The Party of Death 9

The Democratic Party has become officially and doctrinally authoritarian and cruel.

Another word for it is fascist.

Karin McQuillan, writing at American Greatness, explains why “fascist” is the right word to use for what the Democrats have become. We quote her article almost in full:

The Democrats have no shame.


Liberals watch their politicians, celebrities, and media leaders attack individuals, even children, and our precious civil liberties. Instead of recoiling, they immediately parrot the vicious talking point of the day. The few exceptions of public protest, the exemplary Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, and last week, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), makes the ominous acquiescence of other Democrats all the more noticeable.


The mobbing of the Covington boys, and the feeble excuse-apologies—and continued attacks—that followed, join what is now a long series of hate-filled words and acts by leftists that cause regular Democrats no shame, no dark night of the soul, no revulsion towards what they are becoming as people and as a party.


Everything America has ever stood for must go. Being colorblind is attacked as racist. Equality before the law is attacked as sexist. The list of Democrat doublespeak becomes a tedious rant, and what’s the point? Democrats are not listening and if forced to listen, plug their ears and scream at the top of the lungs that it is Trump, Trump, Trump who is ruining everything.

Meanwhile, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom to organize politically (for conservatives), the right to life for a baby about to be born — have all been redefined as violence against blacks, women or gays. A religious teenager standing still in a MAGA hat is an attempt to “erase” minorities that justifies violence to wipe the smile off his face.


#TheResistance is an attack on the right of Republicans to win a perfectly normal, hard fought, fairly won, national election. Democrats are resisting American democracy itself—and their previously normal voters cheer.


Americans never accepted attacking children, mobbing anyone, making political opposition a thought crime — now Democrats do.


The attempt to defame and destroy youngsters should trigger revulsion across the political spectrum. Instead, we heard a chorus of lame excuses that the original Covington video clip could well have been the boys mobbing an Indian. Reality check: even the short clip did not show a boy disrespecting an Indian, let alone mobbing an Indian. The short clip was a video of a boy smiling at an Indian. That’s it. The long clip showed black adults and an Indian being aggressive and disrespectful to a group of youngsters, followed by the Indian trying to frame the kids in a lying, hostile interview with the national media.


Democratic professional journalists tried to ruin that child’s life. A hysterical Twitter mob wanted to dismember and kill him. His real crime was going to a right to life rally and wearing a MAGA hat. They tell us so. I keep thinking of Mao’s Red Guards, who would stuff a neighbor in a sack for thought crimes and beat her to death.


We have black shirts, in America, beating conservatives with chains. It’s OK with leftists, including Obama and Clinton, because they name themselves Antifa. It’s hard to believe it’s really happening.


One by one, the post-Obama Democratic party is breaking down all civilized norms in America. That’s understandable. They are being led by professional activists, following the cultural Marxist playbook of identity politics. It is a well published, albeit ignored playbook, which Obama learned at the American Socialist conferences he attended, taught in Chicago as a paid agitator and law school lecturer, and instituted from the White House.


We’re following the leftist blueprint for destruction. Their weapon of choice is to set the races at each other’s throats. Obama stoked racial grievances leading to race riots and a mass shooting of cops, cynically using the corpses of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Social justice warrior’s grievance studies departments, racial quotas and attacks on white privilege daily rub race relations raw.


Community organizers purposely inflame grievances into societal breakdown. They get money by shaking down corporations with accusations of racism (now add sexism and homophobia). They take over public schools and texts that teach kids to hate America. When they get enough power, they corrupt and subvert our institutions—IRS, FBI, DOJ. They delegitimize the constitutional safeguards against tyranny of the mob, such as the electoral college.


The left is tearing America apart on purpose, because they want a revolution. It’s normal for them.


What is not normal is for regular Democrats, once sincere liberals, to follow their leaders down into the sewer of cultural Marxism, pretending it doesn’t smell. Once normal Democrat politicians, journalists, Hollywood and sports celebrities are leading a revolting break down of civility and decency.


In each and every case, normal, decent Democrats choose not to look. If forced by too many headlines to notice the odious behavior, they justify it.

The stench of their hypocrisy is in all our nostrils.

In the case of the Covington boys, their own high school and bishop in Kentucky — people who knew the boys and their milieu and should have assumed their decency absent overwhelming evidence to the contrary — automatically and swiftly joined the accusers of the innocent boys.


Liberal Catholic and Christian clergy have long been turning a blind eye to the intense bigotry of Democrats against their own religions. Liberal Jews are tolerating their party’s anti-semitism, since it is integral to identity politics and multiculturalism. This seems freakish, but it is all too human. 

Liberals cannot admit what is in front of their eyes: conservatives represent traditionally liberal values. Conservatives are the party of inclusiveness, in which we are all Americans, colorblind and equal, while their identity politics is something foreign to America that encourages hatred of whites and men, pitting race against race and women against men. Conservatives want to raise people up, and their party wants people to be dysfunctional victims, seething masses of self-destructive grievance, envy, and revenge.


None of this is subtle or confusing. It’s just impossible for liberals to admit. The price of being honest is too high.


Everyone they know is liberal. Their spouses, their children, their relatives, their neighbors, their bosses, their colleagues. Liberals don’t tolerate dissent.


Dissent, and you will be treated like the Covington boys. …


Liberals have no escape from their party’s embrace of hate. For a liberal to criticize Democrat’s hatefulness towards whites, men, Jews, Christians, Catholics — it can’t be done. It would destroy a liberal’s career, perhaps his or her marriage, in an instant. Dissent is punished swiftly and ruthlessly by liberals. Apple’s black, female vice president of diversity and inclusion was fired after six months in her new position (she was a 20-year veteran at Apple, on the leadership team expanding retail worldwide). Her crime? She said twelve white men from diverse backgrounds with different life experiences and perspectives also provide “diversity”.


All of this is impossible for liberals to face. Their own betrayal of American values, their hypocrisy, the danger of dissent—all are awful things to admit. So they don’t admit them. Instead, they double down on denial and displacement. They tell themselves Republicans are truly evil and must be destroyed. They insist they are the party of love.


Liberals aren’t uneasy that the two freshmen congresswomen from Muslim districts are anti-Semites. Their papers simply don’t report on it. Instead, they scream over and over that President Trump is KKK, ignoring his stellar record of helping blacks with jobs and safe neighborhoods and school choice and incarceration reform, his healing words that color doesn’t matter, and we are all American.


Tearing the country apart with false accusations of racism is bad for America, but for the individual liberal, it is totally safe. It is required. It is good.


Wanting to torture, beat and murder the Catholic boys from Covington High carries no penalty in their social circles. Showing those boys respect even though they are right to life? That’s dangerous. Really dangerous.


It’s easy to keep liberal blinders on. Limit your reading to the propaganda press, so you will not learn any disturbing information. Read the New York Times and listen to NPR, and “poof”—all the potential cognitive dissonance is gone.


To stay in the fold, liberals are being forced to jettison liberalism. They have already jettisoned American values. No more Bill of Rights. No patriotism allowed. No common sense on borders. No Martin Luther King’s dream of colorblind fairness. No equality before the law. No respect for a two- party system.


Adopting fascism is entirely comfortable. Everyone they know is doing it. They’re the good people. Everyone they know says so.
 
 

In fact, those “liberals” have not been liberal for a very long time, if ever they were. They are Democrats. The Democratic Party supported slavery, segregation, secession and the KKK, and now it supports infanticide. One of the two major political parties of America, commanding roughly half the votes of the American people, has become the Party of Death!

A number of professors (particularly foolish types generally speaking) question whether the human race should continue to exist – and mostly argue that it should not. (See here, here, here and here.) Whether they are Democrats or not, whether they are all on the Left or not, we don’t know, but they certainly aren’t conservatives.

“It’s okay, walk away” – from the Democratic Party 6

Is this the start of a big enough trend to wreck the Democratic Party, or at least to force a total revision of its policies, values, methods, and aims?

A former Democrat, Brandon Straka, is leading a movement of which he says:

Today I’m kicking off the #WalkAway campaign by releasing my video about why I am walking away from liberalism and the Democratic Party.

It is my sincere hope that you will join me in this campaign and that we may start a movement in this country – which not only encourages others to walk away from the divisive left, but also takes back the narrative from the liberal media about what it means to be a conservative in America. It is up to all of us to make our voices heard and reclaim the truth.

The Democratic Party has taken for granted that it owns racial, sexual, and religious minorities in America. It has encouraged groupthink, hypocrisy, division, stereotyping, resentment, and the acceptance of victimhood mentality. And all the while, they have discouraged minorities from having independent thought, open dialogue, measured and informed opinion, and a motivation to succeed.

Please like and share my video, and please post your own #WalkAway video!! If you are a former liberal who has walked away from the left, please share your story, or your message, or your thoughts in a video on the WalkAway Campaign Facebook Page.

If you are a lifelong conservative or non-Democrat, please share your story, message, or thoughts on what it truly means to be a conservative. Right now, the liberal media continues to perpetuate a false narrative about the “hateful” and “bigoted” right. Use your voice to let people know who conservatives really are. Be sure to use the hashtag #WalkAway.

Please like and follow me on Facebook and Twitter:
@usminority
The Unsilent Minority
and subscribe to my YouTube channel: The Unsilent Minority
https://youtu.be/4Pjs7uoOkag

Celia Farber writes at the Epoch Times:

Some 5 million people on Facebook and YouTube have seen the video by now. A very handsome gay man, who you just assume is about to scold you on progressive talking points, instead says this:

They gather at his two Facebook groups, “The Unsilent Minority” and “WalkAway Campaign.” Those who have the courage post their own video testimonials about the moment when the abuse, rage, and ugliness of the Democrats caused them to finally leave the party and “walk away”. 

“This is so much more than a hashtag on Twitter,” he said. “This is a testimonial campaign, a grassroots movement that is going to change the political landscape of this country.”

And that’s the astonishing twist here: If these people have been driven into the arms of Donald Trump, who’s left on the left? …

Those who are walking away are not Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables”, but rather, in many cases, lifelong Democrats who simply could not take it any longer and have longed for this very moment, when somebody like them would make it safe for them to come out of the closet and speak their minds. …

A man adjusts his video camera and sits back. The walls behind him are a tasteful grey-blue. He’s a gay, affluent, native New Yorker, and he’s coming out of the second closet of his life. For Ricky Roberts, the moment came after the Orlando nightclub shootings.

Trump said he was going to protect gay men, and he did, [with] the travel ban. Hillary was telling Americans not to ‘pick on all Muslims because of this’,” and that did not feel like protection, Roberts says. … “I can’t do it anymore. I really can’t. You know, listen, I’m a gay guy from New York City, but before that, I’m an American, I’m a patriot. …”

His assessment of the Democrats: “From immigration to everything, they are just a disaster. They’re anti-American, anti-common sense, [anti-]rational — anything good, they’re against it.”

It took Brandon Straka himself a little longer than that to see the light:

Straka, who grew up in a small town in Nebraska, was on board with the fear and loathing campaign around Trump until he began asking people back home why they had voted for him. To his astonishment, they told him about Obama-era regulations that had crippled their small businesses.

He started to research media canards like the one about Trump supposedly mocking a disabled reporter. When he found that it was a total distortion, he kept going, his anger rising.

He eventually became “completely “red-pilled”.  And isolated. He told himself that he would have to give up his lifelong dream of becoming an actor if he hit the “publish” button on his video, but, encouraged by one conservative gay friend, he decided to go ahead.

“This was a matter of the media specifically using and manipulating people’s deepest fears, based on legitimate traumas,” he explained.

Many gay people have experienced very serious homophobia and even physical violence. Can you imagine manipulating a domestic violence survivor’s fears just for political purposes? It’s insane. I was afraid of losing all my friends. As I began posting about these things on social media, people started attacking me and unfriending me. But I thought, “You know what, this is too important.” Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a gay man and I’ve already been through this — people making up lies about what it means to be gay and trying to shame me. … [But] the more resentment I received, the stronger I got. Finally, I thought, “To hell with it. I’m just going to blow the lid off this whole thing and make this video.”

The video has garnered 1.3 million views on his Facebook page and has been shared on many other popular pages. It is estimated to have reached some 5 million viewers so far.

There are some 27,000 followers of the Facebook group, with new people posting both video and text testimonials every day. Straka calls them “the patriots”.

Initially, my focus was on the gay community because I was so angry at how they were [being terrorized]. Then I thought, why should I limit it to just us? They’re doing the same thing to black people. And Hispanic people. And frankly, they’re doing the same thing to everybody in one way or another. But it’s really the minorities in America who don’t feel like we have a choice. That’s what they keep telling us over and over: “You’re not safe on the right. They don’t want you on the right. They hate you on the right. You’re only safe with us. We are here to protect you.” Meanwhile, are you kidding me? You’re here to “protect” me? All you are doing is use my fears to scare the [expletive] out of me — to terrify me and to try to manipulate the way that I vote.

Libby Albert, one of the WalkAway Facebook group members, said “This is taking off,” citing the snowstorm of thousands of hashtags on Twitter. “It’s kind of incredible.”

Said another: “It’s kind of incredible. It’s OK. Walk away.”

In defense of classical liberalism 7

A Harvard University reader of this website, who goes by the pseudonym of Adam Smythe, sent us by email this well-informed reply to the Yoram Hazony article we posted yesterday. He explores the issues with admirable intellectual rigor:

The article is interesting, though rather confused – mainly because the categories that he is trying to describe are themselves confused. In turn, I found much of his article confusing, and my response will, doubtless, further confuse the issues in question. So confused at first was I by his article that I did not know whether I wholeheartedly agreed or abjectly opposed it.

First things first: von Mises strongly believed (too much, I would say) in the right of self-determination. The comment  he made about world government mentioned in the article was predicated upon all countries first adopting his brand of liberalism. He argued that the size of a state was an irrelevancy, and that if all states happily adopted liberalism, then a world government in line with the liberal program would be favorable.

That von Mises opposed hugely bureaucratic institutions, of the kind lauded by “globalists”, is even more clear. It is true that German and Austrian 19th century liberalism did generally argue for the widespread adoption of governmental bureaucracies full of well-educated administrators; one might conclude from this that Mises, an outspoken “liberal” himself, would be in favor of a world bureaucratic government. Nothing could be further from the truth — he wrote extensively against bureaucracies in, among other things, his scathing book Bureaucracy, and was the originator of the entire intellectual opposition to the idea of “educated” planning with his essay Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. In this respect he was opposed to his “liberal” colleagues.

The “liberal” infatuation with bureaucracies further confounds the author’s thesis that liberalism is fundamentally rationalist. Most liberals liked these bureaucracies because they could be empirically minded, and pragmatic, whereas laws originating from legislative bodies could not. Von Mises, however, generally opposed this position.

To argue that von Mises was in favor of big government, on the basis of the single comment mentioned by the author, and to further conclude that this is the backbone for the case for widespread “liberalizing” military intervention in contemporary American politics, is absurd. In particular, a man in favor of international government in general or forcible interventions by liberal states into the affairs of non-liberal ones, would not write as von Mises did in Man, State and Economy:

Liberalism knows no conquests, no annexations; just as it is indifferent towards the state itself, so the problem of the size of the state is unimportant to it. It forces no one against his will into the structure of the state. Whoever wants to emigrate is not held back. When a part of the people of the state wants to drop out of the union, liberalism does not hinder it from doing so. Colonies that want to become independent need only do so. The nation as an organic entity can be neither increased nor reduced by changes in states; the world as a whole can neither win nor lose from them.

In fact, I would say von Mises went too far in opposition to world government — he believed strongly (I believe too strongly) in the right of self-determination. Also from Man, State, and Economy):

The right of self-determination in regard to the question of membership in a state thus means: whenever the inhabitants of a particular territory, whether it be a single village, a whole district, or a series of adjacent districts, make it known, by a freely conducted plebiscite, that they no longer wish to remain united to the state to which they belong at the time, but wish either to form an independent state or to attach themselves to some other state, their wishes are to be respected and complied with. This is the only feasible and effective way of preventing revolutions and civil and international wars.

As for Hayek: it is true that Hayek broadly favored multinational trade federations, and a European trade federation in particular. He enunciated the conditions for such trade federations in an early essay from the 30’s.  Most of Hayek’s followers despised and despise the EU itself, however. (I cannot find Hayek’s point of view on the EU.) But Hayek outspokenly did not identify himself as a conservative. The AEI has an interesting piece on this: http://www.aei.org/publication/europes-hubris-and-nemesis/

In both cases, any discussion of world government was predicated upon the government being, in the first place, little more than a nightwatchman state. So it is wrong to read into them the kind  of technocratic “globalist” view so reviled by Trumpist or Bannonist conservatives.

The author is right insofar as he claims that von Mises and Hayek believed that liberalism and human liberty were universally good, and that all states ought to adopt liberal policies. He is wrong to suggest that these ideas lead to the conclusion that liberal states ought to forcibly liberalize illiberal ones. (Ayn Rand, however, did say that liberal states had the right — though not the obligation — to liberate illiberal states. But, she wrote, there were, in fact, no presently existing states – America included – that were “liberal” enough to have earned this right .)

The position that liberal states like America ought to forcibly liberalize illiberal states is quintessentially “neoconservative” — a philosophy which certianly borrowed some things from the liberal tradition, but, in this respect, not only parts company from its classical liberal forebears, but lies in opposition to them. In today’s world, for instance, most right-wing individuals who identify as “classical liberal” as opposed to “conservative” – Rand and Ron Paul, for example – do so in order to make it clear that they favor an isolationist foreign policy, in opposition to conservatives on this very issue.

If we are to conclude, as the author does, that America’s intervention into Iraq and Afghanistan are failures (even if we simultaneously acknowledge that postwar liberalizing of Japan, Germany, Eastern Europe, and Korea are successes), and we therefore conclude that the internationalist position on American hegemony is wrong, then we simply ought to conclude that internationalism has not worked, not that liberal ideals are wrong in general. 

You see, Mr. Hazony goes  further: not only is American military intervention as a general practice wrong, he says, but the very idea that the “virtues” of classical liberalism  — private property, free markets, and individualism — are universal, is wrong, too. This is chucking the baby out with the bathwater. The reason Iraq and Afghanistan failed is because they failed in the end to liberalize Iraq and Afghanistan, not because liberalization as an end is bad. 

The fact that some societies do not easily adopt liberal policies does not mean that liberal policies are not the right ones always to strive for. For what are the alternatives? Dictatorship, oppression, and serfdom. The problem with an interventionist foreign policy might be that, in an effort to liberalize certain nations under the rule of a dictator, say, we create a power vacuum that is filled by something even worse (think about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt after the toppling of Mubarak). For instance, I am the first to acknowledge that Pinochet was a superior leader of Chile to Allende, despite the fact that the latter was “liberally” elected. This is because I measure a government, always, on the scale of how liberal it is. And despite the despotic nature of Pinochet, society was governed far more liberally under him than under his deposed predecessor.

I do not at all take the (almost) relativist stance, which is advanced in the article, that we shouldn’t hold classical liberal ideals as universal. We absolutely should, even if we are pragmatic about when to urge (or force) other societies to adopt them. Our consideration should be the effectiveness of such policies, not whether the ends of liberalism are the right ones for that particular society. The answer to that question, I think, is always, “Yes. They are.” 

Now, in general, as far as I can tell, the author is somewhat bizarrely categorizing present-day ideological associations as follows (I’ve tried to offer a respective juxtaposition of each of the views):

Conservatism — Empiricism — Religion — Nationalism — International Pragmatism

(Classical) Liberalism — Rationalism — Secularism — Globalism — Interventionism.

Not just one, but every single one of these categories is disputable.

The least debatable is the association between classical liberalism and secularism versus conservatism and religion, which I think has been true historically. But there are plenty of religious classical liberals, and plenty (led by Jillian Becker) of atheist conservatives! 

However, assuming that classical liberalism is less empirical and more rationalist as a rule is wrong. True: Ayn Rand, von Mises, and, to a lesser extent, Hayek, were fairly “philosophical”, “a priori”, or “rationalist” in their reasoning. Milton Friedman, however, was not; he and the “Chicago School” considered themselves to be (and indeed were) very empirical. Meanwhile, many “pragmatic” liberals — Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner, for instance, founded the liberal tradition (continued by Hayek) about societal evolution in metaphor with Darwin’s theory of species evolution. This is clearly not a viewpoint that considers values to be unchanging without reference to observed facts. I am also fairly sure that there is significant overlap between American “pragmatists” and American classical liberals of the nineteenth century. “Pragmatists” eschewed general principles on principle. Today, this is something far more associated with the political left than the political right — many on the right think of the left as deeply unprincipled, whereas they are guardians of the classical virtues; the left thinks of the right as doctrinaire, whereas it thinks of itself as pragmatic. 

Indeed, the left thinks (and to a certain extent they are right in this) that the universal “values” upheld by many on the right, stem from the right’s greater religiosity. But then for Hazony to suggest that religion is something founded more on empirical than a priori “rationalist” principles is bizarre. Indeed, religion should be eschewed on both rationalist and empirical grounds — God is an intrinsically incoherent concept, for which there has never been any shred of real-world evidence. And whereas I have seen many a fallacious rationalist justification for God, I have never seen an “empirical” one from any of the “serious” religious propagandists.

To suggest that liberalism, in its “rationalist” adherence to principle, neglects noneconomic forces, is curiously myopic. Hayek considers these institutions at great length – including family, religion, and moral precepts –  particularly in his later writings (see The Fatal Conceit, for example). And finally to suggest that somehow liberalism is associated with globalism and military interventionism, whereas conservatism is (or should be?) associated with nationalism and international pragmatism is, as I’ve described above, rather odd.

“Classical liberalism” and contemporary conservatism 0

We find this essay by Yoram Hazony peculiarly interesting, so we are posting it in full.

It was published in the Wall Street Journal two days ago on October 13, 2017.

We have long assumed that contemporary Western conservatism is “liberal” in the sense that John Locke and Adam Smith used the term. This essay enlightens us about that. We discover that we are not “classical liberals” after all.

And we are surprised to learn from Yoram Hazony that Friedrich Hayek, whom we much admire and often quote, was at one time an advocate for world government. (We have called world government “the ultimate nightmare” in an essay listed under Pages in our margin). The same goes for Ludwig von Mises. And we are less surprised but still concerned to learn that Charles Krauthammer is too.

We offer no criticism, make no comment, except to say that, like Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand, we still “place religion outside the scope of what is essential to know about politics and government”.

Is ‘Classical Liberalism’ Conservative?

American conservatism is having something of an identity crisis. Most conservatives supported Donald Trump last November. But many prominent conservative intellectuals—journalists, academics and think-tank personalities—have entrenched themselves in bitter opposition. Some have left the Republican Party, while others are waging guerrilla warfare against a Republican administration. Longtime friendships have been ended and resignations tendered. Talk of establishing a new political party alternates with declarations that Mr. Trump will be denied the GOP nomination in 2020.

Those in the “Never Trump” camp say the cause of the split is the president—that he’s mentally unstable, morally unspeakable, a leftist populist, a rightist authoritarian, a danger to the republic. One prominent Republican told me he is praying for Mr. Trump to have a brain aneurysm so the nightmare can end.

But the conservative unity that Never Trumpers seek won’t be coming back, even if the president leaves office prematurely. An apparently unbridgeable ideological chasm is opening between two camps that were once closely allied. Mr. Trump’s rise is the effect, not the cause, of this rift.

There are two principal causes: first, the increasingly rigid ideology conservative intellectuals have promoted since the end of the Cold War; second, a series of events — from the failed attempt to bring democracy to Iraq to the implosion of Wall Street — that have made the prevailing conservative ideology seem naive and reckless to the broader conservative public.

A good place to start thinking about this is a 1989 essay in the National Interest by Charles Krauthammer. The Cold War was coming to an end, and Mr. Krauthammer proposed it should be supplanted by what he called “Universal Dominion” (the title of the essay): America was going to create a Western “super-sovereign” that would establish peace and prosperity throughout the world. The cost would be “the conscious depreciation not only of American sovereignty, but of the notion of sovereignty in general.”

William Kristol and Robert Kagan presented a similar view in their 1996 essay “Toward a Neo-Reaganite Foreign Policy” in Foreign Affairs, which proposed an American “benevolent global hegemony” that would have “preponderant influence and authority over all others in its domain”.

Then, as now, conservative commentators insisted that the world should want such an arrangement because the U.S. knows best: The American way of politics, based on individual liberties and free markets, is the right way for human beings to live everywhere. Japan and Germany, after all, were once-hostile authoritarian nations that had flourished after being conquered and acquiescing in American political principles. With the collapse of communism, dozens of countries — from Eastern Europe to East Asia to Latin America — seemed to need, and in differing degrees to be open to, American tutelage of this kind. As the bearer of universal political truth, the U.S. was said to have an obligation to ensure that every nation was coaxed, maybe even coerced, into adopting its principles.

Any foreign policy aimed at establishing American universal dominion faces considerable practical challenges, not least because many nations don’t want to live under U.S. authority. But the conservative intellectuals who have set out to promote this Hegelian world revolution must also contend with a problem of different kind: Their aim cannot be squared with the political tradition for which they are ostensibly the spokesmen.

For centuries, Anglo-American conservatism has favored individual liberty and economic freedom. But as the Oxford historian of conservatism Anthony Quinton emphasized, this tradition is empiricist and regards successful political arrangements as developing through an unceasing process of trial and error. As such, it is deeply skeptical of claims about universal political truths. The most important conservative figures — including John Fortescue, John Selden, Montesquieu, Edmund Burke and Alexander Hamilton — believed that different political arrangements would be fitting for different nations, each in keeping with the specific conditions it faces and traditions it inherits. What works in one country can’t easily be transplanted.

On that view, the U.S. Constitution worked so well because it preserved principles the American colonists had brought with them from England. The framework — the balance between the executive and legislative branches, the bicameral legislature, the jury trial and due process, the bill of rights — was already familiar from the English constitution. Attempts to transplant Anglo-American political institutions in places such as Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and Iraq have collapsed time and again, because the political traditions needed to maintain them did not exist. Even in France, Germany and Italy, representative government failed repeatedly into the mid-20th century (recall the collapse of France’s Fourth Republic in 1958), and has now been shunted aside by a European Union whose notorious “democracy deficit” reflects a continuing inability to adopt Anglo-American constitutional norms.

The “universal dominion” agenda is flatly contradicted by centuries of Anglo-American conservative political thought. This may be one reason that some post-Cold War conservative intellectuals have shifted to calling themselves “classical liberals”. Last year Paul Ryan insisted: “I really call myself a classical liberal more than a conservative.” Mr. Kristol tweeted in August: “Conservatives could ‘rebrand’ as liberals. Seriously. We’re for liberal democracy, liberal world order, liberal economy, liberal education.”

What is “classical liberalism,” and how does it differ from conservatism? As Quinton pointed out, the liberal tradition descends from Hobbes and Locke, who were not empiricists but rationalists: Their aim was to deduce universally valid political principles from self-evident axioms, as in mathematics.

In his “Second Treatise on Government” (1689), Locke asserts that universal reason teaches the same political truths to all human beings; that all individuals are by nature “perfectly free” and “perfectly equal”; and that obligation to political institutions arises only from the consent of the individual. From these assumptions, Locke deduces a political doctrine that he supposes must hold good in all times and places.

The term “classical liberal” came into use in 20th-century America to distinguish the supporters of old-school laissez-faire from the welfare-state liberalism of figures such as Franklin D. Roosevelt. Modern classical liberals, inheriting the rationalism of Hobbes and Locke, believe they can speak authoritatively to the political needs of every human society, everywhere. In his seminal work, “Liberalism” (1927), the great classical-liberal economist Ludwig von Mises thus advocates a “world super-state really deserving of the name”, which will arise if we “succeed in creating throughout the world . . . nothing less than unqualified, unconditional acceptance of liberalism. Liberal thinking must permeate all nations, liberal principles must pervade all political institutions”.

Friedrich Hayek, the leading classical-liberal theorist of the 20th century, likewise argued, in a 1939 essay, for replacing independent nations with a world-wide federation: “The abrogation of national sovereignties and the creation of an effective international order of law is a necessary complement and the logical consummation of the liberal program.”

Classical liberalism thus offers ground for imposing a single doctrine on all nations for their own good. It provides an ideological basis for an American universal dominion.

By contrast, Anglo-American conservatism historically has had little interest in putatively self-evident political axioms. Conservatives want to learn from experience what actually holds societies together, benefits them and destroys them. That empiricism has persuaded most Anglo-American conservative thinkers of the importance of traditional Protestant institutions such as the independent national state, biblical religion and the family.

As an English Protestant, Locke could have endorsed these institutions as well. But his rationalist theory provides little basis for understanding their role in political life. Even today liberals are plagued by this failing: The rigidly Lockean assumptions of classical-liberal writers such as Hayek, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand place the nation, the family and religion outside the scope of what is essential to know about politics and government. Students who grow up reading these brilliant writers develop an excellent grasp of how an economy works. But they are often marvelously ignorant about much else, having no clue why a flourishing state requires a cohesive nation, or how such bonds are established through family and religious ties.

The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivated — for bad reasons as well as good ones — to fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in “depreciating” national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.

Liberalism and conservatism had been opposed political positions since the day liberal theorizing first appeared in England in the 17th century. During the 20th-century battles against totalitarianism, necessity brought their adherents into close alliance. Classical liberals and conservatives fought together, along with communists, against Nazism. After 1945 they remained allies against communism. Over many decades of joint struggle, their differences were relegated to a back burner, creating a “fusionist” movement (as William F. Buckley’s National Review called it) in which one and all saw themselves as “conservatives”.

But since the fall of the Berlin Wall, circumstances have changed. Margaret Thatcher’s ouster from power in 1990 marked the end of serious resistance in Britain to the coming European “super-sovereign”. Within a few years the classical liberals’ agenda of universal dominion was the only game in town — ascendant not only among American Republicans and British Tories but even among center-left politicians such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Only it didn’t work. China, Russia and large portions of the Muslim world resisted a “new world order” whose express purpose was to bring liberalism to their countries. The attempt to impose a classical-liberal regime in Iraq by force, followed by strong-arm tactics aimed at bringing democracy to Egypt and Libya, led to the meltdown of political order in these states as well as in Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, the world banking crisis made a mockery of classical liberals’ claim to know how to govern a world-wide market and bring prosperity to all. The shockingly rapid disintegration of the American family once again raised the question of whether classical liberalism has the resources to answer any political question outside the economic sphere.

Brexit and Mr. Trump’s rise are the direct result of a quarter-century of classical-liberal hegemony over the parties of the right. Neither Mr. Trump nor the Brexiteers were necessarily seeking a conservative revival. But in placing a renewed nationalism at the center of their politics, they shattered classical liberalism’s grip, paving the way for a return to empiricist conservatism. Once you start trying to understand politics by learning from experience rather than by deducing your views from 17th-century rationalist dogma, you never know what you may end up discovering.

Mr. Hazony is president of the Jerusalem-based Herzl Institute. His book “The Virtue of Nationalism” will be published next year by Basic.

 

(Hat-tip to our reader and commenter, Cogito)

The Russian menace 4

The Democrats and the Left in general, emotionally unable to accept that they have been massively defeated in the recent general election, bring up one excuse after another to explain how the Republicans managed to get control of the Presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate, all but 16 governorships, and a majority of state Legislatures.

One of the more persistent – and most laughably implausible  – excuses is that “the Russians” helped Trump to win by leaking (genuine and dishonorable) emails that had passed among members of the Democratic candidates’ team.

What is funny about this is that for decades the Left was pro-Russian, most ardently when it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Now the fact that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was head of an arm of the KGB,  is held against him by the former fans.

The same excuse, that the Russians are interfering in the election process, is being prepared for the likely toppling from power of the German government, a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD), led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. (In practice, all of them are socialist parties.)

This government has wrecked Germany, not yet as an economy, but as a nation. It is now a country in which women are afraid to go into public places for fear of being raped and murdered by Muslim immigrants, and where free speech is proscribed to protect the ever-growing Muslim population, and the government itself from criticism for having let in the Muslim hordes claiming to be”refugees”.

Those who would speak out, and do, against the influx of the “refugees” are routinely called “far right” or “hard right” – implying “racist” and “Nazi” (since the Left has got away with labeling Hitler’s National Socialist party as rightists).

The Financial Times of January 30 (only accessible online to subscribers), carries an article by Stefan Wagstyl headed Russia’s next target?, in which it is asserted that [many] Germans are “braced for Russian interference in this year’s federal election”, and that this has already been happening “during election campaigns in three regions” where “emotions were running high about the flow of one million refugees into Germany and support was surging for the hard right Alternative for Germany party [AfD]“.

The writer proceeds:

Now Berlin fears that Moscow could be planning another intervention …

Notice how a first intervention – in the US – is at this point treated as a fact –

… ahead of September’s Bundestag poll with the aim of undermining Ms Merkel. The chancellor herself has warned that thatRussian internet-based misinformation could “play a role in the campaign”. … Berlin’s concerns are heightened by US intelligence agencies; claims that Moscow interfered in the US presidential election through hacking into Democratic party computers and releasing information aimed at damaging Hillary Clinton to the benefit of Donald Trump.

So those unproved allegations, though alluded to as mere “claims”, are used as if they were established fact by politicians who wish they were true.

Why do they want them to be true?

An electoral defeat for Ms Merkel – or even a serious setback – would be a huge victory for Russian president Vladimir Putin. He is keen to break western unity on the sanctions imposed over Russian aggression in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea – unity largely orchestrated and upheld by Ms Merkel. In the longer term, he wants to divide the EU, split NATO and push back an alliance that has extended its reach deep into territory once controlled by Moscow.

Next comes one of the shining illusions of the Left:

Moreover, Ms Merkel is seen in Moscow as the pre-eminent representative of a liberal order that Mr Putin has long feared might undermine his authoritarian grip on Russia. If she can be humbled, her values could also be tarnished.

While we don’t dispute that the Russian government under Putin is authoritarian, we quarrel with the assumption that Merkel’s government is not.

That assumption is so embedded, it accounts for much of the bewilderment as to how Donald Trump ever came to be elected, and the conviction that all opposition to the ruling elite of Europe is “hard left”.  Wagstyl mentions that “her supporters, led by former US President Barack Obama, see Ms Merkel as a liberal beacon in a world of rising nationalism highlighted by Mr Trump’s victory, the UK’s Brexit vote and surging support for far-right leader Marine le Pen”.

So he sees “liberal” as the sweet opposite of naughty “nationalism”; and  the UK’s and US’s choice of independent nationhood and patriotism as identical to Marine le Pen’s movement – which can fairly be called “hard right” even by those of us who are sympathetic to all organized resistance to the  national-suicidal policies of the ruling elite. “Hard right” implies “fascist”. But if the word “fascist” means anything, it means authoritarian, and what are the ruling elite if not authoritarian?

Yet even the Russians still call the EU “liberal” – although, Wagstyl notices, they recognize that the days of such “liberalism” are numbered:

Sergei Karaganov, a foreign policy specialist close to the Kremlin, wrote this month that the world was witnessing the end of EU-style liberal politics. “The old world order is destroyed. We must start building a new one.”

It was perfectly honorable to want to “transfer western values east” into “post-Soviet Russia” through “a plethora of organizations, headed by the German-Russian Forum, financed mostly by German business, and the Petersburg Dialog, funded mainly by the German foreign ministry”. But now, the organizations are being used to channel influence the other way.

“Under Putin, these networks have taken on a different, more nefarious goal: to alter the rules of bilateral relations, influence German policy toward eastern Europe and Russia and impact EU decisions …”

An acknowledgment is made that the present attitude of the “liberal” globalists with Russia was not always thus. The “German political world” is “increasingly critical of Putin’s authoritarian rule” ( but not its own). And “elite opinion has grown wary of Moscow’s charms”.

As it is through the internet  that Russia can now “reach the general population” and influence the way it votes, the fear is growing of cyber attack.

German officials are especially concerned about the hacking of government networks for political ends. [There was] a 2015 attack on the Bundestag when huge amounts of data were removed [stolen]. The BfV intelligence agency blames this raid on a cyber group known as APT28 that is thought to be managed by the Russian secret service [our italics]. … The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it played any role in US political hacking or the Bundestag attack and dismissed suggestions that it interfered in other countries’ elections.

And –

German security officials concede that they they cannot prove that the Kremlin was ultimately behind the Bundestag hack.

They only think it is “very likely”.

“The chancellor’s chances of losing the Bundestag poll are considered to be small. But” -Wagstyl sounds note of caution – “so  were Mr Trump’s chances of winning the White House.” And he concedes: “No one knows whether the Kremlin tipped the balance there, or what it might attempt in Germany.”

The drift of the entire article, however, is that the Kremlin wants to tip the balances, has tried to tip them, has succeeded in the US, and that if Ms Merkel’s “liberal” government falls, it will most likely be because of Russian interference. 

One good thing that emerges clearly from all this anxious suspicion is that the ruling elite is feeling very insecure. And well it might. The people over whom they exert their “liberal” power are rebelling, and are more than likely to unseat those “liberals” who established and dominated the old world order; who brought alien masses flooding into Europe without the consent of the people they rule – the people whom they are now smearing with insults, trying to silence with tyrannical legislation, and who may be about to dethrone them.

We hope they do dethrone them.

It must not be the Russians who then build a new world order. Theirs would be at least as bad as the old.

We hope for the success of western populism – of the Trumpist popular revolution – in Germany and throughout Europe.

The view from the left 7

“Liberals” do not see Hillary Clinton as a thief, a liar, a grifter, a bribe-taker, a traitor, a failure, an incompetent, a law-breaker – all the things she is – but as a woman. One of the “oppressed minoritiesaccording to Leftist twaddle. And those who didn’t vote for her to be president of the US are therefore “sexist“.

And they will not even look for anything good in President-elect Donald Trump.

Ann Coulter says:

With the self-assurance of everything else they’ve said wrong about Trump from Day One, the media are already announcing that he, too, will betray the American people.

Yes. Already – more than two months before he enters the Oval Office – the Democratic (mainstream) Press is claiming (falsely of course) that Trump is going back on his policy promises.

How do the Democrats justify supporting such a candidate as Hillary Clinton, and the Obama policies which a majority of American voters have now rejected?

After all, there must be some Democrats who are not out-and-out villains; some who do not think what the Clintons have done is morally good or politically wise.

How do they explain it?

Apparently they don’t even see it. Their version of what has just been voted against and what has been voted for is utterly different from ours.

Here’s Garrison Keillor writing at the Washington Post, saying that Trump won’t do what he said he would but will do a lot of harm anyway, and implying what a lovely world it would have been if only Hillary had won:

So he won. The nation takes a deep breath. Raw ego and proud illiteracy have won out, and a severely learning-disabled man with a real character problem will be president. We are so exhausted from thinking about this election, millions of people will take up leaf-raking and garage cleaning with intense pleasure. We liberal elitists are wrecks. The Trumpers had a whale of a good time, waving their signs, jeering at the media, beating up protesters, chanting “Lock her up” — we elitists just stood and clapped. Nobody chanted “Stronger Together.” It just doesn’t chant.

The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now.

See how wrong he is?

They wanted only to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay — by “us,” I mean librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves, that bunch. The Trumpers exulted in knowing we were tearing our hair out. They had our number, like a bratty kid who knows exactly how to make you grit your teeth and froth at the mouth.

That paragraph is a whole education in itself for us conservatives. Let us take note. The people who have been supporting the policies of the last eight years – the Islamic terrorism, the invasion of Libya, the Benghazi outrage, the illegal immigration, the vast displacement of populations and the Muslim invasion of Europe, the aiding of Iran to become a nuclear power, the law-defying regulations issuing from the Oval office to cripple business and keep the economy stagnant, the staggering national debt, the corruption of the IRS, the FBI, the DOJ, the State Department, are  … librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves.

They are people just like him. Nice, typical middle-class, tradition-honoring Americans. Who among us would have thought it, if we were not being told?

Garrison Keillor pities us; we will so regret what we have done, voting for “illiterate” Donald Trump.

Alas for the Trump voters, the disasters he will bring on this country will fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who elected him are the vulnerable ones, and they will not like what happens next.

To all the patronizing B.S. we’ve read about Trump expressing the white working-class’s displacement and loss of the American Dream, I say, “Feh!” — go put your head under cold water. Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity. America is still the land where the waitress’s kids can grow up to become physicists and novelists and pediatricians, but it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night. Whooping it up for the candidate of cruelty and ignorance does less than nothing for your kids.

Trump, you see, is “the candidate of cruelty and ignorance”. He never raised kids who could become highly-respected, high-earners – did he? Well, we’ve noticed that he did, but Garrison Keillor has missed it.

We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses.

There’s an enlargement of the description of your average Democrat. Put aside your knowledge that George Soros, John Podesta, Huma Abedin, Donna Brazile, represent the Democratic Party. No. Think rather of gentle honorable people who – unlike us illiterate hicks – raise heirloom tomatoes, meditate, read Jane Austen, travel around the country, taste artisan beers.

Okay, I recognize the sort he’s talking about: pajama boy. Remember him? He sat in pajamas and specs warming his hands round a mug of cocoa, explaining to his dumb parents why they should vote for Obama and his wonderful health care proposals.

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I like Republicans. I used to spend Sunday afternoons with a bunch of them, drinking Scotch and soda and trying to care about NFL football. It was fun. I tried to think like them. (Life is what you make it. People are people. When the going gets tough, tough noogies.) But I came back to liberal elitism.

So Keillor is, by his own admission, a member of the self-annointed political elite (talk about “raw ego”!) whom we have recently written about quite a lot. The ones Trump has defied and defeated, whom we recognize as the globalists; the dictators who have decreed that jihadis, rapists, drug-dealers, murderers will flood into Europe and pour into America; the allies of Obama when he enabled, enriched, and encouraged the Iranian regime so they can go ahead and build a nuclear arsenal. The ones who let the Clintons corrupt the State Department and as many other government agencies as they could reach with their leprous hands.

And he fails to see the protestors who are now screaming through the streets of American cities, blocking traffic, setting fires, holding up badly spelt  banners, howling for blood, for the assassination of Donald Trump, beating up Trump voters, demanding that the election result be cancelled and reversed. He doesn’t see them as as cruel. He sees the gentlefolk who lined up patiently and voted for Trump as “cruel”, as “bullies”.

How is it possible to have so totally wrong a view of what is actually happening?

Don’t be cruel. Elvis said it, and it’s true. We all experienced cruelty back in our playground days — boys who beat up on the timid, girls who made fun of the homely and naive — and most of us, to our shame, went along with it, afraid to defend the victims lest we become one of them. But by your 20s, you should be done with cruelty. Mr. Trump was the cruelest candidate since George Wallace. How he won on fear and bile is for political pathologists to study. The country is already tired of his noise, even his own voters.

Oh? Just a few days after his election? Now where on earth did he get that from? In what world does this man live?

Like the media generally, Keillor goes on confidently prophesying what will happen with Trump, although none of their prophecies so far have been right.

He is likely to become the most intensely disliked president since Herbert Hoover. His children will carry the burden of his name. He will never be happy in his own skin. But the damage he will do to our country — who knows? His supporters voted for change, and boy, are they going to get it.

And how librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, waitresses, physicists, novelists, pediatricians, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, people who keep books on their shelves, raise heirloom tomatoes, meditate, read Jane Austen, travel around the country, taste artisan beers will suffer! It’s too dreadful to think of.

Posted under liberalism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 12, 2016

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Now at last, a proletarian revolution 8

And it is for individual freedom, not communism!

Karl Marx was wrong. When at last the working class rises, it is not for socialism, internationalism and equality: it is for capitalism, the nation-state and liberty.

Donald Trump’s movement – he and his followers are calling it a revolution – is a genuine proletarian uprising, perhaps the first in history. It is very hard to find an historical precedent for a downtrodden class actually rising spontaneously in protest against the ruling class without being incited to it by dissident members of the ruling class itself.

The libertarian Ilana Mercer writes at Townhall about “the disenfanchisement of the poor whites of America”:

The present ideology on immigration considers all whites, rich or poor, a privileged, “fungible monolith”. This outlook brooks little or no consideration of lives lived in penury for over a century. In particular: It overlooks the descendants of poor white Southern sharecroppers who did not own slaves, but were devastated by the War Between the States both “in human and economic terms”. Even now, this sizeable segment of the South has yet to recover; its attainments with respect to education and income mirror those of the region’s African-Americans, with one distinction: poor whites are barred from affirmative action programs.

These are the people – this is the DEMOS – whose chosen leader Trump is. Sure, he is a rich man, but he is not a member of the ruling elite – he is a builder. A very successful builder. No, he does not phrase his ideas felicitously. He does not develop an argument. He utters cries, he repeats himself. He expresses the half-formed, inadequately worded, but deeply and painfully felt opinions and desires of unconsidered people.

He speaks often of the plight of the poor blacks in the inner cities of America. And the poor Latinos. He is far from being a “racist” – the favorite boo-word of the Left.

The Ivy-League conservatives and leaders of the Republican party do not, many of them, “get it”. They feel threatened, along with their fellow members of the ruling class in the laughably named “Democratic Party”.

But there are a few who do.

Steven Hayward (yes, the same admirable Steven Hayward of PowerLine) writes at the Weekly Standard:

Win or lose, [Trump] has divided and may yet shatter the conservative movement …

Hayward says he does not believe Trump will win. He is interested in why a number of intellectuals he highly respects wish that he will.

Several Claremont eminentos appear prominently on the recent list of “Scholars and Writers for Trump,” including Charles Kesler, Larry Arnn, Thomas West, Hadley Arkes, Brian Kennedy, and John Eastman. … It is also worth adding that the Claremonsters on this list are typically at odds with many of their fellow signatories who hail from the “paleocon” and libertarian neighborhoods of the right — another indication of the extraordinary ideological scrambling effect of the Trump campaign.

Knowing my own deep Claremont roots — I earned a Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate School while working at the Claremont Institute in the 1980s — several people have asked me to explain: “How is it that a group known for its emphasis on the idea of high statesmanship, and on the importance of serious political rhetoric, can champion Trump?” …

The Claremont sympathy for Trump needs to be better understood, because it differs fundamentally from the typical candidate scoring mentioned above. If Trump can’t live up to the idiosyncratic Claremont understanding of the meaning of his candidacy, the Trump phenomenon nonetheless opens a window onto the failures of conservatism that made Trump’s candidacy possible and perhaps necessary. Even if you reject Trump, there are vital things to be learned from him if we are to confront the crisis of our time. …

What is that crisis? It’s not the litany of items that usually come to mind—the $20 trillion national debt, economic stagnation, runaway regulation, political correctness and identity politics run amok, unchecked immigration that threatens to work a demographic-political revolution, and confused or unserious policy toward radical Islamic terrorism. These are mere symptoms of a much deeper but poorly understood problem. It can be stated directly in one sentence: Elections no longer change the character of our government. …

The closer source of the Claremont sympathy for Trump (though it should be noted that they are far from unanimous — several Claremonsters are Never Trumpers) is found in another aspect of the Claremont argument about which there is near-complete harmony among East, West, and everyone in-between: the insidious political character of the “administrative state”, a phrase once confined chiefly to the ranks of conservative political scientists, but which has broken out into common parlance. It refers not simply to large bureaucracy, but to the way in which the constitutional separation of powers has been steadily eroded by the delegation of more and more lawmaking to a virtual “fourth branch” of government [the bureaucracy]. …

Who should rule? The premise of the Constitution is that the people should rule. The premise of the administrative state, explicitly expressed by Woodrow Wilson and other Progressive-era theorists, is that experts should rule, in a new administrative form largely sealed off from political influence, i.e., sealed off from the people. At some point, it amounts to government without the consent of the governed, a simple fact that surprisingly few conservative politicians perceive. Ronald Reagan was, naturally, a conspicuous exception, noting in 1981 in his first Inaugural Address, “It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”  …

The salient political fact is this: No matter who wins elections nowadays, the experts in the agencies rule and every day extend their rule further, even under Republican presidents ostensibly committed to resisting this advance. We still nominally choose our rulers, but they don’t reflect our majority opinions. No wonder more and more conservatives regard the GOP leadership in Washington as “collaborationists” with Democrats. …

Marini [Prof. John Marini of the University of Nevada, Reno, “a Claremont Institute stalwart”], a Trump supporter, told me last week, “Public opinion is in the hands of a national elite. That public opinion, the whole of the public discourse about what is political in America, is in the hands of very few. There’s no way in which you have genuine diversity of opinion that arises from the offices that are meant to represent it.” A good example of the defensive crouch of Republicans accepting the elite-defined boundaries of acceptable opinion was Sen. Ted Cruz’s comment shortly after the 2012 election that conservative social policy must pass through “a Rawlsian lens”,  an astonishing concession to the supercharged egalitarian philosophy at the heart of contemporary leftism. …

Trump’s disruptive potential explains therefore his attraction for Claremonsters. More than just a rebuke to political correctness and identity politics, a Trump victory would be, in their eyes, a vehicle for reasserting the sovereignty of the people and withdrawal of consent for the administrative state and the suffocating boundaries of acceptable opinion backing it up. A large number of Americans have responded positively to Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” because they too see Trump as a forceful tribune against the slow-motion desiccation of the country under the steady advance of liberalism. …

The Trump disruption thesis is not held uniquely by the Claremonsters. David Gelernter offered a version of this argument in the Wall Street Journal last weekend, and Victor Davis Hanson has been arguing along these lines for months. …

The exacting demands of statesmanship have seldom been put better than by Hillsdale’s Thomas G. West, one of the most fervent Claremont pro-Trumpers, in a 1986 essay: “A president who would successfully lead the nation back to constitutional government must have the right character, be able to present the right speeches, and undertake the right actions to guide the people to elect a new kind of Congress.” Last week, I asked West whether and how Trump could measure up to this understanding of what is necessary today. West points to what he calls Trump’s “civic courage”, i.e., his intransigence in the face of relentless attacks, his willingness to call out radical Islamic extremism by name while noting the guilt-infused reluctance of Obama and Hillary Clinton to do so, his willingness to question the bipartisan failures of foreign policy over the last 25 years, and his direct rebuke to the collapse of the rule of law in cities with large black populations. West thinks Trump’s breathtaking stubbornness and shocking candor are the ingredients for the kind of restorative statesmanship the times demand. …

That Trump can be made out to be the only candidate since Reagan who has represented a fundamental challenge to the status quo puts in stark relief the attenuation of conservative political thought and action over the last 20 years and the near-complete failure of aspiring Republican presidents to marry their ambition to a serious understanding of why the republic is in danger. …

Lincoln famously said in 1854, “Our republican robe is soiled.” We need only capitalize one word to adapt it to our time: “Our Republican robe is soiled.” The cleanup is going to be excruciating. But nothing is more necessary and important.

As intellectuals ourselves, we heartily agree. And we want Donald Trump to win.

How cities are destroyed by Democratic government 1

… and equally corrupt trade unions.

Bill Whittle tells the sad, infuriating, true story:

 

Posted under Commentary, Leftism, liberalism, Progressivism, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

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Be there? 14

Much can be said against Donald Trump. And much is said against him.

But what if he is the force – the only force on the horizon – that can and will smash “political correctness”? And ISIS? And keep savage Islam from any further invasion of America? And restore the borders?

Roger L. Simon looks on the bright side of a Trump presidency, writing at PJ Media:

Now that Donald Trump has wiped the floor yet again with the other Republican candidates in the Nevada caucuses, it’s time for the GOP to face reality — barring force majeure, they have a presidential candidate, like it or not. The so-called establishment has a choice: Get on the Trump bandwagon or try some desperate maneuver to stop him. But what would that be? A Rubio-Cruz ticket, assuming they would do it?  At the time of this writing, the two men added together don’t equal the Trump vote in Nevada — and that’s even assuming their voters would hold, which is a risky assumption, given the current momentum. I mean — Donald won 46% of the Hispanics!  Enough already.

A lot of my Republican friends are depressed about this situation. They worry that Trump is not a real conservative.  They cringe at his vulgarity. They are concerned he’s a bully, even totalitarian. I’m not.  And  I am not depressed, even though I admire many of the other candidates in the race.  Given the gravity of the situation, what Obama has done to this nation and the candidates being offered by the Democrats, a world class liar and a Eugene V. Debs retread, a personality as large as Donald may be necessary to revive our country. In fact, I think I’ll take the “may” out of that.

This is what I think the electorate senses and what the Republican establishment fears. Rather than being afraid that Donald will lose, many establishment folks, I suspect, are afraid he will win.  It will not be business as usual and most human beings seek business as usual, especially successful ones. What, for example, is more conventional and unchanging than the Democratic Party?  They have patented stasis under meaningless junk terms like “liberal” and “progressive”.  Nothing ever changes.  Republicans are at risk of doing the same thing with the word “conservative”.  If I hear another candidate claim to be the most “conservative”, I think I’ll bang my head against the table.  I can’t be the only one who feels that way.

So if I were a member of the Establishment, whatever that is, I would quit bellyaching, embrace Donald and make him my friend.  He’s ready and willing.  If you bother to check that ultimate news source the Daily Mail, you’d see that already he is hobnobbing with such Republican stalwarts as Rudy Giuliani, Arthur Laffer and Steve Moore. Unless I missed it, I didn’t notice the article mentioning David Axelrod or James Carville.

And listen to what Trump is actually saying.  He’s for lower taxes and a strong defense and he’s not really against free trade.  He just wants a better deal.  Who wouldn’t and who wouldn’t assume he’d  get a better one than the Obama crowd?  Or the Bush crowd for that matter, on just about anything. He’s also pro-life, despite soreheads … screaming that Trump supports Planned Parenthood when he has said explicitly he does not support what they do on abortion, only on other women’s health issues. …

Don’t fight Donald.  Be smart, co-opt him.  Or, as we used to say, be there or be square.  Next November depends on it.

Arguments pro and con are invited.

(And please do follow the link to the Daily Mail article, which is worth reading.)

Posted under Commentary, Conservatism, liberalism, liberty, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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The man with the golden mane 6

The Democratic Party had gone wholly over to the dark side and had to be toppled from power.

But its only possible replacement, the GOP, had become so boring! Feeble, flaccid, sotto voce, forever falling as if by uncontrollable reflex into the posture of the pre-emptive cringe.

Until suddenly the busy, brash, boisterous, boastful Donald Trump arose in it and above it, roaring out terse insults and extravagant insincere praises.

Arose like a lion, like a leader. 

The man with the golden mane.

Whatever conservatives might hold against him is beside the point. He fights to win. And that is so new, so surprising, so revolutionary to Republican politicians that they can’t bring themselves to stand behind him even now that he’s their front runner.

But for as long as he is their front runner – perhaps all the way to the White House – they need to urge him on with thunderous (even if feigned!) enthusiasm.

David Solway writes at the New English Review:

The GOP failed to use its congressional majority to assert its foundational doctrines on the misguided assumption that it could woo Democrat voters away from their traditional loyalties or perceived entitlement advantages by presenting itself as the lite version of the opposition. …

But why would left-leaning voters go for Leftism Lite when the real thing is available to them?

Stark examples of Republican surrender abound.  Most recently, a Republican Congress signing on to Obama’s omnibus funding bill has brought itself into tawdry disrepute.  Another instance involves the infamous Corker Bill, which could just as easily have been engineered by Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.  Senate Republicans refused to deal effectively with the deficiencies of the Corker Bill – a bill, as Andrew McCarthy explains, that was totally inadequate from the beginning to counter the Iranian nuclear threat.  The affair smacks of RINO business as usual.

As Andrew Bostom writes in a critical blog entry for April 15, 2015, Senate Republicans “have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled ‘warmongers’.”  Once again, we observe the standard right-wing capitulation from what should have been a position of strength.

One recalls, too, the shameful spectacle of John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, and the bloviating Lindsay Graham doing Obama’s bidding in Egypt in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, or of McCain coming to the aid of Hillary Clinton’s Brotherhood-tainted adjunct, Huma Abedin, when she was challenged by Michele Bachmann.  Such complicity – voting with or parroting the enemy – is a surefire recipe for yet another Republican electoral defeat … 

In an interesting article for American Thinker, James Arlandson comes to the defense of the GOP establishment, which knows that society “moves by degrees”, that “incrementalism is the only way to retransform America”,  and that the party must appeal to a majority of undecided voters.  It is not an entirely convincing article.  Such temperateness as Arlandson recommends sabotaged Mitt Romney’s campaign and did not prevent the installation of the most radical president in American history, whose skin color did not overlay his bred-in-the-bone Marxism.  And we recall that Ronald Reagan, arguably the best president of the 20th century, was anything but temperate.

It comes down to this: Republicans need to change their game plan and go on the attack, abide by their core tenets, use their congressional majority to stymie a rogue president on every front without fear of electoral blowback, take on a corrupt and partisan media (as Donald Trump is doing, and as Romney did not when he failed to rein in CNN’s Candy Crowley’s illegitimate intervention during the second presidential debate between Romney and Obama), and stop being polite to their political enemies.  They must rally behind their nominated candidate, whoever that turns out to be, turn a deaf ear to the “strategies” of political advisers and so-called experts (who are habitually wrong about everything), counter the debilitating sickness of political correctness, tackle issues like Muslim immigration and cross-border infiltrations on a consensus basis, and, generally speaking, appeal to principle rather than to the opposition.

A tall order, but RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] will not win the 2016 election. Blue Republicans will not convince a partisan, cynical, wavering, or undecided electorate. Canada’s Conservatives lost the [recent] election in part because they shrank from being truly conservative.  Similarly, should the Republicans lose in November 2016, it will be because they failed to be truly republican.

Or perhaps because they’ll fail to follow a new leader who is only just republican enough, only just conservative enough, but is above all a mover and shaker, who could lead them to victory.

Will he? Or will the sober and serious Marco Rubio do it? Or the strong steady Ted Cruz? One of them must.

Must beat the Democratic nominee, whether the crook or the commie.

In any case, the unfolding drama is exciting.

An exciting GOP at last!

 

(Hat-tip for the Solway link to our commenter cogito)

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