American Elephants


What Indeed Does It Mean to Be A Conservative? by The Elephant's Child

When I got online yesterday, I had a message from Ricochet that they had a new podcast with Jay Nordlinger and Yuval Levin talking about “What Does It Mean to Be a Conservative?”— and my initial thought was”Oh no, Here we go again!” As a long-time Republican and, I thought, a Conservative—I have reached the conclusion that there is a section of the Republican party that is far more comfortable speaking and writing about what it means to be a Conservative, and sharing memories of Buckley and Reagan than discussing such intractable ideas about the fat kid in charge of North Korea, or the people revolting in Iran. They care about the history of Conservatism, and the thoughts of early Conservatives, and the words of the founding fathers. It’s comfortable.

There is within the Republican party a group of “Never Trump”people who seem to be offended by President Trump’s tweets. We’ve never  had a president before who tweets. It’s not presidential, they say. Why not? Tweeting is popular, the language is usually coarse and insults fly. The president’s tweets seem more designed to tweak the very unfriendly media than anything else. The list of real accomplishments keeps growing.

He speaks a little differently, but Dan Bongino, who is from Queens, says that President Trump talks like somebody from Queens. This is apparently grounds for insisting that the President is insane, intellectually challenged, ignorant, dumb, and a psychiatric problem running around loose in the White House, when he should be incarcerated.

Yet for someone so intellectually challenged, he defeated  16 of the most qualified candidates ever to grace a Republican electorate. He is clearly ignorant, yet the stock market is reaching new highs, corporations and small businesses are celebrating the removal of unneeded regulations. Business is investing. Almost everyone is getting a tax cut. And the president is working for free.

Daniel Greenfield, who has a sharp eye and a sharper pen, says that the new civil war is being fought by lawyers in blue or gray suits not with bullets, but with bullet points.

From the Mueller investigation to Federal judges declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the right to control immigration policy or command the military, from political sabotage at the DOJ by Obama appointees like Sally Yates to Patagonia’s lawsuit over national monuments, the cold civil war set off by the left’s rejection of the 2016 election results has been a paper war largely waged by lawyers.  …and

Federal judges have seized previously unimaginable amounts of power by not only blocking orders that had always been considered an essential part of presidential authority on flimsy premises that when dissected amount to a critique of President Trump’s character (not to mention the sovereign entitlement of the University of Hawaii to set national immigration policy for the entire country based on its urgent need for Syrian grad students), but by demanding that agencies under the control of the President of the United States enact their orders, such as accepting transgender military recruits.

Some have insisted that it is a “class” matter. Americans usually choose their presidents from the governing class. Politicians, who understand how politics is played, and who speak in the measured tones of what is considered acceptable and what is not. But we have learned and are learning anew that the political class is not and never has been of sterling character and without flaws, foibles and faults. It’s a thankless job, and when they’re through, biographers will sort out all their many character failings, disparage their accomplishments, and they will go on the list of past presidents, to be blamed for future events that don’t turn out well.

So far, in spite of all, we remain a free people. Democrats form organizations like the Democracy Alliance, an exclusive club for leftists of great means who will invest their political dollars together to have the greatest influence. The Center for American Progress controls the language and issues talking point judged to be most effective in the political battle, which will be repeated endlessly by the leftist-leaning media. President Trump’s emerging tax plan will benefit at least 80% of taxpayers, yet the public is opposed to his tax plan—because most believe that the tax cuts are only for the rich, as Democrats have been screeching for weeks. And Conservatives are still huddling, and talking about what it means to be a true conservative.

We are deep in a political war for control of the country. Republicans care about free speech, free people, and the Democrats want control. Human nature is messy, we fight, quarrel, invent, fail, are foolish, brilliant, succeed and fail. You never know what to expect. Democrats want a more orderly world of which they approve. Everyone, in their glorious future will be equal, there will be no more wars, no more quarrels. That will not be allowed. They are a little short on history, and assume that they have dreamed up something new.

Advertisements


If Your Basic Assumption is Wrong, Your “Solution” Won’t Work by The Elephant's Child

Former President Barack Obama was known for adding civil rights issues to many of his policies, including those involving sexual assault procedures on campuses, public school bathrooms and locker room, and how public schools deal with disciplinary problems.

Social-Justice advocates assumed that racial disparities in the criminal justice system were evidence that police were, at least implicitly, racist. So too the disparities in school suspensions must be evidence that teachers were, at the very least implicitly, racist. Statistics were clear. A greater proportion of minority students were disciplined or suspended than white students. So all was blamed on an incorrect assumption.

This Obama era school discipline policy extended the Black Lives Matter ideology directly into America’s classrooms. The Obama administration’s 2014 “Dear Colleague” guidance said that any school district whose disciplinary measures impacted a disproportionately greater number of minority students being disciplined would soon receive a visit from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education. The Federal Government was concerned with the “school to prison pipeline.”

However, critics of the Obama policy say it essentially placed “racial quotas” on school discipline and is teaching minority students they can avoid consequences for disruptive and violent behavior simply because of their race or ethnic background.

After much speculation about whether education secretary Betsy DeVos would actually take on the Obama-era school discipline policy, she hired former senior attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute Hans Bader – a noted critic of the use of “disparate impact” statistics to muscle school districts.

So instead of suspending an out-of-control kid who is threatening the teacher, the Obama administration recommended techniques such as “conflict resolution, restorative practices, counseling, and structured systems of positive intervention.”

Statistics are clear that there are large numbers of single parent moms in inner city communities. Even Obama has blamed a lot of dysfunction on the absence of fathers in the home. Add gangs and drugs. Ben Carson has said the streets where he grew up were getting young men killed and that it was a library card that saved him. He grew up to become a world-renowned surgeon and now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, trying to do something about the bad streets.

Critics said the Obama policy placed “racial quotas” on school discipline and teaches minority students that they can avoid consequences for bad behavior because of their race or ethnic background. Some news reports would seem to confirm this with more frequent stories of attacks on teachers and injuries. Such reports seldom make the front page or even the mainstream news, but in odd corners of conversations about education it appears that schools are becoming dangerous places for teachers. No school district wants to admit that their schools are not safe places for the teachers—but there seems to be a lot of it under the radar. But that too is an assumption.

Here are some interesting posts at Pinterest, which seem to be by teachers trying to figure things out. On the other hand, it seems like there is not a week when there isn’t a post at Instapundit about some teacher (female) being arrested for having sex with a student.




%d bloggers like this: