The Richest Man in Town

Author’s note: I first published this piece in December, 2000. It has become a traditional Christmas column for me each year since then. Christmas blessings and new year full of success and happiness to all.

its-a-wonderful-lifeI’ve long thought It’s A Wonderful Life one of Hollywood’s finest movies. Not on technical standards, though the movie is well made. Wonderful Life is a great movie because of the messages it imparts. And though it is ubiquitous on television this time of year, do yourself a favor and buy the DVD to avoid the editing done for the tube. Avoid the colorized version like you would a root canal sans Novocain.

It is a rare person who is unfamiliar with the scene at the end of the movie, where all of George Bailey’s (Jimmy Stewart) friends and family have gathered round him to help him through his tough spot. That scene, to me, is the essence of a successful life, of a wonderful life — having those you love and who love you surround you with comfort when you need it most.

I know from whence I speak. In September of 1998 I went completely deaf in the space of three hours one morning. I recovered my “hearing” in April of 1999 after successful cochlear implant surgery. During the seven months of my “Simon and Garfunkel” period (think “Sounds of Silence”), from September to April, and for the first few months after surgery while adjusting to the cochlear implant, I discovered how George Bailey must have felt. That very rough time was made much easier because of the support and love of my family and friends — delivered on a daily basis.

In the last scene from Wonderful Life, mentioned above, George Bailey’s brother offers a toast that goes: “To my brother George, the richest man in town.” The toast is full of irony, as George isn’t rich at all in material things. Far from it. But he is fabulously wealthy in the things that really matter in life: faith, family, and friends.

The most compelling message of Wonderful Life is why George had all those friends willing to rally around him. The answer lies in the way he lived his life. He looked out for other people, was always willing to help out, ever eager to do the right thing. He engaged in kindnesses that usually appeared trivial on the surface but meant a great deal to the people on the receiving end of them. It was the small things, the every day things, which made the difference. George Bailey didn’t change the world. But he did make it a better place, one person at a time.

I learned the importance of small kindnesses during my deafness. In those seven months there were times I would get down, dispirited and stressed. Every time that happened one of my family or friends would call (thank goodness for digital readout phones), write, stop by, send an email, or do some small thing that picked me up. It may have taken them 30 seconds and involved the most trivial of things — but it made my day, many times. In retrospect I can truthfully say that many good things came out of my seven months of total deafness. Among the foremost is my understanding that the little things can mean a lot to people in day-to-day living.

I’m not talking about the moronic “random acts of kindness” mantra of the kumbaya crowd. What I’m talking about is specifically not random. Spur of the moment perhaps, but not random. I’m talking about premeditated acts of charity and love for those we know are in need of succor. Or even for those we only suspect are in need of it. I’m talking about appreciating the importance of taking time in our busy lives to do the small things — acts of friendship, for lack of a better description — that it is so easy to put off until “tomorrow.”

Don’t do that. Tomorrow is promised to none of us, and the spirit of somebody you know may well need a lift today. At 9 a.m. on September 18, 1998, I could hear just fine. At noon I was stone-cold deaf. Tomorrow may not bring you the opportunity to help someone that today carries. While we are busy trying to do the big things in our lives, let’s not forget what George Bailey teaches us — that often we do the most important work of living just by being a friend — one person at a time.

St. Theresa of Calcutta (Mother Theresa) put it this way: “Only rarely in our lives are we called upon to do great things. But every day of our lives we are called upon to do little things with great love.” I expect that sounds hokey and maudlin, yet I know the truth of it. During my challenging times I of course appreciated the “great things” done and grand gestures made on my behalf, and there were lots of them. But it was the small, day-to-day kindness and thoughtfulness that really got me through.

Doing “little things with great love” can be a challenge, as it requires a humility that isn’t necessarily natural to us. Most of us, myself included, define a successful life in financial terms far too often. Following St. Theresa’s road will make the world better, but it’s unlikely to make you rich or famous. It probably won’t even get you noticed — except of course by the recipient of your thoughtfulness.

But there are other rewards. Standing before the Almighty on judgment day, would you rather be able to say you helped elect presidents, senators and governors, or that you helped mend someone’s spirit when that spirit was tattered? That you drove only the finest cars, or that you took the five minutes necessary to brighten an estranged friend’s heart? That all your sweaters were cashmere or that you comforted who needed it with love and laughter? That you followed the zeitgeist of the day, or followed the words of St. Francis: “Preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary.” These things certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, but too many do not have them prioritized properly.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us contemplate the message of the child born in Bethlehem. And as we do, let’s keep in mind the admonition of St. Theresa. Let us, by all means, do the great things that life brings to us. But let us, every day, remember to do the little things with great love. By doing so we can impact lives enormously, just as George Bailey did, one person at a time. It’s the secret to a wonderful life, and to being the richest man in town.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

George Wallace – Patron Saint of Sanctuary Cities

Somewhere, George Wallace is smiling. George Corley Wallace, four time governor of Alabama and three time presidential candidate was an early proponent of the logic that powers today’s “sanctuary” movement on behalf of criminals hiding in our cities.

First elected governor in 1963, Wallace shared the belief of today’s “sanctuary” supporters that states, counties and cities ought to be able to pick and choose which federal laws they would obey. Like many prominent Democrats at the time, he was also an abject racist, so his objection was not to immigration laws but civil rights laws. The principle however is exactly the same.

For his first swearing in as governor, Wallace took the oath of office standing on the gold star marking the spot where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederate States of America. In his inaugural speech, Wallace said: “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” Millions of Democrats stood up and cheered, just as they do today when Wallace’s intellectual heirs proclaim “illegal immigration now, illegal immigration tomorrow, illegal immigration forever.”

George WallaceIn 1963, President John F. Kennedy ordered the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division from Ft. Benning, Georgia to help enforce the racial integration of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In a vain attempt to halt the enrollment of two black students Wallace stood in front of the main entrance doors at the University on June 11, 1963 to block their access. Millions of Democrats supported Wallace’s actions, just as they do today when his philosophical progeny stand in the entrance doors of jails across the country to prevent violent criminal illegal aliens from being turned over to ICE.

Wallace was following in the footsteps of another prominent racist Democrat, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. In September 1957 Faubus became the symbol of Democrat racism when he used Arkansas National Guardsmen to block the enrollment of nine black students who had been ordered by a federal judge to desegregate Little Rock’s Central High School. President Dwight D. Eisenhower finally ordered federal troops to Little Rock to ensure the judge’s order was obeyed and to protect the students. Millions of Democrats were thrilled by Faubus’ actions, just as they are today when Faubus’ ideological scions seek to use local police and sheriffs to block enforcement of immigration law.

Both Faubus and Wallace were following in the footsteps of yet another racist Democrat, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who founded the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was founded largely as a means of fighting Republicans – specifically President Andrew Johnson’s attempt to have all federal laws, including the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution uniformly enforced throughout the country. Like today’s “sanctuary” proponents, the Klan wanted to be able to decide for themselves which laws to obey.

The point here isn’t that most Democrats are racists, though throughout our history most prominent racists have been Democrats. The point is that these racist Democrats used as justification exactly, precisely, sometimes word for word the same logic that their spiritual heirs use today in justifying “sanctuary” cities.

At its heart, the “sanctuary” credo says that if there is a Federal law we don’t like, we ought to be able to ignore it with impunity, with no threat of punishment from the Federal government. This anarchistic idea has appeared before in American politics and is known as the “nullification doctrine”, the ability to nullify laws not to our pleasing.

It surfaced in 1832 when South Carolina decided it could nullify trade tariffs enacted by Congress. It threatened to use its state militia to stop federal agents from collecting tariffs at its ports. In defense of the rule of law President Andrew Jackson stood his ground, threatening to send Federal troops to South Carolina and go there “to personally hang for treason” anyone guilty of armed resistance. The South Carolinians may not have seen the light but they did feel the heat. The crisis was resolved when Congress passed a slightly modified tariff with Jackson’s support.

Old Hickory’s official proclamation in reaction to South Carolina’s threat is remarkably relevant today.  He said that South Carolina’s stance “is founded on the strange position that any one State may not only declare an act of Congress void, but prohibit its execution – that they may do this consistently with the Constitution – that the true construction of that instrument permits a State to retain its place in the Union, and yet be bound by no other of its laws than those it may choose to consider as constitutional … to give the right of resisting laws of that description, coupled with the uncontrolled right to decide what laws deserve that character, is to give the power of resisting all laws.” (emphasis added).

If “sanctuary” proponents can pick and choose laws to disobey, ipso facto every other citizen has the same right. What do the liberals recommend the federal government do when Topeka declares itself a sanctuary city for the unborn and bans abortion? Or Bakersfield declares itself a sanctuary city for bazookas and rocket propelled grenades while refusing to enforce federal firearms law? Or Minot declares itself a sanctuary city for traditional marriage and refuses to recognize or allow any other marriages? Our liberals can’t have it both ways (sauce for the goose and all that), so their answer has to be “nothing.”

As much as I’d enjoy having a couple of rocket propelled grenades in my basement, “nothing” is not an answer that makes any sense. But if you enjoy watching heads explode ask a liberal the above questions regarding Topeka, Bakersfield and Minot. Ask them if they realize the vile, racist history of their philosophical position. Best do it quickly though. I am confident the Supreme Court will agree with Presidents Jackson and Trump that the position of our “sanctuary” proponents is indeed “strange.”

In the meantime, somewhere George Wallace is smiling.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

NeverTrump’s Ant Flatulence in a Hurricane

Legend has it that President Franklin Roosevelt’s son James (soon to enlist in the Marines and serve with distinction) was in the White House on December 11, 1941 and one of the first to learn that Italy had declared war on the United States. He rushed to the Oval Office and breathlessly told his father that Italy had declared war. Without looking up from his paperwork FDR said, “Jimmy, have you ever heard an ant fart in a hurricane?”

The remark gives insight both to Roosevelt’s sense of humor and his judgment of Mussolini’s war-making prowess. FDR was proven correct, as Il Duce’s divisions were a pale imitation of the invincible legions of Julius or Augustus Caesar.

Roosevelt’s “ant flatulence” bon mot gained new relevance last year in the personas of NeverTrump. The leaders of the NeverTrump cabal were every bit as haughty and imperious as Mussolini. Il Duce was hung upside down and left to bleed to death by loyal Italians at the end of the war. Millions of conservative voters did the same to NeverTrump, first at the GOP convention and then on Election Day.

Trump adultThe political prognostication powers of NeverTrump grandees like Billy Kristol, Bow Tie Will and former President-Designate David French turned out to be equivalent to the battle readiness of the Italian army, with all the effect of ant flatulence in a hurricane. Rational conservatives assumed that a group of people so wrong so often about so many things would do the honorable thing and slink away in silence under the cover of darkness. No such luck with the smug and pompous elephantine egos of NeverTrump. They continue to spout their nonsense as if the election never happened and their total disconnect from reality never exposed.

How wrong were they? Let us count the ways.

NeverTrump charged that Donald Trump had duped conservatives supporting him and if nominated would veer sharply toward the center in the choice of running mate. The actual result was Trump choosing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, widely regarded as the most conservative governor in the country.

NeverTrump charged that the GOP nominee Trump would be routed by Hillary Clinton, losing in an historic landslide. The actual result was Trump destroying the Democrats’ Midwest “blue wall,” carrying states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that hadn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since the 1980s. Trump received more electoral votes than any GOP candidate since H.W. Bush in 1988.

NeverTrump warned that GOP nominee Trump, losing in a landslide to Hillary, would most certainly cost Republicans control of the U.S. Senate. The actual result was continued GOP control of the Senate, with Trump aiding the come-from-behind victories of endangered Republican incumbents like Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Ron Walker in Wisconsin.

NeverTrump assured us that not only would the Clinton landslide win over Trump cost the GOP the Senate, but that the loss would be so big as to endanger the GOP majority in the House. The actual result was a miniscule Republican loss of 6 seats out of a GOP total of 247, when even the most optimistic GOP forecasters were predicting a 12-15 seat loss to the Democrats.

In the immortal words of Ron Popeil, “But wait, there’s more!”

NeverTrump warned conservatives that the Clinton victory margin over Trump would be gigantic enough to wipe out state and local office holders by the hundreds, decimating our “bench” for future elections. The actual result was a Republican tsunami at the local level, winning state, county and municipal districts that had been solidly Democrat for decades. The day after the November election the Republican Party was stronger nationally than at any time since 1920. (For UCLA graduates that’s almost 100 years ago.)

