Being one of the first to denounce Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential candidacy, in the summer of 2015, I took interest in his presidency. I’d lost friendships over my opposition to Trump’s candidacy, as I had for criticizing Barack Obama and Ted Cruz, and wanted to match my criticism with the record.
I’ve known from decades of activism that politics is personal. America’s disunity affects my life. Judging my strong statements matters. I stand by the criticism, which I made in a series of posts (linked at the end of this post). After considering the facts, I’ve changed my mind about Trump, whose re-election I support.
The months following his 2016 election were exhausting. Trump’s exhausting. Accordingly, I cut back on reading, listening to and watching the news. I followed only those sources I’ve come to trust, which are few in number and followed with scrutiny. My essential view of Trump as a vulgar, pragmatic, whim-worshipping statist-nationalist has not changed. I still regard the president this way. Days after he was elected, I advised readers to “be on vigilant, guarded, nonstop defense and never let up on defending your rights and your life.”
However, Trump’s opposition is worse. I’m not interested in writing a rehash of why I oppose the left, which dominates the Democratic Party, which nominated Vice-President Joe Biden for president. From seeking to mandate that all Americans indiscriminately wear masks to supporting reparations for slavery, Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, are unacceptable. Reasons to oppose Biden for President are voluminous (read my review of Profiles in Corruption, which details why the Democrats ruthlessly aim to destroy America). This post offers my reasons to support Trump for President.
Trump’s governance by good example when he changed Air Force One from the Obama administration’s expensive Boeing 747 to a smaller, more efficient Boeing 737. This is a relatively small gesture. The president’s act didn’t get attention. But it was an early sign of how Trump governs.
Moral support for Americanism is among Trump’s best qualities. From displays of patriotism, which are distinct from his actions based on and tendencies toward nationalism, to his proposed statue garden of American heroes—including John Adams, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James and Dolley Madison, Martin Luther King, Jr., Audie Murphy, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Abraham Lincoln, Jackie Robinson, Betsy Ross, the Wright Brothers, Harriet Beecher Stowe, George Washington, Harriet Tubman and others—Trump counters Obama’s incessant and explicit anti-Americanism.
Doubt of the origin, goals and premise of Black Lives Matter.
Prison reform under the First Step Act (the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act), which strikes me as a potential step toward better punishment of crime. Though I haven’t studied the criminal justice bill, signed by Trump two years ago and supported by Van Jones, Ted Cruz and Kanye West, the law, through good-time reforms, changes federal prisons and sentencing law to reduce recidivism and decrease the federal inmate population while maintaining safety.
The ban on critical race theory, signed by Trump and described by a philosophy professor as the view that “the law and legal institutions are inherently racist” and that the concept race is socially constructed and used by “white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color [sic]”, in U.S. government (read the ban here). According to this source, critical race theory, an idea originating in the Sixties, was formulated as a movement in 1989.
A freer energy market, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which Trump, who radically departed from decades of environmentalist American government by drilling for oil in the Arctic, opening an oil pipeline, supports.
Compromise for reasonable gun control after a mass shooting, offered by Trump and rejected by the Democrats, who refused to meet, let alone consider working with Trump on gun control. Instead, Democrats impeached Trump.
Explicit denunciation of American anarchy, which Trump, unlike Harris and Biden, explicitly repudiates as anarchy becomes an imminent and severe threat to Americans.
Trump commits to considering a pardon for whistleblower and hero Edward Snowden, whom the Obama administration persecuted, denounced, charged and refused to pardon. As a victim and the first president to scrutinize, doubt and criticize mass, indiscriminate surveillance, Trump, contrary to Bush and Obama, could slow the spread of surveillance statism, posing a potential challenge and possible path to abolition.
Trump seeks to repeal the monstrosity ObamaCare.
To his credit, Trump is the first postwar U.S. president to cease the notion of writing a blank check for aid to Europe. Instead, whatever one’s view on foreign aid, he demanded that Western European countries pay for part of their own defense.
Rejection of the Paris environmentalist accord.
Support for Israel and returning the nation’s capital to Jerusalem. Arab nations once for Palestinian statehood moved from this notion to ties with Israel in Trump’s trade deal.
