The Anthem Blues

The Los Angeles Times, a newspaper in a wee bit of economic trouble, recently featured a column suggesting America embrace a new national anthem possibly because the Star Spangled Banner, with all that rockets red glare stuff, may make some sensitive souls feel “unsafe.”

Writer Jody Rosen opined:  “the very idea of a national anthem, a hymn to the glory of the country, feels like a crude relic, another monument that may warrant tearing down. But if we must have an anthem, it should be far different than the one we have now, positing another kind of patriotism … and it would also be neat if if was, you know, a decent song.”

Ms. Rosen goes on to suggest that the new anthem of the United States be a song by the late Bill Withers called “Lean On Me.”

Is that neat, or what?

So, I am envisioning the Olympics, an American has just won a gold medal and, as the honor is placed around his or her neck, the world hears this:

“Sometimes in our lives,
we all have pain, we all
have sorrow.

“But if we are wise, we know
there’s always tomorrow.

“Lean on me, when you’re
not strong – and I’ll be your
friend, I’ll help you carry on …”

Fabulous.  The entire stadium singing along. What a message.  Everyone is safe. Everything will work out.  You know?

Forget the relic lyric “land of the free, home of the brave.”  That’s not inclusive enough!  Some of us are wimps, don’t we have a right to be represented in the national anthem? Talk about triggering!

So Jody’s idea is cool, groovy, and, yes, neat.  But it won’t work.  The lean on me song is too emotional, the anthem must be stirring.  If football players are going to brutalize each other, they can’t be singing “lean on me when you’re not strong” right before the on-field carnage begins.

Therefore, I am proposing that the new national anthem be a tune that cuts across boundaries.  A song that reflects the vibrance of our country.

That’s right, “Livin’ in America” by James Brown is the only choice.

I mean, seriously, how brilliant is this? Remember when Rocky IV knocked the pudding out of the big Russian guy, Drago?

Well, that happened immediately after the late Mr. Brown sang “Livin’ in America” just before the fighters were introduced.  Believe me, Rocky would not have been ferocious had he just sung “Lean On Me

Which is against the rules of boxing, by the way.

So let’s get down with the new national anthem.  Hit it:

“Superhighways, coast to coast, easy to get anywhere … when there’s no destination that’s too far – and       somewhere on the way, you might find out who you are.

“Livin’ in America, eye to eye – station to station.
Livin’ in America, hand to hand across the nation!”

Who needs the War of 1812?  I can tell you, Francis Scott Key would gladly step aside for that.

Also, it would be impossible for Colin Kaepernick and his crew to kneel with James Brown wailing!   They’d be rockin’ in the free world along with everyone else.  Another problem solved.

So let’s do this people!   Take it home, James:

“Livin’ in America, so nice with your bad self.”

“Livin’ in America – I feel good!”




Framing Biden as a Far-Left Puppet Likely Won’t Work

One theme President Trump’s re-election campaign hopes will strike a chord with voters is the idea that, if elected, Joe Biden (who successfully ran as a relative moderate in the Democratic primary) will cave to the pressures of the increasingly unhinged, far-left elements of his party’s base.

Here’s a Trump campaign ad even depicting Biden as a “Trojan Horse” for the agenda of Bernie Sanders, AOC, and Ilhan Omar (arguably the most progressive Democrats in congress):

The narrative was recently bolstered by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, who’s being seriously looked at as Biden’s running mate. When asked about recent incidents of mobs tearing down U.S. historical statues (most related to the Confederacy), Duckworth expressed affinity for the sentiment behind it, but then went as far as to entertain the notion of even George Washington statues being taken down.

George Washington?

While it’s doubtful that Duckworth has any legitimate interest in removing statues of our nation’s first president, it speaks volumes about the Democratic base (or at least an important voting faction within that base) that Duckworth felt she needed to remain publicly open to the idea.

Biden himself recently added to the theme with this tweet:

Many on the right immediately recognized how similar the wording was to Barack Obama’s infamous remark in October of 2008 about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” One can read all sorts of things into a statement like that, including the premise of waging an ideological assault on our nation’s traditions, freedoms, and exceptionalism.

So, on paper, the Trump strategy to portray Joe Biden as a Trojan Horse doesn’t seem like all that bad of an idea. There’s just one problem…

In order for the approach to resonate or even make sense, there has to be an element of the unknown. In Greek mythology, the huge wooden horse for the Trojans was a novelty. It was something the city of Troy hadn’t seen before; something they were unfamiliar with. The mystique surrounding it is what compelled the Trojans to let down their guard… and ultimately pay the price for that decision.

Joe Biden isn’t a novelty. He’s not a shiny new, mysterious object. He’s not even unfamiliar. Americans know him, or at least they feel like they do. After all, he was our nation’s vice president for eight years (and a longtime U.S. senator before that), and during that time virtually no one viewed him as ideologically radical or scary.

Bumbling? Yes. Occasionally creepy? Sure. But radical? The only people who would have thought so were those on the right who view all Democrats as radical, and therefore would never consider voting for him in the first place.

Last week, David Weigel pointed out something rather interesting in the Washington Post:

“By this point in 2016, the conservative publisher Regnery was selling eight books about Hillary Clinton; by this point in 2012, it was selling 13 books about Barack Obama. The publisher is offering just one book about this year’s nominee, the upcoming “The Biden Deception,” which asks whether Biden is a “crypto-socialist.” That’s it, and no other books critical of Biden, specifically, are being published right now.

This would seem to be a rather valuable metric in regard to Biden’s public image, and the challenges pro-Trumpers face in their efforts to make him frightening. If Bernie Sanders were the presumptive Democratic nominee, you can bet there’d be lots of such titles in the works right now.

Additionally, while Biden has embraced some pretty progressive themes, he has also publicly rejected a lot of popular far-left sentiment that Republicans were assuredly hoping he’d take the bait on. He has rebuffed calls to “defund the police,” he didn’t endorse the New Green Deal, he has voiced opposition to single-payer health care, and he recently promised that fracking “is not going to be on the chopping block” if he’s elected. He also did what Senator Duckworth had trouble doing: call for the protection of statues memorializing our founding fathers.

Could he be lying about all of those positions, and change them the moment he’s elected? Absolutely. But it’s awfully difficult to define a politician with views he’s publicly and actively rejecting.

It’s also hard to define a candidate by his political and even personal associates, as the GOP learned when promoting Barack Obama’s very real ties to Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. Sure, Joe Biden isn’t half the candidate that Obama was… but an endorsement from someone like Bernie Sanders also isn’t half as concerning (to most people, anyway) as friendships with a domestic terrorist and a 9/11-taunting pastor who shouted “God damn America.”

As far as Biden’s abstract vow to “transform” America, it was certainly a provocative statement. But Obama (who most people think of as being more liberal than Biden) wasn’t hurt politically when he said the same thing. And at a time when the country is suffering from the crippling effects of a global pandemic, transformation may strike a lot of people as meaning something entirely different than an ideological agenda. It might even mean something hopeful; there’s a lot of political flexibility that comes with such vague rhetoric.

Trump and the GOP are certainly well within their rights to portray Biden as a closet radical, or a puppet of more easily identifiable radicals. If there’s enough campaign money, it’s probably worth the try. And if Biden wins, maybe his opponents will be proven right.

But prior to election night, I suspect it will be an awfully hard message to sell to persuadable voters.

Order John A. Daly’s novel “Safeguard” today!

 




5 Arguments Against ‘America Is a Racist Country’

The left-wing charge that America is a racist country is the greatest national libel since the Blood Libel against the Jews. America is, in fact, the least racist multiracial, multiethnic country in world history.

