Dumb As Trump

Trump can’t help being Trump.

He says outrageous or dumb things about immigrants or his fellow Republican primary candidates five times a day.

But no one — not even the liberals of the mainstream media — really takes Donald Trump or what he spews seriously.

No one thinks the billionaire’s mix of egotistical bloviating and off-the-cuff policy positions represents the Republican Party or conservatism.

Mike Huckebee and Rick Perry are a whole other story.

They’re not clowns. They’re ex-governors. They’re supposed to be serious candidates for the Republican nomination for president.

Yet last week, they each said something dumb as Trump.

Perry’s statement, at least, was made, more or less, in defense of the Second Amendment.

But in the wake of last week’s theater shooting in Lafayette, La., he said that the way to prevent future shootings would be to encourage moviegoers to take their guns into the theaters.

I’m a fervent Second Amendment guy. And I agree with Perry that gun-free zones are always a bad idea because they attract the well-armed crazies who want to commit mass murders.

But even I wouldn’t want to go into a movie theater where everyone was packing — especially a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie.

Especially in West Texas.

Gov. Perry should have held his Texas tongue. All he did was make himself — and by extension the GOP — look like he was exploiting a tragedy to make a political point about gun rights.

Then there’s Mike Huckabee.

What he said about the effect the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran was going to have on the state of Israel caused a national political hissy fit.

Huckabee was right on target when he charged that the president’s foreign policy “is the most feckless in American history” and that trusting the Iranians was “naive.”

Where he got himself in trouble was when he said the Iran deal was so bad it “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

Huckabee’s Holocaust reference was not the real problem.

As the leaders of some Jewish American groups protested, the real problem was his premise that the state of Israel is a weakling that can’t defend itself from Iran.

Israel counts on our support, but it can take care of itself if it has to. It has a strong government, a strong leader and a strong military, not to mention lots of tanks, jet planes and scores of nukes.

Israel’s leaders also have something else — courage.

They’re not afraid to act decisively or preemptively when their nation is threatened, as they proved 35 years ago when their jets bombed Iraq’s nuclear research facility.

Huckabee’s Holocaust rhetoric was tut-tutted by some other Republican candidates who thought it was too strong.

Hillary Clinton and other phony Democrats, plus the usual liberal crybabies in the media, made faces and agreed that it was “offensive” and “out of line.”

What Huckabee said didn’t hurt his already slimmer-than-slim chances, but he hurt the GOP team.

He set up an easy layup for the Democrats so they could rise up in fake outrage and paint all the other Republicans as nuts as Trump.

Perry and Huckabee are desperately trying to boost their low poll numbers to qualify for next week’s “Top 10″ primary debate.

They tried to out-trump Trump. But all they did was cause trouble in their own ranks and give Democrats a boatload of fodder that will be used against the GOP next fall.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Donald Trump, Fake Conservative

Donald Trump has jumped to the top of the national polls for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

It’s an embarrassing moment for the GOP, the country, and the planet.

But everyone knows America’s richest celebrity businessman will never become the Republican candidate, much less president of the U.S.

Unfortunately for the GOP’s future, however, the billionaire blowhard is not going to fade away in a week or two like Herman Cain or Michele Bachmann did in 2012.

Whether he’s really worth $10 billion, as Trump claims, or just a few billion, he has more than enough money, ego, and media pull to keep him in the race all the way until Election Day.

With an ego bigger than America, Trump could pull another Ross Perot and put another Clinton in the White House.

Meantime, Candidate Trump has been a running political joke for weeks.

Underneath his criticism of America’s weak and stupid leaders and his boasting about his being able to make better trade deals with foreign countries than anyone else, he really has just one issue — immigration.

An issue which he blew badly.

In trying to explain his crude position on that politically complex subject, he managed to offend every Latino in the hemisphere by implying that illegal immigrants from Mexico are mostly murderers and rapists.

As for Trump’s positions on other issues important to conservatives and the future of America, they remain a total mystery.

The media won’t ask, and he won’t tell.

Is he pro life or pro choice?

Is he for national health care or against it?

How exactly does he plan to create all those new good jobs for Americans?

Is he going to raise taxes on the rich? Flatter taxes or fairer taxes?

What would he do to fix the education problem?

If indeed immigration is his signature issue, how is he going to stop or control it? And what’s he going to do about the 12 million illegals already here?

Maybe Candidate Trump filled in Ted Cruz on where he stood on these issues the other day when Cruz made a friendly visit to Trump in his Tower.

But other conservatives need to find out if Trump is really a Republican.

He sure doesn’t act like one. He’s already broken Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment — never speak ill of another Republican — dozens of times. (Trump’s 12th Commandment is “Speak ill of everybody.”)

So before any more conservatives jump on the Trump bandwagon, wouldn’t it be better to find out where he stands?

We only get sound bites from Trump’s events. But no one in the liberal media is in a big hurry to go deeper on him and his views.

