Never Trump Joins the Anti-American Left

Back in 2004 when this blog had a vastly larger audience than it does today, it occurred to me that the sure-fire way for us to become instantly rich and famous would be to pick a day and announce we were switching sides. Remember, that was the heat of the 2004 election season and this blog was originally built to support President Bush’s re-election effort. Had we, say, announced our switch in September of 2004, it would have made a splash – quite a large one. The specific issue to break over would have been the war, and the follow up would have been our denouncing the racist dog-whistles Bush was using to stir up white voters and get them to the polls. Naturally, we did no such thing: honorable people don’t set about lying to just to make a buck and get famous. Dishonorable people take a different view of the matter. And that brings us to Max Boot.

He’s written an article – part of a marketing effort for his book – in the Washington Post explaining his rejection of the Republican Party. Here’s the flavor:

…it’s obvious that the history of modern conservative is permeated with racism, extremism, conspiracy-mongering, isolationism and know-nothingism. I disagree with progressives who argue that these disfigurations define the totality of conservatism; conservatives have also espoused high-minded principles that I still believe in, and the bigotry on the right appeared to be ameliorating in recent decades. But there has always been a dark underside to conservatism that I chose for most of my life to ignore. It’s amazing how little you can see when your eyes are closed!

What he means by that is that the GOP embraced things like limitations on federal power, muscular opposition to the Soviet Union and its agents in the West, not wanting the power of the United States tied to the approval of the relentlessly anti-American UN and such. And that is fine: it is ok to be in favor of expansive federal power and to desire that the US get in step with the UN, but Boot doesn’t stop there. Our views are not informed by a different, rational view of the world…but in Boot’s view are the mere result of our ignorance, bigotry and racism. I said that the longer a Never Trumper remains Never Trump, the more likely that person will adopt outright Progressive views. And there you go.

Boot goes on to note that the Conservatism of modern America emerged not just in opposition to the Democrats’ New Deal liberalism, but also against Eisenhower’s moderate Republicanism. And in that he does have a point. Eisenhower – and the “Rockefeller Republicans” who followed him – was a disaster for the United States. Nearly as much as he was a disaster as Supreme Allied Commander in WWII (don’t get me started – but anyone who wants to argue against me will first have to justify the dead at Kasserine and the Bulge). The New Deal wasn’t an organic development of American politics, but an affront to the very ideals America was founded upon: the idea that a remote, federal bureaucracy can dictate the actions of people thousands of miles away is simply un-American (it is also immoral). It was (and remains) the ultimate duty of all right-of-center Americans to seek the undoing of FDR’s work and all that resulted from it. People like Ike – who seems to only have chosen the GOP out of convenience – wanted none of that. They made their peace with FDR and only asserted they would manage his un-American federal behemoth better than the Democrats would. But, what is the point of that? Why even have an opposition if it won’t, you know?, oppose what the other side is doing?

We’ve seen the result of having an opposition which doesn’t oppose: in the time since Buckley first raised the Conservative banner in opposition, we’ve gone from (officially) wanting to roll back the New Deal to being within an ace of having single-payer healthcare. And let’s not forget the rest of it: overall, it seems that about half of America’s births are out-of-wedlock. This didn’t just happen. We didn’t just slide from Social Security to Obamacare, nor did we accidentally forget to get married before having kids. This was deliberately advanced by the left – they wanted these results. Yes, even the out-of-wedlock births were desired by the left. Don’t fool yourself: the left hates the traditional family. The left sees it as a mere vehicle for the transmission of cis-hetero, patriarchal norms which perpetuate injustice.

There’s a book out there worth your reading: The Good Years, by Walter Lord. It covers American history from 1900 to the start of the First World War. This was America at flood tide. We were free. We were little taxed. Little regulated. The federal government took most of the Summer off each year. We only had a small standing army. We had no alliances with anyone in the world. We were growing richer and more powerful by the minute. There were problems and injustices, of course, and Lord notes them. Certainly the most egregious injustice in the United States in those days was the increasingly bad treatment of the African-American minority. But even that injustice was being effectively attacked. There was no doubt given time that America’s innate sense of fairness would have eventually cured the problems – and there was also no doubt that America was already the most powerful nation in the world.

The left essentially looked at that America and said, “it has to go”.

One of the events Lord goes over is the murder trial of labor leader Bill Haywood in 1907. Haywood was a far-left labor activist and the former governor of Idaho was murdered (via a bomb) by a man connected to Haywood’s organization. Now, during the trial, the American left went it’s usual full-blown nuts over the issue, asserting that justice couldn’t be had and that America was an oppressive, Capitalist dictatorship and that only socialist revolution could save us. They were rather deflated when the jury came back with a not guilty in the matter (it seems that while it was clear Haywood wasn’t opposed to blowing people up, the jury couldn’t find any evidence that he had a hand in the particular explosion which killed the former governor). But the main thing to understand is that even way back then, the left hated America and everything about it. The left was already ok with using violence to achieve its ends and it was already saying that America was irredeemable short of socialist revolution. Nothing has fundamentally changed from that day to this – and from that day to this, the efforts of the left have been directed at getting rid of America as it was back at flood tide.

Not just parts of it: the whole thing. That is what must be grasped. The left really is revolutionary. They might moderate their tone, but they never moderate their ends, and their end is a complete revision of the American order. Nothing which existed in, say, 1910, is to remain in place once the left has completed its task. Not the family. Not Christianity/religion. Not the free market. Not federalism. Not the Constitution. Not dissent from leftwing views. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. Not one thing is to remain. In its place the left has been erecting what they view as the correct morality. You and I say that, on the whole, it is better to get married first and then have kids. The left says otherwise, and has worked diligently (and with remarkable success) to impose its view. And, once again, this is all fine: people are allowed to press for the views they think best. But there are a couple things which aren’t ok:

1. Not actually opposing the left even though you say you are opposed to the left.

2. When you give up and switch sides, start using all the slanders of the left against your former compatriots.

The first is treason, the second is dishonest. I don’t know why some people said they were on a side, but not really and I just don’t know how anyone can simply insult – with lies they know to be lies – the people they were lately allied with. Because I’m not buying this “I now see they are racist” nonsense. It is a stupid lie on the part of people who are switching – but it is also integral to the switch. Remember, they are going left and the left is opposed to everything that is or was America – including such things as adherence to truth. The Never Trumpers have been told the price of admission, and it is to become opposed to everything they used to say they support. As part of a package, giving up being a truth-teller probably seems like small beans.

The truth of the matter is vastly different, as you’d expect. While the left – and their brand new, Never Trump adherents – are floating nonsense about “dog whistles” and such, the reality is that we on the right haven’t a racist bone in our body. In fact, as Conservatives, we can’t be other than opposed to injustice in all its forms. We’re American Conservatives, for crying out loud – what we’re trying to conserve is America. You know, all that bit about all men being created equal and government of, by and for the people shall not perish from the Earth? That’s us – that is what we want. To be sure, the left twists that around because that is what the left does. Because we want the laws obeyed, the left says this means we want a return to unjust laws of the past. You know: “you only want to be strict constructionists because then you can consider black people to be 3/5th of a person”. Garbage takes like that – which only a nitwit unversed in history could believe. No: what we want is the system of self government which allowed us to continually remake America into a place where ever large portions of the people had an equal say in government and were ever more able to work and build for themselves. The left rejects that; and so we oppose the left.

Remember what I said: the left wants all of what America was destroyed. Including those bits which you’d think everyone would like. You know: the ability of the people to change things. The left hates that aspect of America as much as any other and may, indeed, hate it the most. You think the left wants people to retain the ability to remake things? That once they have enacted their vision fully into American law and custom they’re going to allow people to come up and change it again? Give me a break! The purpose of the left allegedly championing the rights of oppressed minorities is not to get those minorities to be free and independent people, it is merely to use their plight to de-legitimize the United States (“how can you say America is good when Injustice X is allowed to exist!”). As far as that goes, leftists don’t give a tinker’s dam about what happens to black people or any other people: the fate of any individual person is inconsequential in the left’s view. The left, in power, wouldn’t hold a black man down because he’s black, but they’d sure in heck hold him down if he decided he didn’t want leftism. You might want to argue that it is better to be oppressed on account of opinion rather than race, but I don’t see the difference…and as I’m in favor of allowing everyone to be free regardless of race or creed, I think I’m on firmer ground here.

