Friday, December 30, 2016

Putin, Trump, Obama and Our Shared Interests with Russia

The current insanity over the Russian hacking of DNC emails, not yet proved in my opinion, is another tempest in a teapot.  It has merely provided Obama another opportunity to demonstrate his petulance and contempt for Trump.  It's ironic that the hacks, as revealed on Wikileaks, demonstrate just how corrupt the media and Democratic party are.  Their collusion is only surprising as to the vastness of its extent.

Worth considering is the extent to which our nation's interests align with Putin's.  This is not the same as admiring Putin, who is a dictator and likely murderer.  But he is also the leader of a singularly important nation, whose interests have changed since the cold war.  Full disclosure, I am a former officer in the U.S. Submarine force, but that doesn't influence my thinking here.

First and foremost, both Russia and the U.S. have an interest in isolating and defeating Islamic extremism.  Russia is ringed by Muslims 'stans on its southern border.  Their experience with the Chechens demonstrated the need to contain the spread of extremism.  The U.S. interest in this matter is actually less clear, but certainly, our security from terrorism has to top the list.  With this common interest, cooperation with Putin on defeating ISIS in Syria, keeping the Sunnis and Shiites divided to contain extremism makes sense.  For the record, I don't think that the Arab Muslim world can ever be democratic due to the high rates of consanguineous marriage; Steve Sailer laid this out over a dozen years ago.

The other conundrum with Russia is the confluence of continued warfare in the Middle East and the Russian violation of the Ukrainian border and seizure of Crimea.  One of the key sources of conflict in the Middle East are the asinine borders that do not respect natural geographic feature or traditional tribal regions.  The rise of ISIS stems from the fact that Sunni tribes in both eastern Syria and western Iraq feel greater kinship to each other than to Shiite governments in Damascus and Baghdad respectively.  A redrawing of the borders is necessary to end the incessant warfare and migration crises.  But the U.S. is wedded to a policy of strictly maintaining the sanctity of borders worldwide.  We believe that a failure to do so would allow mischief to break out along Chinese, Indian, or other regions.  This is where Russia comes in.  Their seizure of the Crimea was just, in my opinion, given that it was stolen from the Russian federation in the 1950s by Khruschev.  Were we to grant the legitimacy of some border changes with Russia, they might be amenable to a deal where we redraw Middle East borders, as a one-time exception to the sanctity of borders policy.

I believe that the future of Europe has been put in danger by Muslim migration.  Dealing with the root causes, other than Merkel's fecklessness, is in our long term best interest. Only Europe and the Anglosphere share our values, so helping to save them from themselves is in the U.S. national interest.

The final way in which our interests align also involves Europe.  For various political reasons, Putin has postured as the only defender of traditional Christian values.  I doubt that he is sincere, but his example in promoting these values stands as a contrast to the current European model of attempting to destroy Christianity within the borders of Western European nations.

So I applaud Trump for his tweet.    

He knows he has time to deal with Putin.  Putin smartly decided not to retaliate against Obama's petulance, which was the alpha male move.  A relationship based on mutual respect and recognizing shared interests will serve the U.S. well when it comes to Russia.  Since Russia abandoned international Communism, our interests can often be aligned.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Natalist Nationalist Policies

I have staked out a position as a limited-government nationalist, but haven't delineated how that differs from standard conservatism or from more right-wing proposals from the alt-right.  Here are two natalist policies consonant with the desire to keep America great into future generations.

A key issue for nationalists is the high levels of immigration, illegal and otherwise.  Much of the apologia for allowing the immigration centers around low U.S. birth rates the need for more workers.  But importing people who lack the intellectual or cultural wherewithal to successfully integrate into our European (and more specifically Anglo-Saxon) society is a death sentence for the Bill of Rights in the long term. (To be clear, I am calling for an end to all immigration immediately with an emphasis on building a wall at the southern border.)   What should be done to ensure the future of our people and a future work force?  Increase the birth rate of the native born.  I know that natalist policies have been a mixed bag; but I ultimately believe that incentives matter and can work in this area.  For example, the high rates of illegal immigration have kept down wages for nannies, and at least one study linked this to higher birth rates of native-born Americans when compared to Europeans. 

Tax policy can provide huge incentives for couples to have children.  But we want couples who are already successful to have children because they have already demonstrated genetic fitness, and because they have the financial resources to provide for children.  I propose a massive increase in the child tax credit that is a percentage of adjusted gross income. The total value of the credit should be in the range of 5% of AGI per child capped at $1 million in income.  That means a couple earning $200,000 per year would get a $20,000 credit for two children.  That might be too generous, I would need expert help to get the incentive just right.  Basing the credit on a percentage of AGI would also encourage couples who already have children to earn more money, which can only help the economy and their kids.

Another key issue is that college bound women waste their peak fertile years in college.  However, for the benefit of our society, it is best to educate women to eventually join the work force.  In order to increase the birth rate, we need some way to encourage college-aspiring women to have babies starting at 18 but still retain the opportunity for college. This might be remedied by a policy that provides scholarship money to woman who delay the start of college to have children.  This policy is intended to have "unintended" consequences.  First, I know that many such women who have a child will not want to return to work or college soon.  My gut instinct, based on some reading, is that removing more women from the work force and returning them to traditional roles will result in a more traditional and conservative society.  Fat young women who have no business being in college, as evidenced by their selection of critical dance theory as a major, are a ready source of "troops" for leftist causes.  Further, pregnancy alters the brains of women; I would bet that it does so in ways that make women more amenable to supporting traditional societal norms.  

I intend to write more about both natalist and nationalist polices.  If you are reading this column by way of twitter, I wrote this for John Rivers, whom I follow.  He makes great points, but I keep thinking that more detail is needed to implement national policy that will achieve the results we mutually desire.  Just hating the left isn't going to change the trajectory of the nation.  Since we are descendants of the people who invented Western civilization and modern industrial society; there's no reason to believe we can't start to figure out how to reverse the current trends in America that put us on a trajectory towards third world dictatorship.