NeverTrump assured us that Trump’s list of conservative candidates for the Scalia Supreme Court seat put together by the impeccably conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society was a sham. They insisted that Trump had no intention of naming someone from that list and that conservatives were fools to believe that he would. The actual result was highly respected conservative Neil Gorsuch being nominated to the court. Doubts about Judge Gorsuch’s future impact on the court can be dispelled by Googling the reaction of any Democrat Senator to the nomination.

NeverTrump has been wrong about everything – quite literally, everything. Not wrong by a little, but by 180 degrees. There were no near-misses in the NeverTrump rants. As the old saying goes, they missed by a country mile.

There is a happy ending to this morality tale, however, and that is the isolation and irrelevance of NeverTrump. The worker bees of the conservative movement, the folks in fly-over country, took a good look at the NeverTrump leaders and realized that these ever-so-pious and pure guardians of “acceptable” conservative thought were empty suits. Other than bloated salaries and Sunday morning talk-show gigs they produced little of substance the last 20 years.

Instead of political and policy victories these “leaders” delivered hot air, pomposity and arrogance. Without knowing it the grass roots are channeling Senator Everett Dirkson, who shouted at Tom Dewey from the podium of the 1952 Republican Convention, “We have followed you before and you lead us down the road to defeat.”

No more. NeverTrump is taking its rightful place on the ash heap of history. The White House is the epicenter of an historic earthquake of conservative ideas and policy. Conservatives will surely find things to quibble with in President Trump, and when we do we should say so. In the meantime we owe it to our country and our movement to support the most conservative White House since the Reagan days, and more likely since the Coolidge days.

NeverTrump will no doubt continue on for awhile, full of sound and fury signifying nothing, emitting its occasional ant flatulence. Meantime, in the real world, conservatives across the country are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work making America, and the conservative movement, great again.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

A Big Week for the Stupid and the Ugly

There’s an old saying that Hollywood is Washington, D.C., for stupid people and Washington, D.C.,  is Hollywood for ugly people. The truth of that adage was on full display last week, first with the Academy Awards and then with the Democrat reaction to President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress.

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First up were the stupid, with Hollywood’s annual orgy of self-love and awards for movies nobody wants to see. Best picture winner “Moonlight” earned a place on the Oscar honor roll, but like so much of modern Hollywood is there because of its political message not its quality. “La La Land” was favored to win as it is the stereotype of films Hollywood likes – those that glorify Hollywood and make it look noble.

Sadly for “La La” boosters it was in competition with the one genre that trumps (pun intended) Hollywood egomania – political correctness – in a movie about a young black homosexual. Had the producers of “Moonlight” added being a one legged, illegal immigrant hunchback to the character the movie might have been a unanimous choice for best picture.

As it is, “Moonlight” will get a brief box-office bump and then disappear like so many of its predecessors. Doubt me?  Quick – what is the name of last year’s best picture winner? No fair Googling. It was “Spotlight.” How bout 2014’s winner? It was “Birdman,” which at least had the virtue of a subtitle exquisitely appropriate for the Hollywood glitterati, “The unexpected virtue of ignorance.”

All this folds in nicely with Hollywood’s contempt for average Americans as evidenced by their deranged hatred of President Trump. While there were no Meryl Streep-ish long-winded “Trump is either Hitler’s grandson or Satan’s spawn” diatribes, you weren’t really an A-lister if you didn’t include some anti-Trump snark in your remarks. The basket of deplorables has taken notice however, and it is extracting its revenge where it will hurt most, at the box office. Ticket sales slumped last year for the third year in a row and the seventh out of the last 10. This year’s Oscar ceremony was the third least-watched in the last 20 years.

Anyone familiar with Ronald Reagan’s movie career knows that the anti-American left has deep roots in the entertainment industry. Reagan himself credited his strong anti-Communism with his experience of watching the Reds operate in Hollywood. A vignette on this even closer to home involves my father, who in the mid-1930s was endeavoring to become a music editor at MGM. A prerequisite for that position was membership in the craft union, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. He was told by his immediate superior that he would have his IATSE card the day after he showed his membership card in the Communist Part USA. My father went around his boss, who soon after found himself exiled from the MGM lot, very likely thanks to the personal intervention of L.B. Mayer or Irving Thalberg, both strong conservatives. My father became a successful music editor and for 15 years or so an Academy member. He had no interest in attending the actual ceremony, commenting that “the only thing emptier than the words on the stage are the heads in the audience.” True that. Hollywood the stupid has hated America for a long time.

Two days after the stupid had their moment in the sun, the ugly took center stage for President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress. In what must fairly be ranked as one of the 10 best speeches ever given from that podium, President Trump hit a grand slam home run. Every network’s polling after the speech showed majorities between 65 percent and 75 percent approving of the speech.

What equally large majorities most definitely did not approve of was the open disrespect shown Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy Seal Ryan Owens or the white-out stunt of female Democrats. It was ugly. Prominent Democrats including Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Keith Ellison apparently think that refusing to stand and applaud the recently widowed wife of a Navy Seal is the path back to relevance for Middle America. If ignorance is bliss these folks must be ecstatic.

Providing unintended humor was the all-white attire of several dozen women Democrats. When I first noticed the bloc on television I assumed a convention of ice cream salespeople had been let into the House Chamber. After a close-up of Nancy Pelosi it became clear that it was the winners division of the Nurse Ratched look-a-like contest.

Disrespecting the widow of a military hero, having the girls play “dress-up,” refusing the shake the president’s hand, etc. showed the Democrats in D.C. can one-up their soulmates in Hollywood. They can be both ugly and stupid.

These antics can be infuriating but should not be discouraging or frustrating. Every day the ugly and stupid don’t wise up is another day of alienating average Americans and another day toward success for President Trump and the Republicans. So keep this under your hats.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

Democrats Finally See The Bear

Russian BearPresident Reagan’s 1984 re-election campaign ran a 30 second TV commercial titled “The Bear.” The video was simply a bear walking slowly through a forest. The narration was equally simple: “There is a bear in the woods. For some people, the bear is easy to see. Others don’t see it at all. Some people say the bear is tame. Others say it’s vicious and dangerous. Since no one can really be sure who’s right, isn’t it smart to be as strong as the bear? If there is a bear.” At the end of the narrative a man appeared on screen and the bear retreated.