They aren’t going to dig deep into his “colorful” personal or business history in an attempt to discredit him or prove, as some people say, that he’s not even as conservative as Bill Clinton.

If the media did some excavating, they might be surprised by Trump’s answers.

They might find that he doesn’t say the same thing to conservatives in private as he does when he bloviates in front of crowds and cameras.

What, for instance, did Candidate Trump say in private when he talked to the Friends of Abe, the support and networking group actor Gary Sinise started for about 2,000 political conservatives working in Hollywood?

Were the FOA’s elite members put off by him? Did they embrace him? Who knows?

No one in the mainstream news media seems too eager to expose Trump for the conservative fake he really is.

They treasure him for his celebrity and his entertainment value and don’t want to spoil the show.

But the liberal media treasure Trump even more because he spends so much time helping them discredit the Republican Party and conservatism.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Trump Towers In ‘First Debate’

FYI, my fellow Americans.

Donald Trump, a political amateur, has won the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 primary.

It wasn’t a formal scheduled TV debate. That political circus doesn’t debut on Fox News until next month.

The debate Trump won was the one dealing with illegal immigrants from Mexico that he started three weeks ago when he officially announced he was running for president.

Trump, who didn’t bother to use a prepared speech or read from a teleprompter, said blunt and unfriendly things about his fellow GOP candidates and their lousy leadership skills, which the liberal mainstream media gleefully reported.

But what the pundits, many Republicans, and the media really went ballistic over was the way Trump characterized the country’s illegal immigrants from Mexico.

In case you’ve forgotten, he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us (sic). They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

The 69-year-old billionaire was trying to make a point about the problem of illegal immigrants who come here and commit crimes, but he was winging it and he messed up.

Trump made his point, but he got it backwards. Most — not ” some” — of the 5.9 million illegal immigrants from Mexico who live in the USA are good people.

If Trump were not Trump, he should have hired someone to write a speech for him that said something like:

“Though they have broken the law to enter the United States, most of the Mexican people who’ve come here are good people who want to work hard and better their lives. But thousands of them are not good people; and they are committing crimes like sexual assault, rape, and murder after they get here.

“We have to prevent those bad people from getting into our country in the first place, and we have to deport them or jail them immediately when they commit serious crimes.”

But Trump being Trump, he was more interested in calling attention to the problem than being politically correct.

Predictably, the mainstream media went after Trump. It made him and the clumsy things he said about Mexicans the big story; and reporters went around asking the other GOP candidates what they thought about what Trump said, not what they thought about immigration.

Those candidates gave their usual crafted political answers, kowtowing to the mainstream media by dumping on Trump.

Ironically, though, Trump got the last word.

Because of him calling attention to criminality among illegal Mexican immigrants, the issue has become a hot media topic.

Instead of ignoring or downplaying crimes committed by “unauthorized” immigrants, as the Pew Research Center now calls illegals, the mainstream media have finally started reporting some of the most horrible examples.

The recent murder of a San Francisco woman by an immigrant who had been deported five times has made the biggest headlines.

There’s also the illegal immigrant in Texas who killed his wife with a hammer and the one in Arizona who injured a mother and two kids in a hit-and-run. Both immigrants had been deported multiple times.

The statistics about how many illegal immigrants commit serious crimes, or whether they commit more per capita than U.S. citizens, are debatable and hard to come by, largely because the government doesn’t care to tally them.

But what’s undebatable is that tens of thousands of this country’s total 12 million illegal immigrants commit serious crimes each year, and we have to do something about it.

Trump, without trying, brought attention to a major issue in a way no other candidate could or would. While the other GOP candidates talked about him, he was talking about a major issue of the 2016 campaign.

Therefore, he started — and ultimately won — the first debate of the GOP’s 2016 primary. I bet it won’t be the last time he outpoints the professional politicians and their consultants.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

The Confederate Flag Flap

You can tell it’s presidential election season.

Once again, politicians and the mainstream media are being stupid and irresponsible.

They are wasting our time on minor issues that get both sides of the conservative-liberal divide riled up at each other, but prevent us from focusing on what really matters.

We have a mess of serious problems we have to fix or deal with at home and overseas.

And what have the media, the politicians, and the whole country been yapping and arguing about for two weeks?

The symbolism of a 150-year-old Confederate battle flag.

Jeb Bush — as predictably as Donald Trump and the others — said on Monday that the flag is “a racist symbol” from the past that divides people and causes disagreement today.

He said the Confederate flag should be removed from South Carolina’s statehouse grounds, just as he removed it from Florida’s capitol when he was governor.

I agree.

Though it was originally designed to prevent southern soldiers from killing each other in battle, the flag has been a symbol of both heritage and hate since the beginnings of the civil rights movement.

Sadly, it took a horrible tragedy in Charleston to make the country and our leading politicians realize that a state government has no business giving the Confederate flag a place of honor.

Like it or not, in 2015, the Confederate flag we all saw on the roof of those 1969 Dodge Chargers on the “Dukes of Hazard” is no longer so innocent.

Now, it symbolizes two totally different and incompatible things to whites and blacks.

Many Southern whites still see it as a symbol of the battlefield bravery of their ancestors, or as a romantic symbol of their Southern heritage and culture.

Meanwhile, for obvious reasons, the exact same flag is an insult to blacks. Many of their ancestors were slaves when the flag was first waved in battle.

And then, though freed, for the next 100 years, their grandparents and parents were treated as second-class Americans by racist state governments that incorporated the Confederate symbol in their official flags.

If you can’t understand why the black citizens of the South might consider the old Confederate battle flag an insult today, ask yourself how a German Jew would react to seeing a swastika fluttering proudly in front of the Reichstag in 2015.

The Confederate flag deserves no place of honor on government property in America. It never did.

But, as usual, some have gone overboard with political correctness.

Amazon and Wal-mart made fools of themselves when they announced that because of the Confederate flag flap, they were going to stop selling products that carry its image.

The TV Land channel was just as idiotic when it pulled episodes of “The Dukes of Hazard.” NASCAR hasn’t banned Confederate flags at its races, but it still might.

At least the Confederate flag hasn’t been outlawed. And the First Amendment hasn’t been repealed.

If Confederate flag worshippers want to fly their colors, they are still free to do so on their own property. Or they can make their own flags and put them on their T-shirts or pickup trucks or sell them at flea markets and gun shows.

Meanwhile, let’s try to get back to things that really matter in this election season.

Our economy is still a wreck. We have too few good full-time jobs and way too many people on unemployment, food stamps, and welfare.

We have to come up with sensible ways to reform immigration, health care, and Social Security/Medicare. High debt and heavy taxes are going to turn us into Greece.

We don’t know yet how our presidential wannabes plan to fix immigration or healthcare.

Or how they plan to defeat ISIS or get the economy back on track after eight years of Obama.

All we know for sure so far is what they think about the Confederate flag.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Whining Is For Duffers, Not Pros

Sometimes you just have to get away from politics, if even for half a weekend.

I did it last Sunday, and it felt great.

In the morning, I didn’t watch a second of George Stephanopoulos, Chris Wallace, or any of the other TV talking heads, pundits, politicians, or their professional mouthpieces.

I didn’t hear a word about removing the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina’s statehouse grounds — which I think they should do.

I didn’t hear the words “Charleston,” “Putin,” or “Obama” for the entire blessed day.

Thanks to a friend who gave me a ticket to the final round of the 2015 U.S. Open, I got to spend my Sunday walking around the Chambers Bay Golf Course on the beautiful Washington coast near Tacoma.

The only flags I thought about were the ones waving at me on a spectacular golf course that was so tough it turned some of the best golfers in the world into duffers like you and me.

Fellow golfers, don’t believe the criticism you heard about Chambers Bay’s unique layout and rugged terrain being unfriendly to spectators and unfair for the players.

Yes, walking the course as a spectator was a serious trek. And yes, it was not possible to follow your favorite golfer from hole No. 1 through hole No. 18.

But I and tens of thousands of others had no trouble getting an up-close look at one of the most exciting U.S. Open finishes in history.

When Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy hit their long drives off the No. 10 tee, I was 20 feet away.

When McIlroy chunked a pitching wedge, I was so close I could feel his pain. We duffers all have that shot in our bag. It was nice to see that a super golfer has it too.

When Dustin Johnston missed that short birdie putt on 18, which would have forced an 18-hole playoff with Spieth, I could hear the collective groan of thousands of shocked spectators.

The 2015 U.S. Open — where Tiger Woods shot an opening round of 80 — could not have been more exciting if it had been scripted.

The last nine holes were full of suspense and drama. And the trophy was literally won and lost on the last putt of the tournament.

The 2015 Open was one of the greatest sporting events I’ve ever attended. I’m glad I didn’t have to watch it on Fox TV, whose rookie broadcast team repeatedly shanked its coverage.

The only thing that ruined the full enjoyment of the Open for me was the whining done by the golf pros before, during, and after the tournament.

They whined that Chambers Bay was too long, too dry, too hilly, and weirdly contoured. And they whined that the brown-green greens were too slow, bumpy, and just plain bad.

Ian Poulter, the Brit who finished 11 over par for the tournament, said the USGA should have apologized to the players for the poor condition of the greens.

For a while there, I thought some of the best golfers in the world were going to petition the United Nations for relief.

Come on, guys. Man up.

Chambers Bay was supposed to be different. It was purposely designed and conditioned to make it as tough as possible, not as perfect as possible.

It was not supposed to be another Buick Open, where every green looks and runs like a pool table and every fairway is as flat as an airport runway.

I applaud the USGA for trying something different. The golf bosses made the 2015 Open as difficult as they did because they didn’t want the winner to come in at 18 under par.

Their plan worked. Spieth finished at just 5 under. Instead of whining about the course like a duffer, he kept his head down, sunk the putts he needed to sink, and won $1.8 million.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth