We’ve Been Had 

Having taken successful action to improve the standing of weak Trump-backed candidates in primaries to their advantage, it makes sense to apply the strategy to Trump himself. The former president’s entry into the ’24 race was a yawn. Big donors are looking for fresh, younger blood leaving Trump light on funds.

The Democrats ride to the rescue. It would be too obvious to run pro-Trump ads, but making him a martyr forces Republicans to rally around him and enraged MAGA voters cough up donations. This ploy is a variation of a theme with the same goal, running against the weakest candidate. How else can you explain Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s Trump indictment?

When legal writers on the left explain why this is a terrible case, you know it’s a loser. It comes across as a petty persecution rather than a prosecution. Perfect to further Democrat aims.

Bragg’s Trump indictment resulted in Trump soaring in the polls and millions of dollars filling the coffers. The money has enabled Trump to flood the airways with negative ads on his nearest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. In one hour of watching the Wall Street Journal Editorial Report, I saw an anti-Desantis ad three times.

Meanwhile, my Smartnews feed always has several anti-DeSantis articles. It isn’t hard to figure out who Biden, Democrats, and their media allies don’t want to run against. While not directly aiding the Trump campaign, the result is the same.

This unspoken alliance is working the same way as in the past. Akin loved McCaskill’s help, and Trump now loves Bragg’s lifesaver. So long as the case continues, Trump sucks all the air out of the Republican primary. It puts him in a position to win. Then the Democrats get the candidate they have the best chance of beating. The only people getting it in the neck are the Republicans.

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A short OP-ED in the Wall Street Journal got me thinking and may keep me awake at night. “Some Crazy ideas Are Deadly Serious,” by J. Budziszewski, talks about some things taught at Universities today that might be laughable if they didn’t have serious consequences. “You can’t be serious. Nobody can possibly believe that men can get pregnant or that Lincoln was in favor of slavery!” Yet, these are things spread across the intelligentsia.

While many advanced nations question youth transitioning, our medical community continues pushing these potentially dangerous treatments. Children are taking life-altering drugs and having irreversible surgeries in the vain hope changing their sex will solve their problems. Whatever happened to “first do no harm.”

Across the nation, we teach a patently false slavery narrative based on the New York Times “1619 Project.” Rather than fostering a better understanding of slavery in the U.S. and abroad, this warped view of slavery has significantly increased divisions. Again, we are putting our children in the middle of a controversy. 

People in essential parts of Academia, Media, businesses, and Government are there based on their supposed intelligence and knowledge. If these dangers are apparent, why do so many highly educated align with false positions? Pleading ignorance doesn’t wash.

Why do so many elites disregard the scientific method, our standards, the Hippocratic oath, and reason? Their actions fly in the face of what we perceive as the point of education. Ignoring facts and data or, worse, suppressing them goes against everything we’ve learned about how to approach problems. 

The result of the people inhabiting our major institutions acting in opposition to what they know is proper is to diminish our faith in those organizations. If Dr. Fauci, the New York Times, many scientists and medical people writing in the journal Lancet, and a slew of retired intelligence officers, among others, knowingly ignore principles to mislead us, everything becomes suspect. Only instability can follow. Can this be their objective?

Educated people make up The Chinese Communist Party. They know much of what they spout is false, but they fall in line to maintain or raise their status. Even the rich and successful can fail if they get crossways with the party and its leader. You might ask billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma, but he may be unable to answer.

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It’s Not About Moving A Fence

I haven’t taken a count, but more presidential candidates flame out because of their unforced errors than are knocked out by others. If Ron DeSantis falls short, he has only himself to blame. Characterizing the Ukraine War as a “territorial disput” shows a remarkable lack of knowledge. Would he have said the same thing when Nazi Germany rolled into its Polish neighbor, starting WWII? An unprovoked invasion isn’t a real estate boundary-line controversy. 

DeSantis’ ability to immerse himself in a problem to determine his actions and then defend them against all comers drew me to him. He owes much of his popularity to his hands-on approach to issues. It’s astonishing a leader who put in the effort to educate himself about all aspects of the covid crisis and, based on that knowledge, found the proper path could come up with such a clinker.

A mano-a-mano contest with Donald Trump for the Republican nomination is the best way for DeSantis to win. Trump has an unshakeable hold on about a third 0n Republican voters. If the other 70% is spread among a crowd of challengers, he can ride all the winner-take-all contests to the finish line. A crowded field like 2016 favors Trump.

