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When, precisely, was this alleged change in the Democratic Party re: race?

by Crowhill on 17 January 2017

A reader passed along an article about the Democrats’ historic racism, which is undeniable. The Democratic Party has historically been on the wrong side of race relations.

Modern Democrats don’t believe this is a fair cop. They admit the past racism, but think the Democratic Party has reformed, and that all those old, racist Democrats became Republicans.

There’s not much question about which party was the racist party 100 years ago. But as I review some of the details I wonder when this supposed switcheroo took place.

In 1937, FDR appointed a Klansman to the Supreme Court.

In 1952, Adlai Stevenson’s running mate was an advocate of white supremacy.

“Ah, that’s before the Civil Rights movement,” I hear the modern Democrat complain. That’s when Democrats saw the light and became modern, virtue-signaling liberals. Right?

Hmm. I’m not so sure.

In 1971, Democrats chose Klansman Robert Byrd as their whip.

Yeah, but ’71 was still “not quite reformed,” right? I (barely) remember those days, and race relations were still rough (based on the jokes and talk I heard in the neighborhood).

So we can give ’71 a pass, I think, … but … then in 1989 Democrats made Byrd the president pro tempore of the Senate. That’s getting uncomfortably distant from the alleged reform, it seems to me.

It’s certainly true now that the Democrats pretend to be the more anti-racist party, although it’s a matter of fair debate whether their policies actually help minorities. I would say they don’t.

Personally, I think the “which party is more racist” question is a mistake. Both parties had racists, and both parties have (mostly) gotten over it.

Racism is an old battle that’s over and done, and the racists lost. Sure, there are some holdouts — just like there were some Confederates that kept fighting for the South long after the end of the war.

But some people are so addicted to the conflict — or so dependent on it for their livelihood — that they want to keep it alive. They’re desperately searching for racism in winks and glances and policy disputes. It’s rather pitiful, in my opinion. It’s like the extreme Protestants who find papism everywhere, or the extreme Catholics who find “latent Protestantism” under every rock.

I think it’s way past time we get over this and move on.

I know what racism is. I grew up in a redneck suburb where racist attitudes were assumed and spoken without fear. But I’ve also seen the change over the years. The vast majority of the country is well over this. Can’t we please take a win and move on?

1 comment  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-17  ::  Crowhill

Davos, the media and public opinion

by Crowhill on 14 January 2017

This article raises the specter of a rich, globalist elite at war with the common man.

China’s president will preach the advent of a new world order in Davos next week before the high priests of globalisation, who are facing an uprising from voters against their orthodoxy of open markets and borders.

We’ve been fed a line by the globalists — that diversity is a good in itself, that cultural differences aren’t that important, that nationalism is a bad thing, that open borders are good, that trade agreements are in everybody’s interests, etc. There’s usually a strong dose of generic political correctness that goes with all that.

The trouble — for the globalists — is that a lot of people aren’t buying it. Brexit and Trump are signs of the revolt.

How does the media fit into all this? Aren’t they (or couldn’t they be) the tools of the globalists and the purveyors of elitist propaganda?

The question reminds me of other conversations about the news. Does the media answer to the public (e.g., who clicks on an article) or to the boardroom (e.g., the people who pay the salaries)?

As with most things, it’s some combination of both. But we have two competing memes going on here.

The first is that the media is being pulled in one direction by the tyranny of clicks and advertising. As I like to say, “All’s well, details at seven” doesn’t get eyeballs on the evening news, but “the new threat your kids face at the bus stop” does. That pushes news coverage towards the sensational and the scary. (Along the lines of Dirty Laundry.)

Along with this, a pretty face or a crazy conspiracy theory draws clicks online. That’s what pays the bills, so that’s the yardstick by which journalists are measured. “How much traffic did your story get,” not “was it accurate.”

The second meme is that these media empires — and their content — are controlled by rich people with an agenda. You see claims like this all the time. People try to discredit media because it’s funded by Soros, or Big Oil, or whatever.

What then? Does the globalist cabal control the media, or is it all “give the public what they want”?

Another thing to consider … why can’t it be both? The globalist elite doesn’t care what the public thinks about most issues, so … fine. Let extremism and sex and crazy ideas drive that part of it. But when it comes to trade deals, or immigration, or … whatever they talk about at Davos … then the Big Boss steps in and tells the editors how to cover the story (if they know what’s good for them).

That would be an easy thing to believe, but I don’t buy it. At least not to that extent.

I’m sure there are journalists who would sell their soul to get the 8:00 spot. But there are also plenty of decent people who would blow the whistle, and it’s no longer possible for the Big Boss to control all the sources of information.

