The Long Con

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I just had a rather refreshing weekend. Why, you may ask? Not once did I go on Facebook, and though I perused some of my favorite blogs, I stayed out of the comments section  (except for this blog, naturally). It’s amazing what a little internet hiatus can do for the spirit.

The comments sections of conservative blogs in particular have been sources of frustration. So while I enjoyed parts of Kevin Williamson’s post about “Whinos’ on National Review Online (even if it’s a bit overdone), I knew enough not to get sucked into the comments, because it would have only filled me with despair.

When Donald Trump initially announced his candidacy I reacted like a good number of conservatives: I rolled my eyes and just tried to pretend that he wasn’t there. Then a funny thing happened. The more that conservative pundits criticized the Donald, the more popular he became. Soon Trump caught fire, and is probably the most discussed candidate in the race.

This should have been predictable. I noticed this trend during the 2012 campaign as well. The more it seems that a certain candidate is bashed in the press, the more a certain section of the conservative movement flocks to that person. It’s almost as though every time a Kevin Williamson or Jonah Goldberg pens a column bashing Donald Trump, the larger his support grows.

Of course there’s more to Trump’s popularity than mere spite. He tells it like it. Or so I’ve been told repeatedly by erstwhile conservatives who are sick and tired of the establishment (maaaaaan). Somehow modern day conservatives have morphed into hippies, stuck on an endless loop railing against the establishment, and Donald Trump represents that counter-culture.

And the thing is, as Ace so aptly observes, Trump’s ascendancy can be laid at the feet of many of the people who loathe him so much. The fecklessness of the Republican party has turned off a great many conservatives. The grassroots feels – with complete justification – that the party has abandoned them. Handed majorities in the House and Senate, it seems that the GOP leadership is afraid to do anything with their majorities. Understandably their options are limited with Barack Obama in the White House, but Boehner, McConnell have folded without even trying to take on the administration.

On the specific issue of immigration, many on the right feel that the party leadership is more apt to side with the Democrats than with their grassroots. Along comes Trump, “telling it like it is,” confronting the media head on. He’s not politically correct, and he doesn’t apologize. He says outrageous things and he doesn’t back down. He is effectively the young conservative id given voice.

Here’s the problem. The same conservatives who have been smitten by the Trump are those that regularly bash the GOP – again rightly – for making noise but failing to follow through on its promises. So what have they done? They’ve gotten behind a demagogic con man who not too long ago was criticizing Mitt Romney for being too harsh on the issue of illegal immigration, who has voiced support for single payer health care, who once backed partial birth abortion, and who has given money to Hillary Clinton and voiced general approval for her and the current incumbent of the White House. Jay Caruso is right when he says that Trump’s “truth telling” persona is a myth. And yet a large segment of the conservative base will continue to insist that Trump is a “truth teller,” while bashing Jonah Goldberg and others who are writing things that they know will upset their readership.

Just last week I was informed by one of these fearless Trumpaholics that he could never support Ted Cruz – a man he agrees with “99 percent of the time” – because of his initial support for Trade Promotion Authority. Nevermind that TPA was something that conservatives have traditionally championed, and nevermind the fact that Ted Cruz backed off his support. Oh no. You see Ted Cruz had demonstrated impurity. So who’s the fallback? A man who, if given a dose of sodium pentothal before being asked his political views, would register to the left of Jeb Bush (and Lindsay Graham and George Pataki, for that matter) on the political spectrum.*

And that, ultimately, is why I have grown more frustrated. I get Trump’s emotional appeal, but beyond that it is sickening to watch events unfold as they are. Once again conservatives purists are going to hand the nomination to the very person that they claim to despise. Why? Because they will pick off, one by one, candidates that express an impure thought, or who are less vocal in supporting the things they support than they’d like. So eminently qualified candidates with a proven conservative track record will be cast aside for some demagogue who says the right things but who is as genuine as a three dollar bill. And in the end the very man they’re all trying to avoid being the nominee will be the man who gets the nod.

The funny thing is that often Trump supporters imply that any criticism of Trump is a sign that you want Jeb Bush to win, as though there aren’t 15 other choices in this race, some of them even good choices. Yet they are doing as much to guarantee that Jeb is the ultimate nominee. Which is why it’s going to be amusing a year from now when all of them rail against the evil establishment that has given them GOP nominee Jeb Bush, when it is they who will have done more to make that nightmare a reality.

Of course Donald Trump will eventually flame out. He’ll say something wrong, as someone with no convictions is wont to do. So he’ll lose ground in the polls to someone else who can bloviate and act like he is a champion come to rescue the masses.

Chris Christie can hardly wait.

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42 Comments

  1. The big question is who do the Independents respond to, what do the Independents want in a President, etc. My guess is that Independents like status quo and a milquetoast candidate. Jeb yes. Donald No. Other ideas?

  2. I won’t try to speak for anyone but me here:

    I perceive that it is simultaneously true that there is no real difference between the parties and that Democrats and Republicans see the world very differently.

    Boehner, McConnel, Pelosi, and Obama are, in essence, members of a single Establishment which is focused on milking America for everything she is worth. They really do “despise” those not in their socio-economic group, in the truest sense of the term.

    Losing elections means very little to that group. That’s why Walker, Cruz, Carson, and Trump are so troublesome; they actually intend to win; more importantly, they refuse to play by Establishment rules.

    What I hear you saying is that there is no “Establishment” to hate but that is not my view. Their narrow purpose is to feather,the nests of those in their group, either by patronage, legislating, or directly acting on behalf of those they favor.

    Perhaps I’ve misunderstood though.

  3. Walker–Fiorina works for me as well. I also think Governor Perry deserves a hearing. Cruz is a wicked smart guy who ought to stay in the Senate until he can run for Governor. Rubio isn’t a smart as Cruz, and, from what I can tell, seems to be running mostly out of an ambition to stamp that “Historical First X President Card. I really like Dr. Carson, but, for better or worse, political outsiders are inevitably tripped up. I think the guy who might very well have the best vision of where the country needs to go is Rick Santorum, but then I’m a fan of his book.

    The rest of the Republican field is a non-starter for me.
    .

  4. What I hear you saying is that there is no “Establishment” to hate but that is not my view.

    Oh that’s definitely not my view, and perhaps that isn’t clear in my post. My point was more that conservatives tend to overuse the term (much like neocon and RINO and even tea partier have been overused), and that the failure to nominate conservatives is at least partially to be blamed on conservatives themselves, particularly in 2012. That said, I basically agree with your assessment, and even conceded that the party establishment has only themselves to blame for the rise of Trump.

  5. The problem isn’t purists vs. pragmatists, per se

    When I use the term purist I’m talking about people like those referenced in my post – those who will disqualify candidates based on one mistake, perceived or no. If there’s a purity-pragmatist scale, I’m likely way on the purity side myself.

    FWIW, I’m fine with either of the Texans in this race, Walker, Jindal, Santorum, and Rubio. I don’t dislike Bush as much as others, but think he would be one of the most disastrous choices for a general election. Even those I dislike more – Paul and Huckabee, for example – likely would fare better in a general election than Bush.

  6. A dream ticket? good – I need a little fun today
    I like Cruz. a lot. When I got to meet him last month I told him that I hope he appoints these other good republican candidates to significant posts. What a great team they could be.
    /
    Rick Santorum would be a great Secretary of State. Jindal would be my choice for VP.
    Carly Fiorina would be great for Office of Management/Budget.
    I think Lindsay Graham could be Sec. of Defense.
    Department of Commerce – Perry.
    Dept of Justice- Newt G.
    Labor- Scott Walker.
    Homeland Security- Rudy Giuliani.
    Marco Rubio- United Nations Ambassador
    M Romney – -Council Economic Advisors
    oh – kitchen cabinet TAC commentors

  7. The only conviction that Donald Trump has ever had outside of making money is that his planet sized ego needs to be continually stroked. He would be in favor of cannibalism if that would win him applause. He is as much a conservative as I am a communist.

    My personal choice is Ted Cruz although I could live with Walker, Jindal or Rick Perry. Carly Fiona is a fighter and I could imagine her as Veep this time out.

    Rick Santorum is a truly interesting candidate, but I do not see him doing much next year.

    I have increasingly negative feelings about Bush although they do not come near my antipathy to Graham, Pataki and the Huckster. Rubio waved the flag of surrender so swiftly on gay marriage after the Supreme Court decision that he is dead to me.

  8. Thanks for the clarification, PZ.

    Of the candidates available, I’ll take Cruz or Walker. After that, Perry or Fiorina. Then we get to those I don’t want at all: Bush and Rubio.

  9. but Boehner, McConnell have folded without even trying to take on the administration.

    Men without chests both of them. Robert Stacy McCain had this to say:

    “Karl Rove cares about exactly one thing: “When do I get paid?”

    That’s the real bottom line. Whereas the Democrat Party is run by people who actually share the same beliefs as the people who vote for the Democrat Party, the GOP is run by people who do not remotely give a fuck about GOP voters. Karl Rove hates Republican voters. All elite GOP operatives share a profound disdain for the party’s grassroots electoral base. Mitch McConnell? Isn’t it obvious how much he is ashamed of the people in Kentucky who elected him to the Senate?

    The GOP is the Party of Money, and the guys who pay big money to control the Republican Party hire people like Karl Rove whose only concern is how to get paid more money. As a result, there is a very short-sighted concern with the day-to-day poll numbers and more or less trivial “message” items, so that there is no larger vision, no deeper interest in the problems affecting the lives of the American people, ”

    I wish Ted Cruz would ax this presidential campaign and set his sights to lining up support to depose the superfluous Capitol Hill lifer who is the current Senate majority leader.

  10. I think you’re asking for trouble if you put another career legislator in the presidency. Have Mr. Cruz return to Texas and run something big, not the 20 – lawyer Texas Solicitor-General’s office. And a new career in sales for Mr. Rubio.

  11. Oh that’s definitely not my view, and perhaps that isn’t clear in my post. My point was more that conservatives tend to overuse the term (much like neocon and RINO and even tea partier have been overused), and that the failure to nominate conservatives is at least partially to be blamed on conservatives themselves, particularly in 2012. [….] When I use the term purist I’m talking about people like those referenced in my post – those who will disqualify candidates based on one mistake, perceived or no. If there’s a purity-pragmatist scale, I’m likely way on the purity side myself.
    .
    My guess is those people are being encouraged to do so. Thus Conservative Republicans for a Conservative Republic PAV runs adds against conservatives who aren’t perfect. If you were able to track the money back, you’d find out CR4aCR-PAC.org is two multi-millionaire friends of Jeb. Last cycle, they were friends of Mitt. Alternatively, it’s all Soros money.
    .

    That said, I basically agree with your assessment, and even conceded that the party establishment has only themselves to blame for the rise of Trump.

    .
    What makes you think they aren’t responsible for his rise in the first place? By that I mean, I think he’s there to suck all the oxygen out of the room, thus keeping support for a viable alternative to Jeb from coalescing in the first place.
    .
    Either that, or he’s just farcical enough to play the part of H. Ross Perot to this repeat of the 1992 campaign.
    .
    (No disrespect intended in rearraning your sentences, by the way)

  12. “The GOP is the Party of Money”

    The same can be said of the Democrats. The primary difference, it seems to me, is the the GOP Party of Money just wants to be left alone to make more Money, while the Democrat Party of Money, wants to use that money to remake Society.

  13. Of course there’s more to Trump’s popularity than mere spite.

    Yep, that’s something that rotten chestnuts has actually been talking about lately.

    You think it’s bad now? Severian gives it 3 election cycles. I’ll bet that within 2 we’ll have a candidate that will make you miss Trump.

    (if anything I’m about to vote for Biden because I’m not sure any candidate can fix anything so may as well let it burn and get a laugh in the process)

  14. I’m an independent and am highly conservative, fiscally and morally. I don’t think I ever voted for a democrat since I started in 1972.
    .
    Channeling Yogi Berra, “It ain’t outrageous if it’s true.”
    .
    Hillary has the liberal triple crown: corrupt, ignorant, incompetent. She is the feminists’ anti-ideal. Her sole “asset” is her position in the Clinton political cartel which accrues to her because she didn’t pump and dump Bubba after he ran her ego through the muck and mire with umphty-umph extra-marital affairs. Speaking of which: Bubba does it to “get back” (by sexually abusing their girlfriends) at the high school alpha males that gave him more than 1,000 wedgies. That qualifies one as a great democrat politician.
    .
    I will not vote for another Bush. Trump is correct. Not only are they murdering, raping, and stealing they are bankrupting health/hospital systems, school districts, and whole cities and states. Jeb will bring in 50,000,000 new latinos (who do not want to be Americans) and will turn America into a third world hell hole.

    Scott Walker and Fiorina would be my picks. Never happen. GOP is run by two groups: the Chamber of Commerce that wants more millions of cheap workers and callow castrati such as Boehner, Graham, McConnell et al.
    .
    It appears the two clichés so much hate the grass roots that they secretly applauded the IRS shut-down of conservative free speech.

    Remain calm and resist. If possible emigrate to a red state.

  15. What makes you think they aren’t responsible for his rise in the first place? By that I mean, I think he’s there to suck all the oxygen out of the room, thus keeping support for a viable alternative to Jeb from coalescing in the first place.

    The thought crossed my mind, but I think the Establishment fears that Trump’s rhetoric will make the party look bad, so no, I don’t think their behind his candidacy. Plus it’s possible such a strategy would backfire – either Trump somehow wins the nomination or, more likely, he changes the focus of the debate so much that when he eventually flames out, a candidate like Cruz fills the void.

  16. It is way too early to know who will be the GOP nominee. Having said that, Trump, Santorum, Fiona, Rubio, Graham, Pataki and Huckabee have no chance. Let’s be honest about it

    PZ has some excellent points. I read some of the comments on the Hot Air blog and it’s full of people who hate Walker or Cruz or Rubio or someone else because each one is not a “true” conservative.
    Look, Dubya burned us. “Compassionate conservatism” was Big Government and increased deficits. Dubya’s failures led us to Reid, Pelosi and Obumbler controlling the government and the mess we have today.

    Romney – The Weathervane – was a terrible candidate. I went out and voted for him, but, geez, the economy and the foreign policy disasters should have sunk Obumbler.

    There is a lot of noise coming from various political hacks that the 2016 election is over. Don’t believe it. Obumbler was the first Democrat to get 50%+ of the popular vote since Carter in 1976. The 2000 election was screwed up by the media telling everyone Gore won Florida when he never led, causing an untold number of GOP voters to stay home.

    Hilary is a terrible candidate. She has the leftist media cheering for her and that’s about it.

  17. I think the Establishment fears that Trump’s rhetoric will make the party look bad, so no, I don’t think their behind his candidacy. Plus it’s possible such a strategy would backfire – either Trump somehow wins the nomination or, more likely, he changes the focus of the debate so much that when he eventually flames out, a candidate like Cruz fills the void.

    .
    Good points. On the other hand, since the Establishment is in agreement with the cultural and political left about open borders and amnesty (albeit for different reasons), they tend to think the party already looks bad, so maybe Trump is a wedge meant to discredit opposition to open borders, amnesty and cultural pluralism. (How do you say “we are all Quebec now” in Spanish anyways?) You’ll notice that Jeb et. al. aren’t in any rush to disagree with HIllary when she says that Trump is only saying what the rest of the Republican field privately believes. Finally, if Trump is a stalking horse, for the Establishment, he’ll find a way to make sure he doesn’t end up the nominee. Not sure when he gets out of it if he’s a stalking horse for Hillary.
    .
    Anyway, I think you’re spot on that the Republican Party’s biggest problem is that too many Republicans would rather lose with their guy, than win with a guy not of their choosing. That’s not to say that it’s not a legitimate problem, however. This fight’s been going on since 2006 and has yet to be resolved.
    .
    Which is why Nate Winchesters idea of voting for Biden makes a lot of sense to me. If the Republicans are going to blow themselves up yet again, dangerous as he is, he’s the least dangerous (viable) Democrat.

  18. Trump, Santorum, Fiona, Rubio, Graham, Pataki and Huckabee have no chance

    Agreed except for Rubio. Like him or not he will probably be a serious contender. The funny thing about Santroum is that by all rights he should be the presumptive nominee. Usually the runner-up gets the nomination the next time.

  19. Trump, Santorum, Fiona, Rubio, Graham, Pataki and Huckabee have no chance

    Predictions are generally a waste of time at this point (we did not nominate Rudolph Giuliani in 2008 and Gerald Ford was not re-elected in a landslide in 1976. At least make yours plausible. The political parties have never nominated anyone who remotely resembles Trump and Pataki (who seems to have entered politics for the enjoyment of putting one over on people) would also be a novelty. A Fiorina candidacy would have roughly two or three precedents: Wendell Willkie, Ross Perot, and Steve Forbes. Huckabee has experience with the process and a long tenure in an executive position and both Huckabee and Rubio have a population of supporters similar at this point to that of Scott Walker. Unless you fancy no one can win the nomination other than Jeb Bush, certain sorts of declarative statements are particularly foolish.

