Category: Janice Shaw Crouse

Soros and the Exploitation of Women


George Soros, 86-year-old multibillionaire hedge fund-operator, is famous around the world for promoting far-left causes.  Or, as his website puts it, he is “a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years.”  His “philanthropic organization, the Open Society Foundations (OSF), supports democracy and human rights in more than 100 countries.”

To date, Soros has given away close to $14 billion to various leftist “progressive” causes.  He works for the decriminalization of both prostitution and drugs and helped kick-start America’s medical marijuana movement, was an early proponent and major funder of the initiative to redefine marriage, underwrites numerous leftist think-tanks, and works assiduously for left-wing policy changes.  OSF has nearly fifty offices around the world and more than 1,600 full-time staff members who are activists in numerous arenas, with particular attention to judicial decisions and supporting far-left judicial candidates.  Soros recently gave $18 billion to OSF, establishing one of the richest foundation endowments ever and guaranteeing that his work will continue after he is gone.

One of his less publicized causes is “helping sex workers.”  He promotes the idea that decriminalization of prostitution would remove the stigma, social exclusion, violence, and fear of violence associated with the sex trade industry.  Now, thanks to Jody Raphael, DePaul University College of Law, in an article for Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence (I serve on the editorial board), we have an accounting of Soros’ support for the full decriminalization of the sex trade industry, long an issue for utopians who think making it legal to exploit women will somehow “free” them from their pimps and the criminal networks who make millions by trafficking and exploiting women.  Raphael’s Dignity article is 24 pages of careful research with eight pages of references.  For instance, she reports that in 2015, OSF published two reports, “10 Reasons to Decriminalize Sex Work” and “Understanding Sex Work.”  Experts panned both as simplistic and criticized them for misreading the research and downplaying the inherent coercion, violence, and abuse of the industry.

As I noted when I debated this issue at the Oxford Union Debates, the first clue that decriminalization will not help prostituted women is that the pimps and criminal networks enthusiastically support the effort!  The pimps know that decriminalization will make their exploitation easier and more profitable.  Decriminalization will enable them to “explain” to vulnerable girls and women that what they want the girls to do is perfectly legal, strengthening the coercive potential.

More significantly, decriminalization does not work.  As I have written and as research clearly reveals, the truth is that everywhere prostitution has been legalized or decriminalized, illegal prostitution has increased dramatically, along with corruption, sex-trafficking, the drug trade, and other undesirable and criminal activities.  This is true in Australia, where illegal brothels increased 300 percent; in New Zealand, which considers itself a model for the rest of the world; and in the Netherlands, which neighboring countries call a “failed experiment.”

The real tragedy, though, is that pimps control and reap the profits from 80-95 percent of all forms of prostitution.  No wonder most prostitutes (90 percent) desperately want out.  One study found that 80 percent of prostituted girls and women were assaulted by their pimps, and over one third received death threats against themselves or their families.  A majority of the girls and women end up drug-addicted, bruised, and battered; they get older, worn out, infected with STDs, and used up.

When advocates wax eloquent about the career option of prostitution, they fail to mention that nearly 70 percent of those in prostitution enter before age 16 – hardly old enough to make a reasoned choice of life direction.  In the U.S., the age of entry is typically 12 years old!  In fact, legalization creates a greater demand for younger girls, who are thought by clients to be less likely to have an infectious disease.  Legalization throws open the floodgates for child prostitution.

As is typical of the savvy George Soros, he gives relatively little directly to the grassroots sex worker groups, where the impact would be local and limited.  Instead, the Open Society Foundation gives huge grants to large, international groups with broad, international influence.  As the Dignity article shows, there is sympathy between the groups: the think-tanks produce slanted “research” that is then publicized and popularized by the grassroots organizations.  Media are full of advocates promoting decriminalization of prostitution, claiming that it will eliminate HIV or prevent trafficking.  Raphael tracks the money to find that many of the advocates are funded by Soros’s OSF.  In effect, Soros has created an “alternate universe about the sex trade industry that ignores known facts.”  In that “alternate universe,” trafficking is understated, girls and women are represented as voluntarily choosing prostitution, and problems – such as coercion, abuse, and violence – are not inherent, but are caused by law enforcement and security personal at shelters.  Conclusion: There are no ill effects in prostituting women; the problems come from enforcing the laws.

