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It's been a while since I've posted anything...here goes.
The 2016 Presidential election:
This was a bizarre election; but I assume as countries and societies begin to crumble, most elections – and political matters in general – become more and more bizarre.
Why was the Trump versus Hillary campaign, followed by Trump's victory, so weird to me (and many other principled libertarians and conservatives)?
First off, while Hillary's nomination was not surprising, Trump's GOP nomination was incredibly surprising since there were several other Republican candidates with far better ideas and actual political experience. Several had the popular support and even the cash flow, yet, Mr. Trump succeeded. I'm not suggesting an evil conspiracy where men in suits sat in a dark room smoking cigars and conjuring up diabolical plans, but, political backdoor dealings do occur. Another possibility, and a bit more reasonable, is that Donald Trump simply schmoozed and bamboozled the public (and political establishment) far better than his Republican opponents. Of course money helps and he had plenty of that, which isn't a bad thing. Unfortunately, it's very easy to swindle the masses when they're angry – just say provocative statements at the very things people are angry about. Voila! No need for actual substance, critical thought or actual solutions; just say what the crowd wants to hear. Tyrants learned this ages ago – that's one way they kept power regardless of oppressing their own people. (Before Trump loyalists call for my head, I'm NOT comparing Trump to a tyrant, I'm simply laying out the method of gaining popularity – so please no hate mail!)
Secondly, the fact that Trump has been a life-long Democrat voter, financial donor, and overall supporter to progressive causes. His loyalty towards the Democrat Party is far more extensive than to the Republicans, and yet, he won the GOP nomination in the end. To be fair, during the last several years, Donald seemed to switch gears by supporting and donating more to the Republican Party compared to his longer history of endorsing the Democrats; but is the “switch” genuine? Did he truly change his former progressive views? Or is he simply buying support to gain the Republican nomination because he knew the likelihood of a Democrat winning the Presidency wasn't very good? It's hard to tell since either one is very possible.
Third, even if he did “convert” to conservatism and the Republican Party, he continued to make very liberal statements during his campaign. This reason alone caused many, including myself, great concern. For example, he doesn't want to abolish government healthcare and leave it for dead: he wants to replace and/or reform the unconstitutional monstrosity. “Repeal and replace Obamacare,” his own words. So, he might remove Obamacare somehow (he'll need Congress to do this!), but we'll be stuck with a replacement. In other words, government is still in charge! Trumpcare anyone?
Does it really matter if a Republican is President if we still have a terrible, inefficient, expensive healthcare system?? Despite our newly elected President assuring us he'll make it great and affordable, I remember another politician promising the same thing. What was his name? Oh yeah, Obama! Economics and history do not leave a good hallmark when it comes to government control over private matters.
Other worrisome beliefs by 'the Donald': eminent domain (government theft of private property) is a “great thing”; progressive taxation is “necessary”; using his new power to keep companies/corporations from moving out of the U.S. (while I strongly dislike companies moving out of the U.S., I dislike politicians abusing their power even more); his record of supporting anti-Secondment Amendment legislation (i.e. assault weapons ban); and his comment that the Republican Party was “too crazy right” several years ago. Digging deeper, one can find even more questionable ideas and public statements which paint him as a progressive instead of a “conservative”.
One can argue that maybe Trump really has changed some of his views recently, especially since he confessed to this very thing; but regardless, no one can seriously call him a conservative. At best, he's an odd mishmash of (mostly) progressive and (some) conservative ideals that forge his own, unique philosophy. Unfortunately, the way Trump plans to carry out his ideas are through the heavy-hand of government – something the progressive left does, not the conservative or libertarian right.
Summing this article up:
The entire campaign and election cycle veered off the cliff into the abyss of weird and strange. Hillary, with a notorious history of corruption, scandal and flip-flopping, won the Democrat nomination by beating an outright (and at least honest) socialist, Bernie Sanders. A long-time progressive, possibly conservative convert, Donald Trump, won the support of conservatives in the Republican Party. Among the Libertarian Party, we had a weird combination of liberal and libertarian ideas with Gary Johnson, and his very liberal VP choice, William Weld. What in the world is going on? Have we lost all our senses and are simply choosing a “team” to rally behind like a football game?
I understand the sentiment Donald Trump captured among the people. He “stuck it to the elites/establishment”. I get it. We've all been longing to do this, but many people throughout history shoved the noses of the elites into a big humble pie and the country's fate wasn't any better with the new regime. The people heard and rejoiced in the anger, but forgot principles and morals along the way.
America, we have some very deep soul-searching to do. How far down the rabbit-hole do we have to go before we wake up and realize what's important? Sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way...I just hope we don't hit bottom.
