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Glenn Beck and Brad Thor: A "Patriot" May Need to Assassinate Trump

Mormon radio host Glenn Beck and fiction writer Brad Thor suggest that a "patriot" may need to step up and assassinate Trump if he-- as President-- oversteps his constitutional boundaries, an inevitable act by an alleged Chavista or Peronist.

Here's some of the transcript:

THOR: BS, BS. Trump does not compromise. Trump has the ability to hire and fire people, to hire contractors, to fire contractors. People who work for Trump can work for him or stop working for him. If he gets into the White House, we have to deal with him.

And I’ll tell you, one of the best examples I have seen of who Trump really is – I have been mistakenly comparing him to a potential Mussolini. And about a week ago, Foreign Affairs did an amazing article about the Caudillos, the strong men of Latin America. And that is who Trump is. He is a Chavez. He is a Peron.

That is the type of guy he is and I guarantee you, Glenn, that during his presidency, during his reign if you will – he is going to petition the American people to allow a temporary suspension of the Constitution so he can help America get back on its feet again.

He is a danger to America and I got to ask you a question and this is serious and this could ring down incredible heat on me because I’m about to suggest something very bad. It is a hypothetical I am going to ask as a thriller writer.With the feckless, spineless Congress we have, who will stand in the way of Donald Trump overstepping his constitutional authority as President? If Congress won’t remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority as president, I should say.

If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don’t think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won’t be able to do it through Congress.

BECK: I would agree with you on that and I don’t think you actually have the voices we’ve been talking about and we’ve been talking about this off-air for a while. I think the voices like ours go away. I don’t think we are allowed – especially if things, and I believe the economy is going to go to crap, even if Jesus was in office. It’s going to naturally reset. It has to.

THOR: Glenn, under the policies of Trump – again, Foreign Affairs – look up what a Caudillo is, C-A-U-D-I-L-L-O. Trump is promoting a protectionism, a nationalism in economics. It has destroyed Latin America. It has destroyed any hope of democracy down there. He will do the same thing here.

People say Hillary is worse? I hate Hillary Clinton’s guts. Hillary Clinton will not do the damage Trump will do. And people are going to come back and say to you and say to me, “You guys were right. We should have listened to you. And you know what? All of those cowards that are throwing in behind Trump because he’s the Republican nominee and they say “it’s too late to do anything.” Shame on you.

He has not been to the convention yet and guess what? If more of us stood up and we took a stand and said we are not going to vote for him. We’re going to make sure he doesn’t get elected, maybe that egomaniac Trump would want to opt out.

If he doesn’t think he can win the presidency because all of us were standing up against him, maybe he would beg off. Maybe he wouldn’t do it. But you know what? All of these go-along-to-get-along Republicans have fallen in behind him and I say shame on you and to hell with every one of you.

BECK: But really, stop being such a wallflower and tell us what you really — what are you gonna do, Brad, I mean, ’cause we had Austin Peterson on. He’s a libertarian I could vote for. Have you heard Austin Peterson?

THOR: I spoke with him this morning. I spoke with him this morning. I am spending the weekend with — I will not say who, because I promised I would not — but I am spending the weekend with probably one of the greatest conservative thinkers of my generation. And I am spending the weekend talking with him about what it is, because write in Ted Cruz, write in Mickey Mouse–
What's bizarre about this-- besides the insane call for assassination, of course-- is that none of these goons were behaving this way with Mitt Romney in 2012, whose political heresies were well known and extreme. I remember Romney assuring voters he was pro-life, then sending campaign surrogates to assure major donors that he wasn't serious about the pro-life issue, that he was in favor of gay marriage and gays in the military, among other things. This is the kind of guy he was, spreading either outright lies or half-truths constantly throughout the campaign, and even Beck-- who had bashed Romney throughout the campaign-- was aware of it, before he broke down in tears and apologized to the "decent" man Mitt Romney after his victory was secure.

Yet, none of these guys were calling on the radio to have Romney killed. "Christians" in the Republican party were even happy to join in group prayer with Mormon Bishops, or removed Mormonism from off the cult-page of their apologetics websites. Not that I wanted Romney killed, of course, I'm just pointing out how weird it is that that Romney never experienced this sort of backlash, but a lax Presbyterian who is further right than Romney may need to be shot by a Glenn Beck listener.

The dumbest part of Thor's argument is the Protectionist angle. He claims that if we have protectionism, we're going to turn into a Chavista regime. Meanwhile, despite Ronald Reagan's free trade rhetoric, he was placing huge tariffs on Japanese motorcycles or electronics in order to protect American manufacturers, among many other "heretical" acts.

From the CATO Institute:

Statements in favor of free trade and free markets are offset by others affirming protectionist beliefs of the administration's opponents in Congress. The rhetorical inconsistencies are bewildering. President Reagan got started even before he was elected. During his 1980 campaign he spoke about the problems of the American auto industry, saying, Japan is part of the problem. This is where government can be legitimately involved. That is, to convince the Japanese in one way or another that, in their own interests, that deluge of cars must be slowed while our industry gets back on its feet. . . . If Japan keeps on doing everything that it's doing . . . obviously there's going to be what you call protectionism."(12)

One might chalk this statement up to the pressures of a Detroit campaign stop, but, unfortunately, this kind of remark didn't stop with Reagan's inauguration in 1981.

