The Shame of Communist Hollywood, Trashing Ronald Reagan With Scandalous Lies

The Communists have won in Hollywood, and have rewritten history to discredit President Ronald Reagan, communism’s greatest foe and vanquisher. They’ve done it by eviscerating him in fiction, but calling it “history.”

Some background

From 1947 to 1952, Ronald Wilson Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild. He helmed the organization during the height of the Red scare. The Democrat-run House Un-American Activities Committee sent ten Hollywood actors to jail for contempt of Congress. HUAC was wrong to do that, but Reagan understood the violent strikes and Communist ideals some in the film industry had adopted were dangerous.

He and Walt Disney both hated the violent and strong-arm tactics of avowed Stalinists like John Howard Lawson and Dalton Trumbo, two of the “Hollywood Ten” who are frequently referred to in hagiographic terms as “martyrs” of McCarthyism. But they were in fact Communists or at least sympathizers.

Trumbo is less well known for a script that never made it to the screen: An American Story, whose plot outline, in the words of film historian Bernard F. Dick, goes like this: North Korea finally decides “to put an end to the border warfare instigated by South Korea by embarking upon a war of independence in June 1950.” (In his papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Trumbo says he “dramatized” Kim Il-sung’s supposedly righteous war for a group of fellow Communist screenwriters, including at least two Hollywood Ten members.)

 “American Made”

Fast forward to the 1980’s, when Reagan was embroiled in the Iran-Contra scandal, that featured Marine Col. Oliver North funneling cash for arms to oppose communism in Nicaragua.

This is the playground of fake facts and invented history that the movie “American Made” plays in like a class of pre-schoolers at recess after an all-you-can-eat M&M’s binge.

Somewhere in the background of  the 80s drug war was a petty drug trafficker who was caught by the DEA and turned into an informant. Barry Seal, former TWA pilot, is played by Tom Cruise as a super-secret, jet-setting CIA plant deeply embedded in the arms-for-cash deals and subterfuges of the mid-80s.

According to National Review’s Kyle Smith, the only part of this that’s even close to true is that Seal was a TWA pilot (who was fired in the 60s, not, as the movie shows, dramatically walking off a departing flight because he was “bored” in the late 70s), and he flew drugs for the Medellin Cartel. Oh, and he was caught by the DEA and ratted out the drug lords (who were in turn, very unhappy with him).

The rest is Communist revenge on Ronald Reagan.

How does Smith know this? He reads.

Was Seal being run by the CIA? Former FBI agent Del Hahn, who was involved with Seal’s case and published a book on him, says no, citing Seal’s own sworn testimony and interviews. “There is not one iota of credible evidence that Seal ever worked for the CIA or assisted them in any operations,” Hahn told Vice. But Liman and his screenwriter Gary Spinelli badly need a much stronger CIA connection than Seal’s merely having had spy cameras on his plane during that DEA sting because that’s the conduit they have for bashing Reagan and tying in the Iran-Contra scandal, to which this entire movie is supposedly the back story.

The unhappy end of the real Barry Seal was due to his own dimwittedness. It had nothing whatsoever to do with Ronald Reagan, but the premise of the movie was to show that it did.

Liman’s shoulder chip

Did I mention that Doug Liman, the producer, who has some good street creds (Swingers, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith), is the son of the late Arthur L. Liman, chief counsel for the Senate Iran-Contra hearings? It’s almost like there’s an element of revenge here. Did I also mention that Liman directed “Fair Game,” about the Valerie Plame affair, in 2010? Apparently, Liman–a Jew–didn’t realize his project was about a virulent Jew-hater. But then again, like all good Communists, Liman is an atheist.

Actually, Liman himself is (probably) not a Communist. He’s as opportunistic as any film producer, but he’s got a chip on his shoulder for Ronald Reagan, and wanted to have fun smearing communism’s greatest foe on screen.

“We’re not making a biopic,” Liman has said, confessing that during filming he would dream up on the spot entertaining new exploits for Seal: “Wouldn’t it be fun if we did this, or funny if we did that?” He calls the film a “fun lie” in publicity notes.

Communism wins

In Hollywood today, Ronald Reagan would be blacklisted, just like Nick Searcy or Tim Allen or Jon Voight. In 1969, then-Governor Reagan called out the National Guard to quell riots in Berkeley. Today, Governor Jerry Brown encourages them to riot in the name of “Free Speech” while shutting down speakers with whom they disagree.

They march under a neo-communist banner called Antifa, that many in Hollywood openly praise and fund, with their black balaclavas and jars of excrement and bricks to hurl at police.

