In defense of Trumpist conservatism 264

This article by William Voegeli at the Claremont Review of Books is presented as a review of The Conservative Sensibility by George Will, but reads as the author’s own animadversions on contemporary conservatism. The Right Now, it is titled.

We found very little in it to agree with. But we confine ourselves to arguing against a few passages which we consider most mistaken.

Quotation:

Trump could be seen as a culmination, revealing intentions and qualities inherent in the conservative enterprise all along. [That] interpretation is one shared by some of Trump’s conservative admirers as well as nearly all of Trump and conservatism’s most vehement critics. “If Trumpism was the Right’s end point,” asks historian Timothy Shenk, co-editor of Dissent magazine, “then wasn’t it an act of naïvety—maybe even complicity—to pretend there was more to [conservatism’s] story than crude bigotry?”

What “crude bigotry”? Not a trace of it in Trump or – therefore – in Trumpism. But Voegeli does not contest the allegation.

Quotation:

The Never Trump differences with the larger part of the Republican Party and conservative movement are profound, but its objections to the progressive agenda are increasingly difficult to specify. The main problem, as Never Trumpers see it, seems to be that progressivism is bad politics rather than bad governance. As Bulwark policy editor Mona Charen recently complained, Democrats’ ineptitude and the power of their far-left wing prevents the party from discharging its “overriding obligation”, which is to keep “the Q-Anon-indulging, Putin-friendly, truth-optional, insurrectionist party from returning to power”.

Surely Voegeli should declare with indignation that the Republican Party is not “Q-Anon-indulging, Putin-friendly, truth-optional, insurrectionist”.

And what are those “profound” differences? Do they exist? Or is Never Trumpism nothing more than shallow personal antipathy?

Quotation:

[E]very Biden proposal approved by Congress and deplored by conservatives—every executive branch appointment and policy decision rendered by those officials, every judicial appointment and ruling delivered by those jurists over the next 40 years, every spending increase crammed into a reconciliation bill—could have been prevented or mitigated if Trump had displayed a modicum of responsibility, restraint, and intelligence. What are we trying to conserve? Well, significantly less now than there would have been but for Trump’s signature blend of solipsism and nihilism.

Neither solipsism nor nihilism characterize Trump. Nothing could be further from him than either of these isms, and nothing could be further from his followers than nihilism.

When was he irresponsible?

Restraint? Did he not show restraint  – especially in foreign relations, and when he might have used the military to quell the murderous violence of Leftist mobs in (for instance) Seattle, Portland and Baltimore and did not (perhaps unfortunately).

As for intelligence – was it unintelligent rulership that gave us four years of prosperity, dissuaded foreign dictators from aggression, and made an astonishing rapprochement between Israel and certain Arab powers?

Quotation:

This dereliction of a party leader’s duties is a miniature of Trump’s dereliction of a national leader’s duties. Despite Trump’s outsized personality, Trumpism started out as about something—above all, repudiating Bush-era nation-building, entitlement reform, and immigration amnesty. Some of what Trump promised got done, while most of it proved harder than he made it sound in 2016. But since Election Day 2020, “All that is left of Trumpism are Trump’s grievances and aspirations,” as Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote this year in National Review. The entirety of Trump’s agenda now is to “restore his tarnished honor and make credible his belief in his own victory”.

Trump’s “dereliction of a national leader’s duties”? No mention of the unprecedented campaign of sabotage, the sustained lies, the vicious conspiracies hindering him. And If Trump’s own “tarnished honor”, and the victory he won being snatched from him by fraud, obsess him to the exclusion of anything else, why does a massive majority of the Republican Party continue to support him, as is the case?

What else has he proved he cares about? Chiefly: making America great again and saved from global socialism; upholding the rule of law and equality of all before the law; sealing the southern border; encouraging American manufacture; lowering taxes, ending inflation, achieving full employment; making America energy independent; augmenting America’s military strength; handling foreign enemies with personal tact while keeping an iron fist in the kid glove; ending racist indoctrination in the public schools and the universities; opposing abortion on demand; preventing the sexualization and prurient corruption of children; and, above all, protecting individual liberty.

