A Return to Cam Ranh Bay?

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A satellite image of the Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base in 2013. Credit DigitalGlobe, via Getty Images

Last week, Jane Perlez had an article in The New York Times speculating about the return of US Forces to Cam Ranh Bay, in Vietnam. It’s an interesting thought, and not nearly far-fetched as it sounds to ears that remember the sixties.

Firstly, it’s important to remember that nations usually don’t have friends, they have interests. But in the same way, that Great Britain is the United States’ friend, China is Vietnam’s enemy. It’s something that goes back a thousand years, and as always: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. In addition, we should remember that likely in the late forties, in a misguided intention to support imperial France, we threw away a potential ally in Ho Chi Minh, who had been known to quote the Declaration of Independence fervently. It wasn’t Truman’s finest hour.

And so led the way to a war, which we fought badly, and lost. Although I would say we lost in Washington, not on the field. But we lost. And so our relations have been rather sour for a long while. From the article.

Vietnam’s needs dovetail with those of the United States, which has been encouraging maritime states in Southeast Asia to better defend themselves, an effort partly aimed at keeping the United States from being dragged into a direct naval conflict with China.

The prospect of access to Cam Ranh Bay, where the Vietnamese have built a new international port, provides another enticement for lifting the ban.

An American presence there would allow United States forces to use the port on the western edge of the South China Sea, complementing American facilities in the Philippines on the sea’s eastern edge.

“If the United States can get regular access to Cam Ranh Bay, it would be very advantageous to maintaining the balance of power with China,” said Alexander L. Vuving, a Vietnam specialist at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. “If something happens in the South China Sea, it takes a while for the U.S. to get there. China can get there more quickly.”

The Vietnamese, who shun alliances and forbid foreign bases, have made clear they would not entertain exclusive use of the facilities by the United States but would allow it to share the base with others. Singaporean and Japanese vessels this year were the first to use the facility.

via Why Might Vietnam Let U.S. Military Return? China. – The New York Times

That all makes sense to me, we’ve talked many times here about how important the area is. It sits on one of the major shipping lanes in the world, see also what we said here. Understand this, the US (and Royal) Navy’s ability to contest this area is exactly what led the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor, and Singapore. The same can happen with China.

Along the same lines, China is increasingly finding that its moves are being resisted, peacefully so far, but things are stirring, and alliances are shaking, another case in point: India. From Kevin Knodell.

1-3ti_mjeJQQO1j9TIsWsgSAWashington and New Delhi are getting a lot more serious about military-to-military ties. As the United States and India become more wary of an increasingly assertive China, the two countries are gradually edging closer together.

On May 16, American and Indian met for a “maritime security dialogue” in New Delhi. “The dialogue covered issues of mutual interest, including exchange of perspectives on maritime security development in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region as well as prospects for further strengthening cooperation between India and the United States in this regard,” stated an Indian Ministry of External Affairs press release.

Washington and New Delhi are also close to formalizing a historic military cooperation agreement hazily called the “Logistics Support Agreement” — or LSA. The agreement would allow the two militaries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases for resupplies, repairs and conducting operations.

American and Indian officials agreed to hold the summit during an April visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Despite regular meetings and joint military training, the United States and India are not allies in any formal sense. India was officially unaligned in the Cold War but kept close relations with the Soviet Union — and the United States backed arch-rival Pakistan.

But there is a slow yet historic realignment underway. First of all, the United States and India are both growing warier of China’s rise as a major regional military power. Second, the U.S.-Pakistani relationship has deteriorated during the course of America’s decade-and-a-half-long war in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan is the world’s top recipient of Chinese weapons.

via: Watch Out, China

So for all the silliness in Washington, we appear to be in some respects still acting properly as the world’s premier maritime power, ensuring the freedom of the seas for all, hopefully, some gestures will be enough, and likely they will if it’s obvious that gestures are not the only thing in the cupboard.

There’s a word for that. It’s called deterrence.

The Real Wayne

2E49CEE500000578-3311130-image-m-32_1447128028102Every once in a while, and it’s rare, one of those articles comes along, that one simply wants to reprint. But one can’t both because we have respect for the author and the original publisher, and because of the copywrite laws, which protect us all. So we excerpt and we link, and we urge you to ‘read the whole thing’™. This is one of those times, from Ron Capshaw writing on www.libertylawsite.org.