The ad was devastatingly effective because the American people easily recognized the message. The Russian bear was roaming the world looking for countries and societies to swallow and force into a global communist “workers paradise.”  President Reagan had been a lifelong opponent of communism, while American liberals were boosters of the Kremlin Commissars and vociferous opponents of Reagan, and any American politician who stood strong against communist imperialism.

Since at least 1968 the mainstream of the Democrat Party has been knee-jerk in its opposition to American anti-communism and equally knee-jerk in its support of Russian expansionism and mischief making around the globe.  Jeanne Kirkpatrick, then America’s ambassador to the U.N., coined the phrase “Blame America First” to describe the Democrats at the 1984 GOP Convention. She was 100 percent correct and by 1984 the American electorate instinctively understood that. This understanding greatly contributed to Reagan’s 49 state sweep in the election.

Which brings us to the current Democrat hysteria about Russian “hacking” of our recent election – a pure fiction – and their artificial horror that President Trump has been civil to Russian President Putin. Here are two predictions you can take to the bank about all this: 1) The Democrat disdain for Russian authoritarianism is 100 percent phony, as 21st century American liberalism is indistinguishable from Russian totalitarianism; and 2) At the first sign that the Commie Cossaks in Moscow are at odds with President Trump on any policy, the Democrats will pivot on a dime and revert to their slogan of “no enemies on the Left” which has guided their foreign policy positions for 50 years. Trump will be the bully and Putin the aggrieved good guy.

For those looking for a bit of déjà vu, feast on some of the epithets (for UCLA grads that means mean words) thrown at President Reagan.

“He has always been drawn to radical activities. He has a propensity toward right wing radical activities … a flawed person with a defective mind … Reagan has a bully syndrome, combined with a very inadequate personality … it’s a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous combination.” – Former CIA Director John Stockwell.

I listed this first so those with short attention spans can add some perspective to the current cow pies being thrown at President Trump by our “intelligence” agencies.

“He is the most dangerous person ever to come this close to the presidency … he is a menace to the human race.” – The Nation” magazine.

This rag is still publishing, and as you might guess said almost exactly the same thing about Donald Trump.

“He is shallow, superficial and frightening” – Time magazine.

Hmm, now where have I heard that recently?

“He’s a criminal who used the Constitution as toilet paper.” – Actor John Cusack, proving that the current generation of Hollywood “stars” is not the first to be brain dead.

Though there’s tons more I think you get the idea. But there’s one more historical tidbit that should not be overlooked in a conversation about Russia, America and elections. That is the fact that the waddling sot from Massachusetts – Senator Ted Kennedy – Democrat hero and role model to testosterone overloaded Democrats everywhere, directly – yes directly – asked the Kremlin Commissars to help defeat Reagan for re-election.

In 1984 communist aggression was still in full flower around the globe, from Afghanistan to Africa to Central America. Because of KGB files released after the collapse of the Soviet Union (thank you Ronald Reagan), we now know that the last “Camelot” torch bearer took time out from his pastimes of mainlining Scotch and drowning his secretarial staff to make secret overtures to the KGB to thwart Reagan’s re-election.

According to the February 2, 1992 “London Times,” “In a letter addressed to then-Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, dated May 14, 1983, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained that Kennedy was eager to ‘counter the militaristic policies’ of Reagan.” Former Sen. John Tunney, D-Calif., who was Kennedy’s law school roommate at the University of Virginia, traveled to Moscow on May 9 and 10, 1983, just days before Chebrikov’s letter, presumably to make the plea in person.

This is not to imply that “Teddy” was a communist – he was not. He was a drunk and a whore-monger whose meager IQ points were easily overpowered by ambition and Johnny Walker Red. But is most certainly is to state unequivocally that the current Democrat shock at Russia taking an active interest in our elections is 100 percent phony. The Kennedy / KGB story has been in circulation without credible refutation for a decade or more.

I have no qualms about how President Trump will deal with Vladimir Putin. Trump and Putin will deal with each other as George Patton and the Russian General did in that memorable scene from “Patton,” when they finally agreed to toast the end of the war “one SOB to another.”

And while it is refreshing to hear that the Democrats finally acknowledge the existence of a dangerous bear in the world, and nice that they actually say something bad about Russia – we’ve been waiting only 50 years for them to do so – that tune will change the nanosecond that President Trump is at odds with Putin.

The Democrats will revert to their default foreign policy stance – regardless of the adversary or circumstance, the United States is wrong. There is no bear. Happily President Trump will be leading an America with a newly invigorated self respect and armed forces ready to oppose the bear, ISIS and any other threat to America’s freedoms. Amazing grace.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

The Richest Man in Town

Author’s note: I first published this piece in December, 2000. It has become a traditional Christmas column for me each year since then. Christmas blessings and new year full of success and happiness to all.

its-a-wonderful-lifeI’ve long thought It’s A Wonderful Life one of Hollywood’s finest movies. Not on technical standards, though the movie is well made. Wonderful Life is a great movie because of the messages it imparts. And though it is ubiquitous on television this time of year, do yourself a favor and buy the DVD to avoid the editing done for the tube. Avoid the colorized version like you would a root canal sans Novocain.

It is a rare person who is unfamiliar with the scene at the end of the movie, where all of George Bailey’s (Jimmy Stewart) friends and family have gathered round him to help him through his tough spot. That scene, to me, is the essence of a successful life, of a wonderful life — having those you love and who love you surround you with comfort when you need it most.

I know from whence I speak. In September of 1998 I went completely deaf in the space of three hours one morning. I recovered my “hearing” in April of 1999 after successful cochlear implant surgery. During the seven months of my “Simon and Garfunkel” period (think “Sounds of Silence”), from September to April, and for the first few months after surgery while adjusting to the cochlear implant, I discovered how George Bailey must have felt. That very rough time was made much easier because of the support and love of my family and friends — delivered on a daily basis.

In the last scene from Wonderful Life, mentioned above, George Bailey’s brother offers a toast that goes: “To my brother George, the richest man in town.” The toast is full of irony, as George isn’t rich at all in material things. Far from it. But he is fabulously wealthy in the things that really matter in life: faith, family, and friends.

The most compelling message of Wonderful Life is why George had all those friends willing to rally around him. The answer lies in the way he lived his life. He looked out for other people, was always willing to help out, ever eager to do the right thing. He engaged in kindnesses that usually appeared trivial on the surface but meant a great deal to the people on the receiving end of them. It was the small things, the every day things, which made the difference. George Bailey didn’t change the world. But he did make it a better place, one person at a time.

I learned the importance of small kindnesses during my deafness. In those seven months there were times I would get down, dispirited and stressed. Every time that happened one of my family or friends would call (thank goodness for digital readout phones), write, stop by, send an email, or do some small thing that picked me up. It may have taken them 30 seconds and involved the most trivial of things — but it made my day, many times. In retrospect I can truthfully say that many good things came out of my seven months of total deafness. Among the foremost is my understanding that the little things can mean a lot to people in day-to-day living.

I’m not talking about the moronic “random acts of kindness” mantra of the kumbaya crowd. What I’m talking about is specifically not random. Spur of the moment perhaps, but not random. I’m talking about premeditated acts of charity and love for those we know are in need of succor. Or even for those we only suspect are in need of it. I’m talking about appreciating the importance of taking time in our busy lives to do the small things — acts of friendship, for lack of a better description — that it is so easy to put off until “tomorrow.”

Don’t do that. Tomorrow is promised to none of us, and the spirit of somebody you know may well need a lift today. At 9 a.m. on September 18, 1998, I could hear just fine. At noon I was stone-cold deaf. Tomorrow may not bring you the opportunity to help someone that today carries. While we are busy trying to do the big things in our lives, let’s not forget what George Bailey teaches us — that often we do the most important work of living just by being a friend — one person at a time.

St. Theresa of Calcutta (Mother Theresa) put it this way: “Only rarely in our lives are we called upon to do great things. But every day of our lives we are called upon to do little things with great love.” I expect that sounds hokey and maudlin, yet I know the truth of it. During my challenging times I of course appreciated the “great things” done and grand gestures made on my behalf, and there were lots of them. But it was the small, day-to-day kindness and thoughtfulness that really got me through.

Doing “little things with great love” can be a challenge, as it requires a humility that isn’t necessarily natural to us. Most of us, myself included, define a successful life in financial terms far too often. Following St. Theresa’s road will make the world better, but it’s unlikely to make you rich or famous. It probably won’t even get you noticed — except of course by the recipient of your thoughtfulness.

But there are other rewards. Standing before the Almighty on judgment day, would you rather be able to say you helped elect presidents, senators and governors, or that you helped mend someone’s spirit when that spirit was tattered? That you drove only the finest cars, or that you took the five minutes necessary to brighten an estranged friend’s heart? That all your sweaters were cashmere or that you comforted who needed it with love and laughter? That you followed the zeitgeist of the day, or followed the words of St. Francis: “Preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary.” These things certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, but too many do not have them prioritized properly.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us contemplate the message of the child born in Bethlehem. And as we do, let’s keep in mind the admonition of St. Theresa. Let us, by all means, do the great things that life brings to us. But let us, every day, remember to do the little things with great love. By doing so we can impact lives enormously, just as George Bailey did, one person at a time. It’s the secret to a wonderful life, and to being the richest man in town.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

The “All About Eve” Transition

bette-davisThe iconic scene from the movie “All About Eve” has Bette Davis ready to throw a tantrum to sabotage a party she is attending. With cigarette in one hand and martini in the other, taking a gulp from the martini she declares with classic Davis bitchiness, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Traumatized Democrats and their media mouthpieces crawling out from under the rubble of the election have decided to up Davis’ bitchiness factor exponentially in an effort to cause a bumpy night to ruin Donald Trump’s transition and delegitimize his presidency.

This pesky thing called the Constitution made their “but she won the popular vote” argument moot, so they have launched a two-pronged attack of harassing Republican members of the Electoral College and invoking the specter of the big bad wolf currently residing in the Kremlin.

I’ve found that the best response to this caterwauling is to paraphrase the famous line from “Apocalypse Now,” informing the aggrieved lefties, “God, but I love the sound of liberals whining in the morning.” Best stand back after making that comment though, as it never fails to make liberal heads explode.

The Democrat complaint about the popular vote is just silly. Trump won the contest that counts, the Electoral College, a contest whose rules are reasonably new having been in effect for only about 228 years. Democrats complaining about the popular vote is akin to Cleveland Indians fans insisting that the Indians are the real baseball world champions. Even though Chicago won four of the ascribed seven games needed to be world champions, the Indians scored more total runs in those seven games. An interesting but irrelevant factoid. Democrat efforts to get legally pledged Electors to abrogate the decision of voters in their states shows just how un-democratic the Democrats have become.

Desperately casting about for a life jacket the Democrats and their media sock puppets are reviving the 1966 movie “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.” The entertaining movie was a farce, as is the idea that Vladimir Putin influenced the outcome of the election.

What is known is that somebody hacked some very embarrassing Democrat emails and gave them to Julian Assange, who gave them to Wikileaks. The Russians, Assange and Wikileaks say Russia wasn’t involved. An investigation by U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that while there were “certain patterns” that could implicate Russia, the “results were not conclusive.” Let me repeat that: The investigation’s report stated that in regards to Russian involvement, its results “were not conclusive.” Oddly, the Democrats and media have omitted that sentence in their narratives.

Over this past weekend, partisan Democrat operatives and Obama political appointees in the CIA leaked a “secret” report indicating that they and the FBI believed not only that Putin intervened in the election but that he did so specifically to elect Donald Trump. FBI officials promptly announced that the agency had reached no such conclusions. Interestingly enough, nobody has actually seen this “report,” and the sources are all “anonymous.” The media, however, is treating it as holy writ.

The New York Times story was headlined “Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says.”  To reference these darned things called facts, the “U.S.” has said no such thing and there are strongly differing views among our security agencies. The Times is a good exemplar of how far in the bag the media is against Trump. Their headline and story is based entirely on unnamed sources, including political appointees of President Barry O.

In search of Ronald Reagan’s allegorical pony, let’s starting digging through this pile of manure.

