The American system does not require unanimity. In fact, its design presumes deep disagreement on matters of morality and policy.
This is why questions like religion are left to individual conscience, and why most policy is left to states or even smaller units, where the law’s touch will not be felt as harshly, because it reflects the more similar values of a smaller group. Finally, regardless of who has the reins of the federal government, the Constitution renders a great deal of substantive activity off limits, as exemplified by the Bill of Rights.
“Even by today’s low standards, this is shockingly delusional,” I thought after reading Kati Marton’s diatribe against the current Polish and Hungarian governments in the Los Angeles Times last week.
Most such pieces are relatively standard and don’t warrant a response. This one, it seemed to me, mutilated the charred corpse of the truth. As a Polish citizen and Polish speaker who has lived in Hungary, I concluded it was too much to overlook. Allow me to share some of my experiences from these two countries, which most often bear no resemblance to the ones Marton describes.
In the seventh episode of his newest production, “Tucker on Twitter,” former Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson discussed the irony surrounding the topic of “democracy” regarding the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
During Biden’s latest visit to Kyiv and Warsaw, the Oval Office occupant defended his administration’s escalation of the Russia-Ukraine war and pledged unlimited U.S. taxpayer support in the name of “defending democracy.”
But is Ukraine a democracy?
Stop trying to take Ron DeSantis away from Florida. Just stop it. I understand the rationale, but it’s wrong. It may be quite reasonable to be jealous of Florida for its governor—the only governor in the nation to win my coveted “competent” rating on every major issue. But before we encourage DeSantis and Donald Trump to have a falling out that splits the party (or, rather, before we let the RINO simps do it at the behest of Democrats and lots of Chinese money), let’s review a few salient points.
Billionaire Elon Musk reached a deal Monday to purchase social media giant Twitter for a sum of $44 billion.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said, per Reuters.
Viktor Orbán has crushed the Left, again.
The Hungarian leader won his fourth consecutive term in office on Sunday, defying pollsters who had predicted a competitive race and delivering a crushing blow to the “united” Hungarian opposition, a dog’s breakfast coalition of six parties ranging from the Greens to a former far-right party with neo-Nazi associations, which he defeated by a 53-35 percent margin. In total, right-wing parties captured approximately 60 percent of the vote compared to about 36 percent for left-wing parties.
For some Americans it may seem strange that so many on the American Right are paying attention to the political developments in a country less than a quarter the size of my home state of Montana and with a population of just 10 million. This confusion, however, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the strategic importance of Hungary to the post-liberal Right, an importance to which I can personally testify, having recently concluded a five-week research trip to Hungary in the run-up to the election.
During my time as a visiting fellow at the Danube Institute, a Hungarian think tank, I had the opportunity to interact with a number of Hungarian political leaders including the prime minister, and to discover what is certainly the world’s most important and most controversial experiment in Christian Democracy.
Joe Biden has claimed “democracy is under attack” and that to save “democracy” we must annihilate Senate norms such as the legislative filibuster. If you don’t believe that this crisis exists and act immediately, his argument goes, the sun won’t rise ever again; the oceans will dry up, and you’re an evil racist like Jefferson Davis, Bull Connor, and George Wallace (Democrats every last one—and Biden actually sought Wallace’s support back when Biden wanted to be liked by the Wallaces and Byrds of the Democratic Party.) But why let facts get in the way of a good Grandpa Dementia bedtime story?
Of course the real reason for the shrieking hysteria from Biden and the Left is that they’re confronting what is likely to be an electoral tsunami in the fall. Most Americans with half a brain have realized after a year under the Biden presidency that the Left’s policies and politicians are absolute failures. That’s why Biden has a 33 percent approval rating. And it’s why moderate Democrats like Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) want nothing to do with Biden, his policies, or his efforts at rewriting Senate rules.