On a movie set many years ago, actress Geraldine Page found herself seated between actor Ward Bond, an enforcer of the blacklist of communists then raging in Hollywood, and his friend, the conservative actor John Wayne. Page was only accustomed to being around her fellow show business liberals, so she listened to the two men’s conservative views with a sense of “horror.” But as the conversation went on, she developed a marginally more favorable view of Wayne, whom she called a “reactionary for all sorts of non-reactionary reasons.”

“I swear that if John Wayne ever got transplanted out of this circle of people that are around him all the time,” said Page, “he would be the most anti-reactionary force for . . . good.”

Such distinctions were not made by liberal lawmakers in Sacramento recently. The California legislature voted down a Republican lawmaker’s proposal for a “John Wayne Day” for the state of California, declaring Wayne beyond the pale because of his support for the House Un-American Activities Committee and the John Birch Society.

On the surface, they would seem to have a case. Wayne did support the blacklist against movie-industry communists, saying, for example, that he never regretted running screenwriter Carl Foreman out of the country. He did support Senator Joseph McCarthy’s (R-Wis.) sloppy and self-serving statements about communists in government. And he indeed was a member of the John Birch Society, a bookish (which is to say nonviolent) but undeniably zany group that entertained conspiracy theories about who controlled the levers of the U.S. government. He also supported the U.S. defense of South Vietnam, which was under siege by guerrillas supplied by the communist North Vietnamese.

The liberals in the California legislature also charged racism, citing a 1971 interview Wayne gave to Playboy magazine in which he said: “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”

Well. A few other things also need to be considered…

– See more at: The Real Wayne

Sounds a lot like almost every American I’ve ever known and respected. Maybe why that’s after all these years, he’s still the favorite actor of many of us, as well as around the world. There wasn’t anything simple about him, and there isn’t about us either.

But also like many of us, including Jess, I rarely think of the Duke without thinking of Maureen O’Hara. Seems to me a strong character like Wayne, needs a strong co-star to play off, and that ginger Irish lass was about as strong as they come, and they worked so well together.

But when she died last fall, I missed something. Did you guys realize that she was buried next to her husband, Brigadier General Charles Blair, USAF, at Arlington Memorial Cemetary, the General and his Lady, still with the troops, as it should be? By the way, he died in an aircraft accident in 1978.

2E47407B00000578-3311130-She_was_buried_next_to_her_husband_U_S_Air_Force_Brig_Gen_Charle-a-33_1447113520697It is also reported that when she died, she was listening to the soundtrack of The Quiet Man. I like that, not least because it is one of my favorite movies, maybe my favorite. It’s also reported that amongst the mourners was Melinda Munoz, John Wayne’s daughter.

The Shannon Rovers from Chicago perform bagpipe music during the graveside service for Maureen O'Hara

The Shannon Rovers from Chicago perform bagpipe music during the graveside service for Maureen O’Hara

But she never forgot her Irish heritage either, saying, “My heritage has been my grounding, and it has brought me peace”. She also said, “Some people see me as a former screen siren while others remember me as the dame who gave as good as she got in movies with John Wayne, for example,’ she reflected.

‘Many women have written to me over the years and said I’ve been an inspiration to them, a woman who could hold her own against the world.’

And the Duke said this, “She’s a great guy. I’ve had many friends, and I prefer the company of men. Except for Maureen O’Hara.

From The Daily Mail

So it’s been a busy week, for me, for Jess, and for most of you, as well. So let’s sit back and remember the general’s lady when she was the colonel’s lady, in the last of the trilogy, Rio Grande.

Viking longship sets sail for North America

Jörgen AskMy main computer is down, so I’m on my laptop, which is not as amenable for writing, so for the present, posts will be rather simpler than normal.

But since yesterday was Norwegian Constitution Day, we’ll start with some history from the Northland.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre (Dragon Harald Fairhair, named after the first King of Norway), an ocean-worthy Viking longship, set sail early this morning from Norway on a daring voyage that will retrace the steps of great explorers like Erik the Red and his son Leif Erikson, the first European to cross the Atlantic and set foot on the American continent.

Dragon-Harald-Fairhair-under-construction..

Warship to Warship. The Viking ship Draken Harald Harfagre,the World's largest Viking Longship,alongside the Royal Fleet Auxhiliary replenishment ship Fort Rosalie,berthed in West Float,Birkenhead,were the Draken has been berthed at Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club during it's stay. The ships departure was cancelled from Sunday and will now leave Monday 4th August weather permitting.

Warship to Warship. The Viking ship Draken Harald Harfagre,the World’s largest Viking Longship,alongside the Royal Fleet Auxhiliary replenishment ship Fort Rosalie,berthed in West Float,Birkenhead,were the Draken has been berthed at Liverpool Victoria Rowing Club during it’s stay. The ships departure was cancelled from Sunday and will now leave Monday 4th August weather permitting.

Sponsored by Norwegian businessman Sigurd Aase, construction on the vessel began in 2010 in Haugesund, Norway. It isn’t an exact replica of an extant Viking ship. While replicas of excavated ships have been made, they don’t work very well on the ocean because the originals were burial ships. They could be rowed, but they weren’t meant for the ocean voyages that took the Vikings across half the world. So instead of relying exclusively on archaeological remains, the builders of the Draken Harald Hårfagre combined traditionalNorwegian boatbuilding knowledge, a living craft with deep roots going back to the Viking era, with archaeology — the 9th century Gokstad shipwas one particular inspiration — and descriptions in the Norse sagas. It is an open clinker-built ship with an oak hull, Douglas fir mast, hemp rigging and a silk sail. At 115 feet long, 27 feet wide with 50 oars and a 3,200-square-foot sail, the Draken Harald Hårfagre is largest Viking ship built in modern times.The aim from the beginning has been to create an operating Viking ship. That means roughing it in a serious way. There’s no under deck where the crew can rest and take shelter from the elements, just a large tent where 16 people at a time sleep in four hours shifts. The only space underneath the deck is a shallow space just large enough to carry ballast and food. The food is cooked is an open air kitchen on the deck, the ancestor of the galley discovered on the 15th century Dutch cog that was raised earlier this year.

via The History Blog » Blog Archive » Viking longship sets sail for North America

And even a video! Of the Dragon Ceremony!

Now that strikes me as very neat. Looks pretty shipshape to me, and likely to work just as well, as the ones a thousand years ago, when my ancestors were the terror of the world, from Vinland to Constantinople, and beyond. Or have you forgotten The Varangian Guard was mostly comprised of Vikings, at least until William the Conquerer supplemented its recruiting amongst Anglo-Saxons.

And speaking of 1066 and all that, in France they are attempting to establish whether Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy (although he was referred to as the Count of Anjou) came from Norway or Denmark.

Scandinavian researchers have exhumed the bones of two direct descendants of Rollo, the 10th century Viking founder of the Duchy of Normandy, in an attempt to answer the long-debated question of whether Rollo was Danish or Norwegian.

Historians have differed on the matter of Rollo’s national origins since at least the 11th century. Norman historian Dudo of Saint-Quentin (ca. 965-1043) said in his Historia Normannorum that Rollo was the son of a “Danish” king who was exiled and made his way to France, but at the time Dudo was in the employ of Richard II of Normandy who was allied to the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard. He had a dog in the hunt, as it were, and cannot be considered reliable on this question. Goffredo Malaterra, a monk in Sicily writing in the late 11th century, said Rollo hailed from Norway. In the 13th Norwegian-Icelandic sagas Heimskringlaand Orkneyinga, Rollo appears as Ganger-Hrólf, the son of Rognvald Eysteinsson, yarl of Møre in western Norway. (Rollo is a Latinization of Hrólf.)

With these conflicting and vague sources, historians have argued the point for centuries. It matters because of how important Rollo was to European history. His raids along the Seine so bedevilled Charles III, aka Charles the Simple, King of Western Francia, that he finally bought Rollo off with huge tracts of land between the city of Rouen and the mouth of the Seine in exchange for him switching from raider to protector. He appears in only one primary source: a charter from 918 which mentions the lands ceded to Rollo and his “Northmen on the Seine.” It seems Rollo ruled those lands as Count of Rouen until at least 927 after which his son William I Longsword acceded to what would become known during his rule as the Dukedom of Normandy, after the Norsemen who founded it. William Longsword’s son was Richard I of Normandy. Richard I’s son was Richard II. Richard II’s son Robert I was the father of William the Conqueror.

