The [Continuing] Story of Freedom

I don’t know about you guys, but most of what we have talked about this week, I find distasteful. There are few things that infuriate me more than the abuse of power, and it’s only worse when it is a powerful man abusing young women. perhaps at least some of them were willing to play the game, after all ‘the casting couch’ is a cliché for a reason, but why, exactly, should they have to. Yes, people will always abuse power, if they can, but we do not have to let them. In any case that was part of the reason that this week’s picture post was about Navy Day, not that they don’t deserve the recognition. I had simply had enough, and most of what I had was about Weinstein. Yuck! As I said today in a comment, Lord Acton was correct, “The love of power corrupts, and the love of absolute power corrupts, absolutely.”

One of the things I do when I get in this spot is to go back in our earlier posts, usually Jessica’s. She had a way of making things clear, no matter how much mud was spattered about, and it is one of the things I miss most about her. Some of her basic goodness comes through in those posts, and they help me, and I hope they help your morale as well. In her post from December 30, 2012, she reminds us that our freedom has a long history which is intertwined in British and American history. Here she takes us back to show us that the original resistance to secular tyranny came from none other than the Church, in our case through the Archbishop of Canterbury St Thomas Becket and thence to another Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton, who stood up to King John of infamous memory. But let her tell it, she tells it much better than I do. here’s my dearly beloved dearest friend, Jessica.

The story of Becket reminds us of the eternal conflict between the Church and the State. It is the natural wish of the latter, whether in the guise of a king, an aristocracy or ‘the people’ to encompass as much power to itself as it can. There is only one culture where this has been challenged successfully, and it is that of the Latin West. For all the atheists’ charge that the Church has been some sort of dictator, it never has been; indeed it has been the bridle on that happening in our societies.

I mentioned Stephen Langton yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury whom King John had refused to accept, and who sided with the Barons in their fight against the King’s tyranny. That does not mean, of course, that the Church has not had times when it has cooperated with tyranny, but it does mean that it has stood out, always, against the State controlling everything. Indeed, it was this example which gave courage to those who came to see the Church itself as a spiritually tyranny, corrupt and refusing to mend its ways. We can argue over the results of that, but what is unarguable is that it is from the deepest part of Christianity that the belief in freedom under God comes.

That qualification matters. Our forefathers did not mistake freedom for license. They knew they would stand one day before God to account for their time here on earth. They knew their sinful ways, they did not blame ‘society’, they knew that sin was an act of will on their part – of sinful rebellion against God. But they also knew that only through freedom could man be truly himself. Like God Himself, they believed in free will. Man was not free when he was in chains – literal and metaphorical ones. The black slaves were in literal chains, their owners in metaphorical ones.

Freedom has a price. Part of that is that we have to bridle ourselves. The excesses of our species when left to itself show why. Made in the image of God, we are capable of deeds of utmost evil, and we can also rise to heights of altruism and love – as the lives of the Saints show us.

We Christians are strangers in this world. We are meant to be the leaven; but too often we are the salt that has lost its savour. America is the one country in the world founded on a vision of how things could be. From its beginning it has taken the hard road of trying to rule itself without kings or aristocracies. It has found itself in some dark places, not least during its Civil War. But it has always valued freedom – and always acknowledged that there is a price to be paid.

There is a long and continuous thread leading from Magna Carta to now. We forget at our peril how unique that story is. You won’t find it elsewhere  – do we cherish it as we should?

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Harvey Weinstein and the Abuse of Power

Well, I’ve grown bored with all the noise about Harvey Weinstein. Mostly now it has become voyeuristic clickbait, as it was always going to simply because there are a (formerly) powerful man and many beautiful women involved, not to mention a few hangers-on. But maybe we can learn some lessons. I think so. And I think Melanie Phillips has taken a good shot at it.

Much has been written, and doubtless much more will be, about the grotesque sexual predations of the Hollywood movie titan Harvey Weinstein. As allegations now come tumbling out from women who say he raped, molested or otherwise sexually abused them, the question is obviously how this never previously came to light since everyone seemed to know about it.

In a particularly fine piece here, Lee Smith suggests that this has only come out now because the media power-structures which ensured silence in the past have collapsed.

The revelation of this past silence has given rise in turn to a debate about whether or not Weinstein’s women victims were complicit in their own abuse. Some did stand up against him; some refused to work for him again and tried to warn others. But many went along with it.

The point is being made that it takes a brave soul indeed to stand up against such a man whose position in the industry meant he could make or break careers. Very true. There are things, though, that surely no self-respecting person would do under any circumstances; presented with the monstrous demands Weinstein was making of them, however, too many women did. Nevertheless, the difficulty of resisting the pressure behind such sexual coercion is obvious.

I think it really takes a lot of guts to resist, remember most of these people were trying to live their dream of being a star. Well, sometimes living a dream has a price, sometimes a very high one. paid in self respect, and that makes you even less likely to tell anyone about it, I think. That Lee Smith article, that Melanie referenced, in the Weekly Standard is amazingly good, by the way, do read it. And there is this.

Such abuse of power is by no means confined to the socially or politically powerful. Rape or other sexual abuse occurs in every stratum of society. At the heart of every sexual attack lies the wish of the perpetrator to exercise power over his (or sometimes her) victim. There is no greater way to exercise that power than through a sexual attack which does not just inflict physical but psychological njury by stripping away the very core of a person’s sense of their own inviolable personhood and human dignity.

The question is whether these attacks are now more numerous than they ever were or whether they are just being noticed more often. Obviously, sexual attack is nothing new; and one can point to many instances where changing social mores mean we are now less tolerant of behaviour that for various reasons went unchallenged in the past –– just as we can also point to precisely the reverse trend.

Nevertheless, I suspect such sexual attacks are in general on the increase, not least because of the breakdown of the traditional family. Before the British government decided to censor the statistics showing the relative rate of abuse by biological and non-biological family members, it was clearly established that sexual and other abuse was committed vastly more frequently by people not biologically related to their victims. Since so many households now contain transient sexual partners, it stands to reason that the rate of abuse including sexual attacks has also exponentially increased.

And there I think Melanie hits right in the middle of the x ring. One of the main places where we learn self-respect is by showing respect to others. This is hard to phrase but easy to understand, if you don’t respect yourself, you are not going to respect anybody else either. St Matthew put it this way, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” See my point here? If you do not love yourself, you cannot love another, It’s true, you know it and I know it. Find a guy or girl who hates themselves, you’ll find someone who loves (or usually even likes) nobody. Where did most of us learn to love? As children in our family. Melanie’s no doubt right, as broken homes and dependency on the cold charity of the state increase, instead of the more or less stable (if sometimes quite raucous) family, crime statistics climb alarmingly. One only has to look at the American black community in the 50s and compare it to today’s. A bit more Melanie.

If you look at tyrants throughout history, you often find that the person who has exercised untrammelled power and committed the most appalling crimes against other people was himself driven by intense feelings of inadequacy, self-disgust and powerlessness.

Is that sense of powerlessness increasing across the board? In an era of acute psychic loneliness, with disintegrating family and social structures and with people feeling they are nothing more than random bundles of atoms being blown hither and yon by an indifferent fate in a universe without meaning, I bet it is.

I think taking that bet would be for suckers, because she is correct.

Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings Today?

Rush did a segment on this the other day, it’ strikes me as a reasonable premise. It is also an uncomfortable one

On Oct. 1, 2017, a 64-year-old man named Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and injuring some 515 more.

Paddock, who had no previous criminal record, then turned one of his weapons on himself, reports say. It was the largest domestic mass shooting in U.S. history. Authorities have not yet identified a motive.

Paddock’s case has become all too familiar. The FBI has confirmed that mass shootings are on the rise, and statistics bear this out. According to Mother Jones, which tracks mass shootings (an attack involving four or more people killed indiscriminately in a public place), there have been seven mass shootings so far in 2017.

This figure is slightly higher than the annual average between 2012 and 2016 (5.8), a figure that, in turn, is nearly three times the annual average (2.0) from 2000 to 2011. As an additional point of reference, during the entire decade of the 1980s there were eight mass shootings, according to Mother Jones.

There is no shortage of theories attempting to explain the surge of violence. These theories include the large number of firearms in the U.S., “the collapse” of the American dream, a lack of mental health resources, violent movies, graphic video games, and many others.

One theory I have not seen posited is an idea proposed by the philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975). Arendt, a German-American political theorist who wrote extensively on totalitarianism, predicted that modern society would see a surge of domestic violence and social unrest.

