Trump vs the Deep State

The Deep State? If you haven’t heard, it’s a fairly new phrase which is gaining currency – started with the Wisconsin government attempting by means fair and foul to undermine Governor Walker’s reform effort. The concept of it is that members of the permanent bureaucracy – mostly Democrats but all of them regardless of political outlook having a vested interest in keeping things as they are – will simply destroy anyone who dares to reform government in a meaningful way. The underlying ideology is deeply based in Progressive beliefs about government – namely, that a set of experts, installed in government, can manage society better than the free flowing actions of the people. To be sure, such experts are willing to maintain the form of a democratic republic, but the bottom line is that the people, individually and collectively, are not to have a say in the basic direction of government policy.

And then along came Trump.

Trump is an inherent reformer because he has no loyalty to things as they are. He might propose reforms which are wrong – and even wrong-headed – but whatever he proposes will be based upon what he perceives as the right course of action, the vested interests of government and it’s cronies be damned. This is why the party of government (Democrats, MSM, a good selection of the GOP, those who make their living directly or indirectly off government expenditures) is up in arms – hyperventilating at an astonishing pace and acting as if their very lives (which they consider the life-force of the United States) were at stake. The bottom line is that these people have no legal mechanism to enforce their will; they can’t force a new election; they can’t even force an impeachment because that would require the cooperation of such a large number of Republicans (who, even if not Trump supporters, fear the electoral wrath of outraged Trumpsters) as to make it next to impossible. They only power they have is to sow confusion and hatred and hope, by some miracle, that a correlation of forces will arise to drive Trump from office. In other words, all they have is the Deep State – and they are using it to the limit to get after Trump.

I was struck by what happened to Flynn – I compare it to what happened to German generals Blomberg and Fritsch. Blomberg was Commander in Chief of the German army in the 1930’s, while Fritsch was the man most likely to succeed Blomberg in that post. While both of them were ok with Hitler’s Nazi regime, they were determined to keep the army out of Nazi party hands – and this irritated Hitler and his henchmen. By use of various secret police files to cook up scandals, Hitler managed to get rid of both men in succession, whereupon he took full control of the Army, thus getting rid of the last check upon his autocratic power. As regards Flynn, it appears that various members of our intelligence community selectively leaked information which, translated by MSM hostility, made it appear that Flynn was doing something wrong. Flynn managed to get himself caught up in the web by failure to be completely frank with Vice President Pence (and perhaps President Trump, as well). But the main agent of Flynn’s undoing was the Deep State’s determination that he be destroyed – likely as part of a larger plan to undo Trump entirely. And for all Trump’s opponents claiming that he’s some sort of proto-fascist, I note with great care that the side using fascist tactics is the anti-Trump side.

Over the past few days, I’ve seen some interesting statements on social media. This one from Bill Kristol was flabbergasting:

Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.

This is a guy whom I’ve read for years and respected. He just showed himself to be someone who is entirely opposed to the workings of a democratic republic. You can’t prefer anything to normal democratic and constitutional politics. Rely on it, if we cease to use normal democratic and constitutional politics, Bill, it won’t be you or anyone you like calling the shots. Was Kristol ever on the same side as me? I really do wonder.

Back in 2003, I backed the Iraq campaign – so did Kristol, from what I can recall. I backed it because I felt it a necessary step to remove a troublesome regime and it would put us athwart the Iran-Syria axis, thus allowing us to deal with each of them piecemeal. Didn’t work out that way. We sat down in Baghdad and allowed our forces to become the targets in a shooting range. A huge number of mistakes were made, but I still believe I made the right choice in backing the Iraq campaign in the context of the times. Fast forward 14 years, and I’m wondering how many other people like Kristol were in the mix? What did they believe? Did they believe that a final reckoning with Iran and Syria was the wrong move? If they believed that, did they then do what they could to thwart action beyond Iraq by President Bush? Did our tactical mistakes in Iraq stem from the field, or from DC, where Deep State people set out to ensure that American power was misapplied? I just don’t know – and I’ll likely never know with any certainty…but Kristol’s statement isn’t unique, I’ve seen others – including some who claim to be former members of our intelligence community – who are seriously rooting for the IC to take down Trump; seriously, gleefully rubbing their hands at the prospect of the IC cooking the books until Trump is forced to resign or is impeached.

Do they realize that would spark a civil war? Are they that stupid? Don’t they understand that most of the people who would be willing to fight are on Trump’s side?

In the end, I don’t think they’ll get Trump. Right now, depending on the poll, Trump is approved of by anywhere from 39% to 55% of the American people, so don’t pay attention to polling on what is going on. But I do believe that, at bottom, in a fight between Outsider Trump and anyone Inside, Trump will win – people do have immense contempt for government, for the MSM and for those who cheer lead for same. But only time will really tell.

An Outrageous Riot

The riots in Berkeley, I must say, have got me quite angered. I’m used to the ways of the left and how they behave, but something about last night just really set me off. This isn’t about Milo Yiannopoulos, as a person – though some weak Conservatives last night tried a bit of moral equivalency between him and the rioters – it is about the basic concept of a civil society.

The United States has always been a free speech citadel in the world – no matter how we might have restricted speech by this means or that in the past, it has been since the beginning that in the United States you are more free to speak your mind than in any other place. We have no blasphemy laws; we have no laws of Lèse-majesté. There is no sort of political speech which is banned. Outside of things like yelling fire in crowded theater or immediate incitement to violence, everyone can say what they like. Until just recently.

It has long been known that the left hates free speech. Oh, when they lack power, they’ll talk a good game about free speech (such as the so-called “Free Speech Movement” in the 1960’s), but the whole game is always to just make certain that leftwing speech is shouted from the rooftops and all non-left speech is suppressed. To the left, all non-left speech is actually evil – sirens songs spun by forces against “the people”. Meanwhile, all leftwing speech is inherently good. They don’t view suppressing non-left speech as bad – in fact, it is a positive good as it prevents people from making the mistake of not being leftist. But even without that mindset, non-left speech has to be suppressed because leftwing speech cannot stand up in a free and open debate. Once there’s an actual argument, the left loses. And the left doesn’t like to lose.

In Berkeley, we saw clear as a bell just what the left wants: the elimination of all non-left voices from the public square. And we have to let them know that we won’t be eliminated. I tweeted out last night that I figured a good start would be to withdraw federal funds from Berkeley. I’m glad that Trump had the same thought. Why in heck are we, the people being chased out of the public square, footing the bill for those chasing us? Oh, you can take it a different way – as Gavin Newsome did; in response to Trump, he whined that it was unfair to punish all of Berkeley for the actions of a few. But it’s not like Newsome was proposing to do something about those few. Oh, no – the fact of the matter is that people like Newsome like their bully-boys. They might officially deplore the violence, but they’ll never lift a finger to stop it. And as for the student body of Berkeley – where were you guys? If most of you are really against the violence, why weren’t you out there confronting the rioters? Heck with that – suppress free speech then at the very minimum, we take your taxpayer cash away.

There is talk now of FBI investigations and civil rights lawsuits – and I hope they go forward. It was, in my view, a direct violation of rights that the college and city of Berkeley essentially offered no protection to the rights of Americans who had merely gone to hear a talk. The authorities have an unlimited responsibility to ensure that the rights of all the people are protected – and this not only means the rights of people to go listen to speech, but the right of business owners not to have their establishments smashed to pieces.

Enough is enough – the left has gotten away with trashing this nation for too long. As a free speech absolutist, I want them to be able to continue to say whatever they want. But when what they do gets into lighting fires, smashing windows and beating people, then it’s time to take action.

UPDATE: A little harsh, perhaps, but I think V the K at Gay Patriot is on to something here – relating to a fashion designer making clothes inspired by rioting Social Justice Warriors:

So, whether you’re beating a Trump supporter unconscious with a metal pipe, or just spraying painting “STOP HATE” on a Mormon Church, you will look fabulous, darling. Oh, the romance of socialist revolution! Why be a plain vanilla college student who has led a quiet life of white privilege, when you can be a revolutionary like Che Guevara! Put on that distressed leather jacket, cover your face with a black bandana, and go out there and start a fire in a trash can! Smash some other people’s car windows! That will show those jocks from high school who never invited you to their parties and got to screw all the good-looking girls! You’re down with the struggle, baby! When you take your laundry home — including the pair of pants you crapped in when you thought you saw some riot police headed your way — make sure you tell Mom and Dad’s maid to follow the f–king care instructions TO THE LETTER! Can’t have your best bad-ass riot clothes ruined by that insolent wench.

