Monday, August 5, 2019

Red Flag Laws: When President Trump is Wrong

There is a caricature that many Leftists and Never Trumpers have about Trump supporters...it is the impression that all Trump supporters blindly follow whatever President Trump says and does, and that they cannot somehow think for themselves.  And because President Trump has been so different from other Presidents over the last 2 1/2 years--because he has been so sensible and straightforward on so many major issues where previous Republican Presidents have been timid--I can see where the impression comes from, even if it is untrue.  We do back him up a lot, quite a bit more than many of us have backed up other Presidents, as a matter of fact.  While this has not been the sycophantic reaction that critics have deemed it to be, it has happened instead because of a symmetry on the most important issues that base Republican voters and Trump supporters have had with the President...a symmetry that most of us have never had with any other President in our lifetimes.  With such symmetry, those who don't understand the typical Trump voter might see the appearance of such consistent agreement and assume it is "blind allegiance"--when instead it is based on a much more deep and meaningful overlap of political and cultural ideals.

That symmetry was severely tested today (and, in some ways, may be broken...perhaps beyond repair) by the President's openness to "Red Flag" gun laws in response to recent mass shootings.  While I can't speak for other Trump supporters, I can say that--from my perspective--this is the first moment at which I've been somewhat ashamed of the President, or that I have truly questioned his commitment to our principals.  There were many reasons that I (and others) supported the President during the campaign.  We knew he was right on Immigration, we knew he was right about the Wall, we knew he was more correct about our economic issues than any President--of either party--that we'd ever seen...and we knew (or were at least led to believe) that he was strong on the 2nd Amendment.  Hints at national conceal carry reciprocity on the campaign trail peaked out interest.  His speeches at the NRA and in front of other 2A audiences seemed to not only check all the right boxes...but seemed to do so with a commitment that few other politicians (and none on the Presidential level, save Ron Paul) had ever demonstrated.

But then we had the Bump Stock Ban.  That was a blow...but to most of us gun owners, bump stocks were an anomaly...something akin to a toy.  Some of us were willing to look the other way, given that few of us had bump stocks, and even fewer of us seemed to have the desire to ever purchase or use one.  "If that's the worst that can happen", we thought to ourselves, "then we're in pretty good shape, given the overall anti-gun environment".

But then today happened...and I have to wonder if the bonds of trust that we who place a great deal of importance on the 2nd Amendment can ever get past the acceptance of the idea of Red Flag gun laws.  Now, to the uninitiated, I understand that such laws can seem like "common sense".  But such laws would be very problematic, for two reasons:

The first issue:  If we have people walking around society who are so deranged that they can't be trusted to own a gun, then are we suddenly going to be safe with them walking around society so long as they can't access a gun? Absolutely not. If they are that far gone, if they are that much of a danger to society...then they need to be institutionalized and separated from normal functioning people instead of trying to find ways for them to continue to be a part of society and endanger us (whether they can get a gun or not).  Allowing nutjobs to walk around our streets and our towns--so long as they do so without access to a gun--does not make them docile...and it certainly doesn't make the rest of us any more safe.

The second issue:  Why on Earth would we trust the government to make the decision of who is mentally competent to have a firearm and who isn't? We've already seen how far they will sink to interfere with a presidential election and how far they will go to try and get a sitting President out of office...why would we think they *wouldn't* abuse this new power within moments of having it granted to them? We could sit here all day and recite situations and incidents throughout our history when our Federal Government abused or misused it's power in order to silence, destroy, or even kill people they decided were their enemies...so why would we think they wouldn't use this new found power for the same means?  Why would they not use this power against us in order to silence--or even dispose of--us?

Now, playing Devil's Advocate for a moment, I know two things about President Trump by observing him:  First, that he is a man of action.  Second, that he is a very compassionate person (perhaps compassionate to a fault, in some cases).  Given that set of personality traits, I could see a situation where he is naturally horrified and taken aback about the death and destruction over this weekend (as we all are)...and given his propensity to take significant and drastic action when he sees a problem that needs to be corrected...I can see him embracing these laws as a significant step towards--he believes--resolving this issue while staying away from things like "assault rifle" bans, magazine limits, etc.

I'd like to think that the President is taking this path--wrong as it may be--because of his compassionate nature, and because he legitimately (if incorrectly) believes that it will make a difference.

But this is the real world, and the old cliche is true--the road to Hell really is paved with good intentions.  Perhaps the President should be reminded of why we have the Second Amendment in the first place.  Many people may have forgotten--or perhaps they were never taught in the first place--that the ratification of our Constitution among the original thirteen states was not a slam dunk.  Indeed, there was much contentiousness when the Constitution was presented to the various states for possible ratification.  There were many issues, questions, and concerns that individual states had with the Constitution, but among the most profound of these concerns was the presence of a centralized government and a standing army.  After what the colonists had been through with England--dealing with a strong centralized government that would use it's standing army in order to abuse it's power--they were understandably leery about setting up another centralized government that could, in effect, end up doing the same thing.  This was a major point of contention during the ratification of the Constitution.

As a result, the Bill of Rights--the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution--were drafted.  These 10 amendments were designed to assuage the concerns of the various states, and without them, the Constitution would not have been ratified.  The Second Amendment, of course, was one of these 10...and it was critical, as it was designed to give the states the assurance that--because the individual people would always have the right to bear the same arms that the standing army had--the centralized government could never use that standing army to run roughshod over the people.  This was a critical compromise, and without it, it's doubtful that the Constitution would have ever been ratified in it's current form, with the centralized Federal Government intact.

Red Flag gun laws would make an absolute mockery of this critical compromise and arrangement.  The point of our Right to bear Arms is to keep the centralized government in check--it wasn't about hunting, target shooting, or even self-defense from criminals (although those are wonderful side benefits).  The states understood that, even in the best of circumstances, the citizens relationship with the central government would always be acrimonious and filled with tension.  That the centralized government could never be fully trusted, and that they had to take measures to keep that government off balance.  They certainly never would have allowed that government to determine whom among them would be allowed to have weapons and who wouldn't--this would defeat the entire purpose of not only the Second Amendment, but of the Revolution as a whole.

Look at it this way--would we ever divulge to Kim Jong Un where every missile, bomb, tank, and aircraft that we have are located?  Absolutely not.  Would we ever allow Kim Jong Un to determine how many missiles, tanks, planes, etc that we had...and to make conditions on what armaments we could build or purchase, and who would be in control of them?  Heavens no!  But Red Flag gun laws would force the American People--who's relationship with their government even in the best of times can be no less distrustful and acrimonious than that with enemies like Kim Jong Un--to allow the very government we are distrustful of, and which we may have to do battle with one day (though we all hope this never comes to pass), to have the final say on who has what weaponry.

The President's words today might come from a place of compassion and love...but that doesn't matter.  What has been suggested by the President today will throw the precarious arrangement between the American People and their government out of balance...and over the long term, it will place us all in danger and potentially under oppression.  It is absolutely unacceptable, and the President is unequivocally wrong.  Worse yet, he has severely damaged the bonds of trust he has with his supporters, and with good Americans across the country.  And I fear these bonds may be difficult to repair.




Monday, July 15, 2019

Socialism: It's Far, Far Worse Than Racism

Stop me if you've heard this one before...but The Daily Beast and MSN both printed an opinion piece that brusquely stated, Trump is a racist. If you still support him, so are you.  You know the drill, I'm sure--some Liberal website pounces on something that President Trump said or did, pronounces the actions or words in question as "racist", and then uses that pronouncement as a free pass to define most or all of Trump's supporters as "racist".  This isn't exactly the treading of new ground, it must be said.

And no doubt, most of you know what comes next in these situations...supporters of the President vociferously--and accurately--point out that the words or actions of the President are not racist, and explain in painstaking detail why those actions or words are not racist.  The Left takes none of these well thought out and sensible defenses of the President--or of ourselves--seriously...continues to call us racist (even in the face of logic and proof otherwise) and they stick to their pronouncement (and their narrative) come Hell or high water.  We who are supporters of the President in these scenarios argue logic with these Leftists...but it seldom works, because they aren't interested in logic.  Instead, the are interested in Social Justice--the definition of which seems to ebb and flow depending on whatever they need that definition to be at that given moment.

