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Friday, January 20, marked the beginning of the Don of a new era for the United States.
As many have said, it is always darkest before the Don.
What follows are highlights of not only Inauguration Day but the whole weekend.
Far from being austere, as many of us expected, it was wall-to-wall activity from dawn to dusk!
Before the post unfolds, let’s remember that:
It is possible because Big Media are — and have been — plain contrary. That’s an archaic use of contrary, but, in that sense, it means stubborn and resistant to reason.
All credit to Bill Mitchell, he boarded the Trump Train just before or after the Republican National Convention. Even though he objected to Pepe the Frog, the unofficial Trump mascot, he duly apologised on Twitter. Pepe gained traction with Hillary Clinton, who even lambasted the cartoon frog in a campaign speech.
Bill Mitchell hosts and presents YourVoice™ Radio, likely to become more popular over the next four years.
Even more interesting is this quote from Pastor Robert Jeffress, a big Trump supporter:
Thursday, January 19
January 19 was a busy day for the Trump family.
Flight from La Guardia to Joint Base Andrews
Donald Trump’s flight with his family, including his two sisters and brother, would be the last one he would take before becoming president.
Fox 10 Phoenix has a great video of the plane landing at Andrews. The interesting bit starts at 10:55 when someone on board tells ten-year-old Barron to leave the plane first. Not surprisingly, Barron, unusually wearing his hair over his forehead, is reluctant. The future first couple disembark at the 13:00 point. The extensive motorcade departs at 17:07, complete with a first-responder truck and an ambulance. The black Chevy Suburban vans are reinforced just like armoured cars:
Once in DC, the Trumps went to the Trump International Hotel (The Old Post Office), where the incoming president held an Inauguration Luncheon to honour Republican Party leaders:
Welcome Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial
That afternoon, the Make America Great Again Welcome Celebration took place in front of the massive — and grand — Lincoln Memorial, which is considerably larger than one imagines. Seeing it in person is awe-inspiring.
A variety of musical acts, including splendid military bands, performed. Trump gave a speech before a display from Grucci Fireworks ended the event in the early evening. Unfortunately, the last two displays let the whole thing down. ‘USA’ appeared as ‘USR’ and the American flag was, sadly, a blur. It is a pity, because their fireworks show before that was excellent.
This short video from Dan Scavino, Director of Social Media, gives a great summary of the event, including the fireworks. From left to right are Tiffany Trump (mother is Marla Maples Trump), Ivanka (Ivana Trump), the first couple, granddaughter Kai (Donald Jr’s daughter), Donald Jr (Ivana) with his wife Vanessa and son, then to the far right, Eric (Ivana) and his wife:
The first couple contemplated the larger than life statue of Abraham Lincoln:
The event ended with the new first couple thanking their supporters. Never mind the sentiment from a Twitter user. I wanted to show you just how ‘yuuge’ Lincoln’s statue is:
The Daily Mail has a comprehensive article, complete with photos and a video, about the concert and Trump’s address at the end, just before the fireworks.
Interestingly, Trump had a special meeting afterwards with a 23-year-old single father, Shane Bouvet, from Illinois who had given an interview to the Washington Post just days before. Trump saw the article and made sure he could meet the man, who is struggling to make ends meet. The billionaire had a private conversation with Bouvet and gave him a cheque for $10,000.
Campaign donors dinner
However, the evening had only just begun. A dinner to thank campaign donors took place afterwards at DC’s majestic Union Station. Both the Trumps and the Pences attended and addressed their guests.
Mike Pence opened his remarks by saying the administration would repeal and replace Obamacare. Trump (2:59) said that choosing Mike Pence was one of the best decisions he’s ever made. He then went on to talk about the amazing election results where Republicans won in states they had lost forever. He mentioned Iowa. They had not won there since 1952. He then spoke about his cabinet nominees. The high point, however, was when he thanked Kellyanne Conway (18:28), the first successful female presidential campaign manager in American history. (I don’t understand what these feminists were protesting at the weekend in DC. Surely, Kellyanne’s success and the many women employees at the Trump Organization prove them wrong.)
Then it was time to turn in for some rest. The Pences returned to their house in Chevy Chase, Maryland, which they rented and moved to soon after the election.
The first couple and family members spent the night at Blair House, a complex of four buildings for guests of the president.
The photo below shows Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner at Blair House. Kushner will play a principal role as a presidential adviser. Both are practising Jews. Ivanka converted before her wedding. Kushner recently gave up holdings in his family real estate firm to be able to take on his new role:
Early in the morning, preparations for the inauguration ceremony began.
Meanwhile, Bikers For Trump were arriving in Washington, DC to form ‘a wall of meat’ in case the new president needed protection. Days earlier, Clinton family friend Dominic Puopolo, 51, was arrested by Miami Beach police for saying that he would be at the inauguration to ‘kill President Trump’.
This photo shows Donald Trump ready to leave Blair House in Washington, DC early in the morning of January 20. Trump’s granddaughter Kai (Donald Jr’s daughter) and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former head of the Republican Party, are to the right of Trump:
From there, it was on to a morning service on Friday at St John’s Church (Episcopal) — known as the Church of the Presidents — in Lafayette Square, near the White House. The rector, the Reverend Dr. Luis León, greeted the first couple in front of the church.
They were joined by family and prominent well wishers. The first couple are on the far left centre of the photo. The Pences are in the lower left-hand corner:
The aforementioned Pastor Jeffress delivered the sermon:
Meeting at the White House
The first couple left St John’s for the White House, where they had coffee with the Obamas:
Melania Trump gave a large gift from Tiffany & Co to Michelle Obama. Presenting a gift is a tradition from an incoming first lady to a departing one.
Afterwards, it was on to the Capitol building for the swearing-in ceremony:
Trump quipped at the donor’s dinner the night before that he didn’t care if it rained on Inauguration Day, because at least people would see that his hair was real!
The incoming president awaited his cue inside the Capitol building:
All living former presidents are invited to attend the inauguration and are seated near the front. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalyn, William Jefferson Clinton and Hillary and George W Bush (Bush II) and Laura were in attendance.
George H W Bush (Bush I) and Barbara sent in their acceptance but were hospitalised days earlier. On Tuesday, January 10, he sent Trump a cordial, witty letter of regret.
Although Bush II tweeted the following earlier, at the swearing-in ceremony, he joked ad nauseam with the Clintons, seated next to him and Laura, signifying to the television viewer that he was closer to them than to Trump, his fellow Republican. But we all knew that the Bushes were NeverTrumpers because they said so.
Despite Trump’s sincerity, here’s the hypocrisy of it all. Dan Scavino Jr, rightly, took it sincerely. Then, the live coverage rolled and something else entirely was on display. Trump, no doubt, expected something different based on this (Bush I was the 41st president, by the way):
These were the prayers offered before the inauguration by clergy who were principal Trump supporters:
The Revd Franklin Graham did not hesitate to say there is only one God:
Here is the swearing-in by Chief Justice John Roberts. The first couple’s son, Barron, 10, is to the right of the first lady. She held two closed Bibles, the Lincoln Bible (bottom) and Trump’s own, a gift from his mother (top):
Entertainment Weekly reports that Trump’s inauguration received the second highest television ratings for that event. Top-rated was Obama’s first swearing-in, which 37.8m Americans watched in 2009. Trump’s audience was 30.6m. However, Heavy points out that, in 1981, 41.8m people watched Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration. That places Obama in second place and Trump in third. Definitive online viewing figures are unavailable at this time.
