Hail the Republic of Idiots

There has been much talk about experts of late – ’round about the time the very inexpert (in politics, at least) Donald Trump came along, all of a sudden, our experts were full of worry that we yokels were not paying sufficient attention to the experts. I’ve written on this before, but I want to quote a longish passage from one of the works of Chesterton – who lived at the dawn of the Age of Experts:

Now the peculiar peril of our time, which I call for argument’s sake Imperialism or Caesarism, is the complete eclipse of comradeship and equality by specialism and domination.

There are only two kinds of social structure conceivable — personal government and impersonal government. If my anarchic friends will not have rules — they will have rulers. Preferring personal government, with its tact and flexibility, is called Royalism. Preferring impersonal government, with its dogmas and definitions, is called Republicanism. Objecting broadmindedly both to kings and creeds is called Bosh; at least, I know no more philosophic word for it. You can be guided by the shrewdness or presence of mind of one ruler, or by the equality and ascertained justice of one rule; but you must have one or the other, or you are not a nation, but a nasty mess. Now men in their aspect of equality and debate adore the idea of rules; they develop and complicate them greatly to excess. A man finds far more regulations and definitions in his club, where there are rules, than in his home, where there is a ruler. A deliberate assembly, the House of Commons, for instance, carries this mummery to the point of a methodical madness. The whole system is stiff with rigid unreason; like the Royal Court in Lewis Carroll. You would think the Speaker would speak; therefore he is mostly silent. You would think a man would take off his hat to stop and put it on to go away; therefore he takes off his hat to walk out and puts it on to stop in. Names are forbidden, and a man must call his own father “my right honorable friend the member for West Birmingham.” These are, perhaps, fantasies of decay: but fundamentally they answer a masculine appetite. Men feel that rules, even if irrational, are universal; men feel that law is equal, even when it is not equitable. There is a wild fairness in the thing—as there is in tossing up.

Again, it is gravely unfortunate that when critics do attack such cases as the Commons it is always on the points (perhaps the few points) where the Commons are right. They denounce the House as the Talking-Shop, and complain that it wastes time in wordy mazes. Now this is just one respect in which the Commons are actually like the Common People. If they love leisure and long debate, it is because all men love it; that they really represent England. There the Parliament does approach to the virile virtues of the pothouse.

The real truth is that adumbrated in the introductory section when we spoke of the sense of home and property, as now we speak of the sense of counsel and community. All men do naturally love the idea of leisure, laughter, loud and equal argument; but there stands a specter in our hall. We are conscious of the towering modern challenge that is called specialism or cut-throat competition — Business. Business will have nothing to do with leisure; business will have no truck with comradeship; business will pretend to no patience with all the legal fictions and fantastic handicaps by which comradeship protects its egalitarian ideal. The modern millionaire, when engaged in the agreeable and typical task of sacking his own father, will certainly not refer to him as the right honorable clerk from the Laburnum Road, Brixton. Therefore there has arisen in modern life a literary fashion devoting itself to the romance of business, to great demigods of greed and to fairyland of finance. This popular philosophy is utterly despotic and anti-democratic; this fashion is the flower of that Caesarism against which I am concerned to protest. The ideal millionaire is strong in the possession of a brain of steel. The fact that the real millionaire is rather more often strong in the possession of a head of wood, does not alter the spirit and trend of the idolatry. The essential argument is “Specialists must be despots; men must be specialists. You cannot have equality in a soap factory; so you cannot have it anywhere. You cannot have comradeship in a wheat corner; so you cannot have it at all. We must have commercial civilization; therefore we must destroy democracy.” I know that plutocrats have seldom sufficient fancy to soar to such examples as soap or wheat. They generally confine themselves, with fine freshness of mind, to a comparison between the state and a ship. One anti-democratic writer remarked that he would not like to sail in a vessel in which the cabin-boy had an equal vote with the captain. It might easily be urged in answer that many a ship (the Victoria, for instance) was sunk because an admiral gave an order which a cabin-boy could see was wrong. But this is a debating reply; the essential fallacy is both deeper and simpler. The elementary fact is that we were all born in a state; we were not all born on a ship; like some of our great British bankers. A ship still remains a specialist experiment, like a diving-bell or a flying ship: in such peculiar perils the need for promptitude constitutes the need for autocracy. But we live and die in the vessel of the state; and if we cannot find freedom, camaraderie and the popular element in the state, we cannot find it at all. And the modern doctrine of commercial despotism means that we shall not find it at all. Our specialist trades in their highly civilized state cannot (it says) be run without the whole brutal business of bossing and sacking, “too old at forty” and all the rest of the filth. And they must be run, and therefore we call on Caesar. Nobody but the Superman could descend to do such dirty work.