Few humans have better understood power and the psychology of violence than Arendt. Widely considered one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers, she escaped Germany during the Holocaust and found refuge in America, where she became a visiting scholar at some of America’s finest academic institutions, and was Princeton’s first female lecturer.

In her classic work On Violence, Arendt discussed the ideas of power and violence at length. She begins her essay by quoting Voltaire, who said power essentially “consists in making others act as I choose.” If such a definition is true, and “if the essence of power is the effectiveness of command, then there is no greater power than that which grows out of the barrel of a gun,” she says.

But Arendt qualifed that power and violence are two very different things. In fact, she said they are diametrically opposed:

“…politically speaking, it is insufficient to say that power and violence are not the same. Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent. Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power’s disappearance.”

True power, Arendt says, doesn’t require violence. It belongs to a group (never an individual) and it remains so long as the group stays together and can exert its will. Violence, on the other hand, is an instrument. It’s most often employed by those who lack power (a ruffian on a dark street) or by a group that feels power slipping away.

If Arendt is correct, violence is an instrument most likely to be used by those who lack power and feel powerless. And this is where she critiqued modern society.

Arendt believed that modern states had become “bogged down under the monstrous weight of their own bigness.” She saw that the bigger a state grew, the more need there was for an administrative apparatus to allow it to function. The bureaucratization of society sounds more mundane than oppressive, but Arendt saw it as an insidious and smothering force that resulted in a sort of faceless tyranny.

“…bureaucracy, or the rule by an intricate system of bureaux in which no men, neither one nor the best, neither the few nor the many, can be held responsible, and which could be properly called the rule by Nobody. Indeed, if we identify tyranny as the government that is not held to give account of itself, rule by Nobody is clearly the most tyrannical of all, since there is no one left who could even be asked to answer for what is being done. It is this state of affairs which is among the most potent causes for the current world-wide rebellious unrest.”

Humans are by nature political creatures, Arendt understood. She believed the bureaucratization of society robs man of a fundamental human need: the ability to take action.

“What makes man a political being is his faculty to act,” she wrote in her 1969 essay Reflections on Violence. “And I think it can be shown that no other human ability has suffered to such an extent by the Progress of the modern age.”

And it’s here where she arrives at the correlation between bureacracy and violence:

“The greater the bureaucratization of public life, the greater will be the attraction of violence. In a fully developed bureaucracy there is nobody left with whom one could argue, to whom one could present grievances, on whom the pressures of power could be exerted. Bureaucracy is the form of government in which everybody is deprived of political freedom, of the power to act; for the rule by Nobody is not no-rule, and where all are equally powerless we have a tyranny without a tyrant.”

Now, one might argue that perhaps Arendt was speaking primarily of political violence. That’s certainly possible (though unclear). But in any event there is a psychological aspect to consider.

If Arendt is right that 1) violence is perpetuated primarily by those who lack power; and 2) the bureaucratization of society deprives people of the ability to act, making them feel powerless; then it stands to reason that some individuals who lack power may be seeking to feel powerful through violence. As Arendt noted, in its traditional understanding “there is no greater power than that which grows out of the barrel of a gun.”

A mass shooting is only one form of violence, of course. But is there some truth in Arendt’s larger thesis? Will we witness increased social unrest and violence as societies become increasingly bureaucratized and humans are deprived of “the faculty of action”?

This post Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings Today? was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Jon Miltimore.

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/all/themes/ito/js/ito-repub.js

I think if we look at this as objectively as we can, we will find that Ms Arendt has a very valid point. Who amongst us doesn’t get a hopeless feeling when dealing with our bureaux, and leave most of the time in a rage. The only saving grace for many of us is that we were raised as ladies and gentlemen, and so tend to be nonviolent even when furious. But I suggest there is a breaking point out there someplace that when that line is crossed all hell will break loose. Best if we control it before that point.

And yes, this too is why we got Trump!

 

Here Come de Judge

So Judge Moore won the Alabama primary very decisively (almost double digits). Trump campaigned for his opponent and Mitch McConnel dumped in a ton million against him as well. Didn’t matter. Why?

Mollie Hemingway’s thoughts parallel mine, so what do we think.

1. Luther Strange Lost Just As Much As Roy Moore Won

Roy Moore is a popular man in Alabama, and he ran a solid campaign that built on his strong level of support. Much of that additional support came from people fed up with the corruption surrounding former Gov. Robert Bentley.

Pretty much of a given, I think. Alabama voters, especially Republican ones, tend to be Christians, and rather conservative ones, not inclined to be voting in people suspected of corruption, at least when they have a choice. And they had a choice, it’s hard to think of a man more incorruptible than Roy Moore, whether you agree with his views or not, he doesn’t change them for any reason, for any pressure. That is impressive.

2. Trump Supporters Showed Independence

That note from the Alabama voter brings us to the second point: this was not a Donald Trump referendum. He did, for reasons only he can explain, side with Mitch McConnell in endorsing Strange. He tweeted for him, talked about him, and campaigned for him, albeit half-heartedly there at the end when he saw the writing on the wall.

That’s a lot of it here, the support for Trump is not entirely (or even mostly) a cult of personality. It is instead a deep-seated dislike (tending towards hatred) of Washington’s business as usual. The people are resuming their sovereignty and it’s going to happen whatever Washinton thinks. Playing the ball, not the man, so to speak.

3. Republican Voters Are Done With the Old Way of Doing Business

While this was a race with Alabama-specific dynamics that may not have been much of a referendum on Trump, it’s not wrong to say there was a bit of a referendum on Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and what he represents to the Republican voter. “Mitch McConnell has had a bad week, and it’s only Tuesday,” political consultant Jordan Gehrke wrote. “There is blood in the water now, and more conservative candidates who are hostile to the establishment are primed to step forward.”

This one is important and ties in with number 2. The real loser here was Mitch McConnell and the Washinton establishment. Both men are more or less Trump supporters. The fact that Luther Strange supported the president in the Senate has much to do with Trump’s endorsement, I think.  But McConnell’s support for Strange was the kiss of death. It’s a stark warning for the GOPe who are just as blind and deaf as the Democrats because Alabamians are hardly the only people in the country that feel that way. 2018 is going to be a most interesting year, The new sheriff we speak of so often is likely to get a bunch of new deputies, and it will matter.

4. NeverTrump Should Not Rejoice

While most pundits think Strange’s failure is bad for Trump, it’s really bad for NeverTrump and other critics. There is a mindset in DC that Trump is a rare disruptive blip, and that once he is taken care of or defeated, everything will return to normal.

Alabama is just the latest example that shows that the disruption that is happening is so much bigger than Trump. The voters are simply sick and tired of how DC is doing business, and they’re willing to do quite a bit to send that message. In retrospect, the defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia back in 2014 was something of a canary in the coal mine. Republican voters have been trying to get party elites to wake up to their frustration for many years now. They launched the Tea Party, they have ousted members of leadership, they have voted for Trump as president. Now they’ve selected Moore, known for his extreme views, over the establishment candidate.

Yup. Nothing to add to that. And

5. Senate Shaping Up To Be Very Different In 2020

Moore will presumably win the special election in December, since Alabama is now a pretty solid Republican state. Trump received 63 percent of the vote in 2016.

Yesterday, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee announced he would not seek re-election. In a few years, the U.S. Senate could lack not just him but a slew of other men and women nearing retirement age, or moving on to other opportunities. That list might include Sens. John McCain, Orrin Hatch, Jim Inhofe, Thad Cochran, Pat Roberts, Susan Collins, Mike Enzi, Lamar Alexander, and others.

Indeed the pitch is on the fire and the pitchforks are out, and the Democrats are not the only, or even the major, targets. Few thing anger Americans more than hypocrisy in government. So we’ll see, but if I were a GOPe Congresscritter, staffer, or consultant, I would be (and should be) very afraid.

WHY OBAMA REALLY SPIED ON TRUMP

Daniel Greenfield wrote in FrontPage Magazine a few days ago:

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump. After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office. The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser. Kushner is a senior adviser. Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.  The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant. This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

If any of Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them. And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a technically legal Watergate.

If both CNN stories hold up, then Obama Inc. had spied on two Trump campaign leaders.

Furthermore the Obama espionage operation closely tracked Trump’s political progress. The first FISA request targeting Trump happened the month after he received the GOP nomination.  The second one came through in October: the traditional month of political surprises meant to upend an election.

