Archive for the ‘nonpartisan’ Tag

Why Not Talk Together?   2 comments

Coffee Table TalkWelcome to the Land of Extremes! The US (indeed most of the Western world) is rapidly splitting into two political extremes that each see the other as the enemy in a potential fomenting war. If you’re in the middle … or a libertarian … they want to force you to choose a side and, it seems likely, if one side wins, it will try to eliminate the other point of view and probably yours as well.

You can blame it on a lot of factors. I try not to jump on President Trump’s every childish tweet because I am trying hard not to take sides. It can’t be easy to be a Trump supporter these days, but they are right that there’s been no solid evidence produced against Trump himself for anything that would have gotten the slightest notice during the Obama and Clinton era. Meanwhile, the news outlets have discredited themselves with their respective mudslinging and cheerleading.

Those are symptoms of our conditions that make it extremely difficult to find reliable, unbiased information about anything political. Almost everyone has taken a side. CNN is an unrelenting wall of anti-Trump semi-news every day all day. Fox News bangs the drum for Trump unless he makes a huge error and they try to minimize those. Facebook, Google et al show a clear bias to the the left and appear to be stifling some conservative viewpoints. Interesting, the folks I talk to on both sides of the divide insist the media outlets they prefer are just telling “the truth” while all the others are biased.

For the record … I think they’re all biased. Some are more biased than others.

Watching from the outside and largely trying to stay out of the political battles, I’ve seen hostilities escalating to where people truly view the other party as evil, prompting Jordan Peterson (a Canadian centrist with some libertarian views) to ask what American liberals think should happen to Trump supporters when the liberals overthrow the elected government. Speaking of Peterson … violent protests break out over invitations to even moderately conservative speakers … in effect limited college campus viewpoints to liberal only.

The days of the compassionate, tolerant liberal are over, replaced with an “us or them” mentality that labels libertarians and nonpartisans as “the enemy” because you can only “be with the correct side” or you’re most assuredly with the wrong side. And being on the “wrong side” increasing means it’s okay to encourage violence against conservatives, justified because they’re supposedly racist, sexist, homophobic, “intolerant” Nazis. If a conservative wants to reduce welfare or even just eliminate waste and fraud in the program, they “hate the poor” and minorities and are therefore racist. If a person of faith feels that homosexuality is not a faithful lifestyle, they are “homophobic”. Either way, they’re Nazis and, since Nazis are the worst kind of people, violence against them is deemed perfectly acceptable. No other solutions are reasonable anymore. You couldn’t simply use your free speech to disprove their point of view or fund alternative organizations to influence the political process and there’s no time to write convincing articles showing why they’re wrong — no, you must physically assault them, then have them jailed for refusing to stand still while you beat them to death.

For decades, the conservative response to being labeled racist, sexist, homophobic, etc., was to withdraw from the debate. Tufts University research shows “conservatives are more fearful than liberals of discussing politics with people with whom they disagree, because they dread being called a bigot. When asked how they feel about talking politics, every single conservative respondent raised the issue of being called racist.” Liberals expressed no comparable fear.” That indicates that conservatives are not allowed by liberals to value certain polices over others for responsible reasons. If bringing up valid reasons to, for example, support welfare reform, immediately brings charges of racism, it shifts the discussion to whether you’re a racist and away from the valid reasons for supporting welfare reform.

This is not a one-sided battle. Polarization has motivated both sides to force one another to comply with its worldview. Conservatives tried for yours to force their morality on the public by trying to completely outlaw abortion. You once couldn’t get a divorce in this country and there are Republicans in my home state of Alaska who still fight for marijuana prohibition.

But Democrats aren’t blameless. They’re actively working to punish free speech and religious beliefs, to make it illegal to have anything other than the liberal point of view about how to behalf in society. They are quite comfortable with using public intimidating to suppress ideas they disagree with.

Last week, I suggested we are headed toward a war and I had people angrily tell me I was wrong. I don’t see where I am. We are no longer the United States of America. We have become blue versus red, us versus them, and we’re all engaged in a fight for the survival of our beliefs and values. The fight contradicts everything America was founded on — freedom of speech, of differing idea, of the right to believe (or not believe) in religion. If either side wins this war, trends suggest they will force us all to bow to their ideology.

We all lose when that happens.

There’s a solution and it lies in refusing to see those who disagree with us as the enemy. Open your mind to the possibility that you’re not right about everything. Republicans/Democrats are not the vanguard of a crusade against the forces of evil. We can stop the war from happening if we simply start being reasonable, calm our emotions and lay aside our prejudices, and be willing to listen and learn from each other.

Party of Big Government   Leave a comment

In October, the Republican-majority Congress passed the first $4 trillion federal budget in U.S. history. At $4.1 trillion, the budget represents an approximately 5% increase in spending over the last fiscal year of the Obama administration and sets the stage for President Trump to do what every GOP president has done since WWII — increase spending far more than did his Democratic predecessor.

Remember, I’m a non-partisan fiscal conservative, not a Republican.

Image result for image of donald trump and mitch mcconnellMath was never my favorite subject in school, but it doesn’t take much more than elementary math to figure out that, if spending increases, either taxes or deficits must also increase. Historically, the GOP has been happy to allow deficits to explode, but that’s going to be a hard hand to play after eight-years of attacking Obama’s deficits, which increased the federal government’s debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion.

So, what are Republicans likely to do? Raise taxes, of course. Their move in the tax reform bill shows this. By eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes (which doesn’t affect me at all being as I live in Alaska), the Republicans had taxes to traditionally “blue” areas at the benefit to traditionally “red” areas. It is likely that those people who hate paying taxes the most will leave those states with higher taxes to move to states with lower taxes. So you’re going to see quite a few Republicans moving to Republican strongholds.

The GOP will then use this as evidence that people want smaller, low tax government with more freedom and prosperity.

Which we probably do, but the reality is that when Republicans occupy the White House, government grows exponentially, because  Republicans think tariffs aren’t taxes and “infrastructure,” the military, and other boondoggles conservatives like don’t constitute government spending. The two-term presidencies of George W. Bush, Reagan, and Ford/Nixon all approximately doubled federal spending, while Clinton’s and Obama’s raised them a mere 25% and 28%, respectively.

Yes, some of those Republican presidents had Democratic Congresses, but Reagan never  asked for a 25% cut which Congress overrode with increases. Reagan consistently proposed huge increases in spending and Congress largely gave him what he asked for, merely shifting a little spending around at the margins. And, yes, I am a fan of Ronald Reagan. I’m also a realist. George W. Bush did the same thing – paid lip service to fiscal conservancy while consistently proposing spending increases which Congress willingly gave to him.

Spending is not the only issue. The federal government suffers from serious mission creep and most of it can be traced back to Republican presidents creating the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (today HHS and the Department of Education), the EPA, and the spectacularly destructive (and ultimately failed) War on Drugs.

Yes, the wealthiest people in America live in the coastal elite “blue” zones, which tend to impose egregious taxes on their residents. They will be taxed the most because they would no longer be able to write off those taxes. And, yes, that might possibly result in some blue states being forced to lower taxes in order to avoid the penalty. But, be honest, when your income is in the tens of millions, income tax increases are small potatoes. It’s those earners with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 who will be hurt the most by extra taxes. In that income bracket, those extra taxes represent saving for your children’s college tuition, which now means borrowing for it. It could mean the difference between hiring one extra employee for a small business, further protecting the very richest from competition by the upwardly mobile class.

I honestly believe there are a few Republicans who sincerely want to cut the size and scope of the federal government. Senator Rand Paul tried to convince his party to cut a measly $43 billion (a mere 4%) from Washington’s gargantuan military budget. Senator Paul believes he is trying to hold the Republican Party to its core principles, but I think he needs to look at history here. The party was born in the mid-19th century on a platform of raising taxes, increasing the size and scope of the federal government and, for the first few years, abolishing slavery. It has never really changed, though it adopted the rap of small-government, low-taxes and freedom and prosperity after Goldwater introduced it to them.

It’s time those Republican voters attracted by the GOP’s rhetoric of free markets, smaller government, and more personal liberty face the reality that Harding, Coolidge, Taft, and Rand Paul are the “RINOs.” The Republican Party has always been about big government, authoritarianism, and empire. Those looking to truly “drain the swamp” should consider placing their support elsewhere — and, no, I don’t mean the Democratic Party because they are just as much for big government, just in support of different pet projects.

Posted December 14, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Government

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Enemy of the People   1 comment

The Left is very worried about what Donald Trump is going to do to American Democracy. Mark Shields of PBS worries that Trump is going to cause a constitutional crisis.

Image result for image of donald trumpMaybe it has something to do with not voting for either Trump or Clinton, but I don’t care. Really! Yes, I wince every few days over something Trump tweets, but by and large, I don’t see him as more of a danger to American “democracy” than the last several presidents. But there are some people who really, really are convinced of this.

Consider Scott Hamann’s anti-Trump rant, which reveals not only his own beliefs and feelings but also those of many other people. A lot of people agree with him, judging from the steady stream of similar kinds of extreme and outrageous remarks that have been made public. Many of them are divorced from reality.

Speaking of divorced from reality, California Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi said President Trump was “turning his back on children and dishonoring God for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.”  (Here.)

Pelosi’s criticism of Trump has been unrelenting for months now. She recently said “…Republicans in Congress have become enablers of the Trump-Russia assault on our democracy…We have suffered a desecration of our democracy not seen since Watergate. Similarly, Hamann leads off with “Trump was installed by the Russians, because they wanted to undermine American democracy…”


News flash for Nancy and Scott and whoever else subscribes to this alarmism — no matter what labels we attach to the national government of America, that government has been sliding steadily downhill for a long, long time. It is and has been entirely incompetent for a long time. Its domestic and overseas intrusions are abominable and pervasive to the point of evil. The government in its vast ignorance and hubris keeps raising the risks of nuclear war and World War 3. The government’s meddling serves only narrow business interests, oligarchs, bureaucrats, power-hungry psychopaths, busybodies and opportunists. Its interventions corrupt the people, dumb us down, and make us helpless, dependent, mindless and lazy. Whatever progress has been made by the American people has been in spite of the bad actions of our “democratic” government.

Americans should undermine our “democracy”. It needs a strong dose of desecration because it has taken on an entirely undeserved role as a sacred institution. The next marches on Washington should be to downsize the government drastically, to end rules and regulations, to cut out bureaus, to end programs, to lay off bureaucrats, and to eliminate whole departments. The New Deal and the subsequent growth of government built upon it were and remain extremely harmful to Americans and ought to be repudiated. The country needs to engage in a vastly different kind of restructuring of ideas and government. The alternative is decline and eventual loss of what we claim we want to preserve.

Trump is no machete against the elitist structure of Washington DC. At best, he’s wielding a penknife against selected parts of the overall jungle that is the federal government. What we really need is a fleet of chainsaws. Truthfully, Trump is fertilizing and watering some of the most egregious parts of the tyranny garden. The vocal extreme protests against him from Left and Right measure the depths to which a large portion of the population has sunk as its “democracy” has deteriorated into an unholy mess of corruption reaching into every state, county, city, town, village and hamlet. There is no one and no place that the workings of “the people” and “their democracy” have not corrupted. There is no redemption from this evil except return to basic principles of self-governance that have been rejected in the pursuit of mistaken ideas of societal perfection.

Still Looking for Your Cheese?   1 comment

Image result for maze with cheeseThe Trump administration blocked some liberal media outlets from a press conference and the blocked ones are freaking out as if this has never happened before. Apparently, they’ve forgotten that the Obama administration routinely blocked access of some media outlets.

Note these articles are dated 2013 and 2014. The both center on the opacity — the lack of transparency — of the Obama administration.

Trump is incredibly transparent. Just read his tweets — though I wouldn’t believe everything he tweets. If you don’t feel him tweaking your strings, you’re really not that sensitive. Reporters from some media outlets don’t like that they are no longer the gatekeepers of information. They don’t get to manipulate the message and put their own spin on it and then claim that anyone else with another take on the message is not a legitimate news source.

The Trump administration has moved the liberal media’s cheese and they’re so busy protesting that it’s been moved that they don’t seem to be seeking where it might have gone.

May I make a suggestion? Try being balanced. Instead of presenting your opinions and the half of the facts you like and screeching about how the sky is falling, try presenting the entire story, leaving your opinion at the door and digging for some actual evidence rather than just dealing in half-truths.

I think if you did that for six months or a year, you might get your press passes back.

Posted February 25, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Media

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What’s Left of the Democratic Party?   Leave a comment

For the last 8 years, the Democrats have been insisting that the Republican Party was a rump party with no future, about to slide into the dustbin of history. Meanwhile, Republicans quietly took over state legislatures and governors’ offices, Congress and then the Senate and now the White House.

And this graphic shows this in big ways. Obama’s legacy may well be the end of the Democratic Party. Now, if Trump can destroy the Republican Party, maybe we can try some new ways of doing things.

Mag-Dovere Inauguration-Issue GRAPHIC-copy-1.jpg

Posted January 26, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in politics, Uncategorized

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This Election’s Propaganda   Leave a comment

sheep-choose-path-clinton-trump-to-slaughterTake a pause and think about this. Clowns on the right, criminals on the left ….

The curtain has been pulled back and the reality has been revealed. We have an illusion of free choice. We get to choose between a  loud mouthed reality star sometimes successful business man with some questionable personality traits OR a lying, corrupt warmonger whose private thoughts on the American people as sheep have become public. Hey, those are questionable personality traits too — most especially in a President. Do you want a dictator in the White House? No? Then don’t vote for either of them.

So, what can we do about it?

Stop playing the game the elite has laid out for us. Some of us are still voting, but we should realize that voting is placebic. The only way we can make a difference in the outcome of this election is if enough of us vote 3rd party, but even then — there’s no guarantee that anything will improve.

Some of my friends have stopped voting. Here in Alaska, there is a move to register all of us to vote when we apply for our Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. But ill-informed sheepified people voting isn’t going to fix anything either.

We can fix things, folks, but not through the political process because that has become totally useless. Read d’Toqueville and he’ll explain why. But we have other options. This is why I keep posting from educational sites like FEE and Mises. Educate yourselves on what is really going on and we the people gain the potential to … eventually … fix things. But you have to know what is REALLY wrong before you can fix anything. Part of our problem is that we waste so much energy fighting the wrong battles because we have NO idea what our principles are or should be. So, here’s some cool links to follow and learn from.

Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)

Mises Institute

Ron Paul Institute

There are many others, but this is a good start.


Playing Politics Can Be Fun until It Unleashes Hell | Joey Clark   1 comment

Any time I can find an article that dumps on both of the major party candidates with equal fervor, I am thrilled. Lela

Most politicians and their followers are not cynical enough about politics. They hate the players but not the game. What if we all become hopeful cynics – cynical of man’s lust to dominate his fellows, yet lovers of man all the same?



Found on FEE Source: Playing Politics Can Be Fun until It Unleashes Hell | Joey Clark

Posted August 8, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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Hip-Hip-Hurrah for Irrelevancy   Leave a comment

I sort of like Martin O’Malley. While I think Queen Hillary is definitely in it for herself, I think Martin believes he’s a sane candidate … and if I had to vote for one of the three Democratic candidates for President, I’d vote for him … which doesn’t mean I agree with him on all or even most issues.

You might have noticed that I’m not discussing Hillary’s policies. This is because I reject dynastic rule no matter what its policies are. There is therefore no reason for me to discuss the policies of Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush because I will not vote for a queen or a king. This principle extends to Lisa Murkowski from the great state of Alaska as well (more on that topic closer to the election).

Martin O’Malley’s support of abortion “rights” pretty much prevents me from voting for him unless there’s a gun to my head. I will never support federal funding of abortion because that requires those of us who believe that abortion is murder to pay for those murders, which makes us complicit with the genocide. Enough said on that topic … though everyone is always free to argue it.

O’Malley is somewhat right on the economy. Socialism and crony capitalism are both mistakes that will lead to a loss of economic vitality. The big banks of Wall Street had a huge hand in the financial meltdown of 2008 that is still lingering. Tax reductions and regulatory reforms help job creators and therefore job seekers. We need to close the budget deficit and yes, the federal budget should not grow faster than inflation. I agree with him in opposing the TPP.

But Glass-Steagall is not sane regulation — it’s abusive to the point of destructive and it negatively affects good banks right along with what he terms “casino” banks.

I very much DISAGREE with him on family and children’s issues and immigration, and I think he really doesn’t understand the technical limitations of “renewable” energy. I think he needs to acquaint himself with the Constitution on gun control and price setting for health care will simply make health care increasingly unavailable to everyone. Did we not learn from the lesson of price-setting under the Nixon administration? But more than that, I’ve seen the effects of capitation in the Medicaid system and it was not pretty for the clients trapped without alternatives to what the government was offering them.

It doesn’t really matter, though, because Martin O’Malley is irrelevant in this race. Although he is actually the most centrist of the three Democratic candidates and therefore the one most likely to appeal to voters in a general election, he is not going to get the nomination. I’m just trying to be fair in looking at him. For a modern Democrat, he is a lot closer to being reality based than Obama or Clinton and certainly he would be less destructive to the economy. I also think that when the economy finally implodes from the burden placed upon it by Bush 2 and Obama, O’Malley would adapt to economic reality and maybe soften the blow a little bit. I don’t see Queen Hillary doing that and I know a dyed-in-the-wool socialist like Bernie couldn’t do it.

Posted January 23, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in politics

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Against Trump   8 comments

National Review argues against Republicans embracing Trump

THOMAS SOWELL In a country with more than 300 million people, it is remarkable how obsessed the media have become with just one—Donald Trump. What is even more remarkable is that, after seven years of repeated disasters, both domestically and internationally, under a glib egomaniac in the White House, so many potential voters are turning to another glib egomaniac to be his successor.

Read more at:


And the leftist Salon claims its evidence of a conservative implosion.

The big release of the latest National Review edition, with a cover declaring “Against Trump,” on Thursday night was above all other things a wonderful gift not just to liberals, but anyone who lives outside of the conservative tribe. Because it gives us a glimpse, however temporary, of what it feels like to be a Trump supporter. I defy readers to take one look at the cover and not feel an overwhelming surge of contempt for these establishment conservatives who love to pander to the camo-crowd when it suits them, but get fussy when the rubes rise up and start demanding real skin in the game. You want to rub their smug little faces right in Donald Trump’s ridiculous hair and ask how they like those apples.



What I found truly hilarious was that liberal progressives think National Review represents the Republican establishment. They don’t. If anything, the Republican establishment has more than shown its contempt for the conservative movement represented by thinkers like Thomas Sowell.


The National Review message – loud and clear – is that conservatives (not Republicans) should not vote for Donald Trump because Donald Trump is not a conservative. That is a completely correct observation. Trump is not a conservative, though he may be leading the Republican polls.

So why are Salon and the other liberal media cheering the “Republican base” (whoever these people might be) into the Trump camp?

I tend to want to avoid conspiracy theories. They’re useful premises for apocalyptic novels, but espousing them in real life tends to make you sound like you’re crazy. But, I’ve had a sneaking suspicion for some time that someone on the left encouraged Trump, probably with large amounts of cash or some iron-clad promise for the future, to run on the Republican ticket. Right now, he’s got folks who claim to be Republican excited, but what happens when he wins the nomination? Will he suddenly do something that makes him thoroughly unelectable and thereby assure the victory of the Democratic candidate?

No! That couldn’t possibly happen.

Right …????

I can write that as someone who is conservative-libertarian and feels no obligation to the Republican party to vote for their nominee. I’m going to vote my principles and if those don’t align with the Republican Party (and they rarely do), I’ll vote Libertarian or some other party that more closely aligns with me. Yes, I may be “wasting” my vote on a non-winning candidate, but I will not be voting for Trump as meglomaniac in chief because frankly, we’ve had 8 years of meglomania and I think we should be done with that by now. I’d rather “waste” my vote sending a message than play go-along-to-get-along with the Republicans.

I Like Bernie Sanders   6 comments

No, seriously. I believe he’s sincere. I think he wants to make the United States a better place to live. Moreover, I admire the man’s willingness to stand up to Hillary Clinton. There’s evidence that some who have done that in the past have paid some pretty heavy costs for their bravado, so to get up there time and time again and call the shovel a spade is admirable.