To give you an idea of how far the left is willing to go to change every last thing about America, the city council of Madison, WI recently voted to remove the gravestone atop the graves of Confederate soldiers who died in Wisconsin as POW’s. Click the link: it isn’t a heroic statue. Its nothing but a gravestone with the names of the dead inscribed. I’ll bet not one in a thousand Madison residents even knew it was there. But some leftist found it and made an issue about it. Because every, last thing which was America has to go. The dead, if they are the wrong dead, shall not even have a marker letting you know where they are. America is the left’s Carthage and it is to be destroyed and the ground sown with salt to ensure it never revives. And the Never Trumpers are ok with this. And, in truth, they likely always have been.

And I’m betting they are feeling relief. I’ve seen some Never Trump social media comments. They very much sound as if they come from people who, for years, heard their liberal friends shout “racist” at any dissenting voice and in their minds they were going, “I wish I could do that!”. It is hard to stand against the current – especially if your milieu is the media, where almost everyone is a leftist. I mean, think about it: you’re at a party or social gathering and 95 out of the 100 people there are of one view while you and four others are of a different view. Are you really going to stand tall? Or are you going to concede to the views of the overwhelming majority? Likely, most of them conceded…and now they’re just doing in public what they long ago did in private.

To be sure, for a while the Never Trumpers will make mild statements in favor of some vestigial, conservative view the left (temporarily) allows them to retain. You might get a rumbling about low taxes here and there; a small bit about de-regulation; maybe even a mild defense of freedom of conscience from these guys. But, it’ll be muted and, eventually, gone. They won’t be permitted to have it otherwise. Their new friends are not interested in hearing dissent, at all…and they certainly won’t put up with a Boot or a Nichols disturbing the waters with a heterodox view. Remember, the left is at war with all of America; and you can’t be friends with the left, for long, without subscribing to the whole lot of it.

It really is good riddance, here. Upon reflection, you start to realize why we on the right failed to make a strong appeal to minority voters: because making those appeals would involve speaking some truth. Truth is always denounced by the left, but they denounce with especially fury anyone who questions the left’s dogma about matters of race. Nothing scared these now-Never Trumpers more than an accusation of racism. We, on the other hand, ceased caring about such accusations long ago. Once you’ve been falsely called a racist a few hundred times, it loses it’s sting. For some years, now, we’ve wondered where is the bold plan to help lift up all those Americans who have been crushed by the imposition of leftism. Freed from any need to worry what hang-wringing do-nothings will say, we’ll be able to advance a much more bold series of proposals to reverse the errors of this past century. In return for this new-found freedom, the only downside is a few more braying asses on the left shouting false charges at us.

And, so, off we go into the future. It amuses me to watch these Never Trumpers. They are like people rushing to get the last ticket on the Titanic. Don’t worry, guys, the new CNN poll shows Democrats winning in a blowout next month! You’ll be fine! CNN is never wrong, you know? It’ll be fun to watch them realize they’ve joined the losers. And, of course, they will be welcome back, if they so choose – we don’t hold grudges over here (be careful, Never Trumpers: you’re liberal friends never let go a grudge). But we will require an apology, I think. You know: for lying about us.

Open Thread

Still lots of predictions out there about how the mid-terms will go – I was fiddling around with an interactive prediction site and as I ran thru it, I realized what was wrong: the Experts are rating a huge number of very Red districts as toss-ups. I realized it was the only way they could make out that the House is in play…by pretending there’s this massive Blue wave coming which will convince Red (not purple – bright Red) district voters (who almost certainly voted overwhelmingly for Trump) to place Pelosi back in control of the House. I’m sorry, but that’s stupid. There’s no indication that the GOP is abandoning Trump as it essentially did with Bush in 2006 (and continued to abandon the GOP in 2008 when McCain ran). To be sure, anything is possible – but I think the most unlikely thing in politics right now is Trump 2016 voters turning to the Democrats. Once I figured that out, I can through the prospects with my perception and I get the GOP to 220 House seats, at least…that is, if the Democrats have a good night. If the GOP has a good night, 236 GOPers come January. A one seat gain (getting gains above the current 235 is difficult because the districts are all so carefully drawn for maximum partisan advantage).