In Hollywood, communism and Che Guevara T-shirts are in. Doug Liman is in. Ronald Reagan is out.

In “American Made,” Hollywood invented, Doug Liman produced, and Tom Cruise starred in an entire narrative, complete with a real historical figure, real news clips featuring Ronald Reagan, and real historical events, in order to smear the memory of a dead president.

They have immersed themselves in indelible shame in doing so.

What Obama’s Paris Climate Accord Could Teach Donald Trump

President Trump dismantled yet another part of President Obama’s legacy this week, by removing the United States from the Paris climate accord. Obama’s legacy, largely consisting of executive overreach, cut corners, and half fixes, is once again proving easy to erase. 

When the Paris climate agreement was signed at the United Nations in April 2016, the Obama Administration heralded it as “the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.” The accord is often cited as one of the most important acts of his second term. Prominent presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin listed it as a key feature of his legacy. While the agreement was still being discussed, the New York Times went as far as to claim that Obama’s legacy was at stake if the negotiations proved unsuccessful.

If his domestic regulations and a Paris accord withstand efforts to gut them, “climate change will become the heart and soul of his presidency” [Rice University presidential historian Douglas] Brinkley told the New York Times.

Indeed, the Paris climate accord is now gutted and left for dead.

But my purpose is not to discuss climate change, the merits of the Paris agreement, or the fallout of America’s withdrawal.

I am here to lead the funeral procession for Barack Obama’s pen and phone, and to let their demise serve as a warning to Donald Trump.

During his second term, fed up with Congress, Obama decided that negotiating with the Republicans was too difficult. There was little common ground between the White House and legislature, and Obama had an ambitious agenda he wished to implement.

We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and a phone,” Obama said in early 2014.

That would be a common refrain from Obama for the balance of his presidency. With said pen and with said phone, Obama flexed the power of the administrative state to push his liberal agenda in education, gay rights, immigration, foreign policy, and the environment. Some initiatives were stymied by successful lawsuits, but Obama was largely successful in weaponizing the federal bureaucracy to bypass Congress as much as possible.

One of the most difficult parts of the presidency, particularly during polarized times such as these, is to go about the difficult slog of governing. Developing relationships with congressional leaders, whipping up votes, wading into the weeds on complex policy, making tough decisions to come to a majority consensus: these are the difficult, unseen, and unglamorous parts of governing a nation. The legislative process takes a tremendous amount of deliberation and consensus, as the founders intended.

Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, both former governors, managed to achieve legislative accomplishments by working with a hostile Congress. Tip O’Neill, the Democratic Speaker of the House throughout the 1980s, once called Reagan the most ignorant man to ever inhabit the White House, and “Herbert Hoover with a smile.” Of course, Clinton and former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich never had anything but disdain for each other.

Yet Reagan and O’Neill still managed to pass legislation on tax reform, national defense, gun rights, voting rights, and immigration. Clinton and Gingrich managed to address welfare reform, gay marriage, and taxes.

Unlike Clinton and Reagan, President Obama was a political amateur. He came to office on a tide of speeches and platitudes, but with no real governing experience. His only signature legislative achievements occurred in the first year of his presidency when he had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate.

When the going got tough, Obama resorted to his pen and phone. This was the easy way out. It paid short term dividends, allowing him to make more speeches as he implemented one vacuous policy after another. His supporters claimed victory in the name of progress, while the other half of the country became hopelessly convinced everyday that they were losing their country and there was nothing Congress could do about it. Their only hope to stop the march of progressive tyranny through the administrative state was to win the White House.

In their desperation, they elected another political amateur, Donald Trump. Like Obama, he has no governing experience. He, too, came to power on a tide of speeches and platitudes.

To the extent that Trump was voted into the presidency to undo Obama’s flimsy legacy, the Paris climate agreement is the latest is a string of achievements. Trump has reversed course on transgender bathrooms, immigration enforcement, and other executive actions. With each new measure, Trump, like his predecessor before him, takes a victory lap in the name of progress for his supporters.

The day is coming, however, when Trump will not be in office. A Democrat will eventually be elected, and he or she will be free to reverse (or re-reverse!) every executive action taken by Trump.

The only way to form a lasting legacy is to engage in the difficult work of lawmaking. To set the country on a conservative trajectory for decades to come, Trump and Congressional Republicans must pass major legislation. Thus far, Trump has proven lackluster in his attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare, the only real legislative achievement on which Obama’s legacy can rely. Other efforts, such as tax reform, are struggling to get off the ground.

Almost all legislation will require a few Democratic senators to overcome a filibuster. That will be tough, but it was difficult for Reagan and Clinton too. Partisanship and polarization are not new.

With every new executive action, Trump is shoveling more dirt into the grave of Obama’s pen and phone legacy. He would be wise to assure his successor can’t do the same.

 

That Time I Saw President Reagan

On President Reagan’s birthday, I recall when I had the opportunity to see the man who would one day be recognized as one of America’s greatest presidents.  The year was 1986 and President Reagan had just cruised to a landslide 49 state re-election victory over Walter Mondale.  I was a freshman trombone player in the Hart County High School Bulldog Marching Band.

We were a high school band from a small town in Georgia, but we had a big reputation. When President Reagan came to Atlanta to campaign for Georgia’s Republican junior senator, Mack Mattingly, the Bulldog Band was asked to perform at the rally.

In those days, the Democratic Party was still a viable force in Georgia.  In fact, most local elections in my home town did not even feature a Republican candidate.  The majority of these elections were settled in the Democratic primary with the general election being a mere formality.  On top of that, President Reagan had vanquished Georgia native (and the only president from Georgia) Jimmy Carter in 1980.  President Reagan was not popular with all of my classmates.

The campaign meeting was a large political pep rally at the Omni.  The band played from our repertoire of patriotic songs, although aside from the Star Spangled Banner I can’t say that I remember exactly what.  At some point, both President Reagan and Senator Mattingly spoke.

My fifteen-year-old brain, though interested in history and politics even then, was simply not programmed to pay attention to political speeches.  The only memory that I have of what President Reagan said that day was a joke that he told.

The joke involved a minor auto accident.  The police were called and, while they waited, the drivers began to talk.  No one was injured, but both were somewhat shaken.  One pulled a bottle from his car and offered it to the other to soothe his nerves.  The second driver took a swig.  They talked a bit longer and the first driver offered the bottle again.  The second driver took another swig.  When the police arrived and asked what happened, the first driver replied, “It wasn’t my fault.  This fellow’s been drinking!”  The Gipper told it better than I do.

Unfortunately, in 1986 Georgia returned to its Democratic roots.  Mack Mattingly, who had gone to Washington in the 1980 conservative victories that sent Jimmy Carter back to Plains, lost to Democrat Wyche Fowler.  Mattingly went on to become President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary-General for Defense Support for NATO in Belgium at a time when the possibility of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe was still a very real possibility.  He also served as President George Herbert Walker Bush’s ambassador to the Seychelles.

The meeting with Reagan was my most direct meeting with the executive branch, but it wasn’t the last.  In 1992, I overflew a meeting in Athens featuring Al Gore.  I was in a vintage 1946 Piper J-3 Cub and Gore was holding a rally for Democratic candidate Bill Clinton on a downtown street. In those days before the TSA and Homeland Security, there were no restrictions on overflying political meetings.  If someone tried that today, they would probably be arrested if they weren’t shot down.

In 2002, I was at Emory Hospital in Atlanta where my brother-in-law was receiving a kidney transplant from his father.  By chance, on the same day, President George W. Bush was coming to Emory to deliver a speech.  I didn’t see Dubya, but I did see his limousine from an upper story window as it pulled into the hospital.

The only connection that I have with President Obama is that I was flying through Washington-Dulles airport as a corporate pilot a few days before his inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.  In 2009, the general aviation ramp was packed with business jets and the general aviation terminal was equally crowded, not only with flight crews and passengers, but with vendors selling Obama souvenirs.  There were fewer jets and supporters in 2013. Today, some of those corporate aircraft are starting to reappear and the private aircraft ramps are getting a little busier.

I’ve even seen Donald Trump in person. As a corporate pilot, I used to use the same hangar that this helicopter was kept in at Teterboro airport in New Jersey. We would frequently park next to his Boeing 727, and later his 757, at LaGuardia airport in New York and West Palm Beach, Florida. On one occasion, I even snapped a picture of The Donald as he walked between his limo and his jet.

It was years after my encounter with President Reagan that I truly began to appreciate his greatness.  The book The Great Inflation described how President Reagan and Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker eradicated stagflation that had plagued the nation throughout the 1970s in a few short years.  I was too young to remember the ravages of inflation first hand, but the high unemployment and stagnant growth of the 1970s are similar to the economic woes we face today.  The economic doldrums of the 1970s also have the same cause as today’s economic problems:  government attempts to control and manipulate the economy.

President Reagan’s conviction that low tax rates and simplified regulation would lead to prosperity led to the one of the longest sustained periods of economic growth in American history.  Where the 1970s were a decade of “malaise,” the 1980s became a decade of optimism, wealth, technological innovation, and, of course, ‘80s music.

The economy was not the only area in which President Reagan changed the course of history.  The 1970s had been a decade overshadowed by Vietnam and America’s abandonment of its ally.  America was viewed as weak by its adversaries around the world.  Arab nations punished the US for standing by Israel by launching an oil embargo and raising the price of oil to the unheard of price of $11 per barrel on other nations.  I do remember sitting in long lines to get gas.  The communists were on the march in Afghanistan, Asia, Africa, and Central America.  In Iran, a revolution deposed the Shah and installed the Ayatollah Khomeini while the American embassy staff was held hostage.

President Reagan changed much of that.  President Reagan made it cool to love America again.

Much of the change in attitude came from the Gipper’s pervasive optimism and humor.  Much of it was also due to the fact that he backed up his words with action.  President Reagan revitalized the American military and freed one country, Grenada, from communism with direct action by American soldiers.  American aid and advisors went to other countries such as Nicaragua, the Philippines, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Afghanistan.

The American struggle against Islamic terrorism was just starting and President Reagan fought back.  In 1983, a suicide bomber killed 241 US Marine peacekeepers in Beirut, Lebanon.  In 1986, President Reagan ordered an airstrike on Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya in retaliation for support of terrorists. Terrorist bombings, kidnappings, and hijackings were commonplace.  Americans were targeted, but not on US soil.

The hallmark foreign policy triumph of President Reagan’s tenure was the fall of the Soviet Union.  The US military buildup, including the experimental Strategic Defense Initiative (also known as “Star Wars”), was something that the Russians could not keep up with.  In particular, SDI forced the Soviets to come to the negotiating table.  The Berlin Wall fell in 1988 and the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist in 1991.  Both were after Reagan left office, but he was one of the prime architects of the victory, along with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II.  Just a few years earlier, in Jimmy Carter’s presidency, Soviet communism had seemed unstoppable.

In the twenty-two years since he left office, Reagan’s mystique has even reached the Democrats.  President Obama is on record as admiring President Reagan.  Every Republican candidate are compared to President Reagan, but few measure up.  Reagan’s policies of economic and political freedom would work as well in the twenty-first century as they did in the twentieth (or the nineteenth for that matter), if they were put into practice. The problem is that most politicians just can’t stand to let go of their power and control.

Inauguration Letter: Bush to Obama

Perhaps one of my favorite inauguration traditions as a writer is the Inauguration Day Letter from the outgoing president to the incoming president. While the letters are brief, they capture the character of the outgoing president and provide a source of inspiration mixed with a dose of reality for the president-elect.

We won’t know exactly what President Obama says in his note to President Donald Trump in the near future, unless he chooses to make the note public. But, we can guess based on President Obama’s final press conference and an interview he did with 60 Minutes that two pieces of advice might be that the president-elect should rely on his team (can’t do the job alone) and that “certain norms” and “institutional traditions don’t get eroded.”

There may be some unknowns about the Inauguration Day Letter that’s left in the Oval Office today, but we can look back to January 20, 2009 (thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration) and see what President George W. Bush included in his note to President Barack Obama.

Jan 20, 2009

Bush-to-Obama-Inauguration-Letter
Image courtesy of ABC News and National Archives and Records Administration

Dear Barack,

Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life.

Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.

There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your “friends” will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.

God bless you.

Sincerely,

GW

I had the honor to serve President Bush as a White House Intern in 2008. While the interns don’t get to spend a lot of candid time with the president, there were a few times that we got to see him when the cameras were off. I grew to admire his character the more I was there. He was a man of God – and that’s clearly reflected in his note – not just in the mention of having an Almighty God as a source of comfort, but also in saying that he will be pulling him, despite their political differences.

So when did this whole Inauguration Day Letter tradition start? Like so many awesome things, it started with President Ronald Reagan. President George H.W. Bush shared a glimpse of the note he received at President Reagan’s funeral – the heading? “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” According to President Bush’s description of the note, the stationary President Reagan used showed a group of turkeys trying to take an elephant down.

One final thought – Do you think President Reagan left any jelly beans to accompany his note?

They Still Don’t Get It

Nobody could dunk like Darryl Dawkins. The late 76ers’ Sir Slam kept us entertained in the late 70’s and early 80’s, shattering backboards with concoctions like “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam.” He also wasn’t a half-bad basketball player.

Misunderstood (because who wouldn’t be if they claimed to be an ambassador to Earth from the planet Lovetron where he practiced “interplanetary funkmanship” with his girlfriend Juicy Lucy), Dawkins ended up a small-time community college coach before dying waaay too soon of a heart attack at 58. Or maybe he just went home.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, it’s Friday…and Erick’s in Washington D.C. appearing in one of those CSPAN2 events where lots of words are spoken and nobody wants the camera catching them checking Twitter while the others are speaking. Speaking of that, Janet Parshall, taking the Christian pro-Trump position, did a great job pointing out all the irrelevancies of terrible people becoming president, without giving a single reason why God needs a Trump (like the horrendous Star Trek V Kirk statement, what does God need with a star ship, which I’ll get to later on).

Who’s the Birther?

People didn’t get Darryl Dawkins, but he could dunk a basketball, and he loved doing that more than anything else in the world. Donald Trump loves being in the public spotlight more than anything else in the world, and the Democrats still don’t get it.

Hillary Clinton wants the presidency like Molly Jensen wants Sam Wheat in “Ghost.” Viscerally, sexually, like wet clay on a potter’s wheel and (God rest his soul) Patrick Swayze. Until now, that longing has been cosmically unobtainable, except through some charlatan medium like Barack Obama tossing her a bone at State. As much as she tries to connect with what she was so close to in the 90’s–living in the White House and all–she remains obscenely mortal.

Not only is she mortal in the physical sense–as in dying, but Clinton cannot live down 2008, and may be doomed to repeat it at the hands of the Dr. Dunkenstein of politics. Trump is within the margin of error in the RCP average, and effectively tied in a 4-way race including Gary Johnson and the new millennial favorite, Jill Stein.

So Trump let the media run on Hillary’s health scare, demonstrated his own transparency with an appearance on Dr. Oz while she convalesces, and offered nothing but get well soon sentiments while privately hoping for further evidence of Clinton’s decrepitude. But even worse, as Democrats shriek with horror at the press turning on their Empress (or Precious, or Idol, Goddess, what-have-you), Trump resurrected the Original Conspiracy that started everything and hung it on Hillary.

Trump set up this dunk in late September. Of 2015. It took a whole year to complete.

Then Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications adviser, spoke for the Orange Throne, a mistake frequently made and never, ever safe.

“Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States,” said Jason Miller, the Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser.

A few planetary revolutions later, Trump told The Washington Post:

Trump suggested he is not eager to change his pitch or his positions even as he works to reach out to minority voters, many of whom are deeply offended by his long-refuted suggestion that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Trump refused to say whether he believes Obama was born in Hawaii.

“I’ll answer that question at the right time,” Trump said. “I just don’t want to answer it yet.”

When asked whether his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, was accurate when she said recently that he now believes Obama was born in this country, Trump responded: “It’s okay. She’s allowed to speak what she thinks. I want to focus on jobs. I want to focus on other things.”

But, of course, Hillary’s campaign, in 2008, wrote this in an internal memo:

All of these articles about [Obama’s] boyhood in Indonesia and his life in Hawaii are geared toward showing his background is diverse, multicultural and putting that in a new light.

Save it for 2050.

It also exposes a very strong weakness for him — his roots to basic American values and culture are at best limited…He told the people of NH yesterday he has a Kansas accent because his mother was from there. His mother lived in many states as far as we can tell — but this is an example of the nonsense he uses to cover this up.

…We are never going to say anything about his background — we have to show the value of ours when it comes to making decisions, understanding the needs of most Americans — the invisible Americans.

Silent Majority, anyone? Sounds pretty “America First” to me. Who’s the birther now, Hillary? Dunk.

Panic in the press

Noah Rothman rightly declared panic at the Democrats’ secret clubhouse (located a cozy six stories underground beneath PETA headquarters in Norfolk–because real estate in D.C. is so expensive, and the Trump International just blocks from the White House has ears in the Metro).

“He is playing you guys like a Stradivarius. Dominating news instead of Newsweek story, Trump Foundation,” perennial Republican critic Norman Ornstein barked at the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza. “Pathetic.”

“[Y]ou can ask any question about Trump, Trumpism or anti-Trumpism except the existential ones,” wrote  newly minted GQ pundit Keith Olbermann, “because the existential ones could lead him to stop calling in to your morning show and providing you with your highest-rated hour for free.”