Important lines from the inaugural speech included the following. First, on the elites, several of whom were present. Politico reported:
“Their victories have not been your victories,” he said. “Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you.” He also made a promise: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.
The closing lines were the following:
To Americans: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. Your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.
Together we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again – and yes, together, WE WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
However, most important were Trump’s mentions of God, including:
We will be protected by God.
WND‘s Garth Kant wrote of the contrast between Trump and his predecessor with regard to the inauguration speech:
Trump mentioned himself just three times in the 1,400 words he delivered in his speech lasting 16 minutes and 20 seconds. He referred to the American people 45 times.
By comparison, Obama, as is his wont, mentioned himself 207 times in 84 minutes while campaigning for Hillary during a November speech ostensibly about her.
And, to make sure it was crystal clear that there has been a sea change not just in style but also in substance, Trump emphatically uttered the Obama administration’s three forbidden words: “radical Islamic terrorism,” which, he promised, “we will eliminate from the face of the earth.”
Kant channelled JFK’s Camelot:
However, the speech wasn’t just about ending American erosion. It was about a bright new beginning. Just as did Kennedy, Trump envisioned a promising future. One in which:
“We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.
“We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.
“We will get our people off of welfare and back to work – rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”
One could arguably call it Kenndyesque.
Kant was most complimentary of the first daughter but couldn’t say enough about the new first lady:
This was grace personified.
A stately, poised, and stunning elegance were certainly part of it. But there was more. It wasn’t just what she was wearing. It was her bearing. Her perfectly poised demeanor.
And the crowd could clearly sense it, even if they could no more articulate it than to say “wow” over and over, which was what so many were doing.
She was a regal presence.
There was nobility.
Not because of her new station in life, but because of her carriage. The way she carried herself. Full of poise and grace.
Before lunch, President Trump had work to attend to at the Capitol, signing his cabinet nominations into law. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R, WI) is standing next to Barron. At the front are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) and, on the right, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA):
Trump spoke at the lunch and was gracious enough to publicly acknowledge his opponent Hillary Clinton, present with Bill. Trump’s daughter Tiffany sat at their table. You can see all the speeches here.
The DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) once again lent their Eagle Lectern for use at the luncheon.
The Trumps walked for two minutes in the inaugural parade:
After the walk along Pennsylvania Avenue, the motorcade drove up to the White House, where the Trumps, Pences and family members disembarked and walked to the reviewing stand.
Barron probably found the two-hour event overwhelming at times (I would have), but he enjoyed himself:
The military bands played and marched past, as did a myriad of high school and university bands and special groups representing American history and service.
One of the those groups was the Navajo Code Talkers. Only two were able to make it to the parade. One of my readers, the author of the Pacific Paratrooper blog, wrote about their invaluable role in the Pacific during the Second World War. Well worth a read.
The Talledega College Marching Tornado Band from Alabama participated for the first time. Talledega is an all black college founded by two former slaves after the Civil War. Their band director received threats when he said the college wanted to perform in the parade. Since then, they have received more than $1m in donations which will be dedicated to the band’s needs. Talledega are a special band, because the college has no football team, so they rely on band contests and big parades such as this.
The full video of the parade is below. New York Military Academy, Trump’s alma mater, are at 2:03. Talledega are at 2:09. The Navajo Code Talkers are at 2:14. Virginia Military Institute closed the parade.
But, for Barron, the big highlight was the Rural Tractor Brigade (2:22:00), magnificently souped up. Look at his face (2:23:00). He beams and says, ‘Yesss!’ At 2:24:00, it looks as if Mike Pence sees the lad’s enthusiasm. He probably thought, ‘We’ve got to get him to Indiana for a tractor ride!’ (Separate tractor video here.)
After the parade
President Trump was eager to do some work before attending the evening’s events:
The Daily Mail has more.
The president and first lady — and the Pences — attended three inaugural balls.
Two took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The other was held at the National Building Museum.
Donald Trump Jr, his wife Vanessa and daughter Kai were ready to go:
This video shows President Trump and First Lady Melania at one of the balls dancing to My Way:
At the Armed Services Ball, the Trumps and Pences danced with military personnel (starts at 2:21):
There was also a magnificent cake for all to enjoy:
First lady and first daughters attire
Melania Trump’s stunning inauguration outfit was a Ralph Lauren creation.
The first lady co-designed her striking silk crepe inaugural ballgown with Hervé Pierre, former creative director at Carolina Herrera. This stunning creation will help him launch his own couture house.
Pierre told Women’s Wear Daily:
“It was an amazing experience!” he continued, noting that Trump’s contributions were technical as well as aesthetic. “She knows what she likes. Our conversations were, and are, very easy. She knows about fashion, as a former model. She is aware about constructions, so we have already the same vocabulary when it comes to designing a dress.”
Ivanka Trump’s sparkling gown came from Carolina Herrera’s fashion house. Tiffany Trump purchased her gown from a Hollywood design house, Simin Couture. Ladies will enjoy full size photos and the article in the Daily Mail.
Saturday, January 21
Newspapers from around the world featured the inauguration on their front pages.
Saturday was a day of prayer and work for President Trump.
Prayer came first.
National Prayer Service
The National Prayer Service was held at the National Cathedral (Episcopal) in Washington, DC.
It featured 26 religious leaders. Most were Christian. Others came from world faiths such as Judaism and Islam as well as more diverse groups, such as the Navajo Nation.
The following are short videos and photos from the service:
This girl, Marlana Van Hoose, was born blind and given only a year to live. The video below is from the service. She received a standing ovation afterwards — led by the First Lady!
Marlana is a committed Christian, firm in her faith. God has blessed her with a beautiful voice. She praises Him in song splendidly. She is yet another argument against abortion. May God bless her parents for giving her life and good, loving care.
In the next photo we see the Trumps and the Pences in the front row. May God bless them and keep them safe in the years ahead.
Sunday, January 22
On a lighter note, one of Trump’s grandsons feels at home in the White House:
Later, there was serious work to attend to:
The Conservative Treehouse has an excellent post on this group of people, most of whom hold no political office (emphases in the original):
This afternoon President Trump and Vice-President Pence participated in swearing in the White House Senior Staff. These are officials who represent the office of the President. For the first time in modern political history, these are mostly ordinary citizen staff members from outside public office….
…A representative staff of outsiders, reflecting a
representative government for outsiders… Forgotten no more.
President Donald Trump has only selected a group of 30 people for commission to act as officers of the President and representatives of the White House. Together with their families, the official ceremony to pledge an oath to their office took place this afternoon.
Like millions around the world, I am praying in thanksgiving for the new president’s safe inauguration. We were very worried something would prevent it from taking place.
Now we look ahead, remaining prayerful for success.
How blessed America is! How blessed the world is!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
In His infinite mercy, God heard our prayers and acknowledged our repentance by giving us Donald Trump. Those were words I never thought I would write, yet, here we are.
This week a lengthy dossier and summary about Donald Trump circulated around the world.
