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.

Conservatism is Dead; Long Live Conservatism!

Ace went on quite the rant about the state of the GOP/Conservative side of the political aisle:

I’m also pretty depressed. Apparently, some in this party really do think they’re going to hand the election to Hillary, and, bizarrely, they think this will bully the rest of us into knuckling under to their agenda in 2020.

Rather than simply getting payback and tanking their candidate in return.

This party is on the verge of self-destructing. The upper class of the party is upset that the lower class has finally had its say, and they’re determined that should never be permitted to happen again…

Ace then goes on to conclude that perhaps he should become a Democrat for self-protection – you know, if we’re going to keep going with a weaponized bureaucracy in the hands of rather vindictive Progressives, maybe become a Progressive so they’ll leave you alone? Trouble is, that won’t work out, either, unless you are prepared to sell your soul. You see, Progressives insist upon public declarations in favor of their views…passive acceptance isn’t good enough. It’s why you have to bake the cake.

The real problem with Conservatism isn’t that Trump came along and killed it, but that it never amounted to anything to begin with. Name a moral value from 50 years ago that is still intact – meaning, that something held as absolutely morally true 50 years ago is still being held as absolutely morally true today. The only thing Conservatism has managed to conserve these past 50 years is Second Amendment rights – and that hangs by a thread. Just allow Hillary to replace Scalia and the Progressives in the court system will rush a case to the Supreme Court to undo the right to bear arms.

I think our problem – the reason for our failure – is that we in general accepted the Progressive agenda as the basis for argument. Rather than just reject it out of hand, accept the electoral defeat and just wait for the crash to elevate Conservatism to complete power, we tried to hedge…to make ourselves appear reasonable to Progressives so that we could be acceptable to them. Nothing, of course, is more bizarre than trying to be reasonable to Progressives who don’t even believe in Reason, as a thing. But, we tried it – and so just essentially went along with the continual Progressive alteration of society. Now we’re caught in a bind – the only person who can keep the government out of the hands of Progressive Hillary is Progressive Trump…who at least won’t direct government’s power directly against Conservatism (or, at least, we hope he won’t). It’s a lousy position to be in – but we got ourselves here because standing athwart History yelling, “stop!” is about the most useless thing a person can decide to do. Doing that is reactionary – doing what is Conservative, on the other hand, requires a clear idea of the massive changes which need to be enacted.

You see, the problem has been that we on the Conservative side never saw ourselves as Revolutionaries. But that is what we have to be if we want to be Conservative. A Conservative is not a reactionary – we do not just stand pat and hope to hold on to what we’ve got. We advance the cause – we seek to refurbish things and bring them renewed into the present. We say that such-and-such is good then, good now and always will be good and we insist that it be preserved as part of the common heritage of humanity.

To do this, we have to stake out our positions quite boldly and accept crushing, overwhelming defeat and then continue to stake out those exact, same positions. For example, Churchill never altered his views of Hitler once he decided that Hitler was a mortal threat to civilization – at times, his supporters in Parliament were no more than four or five. He was insulted and ridiculed – long time political associates didn’t want to be seen in public with him. But he just kept at it, saying exactly the same thing in 1938 as he said in 1934…and by the middle of 1939, after those who ridiculed him were proven wrong, people started to swing over to him…because he was right and he stuck by what was right no matter how bad it got. Churchill was a Revolutionary – in open and desperate revolt against the idea that Hitler was some sort of manifestation of deep, historical currents who could be managed…Churchill knew precisely what Hitler was: a bad man who wanted to do bad things for bad reasons. Bad people are to be opposed by good people even at the cost of spilling blood if that proves necessary; Churchill wasn’t proposing anything new; he was just trying to refurbish the correct moral view of conquering tyrants: they are to be opposed. They are to be opposed no matter if they are dressed in the panoply of an Emperor or a Totalitarian – whether their bogus slogan is Liberté, égalité, fraternité or Arbeit macht frei. It is true in the past, it is true today and it will always be true that no one has the right to wage offensive wars of conquest. If he had started to hem and haw and try to shift his position to match the prevailing view, then Britain might have been lost – there would have been no one for the British to turn to when the chips were down. Someone of courage and conviction that the people could trust because he had never wavered for a moment in his views.

Why should the American people in 2016 trust Conservatism? What have we actually stood for? Where is some battle for eternal truths that we have engaged in without wavering and carried through to absolute victory? As I’ve said, other than 2A, nowhere. No matter what battle you care to name, the Progressives have advanced and we have retreated…and now some of us are actually defending Progressive things simply because they’ve been around for a while (Big Corporations, most notably; but there are plenty of other Progressive innovations that we now defend tooth and nail…even if the Progressives who created them have moved on and decided to destroy them).

Hillary or Trump will be the next President – most recent polling shows Hillary once again with a slight advantage. It’ll probably shift back and forth several more times before November 8th. But neither of them victorious will be on the side of Conservatism. The only difference between them is that Hillary promises to be overtly hostile to Conservatism while Trump may, even if only by accident, advance some Conservative desire. But if we want to have a Conservative movement in 2017 and beyond, then we have to completely shift our world view. We are the outsiders – hated, feared and despised. But we are right – and eventually we will be proven right. Then, if we have stood firmly for our views, the people will come over to us, because we’ll be the only people out there they can trust to do the right thing.

This post has already gone on a little long, so I won’t attach to it a Conservative Manifesto – though I’m thinking of writing one, perhaps at book length. But it isn’t really all that hard to think of what a Conservative should want to Conserve – refurbish and make live again in the modern world. But when we say we want to defend the family, remember that means we also must oppose things like property taxes, fiat money, consumer debt, consumerism, the economic necessity of both parents working just to make ends meet…and probably a score or more other things which have worked against the family for many years. Positions, as I’ve said, have to be staked out – even, and especially, if when staked out 90% of the people oppose them. It is precisely the opposition to our views which will give us strength…provided we hold fast to them and allow reality to move people over to our side as time goes on. The world has been turned upside down – we now live in Progressive topsy-turverydom. It is they, the Progressives, who are the hide-bound, reactionary defenders of a dying order. We must become the Revolutionaries – the wild-eyed fanatics, as it were, demanding the impossible. As it was impossible in the past to imagine an America where taxpayer funds would go to support something like Planned Parenthood, so it is impossible to imagine today an America where taxpayer funds go to support a family home-schooling their children…but what is claimed to be impossible in human affairs is always possible, if people are willing to fight for it tenaciously and without apology. The Progressives did it, and won – we can do it, and win as well. If we but try.

A Sneering Contempt for the People

I saw a McMullin tweet earlier wherein he stated that real Republicans and Conservatives put principle over party – it sounds like a reasonable statement until you examine it closely. What McMullin is saying is that any Republican or Conservative who supports Trump is unprincipled. That is an astonishingly arrogant thing to say.

I think it is pretty clear that I take a dim view of President Obama (for a mere $3.99 you can get all the details here), but I would never say that all those who back him are unprincipled…I believe most of his supporters back him precisely on principle. They are wrong principles, or misunderstood principles, but principles nonetheless. To be sure, a large collection of unprincipled hacks have attached themselves to Obama, and are also attached to Hillary…and, indeed, some such have attached themselves to Trump. That is in the nature of things – unprincipled hacks always try to hitch themselves to something the believe they can profit off of…but almost all people who back a candidate for elective office sincerely believe that candidate is the best choice on principle.

What McMullin’s tweet shows is a level of sneering contempt for people – for regular, honest folks who are making what they think is the best decision at the time. They may be wrong – they may, indeed, be fabulously wrong – but to think that they are all stupid, or venal is outrageous. And in practical terms, if one is Conservative, how are you to win if you just wrote off what will be – even if it is in defeat – about 60 million Americans as stupid?

The people are what they are – human beings being prone to error and folly…but the key to understanding is that no matter how gauche a person might be, that person is still a child of God, made for eternal joy with God. You dare not denigrate such a person – because, after all, given the observation that the last shall be first and the first, last, the person you are holding in contempt might be raised quite higher than you, in the End…and, as an aside, if you do hold that person in contempt you might find that in the End that you’ve chosen the very worst part of it. For better or worse (and in the long run, mostly for the better) we have decided that our government will be decided upon by the votes of the people – this means that you must first and foremost respect the people. Yes, even the barely-literate, poorly dressed, loud and vulgar lout who is making a ruckus. If you can’t respect that person then you’ve no business seeking office.

The people who are held in contempt are the farmers, the mechanics, the plumbers, the family men and women. In short, the people being held in contempt are those who actually do the business of making our society work day by day. You might not think much about that clean, running water which is unfailingly delivered to your tap every day, but it takes a lot of hard work by dirty, gritty people to make sure that water gets to you. All the investment bankers, artists and fashion designers in the world won’t help you much if someone isn’t willing to get down into the drains and fix things for you. And those people who do that sort of work for you – no matter how vulgar they are – deserve your absolute and immense respect. If you can’t give it to them, then you’re one of the saddest specimens of human being imaginable. Smart guy – you go listen to them, first; once you’ve done that, then you can tell them what you think; and if you truly listened, you are going to think differently than before you listened.

It isn’t that McMullin’s statement was the first bit of sneering contempt we’ve seen in politics this year – plenty of people have that attitude, left and right. I can’t see that working long-term as a viable electoral strategy. Come what may on November 8th, the future of Conservatism rests upon the ability to show respect for the people.

Repealing the Johnson Amendment

In all the hoopla about how lousy Trump is, a small item rather escaped me:

Why have some religious conservatives decided to support Donald Trump for United States president? Leaders have named their reasons: He’s promised to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices; he’s allegedly good at business. But they have also consistently cited something else, perhaps more unexpected: the tax code.

Trump has promised to repeal the so-called Johnson Amendment, a 1954 provision that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from participating in political activities. Proposed by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and later revised by Congress, it keeps churches and other non-profits from lobbying for specific causes, campaigning on behalf of politicians, and supporting or opposing candidates for office…

In case you ever wondered why no one in politics really pays much attention to what religious leaders say, there’s your reason: money. You might note that unions and various leftwing political groups – some of which are tax exempt – are free to pour money into political campaigns to their heart’s content…but religious groups can’t. This is why, at election time, the concerns of religious people are very much a secondary consideration…why what the union or the corporate PAC wants is paramount; you risk campaign money if you cross a union or a corporate PAC, you don’t risk money if you cross a religion. Repealing the Johnson Amendment would put religious people on the same level as everyone else. And, so, yes: it has to go.

I freely admit that I hadn’t heard of this until maybe a couple years ago – but now that it is brought to mind, I realize that part of the reason that we are ratcheted ever leftwards on social issues is because the prime source of Conservative power on social issues – the Church, the various Protestant denominations, etc – are essentially prohibited from engaging in the battle. It isn’t that there’s no one willing to fight the battle, but there is no one writing a check which makes politicians actually beholden to religious groups (and thus we see so-called Conservative politicians ever finding reasons to leave religious people in the lurch when push comes to shove). Allow religious money to enter the fray, and politicians will serve that money, even if they don’t want to serve the dogmas.

Rather crude, I know – but democratic politics is like that…and it is time for religious people to gain the power to really influence politics.

Some Thoughts on the State of Things

Sorry I kinda left the blog hanging during the GOP Convention – had a long-planned vacation to go see family and this time, something moved me to not bring my laptop along with me. As I am technologically limited, I never could figure out how to post from a smart phone or tablet, and this meant I couldn’t do any commentary while I was away.

I don’t feel bad about this, at all.

I do, however, feel bad – well, upset is a better word – about the overall situation.

Now that the GOP is officially the Party of Trump, I’m really just waiting for a new, Conservative party to arise. That, I think, is where the crux of the matter is – we don’t have a Conservative party. And 2016 shows that in the GOP, we never really had one. I guess we all sort of forgot that Reagan’s Conservatism was never favored by the overall GOP, nor by the GOP leadership. To be sure, he was a tonic against Carter and then when things went very well in his first term everyone was on board for four more years…but in spite of all Reagan’s gifts, he never moved the party fundamentally to the right. In 1988 we all loyally trooped to the polls to elect the Elder Bush, who had been a loyal VP for 8 years, and that was pretty much that – the right was out of the business of running the GOP. Since then, it has been a mere series of frustrations as Conservative policy ideas were watered down or shoved aside in the name of keeping ourselves viable at election time…and the best showing we’ve had nationally since then was W’s 51% of the vote in 2004. And, meanwhile, the nation hasn’t just drifted left, but has gone hard left as fast as it could, absent complete Progressive control of all branches of government.

