I often hear Don McLean’s masterpiece of a song, “American Pie.” It almost always tears up my eyes. Maybe, because I lived through the loss of the America that it’s written about—that over the years since has become as lost as my long, blonde hair.
A couple mornings ago, on the car radio, I heard it again. This
time, it struck me that “the day the music died,” February 3,
1959, that McLean began his song with has, in fact, happened
I’m not saying that there has literally been another plane crash,
stealing another young life like that of Buddy Holly’s. I am saying
that something has happened in the same kind of specific, pinpoint
manner of the plane crash that, in Holly’s case, forever separated
the America before his death (the Fifties and the late Forties) from
the America after the singer/songwriter’s death (The Sixties and the
early Seventies—and beyond).
There’s so much to glean from McLean’s song, recorded on May 26, 1971. This link to an understanding of the song dissects it verse-by-verse.
This second link is a youtube video of the song set to archival images that sync with each musical and cultural reference that McLean makes in his lyrics.
There was definitely a post WWII, chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard, to boot, live and let live, romantic innocence that underscored Holly’s music and that preceded his death. Then, as with a flash of lightning, there came the Sixties—and with it, a rising hell of violent turmoil, culminating with the December 6, 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont Speedway Free Concert, during which four festivalgoers died (one of which having been brutally knifed and kicked to death by members of the infamous Hells Angels motorcycle gang right in front of the stage, causing Mick Jagger to stop the band in the middle of their song “Sympathy For The Devil” while he shouted out for a doctor to help the victim).
For an excellent, almost minute-by-minute account of that Stones concert, here is a link to a January 21, 1970 Rolling Stone Magazine article—from little more than one month after the tragic event. A truly frightening read that, really, sums up that whole decade! A 1970 feature-length documentary of the Altamont Free Concert also was made, complete with all of its madness and aptly titled “Gimme Shelter.”
I heard about the concert on the TV news, just as I had heard
about the Charles Manson murders only four months before Altamont, in
August of 1969. The year before, Martin Luther King had been
assassinated on April 4, and Bobby Kennedy was assassinated on June
5. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was gunned down with a sawed-off
shotgun and then pistols. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred on
August 2, and 4, 1964, which caused Lyndon Johnson to escalate U.S.
involvement in the Vietnam War, approved by Congress on August 10,
1964. And, on November 22, 1963, John Kennedy had been assassinated
Perhaps JFK’s death was the real pivot point, but still, it was
Buddy Holly’s bone-scattering death in that frozen Iowa cornfield
that foreshadowed the rampant bloodshed that accompanied the ten
years that followed.
Whoever thinks that the Sixties was all tie-dyes, bell-bottoms, leather sandals, and sunrise doobies in the park must not have been there.
One thing that I think has not been so discussed, though, about that decade, regards the Democratic-Socialist revolutionaries who began, in earnest, to act upon their political beliefs, first using riots, stones, molotov cocktails, and improvised explosive devices to attack the American “establishment” from the outside. The Students For A Democratic Society (SDS). The Weather Underground. The Black Panthers. Just to name the big three.
Influential mentors appeared, some employed as professors at universities like those at Berkeley and Columbia, for example, Richard Andrew Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven, and Saul Alinsky, the author of Rules For Radicals. They began to teach many of those revolutionaries that the more effective way to fundamentally transform America was not from the outside, with stones and bombs, but from the inside—by rising up within. And, so they did.
Sixties revolutionaries, like Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn, became small-community organizers, school and small-town administrators, and worked their way up through civic and educational systems. Ayers, ultimately, became an instructor at the University of Chicago, where he, his wife, and the young Barack Obama socialized and practiced community organizing together. Obama worked his way farther up to the Illinois Senate, and from there, he obtained the ultimate prize—the American presidency. The idea for how they made that happen originated, primarily, with the “Cloward-Pivens Strategy” and Alinsky’s book of rules for radicals, in the Sixties, not so long after Holly’s death.
Which brings me back to the other morning when I was listening to “American Pie” on the car radio and came to a clear belief that once more, a plane had crashed, shattering what came before and heralding another violent tumult, so far, too close to being alike the Sixties. Not yet the Sixties. It would take an awful lot to match that decade, but already too close! Antifah. The Occupy Movement. The Squad. Maybe, that could be what tears up my eyes when I hear the song.
There was the time before November 8, 2016, and there has been the time that has come after and that is now racing recklessly forward, already dangerously close to out-of-control. Instead of Buddy Holly nose-diving into an icy Iowa cornfield and dying instantly upon impact on February 3, 1959, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for following upon Obama’s heels into the American presidency crashed, burned, and died on that November election day, 2016. Then, as with a flash of lightning, there came Donald Trump.
Don McLean mourned, “bye, bye, Miss American Pie,” and Trump shouted out, “Make America Great Again!”
Tailgaters on my ass. Speeders in a rush to get past me. To where? To our imminent days of judgment? Hell-bent on making it a competition.
Motorcyclists with their girls in summer tank tops, showing off browned skin. No helmets. “Overall, the number of motorcycle deaths increased by 30 percent after the  repeal of the [Texas] helmet law:” the result of a 2010 University of Arkansas study, by Laura Walter, cited in ehstoday.com.
The road demons passing me don’t care about cautionary statistics, speed limits, or about laws at all, upping the odds of a grim scene in the accident of an accident.
I cruise along, no more than 5 MPH over the speed limit. Pisses them off when they come at me so fast from behind, then have to gear down until it’s clear for them to pass. Makes me smile.
VOX.com recently published an online exposé by Dara Lind spinning a thing that she, likewise, doesn’t care about.
Far and away more lawless than tailgaters, speeders, or helmetless bikers, that thing being spun is the no worries mindset toward the butcherous MS-13 gang from south of the border, species of which already infest our states.
The sum of these blood-lustful, victim-beating then dismembering, soulless killers, Lind casually tosses aside, is minimal compared to the greater sum of the true victims–the immigrants (mostly illegal border-crossers) who just want a little free love offered toward their [cutting in line] desperate need for asylum in America, el Norte!–“just a kiss away,” as the Rolling Stones’ song Gimme Shelter passionately peddles.
She would have us open wide our southern border and bus these illegal victim-immigrants into city-sanctuaries, then shun citizen-protection altogether by abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Pay no attention to the accompanying multiplication of MS-13 rapist-murderers within our country.
Tailgaters. Helmetless motorcyclists. Dara Lind. All flaunting disdain for a pocketful of laws, a knapsack full of laws, or a trainful of any consequences at all for criminal–even MS-13’s unquestionably satanic–actions? Time and again choosing carelessness.
Chelsea Clinton recently spoke at a Rise Up For Roe event. With a statistical spin similar to Lind’s, she pleaded, in defense of abortions, that: “you have to care about this . . . American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three-and-a-half trillion dollars to our economy. . . . The net, new entrance of women – that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973.”
In other words, abortions allow more women to enter the workforce which in turn bumps up our economy by trillions of dollars. Can it be argued that Clinton cares more for new money and less for new life? The sum of the one is greater and more righteous than the minimal value of the other?
Micaiah Bilger of LifeNews.com
quickly countered that abortions have “caused a cumulative GDP
deficit of $62.6 trillion that continues to climb with each passing
year. By 2040, that cumulative deficit will likely reach $400
We’ve traveled from 5 MPH over the speed limit to a deficit of $400 trillion dollars due to abortions. If there’s 1 thing that I’ve noticed along this road, caring has value that can be measured with numbers. I believe caring is best practiced as all-inclusive–and infinite in measure.
by s.a. bort / photo by s.a. bort: 2 September 2018
I transcribed the below talk by Glenn Beck from his podcast on Monday, 17 June 2019. On his website, which he references in his talk, regarding his request for the five books that you would preserve, he writes:
“We are living in a day and age when technology makes life so much easier for us than those who have come before. Individuals all have a voice and are their own publisher, and messages can be shared to all corners of the earth. But what happens when tech turns political and voices can be silenced with a single keystroke or tweak to an algorithm?
