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In his statement to The Atlantic magazine, former Defense Secretary General James Mattis says of the events of the last 10 days that have shaken the nation as it has not been shaken since 1968:

“We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.”

Is “a small number of lawbreakers” an apt description of wilding mobs who have showered cops with bottles, bricks and rocks in 40 cities, looted stores in the hundreds, torched police cars, and injured dozens of Secret Service personnel defending the White House?

Is “a small number of lawbreakers” the way a patriot would describe anti-American anarchists who desecrated the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial on the Mall and the Korean War Memorial and tried to burn down the Church of the Presidents in Lafayette Square?

Was the sacking of Georgetown, Rodeo Drive in LA, 5th Avenue in New York and 40 city centers, the work of a few “lawbreakers”?

Is that a good description of the people who gravely wounded that cop in Las Vegas and shot four cops and murdered that retired black police chief in St. Louis?

The protesters, says Mattis, are “rightly demanding … Equal Justice Under Law.” This is a “wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind.”

But what does the general think of the methods and means the “protesters” have used — the massive civil disobedience, the blocking of streets, the vilification of police, the contempt for curfews. What does the general think of protesters who provide moral cover for insurrection?

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people,” says Mattis. Trump “doesn’t even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us.”

But it was not Trump who divided America in this racial crisis.

The nation was united in revulsion at the criminal cruelty that led to George Floyd’s death. The nation was united in backing an enraged people’s right to protest that atrocity.

What divided America were the methods and means protesters began using in the first hours of the Minneapolis riot — the attacks on cops with bottles, bricks and Molotov cocktails.

In Mattis’ statement, one finds not a word of sympathy or support for the police bearing the brunt of mob brutality for defending the communities they serve, while defending the constitutional right of the protesters to curse them as racist and rogue cops.

“Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them,” not to the military, says the general.

Correct. But what happens when mobs run wild to where a governor of New York is denouncing the NYPD for failing to protect the city from anarchy and is threatening to replace the mayor for failing to put down the insurrection.

In July 1967, the 82nd Airborne was sent into Detroit to put down the riot. In 1968, there were federal troops in D.C. to stop the rioting in the wake of Dr. King’s assassination. In the violent protests of the Nixon era, U.S. airborne troops were brought into the basement of the Executive Office Building.

The general quotes James Madison: “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign invaders than an America disunited.”

And how, General, did that work out for Madison when the “foreign invaders” arrived in Maryland in August 1814, marched up Bladensburg Road, and burned the Capitol and White House and Alexandria, while “Little Jimmy” fled out the Brookville Road?

If memory serves, it was Gen. Andrew Jackson and the troops he pulled together for the Battle of New Orleans who defeated the British and saved the Union.

“Society cannot exist,” wrote Edmund Burke, “unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.

“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

That is where we are now. Society and civilization are on the line.

If mob tactics are now how we change laws and alter public policy, the democratic republic is dead and we have gone full Third World.

Some of us do not believe America is a racist society or that the nation’s police, numbering a million men and women, are shot through with anti-black racism.

Some of us believe the police are the last line of defense we have against that “small number of lawbreakers” Mattis tells us are no problem.

Did the general actually produce this pile of mush that reads like something out of Ramsey Clark in the 1960s?

My guess: Mattis, an obedient servant of President Trump for two years, has been persuaded that the wind is blowing the other way and his “place in history” demands that he get himself on the correct side.

The general has just defected to the resistance.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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On the fifth night of rioting, looting and arson in Minneapolis, the criminal elements were driven from the streets.

By whom? By the same cops who had been the constant objects of media derision and mob hatred.

Without the thin blue line, far larger sectors of dozens of America’s cities would be in ruins, burned to the ground by the mobs that showered police and their vehicles with rocks, bricks, bottles, Molotov cocktails and any debris that could be thrown at them.

Because they were the first responders in these riots, the cops were the first targets of criminal assault and the last line of defense of the law-abiding.

Wherever they had to draw back or pull back, anarchy ensued.

Consider the decision of Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to surrender and abandon the 3rd Precinct. As police cars pulled out and the cops fled, the exhilarated rabble invaded, pillaged and burned the precinct.

And America saw, in astonishment, a triumph of anarchy.

One wonders what the world thought as it, too, watched.

Now, consider the political coloration of Minneapolis.

Frey, who ordered the surrender, is a far-left Democrat. Gov. Tim Walz is a liberal Democrat, as are both U.S. senators including Amy Klobuchar. Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is a soul sister of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Minnesota was the political home of Vice Presidents Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale and Senators Eugene McCarthy and Paul Wellstone, liberal icons all. The state has not voted Republican for president since 1972. Even Ronald Reagan never carried Minnesota.

Yet, of his home state, this citadel of liberalism, Walz said last week, “Systemic racism must be addressed if we are to secure, justice, peace and order for all Minnesotans.”

Query: How does “systemic racism” permeate a blue state dominated for decades by liberal Democrats? What explains the failure of Democrats who have long run Minnesota to root out racism?

Why have liberals failed to exorcise racism where they rule? Are even good Minnesota liberals infected with the virus?

What we witnessed this week in Minneapolis is a failure of liberalism. The leadership of the city and state could not persuade the protesters it claims to represent to remain peaceful. And when rioting, looting and arson erupted, and attacks on police began, that leadership sat morally and politically paralyzed.

The elites could not condemn both the killing of George Floyd and, with equal moral vehemence, the violent and criminal element that came to permeate the ranks of the protesters.

They failed to get sufficient law enforcement or the National Guard into the city on time, or to declare and impose a curfew, or to use requisite force to halt the rioting and looting.

As a result of their incompetence or cowardice, the custodians of the lovely city of Minneapolis let her be gang-raped by a criminal mob.

Why have those leaders not turned in their resignations?

Comparisons have been drawn to the 1960s.

In the summer of 1964, LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. In 1965, the Voting Right Act was enacted after Selma. Then came one Great Society program after another, as LBJ declared at Howard University, we are moving beyond equality of opportunity to “equality of result” in America.

However, in August 1965, Watts exploded, the worst race riot since Lincoln sent Union troops to put down the New York draft riots of 1863.

Newark and Detroit had uprisings of similar magnitude in 1967.

In April 1968, for days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, U.S. cities were pillaged and burned, Washington, D.C., among them.

LBJ’s Kerner Commission said the cause of the riots that had come out of the black community was actually “white racism.”

Said Richard Nixon speaking for the silent majority: They seem to blame everybody for the riots but the rioters themselves.

Liberals of that era, too, seemed morally disarmed and politically paralyzed when it came to confronting criminal elements that emerged from minority communities and voted Democratic.

Such situations invariably seem to produce in liberals a paralysis where the crimes are attributed to a “few bad apples” hiding among all those “peaceful protesters.”

There is much chatter about “speaking truth to power.”

What does that mean today?

At the least, the recognition that while the killing of George Floyd was an atrocity that cries out for justice, so, too, does the rampant criminality that exploded in its aftermath.

But because of the failure to condemn that criminality, and the paralysis of Minnesota’s political leadership class, the black community in Minneapolis has lost hundreds of businesses — some forever — that had provided them with the necessities of a decent life.

Liberals may equate the term “law and order” with racism, but without law and order, there is no justice and no peace.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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In his half-century in national politics, Joe Biden has committed more than his fair share of gaffes. Wednesday, he confused Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7, 1941, with D-Day, June 6, 1944.

The more serious recent gaffe, a beaut, came at the close of a recent contentious interview with black activist Charlamagne tha God.

A miffed Biden signed off, saying, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

Biden was saying that no self-respecting black American would vote for Trump over him this November. Indeed, any such individual would have been labeled in the 1960s with the slur Uncle Tom.

As Biden put it, if you’re for Trump, “you ain’t black.”

Recognizing the damage he may have done with his own and his party’s most loyal constituency, which might object to being taken for granted as knee-jerk Democratic voters, Biden’s staff put in a hasty call to a gathering of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.

There, Biden burbled full apologies: “I would never take the African American community for granted. … I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. … No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” He had just been kidding.

Now, as a gaffe, this was not of the magnitude of James G. Blaine’s failure to object when a friendly Presbyterian pastor, Rev. Sam Burchard, rose to disparage the New York Irish Blaine had been courting as being “the Party of Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion.”

In 1884, that slur soured Catholics on Blaine, helping to cost him New York’s state’s electoral votes and the White House. Thanks to Burchard, Grover Cleveland would become the only Democrat to win the presidency in the half-century between 1860 and 1912.

Biden’s gaffe and Burchard’s slur have this in common: Both manifest a measure of condescension toward a large bloc of voters.

Hillary Clinton did something similar in 2016.

At a closed-door gathering of contributors, she volunteered, to their amusement, that half of all Trump’s voters belong in a “basket of deplorables” for being “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”

Their pathologies are part of their character, Clinton was saying. And while many were “irredeemable,” fortunately, they are “not America.”

During the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama was guilty of the same elitist condescension when he told a San Francisco gathering of gay right advocates why he was not doing well in the Keystone State:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Hard times have curdled the character of these folks, Obama was saying, turning them into bigots and Bible-and-gun nuts.

The people of whom he was speaking would deliver Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and the nation to Donald Trump in 2016.

As for Biden’s remark, “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background,” it is surely true.

But while not mandatory to support someone of the same race, ethnicity gender or faith, it is naive to deny that identity and tribalism are realities in the politics of this nation.

Was it not the possibility that he could become the first Catholic president why JFK won four of five Catholic votes in 1960?

Was the 95-4 thumping of John McCain by Obama among African Americans not due to the fact that Obama was the first African American nominated by a major party?

Much of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign focused on “shattering the glass ceiling.” Did not Clinton see her gender as a primary political asset in winning “the women’s vote”?

And, what, other than a naked appeal to gender, was behind Biden’s declaration during the primaries that, in picking a running mate, he would exclude all white men, indeed, all men, and select a woman? And what, other than an appeal to black and female voters was behind Biden’s pledge to name a black woman to the Supreme Court?

Biden is now under pressure to choose not only a woman, but a woman of color, an African American, such as Sen. Kamala Harris of California or Georgia activist Stacey Abrams as his running mate.

It tells us something about where American politics is going that, to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency, Biden, a white male vice president, like all his predecessors, has now ruled out any white man in selecting his own vice president.

Biden’s message to Middle America:

This may have been your country, but no more. Get used to it. Which might explain why Trump did so well with white men in 2016.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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Is the U.S. up for a second Cold War — this time with China?

What makes the question newly relevant is that Xi Jinping’s China suddenly appears eager for a showdown with the United States for long-term supremacy in the Asia-Pacific and the world.

With the U.S. consumed by the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 100,000 Americans and crashed our economy to depths not seen since the Great Depression, China’s dictator seems to be making his move.

At the Communist Party conclave this May, China announced that it was seizing control of Hong Kong’s security. From now on, subversion, sedition, secession and foreign meddling within the city will be crushed.

Whatever sanctions the U.S. and its allies impose, there will be no free and independent Hong Kong.

“For an Ascendant China, Reining in Hong Kong Is Just the Start,” is the headline over The New York Times story on China’s new assertiveness.

“China’s move to strip away another layer of Hong Kong’s autonomy was not a rash impulse. It was a deliberate act, months in the making,” writes reporter Steven Lee Myers. “It took into account the risks of international umbrage and reached the reasonable assumption that there would not be a significant geopolitical price to pay. …

“With the world distracted by the pandemic’s devastating toll, China has taken a series of aggressive steps in recent weeks to flex its economic, diplomatic and military muscle across the region.

“China’s Coast Guard rammed and sank a fishing boat in disputed waters off Vietnam, and its ships swarmed an offshore oil rig operated by Malaysia. Beijing denounced the second inauguration of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, and pointedly dropped the word peaceful from its annual call for unification with the island democracy.

“Chinese troops squared off again last week with India’s along their contentious border in the Himalayas.”

To warnings that China is risking Cold War II, Beijing seems to be responding: If a Cold War with the United States is the price of securing our strategic interests and position in Asia and the world, bring it on.

Beijing has put the ball in America’s court. What do we do now?

Consider the list of nations with which China has territorial quarrels that have lately produced military clashes.

Beijing claims Indian lands China has occupied since their 1962 war.

China claims virtually all the islets and reefs in the South China Sea and now uses naval vessels to deal with the rival claimants of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Beijing asserts that Taiwan and all of its offshore islands in the East China Sea belong to China. While the Senkaku Islands have long been controlled by Japan, China claims these islands as well.

As for protests of the suppression of Tibetans and incarceration in concentration camps of Muslim Uighurs and Kazakhs, Beijing brushes them off.

Should the U.S. seek sanctions on China if it crushes the resistance in Hong Kong, how many U.S. allies would support those sanctions, when, for Australia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, China, not America, is their largest market and trading partner?

How did we allow ourselves to get into this position where a lately backward China is suddenly a greater rival for global hegemony than was the Soviet Union of Josef Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev?

Said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ruefully this month:

“China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949. For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach … (but) that didn’t happen.

“We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact.”

Yet, the rising totalitarian power of China, even with its imperial ambitions undisguised, does not threaten the vital interests of the United States.