These are mostly well-off kids – probably bored; many of them, perhaps, from distressed home lives…and here’s their chance to act like they are something. People who can’t accomplish real things often turn towards nihilistic destruction. Lenin was a lousy lawyer; Hitler was a failed artist – both of them were from well-off backgrounds and never wanted to sully their hands with actual work. Not saying all these kiddies are budding Hitlers and Lenins, but they are of the type.

The Rules of Politics are Changing

Trump has filed forms with the FEC for his prospective 2020 re-election bid, and the State of North Dakota is checking to see if the paid pipeline protestors are filing their tax forms.

The first thing will make it much more difficult for well-heeled, Progressive interest groups to set up non-profits to oppose Trump initiatives. I don’t know all the legal ins and outs of it, but it appears that if you’re a non-profit, there are restrictions on what you can do in partisan politics – Trump is set to run again in 2020, and thus a non-profit is curtailed in what it can do against him. This is turning Progressive “lawfare” against them with a vengeance.

The North Dakota action may well be motivated by the fact that North Dakota has had to shell out big bucks due to the pipeline protests, but it works out as a discouragement for the sort of paid protestors Progressive groups gin up to make it look like there is widespread, popular opposition to certain things. This is also a bit of “lawfare” turned against the left.

And this is how you fight them. You see, for many years, the left has used the American system – and, often, taxpayer subsidies of one sort or another – to work against the actual desires of the American people. Until Walker’s reforms in Wisconsin, no one had really taken the fight to the means by which the left advances their cause – and that successful fight in Wisconsin instructed everyone that (a) you can fight them on that level and (b) you can win.

I think we’ll see more and more of this – and the Democrats just making sure there is more of it. Democrats will rue the day they walked out on Hatch’s committee. Hatch – I’ve met the man: a nice gentleman in the largest sense of the word – simply does not like the idea that decorum should be shoved aside like that. It wasn’t even over a crucial issue the Democrats had a chance of winning on – Hatch might have understood something like that. But merely trying to delay the inevitable because some shrieking protestors are demanding it? Absurd. And insulting.

The left is anti-intellectual, anti-truth and committed to the asinine concept that few experts can manage things for the benefit of all. It is past time we ended this nonsense – and we end it by hitting the left where it hurts the most: in their taxpayer money, and their ability to be jerks without paying a price.

Is What You Believe True?

So, what is it that you believe? People believe all sorts of things – absolutely convinced that they are right. And I’m not just talking about ignorant belief, but well-informed belief.

Just as an example, Douglas Haig was commander of the British forces in France from December 1915 until the end of World War One. During Haig’s tenure of command, Britain engaged in massive and completely fruitless battles, most notably the Somme and Passchendaele. There’s no doubt about some basic facts here – Haig was in command when vast numbers of British soldiers were killed during offensives which simply failed to win the war. On the first day of the Somme, nearly 20,000 British soldiers were killed. Still, it was Haig who in 1918 worked out the military moves which broke the back of German resistance in France and forced the Germans to capitulate. In the immediate aftermath of the war, a grateful Britain awarded Haig an earldom and 100,000 pounds (about five million US dollars, adjusted for inflation). But the days of Haig’s positive press were short-lived. Even before he died in 1928, he had come in for severe criticism from Winston Churchill in his history of the First World War. Churchill, however, didn’t attack the man, as such – later historians did, and ripped into Haig quite severely. By the time everyone had got done with him, Haig was a callous, stupid commander who has pointlessly sacrificed British lives to no purpose. Ask anyone with familiarity with World War One history, and that person is probably not going to have kind words to say about Haig. We all just know he was a bad commander – and probably a bad person, into the bargain.