Neither the claim that America is a racist society nor the claim that it is the least racist country can be empirically proven. Both are assessments. But honest people do need to provide arguments for their position. I have found every argument that America is racist, let alone “systemically” racist, wanting. For example, the police almost never kill unarmed blacks, and on the rare occasions they do (about 15 times a year), there is almost always a valid reason (as in the infamous 2014 case in Ferguson, Missouri); police kill more unarmed whites than blacks; the reason there are proportionately so many more blacks in prison is that blacks disproportionately commit violent crimes; and so on.

There are very powerful arguments against the charge that America is a racist society.

I offered one in my column last week:

No. 1: If there is so much racism in America, why are there so many false claims of racism and outright race hoaxes?

I offered 15 recent examples. Moreover, there were probably no racist hoaxes when America really was racist, just as there were no anti-Semitic hoaxes in 1930s Germany, when there was rampant anti-Semitism. You need hoaxes when the real thing is hard to find.

No. 2: The constant references to slavery.

If there were a great deal of racism in America today, there would be no reason to constantly invoke slavery and the Confederacy. The very fact that The New York Times, the leader in racist dishonesty, felt it necessary to issue its “1619 Project,” which seeks to replace 1776 as the founding of America with 1619, when the first African slaves arrived in America, is a perfect illustration of the point. The fact that “The 1619 Project” was labeled false by the leading American historians of that era (all of whom are liberals and at least one of whom led a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump) adds fuel to the argument. Even regarding the past, the promoters of the “America is racist” libel need to lie to paint America as bad as possible.

No. 3: The reliance on lies.

“The 1619 Project,” which will now be taught in thousands of American schools, is based on lies. All Americans who care about America and/or truth should inquire if their children’s school will teach this and, if so, place their child in a school that does not.

Two of the biggest lies are that preserving slavery was the real cause of the American Revolution and that slavery is what made America rich.

Even the charge of endemic racist police brutality is a lie. There are undoubtedly racist police, but racism does not characterize police interactions with blacks.

No. 4: The large African immigration to the United States.

Nearly 2 million black Africans and more than 1 million blacks from the Caribbean have emigrated to the United States in just the last 20 years. Why would so many blacks voluntarily move to a country that is “systemically racist,” a country, according to the promoters of the “America is racist” libel, in which every single white is a racist? Are all these blacks dumb? Are they ignorant? And what about the millions more who would move here if they were allowed to? How does one explain the fact that Nigerians, for example, are among the most successful immigrant communities?

No. 5: The preoccupation with “microaggressions.”

According to the University of California’s list of racist “microaggressions,” saying, “There is only one race, the human race,” is a “racist microaggression.” This is, of course, Orwellian doublespeak. Anyone who believes there is only one race is not, by definition, a racist. If everyone in the past had believed there was one race, the human race, there would never have been racism, let alone a slave trade based on racism.

The very fact that the left came up with the intellectual farce known as “microaggressions,” like the race hoaxes, proves how little racism there is in America — because the entire thesis is based on the fact that there are so few real, or “macro,” aggressions.

The race riots, the ruining of people’s careers and lives over something said or done at any time in their lives, the ruining of professional sports (especially basketball and football), the tearing down of America and its history, the smearing of moral giants like Abraham Lincoln — all of this is being done because of a lie.

As I wrote in a column three years ago: “The Jews survived the Blood Libel. But America may not survive the American Libel. While the first Libel led to the death of many Jews, the present Libel may lead to the death of a civilization. Indeed, the least oppressive ever created.”

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” came to theaters fall 2019. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, Jul 13, 2020 18:25:52 -0700




Backlash

You may remember Patty Hearst, the heiress who was kidnapped by a radical left terror organization known as the Symbionese Liberation Army back in 1974.  During her confinement, Ms. Hearst somehow became a victim of “Stockholm Syndrome” and began sympathizing with her captors.