So, again, the question: If China is prepared for a Cold War II with the United States to establish its predominance, what are we prepared to do should China absorb Hong Kong and convert it into a second Shanghai?

What are we prepared to do if China puts new pressure on Taiwan and seizes offshore islands in the East China Sea, as she did in the South China Sea? Sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s Russia to compel it to return Crimea and vacate eastern Ukraine have conspicuously failed.

Are we prepared to fight for any of the islands, none of which we claim and many of which we agree ultimately belong to Beijing?

The Chinese have stolen our intellectual property, coerced technology transfers from our businesses and sent spies posing as students into our universities to thieve our secrets.

Meanwhile, we allowed ourselves to become dependent on China for medicines and drugs vital to the health and the survival of millions of Americans.

Who did this to us? We did it to ourselves.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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When a Wall Street Journal editorial warned this week against any precipitous U.S. withdrawal that might imperil our gains in Afghanistan, an exasperated President Trump shot back:

“Could someone please explain to them that we have been there for 19 years. … and except at the beginning, we never really fought to win.”

Is that true? Did we “never really” fight to win during our 19-year war in Afghanistan, except when we first ousted the Taliban in 2001?

At one point in this longest American war against al-Qaida and the Taliban, Barack Obama surged 100,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan.

The issue here is with the terminology.

In the forever wars of the Middle East, what does “winning” mean?

To those of us who grew up in the mid-20th century, victory was Gen. MacArthur standing on the deck of the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay as top-hatted Japanese diplomats signed the articles of surrender.

Victory was unmistakable and irreversible.

Five years after V-J day, however, came Korea, a war that lasted three years and ended in deadlock, stalemate and a truce along the 38th parallel, where the North-South war had begun in June of 1950.

Vietnam also came to be called a “no-win war.”

Though U.S. troops never lost a major battle, and every provincial capital was in Saigon’s hands when we departed in 1973, the United States is said to have “lost the war” when the North Vietnamese army overran the South and Saigon in the spring of 1975.

That was a geostrategic defeat but not a military defeat.

America’s problem, in this century, lies in our concept of “winning.”

While U.S. military forces can crush any Middle East adversary, as we showed in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, we have been unable to realize the fruits of the victories our armed forces produced.

We have failed to reorient the defeated nations to our way of thinking. We have failed to win the peace.

While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity.

John Locke means nothing to these people. As for our Bill of Rights, why would devout Muslims, who believe there is but one God, Allah, and that Muhammad is his only Prophet, tolerate the preaching of heresies in their countries that can cause Muslims to lose their souls?

Millions of Muslims are familial, tribal, nationalistic, resistant to foreign intervention and proudly anti-Enlightenment.

With our “democracy crusades,” we have been trying to conquer and convert people who do not wish to be converted. Moreover, we lack the patience and perseverance to change or convert them.

As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself.

When it comes to spending lives and treasure indefinitely we find we have no vital interest in whether these lands we occupy are ruled by monarchs, democrats, dictators or demagogues, and we lack the staying power to occupy these countries until they accept our ideas and ideals.

If they don’t attack us, why do we not just leave them be?

Our enemies in the Middle East do not defeat our military. They outlast us. They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers willing to give up their lives in suicide attacks. They are willing to fight on and trade casualties endlessly. They do not subscribe to our rules of war.

They tire us out, and, eventually, we give up and go home.

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

Woodrow Wilson famously declared of our neighbors to the south, “I am going to teach the Latin American republics to elect good men!”

Wilson forgot the kernel of truth in the ethnic slur of his era, that you cannot grow bananas and democracy on the same piece of land.

If it is a contest between armed forces, America wins. We can impose our will on the country but cannot win their assent. They resist until we tire of trying to educate them.

Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

What will the Taliban do when we leave?

They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

And if 100,000 Americans fighting beside the Afghan army could not force them to surrender, then why should they settle for half a loaf and accept a compromise now?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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On March 24, President Donald Trump said he wanted the country and the economy “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”

Easter came and went. And Trump was mocked for being aspirational and unrealistic. Yet, with Ascension Thursday at hand, 40 days after Easter, the president seems to have been ahead of his time.

The country, as a whole, is, and has been, opening up. Sunday’s New York Times reports that, for weeks now, more than two-thirds of the states have been relaxing restrictions as Trump had urged.

The reasons: weariness with the lockdown and sheltering in place, a growing belief that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and undeniably positive news from several fronts in the coronavirus war.

“New Cases in U.S. Slow,” ran The New York Times top headline Sunday, adding the cautionary warning, “Posing Risks of Complacency.”

The facts suggest a positive trend. The number of newly confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has been dropping for a month. The number of deaths has fallen from 2,200 a day in April to closer to 1,400 a day in mid-May. Several days last week recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths, an awful toll but a clear improvement over April.

As of Friday, the rate of new cases of the coronavirus was declining in 19 states and rising in only three. New Orleans and Detroit have seen sharp drops. The number of new cases in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island has dropped. New cases in Cass County, Indiana, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where meatpacking plants had seen outbreaks, have declined.

“On eight of the past nine days,” said the Times, “there have been fewer deaths announced than there were seven days prior, indicating that the virus toll appears to be easing. More than half of the 24 counties that have recorded the most coronavirus deaths, including Oakland County, Mich., and Hartford County, Conn., are seeing sustained declines.”

Still, the thrust of the Times article was about the new crisis we will be courting, should we try to resume normal activities too soon. Do that, says the Times, and we could easily forfeit all the progress we have made.

Message: Social distancing, sheltering in place, wearing masks, working at home — the practices that broke the back of the pandemic — should be sustained for those able to do so.

Clearly, the opening in many states has been driven by popular protest and public demand. Crowds have ignored social distancing to demonstrate for an end to the shutdown. Protesters have refused to wear masks and engaged in the time-honored practice since the ’60s of civil defiance and disobedience.

The protesters seem to be saying: We deplore the losses and know the risks, but we cannot live our lives behind closed doors in our homes until the elites tell us, as though we were children, when we may go out in the yard.

Hence, the next question we are all likely to confront:

If there is a sudden resurgence of the coronavirus, a second wave, and the media elite and blue state governors demand a new shutdown, a new closure of beaches, parks, shops, restaurants and churches, will the people of this republic comply with those demands or defy them?

Will the nation answer back to the elites: We did that. We sheltered in place. We wore the masks. We socially distanced. We stayed in our homes. We stayed home from work. We have done all we were told to do to contain the virus. But, now, with the shutdown having put 36 million Americans on unemployment and sunk our GDP to Depression-era levels, we’re going back to work.

The political divide has already begun to appear.

Among those making the case for ending the shutdown and reopening the country and economy will be Trump, red state governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Brian Kemp in Georgia, conservatives in Congress and populists.

The proponents of a second shutdown will be liberal governors and mayors, the mainstream media and the Nancy Pelosi wing of Congress.

It should not go unmentioned that the latter’s political interests are best served the longer the shutdown endures and the worse the economic situation on Nov. 3. If the economy has failed to begin a robust recovery by fall, the greater the odds that Joe Biden wins the White House.

Yet, even if the pandemic returns in the fall, the establishment cannot keep the country closed indefinitely.

Prediction: If the people conclude they have done all they can do to mitigate the suffering from a virus they cannot eradicate, they will resist the imposition of another shutdown, and the establishment will have neither the will nor ability to push them back into their homes.

Ultimately, the people will decide when this shutdown ends, and when a plurality so concludes, the elites will be swept aside.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Donald Trump 
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“We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” said President Donald Trump Monday, as he supported the opening of the U.S. economy before the shutdown plunges us into a deep and lasting depression.

Tuesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, made clear to a Senate committee his contradictory views.

“If states reopen their economies too soon, there is a real risk that you may trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control,” said Fauci. “My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks of the disease (and) the inevitable return of infections.”

Fauci is talking of the real possibility of a second and even more severe wave of the pandemic this summer and fall, if we open too soon.

There is evidence to justify the fears of Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control, who told the same Senate committee, “We are not out of the woods yet.”

Yet, there is a case to be made for the risks that Trump and red state governors are taking in opening up sooner.

The Washington Post daily graph of new deaths nationally has been showing a curve sloping downward for a month from April’s more than 2,000 a day. On no day yet this week did the U.S. record 2,000 dead from the virus. On some days, there were fewer than 1,000.

The graph for new coronavirus cases, which was showing more than 30,000 a day in April, is now closer to 25,000.

Also, hospitalizations and ICU occupancies are not as high as they were. Hospitals put up in Central Park and the Javits Center seem not to have been needed. There was and is no shortage of ventilators. The Navy hospital ships Comfort and Mercy are returning to their home ports.

Also, not all states are suffering equally, nor are all communities in the hardest-hit states. There have been three times as many COVID-19 cases in New Jersey as in Texas, though New Jersey is a fraction of the size and has a fraction of the population of Texas.

