Browse Tag

reagan

Reagan Gives Trump’s Budget TWO THUMBS UP!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Donald Trump delivered his budget and a message for Congress.

Since I’m lazy, I’ll quote Time magazine.

First, the President’s message to Congress:

“I urge the members of Congress to remember that last November the American people’s message was loud and clear. The mandate for change, expressed by the American people, was not my mandate; it was our mandate.”

Then, the analysis:

The President’s meaning was unmistakable: the public wants deep cuts in both spending and taxes, and any legislator who tries to keep the ax from falling risks putting his own neck under an ax at the polls. But the warning did not prevent opponents in and out of Congress, some of whom had initially seemed stunned into silence by the vigor of Trump’s budget blitz, from recovering their voices. Though Trump still seems likely to win a great deal of what he wants, it will only be after a fight in which some of his specific proposals could be substantially reshaped.

Actually, I played a trick on you. I replaced Reagan with Trump. Time’s article is about Ronald Reagan’s first budget, submitted 36 years ago, almost to the day. The quote was Reagan’s, too.

For those pesky NeverTrumpers, Trump’s budget was another nail in their reputations’ coffins. In his first budget, Trump goes further than Reagan ever did. Though Reagan campaigned on ending the National Endowment for the Arts and Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he never pursued those ends. Reagan’s promise to close the Department of Education never happened. His campaign criticism of the EPA led to only minor reforms.

But Trump takes his promises even more seriously than the Gipper. Think about these highlights:

  • DEFENSE: $52 billion increase.
  • HOMELAND SECURITY: $1.5 billion for The Wall.
  • FOREIGN AID: 28% cut.
  • EPA: 31% cut.
  • HEALTHCARE: Repeal and replace Obamacare with something that works and keeps costs down.
  • TRANSPORTATION: Air traffic control privatized, budgets cut.
  • AGRICULTURE: 21% cut.
  • LABOR DEPARTMENT: 20% cut.
  • CRIMINAL IRS: $239 million cut.
  • COMMERCE DEPARTMENT: 16% cut.
  • SHUT DOWN AND ELIMINATED:  Public Broadcasting Corporation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Chemical Safety Board, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for National Community Service and the African Development Foundation.

That, my friends, is the most conservative budget in American history. The last vestiges of NeverTrump can slink back under the mossy rocks from which they slithered.

Ronald Reagan, were he still alive, would stand up and applaud this budget. He would thank Donald Trump for picking up where he left off.

It feels good to be on this team, doesn’t it?

We are WINNING AGAIN!!!

 

The Joy of Trump

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What bothers you most when you’re in a bad mood?

You can imagine what it’s like be in a bad mood, can’t you? People go through periods of deep funk when nothing seems bright or cheerful, don’t they?

And when you’re in those moods, what’s the worst thing? That’s right, it’s being around a bunch of happy people having fun.

And that’s exactly how the left feels when they see Trump at a press conference: miserable amid the fun.

Leftists are pessimists by training. They see the dark cloud but never the silver lining. They live to find out what’s wrong with every picture. They see the world as a fixed pie and they demand their slices.

People of the Right tend to be optimists. We see the value of rain, the beauty in works of art, and the growing of the pie. We see the future as better than the recent past. Maybe we have to go through hell to reach that shiny future, but we believe it can be done and we can do it.

The right believes in shared sacrifice and shared happiness. The left believes in equal distribution of misery. It’s a subtle difference, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Understanding that, you can imagine how miserable the whole left world was yesterday. Donald Trump was so damn happy at his press conference. He was having a ball! Trump Nation stopped to share in our President’s joy. Here are some texts I sent and received during the presser:


Greatest presidential press conference in history. This is pure governance gold. One for the ages.


BEST PRESSER EVER!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!


This is awesome. I’m listening on headphones at work laughing like an idiot.


Epic!!!!


He called Schumer a lightweight!


I just stood in front of a tv in a McDonald’s for the entire presser. Truly epic.


