Sometimes It's Okay to Think Inside the Box

People seem to be engaging in thought more often these days, and that’s a good thing. Till it’s bad. Sometimes, you can pull an Uncle Billy and think until it hurts. A couple of examples have already come up this week to give me a painful reminder of the damage that can occur due to the overutilization of the brain.

The first is the story in the morning’s New York Times, chronicling the fact that the election hacking claims advanced by Sidney Powell et al. in the wake of the 2020 election were investigated by President Trump’s communications team and found to be unsupportable by, oh, facts. And they knew this before they even hosted any of the Powell-Giuliani sweatfests that abounded in November and December, yet they allowed them to go on. The NYT then goes into a lot of speculation as to why that is, but that’s where their good reporting ends, as far as I can tell, and their opinions begin to take over the piece, which of course, are totally based on a fictional version of Donald Trump the media have created and perpetuated. You know, the one who removed the bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office.

Now, knowing that there’s not a New York Times reporter that would pee on Donald Trump if he were on fire, I know they’re not going to say anything nice about him. At all. Ever.

But when the bad stuff it’s backed up by documents, as this one is, you have to give it some credence.

Before the election, the Board of Elections spent a good amount of time making sure I saw and understood our new voting machines. It was in their best interest to have someone in my position with a thorough knowledge of the system and its processes, and not only did they invite me down to try the machine out well before its first use, they made themselves available to answer any questions.

However, right after the election, I was besieged by people sending me videos of guys sitting at desks or in the front seats of their cars, spewing lots of “facts” about the election. The schemes of hackery they outlined made little to no sense to me. They just weren’t consistent with my understanding of the machines. I explained this and yet the videos persisted. And when I pointed out that the paper audit trails matched up with the electronic ballots there was another bizarre set of excuses laid out to try to account for that, all of which was totally overwrought. Let me explain:

The Chinese or the Venzuelans or somebody hacked the voting machines and changed the vote totals to favor Biden. Then corrupt elections officials smuggled in enough Biden ballots to account for the difference when the paper ballot audit was conducted. Why go to all that trouble? Changing the votes in the machine remotely is ridiculously daunting. And if you’re going to bring the ballots in anyway, why not just corrupt the data in the machines and then force all the counting to be done on the paper ballots you smuggled in? It would be a lot easier to do and easier to believe in the conspiracy.

But the thought it takes to dream up the scheme of changing the votes electronically and then printing AND smuggling in enough phony ballots to match up to the phony count. In fact, one caller to the show made it clear that the phony ballots could have been produced any number of ways. In fact, there might be a hidden printer and shredder inside the ballot scanner. When a Trump ballot came in, the scanner would detect it, then shred it and replaced it with a freshly-printed Biden ballot. Of course, SOME Trump ballots survived, so there must have been a carefully-crafted margin that Biden was to win by in order for him to barely squeak out a victory in Georgia.

Or none of that happened and we just lost. And the Trump campaign knew that but wanted to keep people ginned up. Early on in his 2016 candidacy, a lot of political chatterers kept wondering what Trump’s appeal was. I figured it out pretty quickly. He pushes back on behalf of his supporters.The popular culture, largely inhabited and run by the left, tends to try to bully conservatives about their beliefs, often lying about them and vilifying them. Most Republican politicians shrink in the face of the left-leaning outrage machine. They say something that NEEDED to be said, and once the blowback starts, they recant, leaving everyone who had their back stranded, like a swimmer on a sandbar. Trump didn’t do that. He stood behind what he said and he never hung his supporters out to dry, even at times when he probably should have corrected himself.

But that’s why people were so excited about supporting him. Would you rather have a guy who doesn’t walk back anything he says, or Mitt Romney, who spent half a presidential campaign apologizing for innocently using the phrase “binders full of women”?

My personal take is that Trump got himself into a position where he couldn’t back down, because that’s not what he does. So he persisted with a narrative he knew wasn’t true, which was something the media had been doing to him for five years now. Hell, I saw a guy use the word “bigly” on social media today, which, if you’ll recall, only entered the lexicon as a phony attempt to smear Trump’s intellect. Should he have backed down in this instance? Definitely, if for nothing else than for the good of the country. But then again, Bill Clinton should have resigned from the presidency for exactly the same reason.

Since then, people have bend bending the laws of time and space to try to come up with new ways in which the hacking of our voting machines took place. The truth is this: it never happened. I’m glad people are thinking and thinking outside the box. But this one has been painful. And based on my email today, no one is owning up to the fact that this whole thing has been properly exposed. I’ve already been sent an email link to a smear piece on the Dominion executive at the center of the smears in this narrative and a link to a video of Lin Wood laying out a thousand more conspiracies. That last one surprised me because I thought Lin Wood’s track record of being dead-ass wrong would keep people from believing the things he throws at the wall.

The sad part is that there are a number of good and decent people who are investing intellectual capacity in trying to make all this turn out the way they want it to instead of the way it is. Guys, walk away from this one. We need you, we need your intellect, and we need your imagination.

The other one came as we discussed the minimum wage this week. Often, the conservative counter argument to minimum wage debates is to start at any liberal’s suggested minimum wage and then start running it up. “You want fifteen dollars an hour? Why not twenty? Why not thirty? Why not a hundred?” Just when I was starting to think the tactic was running its course, an article was written yesterday about a new report being embraced by left-leaning academics suggesting the fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage is passe, that twenty-six dollars an hour is what we should be aiming for.

When I brought this up on the program, I received an email from a listener who said he was all for it. That way, if everyone is making a twenty-six dollar an hour minimum wage, we can eliminate government programs like SNAP, Section 8, school lunches, etc.

Nice thinking. Again, commendations for going outside the box. But it doesn’t work that way. Government benefits, once they are established, don’t go, they grow. No program ever outlives its usefulness and no program is ever obsolete. If the government were in charge of the automobile industry, we would be using tax money to prop up horses and buggies.

Ronald Reagan summed up government’s philosophy best: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Remember during the 2000s, when the economy was doing well and fewer people were on food stamps, the solution wasn’t to scale back the program due to lack of need. The solution was to mount a large advertising campaign to recruit more people onto the public rolls.

I know what you’re saying. “Why don’t we make a deal with the Democrats right up front? Let’s approach this with the understanding that we’ll agree to the minimum wage increase if the programs can be eliminated.”

I’ll take you back to Reagan again. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 passed with bi-partisan support. Largely, the bill eliminated a slew of tax deductions and even made some of the tax increases retroactive. Why did Republicans agree to this bill? Because they were given the promise that the Democrats would agree to a balanced budget if they did. That balanced budget never materialized. Why did Reagan agree to amnesty for illegals in the ‘80s? Because the Democrats promised if he’d agree to amnesty they’d tighten up the border. Strike two. Then there’s George HW Bush and the Budget Act of 1990. You know, the one where the Democrats got him to agree to break his campaign pledge of “No New Taxes” in exchange for a $496 billion reduction in the deficit. You guessed it: the savings never materialized AND the Democrats held Bush’s broken promise over his head in the next election.

You think these guys are going to stick to a promise to eliminate a government program if we give them what they want? It doesn’t take an out-of-the-box thinker to realize these promises are all so much hooey.

I love it when people buck the conventional wisdom; just don’t base your outside-the-box thinking on the potential goodwill of your political opponents. It will never work out the way you want it to.

Sometimes staying inside the box makes a little more sense.

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