Tuesday, March 21, 2017
"Breakfast Club: Dining with Friends"
"Breakfast Club: Dining with Friends"
"There is a group of us who meet on Saturday mornings for breakfast. We are four white men; college educated professionals who know each other through a shared involvement and patronage of a community organization. Our group is comprised of one in their mid-thirties, two in their forties and me as the sole quinquagenarian of the group.
During our weekend morning meal encounters, I will usually try to steer clear from political conversations. However, more often than not, it seems our discussions do drift into politics. The thirty-something and one of the fortyish gentlemen identify as liberal and the other quadragenarian claims to be a Republican, yet he seemed to favor Hillary Clinton in the last election. All of them hate Donald Trump, so, this leaves me as the lone racist, fear-motivated, close-minded, privileged, conspiracy-oriented, and deplorably conservative Caucasian at our table.
The following is a condensed summary of my recollection of our conversation from this previous Saturday and it is predominately paraphrased. As a final qualifier, and as a matter of course, I will admit the ensuing review is recapitulated through the lens of my personal perspective. This means, although my breakfast companions would likely reject my forthcoming conclusion(s) below, at the same time, I believe they would agree that the subsequent dialogue is narrated accurately, and with the topics arranged (for the most part) in the correct consecutive order of our actual conversation.
Breakfast Was Served: Just as were about three-quarters finished with our morning meal, one of my friends commented how it has been taking him quite a while to accept what is happening in national politics. The others at the table agreed most enthusiastically. Then, one of my buddies looked at me and said something to the effect of: “Better watch it, Mr. Paranoid might start talking about the Illuminati.
To which I promptly responded: “I know! Lately, I’ve been studying Spirit Cooking with John Podesta. “At this, the blank stares of my breakfast buddies soon gave way to: “Trump is a liar! Everything he says is a lie!” When I asked for specific examples, they replied: “Everything!” “Did he lie about wiretapping?” I queried. “Yes! But if even if he didn’t, that only means there must have been good reason!” they said.
I briefly mentioned the two FISA requests that were reported to have been made by the Obama administration in 2016, and that Trump said we will see more in two weeks. “Two weeks,” one of my friends scoffed before again commenting on Trump’s affiliation with the Russians. At this, I brought up the WikiLeaks Vault 7 revelations, the program entitled UMBRAGE whereby American intelligence agencies had the ability to counterfeit internet hacks from other countries and how the Wikileaks dump occurred on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. By the next day, there was ZERO Russian election hacking stories in any of the mainstream media. Nada.
More blank stares before one of them began railing how the media worked against Hillary Clinton during the election. I responded by saying the media gave her a break considering how her campaign colluded with the DNC, and Donna Brazile, to hack the election away from Bernie Sanders. Next, I asked them if they saw how the Washington Post spun their headlines earlier in the week on the topic of immigration:
"Immigrants are now canceling their food stamps for fear that Trump will deport them."
"Immigrants are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them."
An American Omelet with Extra Sausage: At this, the older of the self-identified liberals at the table said something to the effect of it being another example of white males starving the brown people. I responded with some gentle sarcasm, by saying that my friend’s comment seemed “racist”. This, in turn, caused the more “conservative” of my three friends to begin a friendly interrogation of me regarding my “white privilege”.
He asked if I realized that I was privileged. I responded that I was proud of my heritage; that my great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, but yes, I am aware how I may have, indeed, inherited some economic and social benefits not received by others. To which my “conservative” friend responded in a very self-satisfied manner; and, with a Cheshire Cat smile, he said: “There! See?”
I then commented how I was more concerned regarding the waves of Russophobia and Naziphobia that appeared to be taking over the entire country of late. They replied in unison: “For good reason!” To which I asked them: “Just like Islamophobia, then?” Ah, ha!
