The best way for Israel to strengthen its hand is not by waging war to the utmost against its opponents, but by maximizing the number and range of its friends.
On Thursday, Representative Rashida Tlaib requested and received permission to enter the state of Israel to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank. “This could be my last opportunity to see her,” she wrote, on congressional letterhead. “I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my visit.”
Today, Tlaib reversed herself. If she cannot promote her political views, she will not visit. “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me,” she wrote. “I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in—fighting against racism, oppression & injustice.”
Israel had previously denied entry to Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar, citing their promotion of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The sorry incident of the Omar-Tlaib visit imparts lessons for all parties.
For the state of Israel, the lesson has to be: Respect the U.S. Congress and all its members. No, they are not all wise or good or just. It’s not as individuals that they command respect, though, but as members of a legislative body. And no, it’s not an equal two-way relationship. In 2012, the U.S. Department of State excluded an Israeli Knesset member on grounds that he had ties to a terrorist group. Some friends of Israel have raised this precedent in the “what about” spirit that adds so much to social-media debate. The ultimate answer to such questions was long ago delivered by Bernard Lewis: The United States is so rich and strong that it can afford not only double standards, but triple, quadruple, and quintuple standards. Countries dependent on the U.S. for aid and protection can afford only one, however.
With the closing of the Weekly Standard, an influential publication that many considered a respectable, center-right, alternative to more pro-Trump outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News, and the continued ostracization of “Never-Trump conservatives” from the Republican Party, many wonder who, if anyone, will carry the torch of prudential conservatism while President Trump occupies the White House.
Just last week, a group of prominent intellectuals and political figures including Maryland Gov.
- Larry Hogan,
- Bill Kristol and
- David Frum
gathered for a conference at Washington’s Niskanen Center titled “Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump.” The underlying assumption of the conference: It’s time for moderate conservatives to regroup and reconsider their relationship to a Republican Party that has been overrun by populists, nationalists and demagogues.
As someone who runs an organization founded at the time of the Iraq War with the aim of changing the direction of American conservatism, I can sympathize with their efforts, but I fundamentally disagree on their diagnosis of the problem. In the long run, both the conservative movement and Republican Party will be better off for having had Donald Trump shatter the combination of neoconservatism and Reaganism that held the political right captive and blinded since the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan was the statesman that America needed for his time, but the clock had run out on many of his policy prescriptions and it took a “hurricane,” as the Niskanen Center conference described it, like Trump to wake up conservatism — and America.
.. I need not provide an exhaustive list, as Time magazine’s October cover story by Sam Tanenhaus, “How Trumpism Will Outlast Trump,” did a good job surveying the landscape that includes thinkers such as
- Julius Krein at American Affairs,
- Daniel McCarthy at Modern Age,
- Yuval Levin at National Affairs,
- Michael Anton at Hillsdale College and
- David Azerrad at the Heritage Foundation.
.. What does this new program for the right entail if not a return to the neoconservatism of the George W. Bush years? It’s time for Republicans to embrace a “Main Street” conservatism that prizes solidarity over individualism and culture over efficiency. America needs a foreign policy that serves our vital national interests by securing the safety and happiness of the American people. This means putting an end to the regime-change and nation-building experiments that have devastated Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya; ending U.S. support for the Saudis’ involvement in the Yemeni civil war; reclaiming our national sovereignty; and prioritizing diplomacy over intervention
.. On domestic issues, especially when our country is bitterly divided along partisan lines, we must decentralize both political and economic power to bring it closer to the people. This would allow local and state governments greater flexibility to address their unique problems, letting California be California and Texas be Texas.
.. Regarding the problem of economic concentration, conservatives should stand up to the crony capitalism that has protected big banks and defense contractors, and revisit antitrust enforcement to prevent corporate monopolies from stamping out competition and entrepreneurship. And finally, conservatives should adopt a cultural platform with a renewed focus on civic education; implementing economic and social policies that strengthen families, such as paid family leave and an increase in the child tax credit; promoting vocational training as a dignified alternative to traditional universities; and working toward an immigration policy that better balances economic and cultural concerns.
.. When searching for a prudential conservatism today, it’s best to ignore the advice of those who brought us the Iraq War, the hollowing out of our industrial base and our broken immigration system. The future belongs to conservatives who take Middle America seriously and actually care about the systemic problems that drove the Rust Belt into the arms of then-candidate Trump.
The audio in this video is from Sam Harris’ Waking Up podcast, episode #65 — We’re All Cucks Now _ https://www.samharris.org/podcast/P7
Donald Trump got 3 things right:
- Crisis in American Rural Life
- The “inner cities” are having a revival, but the rural areas are struggling, and had not been heard
- The drug crisis
- Beliefs about Trade date back from times when other countries were democracies or small players
- Chinese trade imbalances have caused harsh dislocations
- We don’t have compensation like
- Immigration is described by economists as having no costs
- The costs (cultural) are born by the bottom 30-40%
But none of that suggests that Donald Trump is the right person to deal with these 3 issues.
There is a game-theorist idea that it might take a bull in the china shop to deal with our adversaries.
- Vested interests
Donald Trump is like a diamond that comes with a curse.
He is not cutting through bureaucracy. He is not confirming his appointments.
An undisciplined America aids adversaries.
Trump thought you can’t buy an AR-15 in a store legally. (2 min)
This is not 1933, but Trump is eroding the norms.
Not everyone has had the same advantages, don’t apologize, but live up to them. (20 min)
Donald Trump was rated as “more honest” because he doesn’t equivocate. This may change how future candidates speak.
After Charlottesville, leaders of all branches of the military posted (on twitter?) comments condemning the President (33-34 min)
We can’t restore bipartisanship, but we can’t do certain things. You can’t threaten to default on the national dept. It’s not acceptable to filibustering
President Trump played a respected, competent, caring business leader, holding people accountable people who never always avoid accountability but everyday people are fired.
They thought here’s someone who is going to be able get something done.
There are certain promises you make– I’ll balance the budget — and then there are promises you keep — I’ll be at your fundraiser. (47 min)
Saddam Hussein had been a threat — he had gotten into wars multiple times. In the upheaval after 911 he was going to be a dangerous actor. I assumed there was good evidence for it. The sanctions regime was deteriorating.
The most important media companies are Facebook, Reddit, Twitter.
There is a tension between Democrats wanting to influence 2018 and those who care about 2020.
America’s problems arise from cultural and economic issues. When native population falls below replacement thresholds, immigration raises cultural concerns.
You want unilateral disarmament. If you adopt his tactics, you don’t stop him, you replace him. You want the people in power to accept limits, which means that you have to accept limits.
Lyndon Johnson lied about the Tonkin, but he gave you the tools to confront him. He never isn’t that it didn’t make a difference.The present situation is an attack on the way the executive branch functions (1:14 min).
Fox News accused CNN of manipulating the town hall questions. (1:16 min)
On the matter of the FISA warrents, it was obvious to everyone that Trump was engaged in contacts with Russian intelligence and was surrounded by people with Russian ties. When Henry Wallace ran in 1948, his campaign was staffed with foreign agents. Charles Limburg accepted a Natzi medal. Carter Page was signaling that he wanted to be used. If that person were on the left, we would recognize the symptoms. (1:20 min)