Sunday, January 20, 2019

Politics And Religion

Previously: Mormons Should Stop Identifying As Republicans

A friend of mine recently left this comment after I posted a sassy meme on Facebook:
"I love you and your theological writings, Rock -but try to stay away from any of your political commentary/sparring for the most part because it 'appears' you are entrenched in Trumpism..." 
That's not the first time someone has advised me to "stick with what you know," but in this case the writer is someone I dearly love and greatly admire. My wife and I were guests in his Utah home for several days a few years back, and he and his wife were incredibly kind to us. So if you think I'm going to light into my friend for that gentle rebuke, you're seriously mistaken. Where he and I are concerned, there is more that unites us that which divides.

Still, my friend's comment got me to thinking that since this blog is devoted to my religion, it's high time I addressed the topic of how our religion properly intersects with politics. I sort of addressed something like this in my previous post, but I didn't touch on the reason why politics must be infused with the proper religious principles in order for discussions in the public square to have any validity.

But first things first: let's get one thing out of the way, and that's this idea that I am somehow "entrenched in Trumpism." Here is the meme I posted that motivated my friend to call me out publicly:

To that meme I attached a lighthearted jab: "It's okay if you're stupid, too, but that doesn't make you either factually or morally right."

Too bad I hadn't seen this three minute clip by Ben Shapiro, because he really pegs what's ailing this woman:

My friend, who to my surprise actually approves of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's scheme to steal the earnings from people she doesn't know, has made an assumption about me that many people are making about a lot of political observers these days: that if you criticize a member of one political party, your loyalties surely must lie with the other.

Here's a novel idea: why not call out dishonesty and hypocrisy no matter which party it stems from? How about not submerging your identity by giving yourself over to a political party? In our everyday lives we are both liberal and conservative, so if we hope to avoid becoming insufferable, we deserve to consciously cultivate that balance of yin and yang in the political arena as well.

I think I made it pretty clear in that last post that I feel it's a mistake for anyone -most notably Mormons- to align themselves with a particular party. When you do that, you will become defensive about your own team, shutting yourself off to the possibility that your party or your candidate might be capable of wrongdoing. Factional loyalty is a sure way to miss out on what's true and what's false in the political sphere.

This prejudice in favor of one party over another is the very definition of partisanship, and blind partisanship toward almost anything-whether politics, religion, or even whether you went to the best high school- will ever be a stumbling block to your search for truth.  The wise will mark you down as a fool and shun your company.

So let me make this clear: I don't support any politicians, no matter how well-intentioned, for the same reason I am not a follower of any religious leaders. I already have a king, Yeshua the Messiah, so I look to no mortal to lead me.

Our scriptures warn us repeatedly that those who trust in the arm of flesh will be cursed. Psalm 146:3 gets even more specific when it warns us to "put not your trust in princes." When the bible refers to "Princes," it's talking about "rulers," which is what a good many politicians today fancy themselves to be: our rulers.

Look, I get enough cursings from people who respond to me on Facebook, so I'm not too keen on invoking further cursings from God. I'll continue to follow politics, but I'll do so with a healthy dose of skepticism toward both major political parties.

This is not to suggest I'm not deeply interested in politics. I am, but mostly for the entertainment. And I'll get back to my feelings about Donald Trump in a minute. First, let's talk about this insanely erroneous idea that politics and religion are supposed to be mutually exclusive.

The Political Philosophy Of Mormonism
Yes, there is a political philosophy to Mormonism. Wanna know what it is? It's this:
"See that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually, for this is the law and the prophets." -Alma 41:14
If that sounds a lot like The Golden Rule, well, yeah.  Here's how Jesus put it in Matthew 7:12:
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
The purpose of the golden rule in the religious sphere is to instruct you on how to conduct yourself so that you will deal justly with others. But that doctrine necessarily operates in the political sphere as well, and the way it does is twofold: first, you're expected to govern yourself in a way so as to not hurt people and not take their stuff; and second, you're expected to keep an eye on those you've entrusted with governing, so you will be qualified to call them out every time they violate that rule.

We can't force politicians to adopt our religious ideals, but we do have an obligation to elect public servants who will follow the golden rule. After all, don't they campaign on those basic principles?   Have you ever seen a candidate for office promise the people that he would not deal justly? Have you ever seen one refuse to take the oath of office? That oath is an oath to protect and defend the constitution, a document wholly infused with the principles embodied in the golden rule.

In those instances where our public servants fail in their obligation to perform strictly in accordance with their oath of office, it is our duty to hold their feet to the fire. They have an obligation to abide by the golden rule even if they don't believe in it.  If you fail in your sacred role of monitoring the rulings enacted by your public servants, you fail in your religious responsibility as well.

The golden rule is so fundamental to good government that every major world religion promotes a version of it. Here are just a few:
"What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow man. This is the law: all the rest is commentary." [Sounds a lot like what Jesus said about this teaching being paramount over all others.]
"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." 
"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire."
"Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful...a state that is not pleasing or delightful to me, how could I inflict that upon another?"
"Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not...Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself." 
"Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you."
"Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you."
 Jainism: "A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated. "
These religious tenets completely infused the societies represented by these religions. So did American society at one time, until the false teaching crept in that religion and politics should be kept separate. Make no mistake, however. Unbending religious dogmas have no place in politics. That's not what we're talking about here. As Mahatma Gandhi (a hindu who also embraced Jainism) insisted,
"Religion should pervade every one of our actions. Here religion does not mean sectarianism. It means a belief in ordered moral government of the universe. It is not less real because it is unseen. This religion transcends Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc. It does not supersede them. It harmonizes them and gives them reality."
"For me, politics bereft of religion are absolute dirt, ever to be shunned. Politics concern nations and that which concerns the welfare of nations must be one of the concerns of a man who is religiously inclined, in other words, a seeker after God and Truth." (The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, R.K Rabhu and U.R. Rao)
I could go on and on quoting Gandhi regarding the importance of including religion in the public sphere. He was quite vocal about it on countless occasions. But you might wonder why I'm quoting a Hindu instead of quoting, say, Joseph Smith, since he is the founder of our faith?

The answer is simple: there are numerous citations by Joseph Smith affirming the necessity of religious principles infusing every aspect of our lives, but very few statements making the arguments Gandhi does. That's because in Joseph's day, there was no need to make those arguments. Just as in the days of America's founders, virtually no one was campaigning to keep religion out of the public square. Back then, it was a given that morality and religion were an essential part of political life. It has been only since the 20th century that some factions of American society have argued that there is no place in politics for principles borne of religion.

To be sure, there were instances when Joseph Smith found religious principles overruled among the political class. President Martin Van Buren, a member of the Dutch Reformed Church with no particular animosity toward the Mormons, still refused to assist them in obtaining justice by way of redress of grievance, for reasons of political expediency. If Van Buren were to help the Mormons, he admitted, he would "go against the whole state of Missouri, and that state would go against me in the next election."
A Peoria Newspaper reported the prophet's stunned reaction:
Mr. Smith said he was thunderstruck at this avowal. He had always believed Mr. Van Buren to be a high-minded statesman, and had uniformly supported him as such; but he now saw that he was only a huckstering politician, who would sacrifice any and every thing to promote his re-election. (Peoria Register and North-Western Gazetteer, April 17th, 1840.)[1]
[1]The Mormons in Illinois, nearly all of whom were democrats back then, helped assure Van Buren's loss to the Whig candidate, William Henry Harrison. So sometimes the universe does bend toward justice.

When Mixing Politics And Religion Goes Horribly Wrong
So why do we so often hear that politics and religion don't mix? Well, that's because politics and religion don't mix.

But religion and politics do.

Allow me to clarify. The political sphere is enhanced by the infusion of just and honest religious principles, such as the Hebraic-Christian principle that all men are created equal. That phrase does not mean that all human beings have equal abilities, talents, skills, appearances, or -heaven forbid- outcomes. It means simply that all men are to be treated equally under the law. That statement is self-evidently true because it is an idea that originated with God and not with men What "equal under the law" means is that no person should ever be given a legal advantage or disadvantage over another. (Leviticus 24:2, Romans 2:11, Mosiah 27:3, Mosiah 29:38, Alma 30:11, etc.)