It is fake. All of it.
On January 11, Investment Watch Blog (IWB) published an excellent, readable summary of it:
News about the new event including Russia broke the internet this morning. This time, it wasn’t about election hacks and the Democratic party. Instead, it was revealed that Russia is in possession of personal and financial information about Donald Trump. Apparently, the files also included info about Mr. Trump’s sex life. Just a few hours later, Kremlin denied having such files and the President-elect reacted on Twitter, accusing media of witch hunt and an unfair treatment.
The BuzzFeed website published a series of memos which have been floating around for months, containing terrible information about Mr. Trump. You can see those files here. Some allegations made in the memos refer to efforts to influence the elections as well as Trump’s sexual conduct as previously mentioned.
Apparently, it started with the 4chan forum (emphases mine):
The TownHall reports: “What’s worth talking about, however, are swirling claims on Reddit that 4chan users on the board /pol/ completely made the entire thing up. According to a variety of posts on the pro-Trump subreddit r/The_Donald, a user on /pol/, a 4chan board, made up the most salacious story in the report. He then mailed it to anti-Trump Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who then went to the CIA. The story was then included in the dossier published Tuesday by BuzzFeed News. If this is true, this effectively means that 4chan trolled the U.S. intelligence system and the majority of the U.S. media with what’s basically Donald Trump erotic fanfiction, which is terrifying.”
IWB posted the relevant screenshots from 4chan along with a tweet from Rick Wilson denying /pol/ — the political 4chan forum — was the source.
If these allegations turn out to be true, it would mean that Rick Wilson along with BuzzFeed and other media representatives who fed on this story lost their credibility in a single day.
Incidentally, the dossier named a Russian technology expert. However:
What probably happened
Any person or organisation who latched onto this phony dossier did so in an effort to delegitimise Donald Trump’s presidency. That includes Republicans, among them Arizona senator John McCain, who ran against Obama in 2008.
Strangely, an MI6 agent by the name of Steele appears to have been involved in compiling the dossier. The Mirror reports that he has gone into hiding. A ‘Trump insider’ told the BBC’s Daily Politics that British intelligence told him that Jeb Bush paid Steele to embellish the dossier; the more he wrote, the more he was paid.
This tweet summarises what probably happened. Note that it includes Evan McMullin, ex-CIA, who was the very marginal independent presidential candidate that the GOPe put up to sap Trump votes:
A commenter at The Conservative Treehouse gives a fuller possible scenario:
4Chan writes up a hoax.
Rick Wilson, GOPe political operative and massive Trump hater takes the bait.
Wilson disseminates the fake material to anyone who hates Trump.
Tries to get the media to report on it calling it “the thing” on Twitter.
The MSM won’t take the bait.
Steele uses the fake info in a fake report
That fake report is shopped around before the election and no one takes the bait.
With time running out to use the fake report, the uniparty Trump haters get the CIA/IC/FBI to happily launder the report and put their seals on it.
The CIA/IC/FBI tell Trump about the report but don’t show him any documents.
After they told Trump they (someone in the IC) leaked it to the media.
CNN runs with the fake leak.
Buzzfeed publishes the fake document.
And McCain takes the report to the FBI under the guise of doing something responsible but it’s really because he wants to hurt Trump as everyone knows the report is fake.
[Chuck] Schumer [Senate Minority Leader] knows the IC has a fake report and that a hit from the IC and telegraphs that it’s coming. Basically threatening Trump for days before the leak.
BuzzFeed and NBCUniversal
It should be noted that NBCUniversal is a significant shareholder in BuzzFeed, founded in 2006.
In August 2015, the media organisation invested $200m in the website, which could expand to other countries besides the United States. Over the next year:
NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed … embarked on a number of partnerships, including the latter producing video clips during the Summer Olympics.
The site also ventured into reporting more on politics and special investigations.
In October 2016, NBCUniversal invested an additional $200m.
Therefore, it is interesting that NBC carried a story on January 11 saying that Trump received no briefing on the fake dossier. Perhaps they figure their report could take the heat off BuzzFeed? Who knows?
The Hill reports:
President-elect Donald Trump was never briefed on the allegations that Russian intelligence services have collected compromising information on him, according to NBC and Trump’s transition team.
Officials prepared a two-page summary of unverified reports that have been circulating Capitol Hill for months in advance of their Friday meeting with Trump, an intelligence official told NBC, but never discussed it with him.
Trump supporters regularly call CNN the ‘Clinton News Network’.
On November 21, roughly two weeks after the election, Trump met privately at Trump Tower with a number of Big Media organisations, including CNN. The New York Post gave this account, excerpted below:
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,’ ” the source said.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added.
A second source confirmed the fireworks …
“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.’ He addressed everyone in the room, calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was [a] network of liars,” the source said.
The Post says that Trump also had a go at NBC. Although he did not name their correspondents, it was clear to the ’30 or 40 people’ in the room that he was talking about Martha Raddatz — sitting there — and Katy Tur.
Trump’s press conference
On Wednesday, January 11, Trump held a press conference near the lifts in Trump Tower.
A noisy exchange took place between the president elect and CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who was extremely belligerent in the clip I heard. From The Conservative Treehouse:
• Jim Acosta: “Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question?”
• Trump replied “No, not you, your organization is terrible!”
• Acosta continued: “You are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?”
• Trump reminded Acosta: “don’t be rude.” “I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”
The Daily Mail‘s Quentin Letts, who must have watched a full-length video of the press conference, found it amusing. His is a rollicking write-up, but the problem is that Letts is missing out on the gravity of the situation and Trump’s growly demeanour. The fake dossier was an attempt to take Trump down. It was meant to serve as a precursor to impeachment.
As The Conservative Treehouse points out:
today’s final exposure of the corrupt media, specifically CNN and Buzzfeed, surrounding the false intelligence reports they used to create a completely false narrative – brings the end to a series of events as transparent as the GOPe “splitter strategy” which preceded it.
That ‘series of events’ amounted to a soft coup intended to keep Trump from the White House:
Slightly more than a week after winning the 2016 Presidential Election, the head of the NSA Cyber Command, Admiral Mike Rogers, went to New York and met with the new President-Elect Donald Trump inside Trump Tower.
A month prior to that specific visit, DNI Director James Clapper advised President Obama to fire Admiral Mike Rogers.
There is every indication, every reason to believe, that Admiral Rogers gave President-elect Donald Trump a very specific “heads up“; warning the incoming president of actions which would be undertaken by political operatives within the intelligence community to undermine the construct of the incoming administration.
All activity from that mid-November meeting through to now, points to Rogers giving advanced notice to Trump of a political intelligence scheme which culminated today with the public embarrassment of the those politicized intelligence agencies, operatives and their vessels for disinformation – the media.
Following the meeting with Donald Trump, it clearly appears Admiral Mike Rogers went back into the matrix and, as an outcome of his position, followed orders – but did so with an arms length approach. The NSA (Rogers) did not support the political intelligence “high confidence” narrative as it was constructed by James Clapper (DNI) and John Brennan (CIA).
What happened next
Shares in Time Warner, owner of CNN took a hit:
That happened despite CNN’s statement earlier that day, before the press conference:
CNN had tried to implicate Trump’s Special Counsel Michael Cohen in the dossier. Trump actually called Cohen to his office with his passport to see if he had been to Russia. Cohen had not.
The outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper quickly issued a statement denouncing the fake dossier:
Let us pray that this concludes these damaging shenanigans. There has never been a coup attempt in American history — until now.
Trump must start draining the swamp as soon as practicable later this month.
Perhaps this is not a coincidence after all. Perhaps the financial calendar we received was printed or edited after November 8, 2016 to include this quote for January 2017:
“As long as you’re going to be thinking away, think big.” (Donald Trump)
This photo from Jose Graterol Designs is an example of thinking big. It shows the company’s decoration of the Mar-a-Lago ballroom for Trump’s New Year’s Eve do in Palm Beach.
This tweet shows the bar in the Trump International Hotel — the Old Post Office — in Washington DC. Mr and Mrs Reince Priebus are on the right in the photo.
Priebus later tweeted:
It is encouraging to see God and blessings mentioned again in a New Year’s political message.
Nigel Farage opened his greeting by saying that if one had put a £10 accumulator on both Brexit and a Trump victory, one would have won £24m! He is highly optimistic about 2017, however, he said we mustn’t feel complacent after the British and American success in 2016:
Some supporters, such as this Latino in Florida, had an all-out New Year’s Trumpfest.
One commentator for American Thinker wrote:
Happy New Year to you all. It’s going to be a new day here in the nation’s capital and, I hope, around the country and world.
Hers is an excellent article well worth reading in full. I will come back to it in an upcoming post.
One of the comments that followed expressed the significance of Trump’s organising his cabinet away from Washington (emphases mine):
… Trump has already sent a message to the movers and shakers inside the beltway but I doubt if they caught it. The message is Trump has been wheeling and dealing from Trump Tower in New York which should send a chill down the spine of Washington, DC. Incorporated. The message is that everything inside the beltway is not that important after all … On January 20th Trump will be inaugurated and officialdom in DC will wish they had only Russian hackers with which to deal. Trump will use his office to force Congress to do their jobs for the first time in many years. Congress has spent the last 20 years doing the bidding of corporate America and it shows. Trump will also put the bureaucrats in their place. Trump will order a hiring freeze and massive tax cuts for individuals, businesses and corporations. I suspect that in a few short weeks Washington will get a wake up call and it won’t be at 3 AM. All the fake news will be replaced with what those in Washington will view as earthshaking developments. The interlude after the election provided the main stream media and official Washington one last opportunity to redeem themselves. But the MSM and establishment couldn’t resist showing their true colors for the last time. Now, it’s Trump’s turn.
However, Big Media do not understand. Ross Douthat, a regular columnist for The New York Times, still seems stumped by Trump’s victory:
EVERY January I write a column exploring my faulty analysis and failed prophecies from the preceding year. After last year’s installment, in which I explained how I had underestimated a certain celebrity tycoon, I received a note from Trump Tower — a clipping of the column, scrawled over with a markered note:
Thank you – Now I will work to get you to go a little bit further. Best wishes, Donald Trump.
A year has spun past since then, and whatever comes of the Trump presidency, he can claim at least one promise kept. That column described Trump as a remarkable political phenomenon who nonetheless could not win the Republican nomination, let alone become the president. Now just as he predicted, I must go further: Mea culpa, he could, he has, and I was wrong again.
But my error was different this year than last. In 2015 I underestimated the man himself: Before he descended the Trump Tower escalator into history, I had no idea that he had the savvy, the discipline, or the stamina to run an effective populist campaign.
By the time the actual primary voting began, though, I had a clear-enough handle on the nature of his populist appeal. What I misjudged in 2016 wasn’t Trump; it was the strength of the institutional forces standing between him and the presidency …
… my intellect and experience were wrong, and Trump’s Napoleonic intuitions were correct: The Republicans were all low-energy men underneath, and the liberal elites were as vulnerable to him as the Cameron Tories and Blairites were to Brexit.
Yes, this will be the running theme of 2017. And what was the end result? Trump trumped them all — and will continue to do so.
Sensible people in other countries will watch with interest.
More voters in Western countries — the French, the Dutch and, one hopes, the Germans — will want anti-globalist political leaders.
There is no guarantee that they will get them, but a rejection of the elites will become more popular this year.
Someone from south central Pennsylvania replied to Douthat:
Trump will not be gone in four years, he will be re-elected by a larger majority. The elites of both parties still don’t understand that their constant fattening at the public trough while the middle class evaporated and the poor became poorer and lost hope was the reason Donald Trump was elected and will be President for eight years. There was a clear choice between Obama / Hillary’s Socialist economic decay and America for the illegal aliens, vs Trump’s vision of an”America for Americans” and a strong U. S./ economy to be achieved by cutting business taxes so businesses would repatriate overseas profits to the U. S., cutting taxes, getting rid of excess regulations stifling American businesses, discouraging the entry of illegal aliens, encouraging industry (NOT government!) to provide more good jobs by improving the economic climate, by NOT punishing job creators in the private sector. Mr. Trump’s campaign was supported by the citizens of America’s heartland and American patriots, many of whom came out to vote for the first time or switched parties because they were tired of the party of the “working man” being the party of the elites and the socially odd.
Returning to the Trump quote at the top of this post and the exhortation to think big, a reader of The Conservative Treehouse had this to say. Although I was already on my own in the 1980s, living and working far from home, this mirrors my own Trump experience, which I can voice openly only online:
I can remember Donald Trump very well, from when I was a young man – a teenager in the 1980s. It was a time when you could see the positive spirit in America. It dripped from everything. People were proud, the economy was strong – people had options and choices in their lives. Being successful was not a dirty word – and it seemed as if anyone could achieve it – through work. That was always what I was taught, and that seemed to me to be the American Dream.
Trump was well known then, and to me, he represented that simple dream. Yes, he had a little bit to get started with, but so do a lot of people. Not everyone, but a lot do. A lot squander their opportunities.
I liked Trump then, and I like him now. When I saw him then (which was more rare), he seemed soft-spoken, sensible, direct – and proud of his accomplishments. I never saw a reason why he shouldn’t be. That’s always been my take.
So – I always liked the Donald …
Trump pulled a blinder with his rallies. They were a political epiphany for many.
Trump risked his life and his health to reach as many Americans as he could.
One CTH reader recalled the horror of the cancelled rally in Chicago in March 2016:
I was for Trump from day one but this rally was a seminal moment for me. I stood in line for hours. I was way up front. I felt so happy to be there and was having a blast with the people around me. I could hardly wait to see Trump in person. It was going to be awesome! But it wasn’t.
Instead of watching Trump speak I watched thugs rip signs out of peaceful peoples hands. I saw verbal/physical assaults and had to listen to those savages cheer when the rally was postponed. Afterwards I sat trapped in my car in the parking garage with my windows rolled up and doors locked while those scumbags blocked the exits. Then I had to drive past them flipping me off and throwing stuff at my car when the cops finally let us out two hours later. I had to endure all this simply because I wanted to hear a campaign speech. On the way home I made a solemn vow that I would do everything I could to get Trump elected and I never looked back …
I think it was during the second half of the primary (I can’t remember) Trump said … “I will always tell you the truth”. The first time he said this I burst out crying. I started to cry before I could figure out what the hell I was crying about. After years of being lied to by the other side and “our side” I was stunned. His words touched me.
