Bill McKibben - journalist, gadfly, Bernie Sanders supporter, and briefly an inmate of Washington, D.C.'s Central Cell Block - is one of America's foremost environmental activists. As the founder of an organization known as “350.org,” he leads a global network of climate change zealots who believe that persecuting energy companies involved in the production of fossil fuels is necessary to achieve “climate justice.”
Nicholas Waddy | All Articles
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Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy, Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred, blogs at www.waddyisright.com.
Already, the Trump administration is achieving great victories. Rural Americans, who voted for Donald Trump in record numbers, are being rewarded for their patriotism and their foresight in numerous ways.
Billionaire progressive Tom Steyer, rumored to be a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate or California Governor, has upped his game recently. He has poured $10 million -- a pittance for him -- into a nationwide advertising blitz calling for the impeachment of President Trump. Steyer's open letter advocating impeachment, and his one-minute television and internet ad, claim that Trump has “brought us to the brink of nuclear war”, is “mentally unstable”, and he has "obstructed justice." The message in the end is a diffuse but simple one: Trump is a bad President, and therefore he should be removed from office. There’s no waiting around for 2020, for the likes of, say, Tom Steyer.
On October 17th, U.S.-backed Kurdish and Arab forces in Syria completed their conquest of Raqqa, the erstwhile capital city of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. As a state, ISIS is more or less finished. This represents a spectacular reversal from as recently as 2014, when ISIS was expanding rapidly in every direction, and in particular was absorbing large swathes of Iraq – and humiliating the Iraqi Army (an American creation) in the bargain. At its height, ISIS tyranny affected as many as 8 million people.
Recently, Americans were treated to the sight of muscle-bound millionaires taking a knee during the national anthem, disrespecting their country while on the job in order to advance their own agendas. Worse, the NFL as an organization refused to criticize or punish this behavior – in fact, it berated President Trump for having the temerity to criticize NFL players! Team owners for the most part backed the party line of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Keep in mind that the NFL regularly receives tax advantages and taxpayer funding to support the construction of its lavish stadiums. Nonetheless, the NFL feels no obligation to respect the flag and anthem of the United States, and it feels it should be immune to criticism in the bargain. This is the sort of entitled attitude that Americans increasingly find repugnant – in corporations no less than in individuals.
At the heart of modern leftist politics there lies a fundamental contradiction: the simultaneous enthronement of race (and gender) as the key(s) to an individual's identity and the source of immeasurable pride, and the rejection of race as a mere social construct, irrelevant to a person's worth and dignity, which, at best, distracts from the essential sameness and equality of all members of the human family, and which, at worst, promotes and enables hatred and oppression. At bottom is the question: does a person's race determine his or her identity and interests, or should these be determined instead by other factors (like social class, the left's old stomping grounds)?
At his spirited rally in Phoenix, Arizona on August 22nd, President Trump reiterated his threat to shut down the government to force Congress to fund his border wall with Mexico. I believe he was absolutely right to do so, and Republicans should give him their full support.
If there is anything that characterizes the rhetoric and the ideology of the far left, it is a pathological obsession with race and racism, and an almost reflexive tendency to accuse people on the right of racist beliefs and motivations. Everything from opposition to Obamacare, to reading Shakespeare, to waving the American flag – anything and everything can be, and frequently is, diagnosed as “racism” by the inventive and cynical minds on the left.
I will readily admit to having a soft spot for Robert E. Lee. As an undergraduate, I attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. President George Washington was a major benefactor of the school, while General Lee assumed the Presidency of “Washington College” in 1865, shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War. He did so partly because he viewed it as an opportunity for promoting reconciliation between North and South. Indeed, he dedicated the rest of his life to putting back together a nation that had only recently been torn asunder. He was, in short, the consummate Southern gentleman, a pious Christian, and a model of dignity, perseverance, loyalty, humility, and gallantry.
Ever since Donald Trump declared his candidacy for the Presidency, the media assault on him, his family, and his supporters has been blistering and relentless. As a result, millions of Americans, and billions of people around the world, have developed a warped, even demoniacal, impression of the current President of the United States. Nevertheless, given this media pummeling, Trump's approval ratings, especially among Republicans, have held up remarkably well. Lately, though, there have been signs that even the President's core supporters are wavering, and his poll numbers are dipping. We conservatives must analyze and address this alarming development in a clear-eyed way, and we must do what we can to rebuild public confidence in Trump, the Republican Party, and conservatives.
For decades, North Korea's hardline communist regime has flouted international norms and international law, threatened its perceived enemies with terrible violence, violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors, kidnapped and assassinated foreign nationals, engaged in a wide range of criminal activities, and built up its military, including nuclear weapons and missile programs, in violation of U.N. resolutions and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, who embodies this national tradition of iconoclasm and provocation, has repeatedly taunted the United States, reveling in the possibility of turning U.S. cities to “ashes” with his nuclear weapons.
As most Americans know all too well, since the media has covered the so-called “Muslim ban” obsessively, if disingenuously, most of the elements of President Trump's travel bans (issued in January and in March) were blocked by left-leaning federal judges. On June 26th, we learned that the Supreme Court unanimously swept aside most of these injunctions. In addition, the Court signaled that it will decide the underlying issues in October – although several justices have already tipped their hand, indicating that they are very likely to support the President's position. All this is outstandingly good news, not only for President Trump, for conservatives, and for national security, but also for the constitution itself, as I will explain.
Up to now, I have not written extensively about the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia for the simple reason that the accusations are so specious, opportunistic, and defamatory that I did not want to dignify them by acknowledging their existence. In some ways, I wish President Trump had done the same. It is generally better to ignore baseless, incendiary claims like these than it is to show perturbation, and thus encourage your tormenters.
On June 20th, a runoff special election will be held in Georgia's 6th Congressional district, featuring the Democrat Jon Ossoff and the Republican Karen Handel. Democrats are pouring money into the race in record-shattering amounts (as much as $50 million may ultimately be spent) in order to boost Ossoff and in turn their false narrative of a country united in its opposition to President Trump and Republicans. This is just one of many reasons why Republicans nationwide need to do everything in their power to defeat Jon Ossoff and keep Georgia's 6th district in responsible conservative hands.
On May 25th, President Trump, during his visit to the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels, Belgium, sharply criticized our European allies for, in effect, freeloading off the military dominance, and the military spending, of the United States. This is an accurate analysis, since only 4 of the 26 European countries in NATO currently spend the minimum level of GDP, 2%, judged by the organization itself to be sufficient to meet their obligations. (The U.S., by contrast, spends 3.5% of GDP on defense, and its defense budget roughly triples the spending of all other NATO countries combined.)