The Economist: Daniel Franklin- ‘What’s The Point of NATO?’

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Source:The Economist– Uploaded by The Economist 

Source:The New Democrat 

“NATO was set up in 1949 to counter the Soviet threat. Its North American and European members must continue to change the alliance if it is to remain relevant in the 21st century.”

Source:The Economist: Daniel Franklin- ‘What’s The Point of NATO?’

If there is anything that I actually agree with President Donald Trump on and if there is one thing that he’s gotten right in his two years as President, it’s NATO and the fact that the United States is essentially responsible for the national defense of the entire West, or at least the northern part of the west. With Britain, France, a certain extent Germany playing major but much smaller roles in the defense of Europe. And this is as someone who is in favor of the concept of NATO and view is as the most successful international organization not just in the world today, but in world history.

Just as an American who comes from a country that values individualism and that everyone should at least try to take care of themselves if not support themselves, why should American taxpayers be forced to subsidize the national defense of other developed countries: it would be one thing if Germany was poor, but they’re a country of 80 plus million people, with an economy of over 4 trillion dollars, with 4th largest economy of the world. Their gross national domestic product is about as large as Japan’s and they have 50 million fewer people than Japan, without nearly as much territory as Japan and without the natural resources of Japan.

Germany, has roughly the same per-capita income as America without the national debt and budget deficits that we have and yet we as Americans are forced by international law to subsidize the national defense of another entire large developed country. Why is that? If there is anything that Americans dislike more than crooks, liars, and hypocrites, its freeloaders. The reason why we do this is because Germany sees itself as a great social democracy that doesn’t believe in national defense, at least not as a large priority and more than willing to let someone else especially a superpower that has a great relationship with ( at least pre-Donald Trump ) to take care of their national defense for them. But as an American that’s not a good enough reason for me.

With the rise of nationalism both in America, Britain, and Europe now is the perfect time for Europe ( especially Germany ) to step up to the plate ( or step up to the ball, to use a soccer phrase ) and knock one out of the ballpark ( or kick one in the net ) and handle their own national defense. Which would be great for Europe’s security, as well as economy. They would no longer have to worry about whether American taxpayers will continue to subsidize their national defense. And they would create millions of good jobs in their countries in their defense industries, because their militaries will now be first world, with first world defense resources and money to secure their own countries.

A new European defense alliance that could either replace NATO or go along with it with the Euro states now responsible for their own national defense and be partnered with Britain, America, and Canada in the West would make Europe a world power and keep them relevant especially with the rise of Vladimir Putin’s Russia who are looking to bring back the Russian empire, as well as China in the Far East that wants to be the next superpower in the world.

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The Economist: Lane Greene- ‘The Truth About Lies’

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Source:The Economist– President Barack Obama: 44th POTUS and no more dishonest than any other politician or voter

Source:The New Democrat

“From little fibs to big fat whoppers, lying is part of human nature. Lane Greene, our language guru, examines the difference between lies, falsehoods and plain nonsense.”

Source:The Economist: Lane Greene- ‘The Truth About Lies’

From Dictionary

A lie is a: “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.”

Similar to terms like racist or bigot, Islamophobe, antisemite ( and unfortunately I could go on ) liar is a real word with real meaning and shouldn’t be misused especially by people who are simply trying to score partisan points for their team and make the other side look as bad as they can get away with by spinning convenient facts to make their arguments. So if you’re going to call someone a liar, you better know that they’re deliberating making false statements with the intent to deceive and you better know that they tell lies, otherwise you’re just falsely libeling that person.

If I told someone that I was 7’0 tall, I would obviously lying there, but only because I’m a half foot short. ( Or more ) But if I told someone I was 6’5 when I’m 6’4 3/4, I wouldn’t be lying there especially if I believed I was 6’5, or just rounded it up. People make false statements all the time, doesn’t mean they’re lying all the time. Most if not all of us lie anyway, but tell real lies or flatter people because we want them to feel good. The only difference between the average Joe or Mary on the street compared with famous people on the street like politicians, is most of the country doesn’t know when we’re lying, because most of the country hasn’t heard of us.