I believed him. I still believe him.
MAGA and Happy New Year!!
There are people all over the West who still believe the lies from Big Media. I will begin exposing these soon, because some took place over the Christmas period.
To my fellow Britons, the French commentators I listen to on radio and anyone else who is ‘scared’ by a ‘literal Hitler’, stop paying so much attention to Big Media!
Look at other sources of news and analysis, too, if you truly are interested in what is happening politically in the United States: The Conservative Treehouse, The_Donald (independent), Hillary is 44 (an ex-Democrat from 2008) and No Quarter (another ex-Democrat from 2008, Trump-neutral but a former CIA man with excellent geopolitical analyses).
There isn’t a more self-sacrificing man on the world stage today than Donald Trump. Time will bear this out. This is what we can expect in less than three weeks’ time:
President-elect Trump is cutting short the usual inaugural parade and limiting the number of balls so he can hit the ground running.
That indicates to me he will start working the afternoon of his inauguration. The world can hardly wait.
For anyone who celebrated Thanksgiving and is not going out to shop this weekend, below is a set of films allowing you to revisit the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (Sorry, no Clint here, only politics.)
I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which.
These will keep you occupied for a day. So, grab a turkey sandwich, a piece of pumpkin pie and settle in for hours of revealing information.
The following Objectified programme was broadcast on Friday, November 18. TMZ wanted to do a companion piece on Hillary Clinton, but she refused. The original idea was to show two Objectified episodes, one with each candidate, prior to the election so that voters would have a better idea of who Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are in private life.
I highly recommend everyone see this episode, especially if they do not particularly like Trump. You’ll see and hear a fascinating story of his life from Trump Tower (39 min). The interviewer chooses various objects in his home, and Trump discusses their significance:
The following clip (41 sec) is from Rona Barrett’s show in 1980. Rona Barrett interviewed all the celebrities that decade. Her programme was very popular. Here, Trump explains why he doesn’t want to run for president — he’d have to be nice all the time:
Here is a clip from Oprah Winfrey’s 1988 interview with Trump on the subject of the presidency. Note how quiet and interested the audience is (3 min):
Reddit has a fascinating post with endless contributions from people who knew or met Trump from his schooldays to the present. I only read half of it, and that took three hours. Once you start reading (be sure to click ‘load more comments’), you can’t stop. Everyone said he was really nice.
Also included in that thread are anecdotes about Mitt Romney. Everyone said he’s also very nice.
I had not seen the following films until a few weeks ago. I highly recommend them in the following order.
These involve input from Larry Nichols, who is dying from cancer. He was a Clinton insider in Arkansas for several years and helped them to hone the election and PR strategies they still use today.
First, an overview of the Clintons from their Arkansas days through to 1994, the second year of Bill’s administration (1 hour, 44 min):
Next, a shocking, in-depth look at Bill’s time in Arkansas and elsewhere, revealing not only murder but also unusual political leanings in his university days (1 hr, 52 min):
Finally, an update from 2015 (33 min), narrated by Larry Nichols in which he describes the ’86 Plan he created with the Clintons — playing the long game. Note that, as early as last year, he said that the New York Times was the PR machine for the couple. Even though they were the first paper to break the email scandal, they would then turn that around to make Hillary look like the underdog. Nichols says in the film that nothing would ever come of the email scandal. And, lo, it came to pass in 2016:
The following video is of the 1998 60 Minutes interview with George Soros.
In 2016, the Hillary campaign’s Correct The Record (CTR) team said that Soros never betrayed the Jewish people during the Second World War. Yet, here he is, admitting his sins with a smile. As he tells the interviewer, if he hadn’t done it, someone else would have. He has done that throughout his life, as the film shows.
He clearly states that he meddles in other countries’ business with no view of social or economic consequences (13 min):
Words fail me, so I’ll sign off here.
Enjoy the films. You won’t be disappointed. I look forward to comments!
Stand Firm is a traditional Episcopalian/Anglican site with excellent articles not only on the Episcopal Church but also on American politics.
A S Haley is a regular contributor to Stand Firm and wrote a great column which I recommend to all my readers. Excerpts and a summary of ‘The Professor Is Right Again’ follow.
This is why so many American voters are happy (emphases mine):
Professor Helmuth Norpoth of Stony Brook University on Long Island correctly called this election for Donald Trump back in February, when everyone—and I mean everyone—was confident that Trump would lose by a big margin. Later in the season, he was joined by a different professor using a different model, but who went contrary to the popular trends and predicted the same result.
The biggest loser in this election was not Hillary Clinton. She lost, and lost decisively, to be sure—but the professors’ models predicted she would lose, and they’ve been infallible in past elections for decades.
No, the biggest loser—actually, losers (to use a term beloved of our President-elect)—are (1) the Beltway elite; and (2) the mainstream media—who gave it everything they had, and still fell way short.
Haley posted his article on November 9 and prepared his readers for what we see now: the narratives that Trump will be harmful to America.
He then reminded us of what we can look forward to:
the mainstream media will lose ever more and more of their readers and listeners, to the point where they, too, will have to look around for other lines of work.
And last but not least, James Comey’s stalwart agents in the field may finally be able to investigate some people worthy of their attention: start with Comey’s former boss, Loretta Lynch, and her attempts to squelch the ongoing investigations into Hillary’s violations of our secrecy laws; move on to Patrick Kennedy and the whole corrupt bunch at the State Department who lied about Benghazi and then have been enabling and hiding Hillary’s outrageous and dangerous disregard for our security; then to the IRS and its illegal targeting of conservative non-profit groups; then to Eric Holder and his scheme of gun-running, while also letting others get away with voter intimidation; and … oh, yes—did I mention a certain former Secretary of State? And her husband? Who together enriched themselves by selling access and favoritism at this country’s expense? And broke all the laws about charitable organizations in the process?
Who knows where all this is going to lead, indeed? Certainly not the entrenched elite, nor their lapdogs, the mainstream media.
That said, whilst Trump’s victory is a blessing despite his imperfections:
And no one can assure us that a shakeup of this magnitude will be totally beneficial in all ways—some things that are truly good may perish along with so much else that is so bad, and deserves to come to an end. As I have maintained throughout this campaign, America is under God’s judgment—which is why we were presented with the Hobson’s choice we had. We are not out from under that judgment yet, because America has not yet turned back from its ways, and repented of its manifold sins and wickedness. Whether it will do so under its new government remains to be seen.
So fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a riveting ride.
It will indeed be a riveting ride. I, for one, can hardly wait.
I predict with confidence based on what I have been reading outside Big Media that 2017 will be the year of evil exposed in the United States and beyond. Good people, especially devout Christians, will find these exposés unbelievable because they will be so utterly disturbing in content.
A reader of The Conservative Treehouse wrote a lengthy and interesting perspective on Evangelicals who despise politics except during times of revival.
The man points out that, because the United States is not currently in a state of religious revival, the needle is not moving, so to speak, for some diehard no-politics-for-me Protestants.
Excerpts from his comment follow, emphases mine. I have also corrected a couple of spelling errors.
First, on Evangelicals and politics:
I have written on this subject before last year about Evangelicals. Evangelicals don’t get involved in politics. When I say Evangelicals I mean not just those that can name the church they go to on Christmas and Easter, but those who find their identity in their Christian faith. Those that would say they have a relationship with God. When someone becomes an Evangelical one of the first things that happens is a loss of interest in their prior life and worldly things. They prioritize their life. God first, then family, then their local church, then work and career, then national loyalty, and last politics. You hear this when Pence talks and also in Cruz. When most Evangelicals think about politics they look down at it from their higher priorities. It is like a Christian going back to their old life. There is a disgust to it and those involved in it. This is a state of a immature Christian. It is good to reject your old life. But you must still see that God is involved in all things. He is Lord of all. Christ is Lord of your personal faith, your family, your church, your work, your country, and your politics. Where ever you are God is there. But not many Christians and Evangelicals mature to that level …
So barring another ‘’Great Awakening” we have to work on one Evangelical or Christian at a time.
Just so. If we were not meant to be politically aware, we would not be praying for our respective governments and their leaders at church.
I cannot speak for all denominations but clergy at Catholic and mainline Protestant churches offer a prayer on Sunday (and weekday) services for our political leaders. Therefore, if politics is so distasteful and worldly — it could be respectable — we would not be praying for those people in church.
Now a few words about Donald Trump:
Interestingly, I do see some good signs in Mr. Trump himself. Early on in this movement of Trump Christians have been praying for him and ministers have been surrounding him. The Trump we see now is not the Trump of, say, three years ago. There is a change in him and God is testing him. We may see a large revival yet. It is hard to say what causes revivals except God. But if God is working in Trump he may be working in this movement.
Yes, I do believe Trump has changed from June 2015. He hasn’t been around clergy this often since his days with Norman Vincent Peale.
I do think that God is blessing Donald Trump with the strength and the voice to give two or three rallies per day with truth and enthusiasm. I do believe that God is keeping him and his family out of harm’s way. I also believe that Donald Trump’s candidacy is no accident; it was meant to happen in 2016.
Furthermore, I can think of no candidate who could have borne the relentless, daily slings and arrows from Democrats, the GOPe and Big Media like Donald Trump.
Finally, I believe — unlike other serious churchgoers I know, whether Evangelical, mainline Protestant or Catholic — that this year’s presidential election is one of spiritual warfare rather than politics.
In a choice between Good and Evil, there is only one option on November 8.
(Image credit: The Conservative Treehouse)
On October 14, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by David Gelernter, who is a professor of computer science at Yale and author of America Lite, a critique of American education.
‘Trump and the emasculated voter’ sums up perfectly where many Americans see themselves this year. A summary with excerpts follows, emphases mine. (I have put the Google link in from Real Clear Politics, because the WSJ has a paywall. Click and open in a private window.)
Voters are unimpressed by both Obama and Hillary:
Mr. Obama is arch, patronizing, so magnificently weary of having to explain it all, again and again, to the dummies surrounding him. Mrs. Clinton has told us proudly how thoroughly she prepared for the first debate and has prepared to be president. For her, it is all a matter of learning your lines. Her whole life has been memorized in advance. Mr. Obama is at least sincere. Mrs. Clinton is as phony as a three-dollar bill, as a Clinton Global Initiative.
The Democrats are sniffy, fed up with ordinary Americans whom they regard as children:
Policy is for smart people, who are people of the left by definition—leftists having scored all those big successes over the years in foreign policy, race relations, policing, restarting wounded economies, making unsecured loans, running school systems and so on. On topics from Keystone to Guantanamo, Mr. Obama has made it clear that he doesn’t give a damn what people think—he no longer even tries to explain to the citizenry. Do your homework! Understand? …
Trump voters have noticed that, not just over Mr. Obama’s term but in recent decades, their own opinions have grown increasingly irrelevant. It’s something you feel, like encroaching numbness. Since when has the American public endorsed affirmative action? Yet it’s a major factor in the lives of every student and many workers. Since when did we decide that men and women are interchangeable in hand-to-hand combat on the front lines? Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL? Because we take football seriously. That’s no joke; it’s the sad truth.
Did we invite the federal bureaucracy to take charge of school bathrooms? I guess I missed that meeting. The schools are corrupt and the universities rotten to the core, and everyone has known it since the 1980s. But the Democrats are owned by the teachers unions, and Republicans have made only small-scale corrections to a system that needs to be ripped out and carefully disposed of, like poison ivy.
Gelernter calls such Americans Emasculated Voters. He is not wrong:
The Emasculated Voter to whom no one pays any attention is the story of modern democracy. Instead of putting voters in charge, we tell them they’re in charge, and it’s just as good.
Along came Donald Trump who wasted no time in tackling left-wing shibboleths like immigration:
The liberal theory is that, other things being equal, all human beings have an equal right to settle in America. For liberals this is too obvious to spell out. But it is also too ludicrous to defend. Does all mankind have a right to camp in your backyard, eat in your kitchen, work at your office and borrow your best jogging outfit? We fail in our duty if we don’t think carefully whom we want in this country, who would be best for America.
Yes! I have written in a similar vein this year in response to a few churchgoers who say the US must accommodate illegal immigrants. I did not hear from them after that.
Then there is the Muslim question:
… freedom of religion means freedom for American citizens—what else could it possibly mean? We must not admit, as possible future citizens, anyone we don’t choose to; anyone we don’t think will be good for America. Not to admit Muslims is bad policy but it does not violate freedom of religion and the American people have a perfect right to discuss and debate it.
Hillary acts as if she owns the White House from her previous role in Billary (1992-2000). Yes, but, Trump is so unpredictable, many voters say.
Gelernter has this magnificent response:
Nothing can stop Mr. Trump from shooting off his mouth, but that’s all right. I want America’s enemies off-balance and guessing. For eight years it’s been Humiliate America season—buzz our ships, capture and embarrass our men, murder an American ambassador—a resoundingly successful attempt to spit in our faces and tell each one of us to drop dead. Thanks, Mr. President. Enough is enough. You know that Hillary is Obama Part III. We can’t let that happen. Parts I and II have brought us close enough to catastrophe.
That is the problem for those whose integrity or nobility won’t allow them to vote for Mr. Trump despite their dislike of Mrs. Clinton. There is only one way to take part in protecting this nation from Hillary Clinton, and that is to vote for Donald Trump. A vote for anyone else or for no one might be an honest, admirable gesture in principle, but we don’t need conscientious objectors in this war for the country’s international standing and hence for the safety of the world and the American way of life. It’s too bad one has to vote for Mr. Trump. It will be an unhappy moment at best. Some people will feel dirty, or pained, or outright disgraced.
But when all is said and done, it’s no big deal of a sacrifice for your country. I can think of bigger ones.
So can millions of Americans!
Unfortunately, a number of WSJ readers strongly disagreed with the editorial. Well, they can reap what they sow on November 8.
This reminds me of two graphics I saw recently.
The first is from Silence is Consent:
The second is from The Conservative Treehouse:
Make America Great Again! Trump/Pence 2016!
On September 12, Business Insider recapped Bernie Marcus’s views on the upcoming presidential election.
Marcus founded Home Depot in 1978, served as its first CEO for many years then as chairman until he retired in 2002.
He gives an entrepreneur’s perspective, of which we could use more.
This is what Marcus told Neil Cavuto on FOX Business (emphases mine):
“Every indication is that America will go down the drain if in fact she is elected.
“When I listen to Hillary Clinton and I listen to the [economists] who never in their life ever hired a human being or trained a human being, I say, I don’t know the world that they belong in. I know that when you have high taxes that you kill off jobs. Killing off jobs means hurting America. It means hurting the economic wealth of America — and that’s not good for anybody.
“All of the Republicans out there, I say the same thing … [If you’re] going to stay neutral, you might as well vote for [Hillary Clinton] because your lack of vote for Donald means she’s going to get elected anyway,” he said. “You may not like him, but you [have to] vote for him because he’s going to save this country.”
Marcus is correct.
By voting for Trump, you add 1 vote to him, and 0 vote to Hillary, and so that’s a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Trump up 1. By voting for Hillary, you add 1 vote to her, and 0 vote to Trump, and so that too is a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Hillary up 1. Either vote is a real vote.
The real world of electoral politics is the foundation of democracy, without which it can’t function at all. Fantasy votes are not votes that can even possibly participate in democracy. For example: by voting instead for Jill Stein, you add 0 vote to each of the two real-world contestants, just the same as you would be doing by staying home on Election Day.
This is not the time to be holier-than-thou about voting. This year, Americans are voting to save or destroy what remains of the Great Republic.
Last Thursday, I saw shocking scenes of East Cleveland and Youngstown, Ohio, in a documentary on ITV1 called Trump’s America – Will It Happen?
East Cleveland is becoming the next Detroit. The mayor told the interviewer that he desperately wants to get the community incorporated into Cleveland so its residents have a chance of survival.
Currently, so many homes in East Cleveland have been razed that the land is becoming wild again, as it is in much of Detroit. The film crew were even able to get footage of a deer ambling down a street.
The programme opened with a profile of Youngstown. When I saw it, I nearly wept. What was filmed looked like a judgement.
When I was growing up, Youngstown was a model American city with hard working people. Of course, they had the steel industry then — long gone — and to hear former steel workers say that no one in Washington DC cares was heartbreaking, even though it is very true.
Generally speaking, this is the fault of the Democrats. Generations of voters have elected them to power time and time again. Each generation has lived in a more precarious environment socially and economically than the one before. Nowadays, even an eye-wateringly expensive college degree can’t guarantee economic security.
Donald Trump — with no establishment ties — is America’s last chance.
As the aforementioned Bernie supporter, a historian, wrote, not voting for Trump means:
throwing away the only such opportunity that the U.S. oligarchy (slipped-up and) allowed us to have.
Much like Brexit.
There is one chance, however accidental it might be, and one only.
Some churchgoers find other Christians blogging on politics distasteful.
I can assure everyone that if Hillary Clinton wins, I will do my best to refrain from writing posts on American politics in future.
Because — at that point — America will soon be finished.
Last Tuesday, the two vice presidential candidates took part in their one debate of the campaign season.
The Guardian posted a good article about their Catholic origins on October 4, several hours before the debate. A summary follows.
I always say, ‘Tell me what you are/were and I can better understand you.’ By ‘what’, I mean religious upbringing. Whatever we have learned about religion at home has shaped our lives: attitudes, mores and so on.
Both Tim Kaine (Democrat) and Mike Pence (Republican) grew up in Irish Catholic households where obligatory Mass attendance was adhered to and where the Kennedys were revered.
Each man had a religious epiphany of sorts during young adulthood.
When he was 21, Kaine went on a nine-month mission to Honduras in 1980. The country had just returned to civilian rule in 1979, after years of political instability and conflict with neighbouring El Salvador. The Jesuits there were promoting liberation theology, which promotes social justice over the kingdom of God. Kaine embraced liberation theology and said that his time in Honduras was a ‘turning point’ for him.
Although traditional Catholics have difficulty accepting social justice cloaked in religion, Kaine’s outlook is shared by a sizeable proportion of American Catholics today:
Back in Virginia, where Kaine attends a historically African American Catholic church, the Democratic nominee has also had a run-in with his local bishop, a conservative named Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond. When Kaine said at a Human Rights Campaign gala dinner last month that he believed the Catholic church could change its position against same-sex marriage, DiLorenzo quickly issued a press statement saying the church’s 2,000-year position on marriage was “unchanged and resolute”, despite rumblings on the campaign trail.
“Kaine is really falling in line with the majority of American Catholics who believe same-sex marriage should be legal and who – perhaps – have more complex views on abortion laws than culture warriors would have us believe,” said Michael O’Loughlin, national correspondent for American magazine, a Catholic publication.
This translates as follows:
Like other Catholic Democrats, Kaine has said he is personally opposed to abortion but supports a woman’s right to choose the termination of pregnancy. When he served as governor of Virginia, Kaine oversaw 11 executions, despite his own stated objection to the death penalty, which is also opposed by the church.
The social gospel
There seems to be a movement today whereby not only Catholics, but mainstream Protestants as well, view left-wing politics as being in line with the New Testament, hence the continuing popularity of the social gospel, to which many clergy also adhere.
The social gospel has a long and chequered history, no matter how ‘nice’ some of its adherents have been:
I will never forget the following words, which come from the 1953 Committee on Un-American Activities of the U.S. House of Representatives, which I discussed in my aforementioned post on the origins of ‘social justice’ (emphases in the original):
Deceit was a major policy of Communist propaganda and activity: ‘They made fine gestures and honeyed words to the church people … ‘
Please pay attention, readers! The Bible comes first. Social justice can mask a lot of Satan’s finest work.
Pence calls himself an ‘evangelical Catholic’.
He became born again at university:
it was the introduction in college to a group of young evangelical Christians who espoused a much more personal and direct relationship with Jesus that led the Indiana native to become a born-again Christian.
His conversion happened at a Christian music festival in Kentucky. “I gave my life to Jesus Christ and that’s changed everything,” he has told reporters.
However, Wikipedia says he continued to go to Mass and met his wife at a Catholic church. He was also a Catholic youth minister. In 1994, he self-identified as Catholic. In 1995, however, Pence and his family joined a large Evangelical congregation, Grace Evangelical Church. In 2013, he explained that they were ‘kind of looking for a church’.
So, it would appear that he is attending a Protestant church whilst remaining a Catholic.
Senior social justice warriors in the Catholic Church find Pence’s stances problematic:
As governor of Indiana, Pence – one of the most staunchly conservative politicians in the US today – had a high-profile run-in with the archbishop of Indianapolis last year following a disagreement over the church’s support of Syrian refugees who were settling in Indiana. Archbishop Joseph Tobin ultimately ignored Pence’s effort to block the refugees and asked for Catholic charities to assist them. Later, Pence ordered state agencies in Indiana to cut off aid to Syrian refugees, claiming they posed a security risk.
But Tobin, who is considered a more social-justice-minded archbishop, dismissed Pence’s remarks, and said in what could have been interpreted as a dig at Pence: “[Helping refugees] is an essential part of our identity as Catholic Christians, and we will continue this life-saving tradition.”
Pence, who has signed every abortion bill to cross his desk since he became governor, has made Indiana a lightning rod for controversy.
