What's another word for thesaurus?
I spared myself much of the spectacle that was the Democratic National Convention, but I did catch Hillary Clinton's final speech. It was a yawnfest, and I was amused that Bill Clinton fell asleep during the speech. For the most part, Hillary achieved one thing. The Democrat Party is the party of everyone except white working class straight males. This group would be Trump's people, and Hillary will finish them off when she gets elected president.
There's not much else to say about Hillary except that she is a pro-death crook. But there is a key difference between Clinton and Trump, and it is a strategic one. Hillary is a survivor, and she has taken a lot of crap and flak over the years. The woman is unflappable. She keeps plugging away. Donald Trump is the opposite. He can't let anything go. He has to respond to everything. The result is that Hillary looks like a lady of steel while Trump looks whiny. As Clinton has pointed out in her speech, she has focused more on the service part of public service. Trump is a relentless self-promoter and self-defender.
Which strategy is better? I can say that Trump's strategy is not the Christian way. We have to bear detraction and calumny with patience. Ted Cruz practices this becoming livid at Trump only when his wife and father were attacked. But he has endured all the flak that has come at him with patience and without responding in kind. Sad to say, Hillary is more like Cruz than Trump.
2. FEEL THE BERN
Bernie Sanders has left the Democrat Party once more and declared himself an independent again. That speaks volumes. It is obvious to me that Sanders wanted to duplicate the Ron Paul campaign. Paul ran as a Republican, and he brought a lot of attention to his libertarian issues and message. You don't have to win the nomination to make an impact. Thanks to Ron Paul, many have a healthy distrust of the Federal Reserve where they didn't even know what the Federal Reserve was. We can call these campaigns "information campaigns." Being in the primaries of a mainstream party and participating in debates gives you a national platform. Running for president in this manner is a smart move.
The problem with Bernie is that he was more successful than he anticipated. Relatively, Sanders was more successful than Ron Paul because Paul never had a realistic shot of winning the GOP nomination. Sanders basically won the Democratic nomination and got ripped off. Then, the guy sold out to the crook that ripped him off by endorsing Hillary.
I don't think Bernie Sanders ever wanted to be president. If he did, he wouldn't have taken it all lying down. The man ran to lose. I think if he knew what his chances were going to be he would have stayed home to let Hillary run unopposed. And that should be a lesson, Gentle Reader. Don't run for president if you can't handle winning.
3. SHEA REDUX
My wife took me to task for being less than charitable to Mark Shea in last week's RTOVS for being a closet supporter of Hillary Clinton. I disagree with her, and I am glad to provide a link to an article showing how uncharitable Shea is to conservatives like myself. My belief about Mark Shea is that he interprets Catholic teaching as "pro-life socialism." Now, like Shea, I am a fan of G.K. Chesterton, and I subscribe to much of what we know as Distributism. Unfortunately for Mr. Shea, I do not subscribe to distributism as a form of decentralized socialism.
The article I link also goes on to criticize Simcha Fisher. Why do these two seem to have a thing for Hillary Clinton and a hatred for the GOP and conservatism? I suspect that it has something to do with welfare. I know Fisher has accepted welfare in the past, and I suspect Shea has as well considering that he makes his living as a professional Catholic. I don't think it is a sin to accept government welfare, but I do think it colors your perspective on politics.
I find that people's politics stem not so much from their thinking on issues so much as from temperament and personality. I will write more on this subject in a future essay.
4. Q & A
Q: Is Donald Trump racist?
It is important for people to clarify their terms. The term "racist" denotes someone who believes one race is superior to all of the others. This is the thinking of the Nazis and the KKK. If you read Mein Kampf, Hitler made the argument that certain races were superior in intellect and civilization to others. If you based the argument purely on the brute facts alone, you would become a racist. But truth has as much to do with what you leave out as much as what you put in. Yes, people of European descent (white people) have done better than people of other races and nationalities, but this has little to do with the content of melanin in their skin or some genetic advantage. The fact is that Europe in the pre-Christian era was a hellhole of barbarism. What made those white people so civilized was the civilizing effect of the Christian religion.
