Clinton Cash: documentary by Peter Schweizer

The full movie is available on YouTube here. A great complement to Dinesh D’Souza’s film, Hillary’s America. A bit over an hour long;  recommended.  Troglo

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)


Choosing a candidate: an ethic of voting

How to choose a candidate for public office? Recent research suggests that only 10% of voters actually vote according to the issues. Most people like or dislike a candidate based on superficial qualities like those in a popularity contest. These include race, sex, appearance (such as make-up in the Kennedy-Nixon debate,) voice (many dislike Ted Cruz’s voice,) and other negligible qualities.

This post is for the 10% who want the issues to determine their votes. We subjectively weight the issues according to a scale reflecting what is most important for us. So candidate A may score 7 of 10 on the issues and candidate B only 5, but we may choose B because those 5 issues are more important to us than A’s 7.

But there are other considerations. One is the ability – the political skill – to get proposals enacted into law without fatal compromise. In short, competence. Another is the personal character of the candidate. This is not limited to trustworthiness to keep campaign promises. It includes the bigger issue of personal character in general. A person in public office is expected to uphold the civic and moral virtues of his constituency, to be a positive role model, have good judgement, be someone you would entrust your most vulnerable family member with, be worthy of the bully pulpit. The President represents the entire country. Naked pursuit of power for personal enrichment, ego trips, furthering a revolutionary utopia, and the like are all disqualifying, no matter the issues or competence. In this respect Hillary and the Donald are both disqualified. Trump most recently displayed his petulance with a distasteful post-convention attack on Ted Cruz, notably repeating the accusation his father was helping Lee Harvey Oswald distribute leaflets for the Communist, pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba committee in 1963. Debunking of this here and many other places. Trump claimed the photo showed Cruz Senior having breakfast with Oswald and also that Cruz never denied his father was in the photo – both false. He stated that his source, the National Enquirer, is respected and trustworthy. Trump’s ego is clearly involved in this adolescent outburst. Hillary and her useful idiots will have a field day goading Trump into similar faux pas. If Trump is willing to hurt his campaign in this unforced error, think what, surrounded by sycophants, he is capable of doing as President.

Let’s consider the lesser-of-two-evils theory of voting. With two disqualified candidates, it is difficult to discern which one represents the greater evil. In the case of Trump, the question cannot be decided in isolation; we need more information, e.g. to know the outcome of the Senate races if Trump wins. In the likely event the Senate returns with a Democrat majority, Trump’s nominations to the Supreme Court would be borked and he would be forced to compromise. Trump is not a conservative, thus we cannot expect any of his compromises to be good ones. At best he would only be able to undo Obama’s worst executive orders and some of the worst regulations. By the by, popular distaste for Mr Trump might well contribute to loss of the Senate.

Let’s say now that Trump faces a Republican Congress. Even then Mr Trump would not be able to do whatever he wants; there would be some Republican and uniform Democrat opposition to his wildest ideas. Regarding the Supreme Court, he is unpredictable and despite promises quite capable of nominating the equivalent of Harriet Miers. He would, however, be able unconstitutionally to expand the powers of the Presidency beyond even what Obama has done. This would create damage far beyond his time in office. What he would do in the face of continuous stalemate over time or how he would respond to a disastrous turn of events is very unclear. I would expect him, a temporizer, to cave to liberal opposition, but he might react with negative emotion and petulant bluster. Either way as a transconservative he poisons the Republican well.

Matthew Franck, who finds both candidates totally disqualified for the Presidency, has come to reject the lesser-of-two-evils theory, in favor of a no-evil theory. His plausible ethic of voting, a riff on Cruz’s “vote your conscience,” is summarized below:

Vote as if your ballot determines nothing whatsoever—except the shape of your own character. Vote as if the public consequences of your action weigh nothing next to the private consequences. The country will go whither it will go, when all the votes are counted. What should matter the most to you is whither you will go, on and after this November’s election day.

