While the immigration executive order signed by Trump on Friday is less than the sum of fears imagined by rating machine DJT on the campaign trail and the leftists shaken by his Twitter, it still amounts to an attack on the American character. The media outlets have profiled many of the afflicted. Many generous attorneys and translators have descended on the airports to assist them.
We are birthed or for immigrants baptized by the ideals of an empire’s dissents. While many asylum seekers from the seven banned countries are low skill, their souls call them to an higher moral order: The United States. To shed the traditions of the old for the new. That calling shouldn’t be dismissed. I may especially disagree with temporary worker visas for low skill positions; I would never support immigration reform that bans all low skill immigration. Even Reagan called to welcome the Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees
as Americans. He was the original Immigration hardliner.
It is no surprise that Steve Bannon is the mind behind the poorly written order. In his ascension this weekend to permanent member of Trump’s National Security Council which downgraded the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, he has become the most powerful non elected man in America. Besides the immigration order, he told the NYtimes in an interview that the press should be silent. Imagine his reaction if Axelrod told him that during his time at Breitbart. With his naval assistant experience and dreams of infrastructure, he lives as a twisted Roosevelt. Unelectable and impulsive, he opens the gates of Hell.
The False Dimitris, Time of Troubles, Making the Apolitical Political
It’s Monday and with Monday comes a new hot liberal article that E.C. Fiori and myself have been inundated with questions about. It pertains to a possible trial run of a coup at the highest levels of government by Trump’s inner circle.
I knew that in the days after the inauguration the left would be ripe for conspiracy theories, and lo and behold, here comes one after the first truly brutal act from Trump’s cabal.
How much evidence is there for this plot? Not as much as I would like to be honest. Are the purges in the state department and manic consolidation of power real? They are, but point me to a single kleptocracy that hasn’t done the exact same thing. I thought the voting public was clear on what Trump would be doing when he got behind the Roosevelt desk.
This, perhaps, is where both the left AND the right got Donald Trump wrong. The left took him literally, but not seriously. The news cycle would begin and end with mocking his ideas as foolish and impossible. The right took him seriously, but not literally. Among millennials, the large majority of votes in his favor were the fabled “culture” vote, where the empowerment of a candidate makes no policy sense, but has a desired effect in the wider popular culture. The idea was that he is serious about change, and will say anything to get the elite liberal media oppressors enraged. Let’s sit back and watch the show. But the show goes on, and now we increasingly live in Trump’s world.
So where is all of this going? First, people will believe almost anything in times of fear and uncertainty. This includes people on the left and it includes conspiracy theories.
Second, what is a radical centrist to do in this climate? Catalogue the actual crimes of the new administration, starting with the worst. And no, it is not the Muslim ban, idiotically unhelpful and un-American as it certainly is.
No. It is the making of the apolitical, political. Steve Bannon getting a permanent seat on the National Security Council is so incredibly dangerous, that I can’t help but wonder if the “Muslim ban” was designed to fail as a cover for this outrageous power grab
. The reason aids to the president are almost never allowed to participate in such meetings (or often attend) is because the security of our nation should never even hint of a political leaning
. This is something new.
It is up to us now to take Trump literally and seriously. We’re 10 days in.
The Serpent’s Tongue: In Praise of Kellyanne Conway
It is currently the favorite pastime of over half the nation’s voting population to condemn, scorn, laugh, and generally degrade a single woman: Kellyanne Conway. This excludes the amount of joy her many media appearances and statements have given non-U.S. citizens, but for the sake of brevity, let’s put the number at 62.5 million people.
But have we, the scornful masses, ever taken a step back and asked how she does her job? She was given the impossible task of successfully running a presidential campaign, and even worse, consistently deal with gaping logic flaws, insane scandals, and indefensible political positions. Yet she has handled her lot in life with an amazing amount of grace.
She attends not only Fox and Friends, but some of the hardest, most blatant left leaning shows, like Bill Maher. He assembles a panel with the sole directive of nuclear annihilation, and yet time and time again she returns.
That is because she is someone who does not gain satisfaction from the ideological debate, or from the foisting of a candidate she believes in. She is the kind of political operative that adores the pageantry of it all, the performance, the “pivot”.
It is these psychotic adrenaline junkies that Trump has surrounded himself with: people cut from the same orange cloth as he. Once Sean Spicer gets the boot the press will have to find a way to starve her of the thrills she seeks. The clock is ticking.
Fear based actions that will be struck down were past yesterday. Still no economic salvation.
Progressives are a peculiar sort of humans. Take this NPR piece about Canadian immigration vs. our immigration.
They can’t say the Canadian system works better because they rank them by skill and education thus take much less impoverished and low skill immigrants. They list all the evidence but rather omit concluding that our system is flawed because who we accept. That would be to admit the failure of the American system as designed by our corporate overlords to push wages down. In 2014 we accepted 1.3 new immigrants compared to the 300,000 to the north that four times as many. It’s ridiculous to say Canada is a more welcoming country outside of politicians statements. They have one border that with the world’s only superpower and the greatest country who has spent 70 years ensuring global stability. They come just behind the US for largest total land area but their total population is 11% of ours.
Progressives believe anyone who doesn’t share their views are intellectually inferior. They believe fellow Americans can’t read the data. They brush aside any math that doesn’t compute because the emotions of the cause outweigh the reality.
Ultimately it ends with discussion being forbidden as the dogma must be honored above truth. It opens the door to Trump, the honest bullshitter who lets his followers in on the joke that all media is shadows in the cave.
The link above is a 2007 debate between Christopher Hitchens and Christopher Hedges. The whole thing is worth listening to but the end in particular caught my eye when Jack Delaney shared it with me this evening. Hedges saw today long before I think most did.
Trump follows not the playbook of mad man Nixon but the madness of North Korea. From naming his inauguration “National Day of Patriotic Devotion” to promoting “Alternative Facts” called lies in the press room, the leader cult grows.
The battle being waged is for the soul of America. The institutions we believe threatened were hollowed over thirty years of greed. From leftist teachings in the classroom to far right sermons in the pews, the notion of American and America eroded for the notion of me and I. People often claim Trump is the source of the current destruction of norms but that gives him too much credit.
We the people have been chipping away at them for years by always exempting ourselves. We say “no problem” rather than “you’re welcome”. As our newspeak developed our thinking shrunk, our hyperboles grew. We turned inward, shedding the work of community building. Legality became morality in life and business distancing us from responsibility. Twitter and Facebook became news and entertainment just as our personal and professional began to shrink. Trump is the natural end. Civil and personal society needs to be rebuilt and framed around Constitution and outside the law true absolute values must be reinstated. We must recreate respect itself.