The Essence of Trump

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It should be obvious to all sentient people by now, who are not card carrying members of the Cult Trump, that Donald Trump is completely ignorant on most public policy matters and that when confronted on his ignorance he resorts to his trademark Trump bluster and insults.  Ace at Ace of Spades had been supporting Trump due to Ace’s well founded disgust with the Republican Establishment.  He no longer is supporting Trump and in a very thought full post explains why Trump is a disastrous choice for conservatives:

 

Why I am I banging on about Trump’s lack of knowledge and thinking on these thoughts?

Because, unlike many, I don’t consider thinking and knowledge to be enemies of conservatism and principle. Rather, I consider them to be essential to it.

If you’re going to be a conservative — if you’re going to fight the very powerful cultural forces that surround us and push liberalism on us as the easy path you won’t get beat up for — you’d better have some damn good reasons for doing so, or you’ll come apart like a cheap suit.

Let me remind everyone what knowledge, deep thinking over years of consideration, and conviction can get you.

Let me remind everyone of Ronald Reagan’s and Robert F. Kennedy’s “Great debate” in 1967. A major issue was Vietnam (though Reagan did also take the time to call for the Berlin Wall “to disappear.”)

Robert F. Kennedy, the great hope of liberals and intellectuals and liberals who wrongly believe themselves to be intellectuals, got completely obliterated, despite being on the more popular side of the Vietnam War debate.

Why? Because Reagan knew every damn thing that was required to have an opinion, and to defend an opinion, on Vietnam. When an Oxford student claimed that the Diem regime (a previous America-supported regime, ended when Diem was assassinated) had put six million people in “concentration camps,” Reagan scoffed, noting the entire population of Vietnam was merely sixteen million people. How could he have possibly put six million in concentration camps, surreptitiously?

A big problem I have with Trump not knowing things, and clearly never have thought about things, combined with his obvious desire to pander and make the big sale, is that when he’s caught out without any good answer, and senses that he’s losing the room with an unpopular answer, he usually (75% of the time) tries to get back on the right side of popular opinion and embrace the liberal position on the issue.

You couldn’t do that to Reagan, because Reagan always had a series of facts to back him up, and because he’d been thinking about things — not feeling about them; thinking about them, theorizing about them — for years, like during his famous GE addresses.

Unlike Trump, he never felt that he was “losing the room” with an unpopular conservative answer. He was always confident and in command, because he had earned being confident and in command. He had done the homework — he wasn’t some Millennial who had feelz that xe was right. He was a thinking, intellectually-voracious man who tested his own thoughts until he knew he was right, because he’d looked at the question from several directions.

When Reagan felt he was addressing a hostile crowd, he didn’t immediately attempt to placate them by offering them a liberal position he flip-flopped to on the spot. Instead, he went into his mental note-card file and tried to convince them of the conservative opinion.

And a lot of the time, he did.

My problem with Trump is that he is a dealmaker trying to make a sale. Right now he’s trying to make a deal with conservatives — so this is the very most conservative we’ll ever see him.

If he gets the nomination, he now starts working on making the second part of the deal with the other party in the negotiations, the general public.

So this is the most conservative we’ll ever see Trump — this is the absolute most conservative he’ll ever be — and he’s not conservative at all, except, possibly, on immigration. He combines liberal policy impulses with frankly authoritarian or even fascist ones, which he thinks are “what conservatives want,” because, frankly, he conceives of us as ugly-minded, stupid dummies who get off on this shit.

That’s why he didn’t put the “Ban Muslims” line in a more palatable, persuasive form, like “Reduce immigration from Muslim-majority countries or countries with a terrorism problem to a level where we can vet each individual applicant.”

No, he put it in the most bigoted, ugly way he could think of, because that’s about his level, and because, also, that’s what he thinks “conservatives” are.

Even on issues like that, where I would like him to move the Overton Window so we can begin discussing a rational reduction of such immigration until this Jihadist Madness passes from history, I find he doesn’t move it at all, because he makes the issue much more toxic and alienating than it needs to be.

What does Trump actually know about conservatives? He seems to only know five things, which he repeats in such crude ways it’s preposterously insulting. Apparently we “love Jesus,” so he says he does too. He knows we love guns, so he’s so in love with the Second Amendment he wants to make out with it.

Does he ever explain the underpinnings of his belief in the Second Amendment, such that you get the impression if he’s challenged on it, he can break out chapter and verse on the amendment like Reagan would have and remained resolute in his position?

He senses we don’t like Mexicans or Muslims very much, so he wants to ban rapists and terrorists.

He knows we love babies and hate abortions, so he’s reversed himself from being “very, very pro-choice” and even supporting partial birth abortion to being so against abortion you couldn’t believe it. (But he’ll keep on funding Planned Parenthood because they’re a wonderful organization.)

 

Go here to read the rest.  (Strong language advisory)  Trump is a man of boundless vanity and ambition.  He has decided to become President and has chosen to use the Republican Party as his vehicle to get to the White House.  His day before yesterday public stances indicate that he is neither a conservative nor a Republican, but rather a fairly typical New York liberal Democrat.  Republican rank and file outrage over the the Republican establishment’s treachery on several issues, most notably illegal immigration, has caused about a third of the party to support Trump.  Independents and Democrats, eager to follow a populist demagogue, have given Trump the additional strength necessary to dominate the primary field against a fragmented opposition.  If Trump gets the nomination, he will quickly race to the center, or what he perceives to be the center which will probably be the left of center, in order to beat Clinton, who he had long supported prior to the present contest.  If he is elected, whatever else can be guessed at from the likely ensuing chaos, one thing is certain:  conservative beliefs would play no role in  it, because Trump has no conservative beliefs.

DC Comics had a story arc some time ago where Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch foe, became President of the United States:

 

Lex2000

Let’s see, a billionaire running as a populist, and vaulting into the White House largely due to public anger at the establishment?  Life imitating Art!  With the qualifications that Trump is not an evil genius and we have no Superman to rescue us from our folly.  Trump is a professional snake oil salesman.  He is about to make the greatest snake oil sales of his career and he is doing it with the help of a lot of people who really should know better.

More to explorer

PopeWatch: Vigano

Archbishop Carlo Vigano has some questions about the Vatican Dog and Pony Sex Abuse Summit:   I am praying intensely for the

44 Comments

  1. The mental prayer job for all of us is to affirm that God is caring for us hourly despite what God is permitting on the macro stage seemingly in punishment of the macro culture. I still suspect Trump will find a way to lose since he need only state several new positions that he knows offend his own crowd. I don’t think he wants to build a wall or hunt 11 million people or pay for either…nor does he want ISIS bombing his hotels and golf venues. He knows his crowd which means he knows how to deflate them and how to exit this moving reality show. Slate says Christie endorsed him either to get attorney general etc…or a place on Fox news…not just to hurt Rubio. What a world.
    But to return to my first thought. Mental prayer on God’s hourly care for us is becoming in such a weird world…an obligation not a random option. Popes opposing the death penalty without noticing that Catholic non death penalty northern Latin America has the highest rate of murder of poor victims in the world by UN figures…and East Asia has the lowest. North Korea working always toward pointless war. Trump dreaming of an all executive order, no Congress, kingship….but not really when he finds the door leading out. To be sane for long in this world, one must find the God of Love and Care working hourly in one’s micro world…not the macro world…and that takes mental prayer with a notebook. How did God hug me this week…it’s not in the macro…it’s in the micro.

  2. Maybe I am wrong about this, but I see some comparisons between Julius Caesar and Donald Trump. Of course there are significant differences, a big one being Caesar’s success as a military professional. And unlike Trump, Caesar wasn’t bone-head ignorant of the issues. Nevertheless, the following from chapter 4 in Plutarch’s Life of Julius Caesar is instructive, but like all comparisons, it fails in details (e.g., Trump isn’t eloquent but rather bombastic); however, the reference to hair is an interesting one.
    .
    4 At Rome, moreover, Caesar won a great and brilliant popularity by his eloquence as an advocate, and much good will from the common people for the friendliness of his manners in intercourse with them, since he was ingratiating beyond his years. 5 He had also a large and gradually increasing political influence in consequence of his lavish hospitality and the general splendour of his mode of life. 6 At first his enemies thought this influence would quickly vanish when his expenditures ceased, and therefore suffered it to thrive among the common people; 7 but later on when it had become great and hard to subvert, and aimed directly at a complete revolution in the state, they perceived that no beginnings should be considered too small to be quickly made great by continuance, after contempt of them has left them unobstructed. 8 At all events, the man who is thought to have been the first to see beneath the surface of Caesar’s public policy and to fear it, as one might fear the smiling surface of the sea, and who comprehended the powerful character hidden beneath his kindly and cheerful exterior, namely Cicero, said that in most of Caesar’s political plans and projects he saw a tyrannical purpose; 9 “On the other hand,” said he, “when I look at his hair, which is arranged with so much nicety, and see him scratching his head with one finger, I cannot think that this man would ever conceive of so great a crime as the overthrow of the Roman constitution.” This, it is true, belongs to a later period.
    .
    Chapter 5 likewise had some parts in it as well that compare favorably to what Trump is doing – again, details are entirely different but popular ingratiation seems common to both Caesar and Trump. Here is the entirety of that chapter given to place things in context:
    .
    1 The first proof of the people’s good will towards him he received when he competed against Caius Popilius for a military tribuneship and was elected over him; 2 a second and more conspicuous proof he received when, as nephew of Julia the deceased wife of Marius, he pronounced a splendid encomium upon her in the forum,9 and in her funeral procession ventured to display images of Marius, which were then seen for the first time since the administration of Sulla, because Marius and his friends had been pronounced public enemies. 3 When, namely, some cried out against Caesar for this procedure, the people answered them with loud shouts, received Caesar with applause, and admired him for bringing back after so long a time, as it were from Hades, the honours of Marius into the city. 4 Now, in the case of elderly women, it was ancient Roman usage to pronounce funeral orations over them; but it was not customary in the case of young women, and Caesar was the first to do so when his own wife died. 5 This also brought him much favour, and worked upon the sympathies of the multitude, so that they were fond of him, as a man who was gentle and full of feeling.
    .
    After the funeral of his wife, he went out to Spain as quaestor under Vetus, one of the praetors, whom he never ceased to hold in high esteem, and whose son, in turn, when he himself was praetor, he made his quaestor. 7 After he had served in this office, he married for his third wife12 Pompeia, having already by Cornelia a daughter who was afterwards married to Pompey the Great. 8 He was unsparing in his outlays of money, and was thought to be purchasing a transient and short-lived fame at a great price, though in reality he was buying things of the highest value at a small price. We are told, accordingly, that before he entered upon any public office he was thirteen hundred talents in debt. 9 Again, being appointed curator of the Appian Way, he expended upon it vast sums of his own money; and again, during his aedileship,13 he furnished three hundred and twenty pairs of gladiators, and by lavish provision besides for theatrical performances, processions, and public banquets, he washed away all memory of the ambitious efforts of his predecessors in the office. By these means he put the people in such a humour that every man of them was seeking out new offices and new honours with which to requite him.
    .
    Yes, Rome was very different than the United States. But what few similarities there are should put fear in each of us. For example, what happens when Caesar meets his Brutus today? Will we get Augustus and Imperium a short while afterwards? And will Republicans be decapitated as was Rome’s last “Republican,” Cicero? If I err in my understanding of history, I am sure Donald will correct me. This is an area in which I admit my lack of knowledge.

  3. I keep coming back to the Fall of the Roman Republic these days and your comment points to one of the reasons.

    As you say, Trump isn’t Caesar but the impulse to make kings is present in both examples. This is to say that the really interesting thing is that the people are in the same position, not that the would-be-kings are the same characters.

    When did the Republic die? It was dead before the crossing of the Tiber and, for us, before Obama’s election. In a sense, these men are opportunists, carrion rather than raptors.

    American independence ended with FDR… Perhaps too strong a statement. FDR laid the road to tyranny through replacing manly self-reliance with the comfort of slavery. In this sense, we have become like Rome, prefering golden shackles to the risks of freedom. For freedom requires self-reliance and an acceptance of risk and slavery is maintained by dual forces of threat and certaintly.

    I do not see this as a chicken-or-egg situation since it seems clear that a people who no longer care for freedom or have the stomach for self-reliance invite the opportunist who kills their republic. We did this to ourselves in 150 years.

  4. “Carrion rather that raptors…”

    That was a dumb comparison since carrion is dead creatures and raptors do eat carrion… Opportunists that they are.

    Sorry… Need more coffee.

  5. Cheap seat prediction; If Thumper gets the nomination and faces the Pathological Liar for November, many current Trump supporters will not cast a vote. By then they will be so sick of Trump that they will stay home come Tuesday. They couldn’t imagine being a part of voting in a Idi Amin. Harsh? Yes. Trump has that capacity. By November his current backers will be nil.