And so, this all-to-familiar scenario is playing out once again.  This past weekend, the President called out four vocal, anti-American Senators, effectively telling them to go back where they came from.  The media, predictably, pounced on this, falsely calling it "racism".  And for the next 24 hours (or more) Americans argued about it--online, around the water cooler at work, at the bar...practically any place where human beings interact.  One group insisting the actions were racist and that anyone who supported the President's words were racist as well...another group defending the President and pointing out--accurately if not unsuccessfully--why the President (and themselves) are not "racist".

Just like we've seen countless times before.

But here's the thing--even though those of us who breathlessly defend the President in these situations are right to do so...getting mired in these argument about what is racist and what isn't racist...about whether the President is racist or not...about whether WE are racist or not...they all miss the point, at least somewhat.

Because, you see, these conflicts and arguments--purposely orchestrated as they always are by the Left--exist ONLY if everyone excepts the Leftist premise that racism is the most important issue facing America today.  Stop and think about it--why do Leftists constantly play the "race card"?  They do so because they believe that it automatically ends any conversation...that the charge of racism is so horrible, so severe, so unspeakable that the risk of being accused of racism--or worse yet, to be proven to be a racist--is enough to shame anyone into silence.  They put racism on such a high pedestal that they honestly believe that the presence of racism in a person's life invalidates every other positive achievement and contribution to society, even writing The Declaration of Independence and helping found this country! In the mind of the Leftist, racism is the single worst thing to ever happen to America and the single worst attribute of humanity, or of any indiviual.

But is that really so?  Is racism the single most important issue that America as a whole, or that we as individuals, have to deal with on a daily basis?

Well, let's see...it wasn't racism that flew those planes into our buildings on September 11.  It isn't racism that is invading our Southern border (well, not racism on behalf of Americans, anyhow).  It isn't racism that is committing all of the robberies, thefts, murders, and rapes that occur on a daily basis.  It is not racism that has sent our manufacturing jobs overseas.  No...when it comes to those important life-or-death issues that we have to account for and deal with each and every day...racism doesn't play a role at all.

I'm certainly not suggesting that racism doesn't exist in America, certainly, it does (though it's certainly not a one-way street...as much racism seems to be propagated towards Whites as anyone...but that's probably another discussion for another time).  But on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represents the most pressing and important issues we face on a daily basis, and 1 represents the most minor of issues we face...

...I'd give racism about a 3 on that scale.

You see, just because Leftists believe that racism is a 10 out of 10 on that scale, it doesn't make it so.  And we are under no obligation to accept their flawed premise.  We don't have to take the bait.  So the next time they accuse the President--or you--of racism, perhaps the proper way to answer that charge is to say:

"No, it's not racist...but so what if it were?"

Force them to defend their premise that racism is the most important thing in the world, ever.   Force them into a conversation where racism is put into proper perspective when compared to real issues that impact regular people every day (and which might even be Life and Death issues, such as in the cases of Border Security and Illegal Immigration).  What so many of us know--but dare not say--is that there are things out there that are far worse than racism.

And one of those things is Socialism.

We could write volumes documenting the destructiveness, violence, loss of life, and abject poverty that has been brought about in the world because of Socialism (and indeed, many authors have done just this...their works are not hard to find).  And as bad as racism might be on some level, it certainly doesn't have the overall track record of depravity in human history that Socialism/Communism/Liberalism does.

And yet, "The Squad" (as these four vocal, Socialist senators have become known) are pushing Socialism, and accusing the President--and you and I--of racism.  But between the two, which is more harmful to America?

It isn't the President, it is "The Squad".

So we must take the power away from the word "racism" and accusations of it.  Stand up the the Left and say "so what if racism exists...there are far worse things".  If you take away their power behind that word...if you reject their demand that everybody recognize racism as "the single worst thing on planet Earth, ever"...if you stand up to them and make it clear how insignificant racism actually is in our overall lives...if you do these things, then you will force Liberals and Socialists to discuss ideas and issues that actually matter, and that actually have an impact on America.  And that ALWAYS works out to the advantage of those of us on the Right.

In the end, the Left only brings up accusations of racism as a distraction--a bait and switch, if you will.  Because deep down, they know that if they can get us distracted by discussing something as minor and insignificant as racism, then they don't have to discuss legitimate issues that actually matter.