“If we see Pence not as a Catholic, but as a Republican evangelical Protestant, they are very much opposed to bringing in Syrian refugees, and it makes total sense,” said Andrew Chesnut, the Bishop Walter Sullivan chair in Catholic studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Pence got into trouble with both left-of-centre Indiana residents and Evangelical pastors with his statewide Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It was meant to allow business owners to operate within their conscience by refusing business to LGBT persons. The uproar was so great — from individuals and corporations alike — that Pence watered down the bill. In April 2015, USA Today reported:
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, in unveiling the revised law, said it will “unequivocably state that Indiana’s (religious freedom) law does not and will not be able to discriminate against anyone, anywhere at any time.”
The amendment means that for the first time an Indiana law will include the language “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
After that, Evangelical pastors felt betrayed. The Guardian says:
he was accused by evangelical pastors of abusing their trust.
Pence’s ‘evangelical Catholic’ self-identification is confusing for some:
“During the John Paul years, being ‘evangelical Catholic’ meant being firmly Catholic but with a preaching instinct. We didn’t mean someone who left the church and became evangelical and then tried to put Humpty Dumpty together again,” said John Allen, a veteran Vatican reporter.
However, conservative Protestants could find voting for Donald Trump less unsettling with Pence on the ticket:
Pence’s views – which some have described as fundamentalist Christian – may assuage their concerns.
We can but see in the early hours of November 9 when the result will be announced.
Many thanks to one of my readers — Sackerson of Broad Oak Magazine and Martin Scriblerus — who sent me an interesting perspective from a historian on why he switched from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump.
Eric Zuesse is an investigative historian and author. His lengthy and well researched article, ‘I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump’ appeared on Washington’s Blog and on RINF (Real Independent News & Film).
Excerpts follow. There is much more at the aforementioned links. The content is weighty and complex, making it difficult to read at times, but it is very well argued.
Zuesse gives his ten reasons for supporting Trump. Note that all of these show the similarity between Sanders and Trump:
Here are the ten key issues:
1: Sanders favors “breaking up the big banks.” Hillary Clinton opposes that.
2: Sanders has fought consistently against Obama’s mega-‘trade’ deals. Hillary consistently favored them.
3: Sanders favors working with Russia against jihadists in Syria. Hillary opposes that.
4: Sanders says jihadists are America’s top foe. Hillary says both jihadists and Russia are equally anti-American, equally dangerous to America. Hillary is simply a neoconservative; Sanders isn’t. Her having voted to invade Iraq was no mistake on her part; it was consistent with her entire international outlook, all of which is neoconservative, like invading Libya, Syria, etcetera. Bernie’s vote against invading Iraq was likewise consistent with his international outlook.
5: Sanders has been consistently opposed to fossil fuels. Hillary has aggressively supported them.
6: Sanders says that the system is rigged. Hillary says that it’s not.
7: Sanders says the system is rigged specifically against the poor. Hillary says the problem that keeps people poor is instead individual bigots — against Blacks, Hispanics, women, gays, etc. Not the system itself. She is proud to represent the system. She’s not against it. She’s for it.
8: Sanders’s political career has been financed by small-dollar donations. Hillary’s has been financed by mega-donations.
9: Sanders favors every possible means of reducing the influence big-money donations to politicians has over politics. Hillary opposes that idea.
10: Sanders favors socialized health insurance, like exists in the European nations that spend per-capita half what America does but have higher life-expectancy than America does. Hillary opposes that — she favors the existing profit-based system of health-care, and opposes the European system where basic healthcare is a right, no privilege (that’s based only on ability-to-pay).
As for the Green Party’s Jill Stein, who is attracting Sanders supporters (emphases mine):
By voting for Trump, you add 1 vote to him, and 0 vote to Hillary, and so that’s a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Trump up 1. By voting for Hillary, you add 1 vote to her, and 0 vote to Trump, and so that too is a real action in the real world of electoral politics: it puts Hillary up 1. Either vote is a real vote.
The real world of electoral politics is the foundation of democracy, without which it can’t function at all. Fantasy votes are not votes that can even possibly participate in democracy. For example: by voting instead for Jill Stein, you add 0 vote to each of the two real-world contestants, just the same as you would be doing by staying home on Election Day.
Regarding the question of whether voting for Jill Stein is at all rational:
The U.S. Presidency is determined in the Electoral College, in which each state’s entire delegation votes the given state’s Election-Day choice, winner-take-all for all of that state’s electors.
Neither Nader  nor Perot  won even one state, neither of them came even close to winning even a single state.
Jill Stein definitely won’t win even one state.
Voting for her is nothing but a sucker-punch on the ballot there.
My vote for Trump will be the first Republican vote in my life, and I hope that this will be the only time in my life when the Democratic candidate is so abysmal that I’ll have to do this. It’s not because I like Trump; it’s because he’s vastly better than the Democratic nominee, whom I consider to be by far the worst Democrat ever. To me, choosing between Trump, who has no political record, and Hillary, who has the worst record in public office of any Democrat ever, is easy. On all other ballot lines, I shall, as always, vote Democratic …
Trump could be a political unifier, especially on a new health care plan:
Perhaps a President Trump would get so many congressional Democrats and Republicans to vote for a single-payer health insurance proposal, that such a piece of legislation could be signed into law much likelier than if a President Sanders (who would be voted against in Congress by virtually every Republican member) were to be pushing for exactly the same type of legislation and getting only some congressional Democrats (and no Republicans then) to vote for it. Indeed, we all might even turn out to be surprised to find that a President Trump will be the most effective progressive President since FDR. If Democrats control Congress, then he might turn out that way, and become widely revered …
… Trump is the clear, and the only reasonable, choice for progressives in this election.
Our choice, Bernie, didn’t make it to the finals. (Hillary and her big-money people beat him — sometimes cheated him.) We are stunningly fortunate that the voters in the other Party’s primaries ended up giving us (for once) a realistic chance to have, as the next U.S. President, a person who is at least no worse than, and is on many of the most important issues far better than, the atrocity (Hillary) that is being offered to us by the Democratic Party. How often does the Republican Party provide the better candidate? In the opinion of this Bernie-supporter, such a thing has never happened since the time of Abraham Lincoln. Donald Trump might not be another Abraham Lincoln, but he might be another Franklin Delano Roosevelt — the greatest progressive of them all. Thank you, Donald Trump, for having given us this opportunity — the realistic possibility to salvage, for America, a progressive future. It couldn’t have happened without you — if it does happen, at all …
Trump is rapidly moving America’s political center in the opposite direction from the direction that Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, did, which was toward conservatism, away from progressivism: those conservative Democratic Presidents and (now) would-be President, have moved America’s political center considerably toward the right (the international-corporate agenda). A President Trump would reverse the political direction that this country has been heading in ever since 1993.
If we progressives don’t help Trump to do that, we shall be throwing away the only such opportunity that the U.S. oligarchy (slipped-up and) allowed us to have. A President Hillary Clinton would have the support of almost all congressional Democrats no matter how right-wing her proposals are, and her big-money financial backers will buy enough congressional Republicans to make her the most effective most conservative Democratic President in decades if not centuries. The prospect is chilling.
It’s a fascinating perspective for Democrats from a Democrat.