The Obama/Trump Contrast

Victor Davis Hanson, as usual, has something interesting to say regarding the stark contrast between Barack Obama and Donald Trump:

…The nation did not suddenly become liberal in 2008 or conservative in 2016. Rather, in both years it rejected blasé centrism — first trying out a left-wing deviation from establishmentarianism, then in frustration turning to a right-wing antidote to both the failed medicine and the original diseased status quo.

Antidote One, of unapologetic progressivism under Obama, did not lead to an economically robust and growing America, one safer abroad in a more secure world, and more cohesive, united, and stable at home — at least if that truly was the leftist agenda rather than the more hushed opposite goal of more equal but poorer Americans, America as just another nation among many, and a cultural revolution aimed at accentuating rather than assimilating race, class, and gender identities.

We shall see if the subsequent Antidote Two, of unregretful conservatism under Trump, will provide what conservatism has always promised: greater prosperity, security, and unity…

We shall see, indeed.

I don’t really know what to make of President Trump. Like most of you, I backed someone (anyone!) else in the GOP primaries. I resigned myself – after flirting with Never Trump – to voting for Trump as the only viable alternative to the absolute horror-show that a second Clinton Administration would be. I expected, in the unlikely event of his victory, that he’d do a few Conservative things, but also do a few liberal things…all in the name of a bi-partisan effort to “Make America Great Again”. And I expected the Conservative things to mostly be about cutting taxes and building up the military…I expected a slew of squishes to be appointed to the Courts and some flings with liberal social issues. I never expected Donald Trump – Donald Freaking Trump, Manhattan billionaire and one-time Playboy – to adhere to such a strictly Conservative line on all issues. Even in his expressed opinions on dope and same sex marriage, it really comes down to a defensibly Conservative principle of deferring to States’ Rights on such matters. For a Conservative, there is nothing in Trump’s first year to be upset with – second year does seem to promise some sort of infrastructure bill…but even there, I’m getting the distinct impression that if we’re going to flash the cash at such, Trump will make sure its used for things that will be useful to the nation…unlike Obama’s stimulus bill, we might get a bridge, a dam and a Moon shot out of Trump’s deficit spending. Not Conservative, but at least not something as stupid as bike paths or “cash for clunkers”, right?

Is Donald Trump a Conservative? He might be. Remember, his wife’s Catholic…and maybe, third time’s the charm, he’s actually learned the lesson all wise men eventually learn: do what your wife tells you to do. Sure, Melania Trump has a bit of a past…but anyone who knows Catholics (or any real Christians of any sort) knows that this is no hang up: all saints have a past, all sinners have a future. Maybe she’s moving him towards the right on social issues while his natural, businessman inclinations, are towards the right on economic matters? Who can know? All I do know is that I’m getting more Conservatism than I’ve had since January 20th, 1989. I like it.

And as Hanson points out, we’re getting a fair test: after eight years of Obama, we’re going to get four to eight years of Trump…and if we Conservatives are even half right in our ideals, then the Trump years will blow the Obama years out of the water. It’ll be undeniable, if it works (of course it will) that the proper way to go is low tax, low regulation, States Rights, individual liberty…we won’t have to struggle against a false, Progressive Narrative anymore because everyone will know that what we say is the way to go. And I think, deep down, this is what the Progressives and the overall Establishment fear the most…that it will be shown that we do better with less intrusive government and free markets. That we don’t need an Obama to lecture us on “who we are”. And that will simply kill them…they’ll hate living in a world where we don’t need them, or even so much as care what they think.


We Need to Rethink Conservative Strategy

My wife was reading the news and came across an item and I heard her mumble to herself, “why are they cutting the top tax rate, idiots”. Now, to you and me who are long time Conservatives, we know precisely why: lowering the top marginal rate spurs growth and thus, ultimately, leads to more revenue for the government. But to someone like my wife, who despises politics, it was just a dumb give-away to people who already have quite enough. You have two ways to go with this:

1. Call my wife stupid (I advise against it, but you do you) and try to hammer her into believing that cutting rich people’s taxes is a good idea or…

2. Understand for regular folks who don’t pay close attention that in a political sense, cutting taxes on rich people is not going to be popular. Ever.

Abraham Lincoln advised that a widespread belief, whether well- or ill-founded, cannot lightly be set aside. You can, with patience, set yourself to the task of educating people into your views, but while they have the views, all you can do is work with them to advance as much of your cause as you can. Another example of where Conservatives, who are right, will still run afoul of the people is in the matter of the minimum wage. You and I know that the minimum wage, itself, is one of the dumbest ideas ever created in economics – that all it does is price low-skill, entry-level workers out of the labor market. We can explain this until we are blue in the face and it won’t get us anywhere…average folks just figure that if a person is working, it should be for a wage they can live on. The folks are going to look at it in terms of, “could I live on $8.25 and hour?”, and there answer is going to be a flat “no”, and so they’ll think that paying someone that much per hour just isn’t right.