So the next time a Liberals calls you (or our President) a racist, just say, "So what?  I'd rather be a racist than a Socialist!"

And Socialists all need to go back where they came from--as the President told The Squad.  Or at the very least, they all need to get the Hell out of America!




Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Beware Of The Olive Branch

As I write this piece, it has been three weeks since the 2018 Midterm Elections.  In looking back roughly a month or so--back to the Midterm Campaigns--I remember the tone of many of the Democratic Senate and House candidates during their campaign.  It was a tone of normalcy, of "regularness", of telling Americans in Flyover Country that they were really no different than us...they weren't crazy...they weren't unpatriotic...that they have the same concerns as the rest of us...that those Democratic candidates were, for lack of a better term, "reasonable".

This tone was, of course, a striking difference to the tone we in Flyover Country had seen out of Democrats for the last decade or so.  After continual and constant examples of Democrats focusing on the wants and needs of Illegal Aliens, Urban Criminals, Muslim Terrorists, the LGBT community, Environmentalists, crazed Feminists, and anyone else who wanted to attack the very religious values and traditional family structure that made America great to begin with...and after continual examples of  Democrats placing a far higher priority on people in these groups than they ever did on the wants and needs of normal, middle-class, Christian Americans...there was understandably a great deal of distrust and skepticism of Liberals and Democrats in Rural America leading into the midterms.  In order to win their elections (particularly in the Senate--where those elections are statewide in nature, and where you simply can't get around having to appeal to rural voters), Democrats were going to have to actually speak to Americans in Flyover Country, and provide them with a message that was far different then what their party had espoused for the last decade.  A daunting task, yes...but a necessary one if the Democratic candidates were to have any legitimate shot at winning.

Now, I don't want to overstate this direction--it certainly wasn't something that we saw from Democrats on the national level, or in their appearances on CNN, MSNBC, or other national news and opinion outlets.  Those folks continued to appear as crazy as they've ever been.  But out on the campaign trail--and that state and district levels--Democrats who were actually running for office tried their best to paint a different picture.  It was those Democrats who tried to paint a picture of being "just like you", but simply having a different way of dealing with our nation's issues than President Trump and the Republican Party have.

Here in Missouri, Claire McCaskill--who was running to retain her Senate seat--seemed to go all in with this strategy.  It started with the usual advertisements touting her background of having grown up in rural Missouri.  It then progressed to how much she valued "reaching across the aisle" (all of which seemed to ignore the most obvious question--if "reaching across the aisle" to Republicans was truly as much of a focus for Claire as she claimed...then why didn't she just cross the aisle and become a Republican at some point during her long career?).  Finally--perhaps because she hadn't gotten her point across, or perhaps out of rote desperation--McCaskill actually started calling out members of her own party as "Crazy" in an attempt to separate herself from them in the eyes of Missouri voters.  In the end, it didn't work--it was, after all, too much of a pivot from what rural voters had seen and heard over the last decade--McCaskill lost her Senate seat to Josh Hawley...and around the country, Republicans ended up gaining seats in the Senate (something that, historically speaking, just doesn't happen during a President's first term).

Ok, so the strategy didn't work for Democrats.  But what if this wasn't just a strategy?  What if, in a "glass half full" sort of moment, there had really been a pivot in the Democratic Party and the American Left back towards normalcy and towards the values of rural Americans?  If so, couldn't that portend some good things for America's future?  Couldn't there be *gasp* the possibility of meaningful cooperation and even a hint of that most treasured of focus-group tested buzzwords, bi-partisanship?

Well, given what we have seen in the last three weeks of the election, the answer to that last paragraph is a pretty clear, "No".  Almost immediately after the election, the actions of Democrats proved that they had gone from "reasonable" back to "bat-shit crazy" in about the same amount of time it takes a Corvette to go from 0 to 60 MPH.   Almost immediately, Democrats went peddle-to-the-floor on backing the invading hordes marching through Mexico with the intent of invading at our Southern border (or, as sympathetic and anti-American journalists often referred to them, the "migrant caravan").  From there, a Democratic Representative from California tweeted casually about using nuclear weapons on gun owners who refused to give up their guns.  In short, the focus for Democrats has reverted back to what it always was--uprooting the values, beliefs, and behaviors that have stood our nation in good stead for so many years, and replacing them with a "fundamentally transformed" America based on false notions of "Social Justice" and "equality" at any and all costs.

