Great Reads for Monday, October 31, 2016

FBI Director James Comey is having an interesting week.

Eight days until the election.

Carve out 30 minutes or so, pour yourself a nice, hot cup of coffee (or a tumbler of whiskey, depending on the time of day) and read today’s featured essay by Oxford’s Nathan Pinkoski on the political science of Publius Decius Mus—only at American Greatness. Pinkoski delves into the deeper arguments within “The Flight 93 Election” and Decius’s other essays. Decius’s response will appear tomorrow.

The Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial today: Comey and Clinton AgonistesKey paragraphs:

Democrats and Mrs. Clinton are now demanding that Mr. Comey release more details, and our sympathies are also toward airing this out. But Mr. Comey can’t make more information public if it would compromise the FBI’s investigative trail, and finishing the probe in a week is highly unlikely. Thus the Clinton campaign’s sudden demands for transparency have the political virtue of making her sound unworried while knowing nothing mo re is likely to come out before Election Day.

The other Clinton line is that there’s nothing in these emails to worry about, though no one outside the FBI and the Clinton campaign knows. It’s hard to believe, however, that Mr. Comey would have risked the wrath of his former Democratic defenders by sending that letter to Congress if his agents hadn’t discovered something potentially serious. The Journal’s Devlin Barrett also reported Sunday on months of dissension between the FBI and Justice over the agency’s separate probes into the emails and the Clinton Foundation.

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds on Hillary Clinton’s irredeemable corruption in USA Today: “Someone, somewhere, should have told her no. Well, yes. But who? That was the problem with Secretary of State Clinton, and it will be a bigger problem with a President Clinton. Because, by all appearances, nobody tells Clinton no, and Clinton has no compunction about breaking the rules when it suits her purposes.”

But, as Reynolds points out, Hillary isn’t the only corrupt actor here:

[I]f the president wasn’t going to tell her no, who would? Staff at the State Department? They might have been willing to tell some other secretary of state no, but Clinton? Too risky, it seems. They certainly went along without visible objection, and without even leaks.

The press? When The New York Times reported Clinton’s secret, illegal server, Politico’s Glenn Thrush, far from condemning it, called it ‘badass.’”

Speaking of the complicit press: “Poll: Public overwhelmingly thinks media is in the tank for Clinton” (The Hill)

“Hey, What If Trump Actually Wins?” by The Mighty #Caring Kurt Schlichter. (

Catholic moral theologian Janet E. Smith explains why she is voting for Trump and donating, too. (

The Hill: “Ex-FBI official: Clintons are a ‘crime family’

“Clinton’s bureaucrats will threaten religious liberty,” by William Upton (Washington Examiner)

Upton notes how “Pew Research Center’s Aug. 8 report on religion and politics found that ‘Nearly two-thirds of recent churchgoers say their clergy have spoken out about at least one social or political issue.’ Pew categorized ‘religious liberty,’ ‘homosexuality’ and ‘abortion’ as political speech.”

“It isn’t a far stretch to think another Clinton White House would do the same and use the classification of political speech to drag churches and religious non-profits before the IRS,” Upton writes.

Friend of American Greatness Michael Walsh reveals in Sunday’s New York Post the secret forces that could lead to a Trump victory.

“The truth is,” Walsh writes, “this is an election not just between Clinton and Trump but a whole raft of political antagonists in Barack Obama’s “fundamentally transformed” America: urban vs. rural; old vs. young; makers vs. takers; taxpayers vs. recipients; white collar vs blue collar; Harvard vs. the heartland; manipulative consultants and biased reporters vs. honest Americans who, however naively, believe that their vote really does matter.”

In Greeley, Donald Trump adds to skepticism about Colorado’s mail ballots (Denver Post):

Thomas Crawford, a registered Democrat from Denver, traveled to Greeley for the rally. He and wife Martha, a lifelong Democratic voter, cast ballots for Trump.

“I think the Clintons have sold this country down the river,” said Crawford, a 49-year-old salesman.

