Tag Archives: politics

Not Voting Is a Powerful Form of Dissent

Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow
Saturday, June 18, 2016

Imagine living in a country in which the two major parties had nominated a statist, war-mongering crook and a nasty authoritarian narcissist. Imagine being embarrassed that after more than two centuries of existence this apparently was the best your beloved country could do. Imagine considering that the best option on Election Day might be committing ritual Seppuku, but deciding to stay home instead.

The Freedom to Stay Home

Politicians have no right to insist that the disaffected suffer through the humiliation of voting.But then imagine government officials showing up at your door, demanding that you accompany them to the polling place to vote for one of the candidates who you would scratch your eyes out before actually watching speak. That is the world which some high-minded “civic activists” desire.

Every election can be expected to unleash ponderous commentaries bemoaning low voter turnout. Many Americans don’t register, let alone cast ballots. Why, oh why, won’t they get out and participate—which usually means vote left? It is so unfair, we are told. The wealthy, elderly, and well-educated disproportionately participate, which “skews policymaking,” complained the Economist. Just think of all the government programs the underrepresented could vote for themselves if only they showed up on Election Day.

Of course, there is another way of looking at the process. Today those most likely to follow politics, understand issues, watch the news, and know the candidates vote disproportionately. Which might “skew” policy, but presumably in a very good way. Those choosing America’s leaders are actually more likely to know something. Amazing thought!

Forced to Vote

more here

DOn’t Vote…Donald Trump Goes “Presidential” Again

 In a speech this morning at his SoHo hotel in New York City, Donald Trump was “presidential” once again. It was a  speech, from a political perspective, that was brilliantly written.

It will resonate with the masses.

On the other hand, for any person that understands fundamental economics, the first 15 minutes of his speech was a horror show. It was absurd mercantilist, anti-free trade pandering to the masses.

“Our country will be better off when we start making our own products again, bringing our once great manufacturing capabilities back to our shores,” he said. He repeated that theme in many different ways for the first 15 minutes of his speech, displaying either an ignorance of the law of comparative advantage or a willful ignorance of the economic law.

He also stoked up Islamic fear:

Perhaps the most terrifying thing about Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy is that she refuses to acknowledge the threat posed by Radical Islam.

His framing of the email scandal was masterful:

 To cover-up her corrupt dealings, Hillary Clinton illegally stashed her State Department emails on a private server.

Her server was easily hacked by foreign governments – perhaps even by her financial backers in Communist China – putting all of America in danger.

Then there are the 33,000 emails she deleted.

While we may not know what is in those deleted emails, our enemies probably do.

So they probably now have a blackmail file over someone who wants to be President of the United States.

This fact alone disqualifies her from the Presidency.

We can’t hand over our government to someone whose deepest, darkest secrets may be in the hands of our enemies.

Getting back to economics, the idea of tax cuts, however fanciful that would be in a Trump administration, was mentioned seemingly only as an afterthought near the end of his speech. He mentioned the word “tax” only twice and once was not in relation to a cut in  taxes but a reference to taxes under Obama/Clinton.

more here

Trump and the Judge

Journal of American Greatness

Something that we think still confuses a lot of conservatives is their presumption that leftwing arguments are supposed to be applied evenhandedly.  Thus their befuddlement over Trump’s comment about the judge.

When Sonia Sotomayor said that being a “wise Latina” influences her decisions for the better, that—we were told—was not merely nothing to worry about but a sign of her judicial temperament and fitness for the High Court.  When Trump says being a Latino will influence this judge’s hearing of his case, he’s Hitler.

There may seem at first glance to be an inconsistency here.  But there is a common thread.  The left mostly takes for granted, first, that people from certain ethnicities in positions of power will be liberal Democrats and, second, that they will use that power in the interests of their party and co-ethnics.  This is a core reason for shouts of “treason!” “Uncle Tom” (or Tomas) and the like.  People like Clarence Thomas are offending the left’s whole conception of the moral order.  How dare he!

The implicit assumption underlying Sotomayor’s comment and Thomas’ refusal to play to type is that there is a type—an expectation.  By virtue of her being a liberal, a Democrat, a woman, and a Latina (wise or otherwise), Sotomayor’s voting pattern on the Court ought to be predictable.  As, indeed, it is.  So should Thomas’, but he declines to play his assigned role.

The slightly deeper assumption is that this identity-based predictability is necessary, because the institutions and laws as designed will not reliably produce the “correct” outcome.  That’s the logic of diversity in a nutshell.  If everybody in power strictly followed law and procedure, the good guys—the poor, minorities, women, etc.—would lose a great deal of the time and that would be bad.  We need people who will look past the niceties of the rule of law and toward the outcome—the end.  The best way to ensure that is “diversity,” i.e., people more loyal to their own party and tribe than to abstractions like the rule of law.

Trump simply took this very same logic and restated it from his own point-of-view—that is, from the point-of-view of a rich, Republican, ostentatiously hyper-American defendant in a lawsuit being litigated in a highly-charged political environment.  He knows full well that at least 50% of the country will howl like crazy if he wins this suit.  He knows that the judge knows that, too.  He further knows that judge knows what his own “side” expects him to do.  It would take an act of extraordinary courage to act against interest and expectation in this instance.  And our present system is not calibrated to produce such acts of courage but rather to produce the expected outcome.

That’s what diversity is for.  That is, beyond the fairness issue, viz., that in a multiethnic country, it’s unwise and arguably unjust for high offices to be monopolized by one group.  But that’s an argument for something like quotas—or, if you want to be high-minded about it, “distributive justice”—and the quota rationale for diversity is passé.  The current rationale is that diversity provides “perspectives.” Perspectives to aid in getting around the law and procedure.  Otherwise, who cares about diversity?  Just apply the law.  Simple.

Trump is taking for granted—because he is not blind—that ethnic Democratic judges will rule in the interests of their party and of their ethnic bloc.  That’s what they’re supposed to do.  The MSM and the overall narrative say this is just fine.  It’s only bad when someone like Trump points it out in a negative way.  If a properly sanctified liberal had said “This man is a good judge because his background gives him the perspective to see past narrow, technical legalities and grasp the larger justice,” not only would no one have complained, that comment would have been widely praised.  In fact, comments just like it are celebrated all the time.  That is precisely what Justice Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” phrase was meant to convey.

Plus, Trump has whacked the hornets’ nest by his criticism of Mexican immigration, which he feels this judge is bound to take personally.  And why shouldn’t he conclude that?  The left (and the domesticated right) tell us incessantly that any criticism—however fair or factual—that touches on a specific group will inevitably arouse the ire of that group.  Don’t say anything negative about immigration or the Hispanics will never vote for you!  Don’t say anything critical of Islamic terror or more Muslims will hate us!  But when Trump uses that same logic—I’ve criticized Mexican immigration so it’s likely this judge won’t like me—he’s a villain.

To look for logical consistency in any of this is to miss the point.  Trump is bad, and he is using these leftist arguments for bad (that is, not their intended) ends.  Therefore he is both bad and wrong, even though others who say logically identical things are good and right.

—Decius