In other words, they are just a nutty today as they were before the Midterm campaigns.  Nothing really changed, and Senate voters in Flyover Country recognized this, and didn't take the bait.

But this situation does raise a red flag for us.  At some point during the next two years, there will be a push from Democrats for some sort of "bi-partisanship" or "coming together" on some issue.  Mark my words--this will happen at some point before the 2020 Presidential election.  Maybe it will come because they recognize, late in the game, that continual investigations and attempts at impeachment (if they choose to go that route) will piss the American People off to the point that they have no real shot in 2020...or maybe it will be something more pragmatic, such as an infrastructure plan of some sort that they would likely get cooperation from President Trump for, and that they could then take back to Flyover states and say, "Look, we can work across the aisle".  Whatever the motivation or situation that might bring it about...I fully expect some sort of push for bi-partisanship to come from the Democrats within the next two years.

And when this push does happen, it will look like something similar to what we saw in the 2018 Midterms--a calculated attempt to "put on the mask" and convince normal Americans that Democrats and Leftists have more in common with us than we think.  Their words and their rhetoric will--temporarily--try to give this impression.  But pay attention to their actions, not their words.  Whenever this occurs, they really will not change in the manor that they proclaim (just as it is clear the "changes" they tried to convince us of during their Midterm campaigns were not legitimate in the end).  Rest assured, they will be every bit as evil and anti-American as they are today.  They will just try to convince you otherwise.

When they offer the olive branch--and they will at some point over the next two years--brush it away.  Do not accept it.  It is only an attempt to place themselves closer to power, so that they might continue their incremental destruction of America.  They are not bargaining in good faith for America, and they never will.  It will be the political version of the "Tennessee Handshake"--shaking a man's hand with your right hand, while you have your left hand behind your back, with a knife in it, preparing to stab the person in the back who's hand you are shaking in the moment.

Reject them and their calls for bi-partisanship, no matter what they say to your face. In the end, it is what is best for America in general, and for us all individually, in particular. 




Sunday, October 28, 2018

Re-Thinking America's Two-Party System

You've probably heard it so often in your life that you barely notice it:  "Our two-party system has served America well".  The justification we are given (or that we sometimes tell ourselves) is that the two-party system results in the "extremes" from both sides cancelling each other out, and the center taking the best ideas from both sides and molding it into cohesive policy.  It's an idea that nearly all of us believe in, to the point that we almost take it for granted...that it's almost obvious.  The one thing you rarely see people take issue with in America is our two-party system of governance.

On the surface, it does seem like a good idea, or at least a reasonable one.  If you have two political sides, each genuinely wanting the best for America (whatever that might entail), and both operating in good faith,  then exposing ideas and policy to the scrutiny of debate and process from both sides very well could result in stronger policies being produced as a result.  If everybody truly wants the best for America, and both sides are working toward that end, then the resulting debate and compromise could potentially be a very good thing, indeed.

But what if only one of the two parties is operating in good faith?  What if only one of the two political parties truly wants what's best for America, while the other party wants to bring down the very principles, ideals, and history that made us great in the first place (and endeavors to "fundamentally transform" America)?  Is the two-party system still beneficial in that case?

Computer Programmers have an oft-used phrase:  Garbage In, Garbage Out.  The meaning of the phrase is that if a programmer makes a mistake during the programming process, that mistake will--without exception--manifest itself in the finished program, regardless of whatever else happens during the programming process.  Garbage In, Garbage Out can apply to politics as well--if one of the two parties involved in our political process is consistently wrong about every single subject, topic, or issue that comes up...and if that party continues to be allowed to take part in the political process...then how can the end results of that process end up being anything good or worthwhile?

To put it more precisely, how can a party that has consistently advocated for Illegal Aliens, empathized with Urban Criminals over Police, has been more concerned with the "rights" of Muslim Terrorists over the basic protection of American citizens, has consistently attempted to take away our gun rights at every turn, has actively worked against the lower taxes that so many of us--across all economic levels--have benefited from...how can the presence of that political party in the political process result in anything of value when it comes to dealing with the very issues that America as a whole deals with?