Raphael’s research covers the links between OSF and the Gates Foundation; faults in The Lancet research on decriminalization; and the lack of evidence that OSF knows about major research on problems faced by New Zealand, Australia (Victoria), Germany, and Nevada.  Instead, Raphael shows how that evidence is ignored in favor of an “alternate reality based on conclusions that rest on unproven assumptions.”  Then, millions of dollars are spent promoting that “alternate reality” throughout the world.  Soros has identified ten “anchors” that are “effective proxies” and thus received major institutional funding.  These organizations publish each other’s reports and help expand each other’s influence.  Human Rights Watch, an OSF anchor, receives a basic $10 million annually for operating expenses, plus funding for special projects.  Others among the top ten include the Center for American Progress, the NAACP, and the ACLU.

Sadly, as Dignity reports:

OSF’s rationale for full decriminalization fails to consider violence and coercion in the sex trade industry, misreads research, and does not include research from venues where full decriminalization of prostitution has occurred.  Thus, OSF and its grantees have created a partial view on prostitution that they advocate to the public.  Those concerned with trafficking for sexual exploitation, violence, coercion, and abuse in prostitution should be cognizant of these strategies used by decriminalization advocates funded by OSF and be prepared to point out the unsupported assumptions and meet OSF’s allegations with proven facts.

Raphael concludes that Soros’s prostitution policies have become the vision of many of the major nongovernmental human rights organizations.  Raphael shows how this vision has permeated even the DOJ, and how philanthropists escape public influence over their activities.  She quotes one professor who maintains, “Quite literally, every American who pays taxes today is subsidizing the attempt of fabulously rich people to dominate our public policy.”

We’ve long recognized that the war against pimps and traffickers is the slavery issue of our time.  The pimp culture – so glorified in the entertainment industry – corrupts societies around the world and ruins the lives of countless young people.  Now we understand that funding exists to empower organizations to promote an alternate reality about prostitution.  Those who truly want to help girls and women will avoid the simplistic, utopian ideology of decriminalization of prostitution and, instead, join the abolition movement of today – end the demand – in order to end the scourge of modern-day sex slavery.

Janice Shaw Crouse received the “Abolitionist Award” from the George W. Bush State Department.  She helped write and lobby for the original legislation and subsequent reauthorizations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  She has authored white papers, presented testimony before Congress, written briefs, and written dozens of articles on human trafficking.  She serves as a senior adviser to the Demand Abolition Coalition and is on the editorial board of Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence.

George Soros, 86-year-old multibillionaire hedge fund-operator, is famous around the world for promoting far-left causes.  Or, as his website puts it, he is “a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years.”  His “philanthropic organization, the Open Society Foundations (OSF), supports democracy and human rights in more than 100 countries.”

To date, Soros has given away close to $14 billion to various leftist “progressive” causes.  He works for the decriminalization of both prostitution and drugs and helped kick-start America’s medical marijuana movement, was an early proponent and major funder of the initiative to redefine marriage, underwrites numerous leftist think-tanks, and works assiduously for left-wing policy changes.  OSF has nearly fifty offices around the world and more than 1,600 full-time staff members who are activists in numerous arenas, with particular attention to judicial decisions and supporting far-left judicial candidates.  Soros recently gave $18 billion to OSF, establishing one of the richest foundation endowments ever and guaranteeing that his work will continue after he is gone.