The administration's first major protectionist move was pressuring Japan into accepting so-called voluntary restraints on the export of autos. The administration was divided into two factions--the "purists," as the opponents of protectionism (mostly economists) were dubbed, and the "pragmatists," namely politicians and former businessmen who supported "voluntary" quotas. The "pragmatists" were led by Secretary Baldrige and Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis. During infighting over the issue, Baldrige put down the free traders as "academics" and said, "Secretary Lewis and I are the businessmen in the Cabinet; we known what it's like to trade with the Japanese."(13) How this assertion refuted the arguments of the economists in the administration is not clear.

A few years later Baldrige went to South Korea, where he told the Korean Traders Association that one day the United States would say, "If your markets are closed, I'll close mine. It's not much more complicated than that."(14) He spoke from the classic protectionist premise--that opening one's market is a favor to others, not an act of self- interest--when he said, "Korea has continued to benefit from open markets in the United States."(15)

Trade Representative Yeutter also participated in the antitrade chorus. In defending administration efforts to force Japan to raise the price of computer memory chips, he played to popular ignorance about trade, comparing free trade to "fencing":

Computer firms and other users of semiconductor products have been complaining recently about semiconductor price increases in the aftermath of the U.S.-Japan agreement. But these complaints ring hollow indeed. That is like the merchant buying stolen goods who complains because people can't get away with thievery anymore!(16)

Yeutter boasts that the administration's trade policy is "extremely aggressive." "Some of our trading partners have complained loudly about what they see as high-handed American practices," he said. "But that won't dissuade us from protecting our interests."(17)

Baldrige defended sanctions against Japan in terms that must have given comfort to protectionists everywhere: "We had no choice but to retaliate against Japanese semiconductor products, because Japan refused to open its market and continued to dump semiconductor chips in third-country markets. Retaliation was not the result we wanted. But neither can we tolerate flagrant violations of international agreements and a continuing refusal to open markets."(18)

C. William Verity, who succeeded Baldrige as commerce secretary, has been no improvement when it comes to public statements on trade issues. As the dollar fell against the yen, Americans expected exports to the United States to fall quickly as they became more expensive. That didn't happen, and Verity didn't like it. He lambasted the Japanese for not raising prices. "By failing to price in line with the appreciated yen in order to maintain market share, Japanese firms are impeding the power of currency adjustments to help correct our trade imbalance."(19) This is typical protectionist reasoning. The interests of consumers are sacrificed to a statistical artifact.

President Reagan himself joined the chorus of protectionist statements when a 100 percent tariff was placed on selected Japanese electronics products. "The health and vitality of the U.S. semiconductor industry are essential to America's future competitiveness," he said. "We cannot allow it to be jeopardized by unfair trading practices." Again playing into the hands of the most staunch protectionists in Congress, industry, and organized labor, he claimed he imposed the tariff "to enforce the principles of free and fair trade."(20) White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater reinforced this presidential use of a bogus distinction when he said the tariff was a signal "that we want to be fair traders as well as free traders."(21)

The tariff was imposed after Japan allegedly violated an agreement to keep microchip prices high--an agreement imposed on the Japanese by the Reagan administration.(22) When Japan first accepted the agreement, Reagan rejoiced. "This agreement," he told the New York Times on August 11, 1986, "represents an important step toward freer and more equitable world trade, and will enhance the ability of our semiconductor manufacturers to compete fairly in the Japanese market."

If President Reagan has been trying to teach the American people that free trade is good, it is hard to imagine what an ideologically protectionist president would have said. One of the many ways Reagan embraced trade restrictions was through imposition of a special 45 percent tariff over a five-year period (on top of the regular 5 percent duty) on Japanese heavy motorcycles as a favor to Harley Davidson. With less than a year to go in the five-year program, Harley Davidson asked that the tariff be removed.(23) Reagan took the occasion to celebrate Harley's comeback with an appearance at the plant. He declared that "American workers don't need to hide from anyone," although that is exactly what they had done for more than four years.(24) It is true that, in his speech at Harley, Reagan criticized parts of the House trade bill. Yet the very occasion conveyed a deeper message--that the Harley case exemplified the creative use of the president's power to regulate trade. In other words, the House bill is undesirable not because it will impede trade, but because it will infringe on presidential authority, which can be used to such good effect, as the Harley case shows.(25) This is hardly a free trader's case against the bill.

I recommend reading the entire report, it is very interesting. Today, CATO claims Ronald Reagan was a free-trade purist, and condemns Trump with the same rhetoric they used to go after Reagan formerly.

By the way, even more amusing about Thor and Beck's diatribe: Protectionism supposedly destroyed Latin America-- a set of countries so corrupt and socialistic that they don't even have any decent industries to protect!

.There's a funny and well known play of words that my mother used the other day when talking about Guatemalans immigrating to Mexico, hoping for a better life: "de Guatemala a Guatapeor," or, in other words, they moved from bad to worse! Beck and his compatriots seem to have gone from bad to worse too.

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