He’s right. She cannot stand up to Wall Street because she is bought and paid for by Wall Street hedge fund managers. She also gets a lot of money from George Soros, several media outlets, labor unions and several health insurance and health care corporations.

I also admire his principle in sticking to small donations. It’s hard to be owned by any one (or a couple of dozen) donor when you take very small donations from a wide group of people.

I also agree with many of his criticisms of Republicans — the wars, the corporate welfare. I suspect, were I to sit down with him, we would find a lot of areas of agreement between us.

If Alaska’s Democratic primary were not a closed caucus, I might even vote for Bernie in the March caucus, not because I think he’d be a good president but because I’d like to see Queen Hillary’s head explode if she doesn’t get the nomination. Alas, you have to be a Democratic Party member to “vote” in the Democratic caucus in March and it is against my principles to join a political party, so I’ll have to leave it up to actual Democrats to coalesce around denying Queen Hillary her crown.

So, back to Bernie. I admire the man. I won’t be voting for him. It’s not personal. I’m a principles voter and admiring the man does not mean I agree with his principles. What he believes is good for the United States would be an economic disaster. No one who has taken an actual economics course believes you can give everyone everything for free and not raise taxes except on corporations and rich people. Tuition-free college, single-payer health insurance, expanded Social Security benefits, and all these other giveaways that he proposes all cost money, which must be paid for by taxing people.

Remember — I think taxation is thievery. It may be necessary thievery under the current system we live under, but it is still thievery. I want to reduce the thievery as much as possible by reducing the size and scope of government, which is the exact opposite of what Bernie is proposing.

I also recognize a reality that apparently has never occurred to Bernie. No poor person who ever given me or anyone I know a job. The more you tax “the rich” the more you reduce employment in this country, thereby creating more poor people. The fastest way out of poverty is to get a rich person to give you a real job doing something real, as opposed to having government create jobs that exist for the sole purpose of providing jobs, that must be funded by stealing tax dollars from productive members of society. That is an endless cycle of using other people’s money to prop up a system that is unsustainable. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money and you have to start taxing the very people you were trying to help in the first place. This has happened in every country that has tried socialism. We’ve seen the outcome in the Soviet Union and China. We see the increasing wobble in Europe. Do we really want to go there as a nation?

Then there’s his health coverage plan. Bernie proposes we all go under Medicaid. Have you ever had anything to do with Medicaid? No? Well, I have. I worked in social services for 15 years, so I am intimately familiar. It is an awful system that, by and large, does not allow for preventative care and delays treatment of conditions until they are fatal. It is characterized by many bureaucratic hoops between the doctor and the patient and by very long waiting lists. Only medications that are cheap and old are covered, so better medications are not available. In most states, Medicaid is the single largest expenditure in the state budget and it is a huge cost to the federal government. It also pays doctors at about 60% of the prevailing current rates, disincentivizing the creation of new doctors to replace the ones trapped in this new Sanders Medicaid system.

But, hey, it would make everyone equal … and, by and large, sick and untreated as well as unable to afford to purchase better health care even if it were available. It would also make us a nation enslaved to the tax man. England, Norway, many other single-payer health insurance countries tax pretty much everyone who is not on the government dole at better than 50% of their income to pay for their version of Medicaid. There are no entrepreneurs in Europe. Europeans of that mind set mostly immigrate to the United States because they can’t afford to be entrepreneurs in their home countries. Again, do we really want to go there as a nation?

Remember what I said about my principles remaining the same no matter who is espousing them? Well, admiring Bernie Sanders for being true to his convictions does not translate into thinking his convictions are a good idea. Enslaving your fellow Americans to pay for your health care … retirement … job … college … is a bad idea in every time and in every place. Doing it when you have no way to pay for it just doubles down on bad ideas. I believe he means well, but his goals are not going to work out to his pleasure.

So I won’t be voting for Bernie Sanders if he makes it to the general election. He seems like a nice guy, but I don’t think he understands how the real world works …

Which is mostly true of all socialists, by the way. Glorious pie-in-the-sky intentions backed by magical thinking that has never worked out anywhere in the past.

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