America’s first U.S. military retaliation against Islamic Iran since Iran declared war on the U.S. 40 years ago when Trump ordered killing of Iran’s chief barbarian.
Pulling out of Obama’s deal with the Islamic regime of Iran.
Suspicion of Communist China—despite incessant and horrific praise for dictators, authoritarians and autocrats—including on trade, property rights and China’s property theft, Hong Kong’s sovereignty, the origins and spread of the new Wuhan virus and the Chinese dictator’s militarism. Though Trump never provided, and refuses, support for the Hong Kong rebellion, his doubt and resistance to indiscriminate acceptance of China as civilized offered a kind of resolve that encouraged Hong Kong to stand up to China’s extradition rule. Hong Kong, which subsequently was persecuted in retaliation, opposed and defeated China’s extradition rule. Donald Trump is the first American president, as I wrote last fall, to explicitly oppose Communist China. No president since Nixon has seriously doubted Communist China. Bush the son infamously let China seize America’s spy plane without repercussion, let alone retaliation. Last fall’s Hong Kong rebellion, the first major incipient insurgency against a Communist regime since Poland’s Solidarity upsurge in 1980, which ultimately played a pivotal role in the collapse of Soviet Russia—possibly the world’s worst dictatorship—prompted me to re-think my opposition to Trump’s presidency.
I know the downsides of Trump’s presidency. The president immorally and illegally imposed a draconian, asinine and unjust drug control when he prohibited opioid use. This alone causes incalculable agony, misery and suffering to millions of desperate Americans who need pain relief.
Denunciations of the free press, opposition to a woman’s right to abortion—everyone should beware of Vice-President Pence, who’s not to be trusted on any issue of individual rights—and advocacy of other government intervention in economics, media and trade is abhorrent. Trump’s been checked, stopped and balanced by both the legislative and judicial branches and there’s every reason to think checks and balances shall continue.
I do not take issues lightly. I’m as concerned that Trump is bad for America as any rational American. But choosing a candidate in an election is not merely a matter of picking one’s favorite personality in a contest and it is wrong to ignore the threat of a government controlled by Harris and Biden and the legitimate progress made by Donald Trump.
Finally, there’s lockdown.
The living are being subjugated and sacrificed to the anti-living in a great American cataclysm. Biden, backed by anarchists and fascists as well as by decent American voters, pledges to lock America down with new dictates, taxes and mandates from ObamaCare to other oppression. Whatever Trump’s errors, flaws and vulgarity, Trump offers the promise of reprieve from lockdown and expresses a clear goal to eradicate the new virus while emancipating Americans from lockdown.
It’s time to reject the notion that lockdown is acceptable, let alone “normal”, and repudiate the mentality, approach and anti-American governance violating rights in the name of eradicating the risk posed by this new virus. It is also time to reject the resurgent New Left, an anti-civilization, anti-human, anti-life crusade and rise of anarchism and fascism which is an imminent threat to every American’s life and liberty, for good.
The new year started with a turn of foreign events, as I wrote last week. Capitalism Magazine’s editor and publisher, without whom this blog, site and many articles would not be possible, asked to reprint it. Read my commentary on the day America’s impeached president of the United States ordered a pre-emptive and proper retaliation against Islamic Iran, the first serious strike against this enemy of Western civilization, here.
Iran attacks America, November 1979
Since the strike that killed a general for Iran’s army of Islamic terrorist proxy gangs and regimented soldiers of Allah, Iran has attacked America and a Ukrainian passenger jet carrying 176 innocents with missiles. The American president pledged this morning that, while showing restraint by declining to hit back for the moment, he will prevent the state sponsor of terrorism from acquiring nuclear weapons. When his predecessor brokered a deal with Iran that returned billions of dollars which were withheld after Iran attacked America and seized our embassy, capturing 66 Americans as prisoners of war in Iran’s jihad (“holy war”) against the West, I called it Obama’s death pact. Horrifically, for the Americans and others, including 63 Canadians on board the Boeing 737 Iran shot down in Teheran, death or its imminent threat became real thanks to Obama’s Iran deal. Barack Obama continued U.S. selflessness in foreign policy which, for decades, appeased Iran.
