American Elephants


But Everybody Knows That Trump is .. by The Elephant's Child

Donkeys 1

Democrats have been quite certain that their stand on illegal immigration will be popular among Hispanics. Certainly the racism implicit in Trump’s border wall will be meaningful to the people who have come to America from Mexico and  Central America. Everybody knows Trump is a racist.

A new poll by McLaughlin & Associates finds that the president’s approval rating among Hispanics is 50 percent. McLaughlin is a somewht conservative-oriented company, so Powerline checked with other surveys.  A January Marist/NPR/PBS survey put Trump’s approval rating at 50%,  February Morning Consult/Political poll put it at 45 percent, slightly higher than Trump’s overall approval rating, But what….?

But then, back when Obama was setting up the DACA program, it turned out that when Hispanics were asked what they should do with these unaccompanied children, they said to send them right back home! Steve Cortes, who helped lead the Trump Hispanic Advisory Council in 2016, cites three factors: (1) the economy (2) immigration, and (3) social issues. Cortes explains:

Leftist politicians and their media allies wrongly assume that Hispanics espouse softness on immigration illegality. In reality, a 2018 YouGov/Economist poll detailed that only 20% of Hispanics support the practice of “catch and release” of families crossing our border illegally.

Indeed, Hispanic Americans often suffer the worst, most immediate consequences of porous borders. Too often, Hispanic workers must compete against unfair, illegal labor.

In addition, dangerous illegal aliens largely terrorize Hispanic citizens. The tragic tales of MS-13 savagery, for example, normally involve Hispanic victims like Carlos Rivas-Majano, one of 27 people killed by the gang on Long Island, N.Y., in just the past three years. While elites like wannabe-Hispanic Robert Francis O’Rourke pontificate about open borders and tearing down existing border walls, the actual on-the-ground consequences flow to people with names like Hernandez, Cabrera, and Cortes.

Hispanic Americans have suffered too many totally preventable losses, such as slain Arizona police Sgt. Brandon Mendoza and young Los Angeles mother Sandra Duran, both murdered by illegal aliens living in America despite multiple prior arrests in the United States.

Paul Mirengoff added: “The assumption that Republicans must be soft on immigration to do well among Hispanics voters may prove to be another bit of conventional wisdom that Donald Trump destroys.”

“It’s an article of faith among white leftists that President Trump is a racist. He stands accused of being anti-Black and anti-Hispanic.” Where do we get our ideas of just what the “conventional wisdom” is? It’s what the media reports, It’s what the TV is saying, and the internet, Twitter and Facebook and the Hollywood celebrities a-n–d …oh.  I see!   Rather a lot of conventional wisdom has been going by the wayside lately, has it not?



“When Big Government Saved America” and Other Lefty Myths by The Elephant's Child

While following a link to an article that turned out not to be of any interest, I ran across an article entitled “When Big Government Saved America.” I do try to keep up with the wandering of leftist minds, but this noxious notion made me curious.

The recent bridge collapse along I-5 north of Seattle was in some ways a freak accident, yet to many Americans it seemed emblematic of a public sector in crisis. As gridlock and dysfunction reign, the U.S. government seems to lack the capacity to adopt even the most popular and necessary measures—even to maintain the physical structures upon which American life depends. In the meantime, this crisis of the public sector is mirrored by—and fed by—Americans’ lack of faith in public institutions.

The recent bridge collapse along I-5 north of Seattle was in some ways a freak accident? No it was a freak accident. a Tractor-trailer with a too-wide load hit a major support on one section of the bridge, and it collapsed. I knew they were trying to make a big deal of it. It was not “emblematic of a public sector in crisis,” and the physical structures “upon which American life depends,” which had been surveyed in the previous 6 months, was replaced in two weeks with a temporary span.

Eighty years ago this month as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first “hundred days” wound to a close amid the Great Depression, the United States was in far worse shape than it is today. And yet, then, the American government responded to economic catastrophe not by treating public services as extravagancies to be traded off in the name of “belt tightening,” but rather by expanding them dramatically. They not only built what by some measures was the most generous social spending regime in the world, but also a political culture in which public institutions were trusted and esteemed far more than they are today.

There was certainly generous spending. Roosevelt set right off in 1933 with the National Industrial Recovery Act (the NRA), the most revolutionary act ever. It allowed American industrialists to collaborate to set the prices of their products, the wages and hours that went into making them. Antitrust laws were suspended. Leaders of industries were invited to sit down together and write “codes of fair competition” that would be binding on everyone in their industry, and subject to a fine or jail term if he violated the code. So what you had was a conspiracy against the public, and that went well.

FDR never had to work, and always had an allowance from his mother. Everyone who knew him agreed that he had no business sense and no financial sense. He failed in every business venture he undertook, and did not learn from his mistakes. But he was charming.  FDR was quite sure that price-fixing was a good idea, and that competition was a bad thing. As Henry Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury, and one of the architects of the New Deal said:

We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. …We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…and an enormous debt to boot.

Mason Williams, the author of this piece, and of a new book about New York City, FDR and La Guardia is apparently a newly-minted PhD in History, who will begin his first teaching job in the fall. He is a victim of conventional leftist wisdom that FDR saved America from the Great Depression. He didn’t. FDR’s vast experimentation made things worse, and the depression far longer than it needed to be. Nor did World War II end the depression. The assumption was that all the war work at home, building military equipment that put people back to work ended the downturn. But during the war wages and prices were fixed, goods were rationed, and the war materials the factories turned out were consumed in the course of the war. It took quite a few years after the war for America to recover, as UCLA economist Lee Ohanian and Harold Cole have shown. Price-fixing never, never works.

There was a scene in Anton Myrer’s great novel of World War II, Once an Eagle, of the day Roosevelt died. When they heard the news on the radio, the woman said” The President was carrying everything on his hands. Everything. Now the fat will be in the fire, along with everything else He was so brave,” she murmured.

“FDR? Baloney” said her government insider companion, “He was a power-drunk egocentric and the prince of political manipulators. But he could make them go the way he wanted.”

That was just a novel. The myth of Roosevelt’s deft handling of two of our worst crises — the Great Depression and World War II — has endured, and encouraged the left to always try to emulate his failed policies— to our great misfortune.  That was eighty years ago, and some learn from history, while others never examine their presumptions and prejudices.




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