Abraham Lincoln: One matter further, gentlemen. We fight on their level. With trickery, brutality, finality. We match their evil. I know, James. I was reputed to be a gentle man. But I was commander in chief during the four bloodiest years of my country’s history. I gave orders that sent a hundred thousand men to their death at the hands of their brothers. There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war except its ending. And you are fighting for the lives of your crew. 
Captain Kirk: Your campaign, Mister President.

Star Trek:  The Savage Curtain 1969

One of the most amusing things about the Trump years has been the shock of the left at not only the success of the Trump years but of the President’s success in turning their control of the culture, media and press against them.

It was not always so, for a very long time the powers that be in the GOP eschewed the tactics of their enemies on the left, considering such tactics beneath them and coincidentally were regulated to a permanent minority. The left was free to push America in their direction confident that the tools of the press and the culture would always be theirs to control and even when a Rush Limbaugh a Fox News or even social media came up they were secure in their superiority to keep them safe, in effect taking to heart the famous quote by Belloc from his poem the modern traveler concerning 19th century Europeans encountering natives in various parts of the world:

Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not

Or in short it didn’t matter if the right gained some temporary victory as long as the left controlled the narrative via culture and media they could essentially do what they wanted.

With the advent of Barack Obama, a corrupt Chicago pol, this was extended to government which was weaponized against their opponents from the IRS on down and even when things went wrong such as the running of guns to Mexican drug cartels to enable gun control legislation or the disaster at Benghazi the administration felt secure because to paraphrase Belloc: Whatever happens we have got, Hollywood & Media and they have not.

This is the reason why the FBI felt secure in crossing every line imaginable in going after Trump prior to the election and why Barack Obama had no problem governing by “a pen and a phone” because they were sure that their superiority would be maintained forever and shortly extend to government and the courts. They believed once Hillary was elected government and the legal system would be added to that line right after Hollywood and media.

Alas for them they had not read enough of Belloc because if they had they might have seen this rather prophetic piece concerning the west superiority over Islam from 1936:

There is nothing in the Mohammedan civilization itself which is hostile to the development of scientific knowledge or of mechanical aptitude. I have seen some good artillery work in the hands of Mohammedan students of that arm; I have seen some of the best driving and maintenance of mechanical road transport conducted by Mohammedans. There is nothing inherent to Mohammedanism to make it incapable of modern science and modern war. Indeed the matter is not worth discussing. It should be self-evident to anyone who has seen the Mohammedan culture at work. That culture happens to have fallen back in material applications; there is no reason whatever why it should not learn its new lesson and become our equal in all those temporal things which now give us our superiority
over it_whereas in we have fallen inferior to it.

The point concerning Islam and science and mechanics was just as equally true concerning conservatives and media. There was nothing inherent in conservative philosophy that prevents us from countering the other than our unwillingness to make the fight.

But once Donald Trump surprised everyone with his victory that changed. Trump is a Jacksonian and as a Jacksonian fights by the same rules that his foes do as the late great Steven Den Bestie once put it at the turn of the century:

to Jacksonians, trust is foolhardy. There are a lot of good people out there, but there are also a lot of bastards, and if you turn your back someone will stab you in it. “Trust, but verify” is a purely Jacksonian watchword. Those who act honorably will be treated honorably, but those who cheat will be crushed.

And as Walter Russell Mead put it once a Jacksonian like Trump gets into a fight, even one he doesn’t want he fights to win

During this year’s war in Kosovo, Jacksonian opinion was resolutely against it to begin with. However, once U.S. honor was engaged, Jacksonians began to urge a stronger warfighting strategy including the use of ground troops. It is a bad thing to fight an unnecessary war, but it is inexcusable and dishonorable to lose one once it has begun.

America’s enemies oversees have rediscovered this truth over the last 18 months but it is Trump foes in both media and Hollywood who have been completely shocked by it, but they shouldn’t be.

Donald Trump has been operating in the enclaves of the left all his life, his empire has had to deal with blue state bureaucracy and both liberal media and pols coming to him hat in hand for decades. He’s attended their parties, laughed with them, schmoozed with them and seen and heard all they have said for half a century and most importantly did so while completely sober when they were not.

Put simply there has never been a President better equipped to turn the Maxim gun of the media back on them and having never had to defend against said gun they are indignant that their tactics are being used against them:

“We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals,” she added. “If we are OK with that then really, who are we?”

Bee continued by standing by the mission of her show: “I can tell you, as long as we have breath in our bodies and 21 minutes of airtime once a week, repeats on Saturdays, that we as a show will never stop shouting [about] the inhumanities of this world from the rooftops and striving to make it a better place. But in a comedy way.”

This is Samantha Bee a card carrying member of the Harvey Weinstein left while being honored for it’s coverage of the #metoo movement.

“Our staff poured everything we have into these #MeToo pieces,” Bee said while accepting the award. “They wrote jokes through tears and panic attacks, they pushed each other to be honest and more fearless. I can only imagine what it takes to say these powerful famous, admired men abused me and I won’t be silent. No matter the consequences, Me Too. Leaders of the #MeToo movement are changing the world. And we are honored to stand with you and support you as best we can. There is power in saying what you feel without apology… OK, and sometimes you also have to apologize.”

Bee got plenty of laughter and applause for that line, as well as when she opened by declaring, “it actually means so much to accept this with everyone here behind me, these incredible writers and producers.”

Of course the irony that none of these #metoo pieces were written or broadcast while the knowledge of what Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer et/all had done was still confined to the Hollywood/Media left because they were still of use to the said Hollywood/Media.

The Samantha Bee’s, Joy Reid’s et/all of the world are meeting a brave new world when their media monopoly is threatened by a President and new media willing and able to challenge it and a population willing to use that Maxim guy that their betters had held back from them.

No wonder they are so upset.  As Curt Schlichter has said:  The won’t like the new rules, but the reality is these aren’t really new rules it’s the left’s own rules applying to them for the very first time.

The adage goes that you don’t want to see sausage or laws being made.

The same can be said about reading or watching news. If you know something about a subject, you likely will be dismayed by the news.

For me, that is the case when it comes to U.S. coverage of China.

For the past three years, I have studied the language, history, economics, and politics of China. I’ve traveled throughout the country, spending months in four separate trips.

Now I have to endure sophomoric accounts about China.

Axios.com, a prominent website for Washingtonians, has been shouting from the rooftops for the past week.

Here is an excerpt: “Trump showed you can turn China into a villain on trade. But a smart politician could turn China into a unifying villain on virtually every topic — a reason to move fast and together on infrastructure, immigration, regulations, space, robotics, 5G, and next-gen education.”

Turning China into a unifying villain? That sounds like something straight out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook–not the left–when dealing with the former Soviet Union. More important, China’s politicians are a lot smarter than the Kremlin geriatric ward of the 1970s and 1980s.

Axios and other media outlets often miss the point.

What China has most of all is patience.

For example, the country has committed itself to a massive public transportation system. In a recent visit to Luoyang, a “small” city of two million people, I saw the project of building four subway lines at a cost of billions of dollars. The roads of the city have come to a virtual standstill during rush hours because every major road is a building site. The project began in 2016 and won’t be finished for another year at the earliest. In the past decade, China has built nearly 2,000 miles of subway lines–more than the systems in the United States and Great Britain combined.

Drivers may honk their horns in occasional frustration, but nearly everyone I talked to understands that the public transportation system will cut traffic and lure many tourists to this attractive town, which boasts a number of top-flight locales, such as the Longmen Grottoes and the Shaolin Temple. Simply put, the locals are proud! Here is some background information about the city’s building plans: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/19/c_136621169.htm

Remember the massive infrastructure program President Trump touted during the campaign? It remains mired in Congress because the Democrats apparently don’t want to give Trump a win before the midterm elections.

Moreover, just imagine what would happen in a major U.S. city if there was a plan to build a massive transit system. Protesters would claim the digging was creating a major environmental hazard or desecrating some forgotten trove of bones. Road rage would soar. Cost overruns and corruption would be rampant.

One of the major differences between the populations of the United States and China is patience. At the end of a major endeavor, most Chinese realize that something better will happen.

That’s one of the major weapons China has over the United States—one that most journalists don’t understand.

Most Members of sports media are liberal and it’s interesting to see the parallels between their conventional wisdom on the NBA playoffs regarding the Boston Celtics and the Conventional wisdom concerning Trump.

When Gordon Hayward went down in game one of the season Conventional Wisdom on sports radio said that the Celtics chances to make the NBA finals were practically gone, that was until Kyrie Irving led the team to an incredible run.

When Kyrie Irving went down with injury conventional wisdom on sports radio said that while the Celtics would make the playoffs because of their start they were doomed.

When the Celtics faced the Bucks conventional wisdom on sports said that Milwaukee would win because they had stars and the Celtics did not but it’s OK because it’s because their guys are hurt anyways.

When the Celtics beat the Bucks and found themselves faced with Philly conventional wisdom on sports radio said that Philly would beat them but the Celtics should be proud to have gotten this far and any wins here are gravey

When the Celtics demolished Philly conventional wisdom on the radio said that the Celtics didn’t have a chance against the Cleveland team and LeBron James who swept Toronto but they should celebrate getting that far

When the Celtics won game one vs the Cavs conventional wisdom on the radio said that LeBron would have a monster game two to make up for it and the Celtics, while game still were unlikely to beat Cleveland.

When the Celtics won game 2 (despite LeBron’s monster game) suddenly the conventional wisdom on the radio was that Cleveland was finished that LeBron didn’t have the horses and it was only a matter of time.

Yesterday Cleveland beat the Celtics convincingly on their own home court 116-86 leading the Celtics the entire game. I’ve not listened to the radio yet but I predict that when I do the conventional wisdom will suddenly once again turn on a dime.

The lesson of all of this? “Conventional Wisdom” is only reality if the people said wisdom is speaking about allow it to be so.

Because neither Cleveland nor the Celtics have allowed themselves to be led by conventional wisdom of sports reporters they will be masters of their own destiny in these game.

This is a lesson that President Trump has learned in regard to the political press and pundits. Would that the rest of the GOP would figure the same thing out.

It’s not easy to find a hardcore Trump supporter in London and Paris, but there is a grudging acknowledgement that the president isn’t as bad as many Americans think.

During a recent visit to the not-so-united United Kingdom and France, almost everywhere I went people noticed my accent and wanted to talk about Trump. I didn’t hide my support. What was amazing was that Brits and French actually listened to my point of view—something that rarely happens in the United States.

A former British diplomat and his wife, who worked as a journalist, can’t believe the importance given to the Michael Wolff book on the Trump administration. Such tales wouldn’t appear in much of the respectable press in Britain.

Moreover, they see the press failing apart with its constant attacks on Trump, losing any sense of credibility on many matters. The couple subscribes to The New York Times, but they find it appalling how politics have crept into the Gray Old Lady.

“I don’t care what the opinion writers say. They don’t have to be fair. But opinions are constantly creeping into the news pages,” the former diplomat said. His wife said she’s tired of the news organization looking at everything through the lens of Trump. Moreover, DaTimes has moved way left of center when it comes to social issues such as transgenderism.

Another friend, who also served in the British Foreign Service, noted that the Americans are lucky that they are unraveling Obamacare. In the United Kingdom, for example, the nationalized health service announced that all nonemergency surgeries were canceled this month because of a shortage of cash.

A longtime friend who’s an expert on the Middle East lauded Trump for cutting off aid to Pakistan because of its ties to terrorism. A retired French banker, who is Jewish, praised the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, while a longtime Arab friend disagreed.

A London cabbie said he understood why Americans turned against Hillary and voted for Donald. “The elites have ruined the States and England,” he said. “Now it’s time for others to try to put things right.”

What was most important was how I could actually have a conversation about Trump rather than a shouting match. It’s one of the first times in months that I felt comfortable about stating my views in public with such a cross-section of people. It’s odd to have to travel outside of the United States to have a civil discussion.


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