Great Reads for Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Seven days until the election.

Decius today responds to Nathan Pinkoski’s essay, “The Political Science of Publius Decius Mus”—only at American Greatness.

Pour another cup of coffee (or glass of whiskey) and take your time. Both pieces reward slow, close reading.

Also at AG today: Michael Kochin argues for “sharing the world.”

And while you’re at it, here are some other stories worth your while. (Better make it a double . . .)

Bill Bennett and F.H. Buckley issue a call for unity: “It’s time to put aside our differences, elect Trump, and defeat a candidate under an FBI investigation.”

(By the way, don’t miss Buckley’s debate with libertarian Kristie De Peña on immigration at RealClearPolicy.)

Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel earlier this month announced he would donate $1.25 million to the Trump election effort. The backlash was fierce. Thiel on Monday visited the National Press Club and spoke out for Trump’s candidacy and against the Silicon Supreme Soviet.

“No matter what happens in this election, what Trump represents isn’t crazy and it’s not going away,” Thiel said. “He points toward a new Republican Party beyond the dogmas of Reaganism. He points even beyond the remaking of one party to a new American politics that overcomes denial, rejects bubble thinking and reckons with reality…”

Watch the entire speech and the Q&A below. RealClearPolitics has a partial transcript. The New York Times previewed Thiel’s appearance over the weekend with a wide-ranging interview.

Victor Davis Hanson contemplates the “telos” of Clinton Inc.: “For the Clintons, power is the narcotic of being sought out, of being surrounded by retainers, of bringing enemies to heel and enticing sycophants with benefits. Liberalism and progressivism are mere social and cultural furniture, the “correct” politics of their background that one mouths and exploits to obtain and maintain political clout—and to get really, really rich without guilt or apology.”

Interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile is too much of a political hack even for obsequious CNN. “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” a network spokeswoman said. That’s nice, but what about Gloria Borger?

Hillary’s closest friend and advisor, Huma Abedin, is now just “one of my staffers,” the Daily Mail reports.

The inimitable Mark Steyn observes: “It’s not helpful at this stage of the electoral process to have your candidate’s name mentioned in the same sentence as ‘…investigation into sexting underage girls.’ But Democrats are nothing if not fierce and absolute in their devotion.”

John R. Schindler: “McCarthyism 2.0 Has Infected the Democrats” (Washington Observer)

Of course the DOJ assigned a Clinton crony to oversee the new email investigation, Larry O’Connor points out over at Hot Air. (More on Peter Kadzik’s work for John Podesta at Fox News.)

But stuff like this is tough to sweep under the rug: “Podesta To Mills: ‘We Are Going To Have To Dump All Those Emails’” (Zero Hedge)

Speaking of cover-ups and smoking guns, Watergate figure John Dean wants you to know that Hillary’s endemic (and foreseeable ongoing) corruption is not nearly as serious as the scandal he’s been dining out on for the past 40 years.

Meanwhile, Robin Lakoff, a linguistics professor at the University of California, Berkeley (naturally), argues in Time that the investigation into Clinton’s illegal, unsecure email server is “a bitch hunt,” and that the “only reason the whole email flap has legs is because (sic) the candidate is female.” Twitchy has some fun rounding up the mockery on Twitter.

But the leftist Thomas Frank, who famously asked “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”, regards the Wikileaks release of John Podesta’s hacked emails as a “window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.”

“Everything blurs into everything else in this world,” Frank writes in the Guardian of London.

The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the “Global CEO Advisory Firm” that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.

But the One Big Boundary remains. Yes, it’s all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren’t part of this happy, prosperous in-group—if you don’t have John Podesta’s email address—you’re out.

As far as the stakes go: “Election Offers Stark Choices on Supreme Court’s Future” (Wall Street Journal)

And, by the way, the Obama IRS has never stopped persecuting the administration’s enemies on the right.

Is Trump causing a spike in bullying at schools? The National Education Association thinks so. (And the nation’s largest teachers union knows from bullying!) But Larry Sand has his doubts.


The Atlantic reports:  “Trump-Supporting Republicans Face a Backlash on College Campuses.”

Too obvious? Maybe. But read on: “Despite dreams of creating a more conservative status quo, the fact that at least some college Republicans sympathize with and are willing to concede some of the demands of liberal students suggests that the ideas of the campus left are poised to only become more deeply entrenched. A Trump victory likely would not be enough to entirely change that. A Trump defeat, meanwhile, could leave college Republicans who voted for him and considered his candidacy a validation of their own political worldview feeling even more alienated on college campuses.”

Edward J. Erler is featured in the October issue of Hillsdale College’s Imprimis newsletter, discussing the fundamental questions of this election: Who are we? And what kind of people will we become?

Secretary of State John Kerry propounded [the globalist] view in a recent commencement address, warning Americans that we must prepare ourselves for a “borderless world.” But a world without borders is a world without citizens, and a world without citizens is a world without the rights and privileges that attach exclusively to citizenship. Rights and liberties exist only in separate and independent nations; they are the exclusive preserve of the nation-state. Constitutional government only succeeds in the nation-state, where the just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed. By contrast, to see the globalist principle in practice, look at the European Union. The EU is not a constitutional government; it is an administrative state ruled by unelected bureaucrats. It attempts to do away with both borders and citizens, and it replaces rights and liberty with welfare and regulation as the objects of its administrative rule. Constitutional government—to say nothing of liberal democracy—will not be a part of the politically correct, borderless world into which so many of our political leaders wish to usher us.

Why does it matter? Watch San Francisco.

Historian Andrew Roberts (author of the excellent Napoleon: A Life and A History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900) gave the Manhattan Institute’s annual Wriston Lecture last week. An adaptation appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Friday.

Suffice to say, Roberts is no Trump fan:

Winston Churchill, after crossing the floor of the House of Commons for the second time, joked that, “Anyone can rat but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.” What the Republican Party has moronically allowed Mr. Trump to do is to re-re-rat. That might have been understandable if he had been promoting traditional Republican policies and values, but he never has and is certainly not doing so now. Today he should have been a maverick third-party candidate ranting into the wind, instead of enjoying the formal imprimatur of one of the great political parties of the Western world.

Among other things, Roberts calls for the GOP to adopt something akin to the Democrats’ “superdelegates” process, which has effectively shut out non-establishment candidates. Jeb Bush would no doubt love that idea.

Last But Not Least . . .

Possibly the best endorsement of a Trump administration yet:

More than a quarter of federal government employees would consider quitting if Donald Trump were elected president, according to a new survey.

Government Executive polled more than 1,000 federal workers to see if the outcome of the presidential election would impact their decision to continue to work for the government.

Twenty-seven percent of federal workers said they might consider leaving their jobs were Trump elected. Sixty-five percent said they would not, while another 9 percent were not sure.

The really fun facts always appear at the end:

Only 1 percent of Clinton voters said the most appealing aspect of her candidacy is her “personality.”



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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2 responses to “Great Reads for Tuesday, November 1, 2016”

  1. I like the new “Great Reads”. However, there’s a problem with your links to outside websites (occurring within Oct 31 as well).
    e.g., the link to the “Bill Bennett and F.H. Buckley” calls up this URL (which leads to an error 404 of course):

    The problem with your links is you need to remove

    from each URL link, so the reader taken to the proper site.

    For the Bennett – Buckley story, this would be: