Commentary: Envy as the Path to Political Power

Bernie Sanders

Demagogues appeal to envy because they believe that promising to destroy the advantages enjoyed by others will win votes and inspire loyalty. Sometimes it does. As the envy-driven horrors of Rwanda and Nazi Germany demonstrate, pledging to disrupt the envied lives of a despised “other” can be a ticket to victory for a political candidate savvy enough to convince voters that he has their best interests at heart.

More than 25 years ago, Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, pronounced in his book The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology that we “live in an age of envy.” Pointing out that “people don’t so much want more money for themselves as they want to take it away from those with more,” Bandow suggested that although “greed is bad enough, eating away at a person’s soul, envy is far worse because it destroys not only individuals, but also communities, poisoning relations.” A Christian libertarian, Bandow wrote that 

those who are greedy may ruin their own lives, but those who are envious contaminate the larger community by letting their covetousness interfere with their relations with others. 

One can satisfy greed in innocuous, even positive ways—by being brighter, working harder, seeing new opportunities, or meeting the demands of others, for instance.

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Commentary: With Republicans Like These, Who Needs Democrats?

Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) was challenged recently by a caller on the “Jay Thomas Show.” The caller asked Cramer to reveal the identity of the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed unarmed Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, on January 6. Cramer claimed he did not know the name of the officer, nor did he believe the public had any right to know that officer’s name because he had not been found guilty of any wrongdoing.

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Commentary: House Republicans Defy the January 6 Narrative

January 6 riot at the capitol with large crowd of people.

It’s about time.

U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) prompted outrage this week following his remarks during a congressional hearing on the events of January 6, 2021.

Clyde, along with several Republican House members, is finally pushing back on the Democrats’ allegedly unassailable narrative about what happened that day. The roughly four-hour disturbance at the Capitol, as I’ve covered for months, is being weaponized not only against Donald Trump but also hundreds of nonviolent Americans who traveled to their nation’s capital to protest the final certification of a fraudulent presidential election.

Big Tech used the so-called “attack” on the Capitol as an excuse to achieve its long-sought-after goal to deplatform the former president; NeverTrumpers such as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) insist the chaos of the day was fueled by the “Big Lie”—in other words, the belief held by tens of millions of Republicans—and a good share of independents—that Joe Biden didn’t legitimately earn enough votes to win the White House. The Biden regime vows to use the “whole of government” to purge the country of “domestic violent extremists,” which is code for Trump supporters.

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Commentary: Asking the Wrong Question About Liz Cheney

To the delight of actual conservatives everywhere, it appears that U.S. Representaative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will soon finally be out of the GOP leadership, rectifying a huge mistake made less than three months ago by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House GOP leadership when they steadfastly supported her against a groundswell of calls from voters for her removal.

At that time, McCarthy passionately defended her presence in leadership ahead of a secret ballot vote, with many describing his contribution as decisive in turning the tide toward keeping Cheney as House GOP conference chairman. That McCarthy would be forced to reverse himself just a few months later shows that his judgment as a leader is fatally flawed.

The question conservatives should be asking now is not why we need to oust Liz Cheney but how she ever got into leadership in the first place?

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Commentary: The GOP’s Trump Solution

Former President Donald Trump

The Wall Street Journal on Friday published an editorial headlined “The GOP’s Trump Problem.” It gets things terribly wrong. The GOP is Trump’s party and it is the Wall Street Journal that has the Trump problem.

Having been commendably supportive of the former president through most of his term, the Journal joined in the general embarkation of NeverTrumpers over the ostensible election results. The theory that inspired this headline is Trump had his chance but lost the election in a manner practically indistinguishable from defeated incumbents Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H. W. Bush in 1992 (when there were no suggestions of questionable results). The editors suggest further that Trump had exhausted any grounds he had for contesting the fairness of the counting of ballots, and that it was his duty to go quietly into that good night and do everything that he could to elect Republican senators in Georgia to preserve the Republican majority in the Senate and to enhance the likelihood of the reelection next year of Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia and his secretary of state Brad Raffensperger.

These state officials were to be embraced even though they had capitulated to the leader of the Georgia Democrats, Stacey Abrams, permitting the critical electoral votes of their state to be wrongfully cast for Joe Biden. They assumed Trump had to do all he could to keep those in his own party who had betrayed him in place. That is not normally how the system, or human nature, works.

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Commentary: The Theory That the Trump Era Is over Is Wrong

The effect of President Trump’s address to the Conservative Political Action Committee on Sunday has become clearer this week. The key sentence was, “A Republican president will be returning to the White House.” Since the only other living Republican president, George W. Bush, is term-limited, Trump was speaking of himself.

The speech was not only the best and most interesting political speech delivered in the United States since President Reagan’s successful reelection campaign in 1984, it also broke new ground in three important respects.

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Commentary: The Lincoln Project Lowlifes and Their Enablers

The Trump era has spawned an abundance of show clowns clowning either for or against the president. One can’t help but wonder what the country did to deserve the likes of Anthony Scaramucci, Michael Avenatti, and Ana Navarro all foisted upon us at the same time.

Not since the days of James Carville and Mary Matalin has a power couple like the Conways and, unfortunately at least one of their children, epitomized the political war tearing families, friendships, businesses, and the overall country apart.

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Commentary: The NeverTrump Spectrum, Explained

Tennessee Star

NeverTrump was a loose term for lots of different Republican apostates. First, were a small cadre of self-described conservatives and doctrinaire Republicans, who under no circumstances would have ever voted for Trump or embraced his agenda, or in some extreme cases, ever voted for any who would vote Trump. 

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Commentary: Has-Beens for Biden

Over the weekend a flurry of articles appeared, enthusing about the awesome machinery being put together across the country to defeat President Donald Trump in this fall’s presidential election. The machinery is being put together not by Democrats but by that most curious of political animals, the Never Trumpers. I have pored over all the reports and noted all the data. Reporters spent a lot of time interviewing the Never Trumpers and noting all their grand designs. It looked to me like it was curtains for Donald, except for two problems facing the valiant Never Trumpers.

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