More at: Descendants of Rollo, Viking founder of Normandy, exhumed

You’ll notice that whether Rollo was Danish or Norwegian, and simply because of my background, I hope for Norwegian, paying him the Danegeld didn’t work all that well for Charles the Simple, in any case, nor did it ever in England.

When Did Optimism Become Uncool?

Credit Matt Chase Photo by: Matt Chase

I know, I hate to refer to (let alone link to) The New York Times, but sometimes they almost make sense. This piece, for example, he says several risible things in making his point, but he does have one, and he’s right.

What really is so bad? Yes, it could (and should) all be better, if we’d had better policies and perhaps better people. The economy, is firing on about 5 cylinders, and that makes a V8 run rather badly, but it’s running. Washington intrudes far too much, but we’re still better than anybody I can think of, and freer than most, mostly by our own hand.

GIVEN Donald J. Trump’s virtual lock on the Republican presidential nomination, you’d think he’d be a bit more upbeat. Instead, his campaign began last summer with “our country is going to hell,” then declared, “we’re becoming a third world country,” and by this month had progressed to the United States “losing all the time.”

This election season, the impending apocalypse has been issue No. 1 for presidential aspirants on both sides. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said he was running “because the world is falling apart.” Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, declared the United States “near an abyss.” On the left, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont says the economy has been “destroyed” for all but the wealthy few.

Presidential contenders are hardly alone in such bleak views. An April Gallup poll found that only 26 percent of Americans call themselves “satisfied” with “the way things are going” in the United States. It’s been this way for a while: January 2004, during the George W. Bush administration, was the last time a majority told Gallup they felt good about the nation’s course.

Yet a glance out the window shows blue sky. There are troubling issues, including the horror of mass shootings, but most American social indicators have been positive at least for years, in many cases for decades. The country is, on the whole, in the best shape it’s ever been in. So what explains all the bad vibes?

Social media and cable news, which highlight scare stories and overstate anger, bear part of the blame. So does the long-running decline in respect for the clergy, the news media, the courts and other institutions. The Republican Party’s strange insistence on disparaging the United States doesn’t help, either.

But the core reason for the disconnect between the nation’s pretty-good condition and the gloomy conventional wisdom is that optimism itself has stopped being respectable. Pessimism is now the mainstream, with optimists viewed as Pollyannas. If you don’t think everything is awful, you don’t understand the situation!

via When Did Optimism Become Uncool? – The New York Times

I think that is the key here, as well, it has simply become fashionable to be a pessimist, many of us have become defeatist, whether its politics, religion, education, or the generation(s) behind us, it’s all doom and gloom, all the time.

Time for a reality check, I see the same problems as you do, but I ain’t defeated. It’s a challenge, folks, how are we going to solve them? Remember it was about 42 months between Pearl Harbor, and Tokyo Bay, only a couple years between Apollo 1 and landing on the moon.

Whingeing never solved anything, and if we do our best to fix our local problems the big national ones will mostly disappear.

And I’m not overly interested in who you think is preventing from doing whatever, either, my experience says that 99% of the time, it’s an excuse, to sit around and have a beer.

And besides, it’s fun solving your own problems, so let get to it.

It’s Trump vs Hillary: a race that should terrify all conservatives

25bb0430a01ae26b91e10d5868c6cc5eWell, I wasn’t going to talk about this anymore, but I’ve got a bit more to say. Mostly because other people are articulating my feelings better than I can. So let’s take a look around, shall we?

The Spectator chimed in yesterday with some very good thoughts.

Following Tuesday night’s Indiana primaries, the race for the Republican nomination is effectively over. Talk of Donald Trump being overhauled in a contested convention in July evaporated when Ted Cruz withdrew from the race after seven successive defeats. Compromise candidates have ruled themselves out, and Trump’s former opponents are reluctantly rallying around. It really has come to this: the people of the most powerful country on earth will be asked to choose between Hillary Clinton and her former campaign donor Donald Trump.