For good or ill, we have this crazy, wild-west thing called the Internet — and, for that matter, 10,000 cable channels — where anybody can say (or read) what they want. Sure, Twitter and Facebook censor people from time to time, but it’s not as if they’re able to stop anybody. Milo Yiannopoulos seems to have survived his Twitter ban.

The Big Boss might control the big platforms, but (1) his ability to shape the news is limited, and (2) there are plenty of other sources not controlled by the Big Boss.

All of which has to be enormously frustrating for the globalists. They think they should be able to sway public opinion with all their power and influence. Just buy out the media and get some bubble-headed beach blonde to ridicule the opposition (with a twinkle in her eye).

But … it doesn’t seem to be working. The swarm warfare of the public is overwhelming the carrier-based approach of the elite.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-14  ::  Crowhill

Trump fulfills the (not so) secret longing of every leftist

by Crowhill on 12 January 2017

It’s been sadly, painfully obvious for years that our friends on the left have an agonizing, soul-wrenching nostalgia for the 60s. They wish, ever-so-devoutly, that they could get back to those heady days of sit-ins, protests, marches and riots. That was living.

Protesting Donald Trump

The 80s, 90s and … aughts? … were so disappointing. Try as they might, they could never find any cause that justified that same level of dudgeon. Some of them made pitifully desperate attempts to whip it up, searching eagerly for racism or sexism hiding behind code words and such.

It was as if …. No, forget that. It’s pretty clear evidence that there’s some hole in the collective heart of the left that longs to be filled with righteous anger over “the civil rights issue of our day.”

But all their attempts to find the secret evil never really worked. Special water fountains for blacks was a pretty tangible thing the real civil rights protesters could point to. Pretended nonsense about “institutional racism” and such is boring. I’m not even sure they believed it themselves.

Now, though …. Now their protesting little hearts are all a pitter-patter. They have their own, homegrown Hitler.

8 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-12  ::  Crowhill

“You are fake news”

by Crowhill on 11 January 2017

Wow. Trump has put the media on notice that he’s not going to play nice with them. If they attack him, he’s going to hit back.

And why does a reporter get to badger the president-elect in a news conference?

5 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-11  ::  Crowhill

What should be expected of immigrants?

by Crowhill on 10 January 2017

I’m (slowly) reading a fascinating book called Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World, by Danial Hannan. The book claims that a certain perspective on law, representative government and individual liberty found unique expression in England, and is the collective inheritance of English-speaking people. This inheritance was a result of several different factors, including the customs of the Germanic tribes that populated the Island. (Which reminds me a little of this blog post: The Three Pillars of the West.)

This unique English-speaking perspective that Hannan talks about includes common law, sanctity of contract, representative government, distrust of concentrated power, accountable leaders, liberty of conscience, secure property and personal freedom.

The point is not that all English-speaking people hold to those ideas (I wish), but that those views grew to power uniquely among English-speaking people. Other people from other cultures have and continue to embrace those ideas, to one degree or another. For example, there were a lot of German-speaking people in early America who came to hold these Whig-English political principles.

Hannan’s argument ties in with the idea of American exceptionalism, which is so maligned these days. Hannan (a Brit) claims that it’s not precisely America that is exceptional, but this political heritage that has come to unique expression in America. He traces that heritage all the way back to pre-Roman Britain and the customs of the Germanic tribes.

The book is well worth your time.

But … what does this have to do with immigrants? I’ll explain.

Let’s accept Hannan’s premise for a moment. Let’s say that the United States is unique in its representation of this specific political heritage.

Should that heritage be preserved? Or should it be watered down and overwhelmed by importing people who hold very different views?

Let’s say, for example, that when asked the question, “Should government leaders be held accountable to the legislature and to the public for their actions?,” Americans are far more likely to say yes, and people from Hooglistan are far more likely to say no. That being the case, should America be allowing a lot of people from Hooglistan to immigrate?

Well … that depends. Assuming that holding leaders accountable is a value we want to preserve, then we either want immigrants who already agree with that proposition, or we want a system that integrates and educates them into that position.

That seems horribly obvious to me, and what follows is equally obvious — that before we ask the question how many immigrants we want, and from where, and what we want to do with them once they arrive, we first have to decide who we are as a country. What are our essential values? What makes America different from Canada or Mexico or Hooglistan?

There are some differences that are incidental. Eating with your fork in your left or right hand doesn’t seem to have much to do with whatever it is that makes America what it is. But believing in limited government, free enterprise, liberty of conscience, freedom of speech and religion … those things do.

So … this is almost tautological … people who attack “American exceptionalism” aren’t going to care about preserving what is exceptional about America.

We need to shut those people down, and before we discuss immigration policy, we first have to make it abundantly clear what it is about our country that we want to preserve, and what we expect immigrants to integrate into. If we just start bringing in lots of people from hither and yon, with no concern about their political and cultural beliefs, and no plan to help them become Americans (whatever it is we decide that means), then we have given up on the idea of even having a country.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-10  ::  Crowhill

GOP shouldn’t repeat the Obama-Pelosi-Reid mistake

by Crowhill on 9 January 2017

The Democrats passed Obamacare without a single Republican vote. That was a big mistake, and it set the stage for years of rancor.

As I’ve said before, even if you have the votes to push through a partisan bill, you shouldn’t do it. Especially not if it’s a big bill. It’s not in the best interests of the country, and it’s not even in the best interests of the party.

Republicans should learn the lesson and not do the same thing with their “repeal and replace” strategy.

Unfortunately, that kind of an approach could give Democrats a strong bargaining position, because all they have to do is withhold consent until they get what they want. And when it comes to bargaining, it takes 4,500 Republicans to beat three drunk Democrats.

But there are lots of electorally vulnerable Democrats in the House and the Senate. Certainly the Republican leadership can find a few of them they can work with. That is, if they get some help from outside. Maybe Kellyanne Conway can work her magic.

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-09  ::  Crowhill

Like a boss. One reason Trump won.

by Crowhill on 7 January 2017

This past summer I was at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland on a day after a heavy rain. There was water in standing pools all over the park. Some of the pools were a couple feet deep.

At one point I saw this little girl — maybe three years old — walk up to one of the pools. She didn’t dip her toes in. She didn’t cry. She didn’t ask for momma to come with. She just went straight through. Like a boss. The water was almost up to her waist, but she never complained.

That little girl will go places.

When people are looking for a leader, that’s what they look for. Not someone who faints and has to be carried into her car.

Is this the right way to pick a leader in a modern country? No. But it’s almost biological.

Remember the little Dukey in the tank? It killed his chances.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-07  ::  Crowhill

Who do you call when you’re rebuilding a country?

by Crowhill on 4 January 2017

I had a strange dream last night. An old friend that I haven’t seen in years (except on Facebook) was elected president of some backwards, poor country in Africa. At first it was some kind of a joke, but then it became a sort of booby prize. He was being set up to fail and take the blame for the inevitable collapse of this country. And he was in way over his head.

So I went to help him — not because I know anything about such stuff. He was trying to run the place like an Evangelical church, and I was trying to get him to focus on infrastructure, currency, security, etc., but I quickly realized I haven’t the foggiest notion how to run a country and was wondering how I could call the state department and get some help.

It was a pretty cool dream, partly inspired, I’m sure, by an interesting book I’m reading on how the English-speaking people invented freedom.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-04  ::  Crowhill

Will Trump inject some testosterone into the GOP?

by Crowhill on 3 January 2017

Republicans are famously inept at getting anything done. Whenever there’s a conflict they seem to want nothing more than to fast-forward to the place where they capitulate. They talk a lot, but when it comes right down to it they don’t seem to have the courage of their convictions, and with slim control of the Senate (52-48) I would expect the Democrats to walk all over them.

Democrats often seem more powerful in the minority than Republicans are in the majority.

But this year will not be like other years. Trump is going to do things his own way, and that introduces a lot of uncertainty.

It seems unlikely that Trump will be able to rally the lame Republican establishment, but … then again, it seemed unlikely he would be able to win the presidency.

To answer my own question, I believe Republicans will show some courage this time around, but it’s not clear to me if they’ll show courage supporting Trump or opposing him.

Generally speaking, you can interpret what Republicans will do if you assume they live in mortal dread of being shamed by liberals. They are absolutely petrified that somebody will call them a sexist or a racist, which is why they usually cave under pressure.

Trump has popped that balloon. But will Republicans learn that the tiger is toothless, or will they fall back into old habits and cower before the threat of being called names?

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2017-01-03  ::  Crowhill

The most expensive vote ever at the UN?

by Crowhill on 28 December 2016

The U.S. historically shields Israel from negative votes at the U.N. by using its veto power. Obama declined to do that with this most recent vote. No surprise there.

Now Republicans are threatening to pull funding from the U.N.

My reaction is (1) great idea, long overdue, but (2) Republicans don’t have the courage to do such a thing. It’s just talk.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-12-28  ::  Crowhill

2016-12-25 :: Crowhill // General
Merry Christmas everybody!!
2016-12-23 :: Crowhill // General
“Did we do that too?”