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Adios, Amigos!

I’ve never made secret my disaffection for Donald Trump. But within the dark clouds of his campaign and presidency, one bright ray of sunshine may be getting ready to pierce through the gloom:

Even before our new president began settling into the White House, a grassroots movement was already underway, gradually building momentum toward the singular goal of California seceding from the union.

According to the Washington Post, the activist group Yes California has responded to the Trump presidency by mobilizing its minions, which now constitute 53 chapters statewide, determined to gather the half-million votes necessary for getting the measure on the state ballot in 2018. I encourage readers to donate generously.

And here I offer these sage words of advice to the secessionists: look south.

Click here to read the whole article:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0217/goldson_calexit.php3

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President Evil

On 10 December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an editorial suggesting that Donald Trump was largely responsible for the gunman who attacked a Washington pizza parlor and the deranged woman who made death threats against the mother of a Sandy Hook massacre victim.

I submitted the following letter to the editor in response. Inexplicably, the paper chose not to print it.

Dear Editor,

Your editorial was absolutely correct. Donald Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric definitely has contributed to the corrosion of our culture and our safety. But please explain why you limit your indictment to Mr. Trump alone.

Why don’t you lay equal blame in the lap of Hillary Clinton for her amoral campaign of distortion, deception, and corruption? The former next-president-of-the-United-States racked up 24 pinocchios last year from the Washington Post, and has lied about everything from her emails to her foundation, from her fictitious ducking under Bosnian sniper fire to the origins of her own name.

Why don’t you assign equal guilt to Barack Obama, who denied calling ISIS “the JV team,” who misrepresented Republican filibustering by a factor of ten, and whose misinformation about Obamacare could fill a government website?

And why don’t you admit your own complicity as part of the injudicious media that perpetuated the big lie of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” continues to indulge the wicked moral equivalence that excuses and enables radical terrorism, and — oh, the irony — provided Donald Trump with millions of dollars in free column space and air time, helping catapult him to primary and ultimately national election victory.

By all means, blame Donald Trump for all of society’s ills. But first show the moral fortitude of placing the blame everywhere it belongs, including on your own shoulders.

https://yonasongoldson.com/2016/12/19/president-evil/President Evil

On 10 December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an editorial suggesting that Donald Trump was largely responsible for the gunman who attacked a Washington pizza parlor and the deranged woman who made death threats against the mother of a Sandy Hook massacre victim.

I submitted the following letter to the editor in response. Inexplicably, the paper chose not to print it.

Dear Editor,

Your editorial was absolutely correct. Donald Trump’s irresponsible rhetoric definitely has contributed to the corrosion of our culture and our safety. But please explain why you limit your indictment to Mr. Trump alone.

Why don’t you lay equal blame in the lap of Hillary Clinton for her amoral campaign of distortion, deception, and corruption? The former next-president-of-the-United-States racked up 24 pinocchios last year from the Washington Post, and has lied about everything from her emails to her foundation, from her fictitious ducking under Bosnian sniper fire to the origins of her own name.

Why don’t you assign equal guilt to Barack Obama, who denied calling ISIS “the JV team,” who misrepresented Republican filibustering by a factor of ten, and whose misinformation about Obamacare could fill a government website?

And why don’t you admit your own complicity as part of the injudicious media that perpetuated the big lie of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” continues to indulge the wicked moral equivalence that excuses and enables radical terrorism, and — oh, the irony — provided Donald Trump with millions of dollars in free column space and air time, helping catapult him to primary and ultimately national election victory.

By all means, blame Donald Trump for all of society’s ills. But first show the moral fortitude of placing the blame everywhere it belongs, including on your own shoulders.

https://yonasongoldson.com/2016/12/19/president-evil/

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Peace in our Mind

Two decades ago, Thomas Friedman suggested that someone should write a book called The Dictator Diet. Surely there must be some secret to the longevity of strongmen like Muammar Gaddafi, Yasser Arafat, and Fidel Castro. Like horror-movie mutations of the Eveready bunny, they just kept going and going and going.

