Blogger with National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg at CPAC in 2011
Blogger with National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg at CPAC in 2011

By John Ruberry

Even if you are on the east coast and buried under two feet of snow, you probably heard that the conservative magazine founded in 1955 by William F. Buckley, National Review, just published a special edition titled Against Trump. The editors of the magazine–I am a longtime subscriber by the way–call the billionaire a “philosophically unmoored political opportunist.”

It reviews inconsistencies with Donald J. Trump’s immigration policy–or is it policies?–as well as on international affairs and economics, and it rightly throws a penalty flag at the businessman’s promise that he will deport 11 million illegal aliens. That’s logistically impossible. Yet NR rightly credits Trump’s decision to bring the illegal immigration issue to the forefront of the political discussion, something that the Republican, and yes, the conservative establishment has only paid lip service to, and even then only close to Election Day.

Trump is scolded by the National Review editors for often saying whatever pops into his head. But they fail to realize that part of Trump’s appeal is that what comes out of his mouth isn’t processed and varnished by conservative “experts” such as the writers of the National Review. Sure, NR writers as far as I know don’t work on campaigns much, if at all, but the people they interact with on a regular basis, whether in Washington or New York, often do. Trump has proven that he can succeed without those experts–some of those people I know–and these so-called sages don’t have to be consulted and that means they won’t be paid. I call this group Club Conservative. Typically its members are graduates of elite private colleges, they’ve interned for Republican members of Congress, and they have relatives who are part of the Washington power nexus. The Donald’s base of support is nothing like that.

In the op-ed, the Manhattan-based editors even make a quip about Trump sharing “funky outer-borough accents” with socialist Bernie Sanders.

Trump is a threat to the very existence to Club Conservative, whose income always spikes in even-numbered years (of course that means election years).

As for Trump’s shoot-from-the-lip campaign style, he should be thanked by every American conservative, for well, being himself. Trump proved that a Republican can say something the media elites judge as outrageous–such as remarking about John McCain, “I like people that weren’t captured”–and then ignoring and even mocking calls for an apology.

Trump proved that the mainstream media is a paper tiger. And Trump continues being Trump–with that same media along for the ride essentially financing his campaign.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Is Trump a conservative? We’ll see. With the Democrats as the secular-progressive party, the GOP has become the de facto party of faith. And believers are always seeking converts. Why the fight?

For certain Trump is an American patriot who deeply loves his country; he’s troubled by the wrong turn it has taken under President Obama. And Trump deserves at least a little benefit-of-the-doubt from National Review and Club Conservative because of his patriotism.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Unless you have been living in a spider hole without access to a computer or a television, you are of course aware of the Donald Trump phenomenon. Without spending much money, his or anyone else’s, the real estate billionaire has vaulted to the top of the Republican presidential polls.

Whether he is a genius or a crackpot genius remains to be determined, but The Donald finds himself in a rare position–he is recreating the political process in a way that mirrors the ascendancy of Andrew Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But the Republican political establishment is either indifferent or hostile to Trump. No sitting Republican members of the US House or the US Senate have endorsed him. Nor have any statewide elected officials. Trump for the most part eschews spending money on political consultants, in fact he spends more cash on baseball caps, shirts, and yard signs than on “expert” advice. His spending on TV ads has been a pittance compared the expenditures of other candidates.

Trump has made a number of controversial statements, several of which he has partially walked back, such as his call to halt Muslim travel into the United States. But in that instance, Trump has made Muslim immigration and our weak vetting of potential terrorists into a major political discussion point.

The political novice enjoys a rare gift–by addressing the political situation, Trump alters it.

The ruling classes, Democratic and Republican, dislike change and they abhor disruption. But the GOP needs to embrace Trump–even if he fails to win the Republican nomination for president.

After all, there is no one more skilled to attack Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee in 2016, on such issues as the Benghazi killings and the “It was a video!” canard, the rise of ISIS, the Clinton Foundation slush fund and foreigners buying access to her, Clinton’s possibly illegal misuse of classified data, and her hypocrisy of being a defender of women while her husband is a serial sexual abuser of them.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Like it or not, America is transforming into a Trump-ified nation. And if he becomes president, it will be to some extent become a Trump planet.

My advice to the GOP establishment is that you should hop on the Trump train now–or you will find yourself under it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I’m hopeless
Hopeless and tired
Will you give me the sign I’m looking for?
I am mired with the earnest and sight-inspired
Hopeless

Kickstarter campaign is currently underway;  successfully reaching its initial goal in a few days. Objective? Remaster, and for the first time release on vinyl as well as a remastered CD, the 1992 album Dig by Christian alternative rock band Adam Again.

Adam Again was Gene Andrusco’s brainchild. In the days of his youth, Andrusco was an actor, playing Darrin Stephens on Bewitched among other roles. As an adult, Andrusco chose to go by the name Gene Eugene and focused his artistic side on music, be it as an artist (in addition to Adam Again he was also a founding member of The Lost Dogs), producer, or for a time record label owner. He died in 2000 at age 38 from a brain aneurysm.

