Wait. Who is Divisive?

In my new book The God Bet, I talk a lot about recognizing false frames that the media sets up to trick and confuse people.  There is even a bonus section at the end of the book with an index of false frames that the left and the media use to define issues in dishonest ways to attack Republicans.  This week a friend posted a video that was going around social media that uses so many false frames in such a short video that it would be a great opportunity to help you filter them out and “unspin” issues that the left is trying to manipulate you with because they think you’re gullible.  Let’s prove to them that we aren’t.

The video can be seen here and starts with a portion of the Republican Convention speech by Kimberly Guilfoyle on Monday night.  The caption said that it was full of lies so I was interested to hear why she would lie when all the truth is already on our side.  In it, they edit to show parts of the speech where she is being emphatic and raising her voice, as well as parts where she is legitimately criticizing what Democrats will do if they win in November.  The lies were not in there.  

Then the podcaster who made the video pops on the screen and I figured out where the lies begin.  He starts with a supposed joke that her speech is in the style of North Korean propaganda and that her speechwriter was Mussolini.  Then he gets to the false frames.  He claims that “the modern GOP is predicated on divisiveness and hate and bigotry.”  What does he use as his proof?  He continues, “Trump’s campaign was launched on the promise of banning Muslims and banning Mexicans from this country.”  A half-truth and a boldface lie.  With regards to Muslims he never suggested ejecting law abiding Muslim citizens from the United States.  He did propose a temporary travel ban on countries where a large percentage of the population supports terrorism or sharia law, not because of bigotry or hate, but for national defense purposes.  With regards to our Mexican immigrants, he does not want to ban your neighbor who legally immigrated here.  He does want to stop people who break our laws from crossing our borders.  To say that that is a ban on Mexicans is like saying if Disneyland banned me from sneaking in without paying it was a ban on white people from the park.

Later in his diatribe he has some better jokes than late night comedians have told in years, but that isn’t hard.  He says that “optimism does not compute for this party (Republicans),” and jokes that, “you’d have more luck going into Home Depot for lasagna than expecting uplift from the GOP.”  He says that Republicans are fearmongering and “are only capable of governing by fear.”  He wasn’t even intending to be funny, but honestly, how hilarious are his claims?  Republicans are divisive, pessimistic, and govern by fear?  Let’s compare and see which party is more divisive, pessimistic, and fearmongering?

Democrats

Poor people are victims of the evil rich.  Gay people are the victims of intolerant Christians.  Women are the victims of sexist men.  Immigrants are victims of xenophobic white people.  Black people are the victims of racist white people.  The police are bigots who go to work each day trying to murder black people.  You should vote for us to protect you from all these divisive, fearmongering monsters.  Also, if you don’t vote for us you’re going to die from coronavirus if the world doesn’t end from global warming first. 

Republicans

America is a land of opportunity!  If you work hard you can succeed no matter where you started.  We are one nation, under God, and everyone should be free to worship as they please and live by those values.  America is a great melting pot and immigrants are welcomed as equals on the day they take the oath of citizenship.  Skin color is irrelevant.  Black people are just as capable as white people.  The police are heroes who try to keep law abiding citizens safe.  If you vote for us we want you to enjoy your freedom and not have to worry about the government getting in your way. 

Which party seems more divisive?  Which one wants to scare you into voting for them? 

But wait.  It got better.  After making the Bizzaro World claim that Republicans are the divisive ones, he defends the Democrats by denying reality.  He says:

“What was par for the course was the fearmongering about Democrats; the threats about open borders and closed schools and sending jobs back to China and installing socialism and the police sending your calls to voicemail and controlling what you do and say… the thing is, none of that is true.”

The real thing is, he’s lying.  That stuff is true.  He claims that, “Zero Democrats are running on open borders.”  They may not call it open borders but they fought against funding the wall and against any kind of real enforcement.  Many of them have even voiced support for sanctuary policies and for abolishing ICE.  Most Democrats do want schools closed and he even admits it later in the video.  Democrats do want to put in place socialist policies and some, like Bernie Sanders, even call themselves socialists.  This guy apparently hasn’t heard all of the talk about defunding police.  I promise you that’s not coming from Republicans.  As for controlling what you do and say, how can he deny it?  Don’t Democrats want to control what you do with more of your money by taking it for the government?  Don’t Democrats want to control where you can eat or whether you can go to a concert, sporting event, movie or church?  Don’t Democrats want to control who bakers have to bake wedding cakes for?  We could go on and on.

He says Republicans should run on real policy but then if we point out what Democrats actually stand for he calls it lies, straw man arguments, and fearmongering.  Besides that, President Trump is running on policy.  The Republican Convention this week was full of his policy accomplishments, because they are many.  On the other hand, the only policy talk from Joe Biden at last week’s convention was that he would make the next four years smile free and faceless by requiring masks.  Apparently that doesn’t count as controlling what you do. 

This video is a great example of how the media tries to deceive you and it is not unusual.  I watched President Trump’s inspirational, accomplishment filled acceptance speech Thursday night and then flipped around the news channels to hear what they were saying.  The entire mainstream media really is like the Bizzaro World, where everything is opposite of reality.  They told me his optimistic speech about American greatness, faith in God, and freedom was really about anger and divisiveness.  It was perplexing, but I expected it.  I always understand that the mainstream media is trying to manipulate us.  You should too.

