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Giving the Benefit of the Doubt and Voting One’s Conscience

 

I did not vote for Donald Trump in the primaries. Nor did I vote for my preferred choice in the primaries. By the time the primaries reached Michigan, my preferred choice had dropped out. So had my second choice. So had my third. By the time the primaries came to my state, I had to choose who the best remaining viable candidate was. That was Ted Cruz. Unfortunately, he did not win the nomination.

Now, the primaries were a rough fight and many of the candidates came out bruised up, including Cruz. Trump had insulted his wife and made accusations against his father. Slights of that kind can take time to heal. At the convention, Senator Cruz said, “Vote your conscience.” I agreed with that and intended to do so.

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Gun Rights Policy Conference Live Feed, Day One

 

I’m in Tampa, Florida this weekend for the 31st Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference, put on by The Second Amendment Foundation. Gov. Rick Scott is scheduled to kick things off at 8:15 am or so, and then there will be speeches and seminars by notable figures in the Second Amendment movement such as Alan Gottlieb, Alan Gura, and John Lott.

This year looks to be especially interesting, as Florida Open Carry, the NRA and others are on verge of enacting some new gun laws that are being blocked in the Florida Legislature, (by a “Republican”, no less). And having an conference like this in Florida, where the revolution in concealed carry began over 20 years ago, will help advance the cause of freedom and get our laws on-par with other, more gun-friendly states.

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To Trump or Not To Trump

 

That is the question.

My father spent three years in the North Atlantic, as he put it, “successfully avoiding the German Navy.” That’s about as detailed as he ever got about his wartime experiences. If you’re of a certain age, you knew dozens of men like that. Some felt like they didn’t do enough, others felt like they did too much. 

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To Trump or Not to Trump: A Response

 

As all of Ricochet will be shocked to learn I disagreed strongly with EJHill’s recent post regarding what he sees as the binary choice before us this cycle. I don’t have much to add here that I didn’t already express in the comments of that post, but I would like to point everyone to a piece by Ricochet alumna Rachel Lu:

So here’s the situation as I understand it. We have a lot of deeply alienated conservative voters who, strangely enough, actually supported conservative principles that now seem to have been carelessly jettisoned. Some are sufficiently upset that they’ve left the party or at least declared they won’t vote for Trump. Those people could make the difference in the election.

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Cruz Bows the Knee

 
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“Hail Hydra.”

The principled junior senator from Texas has officially endorsed the guy who claimed Rafael Cruz assassinated JFK. His full, lawyerly, too-clever-by-three-quarters statement from Facebook:

This election is unlike any other in our nation’s history. Like many other voters, I have struggled to determine the right course of action in this general election.

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When we want a voice of sanity and reason to help us distill the election and the world at large, we turn to our good friend Mitch Daniels, the current President of Purdue University and the former Governor of Indiana (and in our alternate universe, the President of the United States). He schools us on Gary Johnson, our addiction to debt, and political correctness on campus. Then, our fellow podcaster Andrew Klavan joins to chat about his new book The Great Good Thing: A Secular Jew Comes to Faith in Christ. Also, what would you tell Donald Trump if you were his debate coach? We give our thoughts on the show, but tell us yours in the comments. 

Public service announcement: if you’re not a member of Ricochet and enjoy this podcast, be one of the 1,500 and join today.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America help Hillary Clinton understand why she’s not 50 points ahead and enjoy the fact she’s blaming union members for her close race. They also slam Twitter for suspending Instapundit Glenn Reynolds for his controversial tweet during the Charlotte riots. And they shake our heads as Gary Johnson continues to demonstrate he’s just odd – this time speaking with his tongue out of his mouth during a national television interview.

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Sympathy for the Devil

 

Here’s an informative, professional speculation about Clinton’s health issues, which gives me pause. She is probably suffering from a number of things, but the syndrome is one I call Michael Jackson’s Disease. She is surrounded by the elite of the progressive world-crushing governance, the shock troops of the freedom-trampling lawyers of malice, the useful idiots and pathetic suck-ups of the soul-corroding entertainment and media propaganda machine. She has not a single friend with a conservative thought, nor any impure specimens of less-than-worshipful Clinton machine acolytes.

Clinton is like a stunningly beautiful woman in average surrounding who fears she has no female friends, and who finds that she polarizes men into vicious hunters and weaklings, and who therefore hangs out with the gays and laments that all of her friends are gay. Not that she’s stunning in any manner except for her jaw-dropping, appalling, callous disregard for life, law, and liberty. But her presence causes certain actions to be taken, certain answers to be given. The success of the progressive machine is not in its parts but in its pervasive smothering, and the news anchors need not be told what they must say, or why. State Department employees need not be told what they must do. IRS agents need not be told to kneecap conservatives. The FBI director need not be instructed how to stay alive. They all know — they or their mentors, their bosses, their idols, and their legends have all been working on the same project since the 1960s. The answer, my friend, is blowing in a wind which does no good.

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This week, The Conservatarians — aka Ricochet Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel and Heatstreet contributor Stephen Miller — talk with the great Kurt Schlichter about his new novel, People’s Republic. They also praise Hillary Clinton’s lovely speaking voice and Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy.

