I’ve taken some time to read and reread your prior emails, so that I can respond in a useful way. I do have another take on some of the issues you mentioned and will note those, but I appreciated your second email wherein you distilled these down to my view of Trump as a human being and his ability to lead the country down a civil and reasonable path, rather than be divisive.
As to his level of morality, we can agree that he has many bad personal qualities in how he expresses himself publicly. I agree that he certainly got carried away in his use of Twitter, etc. As a side issue, he used this to “control” public discourse about him and his presidency, as the media were constantly obsessed with his latest missives. The detriment was that they did little actual investigation and reporting on what was actually happening in the real world as a result of his governmental actions and policies. His experience in business empowered his insistence on doing things his way, an inability to effectively delegate authority, and impatience with the lack of immediate concrete results. Unlike prior and current presidents he does not mince words or sugar coat his opinions. Watching many of his prior interviews from even decades ago, I believe he has an almost loathing for how Washington, D.C. has come to work. His main interests were in getting things that he believed right done immediately and disrupting the status quo of the federal bureaucracy.
Could he lead the country down a civil and reasonable path without being divisive? Given the run up to the 2016 election and the events external to his Presidency until 2020, I do not think anyone placed in similar circumstances would be allowed to. Remember that despite his growing attraction to the conservative multitudes, our media persistently and completely attacked him and his abilities to serve as President. Many, including the media, thought that Hillary Clinton was the de facto incoming President by right of gender and service to her national constituency. She presented herself as entitled to the office, and thusly made strategic and tactical errors in her campaign (see the book Shattered ). Yes she won the popular vote but as a professional lifelong politician she was aware of how our Electoral College system works and fully capable of gaming it to her advantage (as she reportedly did with the DNC in defeating Bernie Sanders in the primaries).
Once Trump was elected, virtually the entire politico/media establishment immediately began calls for his impeachment, since, in their judgment, he did not deserve to be president and was unfit for office. This was carried on by the Mueller investigation, all based on false information sponsored by the Clinton campaign (the infamous Steele dossier). The politico/media/celebrity establishment continuously convicted him of treason as a Russian agent, without offering a scintilla of hard evidence to the public. I have read the Mueller Report cover to cover, carefully, and agree with its conclusion that there is no evidence of Russian collusion between Trump or his campaign and foreign governments. The charges of “obstruction of justice” are especially specious since it is impossible to obstruct justice when there is no crime. For well documented facts regarding the Steele dossier conspiracy and the components of the federal executive branch bureaucracy involved in advancing it read Gregg Jarrett’s Witchhunt. As an aside, note that several federal laws quoted in the Mueller Report were violated, not by Trump, but by the Clinton campaign. Multiple violations of policy and law by the DOJ and the FBI have been publicly documented.
Next comes the return impeachment attempt regarding his phone call with the Ukrainian President, based initially on hearsay evidence that turned out not to be accurate when the transcript, verified by several attendees, was released. The supposed victim of this “extortion” clearly stated that he did not feel this was any kind of extortion attempt or attempt to get/suborn damaging information on the Biden family. Let us remember that Mr. Biden is on video publicly bragging about withholding U.S. aid to Ukraine unless that country agreed to fire a state prosecutor. Regardless of the reasons that may have been behind this demand, this was an unprecedented direct intervention in the government of a sovereign nation, the fiscal equivalent of our old habit of CIA assassinations of foreign government officials we did not like. The hypocrisy of the establishment’s judgement regarding Biden’s overt action vs Trump’s alleged action is astounding. Remember also that two of our nation’s foremost constitutional scholars, both lifelong Democrats, completely opposed impeachment on these grounds (Dershowitz and Turley).
