John Livingston News

It’s Just Politics as Usual

So few people today in our country have an appreciation of our own national history. Watching the news out of Washington can only be depressing. Everything is viewed through the lens of politics. Even the basic sciences have become politicized. Medical research, global warming, public health, have all been compromised by the funneling of political grants and subsidies to organizations and individuals that share political agendas with the “deep state” that grant them access to these capital streams. We are told that polarization in politics is at an all-time high and we are more and more seeing personal demonization supplanting political debate.

History tells us a different story that is not new. If we reflect on our own country’s history, we will understand that politics in the USA is a contact sport. When Thomas Jefferson ran against John Adams in 1800 James T. Calendar a disaffected political ally who in the previous election created a slanderous and calumnious campaign about Adams, changed sides and broke a story in the Richmond Va. newspaper that Jefferson had fathered four children by Sally Hemmings one of his own slaves. Adams was encouraged by many of his supporters to make this an issue in the campaign and by so doing, it would ensure his election in the Electoral College, an election he finally lost in the House of Representatives.

The council provided to Adams by his wife Abigail has seldom been followed by politicians since. She set a standard for the dissemination of unverified information in the context of a political campaign. Her standard: The right truth, at the right place (a newspaper or a media outlet would not be the right place) at the right time, for the right reason, about the right person. I believe if the progressives today cannot make a political or policy argument on the merits, they are following in the footsteps of James Callender.

A Rasmussen Poll came out last week showing our President’s approval rating at 51% the highest it has been since being elected. Isn’t it interesting how they never publish what Congress’s approval rating is while many of the political talking heads inform us that there has never been a more unpopular or divisive President than Donald Trump? These people must have slept through American History class in high school or were too busy in college demonstrating for “social justice” to have heard of our great President Abraham Lincoln who was without a doubt our greatest, most divisive, and most unpopular President.

If history teaches us anything, it is that great leaders and great statesmanship require acts of courage and imagination that oftentimes requires the risk of being unpopular. Not only was Lincoln hated by Southern Democrats, he was disdained by members of his own party and cabinet. George McClellan who Lincoln fired from being General of The Army of The Potomac in 1862 and who then ran against him for President in 1864 called him a “well-meaning baboon”. Lincoln’s own cabinet members and advisors described him at various times as “a smutty jokester, an aimless punster or a huckster”.

Today people like me who are supporters of Donald Trump and who have become disillusioned by today’s James Callenders like MSNBC/CNN/CBS/NYT/WAPO should take heart in the witness of Abraham Lincoln. Unlike so many of today’s hypocritical. virtue-signaling politicians who claim to have the moral high ground, Lincoln understood that we cannot for a moment believe “that God is on our side” as several Democratic primary candidates believe, but it is more important that we humble ourselves and “pray that we are on God’s side”.

He also understood as did Lincoln, that politics motivated by personal hate never succeeds in the long run. Hatefulness in any setting is self-destructive. Hate on a personal level is oftentimes in psychoanalytical terms a reflection of the hater’s feelings about themselves and about their own inadequacies and as such is a demonstration of “transference”. When people share the same values or as Thomas Aquinas stated same 1st instances they have the bases for contrarian points of view. Assuming a moral high ground by virtue signaling only places a policy debate and the legislative process in a subordinate position.

I believe that facts speak for themselves. We today are living in a time of unprecedented prosperity with the strongest economy the world has ever known. Even people living at the margins receiving Medicaid, food stamps, housing, and rent assistance have an ability to consume at a higher level than 5 out of 7 billion people living in the world today, “Factfulness” by Hans Rofsling. More money is being put into the private sector via tax breaks to individuals and businesses allowing for more personal consumption and more business investment creating more jobs and higher productivity. Our military is slowly and maybe too slowly in my opinion being built up. Disciplined Federal and Supreme justices are being confirmed.

I believe history will soon judge President Trump more kindly than they are being portrayed by the James Callenders of the world.

For conservatives like me, the future has never seemed brighter. What about you?

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