I bring this up not in order to urge us to abandon Conservatism, but in order that we might understand that there are some brick walls we’re up against and we’re going to have to adjust our playbook to work our way around or over them. That is, we have to play the game on the field that exists, not the field that we might prefer. And it’s not just we who have this problem: our Progressive friends do as well. They have a whole host of ideas which are not remotely popular but they are determined to enact come heck or high water (in this, we have the advantage: more of our policies are actually popular than Progressives policies are). They, too, have to work their way around the widespread beliefs of the people. They do it by lies and disgusting political tricks. As we have a sense of honor, we can’t do it that way…but we still have to lean new ways of doing things.

What our Never Trump, Fredo-Cons don’t get is that we’re not going to have anything Conservative if all we’re doing is quoting the Founders and arguing for lower taxes. First off all, taxes and the Constitution are not the crux of the matter. We’ve seen even Progressives agree to lower tax rates from time to time and we’ve especially seen over the previous eight years that the Constitution is utterly meaningless to them. Additionally, as long as their unconstitutional actions don’t immediately harm the mass of the people, the people will not rise up against them (they did screw up with Obamacare – shoving it through unconstitutionally wasn’t fatal to them, however…what was fatal is that the bloody thing didn’t work, not even half-work like Social Security does). In order for us to have anything – to leave any semblance of America to those who will be alive 100 years from now – we on the right are going to have to get very smart about how we take on issues which matter to the people.

Think about it like this – if the Republican Party were to cut taxes across the board except that on people who make more than $1,000,000.00 per year, the top marginal rate was going to 40%, then we’d win the tax debate in a walk-over. All we would have done is move the top rate four tenths of a percent higher and on income which is 120% higher than now. The top marginal rate today is 39.6% and it kicks in at $400,000.00 per year. Even the highest income earners would get relief because there’s $600,000.00 more in yearly income which would be at a lower rate than now but we on our side would be able to say, “see, we’re making the rich pay their ‘fair share'”.

Let’s raise the minimum wage to $16.00 per hour – with an allowance for companies of less than 100 employees to deduct on taxes, dollar for dollar, each dollar over $8 per hour. It makes us in favor of a “living wage” without putting an undue burden on small to mid-sized companies (larger companies can carry the freight).

Yes, I realize that all of this is based upon a false understanding of pure, free-market economics. But, what are you going to do? Tell a blue collar worker in Michigan that the rich guy has to pay less in taxes than he does, now? Tell people that they don’t need a higher wage?

The bottom line is that we’re in a crisis in this nation. We’ve got schools failing to teach kids to read but filling their minds with Progressive garbage. We’ve got a popular culture which relentlessly and mercilessly attacks basic human decency. We’ve got a Ruling Class which is corrupt to the bone and willing to sell us out to anyone, foreign or domestic. The institution of the family is under attack. Religion is being forced to prove itself worthy of being allowed to exist. Fifty more years of this, and there won’t be an America left to conserve. We’ve simply got to get power and keep it, for a long time. And we can’t obtain and retain power unless we’re offering something to the people which is of immediate, tangible benefit to them. Remember, the people are generally on our side on the matters of faith, family and property – only Progressive lunatics want to destroy faith and family and take away everyone’s property. They don’t dare campaign on that because they know their vote would drop to 20% if they did. We can’t beat something with nothing – we’ve got to bring something to the table.

Trump did – in 2016, he promised tangible things to the people. Yes, tax cuts were included – people do like their taxes cut, they are just less enthused about taxes being cut for people who make more than they do. But he also offered to bring back the jobs that Obama and the Fedo-Cons said weren’t coming back. He promised us a border wall…which is actually supported by a far larger segment of the Latino population than the MSM wants anyone to know. He promised to drain the swamp – and the people, correctly, view our government as hopelessly corrupt. What Trump didn’t promise us was that he was going to ensure that the 4th Amendment was going to be enforced just as the Founders envisioned. He’s enforcing it like that, but that wasn’t part of his sales campaign for the Presidency (and every political campaign is, at bottom, a sales campaign). You see? Promise what the people want, and then in addition to that, do the other things which need to be done, but don’t necessarily have a huge political constituency behind them.

We’ve got Trump in, now. He’s beset by enemies trying to annul the 2016 election. They may succeed: time will tell. But our fight was, is and remains to obtain and retain power for as long as we can. The longer our people are in charge the more likely our total program will be enacted. Give us 20 years of uninterrupted GOP government and we’ll have saved our nation. By the time the Democrats get back in after that, it’ll be too late for them to undo what we’ve done. It took the Progressives 80 long years to get us to where we are…because no one really wanted anything they were selling, so they have to go slow and disguise their real goals. We don’t have to do that – we can say with pride what our goal is: a people free, secure and able to do with their own as they wish. We can turn the clock back a lot faster than the Democrats pushed it forward…and turn it back in such a manner that it is increasingly difficult for them to get rolling again.

The key is power – we must have it. Having it means that we can’t be pie-in-the-sky purists on policy. We have to tailor our desires to what the people want at the moment. Never abandoning the goal and, indeed, never actually compromising it…but by weaving together what is possible with what is best, moving the ball forward, day after day.

The End of Conservative Never Trump

We all understood it. Very many of us greatly sympathized with it. The idea that Donald Trump, long-time Democrat and close buddy of the Progressive Establishment was to be the Republican Party’s standard-bearer was a lot to swallow. It just didn’t seem right. Add to it Trump’s background of divorces, sharp business practices and general crudities, and it was just a bridge too far. It couldn’t be borne.

Some of us, though, did decide to bear it. I freely admit to happily voting for Donald Trump at the end of the day: I calculated that a Hillary Administration would be so destructive of our liberties (especially our right to free exercise of religion) and so hopelessly corrupt that nothing Donald Trump could do would be worse – and, relying on hope, I figured that some things I liked might get done, even if more by accident than design. But, still, there was a rational point to being a Never Trump Conservative right up to election day and beyond. But now we’re a year past election day and it is time to take stock.

Over this past year, we’ve had a bunch of strict constructionist judges appointed. It is impossible to over-state how important this is (I know our “law, all the time” Amazona is delighted with this). Are you irritated with all those judges who rule against the Constitution and plain common-sense just so they can virtue-signal against Trump Administration policies? That is what you get when you have Democrat Presidents: judicial appointees who aren’t remotely interested in the law, but only in whatever it is Progressives want at the moment. Four to eight more years of that and we could rely on it that the Judges would rule that the 2nd Amendment is void, that Free Exercise means “you can do it as we want, or not at all”, that Free Speech is trumped by alleged Hate Speech. Instead, we’re getting judges who will rule, for decades, the opposite of that – and Trump is just getting started. Unlike past Republican Presidents, Trump seems determined to find judges who are exactly what we want…there won’t be many, if any, stealth Progressives appointed by Trump to the bench. Over the next decades, these Judges will rule in favor of law to our immense benefit.

A good part of the reason for our economic doldrums over the previous eight years was the suffocating tentacles of government regulation. Really, it had been going on since Reagan left office (neither Bush ever made a serious effort at deregulation), but under the Obama Administration it took off like a rocket. Eight more years of this and only well-established firms able to bribe the government would be able to exist in our economy – everyone else would be shut out by a mountain of red tape. Trump has vigorously attacked regulations since he took office and he looks to keep going strongly at it until his last day in office. The importance of this is vast – and twofold. It not only frees up the economy and allows us to grow, but it also reduces the power of government. As far as regulation goes, Donald Trump is a small-government Conservative’s dream…and a Libertarian’s dream, as well.

On taxes, Trump wants complete reform – but as it looks like he can’t get that at the moment, he’s at least pushing for across-the-board cuts. This is also good for the economy and also good for liberty because each dollar government extracts from the people is just one more small piece of personal liberty chipped away.

Trump wants Obamacare repealed and replaced. GOP fecklessness has prevented this, so far, but given time and continued GOP Congressional majority, it will happen.

Trump is not a Pen and Phone President – he wants his policies enshrined into properly enacted, Constitutionally-valid laws. This devolution of power from the Presidency back to Congress is crucial to the long-term health of our republic. Whether Trump is knowledgeable on the theory or just realizes that its better to use the system to fix the system is unknown and irrelevant – that he’s doing what needs to be done to redress the balance of power between the Executive and the Legislative is crucial.

Trump isn’t anti-immigrant – he’s just in favor of legal immigration over illegal immigration. This is a no-brainer even if you are a Conservative in favor of large immigration. Of course we want all immigrants to be legal immigrants. Duh! Only an idiot would want illegal immigration to be any part of our immigration system. Whether we take in ten per year or ten million, it must be according to law. Trump is the first President since Reagan who actually wants to get hold of the problem and fix it – really fix it; not fake-fix it where we pretend we’re reforming immigration but all we really do is legalize the illegals and do nothing to prevent another ten million illegals from showing up.

Trump wants to win the war(s). Trump is not a war-monger in the least. In the old, Isolationist American tradition, he’s actually quite a peacenik…but he also realizes that if you gotta fight, then you’d better fight all the way. No pettifogging concerns about i-dotting and t-crossing. Let the troops do their job, and watch their backs as they do it. Find allies who are willing to do the things we’d rather not, and then don’t get squeamish when they do it. Rebuild our military power (since the first Bush Administration, our military establishment has been gutted…and training and readiness have come in second to politically-correct twaddle). Let our enemies know that while we are the best friend anyone can have, we’re also the worst enemy anyone can have.

In the Reagan and two Bush Administrations, foreign policy remained largely in the hands of permanent State Department employees who were beholden to the Progressive idea of what foreign policy should be. Reagan managed to buck it enough to ensure that his program vis a vis the Soviet Union was carried out, but the two Bushes were continually undercut – mostly because they carried the false idea that the bureaucrats at State were patriots interested in what was good for America, rather than what they were: Democrats who’s primary loyalty is to the Democrat party. Tillerson is cleaning house at State – over the next years, the foreign policy of the United States will be under the control of the President elected by the people to conduct our foreign policy…and, more importantly, by clearing out the Progressive deadwood and putting in our people, even after Trump leaves office there will be a legacy of rational, pro-American foreign policy inherent in the State Department.

