Kurt Schlichter has a new bit up at Townhall – it hits a point I’ve made recently on Twitter:
So, my finger-wagging True Con friends, what’s your plan? How do we go from liberals abandoning the Rule of Law, and such ancillary and associated components of a society based on liberty like free speech and free enterprise, to a liberty-based society operating under the Rule of Law? “Elect more True Cons!” isn’t a plan; it’s an aspiration, and not much of one. I don’t need another cliché, or another citation to general principles, or some variant of my new favorite, all-purpose get-out-of-having-an-actual-plan-free card, the old “We’re better than this” line.
He goes on to note his personal plan: pain. Causing as much pain to liberals as can be achieved in the hope that it will eventually get them to back off. It is certainly a better plan than the idea of doing nothing and trying to pretend that all is well and we just need to get rid of Trump and figure out some way to get Jeb! or Kasich in there. Trump goes down and we all go down with him. There is no separating ourselves from Trump save by agreeing with the left – and agreeing with the left, especially right now, is fraught with the gravest peril for all people who believe in freedom.
Right now, the left is making the demand of “no enemies of the left”. This is an old, Bolshevik tactic. They used it to prevent anyone on the left from opposing them…and then picked off each non-Bolshevik part of the left in turn: starting with the farthest “right” of the left and eventually eating their own who couldn’t stomach the worst aspects of Leninism. When you say “no enemies on the left”, you essentially allow the farthest left tail to wag the political dog. “No enemies on the left means” that no matter how completely radical the far left gets, you can’t say anything against them lest you be classed as a fascist enemy of the people. Until at least part of the left says, “we have enemies on the left”, then they stand foursquare in opposition to all we believe and must be battled on each issue without letup. You think you can make a deal with the left to get rid of Trump and all you’ll find is that you’ve dropped Trump in favor of Lenin.
And, so, everything left is currently our enemy. Even the most decent and reasonable leftist you know is, for now, simply part of antifa. Until such decent leftists turn against the far left and help us to push them completely out of political influence, it will have to be that way. I don’t want it to be this way. I don’t like it to be like this. But it is what it is. Any weakness at this point just helps the left – even if you are just trying to be nice to that swell Progressive friend of yours (I’ve got some, myself), all you’re doing is helping the people who smash windows and beat up people who have a “Nazi haircut”.
And this is where the so-called True Conservatives simply have rocks in their heads right now – so consumed with hatred of Trump (who dared to annul their expertise by winning what they said he couldn’t win), that they have set themselves into a position where they are assisting the most far-left radical elements in the United States. Forget their soft-voiced condemnations of antifa violence – look more to the way they’ve gone ballistic over the pardon of Joe Arpaio. That shows you where their heads are, and how dangerous they are to the side of Conservatism. Everyone with any sense at all knows that the conviction of Arpaio was set in train in a spirit of political vindictiveness. Arpaio was doing things the left didn’t want, so they got a judge to say he was doing it wrong, and then another judge to “convict” him of not doing what the other judge said to do. There is no merit to the case against Arpaio – what he did was a political act to be decided by the political process (and, as it turns out, he was booted from office by the voters at the last election). But the left isn’t having any of that – Arpaio violated not the law, but the demands of the left and so he had to be punished. And for many decades, we on the right have sat still for things like that..Trump just said, “no more”.
It is good that the left has now been informed that using the courts to punish political actions is over. This is one of the most important things Trump has done as President and it benefits every single Conservative official and office holder in the land. To hold Trump’s action wrong because you think that Arpaio was wrong is asinine – political suicide of the most stupid sort. It doesn’t matter if Arpaio was wrong – more wrong was the left trying to send him to jail for what he did. So-called Conservatives are saying that Trump’s action violates the rule of law – perhaps it does, but so does trying to send a man to jail for doing things in the course of his official business. Unless Arpaio was taking bribes or some such, no judicial actions should have been launched against him, at all. And the only way we’ll get back to an America where political differences are solved entirely by the political process is to make using non-political means painful to the left.
You can have two types of government: Royal or Republican. A dictatorship or a democracy. There is something to be said for Royalism/Dictatorship…it allows for a bit of flexibility and tact in the performance of government actions. The downside, of course, is if you have an evil king or dictator. Better, of course, not to have any king or dictator because you can never tell who will be the bad one (or which one might turn bad over time – Nero’s first five years as Emperor were actually a model of excellent Royalist government…and then he went nuts). Better to have a Republic – but a Republic only works when it has rules and they are strictly enforced on everyone. You will have Rules, or you will have Rulers: take your pick. I prefer Rules. Right now, however, we have no Rules because the left has arrogated to itself the power to impose new Rules or set aside old Rules at will, as they determine whether or not they help or hinder the left. Each leftist out there is a supreme Autocrat, able to instantly decree whatever comes into his or her head at the moment and insist that we all toe the line. We are to just tremble and obey. I don’t like it like that – and I want my Rules back. The only way I can see to get them back is to demonstrate to the non-insane portion of the left that, on the whole, they would prefer Rules, themselves. And if this takes my agreement to pardoning Joe Arpaio in an irregular manner, then so be it. It is a lot less outrageous than someone getting beaten to the ground by an antifa mob because he wasn’t antifa.
Unless we are to live under a system of brute force, we must have a political balance. Indeed, it must be an artificial balance. Even if one side is 10 people and the other side is 1,000, the system must be set so that the two sides have the ability to thwart the other. Eventually the tiny minority must knuckle under to the prevailing notions of the broad majority – but not easily, and not before that tiny minority secures at least some of it’s demands. Our system is messed up right now because there is no balance – the left has set it up so that whomever has the power can just steamroll over everyone else. The left has gotten away with this because each time our side has gained power, we have refrained from exercising it as the left does. We have to be a lot more flexible about such things if we are to teach the left that they want the losers to still have a say in what goes on.
Yes, we are better than that – we won’t, say, send people to jail like the left does over mere policy disagreements. But even refraining from such egregiously tyrannical actions, there is still much we can do to demonstrate to the left the sweet reason of, well, being reasonable. The pardon was one thing. Making a move to deny federal funds to colleges which suppress free speech is another. Regulating tech giants who use their dominance to suppress free expression is another. Lots of things – and we’ll have to do them. Eventually, enough pain will be inflicted that the sane portion of the left will jettison the antifa types. Probably with a feeling of relief, I should add – do you think anyone really wants to be politically chained to people who wear masks and beat up people? But they’ll only unchain themselves from antifa if we essentially force them to…to give them a choice between going down to permanent defeat with antifa, or getting rid of antifa and making themselves acceptable to a broad electoral majority. Only this time, when they get back in, they’ll hopefully remember how bad it can be when you’re run over roughshod by the winners in the next round.
There can once again be general political balance in the United States – where the policy differences are relatively small and everyone can look at the other side and see reasonable people who merely disagree on the best way to shared goals. But that can’t be while one side is lawless, and is ever more enthralled to the far left radicals who simply hate the United States and all it stands for. Trump, consciously or not, is doing what we on the right should have done 40 years ago – and it is time for all of us who want a just, free and reasonable society to get on board.
Here is a different take on the Schlichter piece: From the article:
Kurt Schlichter has a provocative new piece at Townhall in which he argues “the Rule of Law is a unicorn and it has been for a long time.” As a result his “plan is to cause the left so much pain by applying their new rules to them that they give up trying to grind their Birkenstocks into our faces forever.” In return, he’d like “True Con” friends of his to offer up an alternative plan.
First, I think it goes without saying that Kurt is right, conservatism is not a suicide pact. But what he is offering is. Politics in America is cyclical and the right will never be able to apply so much pain to the left that the left stands down. The left, you will remember, willfully has no sense of history and never learns from the past. It is not going to start now in large part because there is still a semblance of the rule of law in America. It is certainly on weaker ground that it ever has been before, but it is not gone.
Also, meting out pain to the opponent is not conservative. In fact, I think what Kurt is offering up is really the choice we are carening (sic) towards and he seems to want to force: rightwing authoritarianism vs leftwing totalitarianism. The former lets you keep your social liberalism and beats the hell out of you if you try to push it on anyone else. The latter destroys your life if you do not cave into liberal social policy. Neither shows grace for the other and the rule of law is premised on which mob is in charge.
That is the destruction of conservatism, the American ideal, and is a suicide pact.
I have to confess I always liked Erik Erickson until he jumped on the “never-Trump” bandwagon. I went back and re-read Schlichter’s piece again because Erickson’s response made it sound like I had missed something.
Schlichter’s statements such as:
“I like the Rule of Law, and I’ve been warning for years about what happens when it goes away.”
“My plan is to cause the left so much pain by applying their new rules to them that they give up trying to grind their Birkenstocks into our faces forever.” (note, he says using their own rules against them, not beating the sh*t our of them.)
