Trump

Trump Speech

President Trump’s CPAC Speech

I was looking forward to this speech, but I have to be honest and admit I was disappointed.  Millions of his supporters were waiting for direction and he failed to provide it.  He could have challenged us to take over the Republican Party at the local level by becoming Precinct Chairmen.  He could have challenged us to run for local office and to run for school boards. He could have asked us to run for state offices and for the US House. He could have asked us to be become poll watchers and poll workers.

While some may have been happy to hear President Trump talk about the 2020 election, I thought it was just old news being rehashed one more time. I was disappointed he had no new news to share, no new research that had been done, no proof to back his statements up. To me, it came across as sour grapes.  If there was any benefit to anything more than a brief comment about the election, I don’t see it.

Attacking Joe Biden and the Biden administration?  Probably a smart move as no one else on the Republican side can command any media time. It will probably only be played on conservative media, but at least he is on record.  It would have been good if he had attacked Biden in a way that Democrats might agree with such as flooding the country with illegal immigrants having an immediate impact on jobs for working class African Americans and further stressing poor school systems.

His speech preached to the choir and maybe that is all it was intended to do. I think it froze everything in place and that was a mistake.  President Trump could have mobilized 5-10 million supporters guaranteeing him control of the Republican Party and being ready for the midterms. I think he lost an opportunity to give an inspirational speech that laid out the conservative agenda for the future. He had a world-wide audience, yet he didn’t take advantage of it.

I guess it’s obvious I’m not a presidential speech writer!

 

Fight

What’s Wrong with Trump Supporters?

Every time there is a critical vote in Congress that infringes on our Constitutional rights, Trump supporters start posting about “burning up the phone lines”. When was the last time that made any difference? Politicians know that as soon as the next crisis comes along, we will forget about the prior one. Then the next election comes along and we hold our nose and vote for the candidate with R next to their name. Then we complain when the R acts like R’s always do.

Maybe someone organizes a rally and hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people show up. Has that made any difference long term? Then why do we keep doing it and pretending we are doing something? We elected many Tea Party supporting candidates to the House and Senate. How has that worked out for us? Our so-called leaders are telling us to do it again. That it will be different this time.

We seem to have the emotional part down, but where is the thinking part? Where is the planing part? Why is everyone waiting for someone else to lead? Why are we waiting for President Trump to tell us what to do?

Imagine how powerful we would be if we could just win 1 Senate seat with our candidate and our party. Right now, we might be the controlling vote in the Senate with just 1 Senator. What if we had 20 House members, some of whom had defeated Republicans and some Democrats. That might be enough to choose the Speaker and we would be the swing vote on many important bills.

Last night House Republicans votes overwhelmingly (145 to 61) to keep Liz Cheney as Republican House Conference Chair, the 3rd highest position in Republican House leadership. Republican House leadership is Kevin McCarthy as Minority Leader, Steve Scalise as Republican Whip, and Liz Cheney as Republican House Conference Chair. Are any of these people on our side? Are their objectives in any way the same as ours?

I listened to Bannon’s War Room every day for a few weeks after the election, where day after day he assured us “We have the Receipts”, that GA was going to be overturned, that Republicans in AZ were going to take action, the same in PA, MI, and WI. He brought on Republican attorneys who said court cases were going to be won. And most importantly, that on January 20, 2021, President Trump would be sworn in as President.

I haven’t listened to the War Room for a couple of weeks, but I listened yesterday. And I heard Matt Gaetz say they had the votes to remove Liz Chaney. Sure they did.

In Georgia, Loeffler and Perdue refused to say they would fight for Trump and it cost the Republicans 2 Senate seats and control of the Senate. And who was telling these 2 candidates how to campaign? From all indications, it was Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell. The GOP priority was to distance themselves from Trump, not keep control of the Senate. The day before the election Loeffler finally said she would fight for Trump and Perdue waited until the actual morning of the election. Thousands of Trump supporters stayed home and I don’t blame them.