What makes politicians different is that they’re public people and have to be public people to accomplish anything in their current job, or to get elected to higher office. And of course politicians lie, the question is do they lie more than the average Joe or Mary or any other average non-famous American. And I would argue that they don’t simply because politicians are no more or less American and human as anyone else other than they’re famous and are very ambitious people.

And politicians tend to represent people who say they want honest people and yet they elect and reelect people who in many cases are dishonest and see lying as a way to avoid taking tough stances on positions and to coverup their less than honest behavior. ( Let’s say ) So in that sense at least voters are liars as well because when polled they say they want honest, moral people representing them while they elect and reelect dishonest and crooked people. So who do voters have to blame for that other than the person that they see in the mirror?

To paraphrase Lane Greene: there are liars and bullshitters and I would add idiots.

The liar consistently says things that they know aren’t true to deceive who they’re talking to.

The bullshitter is even worse because that person simply makes things up and could probably care less if people who they’re talking to knows that there bullshitting them.

The idiot, is the biggest asshole of the group, but not internally because they continually speak out of their ass about things that they know almost nothing about and believe that they’re a lot smarter than they actually are. And aren’t even smart enough to know what they’re saying is simply bullshit. (Nonsense or garbage, if you prefer ) Stay away from the idiot, because that person is probably the most dangerous of the group. Sort of like a drunk gunslinger with a loaded gun.

But not everyone who makes false statement are liars. And as we’ve learned from the Russia investigation the last two years, you don’t have to be lying to get in trouble with law enforcement officials. You can be arrested and prosecuted for simply making false statements to those officials even if you believe what you’re saying is the truth. Which is another reason why we shouldn’t call ever false statement a lie and every asshole a liar, because they might simply not know what they’t saying and what they’re talking about. And be no more dishonest than you’re average politician.

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My Footage: Wendell Willkie- 1940 Republican National Convention Speech

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Source:My Footage– “1940 Republican National Convention: Wendell Willkie gives speech”

Source:The New Democrat

“This clip is available for licensing without time code and logo – To inquire about licensing email us at Myfootage@gmail.com or call us at (212) 620-3955 – Please Subscribe to our channel, as we are constantly adding new clips. Thanks!

Keywords

Time: 1940s, 1940, June

Setting: Philadelphia Convention Hall, Philadelphia, PA

People: Wendell Willkie, Charles McNary, Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, Robert Taft, Thomas E. Dewey,

Objects: banners, podium, microphone, ballots,

Subjects: 1940 Presidential Election, 1940 Republican Primary, 1940 Us Politics, 1940 RNC, Wendell Willkie Speech, 1940 RNC Opening.”

Source:My Footage: Wendell Willkie- Accepting The 1940 Republican Party Nomination For President

People even if they’ve ever heard of Wendell Willkie ( and I would be impressed if they did ) might ask why blog about Wendell Willkie who was a Liberal Republican back in the 1940s who advocated for civil rights, civil liberties, the Constitution, limited government, and a strong but limited national defense, especially since his Republican politics no longer exists except for perhaps a few exceptions. People like former Governor Bill Weld, Senator Susan Collins and perhaps a few other Republican in Congress today. Well, for me that’s exactly why I at least who is a strong admirer of Wendell and consider him to be one of my political heroes blogs about Wendell Willkie.

I don’t want to make this a partisan post other than to say that the Republican Party today whether you want to define it as a Nationalist party or a Christian-Right party looked nothing like they did up until really the late 1980s, or early 1990s. Back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, Conservative Republicans were people like Barry Goldwater, not Ann Coulter or Steve King or anyone else who is part of the New-Right today that are supposed to be the Conservatives.

Back in 1940, Wendell Willkie was to the left of President Franklin Roosevelt on civil rights, civil liberties, and even personal freedom. Imagine that for a moment: a Republican who is to the left of a Democrat on civil rights, civil liberties, and personal freedom. But Wendell was to the Right of FDR on economic policy. Wendell believed in the public safety net, but didn’t want a socialist welfare state where welfare benefits would be universal, which is what FDR was pushing for by 1944 with his so-called Economic Bill of Rights.

Wendell Willkie, represents the Grand Ole Party where you could have both Liberals and Conservatives in it. as well as Progressives but where they could all function together in this national grand party, because they shared similar values that at least Classical Liberals, Conservatives, and Progressives believe in. Like equal rights, equal justice, civil liberties, property rights, personal freedom.

The GOP was a party that could nominate Wendell Willkie, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Barry Goldwater, because back then Liberals, Conservatives, and Progressives weren’t like apples and oranges, they weren’t the complete opposites of each other and shared similar values and objectives, but had different approaches in how to defend those values and accomplish those objectives.

Back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, liberal wasn’t another word for hippie or hipster. It had real meaning and instead being a Liberal meant you were someone who not only believed in liberal democracy, but that liberal democracy needed to be defended and you had to confront authoritarian states when they threaten you or your allies, or threatened your liberal values. Like Communist Russia, to use as an example.

Which is how someone like a Wendell Willkie, Tom Dewey, Ike Eisenhower, could not only do well in the Republican Party politically, but win the Republican nomination for President, because they believed in those liberal values because they were Republican values. That is how much the Republican Party has changed today, because that wing of the party is almost extinct with the Far-Right now looking so mainstream inside that party.

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Skeptic Magazine: Michael Shermer- Interviewing Cass R. Sunstein: On Freedom

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Source:Skeptic Magazine– Cass R. Sunstein: talking to Michael Shermer

Source:The New Democrat

“In addition to discussing his book Sunstein and Shermer talk about what it was like to work in the Obama administration, the issue of free will and determinism in the context of his theory of libertarian paternalism and choice architecture, opt-in vs. opt-out programs related to everything from menu options to organ donations, the electoral college, term limits for Supreme Court Justices, free speech on college campuses (and trigger warnings, safe spaces, and micro aggressions), Universal Basic Income, taxes, and terrorism.

About Professor Sunstein’s principle, Dr. Shermer wrote in his book The Mind of the Market:

“Libertarian paternalism makes a deeper assumption about our nature — that at our core we are moral beings with a deep and intuitive sense about what is right and wrong, and that most of the time most people in most circumstances choose to do the right thing. Thus, applying the principle of libertarian paternalism to the larger politico-economic system as a whole, I suggest that the default option should be to grant people the libertarian ideal of maximum freedom, while using the best science available to inform the policy that gives structure to the minimum number of restrictions on our freedoms. Let’s opt for more freedom and add back restrictions on freedom only where absolutely necessary and with great reluctance.”

This dialogue was recorded on March 4, 2019 as part of the Science Salon Podcast series hosted by Michael Shermer and presented by The Skeptics Society, in California.”

Source:Skeptic Magazine: Michael Shermer- Interviewing Cass R. Sunstein: On Freedom

From Wikipedia

“Freedom, generally, is having an ability to act or change without constraint. A thing is “free” if it can change its state easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints, or enslavement, and is an idea closely related to the concept of liberty. A person has the freedom to do things that will not, in theory or in practice, be prevented by other forces. Outside of the human realm, freedom generally does not have this political or psychological dimension. A rusty lock might be oiled so that the key has freedom to turn, undergrowth may be hacked away to give a newly planted sapling freedom to grow, or a mathematician may study an equation having many degrees of freedom. In mechanical engineering, “freedom” describes the number of independent motions that are allowed to a body or system, which is generally referred to as degrees of freedom.”

Depending on what ideological faction your talking about, freedom can mean different things to different people: for example, Socialists tend to define freedom as individuals not having to make complicated decisions for themselves and not having to deal with private for-profits that are trying to get people to spend the most money as possible, even if they don’t need what they’re getting, or it’s not good for them. Which is why Socialists tend to advocate for more government over individual, private choice.

Or Religious Conservatives and Nationalists, who believe freedom is the ability for people to make sound, moral decisions and live a moral life. Which is why they believe that activities and choices that violate their religious and cultural values should be outlawed. But as along as people are living a sound, moral life and make sound moral decisions, ( according to Religious Conservatives ) they should be able to do whatever they want to.

My personal definition of freedom is the ability for individuals to make their own personal and economic decisions for themselves, just as long as they’re not hurting innocent people with what they’re doing. My liberal definition of freedom is different from a Libertarian’s definition because I believe the best freedom is having the freedom to make the best decisions for themselves that they possibly can based on the best available evidence and facts that are available. Which is why education and information is the best fuel for any freedom that you’re talking about.

That education and information is for human beings what gas is for cars, what electricity is for computers. That without that fuel and energy people would still have the freedom to make their own decisions, but not have the freedom to make the best decisions for themselves, because they don’t have the knowledge to make the right decisions for themselves. Without education and knowledge, people are like pilots trying to lands planes in the night blindfolded without any lights.

Freedom and anarchism are not the same things, because most people who believe in at least some level of personal freedom aren’t Anarchists. And every developed country of the world not have has one form of a democratic government or another where the people have at least some high level of personal freedom. So when the Far-Right or Far-Left puts down people who believe in freedom as being Anarchists, again most people aren’t Anarchists, but that’s not what we’re talking about here at all. Just the freedom for individuals to make their own personal and economic decisions, just as long as they’re not hurting innocent people with what they’re doing. Not the freedom to harm innocent people with what they’re doing without any legal consequences for them.

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The Washington Post: Editorial Board- ‘William Barr: Must Release Full Mueller Report’

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Source:The Washington Post– “President Trump says he’s innocent. If so, he should want the Mueller report public.” – Special Counsel Robert Mueller: release the damn report!

Source:The New Democrat

“The country deserves to see the results of the Mueller investigation into election interference. The Post editorial board says we need to know if the President was involved in a crime.”

Source:The Washington Post: Editorial Board- ‘William Barr: Must Release Full Mueller Report’

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Source:The Washington Post– “Now we know what Trump will say when we learn what he’s hiding. President Trump.” – President Donald Trump: “no really, I’m not a crook” LOL

As someone who isn’t a lawyer I must say that Donald Trump out of all the people who’ve ever been investigated before at least by the Federal Government, he looks the most guilty. And that’s assuming he’s innocent of everything he’s been investigated of. Which granted is not a safe assumption. I mean if I just pulled one of the greatest if not the greatest if not greatest upsets in American presidential election history and my presidential campaign was under investigation even though I personally knew I wasn’t involved in any personal crimes relating to it my campaign, I would welcome an investigation both personally, but as a patriot as well. Especially when we know that a hostile power like Vladimir Putin and his Russian Federation interfered into the election. And I would want it for several reasons:

One, to personally clear me and to not have this over my head when I’m running for reelection.

Two, to figure out what the hell actually happened so it can be addressed and it doesn’t happen again.

Three, to figure out how to prevent this from happening in the future.

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Source:The Advocate– “President Trump says he’s most hounded leader ever, says ‘even my enemies’ know he’s innocent – President Donald Trump: “I’m not a crook! LOL

Four, to set a precent here that future President’s would hopefully follow that when foreign countries especially hostile ones try to interfere into our elections and they know that they’re personally innocent, but perhaps perhaps who are close to them aren’t completely innocent and need to be investigated for that. But again to figure out exactly what happened, so we can stop it and prevent it from happening in the future. I wouldn’t wait for my Deputy Attorney General to appoint the Special Counsel, I would consult my Vice President and Chief of Staff, as well as the Attorney General and order the investigation myself.

But what does Donald Trump do: instead of acting like a victim of mistaken identity or false accusation, he pulls a Richard Nixon Watergate play and tries to cover up it up and personally obstruct the investigation. Not with any official actions and we know that now, but through public means by how he talks about it and tries to convince the people who are under real investigation and in serious trouble that he has their back and is still on their side, that they’re getting a raw deal and plays with pardons like baseball players play with baseballs ( sorry, but it’s that time of year ) and tosses them around in the air for the helluva it.

Americans have the right to know about and see Robert Mueller’s report for a couple of reasons:

One, we paid for the damn thing and have a right to know if our President is a crook or not ( to paraphrase President Richard Nixon ) and is our President has been bought off by either the Russian Federation or the Saudi Kingdom.

Two, we have a right to know if a hostile power not only has damaging information on our President or not, but how exactly did they interfere in our elections or not. To what success and they may have and why did they did that. How come President Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to be President of the United States.

If President Donald Trump, is completely innocent here and Russia really does have nothing on in and this kissass routine that he has for Vladimir Putin is nothing more than innocent, inexperienced, amateur bad judgment on his part and he really does believe that the way you get Vladimir Putin’s Russia to act like a civilized player on the world stage is by being soft on them rhetorically and go out-of-your-way to either excuse what Russia does or put America on the same level as Russia and say: “we do bad thing too” then releasing Mueller Report makes perfect sense on Donald Trump’s part, because it can only help him because he’s innocent and would be doing American people ( that’s all the people, not just Donald Trump’s base ) a real public service. But that’s probably not what’s going to happen here.

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The Washington Post: Opinion- Brian Lamb: ‘Washington is Full of Waste and C-SPAN Lets Us Wallow In It’

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Source:The Washington Post– If you’re a taxpayer your message should be: “thank God for Brian Lamb and C-SPAN!”

Source:The New Democrat 

“The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) broadcast from the House of Representatives for the first time in March 1979, uncovering a process shrouded in secrecy. C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb says how Americans use that transparency is still a work in progress. Read more:”

Source:The Washington Post: Opinion- Brian Lamb: ‘Washington is Full of Waste and C-SPAN Lets Us Wallow In It’

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Source:News Daily– Some of our elected leaders

When I think of C-SPAN, I think of the expression the cold hard truth, because that’s what it gives us which is an inside, painfully truthful look about what our tax dollars are paying for and how our elected government works. People might argue ( especially career politicians ) that people would be better off not knowing about how our government works, because it just shows us how depressing and inefficient it works and all of that.

But the easy counter to that is that if you buy a car, you want to know exactly what you’re getting with the money that you’re spending on the car. The great handling, smooth ride, the power, but you also want to know about whatever drawbacks that you might get from that car. Low gas mileage, the durability of the car, etc. You don’t want to know why your new car is in the shop once a month or a couple times of month, not six months down the road ( no pun intended ) but upfront before you buy the car.

Well, government is the same way. The U.S. Government which is the largest organization in the world both in money and in personal with a budget of over 4 trillion-dollars and a staff of over 2 million and since we’re paying for all of that so-called service and a lot of waste we need to know exactly what we’re paying for.

That’s what the Government Accountability Office is for, but that’s also what C-SPAN is for. Some might say that’s the job of Congress to hold the government accountable. Two problems with that: one, Congress is part of the government ( hopefully that isn’t any newsflash to U.S, Government students, or Millennial’s ) and if it’s Congress’s job to hold the government accountable, then whose job is it to hold Congress accountable? And two, Congress is made up of politicians ( to state the obvious ) who in too many cases are just if not more interested in getting reelected and getting promoted, as they are in doing their jobs and the right thing. Because if they do their jobs and the right things, it could cost them votes and contributions with people who want the status-quo, because they benefit from the current corruption in government.

Some might say it’s the job of the people to hold their government accountable. Which is true, but how are they supposed to do that without the information and facts: just listen and take the word of their politicians and automatically assume they’re doing what’s right and doing their jobs correctly? Does anyone who is sane, sober, intelligent, and aware of their surroundings actually tend to take the word of any politician that they’re familiar with, actually take the word of a typical politician whether they’re a career politician or not? Of course not, so we need those eyes and ears in our government and then we need the people to actually examine what they’re seeing and take in the information that they get about how our government actually works in this country. Even if that means putting down their smartphone for more than five minutes at a time, or even hours at a time to see how their tax dollars are being spent in this country.