I could go on but, seriously, what more do you want? For a Conservative, this is a bonanza. This is, policy-wise, better than Reagan. Yes, we’re missing a few things – be nice to have Trump be serious about debt reduction, for instance. But, you can’t ever get all that you want. But we’re getting plenty. Trump’s actions over the past year have completely negated any actual Conservative concern about the direction of Trump Administration policy. Whatever he was before he announced himself a candidate, he’s all we can ask for or reasonably hope to get. Even his outrageous Twitter antics are obvious, now, as tactics to irritate his opponents and fire up his base. Irritated opponents do stupid things – and we see Trump’s opponents getting stupider by the day. A fired up base means you retain the political capital necessary to take policy risks. All in all, Trump has been excellent. So, why do we still have Conservative Never Trump?

Well, I don’t think we do. Bill Kristol, a standard-bearer of Conservative Never Trump, the other day Tweeted out that Trump’s policies are bringing out his inner socialist. Indeed. Of course, no Conservative has an inner socialist. Quite honestly, you can’t carry a bit of socialist in you and be Conservative. But Kristol’s inner socialist is coming out – and that reveals that he never was a Conservative to begin with. And, at this point, no person who holds to Never Trump can be Conservative. How can you? What are you fighting against? Conservative judges? Tax reform? Strong military? Rule of law? If you’re doing any or all of that, then I’ve got a news flash for you: you aren’t Conservative. So, there’s no need to retain the concept of “Never Trump Conservative” any longer – Conservatives are on Trump’s side. He’s done the things we need done – and done them enough to fully justify a conviction that he’ll keep doing them…and thus earn ours support for his re-election in 2020. We can now just say that Trump’s opponents are all Progressives – that some will still hold on to the title of Conservative for a while is irrelevant: we’re used to Progressives hiding their real desires behind false fronts.

It’s good this happened – we now know why we kept on losing even though Conservatism is the only rational political ideology to have: we had Progressives in our midst who continually cut us off at the knees and found justifications for accepting Progressive innovations. Trump has torn the mask off them and they have self-purged from our movement. We can now go forward knowing that those who are on our side are actually on our side. This will work well for us long term – we might even keep winning for a while.

We Must Fight These Culture Battles

The ostensible justification for kneeling during the anthem is because the United States is a racist nation and this is a way whereby the good and decent people can jar the conscience of us cave dwellers who don’t realize it. It is further asserted that we must allow such actions in the name of free speech. That such an assertions are utter nonsense is neither here nor there. That a player would be fined for merely overly celebrating in the End Zone, but can get away with this, shows what is really going on. Like all large, corporate entities, the NFL is entirely owned by the Progressive left – and thus there isn’t actual free speech (God help the player who kneels in memory of aborted children, for instance), but there are special protections for those who help the Progressive cause. And the Progressive cause is always and everywhere to tear down all things decent and all things that bind decent people into a Constitutional Republic.

This sort of thing goes back a long ways – I identify the defining moment as the debate over the P*** Christ work. Here was something disgusting and outrageous – something which insulted not just Christians, but all decent people. And yet the Progressives cheered it on – because it insulted. That was bad – but what was worse was that the Fredocons of the day also defended the actual thing; defended, that is, the right of someone to make such a vile display. As they are saying today about the kneeling players, so they were saying about the “art”: it must be allowed. It is free speech. We can’t in any way hinder it – even to condemn it in any meaningful way is wrong. The combination of Progressives and Fredocons worked to stifle any real push back against it – and so it went on with ever more outrageous things being done by Progressives under the cover of free speech until we are here today, where we are supposed to roll over for sports stars insulting the symbol of the nation which gave them their opportunity and great wealth.

When Trump inserted himself into the behavior of the players, it was the first time there was any meaningful pushback. I think a lot of people stood up and cheered. Finally, at long last, someone who mattered said what was on all normal minds: this is just wrong. It is a game; you’re supposed to be playing it; this isn’t time for you to be making political statements. Doubling the outrage is the fact that the players making the protest are reinforcing the vile lie that the United States is a racist nation. Trump pushed back – people cheered. And then, in a really beautiful thing to behold, the Progressives doubled and tripled down…to the point where, now, they are essentially saying that one must be an anti-patriot in order to be decent. It is a perfect set up: the issue is starkly set. All those who think the USA is evil will be on one side, all who think the USA good will be on the other. We’ll find out soon enough at the next elections which side is larger. I’m betting that “USA good” is the larger.

As that plays out, however, I think it important to take a moment to really think about those so-called Conservatives who refused the fight all those years…and who are more upset about Trump pushing back than they are about people insulting our flag and anthem. Just what is it they want to conserve? As far as I can tell, merely low corporate taxes and bombing stuff overseas from time to time. Every time the Progressives have done something disgusting to normal people (ie, things like “Bake the Cake” or making the Little Sister of the Poor pay fines), we’ve had plenty of Conservatives say that we can’t really fight back against this stuff. They might issue a mild dissent or rebuke over such things, but they aren’t out there at the barricades fighting back. They aren’t, that is, ever willing to risk their careers and their friendships with Progressives to actually do anything. When, for instance, the Little Sister of the Poor were to be fined for not knuckling under to Obama’s abortion mandate, we didn’t need a Fredocon lecture about separation of Church and State and then no action…we needed people to stand up and shout, “What the heck are you doing, you Progressive idiots!!!???”. We needed someone to get down and dirty with them – to call them out; to insult them; to ridicule the very idea that Little Sisters of the Poor should have this done to them. And we needed fight and fight and fight…we got, mild rebukes and well-wishes that the Little Sister might prevail after a long and expensive court battle.