Now (to reiterate my title) this is what is wrong. This is the huge modern heresy of altering the human soul to fit its conditions, instead of altering human conditions to fit the human soul. If soap boiling is really inconsistent with brotherhood, so much the worst for soap-boiling, not for brotherhood. If civilization really cannot get on with democracy, so much the worse for civilization, not for democracy. Certainly, it would be far better to go back to village communes, if they really are communes. Certainly, it would be better to do without soap rather than to do without society. Certainly, we would sacrifice all our wires, wheels, systems, specialties, physical science and frenzied finance for one half-hour of happiness such as has often come to us with comrades in a common tavern. I do not say the sacrifice will be necessary; I only say it will be easy.

Chesterton was writing before the experts left the factory and office and ensconced themselves in the government bureaucracy – but it is all the same. We must be bossed because in order to get things done properly: we idiots must be compelled to do it. And no debate! No long-winded speeches and objections from people who, at all events, don’t know what they’re talking about. We don’t really need elections and then debates in Congress – we really just need a President with a Pen and a Phone; a bureaucracy which will make up the rules as it goes along; a Supreme Court which will merely ratify what the experts decree.

The experts, of course, would have a case if they at least got things right from time to time. But, they hardly ever do – and when they do strike gold, it is more explained by happenstance than design. The reason for this is that the experts are still, well, human beings. In the aggregate, no smarter than anyone else out there. The chance that a CEO, General or President will be a genius is as small as the chance that any given musician will be a Mozart – almost zero chance, that is. Geniuses do come along; no one knows why nor can anyone predict where or when. When they come, the can shake up society in astonishing ways – some times in quite alarming ways. But you can’t take it into account – it’ll happen when it happens, and all anyone can do when confronted with a genius is deal with it. But almost all people at almost all times are not geniuses. And in this fact is why, on the whole, experts are the worst possible people to have in charge – once they self-select themselves and isolate themselves from the currents of society they lack sufficient input to arrive at valid decisions.

As long-time readers know, I have a fund of knowledge about history. What I’ll say now – and I really don’t like saying it, because it smacks of bragging – is that my knowledge of history runs to the encyclopedic. Something made me pick up one of my father’s books of history around about 1975 and I simply never stopped reading. So, I am an expert, as it were, in history – and thus pretty up on what people do and why they do it. But I’ve also got an advantage that more recognized experts don’t have: lacking credentials, I have nothing to fret about on the score of ability and I am also quite comfortable in talking about things, even deep things, with people who simply lack the knowledge I have. I can’t begin to count the times I’ve been caught short by the opinions of the ignorant – how something they will say or some point of view they have will shake the vision I have and bring it into great clarity…or even lead me down paths I never suspected. That is what the loud and unruly debate of a vigorous democratic Republic is for – to bring to light things we might not have considered. You simply cannot run a society unless everyone has their loud and boorish say. Unless the idiots, that is, are deeply involved in the creation of policy, the policies will certainly fail.

Had we been engaged in a genuine give-and-take debate among all the citizens, we simply would not have done some of the bone-headed things we’ve done. Take, for instance, Vietnam – a full airing of what was going on and what was proposed would have certainly run to the creation of a better policy regarding that. I know this because it certainly couldn’t have run to a worse policy. Take any political problem you like and run it through your mind – think what would have happened had there been a real debate, rather than decrees from on high. When did we have the debate about how many people should move here? When did we have the debate about what public education should be like? Where was the endless, contentious discussion about what trade policy is best with China? There has been no real debate – things are worked out by the experts and they present their findings to us, and demand we just go along…and subtly (and, these days, less and less subtly) call us wicked morons if we dissent from their shiny, new policy proposal.

It all comes down to what you want. If you want a tyranny which will decree, then advocate for that. But if you want freedom, then you can only have it when it is brash, loud, ugly and messy. The idiots must be in charge, or you simply won’t have a Republic.