There are twice as many cases in Massachusetts as in Florida, the nation’s third-most populous state with one of its highest percentages of retirees and elderly. There have been five times as many cases in New York as in California.

It is the nursing homes filled with the elderly and ill that have proven to be the real killing fields of this virus. According to The New York Times, one-third of all deaths from COVID-19 have come among residents and staff of nursing homes. Beyond these are the meatpacking plants and the prisons where social distancing is almost nonexistent.

Moreover, while Fauci and Redfield are specialists in epidemics, Trump’s portfolio goes far beyond that.

He is chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, responsible for the security and defense of the nation. His portfolio is broader and deeper than those of Fauci and Redfield.

In the first hours of the Normandy invasion, General Eisenhower must have been rightly alarmed about the high U.S. casualties on Omaha Beach. But he also had to concern himself with the failure to capture the Port of Caen to bring ashore the armor to stop any German counterattack that might turn D-Day into another Anzio.

Ike could not worry about casualties alone.

According to The Washington Post, economists already project that 100,000 small businesses have shuttered, never to reopen.

“(D)eeper and longer recessions can leave behind lasting damage to the productive capacity of the economy,” warned Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday. “Avoidable household and business insolvencies can weigh on growth for years to come.”

Ultimately, Fauci is not “The Decider” here. Trump is.

It is he who is accountable to the nation for weighing the losses, both human and material, due to his decisions.

Fauci may be the best at what he does, but he is still only an adviser. As John F. Kennedy said after the Bay of Pigs, it is the president who ultimately bears responsibility for what he does and fails to do, while “the advisers may move on to new advice.”

Believing he can do no more than his White House is now doing to contain the incidence of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Trump has decided his primary job is to prevent the nation from a catastrophic economic collapse from which it might take years to recover.

The country is slowly moving in Trump’s direction, slowly opening. And he will be responsible for whether the policy succeeds or opens the floodgates to a second and worse wave, should it come.

As Abraham Lincoln put his situation: “I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won’t matter. If I’m wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won’t make a difference.”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease, Donald Trump 
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Under fire for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump, his campaign and his party are moving to lay blame for the 80,000 U.S. dead at the feet of the Communist Party of China and, by extension, its longtime General Secretary, President Xi Jinping.

“There is a significant amount of evidence” that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week.

Trump himself seemed to subscribe to the charge:

“This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. There’s never been an attack like this… It could have been stopped in China. It should have been stopped right at the source.”

There is talk on Capitol Hill of suspending sovereign immunity so China may be sued for the damages done by the virus that produced a U.S. shutdown and a second Great Depression where unemployment is projected to reach near the 25% of 1933.

The Trump campaign has begun to target the Democratic nominee as “Beijing Biden” for his past collusion with China and his attack on Trump for “hysterical xenophobia” when Trump ended flights from China.
What is the historical truth?

On China, Trump is the first realist we have had in the Oval Office in decades. But both parties colluded in the buildup of China as she vaulted over Italy, France, Britain, Germany and Japan to become the world’s second power in the 21st century.

Both parties also dismissed Chinese trade surpluses with the U.S., which began at a few billion dollars a year in the early 1990s and have grown to almost $500 billion a year. Neither party took notice until lately of our growing dependency on Beijing for products critical to our defense and for drugs and medicines crucial to the health and survival of Americans.

The mighty malevolent China we face today was made in the USA.

But what do we do now? Can we coexist with this rising and expansionist power? Or must we conduct a new decades-long Cold War like the one we waged to defeat the Soviet Empire and Soviet Union?

The U.S. prevailed in that Cold War because of advantages we do not possess with the China of 2020.

From 1949-1989, a NATO alliance backed by 300,000 U.S. troops in Europe “contained” the Soviet Union. No Soviet ruler attempted to cross the dividing line laid down at Yalta in 1945. Nor did we cross it.

East of the Elbe, the Soviet bloc visibly failed to offer the freedoms and prosperity the U.S., Western Europe and Japan had on offer after World War II. America won the battle for hearts and minds.

Moreover, ethnic nationalism, the idea that separate and unique peoples have a right to determine their own political and cultural identity and destiny, never died in the captive nations of Europe and the USSR.

China today does not suffer from these deficiencies to the same degree. Unlike the USSR, China has four times our population. Where the USSR could not compete economically and technologically, China is a capable and dynamic rival of the U.S.

Moreover, if we begin a Cold War II with China, we would not be starting with the advantages Truman’s America, undamaged at home in World War II, had over Stalin’s pillaged and plundered land in 1945.