The most important point is that all this is speculation at best, purposeful misinformation at worst. There have been no hard facts presented. Instead, we’ve been offered leaked reports from unnamed sources. The anonymous, clearly partisan, leakers in the CIA tried to drag the FBI into their smear campaign but the FBI demurred. Facts are stubborn things and so far they have been stubbornly absent from the Democrat/media narrative.

The Democrat hypocrisy on the whole issue of Russia is breathtaking. Recall Mitt Romney being ridiculed in 2012 for saying that Russia was our biggest global threat. President Obama sneered, “The 1980s are calling and want their foreign policy back.” The media excoriated Romney (for UCLA grads that means they said really mean things about him) for his naiveté and failure to realize the success of Secretary of State Clinton’s “reset” of relationships with Vlad and the Commissars. More recently Clinton’s successor John Kerry praised the Russians for their help with the bogus nuclear “deal” with Iran.

Let’s assume for a moment that the Russians did indeed have a hand in hacking the DNC and Hillary’s emails. That influenced the election exactly how? Did Putin force Hillary to set up an illicit, scantily protected private email server in her bedroom closet? Did crafty ol’ Vlad cause her to repeatedly lie about the private server when it was discovered? Did the rotten Ruskies cause classified emails to be sent to Huma Abadin and Anthony Weiner’s laptops?

Did Putin force the Clinton campaign into the actions that actually cost them the election – ignoring working class voters in mid-West industrial states? Was it Russian influence that made Democrat power brokers think it was wise to nominate a candidate with more baggage than a 747’s cargo hold, a candidate under not one but two active FBI investigations?

Wow, that Putin guy is better with sleight of hand than a combination of Penn & Teller, Siegfried & Roy and Mandrake the Magician. The only thing missing is a video of Boris Badanov saying, “Moose, squirrel and Hillary must die.” Look for the New York Times exclusive on this any day now.

But enough of fantasy land. Now to the pony buried under all that equine excrement.

The Democrat/media axis knows that the popular vote is meaningless. They know that the Electoral College is going to elect Donald Trump as president on December 19. What they apparently do not know, or what they cannot face, is the most important thing – what caused them to lose the election.

There have been a few isolated voices among the Democrats suggesting that the party look back to its roots as the voice of the working classes and that it rediscover “flyover country.” Included among those voices, interestingly enough, has been Bernie Sanders. Such voices have been drowned out by the usual suspects of the liberal chorus insisting that “more of the same” – more racial pandering, class warfare and politically correct social Stalinism – is the key to future Democrat  victories.

trump-countiesWe should hope such voices prevail, as they guarantee continued Republican dominance at all levels of government. From city councils all the way up the political ladder to the White House the GOP is in a stronger position across the country today than it has been since 1920. Most of you have likely seen one of the red/blue national maps indicating counties or congressional districts carried by Trump and Hillary. Democrat blue is confined to narrow coastal stretches and a few inland megalopolises. The rest of the country is a sea of red.

Those maps are interesting in many respects, but here’s two factoids to chew over, not to mention torment your Democrat friends. Thirty-five percent of all Democrats in the House come from three states – California, Massachusetts and New York.  It is now possible to drive from San Diego to Florida, North Carolina, D.C. or Philadelphia without going through a single county or congressional district that was won by Hillary. This is not the picture of a national party ready to make a comeback using more of the same elixir that got them to this situation.

That said, while it is good for the country that the Democrats are clueless about the causes of their defeat, it is bad for the country that they have adopted a “destroy the country in order to save it” approach to losing the election. They would rather destabilize our democracy than accept Donald Trump as president. If Valdimir Putin wanted to damage the United States, one of his prime goals would be to cast doubt on the legitimacy of our basic intuitions, of which none is more basic than electing a president.

In that regard, the Russians have no better friends in this country than liberal Democrats. That is sadly appropriate, as this has been the case for the past 50 years.

But we have the ultimate trump card – pun intended. Come January 20, President Trump and his activist conservative cabinet will be whirlwinds of activity working to, dare I say it, make America great again.

Come 12:01 on January 20, the Democrat/media axis will be the ones who need to fasten their seatbelts. They have four years of bumpy nights to look forward to.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

Never Trump’s Bed Wetters and Washington Generals

As Bill Clinton apparently said to every woman other than his wife that he ever met, let’s get the sex thing out of the way first.

Years ago Donald Trump engaged in piggish locker room talk, leaving the media and the NeverTrump pearl clutchers in a frenzy. To be painfully blunt, any male who has been in athletic locker rooms and claims not to have heard or participated in such blather is either lying or a candidate for Vestal Virgin status. Doubting that there are many Vestals among either the media or NeverTrump, the conclusion is clear – they’re all lying, as frankly are 99 percent of the locker room talkers.

This is the same media that labelled the waddling sot from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, as the “lion of the Senate,” ignoring that he murdered a young woman. This is the same media that winked, chuckled and guffawed at the eight-year occupant of the Oval Office who was accused of rape and serial molestation. Their protestations about words, not deeds but words, are as sincere as Captain Renault’s about gambling in Rick’s Café.

The NeverTrumpers having fainting spells over the comments need to put on their big boy pants, get over it and put the good of the country above their prissy, prudish, holier-than-thou theatrics. Mike Huckabee referred to them as “bed wetters,” and they richly deserve that title.

As to the plethora of women coming forth to say Trump committed various sorts of sexual battery on them, some as long as 30 years ago, their accusations don’t pass the smell test. We are to believe that all of them – not some, not most, but all – kept these indignities to themselves all these years, and coincidentally decided to step forward a month before the election. Right.

In the wake of Trump’s words – again, not actions but words – NeverTrump recruited some new members for their Quisling Caucus to make the media rounds denouncing the only candidate who can keep Hillary from shredding the Constitution. The new batch came in three varieties. Has-been, mainly vociferously pro-abortion politicians, members of the GOP establishment’s consultant corps and inside-the-beltway lobbyists. These folks were rewarded with their 15 minutes of fame and then some, because they are Republicans, at least technically. Though a better name for them and their fellow NeverTrumpers would be the Washington Generals.

washinton-generalsReaders of a certain vintage will remember the Harlem Globetrotters. Since the 1930s they have been a wonderfully talented and entertaining basketball team, which is still touring. Their “games” combine athleticism, comedy and theatrics. They do play basketball, but with this asterisk. Their opponents are always a team called the “Washington Generals,” and the Generals always lose. Over the thousands of games they’ve played, the Generals have beat the Globetrotters only once.

