Politics & Policy

Random Thoughts — or Provocations

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In many ways, the public is on our side.

Here are some fairly random things that, it is safe to say, a large majority of Americans would agree with:

‐Al Sharpton is not in any way a legitimate spokesman for racial “justice,” much less racial healing.

‐Wendy Davis does not speak for most American women.

‐Sandra Fluke does not speak for most American women.

‐Lena Dunham does not even come close to speaking for most American women.

‐Barack Obama comes across as arrogant — and there are no racial connotations in that statement.

‐Obama has made a habit of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who don’t agree with him. George W. Bush almost never did so.

‐The practice of insulting, belittling, and mocking those who disagree creates a tone that, to say the least, is anything but “presidential.”

‐The idea of EPA agents swooping in on businesses or municipal installments while armed to the gills — which they do, repeatedly — is outrageous, frightening, and completely contrary to American values.

‐There is no excuse, in a republic with constitutional protections as strong and well observed as ours, for violent riots that harm innocent bystanders and businesses. Those who engage in such riots, if caught, should be shown no mercy, but rather punished to the full extent the law allows.

‐It is ludicrous, and sickening, for somebody to seriously advocate fining and imprisoning people — even just leading “money men” — who disagree with, and advocate opposition to, leftist policies in response to the theory of major man-made climate change.

. . . Actually, let’s unpack this one a tiny bit. When I wrote a column that objected to such a despicable (and dangerously authoritarian) proposal for trampling on the First Amendment, Steven Payne at The Daily Kos replied that I was objecting too much because, after all, it is only “the profiteers from the denial of climate change who should be held accountable.” Gee, that makes it better. So the First Amendment doesn’t apply if you’re in business? How nice. Well, I am getting paid for this column, and I deny the theory of man-made climate change. Does that make me a “profiteer” from “denialism”? If so, come get me. But, speaking of a change in climate, it’ll be a cold day in Hell before you succeed.

Back to the list . . . 

‐Accused rapists have the same right to presumption of innocence as everybody else. Especially if the accusation is first published by Rolling Stone or by Lena Dunham.

‐People actually convicted of rape should be shown no mercy, and indeed most of them should serve longer sentences than they do.

‐Both major American party establishments, Democratic and Republican alike, kowtow far too readily to big donors, big business, big labor, et cetera, and pay far too little attention to the actual views of manual laborers, service workers, shopkeepers, and owners of very small businesses. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is right: Populism, understood correctly, should not be a dirty word; in a republic, it ought to be a governing principle. (That’s why, by the way, both Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former senator James Webb of Virginia are absolutely right in their populist tones, even if spectacularly wrong, in Warren’s case, especially, on substance — which, in turn, is why both could give fits to gazillionaire Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries in a year or so.)

‐Judges matter. And conservative positions on the judiciary are winning positions, not subjects to shy away from.

‐The federal government has promulgated far too many rules, and enforces them with far too little common sense. (By the way, here’s a hint for a congressman willing to do painstakingly hard work in order to make a huge difference in daily lives, even if the purely political payoff might be almost negligible in the short run: Have your staff convene conservative experts to produce a total rewrite of the Administrative Procedures Act. It is a travesty, it is antiquated, and it allows administrative abuses that plague millions of daily lives.)

‐Obamacare isn’t a basically good law with a few flaws that need to be fixed; it’s a fundamentally awful law with a very, very few good provisions. It can’t be “fixed,” but must be completely replaced — and with government playing a much smaller role in the end result.

‐If Obama left the White House on New Year’s Day, he would be leaving 2,172 days too late. And it would be 2,172 days too late even if he were as white as the new-fallen snow.

— Quin Hillyer is a contributing editor for National Review. Follow him on Twitter: @QuinHillyer.

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