“A couple weeks ago I wrote about how, now that the tech companies that dominate the flow of information and discourse in our society have decided to insert their politics into their businesses, we should use our political power to ruthlessly regulate them back into neutrality if they persist. It’s an awful idea, in principle, and I’d like to avoid it. But I’d also like to avoid conservatives being utterly banished from the internet. ” (emphasis – mine)
The only sentence I saw in Schlichter’s entire piece that could be construed as advocating violence was this:
“See, we need real solutions, and my solution is fighting back hard and ruthlessly.”
But one can be ruthless and fight hard without committing violence against an adversary. I tend to agree with Mark’s assessment:
“There can once again be general political balance in the United States – where the policy differences are relatively small and everyone can look at the other side and see reasonable people who merely disagree on the best way to shared goals. But that can’t be while one side is lawless, and is ever more enthralled to the far left radicals who simply hate the United States and all it stands for.”
For most of my adult life we were two sides who just disagreed on the best way to achieve solutions. If we can’t get back to that paradigm peacefully, then we WILL devolve into violence. Somehow the Left needs to be educated to fully comprehend which side would win in that eventuality.
I agree about thinking less of Erickson when he started his Never Trump nonsense. As you remember, I was a Never Trumper till he got the nomination, but once he was the only rational choice for a conservative (given the actual choices available, in our reality) I could never understand why any alleged conservative would work to undermine him.
But I started to read his blog again, off and on, a few weeks ago, and he has tempered his anit-Trump rhetoric.
I posted Erickson’s article not because I agree completely with everything he says but as a counterpoint. While I love the idea of being able to “…cause the left so much pain by applying their new rules to them that they give up trying to grind their Birkenstocks into our faces forever….” I also agree with Erickson that “…the right will never be able to apply so much pain to the left that the left stands down.” I also agree that “The left, you will remember, willfully has no sense of history and never learns from the past.”
So I tend to see the strategy of Schlicter’s as being more of a way to bleed off some of the energy of the Left by forcing it to deal with the results of having its own tactics used against it, but not as a way to actually prevail.
Any tactic to destroy the left is not low enough in my opinion, but I do tend to agree that Schlichter’s prescription could be ultimately be harmful and ineffective. I still like the idea of complete indifference. Let the leftist pundits opine on the assorted TV shows and then ignore them and don’t respond to their emotionally charged assertions. Let Schumer have his time on the Senate floor but make sure he is addressing an empty forum. No GOP rep should ever show up and listen to their innate grandstanding. We give the left oxygen by acknowledging their very presence, and that needs to stop. They need to become non entities. A scene in the movie Tombstone has Doc Holiday talking with Wyatt while Sheriff Johnny Behan stands nearby trying to be noticed. Doc suddenly stops talking to Wyatt, turns to the Sheriff and says, “why Johnny I apologize, I forgot you were even there”.
In addition to marginalizing the Left by simply ignoring them, I would add something I mentioned in an email to several friends a couple days ago. EVERY time we get in a conversation with a Liberal/Progressive/ Democrat that involves politics, we should ask the question, “does it bother you that so many people who support your point of view only do so because they’ve been bribed with free stuff, and, in reality, the percentage of the population who actually shares your views is only around 20%?” Because without the bribed followers the ideological Left would be nothing more than an historical footnote.
My wife and I went to dinner with her sister and her husband last Saturday night to celebrate my wife’s birthday and her sister’s husbands birthday which are just a few days apart. We don’t associate with them much, even though we only live 20 minutes apart. We’ve just always traveled in different circles, and theirs, unfortunately, includes a lot of wealthy Liberals. Anyway, the entire evening went very smoothly until we were eating dessert and my sister-in-law made some snide comment about Trump. I don’t even remember the context, but my wife countered with “we’re big Trump supporters.” It was clear they didn’t know what to say, so I added that I had been a never-Trumper up until the election, that he still does and says things that make me cringe, but, overall I’m not unhappy with the direction he’s taking the country. My sister-in-law made some lame comment about, “well, I just hoped he doesn’t blow everything up,” and that pretty much ended the conversation.
I take delight in telling liberals that I love what Trump is doing. Their complete dismay that I am not conforming to the establishment group think is worth it’s weight in gold.
The comment ““well, I just hoped he doesn’t blow everything up,”” would, in a more normal world, be a metaphor in which “blowing everything up” would just mean making a mess of things. But too many Liberals have a strange concept of the power of the presidency in which, basically, there is a big button on the president’s desk and if he decides to push that button he sends nuclear bombs off to—-well, to some place. Many Libs actually fear that Trump will, literally, “blow everything up”, that a couple of synapses in his brain will cross-fire and he’ll just send the world into a nuclear winter.