At this this, they asked me: “What do you have against Islam?” “It is a peaceful religion!” they exclaimed. I replied by saying it is, actually, more of a “political system.” Then, one of them asked me: “What are you afraid of?” I replied something similar to: “American women being raped. Because rape is a part of Islamic culture.” To which they responded how “white men rape girls constantly, on college campuses, everywhere.” In hindsight, I would have liked to ask them: “If that is the case, then why would you want to immigrate more rapists and add to the problem?” But, unfortunately, I didn’t think of it until later.
But I DID ask them if they believed diversity brought unity. After telling me how there are more white terrorists in America than Islamic jihadists and that Muslim extremists really aren’t true followers of Islam, I reminded them the Islamic Fundamentalists would defiantly disagree that they don’t represent true Islam. I, furthermore, advised them to look towards Europe and Dearborndahar, Michiganistan, and said:“Just like in the Middle East, there seems to be an awful lot of Islamic privilege wherever the Arabic peoples go.”
At this, my pals brought up the Germans and the Irish. “They assimilated,” I replied. In response, I was told: “No, they did not. They still maintained their identity.” So, I asked them: “When was the last time you called and the message menu asked you to push # 8 for German?” “That’s not the point,” they said.
“In any case,” I replied. “I am OK with LEGAL immigration.” They then informed me how we could NEVER completely stop illegal immigration and that “twenty-foot walls” simply yield “twenty-two-foot ladders”. “But,” I contended, “We are a nation of borders. Borders are, in fact, constitutional.” When they agreed, I added; “This is why the liberal judges who have opposed Trump’s executive orders on immigration, are wrong.”
At this, my friends informed me that I was wrong because they believed Trump’s Islamic ban was unconstitutional. I said it might have been unconstitutional if ALL Muslims were included in the ban, but they weren’t; only those travelers from a few countries where the populations are overtly hostile to America. They seemed to scoff at this and I can’t recall exactly how they responded other than with contempt. I then said something to the effect of: “Well, we will find out soon because it appears Trump’s second executive order will go to the Supreme Court.”
Seriously Scrambled Eggs & Cold Coffee: It was at this point when one of my friends commented regarding the hypocrisy of Republicans who complained about Obama’s executive orders yet now supported Trump’s executive actions. I responded: “We sat on our hands and bit our fists for eight years under Obama, but you didn’t see conservatives rioting in the streets.” To which they all said in unison: “Bullshit!”
I suspected they might have meant the Tea Party, but before I could ask for specific examples, the conversation quickly turned towards how the Republicans unconstitutionally blocked Obama’s Supreme Court nominee; that one of the liberals at our table did a “happy dance” when Antonin Scalia died, and how, in general, the Republican Party sucks.
I believe this was when one of my liberal friends began to explain how Barack Obama was the greatest president in American history, but he was incessantly vilified because of his race. My friend also added something similar to as follows: “If Obama was white he would be on Mount Rushmore and if Trump was black, he would be viewed as the devil.”
I informed him that I have “quite the opposite view”, and said: “There is no way such a politically inexperienced community organizer from Chicago, and freshman senator, who was once ranked as the most liberal in the U.S. Senate, would have EVER been elected if he was white.”
I continued: “Obama also graduated from Columbia University which was the academic home of Cloward and Piven, and during the eight years of his administration, the national debt near doubled and food stamp usage increased over thirty percent.” At this, one of my breakfast buddies transitioned into how government is necessary to build highways and bankroll our military; to which I agreed. But I also pointed out that, today, however, the U.S. government has grown out of control regarding entitlements.
One of my friends then called “bullshit” in that conservatives never seem to complain regarding subsidies for big oil, et cetera. I then, also, agreed and added “agriculture” before saying: “At least we agree that government shouldn’t subsidize business. Good points.”
More Waffles, More Syrup: Soon, my “conservative” friend lobbed another Illuminati jab my way and asked me if the Fed’s raising interest rates was “part of the plan.” I claimed it was most likely “controlled demolition” of our economy by the global elite in order to undermine Trump and questioned my friends as to why the rates were not increased under Obama.“Why now?,” I inquired of them.
