9/17/16

The WSJ is without doubt the best and most reliable media outlet today.

Its editorial board is clearly conservative but they do not skew the facts to fit their arguments and the hard news reporting pages are entirely objective with no hint of bias either way. They report the facts.

The NYT, on the other hand, has become more and more biased as the years go by and is now simply a progressive mouthpiece in every page, editorial, or reporting, regularly torturing the truth to fit its ideology and, at times, even inventing facts.

No more the “paper of record.”

The WSJ attitude towards Trump is ambivalent at best.

They run the gamut from approval by some of the op-ed columnists to a sort of wait-and-see-and-consider-it-both-ways-based-on-each-week-and/or-statement-by-others to vociferous rejection by at least one particular columnist.

Bret Stephens is one of THE best columnists at the WSJ; and that says a lot as they have many. Probably he is the top. His Tuesday column is always very interesting, full of historical and philosophical references, always highly intellectual, very rational, and scholarly. A pleasure to read and I agree with him about 90% plus of the time.

His anti-Trump stance is palpable. It is clear that he is full of contempt not only for Trump but also for anyone who supports Trump and in his last column: “Never Trump for Dummies,” published on 9/13/2016, he went one step further and indicated that he will actually vote for Hillary Clinton. This from a staunch conservative; as conservative as they come.

Fifteen months ago I did share Stephens’ views 100%. Today, after a long and difficult journey that I am planning to write about soon, I do not agree with him.

I do agree with many of Stephens’ anti-Trump arguments but I disagree vehemently with his conclusion and also, along the way, with some of his interpretations to what Trump says and does.

In particular, I take serious objection to his last comment in the above article, which was formatted as questions and answers):

Q: Look, with Hillary I know what I’m getting and it’s a disaster. With Trump, there’s a chance he’ll keep his promises and grow in office.

A: If you’re truly confident in American institutions, then we’ll ride out Mrs. Clinton just as we have Mr. Obama. As for Mr. Trump, the man you see as nominee is the man you’ll get as president, only with more vanity and vastly more power. As the man himself likes to say, “You think I’m going to change? I’m not changing.” That’s one promise you know he’ll keep.

There are two reasons why I seriously disagree with his answer. A complicated psychological reason but I believe a very real and a plain straight forward nearly impossible to argue with reason:

  1. One of the most important treatises on the economy and economics was written about 70 years ago and I mentioned it many times before, The Road to Serfdom by Hayek, suggests that the loss of individualism and the spirit of entrepreneurship leads inevitably to the loss of economic freedom and then to tyranny. The point is that once you start on the road to the loss of individualism etc. it is all downhill and very hard to get back. Of course, the longer you are on the road and the further down the hill you go it is harder and harder to climb back up and change course. My point is that after eight years of loss of economic freedom, loss of personal incentives, and loss of the spirit of entrepreneurship under Obama, we are already at a very difficult point and the ability to turn back and change is getting harder and harder. Another four years of the same socialistic policies, maybe even more emboldened, will make it very close to impossible to change course. In essence, if I have to choose between a disaster under Clinton or a disaster under Trump, I choose the latter as at least it will be a disaster of a different nature and would not strengthen and harden the non-individuality trends that the Obama policies have created. In reference to Stephens’ answer, I am very worried that after another four years of metastasizing the socialism “cancer,” it will be not be possible to “ride it out.”
  2. If my reason above is too complicated, too speculative, the second reason is as clear as day. Two words: Supreme Court. It is the one institution that, if Clinton gets in, could be changed for a generation or more. It may be impossible for us to ride out and could possibly change the contours of this country forever. One can absolutely and justifiably doubt Trump and clearly, conservative he is not. But it does seem that he is serious about nominating fairly conservative justices to the Supreme Court and, for sure, more so than Clinton.

The choice facing the voter in the 2016 election is horrendous and shameful.

But the decision should not be too difficult and Bret Stephens is badly wrong here.