To put it bluntly...it can't.

The Democratic Party (and the American Left as a whole) literally get it wrong every single time.  And they've done it for decades.  Yes, cooperation could be a good thing if the opposing party did the right thing at least some of the time.  But the Democrats don't even have that modicum of a track record.  Since at least the 1990's, the Democrats have been on the wrong side of literally every major issue and event that America has experienced.  As such, American politics would be far better off without that party's participation.

But if the Democratic Party went away (either by losing so many elections that they go extinct...or by some sort of legislative means that would outlaw their existence--which is what we consistently advocate for on this website), then we would have only one party remaining in American politics--at least in a realistic sense.  (Don't even try to convince me that something like the Libertarian Party or Green Party could effectively take their spot).  We would most likely end up being a one-party system in America--the Republican Party.  When people think of one-party nations, they often think of the worst.  They envision the most egregious and despicable tyrants of all time when the think of a one-party system.  But does this necessarily have to be the case?

To answer that question, I have to look no further than to look within America's core.  Specifically, I look to the rural communities of America's South and Midwest.  What many people don't realize is that a lot of these rural communities and counties operate--in a de facto sense--as a one-party political system.  In many of these rural areas, the Democratic Party either isn't present, or is so small and neutered that it has no impact on local politics at all.  During general elections, most Republican candidates run unopposed (Primary elections, on the other hand, can be quite competitive, with multiple Republicans running for most offices).  In many rural counties in America (and certainly in my home state of Missouri), Republicans have every single elected office in the county...and this has been the case as far back as anyone can remember. While a one-party system has not been legislated into existence in these areas, it still does very much exist, because that's what the voters in these areas want...and have wanted for quite a long time.

Uniformity in politics is not the only type of uniformity that exists in many of these areas.  In many such counties, religious and cultural views are nearly unanimous as well.  The vast majority of residents are Evangelical Christians (though there are often many different denominations in these areas, they are still denominations that fall under what one might refer to as the Evangelical or Fundamentalist umbrella.  In other words, you won't see any "exotic" religions from around the world--there will be no Islamic Mosques or Buddist temples to be found in these areas, for example).  The result is a population that has largely the same views not only on politics, but also on morality, religion, and the basic concepts of "right and wrong".

I grew up in one of these areas--a county in Southwest Missouri that hasn't voted for a Democrat in a Presidential Election since 1896.  And I can tell you that we never seemed to run across the same issues (crime, cultural rot) that our more politically and religiously diverse brethren in the big cities of St. Louis and Kansas City had to deal with.  Everybody knew Right from Wrong.  There was no confusion when it came to basic morality.  And if somebody came in from the outside who didn't share those views, they were generally worn down by the populace (in a good way, of course...there was never any violence) until they adopted a proper viewpoint.  The few Democrats, Liberals, or Atheists who showed up would normally be ostracized (in a nice way) until they better fit into our community.  Sometimes they would fit in better over time, and in other cases, they would move away--but either way, our community kept on doing the right things.  Things were so peaceful that someone could have a rifle in the gun rack of their truck, park it on the school parking lot, and nobody would bat an eye about it (and there was never any trouble that resulted from it, either).  We all trusted each other and worked together--but this was specifically because of that cultural, moral, and political uniformity we shared.  Had we been more diverse in these ways, we couldn't have had those bonds of trust that are necessary to work together and solve problems.

So having lived through what was effectively a functioning one-party political (and social, and religious) system, I can vouch for the fact that it is not problematic by default.  Indeed, it resulted in far more efficiency and genuine trust, as we didn't waste time and resources considering ideas that everybody knew had no place in our community to begin with.  There was debate on the issues, of course...but it was debate that arose from everybody coming from the same "starting point" in terms of basic morality.  Within the GOP, and within Fundamental Christianity, there can often be meaningful debates and cooperation.  But outside of these entities, cooperation and debate seems to do far, far more harm than good.

Is there a perfect number of political parties that America's political system should have?  I don't know that there is...but I do know that whatever number of parties we have in our system, the Democratic Party--as it currently stands--must not be a part of it.  But as a part of the discussion, we shouldn't reflexively reject the thought of a one-party America.  We have hundreds of examples of such an America, all across our rural areas and "Flyover Country" that demonstrate to us that a one-party system does not automatically result in tyranny or totalitarianism...but instead can result in a great foundation not only for making important decisions, but for raising families and bringing forth the best in humanity.



Sunday, June 17, 2018

Instinct over Institutional Thinking

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

In terms of mathematics and geometry, we all know this...we learned it in elementary school.  However, as I progress through this life, I find that sentence to apply to most--if not nearly all--areas and situations that human beings encounter.  When dealing with any problem or issue, the most direct, obvious approach so often turns out to be the correct course of action.  The instinctive, the obvious...they so often turn out to be true.  And yet, it seems to be human nature that we don't trust those instincts.  When confronted with a problem or a question, we seem to so often ignore the most knee-jerk, direct, and obvious instinctive answer that comes to mind...and instead we move heaven and earth to look for a direction that is more complex, more thorough, or more complicated.  And time and again, we seem to be disappointed with the results of the complex, reasoned, "rationalized" approach that we choose.

Poker players have a phrase for this phenomenon:  "Think long...Think wrong".  Most any poker player can tell you--often in great detail--about times in which their opponent made a large bet, and they instinctively knew whether they should call or fold...but then that player thought about it...and thought about it...and thought about it...and then changed their mind from what their original instinct was.  And they turned out to be wrong.  Having played my share of poker myself, I can say that some of the biggest pots I've lost are those in which I thought through a situation too much and talked myself out of my instincts...and from my experience, the opposite rarely happens.

Whether you are a poker player, or whether your interests take you in a far different direction than playing cards and chips, there is no doubt you can think back in your own life and remember multiple situations where your instincts would have served you well--if only you hadn't allowed your mind to talk yourself out of your instincts.  When it comes to relationships, issues at your job, interactions with neighbors and other people, or a countless list of other aspects of life...you most likely can think of multiple situations from your own past which make you think "I really wish I'd have stuck with my gut".

So often we allow ourselves to be seduced by complex, complicated, convoluted lines of thinking that--nevertheless--do not demonstrate any higher likelihood of actually resolving whatever issue or question we are dealing with.  But they sound better because they are so complex.  And we feel just a little smarter than our fellow man because we regurgitate these complex, Rube Goldberg approaches to the questions that daunt us.  And then, we scratch our heads wondering why the issues we've tried to resolve don't end up being resolved at all.

The shortest distance between two points really is a straight line.

Of the many elements of President Trump's personality that are problematic to his critics (but which seem like a breath of fresh air to we who support him), perhaps the most egregious is his penchant to trust his gut instinct above the advice, the protocol, the structure, and the institutional zeitgeist within which much of our politics and foreign policy have functioned for much of the last 100 years.  There are many examples of this, but consider for a moment the lead-up to, execution of, and post mortems since the President's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. When the President initially engaged with the North Korean leader--making it very clear that the United States was willing and able to wipe him and his nation off the planet if they didn't denuclearize--the "experts", the diplomats, the journalists, and many of the government officials were aghast.  "You can't do that!!!!" was the refrain from that segment of society.  "It will lead us to World War III" so many of them said.

And then, when this approach actually bore fruit and brought Kim Jong Un to the table--with little if any leverage in his corner, it must be noted--we were again told what a horrible mistake it would be to actually meet with him.  The chattering classes and the "experts" provided us with all kinds of reasons why it would be abhorrent to meet with "Rocket Man" or "Lil' Kim".  You would be giving him legitimacy on the world stage, they said.  But isn't "legitimacy on the world stage" ultimately nothing more than an abstract, made-up concept that, in terms of concrete reality, doesn't actually amount to anything of significance?  But yet, the "experts" were so appalled that we would risk such an abstract and insignificant thing by having this summit.