These were real-time, live reactions to what we were seeing and hearing. These were not planned, staged reactions edited for effect. They were heartfelt responses to a moment of shared joy among friends.

Now, if you’re prone to melancholy and you see the world as a terrible place full unfairness, you hated it. You hated Trump’s joy. You hate him, not for his policies or anything he’s said in the past. You hate him because he enjoys life.

Even the Washington Post recognized his joy, as I pointed out yesterday:

he became more fiery and animated — joyful, even — when he began to banter and joust with the assembled reporters.

Remember that quote. It’s important. To the left, joy is a sin. And Trump’s joy even caught the attention of fake-news purveyor, Politico:

But he did so with a kind of gleeful abandon, even a sly playfulness at times (“Now, that’s what I call a nice question,” he said when someone asked a softball about his wife, Melania) that suggested he himself was in on the act. The sheer concentration of the performance not only probably played well with his core supporters, but seemed just another iteration of the new normal that is Trump’s Washington.

The great Jim Hoft captured our joy in the faces of Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway taken during Trump’s presser:

And no one was more depressed or angrier than CNN’s Jake Tapper. His reaction to Trump’s joyful presser was almost a suicide note caught on video. Trapper saw nothing but dark clouds.

If you are a soldier in harm’s way right now, if you are a hungry child in Appalachia or the inner city, if you are an unemployed worker in a hollow shell of a steel town, that’s not a president who seemed rather focused on your particular needs and wants,That’s a president focused on his bad press.”

A lot of Americans are going to watch that press conference and think, ‘That guy is not focused on me. I don’t even know what he’s focused on.’

Tapper proved my point about leftists perfectly. Trapper is trapped in fixed-pie thinking. And fixed-pie thinking leads to war and violence because fairness demands that we take what others have.

And we’ve been here before.

Most Republican presidents, though they embody some degree of joy, present themselves as serious, concerned, and even a little dour. Or maybe it’s my age. Maybe my psyche holds the residue of Richard Nixon as the quintessential Republican. He was the first Republican president in my life.

Ronald Reagan, though, was anything but dour. His sunny optimism and his faith in America and her people carried the nation. The left hated Reagan, not so much for his policies, as for his joy. Those cotton-headed Millennials don’t know it, but the left portrayed Reagan as an anti-women, anti-gay, anti-black, anti-Jew fascist bent on blowing up the world.

The left hated Reagan, and Reagan’s unconstrained joy only made them hate him worse. They lied about him and his cabinet. They vilified Reagan’s friends.

The leftist press has always been dishonest and vengeful. But sometimes even the leftist press comes around.

Reagan’s chief nemesis in the press was Sam Donaldson who admitted that his respect for Reagan “only grew.” In a short piece in  USAToday commemorating Reagan’s 100th birthday, Donaldson wrote:

Perhaps, above all, it was his great optimism about America and Americans and the way he carried himself through his eight years that mark his greatness. When Reagan walked into a room, he was unfailingly polite and friendly without any good ol’ boy posturing. You knew you were in the presence of the president of the United States.

Trump’s demeanor and temperament are very different from Reagan’s, of course. Trump expresses his optimism differently. Trump’s version of friendliness reflects his Queens upbringing while Reagan’s reflected Dixon, Illinois.

2/5/1981 President Reagan during an interview with Sam Donaldson of ABC News Leslie Stahl of CBS News and Judith Woodruff of NBC News with James Brady at the Cross Hall White House Library

But Reagan and Trump share an optimism and faith in America that well from the same spring. Pessimists don’t wear ball caps emblazoned with the rallying cry “Make America Great Again.” Leftists, we have learned, believe America never was great and never will be. Leftists like Tapper suffer from a pervasive pessimism that borders on the pathological. That’s why Trump’s joyful presser only increased Jake Tapper’s feelings of depression and hopelessness.

