One of the standard attacks on President Trump’s supporters is that it’s a “cult of personality” and that his voters have been bamboozled into worshiping him like a false god. This is utter nonsense. I’ve never met a Trump voter yet who didn’t have to be convinced at first, and who still winces at some of the tweets, but on the whole has been pleasantly surprised (and they sometimes note that he’s done a fine job of fulfilling their #1 requirement in a candidate in 2016: that he not be Hillary Clinton.)
Generally speaking, while we Republicans have a few icons we hold in particularly high regard, like Ronald Reagan, we don’t look at government as our religion, but as sort of a necessary evil, and we already have a Savior so we don’t need a politician to be one. It’s liberal Democrats who are always looking to fill that hole in their souls with a charismatic leader, from FDR to JFK to Bill Clinton to Barack “The Lightbringer” Obama. (There’s a joke going around that Obama isn’t worried about global warming causing his new $15 million beachfront mansion to be submerged because he can just lower the tides with a wave of his hand.)
Unfortunately, for all the candidates in the 2016 race, there are precious few who inspire any messianic feelings (although Bernie Sanders has been mistaken for Moses on a few occasions.) The Dems are so desperate for a charismatic savior figure that some have latched onto Pete Buttigieg. It seems doubtful that he’s about to get the mother of all promotions, from Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to President of the United States. But why would anyone even consider such a ridiculous premise in the first place, and the media take it seriously? Do smooth talk and the right image really carry that much weight with Democrats, and accomplishments and experience so little?
Apparently so. Months after the media elevated Buttigieg to presidential-darling-of-the-moment, Fox News’ Raymond Arroyo did what someone should have done on day one: he went to South Bend to find out whether the guy was even running his small city competently. The report is well worth watching, both to open the eyes of any remaining Buttigieg groupies and as a cautionary tale for those who would choose their nation’s leader after less due diligence than they’d put into choosing a barber.
Classic, old-style liberals used to say that they may disagree with what you say but would defend to the death your right to say it. Today’s liberals say, “I disagree with what you say, so you must DIE!” Yet somehow, the same folks who routinely call the President a con man, racist, white supremacist, second-coming-of-Hitler think that they’re the ones who are going to save civility in public discourse.
Case in point: I told you yesterday about New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who took umbrage (“Umbrage, I say!”) at a George Washington University professor he’d never met making a mild joke on Twitter about Stephens being the bedbug they found in the Times offices. He even cc’ed his over-the-top reaction to the professor’s boss, perhaps hoping to get him in trouble or cost him his job (it didn’t work: the university provost is probably used to dealing with immature and oversensitive people and gave him the diplomatic brush-off.)
When word got out, Stephens discovered what real ridicule on Twitter looks like.
He even got the ultimate Twitter spanking: a tweet from the POTUS featuring the “L” word (“loser!”):
So Stephens took to friendly outlet MSNBC and condescendingly lectured us all that he was just trying to teach us a lesson about civility in public discourse. He said, “Using dehumanizing rhetoric like bedbugs or analogizing people to insects is always wrong...We can do better. We should be the people on social media that we are in real life.”
Well, Newsbusters.org decided to find out how well Stephens practices what he preaches.
In various writings over just the past two years, they found that Stephens compared President Trump to the dictators of Argentina and Venezuela and to a drug addict; he compared Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to genocidal Cambodian leader Pol Pot; he accused people who criticize Colin Kaepernick of “quasi-fascism;” and he described Sen. Ted Cruz as being “like a serpent covered in Vaseline” and someone who would sell his family into slavery. If that’s the person he is on social media, I don’t think I’d want to meet him in real life. I guess we know now why the New York Times is so bent out of shape about conservatives digging into its writers’ old comments.
On Tuesday, Stephens quit Twitter, which sounds like a good decision. It also sounds like the first thing he’s actually done to contribute to civility in public discourse.
I recently wrote about both the rising violence of the Antifa movement in the US and violence against Christians abroad. Now, here’s a story that brings those two threads together, and it's from Heartland America: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and our kids were being exposed to it at community college. Surprising, since I thought you had to pay Ivy League tuition rates to get teachers this insanely radical.
Charges of internal political bias aren’t the only thing that big tech companies have to worry about. The Attorneys General of at least 20 states are moving forward with a bipartisan lawsuit that could be filed as soon as next month. It targets anti-competitive, monopolistic practices of tech giants such as Facebook and the way they handle the personal data of users.
Some legal experts say it will be tough to hold social media companies to antitrust laws because of their structure and because the services are free. But the Justice Department already opened its own federal antitrust investigation last month, so we could be seeing the stirrings of a perfect storm of bad publicity for Silicon Valley giants.
In other words, they might want to hold off on any attempts to use censorship and deplatforming to influence the election. By this time next year, they might need to be able to find at least 12 Americans for a jury who’ll actually believe they’re not guilty of acting like a monopoly.
I know it’s very tempting to take political advice from pop singers on MTV video award shows, but the White House says the Trump Administration will not sign on to the “Equality Act” passed by the Democrat House, even after Taylor Swift urged them to do so.
In typical Democratic fashion (see the story about the “Waters of the United States Rule” elsewhere in today’s news), the Equality Act has an innocuous name (who could be against equality?) that hides what’s actually in it. A White House spokesman said the Administration “absolutely opposes discrimination of any kind and supports the equal treatment of all; however, the House-passed bill in its current form is filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.” At the link are more details about various ways in which the bill would empower government intrusion into freedom of religion, thought and assembly and impact everything from classrooms to child custody cases.
However, if you still want to take political guidance from musicians (to quote Homer Simpson: “Rock stars! Is there anything they DON’T know?”), you’ll soon get plenty of opportunities. Planned Parenthood announced a new campaign called “Bans Off My Body” to oppose state laws placing limits on abortion. They’ve recruited 136 pop stars to promote this, and hector audiences to vote for pro-abortion politicians, during their concerts. Some who’ve agreed include Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and you could probably guess a lot of the rest, but you can find more names at the link, if you’d like to avoid spending your concert dollars on a pro-abortion lecture.
For any entertainers who would like to enjoy long careers and not alienate half or more of their fans, I’d suggest they read this helpful book by my friend, Laura Ingraham: