Monday, May 23, 2016

If Elected, Hillary Clinton Will Reshape The Supreme Court And Remake The United States

If Hillary Clinton is elected, she may have the opportunity to appoint 3 or possibly 4 justices to the Supreme Court.  First up is filling the late Antonin Scalia’s seat, which will give the Court a 5-vote liberal majority consisting, on her inauguration, of Sonia Sotomayor (age 63), Elena Kagan (56), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83), and Stephen Breyer (78).   She may be able to appoint young liberals to replace Ginsburg and Breyer, giving the Court a 5-vote liberal majority for decades.  If she gets the opportunity to replace Anthony Kennedy (80), the Court will have a 6-vote liberal majority.   Subject to remaining in good health, Clarence Thomas (68), Samuel Alito (67) and John Roberts (62), who is not reliably conservative, are likely to outlast two terms of Clinton.

A 5-vote liberal majority in the Court will enable Hillary Clinton to remake the United States.  It’s important to remember that the law and the Constitution are what the Supreme Court says they are.

Weaken the First Amendment.  Reduce free speech by restricting conservative talk radio and other conservative expression.  Increase the scope of content designated “hate” speech, subject to federal prosecution.  Limit religious freedom by requiring all religious organizations to abide by the rules of federal programs.

Weaken, preferably eliminate, the Second Amendment.  Reduce gun ownership by banning specific guns.  Instruct the attorney general to litigate existing gun laws and reverse previous court decisions to reduce and eliminate private ownership of guns.

Issue Executive Orders to bypass Congress and impose federal regulations by decree.  The potential range of measures is described in the 31 issues listed on her campaign website.  Her potential use of Executive Orders, perhaps even more than President Obama, would further lift the United States off its constitutional moorings.

Appoint an IRS Commissioner who will increase audits of conservative individuals (and others on her enemies list) and all other conservative-oriented organizations.

Appoint an SEC Commissioner to harass wealthy Republican donors.

Vitiate what remains of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments by shifting existing state powers to the federal government, further concentrating federal authority over the states.

Erode private property rights by imposing more restrictions on its development and usage.

Her ability to remake America is limited only by her imagination and those of her supporters.

Under President Clinton, Congress will become a vestigial organ of government for four to eight years.  Article II of the Constitution, the Executive Branch, will supplant Article I, the Legislative Branch.

#NEVERTRUMP conservative intellectuals prefer the possibility of Clinton’s liberal remaking of America to a President Trump.  The United States is a free country, and that is their choice.  How free it will be in 2020 or 2024 if Clinton becomes president is the 64 trillion dollar question.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Let China Pay

The United States is militarily and financially overextended.  For decades, U.S. taxpayers have financed a security umbrella over Europe paying 75% or more of NATO’s costs and supplying most of the military personnel.  European members are not paying their fair share.  Instead, they have spent their taxpayers’ money on expanded social programs.  Enjoying U.S. protection, they even have the gall to criticize the U.S. for its harsh market economy, in which individuals lack taxpayer-provided health insurance, free university education, long maternity/paternity leave, long vacations, and so forth.

If Europe does not want to pay for its defense, so be it.  Continued U.S. military protection for Europe only encourages European politicians to disregard their own defense requirements.

Now to China.

U.S. foreign policy should encourage China to overextend itself.  Here are some concrete proposals.

The U.S. does not import much, if any, oil from the Middle East.  China, along with Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries, depends heavily on Gulf oil.  Let China patrol the Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Straits of Malacca, the East China Sea, and other waters to secure safe passage of oil tankers to Asia.

Let China bear the cost of security for Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and elsewhere in the Western Middle East.  China is concerned about radical Islam infecting its Western provinces.

Each year Chinese military power strengthens.  Each year U.S. military power weakens.  The U.S. can no longer afford to provide a “Pax Americana” over North, East and Southeast Asia.  As it is, the bulk of Asian trade is with China, which will continue to increase.  China will increasingly dominate Asia commercially, socially, and politically.

Let China bear the cost of loans and infrastructure projects in Africa.  They will not recover or earn a return on their investments.  Their loans will not be repaid.  They will be targeted as villains in national elections, blamed for racism, unemployment, and social ills.  They will become the “ugly Chinese” who exploit Africans.

Ditto for Latin America.  Think $50 billion in lost loans to Venezuela, and incomplete infrastructure projects in Brazil and other Latin American countries that will not be completed for years and years.  Let China get blamed by Latin American politicians for their mismanaged economies..

Anywhere a hurricane, health, earthquake or other catastrophe occurs, let China pay half of all rescue and rebuilding costs.

How should the U.S. structure its relations with China?  So long as China adheres to GATT, WTO, and other trade agreements, the U.S. should allow trade to flow freely as it will.  But the U.S. should impose dollar-for-dollar costs on state-owned and/or private Chinese firms when China violates the letter and spirit of these agreements.

If China uses regulations to favor Chinese firms over American firms, (e.g., labeling, quotas, limits on foreign ownership, banning U.S. media, etc.), the U.S. should respond in kind.  For example, the U.S. could limit Chinese ownership to 49% of a U.S. firm, ban CCTV, restrict Chinese newspapers and magazines, close Confucius Institutes in American universities, and so on.  You cheat, you pay.

One way to accomplish this change in strategy is to build facilities in Beijing and Shanghai in which the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other global organizations spend half the year meeting and conducting their business in China.  And let China pay for it.

China will learn, as has Britain, France, and the United States, that money does not buy love and goodwill in Africa, Latin America, and other poor countries around the globe.  In fact, it generally produces the opposite effect.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Two Votes For Trump In California

Voting by mail is wonderful.  No travel to polling place, no line, and not having to hear liberal voters talk about liberal candidates and bond issues financing liberal causes.

Your friendly proprietor and his talented and beautiful wife (er, I mean partner) have cast two early votes for Trump.  It feels great.

Meanwhile, back at “the farm,” a nickname for Stanford University, my Hoover Institution colleagues keep blasting Trump for all the reasons you can find in the #NEVERTRUMP tweets, posts, radio and television interviews, and newspaper, magazine, and web articles.  So far as I know, as of May 17, 2016, I remain the sole avowed Trump supporter among Republicans at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.  I keep hoping that others will join me by November 8.  I’ll up the count as I learn of others, but won’t mention their names unless they ask me to do so.

Hoover fellows have spent years criticizing big government, costly government regulations, and the dominance of leftist thinking on America’s college and university campuses, and other Democrat Party policies and ideology.

Their hostility to Trump is so severe that they are aiding and abetting the election of Hillary Clinton (unless the FBI derails her campaign).  A President Hillary Clinton presages bigger government, more regulation, more redistribution of wealth and income, weakening the first, second, ninth and tenth amendments of the Bill of Rights, more disastrous Benghazi-like misadventures, and appointments of liberal judges up and down the federal courts to name a few.  Read the list of 31 issues on Clinton’s campaign website to grasp the full scope of her big government policy proposals.  It’s staggering.

In 1980, Hoover Institution fellows played an enormous role in Ronald Reagan’s election and two administrations supplying policy ideas and personnel.  In 1990, the Economist rated Hoover the top think tank in the world (now ranked 19 among U.S. think tanks in the University of Pennsylvania Civil Societies Program).

In 2016 Republican Hoover fellows are playing the opposite role opposing Donald Trump, directly and indirectly supporting Hillary Clinton.  Hillary Clinton is the antithesis of everything that Reagan stood for and the mission, ideas, and ideals of the Hoover Institution:  individual liberty, private enterprise, and limited representative government.  Hoover’s motto, which is branded on its stationary, is “Ideas defining a free society.”  These ideas, enumerated in its 2015 Annual Report, are liberty, conflict and peace, and free markets.

You can’t make this stuff up.  It’s mind-boggling.  But there it is.  For whatever reasons its fellows disapprove of Donald Trump, they pale against what four to eight years of a President Hillary Clinton will do to the American body politic.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Stop Trump Coalition Is Changing Tack

The Academic Political Media Industrial Complex (APMIC) failed to stop Donald Trump for nine months, from mid-June 2015 through early May 2016, from winning the Republican Party nomination for president.  The more APMIC denounced Trump in the primaries, the stronger his support became.

Having failed to stop Trump in the primaries, APMIC has embarked on a new strategy.  They are telling Trump what he must do if he wants to win the November election (which they don’t want to happen) and, if he wins, horror of horrors, how he must govern.

First, APMIC wants Trump to pick a traditional, moderate, vice-presidential candidate from the Republican establishment.  APMIC thinks that selecting such a candidate would turn off some enthusiasts who voted for Trump in the primaries.  If he picks an establishment candidate, it would signal that he wasn’t serious about ending the corrupt political system he railed against and that it was just a political ploy to win votes.

Second, APMIC wants Trump to moderate his positions on immigration, trade, NATO, and other controversial issues to fit the establishment’s long-held views.

Third, APMIC wants him become more gentlemanly in his demeanor.

I could go on and on, but the general plan is to force Trump out of his political comfort zone.  If Trump resists APMIC’s entreaties, it can blame him for Hillary’s election.

Try to keep uppermost in your mind that APMIC failed for nine months.  As it tries to derail his campaign, it will only strengthen his support in November—unless he capitulates to APMIC.

I’m from Missouri, the “show me state.”  We’ll see.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Vision Of The Conservative Anointed

How dare Republican primary voters disregard the instructions of the Conservative Anointed to vote against Trump!  How dare Republican voters let their emotions trump the wisdom of the Conservative Anointed!  Don’t Republican voters know their votes for Trump are paving the way for an American Mussolini, Peron, or Putin!