“Trump’s not a politician,” added Martha Crawford, 63. “He’s going to drain the swamp.”

Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post: What happens when Hillary Clinton begins to hope.


PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon claims America is at its most perilous crossroads since World War II.

“Yes, we are at the crossroads,” Simon writes. “Whatever you think of Donald Trump is pretty much irrelevant. Sometimes things get remarkably simple … you know, those so-called moments of clarity, and we have one now:

If you consider yourself an American citizen who supports this country even a little bit—you don’t have to be a flag-waving patriot for this—how do you feel about a criminal sitting in the Oval Office of the White House as president of the United States?

If that disturbs you, you know what to do.”

Imagine, if you dare, The Warren-Sanders Presidency.” “Do not for a moment think Elizabeth Warren is barnstorming the country now only to elect Hillary Clinton,” Daniel Henninger writes at the Wall Street Journal. “She’s getting out the vote to make sure Elizabeth Warren is in position next year to co-run the government from Capitol Hill.”

4 reasons middle-class Americans need solutions — not sympathyby Elizabeth Held (The Hill).

Last Chance to Defeat Political Correctness? by Edward J. Erler (Claremont Review of Books Digital)

“Trump,” Erler writes, “appeals to citizens and endorses the borders indispensable to citizenship. Clinton looks forward to a world without borders and therefore without citizens, where administration will replace politics and where demanding individual rights will be repudiated as an anachronism left over from our racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, xenophobic past. We should refuse to make the irrational, destructive sacrifices political correctness demands. The people are ready to make that refusal, even if the political classes will fight fiercely to preserve its status and privileges. Trump refuses to worship the false gods of political correctness. So should we.”

Small-Ball Conservatism or National Greatness? by David P. Goldman. (PJ Media)

“America won’t stumble its way back to national greatness,” Goldman argues. “We have to hit on all cylinders at the same time, something we have not done since Ronald Reagan was in office. America’s decline in productivity, competitiveness, and skills is so advanced that nothing short of a focused national recovery plan will save us from a decline like that of the post-war United Kingdom. We need a national initiative to restore American technological supremacy, basic infrastructure, labor force participation, and above all a sense of national purpose and morale.”

Time Travel in the Twenty-First Century, by Chet Richards (American Thinker)

“We need a shift in our culture back to our past era of American economic dynamism,” Richards writes. “We need to cast off the strangling tentacles of socialism. We need to provide both incentives for retaining our discoveries and disincentives for their export. No, this is not isolationism; it simply re-establishes productive international competition with America competing. America First is not a bad slogan to re-adopt.” (No, not at all.)

Professor who’s predicted 30 years of presidential elections correctly is doubling down on a Trump win, by Peter W. Stevenson (Washington Post/The Fix)

Allan J. Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, explains his prediction to the Post:

By the narrowest of possible margins, the keys still point to a Trump victory. However, there are two major qualifications. And I’m not a hedger, and I’ve never qualified before in 30 years of predictions.

Qualification number one: It takes six keys to count the party in power out, and they have exactly six keys. And one key could still flip, as I recognized last time — the third party key, that requires Gary Johnson to get at least five percent of the popular vote. He could slip below that, which would shift the prediction.

The second qualification is Donald Trump. We have never seen someone who is broadly regarded as a history-shattering, precedent-making, dangerous candidate who could change the patterns of history that have prevailed since the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860.

“How Do Democracies End?”  Steven Hayward offers an answer from a classic work of American political science at PowerLine.


And Last But Not Least . . .

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports:

A load of manure was dumped outside the Democratic Party headquarters in Warren County.

“What reasonable person thinks this is OK????” party chair Bethe Goldenfield said in a post in the Greater Cincinnati Politics Facebook Group. “I won’t be responding to anyone who thinks this is acceptable behavior. It is ILLEGAL!”

The same thing happened in 2012, Goldenfield noted. The suburban Cincinnati county is overwhelmingly Republican; Mitt Romney got 69 percent of the vote four years ago. It’s been almost 40 years since a Democrat was elected to countywide office.


About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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