And what were the results of the summit?  Well, truly we may not know the real results for years to come...but in the short term, the summit resulted in at least the commitment of North Korea to denuclearize, while The United States had to give up very little (War Games exercises...which we can engage in any number of other places in the world).  Now, how North Korea will (or won't) follow up on this commitment is something that only the sands of time can reveal...but the first step has been taken.  And it's a first step we as a nation have been unable to achieve with North Korea in the last 60 years.  Coincidentally, that 60 year period is the same amount of time that the "experts", the diplomats, the chattering classes, and the Intelligentsia have been forming our foreign policy and approach to North Korea and the rest of the world.

In other words, North Korea is a clear case where the vaunted institutions that we are told are the "experts" in such things ended up being exposed for what they really are--wannabe emperors with no clothes.  For six decades they have ignored gut instinct, basic human psychology, and straightforward approaches to dealing with North Korea for a series of complex, convoluted, confusing, and non-sensicle approaches to North Korea that were all "too clever by half" as our British friends might say.  Their approach didn't move the theoretical football one inch down the field...but yet we continued to allow them to call the plays--their lack of results notwithstanding.  Perhaps there was some sort of comfort in deferring these problems to those whom we were told were the "experts"...perhaps the excuse of "Well, that's how it's always been done" was placating to the American People in it's own right, and we just didn't scrutinize these institutions (or the institutionalists who form them) until recently.

But ultimately, the actions of these institutions ended up contributing far more to the problems we are trying to resolve now, as opposed to helping us make progress in these endeavors.  And it took a President (backed by a legion of Americans who are finally asking the question, "If these people are such experts, then why haven't they solved this North Korean thing before now?") who was from as far outside the beltway cacophony of intellectual incestuousness as one could possibly be to hit the reset button and--unthinkable to many--actually trust his instinct.

And his instinct worked...where their virtual Rube Goldberg machines of diplomacy and protocol had repeatedly failed.

The shortest distance between two points really was a straight line.

Now about that border wall...





Wednesday, February 21, 2018

From my 2/20 Radio Show--A discussion of the 2nd Amendment and how it applies today.

My radio show on 2/20 was among the most important shows that we've done in the history of our "America's Evil Genius" radio program.  We analyze the questions of school shootings as well as AR-15's and so-called "Assault Weapons" through the lens of the Second Amendment--and put these debates into the context of why our Founders wrote and ratified the Second Amendment to begin with. For convenience and ease of distribution, I have split the show into two portions and have uploaded each to Youtube.

Here is Part One:


Here is Part Two:



Please share among all you know who care about our most fundamental of all Civil Rights...our Gun Rights!

Travis

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

We don't have a gun problem, we have a Socialism problem.

Given the tragic events at Parkland High School in Florida today, you no doubt have heard scores of people on TV and the internet blaming guns for the tragedy.

But the guns didn't cause this loss of life, what you see in this picture caused this loss of life:


That is Nicholas Cruz.  Wearing a T-shirt that is glorifying Communism, and giving the "Resist" hand gesture.

If you need more details, Pamela Geller is reporting on this killer's social media footprint, including ties to various "resist" groups and pro-Islamic groups

That, right there, is the root of the death and destruction.  It is no different than the Liberal who shot Congressman Steve Scalise...the man who shot up the Country music concert in Las Vegas (after a history of being seen at Anti-Trump rallies)...the man who attacked Rand Paul in his front yard...the fires, property destruction, and attacks on cops that we have seen at the various "protests" that erupt whenever an urban thug is brought to justice by a cop...the violence we have seen at many Antifa protests...the attacks by Left wingers at Charlottesville...

...the pattern is too pervasive to be ignored.

This is not a gun issue--we've had guns in our nation since day one, and far more access to them in the past than we have today.  It's not even a question of the "evil" AR-15 "Assault Rifle"--America has had semi-automatic rifles for most of the 20th Century, and semi-automatic handguns for far longer than that...but only recently have we had the problems with mass shootings and violence.  Let's stop scapegoating the very tools that good, law-abiding Americans need to defend themselves from scumbags like this.

Instead, let us be adult enough and sober enough to realize the true cause--it is Liberalism, Socialism, Communism.  Whatever "ism" is your preferred term, they are literally trying to destroy America and kill any and all of us who love this nation and this country.  It is time to institutionalize or incarcerate every last Democrat, Liberal, and Socialist in America.

Our lives depend on it.