But, on the other hand, Haig was one of the founding members of the British Legion – a group akin to our Veteran’s of Foreign Wars and/or American Legion. At a time when some powerful voices in Britain were figuring that former soldiers could shift for themselves or survive on private charity, Haig worked diligently to get the British government providing for veterans in a manner fitting of their service and sacrifice. This is not exactly the sort of action that a callous man would engage in. It is, in fact, the action of a man who cared very deeply for the men who had served under his command and wanted to ensure they got all the help they needed in the difficult transition to civil life. Most people who know of Haig know nothing of this – it, after all, doesn’t quite fit the Narrative which has been imposed upon History.

I bring this up because it shows how a certain set of beliefs can grow and become downright impervious to actual facts…and that people then learning about things can just be flat wrong, because what they learned simply wasn’t true. As Reagan said, it isn’t what they know that is worrisome, it is what they know that isn’t so.

We know that our Progressives believe a lot of twaddle – but there is some twaddle that we on the right just as stoutly adhere to. I won’t bring up specifics in this post, because I’m trying to provoke thought, not battle. It is good to roll over in the mind, from time to time, what we think is correct. Maybe we latched on to an idea years ago and have just left it un-examined for years. Perhaps that view has been challenged, but rather than thinking it over we just stuck to our position with fanatical determination. But, what if we are wrong? We might be, on this or that point.

Always be willing to take a fresh look at things. Always be willing to accept new facts, and adjust your views in light of the new facts. Do not dig in your heels! A willingness to accept correction is a vital requirement of life. We don’t know everything – we can’t know everything. The person who is going to win the battle is going to be the person who is willing to see what is happening and listen to criticism. We’ve got a bizarre opportunity coming up starting on Friday – none of us can know what will happen. But if we on the Conservative side want to a Conservative America to emerge – and we do, right? – then we have to be willing to think anew and act anew. We can’t be sure that the particular ways and means we’ve used in the past will bring us to victory now and in the future. This isn’t a call to jettison belief, but a call to seek new ways to apply those beliefs to current circumstances.

Nonsense Vs Common Sense

Some years ago I used to comment on a particular blog – I eventually stopped because the owner of the blog got mad at a comment I made and put me on a sort of suspension…which I wasn’t about to put up with, so I just stopped going there. The issue at hand was that in a discussion of the French Revolution, I had pointed out that a great deal of what brought it about was not so much a desire for liberté, égalité, fraternité but, instead, a desire on the part of French bankers to get repaid for loans they had made to the government. Trouble was, the government really didn’t have the money to repay…but sitting just over there, helping to prop up the overall government and social system of France, was the French Catholic Church, owning at least 10% of all wealth in France. Too big a target to pass up – but getting that money required a major change in how France was governed.

To be sure, there were a lot of things needing deep reform in French government – and this was readily conceded by just about everyone from the King on down…and so the calling of the états généraux precisely to get reform done. But the King felt he could not alter the fundamental structure of French society – which included the French Church being largely outside the control of the government and continuing to possess it’s wealth and property. In the end, no one was going to go to the barricades under a slogan to despoil the Church so that the bankers could get repaid – and, so, liberté, égalité, fraternité. All quickly hijacked by people like Robespierre who did have definite ideas of what they wanted – even if a lot of people had to be killed to get there. As it was, the people of France didn’t really want that, either…but they got both (despoiled Church and guillotines); mostly because someone who wasn’t The People (experts, as it were) decided it should be so. At all events, by speaking the apparent heresy that it wasn’t, perhaps, just a spontaneous revolt of the people, I got into trouble. I had, it would seem, questioned the wisdom of experts on the matter. I don’t know what makes a person an expert on the French Revolution – after all, the only thing we can do is read about it and then decide for ourselves what it all meant. I had read about it for a long, long time from a wide variety of sources and it just suddenly struck me one day that in addition to helping to finance the Parisian mobs, the bankers were quick to get the National Assembly to nationalize Church property and pass the cash along to the bankers.