They all seemed to agree that the economy is doing better today and this is why Janet Yellen is raising rates. “The economy is doing better?” I asked them. “It would seem JC Penny might beg to differ.” To which my “conservative” friend replied: “Gordman’s too”. When I responded by saying there was a retail landslide afoot, they claimed the closing of these retail outlets are occurring because of Amazon, and they LOVE Amazon. I said I liked Amazon too. It’s convenient. And, “As I mentioned before, I do, occasionally, read Jeff Bezos’ blog, The Washington Post.”
Soon after that, a series of Neoconic grievances were aired regarding George W. Bush, weapons of mass destruction, never ending middle-east wars, and 911. I admitted that, at the time, the media supported the build-up to the war in Iraq and, like a fool, I bought into it. “But today,” I continued, “It seems the same mainstream media wants war with Russia.”
This delivered a cascade of criticism of Trump’s China Policy and his ill-conceived phone call, as President-Elect, to the president of Taiwan. One of my breakfast companions then expressed real fear that Trump might soon stumble his way into the next world war. I made a comment that it was the globalists who desired war, but I don’t believe my pals heard me. I wanted to discuss national sovereignty because it seemed my friends viewed placing “America first” was a foreign policy disaster and a path to destruction.
An Omelet Unfinished: Somehow, though, we got back to the topic of race and immigration. I asked them what is wrong with “tribalism”, or choosing to associate with those who are similar and celebrating our own culture, to wit, “Norman Rockwell’s America”. One of the men said they lived in Los Angeles and the cultures there were, indeed, separated as such.
I believe it was around this point when the “conservative” forty-something gentleman excused himself from the group because he had to be somewhere else. After saying our “goodbyes”, the remaining two other men and I continued our exchange.
I next relayed an experience about one of my college professors who was an Afro-American PhD, who taught a class, and assigned books, to show people how to escape the mental chains of race and poverty; and when the faculty tried to remove his class from the curriculum, I wrote a scathing editorial in the college newspaper in defense of this professor and his class. In my piece, I excoriated both the university faculty and administration and challenged them to read each of the seven books assigned in the professor’s course. In return, my professor offered me a post-graduate position in his field of study that I had to decline, due to prior, post-graduate, commitments.
“In any case”, I said to my friends, “I am not a racist, but, my point is that conservatives constantly get labeled as such, even though it is those on the political left who persistently politicize race and engage in identity politics.” “I didn’t see my professor’s color,” I pointed out. “I only saw the man.” Then, I asked my friend: “Are you racist against Clarence Thomas?” “NO,” he replied, “I just hate everything he stands for.” To which I said: “So…, it IS just politics then. Why not leave out race?”
My other friend then mentioned something about the economically prosperous Antebellum North that soon freed the slaves and I mentioned how the Klu Klux Klan was an outgrowth of the Southern Democratic Party.
“Why not just let people thrive, regardless of race, as the U.S. Constitution allows?” I asked my friends. Then, I added something to the effect of: “Social Justice shouldn’t be legislated.” At this, one of my liberal breakfast companions exclaimed: “If that were true, then civil rights would have never happened because white men are fundamentally against it.” I argued right back: “The civil rights movement was started by white men in Europe: the English politician William Wilberforce and John Newton, who was a former slave ship captain and wrote the Christian hymn Amazing Grace.”
“And, this is another problem with the political left,” I continued. “That they have high-jacked the civil rights movement in America when, in fact, it was started in the churches of Montgomery, Alabama.” “The individual is the smallest minority,” I said. “But, with the Collectivist Left, there is no responsibility, or accountability, as individuals.” Then, I quoted the author Victor Frankl’s contention that “the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast” should be balanced by a “Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast”. “But it’s not only that individual accountability is never requested by the left,” I added. “It is forcibly removed as well. What right does the state have to point a gun at me in order to interfere with my private relations with my doctor?”
Poached Eggs to Go: With this, we next transitioned into Obamacare and my friends assured me that people CAN keep their doctor and that private insurance WAS a mess way before Obama came along. “That’s just it.” I said: “The Democrats create problems by preventing insurance companies from selling across state lines and, then, when it results in diminished competition, increased complications, and higher premiums, the Democrats moved to, via strict party-line voting, nationalize healthcare.“ “Now they expect Republicans to reach across the aisle?” I asked. “Why not allow free-market competition to lower premiums?”
One of my friends then described his personal nightmares with private insurance, the greed of pharmaceutical companies, etc. I then asked them if they favored a single-payer system and they, most emphatically, said “yes.” “Most definitely.”
At that, I further commented on how it seemed Obamacare was set up to fail in order to usher in a single-payer system. One of the men said, if that was the case, then, it was a “brilliant strategy.” He, furthermore, went on to claim how we are one of the last modern countries to implement a single-payer system and even cited the U.S. Postal service as a model of efficiency because a letter can be delivered for forty-nine cents via the magnificence of governmental, administrative competence.
It was here, where the three of us decided to end our discussion and move on with our respective Saturday schedules. Because of this, I didn’t bring up the fact that the Post Office had lost $60 Billion over the last 10 years and I also was unable to ask my friends what would happen when the single-payer healthcare system ran out of other people’s money, as do all Socialist utopian experiments.
Conclusion: Check Please. I Got It. Considering our Saturday breakfast discussion, in retrospect, I have come to understand the paradoxical reality which underlies the collective ideology of my friends. As we sat there in the very clean diner, in the heart of a modern American city and before we left in the technological marvels which we call automobiles, my friends demonstrated their complete lack of appreciation regarding the miraculous benefits of Capitalism and a fundamental lack of gratitude for Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand”.
Throughout our conversation, I kept commenting how divided are the ideological factions of our country today. But, I never mentioned how this could be by design on behalf of the globalists. After all, a divided kingdom cannot stand and, to the globalists in power (as well as those who support them), the United States Constitution stands in the way of global hegemony, world harmony, and peace.
Oh, the irony.
In truth, my friends long for a new nation; a completely different America than was founded. It seems they are the end result of the Frankfort School, the Fabian Socialists and the modern American educational system that, in the last four decades, has abandoned the curriculum which taught United States citizens the fundamentals of what made America unique over the past two centuries.
It would have been interesting to present to my friends a hypothetical study of two Americas, separated by both ideals and geography: The first, a conservative constitutional republic, and the second, a liberal, collectivist Shangri-La. I wonder if that comparison was put forth to my friends what they propose would happen? Maybe next time I will find out because, like our Saturday “breakfast club” conversations, history repeats.
My dear friends fail to see government as a threat, in spite of leftist regimes killing more people throughout world history than any capitalistic, right-wing ideology. Yet, it is they who view their ideas as modern, tolerant, and progressive and me, as an old-fashioned conservative clinging to dying traditions that are no longer viable.
They don’t seem to realize how their utopian dreams have been tried before in history; like the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, the People’s Republic of China under Mao Tse-tung, Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and, most recently, North Korea under Kim Jong-un. Neither is any consideration given by my friends, for modern nations including Venezuela, which has imploded under the failed ideology of Socialism; or the fact that America is traveling down the same track to hell and upon the identical twin rails of governmental debt and corruption.
I am reminded of the story behind a famous quote made by Benjamin Franklin: The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Although it appears President Donald Trump, during his first two months of his administration, is making a valiant effort; the fact remains that my breakfast companions, and a majority of Americans, do not wish to make America great again. Instead, they hope to remake her in another image.
The American Experiment was truly amazing while it lasted. It ushered in more prosperity; more freedom and its veritable fountainhead of blessings have benefited the world more than any other nation on earth. However, the revolutions of history are, once again, turning full circle. History does repeat. We had a republic. We couldn’t keep it."