One of his less publicized causes is “helping sex workers.”  He promotes the idea that decriminalization of prostitution would remove the stigma, social exclusion, violence, and fear of violence associated with the sex trade industry.  Now, thanks to Jody Raphael, DePaul University College of Law, in an article for Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence (I serve on the editorial board), we have an accounting of Soros’ support for the full decriminalization of the sex trade industry, long an issue for utopians who think making it legal to exploit women will somehow “free” them from their pimps and the criminal networks who make millions by trafficking and exploiting women.  Raphael’s Dignity article is 24 pages of careful research with eight pages of references.  For instance, she reports that in 2015, OSF published two reports, “10 Reasons to Decriminalize Sex Work” and “Understanding Sex Work.”  Experts panned both as simplistic and criticized them for misreading the research and downplaying the inherent coercion, violence, and abuse of the industry.

As I noted when I debated this issue at the Oxford Union Debates, the first clue that decriminalization will not help prostituted women is that the pimps and criminal networks enthusiastically support the effort!  The pimps know that decriminalization will make their exploitation easier and more profitable.  Decriminalization will enable them to “explain” to vulnerable girls and women that what they want the girls to do is perfectly legal, strengthening the coercive potential.

More significantly, decriminalization does not work.  As I have written and as research clearly reveals, the truth is that everywhere prostitution has been legalized or decriminalized, illegal prostitution has increased dramatically, along with corruption, sex-trafficking, the drug trade, and other undesirable and criminal activities.  This is true in Australia, where illegal brothels increased 300 percent; in New Zealand, which considers itself a model for the rest of the world; and in the Netherlands, which neighboring countries call a “failed experiment.”

The real tragedy, though, is that pimps control and reap the profits from 80-95 percent of all forms of prostitution.  No wonder most prostitutes (90 percent) desperately want out.  One study found that 80 percent of prostituted girls and women were assaulted by their pimps, and over one third received death threats against themselves or their families.  A majority of the girls and women end up drug-addicted, bruised, and battered; they get older, worn out, infected with STDs, and used up.

When advocates wax eloquent about the career option of prostitution, they fail to mention that nearly 70 percent of those in prostitution enter before age 16 – hardly old enough to make a reasoned choice of life direction.  In the U.S., the age of entry is typically 12 years old!  In fact, legalization creates a greater demand for younger girls, who are thought by clients to be less likely to have an infectious disease.  Legalization throws open the floodgates for child prostitution.

As is typical of the savvy George Soros, he gives relatively little directly to the grassroots sex worker groups, where the impact would be local and limited.  Instead, the Open Society Foundation gives huge grants to large, international groups with broad, international influence.  As the Dignity article shows, there is sympathy between the groups: the think-tanks produce slanted “research” that is then publicized and popularized by the grassroots organizations.  Media are full of advocates promoting decriminalization of prostitution, claiming that it will eliminate HIV or prevent trafficking.  Raphael tracks the money to find that many of the advocates are funded by Soros’s OSF.  In effect, Soros has created an “alternate universe about the sex trade industry that ignores known facts.”  In that “alternate universe,” trafficking is understated, girls and women are represented as voluntarily choosing prostitution, and problems – such as coercion, abuse, and violence – are not inherent, but are caused by law enforcement and security personal at shelters.  Conclusion: There are no ill effects in prostituting women; the problems come from enforcing the laws.

Raphael’s research covers the links between OSF and the Gates Foundation; faults in The Lancet research on decriminalization; and the lack of evidence that OSF knows about major research on problems faced by New Zealand, Australia (Victoria), Germany, and Nevada.  Instead, Raphael shows how that evidence is ignored in favor of an “alternate reality based on conclusions that rest on unproven assumptions.”  Then, millions of dollars are spent promoting that “alternate reality” throughout the world.  Soros has identified ten “anchors” that are “effective proxies” and thus received major institutional funding.  These organizations publish each other’s reports and help expand each other’s influence.  Human Rights Watch, an OSF anchor, receives a basic $10 million annually for operating expenses, plus funding for special projects.  Others among the top ten include the Center for American Progress, the NAACP, and the ACLU.

Sadly, as Dignity reports:

OSF’s rationale for full decriminalization fails to consider violence and coercion in the sex trade industry, misreads research, and does not include research from venues where full decriminalization of prostitution has occurred.  Thus, OSF and its grantees have created a partial view on prostitution that they advocate to the public.  Those concerned with trafficking for sexual exploitation, violence, coercion, and abuse in prostitution should be cognizant of these strategies used by decriminalization advocates funded by OSF and be prepared to point out the unsupported assumptions and meet OSF’s allegations with proven facts.