The similarities between the NeverTrump leadership and the Washington Generals is striking. Both groups get paid well for what they do, which is put up a good, entertaining “fight” … and then lose. The Trump candidacy would never had gotten traction if the self-appointed, insular, ossified conservative “leaders” in the D.C./New York axis had the slightest feel for rank-and-file conservatives or had successfully opposed President Obama the past eight years.

The Trump insurgency was and is powered by grassroots conservatives who got wise to the game and realized that while the show could be entertaining, the results were always the same – we lose. They want to replace the GOP’s and conservative movement’s Washington Generals with a team that knows how to win.

For that feeling, for wanting a team that plays to win, these conservatives are sneered at and belittled by the likes of the supercilious, ever smirking Billy Kristol and the strutting popinjay George Will. They are mocked and mercilessly attacked in the pages of magazines like the Weakly Standard and the once proud National Review.

There is little risk and in fact substantial upside in this for NeverTrump’s Washington Generals. Their sinecures (for UCLA grads that means a position requiring little work but that pays well) as the liberal establishment’s favorite conservatives will continue and be enhanced by a Trump loss.

It’s a win-win for the liberal establishment and NeverTrump’s Washington Generals. The liberals can continue to surround themselves with a trained poodle act of non-threatening Republicans and conservatives. Our Washington Generals can continue to pull down large lobbying contracts, appear on Sunday morning TV talk shows, exhibiting their intellectual and moral superiority to bumpkins and rubes who don’t understand that all power and wisdom resides inside the D.C. beltway.

There will be many salutary effects of a Trump victory, the main one being preventing Hillary from filling the federal judiciary and bureaucracy with Stalinist activists who will launch search-and-destroy missions against conservative institutions, conservative individuals and conservative thought. Not far behind that benefit however will be the retirement – or irrelevance – of the conservative movement’s Washington Generals. Our country, our movement and our party deserve a team that is interested in winning, not just putting on a good show. It’s time to trump the Washington Generals.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

Pascal’s Wager – Bet On Trump

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Though born a few years after the official end of the Renaissance, Blaise Pascal was a true Renaissance man. He was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and top notch Christian philosopher. His most famous work is the book Pensees. The most famous item in that tome is a discourse on why it is logical and rational to live a Godly life even if you don’t believe in God.

This has become known as “Pascal’s Wager,” and can be summarized thusly: A rational person should live as though God exists. If God does not exist, you lose nothing except some worldly pleasures by believing in Him. But if God does exist, you gain eternal life by living a good life, but will suffer eternal damnation if you deny Him through a life of debauchery. (A giant hat tip to Father Lawrence at St. Francis High School long ago for patiently taking the many, many hours necessary to get this across to a bunch of thick-skulled seniors in “Apologetics” class.)

Pascal’s wager has become my fire-wall in arguing with the Kool-Aid drinkers of  NeverTrump. Backed into a corner on the fact that a federal judiciary appointed by a President Hillary is a clear and present existential danger to all things conservative, the last refuge of these scoundrels is that Trump can’t be believed. They say that Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court appointees – developed with the input of the impeccably upright and conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society – is a scam, that he has no intention of appointing such stellar conservatives to the courts.

This is where old pal Blaise comes in. His wager applies to the Trump v. Clinton presidential choice in this way: If the NeverTrump folks are right and I am wrong – if Trump’s court appointments would be mediocre at best and as bad as Hillary’s at worst – then we are no worse off by voting for Trump. Whether he wins or loses, we still have an awful judiciary.

However, if I am correct and the NeverTrump folks are wrong, then Trump’s court appointments will be full of young Antonin Scalias and Clarence Thomases. That represents the difference between salvation for conservatives and our values from a Trump judiciary and the gang rape of the Constitution which is certain with a Hillary-appointed judiciary. This is a wager that ought to be obvious even to the most deranged NeverTrumpster. The only rational bet, the only safe bet – vote – is for Trump.

Rational thought, however, has never been a strong point of the NeverTrump cabal, and NeverTrump-land has lately become a logic-free zone. They obsess on irrelevancies, frothing about how much rent he charges his campaign office in Trump Towers, but ignore Hillary making the State Department a giant cash laundromat for her foundation. Hillary lying to the families of the four Americans murdered in Benghazi is not as important to them as how many copies of “The Art Of The Deal” the campaign has purchased.

NeverTrump-land is inhabited by large egos and small minds, happy to play into the hands of the left-wing media to elect Hillary. No minor official who served in a previous Republican administration is too obscure not to be given breathless headlines and interviews as they denounce Trump. Any former Fourth Assistant Undersecretary to the Chief Deputy Paper Shuffler in the Department of Swamps and Sewers is guaranteed 15 minutes of fame if he or she will wax hysterical about the dangers of Trump.

The moral preening of NeverTrump is as unending as it is astounding. Conservative icon Richard Viguerie aptly described the situation as a battle between “the new puritans and Trump’s revolutionary conservatives.” The conservative grassroots workers who are rallying to Trump are not rich or famous and don’t want to be. They want to be left alone to live their lives and raise their families as they see fit – through traditional conservative American values. By supporting Trump in order to do so they have become revolutionary conservatives.

On the other side of this divide is an a group of self-appointed conservative grandees – inside the D.C. beltway, insulated, isolated from the real world. Led by Billy Kristol, Bow Tie Will and National Review magazine, NeverTrump has devolved into a group of holier-than-thou pearl clutchers. They are the new puritans, horrified that this brusque, brash brute from New York dared to rouse the rabble in fly-over country, and did so without their permission.

Kristol and Will fit Vice President Spiro Agnew’s description perfectly of “nattering nabobs of negativism” and “effete, impudent snobs.” National Review was once a great magazine, founded by conservative giants Bill Buckley and Bill Rusher. As they rail against Trump, the new puritans currently running National Review have made it largely irrelevant. By embracing NeverTrump they are ignoring one of Buckley’s most famous bits of advice. He said that when faced with a choice between less-than-perfect candidates, conservatives should always choose “the most rightward candidate with the best chance of winning.”

Hmm, the most conservative candidate with a chance of winning. That’s apparently a tough one for our new puritans.