This was a radical idea in 1775, since throughout most of Europe, as well as the rest of the world, members of royalty could oppress, torture, or kill any of their subjects and never be held to account. By virtue of their bloodlines and the rank they held, these insufferable snooties were above the law. The common folk were not. But in America, if a politician breaks the law, he is subject to criminal prosecution just like any other law breaker, and indeed there are numerous laws in place specifically tailored to punish official misconduct.

Richard Nixon did not believe this. He saw himself as some kind of elected emperor whose actions were above the law. In the famous interview he did with David Frost, Frost asked Nixon about the legality of Nixon's actions. The president replied, "Well, when the president does it, it's not illegal."

He was wrong, of course. He eventually realized how wrong he was and resigned before he could be impeached and put on trial.[2]
[2] Shortly after his resignation, Nixon's successor pardoned him before he had even been tried, let alone convicted, which was kind of odd, since a pardon is supposed to be granted after a person has been convicted. Pardons are also usually granted when a person has been found to be innocent after he's been convicted. In Nixon's case, Gerald Ford did his buddy an unprecedented political favor by pre-emptively declaring Nixon innocent before Nixon had even been formally charged with anything, which has to be some kind of legal precedent as far as I'm aware.  So I guess maybe members of the elite class are above the law after all. 

The mixing of politics and religion goes awry when your political views become your religion. Do you see the problem with political partisanship, when you begin to see your political opinions as inseparable from your religious faith?  When Americans get to the point where they seem to be now, when they can see only the good in themselves, and only the bad in the other party or the other party's candidate, they're likely to either not notice the bad in their own, or to rationalize it away.

This was no more evident than when the majority of my fellow Mormons supported Mitt Romney in his bid for the presidency. As I documented in this blog at the time, Almost every promise Romney campaigned on was antithetical to the core teachings of the religion he espoused. Romney wasn't alone. Since at least the middle of the 20th century, Mormonism rightly reflected conservative American social values. Since the Republican party back then largely reflected those same values, Mormons (who used to be almost entirely Democrats) climbed onto the Republican bandwagon because, after all, to be a Republican meant you were a conservative.

As time went on, the majority of Mormons remained largely conservative, meaning they continued to stand for smaller government and traditional social issues that comported with the teachings of their faith. They still thought being Republican meant staying the course, but by the 1980s, the Republican party was heading the other way. Sorry if this bursts your bubble, but even Ronald Reagan was not the conservative hero the legends make him out to be.[3]
[3] Writes Sheldon Richman in The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan
"Ronald Reagan's faithful followers claim he has used his skills as the Great Communicator to reverse the growth of Leviathan and inaugurate a new era of liberty and free markets. Reagan himself said, "It is time to check and reverse the growth of government."

Yet after nearly eight years of Reaganism, the clamor for more government intervention in the economy was so formidable that Reagan abandoned the free-market position and acquiesced in further crippling of the economy and our liberties. In fact, the number of free-market achievements by the administration are so few that they can be counted on one hand—with fingers left over."

Beginning with Reagan, the Republican party grew to stand for big government just the same as the Democrat party did, with Republican administrations soon presiding over deficits larger than anything the Democratic congresses were passing.  You wouldn't have noticed if you weren't paying attention, because party leaders still hypocritically yammered on about shrinking government even while making it grow ever larger.  By the time George Bush II took office, all pretense was gone, as the NeoCon Statists were the real powers behind the throne. Bush took the country to war under false pretenses, and even some of the strictest constitutionists in the Church gave him a pass on his flaunting of the constitution because, hey, he's one of us.

By this time, false traditions in the Church had supplanted Mormonism's true teachings as revealed by God and promulgated by the prophet Joseph Smith.  In that blog post I wrote about Romney, I documented how Mitt Romney's campaign promises not only were a betrayal of conservative principles, but completely and undeniably antithetical to the religion he claimed to believe in. I heard from a handful of readers who objected to my pointing to Mitt's numerous betrayals, but no one has ever shown me where I misrepresented his positions, or how those positions were not in conflict with the restored gospel. When it came to representing the Mormon faith, Mitt Romney was a wolf in sheep's clothing. He was no more a true Mormon than was the evil and designing John C. Bennett in Joseph Smith's day.  If Joseph Smith were church president today, he would withdraw the hand of fellowship from Brother Mitt Romney.