Forget book burning, digital erasure is a far more effective way to make sure only the popular or politically correct speech is heard.
Join us in preserving hard copies of the most important books and submit the titles you feel are needed to keep the wisdom of the ages alive and well.”
GLENN BECK: For instance, we should all have The Geneva Bible. You should have The King James Bible, but also The Geneva Bible because that’s the one that led us into freedom. David Barton has a good version of this. It’s The Patriot’s Bible, where it explains it in today’s language. You need to have a Geneva Bible or a Patriot’s Bible from David Barton.
You need to have a King James Version because who knows how those things are changed or if they’re just outlawed. Wealth of Nations along with Moral Sentiments. If we are looking at a bunch of people who say that capitalism is bad and the free market just needs to be destroyed, you have to destroy Wealth of Nations. We’ve already destroyed Moral Sentiments. Those are both by Adam Smith. You need both of them together because Moral Sentiments is what keeps the wealth of nations actually happening because it makes it more moral.
Road To Serfdom. You can’t have a Road To Serfdom. You can’t have Mark Twain. How about Churchill by Boris Johnson? Churchill is going to be destroyed. Now, you need to have both sides. And, I don’t remember, it’s the Empire something; I can’t remember, but I’ll find it. The way Churchill was looked at in India, which is true! He was a bad guy in India. So, you have to have both.
I just think that there are so many
books that we need to preserve that could so easily be wiped out.
Again, you don’t own your library if it is on Kindle, Google books.
They can take them. They own it. You’re renting. I know it says “buy
this book,” but you don’t own it. They can just remove it.
So, we need to look at the things that are really about America, about the truths of America, about the truths that are so easily being lost right now. I think Coming Apart by Charles Murray is a really important book because it shows what was happening to us. It shows all those controversial things that nobody wanted to talk about, that shows the original divide.
I think we need books like Gregg Easterbrook books—It’s Better Than It Looks, or, Stu, what’s the one that you would say? What’s his name—that is the really positive—Stephen Pinker, and the positive look at the West. That’s all going to be destroyed. You can’t let that out there.
Now, this is obviously for crazy
scenarios. This is for the losing of voices. But, we’re seeing the
losing of voices. We’re seeing the loss of Stephen Crowder. My voice.
Rush’s voice. Sean’s voice. Mark Levin’s voice. Any of these voices
that will try to stand. We have a shot of being erased into a digital
You need to preserve these things.
Somebody needs to hold on to them, and I think this goes back to an
early prompting of mine—clay pots. It’s why we started our museum,
because somebody has to preserve the good and the bad.
By the way, we’re doing a museum. It opens the last week of June and goes through the seventh of July, and it’s under Mercury Studios. It’s a quick pop-up museum about the history with Abraham Lincoln and slaves and racism. It asks the question: “What is racism?” Is that an American problem? What is slavery? Is that an American problem? What are these things? How do they start? What does it mean? Are they done?
And, it is very powerful, and, quite honestly—quite controversial, I think, because it tells the truth, and I have a feeling we’re going to get a lot of pushback on it. But, we’ll see. Please come and see our museum. You will see the real Gettysburg Address, the real Emancipation Proclamation, and it’s only open for a few days at the Mercury Studios. You can find tickets now at mercuryone.org. But, bring your family and learn the truth.
I also would like to know, if you had to preserve the Nation, if you had to tell its story— We obviously would put the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence in there. We would put theFederalist Papers. Everyone should have the Federalist Papers in there.