It’s not that Trump doesn’t have enough faults, it’s that he has too many, and has effectively inoculated America to his misdeeds. It’s almost to the point where he becomes a sympathetic character, which makes the liberal press even more apoplectic.

The idea that Donald Trump has not been covered negatively by the press is demented. It’s not that Trump’s coverage has been soft; it’s that there has been too much negative news to cover. From the scandalous Trump Foundation, to the treatment of his hotel employees, to the fraudulent Trump University, and more, the din of scandal coverage is so deafening it’s turned into white noise. Trump is aided by the fact that Hillary Clinton’s own misconduct and ethical lapses render the contrast between her and her opponent a muted one.

Yeah, it sucks when your candidate can’t muster enough righteousness to even fake some outrage, because the race is a turd sandwich versus a giant douche. The fact that the collective media has to brown-bag the sandwich and tell everyone how yummy it is is beyond satisfying to those who are skipping the meal entirely.

The fact is, yes, they are being played. The writer called Publius Decius Mus claimed that conservatives are the Washington Generals (the team paid to lose to the Harlem Globetrotters). In fact, it’s the press who play that role, while Trump is Darryl Dawkins flying to the hoop for another basket.

They still don’t get it.

God doesn’t need a Trump

Erick quoted Star Trek in this morning’s debate about whether a Christian should publicly shill for Trump. “What does God need with a star ship?” asked Kirk of the being at the galaxy’s center who claimed the title of El Shaddai (among others).

God does use bad people to accomplish his plans. He used Judas Iscariot, Pharaoh Rameses II, Nebuchadnezzar, and the Roman Emperor Nero, to name just a few. But nowhere in Scripture is there a call to God’s people (in the Old or New Testaments) to support evil in the ultimate cause of good. The Christian’s call is to means, while the ends are in God’s hands.

If God chooses to use Trump in some unknown way to heal America, then yay God. But that can and will happen regardless of my own vote, and to claim that I am siding with God to side with Trump is lunacy. It’s like claiming that you side with Herod because he accomplished God’s will in fulfilling prophecy. Herod was evil. Only God can turn evil to good purposes. For Christians to claim that we can do that apart from God is heresy.

God does not need a Trump, but we should certainly pray for Trump (and Hillary), that they would be used for God’s purposes, and seek His wisdom.

President Reagan addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on January 31, 1985. He recounted how Ike began the prayer breakfast tradition.

He said, “Frank, this is the loneliest house I’ve ever been in. What can I do?” And Carlson said, “I think this may be a good time for you to come and meet with our prayer group.” And Eisenhower did. In 1953 he attended the first combined Prayer Breakfast. And Presidents have been coming here for help ever since. And here I am.

Reagan repeated a story he had told before. There is power in one name, and one name alone. Those who put their trust in any other name are doing so at the risk of being fools. Let us all be careful that if we get anything–we get that.

It’s a story that goes back to the fourth century. There was an Asian monk living in a little remote village, tending his garden, spending much of his time in prayer. And then one day, he thought he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome. Well, he obeyed the Lord’s command, and he set out on foot. And many weary weeks later, he arrived in the capital city of the Roman Empire at the time of a great festival that was going on in Rome. And the little monk followed the crowd that was surging down the streets into the Colosseum. He saw the gladiators come forth, stand before the Emperor, and say, “We who are about to die salute you.” And, then, he realized these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. And he cried out, “In the name of Christ, stop!” And as the games began, he fought his way down through the crowd, climbed over the wall and dropped to the floor of the arena. And when the crowd saw this tiny figure making his way out to the gladiators, saying, “In the name of Christ, stop,” they thought it was part of the entertainment. And they began laughing. But when they realized it wasn’t, then their laughter turned to anger. And as he was pleading with the gladiators to stop, one of them plunged a sword into his body, and he fell to the sand of the arena, and as he was dying, his last words were, “In the name of Christ, stop.” Then a strange thing began to happen. The gladiator stood looking at the tiny figure lying there in the sand. A hush fell over the Colosseum. Way up in the upper tiers, a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others began to follow. In dead silence, everyone left the Colosseum. And that was the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. Never again in the great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd. And all because of one tiny voice that could hardly be heard above the tumult. One voice that spoke the truth in God’s name.

It may take such a voice above the tumult to heal our country. Even the Romans got that.

Hillary Clinton’s Presidency Has Already Failed

Hillary Clinton hasn’t won the presidential election, hasn’t been sworn in, and hasn’t taken her place in the Oval Office, but should she become president, her term has already failed.

The Democratic Party has failed, because it has hitched all its wagons to a dead horse called Progressivism. Progressivism has failed because it eats its own young like the Jacobins did during the French Revolution.

The proof of this is an astonishing article by Alan Dershowitz, the progressive, liberal Harvard law professor.

The self-described “progressive wing” of the Democratic Party — represented by radical and often repressive organizations such as MoveOn, CodePink, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter — has become openly opposed to the nation state of the Jewish people. Increasingly, these organizations demand that their members and “allies” renounce support for Israel and for Zionism in order to belong. Using the pretext of intersectionality — a pseudo-academic theory which insists that all social justice movements, except those supportive of Jews or Israel, are inexorably linked — anti-Israel activists have successfully made opposition to Israel and support for BDS a litmus test, especially for Jews, to belong to “progressive” movements focused on a wide range of issues.

Progressive Jews have been left behind by the Democratic Party, which has dedicated itself to new underdogs, whose bloodthirsty pursuit of Israel’s destruction is no problem for those who believe in relative morality.

This was not always the case with Democrats, but the Hillary-era has no time for moral absolutes.

Fifty-five years ago, the Democratic Party was the party of social progress, national security, and the spread of democracy around the world. Republicans were the party of business, growth, national security, and a strong defense of liberty from internal subversion.

History buffs might note that both parties favored national security, rejection of Communism and the spread of its influence worldwide. They’d also notice that Democrats tended to favor a state-planned economy with equal opportunity administered by enforced, and many times class-based, rules. Both parties held to a similar moral anchor, however.

When Ronald Reagan left the Democratic Party, he famously said “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party…the Democratic Party left me.”

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”

The Democrats are no longer a party of eternal causes and struggles. In the Hillary era they have become a flavor-of-the-week party. There’s no longer any room for flag-saluting, nation-honoring patriots (except, cynically, on stage, properly leashed and put away until the next event), or Israel-supporting Jews, even if they believe in everything the liberals dish out.

It’s not that the Democrats have evolved; this was a predictable outcome, like a ball rolling down a hill. In fact, Reagan predicted it. Donald Trump is the result of it. (For every Yin there’s a Yang and Trump is the “nothing matters but winning” Yang to the Democrats “nothing matters but me” Yin.).

Nearly eight years ago, Rush Limbaugh said “I hope Obama fails.” Obama didn’t fail to move the Democratic Party far into the weeds of progressivism and post-modern logical fallacies. In doing that, he absolutely and completely ensured that Hillary will fail.

Hillary Clinton’s presidency will fail. She’s spent her whole life preparing for a world absent moral foundations, beholden only to the shifting, gaslighted truths of power. Everything Hillary does will be an anticlimax, as the left devours itself until nothing remains but thoughtless tribal allegiance.

I don’t have to hope that Hillary fails. She already has.

Trump’s Race Is Like Reagan’s…In 1976, not 1980

The day after Mitt Romney’s debacle in 2012, Donald Trump decided to trademark Make America Great Again™, Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign slogan. As much as Bob Woodward tried to pry the “moment” out of Trump, that day has to be the watershed.

Trump thought he’d repeat Reagan’s 1980 primary sweep and subsequent landslide win over President Jimmy Carter. Or at least he’d have some fun trying. He’s right on that point: Trump didn’t have to run for president–his life could be comfortable playing golf and getting a young piece of a**. But for Trump, this race is more like Reagan’s 1976 than 1980.

That year, Reagan was battling unelected incumbent President Gerald Ford, fresh from pardoning Nixon, with Watergate and Vietnam a painful boil on the country’s political psyche. It’s quite a thing to challenge an incumbent, and Reagan nearly beat Ford, trouncing him in the South, Midwest, and of course, California.

It came down to the convention in Kansas City, where neither candidate had a clear majority of bound delegates. There were no John Kasich or Marco Rubio delegates to interfere with a straight first ballot vote, and Reagan lost by a mere 117, just 5 percent, of 2,258 total. In those days, some states still had party bosses, and Mississippi’s Clarke Reed sealed Reagan’s fate.

It’s possible Trump, who fashions himself Reagan incarnate, will do what Reagan did in 1976 and announce his running mate ahead of the convention. It backfired for Reagan; his choice of moderate Pennsylvania Sen. Richard Schweiker is widely believed to be the reason the conservative Reed turned to Ford.