  20. It’s not going to matter much unless Senate Republicans have the stones to eliminate the filibuster, which McConnell and other drones like Richard Burr do not.

  21. The funny thing about Santroum is that by all rights he should be the presumptive nominee. Usually the runner-up gets the nomination the next time.

    And do we conclude anything from that? (Assuming that there’s anything to conclude)

  22. And do we conclude anything from that? (Assuming that there’s anything to conclude)

    That (1) there’s a deadweight bloc in the GOP electorate who vote for whoever was the runner up last time; failing that, they look to the runner up the penultimate time; failing that, they vote for a 1st degree relation of a Republican president. (2) The deadweight bloc amounts to about a third of the GOP electorate. (3) it’s chock-a-block with the terminally banal, who react very negatively to anyone who is ‘divisive’, i.e. holds to a viewpoint contrary to polls. Hence, (4) the deadweight bloc would never vote for Pat Buchanan or Rick Santorum.
    ==
    We benefit if they cannot settle on a candidate instead of working their usual magic in the nominating process.

  23. Art, you are full of it.

    I’m from Western Pennsylvania. Santorum has no base here. He has been thoroughly trashed here because he lives in Leesburg, Virginia and has done so since he was in the Senate – a seat he lost almost ten years ago.

    Huckabee has his base and it isn’t enough to get him nominated. Fiona ran Hewlett Packard. That makes her a businesswoman, not a politician.

    Pataki? Graham? Please!

    Using the “f” bomb on a Catholic themed blog makes you come off like a teenager trying to act tough.

    To everyone else, good night.

  24. Using the “f” bomb on a Catholic themed blog makes you come off like a teenager trying to act tough.
    ==
    Those little bits of punctuation are called ‘quotation marks’ and I even identified the source for you. The rest of your remarks amount to an irritable mental gesture.

  25. Let’s play nice gentlemen. In future let’s try not to use the f-bomb even in quotes. We have a fair number of homeschoolers who use this site for a resource. Considering my choice of language on occasion, I need to keep that fact better in mind myself.

  26. In America, the GOP is dead. Conservatism is on life support. Not what I want, but is my assessment of things are.
    .
    Rick Santorum is good on moral issues, but he’s too much of a big government politician. He fits the Boromir profile. “The ring can do great things if only the right person has possession of it.” Sure Rick.
    .
    Fiorina… great speaker. Awesome attack dog against Hillary. Cons: Doesn’t have a conservative history. Also, the HP/Compaq transition years, while necessary, will drag her campaign down.
    .
    Cruz. One of my top picks. Can intelligently make arguments, although has softened a little lately. Cons: Hated by GOP. Perceived or will be perceived as argumentative, i.e. sounding liking a barking chihuahua.
    .
    Perry… The only candidate with a massive record of success, 14 years as Texas governor. Completed Texas’ transition from Democrat state to Republican. He needs to prove he can speak on a large stage regardless of the “Ooops” moment, which Obama does periodically and Biden does daily. He’s the closest to a Boy Scout in the line up, but races these days require more Tonya Harding and less Mr. Smith. Thus the appeal of Mr. Trump.
    .
    Carson.. Smart. Accomplished. Honest. Sincere. That his list of cons in the new America unfortunately. Some of his positions have been fine tuned. It all makes him more polished. President? Hmm. Doubtful. VP, sure.
    .
    None of this means anything in the end. It will take at least 4 terms of the most conservative president to rollback Obama’s mess. Why so many terms when one man, Obama, took only 2 terms? It takes more effort to create than destroy. To build America back up to where it was will take more effort than it took Obama to destroy it.
    .
    Lastly, I recommend keeping eye on the candidates using Conservative Review’s report card. Pretty good work they do.
    https://www.conservativereview.com/2016-presidential-candidates

  27. “In America, the GOP is dead. Conservatism is on life support.”

    Actually the last time the GOP was stronger, the President was Calvin Coolidge. On the state level Conservatism is thriving.