In light of this, Trump isn’t a freakish event, but a culmination – something which was bound to happen. You see, the only way to have prevented Trump was to have a Conservative party all these years pushing the United States to the right. Had that been the case, then the working class would not have been alienated; immigration – legal and illegal – never would have got out of control; American power would have been effectively used to keep the peace; the economy would be strong and growing; etc and so on and on. As we have had a Progressive series of governments with, at best, only a short tap on the breaks from time to time via Conservative opposition, we have all the things which have gone wrong – and have called forth a demagogue who at least addresses the issue of how lousy things are (even if he never addresses the issue of how to actually make America great again). Remember, we almost got a full-on Progressive version of Trump in the form of Bernie Sanders as the Democrat nominee…recent revelations confirm what we all suspected: it took the united and relentless activity of the entire Democrat establishment to ensure that Hillary got the nomination…anything short of that and we’d be discussing Bernie’s choice of some Che Guevara clone for VP.

The election is still officially Hillary’s to lose – Trump, on the face of it, has a nearly insurmountable task ahead of him. Unless things are so screwed up in the American electorate that people – many of whom haven’t voted much or at all for decades out of disgust – that a majority is willing to take a spin with Trump, just to see what happens, and on the theory that it can’t possibly be worse than whatever Hillary would cook up for us. Anecdotes aren’t evidence, but I know more than one two time Obama voter who is eager to pull the lever for Trump. And that is among people who vote – I’ve been wondering out loud for months now if there is an even larger block of people who don’t vote (or rarely vote) feeling the same way.

Be that as it may, whether Trump or Hillary emerges victorious on November 8th, the fundamental problem will still remain that we don’t have a Conservative party. To be sure, I think that with Trump Conservatism will have more opportunities to slam on the breaks from time to time, but the general thrust of things will still be towards the left. Until we start to change the direction of American policy, doom still awaits us. We simply must get a Conservative party – perhaps there is still a chance of a Conservative take-over of the GOP (especially if Trump flames out in November), but I’m getting ever more doubtful of it. But take over the GOP or start a new party, the task of Conservatives is to create a political vehicle whereby Conservatism – unhindered by Progressivism – is brought to the American people in stark contrast to the way we currently do business. Eventually, our time must come – because this rotten system cannot forever sustain itself by a mixture of debt, fake money and corruption. It will fall apart – and if we have a Conservative party clean of it all, then the people will turn to us (even if in mere desperation) when things do finally go smash.

Meanwhile, we’ve just got to grin and bear it through 2016 – vote your conscience, as Cruz suggested. But, also, if I may offer a bit of advice, don’t get too wrapped up in the Trump vs Hillary contest. It also isn’t too productive, in my view, to get so angry about Trump that we forget that it is Progressivism, as such, which is the enemy…what I mean is don’t get so anti-Trump that you start to work out in practical terms to be pro-Hillary. No, a refusal to vote Trump is not an automatic vote for Hillary…but taking Progressive talking points and making out that Conservatives agree with them is to attempt to throw the election to Hillary. Stay away from that, if you can. Despise Trump until the cows come home, if that pleases you…but, remember, any credibility the right provides to Progressivism is yet another nail in Conservatism’s coffin. The right can never ally with the left – not even for a moment; they will take our help in dispatching whatever enemy they’ve currently got, and then turn ruthlessly on those on the right who helped them.

Finally, be of good cheer. No matter how lousy things look, never fall into despair. Remember, Conservatism is right – it is the correct world view. While I understand we’ve got some fellow Conservatives who don’t believe in God, let’s not forget the fact that almost all Conservatives do believe in God…and, because of this, we know we’re going to win, in the end.