On the Senate side, I can’t see us coming away with less than 53 GOP Senators if the Democrats have a good night – that’s if they win FL, AZ and NV (with AZ and NV being two seats flipped from GOP to Dem). Now, if the GOP has a good night…well, let’s just say it can be good, great or gosh darned phenomenal, depending on the breaks. 59 is Great. Gosh darned phenomenal isn’t to be spoken out loud…it would be too good to be true. But there is a non-zero chance of gosh darned phenomenal happening.

Do remember to vote next month. Its pretty important.

In case you were wondering, Democrats are assessing their loss in the Kavanaugh fight and they seem determined on a change in tactics. They are promising to start getting aggressive and mean. No, seriously: they are whining on social media about how they were too nice during the Kavanaugh battle. Get ready for one heck of a poop storm – and if the Democrats have a bad night in November, board up your windows.

There were rumors Trump was getting ready to fire Rosenstein but Trump scotched those and now says he and Rosenstein are best buddies. Which leads me to believe that Rosenstein was told by Trump that Trump was the boss (a completely correct statement) and Rosenstein agreed with that assertion. Rosenstein is swamp through and through…but the thing about draining a swamp is that you need the cooperation of at least some swamp dwellers (they know where the drains are, after all). We’ll see how this pans out. I’ve learned enough this past couple years to trust Trump’s judgement.

Allahpundit has fallen very far in the Trump era – now he’s rehashing biased polls to make what he thinks is a point. He’s slobbering in the link over a CNN poll of 1,009 adults (not registered voters, not likely voters, but adults…nearly half of whom won’t even vote in November). It naturally over-samples Democrats and under-samples Republicans. But, that is the old line of Conservatism all over…looking for reasons to surrender. A poll like this is designed to give a squish a reason for surrendering. “Look! There’s a poll saying we’re unpopular! Abandon ship! Ahoy!”. Yadda, yadda, yadda. As if any of that means anything. I’m so glad we’re giving these people the boot. It was long overdue.

A memo apparently went out saying that it is just wrong for the GOP to gloat over the Kavanaugh victory. It was all over the MSM and Social Media…naturally with the Never Trump weenies joining. We’re not supposed to win and when we do win, we’re not supposed to feel joy. Think about this – the left tried to win by claiming a boring, married judge was some sort of serial monster and they lost. And we’re supposed to bow our heads and be ashamed. Seriously: why did we put up with this garbage for so long?

Don Surber notes that Trump did the right thing – he apologized on behalf of the United States to Kavanaugh and his family.

The Never Trump Betrayal

Ace brings up an article by David Horowitz about the Never Trumpers. The genesis of Horowitz’ article was a particular Tweet by Jonah Goldberg:

Re-asking a question I’ve been posing for three years: Please come up with a definition of good character that Donald Trump can clear.

To which Horowitz eventually replied:

He has an amazing family. He’s loyal to a fault. He loves the country that gave him a privileged life, He works around the clock for ordinary Americans, & their security. He would never appoint a treacherous individual to head the CIA. Wake up Jonah.Its a war & u cant be neutral.

Which, in turn, generated this reply from Goldberg:

This is total nonsense David. He’s not loyal to a fault. He’s not loyal to his wives. Read up on how he treated Roy Cohn ffs. He doesn’t work around the clock. He won’t read and won’t stop watching TV. I can’t tell if your head is up your ass or his.

Which is usually how it goes – Never Trump makes a blanket statement. Trump supporter offers a polite response which calls into question the Never Trump statement. Never Trump then gets really pissy and vulgar. I did a response, myself, fairly much in tune with Horowitz’ but I didn’t get a response. Not important enough – usually, the Never Trump in question just blocks me (I’m blocked by an awful lot of them…and others that have muted me).

You should read Horowitz’ whole article on it, but here’s the meat as far as I’m concerned:

The posture of these NeverTrumpers is transparently self-serving. It preserves their intellectual credentials as “conservatives,” and simultaneously takes them out of the line of fire from an increasingly vicious Left whose goal is to destroy Trump and his presidency, and—incidentally—conservative America. Sitting on the fence affords them new career opportunities—appearances on CNN and MSNBC and columns in the New York Times. All that’s required is that they avoid taking sides in the political war that is engulfing the country. All this reminds me of a memorable Trotsky sneer about liberals, whom he accused of being reluctant to step into the stream of political conflict because they were afraid to get their moral principles wet.

The main thing, in my view, about people like Goldberg and the rest of the Never Trumpers is that they refused their office. The Never Trumpers were provided position, wealth, and a megaphone in order to fight for us – because we, the regular folks, don’t have the time for it. We’re of the right – we have jobs and families to attend to. And not just jobs, but jobs where concrete results are demanded. The left has its legions of layabouts who have all the time and money in the world to engage in politics. We on the right don’t have that – and thus was set up things like NRO…and the whole host of publications and think tanks which were supposed to pitch into the battle with gusto, never giving the left a break and just hammering them relentlessly until the left was no more.

Trouble is, after five decades of doing this, we didn’t find ourselves on the verge of repealing Social Security, but on the verge of enacting Socialized medicine. The Conservative movement failed. Failed utterly. It was beaten at the game of politics thoroughly. It had become a sad and, at times, sick joke – we all just waited for the Conservative Movement surrender each time the left came up with a new demand. There are only two explanations for it:

1. Cowardice.

2. Treason.

Either they were afraid to fight the left, or they actually wanted the left to win – in either case, they were running a con. Just hoping they could be top of the Conservative heap and have honors and rewards without ever having to accomplish anything. And they dare to say Trump is a man of no character? People who lost every damned battle for 50 years have the gall to shoot arrows at someone else? How about at least a bit of humility, guys? Any chance of that, Jonah? Any even mild acknowledgement that you failed us? Nope. None of that. Just insults hurled at the one guy who is actually winning. And, guys, winning it pretty easy…showing the the left is a paper tiger. It could have been smashed, easily, time and again for the past 50 years. It just wasn’t. Which is why I go more towards “treason”…the understanding that these guys really didn’t want Conservatism…just some lower taxes and maybe a more muscular military than the left, as a whole, did. I think that Trump’s success, far more than any character flaw, is really what is getting their goat…he’s done more for Conservatism in 18 months than they did in 50 years…heck, he’s on pace to surpass even Reagan in Conservatism. This vulgar, New York real estate mogul is besting them…and, grrrr, he also slept with a Playmate, the bastard!

My Dad explained to me when I was young that being honorable is only partially a matter of good morals and manners. He explained to me that my grandfather knew some bad men in his time – real criminals. But crooks you could trust. That might seem a paradox, but such is human life. My grandfather could make (completely legal, it should be stressed) business deals with the crooks on a handshake and everyone kept their end of the bargain. The bad guys might have been running illegal gambling operations, but if they said they’d do X for you in return for Y, X would be done. The key, my Dad explained, was keeping your word. We’re all weak and prone to sin – we’ll also do a lot of things we’ll regret at a later date. It is, in a very real sense, something we can’t help…we’re human and prone to sin. But to break one’s word requires a special act of will. If I say I’ll do something for you…then I’m either going to do it, or I’m not. Unless I am dead, then I have to either perform, or prove myself faithless. I have to keep my word – because it is, in the end, all I’ve got. If you don’t trust me to keep my word, then what use am I to you?

The Conservative movement didn’t keep it’s word to us – they promised us an end to the New Deal and the Great Society in return for our loyalty. They delivered us “bake the cake” and an inch away from single payer healthcare. What good are they to us, now? Why should we trust them in the future? Meanwhile, Trump is keeping his word. He might be a vulgar lout. He might be everything bad they say about him…but, so far, he’s proven trustworthy…and that’s not only a definition of good character Trump clears, it is really the most important definition of character there is.

Open Thread

Lot of people seem to think we’re supposed to respect Mueller because he had an excellent record in Vietnam. I don’t buy that – history is littered with fine junior officers who wound up lousy generals, or lousy political leaders. People are what they do – and no past action either permanently lifts up or casts down a person.

Legal Insurrection is saying that Mueller should put up or shut up: his probe, run through our political system, is tearing this nation apart. If he’s got the goods on Trump, let’s hear what they are. If he doesn’t, he should say so. And none of this “ongoing investigation” BS. Tell us, one way or the other.

South Africa is moving down the Zimbabwe route – now with a proposal to expropriate white-owned land without compensation. This will do nothing for South Africa’s poor – who, for the most part, don’t know how to farm. It will inflame racial tensions and give an excuse for the Ruling Class to remain in power. I’ve read lots of things about South Africa of late and none of it is good: but those thinking that the world will lift a finger to help white South Africans are fooling themselves. Now is the time to get out of South Africa, if you can. Flee. Run away. Go somewhere else. Today. It’ll only get worse from here. I do have sympathy, but it was also rather baked in that it would come out this way: there was no way the post-Apartheid government was going to provide the sort of wealth black South Africans thought they’d have if only Apartheid came to an end. Hopes were raised and are now completely dashed…and the ANC does not propose to surrender power simply because they didn’t deliver on their promises.

We all figured that Never Trump, beyond a certain point, would become Democrats – and we were right:

…according to speculation reported by POLITICO, former McCain 2008 chief strategist Steve Schmidt may go one step further: He’s reportedly thinking about signing up with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, possibly former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

The good news is he’d likely do as well for Schultz as he did for McCain.

Good riddance.

I don’t have too many Progressive followers on Twitter. No more than a handful as a matter of fact. Twitter is very tribal: for the most part, no one wants to listen to the other side on that platform. But there is one I do have and I admire the guy (or gal; can’t tell if the account holder if male or female): I think him wrong, but he is sincere in arguing for what he thinks is right and he’s honest and never gets nasty. I think he follows me for the same reason. Over the years we’ve had some fun discussions…but lately, we’ve both been sliding towards being angry at the same people. Or, at least, the same sort of people. You know: I despise Never Trumpers…this guy despises Neo-Liberals (as he calls them). In this, we’re both despising unprincipled people who merely latch on to a political party to serve their own, selfish ends. And what I’m thinking of late: just how large is a potential coalition of all people who despise the Establishment? And can Trump (and, believe it or not, McConnell) tap into this and create a FDR-size constituency to win the 2020 election in the manner that FDR won the 1936 election? Time will tell.

Open Thread

Max Boot goes full liberal – the MSM still describes him as a Conservative, but that is only so they can say, “see, there are Conservative critics of Trump”. The reality is that if you are a “Conservative” critic of Trump at this point, you’re consciously working for liberal victory. As I’ve said before, one can reasonably take exception to various Trump policies and actions…but where the rubber hits the road, we don’t need “Conservative” critics of Trump right now. Trump has plenty of non-Conservative critics and they’ll make sure every move he makes is loudly criticized. If one can’t say something nice about Trump, then just shut up and say something bad about liberals…you don’t have to be a Trump cheerleader, but at least get on the team and work for victory. The future beckons and, at most, you’ll have to deal with Trump for a little more than 6 years. After that, there are all sorts of great people that everyone right of center should be able to get behind without any qualms…but if you’re ripping on Trump, now, you won’t get to be part of that, later.

Lee University students demand that Vice President Pence not be invited to speak – thus providing yet another liberal in-kind donation to the Trump re-election effort of 2020.

If Manchin votes to confirm Kavanaugh, then he’s got a good shot at getting re-elected in November. This is good in that it pretty much guarantees that Kavanaugh will be confirmed…it is bad in that we’ll still have Manchin in the Senate. Glass half full…

Looks like Trump’s old lawyer Cohen may have taped some conversations between himself and Trump: they may be salacious in they might show Trump working on paying off some Playboy Playmate that he had a to-do with. My take on this was, initially, to Tweet out “I felt a great disturbance in the MAGA: as if 63,000,000 souls suddenly shrugged their shoulders and went about their business”. I don’t think our liberal friends realize how little we care that a billionaire may have had an affair with a Playmate. Yes, it is immoral. Yes: Trump should not have done that. Very much he should show true contrition for this (alleged) act. But, it is also none of my business and, at all events, it has no bearing on his actions as President, which are all I care about at the moment. It is also not illegal for billionaires to have sexual relations with Playmates; nor is it illegal to flash cash at them to keep quiet about it. My later take is: this is a gigantic violation of attorney-client privilege and Mueller and his troops are entirely out of control at this point. What possible connection could there be between Trump having sex in 2006 and Russian election meddling 10 years later?

This is for our Amazona:

I refer, here, to ending birthright citizenship.

The notion that simply being born within the geographical limits of the United States automatically confers U.S. citizenship is an absurdity — historically, constitutionally, philosophically and practically.