It cannot be assumed that Trump will be defeated in November. This week, for the first time, a poll put him ahead of her. The world is sooner or later going to have to face up to the possibility that a man whom our own Parliament recently debated banning from the UK, and whom the German magazine Der Spiegel recently called ‘the most dangerous man in the world’, might soon be leader of the world’s most powerful nation and commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military.

Is Donald Trump really such a danger to the world? Yes, but not in the way most of his critics usually assert. As the National Review has pointed out, Trump’s ascendancy means that Reagan-style conservatism is now in exile from the Republican party. He will attack Hillary Clinton from the left on every-thing from her Iraq vote to social security.

via It’s Trump vs Hillary: a race that should terrify all conservatives » The Spectator

One of the points that they make, for Europe, but it applies to us as well. If he gets his way on protectionist trade deals, well I already know who get hurts the most. The American consumer. Take a look at almost everything you buy at Wal-Mart (and a good share of your groceries) and add about 30% to the price. That might create a few jobs, but at a terrible cost. Oh, by the way, it was also one of the main causes of The Great Depression, and thusly World War Two.

My junior Senator, Ben Sasse, wrote an open letter yesterday, he makes some good points.

1. Washington isn’t fooling anyone — Neither political party works. They bicker like children about tiny things, and yet they can’t even identify the biggest issues we face…. I signed up for the Party of Abraham Lincoln — and I will work to reform and restore the GOP — but let’s tell the plain truth that right now both parties lack vision.

2.
As a result, normal Americans don’t like either party. If you ask Americans if they identify as Democrat or Republican, almost half of the nation interrupts to say: “Neither.”

3.
Young people despise the two parties even more than the general electorate. And why shouldn’t they?….

4.
Our problems are huge right now, but one of the most obvious is that we’ve not passed along the meaning of America to the next generation. If we don’t get them to re-engage — thinking about how we defend a free society in the face of global jihadis, or how we balance our budgets after baby boomers have dishonestly over-promised for decades, or how we protect First Amendment values in the face of the safe-space movement – then all will indeed have been lost. One of the bright spots with the rising generation, though, is that they really would like to rethink the often knee-jerk partisanship of their parents and grandparents. We should encourage this rethinking.

5.
These two national political parties are enough of a mess that I believe they will come apart. It might not happen fully in 2016 — and I’ll continue fighting to revive the GOP with ideas — but when people’s needs aren’t being met, they ultimately find other solutions.

6.
In the history of polling, we’ve basically never had a candidate viewed negatively by half of the electorate. This year, we have two. In fact, we now have the two most unpopular candidates ever — Hillary by a little, and Trump by miles (including now 3 out of 4 women — who vote more and influence more votes than men). There are dumpster fires in my town more popular than these two “leaders.”

7.
With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do.

8.
Remember: our Founders didn’t want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?

9.
So…let’s have a thought experiment for a few weeks: Why shouldn’t America draft an honest leader who will focus on 70% solutions for the next four years? You know…an adult?

I think he has a point, so do others, Ace has this to say:

Allah seems to take the position that if this is what American has chosen, why shouldn’t it get it, good and hard?

But Sasse’s point is that much of America didn’t choose these two, and that part of America is not duty-bound to follow the folly of others. If there are still things permitted to be done — like run a third party challenge — why should they not be done?

The usual math on this is that a third party run would be disastrous and would deliver the election to Hillary. Many #NeverTrumpers, and I’m edging into that group myself, find this a weak objection in this case: Trump himself will inevitably be demolished, so there’s no threat of “throwing the election.” It already has been thrown.

Second, Trump represents an very stupid and dangerous form of authoritarianism. Everything with him is force and bullying. Riots at the convention if he doesn’t get his way. His online trolls actively threatening people’s physical safety.

I don’t get it — I’m supposed to be outraged by Lois Lerner, yet amused by this? Why? Because this will only be visited upon my enemies? First, that’s not principled, that’s just stupid tribalism,, and second, it’s not true — the gentle persuasions of authoritarian You Will Be Made to Buckle are already being visited on us, and by “us,” I mean non-Democrats.