Well, the last of them is gone at last. Adios, Mr. Castro. We wish we never knew ye.

But imagine if it had been different. What if Fidel had been a friend instead of a nuisance, if Cuba had been an ally instead of a thorn in America’s side?

It’s not such a wild notion.

Read the whole article here:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1116/goldson_castro.php3

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How we move forward

Too many voters held their noses yesterday as they entered the polling booth to vote for the candidate they considered least toxic. A smaller number could only make peace with their conscience by voting for some unexceptional third-party candidate. Then there were those who couldn’t bring themselves to vote at all.

Will the country survive this winter of our discontent? Only time will tell. But the question that lingers in the aftermath of electoral acrimony is this: are we going to start this all over again in two more years?

Sadly, we just might. Back in January, David Gelertner proposed in the Weekly Standard that the problem with the political left is that liberalism has become their new religion. For most people, religion is not a rational but an emotional commitment that emerges from some amorphous inner voice or feeling. And when people cannot defend their religious beliefs intellectually, they lash out with disproportionate ferocity at anyone who challenges those beliefs. Mr. Gelertner argues that the irrational dogmatism of many liberals bears less resemblance to political discourse and more to the religious fervor of blind faith.

He’s right, of course. But he’s wrong when he contends that this is overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the left.

Click here to read the rest:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1116/goldson_moving_forward.php3

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When Kindness is Cruelty

With a fury reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina, Typhoon Lionrock savaged northeast Asia two weeks ago, unleashing floods that left 100,000 North Koreans homeless and more than half a million without water. The devastation was so extraordinary that the North Korean government responded in a way equally unprecedented — by turning to the West for help.

I confess that my initial reaction was smug satisfaction. There’s something providential about a rogue nation responsible for instigating so much strife and apprehension around the world coming hat-in-hand to beg for international aid and succor.

However, after a moment’s reflection my feelings of moral superiority evaporated instantaneously. The victims here are not corrupt government nabobs; rather, they are the self-same people already victimized by the congenital corruption of their rulers. Even if the Orwellian tactics of the Kim dynasty have successfully hypnotized and lobotomized the people of North Korea into abject reverence, those hapless people hardly deserve the added suffering and indignation of a world denying them aid because of the sins of their overlords.

Divine justice will have to wait a bit longer.

To complicate matters further, just last week North Korea conducted yet another nuclear test in violation of its already-violated non-proliferation treaty. And so, with the UN blustering about increased sanctions and South Korea preparing for “the worst-case scenario,” humanitarian organizations are grappling with the logical and logistical problems of aiding the unfortunate citizens of a terrorist nation without helping the nation itself.

Of course, this is hardly a new dilemma.

Click here to read the whole article:
http://jewishworldreview.com/0916/goldson_kindness_cruelty.php3
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Look in the Mirror, Mr. President

“The Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president.”

Such is the gospel according to Barack Obama, who went on to defend his verdict by citing “the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans.”

He’s right, of course. But his critique might carry more weight if it were not a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.

(OMG, did I just write that?)

Before his very public embrace and endorsement of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic convention, Mr. Obama might have taken a look at the recent incendiary assessment of Ms. Clinton by NYT columnist Maureen Dowd, who’s about as far to the left as one can get without falling off the edge of the earth.

Here are a few choice quotes:

[The Clintons’] vast carelessness drags down everyone around them…

In a mere 11 days, arrogant, selfish actions by the Clintons contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington…

Hillary willfully put herself above the rules — again — and a president, campaign and party are all left twisting themselves into pretzels defending her.

The Clintons work hard but don’t play by the rules. Imagine them in the White House with the benefit of low expectations.

If even the most ardent defenders of liberal ideology give Ms. Clinton a failing grade in character, surely that must call into question her credibility as an aspirant for the country’s highest office.

So answer us this, President Obama: how can you, with a straight face and in all earnest, chide Republicans for not rejecting an unfit candidate when you so brazenly refuse to do so yourself?

https://yonasongoldson.com/2016/08/04/look-in-the-mirror-mr-president/

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One Cheer for Tim Kaine

A few election cycles ago, a politician I greatly admired was tapped as running mate for a nominee I did not so greatly admire. What followed was a classic example of what is commonly known as the Waffle.

