The 2016 Presidential Election cycle has been anything but boring.

On the Democratic Party side, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has watched her “Presidential nomination coronation” ceremony temporarily delayed by the stubborn and persistent campaign tenacity of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Senator Sanders is a self-described “Democratic-Socialist.”  The term “democratic-socialist” makes for interesting political theater.

Socialism properly understood is a means of economic management in which the goods, services, manufacturing, and material output are held or possessed in common.  The key concept to remember when describing what socialism entails is to remember that it deals with “community ownership.”

Nations such as the former Soviet Union, modern Mainland China, and even Cuba would describe themselves as socialist economies.

In most socialist economic systems key businesses such as Electrical utilities, Oil refineries and Oil Distribution, and Healthcare are all nationalized (the Central Governments in these countries own and control the distribution of these resources).

Conversely, in nations such as Great Britain, Japan, Australia, Canada, and the United States economic activity is handled by the free market pricing system.  A market is simply a place where goods are bought and sold.

By a free market system, we are simply stating that the Central Governments of these nations take a minimalist approach (at least in theory) with regards to regulating, managing, and directing how goods and commodities are bought and sold.

In short, a free market economy places a higher emphasis on economic growth, wealth creation and overall efficiency.

A socialist economy places its chief concerns on the nature of fairness, equity, and egalitarianism.

Senator Bernie Sanders is running a “populist campaign” in which he states that he is championing the little guy and the forgotten middle class which is being trampled underfoot by unprincipled big banks, corrupt Walls Street financiers and by what he feels is an unjust and unresponsive campaign system which favors the “monied interests” over the poor and middle classes.

One of the primary planks in Mr. Sanders’ campaign platform is that he advocates a top marginal tax rate of 91%!

As an aside, it is interesting to note that our nation has not seen a marginal tax rate this high since 1963 (this was right before President Kennedy made a bold move to propose lowering the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70%; Senator Sanders would take us back to the days of Camelot).

There was a time in America that if a politician even mentioned the fact that he or she had “socialist leanings” that he or she would almost never be considered seriously for the office of the Presidency.

Gosh, how times have changed.

What has been happening with Senator Sanders’ insurgent campaign is nothing less than fascinating.

Senator Sanders has been drawing unbelievably large crowds in the 10s of thousands.  By contrast, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has only drawn a fraction of the size of the crowds that usually attend Mr. Sanders’ passionate rallies.

In our day of polarizing politics, Senator Sanders has found a way to ignite the progressive base of the Democratic Party and bring a true excitement into the democratic primaries.

Not to be undone in Republican Party circles is the flamboyant, unorthodox, and slick marketing campaign of billionaire mogul Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump is the antithesis of Bernie Sanders.

  • Senator Sanders is an unabashed Democratic-Socialist; the Donald (as he is often called) took his father’s construction company and turned a thriving business worth several hundred million dollars into a billionaire enterprise.
  • Mr. Sanders would seek to nationalize key industries in the United States; Mr. Trump proposes to shake up the business status quo by the sheer will of his personality and by his ability to negotiate shrewdly.
  • Senator Sanders is liberal – progressive in today’s political parlance – across the board. On social issues, Bernie Sanders is Pro-Choice on abortion, he supports redefinition of marriage to include Gay and Lesbian unions, and he has publicly stated that much of went forth in the name of Christianity in America was at times both racist and exclusive with its treatment of Native-Americans (Indians) and Negroes (Blacks).
  • The Donald use to be socially liberal, but today he embraces Social-Conservatism (this was not always the case with the Donald who through a good portion of his adult life has been socially liberal).
  • Finally, Senator Sanders would seek to take a hiatus from United States superpower involvement on the world scene – especially in the volatile “Middle East.”
  • Trump would revitalize and reinvent the Big Stick diplomacy of former President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt and hit America’s enemies with overwhelming brute force.

(Teddy Roosevelt believed that a nation should walk softly and carry a big    stick; the Donald would “boast boldly and carry a big stick.”)

The existential question of the moment is this:  Could either man conceivably upset both the Democratic and Republican establishments and actually win their party’s respective Presidential nominations?

The answer is that only time will tell.

However, Misters Sanders and Trump have done us all a great service by running straight in the face against “political correctness”; they have forced other politicians within their parties to clarify their policy positions and say what they mean and mean what they say.  This alone may be the most endearing legacy of the two campaigns.

We, the American populace, need to understand the key choices that lay before us as the next President of the United States will inherit an abundance of national and foreign affairs problems that will require the Wisdom of Solomon to successfully navigate through and ultimately solve in a satisfactory manner.