In closing, I want to once again make clear that I am well aware of Trump’s imperfections, both as a person and as a candidate. However, none of those imperfections threaten the future of the country. Hillary appointing far-left zealots to the federal judiciary and bureaucracy absolutely does. Longtime conservative warrior and comrade-in-arms Allen Brandstater  (we met in 1965 in “Youth For Reagan For Governor”) put the choice this way: “It’s between castor oil, which is unpleasant but won’t kill you and arsenic, which will.”

Bill Bennett, Secretary of Education during the Reagan years, put it a bit more elegantly: “Our country can survive the occasional infelicities and improprieties of Donald Trump. But it cannot survive losing the Supreme Court to liberals and allowing them to wreck our sacred republic. It would reshape the country for decades.”

Pascal’s wager would no doubt be on the castor oil, infelicities and all, instead of the arsenic.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.

John Kasich and the “NeverTrump” Quislings

 

U.S. Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks at a veteran's rally in Des Moines, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTX24HM9

When Germany invaded Norway in World War II, they needed a collaborator in the Norwegian government to urge the Norwegians to reject their heritage and embrace the foreign ideology of Nazism. They found Vidkun Quisling, who was installed as Prime Minister.  He was a willing accomplice, telling his countrymen that the Germans may be bad, but were better than the alternatives.

Norwegians didn’t quite see it that way, and when the Germans were no longer present, patriotic Norwegians promptly tried Quisling for treason and executed him. Webster’s Biographical Dictionary notes, “The word Quisling has come to mean a traitor or turncoat.”

All of which brings to mind John Kasich, Mitt Romney and the other “NeverTrump” diehards.

Kasich has started running anti-Trump ads in Ohio. Mitt Romney never misses an opportunity to put a knife into his party’s presidential nominee. They are joined by a rag-tag bunch of GOP wanna-be’s, has-beens, never-beens and folks looking for quick “clicks” to their websites or blogs. The one thing they have in common is that they all sing off the “Home on the range” Clinton song book. In the midst of their anti-Trump screeds never is heard a discouraging word about the Democrat nominee.

Some of them are driven by a stiff-necked, blue-nosed, prissiness which cannot abide a GOP nominee they deem to be crude, rude and socially unacceptable. Others, specifically Billy Kirstol and the Bow Tie, are mourning their lost influence among Republican voters – those knaves who had the nerve not to vote for candidates favored by the ossified conservative establishment. Kasich is still smarting from his humiliating defeats at the hands of said GOP voters, as he managed to win exactly one state – his own. The motivation clearly missing from them and the other “useful idiots” in the NeverTrump camp is doing what is right for the country, even if it means swallowing a bit of their titanic egos.

They and their like are quintessential Quislings. They are selling the same snake oil that ol’ Vidkun tried to sell to the Norwegians – abandon your principles and your beliefs to embrace the foreign ideology of Clintonism. Sure, the Nazis may be bad in some respects, but that warmongering, alcoholic, mad-man Churchill is even worse. Substitute Clinton for Nazis and Trump for Churchill in the above sentence and you have a pure distillation of the NeverTrump outlook.

Those of us of a certain vintage have heard this all before. We heard it used against Barry Goldwater in 1964, and against Ronald Reagan when he ran for governor and president. The “NeverTrump” critique of Trump is sometimes a verbatim repetition of the pejoratives (for UCLA graduates that means really bad words) hurled at Goldwater and Reagan.

Mitt Romney is proof that the poisoned fruit doesn’t fall very far from the poisoned tree. His father George, at the time the Republican governor of Michigan, actively campaigned against Barry Goldwater and for Lyndon Johnson. George also opposed – surprise – Reagan when he ran for president. The Romneys are at least consistent in their political tone-deafness and treachery.

As I said in previous columns about the NeverTrump derangement, I know some fine folks who have qualms about Trump – as do I. However, a large majority of these conservative activists have come around, are supporting Trump and plan to vote for him, clothespin on nose or otherwise. For they realize that a) a Clinton presidency represents an existential threat to our freedoms and b) the only candidate who can prevent that is named Trump.

The conservative grassroots activists and worker-bee types get it. The folks who actually walk the precincts, make the phone calls and stuff the envelopes are the ones showing true statesmanship and leadership. It is a few insular, sclerotic, self-appointed conservative leaders, who haven’t broken a sweat in decades, who deign not to get their fingernails dirty by doing actual political work, who are having the hissy-fit.

Like ghostly apparitions of George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller and Bill Scranton they are doing everything possible to torpedo the Republican nominee, hoping to create the self-fulfilling prophecy of a Clinton victory. Of course, if that comes about these same folks will deny any responsibility for the disasters that a Clinton presidency will most surely bring.

In his absolutely must-read biography “Witness,” Whittaker Chambers describes the “useful idiots,” those Americans who were enamored of the Soviet Union and refused to see the truth. He wrote, “To me they seemed to know little about the forces that were shaping the history of our time. To me they seemed like little children, knowing and clever little children, but knowing and clever chiefly about trifling things while they were extremely resistant to finding out about the important things.”

The NeverTrump brigades are Hillary Clinton’s useful idiots. I re-emphasize to them that control of the Federal judiciary and federal bureaucracy are the important things. Everything else, including each and every one of Donald Trump’s manifest faults, are the trifling things.

When I speak of an existential threat to basic American freedoms, conservatives and our institutions I am being quite literal. A President Clinton will infest the Supreme Court and the full federal judiciary with liberal activists who will make Ruth Bader Ginsburg look like Anton Scalia. She will populate the federal bureaucracy with conservative-haters who will make Lois Lerner look like Mother Theresa.

Chambers also wrote in “Witness” about continually running up against a certain force as he was battling the Communists. He says he finally recognized that it “was the forces of that great socialist revolution, which, in the name of liberalism, spasmodically, incompletely, somewhat formlessly, but always in the same direction, has been inching its ice cap over the nation for two decades.”

That socialist ice cap has now been inching its way over America and her freedoms for about nine decades. Its work is almost complete. Give it another four years and the ice cap will envelope everything, blocking out all rays of light, hope and constitutional freedoms.

The only way to keep that from happening is to vote for our imperfect but absolutely essential candidate – Donald Trump.  If you can’t do that, pick up a Berlitz course in Norwegian. If you’re going to act like Quisling you might as well know the language.

Bill Saracino is a member of the Editorial Board of CA Political Review.