Before I leave this as a negative hit-piece against our new Commander-in-Chief Trump, I will say some very positive things. I truly believe Trump loves America, unlike Obama and Hillary. Donald is genuinely supportive of our military and police. They embrace him and rightfully so. The last 8 years of both Obama and Hillary literally abandoning them at times (i.e. Benghazi and the false police accusations) have left a terrible scar. Reducing regulations and jump-starting our economy seems to be a priority – fantastic, we need it! I truly wish you well in this regard Mr. Trump!
I sincerely hope President Trump proves me wrong again and again. We don't need another President (or Congress!) to cause more damage - we're barely holding on by a thread and we don't have time, or money, to waste on another round of failure. Regardless, we as a society and individuals need to get back to solid, proven principles and morals – then and only then will we improve and truly be great again.
Taking profits from businesses and giving to others who did nothing to earn it fails to align with natural human behavior. In essence, this action kills the driving forces behind a thriving economy. Such is the case of Marxism, in particular, socialism, communism and fascism.
Motivation is a strong force in regards to human behavior. It's also a huge factor in a healthy economy. A consequence which rewards a particular decision leads to more good choices in the future. Conversely, a consequence which punishes tends to persuade people NOT to make that decision in the future. Just like children learning not to touch a hot stove because it burns, a child also learns that hard work produces rewarding results...at least up until the point that children learn (from parents or teachers) that consequences are no longer a factor; as is the case when government removes the motivation process for independent living via welfare and the nationalization of markets (socialism/communism). Such is the case for the U.S. and European economies.
Evolution essentially teaches the same thing about motivation through reward versus punishment, success versus failure. A more developed species performs better than a less developed species. An under-developed species must work harder to achieve sustainability. "Survival-of-the-fittest" in other words. While a species may not be able to instantly "evolve" into a more physically-advantageous species, motivation to "evolve" it's behavior definitely occurs on a daily basis. Thus, a process of learning continues throughout an animal's life so long as it is allowed to.
We see this learning process taken away from domesticated animals and especially those in zoos. They are unable to live on their own because their motivation to survive independently no longer exists nor required. Send these tamed beasts into the wild and almost all die very quickly. Motivation, based upon success and failure, improves the lives of animals. Why wouldn't this apply to humans as well, even for economic choices?
When one breaks this theory down to the basics, the free-market is Darwin's evolution in an economic sense. There are several aspects of Darwin's theory that I completely disagree with due to the lack of scientific evidence; however, it's interesting to see that many Darwinists, especially progressives/liberals, believe in evolution in its entirety for organisms but don't support the "evolutionary progress" within the marketplace. Instead, they tend to favor central-planning where competition is removed and negative impacts are (unsuccessfully) suppressed. Why? Why not allow competition so that failing businesses can be replaced by more successful ones? Why sustain a terrible company with bailouts or corporate welfare? Why support irresponsible, lazy choices that individuals willfully make, and continue to make, through individual or family welfare?
Some may argue that an economy is not a “living, breathing organism”, so evolution wouldn't apply. I disagree. An economy operates under the choices of living, breathing organisms which manifest unto the market. Evolutionary theory, in a psychological and behavioral sense, would absolutely apply in economic principles.
Without motivation to better something, almost nothing gets done. The reward versus punishment cycle is vital for behaviors to correct themselves. If this corrective approach is removed, then a cycle of destructive behavior only continues. We see this within society in drug addicts, the habitual poor, lazy bureaucrats and politicians, career criminals, even demoralized soldiers in combat.
These people often fail or do wrong because of a lack of motivation in the right direction; and in many cases, this lack of motivation stems from a “everyone is a winner”, “no one loses” attitude, or the common “I'm entitled to it, but don't need to earn it” mentality. How can one succeed in life if they do not understand or experience failure? For many working with a whole brain, this is simply common sense. Unfortunately, our corrupt politicians and bureaucrats lack even half a brain.
It's no wonder why our economy continues to fail, decade after decade, when motivation has been removed from the market thanks to government laws and bureaucratic regulations. Let's not forget that part of the blame falls on society as well. People, in general, have welcomed more and more government control into our lives.
Why should a bureaucrat work hard when his salary is guaranteed without any respect to the quality of his work? Why should a teacher or professor put forth extra effort when he or she can rely on tenure and coast along until retirement? Why should politicians focus their attention on actually solving certain problems when they only need to sustain enough votes for the next election? Why should a minimum-wage employee give 100% when he's guaranteed an hourly minimum? Why work for a living when it's easier to sign up for welfare?
Motivation doesn't exist for many. Naturally, all things related begin to decline such as the economy, but also family, social, health, etc.
Businesses aren't expanding (or hiring, promoting, etc.) because government steals the hard-earned profits that could have been utilized for economic growth. Why toil harder and produce greater results when the rewards will only be stolen by our kleptomaniac Uncle Sam?