GOD Bless You!

Update (DTG): Instalanche Thanks Sarah, A reminder Pastor George Kelly whose protestant parish is in the Atlanta area writes regularly as one of my magnificent seven on Friday evenings. Pastor Kelly He has almost no other web presence so if you like what you read you’ll just have to hit the archives. I’m sure you will I’ve known him since I was 12 & he’s one of the smartest fellows I’ve ever met.

Back in the late 1920s, René Magritte painted a smoking pipe, and under it, in neat calligraphy, wrote, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”, French for “This is not a pipe.”

He titled the painting La trahison des images (The Treachery of Images), meaning that it is a painting of a pipe, not an actual pipe you can smoke from.

Well enough.

From the curator’s note at the LACMA (emphasis added),

Magritte’s word-image paintings are treatises on the impossibility of reconciling words, images, and objects. La Trahison des images challenges the linguistic convention of identifying an image of something as the thing itself. At first, Magritte’s point appears simplistic, almost to the point of provocation: A painting of a pipe is not the pipe itself. In fact, this work is highly paradoxical. Its realistic style and caption format recall advertising, a field in which Magritte had worked. Advertisements, however, elicit recognition without hesitation or equivocation; this painting causes the viewer to ponder its conflicting messages.

I emphasize “this painting causes the viewer to ponder its conflicting messages,” because now, in our politically correct times, we are challenged to do exactly the opposite: To ignore conflicting messages, ponder nothing, and instead to blindly accept pernicious behavior for the sake of diversity.

One instance I came across recently is the middle-aged guy, father of seven children, from Toronto who does not “want to be an adult right now”, living instead as a six-year old girl.

For the multi-culti enlightened Liberal, any of us who are appalled/revulsed/disgusted at the spectacle, are bigoted, anti-LGBT homophobes. As such, we are to be censored, derided, shunned, muted. Our rights to freedom of thought and expression do not exist.

A few months ago, Stuart Schniederman, of the perfectly-named Had Enough Therapy? blog, stated,

To believe that Caitlyn Jenner is all-woman is to take leave of one’s rational faculties and dispense with all concern with fact… and with freedom.

As a free woman, I will stand out and exercise my right to free expression, and not only will I say that there’s a lot very wrong with the Toronto guy and his enablers, I, like Magritte, will go on pondering the conflicting messages bombarding us.

I invite you to do the same.

(Please also read my prior post on culture this week, The dark Satanic Mills)

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

For the first time in a month I woke up at 5 AM (day off) and with daily mass in the evening I turned on Morning Joe and saw something amazing.

The discussion was why Donald Trump was perceived as he was and turned instantly to Barack Obama noting that Paris happened after he said ISIS was contained and San Bernardino happened after he said ISIS can’t strike here. The pièce de résistance was when
Jon Meacham called it a malaise among the people like the Carter years and NOBODY AT THE TABLE CONTESTED IT.

Now for people like Glenn Reynolds and myself this is no big deal, I started my (Chester) Arthur (Jimmy) Carter watch during my first week of blogging (day 4 actually Dec 2 2008)

You sometimes get a rookie pitcher with a winning season but usually not. I’m hoping for Chester Arthur but I’m expecting Jimmy Carter.

But for the Morning Anchor show of MSNBC to say this in their first hour and have no liberal at the table contest it is amazing.

What was their explanation? ISIS. People are more afraid of a terror attack then at any time since 9/11. It’s brings to mind an early episode of the original Star Trek series: What are little girls made of?

Kirk: Emotion, Ruk? You disapprove of Miss Chapel’s orders to save my life?
Ruk: To maintain your existence would be illogical.
Kirk: Why? Can’t your memory banks solve a simple equation like that? …

Just as conservative bloggers and writers have been doing our best to counter the programing that the MSM has given the public concerning the Obama administration, Kirk presses the Android Rok to see the danger to him that he has been conditioned to avoid and finally gets a breakthrough…

Kirk: The danger to you is Korby.
Ruk: I was programmed by Korby. I cannot harm him.
Kirk: The old ones programmed you, too, but it became possible to destroy them.
RUK: [Excited] That was the equation! Existence! Survival must cancel out programming.

Realizing that this administration will get them killed has finally overridden the MSM & culture’s programming.

Too bad for America they didn’t figure this out four years ago.

Incidentally I dropped Arthur / Carter watch in the first year when it became clear which one he was going to be.  Walter Russell Mead said in 2001 that Jimmy Carter was the best case scenario for Obama.  He hasn’t even managed that.



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