At bottom, Trump is doing more actual Conservative work than the whole host of Conservatives have done since Reagan was in office – and more and more I realize that Reagan was nearly alone in his battles for Conservatism. Even a lot of his ostensible Conservative allies were forever trying to tone down or explain away Reagan’s vigorous, combative Conservatism. They are trying to do the same with Trump – but Trump is not only as much a fighter as Reagan, but he’s also a lot more rude. Politeness is better than rudeness, but when you’re dealing with people who deliberately look for ways to insult God, faith, family and country, perhaps politeness is played out? At all events, I’m going with Trump’s rudeness – at least it is a battle rather than a debacle.

And we must have a battle – and the crucial point right now is cultural. If we lose the culture battle, we’re eventually going to lose everything. It must be established that patriotism is good; that America is good; that the American people are good; that this nation is worthy of our love and devotion…and that faith and family are more important than the latest I-gadget or a growing GDP or our ability to drop a bomb. If we can once again get to a place where love of country; defense of faith; devotion to family are central to our national life, then we’ll win everything…we’ll eventually get all the rest that we want. Lose those things, and how in heck are you going to argue for lower taxes? And what would it matter if you happened to get Progressives to agree to lower taxes? The Progressives wish to destroy all that made America, America – and it starts with destroying our belief in those simple things which make decent life possible: family, faith, respect for law, charity towards one another, unity in times of crisis. A divided, dispirited, hate-filled and dependent population of slaves is the goal of the Progressives – a population, in short, which can be easily manipulated and controlled as the Progressives continually experiment on us. We Conservatives want a united, hopeful people who help each other in charity while working hard for their own improvement. We don’t get that by letting the cultural things slide while working on keeping the corporate tax rate low, folks.

CNN: ALL White People are Supremacists

OK, CNN–so we’re all ‘white supremacists’ now, are we?  Yep– according to CNN, all ‘ordinary’ white people share the original sin not just of slavery, but we are just born white supremacists.  We just can’t help it.

Well, then, let’s take a closer look at the concept of ‘white supremacy,’ shall we?
Contrary to the conservative mindset, which is set in the belief that all people are inherently good and capable of self-determination, regardless of race, it has long been the white liberal/progressive mindset that minorities are hapless and incompetent, and would barely have the pleasure of existence save for the oversight of their progressive intellectual betters.

In the mind of the progressive, minorities cannot independently rise above their station in life without progressive policies and the government programs that stem from them. Hell, in the mind of the progressive, minorities can’t even be counted on to be resourceful enough to do something simple, such as to obtain a driver’s license or an identification card to vote (unless a progressive government program were in place to assist them).

In other words, progressive policies have at their very core the premise that minorities are unable to fend for themselves, save for the good graces and ‘caring’ of those on the White Limousine Liberal plantation.

In summary, CNN, let me respond to your assertions by saying that IF there are any ‘natural’ supremacist sentiments and tendencies, it resides not in so-called ‘ordinary people.’ Rather, from Woodrow Wilson, to Margaret Sanger, to William Fulbright, history has demonstrated time and again that white supremacist tendencies lie squarely in the heart of the white limousine liberal progressive.

This latest accusation is nothing more than another stellar example of white liberal projection.

(h/t PJ Media)

This Is How I See It

Personally, I’ve figured that the statues honoring Confederates in public squares should be moved for some time now – can’t remember exactly when it occurred to me, but it was nigh to 20 years ago. Here’s why:

At the end of the day, the Confederate leadership decided to break up the nation because an election didn’t go their way – and it signaled that the long-held Southern dominance over the national Executive was coming to an end. Demographics decreed that: the population of the North was not only much larger, but was growing much faster. No matter how you sliced it, eventually the Southern leadership was going to be on the outside looking in. They didn’t want that – so they decided to set up shop for themselves. And that is what started the war – wars always being started by someone desiring something they don’t have title to. The reality is that if the South hadn’t gone out, Lincoln would have led a minority government in DC and probably would have failed for re-election. But the Southern leadership wanted their out so bad that they deliberately engineered the election of Lincoln by splitting the Democrat vote…and then used Lincoln’s election as their excuse for secession. Such people, quite simply, do not deserve places of honor in any American city.

Now, as for the soldiers – that is a bit of a different story. I always honor soldiers who do their duty – and can feel nothing but sympathy for those who stayed true even in a losing cause. But even then, people like Lee broke their sworn oath. You might have heard of the Oathkeepers groups out there…people who (correctly) hold that their oath to defend the Constitution doesn’t end the day they get out of the military. This is true – there was an expiration of my enlistment, but there was no expiration for my oath. I’m bound by it until the day I die. So was Lee – if he felt that he couldn’t fight against the South (as his duty commanded) then his only course of action was to refuse to fight, at all. He choose to break his oath and fight against that which he had sworn to defend. A statue honoring him is, in my view, just wrong.