Party politics mattered then, and party politics still matter. Reagan was a maverick, a conservative, and a seasoned political professional. Trump is none of these. He’s an establishment, liberal, political postulant. A dilettante; an amateur; a greenhorn; a rookie. But he does have his gifts, and his money.

The gifts and the money won’t win Donald the nomination. If they do, there’s more wrong with this nation than simply politics. Lena Dunham would know, because she’s part of the culture of celebrity-worship that Trump himself lavishly helped to create. Both Dunham and Trump should move to Canada, and America would be better for it.

Trump thinks he has Reagan’s DNA, but he’s only beclowned himself wearing an ill-fitting costume he has no business trying on.

Where Trump could never (and I mean “never” in the transcendent, eternal, infinite sense) be like Reagan is in the grace department. Watch Reagan’s unscripted speech in 1976, when Ford invited him to the platform in a show of unity.

Trump is running Reagan’s 1976 losing campaign, not his 1980 win. But don’t look for Trump to lose gracefully and return triumphant four years later. If Trump wins, he will win ugly. If he loses, he’ll lose uglier and thankfully disappear from the political scene for good.

Sleep Walking to Ford’s Theatre

The American journalist, William Shirer, who penned one of the greatest books of the 20th century, The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich, observed that no other political party “came close to attracting so many shady characters,” as Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists as they accrued power in Germany.

While the Nazis battled for power, some senior leaders such as Joseph Geobbels and Gregor Strasser, advocated allying with the Communists and Socialists. Both factions believed more government control would solve Germany’s problems. But for Hitler this was heresy. He had won the support of prominent industrialists who opposed the unions, socialists and communists. His financial support would collapse if he embraced his political adversaries. The die was cast. The National Socialists and the Communists clashed until Hitler’s Nazi’s finally gained more power and political influence.

Hitler promised a reinvigorated Germany, and he consistently blamed Germany’s leaders for stabbing the country in the back at Versaille. As the Weimar Republic began its gradual collapse, Hitler’s shadow government was waiting in the wings, ready to seize power. Astonishingly, the Nazi’s never earned a majority of the German vote. Hitler took advantage of Germany’s multiparty system and through assassinations, intimidation and effective propaganda coerced Hindenburg and others to cede political power to him.

America shares some unnerving similarities with 1930s Germany with the existing political environment.

A weak and feckless President has depleted our military, abandoned our allies and appeased our enemies. ISIS exploits our weak national security and immigration system by ruthlessly attacking our citizens in California, Tennessee, Texas and elsewhere. Americans feel unsafe and uncertain about the future. Our economy is anemic, and millions of Americans are out of work. Obama has aggressively destroyed jobs in coal country and refuses to unleash American job growth. Instead, he bows to environmental extremists in rejecting the Keystone Pipeline.

Our countrymen (rightfully) feel betrayed by an out of touch ruling class that has engaged in profligate spending and burdened Americans with a 19 trillion dollar debt. Our politicians routinely lie, abandon promises to constituents and commit political adultery with K street lobbyists. America’s immigration process is ridiculously complicated and in need of major reform. We were promised a wall that was never built. The rule of law is ignored by President Obama, and he habitually ignores and disrespects the Constitution. The major parties have frontrunners campaigning on nationalist and Marxist propaganda. The truth is being ignored by the main stream media, but Americans still have time to rally. Many Christians recognize the division, disorder, deception and hatred from both the Trump and Sanders political factions as the spirit of antichrist. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Instead of building a shadow government as Hitler did in Germany, Donald Trump has constructed a shadow party within the GOP. He’s essentially mounting a hostile takeover, much to the alarm of principled conservatives and the GOP establishment.

The arrogant and out of touch GOPe continually anger the Republican base. Just this week, Mitch McConnell and his minions demanded Ted Cruz kiss the ring and apologize to them for calling them exactly what they are–a cartel controlled by special interests. No wonder Americans are so disgusted with Washington. They understand so many Washington work for K Street instead of Main Street. They’re quite ready to beat the daylights out of these political sell outs at the ballot box.

So the party of Lincoln and Reagan finds itself in a deep trance, sleep walking to Ford’s Theater. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and his sycophants, populists, low information voters and useful idiots eagerly await to do the deed. Many Republicans see the imminent demise of the party of Lincoln but nobody can seem to stop it. The spirit of Lincoln–of freedom–is dying before our eyes. Ted Cruz and principled conservatives are waging an intense battle to disrupt the rendezvous and wrestle control away from a propagandist nationalist. It is a battle worth fighting but the odds of victory grow dimmer by the hour.

It’s midnight in America. Will America wake up before its too late?