Safe and Smug

Concerned for their physical and mental well-being, conservative Trump supporters on university campuses have requested “safe zones,” seemingly a reversal of position on the legitimacy of the concept and its implications on free expression.

safe-zonesIn an editorial for the UNCG Carolinian, Mark Parent wrote:

“Whenever we take sensible and thoughtful positions on abortion, LGBT rights, illegal immigration, political correctness, the minimum wage or the role of government, we are almost instantly targeted by harsh rhetoric and condemnation….It simply hurts our feelings, and it’s offensive.”

“Even though our guy won, our views are not respected,” another student observed. “It didn’t make any sense to me when whiny snowflake liberals were screeching about their feeeeeelings getting hurt — and in fact, it still doesn’t. But now it’s not just words or threats. People are getting attacked! We demand respect, and we need protection.”

For years, thoughtful conservatives have strenuously condemned not only the liberal dogma espoused on college campuses by students, faculty, and administrators alike, but the explicit suppression of contrary politically views. They warned against elevating a non-existent Politically Correct (PC) right not be offended above the First Amendment’s protection of free expression.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner back in February, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai opined, “I think that poses a special danger to a country that cherishes First Amendment speech, freedom of expression, even freedom of association. I think it’s dangerous, frankly, that we don’t see more often people espousing the First Amendment view that we should have a robust marketplace of ideas where everybody should be willing and able to participate.”

But post-election, many conservatives are rethinking this principle, noting that the election’s clear mandate signals the need for change on campus as well. “We won, so we make the rules; that’s how it works,” stated UNCG’s Dean Susan Totherfoot in an exclusive interview by telephone with Bratbreit. “Elections have consequences. Liberals had the run of the field for a long time, but now it’s our turn. To put it bluntly, they need to shut up and listen, and if it takes rules and regulations to make that happen, let’s start writing ’em.”

Build The Wall!

President-elect Trump’s very first campaign promise remains foremost in the hopes and dreams of the voters who elected him. “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” Trump proclaimed on June 16, 2015, to announce his candidacy. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”

mexican_border

The vow was loudly mocked by his opponents as well as by media pundits, a pattern continued right through Election Day and still echoing. But Trump has not backed off his claim, and a confidential document  has surfaced outlining his strategy for both implementing the project and presenting it to the public. Bratbreit has authenticated the document, its findings summarized here.

First of all, while there will be additional construction to erect a wall similar to the one that now divides Jacumba, CA from Jacume, Mexico, the Wall will also include fencing and “natural formations,” such as water or mountains. The Wall will also be defined by electronic monitors, drones, and beefed-up border security personnel. The document goes to great lengths to recast the term “Wall” as “a series of protective measures” rather than only a physical construct, and  recommends using upper-case W in all written references.

Secondly, the document suggests that when discussing how “Mexico will pay for the Wall,” spokespersons should downplay the notion that the Mexican government would literally write checks to contractors for the cost of construction– this was never the intention — but that “costs associated with the criminal activities and  diseases Mexican immigrants unleash on American soil” would be curtailed, holding Mexico responsible. Similarly, the cost of education, housing, welfare, and jobs lost to illegal immigrants would be relieved, forcing Mexico to provide for its own citizens.

Finally, the document urges that these strategies be implemented early in the administration, when good will is abundant, as there will inevitably be detractors disappointed that Trump’s promise to build a “great, great Wall” will not result in the physical structure they anticipated, resulting in potential dissidence, disillusion, alienation, and accusations of fraud. There will be abundant opportunity for that soon enough.

photo credit: National Geographic

 

NFL’s Declining Viewership Is Balls-Related

Data don’t lie: the National Football League is losing viewers as effectively as the Cleveland Browns are losing games (0-12 at this writing).  As reported by MMQB, Monday Night Football is down 24% from last year at this time, Sunday Night Football is down 19% and Thursday night is down 18%.

deflated-ballsSpirited debate about the causes for this dramatic fumble has replaced conversations about the game itself. Popular themes include distraction by the election; market over-saturation (i.e., just too much product); declining level of skill and quality contests; fallout from Deflategate; officiating and punishment of exuberant celebrations; and disgust with Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who kicked off the custom of refusing to stand for the National Anthem before games.

Scrambling for answers, the NFL recently commissioned a marketing study as the first step to devising a strategy that would restore the game to its remunerative glory. In an exclusive telephone interview with Bratbreit, Dr. Libby Rae Shone, a business psychologist leading the marketing research team, shared preliminary findings.

“First of all, sports viewership is down across the board, not just NFL football,” she notes. “So NFL-specific factors are probably less relevant to the big picture. We’re more inclined to look at population trends and technology. For example, we think that one reason people aren’t watching football games on TV is because there are other ways access games such as NetFlix that aren’t being measured the same way. You’re losing lots of younger viewers this way.”

What about those protests during the national anthem?

“That’s a stretch. We know it’s become a popular meme and there are certain parties eager to advance that as part of their agenda. But how many fans really care enough about the circus antics of a back-up quarterback on a losing team to stop watching entirely? Surely not enough to create a double-digit decline. That’s political football.”

So preliminarily, what do your studies point to?

“The political angle has one grain of truth: the aging, mostly-white, politically conservative audience most susceptible to this kind of thinking is simultaneously the most TV-oriented and largest declining-interest segment. Sports generally, and football most emphatically, has testosterone appeal, which is one reason women enjoy it. Look at the ads — beer, cars, red-meat patriotism. But when men lose their edge, they lose their interest. It’s sort of a deflation factor, excuse the reference.”

Is it coincidental that the testosterone-challenged population you describe coincides with the same demographic that strongly backed the President-elect?

“That’s not what we’re contracted to research.”

Executive Order #1

While the Trump transition team lurches wildly from candidate to candidate in its search to fill top advisory and cabinet positions, there has been no ambiguity regarding the new President’s very first executive order.

guns“The very first Executive Order President Trump will sign directs the Department of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to take immediate steps to return all weapons confiscated by the government during the Obama regime,” Brent Ashburn, a spokesman for the campaign stated. “The ‘Confiscated Weapons Restoration Order’ has already been written, dated January 20th, 2017.”

Bratbreit has learned in a confidential interview that to ensure the endorsement of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its millions-strong membership, President-elect Trump agreed ast May to make this restoration of American citizens’ private property a priority. “The unprecedented and illegal confiscation of weapons as authorized by President Obama will be reversed as promptly as we can manage,” Ashburn promised. “There has been a terrible breach of justice that must be remedied.”

Pressed for details, Ashburn indicated that ATF officials would be ordered to create a comprehensive database of confiscated weapons in its possession, cross-referenced to owners’ identification, including names, social security numbers, emails, cell phone records, credit references, etc. “to preserve the integrity of the process.” When weapons and their owners are properly matched, ATF will “personally deliver, at government expense, all confiscated property as timely as possible.”

In addition, citizens whose weapons have been confiscated will be able to log into a web site established by ATF, monitored by Homeland Security to prevent hackers, to register for weapons restoration, track progress of the process, and report any irregularities. “We regard this as empowering the very citizens whose rights have been sorely violated over the last eight years,” Ashburn added, grimly. “And to send a signal to law-abiding sportsmen and citizens there’s a whole new management team that’s got their back. for a change.”