Nothing I wrote in that blog post was intended to imply I wanted to see Mitt Romney lose to Barack Obama. Indeed, I frequently spoke out against the Obama fraud. But my thesis in this forum was that a Romney presidency would be virtually indistinguishable from an Obama presidency. And I stand by that. If you're curious as to how things would have been for America if Mitt Romney had been elected, you need only examine the eight years we experienced under Obama. Things would have been pretty much the same under Romney, from the continuing escalation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the failure that is the Affordable Care Act, which Romney intended to model after the socialist debacle he had presided over as governor of Massachusetts.

The only difference I can see is that if Romney had been elected president, there wouldn't have been fools dancing in the street because they believed Romney would be making their car and rent payments the way they came to believe King Obama would.

The Trouble With Trump
As I mentioned before, I'm an equal opportunity offender when it comes to politicians. So before I really get into ragging on the insufferable insanity displayed by those on the radical left, let me say a few more things about Donald Trump.

First, I'm starting to like this guy, because I admire a politician who doesn't rein in his thoughts. In fact, because he often blurts things out without filtering himself like most politicians, Trump is very likely the most honest president in modern times. He ain't no tippy-toe diplomat when dealing with his Democratic opponents, and I enjoy watching the left go completely bonkers every time he frustrates them. Donald Trump is the Walter White of politics, and everyone on the left is Gus Fring. Every time they think they've got him cornered and are about to finish him off, they find out he's been three steps ahead of them the entire time. Now that The Donald Trump Show is entering it's third season, I'm really starting to dig it.

Still, there are plenty of reasons for conservatives and libertarians to remain agnostic about this president, and virtually none of them have anything to do with the silly accusations thrown about by atrabilious leftists screeching and wailing at his every utterance. And none of it has anything to do with his being a racist (he isn't), a misogynist (he isn't), or hyperbolic (okay, you got me there.)

Below is an piece by fellow anti-Statist Laurence Vance going down the list of reasons why conservatives and libertarians should be keeping an eye on Donald Trump, and it largely has to do with the fact that in reality the guy is a liberal's dream. If only those on the left would stop taking their cues from CNN and actually examine his record, they might notice he's almost as much a Statist as they are. They'd be kissing his feet except for one thing: he was a liberal who ran as a Republican, and when he won, that put the Democrats out of power. Democrats liked being in power under Obama, and they had every expectation of remaining in power when Hillary took office. Trump put the kibosh on those expectations, and they will never forgive him for it.

Vance wrote the following piece over a year ago, so it doesn't include all of Trumps recent fubars, such as his suggestion that the government should confiscate guns first and then allow due process later. Anyway, Vance opens with this paragraph, which comes close to echoing my own feelings. So if you want to know my current political views, this is pretty close:
"Before continuing I should state for the record that am not part of the “Never Trump” movement, that I despise the news media, that I would like to see America be made great again, and that I loathe Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders with every cell in my body. I did not vote for Trump, but that is because I don’t vote for anyone not named Ron Paul."
He then goes on to dissent from the conservative love fest over Donald Trump.  Enjoy

As I've pointed out many times before, the only political philosophy consistent with Mormonism is the libertarian philosophy -not to be confused with the Libertarian party, which is a political party, not a philosophy. That's why I recommend you read Vance's entire piece to see whether or not you think Trump's political philosophy is any more consistent with Mormonism than modern conservatism has become. We already know modern Leftism is completely off the rails, but you might also want to think about whether the so-called "party of conservatism" is still worth aligning with.

And while you're at it, here's some recent articles from principled libertarians questioning whether Trump is actually in control of his own presidency. (Hint, I wouldn't bet on it. Every presidency -both Republican and Democrat- at least since FDR has been hijacked by what the Book of Mormon refers to as "secret combinations," men who combine in secret for the purpose of obtaining power and gain at the expense of the people's liberties.)

Trump's Neocons

Trump Walks Back The Syria Pullout

Trump, JFK, And The Deep State

And Now For The Fun Part
Sorry I made you wade through all that exposition, but I needed to put you through that to get you to here. The best -maybe the only- reason for following politics at this particular junction in our nation's history is BECAUSE IT'S FINALLY STARTING TO BE FUN! Those who would use the power of the State to impose their will on everyone else are, in the end, reduced to chirping nobodies put here to entertain the rest of us with their arrogant bleating.

Yeah, I know I said all that stuff about paying attention and holding elected official's feet to the fire, and I meant it. But let's face it, For the time being I'm powerless to make parasitic slugs climb back into their holes, and so are you. Until election season rolls around every two years, there's not much we can do other than point and laugh at the wannabe tyrants scrambling to lord it over us.

You can only vote Representatives out every two years, Senators every six, and presidents every four, but in the meantime you can still have some laughs at their expense. God made Adam that Adam might have joy, but he made politicians so we can all have joy.  Indeed, it may be the only reason those fat-headed egotists have been put on the earth: so the rest of us can chuckle knowingly at their childish hunger for power.

Besides, I don't expect there's anything I can do that will prevent the Statist juggernaut from eventually taking over and causing the collapse of the entire nation. But if things go as planned, I'll be dead in 12 or 13 years, and with any luck the collapse won't happen until after that. Of course, I'll be leaving my grandchildren behind to endure the bleak, dystopian future, but I can't do anything about it. Sorry, kids. Sucks to be you.

Besides, according to the many near-death experiences I've read about, once we've shuffled off this mortal coil, this earth life begins to look like an illusion;  essentially a testing ground where we are given the opportunity to develop our character. This is where we demonstrate our intention to conduct ourselves with integrity. What matters in the end, then, is only two things: 1) that we lived our lives according to the golden rule, and 2) that we pointed the finger of derision at anyone attempting to impose their will on others through force. Thomas Jefferson observed that "resistance to tyranny is obedience to God." My method of choice for resisting tyranny is to make fun of would-be tyrants.

As for those who attempt to use coercion against their fellow humans for the supposed "common good"?  I think they're gonna end up flunking that test.

Meanwhile,  Mizz Alexandria Occasional Cortex continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. Every time she opens her mouth, she makes my day.

Look, I'm not normally one to make fun of the mentally deficient. But when one of them comes out of nowhere and declares her ambition is to force all of humanity to bow to her will, I can't help but make fun of her. Mockery is the only tool I have in my arsenal, and by gum, I'm going to use it. As Mark Twain aptly observed, "against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand."

Something else Twain said:
"Suppose you are an idiot." 
"Now suppose you are a member of congress."
 "But I repeat myself."
Three days ago Mizz Ocasio led a group of other freshman schoolgirls (and a camera crew, natch) all around the capitol building looking for Senator Mitch McConnell, whom she was convinced was hiding from her. She didn't think to let him know she was coming, or he might have given her directions to his office. So she and her gal-pals wandered all around the place without a clue as to where his office was located, all the while letting everyone know how indignant she was that he was eluding her.

Yep. Mitch McConnell didn't know anybody was looking for him, and these Wamen also didn't have the first clue where to look, so the logical conclusion is that the Senator was hiding, cowering under a desk somewhere in fear that she might find him.

I tell ya, it's Comedy gold.

Hilarity aside, here's the problem with Young Miss A.O. Cortez: she has absolutely no understanding of basic economics. Zilch. I'm pretty certain she has never read Hayek's The Road To Serfdom or Henry Hazlit's Economics in one lesson, and I'm willing to bet she doesn't think she needs to. By her way of thinking, these men have nothing to teach her. That's how blindly arrogant she is. And that's also why she's fair game for ridicule. People who want to learn are capable of obtaining knowledge. Those who believe they already know it all will remain among
the dumbest creatures on the planet. And they'll always wonder why informed people are laughing at them -provided they are observant enough to notice.

There's a bonus giggle you can sometimes get when mocking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez online. If you're like me, you'll get accused of being obsessed with her.

Well, I am obsessed with her. No question about that. But there is this one guy, who I'll call Steve (not the same guy who chided me at the beginning of this post), who believed he was making a devastating point against me by posting an article from Huffpost titled, (get ready for it):

"Conservative Men Are Obsessed With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Science Tells Us Why."