Progressives of course had a premonition that their policies would wreak havoc upon the American people. To protect themselves from electoral accountability they immediately introduced a bill to federalize election law for the Left’s partisan advantage. This comes as no surprise from the Democratic Party of Tammany Hall, which has a long, sordid history of rigging election laws to hang onto power through the intimidation of voters.
When U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went on “NBC Nightly News” to tell his side of shooting and killing unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, he made a point to note he’d been investigated by several agencies and exonerated for his actions that day.
“There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt in August, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting.
Byrd then answered a series of questions by Holt about the shooting, but what he told the friendly journalist, he likely never told investigators. That’s because he refused to answer their questions, according to several sources and documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations.
The day prior to the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, Politico magazine ran a guest column by a political science professor who argued the U.S. Constitution has become a threat to democracy.
Corey Robin, a professor at Brooklyn College and the City of New York Graduate Center, wrote a piece titled “Republicans Are Moving Rapidly to Cement Minority Rule. Blame the Constitution.”
Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Thursday to introduce legislation that would regulate candidates and elected officials from spreading lies about elections that are likely to result in violence.
The legislation, which is still being written and has yet to be released, would be “narrowly tailored” to cover “false statements” made for the “purpose of undermining the election process or results,” according to Inslee’s announcement.
“This legislation attempts to follow the relevant U.S. and state supreme court opinions on this issue. We’re talking about candidates and elected officers knowingly throwing bombs at democracy itself when doing so is likely to result in violence,” Inslee said in a statement.
This past week was the last one before the US officially entered a midterm election year. Below are the latest updates.
In Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor is not running for reelection. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has said he will endorse the incumbent Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy, so long as Dunleavy does not back incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski.
In Colorado, Mesa County dropped a lawsuit against their County Recorder over an ongoing dispute about attesting to documents. The County Recorder is still facing other investigations.
In Georgia, a review of elections found that only four deceased people voted in the 2020 election.
What is behind recent pessimistic appraisals of democracy’s future, from Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, Brian Williams and other elite intellectuals, media personalities, and politicians on the Left? Some are warning about its possible erosion in 2024. Others predict the democracy downturn as early 2022, with scary scenarios of “autocracy” and Trump “coups.”
To answer that question, understand first what is not behind these shrill forecasts.
The Marriott hotel in Prague refused to host a conference on its premises for activists and leaders fighting for the rights of Uyghurs in China, Axios reported.
In an email sent to the World Uyghur Congress, which has attempted to shine a spotlight on the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China, the hotel cited the need for “political neutrality” as the reason the conference was denied the venue, Axios reported.
“Unfortunately, I have to inform you that we are not able to offer the premises,” the email read, Axios reported. “We consulted the whole matter with our corporate management. For reasons of political neutrality, we cannot offer events of this type with a political theme. Thank you once again for your time and understanding.”
A significant majority of Americans see the need for changes to their political system, a Thursday Pew Research Center poll found.
At least 85% of Americans polled stated that their political system “needs to be completely reformed” or “needs major changes,” according to the poll. Meanwhile, 66% of Americans saw the need for change or reform in the U.S. economic system and 76% saw the need for transformation in the healthcare system, the poll found.
Less than half of respondents expressed satisfaction with U.S. democracy, while 58% said they were “not satisfied,” according to the poll. Pew Research Center noted that “Dissatisfaction with functioning of democracy is linked to concerns about the economy, the pandemic and social divisions.”
Taiwan needs to be “on alert” after a record number of Chinese aircraft flew into the country’s defense zone on Monday, Premier Su Tseng-chang told reporter, Reuters reported.
“Taiwan must be on alert. China is more and more over the top,” Su said Tuesday, Reuters reported. “The world has also seen China’s repeated violations of regional peace and pressure on Taiwan.”
What do you call a regime that lies constantly, and then admonishes the people when they question the integrity of the regime and its anointed figurehead?
If you ask Joe Biden and his propagandists on cable news, it’s called “democracy.” Anyone who doubts Biden’s legitimacy, they’ve been telling us, is part of the “big lie” and quite possibly a domestic terrorist.
Those who prattle on about democracy the most support it the least. “In America, if you lose, you accept the results,” said Joe Biden on Tuesday. Meanwhile, his fellow Democrats were conducting an undemocratic stunt to thwart the people’s will in Texas.
Democratic Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan shatter everything they touch. Ron DeSantis, conversely, seems to get everything right. The Florida Republican has emerged as America’s governor.
“We’re standing with our folks. We’re going to do the right thing. We leaned into it, and we stood strong,” DeSantis told Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently.
Rather than snip a tax, kill a regulation, and then doze off, as too many Republicans have done, DeSantis is a tireless, full-spectrum conservative. He has authorized a host of economic, cultural, and law enforcement initiatives that are buoying Florida and transforming him into the Great Right Hope.
In an insightful Independence Day Twitter thread, Emily Zanotti expressed her partiality for this provision of the Declaration of Independence:
[T]his is my favorite part: ‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ Can you imagine writing that? Signing your name to that? Acknowledging that this document means you will come out of this broke, dead, and remembered as a traitor if you do not win. Signing your own death warrant. Man, that took balls . . .
In recognizing and celebrating the signatories’ fortitude, Zanotti illuminated the stark contrast between the visions of America’s founding elite and its current elite.
Toyota announced Thursday that it will stop donating to Republicans who objected to certifying President Joe Biden’s victory in January.
The company said in a statement, first reported by The Detroit News, that its previous donations to Republican election objectors “troubled some stakeholders.”
The statement comes two weeks after an Axios report revealed that the Japanese automaker’s corporate PAC donated more to Republicans who contested Biden’s victory than any other company, doing so by a significant amount. It donated $55,000 to 37 objectors, over $25,000 more than any other corporation.
My father likes to say that the secret ballot means that he doesn’t have to listen when I tell him how I voted. This joke conceals a serious point: Ballot secrecy is not just a right of the individual but also a guarantee to all that my vote was not wrung from me by bribery or intimidation.
Out of a desire to make voting “easier” and perhaps exaggerated fears of public gatherings during the pandemic, most U.S. jurisdictions permitted unrestricted mail-in balloting in 2020. What did Americans lose when ballot secrecy was attenuated or vanished altogether?
Make no mistake, ballot secrecy is incompatible with secure mail-in balloting. At the polls, we each go into a little booth and make our choices in private. By contrast, no one knows where a mail-in ballot was filled out, or if a party or union activist hovered over the voter or even filled in the circles. Nobody knows what inducements, whether cash or threats, were offered to ensure that the person voted “correctly.” And if the ballot was “harvested” – turned in to the vote-counters by activists instead of by voters themselves – our suspicions deepen.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends:
The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .
H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting.
In the Wall Street Journal of June 10, Peggy Noonan captured the kernel of the crisis of national division that afflicts America: Donald Trump and opposed perceptions of last year’s presidential election. Equitable person though Noonan is, she qualifies as a Trump-hater, whose invective against Trump has only escalated over time.
Noonan’s premise today is that any question about the 2020 presidential election is unfounded conspiracism, but that suspicion is growing, spread by “the Trump underworld—the operatives, grifters, and media figures around him . . . This lessens our faith in our systems . . . it leaves the GOP with an untreated cancer.” She holds that “QAnon is important” in propagating this fraud. She thinks that anyone who wasn’t appalled by the storming of the Capitol on January 6 has given up on democracy. Lingering concern about the fairness of the result is in itself an assault upon democracy. “The breaching of the Capitol happened because of a conspiracy theory: that the election was actually won by Mr. Trump but stolen from him by bad people.”
She makes no allowance for exactly the opposite view: that there is ample evidence that Trump was sandbagged in rigged voting and vote-counting in only six states, stonewalled by the courts, and defamed by a unanimous national political media: the courts couldn’t face overturning the election, and the media can’t accept the idea that it was a tainted election. I agree with her that “the only thing that can stop” (the cancer that supposedly afflicts the GOP, even if it is in fact benign righteousness) “is true facts independently developed and presented with respect and receipts.”