I hope Tapper got a good night’s sleep and came to his senses. America could experience a lot of joy during the Trump administration. I’d hate for all that joy to ruin Jake’s life.

But I won’t let Tapper’s psychosis get me down because it’s going to be okay.

How the Second-Born Twin Can Be Older Than the First

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Have you ever noticed that twins have a pecking order? Even identical twins born minutes apart show a subtle seniority complex. Usually the first-born twin leads the second-born.

Makes you wonder how these Peterson twins will relate to each other, doesn’t it?

Because of the time change at the end of daylight saving time, the second-born twin is officially older than the first. That’ll be interesting to watch. And if you find yourself pondering the oddness of those twins’ birth order, you can easily find yourself pondering America’s little sister relationship to the UK.

Those of us born in the 20th or 21st centuries have an America First mentality. As Americans, we should. But I’m talking about the whole world. People around the world see America as the first among nations. We assume that most trends begin in the USA and transmit to the world because of our enormous influence on world politics and culture.

But when you think about, America is always following the lead our brothers and sisters in England. And, because of that, Donald Trump’s election is really the follow-up to Brexit.

Despite our birth order, I suspect Trump’s election will dominate Brexit as the turning point in history. Like twins born on opposite sides of the time-change divide, people will have to do the math to figure out which came first. To make that math easier, let’s just say little sister America always follows the UK’s lead.

Natural Law and Rights of Man

Everyone knows that the United States was the first nation launched under the banner of natural law. The first three paragraphs of our Declaration of Independence remain the greatest explanation of the rights of man ever written. Don’t you get chills just reading the words “When in the course of human events . . . ” or “We hold these truths to be self-evident.”

But natural law, inherent rights, and social contract theory originated in England, not in the American colonies. And many of their principles were already embedded in English common law before we rebelled and severed the ties that bound us to our ancestral siblings in the British Isles.

Even our revolt against the crown had British precedent. As my friend Michael Patrick Leahy wrote in his awesome book, Covenant of Liberty:

The first Tea Party movement was launched from a Tower of London prison cell in January 1647. It was there that John Lilburne, a former officer in the Parliamentary Army who had been imprisoned for publicly insulting the integrity of a member of the House of Lords, set to paper concepts of the natural rights of the individual, constitutionalism, and the sovereignty of the people that would resonate through the centuries.

Lilburne’s notes became The Cause of Regal Tyranny Discovered. That pamphlet became popular, underground reading in taverns and public houses. The ideas launched a movement called ‘The Levellers.’

And the Anglo tradition of the people asserting their rights against a stupid and mean oligarchy was born.

Though we see the American Revolution as a first, it was really the second-born twin. As was the US Constitution.

Constitutional Government

Most people consider the US Constitution the most important document ever written. The Constitution changed the world, launching revolutions in France and Spain. Even the UK eventually evolved into a constitutional democracy.

But the UK had already established something like constitutional government many years before. As described perfectly by Winston Churchill in A History of the English-Speaking Peoples:

On a Monday morning in June, between Staines and Windsor, the barons and Churchmen began to collect on the great meadow of Runnymede. An uneasy hush fell on them from time to time. Many had failed to keep their tryst; and the bold few who had come knew that the King would never forgive this humiliation. He would hunt them down when he could, and the laymen at least were staking their lives in the cause they served. They had arranged a little throne for the King and a tent. The handful of resolute men had drawn up, it seems, a short document on parchment. Their retainers and the groups and squadrons of horsemen in the sullen steel kept at some distance and well in the background. For was not armed rebellion against the Crown the supreme feudal crime? Then events followed rapidly. A small cavalcade appeared from the direction of Windsor. Gradually men made out the faces of the King, the Papal Legate, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and several bishops. They dismounted without ceremony. Someone, probably the Archbishop, stated briefly the terms that were suggested. The King declared at once that he agreed. He said the details should be arranged immediately in his chancery. the original “Articles of the Barons” on which Magna Carta is based exist to-day in the British Museum. They were sealed in a quiet, short scene, which has become one of the most famous in our history, on June 15, 1215. Afterwards the King returned to Windsor. Four days later, probably, the Charter itself was probably engrossed. In future ages it was to be used as the foundation of principles and systems of government of which neither King John nor his nobles dreamed.