Intro and outro music is “Things Are Moving” by Angry Angles. Stephen’s song of the week is “Everybody Wants to Love You” by Japanese Breakfast, and Jon’s is “Paper Doll Parts” by Rob Crow’s Gloomy Place. To listen to all the music featured on The Conservatarians, subscribe to our Spotify playlist! You should also subscribe to this podcast and give it five-star, glowing reviews on iTunes.

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Quote of the Day

 
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Photo Credit: Zooterkin via WikiCommons.

Putting aside whether the author correctly applies this standard to his own beliefs — Novella’s a little quick to dismiss all questioning of global warming’s severity as “denial” for my taste — the quote is magnificent:

One’s dedication to science [and empiricism in general] is tested when the science conflicts with your agenda. Then you have to be able to adapt to what an objective review of the science says. If you only accept the scientific consensus when it agrees with your ideology, then you are not pro-science. You just selectively use science to support your ideological agenda.

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The Deceptive Narrative About the Charlotte Shooting

 

shutterstock_352853102The ongoing rioting in Charlotte led me to look into the details of the shooting earlier this week. The most notable thing is the media’s bizarre focus on whether Keith Lamont Scott (the deceased) was pointing his gun at the police when he was shot. This seems utterly irrelevant to me. Are people really suggesting that a police officer is not legitimately threatened by a man with a gun in his hand, who is failing to comply with police instructions to disarm, until he actually points the gun at the officer?

Here’s a quick review of the facts, as they appear thus far. Officer Brentley Vinson, with other officers, arrived at an apartment complex parking lot around 4 PM on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, searching for a suspect in a case wholly unrelated to Mr. Scott. The officers saw Scott getting out of a parked car while holding a handgun. The officers gave loud, clear, verbal commands to drop the weapon. Scott did not comply and Officer Vinson fatally shot Scott.

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Torn-Down Fences

 

I5B5uBAThis paragraph from Chesterton is dear to the conservative heart:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.”

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Caring For My Bengal Tiger

 

MyTigerNot many people have a Bengal tiger at home. I do. Mind you, raising a Bengal tiger can be challenging. One might get the impression that when they’re younger, they are easier to control and essentially easy to domesticate. This is a silly notion. There’s nothing easy about raising a Bengal tiger.

During his cub years, my Bengal tiger was always getting into trouble and never wanted to be confined for any length of time. He was always squirmy, excited as most cubs are and climbing over and onto everything and he always wanted to get out and expand his territory. When he was only a few years old, he got out of his room’s window and out onto the roof. Luckily, a neighbor hurried over and told us that our tiger cub was on the roof. A few years later, he punched out a screen in the living room and raced up to a nearby toll road where some motorists and then animal control finally captured him. He escaped again, a few weeks later and was hit by a large pickup truck but miraculously survived after sustaining just a broken jaw.

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The Many Faces of America

 

I have traveled around quite a bit in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and China, while living in the Caucuses region and I have met and talked with upper middle class Iranians and extremist Muslims in my work as a missionary. It is from this travel and personal experience that I write the following on the way that world perceives the United States.

America is Hydra:

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Is Hillary Trying to Lose?

 

I’m thinking it’s either that or she needs some new media advisors. Okay, it’s not that; she needs some new media advisors. Here are two video clips that demonstrate the problem. Her performance in them highlight some of her worst traits.

The first clip is a speech in front of what should be a friendly audience. She seems to think that her phony “union boss” act will resonate as productive rather than phony. This performance is reminiscent of the phoniness of Hilry talkin suthrn. The second clip is an attempt at replicating Obama’s success on “Between Two Ferns.” This was an unmitigated disaster. It was more or less a roast, and Hillary demonstrated her paucity of wit. Zach Galifianakis was actually pretty funny (There, I said it!). I’m pretty sure his outreach to millennials was far more successful than hers. Sweet revenge for Bernie fans, no doubt.

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Debt Is Headed Up Under Hillarynomics, Even Higher Under Trumponomics

 

figure1debt

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has updated its (non-dynamic) budget scoring of the presidential economic plans. Context: The federal debt-GDP ratio was 35% in 2007, which is more or less the postwar average. I would love see the number on a medium-term glide-path back to that level, though there is certainly no need to expedite things as Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson would do.

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What Are the Checks and Balances?

 

Evan McMullinThis election year makes a mockery of past complaints about the “lesser of two evils.” That cliché has been trotted out in every election of my lifetime. In every previous contest though, the choice was not between evils. It was often between flawed candidates (think George W. Bush), and bad candidates (e.g. Al Gore or John Kerry).

This year’s decision is different. Hillary Clinton would be a conventional bad candidate (in a substantive, not stylistic sense) were it not for the revelations about the email server. Her deception, her greed, her progressive views are all terrible (if dismayingly familiar), but the indifference to national security she demonstrated in the use of a private server (on which she did, despite denials, transmit classified information), places her on a plane that no national candidate has occupied before. She should be disqualified for commander-in-chief.

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Victor Davis Hanson explains why the waning months of Barack Obama’s presidency may turn out to be one of the most volatile periods for national security that America has seen in decades.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out Hillary Clinton calling Tim Kaine a “terrible choice” for a running mate back in 2008. They also discuss two consecutive nights of rioting in Charlotte. And they’re puzzled at the media’s lack of interest in news that ISIS launched a chemical attack against U.S. troops.

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