We hear people like Dan Bongino lecture us on why we have to remain in the Republican Party. No offense Dan, but if you are that great a strategist, why are you 0 for 2? Why haven’t Hannity, Limbaugh, Levin, Beck, etc. sent out investigators to find out what really happened in the contested states. Why haven’t they sent investigators out to find out what really happened on Jan 6 and why?

Why is Conservative news media not doing any investigative stories? We have access to arrest records. Why are no Conservative journalists going out and interviewing the people that stormed the Capitol people and finding out what their motivation was? Who organized it or was it really spontaneous? Or are we going to just let the left-wing media do the interviews and write their slanted stories?

We have a critical election in 2022. 435 members of Congress and 34 Senate seats are up for election. On the Senate side, 20 are Republicans and 14 are Democrats.

That means there is less than a year to find and select candidates and raise millions of dollars. Are we doing that? No. We make comments and chant slogans at rallies.

We are going to get exactly what we deserve – another 2 years of the Democrats controlling the House, the Senate, and the Executive branch, and Republicans going along with them and disappointing us over and over again.

It’s time for the average Joe and Mary to step up. Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Look around and find something you are uniquely qualified to do and do it. There are hundreds of thousands of small business owners who need help, who have been abused by both Republicans and Democrats. Bring them into our movement. Same with all the mothers and fathers who have been let down by our public schools. Bring them into our movement. The way Democrat governors and even some Republican governors have handled the Covid-19 crisis has angered millions of Americans. Invite them to join us. I bet we could win some Congressional seats in blue states with the right candidates.

We don’t want haters. We don’t want bigots. We don’t want racists. Let the Republican and Democrat parties have them. We want Americans who are willing to reach out in friendship and to offer a helping hand up when needed. We need to include everyone who shares our values, even if it’s not 100%..

If we only get 60% of what we want, that is 60% better than what we are getting right now. With 60% we can start building toward 70% and 80%. That was Reagan’s strategy.

No one wants to hear this, but if we want to create a party that is a big tent and can win for decades to come, it must be a center-right party, not a right wing party. That doesn’t mean giving up our principles, but it does mean we get a lot better at communicating so that we can attract a much wider audience. Then we win the same way all great teams win:

  • Teamwork
  • Great Players (Candidates)
  • Great Coaches (Campaign Managers and Staff)
  • Preparation
  • Hard Work

Populism

What is Populism? – Modern US Populism

What Is Populism – Modern US Populism?

Populism has many definitions, but the one that most closely defines current US populism is the “common man” versus the “Elites”. The “common man” or the “people” are defined by class, ethnicity, nationality, or economic status. But “common man” goes even deeper than that. It is the individual and that individual’s Constitutional rights that are part of who we are as Americans.

The “elite” can include political, economic, media, and cultural leaders, the intelligentsia, and government. Any group that exerts an unfair force against the individual or the people could be considered the elite.

Example: Suppose that several large companies who offer a utility-like service start banning people based on their political beliefs. That might start a popular movement by the people who were banned against the large companies. If the government took the side of the companies, then this would likely start a populist movement that would affect the next election.

This quote about President Andrew Jackson provides a good description of a conservative populist. It also explains why President Trump had a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office and why Biden had it removed.

Andrew Jackson helped shape a political philosophy that has rippled through the American political firmament for nearly 200 years. Call it conservative populism—an aversion to bigness in all of its forms, including big government, and a faith in the capacity of ordinary folks to understand and to act upon their own interests. Conservative populism includes a natural aversion to entrenched elites, who always fight back against conservative populists whenever they challenge elite power. Republicans of today who tout the leadership of the last great GOP president, Ronald Reagan, should know they are touting the 20th century’s greatest exponent of Jackson-style populist politics. source

Anything that stresses the relationship between the people and the leaders can result in the creation of a populist movement. In the US, it is usually a result of an economic imbalance between the working class and large corporations resulting from the federal government favoring the corporations. We see this going on now with the Covid-19 lock-downs causing many small businesses to go out of business while big businesses like Amazon and Walmart make record profits. The government is acting in an unfair manner, favoring one set of businesses over another. In some states, there is the additional problem of treating churches more restrictively than other comparable entities.

Populism is often an attempt to correct the economic inequalities resulting from corporations pursuing profits over social responsibility. In the US, populism serves as a safety valve for capitalism, trying to correct the imbalance caused when the government favors big business over the people.

By law, corporations are organized to create profit for stockholders, not to share the profit with workers or to keep manufacturing plants in the US.

The leading statement of the law’s view on corporate social responsibility goes back to Dodge v. Ford Motor Co, a 1919 decision that held that “a business corporation is organized and carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders.” source

It is up to government to provide the right level of regulation that allows business to be conducted as freely as possible, while at the same time ensuring that the workers are not being taken unfair advantage of. This imbalance has played out over and over again in the US. Often the Democrats will gain power and over-regulate and then the Republicans will gain power and under-regulate. But each has it’s favorites, and these favorites will often receive favorable tax and regulatory policies, creating an unfair competitive environment.

While economics is the primary cause of populism, there is often a cultural component. Here are 2 earlier examples of US populism. The primary causes are economic, but there are secondary cultural causes.

Name Date Ecomic Cultural
Populist Party
1892-1908
Ban on Foreign Land Ownership, State Control of Railroads, Shortened Work Days, Anti-Corruption
Temperance
Ronald Reagan
1981-1989
Reduce Regulations, Limit Federal Power, Tax Cuts
Individual Rights, Public Morality, War on Drugs

Types of Populism

Populism is not considered to be an ideology, but is paired with an ideology such as nationalism, socialism, communism, conservatism, liberalism, constitutionalism, or fascism. Often times it is referred to as left-wing or right-wing populism, but that does not provide a clear description of the movement.

A populist movement is usually led by a charismatic leader such as Ross Perot (United We Stand), Sarah Palin (Associated with The Tea Party), Bernie Sanders (Democrat Socialist), and Donald Trump (MAGA). Trump was the only recent populist to become President. Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party didn’t have an identified leader, although Sarah Palin became one of the Tea Party’s leading spokespeople.

Let’s look at each of these movements.

  • Ross Perot 1992 – Balanced budget, economic nationalism, war on drugs, POW/MIA issue, increased tax on wealthy, trade issues. Populist/Economic/Nationalist

  • Tea Party (2000s) – Small government, lower taxes, fiscal discipline, lower national debt, balanced budget. Sarah Palin best known person associated with the Tea Party. Primarily Republican. Populist/Economic/Conservative

  • Occupy Wall Street (2011) – Anti-corporate, bank reform, economic reform, forgiveness of student loans, income disparity, We Are the 99%. Primarily Democrat. Populist/Economic/Socialist

  • Bernie Sanders (2016, 2020) – Democrat Socialist. Economic inequity, single-payer healthcare, $15 minimum wage, free public college tuition, paid parental leave. Populist/Economic/Socialist

  • Donald Trump (2016, 2020) – Republican. Renegotiate trade agreements, America First, bring jobs back to US, stop illegal immigration (Build the Wall), reduce legal immigration, reduce regulations, non-interventionist foreign policy. Populist/Economic/Nationalist/Conservative

Summary

Populism is the people versus the elites. It occurs when the people believe that they are being treated unfairly by the people in power and they seek to correct this imbalance, often through a Presidential election. Almost always, the imbalance is an economic one, although there may also be cultural issues such as discrimination, free speech, gun rights, and abortion.

Populism is not an ideology, so it takes the form of an ideology such as conservatism, liberalism, fascism, socialism, communism, economics, and nationalism. A populist movement is usually led by a charismatic personality.

Opinion: I have noticed while doing research for this article, that the left will view, for example, tax cuts as a cultural issue because they see it as hurting the poor and the working class, while the right will see it as an economic issue raising everyone’s standard of living. Another example is the southern border wall. The right sees this as a security issue and the left sees it as discrimination against people of color. Where it becomes dangerous is when one side takes a position and the other side unfairly labels it using inflammatory language. The elites will echo this language as a way to discredit and destroy the populist movement. Both sides have been guilty of this.

Patriot

The Patriot Party?

Emotions are running high and many Trump supporters are talking about creating a new political party – the Patriot Party. In my opinion, this is political suicide – not starting a new party, but calling it the Patriot Party.

If we want to win, which I assume is the objective, we have to be a more inclusive party. Simple being  a subset of the Republican Party means the Democrats have an open field in front of them. All Democrats have to do is pick up half of the independent vote and they will win every election. 

Around a third of registered voters in the U.S. (34%) identify as independents, while 33% identify as Democrats and 29% identify as Republicans, according to a Center analysis of Americans’ partisan identification based on surveys of more than 12,000 registered voters in 2018 and 2019. Pew Research

The logical thing to do is move more toward the center, not the right.  We need to pick up the majority of the Independents and even pick up some conservative Democrats. When the Democrats moved further left, the middle became a huge opportunity that neither Republicans nor the Democrats are fighting for. Let’s take it.

Party Votes in 2020
Republican
74,216,722
Democrat
81,268,757
Independent
NA
Libertarian
1,865,720
Other
1,032,601
Total
158,383,800

You might argue we just need to include Libertarians. As you can see above, they didn’t even get 2 million votes and when you add in all the other fringe parties, it still was less than 3 million votes.  There just aren’t enough votes unless you can get a majority of Independents.

How do we do it? It starts by naming the party something that doesn’t turn off a large segment of the population. I can already hear the argument – what’s wrong with Patriots? Who are we excluding by calling ourselves Patriots?

Try an experiment.  Ask 3 people, who you know are liberal, what they think of the Patriot Party as the name for a new party.  Just listen to their response, don’t try to defend the name.

I’m pretty sure some of you will hear it’s racist, it’s anti-Muslim, it’s anti-immigrant, it’s fascist, and possibly even anti-woman. You might even hear it sounds like a bunch of little boys re-enacting the Revolutionary War and everyone that doesn’t join them is a traitor. That’s because liberals judge based on harm and fairness while conservatives judge based on stability, sanctity, authority, and group loyalty. Words often mean something different to a liberal than they do to a conservative.

Let me give an example. I just took a morality test (here).  One question asked me to rate the favorability of the Tea Party on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). People who highly value harm/caring (liberals) rated it very low at 1.9, while people who highly value loyalty (conservatives) rated it 3.8. The entire test was like that with large differences between the way liberals and conservatives responded to questions.

Starting a new party shouldn’t be done based on emotion.  There are thousands of hours of research that has to be done to put together a party platform that will be able to attract enough people to win elections, from local to state to national, both rural and urban.

I wish we would see study groups popping up all across the US so we could have a wealth of information to work with. People need to be reading boring research papers and distilling the ideas down into chunks of usable information.  We need to have thousands of people with the equivalent knowledge of a degree in Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, and the other behavioral and social sciences. We need people that can develop and run polls. We need people that can write speeches. We need people that can train poll watchers. And on and on.

Starting a new party is a lot of work and so far, I haven’t seen anyone willing to put in the hours.   I’m sure there are some big-time political consultants working on it, but do we want to put our faith in them to do what is right for the people? Can we afford the millions of dollars they will charge us?  One of the reasons the Tea Party eventually failed was because political action committees (PACs) made a nice living off of it, maybe too nice a living.

Simply naming it the Patriot Party and having a meeting is doomed to failure.  This isn’t like the Tea Party where you just have rallies and make phone calls, this is the drudgery of really hard work. We have an opportunity few Americans ever have. We can create a new party that will help shape the direction of the country for generations if we are willing to do the necessary hard work.

If we don’t do the work, any new party will be run by consultants and political operatives. It’s your choice, but if you choose to let the party be taken over by consultants and operatives, there is no reason to leave the Republican Party because you won’t be able to tell one from the other. For consultants to make the big bucks, they have to find the big donors. And most big donors are globalists.  Your choice.