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.

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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.

The Pride of the Never Trump Conservatives

Over in the Twitter-verse, I’ve noticed something of late: I now think I’ve got more Progressive followers than Never Trump Conservative followers. Over the past month, the Never Trump contingent has faded away. I admit to being the instigator of the un-follow in a couple cases (they just got too irritating), but mostly it has been them un-following me. I think I know why.

Just as Pride is the worst sin, so is Humility the best virtue, at least in my opinion. Pride gets you into all sorts of trouble, but being humble tends to keep you far away from such things. It is easy to want to take a proud person down, but it is hard to punch a humble person. Someone who has already admitted their limitations is nearly possible to insult, as it were…if someone were to really dig into me, I guess my response these days would be along the lines of, “wow, you found out I’m imperfect: alert the media!”. I used to be quite proud. I still suffer from the sin of Pride. On the other hand, I’m now 12 years into actually trying to be Christian and some humility has been able to creep into my worldview. I no longer have to win: I no longer have to be right: I no longer think I’ve got the answers – at least not in any sense which would make me want to get down and dirty with someone over it. Discuss things: fine. Fight in nasty terms about things: sorry, I’m busy. What is wrong with our Never Trump Conservatives is that they are too proud.

If pressed, I do believe they’ll admit to being wrong about their predictions in 2016 – though I suspect they wouldn’t like it if you brought that up. But one thing I’ve yet to see is a post-mortem on themselves. Not once have I seen one of our prognosticators admit, boldly, that they missed some pretty obvious things and that they are not wise and knowing beings. One of the things I kept bringing up to them last year was the about net 100,000 Democrats who switched to Republican in Pennsylvania. That was my first indication – real, solid indication – that the result in November might not be what people thought. I kept bringing it up, they kept shooting it down. And that was fine. It was just one, isolated data point…while the polling and the long-term political trends were all in favor of Hillary. But after the election, when it was all laid bare and we could see what happened, I never saw one of them say, “man, did I miss some easy-to-see things! Wow, what a fool I was. I promise to be more careful in the future and I’ll try not to fall into seeing only that which confirms my Narrative”.

The result of this lack of introspection is what we see, now. The prediction was that Trump would lose – and not only lose, but bring down the GOP Congress with him. Complete and utter electoral defeat was the result of nominating Trump! Don’t nominate him! For goodness sake, if you do that, you’ll be destroyed! But, the GOP voters went ahead and nominated him anyway. And from the point Trump wrapped it up until election day, all the Never Trumpers were gleefully reporting about just how badly Trump was going to be wiped out, and the GOP with him. It was going to show those dratted fools that you can’t nominate someone like Trump. I’ll bet that many of them were already working on their post-election articles and books about how the Lesson of Trump was to never, ever trust the yokels. That the yokels had better get with the program and start doing as their betters told them.

And then Trump won.

I think all of us have had a good laugh watching replays of election night – the way our liberals just started to go to pieces as it became ever clearer that Trump was the next President. But what we don’t have is the same thing for the Never Trump Conservatives. And that’s a pity – because they went to pieces just as badly. Fundamentally, the reason the Never Trump Conservatives are signing on to the bizarre Trump/Russia theory is that Trump still must prove to be a disaster. He was supposed to be a disaster on November 8th and, dang it, he’s going to be a disaster no matter what! Almost unconsciously, I think, the Never Trump Conservatives are falling into a weird world of paranoid conspiracy theories because that is the only place where their judgement of Trump still holds water. It doesn’t hold up to the electoral result and it doesn’t hold up to what Trump is actually doing (you know, all that repealing regulations; securing the border; rebuilding our position in the world; nominating Conservative judges and department heads). They only have two ways out – flat out admit they were wrong, or go along with theories about Trump which are increasingly divorced from reality. Pride is preventing them from doing the former and just about forcing them to do the latter.

Some of the people I used to respect are becoming unreadable these days – because what they write is ultimately based upon the stupid theory that there was collusion between Trump and Russia to throw the election. They won’t admit it, but that is what it comes down to. Trump couldn’t have won otherwise, you see? After all, they have their historical voting patterns in Pennsylvania and turnout models for Michigan which demonstrate conclusively that Trump lost the election…and if reality isn’t fitting the theory, then reality is wrong! All the stories about disarray in the White House; about Trump people turning on him; about Congressional GOPers getting ready for impeachment…it all stems from a wish that it were true, because it must be true, because if it isn’t true then the Never Trump Conservatives are wrong. Admitting to being wrong is one of the hardest things to do…and Never Trump isn’t even close to admitting it.

As I’ve stated elsewhere, I suspect that most who have persisted in being Never Trump Conservatives to this point will wind up Progressives in the near future. The only ones who won’t are those who finally climb off the high horse and actually think about things. Maybe Trump will wind up a disaster…but, meanwhile, there he is actually doing things and people of wisdom will look at what he’s doing and work on that to determine if he’s doing well or poorly. They won’t, that is, work from the assumption that he’s a disaster and then present carefully served up bits of information (true or false, it doesn’t matter) to confirm their belief. For most of them, though, it’ll be easier to say, “I stopped being a Conservative because the Conservatives proved themselves wrong by electing Trump”. They’ll then go on to work out the mental backflips necessary to ensure their friendly reception on the left – they’ll keep their desire for lower taxes and for randomly bombing things, but they’ll drop the rest of it (and, for some of them, it’ll be a gigantic relief…you can tell they don’t really like being aligned with people so out of it as to respect the traditional family and other tiresome things).

As for me, I say “good riddance”. Conservatism, as it was from the 1950’s until Reagan is now dead. It had it’s point and it’s victories – but mostly it was about defeating the scourge of Communism. In that, it patched together a coalition which was dedicated to defeating Communism…which was fine, but not everyone who is anti-Communist is Conservative. It just seemed that way, for a while. I look forward to a new Conservative movement – one which is actually in the business of conserving things. Trump is not the guy to bring this about – though in policy it looks like he’ll help matters along in a lot of areas. He’s not, however, going to tackle some crucial things like entitlements, nor does he seem particularly interested in such matters as private property rights. That’s ok. No politician is ever going to be our savior. We true Conservatives will back him as he advances what we like – and work to a future where a genuine Conservative movement can capture power of itself, and then begin the arduous task of making America a Conservative nation.

The Conservative Crisis

Donald Trump is not a Conservative – I think we all know this. He managed a take-over of the GOP, which had been the (alleged) home of Conservatism, but he made no declaration of loyalty to Conservatism when he did so. And don’t go thinking it was a hostile take-over…plenty in the GOP didn’t (and don’t) like Trump, but plenty more, did. In fact, of course, enough to secure him the GOP nomination. But winning the White House took far more than just holding the GOP. In fact, my guesstimate is that as many as 6 million traditional GOP voters either stayed home, or went with McMullin or Johnson (a very tiny number voted for Hillary, I suspect). Trump won because he brought in people who don’t normally vote GOP…and who are most emphatically not Conservatives.

But, then again, what are Conservatives? What is Conservatism? Over the past few months, I’ve seen a lot of different Conservatives going off in all manner of odd directions…some in Trump’s favor, some decidedly against Trump. Bill Kristol, as I noted in an earlier post, is a Conservative who is hoping that un-elected bureaucrats force Trump from office. Another Conservative is convinced that Hillary would be forcefully standing up to Russia because she’s some sort of patriotic American hero. Yet another Conservative I’m familiar with has gone in for some neo-Nazi “blood and soil” twaddle about just who can be an American. I’ve seen Conservatives in favor of vigorous war-making in Syria, others who are insisting that we become actual isolationists. Some Conservatives are finding a sudden respect for the “pro-choice” position on abortion, others are figuring that most Conservatives have always been secretly racist.

Let’s face something here: there is no Conservatism, because no one can provide a body of thought which most Conservatives will support. Perhaps there never was a Conservatism, really – maybe it was just something cobbled together by Reagan and only valid as long as he was there to provide direction? Maybe the pressures of the cold war fused together people who would otherwise hate each other and who didn’t really care about anything other than defeating Communism? Don’t get me wrong, defeating Communism is always a worthy goal…but once the major external Communist threat was gone, we have found that plenty of people who were allies against the Soviet Union are quite ok with the imposition of some Communist ideas (mostly in the realm of social policy) in the United States. Might it be time we re-think this whole thing? Start over again, from scratch?

It could be that Trump merely ripped off the mask – forced into the open divisions which were always there, but papered over simply because in a two-party system, anyone who is not Progressive in the fullest sense must be GOP? Think of all the truly Conservative things which could have been done over the past 30 years, and how few of them were actually done. For goodness sake, it’s 2017 and we still haven’t got to even relatively small things like defunding Planned Parenthood or axing the subsidies for PBS. These are things we could have forced through many times in the past 3 decades if there had been a genuinely Conservative movement in the United States. But always, whenever such things were proposed, we found alleged “fellow Conservatives” cutting the effort off at the knees. As if the reality was that plenty of Conservatives were really only Conservative in the sense of not being full-blown Progressive.

I cannot set myself up as the arbiter of what Conservatism is, but I think I’ll at least state what I think Conservatism should be…and then see if anyone else comes along. So, here we go – my 10 principles of True Conservatism.

1. As American Conservatives, our primary political aspiration is to preserve the ideals expressed in our Declaration of Independence. Most importantly, that government is instituted to secure God-given rights. Our Constitution is a sublime document and must be respected, and only altered via Constitutional means. The rule of law is a requirement for any civilized nation, and so Conservatism insists that the laws be enforced as they are, until such time as the people, via Constitutional means, alter or abolish them.

2. It is the family, not the individual or the social/ethnic/economic group which is the building block of civilization. A Conservative seeks to preserve the family (meaning, mother and father and their natural and/or adopted children) against encroachments by the State or other elements of society.

3. The secure ownership of property is one of the mainstays of preserving the family. Families which can work and build property (wealth) with a goal towards financial independence are the strongest of all families – and, thus, a Conservative will do all which can be done to make the ownership and transmission of family property secure.

4. Power corrupts, and so Conservatism will always seek to reduce as far as practical the power that anyone holds over any other person. There are many mechanisms which can be put into place to reduce concentrations of power, but the main thing is to ensure that the most power is exercised by people most immediately accountable to the people. So, local government must have more power than State government, State government more than federal – and federal government the least power of all.

5. We are all one community of people, bound to each other by ties of patriotism and love. No Conservative can hold to the view that another is inferior based upon ethnic, social or economic background. No American who works hard should be without the necessities of a dignified life. Nor should anyone who can’t work lack for any needed thing. Conservatism is in favor of charity, and realizes that, at times, the organizing power and wealth of government can, and must, be brought to bear to assist those in need.

6. All those who can contribute to society must contribute. Conservatism has no place for those who, able to work, refuse their duty. How this contribution is to be done is to be left, in almost all cases, for the local community to decide, but there is no place in Conservatism for the deadbeat.

7. Life, property and human rights are to be protected by force, if necessary. Always using mercy to temper justice, Conservatism still insists that criminal behavior is wrong and those who commit crimes must pay a price. True Conservatism will have only a few things decreed as illegal: a multiplicity of laws which cannot be understood by average people is not a system of justice, but a system of judicial tyranny. In general, only violent crimes and major theft will be treated by Conservatism as something meriting criminal punishment. In almost all cases, what is to be done with criminal behavior is to be left to the local community to decide.

8. Great disparities of wealth are not conducive to an orderly society. Conservatism applauds the citizen who will work hard, live frugally and build wealth – but when the wealth of an individual (or corporate entity) becomes so large as to distort the workings of society, then Conservatism seeks means of redress. There is nothing wrong with being rich; there is something wrong with using great wealth to secure special privileges.

9. Conservatism recognizes a dangerous world and thus insists that the armed forces of the United States be kept strong enough to repel any possible foreign attack. Conservatism understands that the ultimate defense or our nation, internal and external, is the citizenry, itself. To this end, Conservatism advocates for a citizen militia for home defense, and that all adults who wish to be armed should be so.

10. Faith holds a special place in Conservatism as it recognizes that the real hopes and dreams of the people are expressed via their faith. As far as is practical, Conservatism takes the side of religious liberty against any desire to restrict it. Even if what is being done in the name of a faith seems inexplicable to any particular person, a Conservative will only in the most extreme cases seek to interfere in the practice of a person’s religion.

And there you have it – it is, at least, the Conservatism I believe in. Perhaps you do, as well? We’ll see. But if you’ve got a better Conservatism, then let’s hear it. This does has to be hammered out. If we are to have a Conservative movement, it will have to agree on at least some basic principles and everyone who wishes to be Conservative must adhere to them, once agreed upon.

Ending the Age of Lies

Ace has a great article about how the left lies about everything – it is mostly about the Scopes Monkey Trial, which has gone down in Progressive History as the decisive conflict between Ignorant, Anti-Science Christians and Enlightened Progressives. Ace points out that this Narrative is presented in it’s most strongest form in the movie, Inherit the Wind; which is a great movie…but, also, a false story. It is, though, the story that most people know – to a large degree, the movie based on the trial is the “history” that most people believe. This is similar to how the movie The Manchurian Candidate is how most people think of the McCarthy Era. The bottom line, however, about Inherit the Wind is that it leaves out the fact that Science wasn’t cross-examined, only the Bible was…just as in The Manchurian Candidate the reality of Communist infiltration of the American government was left out (and, indeed, was turned into Right Wing infiltration…as being far more real and dangerous than those silly, old Commies). As Progressive propaganda, both movies are great – but as a way to see what happened, the gaps in their Narrative turn them into Progressive lies…and only two of ten thousand Progressive lies which have taken hold in the United States.

Lies, believed, can have a very terrible effect on a nation’s fortunes. Take a look at France – in 1914, the French simply didn’t know how to quit. No matter how bad it got (and the French defeats of the first few weeks contained the very worst losses in war suffered by any nation in a comparable period) the French just kept on fighting. In 1940, after a brief resistance (in which, to be fair, some – but not many – French forces fought with sublime courage) 1,900,000 French soldiers – still in possession of their arms and the ability to resist – voluntarily went into German captivity. What happened? Mostly it is explained by France being exhausted from WWI…but the Germans had suffered quite a bit in that war, too. Why were they so willing to have at it, again? Lost in most stories of France during the inter-war years is that French government policy was to instruct, via the public schools, the youth of France in the pointlessness of war…pacifism was the reigning orthodoxy. Prior to WWI, there wasn’t that – and, also, it was only just prior to WWI that the French government took control of education away from the Catholic Church. The 1914 generation was imbued with faith and patriotism…the 1940 generation was imbued with pacifism. That pretty much is all one needs to know – especially if you look at a situation map on May 13th, 1940 and realize that France had the forces in place to stop the German attack…and just didn’t have the spirit to launch the necessary counter-attack. People were taught a lie – that war is always bad and pointless – and they responded to that lie; by refusing to fight in what they viewed as a bad and pointless war. The truth is that war is bad, but not at all pointless…especially when you’re being invaded by a foe who wishes to reduce you to slavery.

There are plenty of lies believed in the United States. It is impossible to list them all in a blog post. Suffice it for our purposes to note that Progressives believe that the hostility of the Iranian regime towards us stems from the coup of 1953 – and President Obama is, by all appearances, one who so believes. It really isn’t hard to see – he was educated at Progressive institutions of higher education and the orthodoxy they teach is just that: we were the bad guys vis a vis Iran and anything they do against us isn’t an act of evil, but an act of self-defense. Because this lie is believed – and acted upon – we’ve now got Obama’s “Iran Deal” which will assist greatly in building up Iran’s economic and military power, including in the area of nuclear weapons. This will, in turn, put us (and the world) in an ever more dangerous situation; and a situation which may have to be paid for in blood, ours and theirs. Meanwhile, the simple fact of not having that lie (that the Coup is the key) would have led us to a rational policy regarding Iran…and, by this time, no Iranian mullah-regime (Obama really had a chance in 2009 when Iran was simmering with revolution to put an end to the whole problem).

Right now, we do have a chance to start afresh in the United States. The lies are still there – and widely believed – but we don’t have to have policies (domestic and foreign) built upon the lies. In fact, in Donald Trump we might have a vehicle (even if unwitting) to cut through the lies and actually get to rational policy. His phone call with the President of Taiwan more and more speaks to my mind on this. For all I know, they only exchanged pleasantries about the weather…but the fact that we’re no longer basing our Taiwan policy on the lie that the People’s Republic of China has a valid interest in Taiwanese affairs is like a breath of fresh air. If you’re working an equation and you start with “1 plus 1 equals 3” then you’re going to come out wrong, in the end, no matter how much correct math follows later. There is no such thing as a half-truth – there is either truth, or lie. Add a speck of lie to your argument, and you’ve got 100% lie. We’ve been working our China policy based on a lie about Taiwan…and, so, we haven’t been able to fully craft a strategic response to China’s recent aggressiveness in the area. Base our policy on the truth – that for all intents and purposes, Taiwan is an independent nation – then we can quickly put together a military system which would make any Chinese act of aggressive a fool’s errand.

And so it goes all down the line. We don’t have to make our policies based upon absurdities. Think about how nice it will be, for instance, to have education policy based upon reality rather than upon foolish lies? To have energy policy based upon what is most efficient, rather than scare-stories about global warming or some theory that setting up a bird-cuisinart is better than natural gas? Just having military policy based upon the need for the military to be prepared for war rather than proper levels of diversity will be a huge improvement. A little luck and in 10 years or so, we might be a people who go about figuring out what is true and just going with that.