Some might argue who advocate for a closed government that the reason why politicians and government is so unpopular in America and why a 20% rating is actually good numbers for any Congress, ( “hey, if only 8-10 Americans think we’re doing a bad job, we must being something right” ) is because we allow cameras in Congress both in the House and Senate and The White House briefing ( even if they’re only once every 2 months now ) and we broadcast and cover our government meetings and get to hear from our public officials. And we get to hear about Congress not doing their jobs and not even passing their own budget and appropriations bills and in some cases both the House and Senate not even passing their own budget in their respective chambers. Well, that just makes my point for be, because all C-SPAN and other news organizations do is show exactly what our politicians and other public officials are doing. What they’re saying and how they voted and what they proposed and signed into law. Things that we wouldn’t know about if we didn’t allow cameras and reporters into government.

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CPH: David Levering Lewis- The Improbable Wendell Willkie

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Source:Southern Methodist University– David L. Lewis’s book about Wendell Willkie

Source:The New Democrat

“In the wake of one of the most tumultuous Republican conventions ever, the party of Lincoln nominated in 1940 a prominent businessman and former Democrat who could have saved America’s sclerotic political system. Although Wendell Lewis Willkie would lose to FDR, acclaimed biographer David Levering Lewis demonstrates that the corporate chairman–turned–presidential candidate must be regarded as one of the most exciting, intellectually able, and authentically transformational figures to stride the twentieth-century American political landscape.”

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Source:Livestream– David L. Lewis’s book about Wendell Willkie

If anyone is wondering why I bother too write about Wendell Willkie a man who maybe only 5% of the country has ever even heard of and most of those people being old enough to remember his presidential campaign or born just after his 1940 presidential campaign: the reason why I’m interested in Wendell to the point that I write about him is because I base my own politics and political ideology around 3 people: Thomas Jefferson, the father of American liberal democracy. John F. Kennedy, the last Liberal and not just Classical Liberal President that we’ve ever had. And Wendell Willkie, the last Classical Liberal as well as Liberal Republican nominee for President. Who left the Democratic Party, because he believed they were moving in a socialist big government direction under Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s.

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Source:Presidential History Geeks– Classical Liberal Wendell Willkie

Wendell Willkie, is a political hero of mine and if the Republican Party today was the Willkie Republican Party, I would be a Republican instead of at best an Independent Democrat today. Wendell, was a Republican who supported civil and equal rights of all Americas. Who opposed social classes even as it relates to race and ethnicity. Wendell, was to the Left of President Franklin Roosevelt on civil rights for African-Americans, as well as other racial and other ethnic minorities. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the Republican Party was the civil rights part. First lead by President Dwight Eisenhower who opposed school desegregation and also supported a broader civil rights bill in the 1950s. And without Congressional Republicans, President Lyndon Johnson doesn’t get his civil rights laws in the 1960s.

Wendell Willkie, was anti-Communist, antiauthoritarian Liberal Republican. Think about for a second and see if you can get past that. He obviously wouldn’t fit inside the Republican Party today, but there wouldn’t be much room for him inside the Democratic Party today either. Because he was a true constitutionalist who believed in constitutional rights for all Americans and believed in limited government. He was one of the first true liberal internationalists that we’ve ever had in a presidential candidates at least., who believed that America couldn’t police the world, but we needed to be engaged with the world to protect liberal democracy and stand up to communism and other authoritarian ideologies. A Wendell Willkie, couldn’t fit inside of a Republican Party today, that’s dominated by Nationalists when it comes to foreign policy and in general. And a Democratic Party that’s not only now embracing democratic socialism, but doesn’t seem to have issues with authoritarian socialism either.

Wendell Willkie to me, even though I’m maybe 1 out of 5 Americans who’ve ever heard of man ( perhaps a few more ) is very interesting to me because he was a man and a political candidate who was not just ahead of him time as it relates to foreign policy, the Constitution, limited government, and civil rights, but also represents the the liberal democratic ( or classical liberal, if you prefer ) void that was left inside the Democratic Party when President John Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 by a Communist, with the Democratic Party moving Left ever since President Kennedy was assassinated. We no longer have a liberal ( or classical liberal ) wing in either the Democratic or Republican Party today and is still missed by me and other Liberals ( or Classical Liberals, if you prefer ) today.

CPH: David Levering Lewis- The Improbable Wendell Willkie

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