Where ethnic nationalism tore the USSR apart into 15 nations, today’s China is more of an ethno-nationalist state with Han Chinese constituting 1 billion of China’s 1.4 billion people.

There are millions of Tibetans, Uighurs, Kazakhs in southwest and west China, and tens of millions of Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Falun Gong and other religious minorities. But China is unlike the multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual Moscow-centered and Russian-controlled Soviet Empire and USSR that shattered after 1989.

China’s weaknesses?

She is feared and distrusted by her neighbors. She sits on India’s lands from the war of the early 1960s. She claims the whole South China Sea, whose waters and resources are also claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan.

The peoples of Hong Kong and Taiwan fear that Beijing intends to overrun and rule them.

Even Vladimir Putin has reason to be suspicious as Beijing looks at the barren but resource-rich lands of Siberia and the Russian Far East, some of which once belonged to China.

China is thus a greater rival than the USSR of Stalin and Khrushchev and Brezhnev, but the U.S. is not today the nation of Ronald Reagan, with its surging economy and ideological conviction we would one day see the ideology of Marx and Lenin buried.

Three decades of post-Cold War foolish and failed democracy-crusading have left this generation not with the conviction and certitude of Cold War America, but with ashes in their mouths and no stomach to spend blood and treasure converting China to our way of life.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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After Pearl Harbor, FDR declared that his role of “Dr. New Deal” had been superseded, replaced by his new role, “Dr. Win the War.”

Tuesday, President Donald Trump signaled that, in the war on the coronavirus pandemic, he, too, is executing a strategic pivot.

Where the medical crisis had been the central front, pulling the U.S. economy out of its coma is now his principal objective.

Trump is not unaware of the consequences of this decision.

“Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” said the president, “but we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”

“Tremendous progress” has been made in dealing with the medical crisis, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Tuesday, adding that the White House task force he chairs could be phased out in June.

Wednesday, Trump reversed that. From the public reaction, by popular demand, said Trump, the task force, whose primary medical voices are Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, will continue.

As the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 is now 74,000 and still rising at a rate of 2,000 a day, what is behind Trump’s strategic pivot?

First, there is not a great deal more the White House can do to slow the inexorable momentum of the disease itself.

“Social distancing” and “sheltering” have been in place for weeks. So, too, are the programs for producing masks, gowns, gloves, tests and ventilators. Trump cannot create any more from a White House podium.

Invariably, while there, he is baited and thrown on the defensive by a hostile press demanding he explain why he did not act sooner.

The White House briefings on the medical crisis have reached a point of diminishing returns. These invariably return to statically grim news — the new hospitalizations, the latest death toll, the “hot spots” where the coronavirus has flared up and is now raging.

The medical crisis is essentially out of the president’s control; its future will be largely dictated by the coronavirus pandemic itself.

Moreover, the economy is familiar and friendly terrain for Trump. There, he has a three-year record of undeniable success. In this crisis, the president can decide, lead, act and produce visible results.

And in moving from the medical crisis to the economic crisis, Trump has weapons to wield like the veto power to shape policy and directives to issue from the Executive Branch.

With this pivot, Trump is wagering his presidency on a belief that, by mid-June, the first large wave of deaths from the pandemic will have passed, the numbers will be diminishing, and almost all of America will be ready to get back to work.

Trump is betting that it does not matter if the country does not agree with him to open up today. By July, the country will agree.

By summer’s end, he sees himself as having led us through the medical crisis that is then receding, and up and out of a Second Depression. That will be his best argument for reelection.

If this scenario unfolds, Trump can make the case that while China was the origin of the Wuhan virus that killed scores of thousands of Americans, it was Donald J. Trump who led us through the tragedy, and he is leading us forward, once again, to a new prosperity.

What will be Joe Biden’s argument to lead America, after having sat out the worst crisis since World War II in his basement?

A majority of Americans are today wary of unlocking the economy and opening up the nation. Yet, each week, more and more people are demanding that it be done. And each week, more and more governors, reflecting the views of their constituents, are moving up the dates for partial reopenings.

By midsummer, the country will have caught up with Trump. That is the idea that animates the pivot.

And it is not a bad wager. Does anyone believe it will be possible to keep hundreds of millions of Americans in their homes in June, July and August?

Wholesale civil disobedience may face governors still conducting a strict lockdown in July.

Europe is already ahead of us. Italy, which has now been passed by Britain as the nation in Europe with the most deaths, is already starting to open. So, too, is Germany, the largest European nation with the fewest deaths. And Austria is ahead of both.