One of Andrusco’s brothers in musical arms described him as a genius artist and amateur human being. Take from that what you will. Despite his stubborn addiction to being the aforementioned human, Andrusco was universally loved by those he worked alongside no matter how exasperating he could be, which from all reports was substantial. He was far more adept at musical and lyrical expression than personal, hardly a unique trait among artists throughout the centuries.

I’m helpless
Helpless and silent
Can you return my voice?
You left me mute and defiant
But I can’t get my hands untied
I’m helpless

It is well worth noting how uncomfortably parallel the world in which Dig was released, namely the contemporary Christian music world of the early 1990s, and today’s conservative new media world align. At the time Dig first saw the light of day, contemporary Christian music (CCM for short) was populated by a few heavy hitter record labels and artist managers who dictated which artists and musical genres would receive the lion’s share of promotion, with all others left to fend for themselves via word of mouth among a handful of rabid enthusiasts. This is why at a time when alternative rock and grunge ruled the mainstream music world both in attention drawn and records/concert tickets sold, the handful of Christian artists working in this field were privately praised but publicly ignored by CCM’s business side in favor of übersoft praise schmaltz or syrupy Top 40 pseudo dance pop. Adam Again, along with other bands and artists – Daniel Amos, The Choir, 77s, Undercover, Altar Boys, Steve Taylor, Veil of Ashes – who should have been heralded were instead literally and figuratively shoved to the back of the bus, left to fend for themselves. Substitute Salem Media and National Review for record labels and artist managers, and Trump Derangement Syndrome for the music promoted during that time … you get the picture.

I’m useless
Useless without you
It’s my fault
I am withered, I am weak
And about to find out why I’m so into
Being useless

Gene Eugene was a spiritual descendent of Solomon who wearily described all as vanity; of the Psalmists who cried out:

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

His was a faith and life of reality, one in which you reached out to people where they were, not where you demanded they be. It is a lesson sadly lost on all fronts in today’s world, especially the one founded on citizen journalism but now choked with the very elitism it once set out to destroy.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=P5V8AWUyApU?rel=0&w=450&h=253

Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’

Luke 7:31-32

Referring back to the last post, Trump Derangement Syndrome rampages on, barely checked by the presently rampaging horrors of newspeople murdered on live television, the ongoing massacres by ISIS, and the looming threat of the Iran nuclear surrender. It is one thing to state that Trump is not the answer; hurling incessant insults at those who support him and clogging social media’s arteries with three hundred and eighty-five variations a day of “TRUMP IS A POOPYHEAD AND SO ARE HIS MINIONS!” seemingly never gets old for those who choose blithe ignorance or endless excuses for Congress’ either caving or being inactive in regard to most every major issue conservatives hold dear – the economy, national debt, illegal immigration, governmental invasion of privacy and violation of rights motivated by political opposition, defunding Planned Parenthood, the aforementioned ISIS and Iran nuclear surrender, etc.

It would be productive if Trump bashers were one-tenth of one percent as proactive in detailing solutions to problems as they are, well, bashing. There is no problem with detailing why Trump is a less than ideal candidate, or should not hold the highest office in the land. Make your case; agree to disagree if need be. That said, at some point in the process it becomes necessary to state what, and who, you are for if your words are to carry any weight. Opposition alone is not a strategy any more than hope and change is a policy platform. What do you suggest in lieu of Trump? What do you propose to handle a Congress ostensibly in conservative hands yet routinely either giving in to Obama’s demands or proposing the exact opposite of what they promised in order to ensure conservative support? If we, the unwashed uneducated ill-informed banana slug brained masses own Trump, does the GOP Smart Set own Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?

Where is the shared humanity in the GOP’s desperate effort to purge itself of all things and people Tea Party? Where is the common bond, other than trampled underfoot, between those who wish to be conservative new media leaders and the people they openly deride and despise for having the temerity to support one not approved by the echo chamber’s high rollers? Instead, we see insults, cheap shots, and cries of “if you support Trump unfriend me right now!” Really now.

It is impossible to see the present kerfuffle without flashing back four years to when the conservative new media high rollers mercilessly derided and taunted Sarah Palin supporters when she decided against running. The opposition was pointed and personal against her and her posse. It was also utterly ineffective in accomplishing anything except revealing how many CNMers had zero problem showing their ass in public when it came time to throwing a poorly disguised temper tantrum over how Palin’s popularity revealed their complete impotence in moving public opinion. Now we are seeing the same phenomenon in Trump rolling from strength to strength even as the voices crying against him grow ever more shrill.