But, what books need to be saved, both good and bad, from digital ghettoization, or like we will talk about coming up in just a second? What the real point of the story from the New York Times this weekend on Donald Trump— The point of the story with Russia is that we are trying to be in place with Russia and other countries, where we can shut all electronics down, all electricity, everything, just shut it all down. Because that’s the way, according to Putin, the next war will be fought. It will be fought with ones and zeroes. So, how do we shut everything down? Well, if you shut everything down, you lose everything.
So, I want you to please help us with this project. Go to glennbeck.com/savebooks and submit the books that you think need to be preserved the most. Just give us the name of the book and why you think it needs to be preserved. Glennbeck.com/savebooks . Go there now.
I’d also like to know who would you like to talk to or hear talk about their books because I’m going to write different people and say: “If you could save only five books, what would the five most important books be, to preserve the West?” And, if you have someone that you would like to hear from, let me know on that, as well. Again, it’s glennbeck.com/savebooks.
For the record, the five books (or sets of books) that I chose (other than the obvious inclusion of The Bible were: Fahrenheit 451, The Odyssey (tr. Robert Graves), The Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin, The Compact Version of the Oxford English Dictionary (two volumes), and The Great Ideas: Great Books of the Western World (54 volumes). –s.a. bort
Nothingness. Stone. Monument to nature, Imagination, Aesthetic beauty, All that is soft and smooth, That which best comes in pairs, Creation of motherhood, All unaborted, suckling children, First nourishment for each and all of us once pulled from the womb,
The following sage instructions are from Book One of an eighteen-booklet course entitled Roth Course in Mental Power: Clear thinking, memory, quick decision, and good judgement in business and everyday life. I found the series of booklets at a library used-book sale. –sab
1. As you go about your business today, select five different subjects that attract your attention, and give a little intensive thought to every subject. Think a great deal about every subject. Instead of thinking carelessly or aimlessly, put your whole mind on every one of these five subjects, one by one, so that you can say to yourself of every subject: “I have thought it out,” or, “I have begun to think it out.”
2. The next day, select five other kinds of subjects and think
about every kind in the same intensive way.
3. In the days that follow, continue to select five subjects every
day, taking different kinds of subjects and giving really hard
thought to every subject.
4. Try to learn something new about every subject.
5. When you try to learn something new, you will soon find that
five subjects a day call for too much work. You will do well to learn
about one subject a day.
6. In order to learn, you will find that you need an encyclopedia,
or some other book of information. Any periodical, any book, will
help you to learn.
7. The more you try to learn, the more you will find there is to
learn. You will become an investigator–a reader–a thinker.
8. You will soon find that one subject a day is altogether too
much, and you will devote many days to a single subject.
9. By fixing your mind strongly on five subjects at first, and
later on one subject a day, and later still for a long time, on a
single subject, you will become Interested in life; you will become a
better thinker; you will wish to learn more and more; you will find
the Universe opening up before you as an inexhaustible storehouse of
learning. As one philosopher said: “You will pick up only a
few pebbles from the vast shore of knowledge.”
BUT IT IS THE GREATEST PLEASURE IN LIFE TO PICK UP THOSE FEW
PEBBLES OF WISDOM.
MAKE YOUR INTERESTS BROAD; OPEN YOUR MIND; BE INTERESTED IN
EVERYTHING YOU SEE; THINK ABOUT IT; WONDER . . . WHY? . . . HOW? . .
. WHEN? . . . WHERE?
excerpted from: Roth, David M. / Roth Course in Mental Power New York: Independent Corporation. Book one, pages 17-18. 1921.
Check out Your Spiritual Growth, on Robert Sylvester’s Spirlaw WordPress site, which nicely expands on David Roth’s advice. Sylvester offers an essential (I believe) spiritual dimension, encouraging readers onward and inward: “Ask questions,” he agrees. “Aim them particularly at yourself. In this, you grow in the Spirit and peace, understanding and wisdom emerge.” –sab
Living at 8,750′ elevation in the mountains of Colorado, Spring is here for Jean and I, finally! (Although, it’s May 10th, and it has been snowing for two days.)