To be sure, for the Left, this is all just Step One. Step Two is where they demand that statues and memorials to the Founders be torn down. The people causing the ruckus on the left don’t hate particular things about America, they hate the very idea of America. They view our history as nothing but a compendium of evil and they won’t be happy until all that is destroyed and some sort of Progressive Utopia (ie, a totalitarian dictatorship) is imposed on the United States. But just because the Left is lunatic, doesn’t mean we have to defend everything they attack. I think our best course of action, as Conservatives, is to urge that all Confederate memorials be moved to museum-like settings. Obviously, the national cemeteries must remain inviolate, but we also must not destroy the statues and memorials…but they can be moved and placed in a setting where they educate.

That said, I’m not about to be lectured on what is right and wrong by people who hold that abortion is a morally good thing. No Progressive who holds such views has any business telling me what I should or should not do. And I do not have to disavow racists because I am not a racist. I have nothing to do with them; they are not part of any political or social coalition I belong to. Just take a look at the emblems they carry and you know, instantly, that they are not part of any patriotic, Conservative, Christian, American grouping. They are largely pagans; they hate the United States as much as the Progressive lunatics do (you might see a couple American flags at their events, but pride of place is given to Confederate and Nazi symbols) – they, too, despise all that has come before (other than Confederate leaders, of course) and wish to impose upon the United States their own form of totalitarianism. Trump, as I noted before, was right to condemn “all sides”. Odd day in America when the only political leader who gets it right – who has the courage to speak what is obviously true – is President Trump. My estimation of him went up quite a lot with that comment.

I’m also not going to be lectured to by supposed Conservative “leaders” who say that I must do this or must do that or I’m betraying Conservatism. All I can say about modern American Conservatism is that it didn’t even manage to defund NPR – if this is “leadership” then I don’t want it. People who just lose gracefully to Progressives who shout “racist” at the drop of the hat hold none of my respect – I won’t follow them anywhere.

We are slouching towards Civil War, folks. People who know least – antifa and alt-right – are most sure about everything. They are setting up fights (helped by the left, mostly, because they feel it is tactically in their best interest) which, one day, might degenerate into mass violence. Junior-league Leninists (as I called them many years ago) are desperately calling forth a Franco to fight them.

Now, just why is this happening? Because they don’t know – and they don’t know because they weren’t taught anything relevant or true. I pointed out on Twitter today that both the antifa and alt-right people are products of the public schools and pop culture that the left has created and owns outright. We Conservatives had nothing to do with this – other than the negative effect of not really doing anything to stop it (largely because our so-called leaders were afraid of the fight). If kids aren’t taught the glory of America, then they will go for some other form of glory…people want a cause; take away the cause of making a more perfect Union, and some other cause will arise. Did you see the picture of those alt-right nimrods? They were clearly middle class white kids – children who have had it soft their whole lives. They’ve got nothing to really complain about…but, there they are, hating their own nation and their own people…and getting into battle with other middle class kids (who are also, in their large majority, white) who have had it soft, but also hate their own nation and their own people. Into the vacuum of not telling kids about Valley Forge, Shilo and Guadalcanal rushes the twin lunacies of Communism and Nazism. I read that one of the leaders of the white racist groups was, a few years back, a Occupy Wall Street activist…don’t know for sure if it is true, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. These kids have nothing in their brains of merit, and so they are easy prey for anyone with a con to sell…and I can see them falling for different cons in succession.

As I see it, now, our job as Conservatives is to just push back with all our might against this – and against both sides. Don’t get drawn into the Progressive game of “condemn the racist” because no matter what we say on it, the left will still call us racists. Also don’t fall for twaddle about “don’t punch right” which the alt-right is trying to sell. Punch back (rhetorically, of course) against everyone who hates this nation, the reason for their hatred be damned. This is the greatest nation in human history – we are the good guys. We’ve fought Nazis and Communists before and we must keep doing so. The survival of our nation as a Republic is at stake over these next few years – we either push these fools back into the ash heap of history, or our nation is gone.

Senator Flake’s Defense of the Establishment

I want to dig rather deep into Senator Flake’s anti-Trump op-ed, because it perfectly encapsulates what I think is wrong with a certain species of Conservatism. His bits are in block quotes:

Who could blame the people who felt abandoned and ignored by the major parties for reaching in despair for a candidate who offered oversimplified answers to infinitely complex questions and managed to entertain them in the process? With hindsight, it is clear that we all but ensured the rise of Donald Trump.

Your first clue is “oversimplified”. You see, you might think that the problem of lax enforcement of our laws is, well, lax enforcement of our laws – but you’re wrong! It’s complex. Sure, all complexities tend to work in favor of letting Progressives get their way and/or get away with it, but it’s complex! Trust us!

I will let the liberals answer for their own sins in this regard. (There are many.) But we conservatives mocked Barack Obama’s failure to deliver on his pledge to change the tone in Washington even as we worked to assist with that failure. It was we conservatives who, upon Obama’s election, stated that our No. 1 priority was not advancing a conservative policy agenda but making Obama a one-term president—the corollary to this binary thinking being that his failure would be our success and the fortunes of the citizenry would presumably be sorted out in the meantime.

How dare we Republicans make it a goal that Obama be a one-term President! Oh, what’s that you say? The Democrats have pledged to try and make Trump a less-than-one-term-President? And have dreamed of doing a “Watergate” on every GOP President since Nixon? Who cares about that! That is one of their own sins in this regard! We GOPers are better than that – so, let’s not have any of this nonsense about trying to make a Democrat a one-term President.

It was we conservatives who were largely silent when the most egregious and sustained attacks on Obama’s legitimacy were leveled by marginal figures who would later be embraced and legitimized by far too many of us. It was we conservatives who rightly and robustly asserted our constitutional prerogatives as a co-equal branch of government when a Democrat was in the White House but who, despite solemn vows to do the same in the event of a Trump presidency, have maintained an unnerving silence as instability has ensued. To carry on in the spring of 2017 as if what was happening was anything approaching normalcy required a determined suspension of critical faculties. And tremendous powers of denial.

I’ve been sympathetic to this impulse to denial, as one doesn’t ever want to believe that the government of the United States has been made dysfunctional at the highest levels, especially by the actions of one’s own party. Michael Gerson, a con­servative columnist and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, wrote, four months into the new presidency, “The conservative mind, in some very visible cases, has become diseased,” and conservative institutions “with the blessings of a president … have abandoned the normal constraints of reason and compassion.”

Just ignore all that bit about W being “selected, not elected”. Also, for goodness sake, please don’t remember all that “Chimpy McSmirk BusHitler” stuff. Pretty sure we need you to forget all that violent fantasies that Progressives entertained about President Bush, as well. And, if you really want to be cool, forget all those times you’ve been called a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot.

More important that we fear that “instability” – you see, when things aren’t going along just as they have, it is bad. Don’t ask why it’s bad: it just is. You are supposed to be shaking in your boots that Trump isn’t doing things like everyone else! Please be frighted. Pretty please? With sugar on top? If you won’t be frightened, then how am I to convince you to give power back to those you rejected last year?

For a conservative, that’s an awfully bitter pill to swallow. So as I layered in my defense mechanisms, I even found myself saying things like, “If I took the time to respond to every presiden­tial tweet, there would be little time for anything else.” Given the volume and velocity of tweets from both the Trump campaign and then the White House, this was certainly true. But it was also a monumental dodge. It would be like Noah saying, “If I spent all my time obsessing about the coming flood, there would be little time for anything else.” At a certain point, if one is being honest, the flood becomes the thing that is most worthy of attention. At a certain point, it might be time to build an ark.

This is far more revealing than Flake meant, I’m sure. They hate that Trump tweets. They say they hate it because it is vulgar and chaotic – but what they really hate is that Trump is able to speak directly to the people. This bothers them because they know it signals and end on the Establishment monopoly on forming the American mind. It doubly bothers them that they know their Progressive buddies who run Twitter can’t afford to shut Trump down.

Under our Constitution, there simply are not that many people who are in a position to do something about an executive branch in chaos. As the first branch of government (Article I), the Congress was designed expressly to assert itself at just such moments. It is what we talk about when we talk about “checks and balances.” Too often, we observe the unfolding drama along with the rest of the country, passively, all but saying, “Someone should do something!” without seeming to realize that that someone is us. And so, that unnerving silence in the face of an erratic executive branch is an abdication, and those in positions of leadership bear particular responsibility.

Apparently, being erratic is a crisis? You see how he’s doing this? He’s piggy-backing the idea of impeachment on to the notion that, somehow, Trump is just bad. He hasn’t broken any laws; he hasn’t done any un-Constitutional acts (you know, like using the IRS to attack his opponents – say, Senator Flake, did you urge the impeachment of President Obama over that “erratic” action?); but he’s got to go! Once again: please be afraid!

There was a time when the leadership of the Congress from both parties felt an institutional loyalty that would frequently create bonds across party lines in defense of congressional prerogatives in a unified front against the White House, regardless of the president’s party. We do not have to go very far back to identify these exemplars—the Bob Doles and Howard Bakers and Richard Lugars of the Senate. Vigorous partisans, yes, but even more important, principled constitutional conservatives whose primary interest was in governing and making America truly great.

Funny how that time of institutional loyalty always worked out to a Republican President being done in or at least harmed by his fellow Republicans. Where were the Democrats who went out to advise President Clinton that his perjury had forfeited his ability to be President? A Democrat who even made a peep about Obama’s pen-and-phone actions? The whole concept of institutional loyalty is bull – and Senator Flake knows it. There should be institutional loyalty, but there isn’t; and never really has been. We have partisan elections to determine which partisan policies we’ll pursue – and if the Congress and the White House are of the same party, they are just going to go on with it. The only difference is that there are always Republicans who are willing to undermine the evident will of the American people in creating either a Republican Congress and/or a Republican White House. Thanks, Senator! We definitely gave you our votes and campaign cash so that you could cut us off at the knees!

But then the period of collapse and dysfunction set in, amplified by the internet and our growing sense of alienation from each other, and we lost our way and began to rationalize away our principles in the process. But where does such capitulation take us? If by 2017 the conservative bargain was to go along for the very bumpy ride because with congressional hegemony and the White House we had the numbers to achieve some long-held policy goals—even as we put at risk our institutions and our values—then it was a very real question whether any such policy victories wouldn’t be Pyrrhic ones. If this was our Faustian bargain, then it was not worth it. If ultimately our principles were so malleable as to no longer be principles, then what was the point of political victories in the first place?