Starving other candidates of issues and money is imperative for DeSantis to keep the field narrow, so why give his competitors running room? Before this mishap, no one could beat him on governing competence or strength on Republican issues. Why open himself to a foreign policy attack? Placing himself in the space between Trump and all the others by providing Trump credit for the things he did right but pre-empting positions others might take to get some footing makes more sense. 

Up to 70% of Republicans could be looking for someone other than Trump Many of these have a favorable opinion of the Ukrainians, including many of the top donors. Why encourage them to look at the many possible candidates sharing this view. How do I know this is happening? I was supporting DeSantis but am now taking another look at others.

DeSantis’ weak support for Ukraine is a surprise as he previously backed sending lethal weapons to that nation when the Obama administration failed to do so. Why the flip-flop?

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Let’s Argue Substance For A Change

In a world where narratives count more than facts and data, we may be evolving to a time people armed with actual knowledge are in a place to shut down those too lazy to ground their positions in something other than personal prejudice. Take the Trump true believers claiming election fraud. They’ve yet to produce anything when challenged to show us the basis for their claims. The other side has placed their goods on the table. Only the like-minded listen to these people. Others cast their votes against “Trump Won” candidates.

We can deal the same fate to those claiming the world is ending because of overpopulation, climate change, or a combination of the two. Adherents of “the science” tell us Covid came from a “wet Market,” locking everyone down, including children, prevents the spread, and mandating vaccination for everyone numerous times is necessary. Our nation’s history is really what “The 1619 project ‘ claims. The gap in the U.S. between rich and poor has grown to an all-time high.

We know from the Russian Collusion and The Biden Laptop fiascos those without facts turn to suppress those that do. Unless you’re the Chinese Communist Party, facts ultimately will come out. We can extend the growing embarrassment of elites in politics and media taking this route to their followers.

Simply asking for the basis of their position on any of these subjects may result in a blank look. How can you question dogma? Everyone knows this is true. I read it in the N.Y. Times or The Washington Post. O.K., but where are the facts? Could you show us the data? Volunteer to read whatever they can provide, but in return, they have to read your sources. 

Of course, you need to have sources to offer. If you don’t readily have them, may I suggest a few easily accessible books and articles that skewer many progressive, most cherished themes?

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Out of the Jaws of Victory

Ukraine could still lose its war with Russia. It isn’t for lack of skill or courage of the Ukrainians we’ve arrived at this point. For all the sacrifice and treasure expended to repel Putin’s legions, the invaders may still prevail. From Russia’s 2014 invasion to the present, the Obama and Biden administrations have been playing catch up in providing the weapons needed for the Ukrainians to win. Trump sent Javelin anti-tank missiles, while Obama sent only non-lethal supplies. 

Only Ukrainian success in the initial battle for Kyiv brought forth supplies of modern arms. Our military and intelligence establishments expected a quick Russian victory and were unwilling to waste resources in a losing cause. They were unaware of the nation’s military improvements and the use of the weapons and other military aid they received from the Trump administration. The fact the Ukrainians had fought the Russians-backed forces in the eastern part of the country to a standstill was unappreciated.  

I and others opined we should give Ukraine whatever weapons they needed as fast as their ability allowed them to use them. As they have proved to be fast learners, they should be sporting the most sophisticated arms by now, and the Russians are paying an unbearable price. 

We haven’t given them weapons to shoot back This failure has allowed the Russians to inflict horrendous civilian casualties and infrastructure degradation. Instead of routing the poorly led and trained Russians, the war degenerated into WWI trench warfare. 

It’s not that potent weapons never get to the Ukrainians; they need to get there quickly. Eventually, we send HMERs, effective air defense, better artillery, and tanks only to stave off defeat. Even now, we are doing the same dance over sending F16 fighter jets. Eventually, we will send them, but they should already be there.

Some Republicans are questioning the expense. Instead of Russian defeat and Ukraine being made whole, we have a war likely to drag on. The longer a fight drags on, the likelihood of war weariness appears. Democrats always have an anti-war wing. 

Other powers might perceive it in their interest to keep us engaged in Europe. In China’s case, a U.S. bogged down, depleting our military assets gives it a more substantial hand in Asia.

Biden says he is relying on the weapons advice of the military. These are the same military leaders who failed so dramatically in Afghanistan and predicted a quick Russian victory in Ukraine. There is no reason to be confident in their advice. Bringing in new people at the joint Chiefs and Defence Department might get us on track to winning the war.

Russia will strike again if it can hold a big part of Ukraine and rebuild its military. The next time will probably involve NATO members drawing the U.S. directly, resulting in American bloodshed. We know this is true because Putin has told us his intentions.