Not really anything we didn’t know here, and if not proven (and it may never be) but this aligns with what we know, particularly of the people involved.

When the individual acts of surveillance are described as legal, that’s irrelevant. It’s the collective pattern of surveillance of the political opposition that exposes the criminal motive for them.

If Obama spied on two of Trump’s campaign leaders, that’s not a coincidence. It’s a pattern.

A criminal motive can be spotted by a consistent pattern of actions disguised by different pretexts. A dirty cop may lose two pieces of evidence from the same defendant while giving two different excuses. A shady accountant may explain two otherwise identical losses in two different ways. Both excuses are technically plausible. But it’s the pattern that makes the crime.

Manafort was spied on under the Russia pretext. Bannon may have been spied on over the UAE. That’s two different countries, two different people and two different pretexts.

But one single target. President Trump.

It’s the pattern that exposes the motive.

When we learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.

Each individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together they add up to the crime of the century.

Obama’s gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone engaged in illegal surveillance makes.

Businessmen illegally tape conversations with former partners hoping that they’ll say something damning enough to justify the risk. That was what Obama and his allies were doing with Trump.

It’s a crime. And you can’t justify committing a crime by discovering a crime. […]

If the gamble fails, if no criminal case that amounts to anything more than the usual investigational gimmick charges like perjury (the Federal equivalent of ‘resisting arrest’ for a beat cop) develops, then Obama and his allies are on the hook for the domestic surveillance of their political opponents.

With nothing to show for it and no way to distract from it.

That’s the race against the clock that is happening right now. Either the investigation gets results. Or its perpetrators are left hanging in the wind. If McMaster is fired, which on purely statistical grounds he probably will be, and a Trump loyalist who wasn’t targeted by the surveillance operation becomes the next National Security Adviser and brings in Trump loyalists, as Flynn tried to do, then it’s over.

And the Dems finally get their Watergate. Except the star won’t be Trump, it will be Obama. Rice, Power, Lynch and the rest of the gang will be the new Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell.

Once Obama and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation, they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.

The more crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old story when it comes to criminals.

Each act of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.

The more Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time it was bound to pay off.

Obama and his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by anyone who would undo them.  The more his staffers lied and broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.

I’m going to stop there, simply because of length, but you shouldn’t; follow that link and read it all. It’s a damning exposition of the old saw, |If one tells a lie one will always have to tell another to cover it”. That’s the great thing about telling the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said, on the other hand, an awful lot of people have talked their way into prison this way. I think if justice even close to prevails, I think there will be a new crop of residents at Club Fed.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch. And if it doesn’t, America, as we’ve known it since 1789, ends. It’s that important.

The Unobama

In writing about the speech at the UN that is what Scott Johnson at PowerLine calls President Trump. I think he’s correct. There is as we all said, much to like in the speech, but other than ‘Rocketman’, there is little new. Most of the themes are classic American policy, and therefore not what Obama was selling. Obama was an aberration, a creation, mostly, I think, of our troubled race history, or rather how our race history is perceived by many, mostly to their benefit.

There is nothing revolutionary, or even unusual about this, for example:

In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution — the oldest constitution still in use in the world today.

This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.

The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are: “We the people.”

Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country, and of our great history. In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people, where it belongs.

That’s simple ground truth, although a lot of politicians likely would wish it otherwise. But its not, it’s who we are and who we have always been. So is this:

We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. (Applause.) The Iran Deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it — believe me.

Or this

We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.

Or especially this

One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was “effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation. We realized who we were, what we valued, and what we would give our lives to defend. From its very first moments, the American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.

The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.

Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism.

There’s not much in any of that to gladden a Neo-con’s heart. I don’t see him going out into the world looking for a fight. But neither is he going to hide in the basement and wait for the UN. The image we all use so often is correct, “There is a new sheriff in town”. And his job is the restoration of the rule of law, and that is what he was elected to do. America is lucky (although we made that luck, with hard work), we don’t really need the world, we could get on pretty good all by ourselves. That’s not true for almost anybody else in the world, and that too is why America leads.

But in the final analysis (for now), John Wayne, as J.B. Books in The Shootist outlined proper American foreign policy as well as anyone.

I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them

I think President Trump understands that quite well.

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