The Conservative intellectual and media wings of the Academic Political Media Industrial Complex (APMIC) have doubled down on “ATTACK TRUMP.”  Two of the most prominent intellectuals are my distinguished Hoover Institution colleagues, Thomas Sowell and Niall Ferguson.  Prominent media includes George Will and Charles Krauthammer.  Their vociferous opposition to Trump over the will of Republican primary voters, by far the most in history, shows that democracy is a terrible form of government when the Conservative Anointed don’t get their way.  The dozens of intellectuals in the stop Trump movement are just a different flavor of the Liberal Anointed, equally arrogant, self-righteous, and self-serving.  Try browsing these authors and many other Anointed Conservatives to get the taste of their recent columns and tweets.

I’m tempted to simply say, “Trump won.”  “Get Over it.”  “Deal with it.”  But that is likely to further inflame them and cast me, along with Trump, into the lion’s den.

I expect the Conservative Anointed to intensify their attacks on Trump up to the minute votes are cast in November.  Who knows?  They may succeed helping Democrat voters elect Hillary Clinton, saving America from Trump and preserving the Republican establishment to fight another day, and their influence within it.

Should their efforts help Hillary win, they can claim credit for her Supreme Court appointments, and another four, maybe eight, years of greater government intrusion into the private affairs of individuals, higher taxes, more regulations, weakening the Bill of Rights, and so on.

Back to Hoover.  During the past quarter-century, its big donor base has surpassed a thousand.  My guess is that a minimum of 90 percent support and vote for Republican presidential candidates.  How ironic if their gifts help elect Hillary!

No one can predict whether a President Trump will adopt policies that strengthen democracy, maintain the peace, and protect individual freedoms.  But we can confidently forecast that a President Clinton will try her utmost to expand the scope and power of the federal government, raise taxes to further redistribute income, and point the Supreme Court in a liberal direction for a generation.

In that event, G-d help us all.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Trump Supporter is the Loneliest Man on Campus

Following on my previous post “A Minority of One Trump Supporter in A Sea of Opposition,” I dug a little deeper into how the winner of the general election would impact the Hoover Institution.

As I mentioned, Hoover fellows are about 40-45% Democrats and 55-60% Republicans.  As best as I can determine, on the basis of political history and policy views, as many as 8-9 Hoover fellows would fit comfortably in a Clinton administration.

I’m not saying that these 8-9 would be asked to join a Clinton administration in a full-time, part-time, or advisory capacity, or, if asked, would agree to serve.  I am saying, despite Hoover’s reputation and classification as a “conservative” think tank, that 8-9 of its fellows could potentially serve a President Clinton.  If that were to happen, Stanford’s faculty would break out the Champagne.

What about a Trump administration?  Except for one fellow whose policy proposal was adopted by a Trump rival, now a Trump supporter, I could not identify any of Hoover’s Republican fellows who would be asked to serve in a Trump administration.   Those who served former Republican presidents, or supported Republican candidates in 2008 and 2012, or worked for and/or supported other candidates in the 2016 primaries, have openly denounced Trump in print or said so in casual coffee room conversation.

Who would believe it?  A “conservative” Hoover Institution potentially providing policy advisors for Democrat Hillary Clinton if she wins, but not for Republican Donald Trump should he win.

As Bob Dylan sang, “The Times, They Are A-Changin.”

But not to worry.  Your friendly proprietor believes Trump will win a landslide victory over Clinton.  I will explain why in a future post.  If Trump wins, APMIC, the Academic Political Media Industrial Complex, will become increasingly irrelevant because, in the new paradigm, wealthy individuals who can self-fund campaigns will supplant career politicians as presidential candidates in both parties.

Meanwhile, some of my Hoover colleagues have taken to Chicken Little warnings about the consequences of a President Trump.  Sigh!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Minority of One Trump Supporter In A Sea of Opposition

From the trenches, here are some observations on what it’s like being an avowed Trump supporter in a university setting, more particularly, in the “conservative” Hoover Institution.

Your friendly proprietor is the sole avowed Trump supporter at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.  Most of the Republican fellows (about 55-60% of Hoover fellows) were supporters of Bush, Rubio, and/or Cruz.  Many of them, some repeatedly, have blogged, tweeted, posted, written op-eds, and spoken out against Trump often in harsh tones, calling Trump supporters a variety of derogatory names.

About a dozen of the most prominent are members of National Review’s “Attack Trump” Gang of 22, the #NeverTrump crowd, signatories of an open letter written by the foreign policy Praetorian Guard, and individuals who dislike Trump for one reason or another.

I stated my support for Trump on March 5, 2016, the day after Dr. Ben Carson withdrew from the race.  (My support for Carson rested on his proposing the Hall-Rabushka flat tax.)  Since then, several of my colleagues have shunned me, stopped talking to me, looked at me with knives in their eyes, and lectured me that Trump would bring down the Republican Party.   Or, if Trump was elected, that he would damage the economy and weaken our global alliances.

None, not a single one, was willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt in either domestic or international affairs, despite his remarkable success in building iconic hotels and resorts all around the world.

Be that as it may, it’s nice to be on the winning side.

I previously stated my reasons for supporting Trump.  The most important is that it’s time for fresh faces with new ideas to disrupt and replace the same old, same old crowd of domestic and foreign policy advisers who brought us failed, costly foreign wars and a distressed economy.