Finally we come to Trump’s involvement in inciting the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Publicly released evidence clearly shows that the main perpetrators of this outrage had planned the event weeks in advance of that date, and were well prepared to carry it out. It began well before Trump finished his speech as shown by the publicly released timeline, and he urged the crowd still listening to peacefully protest, without yet knowing that the invasion was occurring. Given his beliefs (warranted or not) of the irregularities in the election, his speech prior to this and during the rally were no more inflammatory than those of Maxine Waters, Congresswoman from California, who had repeatedly called for crowds to disrupt/attack conservatives, members of the administration, and vowed to “get” Trump. The same can be said of Chuck Schumer’s threats against new Supreme Court Justices on the steps of the Supreme Court. These are the standard excesses of political rhetoric in our country today, having evolved over many years.
A brief aside: please note that no court has yet had a presentation or trial of evidence for/against election fraud or irregularities. All the court cases were dismissed on technical or procedural grounds, such as lack of standing, presenting the complaints too early or too late, etc. And unlike the concerns of the 2016 election, there will be no Mueller Report on the election of 2020. A truly objective investigation and report on all the supposed irregularities and alleged fraud would be the best way to becalm the sailors of conspiracy.
As to his supposed racism, his public comments over decades belie that. His actions in office (markedly increased support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the economic improvement for colored minorities) belie that. Certainly he has made rash comments on occasions such as the Charlottesville tragedy and in telling the Proud Boys (whom he stated he had no knowledge of regarding their beliefs, actions, etc.) to “standby”, i.e. do nothing. However we must remember, as stated publicly by one of my (white) City Councilwomen recently, that you and I, and Trump and all whites are racist because we are white. Given this foundational tenet of Wokeism, I suppose we cannot accuse Trump of any more racism than Biden (the segregationist), Pelosi, Schumer, or any other non-colored person. So that accusation is perhaps moot.
The above all goes to the point of being able to lead the country down a civil and reasonable path without being divisive. The division, incivility, and unreasonableness was not of his making. The “Establishment” could not conceive nor tolerate someone of his ilk being elected to the Presidency, and the resistance to a populist who apparently could not be controlled or reasoned with was all-encompassing. His reaction to unrelenting attacks from every quarter was not the best, to say the least, but I assert with no evidence that no matter what he might have said or done, incivility, unreasonableness, and divisiveness would have carried the day. Having read David McCullough’s excellent biography of Truman, I wonder if that “unfit and unprepared” President would have reacted any less fiercely.
So given all his many faults, why did I vote for him in 2016 and again in 2020, and given the current slate of possible conservative candidates why would I vote for him again in 2024? Because I strongly believe our country badly needs a reduction in governmental structure and function, and a return to more local control. While collective burdens can be shared via governmental and private means, government has sought to preserve and extend itself by becoming the total caretaker of all of us, obviating any need for personal responsibility, ambition, or liberty. This I see most clearly in the second period of slavery of American blacks that began with Johnson’s War on Poverty after the Civil Rights revolution of the early 1960’s. Looking at the structure of “Black Society” in the U.S. in objective measures such as family structure, income levels, educational levels, living conditions, and violence, Americans blacks are no better off and in fact in worse conditions after sixty years of ever-expanding government support. A high percentage of women in poverty (of all colors) have become married to the government thanks to the structure of these programs. Despite the huge numbers of blacks killed by other blacks, only the tiny number of lives tragically taken by police now matter. Government funded abortion (a failure of “Planned Parenthood” but a success for Margaret Sanger, the eugenics/racist founder of Planned Parenthood) has resulted in a kind of genocide of black Americans. We have abandoned the vision of Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.. Some few, such as Robert L Woodson, Sr. of the Woodson Center, still work quietly and locally to revive the vision of black Americans as truly free and self-empowered members of an integrated America. For a source of hard facts backing these opinions consider Candace Owen’s book Blackout How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape From The Democrat Plantation.