An American educator is persuading schools to implement viewpoint diversity in the classroom.
Erin McLaughlin is a teacher from Pennsylvania who is making headlines with her approach to classroom instruction. She argues that viewpoint diversity, which is teaching students how to think rather than what to think, should be at the center of many curriculums.
McLaughlin, in an interview with The College Fix, said that it is the job of educators to teach children how to process things as opposed to what to advocate for.
Remember Bernie Sanders? You know, the goofy socialist who nearly became the Democratic nominee in 2016 and 2020. In both presidential races, his supporters touted him as a threat to the system. His campaign was a “revolution” and, if he became president, he was going to bring down the warmongering, plutocratic establishment.
Bernie has since proved these claims very wrong.
Last week, he tweeted in support of Liz Cheney, the very embodiment of the warmongering plutocratic establishment.
Joe Biden is either an historical illiterate or a shameless liar. Perhaps he is both.
Desperate to keep the disintegrating narrative about the events of January 6 alive, Biden, in his first sparsely attended speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, declared the January 6 protest was “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.”
Marked safe from Washington Post fact-checkers, Biden continued to lie. “As we gather here tonight, the images of a violent mob assaulting this Capitol, desecrating our democracy, remain vivid in our minds,” he lamented. “Lives were put at risk. Lives were lost. Extraordinary courage was summoned. The insurrection was an existential crisis, a test of whether our democracy could survive. It did.”
The freshly reelected Republican senator from Nebraska had kind words this week for Joe Biden’s intelligence chiefs. “The American people are blessed to have an [intelligence community] as serious as ours,” Senator Ben Sasse said during Wednesday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. He called the group, which included FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director William Burns, “heroes” and wanted a chance to “say thank you” in front of the American people.
Sasse, who is supposed to act as a fierce skeptic not a fawning cheerleader of the world’s most powerful intelligence apparatus, singled out Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines for praise. “Your opening statement . . . was incredibly strong,” Sasse swooned.
Haines, the top deputy to former CIA Director John Brennan during the Obama Administration, undoubtedly marveled at winning such a groveling endorsement from a sitting Republican senator—or perhaps she internally laughed at winning over yet another reliable GOP dupe. (In fairness, most Republicans on the committee joined in Sasse’s praise for Haines.)
It really says something when an effort as intellectually vacuous as the 1619 Project is venerated by educators, but the 1776 Report is viewed contemptuously.
As former President Trump said back in September, the 1776 Commission’s task was to teach students about “the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding.”
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers announced Wednesday they would resign en masse after four of them were ousted from the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s Legislature in a move one legislator said could sound the “death knell” for democracy there.
The resignation of the 15 remaining pro-democracy lawmakers will ratchet up tensions over the future of Hong Kong, a former British colony that has long been a regional financial hub and bastion of Western-style civil liberties but over which China’s government has increasingly tightened its control. A new national security law imposed by Beijing this year has alarmed the international community.
I have said all along that I thought President Trump would win reelection. The question was whether he would win by a big enough margin to insulate himself from the machinations of fraud, on the one hand, and litigation, on the other.
by Jarrett Stepman Colorado is joining a list of states attempting to overturn the way Americans have selected their presidents for over two centuries. The Colorado Legislature recently passed a bill to join an interstate effort called the “interstate compact,” to attempt to sidestep the Electoral College system defined by…
by Jason Snead More than a month after the November election, the details of an apparent voter fraud scandal orchestrated by a North Carolina Republican operative are still coming to light. A coordinated absentee ballot harvesting ring may have gathered, tampered with, or destroyed hundreds of ballots. The outcome…
by Clifford Humphrey Democracy is the worst form of government,” Winston Churchill famously remarked, “except for all those others that have been tried.” What makes democracy better than “those others” is that differences of opinion are settled through peaceful elections, a process of order agreed upon by all parties…