If liberty is the highest value – and doesn’t American conservatism hold that it is? – all forms of collectivism are abominable, and the Never Trumpers are politically blind.

Smashing the pillars of our world 91

Britain’s great conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, said: “Britain was created by history, America was created by philosophy.”

What were the principles of America’s foundational philosophy?

  • Freedom: freedom of the individual, and so, logically, freedom of conscience, speech, publication,  assembly; property ownership and a free market.
  • The rule of law under which all are equal.
  • Government by the people themselves to protect their freedom with the rule of law, and with military strength against foreign enemies.

All those principles are now being abandoned by usurping powers, to be replaced with contrary ideals.

The systems and institutions that proceeded from them are being corrupted and turned from their intended purposes to serve opposite ends.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at Townhall:

Conservatives now have lost their former traditional confidence in the administration of justice, in the intelligence and investigatory agencies, in the nation’s military leadership, in the media, and the criminal justice system.

Freedom is much diminished, especially with the forced quarantine and masking of the healthy in an epidemic of Covid flu, and threatened penalties for those who refuse vaccination.

The rule of law is scoffed at by those who should enforce it.

As Victor Davis Hanson says:

The American criminal justice system also used to earn the respect of conservatives. Prosecuting attorneys, police chiefs, and big-city mayors were seen as custodians of the public order. They were entrusted to keep the peace, to prevent and investigate crime, and to arrest and prosecute criminals.

Again, not so much now.

After 120 days of mostly unchecked riot, arson, looting, and violent protests during the summer of 2020, the public lost confidence in their public safety agencies.

District attorneys in several major cities – Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and St. Louis – have often predicated prosecuting crimes on the basis of ideology, race, and careerism.

In the current crime wave, brazen lawbreakers enjoy de facto immunity. Mass looting goes unpunished. Indictments are often aimed as much against those who defend themselves as against criminals who attack the innocent.

Government by the people has been corrupted by electoral fraud. And the military cannot be relied on to protect the nation:

Mention the military to conservative Americans these days, and they unfortunately associate its leadership with the disastrous flight from Afghanistan. Few, if any, high-ranking officers have yet taken responsibility – much less resigned – for the worst military fiasco of the last half-century.

Instead, President Joe Biden and the top generals traded charges that the other was responsible for the calamity. Or both insisted the abject flight was a logistical masterpiece.

Never in U.S. history have so many retired four-star admirals and generals disparaged their president with charges of being either a traitor, a liar, a fascist, or a virtual Nazi, as occurred during the last administration.

Never has the proper advisory role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff been so brazenly usurped and contorted.

Never has the secretary of defense promised he would ferret out alleged “white supremacists” without providing any evidence whatsoever of their supposedly ubiquitous presence and dangerous conspiracies.

Worse, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff informed the hostile Communists who govern China that he would warn them if President Trump decided to attack their country with nuclear weapons.

Victor Davis Hanson concludes:

No one yet knows what the effect will be of half the country losing faith in the very pillars of American civilization.

Does it mean that the experiment of creating a nation from a benign philosophy has failed?

Presidential speeches 141

… delivered and not delivered.

We cannot find this message from President Trump to the nation anywhere but on Twitter.

So as a tweet we post it.  (As usual we overlook the “God” parts.)

He says what a president of the United States ought to say to and about the soldiers who fought for their country.

The goof of a “president” in the White House wouldn’t think of saying anything of the sort. His handlers, however, should think of it for him, if only for the “optics” of it, about which they are always most concerned, even now at this time of national abasement and global tragedy caused by their “president”.

Posted under Afghanistan, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 28, 2021

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The man America needs 209

… needs more desperately than ever, speaks in fury.

Stay there and see the next video too. It is about Trump deserving a Nobel Peace Prize. (We think he deserves it more than anyone who has ever received it.)

Posted under Afghanistan, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

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The “woke” are awakening? 239

Suddenly the FBI has changed its institutional mind. The January 6 protest at the Capitol was not an insurrection after all, it now declares. According to Reuters, the FBI now says there was no conspiracy behind the event.

Has the shock of America’s calamitous fall in the world’s esteem with its defeat in Afghanistan woken the agency up? Will it wake up  all the  “woke” half of America to the extreme danger this country is now in?

Steven Hayward of PowerLine quotes part of the Reuters report, including these paragraphs:

The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.

“The violence?” The only violence recorded on the videos we have seen was on the part of the Capitol police – one of whom shot an unarmed protestor dead.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme … to storm the Capitol and take hostages.” 

FBI investigators did find that cells of protesters, including followers of the far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, had aimed to break into the Capitol. But they found no evidence that the groups had serious plans about what to do if they made it inside, the sources said. 

‘Far-right?” What Reuters – and Leftists in general – mean by “far-right” are Americans who like their country and want its Constitution to remain unchanged and in full force.

One source said there has been little, if any, recent discussion by senior Justice Department officials of filing charges such as “seditious conspiracy” to accuse defendants of trying to overthrow the government. They have also opted not to bring racketeering charges, often used against organized criminal gangs.

Senior officials had discussed filing such charges in the weeks after the attack, the sources said.

Hayward comments:

But we’ve been told that the events of January 6 were an “insurrection,” and the gravest threat to American democracy since the Civil War. And this narrative is the pretext for the Biden Administration to claim “domestic terrorism” is the single greatest security threat facing the country. And also the pretext for banning Trump from social media platforms because he incited the mess.

As with the Muller report on the 2016 election, don’t expect the left, and the media, to give up on their “insurrection” narrative easily.

Right! With that pretext, that claim, that lie, the “Biden” administration hopes to destroy the Constitution and entrench the America-hating Democrats in power.

Posted under Afghanistan, Leftism, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 20, 2021

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The Biden regime humiliates America 35

(From 23 minutes) President Trump on the defeat of America by primitive fanatical Muslims in Afghanistan because of “President” Biden’s ineptitude: “Our country has never been so humiliated.”

(But don’t worry – Hannity is praying to “God” to save the thousands of Americans stranded there, and as “God” is omnipotent and good he will do as he is asked, just as he always does.)

No 63

Donald Trump was a great president. He is a great man. But too good, too kind, too tolerant. His excessive restraint was a weakness. He was overcome by the bad, the cruel, the bigoted Left.

Kurt Schlichter wants and expects a Strong Man next, to restore America to its political senses; the Man who will wield the power of No.

He writes at Townhall:

Get ready for Strong Man Populism. The bad guys – the soft elite who think it can hold onto the societal power it inherited, but did not earn, through petty oppressions – will call it “authoritarianism”. Of course, they like authoritarianism when they are the authority – that’s why they feel no compunction about remaking our country and culture without bothering with obtaining our buy-in. But history teaches – not that they would know it, because they have never been taught it – that a backlash is inevitable.

We’re going to turn to someone who won’t be deterred by cultural caterwauling, who will not be satisfied with a status quo ante that is deeply anti-American, who will ruthlessly use his power to reclaim our society for us, and who will wreak vengeance on our enemies.

That last one is important. They must learn never to do this again.

We’re going to elect a Strong Man Populist because the current crisis is intolerable …

Drug-addled hobos, junkies, and degenerates infest our cities and, increasingly our suburbs. The elite answer is, of course, to destroy the suburbs.

Our teachers, in the rare cases they teach, teach our kids to hate our country.

Our warriors, in the all too common cases they war, lose, and also teach our kids to hate our country.

Our voices are silenced, we have no institutional advocates; the institutions designed to vindicate our rights won’t. …

But when the ordinary ways to have our voices heard are closed off to us, we’ll find extraordinary ones.

Trump was one. He was a warning. But he was, despite the mass-micturition of the elite – no radical. He had no desire to lay waste; he wanted to rule, but as a member of what he did not understand was a terminally ill ruling caste. Remember how he was caught up in institutional prestige – this college was great, that company was respected? This, as well as the fact that he showed up without a Rolodex and needed to rely on a bunch of establishment acolyte-kissers, made him too weak to truly use his power. Yet even with his limitations, he did many amazing and consequential things.

The Strong Man Populist coming soon will not have that weakness. He will not hesitate to use his power to clean house, to prosecute the criminals, to defeat our enemies, both foreign and domestic.

He will unleash the power of No.

No, hobos, you can’t live on our streets.

No, criminals, you don’t get to commit crimes.

No, Pentagon, you are going to focus on winning wars.

No, academia, you do not get to take our money and use it to turn our kids into little commie saps.

No, tech jerks, you do not get to decide what we can read and say.

No, climate cultists, we are not going to live in caves because of your bizarre, quasi-religious weather obsession.

No, media, you do not get to be partisan advocates and also treated like neutral truth tellers.

No, Democrats, you don’t get to steal elections.

No.

No is the weapon of the Strong Man Populist; it is our weapon. It is a rejection of elite hegemony, and the ruthless use of power to enforce it. And it is coming.

The establishment should have heeded the warning that was Donald Trump. But if it was smart enough to do that, it never would have botched its cultural curation so spectacularly that it made him necessary.

The best part of the coming Strong Man Populism will be watching them cry.

Yes, there are times when Schadenfreude is fully justified – and in any case irresistible. May such a time come soon!

But can such a Strong Man be found?

Can he already be seen on the political horizon?

Would you vote for him?

Posted under Conservatism, Law, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 12, 2021

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America melting down 140

President Trump encourages and heartens us to believe America can and will recover from the killing sickness inflicted on it by the “Biden” junta.

But Victor Davis Hanson writes at American Greatness:

The Biden Administration  has destroyed the idea of a border, with an anticipated 2 million entering the country illegally over a 12 month period. It demolished the idea of the police and prosecutorial deterrence curbing crime. It is ending the trajectory of America’s natural gas and oil renaissance that enriched the country, and freed it from Middle East entanglements. And it killed off the notion that government should seek to ensure that race is not how we collectively define the content of our individual characters.

Meanwhile, our enemies and rivals—China, Iran, and Russia especially—are giddy at what America has become. The American Left, they believe, has done a much better job of denying Chinese culpability for a Chinese-engineered virus than had the Chinese communist media.

America’s richest are placing their bets on a Chinese-Communist controlled 21st century, and will adjust accordingly.

Our adversaries can’t quite believe their good fortune. Had they thought up ways to divide and impoverish America, to see its cities burned, and looted, to weaken its economy and currency, to erode the unity of its once feared military, and to entrench the most effective critics of America in America—not in Beijing, Moscow, Pyongyang, or Tehran, but in corporate boardrooms, campuses, newsrooms, Hollywood, Wall Street and the Pentagon—they could not have improved on what has happened in 2020-21, the era of our collective meltdown.

To read the whole persuasive argument leading to these conclusions, go here.

Is Hanson exaggerating?

Is he wrong?

Should we believe more in Hanson’s analysis or Trump’s vision?

Posted under China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 5, 2021

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President Trump rallies thousands again 135

Sharyl Attkisson reports:

Many media outlets and platforms conspire to censor information about Donald Trump for political reasons. We publish difficult-to-find information here.

President Trump spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about twelve thousand at a rally in Wellington, Ohio on Saturday night i[June 26, 2021].

Trump supporters donned shirts reading, “Don’t blame me, I voted for Trump.”

Banned from Facebook and Twitter, [more of] Trump’s loyal fans found a way to watch him online. His rally racked up nearly two million views on Right Side Broadcasting Network and Rumble alone in just a few hours. And #TRUMP2024ToSaveAmerica trended on Twitter, despite the ban.

Using his familiar upbeat delivery, Trump attacked nearly every facet of the Biden Administration.

“Do you miss me?” asked the former president as the crowd roared with cheers and chanted, “Four more years!”

Among other topics, Trump criticized the controversial teachings of Critical Race Theory, which promotes racist principles. It is being forced on the military by “woke” generals. Trump called U.S. military leaders “weak and ineffective” for allowing it. Watch that clip here.

“Gas prices are skyrocketing, inflation is skyrocketing, China and Russia are humiliating our country,” said Trump.

More than 1.9 million viewers watched on the Right Side Broadcasting Network’s (RSBN) YouTube channel on Saturday night, June 26, with numbers still increasing by the thousands every few minutes past midnight into Sunday.

You can watch the RSBN replay here.

It’s very long – will take you all of a working day – but it’s great fun and you may feel it’s worth the time.

 

More viewers watched on C-SPAN, One America News, Newsmax, and other outlets. Watch C-SPAN  here.

It’s shorter (an hour and 37 minutes).

Thank you, Sharyl Attkisson!

Posted under United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, June 27, 2021

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Could Trump be reinstated? 122

What if the ballot audits now being carried out in some swing states were to prove that Trump won the November 2020 election?

This is from the Western Journal:

It’s becoming impossible to ignore the “audit fever” that began in Maricopa County, Arizona, and is spreading into other critical swing states.

Earlier this month, Politico-Morning Consult released a poll that found that nearly 20 percent of voters believe former President Donald Trump will likely be reinstated due to fraud in the 2020 election.

A Hill-HarrisX poll showed that 30 percent of Republicans, 13 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of independents think Trump will likely be reinstalled at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this year.

After reporting the results of the poll, The Hill added: “There is no constitutional or legal mechanism for Trump to return to office in 2021 after losing to President Biden in last year’s election. The Electoral College results were certified by Congress in January.”

We’re certainly in uncharted territory, but to say there is “no constitutional or legal mechanism” to right the wrong that many are convinced occurred last November might be wishful thinking on the part of The Hill.

The former Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn joined Dr. Gina Loudon on her podcast, Real America’s Voice, to discuss what could be done.

He said:

To say there’s not a path [ to reinstatement] is a misunderstanding of the Constitution.

The Constitution is a negative rights document, meaning it prohibits certain things. It prohibits the states from abridging the right to free speech. It prohibits the federal government from doing the same. It prohibits putting somebody in jail without having actual charges against them.

But everything that is not prohibited in the Constitution is allowed. …

Processes not laid out in the Constitution are assumed actually to be constitutional.

The interplay of the Tenth Amendment, which says that what is not enumerated is left to the states, the Twelfth Amendment and Article II of the Constitution, which say that state legislatures are the ones who define how presidential elections are carried out, would suggest that states do have a right to de-certify.

From from then, it’s an open question what happens next. And I believe that that question will end up in front of the Supreme Court. But nobody can say for sure that it’s unconstitutional. This is a deep constitutional question, but what I know for sure is that it’s impossible right now to say that there could not be reinstatement.

Once we get the results of various states’ forensic audits, de-certification should happen because that’s the correct step from the states. And from then on in terms of deciding what to do about the federal election, well, there’s gonna be an open question. And I believe it will end up in front of the Supreme Court to be decided.

If sufficient fraud is proved in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania — or perhaps a different combination of swing states — to overturn the results in those states and provide Trump with the number of electoral votes he needs to win, there is a way forward.

Yes, this is an unprecedented situation. That doesn’t mean it’s too big for us to handle.

Is there a ray of hope in that wistful scenario?

Or is it no more than a wistful scenario?

Posted under United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 24, 2021

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