The “period of collapse” started on January 20th – that is when some of us on the right decided, “you know, if the Democrats are going to play by certain rules which unfairly advantage Democrats, so will we”. We hear much of Conservative “principles”, but I’d like to know what set of Conservative principles has kept Planned Parenthood at the public trough for decades, even though we’ve often had the power to de-fund it? What got our higher education system to become a bastion of leftist tyranny against Conservatism without Senator Flake doing anything about it? You know, a Congressional majority has many way of applying pressure, Senator – why is no pressure ever put against Progressives advancing their cause? Why do your vaunted Conservative principles always work towards hamstringing our side, not theirs?

Meanwhile, the strange specter of an American president’s seeming affection for strongmen and authoritarians created such a cognitive dissonance among my generation of conservatives—who had come of age under existential threat from the Soviet Union—that it was almost impossible to believe. Even as our own government was documenting a con­certed attack against our democratic processes by an enemy foreign power, our own White House was rejecting the authority of its own intelligence agencies, disclaiming their findings as a Democratic ruse and a hoax. Conduct that would have had conservatives up in arms had it been exhibited by our political opponents now had us dumbstruck.

It was then that I was compelled back to Senator Goldwater’s book, to a chapter entitled “The Soviet Menace.” Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this part of Goldwater’s critique had seemed particularly anachronistic. The lesson here is that nothing is gone forever, especially when it comes to the devouring ambition of despotic men. As Goldwater wrote in that chapter:

Our forebears knew that “keeping a Republic” meant, above all, keeping it safe from foreign transgressors; they knew that a people cannot live and work freely, and develop national institutions conducive to freedom, except in peace and with independence.

The election was hacked! I had no idea that any Republican Senator was subscribing to the Russia Collusion twaddle, but here it is. I don’t know if Flake believed this and thus became anti-Trump or if he was anti-Trump and thus believed it out of a general desire that Trump be terrible. It doesn’t matter. It’s a hoax; a myth; something that doesn’t exist. But the anti-Trump people are, seemingly, going to run with it. As for having affection for strongmen…an argument can be made to not have relations with dictatorial regimes. That does include Russia – but it also includes China. Funny how I never seem to hear one of these “principled” Conservatives demanding we break it off with China…even though China is vastly more powerful than Russia and is clearly preparing a military force designed to fight us. And you know why they won’t go after China: Corporate America is making too much money in China.

So, where should Republicans go from here? First, we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president “plays to the base” in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience. Second, Republicans need to take the long view when it comes to issues like free trade: Populist and protectionist policies might play well in the short term, but they handicap the country in the long term. Third, Republicans need to stand up for institutions and prerogatives, like the Senate filibuster, that have served us well for more than two centuries.

We have taken our “institutions conducive to freedom,” as Goldwater put it, for granted as we have engaged in one of the more reckless periods of politics in our history. In 2017, we seem to have lost our appreciation for just how hard won and vulnerable those institutions are.

“Plays to the base” is Establishment-speak for “talks about issues the yokels care about”. “Grow and speak to a larger audience” means, “make pathetic gestures in favor of Progressive policies in the hope that it’ll get me a good mention in the MSM”.

And, of course, he’s in favor of retaining the filibuster – because it helps Democrats to hamstring the GOP. That he knows full well Democrats will dispense with it at the first opportunity is just of no matter to people like Senator Flake. He doesn’t care about things like that – far more important to a “Conservative” like Flake is that things remain as they are…with Progressive policies ruling the roost; with corporate taxes kept low; with plenty of cheap labor for the Chamber of Commerce donors…and with a docile GOP base worked up to vote GOP every couple years, but never angry that the GOP fails to deliver.

I really have done with all that. Trump isn’t a threat to the United States – Senator Flake is. Flake is far more polite than Trump, but Flake’s politeness is masking the utter destruction of the United States of America. If we Conservatives/Republicans abandon Trump and go along with the likes of Senator Flake, all we’ll see is the slow imposition of a totally Progressive ideology – in other words, the end of our Republic because Progressives aren’t actually in favor of freedom (they have a different concept of freedom from us – to them, freedom is about not having want; for us, it is about not having masters).

I’ve got no hostility towards Flake. He is who he is – he is a product of the Establishment, defending the Establishment. The fact that he’s Republican rather than Democrat is really no more than a reflection of the GOP’s electoral advantage in Arizona. Had Flake been from, say, Oregon then he’d pretty much be the same…but he’d be a Democrat Senator from Oregon and in spite of this or that particular view, would mostly be wedded to the idea of keeping things as they are. We voted for Trump to end that – whether the prime motivation was outright support or just a desire to keep Hillary out, the thing about it all was a rejection of things as they are. We still don’t know if Trump can deliver, but rely on it that if he fails, we’re still not going back to Senator Flake, hat in hand, to ask him to return us to business as usual. For fifty years we waited for Senator Flake’s sort to take the power we gave them and do something we wanted – they couldn’t even de-fund NPR. Forget it, Senator: we’re done with you. Your op-ed will impress your fellow Never Trump people and get you a pat on the head from the MSM. Congratulations. Hope you like it.