The time has come to give this a rest. Conservative new media is in great peril of becoming contemporary political Pharisees. No, I am not comparing Trump to Jesus. I am comparing the reaction to him with the Pharisees’ reaction to Christ when He called them out for demanding of others strict adherence to the letter of the law, namely Mosaic Law, while themselves lapping up adulation and praise for outwardly being living puritanical lights yet inwardly consumed with pride and greed. If there is no respect for others, no acknowledgment of that which binds us together, how can there be leadership when the ones who purport to lead openly despise those they wish to lead?

We have far too much in common to let our opinion of Trump irrevocably divide us. On this truth we must act.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=5771ewy6O8c?rel=0&w=450&h=253

Well hello there, DaTechGuy devotees! I’m Jerry Wilson, sporadic blogger at Goldfish and Clowns, far more frequent host of Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio, author of God’s Not Dead (And Neither Are We), and all-around nice guy. Or something like that.

First, my thanks to Peter for allowing me to start posting here on occasion. I promise I’ll pay for all legal fees incurred stemming from any of my assorted scribbles in case I stray into the realm of, oh, naming names and the like.

Second, what I’ll be writing about: sometimes politics, sometimes culture, sometimes faith based on my slightly oddball perspective of being a traditional Catholic/Jesus People-era evangelical hybrid, and sometimes Christian rock’n’roll (or rock’n’roll period, at least that portion now labeled classic rock) which is my bailiwick. Or all four at once. But enough preamble; on to the topic at hand.

In my introduction I neglected mentioning that with the exception of a brief stint in Indiana I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life. To be a conservative out here is a challenge, given how one faces a daily onslaught of propaganda masquerading as local news that would make MSNBC cry liberal bias. Nevertheless I persevere, fellowshipping with my fellow conservatives who are not unlike the seven thousand God revealed to Elijah He had reserved for Himself who had not bowed the knee to Baal. In a similar manner, at the present time out here there is a remnant chosen by grace that has a clue about how things actually operate, this as opposed to how they are evangelized by the worshipers of self and/or social engineers holding local political office, elected to same or no.

Given this perspective, and given how I’ve made more than a few laps around the sun aboard this dusty orb, I find the current Trump phenomenon far more amusing than alarming. I’m not referring to Trump himself; he is exactly what and who he is. Therefore, consider him as you will. Rather, it is the depth of Trump Derangement Syndrome permeating the conservative side of social media that has me chuckling, albeit with increasing grimness as the attacks on him and any who support him grown more personal and vicious with each passing day, if not hour.

According to the more vocal of his detractors, Trump is a charlatan; a political shape-shifter transforming himself with the changing winds. His followers are mindless simpleton drones, closet if not full-blown racists immediately assaulting any who raise the least question about him with aisles of vile bile. To be fair, there are more than a few Trump aficionados viewing anyone who so much as breathes a word not in his highest praise as a charging RINO masquerading as a lion, to whom they feel compelled to respond in the manner of a Minnesota dentist.

This level of hysteria when we are months away from the Iowa caucus does not bode well for the coming election. As we saw in 2008 and 2012, neither the “nominate a true conservative or I’m staying home until you do” or “go to the middle; it’s the only way to win” mindset wins elections. Neither does having a fine fabulous furry freakout this far out. Or at all.

We do not have to settle this right now. Times change; unforeseen events happen, people rise and fall. All remains as it always was: in God’s hands. This does not absolve us of working toward positive change and/or rebuking evil, but it does give cause to slow down and take the long view, rejecting the tyranny of the urgent and understanding we do indeed now see through a glass darkly. I have some hardcore progressive friends who in the early 2000s were convinced, absolutely convinced, that at any moment John Ashcroft would personally round them all up and march them to an interment camp under the guise of safeguarding America. I have some solid conservative friends who were convinced, absolutely convinced, that Obama would cancel the 2012 election via martial law brought on by the antics of Occupy Wall Street anarchists working on his behalf. As you doubtless noticed, neither of these events transpired.

Certainly these are troubled times: a miserable economy with the media daily lying through its teeth about same, unspeakable horrors being carried out by ISIS to which the present administration responds with a mixture of silence and victim-blaming, Iran going nuclear, Russia unfettered and effectively unopposed, China flexing its military muscle even as its economy stumbles toward a collapse that will bring down much of if not all of the world’s with it, massive corruption and lawlessness throughout all branches of the federal government. However, God remains in control. Therefore, be at peace.

In this world we will have troubles. As the poet says:

There’s not a holy man who doesn’t know grief well
Or thinks the road to heaven doesn’t pass through hell
They’ve cried “Let me out”
They’ve heard “No, not yet”
They know before He danced Jesus wept

Stay calm. Abandon the venom. What will happen will happen, and your eighty-fifth foaming at the mouth yea or nay Trump tweet of the day will not change this. Treat each other as you yourself with to be treated. Be the better. Always, be the better.

youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1wWoO_tV4A?rel=0&w=450&h=253