Never Trump: Let Me Explain This to You

Hey, hey, LBJ: how many kids did you kill today?

Thus went the chant of the 60’s radicals. We’re supposed to call them “anti-war protestors”, but if they were anti-war, they would have been just as opposed to the war being waged by the government of North Vietnam as they were displeased with the American effort. Of course, they had nothing bad to say about North Vietnam’s war. This is because it wasn’t about being against the war (or war, in general) but about being against the United States and its South Vietnamese allies winning the war. And, so, led by hard left radicals, the protestors set about saying the most outrageous, slanderous and cruel things they could about American leaders. I bring this up because there’s a direct line from that chant to the slogans being used today by protest groups led by hard left radicals.

Whatever one wishes to say about President Johnson and the Vietnam War (and I’ve got plenty of negative things to say on both subjects), the bottom line is that Johnson was the leader of the good guys during the war (as was Nixon, after him). This is not to say that Johnson didn’t do wrong: he did plenty wrong. But he wasn’t the bloodthirsty, hate-filled monster the protestors made him out to be. And while those protestors were chanting their slanderous cruelty, it was taken as a given that no one was supposed to say the same things back at them. People back then who pointed out that the protestors were mere stooges of Communist aggression and were working for the eventual murder and enslavement of millions were considered the kooks. People outside the pale of decent society. The only people allowed to be nasty were those of the left – and then it was a requirement that everyone else treat them as if they were reasonable, responsible members of society.

Post-Johnson, the Democrats learned their lesson: make sure the hard left never has bad things to say about you. Do that, and you can do whatever you want and the only slanders will be launched against Republicans. Democrats could have done the honorable thing and continued to fight the hard left, but it was much easier to co-opt the hard left (money talks, folks – and he who can dispense bags of government cash to Progressive groups will find they have a life-long friend). Much easier and it provided a convenient attack dog – any time a Republican got out of line, out came the Progressive protestors to slander said Republican. And, over time, the hard left Progressives managed to gain full control of the Democrats…and, now, it became the rule that Democrats could act like hard left people (ie, say nasty things which were untrue about their opponents) and be immune from like criticism.

Back in October I wrote and article called You Can’t Say That About Democrats. I was a bit astonished – it was after Trump had rudely got into Hillary’s face during the debate and just hammered her relentlessly. The pundit class were sure that his performance had done him in. We know, now, that it didn’t. But at the time, I wasn’t at all sure that Trump had done himself a favor with that because I, too, was of the unconscious opinion that no matter how outrageous Democrats and the overall left behaved, we weren’t allowed to be like them. They could call us racists, sexists, homophobes, Nazis, fascists; they could riot; burn; loot; threaten violence…they could do whatever they wanted and we could never do a darned thing about it.

But, as it turns out, we can – or, at least, Trump could. Throwing away the Cracker Jack Book of GOP Politics (which has the GOP ritually committing political suicide every election – though some times winning in spite of themselves because Democrats are just really, really dumb when you get down to it), Trump just went at it…and as someone who grew up and thrived in the rude, vulgar and rather cut-throat world of real estate development, he simply did what came natural to him: punched back whenever he was hit. And punched back very, very hard.

And this is something, especially, that Never Trump didn’t get then, and don’t get now. With the recent fracas over Trump’s tapping accusations, we see it writ large. We’re not supposed to say things like that! In spite of the fact that President Obama proved himself both a bald-faced liar (“you can keep your plan”) and someone willing to allow government power to be used against his opponents (IRS scandal), we were still not supposed to mention it – not in any serious way which would cause him any grief. That is just unkind, you see? Its the sort of thing, if said at the swell parties, which would result in a frosty silence and no more invitations to the swell parties. Trump just went ahead and said it. And you darn well know he’s right! Given what we know of Obama and his team it would have been astonishing if the power of government wasn’t use against Trump. And I think they felt they need to, as well.

I don’t buy the claim that Hillary, et al was shocked on election night. She wouldn’t have gone to Michigan and Pennsylvania if she was supremely confident until, say, 9 pm Eastern (as the story goes) that her election was in the bag. I personally think that by late October there was enough evidence of a seismic shift in the race to scare the bejabbers out of Team Hillary and the Democrats – and, so, the last minute efforts in the “Blue Wall”…and, likely, last minute attempts to find something, anything, on Trump that might shift it back towards Hillary. That is where the attempted effort to tap Trump’s communications came from. Nothing, it would seem, was found (or we would have seen it, by now), but there was still enough there for a campaign of innuendo to be used…and that started towards the end of Obama’s Administration when orders were given to spread the collected data far and wide with the certainty that plenty of people would leak the results to the MSM.

But all that is coming out of it is slander, at the end of the day. Trump is not a Russian stooge (his foreign policy actions demonstrate this conclusively); Trump’s team is not at the beck and call of corrupt Russian business interests. There simply was no Russian hacking of the election, nor any Russian shifting of the election results. But for weeks now we’ve had this lie spread daily by the MSM and the Democrats…along with the accusations that Trump is a racist, sexist Nazi out to destroy all that is good and decent in the world. And for people like the Never Trumpers, the rule still is that we can’t say anything bad about Democrats. But, as Trump went, screw that. Of course we can – because they are being very bad people right now.

Plenty of very strong arguments can be made that Trump shouldn’t have been the GOP nominee. I’ve heard them – I made some of them. But once Trump became the nominee, it became an imperative to ensure his election. Obama had just spent 8 years corrupting American politics. Slush fund payoffs to favored groups; crony-Capitalism to donors; abuse of Presidential authority; refusal to enforce the laws fairly; the relentless use of dishonesty to advance Obama’s political goals…all of this ground up and gravely coarsened American political life. Hillary would have continued this for another 4 to 8 years, to the massive detriment of the United States. In fact, if we had wound up with 16 years of what Obama gave, we might have found our nation fatally wounded. To be sure, no one could tell what Trump would actually do – he made a lot of promises, but we all know about politicians and their promises. But, still, given what we knew about Obama and Hillary, we simply had to take a chance on Trump. For all the talk (very prevalent in Never Trump circles) that Trump represents a moral decline for the United States, the actuality is that he represents a moral step up from Obama and Hillary.

I get it that Trump hasn’t lived a life of Christian virtue. I get it that his new-found respect for religion may not be genuine (though, ever trying to live a life of Christian hope, I’m proceeding on the assumption that it is genuine). I get it that, personally, he can be quite vulgar. But has he ever had someone arrested for making a video because having that person arrested advances a political lie launched to cover up a massive policy error? No. Trump’s personal moral failings are one thing – but they pale in comparison to the betrayal of public trust represented by both Obama and Hillary. A politician who breaks the public trust while holding political power has put the lives, fortunes and sacred honor of every American at risk. Trump, only in office for a few weeks, simply hasn’t had the time to do the wrong that Obama and Hillary have done – and Hillary certainly would have continued to do, had she won. Trump may never betray the public trust as Obama and Hillary have.

Seeing as Obama and Hillary were just awful and that their supporters are continuing to act in a terrible manner, I see nothing amiss in Trump punching back. Why shouldn’t he? The only reason is the old rule that we can’t say that about Democrats. But that rule was written by Democrats to protect themselves from their actions as Democrats. Heck with that. I don’t see why we have to play nice while they play dirty. Sure, I’d like a political life where everyone treats the other fairly and we debate only solid aspects of policy. But that is not the world we live in. We don’t live in it because Democrats can’t live in it. A real debate about any issue will cut against what Democrats want – if not in total, then in enough to undercut the ability of Democrat to retain and exercise power.

As for Never Trumpers, I’d like to point out that if you got your way and forced Trump out of office then what we’ll get in replacement is a Democrat who will do precisely what Democrats do – lie, bribe, grift, use the power of government against opponents, enact ever more repressive laws against anyone who doesn’t toe the Progressive line. Trump may fail – only time will tell on that; but to help him fail is merely to help the Democrats. We must help Trump succeed – and that means meeting him honestly and fairly. When he does well, congratulate him. When he does poorly, offer fair criticism and suggest alternatives. When Democrats attack, fight back. That last bit is very important. It was disgusting the way some Republicans were quick to jump on the anti-Trump train as soon as the Russian story broke. What purpose was there in seconding Democrat complaints save to help Democrats back into power, where they can go about making life miserable for us? Why do something like that? I honestly don’t understand it.

I don’t understand it because there is no Democrat result which can be worse than any Trump result. No matter how bad you wish to think Trump is, the Democrats are worse – worse for us, worse for the nation as a whole. Until they are really and thoroughly defeated and go through their own wilderness time and rebuild themselves into a fair and honest political player, our only rational act is to do what we can to keep them out of power. This doesn’t mean become a Trump cheerleader, but for goodness sake, don’t jump in with them against Trump. There’s no upside to that. They are just trying to claw their way back into power so they can get back to bribing themselves and screwing us over.

It is time – past time, really – for everyone to make their choice. What do you want? Do you want the United States to do well, or do you want to tear down Trump because that makes you feel better? Remember, tearing down Trump – while making you feel better – will result in Democrats back in power. I fully expect that some of the stalwart Never Trumpers of today will find themselves, by 2020, full-fledged Progressive Democrats…arguing that a vote for Warren/Booker is a vote for decency. But for most Never Trumpers, I’m hoping that there is a turn to the better hope – a hope that Trump can do well; that we can help him do well. And by doing well, making our nation a better place to live. Let the Democrats do what they do. Don’t help them. Even if you don’t want to fight for Trump, don’t fight for them. Fight for America – and right now, the only way to do that is to somehow or another help Trump do what is right for America.

The Russians Ain’t Coming

For anyone to hold that a meeting between then-Senator Sessions and the Russian Ambassador is bad, what must be believed is that the Russians altered the results of the election. That’s it, folks – you have to get that deep into the paranoid, conspiracy theory weeds to even think the meeting had a nefarious aspect to it. This is stuff akin to believing that the Moon landing was faked.

Now, let’s think about a few things:

1. Since Trump has become President, there has been a push to revive American military strength. This is something the Russians won’t like.

2. Since Trump has become President, there has been a push to get NATO to increase its military strength. This, also, is something the Russians won’t like.

3. Our Ambassador to the UN has called the Russians out on their actions. This is, again, something the Russians won’t like.

4. Trump is pressing for a big increase in American oil and natural gas production, thus undercutting the prime source of Russian income. Obviously, Russians will not be pleased by this.

So, even supposing you want to get into the fever swamps and believe that Russia altered the election result, what are they getting for their efforts? It seems to me that if Trump is a Russian stooge (I’ve seen a Never Trump guy who claims to be a former intelligence agent claim that Trump has been a deep plant for the Russians for 30 years!), then Trump is massively betraying his benefactors. There is not a single policy proposal Trump has put forward which can be construed as being pro-Russian in its primary intent. Meanwhile, plenty of Trump policies are working directly against Russia.

Do you start to see the level of stupid we’re getting to here? But, never let it be said that the Republican Party isn’t up to the task: of course as soon as the bogus story broke about Sessions there were several GOP Congresscritters quick to call for an independent counsel. To look into what? That is something they won’t answer – save in general terms about “Russian influence”. But, you can’t let them do that – you have to bring it back to the bedrock of this insanity. The “influence” purported to have occurred was to change the result of the 2016 election. Why on Earth would anyone – even the most RINO GOPer there is – want to be attached to something as asinine as this?

I can only guess that even now, with Trump sworn in and moving ahead with policies that are pretty popular among the American people, the Establishment still wants to reverse the 2016 result. If they can’t get Trump out, then at least they want to hamstring him by firing off so many questions about his people that nothing can be done. Do keep in mind that a honest and fair Attorney General looking into what has been going on will result in a lot of people going to jail – Democrats, of course, but plenty of Republicans, as well. Don Surber has a good point in calling for Trump to invest in some oppo research…dig up the dirt on these Establishment clowns and hold it over their heads. But I think more is needed.

I’m disappointed that Sessions agreed to recuse himself – from what? Is what I ask. But even if there is something there, screw the niceties. I want Sessions to publicly lead the investigation not just into Russian but all foreign influence in the United States. I want to dig up all the pay for play influence peddling which we all darn well know is going on, and going on both sides of the aisle. We start indicting some of these clowns and they will know there’s a new sheriff in town and it’s time to cut it out with trying to undermine Trump. Beat him at the polls in 2018 and 2020, if you can, but no more of this “officials” leaking things.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry about politics before. I am utterly sick to death of this nonsense. An election happened; it went a certain way; deal with it. That we have to deal with insane, puerile nonsense while we’ve a nation to govern and a world to lead is too much. These people calling Trump a traitor based on a lunatic idea that he’s a Russian stooge – just let me note that the only people taking comfort from all this are armed enemies of the United States around the world.

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.