So the UK, the nation from which our nation was born and rebelled, led us to Constitutional government. What, then did the yanks lead?

The Great Wars

I shouldn’t have to write this, but so few young people know 20th century history. In the US, we know that our benevolent involvement in World Wars I and II made all the difference. But people educated just a few decades ago know that the UK bore the brunt of those wars long before the US jumped in.

The Great War

World War I began in the Balkans and quickly spread throughout Europe and its colonies. By secret treaty, Germany had given Austria-Hungary a blank check to wage war assured of German assistance. Meanwhile, the Germans had prepared an aggressive two-front strategy. At the start of the war, Germany attacked France through neutral Belgium. The UK and France fought together in the first Battle of Marne September 6-9, 1914. The US arrived three years later.

So, if WWI wasn’t an America First war, surely World War II was. It’s what every American thinks of when we think of war.

World War II

If you want to believe that the US is first to everything, I have more bad news. World War II was two years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. By then, the Brits had been under a deluge of German bombs for a year. Winston Churchill predicted the mayhem his island would endure when he spoke to the House of Commons after Paris fell:

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the whole world may move forward into brod, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protacted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say “This was their finest hour.”

Okay, the Brits went first until World War II. But the great Cold War was an American original, right?

Thatcher Before Reagan

You probably know that Winston Churchill actually coined the phrase “Iron Curtain.” And you know that the Iron Curtain referred to the Soviet Empire that dominated Eastern Europe after World War II. And you probably remember that Soviet domination of Asia and South/Central America spread throughout the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s.

But then the US elected Ronald Reagan and everything went to hell in a handbasket for the Ruskies. Right?

Not quite.

Reagan’s great revolution was foreshadowed by, you guessed it, the United Kingdom.

The world in 1979 was teetering on the edge of the abyss. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan. President Jimmy Carter, hoping to win favor with “oppressed” people, let the Shah of Iran fall. Radical Islamic fundamentalists took over Tehran. Carter told Americans we have to learn to live with less, that America would never be great again. And many Americans believed Mr. Carter.

But one woman in England dismissed Carter’s gloomy predictions. Margaret Thatcher, an engineer-turned-politician, became the leader of the Tory party in the UK in 1975. The Tories were in the minority at the time. But on May 3, 1979, the Tories took over Parliament and Mrs. Thatcher became England’s first female Prime Minister. Known as the Iron Lady, Thatcher’s bold, conservative strides served as an example for the United States.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President. Reagan had been mocked and ridiculed as a racist, a sexist, a warmonger, and an idiot. Reagan was compared to Hitler and Mussolini. Even the established leaders of the Republican Party refused to support the renegade cowboy movie actor.

But Reagan was an enigma to the press, to the party, and to the intelligentsia. He accumulated great wealth as an actor and investor, but his homespun optimism resonated mainly with downscale, working class Americans. Lifelong Democrats crossed party lines to vote for the Gipper, and Reagan beat the dour Jimmy Carter in an electoral and popular landslide. Reagan’s coattails ushered in a Republican Senate, giving Reagan a needed foothold in the legislature. And his popularity with working Americans led Democrats in the US House to give his agenda a chance. For the next eight years, Reagan and Thatcher worked like a team to implement conservative government reforms in the UK and US while turning back the tide of communism around the world.

And that brings us to President-elect Trump.

Brexit Before Trump

We’ll hear a lot about the Trump revolution that no one saw coming. But Brexit foreshadowed Trump the same way Thatcher foreshadowed Reagan and Magna Carta foreshadowed the Constitution.