    Rubio is the fading hope, and unfortunately I don’t think he’ll get the nod.

    Prediction. Socialist States of Amerika via Hag-erly.

  6. What of predictions that Kasich is the most likely Convention pick?

    I could be persuaded by Kasich… Sort of a “mature” candidate. He isn’t Establishment but isn’t opposition either.

  7. David Spaulding.

    Yes!
    Kasich would fit.
    Long shot though.
    Would he gather enough support prior to super Tuesday?

    I like his stands related to abortion. Passes test, except for Rape and incest. Rubio is a lone wolf when it comes to that exclusion.
    However… at this point in time…I’d be thrilled if Kasich made it in vs. Trump.

  8. Kasich also insists that business owned by Christians cater to homosexual events like marriages (e.g., baking a gay wedding cake) against their consciences. Therefore, Kasich is less than fully acceptable. he would deny the full exercise of freedom of religion to those who by informed conscience cannot serve sodomite or lesbian unions.

  9. Philip, your prediction “many current Trump supporters will not cast a vote. By then they will be so sick of Trump that they will stay home come Tuesday” is quite likely. Trump’s posturing is shallow, its appeal is wide but shallow, and may blow away before the media fanned winds of Hillary’s full blown campaign. It is tempting to blame the Republican Party for failing to anticipate the rise of Trump but we are confronted with a population whose knowledge of history and civics is as shallow as Trump’s appeal. Shame on me for being so pessimistic on the Lord’s Day but there are devils driven out only by prayer and fasting.

  10. I suspect that this will make no difference at all to Trump’s prospects.

    People become beholden to the political system in which they were raised. For most Americans, the two-party left/less-left system is natural and right, and they have great difficulty comprehending shocks to that system. It’s a black-swan problem: if you try to fit the Donald Trump phenomenon into your existing political universe, you will flounder.
    .
    Oh, but he’s not discernibly conservative! No, he isn’t, but elected conservatives have utterly failed in conserving anything over the past century or do, and there’s no reason whatsoever to think that Rubio, Cruz, or Kasich will do any different.
    .
    He doesn’t know the issues! No, he doesn’t, but you’ve been governed by the Ivy Leagues for generations, and they’ve sold the nation’s birthright to foreigners and oligarchs (including Donald Trump) immiserated a formerly proud and aspirational lower-middle class, and embroiled the country in disastrous foreign adventurism.
    .
    He’s crass! Indeed, and how are your smooth-talking elites working out for you?
    .
    He’s not pro-life! No, but tell me again about the manifold successes of the GOP in stemming the tide of abortion since 1974.
    .
    All of these objections would be potent arguments if previous elections hadn’t proven beyond all reasonable doubt that the GOP (aka the Outer Party) is merely a token opposition that exists to legitimate the ever-leftward drift of the country. To coin a phrase, it turns out you can’t elect yourself out of a problem you elected yourself into.
    .
    So the mood is a dangerous one. For every low-information voter who pulls the lever for Trump for dumb celebrity-worshipping reasons, there’s another, more well-informed voter who wishes to see the GOP in its current form laid waste, to be replaced by a party less inclined to sneer at and mock its own constituents or to regard them as cattle to be mustered at election time and disregarded thereafter. If this means losing an election or enduring the likely chaos of a Trump presidency, well, that’s a risk they’re prepared to take.
    .
    Isn’t this a little desperate? Absolutely. Will the scorched-earth strategy work? Probably not. But it’s futile to try to fit this into the existing, moribund paradigm, in which we just have to elect the right Republican (maybe this time Lucy won’t take away that football!) in order to set the country back on the right footing. That paradigm, I am convinced, is dead.

  11. ” you try to fit the Donald Trump phenomenon into your existing political universe, you will flounder.”

    Actually no. His type of candidacy is not without parallel. Perot and Wendell Wilkie for example. The outsider come in to cleanse the Temple is as old as American politics.

    “Oh, but he’s not discernibly conservative!”

    Actually he is discernibly liberal. The conservative movement has had long term successes: including defending the second amendment, the spread of right to work laws and the curbing of the power of unions.

    “He doesn’t know the issues!”

    Bone ignorant is a better phrase. The best President we have had in my life time was Ronald Reagan. He was very well informed and I assure you that Eureka is as far from an Ivy League college as it is possible to be. Trump graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and you don’t get any more Ivy League than that.

    “He’s crass!”

    He certainly is. My late father, a factory worker who never graduated from high school and who was always a gentleman, would have snorted at Trump’s “I’m just a regular guy!” act.

    “He’s not pro-life!”

    He is a pro-abort actually, including partial birth abortion. Your reasoning is akin to supporting John Breckinridge in 1860 because Lincoln hadn’t accomplished anything on slavery. Your comment also ignores the ton of pro-life legislation passed in states where the Republicans control both the legislature and the Governor’s Mansion.

    “that exists to legitimate the ever-leftward drift of the count”

    You obviously have not been paying attention to which party has been enjoying an explosion in legislative seats and governor’s mansions at the state level. The idea that there is an inevitable drift to the left in this country is simply wrong.

    “more well-informed voter who wishes to see the GOP in its current form laid waste”

    Which won’t happen with a Trump defeat. A Clinton four year term might be as disastrous for the Democrats as the victory of George H W Bush turned out to be for the Republicans in 1988.

    “Isn’t this a little desperate?”

    I would not use the term desperate. “Profoundly stupid” would be the phrase I would apply to those conservatives who think backing Trump will either kill or reform the Republican Party.

  12. William P. Walsh.

    I know how you feel. I said that this morning before the banquet of our Lord. I don’t like to be a pessimist either, without help from Our Lord we will have to suffer the pain of fools and opportunist who will shape the future our of Nation in an unrecognizable fashion. I should say unrecognizable when thinking of Americas past. I’m afraid the future will look more like Venezuela or USSR.

    So.

    Now more than ever be strengthened with fellow Catholics of like mind. Daily Mass if it’s possible. Meditation and Prayer. When things get out of control I am ready to stand up in the face of tyrannies. The past 16 years have been the practice field. Rallies on the public square, radio interviews and escorting the Bishop to front lines during the Religious Freedom events.

    What may come is our trial of Faith.
    Maybe not….but when Hillary Clinton spews rhetoric like; ” Religions must change their opinions on abortion..”. as she did a year ago, and God forbid she becomes Madame President, well let’s just say her words are fighting words and leave it at that!

  13. I just today thought of one POSSIBLE argument in favor of voting for Trump in the general election if it comes to that.

    C.S. Lewis once wrote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    Trump may be a “robber baron” who’s ultimately in it only for himself, but either Hillary or Bernie would be “omnipotent moral busybodies” determined to carry out the enlightened liberal agenda, and as such there would be no escaping them. Trump, perhaps, could be persuaded to back off of certain policies (e.g. the HHS mandate) if enough people made a ruckus about it. I doubt that Hillary or Bernie would do the same. In any event, this is NOT an endorsement of Trump but simply one possible way in which he MIGHT prove to be less odious than the alternative by the time November arrives.

  14. In the meantime, I plan to vote for either Cruz or Rubio in the IL primary if it makes any difference by that point. Haven’t decided between the two however.

  15. Elaine Krewer.

    C.S. Lewis to the rescue, of sorts.
    Interesting angle.
    Thanks for sharing this just in case the Donald and Ms. Benghazi are the two evils to choose from.

  16. “The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    Well, that actually helps a lot and ia not a thought that had occurred to me.

  17. The Step Brothers routine reminds me of a recent comment I made to one of my many dear relatives who support Trump. I said, “Is Trump a conservative? I worry that electing Trump is like buying a boat without a rudder. The best we can hope is that he’ll at least ram the last voyage of Hillary’s garbage scow but then Heaven help the Ship of State with him at the helm.”

  18. Oh, but he’s not discernibly conservative! No, he isn’t, but elected conservatives have utterly failed in conserving anything over the past century or do, and there’s no reason whatsoever to think that Rubio, Cruz, or Kasich will do any different.

    I’m not going to argue for the Conserv Inc here, but I do want to post the following quote from Mark Shea’s facebook page. This is NOT from Mark. Both of the following are from commentators and, as far as i can tell are sincerely believed and expressed. I have shown this to Don for a laugh and he can vouch for the screenshot. Links might also be provided if some are really incredulous. These are two different people who really believe the following:

    I think the point is to show how both parties have shifted so far to the right that the “liberal” Democratic party today is more conservative in a lot of ways than the “conservative” Republican party was 40+ years ago.

    It’s funny how many people say that Obama is the most liberal President ever, or that he’s some out of control radical, when he’s more conservative than Nixon.

    I only post this because… well because look at the 3 block quotes above. 1 claims that conservatism has been completely steamrolled and beaten forever. The other 2 claim it is in fact liberalism that has had nothing but loss.

    Obviously there are only 3 logical conclusions: 1) One of the beliefs is wrong. 2) Both are right. 3) Both are wrong. The real question is, how could we ever settle the dispute?

    And the real conclusion is: if both sides believe they’ve been nothing but beaten the last few generations, it explains everything about why Sanders & Trump are in the lead.

  19. I’ll answer Don in a sec, but Nate raises an interesting point.
    .
    I think the answer is that left-liberalism–based as it is in no coherent principles except muh self-pleasuring!–is a uniquely fluid and adaptable ideology. During the Soviet interlude of 1917-89, leftists were at least sympathetic to the command economy, and often outright champions of the model. The Soviet collapse should have forever discredited their ideas, yet they managed to completely reinvent themselves in no time at all, reorienting their Cold War class warfare organizing themselves instead around Third Worldism, environmentalism and the endless fount of identity grievance politics. Meanwhile, left-liberal governments under Clinton in the US, Hawke/Keating in Australia, and Chretien in Canada rejected the Old Left’s economic fantasies in favor of a more market-oriented approach. Sure, conservatives (actually right-liberals) “won” the economic battle, sort of, but for the left, sane economic policies just gave them more breathing room for their war on the culture.
    .
    Objectively speaking, what do we have today in almost every Western country? An immense federal bureaucracy almost entirely captured by the left which busies itself harassing political opponents and smothering a formerly free people under mountains of regulation. A judiciary which has eagerly taken on the task of discovering previously undreamed-of “rights” by which they can drag the country into the glorious progressive future. An academic elite that provides a pseudo-intellectual facade for tomorrow’s new cause–whatever that might be–and which practices active exclusion of even moderately conservative views. A public school system that sees its primary task as indoctrination rather than anything resembling a well-rounded education. A media class that is so beholden to left-liberalism that they make centrist outfits like (gah!) Fox News seem like jackbooted brownshirts. Militaries whose leaders trumpet “diversity” (however defined) as their greatest strength and force soldiers to run in pink shoes and put on those pregnancy-simulating things.
    .
    On the ground, we have more or less unrestricted abortion, same-sex “marriage” and the concomitant persecution of dwindling Christian minorities, the mainstreaming of pornography, a level of vulgarity and profanity in popular culture that would have been unthinkable to our grandparents’ generation, and an economy in which a large fraction of the population is effectively mendicant, net consumers of government spending. And despite Don’s sterling efforts here, our people have largely been stripped of their own history, culture, religion and heritage, all the better to transform them into rootless atoms of consumption, easy prey for corporations and the masters of the mob.
    .
    And what grand successes can “conservatives” claim against this Marcusian long march? Well, none, really, with the singular exception of gun rights in the US. (And even that may largely have been due to NRA grassroots members taking Conquest’s Second Law seriously.) Conservatives fought every single item on the left agenda until they lost, at which point they started concocting reasons why “X” is really a conservative value. They made their peace with every leftist innovation that’s more than about, oh, five years old, and they’ll eventually make their peace with whatever abomination is next on the agenda.
    .
    These are the fruits of democracy, my brethren. No matter how many times you pull that GOP lever, you will just get more liberalism, and get it good and hard. You simply cannot elect yourself out of this. The victory has been too total.

  20. *sigh* If it comes down to Trump & Killary, I will vote for Trump. If he at least secures the southern border & reduces some of our ridiculous trade deficits/does serious damage to ISIS, that is better than what we have now. *longer sigh*

  21. “Conservatives fought every single item on the left agenda until they lost, at which point they started concocting reasons why “X” is really a conservative value. They made their peace with every leftist innovation that’s more than about, oh, five years old, and they’ll eventually make their peace with whatever abomination is next on the agenda.”

    1. Maybe you defined what you mean by Conservatives somewhere, & I just didn’t read back far enough.

    2. People who simply call themselves “Conservatives” of whom there are myriads (but really are not) have only put on show fights & political theater to keep getting elected & consolidate their power. They are called RINOs. (Hope that gets on the regular contributor’s nerves who thinks that derogatory term is stupid.)

    3. Actual Conservatives will never stop fighting battles for limited government/freedom.

  22. “These are the fruits of democracy, my brethren. No matter how many times you pull that GOP lever, you will just get more liberalism, and get it good and hard. You simply cannot elect yourself out of this. The victory has been too total.”

    Hopefully, brother, you will get some rest and regain your courage for the fight. I have been where you are right now. What it takes to rise, again, is to ask God for strength and a refreshing through the power of his Word, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the sport of Christian brethren. Courage is regained when we once again are assured that no matter the corruption we face–that God is on our side. He is not the least bit shocked by what is taking place and is making available His grace, that is new every morning, to sustain us.

    For some beginning encouragement toward that goal I will make a reference to history & then a couple of quotes.

    In the early 1980s it appeared that Communism had won & could never be defeated. It was defeated. The cost was high–however the defeat came.

    “Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” –Matthew 19:26

    “Never, never, never give up!”–Winston Churchill

    God only holds us accountable for what we are able to do in our circle of influence and that which is within our power. He can take small things that we are able to do and turn them into huge victories over time–we may not even live to see the end results of small actions we take in our service to Him.

  23. “And the real conclusion is: if both sides believe they’ve been nothing but beaten the last few generations, it explains everything about why Sanders & Trump are in the lead.”

    Conservatives have had no real representation in DC since Reagan left office, and he was an anomaly. The last Conservative plan a Republican congress had was Newt Gingrich’s Cobtract with America. Boehner & Ryan have had a “contract on America” and give Osama (mispelled on purpose) every thing Osama has wanted.

  24. Thanks for your reply, Don. If I get a little sharp in this exchange, please be assured that I am undiminished in my appreciation for your work here.
    .
    I should say that as a reactionary rightist, I’m not actually a Trump supporter. I oppose universal-suffrage democracy in toto; in fact, I even oppose partial-suffrage democracy on anything larger than maybe a county or small city scale, so I don’t vote. I do welcome the fact that Trump has widened the Overton Window on questions like immigration–and if he actually builds a wall, he would have accomplished a great thing–but I’m under no illusions about him being the Great Savior.
    .
    But Trump has tapped into a deep undercurrent of anger at the direction of the country. The average wage-earner hasn’t seen a real increase in pay in some decades. Manufacturing has increasingly shifted offshore, and men who used to support their families with honest, skilled labor are now relegated to service jobs. At the other end, low-skill entry-level jobs (especially those once filled by blacks and young people) have been turned over to an endless stream of immigrants, illegal and otherwise. In lower-middle America, broken families are ubiquitous, which provides great benefits to lawyers but otherwise leaves a trail of human wreckage as far as the eye can see. And the cultural fragmentation and enmity brought by all these factors (and more) has led to a sharp increase in death rates among lower-middle class whites. This indicates a deep malaise, and if it were any protected demographic–gays or wealthy white women, for instance–it would be deemed a major social crisis.
    .
    Neither party offers anything to these forgotten people. To the Democrats, they’re flyover-country redneck bigots; to the Republicans, they’re entirely dispensable, to be palmed off with promises at election time and forgotten thereafter. Wealthy, well-educated people with low time preference have the means to insulate themselves from societal decay, but the people we’re talking about here are not so well-endowed. Over at The Week, Michael Brendan Dougherty–a traditionalist Catholic and like me, no Trump supporter–has written several articles detailing the Republican Party’s failure to take account of these downwardly-mobile unfortunates.
    .
    Are they stupid? Yeah, they often are, but that’s not a crime, nor is it something they can do anything about. And under democracy, they get just as much of a vote as you do. Or should they just wait for their betters to tell them who to vote for?
    .
    On the broader issues, Trump is certainly liberal–but then, they all are, to such an extent that they would be unrecognizable to any conservative from even the 1960s, let alone before. Liberalism (in the broad philosophical sense) is the state religion of the West, and experience has proven that right-liberals are totally ineffectual at resisting left-liberal innovations, since they agree on the fundamentals: the absolute primacy of individual self-determination and the right to “define one’s own concept of existence”, to quote that notable conservative, Anthony Kennedy. Left- and right-liberals just disagree on the best means to achieve those ends: property rights and freedom for the former, state-coerced “equality” for the latter. Since I profoundly disagree with those ends, I reject them both.
    .
    Finally,
    .
    I would not use the term desperate. “Profoundly stupid” would be the phrase I would apply to those conservatives who think backing Trump will either kill or reform the Republican Party.
    .
    Once again, stupid people get the same vote as you do, and insulting them seems like a strange way to bring them around to your way of thinking. Secondly, the Republican establishment is currently mooting a third-party run or clever brokered-convention strategies, so they certainly seem to be worried about exactly that fate befalling the GOP. I mean, they could take note of the growing despair and anger among lower-middle class whites and tailor their policies accordingly, but that would mean turning on the transnational globalist elites who control the purse-strings, and who would do that for a bunch of gap-toothed hicks? I mean, think of the Party!

  25. When facing overwhelming odds & corruption, as I have many times in my adult life and often on the behalf of others, I have often felt in my spirit basically what is said in the poem below. I have found that many times we can gain ground even when it appears on the surface that we have lost.

    “My Orders”

    MY orders are to fight;
    Then if I bleed, or fail,
    Or strongly win, what matters it?
    God only doth prevail.

    The servant craveth naught
    Except to serve with might.
    I was not told to win or lose,–
    My orders are to fight.

    By
    Ethelwyn Wetherald

  26. He’s (Trump is) not pro-life! No, but tell me again about the manifold successes of the GOP in stemming the tide of abortion since 1974.
    Murray

    I’ve heard this argument in numerous places. Your error, dear Murray, is to assume that just because the Democrat Party is strenously pro-abortion that the Republican Party must be its exact opposite in all issues and therefore strongly pro-life. And because the GOP isn’t, it must be hypocritical or something like that.

    The Democrat party has pretty much ended any internal debate on the life question, its national candidates and national convention speakers must be unquestionably in lockstep with Planned Parenthood and other abortion-on-demand advocates. However, in the Republican party, the debate still goes on. Millions of people who identify as Republicans are just like Trump, they’re pro-abortion. It’s Trump and others like him who undermine rousing a solid stance against abortion within the Republican party yet because the GOP isn’t rock-solid pro-life you’re going with Trump. You make no sense, Murray.

  27. Thanks Donald and everyone. Lot’s of good thinking. Murry impresses. Personally, I have grown tired of all the Republican/Democrat comparisons. Basically, there’s hardly a dimes worth of difference between them except some rhetoric. Both are giveaway artists. Both are corrupt. Both are there to feather their own nests. Both are liberal. And neither is going to do much about abortion or the size of government. Big Business, Big Government, Big Media and Big Religion (USCCB) are all in bed together. Fubar is the only way to describe it all. And it needed to be disrupted, destroyed.

    So now comes The Donald full of bluster and ignorance to the rescue. The establishment is appalled, embarrassed, scared, thinking that this guy is going to screw
    up the happy incestuous game they have going on. Thus Trump must be stopped at all costs even if it means Hillary is elected. This is what some folks think. They don’t trust any of the establishment politicians, the government, Wall Street, etc. I guess they could be called paranoid.

    Anyway, I don’t think many of them are going to change their minds as they believe Trump is the only one who has a chance of bringing change about. I think they have a point. And I think they deserve some respect.

  28. My father and I were talking about loyalty yesterday. It is good and helpful to me to talk about management and last night we explored winning and maintaining loyalty.

    Loyalty cannot be damanded or faked.

    Tying this to the discussion, the GOP Establishment has been faking its loyalty for a very long time and, so, has np just cause to be angry at our rejection of their overtures.

    Is there a fundamental difference between the GOP and the Dems? That depends on what we mean by “party.” Just as “church” can mean the place, the hierarchy, the people, or the universality of Christian belief, so too, “Republican” can define the rank-and-file, the organized structure, or those who control the mechanisms of its governance.

    Even within those who control the mechanisms of the Republican Party’s governance, there is a split between the state parties and the national. If we are to be fair and accurate, we cannot speak of the Republican Party as a monolith for it is not.

    There IS a GOP Establishment whoch os more comfortable with the Democrat Establishment than the rank-and-file who make their elitist, privileged “careers” possible. Some states (my own is one of them) have State Republican Parties that are every bit as corrupt, morally and ethically, as their Democrat counterparts. Some states have parties which are more virtuous and faithful but the national party is utterly corrupt and inept.

    Look only at abortion and ask “what have national party officials and elected leaders done to further a culture of life?”

    Set aside success or failure for, if success and failure are the measure of virtue, who can be counted as virtuous? What have they TRIED to do?

    I have gone to all but three Right to Life Marches in DC since 1991 and can count, on one hand, the number of national leaders who were willing to stand up with us. Santorum? Absolutely. Where, pray tell, has Toomey been? Did Boehner or Ryan stand with us? No.

    Oh, they are happy enough to list being pro-life as a position in e-mails at this point in the election cycle but those position statements are greatly subordinated at all other times.

    Faithless, disloyal… And yet, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has the audacity to send me three e-mails a day, EVERY DAY, begging for money and warning me that, if I don’t support cowardly worms like Toomey with my donations, Obama will install liberal justices… “Oh yeah? Where in the hell were you guys when the President added the greatest number of judges to the bench in the last 50 years?! If you care so damned much about judges, and you should, why didn’t you even blink at the confirmation of liberal judge after liberal judge at points that you controlled the Senate?!”

    Faithless. Disloyal. Hypocrites. Cowards. Elitists. Bastards.

    The indictments have been earned, a pillar of privilege that the GOP Establishment has built, brick by brick, setting themselves up so high above us that they cannot even see the need and want of the rank-and-file that make their positions possible.

    Loyalty cannot be demanded or faked but the GOP Establishment demands loyalty and sacrifices, offers nothing in return, and pretends to know us.

    Trump is possible because the bastards have abused our relationship for so long. Like a jilted teenager who dates someone terrible for them, to get back at the ex, the GOP rank-and-file are expressing their outrage, just though it is, in the most juvenile and ill-considered way possible.

    We are angry and burning down the house of our abusers and they act bewildered. They seem to be oblivious, in true abuser fashion, to their responsibility in this and that reality heeps fuel on the fire.

    So, meaning no disrespect, the claim that the GOP have been faithful stewards falls flat, not because no Republicans HAVE been good stewards but becausethe national party, the GOP Establishment, has acted like abusive jerks for so long that they have utterly destroyed the relationship between them and us. We may be acting irrationally. We may be behaving like children. We may even be nailing the last nail in the Republic’s coffin but it is not without cause.

  29. “Where, pray tell, has Toomey been?”

    Earning a 100% pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life which takes considerable courage facing re-election in Pennsylvania, a state reliably in the Democrat corner in presidential elections since 1992. Boehner and Ryan also had perfect pro-life voting records. This from Ryan’s facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/speaker-paul-ryan/why-we-march-for-life/966213873427139/

    Pro-life politicians are politicians just like Lincoln. They have to work within the political system and win elections before they can do anything. Too many critics from the outside, not being politicians, fail to understand that short of magic wands or mass executions on the floor of Congress, progress depends upon substantial majorities in Congress and control of the White House, plus the convincing of the American people.

  30. “I oppose universal-suffrage democracy in toto; in fact, I even oppose partial-suffrage democracy on anything larger than maybe a county or small city scale, so I don’t vote.”

    As stated by Winston Churchill it is the worst form of government devised by the mind of man, except for all the others. Human governance is always going to be a messy process, but if prosperity and peace are two of the big goals in this Vale of Tears, democracies have comparatively functioned rather well.

    “In lower-middle America, broken families are ubiquitous,”

    Judging from my legal practice they often haven’t formed. The number of paternity cases I see has sky-rocketed over the past twenty years.

    “This indicates a deep malaise, and if it were any protected demographic–gays or wealthy white women, for instance–it would be deemed a major social crisis.”

    Blacks have the same trends, only double the impact, and there is zip outcry over them. The reason for this is because the two prime culprits are the Sexual Revolution and the Welfare State, those two great disasters of the Sixties that the Democrat Party is pledged to protect.

    “Neither party offers anything to these forgotten people.”

    Not quite. The Republican party offers a better economy, as Obama has demonstrated the deadly impact full bore Democrat policies have on any recovery, and the Republicans offer more local, rather than Washington, control, along with a diminishment of the welfare state. The Democrat party does not even see that a problem exists. Ever more hapless wards of the State is a feature not a bug as far as most Democrat politicians occur. The problem of broken families, which is at the bottom of most of the pathologies that afflict us, is of course beyond the power of politics, and will probably require a massive religious re-awakening, along the lines of the mendicant monks of the latter Middle Ages and the Methodists of eighteenth century Britain, but politicians can at least stop making a bad situation worse.

    “Are they stupid? Yeah, they often are, but that’s not a crime”

    It is often worse than a crime in its consequences to the person making the stupid mistake. However, I do not think that Trumpism is a phenomenon of the white working poor, but much broader than that, and much stupider as a result, since desperate people can be forgiven for acting in a desperately stupid manner.

    “the broader issues, Trump is certainly liberal–but then, they all are”

    That is false. The average Republican in Congress is not only far, far more conservative than Trump, but is more conservative than the average Republican in Congress five decades ago. As to your broader point, it is simply mistaken. Leftists are certainly not champions of the individual but of the hive, the collective. All the proposals that serve to use the power of the State to enforce conformity now comes almost exclusively from the Left.

    “Once again, stupid people get the same vote as you do”

    I did not call them stupid but rather stated that people who support Trump in order to destroy the Republican party are acting stupidly since that goal will not be reached by making Trump the nominee. Everyone acts stupidly on occasion, even very bright people. Trump is an ignorant megalomaniac, but I think it would be quickly clear that he is a party of one in the event that he were to be elected, which if Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats he might very well be. The people are in a “throw the rascals out and replace them with new rascals” mood and Trump might well benefit from that sentiment. We have had buffoons before as President, and doubtless the Republic and the Republican Party will survive, but it would not be a pleasant trip, especially for the people who have to recall they voted for this crony capitalist Mussolini.

  31. I certainly get that winning elections is necessary to affect change. That creates a natural tendency to spend precious time, post-election, suring up wins and looking for opportunities to pick up other seats. Thus, the focus becomes winning, not doing.

    The problems with this are many since the rank-and-file vote with a purpose in mind, a purpose that is thwarted by the efforts to convince the amorphous Middle to lean towards the party. Add to that the challenges in passing legislation through two houses and the othrr party’s president, and accomplisging nothing salutary is rather to be expected than not.

    In a sense though, this is a cop-out.

    You and I express favor for the Separation of Powers set up by the Constitution and, for me, the idea that Congress, session after session, myopically focuses on the Presidency, assuming it can do nothing a president does not approve of, is odious. This is all the more so when the Senats has unilateral power to stop the President through its Consent powers and chooses not to our of some assumed risk that the Middle will switch to their side, if only the GOP is, well, NOT an advocate for the very things we emected them to do.

    For example, Jeh Johnson says he won’t enforce immigration laws and, after a hearing in which the GOP shakes its finger at him, he is confirmed. Loretta Lynch says she will not appoint special prosecutors to look into Administration corruption and the GOP makes a big hooplah… Then confirms.

    Do immigration agencies lose funding for diverting funding to illegal, unconstitutional DACA and DAPA actions and for failure to remove criminal aliens? Nope. Does ATF&E lose funding for the ill-concieved Fast and Furious scandal? Nope. Does DOS lose anything for letting men die in Libya, our consulates and embassies be attacked, or consular officials assaulted and killed in the Americas? Nope.

    All we get is rhetoric and little enough of that is there is a perception that the Middle might lean Left on the issue.

    At some point, “positioning” looks a lot like cowardice.

  32. Micha Elyi,
    .
    Your error, dear Murray, is to assume that just because the Democrat Party is strenously pro-abortion that the Republican Party must be its exact opposite in all issues and therefore strongly pro-life. And because the GOP isn’t, it must be hypocritical or something like that.
    .
    No, I’m not making that assumption at all, and I’m not “going with Trump”. I don’t vote, remember? In fact, my core point is that the Democrats and the Republicans are not opposites at all; they are both fervent adherents of the state religion of liberalism, differing only on the best means to achieve their common end of maximal equal preference satisfaction, as Catholic writer Jim Kalb calls it.
    .
    Understand that I’m not using “liberalism” in the standard pejorative sense; I’m using it to describe the overarching political philosophy that animates our entire political class and that completely occupies the Overton Window of contemporary politics. (The Buchananite paleoconservatives were the last, weak vestige of anti-liberal thought in American politics, and they were purged from the GOP in the 1990s.) When a leftist invokes “equality” or “choice”, they are paying homage to liberalism; similarly, when a conservative invokes “freedom” or “self-determination”, they are likewise burning a pinch of incense to the gods.
    .
    We befuddle ourselves when we assume (understandably, but mistakenly)that the current Overton Window represents the entire theoretical space of politics, and that what we now deem as “left” and “right” represent polar opposites on the political spectrum. The Window certainly sets the boundaries of acceptable mainstream political discourse right now, but even a cursory glance at history will tell you that mankind has developed (and often flourished under) a vast array of political philosophies, in which liberal democracy represents a tiny, brief (and probably soon to be extinguished) sliver.
    .
    Which is not to say that there aren’t important differences between left- and right-liberals. Right-liberals tend to be more realist in their economics, more traditional in their social mores, and more accepting of intermediary institutions like churches and fraternal organizations, and and to that extent we can make alliances with them. But we do not agree on ends.
    .
    Which brings me (finally!) to abortion. Left-liberals are being entirely consistent with their principles when they uphold a woman’s right to kill her unborn child–that is, as long as they can maintain the pretense that the fetus is not, in fact, a living human individual. But it presents secular right-liberals with a Gordian-knot dilemma: how do they square the mother’s right to freedom and self-determination with the child’s right to exist? Religious right-liberals can invoke their beliefs in defense of the child–at least for now–but if a secular right-liberal decides to oppose abortion, he must do so by adopting what the late Lawrence Auster called an unprincipled exception. Others, more consistently, become pro-choice to the arbitrary extent that their own squeamishness will allow them to accept: first trimester, viability, heartbeat, whatever. And that’s why the Republican Party is all over the place on abortion.

  33. Edward K, I think that the only thing that can save America at this point is for all the best brains to put their full support behind the Tea Party and do everything in your power to help Trump win the White House. Meanwhile in the next four years build up the Tea Party into a real and proper powerhouse, ready and determined to replace the corrupt G.O.P. party once and for all. Only then can you have a real chance at rebuilding America. It has to be something along those lines. The corrupt elites are too firmly entrenched to be expelled in any other way. Right now, Trump is a Godsend for America.

  34. Don,
    .
    As stated by Winston Churchill it is the worst form of government devised by the mind of man, except for all the others.
    .
    Yes, I hear this a lot, but … it’s not exactly an argument, is it? It’s pretty much a bumper sticker.
    .
    Human governance is always going to be a messy process, but if prosperity and peace are two of the big goals in this Vale of Tears, democracies have comparatively functioned rather well.
    .
    Have they? In the past century, democracies engaged in several of the bloodiest, cruelest wars in human history (not to mention the Civil War in the 19th century), and have embroiled themselves in dozens of lesser conflicts since then. And irony of ironies, that may be endemic to the the democratic model: According to Victor Davis Hanson (quoted here), Athens ‘widened, amplified, and intensified’ the waging of war, regularly attacked other democracies, and was ‘a constant source of death and destruction’ among the Greeks. (That entire essay is gold, and the balanced account of Athenian democratic militarism is highly reminiscent of the American public’s attitude to war over the past century or so, for good and for ill.) It wasn’t long ago that the American public was being urged to support military action in Iran and Syria (for democracy!), and one or both of those may yet eventuate.
    .
    As for prosperity, I think you may be engaging in a bit of Whig history here. A democratic market-based economy is certainly superior to command economies of any stripe, but our current prosperity rests upon astonishing technological advances, all of which rely on scientific discoveries that took place in societies which were vastly more illiberal than our own. If we can credit democracy for Watson and Crick, or Shockley, or Fleming, or Einstein, can we credit monarchy for Newton, Pascal, Maxwell, Lavoisier, Volta, Watt, Carnot, and Faraday? We are standing on the shoulders of giants. To be sure, technological development would likely have taken some different turns under a non-democratic modernity: absent liberal democracy, for instance, we might not now be looking forward to hardcore porn being delivered through virtual-reality headsets, but I see no reason to expect that we would not have experienced a similar level of technological progress.
    .
    Blacks have the same trends, only double the impact, and there is zip outcry over them. The reason for this is because the two prime culprits are the Sexual Revolution and the Welfare State, those two great disasters of the Sixties that the Democrat Party is pledged to protect.
    .
    I agree wholeheartedly on the issue of black dysfunction, but it seems to me we have recently been subjected to a very great deal of agitation about the social crisis affecting black communities. Of course, being leftists, they try to fit everything into the Procrustean Bed of RACISM!, but this is not exactly “zip outcry”.
    .
    The Republican party offers a better economy…
    .
    Indeed it does, but this sidesteps the point that the people we are discussing are the losers in the great creative-destruction shakeout. If you haven’t read it already, David Frum, writing in The Atlantic, offers an excellent overview of the new class warfare emerging in the Republican Party: The Great Republican Revolt. Be sure to read his replies to his critics, linked at the end.
    .
    he average Republican in Congress is not only far, far more conservative than Trump, but is more conservative in Congress than the average Republican in Congress five decades ago.
    .
    By what measure? I would say they’re probably more conservative in strict economic terms (as I replied to Nate last night), but on social or cultural issues? No-fault divorce? Immigration? Free speech? Religious liberty?
    .
    And this also raises the question: If Republicans now are “far more conservative” than Republicans then, why does the federal government continue to occupy an ever-increasing chunk of the economy? Why does the federal bureaucracy continue to metastasize? Or is it just that they only came around a couple of years ago, and haven’t yet had time to implement their “far more conservative” agenda? And if that’s the case, what evidence do we have that they’re actually sincere, given that they’ve controlled the HoR for over three years, and both Houses since 2014?
    .
    As to your broader point, it is simply mistaken. Leftists are certainly not champions of the individual but of the hive, the collective. All the proposals that serve to use the power of the State to enforce conformity now comes almost exclusively from the Left.
    .
    Sure, that’s what they do. But the left absolutely does champion individual freedoms when it comes to issues like sexual freedom (so-called), emancipation from “racism” or “white privilege” (ditto), or abortion. They do this at the very same time as they shout down and persecute dissenters, but they’re doing it in the name of the sacred individual.
    .

  35. “Yes, I hear this a lot, but … it’s not exactly an argument, is it? It’s pretty much a bumper sticker.”

    It is a statement of historical fact.

    “In the past century, democracies engaged in several of the bloodiest, cruelest wars in human history”

    Unless they were going to lay down as sacrificial lambs before the Third Reich, World War II was a completely just conflict from the standpoint of the democracies. In regard to World War I, I don’t believe a more democratic German Second Reich would have given carte blanche to Austria. In the last century, outside of colonial conflicts, precious few conflicts had a democracy as an aggressor.

    In regard to Athens they had a long history of conflicts with Sparta that pre-dated the famous Peloponnesian War. Additionally the Athenian state had precious little in common with modern democracies as I am sure that Athenian women, slaves and foreign residents would attest. In regard to the Civil War I suspect that the whole conflict would have been resolved peacefully if the subject of the dissolution of the Union had been brought before Congress and argued out there rather than on the battlefield. There have been enough sentiment to “let the erring sisters go” that a bill calling for the separation into two nations might have been voted out of Congress. In any case my argument is not that democracies never go to war, but that they tend to go to war less overall than other systems of government.

    ” A democratic market-based economy is certainly superior to command economies of any stripe, but our current prosperity rests upon astonishing technological advances, all of which rely on scientific discoveries that took place in societies which were vastly more illiberal than our own.”

    The English scientists that you named were members of a society that tended to be among the most liberal on earth since the seventeenth century. However prosperity and democratic regimes pre-date the scientific advances of the past three centuries. The republics of the Middle Ages were not democracies but they were much closer to democracies than the regimes they competed with and surpassed in merchant and banking prowess. Popular regimes seem to gravitate towards market oriented economic activity.

    “Of course, being leftists, they try to fit everything into the Procrustean Bed of RACISM!,”

    Allegations of racism is the binding glue that holds together leftist politics in this country. True solutions to the real problems that beset blacks would be a disaster for the left. Booker T. Washington saw this long ago: “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

    “Indeed it does, but this sidesteps the point that the people we are discussing are the losers in the great creative-destruction shakeout.”

    A vibrant economy benefits all, but especially the people who are without work. The contemporary Democrat party embraces economic superstitions that are poison to economies.

    “but on social or cultural issues? No-fault divorce? Immigration? Free speech? Religious liberty?”

    In regard to all these issues, except for divorce, I would say yes. Certainly that is the case with abortion. Goldwater’s wife, for example, was one of the big supporters of Planned Parenthood in Arizona and he had arranged an abortion for one of his daughters in the fifties. Other than prayer in school, the social issues were not prominent in the sixties, and if they had been the Rockefeller wing of the Republican party would have been on the other side.

    “why does the federal government continue to occupy an ever-increasing chunk of the economy?”

    Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid almost entirely. They account for around 48% of all Federal spending. Other than Obamacare which is in meltdown, the Republicans have been good in the past thirty six years since Reagan in holding the line on federal spending. However, they have been unable to get through reforms of these costly programs due to the fact that the Democrats enjoy electoral success largely as the defenders of these programs.

    “they’re doing it in the name of the sacred individual.”

    Yes, we are agreed that leftists lie a lot, most pitiably to themselves.

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