The Federal Page for Winter 2017
By: Theodore King
On December 5, 1980, National Review held its 25th anniversary dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. A month earlier, NR subscriber and conservative ideologue Ronald Reagan had been elected the 40th president. Columnist George Will spoke at that dinner. He said, “It took 16 years to count the ballots, but Barry Goldwater has finally been elected president of the United States!” That line drew thunderous applause. And now to make a point that so far has been missed by all of the talking and writing pundits with the exception of the Web site The Daily Beast since the election of Donald J. Trump: It took 16 years to count the ballots, and Patrick J. Buchanan, who was the nominee of the Reform Party in 2000, has finally been elected president of the United States!I voted for him while living in Virginia in 2000. Patrick Buchanan also ran for the Republican nomination in 1992 and 1996. Buchanan’s message of protection of American jobs, border security, and foreign non-intervention, is the message of Donald J. Trump.
Just as it took 16 years for Barry Goldwater’s message of limited government, strong defense against Communism, and entrepreneurial growth unrestrained by government to be accepted by the voting public through Ronald Reagan, it has taken another 16 years for Buchanan’s ideas to become acceptable to voters. In both time spans, things had to get a lot worse before the public was willing to accept a change of direction.
Why Did Trump Win?
On the morning of election day I looked outside and saw a gray overcast and thought that Hillary Clinton would be elected that evening. All the pundits and pollsters predicted an almost certain victory for her. I had sharpened my index finger of accusation, which I would use the next day, and bitterly accuse the Trump supporters who refused to see the red flags of disaster in their candidate by my yelling “This was our last chance to save our country, and you people and your oaf of a candidate blew it for all of us! ”
But, of course, things didn’t happen that way. Praise God!
What was supposed to be a blowout for the Clinton machine was thwarted by the brief re-opening of some of her past sins. James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced he found new e-mails on the laptop computer of Anthony Weiner, the disgraced sex pervert and former New York congressman, that were sent to his estranged wife and Clinton confidante, Huma Abedin. Several days later, Mr. Comey said the e-mails were duplicates of already investigated e-mails, and he gave Mrs. Clinton the legal “all clear.” With only a few days before the election and early voting already underway in key states like Florida, the damage to Hillary Clinton was done. What goes around comes around.
But it wasn’t just that. Trump was able to score wins in three states not won by the GOP in many previous elections. Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were missed by the pollsters and the pundits who take their cues from the pollsters. Mr. Trump had a message for those millions of white-working class voters to whom Buchanan had appealed years earlier. As the numbers came in that evening, I wrote on social media that there was one word for what was happening: BREXIT. The same voters, long-forgotten by the establishment, had rejected the status quo just as they had done in Great Britain when voting to leave the European Union the previous June.
Here is a report, posted on social media, from a man I know, Dan Arnold, who traveled through Pennsylvania in late October:
There is something weird going on in Pennsylvania. Meg and I drove to upstate NY over the weekend and between Emmitsburg,MD, and Watkins Glen, NY, our eyes were assailed by a sea of Trump obsession. Particularly in PA, we saw hundreds and hundreds of Trump signs and a total of two, count ‘em, two Hillary signs (and one for Gary Johnson). And these were just on highways, not neighborhood streets. But it also wasn’t just signage stuck in public lands. There was business after business draped with Trump gear. Many auto shops and warehouses had TRUMP hand painted across the width of the buildings. Someone had put one of those electric roadside event signs out with TRUMP! flashing three lines deep. There was even one of Pennsylvania’s notorious rural strip clubs with Trump paraphernalia out front!
So what does this mean? Yes, I know counting signs is anecdotal and anything but scientific. And I also know that, like most blue states, the majority of PA is deeply conservative but for one or two major cities … and big towns [that] swing the state to the Dems every cycle. But what shocked us was the unabashed PASSION for Trump in PA. They are not ashamed to show their support up there. I haven’t seen a blanketing of political support for one candidate across the highways and byways of an entire state like that since...ever? There is something strange going on. It almost felt like an uprising printed/painted across the landscape. Many of these people are at or below the poverty line and you could feel their anger as you drove through their towns.
We began to seriously question whether PA was really going to go blue again this year. If Hillary’s deepening scandals depress the Philly Hilly vote and the “knuckle draggers” in the hinterlands are this fired up with pitchforks, it could get very interesting in the keystone state a week from Tuesday.
Hillary’s slogan “Stronger Together” was as insipid as Oklahoma’s motto, “Labor Omnia Vincit,” which, although it looks rather elegant in Latin, is in English “Labor Conquers All Things.” When are we going to drop that as our state’s motto? Trump’s message was and is “Make America Great Again.” Her campaign had another slogan: “I’m with Her.” Trump’s retort was and is “I’m with You.” There has not been a better retort since “In your heart you know he’s right, and in your guts you know he’s nuts,” which was said about Barry Goldwater.
We must all pray for Mr. Trump and his family daily because they are going to need prayers. He, like his predecessor, is a narcissist. As former Senator Bob Dole used to say, “You know it; I know it, and the American people know it.” Mr. Trump is a man with serious personality flaws, and it’s going to take God’s grace and our prayers to guide him to be a wise leader who delivers on what he’s promised.
Barack Hussein Obama
President Obama has left the White House with his two daughters; his mother-in-law; his wife, Michelle; and the enormous chip on Michelle’s shoulder. If you a conservative, the nightmare of the past eight years has ended. From a conservative, constitutional standpoint he gets an F rating.
His “crowning achievement,” the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, will be undone by the new Congress and president. It had to be undone as the whole thing was about to implode of its own dumb weight. The real Obama legacy is the nearly doubling of the national debt.
There were also his abuses of power. I know a couple in Oklahoma City who were never audited in their almost 50 years of marriage until they signed up as members of the Tea Party. Not only were members of the Tea Party targeted by the Internal Revenue Service but so were the political non-profit organizations opposed to Obama’s re-election whose IRS non-profit classifications were either delayed or denied during the 2012 election.
The singular moment of who Obama and his followers are was in 2010 during the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. During that environmental disaster the Obama White House hosted a party with Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles fame. The party was televised as the president and first family sang and danced the night away while millions of gallons of crude oil gushed into the Gulf. Past presidents would have understood the gravity of the situation and would have had the decency to put off public displays of mirth making for the time being. The oil spill ended that summer in 2010.
But the real scandal of the Obama years is that the mainstream press treated him with fawning admiration. Journalists are supposed to be skeptical. There was no skepticism of him by the mainstream press. They love the man! And because they love him so dearly they did not do their jobs, and the public was left misinformed.
President Obama had a unique opportunity to unite the nation as its first bi-racial president. He could have governed from the left without being a radical, but he was as interested in uniting the country as I am in running a marathon. His politics are the politics of divide and conquer. Good riddance!
Why 2016 Was a Pretty Good Year
The press has panned 2016 as an awful year. That’s because Hillary Clinton didn’t win. Some other good things happened in 2016. The British electorate voted to leave the European Union. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro finally died. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series!
“Never before had a Republican candidate made immigration and trade the leitmotif of a presidential campaign, but, then again, there never had been a presidential campaign remotely like Trump’s.”
David M. Shribman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 15, 2016
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