Another Perspective

Another Perspective

The Difference Between Donald Trump and Norman Vincent Peale

By 9.1.15

I am sure nearly everyone in the world knows who Donald Trump is. The same cannot be said of Norman Vincent Peale. But during the 1950s, Norman Vincent Peale was a household name in America and around the world. A Presbyterian Minister, Peale skyrocketed to fame with his 1952 book The Power of Positive Thinking. In what was considered the first “self-help” book, Peale combined Christianity, capitalism, and cheerfulness into a best seller. Here is a but a sample:

The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.

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Fatal Attraction: Donald Trump and the GOP

By 8.28.15

Who can forget the Glenn Close character in the 1987 movie, Fatal Attraction? That was Alex (Alexandra), a woman spurned, but one who refuses to go away — and will stop at nothing to rekindle her passionate weekend affair with Dan Gallagher, an otherwise happily married New York attorney, played by Michael Douglas.

For old-guard Republicans, Donald Trump is Alex, the high-powered but destructive vamp, who comes out of the family bathtub swinging a knife, while poor old Jeb Bush has the role of Beth Gallagher, the sweet, pretty, but (Trump got this right) “low-energy” housewife.

Order is restored at the end of the movie. In the final scene, after the police have come and gone, Dan and Beth embrace — reunited — and proceed upstairs, as the camera focuses on a feel-good picture of the happy pair with their teenage daughter.

Safe to say, that is not the way that the current political psycho-drama starring Trump, Bush, and a cast of more than a dozen other presidential aspirants is playing out.

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Criminal Justice Reform Begins With Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances

By 8.27.15

Political conservatives who, since at least the Nixon administration, have worn with pride the badge of “tough on crime” are beginning to realize that tough doesn’t necessarily mean the same as being “smart on crime.”

Just as the private sector has embraced the mantra of “working smarter, not harder,” it’s time for federal and state officials to acknowledge the need for a smarter and more cost-effective criminal justice system.

Reducing life-without-parole sentences is one of several planks in the Coalition for Public Safety’s nonpartisan campaign for fair sentencing and fair chances, the overall goal of which is aimed at reducing the nation’s burgeoning jail and prison populations and breaking down the barriers to successful re-entry into society.

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Heroism, American-Style

By 8.25.15

(Editor’s Note: Debra J. Saunders is off. The following column is by Froma Harrop.)

Every country has its heroes, but something in America’s cultural sauce makes for a unique and unusually effective variety. The ingredient would be improvisation — the ability to perform without preparation, using whatever is at hand to complete the task.

As most of the world knows, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler — three pals on a European jaunt — were on a fancy train hurtling toward Paris, when a terrorist bristling with weaponry started attacking passengers.

The Americans were unarmed, but when Skarlatos said “Let’s go” to Stone, the off-duty U.S. airman ran down the aisle, grabbed the man by the neck and wouldn’t let go, even as the attacker slashed him. Skarlatos grabbed his gun. Sadler and a British passenger, Chris Norman, held down various limbs.

Improvisation requires letting gut instinct take the wheel from overthinking. As Skarlatos, a National Guardsman who spent time in Afghanistan, later told the media, his actions on the train weren’t “a conscious decision.”

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Trump’s Immigration Outline Actually Puts the Horse Before the Cart

By 8.20.15

Whatever anyone might think of Donald Trump, his recently unveiled blueprint for immigration reform is a serious plan, worthy of serious consideration. It fundamentally changes the terms of a long-simmering debate that has consistently failed to reach any sort of resolution by establishing a public interest objective, coupled with meaningful deterrence and enforcement.

Three times in the past decade — 2006, 2007, and 2013 — bipartisan immigration “reform” legislation has died in Congress because the plans being proposed were strongly opposed by the American public. Each of those attempts at overhauling our immigration policies were centered on satisfying the demands of millions of people who broke our laws and businesses that wanted even greater access to cheaper foreign labor.

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Trump Crosses Up the Border

By 8.19.15

As a professional author — paid to present policy positions — it grates to write something nice about Donald J. Trump’s immigration proposals, which are written poorly. My livelihood is founded on the proposition that political ideas are only as powerful as the words which introduce them to the world.

An exemplar from the Trump plan: “The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year…” There are several things a person (or an event, or a concept) can do “mightily” but paling is not one of them. If we were back in Rome, we would be calling Roto Rhetor immediately to clean that up.

The plan itself is a winner, and the outraged pundits who hurl sharp objections at it may well find vital organs sliced off by their boomerangs returning to base. The successful elements of Trump’s sortie into the sordid fray over immigration policy are twofold: a) he throws down the gauntlet to nations which view our shores as a dumping ground and b) he draws fire from the lefty and the on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand thinkers whose outraged opposition is fueling the glee of his supporters.

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In the Wake of Proposition 47, California Sees a Crime Wave

By 8.17.15

“The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act” isn’t living up to its promise. Also known as Proposition 47, the California ballot initiative, which was approved in November 2014 with 60 percent of the vote, downgraded drug possession and many property crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. Proponents argued that lesser punishment for low-level offenders would enhance public safety. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon was the rare prosecutor who pushed for its approval. He told the San Francisco Chronicle, “What we have been doing hasn’t worked, frankly.”

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Fox: Real Journalism, Fair and Balanced

By 8.11.15

“Conservatives Furious at Fox, Say Trump Wasn’t Treated Fairly,” read the Newsmax headline Friday. Talk-radio show host Mark Levin told Breitbart News it was “outrageous” that moderator Megyn Kelly questioned Donald Trump about his coarse language — “fat pigs, dogs, slobs” — referring to women. Levin complained it was “a National Enquirer debate, not a Republican debate,” with too much “opposition research.” Political analyst Dick Morris detected a “disturbing” trend at Fox. The conservative blog Media Equalizer offered that many conservatives “thought they might have been watching MSNBC by mistake.”

So this is what happens when Trump meets up with the “news” part of Fox News. Conservatives frequently complain about liberal media bias. Then they complain when conservative media practice journalism.

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The Disgusting Big Lie About Donald Trump

By 8.10.15

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” — Joseph Goebbels

Disgusting. And desperate. The headline on the front page of the print version of New York Times shrieked:

A Word Too Far? ‘Blood’ Remark Tests the GOP: Trump Provokes Again

Fallout From Suggestion That Moderator Was Menstruating

 And the “proof” of this disgusting headline? These words from Donald Trump to CNN’s Don Lemon: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

Having listened to Trump say these words in real time, I thought nothing of it. In fact, I myself had noticed Kelly’s fierce glare across the stage at Trump and thought it an apt description. The next day I awaken to the news that Trump had been disinvited from a Red State appearance by Erick Erickson because, said Erickson, “I think there is no way to otherwise interpret Mr. Trump’s comment.”

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The Trump Card: It’s Radioactive

By 8.4.15

With Hillary Clinton’s multiple misdeeds coming to light and causing her political problems, reflected in her declining support in the polls, both she and the Democratic Party have reason to be concerned. But both of them may yet be rescued by “The Donald,” who can turn out to be their Trump card.

Donald Trump has virtually no chance of becoming even the Republican Party’s candidate in 2016, much less being elected President of the United States.

The reason is not hard to understand: Republican voters simply do not trust him, as the polls show. Nor is there any reason why they should trust him, given his chameleon-like changes in the past.

Why then is he the “front-runner” in the polls?

One reason is arithmetic. When there is a small army of Republican candidates, each with a tiny set of supporters, anyone with enough name recognition to get the support of a fifth or a fourth of the Republicans polled stands out, even if twice that many Republicans say they would never vote for him.