Raphael concludes that Soros’s prostitution policies have become the vision of many of the major nongovernmental human rights organizations.  Raphael shows how this vision has permeated even the DOJ, and how philanthropists escape public influence over their activities.  She quotes one professor who maintains, “Quite literally, every American who pays taxes today is subsidizing the attempt of fabulously rich people to dominate our public policy.”

We’ve long recognized that the war against pimps and traffickers is the slavery issue of our time.  The pimp culture – so glorified in the entertainment industry – corrupts societies around the world and ruins the lives of countless young people.  Now we understand that funding exists to empower organizations to promote an alternate reality about prostitution.  Those who truly want to help girls and women will avoid the simplistic, utopian ideology of decriminalization of prostitution and, instead, join the abolition movement of today – end the demand – in order to end the scourge of modern-day sex slavery.

Janice Shaw Crouse received the “Abolitionist Award” from the George W. Bush State Department.  She helped write and lobby for the original legislation and subsequent reauthorizations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  She has authored white papers, presented testimony before Congress, written briefs, and written dozens of articles on human trafficking.  She serves as a senior adviser to the Demand Abolition Coalition and is on the editorial board of Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence.



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The #MeToo Tipping Point


The cultural and overall societal impact of the deluge of sexual assault and harassment accusations has only just begun to be realized.  Already, careful observers – both men and women alike – are noting that the broad and fuzzy definition of “harassment” can encompass behaviors previously considered routine flirtation and will obliterate the good manners of gentlemen who compliment women.  This new spate of redefining acceptable behavior continues to complicate relationships between men and women during an era when the uncertainties and overturning of tradition have already made male-female interactions not just problematic, but precarious.  Dating is increasingly rare – almost nonexistent – anymore, and men are left bewildered about how or whether to express interest in any woman for fear of offending her.  Employers are wondering whether it is worth the risk to hire women for high-level positions, for which daily consultations and occasional out-of-town travel are de rigueur.

The inescapable conclusion is that women are going to be the losers big-time in this cultural transformation.  Feminism promised women that adopting the behaviors of men (good, bad, and ugly) would yield an equal playing field.  Instead, in the workplace women shed their true feminine power to reach for the brass ring, only to discover that this new world reduced them to mere sexual objects who had to “play along” to get in the door of top-floor suites.  On campus, they gave up courtship and romance only to discover that they were viewed, in the words of Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simons, as sexual “dumpsters.”  Now marriage rates are abysmally low, and young women who cohabit give up their best years to guys who are happy to have them foot the bills and do the chores before ending up, after several years of sexual and financial freeloading, marrying someone younger and “hotter.”

Many of us are wondering if this sexual climate will lead to a new Victorian era, where chaperones will be necessary to protect women from male predators and immunize men from female predators.  When the pendulum has swung so far, it must swing back.  It remains to be seen just how far it will travel towards stricter rules and more traditional standards of male-female interaction.

Have we seen the last of the “anything goes” era?  Will we, once again, recognize female vulnerability and the dangers posed by an alcohol- and drug-soaked culture?  Certainly, men in public positions must be searching their memories, wondering if they have overstepped any boundaries or put themselves in a situation where some woman can make accusations that could destroy their families, careers, and standing in the community.

In the world of no-fault divorce, men were already leery of the risk of marriage.  But now, if we accept that a woman can make accusations about events in the dimly remembered past and be believed without question, with no way to establish who is telling the truth, it is a fearsome world for men.  In such a climate, men are at the mercy of any woman with a grudge; a political agenda; or the desire for a little cash, some attention, or 15 minutes of fame.  In such a world, a man would be foolish to ever show interest in a woman or put himself in a vulnerable situation.

