from National Review, George Will on the inauguration, A Most Dreadful Inaugural Address
Looking out toward where the fields of the republic roll on, Trump, a Gatsby for our time, said: “What truly matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people.” Well.
“A dependence on the people,” James Madison wrote, “is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” He meant the checks and balances of our constitutional architecture. They are necessary because, as Madison anticipated and as the nation was reminded on Friday, “Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.”
What matters is that we retain constitutional liberalism and liberty. Popular majoritarian democracy is only a means, not an end. The distinction is the difference between liberty and tyranny.
From my article today in American Thinker, Has America Become an Illiberal Democracy?
Trump may exhibit authoritarian characteristics and Zakaria is correct is articulating the weakening of some of our restraints on majoritarian democracy, but he is late to the scene of the crime. The essence of the extended progressive movement and the modern Democratic Party had been actions to neuter the constitutional restraints on majoritarian legislation, executive power, and central rule.
The ACA challenged religious freedom, despite assurances to the contrary. Political correctness on college campuses and government agencies abused free speech. The use of government agencies such as the IRS to further political objectives became an insidious form of corruption violating the most sacred liberty of equality before the law.
Perhaps this power in the hands of their worst nightmare, may return the left to principles of constitutional liberalism that Fareed so respects. But why did it take the election of Trump for them to recognize the sacrifice of the principles of constitutional liberty and liberalism to majoritarian democracy that the progressives and Democrats have championed for nearly a century?
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/01/has_america_become_an_illiberal_democracy.html#ixzz4WDHanssm
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from Katherine Timpf at National Review, The Golden Globes Are Why Donald Trump Is Not Going Anywhere
Streep actually had the nerve and naiveté to begin her speech by whining about how Hollywood is one of “the most vilified segments in American society right now” — all while wearing a gown that probably costs more than all of the clothing in an average American’s closet combined. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to be rich and miserable; what I am saying is if I am ever worth tens of millions of dollars and I still use my time in a public speech to complain about how victimized I am, please do me a favor and punch me in the face. People may be mean to you on the Internet, and that may be a bummer, but I can assure you that no one waking up at 5 a.m. to shovel coal from a mine or facing a day full of soul-crushing number-crunching interrupted only by a 20-minute break to eat a turkey sandwich on bread that may not even be organic wants to hear it. Streep said that people should be grateful for the Hollywood elite because without them they’d “have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts” — because apparently she’s too trapped in her bubble to realize that those are both things that many people very much enjoy.
They are truly clueless victims. They are a victim of their own bubble. If they had any true introspection they would ask what happened and try to understand. Instead they keep digging their hole.
from John Hawkins, 20 Best Quotes of 2016
my favorite of the list:
“Disagreement often turns into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples and judge ourselves by our best intentions.”– George W. Bush
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed…In our society, now it’s just first — who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true.” — Denzel Washington
“You don’t know a tree is hollow until you push hard against it and it falls. The establishments of both parties did not know, a year ago, that they were hollow trees. They thought themselves strong because they always had been, and people think what has been true will continue. Then suddenly the tree is pushed and falls. To me that is the symbol, the image of 2016: the hollowed trees and how easily they fell.” — Peggy Noonan
The UN vs Israel from Jonah Goldberg at The National Review
One last point regarding the Security Council vote. It needs to be remembered that the U.N. hates Israel because it is in the political interests of member states, particularly Arab states, which use Palestinians as a distraction from their own despotisms, to hate Israel. Think of all the horrors and crimes committed by evil governments around the world. Now think about the fact that from 2006 to 2015 alone the U.N. has condemned Israel 62 times. All of the other nations combined have received 55 condemnations. Iran? Five. The genocidal Sudanese? Zero. Anarchic Somalia? Zero. Saudi Arabia? Zero. Pakistan? Zero. China? Zero. Russia? Zero.
The U.N., more than any other player save the Palestinian leadership itself, is responsible for the horrible plight of the Palestinians because it is in its institutional interest to keep the issue alive. After World War II, there were untold millions of refugees all around the world; they all found homes and settled down — except for the Palestinians.
What sane person can possibly justify or rationalize this?