What Pisses Me Off About The Atlantic

An old friend of mine recently announced that despite his “classical liberal principles” he had no choice but to vote for Hillary Clinton, as Donald Trump is – according to Clinton and her minions in the media, at least – a bigot and a demagogue. As part of his super-signaling announcement, he shared this video from The Atlantic.

The Atlantic’s endorsement should be interpreted by Americans the same way that Belshazzar interpreted the “writing on the wall” at his feast: as a sign of their impending doom. Abraham Lincoln, who ascended to the presidency with a 39% plurality, caused the secession of seven States with his divisive rhetoric, the secession of four more States with his threats of force, and the suppression of secession in at least three other States. The war which followed freed the slaves in the worst way possible for whites and blacks, as well as tore apart and trampled upon constitutional-republican government. Lyndon B. Johnson, who succeeded JFK after his assassination, drove the United States into the calamity and atrocity of Vietnam, drew blacks into a cycle of dependency and dysfunction by expanding the welfare state, ruined white-black race relations by replacing separate spaces with civil rights, and destroyed traditional American demographics by opening up immigration to the Third World. The Atlantic, of course, believes that these endorsements bestow great moral authority upon the magazine.

The Atlantic admits that Clinton “has her flaws,” but boasts that she is “among the most prepared candidates ever.” What does that mean, exactly? That she has served in many offices and received much publicity? Yes, she has served in many offices, in which she has exhibited mostly terrible judgment. Yes, she has received much publicity, most of it negative. Clinton touting her “experience” in public office would be akin to Al Capone touting his “experience” with law enforcement.

“Preparedness” is not necessarily a virtue for those pursuing power. President John Adams, for instance, thwarted the ambitions of Alexander Hamilton during the Crisis of 1798. Despite being more prepared for leadership than any other Federalist – a Revolutionary War veteran, framer of the Constitution, first Treasury Secretary, George Washington’s protégé, etc. – Hamilton would have driven the young republic into civil war out of spite for his arch-nemesis, Thomas Jefferson. Clinton is much like Hamilton, minus his bravery, energy, intelligence, and qualifications.

Even conceding the point that Trump is, as The Atlantic claims, erratic, secretive, sexist, and xenophobic, are those character flaws really worse than someone who has made a career out of selling government access to special interests and stirring up conflict around the world? Indeed, the Atlantic-endorsed Johnson was also notoriously erratic, secretive, sexist, and xenophobic.

Erratic? Trump took some cheap shots and made some low blows during the primaries, true. Is that any worse than Clinton calling Putin “the next Hitler” for reunifying Crimea and Russia, refusing to negotiate with Gaddafi during the Libyan civil war, and cackling “we came, we saw, he died” on national television upon hearing of the latter’s death?

Secretive? True, Trump will not release his tax returns, which he is not even legally required to do. Is that any worse than Clinton failing to disclose her Clinton Foundation-related conflicts of interest as Secretary of State or compromising national security by hiding her official correspondence on an offsite private server – both of which were against the law?

Sexist? Trump has made some boorish remarks about certain women, true. Is that any worse than Clinton raking in millions of dollars from the repressive Saudis (who gruesomely execute women as witches, adulterers, etc.) or covering up rape allegations against her husband?

Xenophobic? Trump has hurt the feelings of some Latinos by denouncing illegal immigrants, true. Is that any worse than Clinton championing her husband’s bombing of the Balkans, voting for the invasion of Iraq, spearheading the collapse of Libya, and destabilizing Syria – the human cost of which to foreigners has been catastrophic?

Even if Trump is deplorable, Clinton is categorically worse.

The Atlantic claims that Trump “admires authoritarian rulers and has authoritarian tendencies himself.” This is referring to when Trump, in response to a compliment from Vladimir Putin, correctly acknowledged that Putin was respected within Russia and suggested that he would be able to thaw relations with him. When Obama normalized American relations with the anti-American Iranian theocrats and anti-American Cuban dictator, that was hailed as statesmanship, but when Trump wants to do the same with a Russian strongman – a major world power with powerful friends of her own but with whom America shares common enemies – that is denounced as craven appeasement and dangerous authoritarianism. The “experienced” Clinton, by contrast, wants to pick up right where she left off as Secretary of State and fight stupid, self-defeating proxy wars against Russia, even if it means arming jihadists in Syria and gangsters in Ukraine.

The Atlantic claims that Trump is “easily goaded...a horrible quality in someone seeking control of America's nuclear arsenal.” True, throughout his campaign, he has repeatedly taken the bait on petty personal attacks. On actual questions of war and peace, however, he has distinguished himself from the “bipartisan consensus” (what the leftist historian Howard Zinn calls “the equivalent of the one-party system in a totalitarian state”) by championing an anti-interventionist “America First” foreign policy. In fact, although he made history by being the first presidential candidate to rule out a nuclear first strike, Clinton’s lapdogs in the media have decided that digging up dirt on old celebrity feuds is more important. The “experienced” Clinton, by contrast, has stridently supported every single American intervention during her time in public life – from the Balkans to Ukraine – and just threatened military action against Russia for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Convention.

The Atlantic – which has recently published articles on its website calling the Constitution “dysfunctional” and “racist,” and should be scrapped – claims that Trump is “ignorant of and indifferent to the Constitution.” This is certainly true, although it leaves out that the Constitution, with its separation of powers between federal branches and State governments, has been a dead letter in the American republic for quite some time – at least since the Atlantic-endorsed Lincoln started killing Southerners and burning their homes until they bent the knee to Washington, D.C. Contrary to what The Atlantic is implying, Trump is not the first President to be ignorant of and indifferent to the Constitution: there is not a President in living memory (including the phony “constitutional law professor” Barack Obama) for whom the Constitution was anything more than a set of guidelines rather than a binding rulebook. While Trump may not pay as much lip service to the Constitution as Clinton, her actions – violating the express delegation of war powers to the legislative branch during her term in the executive branch, opposing the rights of free speech under false pretenses of campaign-finance reform, and pretending that the right to bear arms does not exist, to name but a few – speak louder than Trump’s words. Can The Atlantic name any power which Clinton would admit that the Constitution denies to Washington, D.C.?

Fortunately, The Atlantic spares us the laughable line that because four out of Trump’s over five-hundred enterprises failed – all of which were fanciful ventures that he seemed to have tried for fun – he is a “failed businessman.” Granted, he was never paid the princely sums of $250,000 and $500,000 to give speeches to bankers, defense contractors, and real-estate developers, as were the Clintons, but among capitalists who actually create value as opposed to corporatists who confiscate and redistribute wealth, his success rate is virtually unmatched.

An apt visualization of the “coalition of the fringes” that is today’s left-statist Democratic Party is C.S. Lewis’ army of demonic beasts from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, with Clinton herself as the White Witch. “Conservatives” and “libertarians” who, on principle, plan to sacrifice themselves on the Stone Table rather than vote for Trump, will not, like Aslan, rise again and save the day. In power, Clinton will ruthlessly crush what remains of the Right: she will import hundreds of thousands of Muslim “refugees” and decree amnesty for millions of Latino lawbreakers, pushing American demographics past the point of no return; she will pick fights in every corner of the planet, policing the world while America collapses; she will clamp down on Internet freedom, destroying one of the last bastions of free speech; she will sanction the narrative of black oppression and white racism, making riots and reparations a new normal; she will surrender more of American national sovereignty to globalized bureaucracies. Clinton’s America will be a kleptocratic government with no political consensus, a Balkanized country with no social cohesion, and a dysfunctional economy where parasitism pays more than productivity.