of the crowning achievements of our government. It is vital if we are to be a country ruled by the people. The last threat to the peaceful transfer of power was 1860.

For nearly four years, there were almost daily stories on the alleged collusion between Trump and Russia. Now with the Muller report and the forced release of documents from the House a few weeks ago, we know this was a fabricated controversy for which there was no evidence. In case you missed it, all those Obama administration officials who have been on TV for years saying there was clear evidence of collusion, testified secretly under oath that they never saw any evidence. If there had been any, they would have been in a position to know. So we now know they have been lying on TV for years, that is unless they lied under oath.  The bottomline, there was never any evidence.  The whole thing was a sham created to damage Trump and force him from office.

Now we also know that a key part of this effort, the Flynn prosecution, was really a persecution without grounds. In light of the newly released evidence, the Justice Department has asked the court to dismiss the case with prejudice.  From exhibit 4 in the Justice Department filing, we learned that Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates only found out about the investigation of Flynn in a White House meeting with Obama. It is troubling that while Obama was asking her about the Flynn investigation, she did not know anything about it. Given her position, she should have been informing Obama. This raises the question of what exactly did Obama know, and when did he know it.  There is also the question of who started this investigation?  

Yet if you listen to the left, this is no big deal. There is nothing to see here; these are not the droid you are looking for, move along.  In what is one of the strangest arguments I have heard since Flynn plead guilty if he wants to withdraw his plea now, he should be held in contempt of court for lying to the Judge!

I have long been concerned with process crimes. I do not like them for both Republicans and Democrats. So I have been troubled by the Flynn case from day one.  After all, what is it he was supposed to have done?  As the incoming National Security Advisor, it would be normal and expected for him to talk to the Russian ambassador. The FBI had recordings of the call, so there was no need to ask Flynn about what was on the call.  As someone known as an outstanding intelligence officer, of course, he knew the call was recorded.  So why lie to the FBI? It did not make sense. Besides, why only charge him with lying? Why not charge him for what he did that supposedly caused him to lie?  This whole situation never made sense, except as a perjury trap.

Now we know more. The agents who interviewed him reported following his interview that he had been truthful. They were going to close the case. But then it was suddenly given new life with a Logan Act claim. Until recently, how or why this happened was unclear. The Logan Act would be a hail Mary attempt at best. No one has ever been convicted of a Logan Act violation in over 200 years, and it has been 150 years since someone was even prosecuted.  Add to this that the law is widely regarded as unconstitutional. So going after Flynn with the Logan act can only be seen as a desperate attempt to keep the investigation going.  This is a perfect example of an investigation seeking a justification, any justification, for its existence.  And people thought Javert was obsessed.

The basis for the charge that Flynn lied is the 302, the form completed by the agents documenting their discussion. The agents filled this out the day of the interview when they though Flynn has been truthful.  But then it was not finished for three weeks, implying that it had several edits. Where is this key piece of evidence now? With the case falling apart, somehow, it has gone missing. 

We know that with Carter Page, the documents for the FISA court were doctored to hide that Page had worked for the CIA. This made his contacts with a Soviet agent seem suspicious and thus a justification for a warrant.  What changes were made to Flynn’s 302 so that the agent’s view that he had been truthful, became a charge of perjury?  Also, we now know that the Law Firm representing Flynn at the time was also working with the FBI to bring Logan Act charges. This is a clear conflict of interest, and Flynn has since fired these lawyers.

Recently we learned from newly released meeting-notes that Obama was involved in keeping the investigation alive despite a lack of evidence. Also, it was Biden who suggested using the antiquated and almost certainly unconstitutional Logan Act, as a means of keeping the investigation of Flynn alive. But, again, these facts are meaningless to those who hate Trump.  Orangeman bad is the only thing that matters. Whatever anyone does to get Trump is just fine.

For some, there is still the question of why did Flynn plead guilty?  What would you do? He was financially ruined, deep in debt, with little ability to continue to pay his legal fees. Most of the media and even the “impartial” Judge in the case labeled him a traitor and a Russian assets – which is still happening.  Then prosecutors threatened to go after Flynn’s son and ruin his son’s life as well. The only way to stop this was to accept a plea deal. What would you do?

As if this story could not get any more bizarre, Judge Sullivan, despite the misconduct of the FBI,  would not dismiss the case.  In an unprecedented step, he appointed another Judge to handle the prosecution, while asking the public for comment on how he should rule.

We have separation of powers for a reason.  Article One, the Congress, passes the laws; Article Two, the Executive, enforces the law, and Article Three, the Judiciary, adjudicates disputes. Article Three does not have the right to take on the role of the prosecutor; they are restricted to ruling on issues before them. They are a judge, not a participant, and thus supposed to be impartial. Just the week before, the Supreme Court had a 9-0 decision overturning a 9th circuit decision reaffirming this principle. So, Judge Sullivan’s actions are lawless, and not surprisingly, the Appeals Court overruled him.   Now Judge Sullivan is appealing to the full appeals court. Franky, he should be removed as a judge as he clearly is not impartial.

But, again, for the major media, none of this matters. Using the FBI and FISA court to go after your political opponent is just fine, as long as it is going after Trump. Nothing to see here move along. Why do I believe my news sources over the mainstream media?  A major reason is my sources not only mention, but cite documents, court filings, and transcripts, some of which I have read myself. Most of the anti-Trump media completely ignore these.  

There is also an easy test for bias. Simply reverse the names.  This particularly easy to do here as now Trump is President, and Biden is the candidate.  If Trump directed the FBI to go after Biden and his people, with no evidence, would that be a problem? If these subordinates were falsifying documents to get warrants at the FISA court so they could spy on the Biden campaign, would this be okay? Is that really the new norm we want?

Jul 17th, 2020
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The Trump Mirror

Posted By Elgin Hushbeck

A frequent complaint about President Trump is that he is divisive and constantly picking fights. He seems uncontrollable in his tweets, and even many of his supporters wish he would tweet less and focus more on his accomplishments. On the other hand, many of his supporters love his tweets, and their reason is illustrative. For this latter group, the key is that Trump’s tweets are not an aberration of the political discourse. These supporters have seen the Left saying comparable things about conservatives for decades, yet with very little reaction.

In politics, it is natural to attack your opponent, and at times this does get dirty.  But there is a difference between the parties.  To somewhat oversimplify, but not too much, Republicans attacked Democrats as good people with bad policies. They are caring, but with wasteful spending, weak on defense, etc..  Democrats attacked Republicans as bad people, uncaring, greed, etc..

Nowhere is this clearer than with issues of race. In many respects, the hoodwinking of the public on this issue has been astounding; it is a testament to how much the Left dominates academia, the news, and entertainment media. From its founding, the Democratic party has been the party of race, first supporting slavery, and then later Jim Crow. It played a major role in both the rise of the KKK and its renewal.  The KKK was effectively the military arm of the Democratic party, enforcing its dominance in the south.

The Republican party, on the other hand, was formed to oppose slavery and ended it following the civil war. It opposed Jim Crow and suppressed the KKK in its first incarnation only to see it revied when Wilson, a Democrat, became President. The Republicans were the party of civil rights; the Democrats opposed it with filibusters in the Senate.

Then came the 1960s, and, as the myth goes, the parties somehow switched sides. Now on the face of it, this is absurd.  While it is understandable how individuals who were racists could come to see the light and realize how evil racism is, the reverse is more difficult to understand. What is not understandable is how this could happen to large groups, and particularly for this to happen simultaneously and so quickly.

The explanation for this magical switch is the person of Richard Nixon, and his supposed “southern strategy.”  Yet, this would at best only, explain why the south changed from Democrat to Republican. Even then, it is not supported by the timing. The major Civil Rights Acts passed before Nixon, and the actual switch in party allegiance in the South came later under Reagan. But why let facts get in the way of a good myth.

A better explanation is that the parties remained essentially the same at their core, and only modified their language and expression. Before the mid-1960s, the Republican view of civil rights that dominated was best summed up by Dr. Martin Luther King when he said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” This view remains the main Republican view today. It is the individual that matters, not the group.

Democrats, on the other hand, always saw race as highly significant, and they still do. The Democratic party still divides people into groups, where one is a member of a group before they are an individual. In recent years this has been formalized in the concepts of intersectionality. It is seen, for example, in Biden’s recent statement that a person is not Black if they don’t vote for him.  In short, the issue of race is still at the core of the Democratic party.

To hide their legacy, Democrats have redefined racism. Racism used to be judging people based on their race.  Now, not considering a person’s race when judging them is racist.  Segregation used to be seen as one of the evils of racism. Now segregation is encouraged by the Left as an expression of racial pride in things like the growing movement for all-black dorms at colleges.

Every election, Democrats still play racial politics, as they always have, just with somewhat different expressions. While they claim it is the Republicans that are racists, given their history, is it any surprise that the condition of minorities has only gotten worse in those areas that have been strongly Democratic for decades? Still, every election we have statements like Biden’s in 2012 saying Republicans are going to put blacks “back in chains” or Pelosi’s recent statement that Republicans are “trying to get away with the murder of George Floyd.” Comments like this were the “civil” discourse before Trump. Similar “civil” comments occurred in a wide range of areas beyond race.

What is “divisive” about Trump is not the tone of his rhetoric, but the fact that the fights back. Trump has a very large ego, even for a politician. You treat him nicely, and he will treat you nicely. You attack him; he will attack you. In this respect, Trump is a mirror. Thus to those on the Left and the Right, Trump is something new, a Republican who can give as good as he gets.

The Left is not used to this.  Democrats are used to calling Republicans racist, greed, and uncaring. They are used to saying Republicans want the poor to suffer, kids to drink dirty water, and grandmother to die. They claim voting for Republicans will cause black churches to burn, and show Paul Ryan pushing grandmother over a cliff. They do this constantly, and Republicans cower.  Then Trump comes along and gives as good as he gets, and his supporters cheer. Finally, someone is fighting back.  The calls for someone less divisive are just calling for someone who will surrender to the Left, someone who will not fight back.

For conservatives, it is probably good that Democrats did not figure Trump out early.  While Trump is the most conservative President in history, he is not really a conservative.  Again Trump is a mirror.  He is nice to those who are nice to him. He supports those who support him, and he attacks those who attack him.

Had the Democrats realized this early on, they probably could have sweet-talked him onto their side.  If they had played to his ego, given the negotiator in him, he would have given them something, and probably more than conservatives wanted.  They have certainly been uncomfortable with some of his offers. Democratic acceptance of these concessions would have brought criticism of Trump from conservatives, and the dynamic of his Presidency could have been reversed.

Luckily for conservatives, the shock of the Trump victory led instead to the attempt to destroy his Presidency with the phony Trump-Russia narrative. Pushing Trump even further into the Republican camp and enhancing the power of the far-left in the Democratic party.

Jul 16th, 2020
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