Trump’s strategic pivot puts Biden in a box.

The mainstream media and left-wing of his Democratic Party want the governors to keep the states locked down as the only way to avert a second wave of infections. And they may be right.

But however many victims succumb to this pandemic, it is going to end, and America is going to be reopened. The closer we are to both goals by Nov. 3, the better Donald J. Trump’s chances of retaking the oath on Jan. 20, 2021.

That’s the way Trump is betting.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Coronavirus, Donald Trump 
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Where Barack Obama achieved notoriety for “leading from behind,” Joe Biden, these last two months, has been leading from the basement.

And, one must add, doing so quite successfully.

Since his rout of Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, Biden has led President Donald Trump in every national poll and, lately, opened up a lead in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. One poll has him tied with Trump in Texas.

Last week, however, reality intruded. Biden was forced to defend himself against the lurid charge of ex-aide Tara Reade that, as a senator in 1993, he had groped and assaulted her inside the Capitol complex.

Why did Biden go public?

Because witnesses were coming forward to say Reade told them of Biden’s misconduct years ago, and major media outlets began to give the charge credibility by moving the allegation onto Page One.

Media allies were signaling that they could not forever give Biden a pass on this, and he had to speak to the charges. Which is what Biden did Friday as he told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski:

“This never happened … and it’s as simple as that.”

With that flat denial, Biden put his credibility on the line — in defense of his character. For one cannot equate what Reade claims Biden did with the reputation he has built over half a century as a decent and honorable man. Biden now has to persuade the nation this woman is deluded, wildly exaggerating, misremembering — or is deliberately lying.

If “nothing happened,” Biden must explain how well he knew Reade and why she left a plum job in the office of a U.S. senator after only nine months.

This is not a matter any presidential candidate wants to discuss while conducting his campaign. But this is only the beginning of Biden’s problems — and of his party’s problems with Biden.

With four months left before his nomination in Milwaukee, and six months before the November election, there are still among Democrats gnawing concerns based on Biden’s performance in the debates and primaries, and since, that he has lost the ability to articulate issues clearly and cogently, or to complete complex thoughts.

The worry is that he is suffering from mental decline and could be destroyed by Trump in a presidential debate. Biden forgets, mumbles, misspeaks, loses his train of thought and appears, at times, confused.

Moreover, Biden is no spring chicken. He would take office at 78, one year older than Ronald Reagan, our oldest president, was when he left office.

Biden has also signaled, by his references to being a “bridge” president, that he will be serving only the single term that would end in 2025 with him having celebrated his 82nd birthday.

“I view myself as a transition candidate,” Biden conceded last week.

This makes his vice presidential choice crucial. For that individual would not only become president instantly should something happen to a President Biden, but he or she would also become the leader of the Democratic Party, the probable presidential nominee in 2024, and possibly president.

Who will Biden select as America’s future leader, after him?

First rule: No white men need apply. Biden has ruled them out.

Indeed, no male candidate of any race or ethnicity need apply. The vice presidential nomination has been set aside for a woman.

A woman of color? Not necessarily.

But here Biden has another problem. It was a huge turnout among African Americans in South Carolina that rescued Biden’s failing candidacy and propelled him to his Super Tuesday triumph three days later.

Should Biden choose Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar as his running mate in a party that celebrates diversity above all, that all-white ticket would dismay and conceivably enrage the political elites of the black and Hispanic communities in the Democratic coalition.

If he chooses Sen. Elizabeth Warren, that ticket would also be all white. Moreover, it would point to a Democratic Party future far to the left of the constituencies that turned out in panic for Joe Biden because he was the last man standing athwart the forced march to the left of democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

If Biden chooses an African American like Stacey Abrams, who lost the Georgia governor’s race in 2018, or Sen. Kamala Harris, who did poorly in the primaries and savaged Biden for his opposing forced busing to integrate public schools in the 1970s, would Democrats welcome either as the party’s designated future leader?

Michelle Obama, as Biden wistfully says, would fit the bill perfectly.

But the former first lady is unavailable. And while Biden is mulling over his choice in his basement, Republicans will be attacking his character, credibility and mental competence. Before the fall campaign begins, they will have soiled his candidacy good.

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried,” said Winston Churchill, after the British gave him “The Order of the Boot” in 1945.

Campaign 2020 may show us our own democracy at its worst.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Donald Trump, Joe Biden 
Pat Buchanan
About Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Buchanan has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.

Mr. Buchanan is currently a columnist, political analyst for MSNBC, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975.


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