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Post #52: Given that the left still refuses to accept the 2016 US election outcome, we are in a very dangerous place  10/13/2018

Trade weighted US$: 90.69;  US 10-yr: 3.2%;  S&P 500: 2,902;  Oil: $71.34;  Gold: $1,222;  Silver: $14.64

With 2018 midterm elections less than a month away, a return to more representative, less lawless government hangs in the balance:

Trump won and the Republicans are (still) in control of both chambers of Congress, but neither the Democrats, the media, Hollywood, the universities, Silicon Valley, K StreetWall Street, nor the administrative (deep) state have accepted the election results.  Quite the representative government and rule of law pummeling resistance.  Hillary Clinton’s and Barrack Obama’s Saul Alinksy rules for radicals playbook in action.  We see Alinksy’s mobster tactics at work everywhere.  Perhaps the conviction that the left refuses to accept the 2016 election result is best captured thusly:

  • The never-ending Trump Russian collusion witch hunt (if anyone colluded, it was felonious, traitorous Hillary Clinton — and I won’t mention Senator Feinstein’s Chinese chauffeur spy for some 20 years and all her and her husband’s crony Chinese deals). Mitch McConnell, are you listening?  Apparently so, for suddenly you are no longer obstructing the good part of Trump’s agenda, but greasing the skids for it.
  • The unending presidential impeachment threats despite Trump having violated no laws (again in stark contrast to many former Democratic power-brokers); if he had, Mueller’s band of high-powered Democratic operatives would have long discovered it.
  • The absolutely outrageous, “11th hour,” unsupported, and thus concocted allegations of Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual abuse 36 years ago (concluding remarks section) amounted to an ultimately unsuccessful effort to sabotage the election of an originalist/rule of law judge to the US Supreme Court.
  • The threats of impeachment against Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Thomas, should the Democrats retake the House, despite these justices’ impeccable lifelong records both on and off the bench.
  • Top-tier de facto promotion of race-baiting, civil unrest, and/or criminal behavior, from Ferguson, Missouri to Baltimore, Maryland to elected Democratic officials both inside and outside the halls of Congress.
  • And, if all else fails to “reverse the election” — 100% speculatively stated, but I believe rationally and fearfully so given “where we’re at” — then I wouldn’t put it past far-left Democrats, aligned with the deep state, to attempt to assassinate the very top national level Republican officials that are striving for a return to constitutional fidelity, both the elected and appointed variety.  That is, should all other attempts to effectively reverse the 2016 election fail, they will seek to uproot (what remains) of the constitutional order, if necessary by execution.  Why?  Because that liberty-shielding governing blueprint, and  the remaining allegiance to it, stand in the way of their despotic, collectivist path.  This is why the left despises the Constitution.  And this is why the constitutionalists that defend it must be “taken out” at any and all costs, by any means possible, from Trump, Kavanaugh, and Thomas character assassinations to the “real deal.”  At the end of the day, a coup against the Constitution, a nearly dead letter which the left wants to keep down and shred completely, once and for all, is in their sights.  They’ve been at it for over a century.  And they’re not about to stop now.  Which is what we are witnessing.

Perhaps the conviction that the left refuses to accept the 2016 election result AND what it has in mind is best summed up below:

Hillary Clinton: You ‘cannot be civil’ with Republicans, Democrats need to be ‘tougher’

WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton says the time for civility is over.

After the bitter and partisan fight over the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate declared that President Donald Trump has undermined the integrity of the nation’s highest court and that it’s time for Democrats to be “tougher” with their opponents, in an interview with CNN published Tuesday.  “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

Guarded hope:

Nevertheless, allow me to ask you this: what can possibly be better, more uplifting, or sexier (besides sex itself) than learning about the peerless proclamation and codification of individual freedom (which required/requires a civil society and personal responsibility to function) attained by the Founders (via the Declaration) and the Framers (via the Constitution) of this greatest freedom protecting republic ever designed?  And I state this despite imperfections, most especially sustaining slavery (which was addressed by ethical men thanks to the Declaration’s ideals) in order to have greater critical mass with which to declare independence against the most powerful nation in the world at that time.  The answer: the only thing better than learning about freedom is enjoying it. 

But enjoyment can only be sustained if understanding is widespread enough.  Hello effective civics courses as one such platform, the most important being sustained parental guidance and wisdom. In short, hello education versus indoctrination or demagoguery — hello “charter schools?”

Specifically, widespread citizen awareness and appreciation is required that a) freedom was secured at an extremely high cost in blood and treasure and thus needs to be cherished and nurtured, b) that eternal vigilance and possibly risky intervention will be required to maintain freedom, and c) that true freedom (as per the “negative rights” that restrict government’s imposition on to natural rights also known as the Bill of Rights, which depend on stout enumeration of limited power, separation of powers, federalism, and sound money as a foundation) is an incredible — and incredibly uncommon – state!  

This is especially true given that once very rare freedom is lost, status quo tyranny of one or another sort inevitably resurfaces.  Sometimes would-be despots stoke Balkanization; in America’s case, they seek unbridled third world amnesty and a related property rights transfer that will result in one-party government, such as in Sacramento, California, from “coast to coast.”  One party government is tyranny. 

If one-party government fails, the left has also been pursuing widespread civil strife and even anarchy, which is threatening to establish itself right before our eyes in numerous OECD nations, not just in America.  The left has been pursuing these dual strategies with increasing vigor and success for decades, which is is a prelude to one or another sort of tyranny and widespread citizen impoverishment.  The despots’ mantra is always the same demagoguery: we need to “save the people from themselves.”

Arguably, the fact that civics is still taught effectively to about 25% of US public school students represents a small ray of hope and a much-needed positive kick in the pants given the de facto collectivist, pro-amnesty takeover of most of the educational establishment, the media, and Hollywood.  In admittedly quite overstated terms, a “the Flag that was still there” revelation, but only if massive third world amnesty and the ever increasing teaching, language, financial, and Balkanization challenges can be capped in short order, else our society and culture will have been completely overturned not by war, but by immigrant love.

Couple this with the laudable fact that Florida and select other state public school students still start each school day with a “national family bonding,” “liberty and justice for all” Pledge of Allegiance, and you at least have a bit of “structural daylight” at shining into long “orchestrated darkness,” which is the antithesis of transparency, equality before the law, freedom, and a sustainable federalist, representative, constitutional (rule of law) republic.  

In a related sense, if only we could get back to sane, “digestible,” English as the only official language, US culture-centric, meritocracy-based, non-property transferring immigration before it is too late.  Clearly, if the Dems regain power at the federal level at the upcoming election, that is the beginning of the end of Trump’s attempt to return the US to a “meritocracy-based” immigration policy.  That is, if it is not too late already, given the huge, largely un-assimilated, citizen property-transferring Latino constituency that is increasingly populating this land, and how threateningly well former Colorado governor Dick Lamm’s infamous plan on “how to destroy America” has worked — as codified and materially enabled through the 1965 Hart-Celler Act.

Clearly, hope, while “smelling the coffee” and making an “enlightenment” difference locally to those on the fence or willing to listen/comprehend while we vote for constitutionalists (this November will be a watershed election in the US) and encourage others of like minds to also vote for constitutionalists, is more important than ever.   This is particularly true given where we may be headed — and possibly really, really soon — namely toward an irreconcilable civil split, possibly even a civil war.  Why?  Because the left refuses to accept the 2016 election.  At any and all costs.  Seriously.

Moreover, a “liberty, revisited” call to arms is especially apt if we dwell on the fact that a stout, vocal, committed minority can effect huge, constructive change.  For flavor, consider that only about 30% of the American colonists were willing to have a go at an all-powerful industrial and military nation led by a despotic British King, yet look at the terrific outcome and the US Constitution that ensued, which has outlasted any other, by far, however marginalized by sustained and spreading infidelity.

And, unlike last time, this time around we have the Founders’ (Declaration) and the Framers’ (Constitution) manuals – the invaluable frameworks upon which individual freedom, happiness, and widespread, unequaled success and prosperity were built – ready to dust off and revisit.   Yet, soberingly, this time around the “enemy is from within.”  Translation: it’s much easier to fight an external foe than an internal cancer.  But what choice is there for freedom-loving people, especially as America is the only nation that is based on a Declaration manifested in a Constitution whose goal it is to strictly ring fence governmental power while simultaneously protecting against “mobocracy.”  The resulting blueprint strictly limited and enumerated powers.  It gave us separation of powers: let the mighty fight, check, and balance out each other other instead of us.  It bestowed upon us federalism: power was mainly domiciled in the states that gave birth to the nation.  It gave us sound money, thereby preventing politicians from buying votes from an empty purse (redistributionism) while limiting cronyism.  And, as insisted upon by the state-based Framers when they signed the Constitution, the first amendments spelled out natural-rights that can’t be voted on, today known as the invaluable Bill of Rights.

If America loses liberty (freedom married to responsibility), then how is the rest of the world going to either keep theirs or establish it in the first place?

To avoid losing what’s left of an ever shrinking circle of individual liberty, in November 2018 the Republicans must hold the Congress, but especially the House, where impeachment emanates. Otherwise, it is highly likely that the US government will fall into a diabolical, endlessly intimidating, paralyzing political abyss wherein the impeachment of Trump will be pursued relentlessly, and a return to the rule of law for all citizens will be either highly threatened of dashed, potentially for good. 

Investment implications:

As mentioned elsewhere both in posts and in videos, the currently extremely elevated level of political uncertainty, on top of huge financial and economic challenges, is particularly threatening to those with property (invested capital or savings).   Today’s reality should impel investors to insist on steep risk premiums when purchasing bonds or stocks (and, by extension, real estate).  Stated differently, bonds should offer very high yields, stocks should sport very low P/Es, and real estate ought to provide stout bargains (rental income should pay for ongoing mortgage outlays and take a good-sized bite out of maintenance costs) if they are to be purchased.  In short, the utter opposite of today’s pervasive bond, stock, and real estate bubbles.

And if the erstwhile representative, federalist, constitutional republic known as the United States gets a new “rule of law” lease on life, it will only happen IF unconvicted felons, which appear to have occupied numerous positions of great power in the US federal government, from cabinet posts (such as both former secretaries of state and both DOJ heads of the former Obama administration) to heads of extremely powerful agencies such as the IRS, the CIA, and the FBI, are indicted and tried: 

For absolutely outrageous “over-the-top” flavor, consider Hillary Clinton.  The felonious former secretary of state destroyed massive amounts of evidence while gravely violating classified information security protocols with her private servers, and thus gravely threatened national security.  Yet, she was effectively exonerated by former FBI head Comey, who had the temerity to a) usurp judicial power and b), at the 14-minute mark of his self-righteous July 5th, 2016 tirade on this matter, warn that “everyday” Americans, in contrast, would be held accountable: “this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences!”  (When there are two sets of laws, one for the mighty who stand above the law, another for the rest of us who have to abide by the law, a society by definition cannot have the rule of law.)

If the full extent of US government lawlessness is exposed by virtue of the unindicted officeholder felons being convicted and then tried, complete disclosure regarding the federal government’s GDP-eclipsing $21trn of unaccounted for spending is forced (instead of swept under the ruling mob’s rug under the pathetic moniker of “national safety nondisclosure”), and those that perpetrated the unappropriated, and thus unconstitutional, spending are brought to justice, investor confidence in the US legal system and in its currency will be crushed.  By extension, US assets will be sold on a huge scale, driving down the value of those assets and the dollar in which they are based.  For a nation that a) requires roughly $600bn in foreign funding to cover its net annual trade deficit,  b) owes the rest of the world (ROW) $8.6trn, and c) has long counted on the ROW to finance a material portion of an expansive federal government deficit (a sizable portion of what the Fed didn’t monetize and lacking domestic savings couldn’t cover) that has averaged approximately $1trn a year for a decade (if measured by the average annual growth in US government debt), this is no academic matter.    

Such a dramatic cleansing would also be an overdue “cleansing,” which only a sustained Republican majority in both the Senate and the House combined with a functioning Department of JUSTICE could trigger, i.e., if they are “clean enough” and “un-intimidated enough”  at the key decision-making levels (Mitch McConnell? Paul Ryan? Jeff Sessions?) to even contemplate doing the politically unthinkable, but rule-of-law essential.  Given how incredibly deep and broad the US federal government core rot is (why else has no one been indicted on either side of the political aisle?), this is not an idle concern.

Such a cleansing would be an arguably last chance for America to shed its current de facto, but largely still unrecognized, banana republic (versus representative, rule of law republic) status.  And, once again, that lacking recognition constitutes the fleeting opportunity for investors to sell overvalued US investment-grade assets purchased at or near bubble valuation levels — investors that purchased investment-grade US assets at mere fractions of today’s prices/valuations should stay put, because they have already locked in attractive P/Es and yields and a “hold” policy here will prevent sizable tax hits for non-tax-sheltered investors.  In any event, boom will turn to bust, whether “US patriots” are able to force cleansing or whether the sustained corruption and criminality drive the country into an ever deeper political, financial, and economic ditch with progressively lower levels of investor confidence.

Either way, terrific bargains will beckon, although a cleansing would likely trigger an even faster and deeper “reset” of asset values.  In the meantime, buy some portfolio insurance.  Get out of high purchase price paper assets and derivatives of same that won’t be able to perform; recall 2008 and non-performing banks.  Remember the Long-Term Capital Management collapse in 1998 that almost triggered a global financial meltdown.  Buy timeless capital preservation and purchasing power protection assets, unloved and deeply undervalued, in OECD fiat currency terms, gold and (especially) silver.  

Dan Kurz, CFA

This commentary is not intended as investment advice or as an investment recommendation. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Price and yield are subject to daily change and as of the specified date. Information provided is solely the opinion of the author at the time of writing.  Nothing in the commentary should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Information provided has been prepared from sources deemed to be reliable but is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision.  Liquid securities can fall in value.