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Friday, July 29, 2016

Optimism, Darkness and Realism

Much has been made of the "optimistic" view expressed by Hillary Clinton and the other Democrats last night at their convention.  I can't even count how many pundits and reporters in mainstream media compared the optimism of Hillary's convention to the "dark world view" expressed by Donald Trump the week before.  Without a doubt, this narrative is the talking point issued by the Clinton campaign to try to drive home her message.  But is it accurate?  Let's consider it for a moment.

1.  Trump's first point was that crime is rising in the last two years, especially murder.  Attacks on police are soaring this year as well.  Is that a pessimistic or an optimistic point?  The only correct answer is NEITHER.  It's a fact, and facts are not vehicles for optimism or pessimism.  Trump pointed out the need to take action to stop murder by gangs and drug cartels and others.  He promised to be the one to take such action.  Trump made a point of calling himself the law and order candidate.  Hillary did not mention crime as a problem in her speech.  That's not optimistic; it's just Hillary denying reality.  Instead, Hillary called for reform of the criminal justice system.  Translating that into English, Hillary is calling for releasing from prison those who were convicted of drug crimes.  No sane person would think that releasing convicted felons onto the streets will reduce the crime rate.  At least some of these people will go back to criminal behavior and things will get worse, not better.

2.  Trump spoke of the need to protect America's jobs from unfair foreign competition.  He wants to improve our trade agreements and he completely rejects the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement as a disaster for our economy.  Is that pessimistic?  Not really; it's again a discussion of the facts; America has lost a great many jobs to foreign competition.  Hillary spoke of the need for good trade agreements too.  Of course, her confidant, Virginia governor Terry MacAuliffe let the cat out of the bag two days ago when he said that after the election Hillary would flip her position and get the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement approved by Congress.  Hillary also took Trump to task because he makes some of the products that he sells at factories outside the USA.  Is that optimistic?  Actually, if Macauliffe is telling the truth it's just Hillary being dishonest.

3.  Trump spoke of the need not to admit immigrants or refugees from countries where terrorism is rampant.  He won't agree to let in possible terrorists unless and until the USA can fully vet these people to make sure they are not terrorists.  Trump pointed to the Moslem refugees in Europe who have been involved in many of the terror attacks there.  It's a very sad and upsetting subject, but was Trump pessimistic?  No, he was realistic.  Hillary spoke of the need to let these refugees in the USA.  She never explained why we would admit people who may be coming here to kill and maim, though.  We heard the usual stuff about how we are a nation of immigrants and the like.  But I have news for Hillary.  My grandparents came to the USA as immigrants, and none of them came here with the plan of murdering people or blowing things up.  I think it is safe to say that over three centuries, the immigrants who came to the USA had no plans for murder or mayhem either.  Protecting the American people from those who would kill us is not pessimistic.  Looking the other way as terrorists are admitted to the country is not optimistic either.  The former is realistic, while Hillary's position is just plain ridiculous.

There were plenty of other items which I could compare.  The facts, however, are that Trump was not "dystopian" or pessimistic or dark.  Trump addressed the actual reality that most Americans face every day.  Chelsea spoke of the great advantages that she had been given and how her mother wants to give those advantages to all children across this land.  Someone better tell Hillary Clinton that you cannot give advantages to America's children if you do not even understand the nature of the problems that they and their families face each day.

Things can get better.  In fact, things will get better, but that will only happen if we have a leader who can tell the difference between reality and fantasy.  Realism is the key, not optimism or pessimism.  Trump gets that; Hillary does not.

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