We saw our first aspen tree catkins of the year on Saturday, April
20. Above is a photo I took of them on April 27. We have quaking
aspens, by the way, as opposed to the other two mentioned in the
We heard hummingbirds for the first time and saw one briefly on the feeder, also on April 27. We always see the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds first, pictured below: “Migratory hummingbirds usually in [their] breeding territory about mid-April. They breed across mountain forests and meadows throughout the Western United States from eastern California and northern Wyoming south through Great Basin and Rocky Mountain states to southern Arizona and western Texas. In September, they generally move south to winter in Mexico, Guatemala and, occasionally, El Salvador.” Soon afterwards, the Rufous species of hummingbird shows up here, at our elevation, in Bailey.
As far as Maibocks, I love good beer. These beauties “are brewed in winter and released in late April and May. They are rich yet not overbearing, and are enjoyed before the searing throes of summer.” Aside from that, they are very good to my taste buds at just this time, when the aspen catkins grow, then fall away, after which little green aspen buds appear. Those buds then transform into the quaking, green aspen leaves that most people associate with aspen trees.
But, what of the too-often overlooked, too-little-reflected-upon
catkins? The following article, hopefully, will nurture such
The Aspen Catkin:
What will become of this fuzzy little thing?
Kara Rogers – April 13, 2011
Aspens, of which there are three species—the American quaking
aspen (Populus tremuloides), the American big-tooth aspen (P.
grandidentata), and the European aspen (P. tremula)—exhibit several
curious traits when it comes to reproduction. For example, each tree
is either male or female, a condition known as dioecism, and while
both male and female aspens produce catkins, only the male catkin has
pollen, which is transferred to a female by the wind. And when the
right breeze comes along in early summer, the pollinated female will
release her seeds, which parachute along through the air, swept away
to some distant place.
Aspens have a low rate of reproductive success. Indeed, it takes
trillions of seeds being dispersed on the wind each year to ensure
that a percentage sufficient for species propagation happens to
parachute into a suitable environment, where they can germinate and
sprout. Reproductive success is limited in part because aspens have
strict germination constraints. For example, aspens are
shade-intolerant, and therefore a seed needs a sunny spot to grow.
That spot also must be free from seed-eating animals and able to
Another constraint on reproduction actually is imposed prior to
pollination and has to do with the distance between male and female
trees. Each aspen grove is a clone, meaning that all the trees in a
grove are identical to the founder sapling. Hence, if a female
sapling happened to give rise to the grove, all the individual trees
in the grove will be female. This means that pollination can occur
only if groves of the opposite sex are relatively close to one
another. If they are separated by too great a distance, pollination
between them is unlikely.
The future of each species of aspen hinges on its tufted catkin
seeds, new generations of which face the perilous wind-borne journey
every spring. Most do not make it. The ones that do, however, spawn
entire groves of aspens—stands of trees that may survive for
hundreds or possibly thousands of years.
Concisely written, wry and too true not to read, this article gives wisdom one has come to expect from Hanson, a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. –sab
AG / American Greatness
All the Progressive Plotters
By Victor Davis Hanson| April 7th, 2019
Right after the 2016 election, Green Party candidate Jill Stein—cheered on by Hillary Clinton dead-enders—sued in three states to recount votes and thereby overturn Donald Trump’s victory in the Electoral College. Before the quixotic effort imploded, Stein was praised as an iconic progressive social justice warrior who might stop the hated Trump from even entering the White House.
When that did not work, B-list Hollywood celebrities mobilized, with television and radio commercials, to shame electors in Trump-won states into not voting for the president-elect during the official Electoral College balloting in December 2016. Their idea was that select morally superior electors should reject their constitutional directives and throw the election into the House of Representatives where even more morally superior NeverTrump Republicans might join with even much more morally superior Democrats to find the perfect morally superior NeverTrump alternative.
When that did not work, more than 60 Democratic House members voted to bring up Trump’s impeachment for vote. Trump had only been in office a few weeks. Then San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer toured the country and lavished millions on advertisements demanding Trump’s removal by impeachment—and was sorely disappointed when he discovered that billion-dollar-fueled virtue-signaling proved utterly bankrupt virtue-signaling.
When that did not work, celebrities and politicians hit social media and the airwaves to so demonize Trump that culturally it would become taboo even to voice prior support for the elected president. Their chief tool was a strange new sort of presidential assassination chic, as Madonna, David Crosby, Robert de Niro, Johnny Depp, Snoop Dogg, Peter Fonda, Kathy Griffin, and a host of others linguistically vied with one another in finding the most appropriately violent end of Trump—blowing him up, burning him up, beating him up, shooting him up, caging him up, or decapitating him. Apparently, the aim—aside from careerist chest-thumping among the entertainment elite—was to lower the bar of Trump disparagement and insidiously delegitimize his presidency.
When that did not work, during the president’s first year in office, the Democrats and the media at various times sought to invoke the 25th Amendment, claiming Trump was so mentally or physically impaired that he was not able to carry out the duties of president. At one point, congressional Democrats called Yale University psychiatrist Dr. Bandy X. Lee to testify that Trump was unfit to continue. In fact, to prove her credentials, Lee edited The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump that offered arguments from 27 psychiatrists and other mental health experts. In May 2017, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met secretly in efforts to poll Trump cabinet members to discover whether they could find a majority to remove Trump from office—again on grounds that he was mentally unbalanced. According to McCabe, Rosenstein offered to wear a wire, in some sort of bizarre comic coup attempt to catch Trump off-guard in a confidential conversation.
When that did not work, 200 congressional Democrats in late 2018 sued in federal court to remove President Trump, claiming he had violated the esoteric Emoluments Clause of the Constitution that forbids federal officials from taking gifts, jobs, and titles from foreign governments. They alleged Trump’s presidency has enhanced his overseas real estate holdings and interests. Yet, according to some sources, the various Trump companies have lost some $1 billion in value after he took office—to the delight of the same critics who swore he has profited enormously as president.
When that did not work, the ongoing “Resistance” both covertly and overtly sought ways to retard or destroy the Trump presidency—often by leaking presidential memos, conversations, and phone calls. An anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times on September 15, 2018 boasted of a plan of resistance to his governance and initiatives from those in the administrative state from inside the Trump Administration, most of them allegedly establishment Republicans.
When that did not work, progressive heartthrob lawyer and now indicted Michael Avenatti reintroduced pornographic film star Stormy Daniels to the public. He claimed that Daniels had somehow been tricked into signing a supposedly improper and now invalid non-disclosure agreement not to talk about an alleged sexual encounter of a decade earlier with private citizen Trump in an exchange for a payment of $135,000.
Allegedly, Trump’s acquiescence to Daniels’ veritable blackmail demands had now impaired her own opportunities of further profiting to a far greater degree from the past alleged tryst with a now President Trump. Until his recent indictment for a number of felonies, Avenatti himself had translated his work with Daniels into media celebrity-hood, appearing over 100 times on cable news shows to damn Trump, predict his impeachment, and prep his promised 2020 presidential run against Trump.
When that did not work, federal law enforcement officials stormed the offices of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, in search of incriminating materials. Cohen quickly was leveraged by federal attorneys, flipped, and offered anti-Trump testimonies and documents in exchange for leniency. He produced stealth tapes of private conversations with his own client Trump—and shortly afterward was disbarred by the New York State Supreme Court for pleading guilty to a series of felonies.
When that did not work, Russian collusion hysteria continued to sweep the country. The moribund phony Steele dossier (that had failed to derail the Trump campaign and transition) was reignited by the media and progressive politicos after the firing of FBI director James Comey, leading to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the emergence of Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.
