Where Does It Fit in History?

Whew! It’s finally over.

We’ve survived yet another election cycle with all the now-all-too-familiar and ubiquitous yard signs, robo calls, radio and TV ads, pollaganda, and even the post-election gloating, bloating, and spinning. But this post is not about the election, at least not this election per se. Rather, it’s about other elections and how this one compares historically.

Perhaps the biggest news from the election was the Republicans’ loss of control of the U.S. House of Representatives to the Democrats. Being attuned to most things historical, I naturally wondered about the significance of that turnover. Where does it fit into all previous shifts in power in the House? Here’s what my subsequent research revealed.

Since 1914, during 21 midterm elections, the party that held the White House typically lost seats in the House and the Senate. That has been the norm, and it’s happened to both parties. It’s what’s become expected. So when it does happen, it should result in no surprise by observers. Those losses in the House ranged from as little as 4 in 1962 (when John Kennedy was president) to as much as 77 in 1922 (when the corruption-plagued Warren Harding administration was in the White House). Losses in the Senate ranged from a low of 1 in 1990 (when George H.W. Bush was president) to a high of 12 in 1958 (when Dwight Eisenhower was president).

Only twice in all those years did the party controlling the White House gain seats in the House. In 1934 (when Franklin Roosevelt was president), the Democrats gained 9 seats in the House. In 2002 (with George W. Bush in the White House), the Republicans gained 8 seats in the House. In both of those instances, the party int he White House also added seats in the Senate. In 1934, the Democrats picked up 9, and in 2002, the Republicans picked up 1.

During the same period (1914-2014), the party occupying the White House twice added seats in the Senate despite losing them int he House. In 1914, under Woodrow Wilson, the Democrats picked up 3 Senate seats but lost 61 in the House. In 1962, under JFK, they gained 4 in the Senate but lost 4 in the House. In 1970, with a pre-Watergate Richard Nixon as president, Republicans gained 2 Senate seats while losing 12 in the House.

So, looking at the most recent results in the light of the historical record, what do they mean? With Republican Trump in the White House, the Democrats retook the House, gaining __27___ seats (preliminary result, awaiting conclusive outcomes in a handful of races), while the Republicans added __3__ to their Senate majority. These results are not remarkable in light of history. It was about the average gain made by the opposing party in the last 21 midterm elections. (What would be unusual would be if they had lost seats or gained fewer.) And that is significant because it has happened only 3 times before.

And what does all this mean for the future?

If both parties continue as they have been behaving, it will mean more gridlock: frustration, anger, resistance, and driving of more good, qualified, principled people from public service. Nothing good will be achieved and much evil may result, even if unintended. (After all, to do nothing actually is doing something, and ideas and actions, or inaction, all have consequences.)

If the politicians will start thinking about what is best for the country and its future (what a novel idea!), instead of only themselves, their party, and their cronies and how they can gain (or retain power)–well, only time will tell. I’m not holding my breath.

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Could This Explain the Mess We’re In?

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recently released the results of a study it conducted concerning American voters’ knowledge of their history. What they reveal is downright scary as we approach the 2018 mid-term elections. But, be that as it may, they also help to explain why our nation is in its current situation of political polarization and the precipitous decline in the tone of politics in the last twenty-five to thirty years.

At the heart of the study is the U.S. citizenship test of basic facts about our nation’s history. Among the findings of the study are these:

Only 1 in 3 Americans can pass the citizenship test, which requires only a score of 60 percent. Most of those in the study didn’t score even that low grade.

72 percent couldn’t correctly identify the original 13 colonies.

Less than one-quarter knew why the colonists had fought the British in the first place.

Double-digit percent thought that Dwight Eisenhower fought in the Civil War. Some even thought he was a Vietnam-era general.

Only 19 percent of the people aged 45 and under passed the test.

(You can see a full report at https://fee.org/articles/americans-are-woefully-uneducated-about-basic-history/?utm_campaign=FEE%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=66688242&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–4U_RPR4hYyXCurJUpBhzlwO4b8EksI9bD2wwH-4WqVi2L9HQWpt9jx4mL08sYbjJsyOExXbU7O-zm3I10dBiHdVt72Q&_hsmi=66688242.)

These results are not just embarrassing for a nation that has the greatest access to education and that spends substantially more on education than most of the other developed countries of the world. They’re critical to any effort by freedom-loving people to preserve what is left of our American freedoms. They represent an ominous omen for our national future.

This is why I’m not too thrilled with massive voter registration drives. Freedom requires INFORMED voters, not just large numbers of voters. Some politicians intentionally use such drives to flood the polls with uninformed and therefore gullible voters. They also appeal to the electorate’s emotions sparked by incidents without any regard for reason and logic about real foundational issues. Many such voters won’t even know who is running for which offices until they walk in the door of their polling place and glance at the sample ballot posted there. Furthermore, if they don’t know their history or their constitution, demagogues both journalistic and political can promise them the moon, and many of them will believe and vote for the imposters. Before such voters even realize that they have been enjoying freedom, they will lose it.

Sincere lovers of freedom do not call for blind patriotism or mindless ritualism. They want an informed patriotism and civil civic dialogue about real issues. Demagogues know, however, that they cannot win in a contest of logic with informed voters.  That’s why we’re seeing today the development of a mindless mob mentality.

 

The Origins and Proper Observance of Patriots’ Day

All of us who are old enough to remember the event, remember where we were and what we were doing when we first heard the news of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. (The scary part, to me, is that an entire generation does not remember!) I was editing a book manuscript for a client when my sister called and tersely said, “Turn on your TV. Just turn on your TV.”

Three days after the attacks, while Americans were still trying to come to grips with what had happened to our nation, President George W. Bush called for a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States. On October 25, 2001, Representative Vito Fossella (R-NY) introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives. It was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats, and it passed the House by a vote of 407-0. (Amazingly, 25 members–17 Republicans and 8 Democrats–did not vote, apparently unable to decide which side they were on!) The resolution passed the Senate unanimously on November 30. And the first official commemoration of Patriots’ Day was observed the following September 11, 2002.

In the attacks, 2,977 innocent people died in the Twin Towers, 189 in the attack on the Pentagon, and another 37 in the thwarted attack in which the plane crashed in Shanksville, Pa. Since the attacks, the United States has waged the longest war in American history, 17 years. An entire generation of children have grown up in a country engaged in constant warfare.

Twenty percent of active duty military personnel have been deployed in some aspect of this war three or more times. More than 50,000 have been deployed four times. I’ve heard a report of one Marine who finally retired after his sixth deployment into a combat zone. The average deployment has been 7.7 months with an average time between deployments of 21 months. A lot can happen to a family in 7-8 months. Babies are born. Infants grow up. Fathers are absent, and mothers must somehow cope. Bills pile up. Homesteads deteriorate for lack of strong hands to maintain them. Marriages suffer.

Those are individual losses that families of deployed military personnel incur. Even greater in magnitude is the loss suffered by the nation as a whole.

Etched in my mind from the September 11, 2001, attacks is the image of members of Congress from both parties standing shoulder to shoulder and singing “God Bless America” on the steps of the Capitol. They were apparently united, much as the nation’s leaders united following the Pearl Harbor attack and throughout World War II.

But that image is only a memory today. A quick glance at Congress today, and one would never know it was the same group of people or that they were united on anything, let alone the mutual desire to protect our freedoms. What has happened? Political charade, hypocrisy, and insanity!

Collectively, we, the American people, and especially our politicians, have forgotten not only what brought them together that day but also, more generally, what made and makes America what it is. To look at them today, one from another planet would never know that we have thousands of service personnel engaged in battle to the death against an enemy that is set on destroying not just our troops who oppose them but our very way of life. The politicians bicker and fight for power, willing to sacrifice everything to obtain it. And the media love to have it so. Together, they are making a shambles of America. They call good evil and evil good. Corporate America celebrates millionaire athletes who deplore America and desecrate its symbols and who hypocritically cry about how they’ve been mistreated by the American system. And they ignore or downplay the true sacrifices made by the American military personnel and their families.

Yes, thousands upon thousands of military personnel and their families have made and continue to make sacrifices. Nearly 7,000 of those sacrifices have been the lives of military personnel given in service to one of the multiple operations conducted during the war. Sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, cousins and nephews, etc. Men like Pat Tillman, Chris Kyle, and Justin Peterson.