America is like England’s twin. We were born after the United Kingdom but a quirk of history often places our achievements before theirs. Like the Peterson twins, we must remember our birth order if we’re to remember our heritage and see our future. We must remember our fine Christian history, as Churchill reminded Parliament in 1939. “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.”

When you look at the advance of radical Islam, it’s easy to see parallels between 1939 and 2016. The most popular boys’ name in the UK last year was Mohamed. Brexit was, in part, a desire for England to remain English, if not Christian. And Trump’s election in the United States signals our desire to remain American. Upon those elections depended the survival of Christian civilization, British and American life, and the continuity of our institutions.

The American Empire, an empire of ideas as opposed to nations, remains humanity’s finest hour. Trump’s election breathes new life into that empire of ideas. May it last for centuries to come.

But we should take time to remember and thank our brothers and sisters on that island for the courage, countenance, and creativity that leads us into the sunny uplands of our future.

God save the Queen.

God save the Donald.

 

Who Gets the Credit Matters Most

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Some people on the right say they won’t vote for Trump. Those people list various reasons, mostly about his demeanor and things he’s said in the past. They think who gets the credit is more important than what gets done. We all know people like that, don’t we?

Most of those NeverTrumpers were okay with Trump’s policies. They all love his Supreme Court list. Most of them liked Ted Cruz’s ideas, and Cruz’s weren’t far from Trump’s. For example, Cruz was for the flat tax, as I am, but Trump only wants to flatten taxes about 60 percent instead of all the way.

I’ll take 60 percent when the other choice is 100 percent in the wrong direction.

Yet some of those NeverTrump people still say “never Trump.” And they know that Hillary would do great damage to the United States and hurt of all of our citizens. She’s like some horrible hemorrhagic virus on freedom and good government. And she’s a criminal who loses state secrets. Yet those NeverTrumps prefer that hemorrhagic to fever over all the good things they’ve said they want, like lower taxes and fairer trade and immigration enforcement.

What NeverTrumpers seem to be saying is, “I want all those things that Trump wants, but I don’t want him to get the credit.”

Sure, Trump would probably take a lot of credit for 4.2% GDP growth and a drop in crime. I can understand why Bill Kristol and Don Adams would rather see this economic malaise continue forever than to hear Trump say, “I did it my way.” Those NeverTrumpers are even okay with paying for abortions as long as it means Trump doesn’t get credit for all the kids who don’t get chopped up and flushed down a toilet.

“Better to butcher a billion babies than to let Trump save them,” say the NeverTrumpers.

It’s too bad NeverTrumpers show such disregard for Ronald Reagan.

Reagan let Democrats take a lot of credit for getting his legislation through Congress. Remember, Democrats controlled the House for Reagan’s entire administration. As Reagan put it, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.

If Hillary becomes President, NeverTrumpers will get the credit they deserve. For everything.

How Reagan Almost Blew It in 1980

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you enjoy this post, you have to thank your fellow reader, Tony, for reading the whole TIME article from yesterday’s post. He pointed out more similarities between 1980 and 2016. Especially Reagan’s gaffes and Democrats’ complacency.

First, the gaffes.

You hear about Trump stepping on his own applause lines. He announced Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway the day after the best speech of his life (until then). He wondered aloud (via Twitter) what Mr. Kahn’s wife was thinking and why she was so quiet. Et Cetera.

Those Trump gaffes fueled his enemies and hurt his poll numbers. But he recovered remarkably, didn’t he? His speeches are humble without groveling. His message is clear and connecting. He seems to have hit his stride just in time.

You might think Reagan, being an actor and governor of our largest state, sailed through the post-convention period without a ripple. But that’s not what happened.

Let’s look deeper into that TIME article as we stroll down memory lane.

Despite his speaking skills, Reagan has, of course, been too busy trying to explain away a series of bloopers either to maintain a consistent attack on Carter’s performance or to attract attention to the Republican policies that he has proposed.