Ultimately, women are losers because they will be avoided both personally and professionally.  Men lose, too, because they have to protect themselves in every encounter and never be alone with a woman.  Even then, under the right circumstances or for the right sum, some women will be willing to concoct a plausible story of harassment or abuse.

If Anita Hill’s far-fetched and devious imaginings can be construed as evidenced of abuse in spite of all evidence to the contrary, no man is safe.  I had newly arrived in D.C. when that trial was televised on PBS.  I was not alone in being stunned and appalled to hear the distortion in Nina Totenburg’s reporting.  She made no attempt to accurately report what happened; instead, she editorialized to portray Anita Hill as a victim.  Things have gradually escalated since then until the current tsunami of women coming before television cameras to sell their stories, both real and imagined­­.  In today’s climate, the woman is supposed to be believed regardless, resulting in men, justly and unjustly, losing their reputations and their jobs.

Feminism relentlessly peddled an unreal utopia where women could be safeguarded merely by their right to “just say no” and where men are required to get “consent” at every stage of pursuit.  At the same time, the culture has created an environment where girls get tipsy before going to a bar where they get drunk enough to have the courage to get in a stranger’s car or go to an unknown guy’s room.  The next morning, in best-case scenarios, when the guy doesn’t even remember her name or acknowledge her when they pass on campus, she feels (rightly) used and abused!  In worst-case scenarios, she contracts an incurable (yes, incurable) STD, or is brutally assaulted or raped, or ends up murdered at the hands of a serial sex offender.

The good news from all the attention on harassment and sexual assault is that men must clean up their act; they can no longer get away with a “Harvey” move.  Perhaps we have finally reached a tipping point, where lewd jokes and vulgar comments are once again considered ill mannered in “ladies'” presence.  Better still, we have spotlighted the long-term impact when some brute abuses or assaults a woman.

I’m not at all sure that we have learned that we cannot continue to lump together all complaints into a generic category of abuse, where no distinction is made among offensive language, sexual harassment, and physical assault or rape.  Nor am I sure that we have made the connection between alcohol and these offensive acts (though some corporations have chosen to ban alcohol from office parties).

In short, as a society, either we’ll acknowledge the need for a saner approach to harassment, abuse, and assault or we’ll have to return to the Victorian practices of chaperones, some sort of neo-patriarchy, and a return to restrictions on women’s freedom and autonomy.

The cultural and overall societal impact of the deluge of sexual assault and harassment accusations has only just begun to be realized.  Already, careful observers – both men and women alike – are noting that the broad and fuzzy definition of “harassment” can encompass behaviors previously considered routine flirtation and will obliterate the good manners of gentlemen who compliment women.  This new spate of redefining acceptable behavior continues to complicate relationships between men and women during an era when the uncertainties and overturning of tradition have already made male-female interactions not just problematic, but precarious.  Dating is increasingly rare – almost nonexistent – anymore, and men are left bewildered about how or whether to express interest in any woman for fear of offending her.  Employers are wondering whether it is worth the risk to hire women for high-level positions, for which daily consultations and occasional out-of-town travel are de rigueur.

The inescapable conclusion is that women are going to be the losers big-time in this cultural transformation.  Feminism promised women that adopting the behaviors of men (good, bad, and ugly) would yield an equal playing field.  Instead, in the workplace women shed their true feminine power to reach for the brass ring, only to discover that this new world reduced them to mere sexual objects who had to “play along” to get in the door of top-floor suites.  On campus, they gave up courtship and romance only to discover that they were viewed, in the words of Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simons, as sexual “dumpsters.”  Now marriage rates are abysmally low, and young women who cohabit give up their best years to guys who are happy to have them foot the bills and do the chores before ending up, after several years of sexual and financial freeloading, marrying someone younger and “hotter.”

Many of us are wondering if this sexual climate will lead to a new Victorian era, where chaperones will be necessary to protect women from male predators and immunize men from female predators.  When the pendulum has swung so far, it must swing back.  It remains to be seen just how far it will travel towards stricter rules and more traditional standards of male-female interaction.

Have we seen the last of the “anything goes” era?  Will we, once again, recognize female vulnerability and the dangers posed by an alcohol- and drug-soaked culture?  Certainly, men in public positions must be searching their memories, wondering if they have overstepped any boundaries or put themselves in a situation where some woman can make accusations that could destroy their families, careers, and standing in the community.

In the world of no-fault divorce, men were already leery of the risk of marriage.  But now, if we accept that a woman can make accusations about events in the dimly remembered past and be believed without question, with no way to establish who is telling the truth, it is a fearsome world for men.  In such a climate, men are at the mercy of any woman with a grudge; a political agenda; or the desire for a little cash, some attention, or 15 minutes of fame.  In such a world, a man would be foolish to ever show interest in a woman or put himself in a vulnerable situation.

Ultimately, women are losers because they will be avoided both personally and professionally.  Men lose, too, because they have to protect themselves in every encounter and never be alone with a woman.  Even then, under the right circumstances or for the right sum, some women will be willing to concoct a plausible story of harassment or abuse.

If Anita Hill’s far-fetched and devious imaginings can be construed as evidenced of abuse in spite of all evidence to the contrary, no man is safe.  I had newly arrived in D.C. when that trial was televised on PBS.  I was not alone in being stunned and appalled to hear the distortion in Nina Totenburg’s reporting.  She made no attempt to accurately report what happened; instead, she editorialized to portray Anita Hill as a victim.  Things have gradually escalated since then until the current tsunami of women coming before television cameras to sell their stories, both real and imagined­­.  In today’s climate, the woman is supposed to be believed regardless, resulting in men, justly and unjustly, losing their reputations and their jobs.

Feminism relentlessly peddled an unreal utopia where women could be safeguarded merely by their right to “just say no” and where men are required to get “consent” at every stage of pursuit.  At the same time, the culture has created an environment where girls get tipsy before going to a bar where they get drunk enough to have the courage to get in a stranger’s car or go to an unknown guy’s room.  The next morning, in best-case scenarios, when the guy doesn’t even remember her name or acknowledge her when they pass on campus, she feels (rightly) used and abused!  In worst-case scenarios, she contracts an incurable (yes, incurable) STD, or is brutally assaulted or raped, or ends up murdered at the hands of a serial sex offender.

The good news from all the attention on harassment and sexual assault is that men must clean up their act; they can no longer get away with a “Harvey” move.  Perhaps we have finally reached a tipping point, where lewd jokes and vulgar comments are once again considered ill mannered in “ladies'” presence.  Better still, we have spotlighted the long-term impact when some brute abuses or assaults a woman.

I’m not at all sure that we have learned that we cannot continue to lump together all complaints into a generic category of abuse, where no distinction is made among offensive language, sexual harassment, and physical assault or rape.  Nor am I sure that we have made the connection between alcohol and these offensive acts (though some corporations have chosen to ban alcohol from office parties).

In short, as a society, either we’ll acknowledge the need for a saner approach to harassment, abuse, and assault or we’ll have to return to the Victorian practices of chaperones, some sort of neo-patriarchy, and a return to restrictions on women’s freedom and autonomy.



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Our President Is a Street Fighter


George W. Bush is a gentleman and his father, George H.W. is too, even more so. Both were attacked maliciously and aggressively by the media and by their political opponents. I admired the civility of both presidents who were above the fray. But their presidencies suffered defeats because they were unwilling to fight fire with fire.  Donald J. Trump is a different man, a different politician and a different president. Trump is a street fighter. He is going to be aggressive and cunning when politicians and the media come after him.

President Trump is naturally combative, having honed his skills on construction sites among hard-hat workers. He knows the common man and he believes that if you don’t stand up to a bully, he’ll run over you and enjoy doing it. He does not back off from a fight, and that’s exactly why working class and middle-America elected him President. The American people are tired of political bullies who throw their weight around and hit below the belt rhetorically. Donald Trump in effect said, “You hit me, I’ll hit you 10 times harder and I’ll throw you out of the ring.” Voters in 2016 responded that they wanted the bullies busted!

