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The rise of Donald Trump suggests that William F. Buckley is sorely missed

  While plowing through some old stuff the other day, I came across a blog post of mine from a few years ago on how the conservative movement has changed over the decades. It  got me thinking about how William F. Buckley, a conservative intellectual who died eight years ago at the age of 82, might have reacted to the dimwitted right-wing crap peddled these days by the anti-intellectual likes of Donald Trump. The centerpiece of my blog post was an excerpt from something Kathleen Geier wrote in The Washington Monthly. She said this: I...

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Right-wing hero Antonin Scalia said gun rights have limits

  Donald Trump’s campaign oratory this year has included occasional references to the Second Amendment and to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia — but never in the same context. I’m guessing that Trump, like most of his ideological brethren, doesn’t really know much about Scalia’s full body of judicial work. My favorite example of this ignorance is the fact that Scalia cast the deciding vote in a 5-4 decision legalizing flag-burning as a form of free speech under the First Amendment. Right-wingers...

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Time is right to seal Trump’s image as a darling of dimwits

  The current situation in the presidential race in this second week of August brings to mind something nineteenth century British Prime Minister William Gladstone once said: “In politics, timing is everything.” Well, now is the time to paint an indelible portrait of Donald Trump as a favorite of America’s booboisie. Now is the time to make The Donald synonymous with a lack of political sophistication, with a loose grip on the realities of what makes the world go around, with a misunderstanding of the fundamentals of...

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Face it: You’ll be voting in November, even if you think you won’t

  Democracy doesn’t work exactly the way you may think it does. For example, if you think you have a right NOT to vote, you’re wrong. Everybody who’s old enough to vote does vote — one way or another. Follow me on this: Let’s say you’re Donald Trump, and you’re thinking about what it will take for you to be elected president in the November election. Well, the equation is rather simple. All you have to do is get more votes than Hillary Clinton gets. None of the other votes matter. The votes for...

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The race is Hillary’s to lose, which is Trump’s only chance

  One week after the convention season, a political pattern is emerging in the 2016 presidential race: Donald Trump is never going to win on the basis of his popularity, but Hillary Clinton could lose if her lack of popularity reaches critical mass. As things stand now, Hillary’s in pretty good shape, but I’m not quite ready to bet the farm on her chances.  It’s been a bad week for Trump, who is sinking in the polls among most voter blocs, the principal exception being lesser-educated white folks. But there’s...

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Who should replace Trump on the GOP ticket, if it comes to that?

  The problems currently facing Donald Trump, most of them of his own making, have given rise to talk that Republican poobahs may soon strive to remove him from the party’s presidential ticket and replace him with someone not so unpredictable or mentally unbalanced. But who would be the best choice for that gig? Who would be willing to accept the nod? As I see it, no one would be more eager to suit-up for the task than former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. After all, he’s almost Trump’s equal in the ego department, but...

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I hate it when there are strict rules for dinner-table conversations

  Most of us who have led middle-class (or higher) family lives are acquainted to one degree or another with certain rules pertaining to what can or cannot be discussed at the dinner table. As an old friend of mine used to say, never discuss rope in the home of someone who’s about to be hanged. Seriously, though, the laying down of rules for dinner-table conversations is an age-old practice that varies according to the situation. Sometimes Mom warns Dad against mentioning a certain sensitive subject or spouting off at all when...

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Donald Trump’s crisis reminds me of the fall of Richard Nixon

  In the past few days, the political collapse of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy seems to have picked up momentum, especially in light of his dissing of a Muslim-American Gold Star family. The biggest surprise to me is how this chapter suddenly arouses sentiments I haven’t felt since President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace 42 years ago this month for his role in the Watergate scandal. The word for it is schadenfreude, which is defined as enjoyment of the problems of certain other people. In reality,...

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Backlash against Trump over war hero proves an important point

  If the presidential election were held tomorrow instead of 14 weeks hence, Hillary Clinton likely would defeat Donald Trump. But if it had been held just six days ago, the outcome might not have been that predictable. The point here is that elections can pivot on completely unforeseen developments. Before last Thursday night, very few Americans had ever heard of Kizr Khan, his wife Ghazala or their late son Huhayan Khan, a U.S. Army Captain who was killed in action 14 years ago in Iraq. But now, the Khans are famous — and...

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Where are all the respectable Republicans I once knew?

  Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a mystery if I still got around as much as I used to. But as things are, I can’t help but wonder what the good and decent Republicans I once knew are thinking about their party in this age of Donald Trump. I’ve been semi-retired for 10 years now, and my duties as a blogger are performed at home. Like most people my age, I lead a social life that’s far less active than when I was in the workaday world. Consequently, most of my personal acquaintanceships with professional people of...

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Trump’s rhetoric on crime and illegal immigration is mostly false

  In a post HERE last Friday, I took issue with Donald Trump’s bogus claim that violent crime in America has become a lot worse under President Obama. Such rhetoric is simply nonsense, but Trump’s indiscriminate supporters lap it up. Obama himself addressed the issue (and added illegal immigration to the mix) in his well-received speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. He said: “It doesn’t matter to [Trump] that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades, because he’s...

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Hillary might be an unlikely savior of the Republican Party

  If Hillary Clinton defeats Donald Trump in the November election, which I still think is more likely than not, she might end up saving the Republican Party from itself. Follow me here as I unveil what I consider a possible scenario: In the past decade or so, rhetoric in the GOP has become increasingly reckless and kooky, giving rise to the Tea Party movement and now to the emergence of Donald Trump as the party’s standard-bearer. This regrettable evolution has prompted more than a few so-called establishment Republicans to almost...

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