  28. yes it will require a good sequence of Presidents! … Like Coolodge was able to build on the policies of “a return to normalcy”

  29. At the state level, Republicanism is thriving. Conservatism is doing okay. There are cracks, e.g. Obamacare buy-in, narcotic normalization, homosexual behavior normalization, capitulating to Confederate flag distraction, etc. (These are sins of commission. I consider sins of omission wrong too.) What helps conservatism at the state level is the politicians are working more closely to reality than the Feds, especially budgetary realities.

  30. Speaking of sins of omission, the convention of the states should be scheduled right now given the dire situation of the U.S. If conservatism is thriving in the states, the convention would already be scheduled and an agenda being worked on.

  31. “What helps conservatism at the state level is the politicians are working more closely to reality than the Feds, especially budgetary realities.”

    Reality always wins in the long run.

  32. I like Ted Cruz’z optimism when he is talking with people. Optimistic and practical– I certainly don’t like to read the characterization of a chihuahua. He gains ground when he actually meets with people- just like R Santorum did.

  33. I certainly don’t like to read the characterization of a chihuahua.”
    Just telling you how the libs will play it. They are ruthless. GOP and conservatives are timid or unconvincing.
    .
    We already had a taste of it when he filibustered. “He’s just talking to himself in the chamber. Nobody is listening.” The minions will eat up the caricature. They have no problem calling conservative blacks “Uncle Tom” or “Black Face.” Calling Ted Cruz a loud chihuahua, all bark and no bite (lack of accomplishments) will be a small leap. I can see the lib editorial cartoons now.
    .
    Play hard ball and be convincing or go home. That’s why Trump is high in polls. The only other option is to be convincing and inspirational. That was Reagan’s success, but it’s much harder to do in a society that finds inspiration in redefinition of a millenia old tradition and sex changes.

  34. Speaking of sins of omission, the convention of the states should be scheduled right now given the dire situation of the U.S. If conservatism is thriving in the states, the convention would already be scheduled and an agenda being worked on.
    ==
    The utility of such a convention would be if it were to replicate that in 1787: i.e. dispense with amendments and produce a reconstituted blueprint with the stipulation that it goes into effect in those states which ratify it.

    The difficulty you have is that the opposition has asserted a franchise to re-write the rules at its whimsy while we are bound by procedures which require supermajorities. You either take the gloves off and make them live by a transliteration of their rules or you’re stuck with losing. In effect, the constitution we have has been subject to slow-motion abrogation and replaced with a prog-trash wishlist. Another problem we have is that somewhere between half and 3/4 of the general public regards this with cud-chewing indifference. A third problem is that those aghast by the turn of events we face tend to be addled by legal antiquarianism and historical caricature.

  35. Kyle you and I certainly agree on the ruthlessness of the opposition and how they try to “own” the language and the visuals of today. And Trump knows how to combat them on that! Sarah Palin does too… she wrote an op-ed on Breitbart- a message to Congress. Not because she is running for President but because she has voice and a heart.
    .
    Something in our favor in this battle is that they think we conservatives are not as smart as they are. Their machinations are going to wear thin very soon as people – regular man-on-the -street people- get fed up.

  36. Art,
    The difficulty you have is that the opposition has asserted a franchise to re-write the rules at its whimsy while we are bound by procedures which require supermajorities. You either take the gloves off
    That is what should be done, which shouldn’t be a problem since Republican state representation exceeds Democrats.
    .
    Another problem we have is that somewhere between half and 3/4 of the general public regards this with cud-chewing indifference.
    Public interest is a challenge between tangible and intangible differences. The public reacts to 5 senses issues. This explains a lot of the lib success. A man will raise more objection to witnessing a bicycle being stolen off his lawn than his U.S. government personnel data file, aka bits and bytes, stolen by the Chinese.
    .
    A third problem is that those aghast by the turn of events we face tend to be addled by legal antiquarianism and historical caricature.
    Indeed. The Constitution and its procedures… nice ideas past their prime. A republic requires an educated and moral people. Losing on both counts.

  37. The Constitution and its procedures… nice ideas past their prime.

    How about, an adaptation of colonial institutions which has certain defects made particularly manifest in our time. You can look at how institutions function (or fail to) and explore what it might take to build functional institutions or you can give people inane homilies to the effect that ‘the Founders intended’ they not function and, by the way, the Congress only has the authority to designate post roads and not build them. William Voegli, take it away.

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