Censorship, Vegas, and Convention Craziness

This is my first article in a few weeks because as you might know, I’ve been busy working on getting my new book, The God Bet, released.  The premise of the book is that I will bet anybody a million dollars on which party God would vote for.  It is getting good reviews, but so far I have been unable to add it to my “shop” page on Facebook.  They rejected it and you won’t believe why.  Here is the reason that they sent me: 

“It looks like we didn’t approve your item because we don’t allow the sale of adult items or services (ex: sexual enhancement items, adult videos).”

Now, here is a link to the book.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735532916

As you can see, there are no sexual enhancement items or adult videos related to the book cover.  As most of you probably know, the cover is taken from Michelangelo’s famous painting The Creation of Adam, which is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  It depicts God reaching down to give life to Adam, but on my book cover God is reaching out to cast a vote on stone tablets for the party He would support.  There is a butt in the painting but it is entirely artistic and non-sexual.  In fact, when I looked at the community standards that Facebook has posted it shows a bunch of examples of sexually suggestive pictures that are unacceptable, and then a picture that they say is artistic so it is acceptable.  The acceptable example; a picture of Michelangelo’s nude sculpture of David. 

The other thing that kept me busy this week was a trip to Las Vegas to visit some friends.  It was very interesting to see how the casinos and the people inside were reacting to a disease that is only slightly more likely to kill you than a sharknado.  The good news is that nobody was afraid of the coronavirus.  People were mingling with each other, dancing together at the bar with a live band, high fiving, gambling, and drinking together.  There was only one fear going around Vegas and I agree that we need to fight to end it.  The real disease to fear is government licensure.  You see, the way that the government controls businesses and takes away freedom is by issuing licenses to conduct business and then threatening to take those licenses away if they don’t do exactly what the government wants.  This is why so few restaurants and bars are able to stand up to the government and open without restrictions.  If they do, many states threaten to take away their liquor licenses, and most of their profits come from liquor sales.  Proponents say that licensing is to protect the consumer, but in reality the free market already does that.  If there really was a disease worth being afraid of and you opened your business, people would voluntarily stay away.  Think about it.  If there was a business that said they were open to people with ebola, would you need the government to take away a license to keep people away?  No.  And I doubt there was ever a very long waiting list to vacation at a leper colony.

The funny thing is, the people who actually push for licensing are the people who are already in those lines of work.  As the brilliant economist Milton Friedman said, “If the real true function of licensing was to protect the consumers, you’d expect the consumers to be lobbying for licensure, but you will discover that it’s always the plumbers or the beauticians or the morticians… there isn’t an occupation you can name that hasn’t been down to the Statehouse trying to get licensure.”  Why would businesses want licensing?  Because it is a barrier to entry, so it keeps out competition.  Less competition lets those who are already in control stay in control.  The people who are hurt by licensure are competitors wanting to enter an industry and the consumers.  In Las Vegas, the consumers are hurt right now because the casinos are afraid of losing their gaming licenses, so they are forced to require a bunch of silly rules.  The one I thought was funny was that to walk through the hotels and casinos they required that you wear a mask, but if you were smoking you could keep the mask down.  In a related story, I now smoke three packs a day. 

The other big thing that happened this week was the Democratic Convention.  I must admit, I didn’t watch it.  I already knew what they were going to say.  Trump is bad.  Then the media would fawn over each speaker.  I do have 2 observations, though.  First, the media narrative that Republicans are turning on the president because John Kasich spoke is ridiculous.  John Kasich spoke because he has a fragile ego and President Trump hurt his feelings 4 years ago when he beat him in the primaries.  All his speech shows is that his hurt feelings are more important to him than his principles.  He claims to be pro-life, but if he’s supporting Joe Biden he is not.  He claims to be a fiscal conservative, but if he supports Joe Biden he is not.  He has completely lost any respect from conservatives.  If he had any backbone he would handle it differently.  Ted Cruz, for example, has proven that he actually cares more about doing what is right than his ego.  President Trump ripped on Senator Cruz relentlessly during the primaries 4 years ago.  I’m sure his feelings were hurt by some of the brutal personal attacks, but Senator Cruz cares more about America than holding personal grudges, and has put the campaign behind him and become a strong ally of the president in conservative policies.  I have gained a lot of respect and confidence in Cruz.  John Kasich should toughen up and stop crying about sour grapes from 2016.

The second observation is that the Democrats actually did it.  They nominated a guy that they admitted was corrupt just months ago.   It wasn’t even the Republicans who were accusing Biden of being corrupt.  It was his own party, the same Democrats who just picked him to top their ticket.  You may not remember it because that isn’t how they framed it in the media.  They framed it this way.  “President Trump should be impeached because he tried to gain an advantage over his future political opponent, Joe Biden, by asking Ukraine to investigate him.”  Think about what that’s saying.  If Joe Biden didn’t do anything wrong, how would it be an advantage to President Trump to clear him?  It wouldn’t.  The only way it would be an advantage is if an investigation would uncover corruption.  Democrats can’t have it both ways.  Either they are saying that they impeached the president for trying to clear their candidate of wrongdoing, which doesn’t make sense, or they’re saying that their candidate is corrupt.  Yet they chose him as their best.  Remember that when you vote.