The rate of progress, both on an individual and societal sense, diminishes with the decline of motivation and reward. This includes economic prosperity. Until taxes become equal and just for all (exempting those in abject poverty) and the welfare-state reduces to almost zero, we will continue to see the "American Dream" as just a dream...
It appears that two types of racism exist in the U.S. and throughout the western nations. There lives “accepted” racism, which is (unfortunately) okay for many, and the “unacceptable” racism which everyone loathes or pretends to.
These two forms of racism can be seen in the attitudes of people and even within legislation passed by Congress. For instance, affirmative action for minorities in employment, college, financial aid, etc. has been around for a while and could be considered “accepted racism” by many. Criteria based solely on a person's race which gives that person an advantage over others is racist in nature, is it not? However, when this is applied to a minority, it seems to be “justified”. Conversely, a business which actively denies employment because of race could be viewed as “unacceptable racism”, especially if the victim is not white. Regardless of accepted or unacceptable racism, both stem from a viewpoint of a particular race being superior to another.
The difference between the two lie within the acceptance or disapproval by society and/or government, but racism underlies both.
Defenders of affirmative action claim it does not purport racism, it “levels the playing field”. I disagree and many more rational people are joining this opinion everyday. Hasn't blatant, overt racism disappeared a long time ago? Where can one go where a sign reads “Whites only”, “Blacks not allowed”, “No Japanese” - or any other race - for that matter? Can't minorities vote? Can't all races freely associate with one another and even marry? Haven't the Jim Crow laws of the Democrat Party been repealed? I have never met an actual slave nor slave owner in my life, but I have met many successful minorities.
The outright racism of the past vanished long ago. However, subtle racism still exists, and always will unfortunately. I strongly believe everyone discriminates in some way. Perhaps someone might not view races as unequal, but maybe it's gender, religion, age, or some other attribute. In some ways, this cannot be helped because we're human and therefore imperfect: our thinking and attitudes are imperfect. This imperfectness of human thinking doesn't make these thoughts “right” per se, it's merely a sad fact of humanity. Nonetheless, outright racism – any discrimination – when it involves negative actions against another is morally reprehensible. Government policies and laws will never solve this problem though. Nations have tried and failed – and instituted their own form of discriminatory system in the process.
Let's turn affirmative action on its head for a second. Why not enforce affirmative action for whites, Asians, and Latinos in professional basketball and football? The dominant race in these careers lean heavily to African Americans. How about legislating affirmative action for whites and Asians within the rap entertainment industry? NAACP membership? A heavy imbalance exists there too, among many other fields and organizations.
No doubt, this action wouldn't be accepted by many. The above affirmative action therefore positions itself as “unacceptable racism” because of societal disapproval. Yet, the exact same policy applied to the careers of African Americans reflects “accepted racism” due to an overall acceptance by society and government (more so government, less so society).
Also, as I write this, I find myself feeling urged to write “African American” instead of “black”, but I'm okay referring to Caucasians as simply “white”. Why?
Throughout the decades, society and government elevated minorities, in particular blacks, into a “protected” status, reinforced by legislation, mostly by pressure from far-left (typically Marxist) organizations.
Instead of equality and equal treatment under law, we have set up special privileges for some, while created disadvantages for others (specifically, whites and Asians).
Many minorities – blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, etc. – became very successful on their own throughout the centuries and continue to do so today. They created goals and worked hard to achieve them. Even when slavery and open discrimination existed in this country, there were many free minorities who excelled into wealth and prestige. If they could do it then, there is no excuse for failure today, especially with the combined government policies, programs and financial aid set aside specifically for minorities today.
(This brings a question into mind, why can't programs exist exclusively for whites, if it's perfectly acceptable to do so for other races? I have no problem with race-specific organizations [NON-government], so long as all races have the same opportunity to create such organizations.)
The typical rebuttal states something to the effect of, “Minorities have been historically disadvantaged over the years, because of slavery, and need special help.”
Three problems with that claim.
One: They no longer live in the same predicament in this country as generations before them, not even close.
Two: History shows minorities with wealth, power and prestige in this country existed during periods of hyper-discrimination and even slavery. (Just to name a few: Richard Allen, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, David Walker, and Prince Hall lived and prospered during slavery.)
Three: Claiming minorities “need” help today, in order to be successful, is the equivalent of calling them too stupid or incompetent to excel on their own ability. Now THAT is truly racist.
I'm sure the politically-correct net-police interpret this commentary as “racist”, “bigoted” or whatever label-fetish they picked up this week; but that's only because I point out the truth about “acceptable” and “unacceptable” racism in our society, which continues to persist within modern liberalism and perpetuated by liberal and progressive political parties of today.