I prefer civility. I like a good debate. I was a champion intercollegiate debate coach. I like confronting opponents with respectful, cordial and logical argument. Generally speaking, that’s how things are or should be done. The GOP was fairly good at that — but in the past the media-political complex generally were also playing by common rules of engagement; civil exchanges were expected in the halls of power. Yes, there were exceptions and media distortions are nothing new, but there used to be limits (celebrity children were off limits and the public didn’t learn of John F. Kennedy’s infidelities until after his death); civility was expected in the media and in person.

A dividing line of sorts was crossed by the Democrats and the media when got away with their war on the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Things got progressively worse under President George W. Bush. Books and movies presented fantasies of his assassination.

With Trump, the media has come totally unglued. The old rules of the past no longer apply. Not only are the POTUS and FLOTUS subject to personal invective, their pre-teen son, Barron, is also fair game.

President Trump knows the American culture, probably better than his critics. He saw what happened to the Bush presidencies. He has seen the political establishment coast along without direction or impact. He intends to be an effective president and the media-political complex believe it is up to them to stop him. They are determined and will stoop to any level.

The degree of personal vitriol and the politics of personal destruction that we are seeing today were rare in the past and was immediately squelched when it erupted. The current levels of public ridicule and character assassination against a sitting President and his family are unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. Immediately after the election, Howard Kurtz noted that Madonna claimed she “often thought” of “blowing up the White House” and there was no media pushback. A Saturday Night Live comedienne, Katie Rich, “tweeted a sick joke about Trump’s son” and then deleted it. Another journalist contrasted the “honorable and elegant” Obama with the “crass and morally bankrupt” Trump. Since then, the commentary and reporting has become worse, as seemingly one after another tries to outdo the other with gutter language and inappropriate images.

There was the infamous cut-out of Trump’s bloody head held aloof by the unfunny “comedienne” Kathy Griffin. That media storm was nothing compared to the most recent brouhaha. The star of the “Morning Joe” show –– a staple of political Washington –– Joe Scarborough, a former GOP Congressman and long-time Trump “friend,” spent many a morning praising Trump and was among the first to predict his primary victory. Then, the tone changed (ironically the change coincided with his engagement to his co-star, Mika Brzezinski and, some say, a desire to jump from MSNBC to the supposed higher ground of CNN). Trump became “the greatest liar that’s ever sat in the White House.” In a shift of tone and rhetoric Trump became a “thug” and a “goon.” When Trump responded in a street fighter tweet, the media went on overdrive. Trump, according to CNN, became, “crude, false and unpresidential.” Our culture and the foundations of our nation have been savaged, the Media and self-righteous bleated.

The Bushes would have ignored the attacks, but Trump appears to relish the attention it generates when he gets into a brawl, and he launched a counter-offensive. Trump is fighting back against those who seek to destroy his presidency. Many of us would have been more comfortable with a more dignified response, but we cannot deny the effectiveness of Trump’s approach. Thus far, the public has seen through the media hypocrisy and is sticking with Trump.

It is laughable to hear the outrage and the moral posturing of the media-political complex. Yes, Trump can be crude. Remember LBJ? Yes, Trump has bragged about exploiting women. Uh, remember what Kennedy and Clinton actually did? Trump has made no pretense of being anything other than himself, but he does respect Christianity, America and the Judeo-Christian values and morals that we celebrate.  He intends to curb the excesses of today’s media and shake up the political establishment. While many of us may be uncomfortable with the way he is doing it, we can certainly applaud the fact that the corrupt, contemptible media-political complex has met its match in what appears to be turning into a duel to the death.

George W. Bush is a gentleman and his father, George H.W. is too, even more so. Both were attacked maliciously and aggressively by the media and by their political opponents. I admired the civility of both presidents who were above the fray. But their presidencies suffered defeats because they were unwilling to fight fire with fire.  Donald J. Trump is a different man, a different politician and a different president. Trump is a street fighter. He is going to be aggressive and cunning when politicians and the media come after him.

President Trump is naturally combative, having honed his skills on construction sites among hard-hat workers. He knows the common man and he believes that if you don’t stand up to a bully, he’ll run over you and enjoy doing it. He does not back off from a fight, and that’s exactly why working class and middle-America elected him President. The American people are tired of political bullies who throw their weight around and hit below the belt rhetorically. Donald Trump in effect said, “You hit me, I’ll hit you 10 times harder and I’ll throw you out of the ring.” Voters in 2016 responded that they wanted the bullies busted!

I prefer civility. I like a good debate. I was a champion intercollegiate debate coach. I like confronting opponents with respectful, cordial and logical argument. Generally speaking, that’s how things are or should be done. The GOP was fairly good at that — but in the past the media-political complex generally were also playing by common rules of engagement; civil exchanges were expected in the halls of power. Yes, there were exceptions and media distortions are nothing new, but there used to be limits (celebrity children were off limits and the public didn’t learn of John F. Kennedy’s infidelities until after his death); civility was expected in the media and in person.

A dividing line of sorts was crossed by the Democrats and the media when got away with their war on the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Things got progressively worse under President George W. Bush. Books and movies presented fantasies of his assassination.

With Trump, the media has come totally unglued. The old rules of the past no longer apply. Not only are the POTUS and FLOTUS subject to personal invective, their pre-teen son, Barron, is also fair game.

President Trump knows the American culture, probably better than his critics. He saw what happened to the Bush presidencies. He has seen the political establishment coast along without direction or impact. He intends to be an effective president and the media-political complex believe it is up to them to stop him. They are determined and will stoop to any level.

The degree of personal vitriol and the politics of personal destruction that we are seeing today were rare in the past and was immediately squelched when it erupted. The current levels of public ridicule and character assassination against a sitting President and his family are unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. Immediately after the election, Howard Kurtz noted that Madonna claimed she “often thought” of “blowing up the White House” and there was no media pushback. A Saturday Night Live comedienne, Katie Rich, “tweeted a sick joke about Trump’s son” and then deleted it. Another journalist contrasted the “honorable and elegant” Obama with the “crass and morally bankrupt” Trump. Since then, the commentary and reporting has become worse, as seemingly one after another tries to outdo the other with gutter language and inappropriate images.

There was the infamous cut-out of Trump’s bloody head held aloof by the unfunny “comedienne” Kathy Griffin. That media storm was nothing compared to the most recent brouhaha. The star of the “Morning Joe” show –– a staple of political Washington –– Joe Scarborough, a former GOP Congressman and long-time Trump “friend,” spent many a morning praising Trump and was among the first to predict his primary victory. Then, the tone changed (ironically the change coincided with his engagement to his co-star, Mika Brzezinski and, some say, a desire to jump from MSNBC to the supposed higher ground of CNN). Trump became “the greatest liar that’s ever sat in the White House.” In a shift of tone and rhetoric Trump became a “thug” and a “goon.” When Trump responded in a street fighter tweet, the media went on overdrive. Trump, according to CNN, became, “crude, false and unpresidential.” Our culture and the foundations of our nation have been savaged, the Media and self-righteous bleated.

The Bushes would have ignored the attacks, but Trump appears to relish the attention it generates when he gets into a brawl, and he launched a counter-offensive. Trump is fighting back against those who seek to destroy his presidency. Many of us would have been more comfortable with a more dignified response, but we cannot deny the effectiveness of Trump’s approach. Thus far, the public has seen through the media hypocrisy and is sticking with Trump.

It is laughable to hear the outrage and the moral posturing of the media-political complex. Yes, Trump can be crude. Remember LBJ? Yes, Trump has bragged about exploiting women. Uh, remember what Kennedy and Clinton actually did? Trump has made no pretense of being anything other than himself, but he does respect Christianity, America and the Judeo-Christian values and morals that we celebrate.  He intends to curb the excesses of today’s media and shake up the political establishment. While many of us may be uncomfortable with the way he is doing it, we can certainly applaud the fact that the corrupt, contemptible media-political complex has met its match in what appears to be turning into a duel to the death.



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