Keep reading at Ben Sasse Open Letter: Doesn’t the Country Deserve Better Than These Two Terrible Candidates?

And finally, Leslie Loftis, attempting to explain the improbable state of the campaign to the British on The Conservative Woman, says this.

[…] They wanted to know what a principled conservative saw.

Today, I see devastation.

Senator Ted Cruz’s shock exit from the race on Tuesday marked the end of the Republican Party as a conservative home. We are free agents now.

Rumour has it that some credible threats convinced Cruz to drop out, but more likely he saw that neither the self-interested GOP players nor the gullible Trump supporters could be swayed. They cling together in the carcass that is the GOP now. They might have even made a Trump/Kasich deal on that.

We were witnesses to a rare event in US history, the death of a US political party. The Grand Old Party’s final breath was commemorated in modern fashion,burning registration card snaps tweeted to Reince Priebus, head of the GOP, pop culture memes, and one heck of a search spike for Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party.

More at Leslie Loftis’s America Watch: We have just witnessed the death of the GOP

Pretty much how it feels to me, as well.

Trump, Clinton, and Sanders

First, I want to thank you all, our little point – counterpoint experiment on Brexit led to the best two-day readership in a very long while, not to mention a good discussion. We’ll have to try it again if we can find something else we disagree on.:)

I suppose it is time to say something about Donald Trump. He has, after all, essentially won the nomination, and done it fairly and decisively. I think the three left (Trump, Clinton, and Sanders) are perhaps the worst candidates ever, but it says something about where we are. And that isn’t good, but it is a reasonable reflection of where the country is, maybe. In keeping with our trans-Atlantic theme the best theory on this came yesterday from Archbishop Cranmer.

[…]

Much has been written about this eventuality, and even more will now be written about the “nightmare” (©Bishop of Guildford, 2016) possibility that Trump will soon be ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Most of this journalistic comment will focus on the ‘gaffes’. How can a man who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the US; build a great wall to keep out the Mexicans; says African-Americans have no spirit; opposes same-sex marriage; favours prosecuting women who procure illegal abortions; leches over his own daughter; repudiates climate change; mocks the disabled; jokes about shooting people in the streets; and who offends women with crude references to the breasts, backsides and menstrual periods possibly become President of the most powerful nation on earth?

It is really quite simple: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either,” […]

Donald Trump may be crass, crude, boorish and offensive. He may demean mature political discourse with his self-absorbed narcissism, and insult all thoughtful, intelligent and enlightened people with his childish tantrums and shallow spirituality. But he speaks with a different voice and exudes a strange confidence. And millions of Americans like what they hear and are mesmerised by a courage which refuses to bow to the embarrassment of being.

Read more via Archbishop Cranmer

Yup, I do see that, and His Grace is, as usual, correct. In fact, in a lot of ways, he speaks to me as well. My problem is that he’s been on almost every side of every question at some time. Of course, no doubt His Grace can relate, you could say much the same of Henry VIII and his relationship with Canterbury.

But if we really look at the labels, what I am is a classical liberal, as are many of you, we look back to the founder of whiggism, Edward Burke, even more than our British compatriots, and mix in a lot of that canny Scot, Adam Smith. Lately, we seem to be becoming an endangered species, and that is not a good sign for America. John O. McGinnis has some thoughts on that.

At the beginning of the campaign for the Republican nomination, many thought that it was a libertarian moment in which even Rand Paul might well emerge victorious. But with tonight’s results from Indiana, the Republican Party seems poised to nominate the most illiberal candidate in its history—someone who wants to restrict trade and civil liberties and has no interest in taming the growth of the state. Trump’s prospective nomination suggests that classical liberalism in the more classically liberal of our two parties is in radical decline. If so, what is most distinctive about America—its foundation in liberty—is at risk. We need to know why classical liberalism has so signally failed in 2016 if this failure is to be reversed. –

Keep reading at A Postmortem on Classical Liberalism in the 2016 Presidential Primary

Who’s right and who’s wrong, if anybody? I don’t know, but my motto lately has become Adam Smith’s remark, “There’s a lot of ruin in a nation.” I hope we don’t find out just how much.

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