Not only has Reagan fallen into uttering such needlessly provocative comments as advocating “official” governmental contacts with Taiwan, praising the Viet Nam War as “a noble cause,” suggesting that Darwinism be countered by teaching the biblical story of creation as well, and terming the current recession “a severe depression,” but his own advisers have jumped readily into the ensuing fray, like a Greek chorus of mourners, to concede in most cases that Reagan was wrong. Says Dean Burch, the senior adviser to Bush: “There is a possibility that the caricature of Reagan will become a reality. We have to guard against it.” 

While some of the impulsive Reaganisms may have pleased his more conservative supporters, they feed the doubts about his judgment that bother other voters. Thus the tense staff is trying to set up “fail-safe” systems to protect Reagan against Reagan. His aides are more carefully reviewing every speech text for pitfalls and insisting that the Governor just stick with the typed pages.

You could literally search and replace “Reagan” with “Trump” and print that paragraph tomorrow, could you not? Seriously, it’s like Groundhog Day. From “blowing up the world” to “stick with the typed pages,” everything they say about Trump they previously said about Reagan.

As I re-read the TIME piece from 1980, it dawned on me that Reagan was not quite as perfect a candidate as I remembered. Which is good news. That means Trump is not nearly as flawed as we are told. For example, the MSM wants us to believe Trump’s campaign is hopelessly disorganized and chaotic. But so was Reagan’s in September 1980:

In addition, an outside heavyweight adviser—last week it was James Lynn, who headed Gerald Ford’s Office of Management and Budget—will ride shotgun on the campaign planes to help Reagan. The staff itself, however, remains a problem: it is still far too disorganized. Says an old Reagan friend: “Ron doesn’t know how to be tough with people. Sometimes he tolerates so-so performances.”

But Reagan had other flubs, too, as TIME happily pointed out:

So far, so good, and then, once again, Reagan botched it. At the Michigan State Fair, he launched another attack on Carter and went too far. “Now, I’m happy to be here,” he said, “while he [Carter] is opening his campaign down in the city that gave birth to and is the parent body of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Thud. By linking the President with the Klan, Reagan not only outraged Carter’s supporters but offended no less than seven Southern Governors, who fired off wires protesting that Reagan had insulted the South. The President promptly jumped on the blunder: “I resent very deeply what Ronald Reagan said about the South and about Alabama and about Tuscumbia. Anybody who resorts to slurs and to innuendo against a whole region based on a false statement and a false premise is not doing the South or our nation a good service.” Indeed, Reagan had compounded his mistake by getting his facts wrong; Tuscumbia is merely the headquarters of a branch of the Klan. Reagan apologized by telephone to Alabama Governor Forrest (“Fob”) James, and once again his aides sheepishly tried to explain that their boss had not really meant what he said.

Thirty-six years later, we Reaganites tend to forget the times we had to explain or apologize for his comments. Really, they were innocuous. But the MSM of 1980 were just as viciously anti-Republican as they are today.

The thing to remember is this: if Reagan, the trigger-happy simpleton of 1980, could win, so can Trump in 2016. 

In a moment we’ll look at what Democrats were saying in September 1980 and compare that to what Democrats (aka, CNN) are saying today. But first, let’s look at the swing states of 1980 and 2016. They’re remarkably similar.

From 1980:

Even if Carter should hold the Deep South, which is far from certain, Reagan will look for his victory margin in five targeted states: Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida. They have 121 electoral votes, and if Reagan can win just the largest three, he should wind up in the Oval Office. Thus nearly 40% of his currently scheduled campaign time (49 days of travel and 95 major appearances) will be devoted to these five states.

From 2016:

The ads are set to begin Friday in Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and run through August 29. The full extent of the advertising is still unclear, but as of Thursday afternoon, Trump was set to spend $1.3 million in Florida, $775,000 in North Carolina, $675,000 in Ohio and $790,000 in Pennsylvania. That does not include cable-TV advertising, which was not yet available.

Trump’s campaign told POLITICO earlier this week the GOP presidential nominee would begin advertising in five states: the four where it began placing Thursday morning, but also Virginia.