And then there are the families of service personnel who have endured multiple deployments. Fathers who missed the births of their children, the infant years of growing up, the important events of the teen years. The physical sacrifices of lost limbs and other physical injuries. And poor service members who will continue to suffer from the often unseen and less often diagnosed or understood mental and psychological wounds of PTSD. These, not politicians, are the real heroes.

As we commemorate Patriots’ Day this year, let’s truly honor the memories of the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks and of those who later sacrificed all and help those who sacrificed physical and mental health and loss of family time to secure and protect us.

And the best way of honoring those sacrifices is to be adult Americans who are more serious about preserving our freedoms than spoiled, temper-tantrum-throwing two-year-olds whose sole interests are griping about what’s wrong with America and gaining political power.

 

 

The Wit and Wisdom of Will Rogers

This week marked the 83rd anniversary of the death of one of America’s most practical, down-to-earth, common-sense “philosophers,” Will Rogers. Born on November 4, 1879, in Cherokee Territory (what is now Oklahoma), Rogers was a Cherokee Indian with a charming wit with touch of biting sarcasm delivered with a smile that melted even those who were the brunt of his jokes. Purportedly a Democrat in politics, he was decidedly an equal-opportunity offender with his humor, dishing it out to both parties alike. The people loved him for his common-sense approach to life and were devastated when he died, along with pilot Wiley Post, in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska, on August 15, 1935.

Here are some of his one-liners that are among my personal favorites. They are as true today as they were when he quipped them.

 

  • “The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.”
  • “There is nothing so stupid as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in.”
  • “A fool and his money are soon elected.”
  • “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
  • “Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”
  • “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

Rogers didn’t always sling around such country wisdom; he actually got his start in vaudeville as a trick rope artist. That morphed into a routine in which he mixed his rope tricks with jokes and home-spun humor. And that led to his increasingly more frequent political comments. He wrote a weekly newspaper column that appeared in about 400 newspapers across the country. He also had a radio broadcast and appeared in more than 70 movies, including State Fair (1933). He wrote six books and was a frequent guest at the White House.

Perhaps my favorite Rogers quotation is this one: “We’re all ignorant–just on different subjects.”

Think about it!

Copyright (c) 2018, Dennis L. Peterson

 

What Niccolo Gave Us

Yesterday was the birthday of a famous politician whom many modern politicians have, knowingly or unconsciously, imitated in their own careers. Yesterday marked the birth of Niccolo.

By the time he was 29, Niccolo was the defense minister. He so distinguished himself in government service that he soon was given diplomatic responsibilities, which put him in company with many powerful heads of state, including powerful religious leaders. (In those days, religious leaders wielded substantial political power.)

But, as often happens among powerful but fickle world leaders, Niccolo fell out of favor with some important movers and shakers. To rescue his flagging political career, he wrote a book on the characteristics of the ideal political leader: that person was amoral, guided in his actions by only the philosophy that the end justifies the means, and that desired end was power, gained by calculated tyranny, self-interest, and political expediency.

Centuries later, tyrants and demagogues continue to practice the political principles that Niccolo set forth in his book.

Niccolo Machiavelli and The Prince.

And actions that one takes for his own gain without regard for right or wrong or who is hurt are described as Machiavellian.

Some people have alleged that Franklin Roosevelt kept a copy of The Prince on his nightstand and read from it regularly. Accurate or apocryphal, that allegation is figurative of many politicians today, and it is what gives government service a bad reputation. And the practice is not the proprietary characteristic of any one part; it’s a bipartisan issue. I’ve lost faith in all political parties.

We see it in practice from the end of one election cycle (which actually is only the beginning of the next cycle), through Election Day, to the implementation of policy after the victors have taken office. We see it in the politicians’ doing whatever it takes to gain and then remain in power.

We see it when politicians do what is calculated to keep their party in power regardless of right or wrong. We see it in their blatant disregard for and disobedience to the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Machiavellians think themselves to be above the law. We see it in their insistence on making the Constitution an ever-changing document, but changing only in ways that support their particular agenda.

We see it in politicians’ unqualified support of an appointee one day and their stabbing him in the back or throwing him under the bus and lying about him the next. We see it in the fabrication of “facts” designed to promote their own agenda regardless of what the truth is.

Machiavellianism is all around us. George Washington was prescient in warning us not to divide into political factions but to work for the mutual good. Although I was once an avid fan of politics and elections, I strongly dislike them today because of the Machiavellian mess that politics has become.

Where are the true statesmen? Where are the candidates who will engage in serious debate about real issues; who, like gentlemen, behave and speak civilly and meaningfully and constructively; who refuse to sling mud and manufacture lies for the sake of power and personal gain?

Sorry to say, it’s been so long since I’ve seen such a person that I might not recognize or believe him or her if I did see one.

Thankfully, I don’t have my confidence in politicians; otherwise, I’d be totally disillusioned. The Bible tells us, in what I’ve heard are the middle verses of the Bible (but I haven’t counted to ensure that this is so; it has to be close, though), “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” (Psa. 118:8-9). And to solidify that premise, Numbers 23:19 tells us, “God is not a man that He should lie,” implying that man will lie. I think I’ll put my confidence in God, not man.

Sadly, instead of studying, learning, and practicing the moral truths of the Bible, the ultimate guide for politicians, today’s pols have learned too well the lessons that Machiavelli taught. The precepts from The Prince have become their religiously held dogma and practice.

Thanks a lot, Niccolo!

What Would Calvin Coolidge Think?

There are a lot of “what ifs” in history. I happened to think of one the other day while reading a little booklet published by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation (http://www.calvin-coolidge.org). Written by historian Jerry L. Wallace and titled Calvin Coolidge: Our First Radio President, it discussed the role that radio played in helping Coolidge get his message of common-sense economy in government around Congress and the liberal newspapers and directly to the American voters.

calvin-coolidgeAs I read the information in that booklet, I couldn’t help but think of how two other later presidents used radio to get their message before the people. Franklin Roosevelt, however, presented a message that was quite different from that of Coolidge. Whereas Coolidge preached economy, savings, strict accountability of taxpayer monies, and small government based on strict constitutionalism, FDR preached the socialist doctrine of big government, deficit spending, and the welfare state. His soothing, calming voice came in the midst of America’s worst economic crisis, and Americans believed his words. Perhaps more than any other president before or since, FDR gave us the political conditions that have slowly whittled away at Americans’ economic and political freedoms.

Then, a generation later, when Ronald Reagan arrived on the scene, Coolidge’s message once again came to the fore. Reagan preached economy, strict adherence to the Constitution, and smaller government. Unfortunately, although the economy responded to Reagan’s policies, rising from the malaise that had set in under Carter to bring greater prosperity, his administration was noticeably less successful at achieving smaller government than Coolidge’s administration had been.

But all three of those presidents used radio to great advantage. Coolidge pioneered it with his extensive use of radio. (Harding had actually been the first president to address the public via radio in the spring of 1922, but Coolidge capitalized on the new medium, especially using it during the election campaign of 1924.) During his five years and seven months in office, Coolidge delivered more than forty radio addresses, at least sixteen in 1928 alone. FDR delivered his now-famous “fireside chats” during the 1930s. And Reagan introduced weekly Saturday radio addresses (not that many people listened to them!) and he made extensive use of television addresses to the nation.

But beyond the radio theme, Wallace mentions some deeply human things about the people who lived during the Coolidge era. For example, during the 1924 Democratic National Convention, Coolidge’s son, Calvin Jr., died from blood poisoning that resulted from a blister he had gotten while playing tennis. The chairman of the convention interrupted the delegates’ activities to announce the young man’s death, and “a sorrowful moan went up” from the crowded hall. They then adjourned the convention for the rest of the day out of respect for President and Mrs. Coolidge.

Can you imagine that happening by either party today? I rather suspect that some delegates would actually cheer and then use the occasion to politicize the incident. How far we’ve strayed in less than a hundred years!

As I finished reading Wallace’s booklet, I found myself asking, “What would Coolidge think of the political situation today? What would be his assessment of the political environment today?” From what I’ve learned of Coolidge, I suspect that he wouldn’t have much to say. After all, he was a man of few words. But you can be sure that he would not have wanted to be associated with either political party today! Oh that we had statesmen of such sterling character today. Will we ever have such again?