Prior to accepting the vice-presidential nomination, Mr. Waffle met with the presumptive nominee to discuss their respective positions and differences, of which there were more than a few. The future vice-presidential candidate emerged from the meeting and announced to the press that, after a 45 minute-long meeting, he had been convinced to reverse his position on all points of disagreement and now, wholeheartedly, supported the nominee’s entire platform.

I’ll take my Waffle with syrup, please.

At the time, I wasn’t sure what was more disheartening: that a man I admired could so easily abandon his own convictions, or that he and his team believed it would be politically advantageous to do so. In either case, it was a sad day for integrity.

That’s why I have to tip my hat to Tim Kaine.

Click here for the whole article:
http://jewishworldreview.com/0816/goldson_kaine_one_cheer.php3
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A Tale of Too Many Egos

This isn’t about the 2016 presidential campaign. It’s not about the candidates or the conventions; it’s not about about political ideology or the political process.

It’s all about We The People.

But that requires talking about — at least briefly — the candidates I’d rather not talk about.

Some of us had dared to hope that Donald Trump, after securing the Republican nomination, would disclose that it had all indeed been an act and that he was ready to start acting like an adult. After all, he’s a super-successful billionaire real estate mogul. And he has such great kids. Surely, he’s capable of acting presidential.

Ah, hope springs eternal.

Then the ghost of Ted Cruz reappeared. To be fair, Mr. Trump has a legitimate grievance against Mr. Cruz, who should have either endorsed his former rival or declined the invitation to speak from the convention pulpit. As a career politician, Senator Cruz must understand that the purpose of a national convention is to inspire party solidarity, not to posture for the next election cycle. Mustn’t he?

Of course, life isn’t any better in Philadelphia, where DNC head Debbie Wasserman-Schultz finally agreed to disappear into the night in exchange for one last grandstand, after she was caught exploiting her position to skew the supposedly even-handed primary process in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Not than anyone was surprised. Whatever your political bent, principles have largely become a thing of the past.

That may be because too many Americans have no notion of the values on which this country was founded: Equal opportunity, equal rights, and equal protection under the law. These do not ensure equal wealth or power. But they are part of a culture that once recognized a moral, as opposed to a legal, commitment to place the lowest rung of the ladder of fortune within reach of its most downtrodden citizens, to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority, and to shape a society bound together by commitment to higher values and national destiny.

Click here to read the whole article:
http://jewishworldreview.com/0716/goldson_too_many_egos.php3
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The Danger of Democracy

The prospect of a presidential race between the two most unpopular candidates in American electoral history should give us serious pause to reflect upon the inherent precariousness of any democratic system.

On the one hand, democracy protects a people from the whims and excesses of despotism by creating a system of accountability and popular will. On the other, it places power in the hands of the masses, who may be uninformed and easily manipulated; as Robert A. Heinlein once wrote, does history record any case in which the majority was right?

A lot of people seem to agree. Even now that the outcome appears inevitable in both primary races , opposition to the status quo has grown so intense that, in both parties, the voices of pragmatism are being drowned out by the battle cry of revolution.

Each rebel camp is a bizarre mirror-image of the other. On the Republican side, the party orthodoxy is rejecting the presumptive nominee for being indifferent to its values and unfit to lead. On the Democratic side, a surging upstart movement rallies around an untethered independent while decrying the corruption of the party orthodoxy itself.

Both insurgent groups are threatening to turn to third-party candidates. Leaders on both sides are warning that such a move would be political suicide, and history supports their fears. Third-party campaigns backfired for Teddy Roosevelt in 1912, Strom Thurmond (nearly) in 1948, Ross Perot in 1992, and Ralph Nader in 2000. So isn’t it better to vote for the lesser of two evils than to give away the election by grasping at straws?

That’s a good question.

Read the whole column here:
http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-danger-of-democracy/
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