I should mention that the thing that triggered this silly idea that conservatives were threatened by Young Miss Cortez was a story fabricated out of whole cloth by the New York Times. A fake twitter account was created that was intended to demonstrate that conservatives were disturbed by a video showing Young Missy dancing for joy. In reality, no conservatives at any time expressed any kind of concern about the dancing congresswoman's video.  Ever.  As John Ward breaks it all down in his sardonic sing-song expose', the whole thing was concocted by leftists who didn't know enough about the conservative mind to understand that no one would care that a member of congress had been recorded dancing as a teenager. But that didn't stop every media outlet in the nation from picking up this fake story and running it with the requisite clucking of the tongue.  The story went industry-wide before any of them figured out they'd been had. Most of them still haven't picked up on the scam.

The whole thing is a telling anatomy of how fake news is created to make conservatives appear loopy and paranoid.

But back to that Huffpost article.  I combed through that piece and found no evidence cited that would tie anyone's obsession with Missy Cortez to any scientific findings. But the author, one Laura Bassett, did speculate that conservative men are probably obsessed with Cortez because they're probably threatened by her.

My advice to Steve is that some people would do well to perform a bit of research before smugly insisting something is backed up by "science" when it decidedly is not. Lauren Southern, who did do her research, demonstrates why it's best to be skeptical of such claims.

I'm thinking Laura Bassett, the author of that HuffPo piece, should have simply asked a bunch of men why they like watching videos of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We could have told her it's because she says dumb things that make us laugh. 

If anyone reading this knows of any conservative men who see A.O. Cortez as a threat, please let me know, because I've never met many real live dolts in person. I'm hearing Cortez aspires to be president some day. Dream on, Sister.  I predict that Little Miss Nobody will be out on her butt within ten years, looking for work and wondering what happened to her dream of governing the next socialist paradise.

Threatened by her? Well, I should smile.

Politics Is For Lovers
Strictly speaking, not everything the lunatic left promotes is politics. Some of it, like that stupid marketing move on the part of Gillette, is propaganda designed to promote social engineering. That sort of thing has its place in the arena of "things worthy of ridicule," but it's not strictly politics. Politics implies the use of strategy or intrigue in the pursuit of power and control.

The current jockeying for power between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi is a lesson in pure politics, and therefore worthy of observation. Other antics of the lunatic left, such as moronic Antifa members attempting to prevent free speech on campus, is not "politics," it's just evidence of the rising idiocracy. But it's still fun to watch those young imbeciles at play, even if they don't represent the ruling class.

This is certainly a golden age of political comedy for those keeping an eye on the ruling class, though. I don't care what you think of a border wall, whether you feel it's urgently needed, or whether you agree with Pelosi's claim that a wall on the
border is somehow "Immoral." Watch the games they're playing with one another and you'll see that for Pelosi and Schumer, their adamant objections have nothing to do with the border wall at all. How do we know that? Because just a few years ago Those cardboard cut-outs known as Schumer and Pelosi, along with Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, were all clamoring for the same kind of border security as Trump is now.

So what changed?

Politics. More specifically, the use of intrigue and strategy over who would ultimately end up with power and control.

Why do you think these leftists pretending to be liberals are digging in their heels over that wall when so recently they demanded this very action? Because if the wall gets funded, that will be seen as a win for Trump. It will represent the fulfillment of his biggest campaign promise, and will very likely translate into his re-election in 2020. That, in turn, will almost certainly result in a majority of Republicans taking over both the house and senate. If Trump gets his wall, the government will be in the hands of the Republicans again for a season. To Democrats, that would be horrible, in spite of the fact that if they're smart and stop pushing the unwashed masses into the arms of their opponents, they might easily win both houses and the White House back again within a very short time.

Because that's how it works. Carter, then Reagan. Then Bush, then Clinton. Then another Bush, then Obama. Then Trump, then very likely some dunderheaded Democrat. And then back again.

The pendulum always swings back. Most Americans have little brand loyalty when it comes to who's in office. They are quite easily swayed by political oratory. But politicians have no patience. They can't think that far ahead. If they could, they'd just chill and wait for the next pendulum swing.

Political power is everything to the ruling class. If they gain power, they win. If they lose power, it's counted a catastrophe for their entire party. For these people who have worked so hard to build up a system that will keep them in power, nothing is more important to them; not even the security of the nation.

"I seek not for power, but to pull it down," Captain Moroni declared in Alma chapter 60, "I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country."