Tea Party for Trump will focus its initial work on Ohio, along with shoring up support in each founding member’s home state.

The big difference between 1980 and 2016 is, of course, the Deep South. In 1980, the south was iffy. Carter won big there in 1976, but Reagan polled well in the South. In September 1980, no one knew how the South would break. (It broke for Reagan and has remained solidly Republican ever since.)

Trump will dominate the Deep South in 2016. Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are in play, but Tea Party for Trump plans to be the difference in those battlegrounds.

And now we turn to the Democrats of 1980. Let’s just say they were confident. Again, from the TIME story:

As for the Carter staff, it has been astonished by its candidate’s catch-up in the polls. Chortled one aide last week: “That Reagan is doing our work for us.”

But other Democrats were more clear-eyed:

Campaign Manager Robert Strauss professes to be worried that Carter’s rally will generate overconfidence. Says he: “I don’t think Reagan necessarily is dumb. I don’t think he is going to get us into atomic warfare. I don’t think he is evil. He’s a very likable, attractive man.” But Strauss pinpoints Carter’s re-election strategy: to portray Reagan as “simplistic” and “not equipped to be President.”

“Not equipped to be President.” Where have we heard that recently?

We hear it every day from CNN, #NeverTrumpers, and President Obama. They’re just reading the Clinton campaign’s talking points memo. Like robots they call Trump “unfit.” Unfit is the new “not equipped.” They were wrong in 1980, and they’re wrong today.

If you like Donald Trump’s list of Supreme Court candidates better than the dread thing Hillary might appoint, you should take heart. Tea Party for Trump is here to help you choose Antonin Scalia’s successor. 

Join us for the Tea Party for Trump on August 28 at 4:00 (music starts 3:30) at Surdyke Harley-Davidson in Festus. You’ll be glad you did.

And here’s a handy checklist to make Tea Party for Trump easy and effortless.

2016 looks like a repeat of 1980

Reading Time: 4 minutes

You probably remember that in September 1980 voters couldn’t wait to cast a vote for Reagan.

If you remember it like that, you remember wrong. At least a little wrong.

TIME magazine examined voter sentiment in its September 15, 1980, issue. Voters that year sounded a lot like voters this year. Here’s how TIME’s Ed Magnuson summarized the voters of 1980:

Disenchanted, but not apathetic. Caring about issues, although much more concerned about character. Longing for a strong person to trust, but fearful of strength lacking sound judgment. Leery of weakness, but edgy about brashness. All too mindful of the disappointments of the past, but seeking hope in the future. Leaning toward one man, but often out of desperation and a sense of disdain for the others. Uncommitted. Unpredictable.

In 1980, people knew Carter was weak and bumbling, but they were afraid Reagan might blow up the world. In 2016, we know Clinton is crooked and sickly, and some people are afraid Trump might blow up the world. (In fact, almost every Republican candidate since Goldwater was supposed to blow up the world. That charge is getting pretty stale.)

The Numbers Are Remarkably Similar

When you look at the numbers from about the same period, you find incredible similarities between Clinton vs. Trump and Carter vs. Reagan. Since Rasmussen is the only major public poll looking at likely voters (as opposed to registered voters), we’ll use that.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online White House Watch survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows Clinton with 41% support to Trump’s 39%. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson picks up nine percent (9%) of the vote, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein trails with three percent (3%). Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided.

And from TIME September 15, 1980:

Carter and Reagan are deadlocked at 39% each, while Anderson’s support is 15%—precisely the level set by the League of Women Voters for him to qualify as a “viable” candidate and therefore earn a third spot in its crucial opening debate, set tentatively for Sept. 21 in Baltimore.

If you combined support for Green Party’s Stein with support for Libertarian Party’s Johnson and the 3 percent who favor “some other candidate,” third party candidates would be at . . . 15 percent. Amazing, right?