Hitler destroyed his own argument by his own barbarism. As the Nazi German state regressed to paganism, it also regressed to barbarism on such a scale that Hitler and his ilk are now virtual synonyms with evil. It is also why those of leftist persuasion use an equivocation with the Nazis and the KKK to excoriate their opponents. This is how Donald Trump magically becomes a "racist."
A "bigot" is someone who holds certain prejudicial views about groups of people. On that definition, Donald Trump and every person alive is a bigot. If you believe Italians love pasta, you can be considered a bigot. You may say this does not apply, yet we suddenly have a problem when we point out that Jews like matzo and Gefilte fish or blacks like fried chicken and watermelon. Why should pointing out such obvious things be the cause of offense? Yet, there is a large difference between someone who believes that certain groups like certain things and someone who believes an entire race of people should be subjugated and exterminated.
We can realistically say that Trump is a bigot. He has made comments that betray a certain prejudice such as when he remarked that Jews were good with money. But is the man an anti-Semite? The fact that he has a Jewish son-in-law and a daughter that converted to Judaism speaks volumes to the man not being anti-Semitic.
The better question to ask is this. Can you be a bigot and also not a racist? The answer is yes. You can believe that all races are equal and deserving of dignity while at the same time believing they are not the same. Trump's bigotry comes from the habit of speaking obvious truths. The man is not politically correct. But he isn't Hitler.
The problem with Trump is that he makes his points without reference to anything substantial like the Christian religion. For instance, he denigrates illegal immigrants but makes no distinction between those who come to work hard to make better lives for their families and those who belong to narco-terrorist gangs. The difference is the Christian religion. The result is that you have leftists deciding that all immigrants are good, and Trumpists saying that all immigrants are bad. This inability to make distinctions is what turns the whole debate into a farce.
Trump is someone who says the deliberately controversial thing to push the argument. But then he walks it back a bit. It is a rhetorical strategy more than a worldview. At the end of the day, he makes compromises and cuts deals that fall somewhere in the middle. The result is that he might get a wall, but he might also increase the quotas on immigration to make it easier for good and honest people to have a new life in the USA.
Donald Trump is politically incorrect. I like this. This country needs this. We need someone who isn't afraid to say honest things. People may hate him now, but I think they will love him later. People will forgive you for speaking the truth.
5. ODDS AND ENDS
--Pope Francis is a liberal and a modernist. We should just acknowledge these facts and deal with them.
--I never took that free upgrade to Windows 10. With the offer now expired, I am glad to not have that annoying bubble popping up on my computer all the time begging me to switch. Windows 7 until my desktop machine fries out!
--People who say Fox News isn't fair and balanced need to do a headcount on the liberal reporters/pundits on air at Fox. I know of four right off the bat.
--There is a social cost to being a Trump supporter. I suspect that people will keep their mouths shut and let their ballots do the talking in November sort of like how no one saw the Brexit coming. The majority may truly be silent.
6. QUOTABLE QUOTES
My dear brethren, this is how: listen well and you will understand if you have religion as God wants you to have it in order to lead you to Heaven. If a person has true virtue, nothing whatever can change him; he is like a rock in the midst of a tempestuous sea. If anyone scorns you, or calumniates you, if someone mocks at you or calls you a hypocrite or a sanctimonious fraud, none of this will have the least effect upon your peace of soul. You will love him just as much as you loved him when he was saying good things about you. You will not fail to do him a good turn and to help him, even if he speaks badly of your assistance. You will say your prayers, go to Confession, to Holy Communion, you will go to Mass, all according to your general custom.
ST. JOHN VIANNEY
When you decide firmly to lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden on you: it will be a crown of triumph.
ST. JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA
Sheer persistence is the difference between success and failure.
If we do not restore the Institution of Property we cannot escape restoring the Institution of Slavery; there is no third course.
7. LINKS OF INTEREST
A Collision-Course With Crisis: Making The Wrong Choices For The Wrong Reasons
The Practice of Silence For Laypeople
Does God Will Tragedy?
The Myth of the Council of Jamnia and the Origin of the Bible
25 Gardening Books You Should Own