So I am wondering if Joe Biden is visiting Stockholm as well.  His recently released “platform” reads like a socialist manifesto, and Bernie Sanders is running around saying Mr. Biden enthusiastically embraces the progressive agenda.  After months of confinement in his basement, “moderate” Joe has somehow morphed into Che Guevara.

Enter Professor Helmut Norpoth, who teaches political science at Stony Brook University on Long Island.  Despite almost every poll saying Biden is well ahead of Trump, Dr. Norpoth is predicting that the President will win re-election with a 91 percent certainty.

Norpoth is not a poll guy.  He uses a “model” that has successfully called five out of six presidential elections since 1996.  The model only missed the George W. Bush victory over Al Gore, which was decided by the Supreme Court.

Dr. Norpoth not only says Mr. Trump will win, but also predicts it will be a landslide with the President receiving 362 electoral votes. Trump won 304 in 2016.

With more than three months until the vote, some skepticism about Norpoth’s “model” may be appropriate but the professor, himself, is a true believer.  He says he discounts all public opinion surveys and bases his conclusions on “enthusiasm” for each candidate.

We’ll see, professor.

But bolstering the Trump victory prognostication is a new poll done for The Sunday Express newspaper in London, England.  It asked this question: “Are you strongly or very enthusiastic about your choice of candidate?”

Trump voters 77 percent.
Biden voters 43 percent.

Now, I don’t believe the polls mean much until mid-October but this election year is bizarre, to say the least.  Covid has engendered deep fear but not as much as the social disorder spearheaded by the radical left.

And here is the crucial point.  Americans don’t want violent crime causing blood in the streets.  Most of us don’t support defunding the police, or approve of anarchists destroying our history and “occupying” public spaces.  Many of us despise the “cancel culture” and the assault on freedom of speech the cancel fascists embrace.

President Trump is making his opposition to those things a central campaign issue.

Joe Biden is not.

I believe there is a fierce backlash brewing against the radicals.  Again, most Americans loathe this crew.

If Mr. Biden understands that, he has made no indication of it.

But then again, they build those basement walls thick in Delaware.




Four Years Later, Could “Trump TV” Be the End Game?

In the final months of the 2016 election, when Hillary Clinton was consistently leading in the polls and just about everyone believed she would become our next president, rumors were swirling that Donald Trump was already making post-election plans. Those plans didn’t include the White House, but rather the creation of a new cable-news network called “Trump TV.”

It wasn’t just baseless Internet gossip. Jared Kushner was quite vocal about the idea, having recognized the huge ratings and crowd sizes his father-in-law was drawing. Kushner reportedly went as far as discussing the venture with serious players in the media business. Fox News commentators, including some who were pretty tight with Trump, even mused about the premise on-air, coyly suggesting that Trump himself had approached them about it.

While it’s highly doubtful that Trump TV was the plan from the start, a number of Trump associates (including some involved with his campaign) later claimed that the presidential run began as an elaborate publicity stunt for the Trump brand — a stunt that got carried away when the media circus that surrounded it led to very real political momentum.

Had Trump lost in 2016, that momentum could have laid the foundation for the network he had in mind. Famously obsessed with attention and ratings, he had already proven that there was a huge, sustainable appetite for his particular political brand of grievance-stoking, identity-driven bravado. From a competitive standpoint, he had also demonstrated that he could turn loyal, longtime Fox News viewers against popular on-air figures at the network, including Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer.

Monetizing the movement he created would have made perfect sense, especially for a businessman of Trump’s ilk.

But Trump didn’t lose. To the surprise of many (including himself), he became president. And Fox News took best advantage of the audience he’d forged by increasingly catering to it, and largely morphing into what was likely the vision for Trump TV.

Four years later, Trump’s in a similar situation. Election night is just a few months away, and as he runs for the presidency (this time as the incumbent), his numbers are looking even worse than the first time around (including in key swing-states). But even as the country struggles through a health crisis (that has killed more than 130,000 Americans) and an economic crisis (with millions out of work), this is the type of stuff our president is still expressing concern about on Twitter:

Stoking pointless culture battles and griping about the media treating him poorly… It’s as if nothing has changed.

While Trump’s rhetorical style and endless list of grievances have long been more exhibitive of a cable-news commentator (or angry call-in listener) than an elected official, there’s something interesting about that second tweet. It includes a narrative that Trump has spent quite a bit of extra time on in recent months: the notion that Fox News has “changed” and that it is becoming part of the “Fake News” media he regularly complains about.

Here are another couple of examples:

In case you haven’t noticed, Trump has a habit of evoking dead individuals (who aren’t around to defend themselves or correct the record) to make certain points about people in the media he doesn’t like. He has repeatedly referenced the legacy of Mike Wallace to attack his son, Chris, and we of course remember him disgracing the memory of Lori Klausutis to go after Joe Scarborough.

Lately, he’s been throwing around the name of Roger Ailes, the late former CEO of Fox News, to suggest that the network (without Ailes’s leadership) has become hostile toward him.

Of course, that’s ridiculous. As accommodating to Trump as Fox News had become by July of 2016 (when Ailes was given the boot), the servility paled in comparison to the slobbering love-fest that followed and continues to this today on the network. It’s not even close.

Under Ailes, there was still a number of prominent conservative commentators at Fox who pushed back against Trumpism on a regular basis (even though a lot of viewers didn’t like it). These days, hardly any do… and that’s because the network responded to what the increasingly tribal base wanted.

So, what’s Trump talking about when he complains about Fox turning on him? Could it be that he became so spoiled by years of cheerleading at the network that he, over time, grew more sensitive to the few dissenting voices that remained?

Maybe. Another theory, that doesn’t necessarily have to be exclusive from the first one, is that he’s seeing some writing on the wall in regard to November. Perhaps he’s burned out on the pressures of the job (who could blame him?), looking at his terrible poll numbers, and already thinking about what he wants to do post-presidency… should he lose.

If so, it would seem that he’d be in a far better position to make Trump TV a reality than he was four years ago. If Biden wins, all Trump would have to do is blame his loss on the “Fake News” (including Fox), and vow to “Make the Media Great Again” with his own network. His loyal fan-base would assuredly follow him.

It’s really not that hard to visualize.

Rather than cover and analyze big news stories, Trump TV hosts and contributors could spend all their time on topics like sports players kneeling for the nation anthem, television ratings, the deep state, the War on Christmas, liberal protests, far-left academia, celebrities saying crazy stuff, and the terribleness of the New York Times, CNN, Jeff Bezos, and Mitt Romney. You know, the cultural and personal conflict-type stuff that Trump really enjoys talking about.

There wouldn’t have to be any hard news at all… Not even breaking news. Just animated bar talk, and people griping about stuff.

And really, I can’t imagine Trump would have a lot of trouble finding individuals to fill those roles, being that so many right-wing pundits have adopted Trumpism as the near totality of their brand over the past four or five years. I’m thinking current Fox News contributors like Dan Bongino and Mollie Hemingway, former Fox News hosts like Eric Bolling and even Bill O’Reilly, and past and present members of Trump’s administration and campaign, like Sarah Sanders, Corey Lewandowski, and Kellyanne Conway.

Maybe Lou Dobbs could even do brief, Andy Rooney style monologues, where he ponders various problems that Trump could have easily solved, had illegal immigrants not conspired to hand Joe Biden an illegitimate electoral victory.

I’m being a bit facetious here, but I’m guessing you catch my drift.

Even if Trump loses in November, his brand will continue on. His voice will remain mega-phone loud, and his base will continue to eat up every word. And if you don’t think Trump has a post-election contingency plan for keeping himself in the limelight, feeding his own ego, and making money off it, I dare say you haven’t paid close enough attention to the man.

Order John A. Daly’s novel “Safeguard” today!