Compare those words to the weak argument Nancy Pelosi gives in her attempt to hold onto power. Did you ever think about why she has tried so hard to force the cancellation of Trump's State of the Union Address? Well, think back to the last one, when Trump announced how well the economy had improved since he took office. When he announced that more black people were employed, that black unemployment had reached the lowest levels since 1972, the Congressional Black Caucus sat on their hands, refusing to join in on the applause for what should have been celebratory news.

Do you think Pelosi and any of the congressional Democrats want to see Donald Trump go on TV and trumpet even more victories that will only serve to make him more popular among black voters?

Not on your life. They're already seeing African-American voters waking up to the fact that even after eight years of The First Black President, nothing changed for them. The Democrat's promises to them have been exposed as hollow. If too many more black people abandon the party, the Democrats fear they'll be out of power for a very long time -at least until the illegals start voting.

Nancy's feigned concern over Donald Trump's safety during the State of the Union is an obvious red herring. Come on, now. We all know she's not concerned about Trump's safety. I can name you a dozen people off the top of my head who would be delighted if Trump took a bullet to the head. Pelosi's concern is merely political. The use of strategy and intrigue in the pursuit of power and control.

I gotta say I enjoyed watching Trump checkmate her just prior to Pelosi and a bunch of fellow parasites embarking on a seven day trip to Europe which would have cost the taxpayers who-knows-how-many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thirty minutes prior to departure, Trump pulled the plug on their use of military transports and personnel that those congressional slugs were counting on to take them on their European vacation. But Trump ruined it by reminding Nancy that the government was shut down and that she should know there wasn't money available for junkets. It's not as if Nancy Pelosi is a diplomat, after all. She's only a member of the House of Representatives, and there's nothing she could accomplish by meeting with foreign dignitaries. That's not her job. The whole thing was a snow job, an excuse to get out of town for yet another taxpayer paid vacation.

Trump also invited Nancy for the umpteenth time to come meet with him and hammer out a plan to end the government shutdown. Instead she was planning her escape from the winter cold of Washington D.C. The best thing about this is that the public wasn't supposed to know about this boondoggle and they got caught because Trump made sure the letter he wrote to Nancy hit all the papers. Pelosi and her cronies understandably didn't want the taxpayers knowing their servants were off on a fully paid vacation at the people's expense.

Busted, y'all.

I swear this woman should have learned by now that you can't corner a guy who has been winning at the game of chicken long before he ever ran for president. This one's not like the others, Lydia. This is Walter White. The one who knocks. He will always be three steps ahead of you.

Here's What I Find Funny
Since my last post, I've been asked by a couple of friends to cite some of my favorite sources for humorous political commentary, so this seems like a good place to share some of them.

There is such a thing as an intelligent liberal
I'll start with one I included last time; not exactly humorous, but chock full of important information in seven short minutes. Let me preface this by saying I have many friends who identify as liberals, and I find them to be intelligent and well reasoned. It may interest some to know that one of my favorite liberals in the public sphere was the late atheist Christopher Hitchens. Naturally we had our differences, but the man knew how to make a cogent argument. When he wasn't opposing religious fatith, he could be spot on in recognizing folly. If all liberals were as reasonable and rational as Christopher Hitchens, liberalism would be on the rise instead of where it is now, sinking into an abyss of incoherent leftist babble.

With that in mind, below is Dennis Prager explaining the difference between leftists and liberals:

I'll admit that one was more informative than funny as promised, but from here on out I'll try to feature videos and podcasters that bring the commentary with a smile.

Greg Gutfeld can hardly keep it together with his description of how Nancy Pelosi's threat to cancel Trump's SOTU address backfired big time. Jesse Watters describes the situation perfectly  "Nancy is petty, but Trump is pettier. Nancy went low, but Trump went even lower." Nine minutes of giggles and giddiness:

You're sure to enjoy this middle-class black woman who has never experienced want, but who is convinced White Privilege is actually a thing. Watch how she tries to "prove" her claim and ends up proving the opposite. 29 minutes of enjoying someone paint herself into a corner she can't get out of.

The Amazing Lucas giddy over watching a leftist squirm after making a fool of herself. 8.5 minutes.