May appeasement end with military defense ordered and enacted by President Trump.
Thirty-five years after it debuted in theaters, I watched a notorious movie by director Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, One from the Heart). Read my new review of a restored version of Mr. Coppola’s 1984 motion picture, The Cotton Club, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and streaming for its 35th anniversary, here.
Though I never saw the original in either theatrical or home video release, I was not disappointed in The Cotton Club (encore edition). It isn’t perfect, as I write in the review. But its jazz and tap dance scenes offer rare and exquisite entertainment.
The Harlem-themed epic has an unusual history. This is Mr. Coppola’s first movie after a self-financed 1982 musical, One from the Heart, lost money. The Cotton Club was made and financed by a range of contentious principals, such as the late producer Robert Evans, and others, such as Orion Pictures, now owned by MGM, which Lionsgate purchased, acquiring its library years ago.
The nightclub, where in reality only Negroes were allowed to perform for an exclusively white audience, was a swank joint on Manhattan’s upper end. The film features a score by the late composer John Barry, leading performances by Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Lonette McKee (the 1976 original remade with Whitney Houston in Sparkle) and the late Gregory Hines. Also look for Mario Van Peebles, Gwen Verdon, James Remar, Maurice Hines, who appears in a home video segment with Mr. Coppola, Lawrence Fishburne (Boyz N the Hood) as a thug named Bumpy Rhodes, Jackee Harry (227), Jennifer Grey, Nicolas Cage, Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwynne and Woody Strode (Sergeant Rutledge) as a club doorman. Music by Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong is fabulous.
“This is the movie I meant you to see”, Mr. Coppola, referring to the additional 20 minutes, tells a New York audience in the Q&A feature in the bonus segments. The panel includes disclosures about lawsuits, attempts to steal the negative and a murder trial surrounding The Cotton Club, which debuted in the fall of 1984. Francis Ford Coppola also remembers reading and being influenced by Arthur C. Clarke’s science fiction novel, Childhood’s End, with a black character and Maurice Hines recalling his late brother, Gregory, and their grandmother being an original Cotton Club showgirl.
Read the article
Finally, my editor informed me this morning that my article about Pittsburgh and its connection to Ayn Rand (1905-1982) for the winter edition of the print publication Pittsburgh Quarterly, is featured on the online version’s cover. Read about Rand, who revered the Industrial Revolution, and the city of bridges, steel and progress, here.
President Trump apparently ordered today’s pre-emptive strike on Iran’s top military official for planning to mass murder Americans in Iraq. The Islamic dictatorship of Iran confirmed the death. The New York Times reports confirmation of both assertions.
The historic nature of this excellent act of U.S. self-defense is unmistakable. Donald Trump is the first American president to militarily counterstrike this evil enemy explicitly on the principle of saving American lives. Time and again, from President Carter, who refused to assassinate Iran’s first Islamic dictator, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, before the monster returned to impose a barbaric theocracy, to President Obama, who appeased Iran and brokered a deal which brought Israel’s prime minister and the late Elie Wiesel to plead to a joint session of Congress for U.S. rejection of Obama’s death pact.
“This is devastating for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the [Islamic] regime and Khamenei’s regional ambitions,” Mark Dubowitz, who runs a think tank opposing appeasement of Iran, referring to the Iranian dictatorship’s ayatollah, told the Times, which reported that President Trump ordered the drone strike on Baghdad’s International Airport.
In the 40 years since Iran waged war on America by seizing our embassy in Teheran, capturing Americans as prisoners of war wrongly dubbed “hostages”, beating U.S. Marines, baiting Americans for a race war involving radical leftists including Rev. Jesse Jackson and waging war with mass murder on American Marines in Beirut and across the world, including sponsoring nonstop attacks on America from hijacked passenger jets to countless untold acts of war, not a single American government hit Iran back hard. Carter shrunk in defeat after his folly over Khomeini. Reagan retreated. Bush the pappy appeased Iran, letting the savages threaten a published Western author and bomb American bookstores. Clinton did nothing when Iran bombed the United States Navy. Bush the son ordered the Marines to stand down in Iraq when Iran’s mystics ordered a siege against America. Obama welcomed and appeased Iran over and over. Even when Obama ordered the U.S. military to kill the top Moslem connected to carrying out the attack on Black Tuesday, September 11, 2001, he did so with a sad, morose, somber tone and honored the monster, granting an Islamic ritual at sea. And pleading with the enemy by pledging that he had done so in accordance with the faith that moves the enemy to destroy the West.
On Friday, January 3, 2020, the third American president to be impeached by Congress, Donald Trump, hit Iran by taking out one of its top thugs. It’s even better that he did so on the grounds of saving Americans’ lives, contrary to all of his presidential predecessors combined, who
“General Suleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “General Suleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more.”
Hong Kong’s protest leader Joshua Wong recently Tweeted this image of a painting, which imitates Liberty Leading the People (1830) by French romanticist painter Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), whose painting is at the Louvre in Paris. This brave young anti-Communist and his fellow rebels in Hong Kong fight as I write this for their freedom, lives and future. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, those supporting and participating in the Hong Kong protests fight for the future by living in it today.
Nothing on earth, based on what I know, matters more to the West’s survival at this moment than Hong Kong. That few think about, let alone grasp the meaning and magnitude of, this assertion is a fact of reality. Those that don’t want to know or do not care about Hong Kong, the West, America, rights and individualism are, ultimately, of no consequence.
Among those who do, it’s additionally discouraging to know that few choose to stand with Hong Kong. Rare friends, who on these issues are more like brothers, such as Andrew, Maryallene, Rohit, Amy and Mark, make a point to take the lead, express support and in clear and explicit terms.
Most do not, even among those who claim to know better, as I recently reaffirmed while skimming social media. After reading a portion of an extended comments thread from a post about a dispute between the author of an innocuous commentary about being gay and an anti-sex critic, this inversion became clear. The thread chiefly consists of aimless speculation about what one might do about this or that in response to (!) an arbitrary assertion. The comments are posted by those who claim (or ought) to know better as Hong Kong hangs in the balance. The frenzy’s not an occasional occurrence. Posting about trivial issues “while Rome burns” is chronic. Today’s best minds are consumed by memes, pictures and nonsense.
Meanwhile, Communist China, which poses a military threat to the U.S., Taiwan, Japan, Australia, South Korea and every pro-Western nation, allied with America’s worst enemies, Iran and North Korea. This comes as Hong Kong’s rebellion spins Communist dictator Xi Jinping and his dictatorship into turmoil. Today’s New York Times reports that
… at a meeting that has not been publicly disclosed, Mr. Xi met with other senior officials to discuss the protests. The range of options discussed is unclear, but the leaders agreed that the central government should not intervene forcefully, at least for now, several people familiar with the issue said in interviews in Hong Kong and Beijing…Now Mr. Xi faces an even bigger trade war, with much higher tariffs and greater tensions. The [dictatorship] appears to be hewing to a strategy of waiting out Mr. Trump, possibly through his 2020 re-election campaign, even as the dispute has become a drag on the economy…[Red China’s puppet in Hong Kong] offered a candid assessment of Beijing’s views, even if one she did not intend to make public. She said Beijing had no plan to send in the People’s Liberation Army to restore order because “they’re just quite scared now.”
“Because they know that the price would be too huge to pay,” she went on. “Maybe they don’t care about Hong Kong, but they care about ‘one country, two systems.’ They care about the country’s international profile. It has taken China a long time to build up to that sort of international profile.”
… State television and the party’s newspapers now refer to [Xi] as “the People’s Leader,” an honorific once bestowed only on Mao. “The People’s Leader loves the people,” The People’s Daily wrote after Mr. Xi toured Gansu, a province in western China. Mr. Xi’s calculation might be simply to remain patient, as he has been in the case of Mr. Trump’s erratic shifts in the trade war. In his remarks on Tuesday, Mr. Xi also gave a possible hint of the government’s pragmatism.