His entire article is here.  I am not quite there yet. I still harbor some remnant of hope that Trump will realize the enormous responsibility of the Presidency and adapt. Leopards do not lose their spots, but perhaps Trump will mature. Time is running out.    Troglo

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)

Hillary’s America; the Secret History of the Democratic Party

This new film is by Dinesh D’Souza, no stranger to conservative causes. The movie’s website is here:

Hillary’s America: The Secret History Of The Democratic Party

It is showing now at Regal Columbia Stadium 14 starting this evening Thursday thru Sunday: The theatre’s website is here:

You can sample the movie by looking at the trailer on YouTube:  Troglo

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)

Ted Cruz and the pledge

This morning Trump supporters are apoplectic that in his speech at the Republican National Convention last night Senator Cruz did not explicitly support the candidacy of Donald Trump. Big Media delightedly fanned the flames of the controversy. But speaking eloquently in support of the cause of liberty Cruz did in fact signal his support of some of Trump’s main positions, notably the building of a wall and enforcing our immigration laws. And by speaking at the convention he also implicitly encouraged support of the Republican national ticket by those whose conscience is not violated by some of Trump’s positions and his character. This clearly distinguishes him from Kasich the spoiler who is boycotting the convention. Newt Gingrich was correct in pointing out that this passage from Cruz’s speech also comes as close as conscience permits to an explicit endorsement of Trump:

We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Who unite us all behind shared values. Who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody. And, to those listening, please don’t stay home in November. If you love our country and love our children as much as you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience. Vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom, and to be faithful to the Constitution.

Hillary Clinton and the minor party candidates are untrustworthy on both criteria. The question is whether Trump, no conservative, is trustworthy. Calling for a vote based on one’s conscience Cruz contributed to party unity as much as is possible. Like the candidate himself Trump’s supporters are notable for their passionate emotion during the primary campaigns and now for their vitriol. They are calling for Cruz’s head for raising notes of caution during the convention they considered theirs only. We should remind them that it was a Republican convention, not a Trump love fest. The big tent we will hear about of course includes Republicans who are not wholly aboard the Trump train (or train wreck.) As has been pointed out, a lukewarm endorsement of Trump would signal the kind of opportunism all too common among our politicians. It is rather rich that supporters of the mercurial Trump, whose positions have changed so often we cannot be sure he has any, should condemn Cruz for violating his pledge. But did he violate it? Or keep as much of it as a true conservative could?

Some consider Cruz’s waving the banner of authentic conservatism a political calculation. I would say it is rather a simple declaration of bedrock principle, the very opposite of political calculation and something all too scarce in the cesspool of D.C. politics. That this courageous speech may harm his political future should engender admiration, whether one agrees with him or not.

Trump is calling for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA,) which has delivered proven prosperity to all three countries involved. He also suggests that the U.S. should ignore its NATO obligations to defend the Baltic states in case of a Russian takeover like that of Crimea if Trump determines that those states have not “fulfilled their obligations to us.” The first position is foolish and ignorant. The second is simply dangerous and astonishing, and not just because it comes from the self-proclaimed Law-and-Order candidate.

I see Cruz’s speech as a warning to the Republican establishment that Trump’s positions need more than just fine-tuning if the election is not to be turned over to Mrs Clinton. As it is, I do not see how she can be stopped, the vitriol and bloody-mindedness of the Trumpkins notwithstanding.   Troglo

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)

What happens to criminal illegal aliens?

They should of course be deported to the countries where they are citizens. But many countries do not want their criminals back. So what happens when they cannot be easily deported?

You guessed it. ICE – Immigration Customs Enforcement – just releases them. Last year 19,723 were set free. They were responsible for 64,197 convictions, including 934 sex offenses, 804 robberies, 216 kidnappings, and 196-homicide-related convictions.

More detail here. Further comment is not necessary.    Troglo

Troglo (L. H. Kevil)