Rosenstein then appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel—in a series of events prompted by none other than fired James Comey, who admitted that he illegally leaked confidential, if not some classified, presidential memos to create the conditions necessary for such a special appointment. Mueller’s subsequent media darling attorneys—praised as the “dream team,” “all-stars,” “army,” “untouchables,” and “hunter-killer team”—of mostly Democratic partisans, some Clinton donors, and a few who had defended either the Clinton Foundation or Clinton aides then spent 22 months, and between $30-40 million trying to build a case. In the end, they leveraged mostly minor Trump satellites on process crimes, misleading testimonies, or past business deals in hopes of finding collusionary guilt. Leaking was a Mueller team trademark as each week the collusionary media announced another “bombshell” or “noose tightening” around the neck of Donald Trump—or mysteriously showed up at the home of the next Mueller victim, to wait for the arrival of SWAT teams to swoop into make an arrest.
When that did not work, congressional committees and the left-wing mob next went after William Barr, Trump’s “hand-picked” attorney general (are not all AGs “hand-picked” by the president?). Barr’s crime was that he had followed the law to the letter. And so Barr spent a few days after the arrival of the exonerating Mueller collusion report to ensure first, before releasing it to the public, that it did not endanger national security or besmirch the reputations of innocent named individuals. If in a blink, “collusion” had died, soon in its death throes it birthed “obstruction”—as if Trump’s objections to vast resources wasted on chasing an imaginary non-crime of collusion was obstruction
When that did not work, congressional committees mobilized to sue and force Trump to release at least six years of his private income tax records, elements of which already in bits and pieces had been leaked.
Are such efforts in the future to be institutionalized?
Will the Left nod and keep still, if Republicans attempt to remove an elected Democratic President before his tenure is up? Are appeals to impeachment, the 25th Amendment, the Emoluments Clause, the Logan Act, and a Special Counsel the now normal cargo of political opposition to any future elected president?
Is it now permissible in 2020 for Trump’s FBI director to insert an informant into the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee? If Joe Biden is the 2020 nominee, will the Trump Justice Department seek FISA warrants to monitor the communications of Biden’s campaign team—in worries that Biden son’s business practices in the Ukraine had earlier compromised Biden who had intervened on his behalf by threatening to cut off aid to Ukraine? Will they investigate Biden’s propensity to hug and kiss under-aged girls? Will Trump’s CIA director contact foreign nationals to aid in spying on Biden’s aides? Will National Security Advisor John Bolton request that the names of surveilled Biden campaign officials become unmasked as a way of having them leaked to the media? Will Trump hire a British ex-spy to gather together rumors and gossip about Biden’s previous overseas trips and foreign contacts, especially in the Ukraine, and then see them seeded among the Trump CIA, FBI, Justice Department, and State Department? Is that the sort of country we have now?
America over the last half century had been nursed on the dogma that the Left was the guarantor of civil liberties. That was the old message of the battles supposedly waged on our behalf by the ACLU, the free-speech areas on campuses, and the Earl Warren Court.
Not now. The left believes that almost any means necessary, extra-legal and anti-constitutional or not, are justified to achieve their noble ends. Progressive luminaries at CNN and the New York Times have lectured us that reporters need not be disinterested any more in the age of Trump—or that it might be a crime to shout “lock her up” at a Trump rally. Will those standards apply to coverage of future Democratic presidents?
No reporter seems to care that Hillary Clinton hired a foreign national to work with other foreign nationals to sabotage, first, her opponent’s campaign, then his transition and his presidency, along with the wink and nod help from key Obama officials at the Department of Justice, State Department, National Security Council, FBI and CIA.
The final irony? If the CIA, FBI, and DOJ have gone the banana republic way of Lois Lerner’s IRS and shredded the Constitution, they still failed to remove Donald Trump.
Trump still stands. In Nietzschean fashion what did not kill him apparently only made him stronger.
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Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, columnist, former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He was a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict was Fought and Won (Basic Books).