The Malignant Mockers of May

Two influential people were born this week in history. (Actually, a lot of influential people were born this week in history, but I’d like to focus your attention on these two men for the moment.)

800px-Portrait_of_Niccolò_Machiavelli_by_Santi_di_Tito[1]On May 3, 1469, Niccolo Machiavelli was born. (He died on June 21, 1527.) Machiavelli has been called the founder of modern political science. Much of his political activity focused on diplomacy and warfare, warfare being viewed as merely another form of diplomacy, or as Clausewitz termed it, “diplomacy by other means”—diplomacy by threats, or actual use, of force. Machiavelli sought to teach others what he had learned and how to apply those principles in the governing and controlling of people and nations. He even wrote a textbook of sorts on the topic that has been read and studied ever since—The Prince.

Machiavellian principles of governing view immorality, dishonesty, deceit, and even murder, if they will achieve the ruler’s desired ends, as legitimate. That is, the end justifies the means. These characteristics, which many people would call vices if they were practiced by the private individual, Machiavelli considered normal politics. In their application, they make up what has been called realpolitick, and they sound very much like American politics today.

Machiavelli also believed that religion was a useful tool for political rulers. An unbeliever himself, considering religion as merely a man-made device, he nonetheless recognized that rulers could use religion to control people and their emotions and actions, thereby ensuring social order as the ruler wanted it.

Karl_Marx_001[1]Also born this week (May 5, 1818; died March 14, 1883) was another man who had disdain for religion but conceded its political usefulness. Karl Marx was expelled from Germany, Belgium, and France for his anti-government views. As a result, he lived much of his life in England, taking advantage of the benefits of capitalism and a free society while writing to bring about its demise. His books The Communist Manifesto (written with Friedrich Engels and published in 1848) and Das Kapital (published in 1867) did much to bring about socialism and communism in various countries of the world over the next several decades. Many liberal politicians, including some current presidential candidates, are still enamored of his opinions.

Marx believed that religion was “the opiate of the people.” Viewed negatively, that statement could mean that religion was used by the evil capitalists to keep the masses dull and passive, promising the people “pie in the sky by and by” while taking advantage of them and keeping them downtrodden and impoverished. On the other hand, the statement could interpret religion as a tool of Marxists to create in the people an addiction that demanded relief and satiation, which the socialists and communists could exploit by promising fulfillment and thereby gain the support of the masses to gain power for themselves. Of course, they could never deliver on all of their promises because Communism is a morally and financially bankrupting philosophy.

This two-faced attitude toward religion—Machiavellian and Marxist—continues today. Liberal political candidates deride conservative candidates’ addressing religious groups as shameless pandering and a violation of the so-called separation of church and state. Yet they think nothing of blatantly promoting their own socialist agenda in black churches or Muslim mosques to gain those groups’ votes. They are willfully ignorant of their hypocrisy.

Similarly, conservative candidates who give no thought to their own exercise of personal religious convictions any other time, suddenly begin using religious vocabulary, and addressing subjects of religion and morality, when campaign season rolls around. Their hypocrisy shows through just as clearly as that of their opponents.

Why do the candidates behave so hypocritically with no apparent shame? They are merely practicing the principles they learned from the malignant M&Ms born in May—Machiavelli and Marx.

Thoughts on the SC GOP Presidential Primary

South Carolinians can now have some peace and quiet for a few months. With the Republican presidential primary now history, they will feel more free to answer their phones without being bombarded with political garbage from not only candidates’ direct campaigns but also unassociated organizations acting on their own. (I at first wrote pabulum but then changed it to garbage. Pabulum contains something of nutritional value, and there was nothing of value in the robocalls that inundated South Carolina homes over the last couple of weeks.)

As I sat watching the returns Saturday night—watching only the race for second place because the media called Trump the winner about two seconds after the polls closed—I found several strains of thought racing through my mind. Here are a few of them, in no particular order.

The turnout was great, larger than any turnout for a primary in recent memory. My wife and I arrived at our precinct polling station about 10 minutes after the polls opened at 7:00 a.m., and the line was already snaking around through the lobby, onto the porch, down the steps, and into the parking lot. Although only one race—the Republican nomination for president—was on the ballot, it seemed to take people an inordinate amount of time to make their decision. We waited in line for half an hour before we–voters 49 and 50–got to the voting booth. At first, I thought that perhaps the larger-than-normal turnout was because South Carolinians were finally realizing the gravity of our national plight and determining to do their part to correct it. But then I thought of the fact that primaries in South Carolina are open; anyone of any party—or no party—can vote in either primary as long as he or she is a registered voter. Later reports from exit polling indicated that as much as 20 percent of the turnout was Democrats! I wonder how much of that cross-over vote went to Trump? We need a legislature that will enact a closed primary! (The legislature is now, and for several years has been, controlled by Republicans, but they continue to refuse to enact a closed primary. Unbelievable! You’d think they were Democrats.)

The blind, uninformed nature of the typical American voter never ceases to amaze me. Trump was clearly the winner, with more than one of every three votes going to him. People listened to his constant barrage of trash talk and vulgarisms—all blather, innuendo, and unsubstantiated suspicion-generating suggestions about his fellow Republicans but no real substance on issues—and still thought he’s a great candidate. They seem totally ignorant of the fact that this is the same guy who just months ago supported abortion, government health care, aggressive use of eminent domain for private benefit, and has consistently given money to support the most liberal of liberals, but somehow they think the leopard has changed its spots. (My personal opinion is that he’s a Democrat plant who is in the race just to dilute the vote, thereby ensuring the selection of yet another losing Republican nominee and a continuation of Obama’s despicable agenda in his Democrat successor.)

The power of endorsements by key political figures is still debatable. Rubio got late endorsements by Rep. Trey Gowdy, fiery member of the House committee investigating Hillary’s e-mails and the Benghazi fiasco; Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina’s first black Republican senator since Reconstruction; and Gov. Nikki Haley, who has popular support throughout the state. As much as I personally like those three officials, I’m not so sure that people voted for Rubio just because any one or even all of them endorsed him. On the other hand, maybe the power of their endorsements gave Rubio the handful of votes that put him above (barely) Cruz.

Rubio is young and articulate and delivers a positive, Reaganesque message. We need a field of candidates who will stop trashing each other and start exposing and reminding voters of the damage that the Obama administration and his liberal minions—both Democrats and RINOs—are doing to our country. Then they need to start laying out the arguments for free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom. Trash and bash won’t cut it. Maybe Rubio is trying. He needs to work harder at it, and the other candidates need to follow that lead. Reprove and rebuke the destroyers of freedom and set forth a clear pathway back to freedom.

Cruz is young, not quite as articulate as Rubio, but, like a good lawyer, can make a solid case for the things I list as necessities in the preceding paragraph. He presents the most compelling, authentic Christian testimony, but he can also come across as abrasive. He needs to keep hitting the issues hard but try to be more positive and less caustic in doing so.

Bush is out—thankfully—so there’s no need to comment on him. If only Kasich would get the message and follow Bush’s lead! Both are establishment boys who are willing to settle for big government lite and unwilling to be sold out for minimal government and maximum individual freedom. It will be interesting to see where their followers—and RINOs like Lindsay Graham, who never met a liberal court nominee he didn’t vote for—put their support now.

Carson has such a low-key demeanor that one wonders if he’s just making an announcement that someone left their car lights on rather than running for the presidency. What he says is commendable, but he gives the impression—whether real or just my perception—that he lacks the “fire in the belly” (as another former candidate, the late Fred Thompson, called it) to be president. Unless he’s actually jockeying for a nomination as Surgeon General, he’s going to have to ramp up his fire if he expects to go anywhere in this race.

The choice and the stakes in this presidential race are clear—if only the Republican candidates would get beyond their bickering and infighting and start hitting Obama-style government with the alternative of freedom and limited government. The choice in this election is freedom or socialism. It doesn’t matter whether the Democrat nominee is Hillary or Bernie, they’re both socialists—Bernie’s just more open and honest about it than any candidate we’ve had since Eugene V. Debs. If the Republicans don’t nominate a true conservative—pro-American, pro-free enterprise, pro-life, anti-big government, strict constitutionalist—the party will lose the race yet again. If that happens, the party may very well be dead as a viable alternative to the Socialist Democrats. Their base of true conservatives may very well bolt.