Divisiveness, initiated not by Trump but by the Left, continues, enhanced and amplified by our Media and our politicians. Riots after those of color are shot or killed by police are now expected, tolerated, understood, and often called “mostly peaceful protests”. True insurrections in Seattle and Portland are unpunished. Portland continues a media blackout (remember my son Jon lives there). Members of Congress declare that the undesirables that mistakenly tried to elect Trump to a second term need to be “re-educated” (like the Uyghurs in China? I will not have to go far, Manzanar–one of the ten WWII internment camps for Americans of Japanese descent– is just down the highway). Reparations to blacks, whether descendants of slaves or not, are being openly discussed by various branches of government, and that tipping point has been reached in Oakland, California where the local government intends to give universal basic income to its poorest black citizens only. (How black do you have to be? Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, if your grandparent was black are you a member of that now privileged group?).
The Federal govt. proposes to violate the Constitution by taking over elections, with many provisions of HR 1 clearly if unintentionally enabling possible electoral fraud. Intersectionality now seeks to define each individual as sufferings varying degrees of systemic oppression by the white majority, depending on the types and numbers of their individual characteristics. Are you of color, what is your preferred sexual identity, if any, and what are your belief systems? We will soon be able to provide a positive “social credential score” to enhance the entitlements and preferential treatment you receive from the government, while the systematically racists will receive a negative social credential score based not only on their race, sex, and beliefs but also on their social media behavior. The third branch of government, the Supreme Court, will soon be politicized not by chance and opportunity but by design as it is “rebalanced” by adding 4 new Justices of liberal bent, if the solid Democrat majority has its way. The second branch of government, Congress, has progressively over many years ceded its responsibilities to an ever more autocratic Presidency, with Biden’s ongoing snow storm of Executive Orders and Actions completely unopposed by the Federal bureaucracy, which has been our fourth branch of government for some decades. The Federal Reserve and Treasury believe all economic problems can be solved by creating money from thin air, with no foreseeable end or consequences. The answer to any perceived social ill continues to be to spend more money on it, even if all prior spent funds have failed to make any discernible improvement in outcomes. This is the incredibly simple fallacy of sunken costs which is the lifeblood of incumbency in our elected officials.
Climate change is certainly of great and ongoing concern, and we must do that which is practicable to gradually reduce our contribution, whatever it may be, to it. However destroying thousands of jobs with the stroke of a pen and promising to replace them with unknown jobs in unknown circumstances in unknown places by creating them with government funds rather than market forces does nothing to stabilize our current and future productive and economic activity. These and many others are the degrees of absurdity we face in the very short term as the government proposes to restore us from the economic effects of the Covid epidemic that the government caused. Just as after 9/11, we have given up many personal and collective liberties for an emergency, these liberties will not be “returned” to us by a benevolent government after the epidemic is over–for in fact, like the terrorist threat of 9/11, it will never be “over”. Science, statistics, studies clearly show that there is no reasonable need for those who have had the disease or are fully vaccinated to restrict their activities and associations in any way. But, just as the TSA views us all as possible terrorists, our Covid Commissars view all of us as risks or at risk and in need of behavior control.
For these and many other reasons I have wanted to use the system of our democratic republic to disrupt the progressivism of our government. I have came to believe we have a three party system–Democrats, Republicans, and Incumbents. Once elected, the officeholder ceases to be Republican or Democrat, and as an Incumbent sees the primary duty to remain in office for as long as possible. This is done by entwining oneself as tightly as possible in our Military-Industrial-Political-Media Complex, with the virtual guarantee that should one lose office, a cushy sinecure in one of those other sectors awaits. Those outside the Complex matter little to those within. Finally, an outrageous disruptor, wholly excluded from the Complex, entered the fray and stated in clear if combative language what I and many others in the basket of deplorables saw as a wrong evolution of the originally intended course of our nation upon its founding. As Margaret Thatcher said, we are the only nation in history founded on a principle rather that geography, an ethnicity, or by history itself. Yes, we have yet to fully live up to those founding principles but we can continue to approach them ever more closely. This may be a hopeless endeavor, as history has shown every democracy or republic in the past has died by suicide through the knife of progressivism, but I will continue, ant-like, to resist the river of that history.
© Nik Bednarski, M.D. 2021
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file