Same story, different podcaster. I couldn't resist; his joy is so infectious. 5 minutes:

Bill Maher; a prig, a slimeball, and a First Class Jerk, but one of the last liberals speaking out in defense of free speech and the one-time liberal concept of tolerance. Worth a look. 8 minutes. (Warning: naughty language. It's Bill Maher, after all.)

Stefan Molyneux tries valiantly to keep from laughing as he breaks down the silly Gillete "Best A Man Can Get" ad frame by frame. 29 chock-full-of-fun minutes.

This next guy is someone who has really started to grow on me. Oddly indescribable, he often shows up on camera wearing a black leather jacket with no shirt underneath, holding a large glass of coffee with a spoon from which he takes sips mid-sentence. If he were to clean himself up and control his constant use of the F-word as an adjective, he could easily be hired as a contributing analyst on any news program. But I have a suspicion he doesn't care about that. He's one of a kind, that's all I can say about him. But if you're looking for astute commentary on the latest social or political dust-up, he's right on top of it with insights you'll rarely find anywhere else. His typical podcast lasts only 6 or 7 minutes, but they're always chock full of cogent analysis. My favorite part is when he's finished. Once he's decided he's said all there is to say on a topic, he stops suddenly, almost in mid sentence, saying, "that's about all," followed by a barely perceptible "peace, out" and then he immediately shuts it down.

(Warning: naughty words. Sometimes lots of 'em. I know some of you read this blog during church, so take this warning seriously.)

There's nothing funny about this final piece, but I consider it essential viewing. This is the way Leftist do-gooders in Ocasio-Cortez's own backyard have succeeded in crushing the working poor.

I could go on, but that's probably way more than anyone has time for.

I'm writing this post on Saturday, January 19th, when Trump just made his announced proposal of a compromise on the border "barrier." Watching that speech, particularly at the beginning, it's difficult to imagine how outlets like CNN can still accuse Trump of being a racist. But I'm sure they'll find a way.

Trump seems to have caught his political opponents completely off guard today, so it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.  So far, the only critic I've seen weigh in is Ann Coulter, who apparently feels Trump has broken his campaign promise. I'm not so concerned, but I'm interested in hearing the buzz. I'm thinking I'll pull up Styxhexenhammer first thing tomorrow.

By the way, I mentioned earlier F. A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. There are two final things I wanted to share. First, at least for the time being you can get a kindle copy of The Essential  Hayek absolutely free by clicking here.  It should contain a decent summary of The Road to Serfdom as well as Hayek's other works.  You can't beat that, since the physical copy is still listed at fifty bucks.  Also, there is an update of sorts to The Road To Serfdom by a different author titled "The Right's Road To Serfdom: The Danger of Conservatism Unbound: From Hayek to Trump."  Here's a short excerpt from the description:
The conservatism that drives the American Right today prizes strong, authoritarian leaders who promise get-tough plans to vanquish problems such as immigration, terrorism, and middle-class stagnation. This focus on temperament rather than on individual liberty, pluralism, and free expression runs counter to the political philosophy of freedom that many conservatives believe they espouse.
He may be on to something. Trump might be the right guy for now, but perhaps next time we can get a conservative/libertarian who's more intellectual; more calm and thoughtful. Too bad the country rejected Ron Paul when they had the chance, but part of me says that was America's last chance and they blew it.

Final thoughts: I don't think it pays to be overly worked up about the fate of the world as long as you're keeping an eye on things. Don't get too caught up in the drama, though; leave the outrage to those for whom outrage is their daily bread. They are the ones who are trying to impose their will on the rest of mankind through force. They are the ones who want to hurt your neighbors and take their stuff. So why not make fun of them?  Who is more deserving of ridicule than those who desire to get profit and gain through deception and coercion?

We are certainly living in interesting times. Enjoy the show. Expose the calumny. Have a few laughs along the way.

That's about all.

Peace, out. 

That's six things, actually.
UPDATE, Sunday Morning:
Looks like Nancy Pelosi made the biggest bone-headed move of her entire bone-headed career.

UPDATE, January 31st, 2019:Laura Bassett, the Huffington Post "journalist" who wrote the article falsely explaining how science proves conservative men are afraid of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, last week suddenly found herself  unemployed along with hundreds of other HuffPo and Buzzfeed purveyors of falsehood masquerading as news.  So...Karma.