You probably know that a lot of people have negative feelings about both Clinton and Trump. The same was true in 1980:

Fully 55% say they are not “personally interested or excited about” any of the candidates. Only 11% report genuine enthusiasm for Reagan; a mere 9% feel that way about Carter and 6% about Anderson. In fact, much of the support given their preferred candidates is based on voters’ opposition to the others; the choices are essentially and votes. Thus 43% of the voters who prefer Reagan say they do so because they are “really voting against Carter.” Similarly, 34% of Carter’s supporters say their choice is based on opposition to Reagan, while a hefty 61% of Anderson’s followers admit that they are motivated by being “against Carter and Reagan.”

You might think there were a lot more undecided voters in 1980 than in 2016. But that’s not true, either. In early September 1980, just 1 percent considered themselves undecided.

Reagan Had a Disastrous August

If you think Reagan’s popularity only grew throughout the summer, you’ll want to think again. From TIME:

Though Carter and Reagan are even up in the race, the poll discloses areas of serious slippage for Reagan in important areas. For one thing, 59% of those preferring Carter claim they do so out of a positive feeling for him: they like his “experience,” and consider him “safer” in foreign affairs. Only 45% of Reagan’s followers feel a similar sense of confidence in their choice’s ability to get things done and to answer the need for a change. At the same time, Reagan’s rating on abilities regarded as important by voters has declined. In TIME’S last survey in May, 49% of those sampled agreed that Reagan was a leader “you can trust,” while 42% believe that now. Reagan was then considered “acceptable” as a President by 64%; the current figure is 54%. Voter confidence in Reagan’s ability to handle the economy has dropped from an impressive 75% to 66%, and his perceived competency in foreign affairs has slipped from 72% to 63%. The Californian still worries voters on a basic level: 54% of those surveyed feel that he often does not get his facts straight, and 48% fret that he may be “trigger happy.”

What Will Happen?

I’ve already predicted a Trump landslide. No need to change any of that. The more I hear Trump, the more hear Kemp. The more I research 1980, the more I see 2016.

Republicans are winning the race for new voter registrations in key states. According to the leftist Politico.com, “in Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina, more new voters identify as Republicans.” Heavy Republican voter drives will help in northeastern Ohio, too, according to fellow Tea Party for Trumper Tom Zawistowski.

And one more amazing parallel to 1980 is playing out before our eyes. In 1980, Democrat voter enthusiasm collapsed after Carter defeated Ted Kennedy in the primaries. As TIME pointed out:

The survey pinpoints one group of voters still posing a considerable problem for Carter: the former followers of Senator Edward Kennedy. Despite the efforts at the Democratic National Convention to patch up the party’s deep rift and Kennedy’s later pledges of support for Carter, the Senator’s followers now split three ways on what they intend to do: 39% say they will back Carter; 28% prefer Anderson; a surprising 22% are disaffected that they say they will ump over the wall and vote for Reagan.

In 2016, Democrat enthusiasm collapsed after Clinton outlasted socialist Bernie Sanders. Via Bloomberg:

 A June 14 Bloomberg Politics national poll of likely voters in November’s election found that barely half of those who favored Sanders — 55 percent — plan to vote for Clinton. Instead, 22 percent say they’ll vote for Trump, while 18 percent favor Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Amazing, isn’t? Twenty-two percent of Kennedy voters said they’d vote for Reagan over Carter. And the 22 percent of Sanders supporters say now they’ll vote for Trump. Amazing parallel.

On Sunday, August 28, you’ll take part in the St. Louis area Tea Party for Trump. NFL Hall of Famer Jackie Smith will sing, and we will have live music starting about 3:30 p.m. The rally will begin at 4:00. You’ll leave Festus with a renewed sense of hope for our country, regardless of how you feel about our candidate. Get your free tickets now.

You might want to read my latest book, Turning On Trump, before Sunday. Or you can buy a copy there.

On November 8, you’ll probably be amazed at how early the race gets called for President Trump.