“On matters of principle, not an inch will be yielded,” he said, “but on matters of tactics there can be flexibility.”
Journalist John Stossel once told me during an interview in New York City that real news, i.e., the first draft of history, happens slowly. I think this is true. What happens in Hong Kong matters.
I’ve been writing about Asia, China, Korea, Vietnam and the Orient for decades and it’s impossible for me to ignore that, in this singular act of rebellion led by brave Mr. Wong and his comrades, the East comes to a climax which has the potential to uproot Communist China and pivot to buy time to save the West. The rational individual ought to dispense with the meaningless and instead watch, think, evaluate, judge and exercise free speech to support the rebellion for liberty in Hong Kong.
Joshua Wong, who was arrested for crimes against the state and is out on bail, strikes me as savvy enough to know that even the best minds in the West are too easily distracted by pictures and other sensory diversions. So, he’s posted a painting as propaganda to support his noble cause. But in words and deeds, nothing less than his life, and his love of it, is at stake.
My recent post on Communist China, Hong Kong, Trump and the 2020 Democrats was on the cover of Capitalism Magazine. Though I do not endorse tariffs and I explicitly declined to do so or go into detail on trade, military and foreign policy, I credit the American president for ending 50 years of unchecked sanction and appeasement of Communist China. I also contrast the president with the 2020 Democrats in this context.
The impetus for writing my first and only positive Trump post since the pragmatist announced he was running for president four years ago is the realization that, for the first time in recent history, the U.S. government explicitly and actively challenges Communist China’s power, if not with consistency, let alone on principle.
This is thanks to Trump. I think opposing China is a mark of American progress. Read my post about Trump, Democrats and China on Capitalism Magazine here.
Capitalism Magazine also asked to reprint an excerpt from my review of Ken Burns’s PBS miniseries, The Vietnam War. Read the excerpt here. This is part of my recent series of Asian-themed posts, including a review of the Vietnam War-themed Broadway musical now touring, Miss Saigon.
I’ve also written a new movie review. Oscar’s Best Picture winner for 1987, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, has been on my list of movies to watch for many years.
Encouraged and emboldened by the protests for democracy and individual rights in Hong Kong, the pro-Western city now protesting control by Communist China, a cosmopolitan city which once welcomed American whistleblower and hero Edward Snowden, granting him sanctuary from the oppressive Obama administration, I recently watched the movie with China and its rich history in mind. Read my review of The Last Emperor, featured on the cover of The New Romanticist, here.
Hong Kong’s rejection of Communist China’s extradition rule and the governance of Communist China puppet ruler Carrie Lam is an unsurprising recent development. With its British colonial history, Hong Kong has been an outpost of Western civilization in the Orient; an Occidentalist center for trading food, especially seafood, goods and services bridging east and west. Much of the city’s population went along with Britain’s adherence to a pre-Communist agreement to return Hong Kong to China in 1997, which Leonard Peikoff once observed may have been influenced by Reagan’s refusal to back Thatcher’s withdrawal or refusal to recognize the agreement on the grounds that its terms were voided by dictatorship.
Hong Kong’s cosmopolitanism and independence endures. From freedom fighter and activist Joshua Wong to millions waving American flags and uniting to sing “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from the Broadway musical version of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Hong Kong yearns to be free, not ruled by the government that cracks down as I write this.
Privately, I’ve supported China’s liberalization to make progress toward capitalism. But I am proud to have never endorsed, let alone romanticized, the People’s Republic of China. This is true from my newspaper commentary calling for Bush’s secretary of state, the utterly incompetent Colin Powell, who is one of America’s worst military leaders and statesmen, to resign over his appeasement of China’s refusal to return a U.S. military crew and plane to my denunciation of China’s sponsorship of sporting spectacles. I think too many, including businesses such as Apple, artists and Objectivist speakers, and, of course, elected politicians, coddle, appease or ignore Communist China. It is in this sense that I think President Trumpis right to oppose China.