I bring this up because over the course of this year I’ve been hearing again and again that the problem with the Trumpsters is that they simply don’t know what they are talking about. They don’t realize that easy immigration and free trade are good for America. They don’t realize that their little communities are doomed and so they’ll just have to suck it up, move away and find something else to do. They don’t realize, most importantly, that those who have expertise simply know better and thus they should just accept leadership from the experts. I’d like to point out at this juncture that the experts have one thing in common pretty much across all human societies – they are almost invariably wrong when they step outside their area of expertise.

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require to have their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of common sense. – Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess Salisbury, Prime Minister of Great Britain

Experts do have their place. When I want a tooth out, I go to a dentist – an expert in removing teeth. When I want the sink fixed, I go to a plumber – an expert in plumbing. If I want a war fought, I go to a general – an expert in moving men and material around. If I want to decide whether or not I should go to the dentist, get a plumber or fight a war, then I go to myself. I think it over and make the decision that appears best to me. I’d no more allow someone to decide for me how I should view such matters than I’d allow someone to decide for me if I should get married.

The trouble with our experts is that they presume their expertise in a narrow field means they have a general expertise applying to all facets of human life. A really good example is Noam Chomsky, winner of the Nobel Prize in Linguistics. Clearly a brilliant man (though some of his ideas have come into question of late). If I wanted some advice on linguistics, I’d be at the man’s feet, waiting for his wisdom. But Chomsky doesn’t seem to do much in linguistics of late – but he does seem to spend a great deal of time commenting on every subject under the sun. That, itself, wouldn’t be a bad thing, but we are told we are to hold his views on non-linguistic matters in awe because he’s a brilliant linguist. Sorry, ain’t happening. At least not as far as I’m concerned. His views on foreign policy are no better than mine – Nobel Prize notwithstanding. If he says something on that subject, I’ll listen to it and give it as much consideration as any other view…and if it doesn’t fit in with what I believe to be correct, I’ll discard his views.

And here’s the kicker – you really can’t get expertise on things which are not of some sort of mechanic art. Once again, we know a good dentist because the actions of his dentistry have good results. No matter how many degrees a person has in economics, foreign policy, etc. we can’t be sure that the person has got it right – even if it appears right for a while, later events still might falsify his views and actions. You can’t falsify the fact that after the drilling and filling my cavity is cured. Well educated, brave, dedicated and experienced commanders still managed to allow the Battle of the Bulge to happen. Because even being an expert soldier is not the same as being an expert dentist. It isn’t purely mechanical – it is something subject to an unlimited number of variables which cannot all be foreseen even in the best of circumstances. To flat out assert to me, for instance, that free trade is always a good thing is to assert impossible knowledge – you can’t possibly know all the variables involved and thus while these three free trade deals worked out just fine, the fourth one might be an utter disaster.

Other than mechanic arts, each thing has to be taken or rejected on it’s apparent merits or demerits. And in deciding if it’s good or bad, the yokel in a barbecue joint in Akron might be right while the professor in the Ivy League is wrong. The only difference is that, hopefully, the professor has some additional knowledge to provide which might help the yokel make a better decision…but the yokel must be consulted and must participate in the decision-making process. To exclude him on the grounds that he lacks specialized knowledge is to pretty much ensure that the wrong decisions will be made – because the decision will be made without that “very large admixture of common sense”. At the end of the day, additionally, it is better to go with the yokel’s views than the expert’s because yokel has at least a shot at understanding how the decision might effect him and those like him…the common run of humanity who ultimately pay all the bills – in blood and treasure – for a nation’s decisions. This is especially true as the professor, in his rarefied atmosphere, might have got his head stuffed with a lot of nonsense…for instance, he might have a Marxist view of things, and this would pretty much ensure that anything he believes is at 180 degrees variance from reality (how a guy who never worked a day in his life gets to be the arbiter of what working people want is just beyond my understanding).

The revolt of the Trumpsters – and the revolt of the BLMers – is not a revolt of the stupid against the smart, but of common sense against nonsense. It is people who, while inarticulate and uninformed on many matters (and thus getting some things wrong), yet understand that what is happening to them in their daily lives just isn’t right. To try and tell them that things will get right if they just shut up and do as they’re told is probably not going to move them. In fact, it will probably just make them more angry.

We do live in an age of experts – set up that way by experts. It all started, really, back during the Woodrow Wilson Administration but didn’t get set in stone until FDR…when the government proposed to manage the economy for the benefit of all. Experts would do it – people who had gone to college and got degrees in economics and such would take over and make sure things worked. That they failed utterly didn’t seem to dismay them, at all. They lucked out – World War Two happened and then the post-WWII population boom, which allowed for a massive increase in global wealth which made it appear that the experts were on to something. Vietnam started to disabuse people of this notion – that was the experts war from start to finish. They were going to manage that war so that we’d get victory quickly and on the cheap and without having to disturb people in their daily lives here at home. It didn’t work out that way and the first doubts among regular folks appeared…but so embedded in power were the experts that they’ve managed to keep it going, now apparently joined even by some on the right who also got college degrees and a growing mistrust of the people.

It is a mistrust I don’t share. I don’t dislike the unwashed masses. Even when I hear what are massively mis-informed views being expressed, I’m not dismayed. The Trumpsters and the BLMers get some things very wrong. I don’t think the way to deal with this is to read them out of the community of people. They are our people, folks – our fellow Americans. And they have a right to speak their minds, and we have a responsibility to listen to them. And I think by listening to them we might find that we, ourselves, are corrected. This nation is in a gigantic mess – it took us more than 100 years to get into this mess and all of us bear some responsibility for making the mess. It will take the efforts of all of us to get us out of the mess…and anyone who is absolutely dismissive of others simply won’t be able to participate. Even the most obtuse – whether a Marxist professor or a pub-patriot – must be allowed to participate. It is the only way we can do this. But one very necessary step will be for the “experts” to climb off their high horse and start listening…once a bit of listening has gone on, then there will be a better ability to explain to those who do know less, and perhaps do need some guidance to the correct path.

Change the Primary System?

Back in 2012, the GOP looked back and realized that it needed to compress the GOP primary schedule and have fewer debates to make sure no radical, insurgent candidate would knock off the Establishment choice. That worked out splendidly…so, now the GOP is floating a few new ideas:

…Party leaders are even going so far as to consider diluting the traditional status of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as gatekeepers to the presidency. Under one proposal, those states would be paired with others that voted on the same day as a way to give more voters a meaningful role much sooner.

But in a move that would sharply limit who could participate in presidential primaries, many party activists are also pushing to close Republican contests to independent voters, arguing that open primaries in some states allowed Donald J. Trump, whose conservative convictions they deeply mistrust, to become the presumptive nominee…

I do actually like the idea of “pairing”, but I’d carry it a step further – have IA, NH, AL and ID be the first States, all on the same day. All of them are relatively small population States and they represent the Midwest, the Northeast, the South and the West. The second set would be, say, Minnesota, Maine, South Carolina and Nevada. Third set Wisconsin, Vermont, Kentucky and Arizona. Do this over a mere 3-4 week period. After that, take the remaining 38 States, divvy them up by rough thirds based on population and do a series of “Super Tuesday” primaries two weeks apart starting with the lowest population group going to the largest population group. And close the primaries – no one but voters registered as Republicans as of January 1st of the election year can participate.

My idea here is to have a set of low-population States go first because that is were an insurgent campaign can have a chance to gain traction. Having four States from around the country can also help sift out who has the best national appeal. It also forces the candidates to have a message which resonates across the nation rather than, as now, just trying to figure out what Iowa and New Hampshire are thinking. Having a series of low-population contests keeps it cheap enough to run until we’re down to two or three – who would then be able to gain the resources to keep fighting in the larger population areas until one person gets it all – or, it stays so closely divided that it goes to the Convention. And if one candidate does manage to sweep or near-sweep the first 12 contests then that would be a solid indication that the candidate is the party’s choice…meaning, someone who can do that well in that diverse an electorate is someone who has captured the GOP imagination and should be the GOP nominee. It is also, as you can see, about a 10 week process. Start it on January 15th, done no later than March 31st. Have the Convention on May 1st – this makes sure that the GOP Candidate never has a period of months – as Romney had in 2012 – where he is subjected to attack ad bombardment without being able to respond until a Convention held months later.

What do you think?