Your story also illustrates another Lib perception—-that everyone agrees with them Because conservatives are not out wearing outlandish and offensive costumes and rioting in the streets, many Libs take this lack of violence and hysteria as being in agreement with them. They literally have no clue about the millions and millions of polite, respectful, everyday people who believe in conservative principles and find the Left to be increasingly offensive and just plain nuts.
But too many Liberals have a strange concept of the power of the presidency in which, basically, there is a big button on the president’s desk and if he decides to push that button he sends nuclear bombs off to—-well, to some place. Many Libs actually fear that Trump will, literally, “blow everything up”, that a couple of synapses in his brain will cross-fire and he’ll just send the world into a nuclear winter.
That was the way I took her comment.
Given my affinity for snark, that is about the time I would suggest that your friend write to her people in Congress to ask for a bill removing that big dangerous button from his desk. “What button?” “The one he can push to blow us all up.”
A few years ago my husband and I sailed to England along with another couple. There was a tottering old man on the ship who made my friend nervous—he was always staggering into things and grabbing for balance, knocking into things, knocking things off tables, etc. During the tour of the bridge of the ship, she looked over to see this man at the control console and fretted that if someone didn’t get him out of there he might sink the ship. My response was “Yeah—he’s awfully close to that big red button that says ‘To sink ship, press here’ ”
She was not amused.
Now we are told Trump has a button just like this.
Anti-Trump friends and family inquire about that a bit…I’m moving from “At least he’s not Hillary” to “He’s doing a pretty good job”.
No GOP rep should ever show up and listen to their innate grandstanding.
That might pose a problem, as it is a tactic that would be used against us to prevent having a quorum and being able to get things done. However, a gallery of Republicans yawning, doing crossword puzzles or reading might send a similar message, and when the predictable squealing from the Left occurs, as they presume to lecture on civility and courtesy, there could just be the calm response of “When he says something different or something that makes sense, we’ll listen. But this is just the same old grandstanding, recycling the same old lies and nonsense.”
Re: the current trajectory of politics, I think the traditional constructs of the two parties are being obliterated and we are morphing now into more of a proletariat vs clerisy dynamic. To put it more simply, Trump was elected by the majority those people who pay the bills for this country and of whom have been taken advantage of for the last couple of decades by politicians who saw opportunity in pandering to special interests, domestic and foreign. No more. I think the establishment was obviously shocked by this, and still haven’t figured it out, nor has the political class. We are tired of being lied to by people like McCain, Graham, and McConnell, and we are tired of being called derogatory names by people like Pelosi, Schumer, and Waters, and of course the entire MSM, and Trump is the only one in Washington who understands this.
In the constant media barrage of racism and transphobia, you may have missed the following:
US revised second-quarter GDP up 3.0% vs 2.7% rise expected
The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its quickest pace in more than two years.
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said
I remember the experts in the media laughing at Trump when he stated that he would get the GDP up to 3% to 4% growth. All of them deemed that to be impossible. And yet people still listen to them.
Homeless is such an ugly word. I say we call them Progressive Refugees:
Here’s an example of why it is impossible to parody the Left, because it is impossible to come up with something more stupid than what they do day in and day out.
ESPN has long politicized sports and continues to lose viewers over its adolescent political correctness. Not long ago, the network fired tennis commentator Doug Adler. He had characterized the aggressive play of tennis star Venus Williams as employing the “guerrilla effect.” (“And you’ll see Venus move in and put the guerrilla effect on, charging,” Adler had said.) Adler’s reference was drawn from the once-popular term “guerrilla tennis” that denoted a tough, brawling, take-no-prisoners style from the 1990s.
The word “guerilla,” remember, is a diminutive of the Spanish word guerra (“war”). In Spanish, guerrilla means “little war.” In English, “guerilla” is commonly used to describe a type of unconventional fighting. But Adler forgot that “guerilla” is pronounced the same as its English homophone “gorilla.” Some ESPN viewers did not understand the guerrilla reference and charged that Adler was using “gorilla” as a racist smear. Adler tried to explain the reference, but he was fired and his career was ruined…….
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450991/espn-statues-politically-correct-virtue-signaling?
But Progressives have “empathy”, right? Isn’t that what they accuse us of lacking?