I am not a foreign policy thinker, though I’ve covered China in my writing and journalism. I am not a war, military or other type of historian. I do not study Asian history or military strategy for a living. I am certainly not an economist. I’ve read some books about the relevant topics. I’ve taken some courses. And I study philosophy. So, I recognize the implications of China’s threat to the West. Currently, I follow a range of several thinkers, commentators and scholars, including, in the past, the late John David Lewis, the forementioned philosopher Dr. Peikoff and Gordon Chang, among others. Accordingly, with Trump’s tariffs and trade war and Hong Kong as a potential flashpoint, I think China is in some sort of internal turmoil and poses a serious danger to the West. China recently allied with North Korea, a Stalinist state threatening nuclear attack on the U.S. and invasion of South Korea, which is currently governed by an anti-American who recently reneged on an agreement to share intelligence with Japan.
The U.S. has tens of thousands of troops in South Korea and not merely to protect that country, which, like Taiwan, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and U.S. Pacific territories and states, is crucial to sustaining America. China’s militarism, coddled by Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama, including its advancement on the South China Sea, like its ally Islamic Iran, is dangerous. This is to say nothing of China’s constant attacks on Americans’ property. To his credit, and I am among the first to critique the nation’s president, before he was elected president and before bashing him became an American cultural fixation and leftist dogma, Donald Trump’s is the first American government to stand up to China. Whatever Trump’s motives, mistakes and complete lack of principles, and whatever the ominous signs of what his presidency and its often mindless following means, Trump on China is a step in the right direction.
For the first time in America’s modern history, and this goes to the issue of America’s future and retaining or reconstructing what makes America great, the United States acts primarily in the interest of the United States with regard to China. Mine is not an endorsement of tariffs in general or in specific. I disagree with most of what Trump thinks, including his positions on Snowden, the surveillance state and health care as a right, to name a few. I’ve said so and under my own name. But I think his standing up to China, if and to the degree he does, is important, possibly crucial, and good. If progress means advancement of civilized humankind with living on earth as the standard and I think it does, Trump on China in terms of demanding certain terms and conditions for trade and military policy, is progressive.
This brings me to Trump’s detractors, the so-called ‘progressives’ running for president.
The 2020 Democrats are a band of goons, thugs and loons. Democrats want to rob Americans for slavery reparations. Nearly every Democratic Party presidential candidate seeks to ban, control or dictate property, livelihoods, medicine, exercise of speech and cars. Many endorse socialism, socialized medicine and fascism. The frontrunner says he wants to dictate the automotive industry and force Americans to drive electrical cars. One candidate seeks to impose a national collective income. The same candidate plans to install gigantic mirrors in outer space to fight the sun’s rays in the name of opposing a change in earth’s climate, which Democrats believe is a kind of apocalypse caused by humanity. Every Democrat running for president seeks total government control of the medical profession. Even an otherwise reasonable candidate such as South Bend, Indiana’s mayor, Pete Buttigieg, has come out for slavery reparations.
This fact alone makes Trump’s re-election more plausible and, while I didn’t support Trump in 2016 and actively spoke out against and oppose his protectionism and other anti-capitalism, I am willing to consider voting for the ex-Democrat as against a candidate who supports socialism, opposes pure capitalism and pledges to violate my right to speech, association and life to ban my car and confiscate my property for slavery reparations, a national income and socialized medicine, college tuition and whatever other lunacy they have in mind.
The premise of the Democrats’ totalitarian environmentalism and socialism is altruism. Why would you trust one who explicitly opposes egoism to defend the United States of America? Trump is bad, terribly anti-intellectual, and it’s true that he’s an authoritarian at least in psychological terms. However vulgar, nationalistic and anti-capitalist his presidency, which is marginally better than I forecast, he’s looking better than the alternative, each of whom shares the same moral premise and economic ideal as China.
As the West watches the world’s danger zones — Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, Yemen, Israel, Seoul, Kashmir, Kabul, Taiwan, the Sea of Japan, Straits of Hormuz and South China Sea — especially Hong Kong, which once not long ago granted refuge to an American who defied the Obama administration to challenge the status quo and cripple the surveillance state, whose citizens seek to live in liberty, I think it’s important to stand up to China. For the first time in my life, the American president (an anti-intellectual made possible by his thoroughly anti-American predecessor) does.