Constitutional scholar Edward Erler has shown that the entire case for birthright citizenship is based on a deliberate misreading of the 14th Amendment. The purpose of that amendment was to resolve the question of citizenship for newly freed slaves. Following the Civil War, some in the South insisted that states had the right to deny citizenship to freedmen. In support, they cited 1857’s disgraceful Dred Scott v. Sandford decision, which held that no black American could ever be a citizen of the United States.

A constitutional amendment was thus necessary to overturn Dred Scott and to define the precise meaning of American citizenship.

Liberals, naturally, went ballistic over this – and plenty of Never Trumpers tut-tutted about it. But however one wants to read the 14th Amendment, it is an absurdity to think that just because a kid is born on American soil he or she now has all the rights and privileges of an American citizen.

Open Thread

The DNC/MSM/Never Trump combine went ballistic over the Trump/Putin presser. I didn’t watch it, but I did see it explode in real time over social media. We seriously had people calling for the overthrow of the United States government to “save” us from Putin’s stooge, Trump. Plenty of people on the right – almost all Never Trump, but a few weak kneed others, as well – joined in. Given that this happened in conjunction with the discovery and an alleged Russia-NRA (yes, you read that right) connection to undermine America starting in 2015, it was all clearly scripted to be part of battle space prep for November. Do lay that to heart: everything that will show up in the news relating to politics from now until November will be battle space prep.

The more mundane reality is that Trump has Putin over a barrel and Putin knows it – so, it is time to make nice with the USA until we return an idiot like Obama to power. We’ve checkmated Putin in Syria and in the rest of the Middle East; our increasing oil production is putting a huge strain on the Russian economy; beefing up military forces in Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe means there are no more easy pickings for Putin; our calls for NATO to re-arm may create a long period of time when Russia has to behave. Trump, also no fool, knows that while Russia can’t wreck us, they can cause plenty of trouble, and if that trouble can be avoided by making a bit of nice with Putin, no worries.

In 2017, the nation which reduced its carbon emission the most was the United States…which shows that the Paris treaty and all other climate treaties are hot garbage.

Lisa Page testified again on Monday (another reason for the Dems, etc, to have a meltdown over Russia) and was apparently cooperative. I don’t know, of course, but I think she’s flipped on the Deep State.

Meathead made a movie about the Iraq war called Shock and Awe. It opened this past weekend. You didn’t go see it. Hardly anyone did. It grossed $41,000.00 (yes, forty one thousand dollars). Get woke, go broke is becoming a common thing…but more certain is it that if you tangle with Trump, you will lose…mostly because you first have to go insane before you tangle with Trump.

Real Conservatism

So, Jonah Goldberg advised the other day that one can be pro-abortion and be Conservative…in fact, he later went on to say, in effect, that just about anyone can be Conservative. I, naturally, took exception to this attitude and in some Twitter responses, gave my ideas:

Not really. Conservatism, if it is anything, is a defense of faith, family and property. Being atheist and/or in favor of abortion means you cannot defend two of the three main elements Conservatives seek to conserve. I don’t know of this is part of Goldberg’s possible “evolution” on certain issues to make himself acceptable to the left, but it is complete nonsense as a Conservative opinion.

To be sure, an atheist or pro-abortion person could *selectively* support certain elements of a Conservative philosophy, but doing such doesn’t make one Conservative. It just makes one not a complete fool. There is truth and there is falsehood. There is right and there is wrong. It is false, for instance, to think there is any moral justification of abortion. And no Conservative would ever place himself in the position of defending falsehood.

I think Goldberg illustrates what happens when someone is wise enough to reject the most obvious bad aspects of liberal ideology but fails to see that the entire liberal idea is inherently wrong. Such “Conservatism” is a mere matter of style. No one with above room temp IQ, after all, wants to entirely embrace an ideology which is laughably wrong about so much. But there’s a gulf between that and being actually Conservative

Later, I went on to note that Goldberg’s version of Conservative giggled while the social fabric of our society was ripped to shreds. That version of Conservatism is, officially at least, strong on such things as defending free speech and the Second Amendment, but it never even tried to defend average folks against the assault launched by the left not just on the concept of morality, but on the very concept of Truth. To people like Goldberg, it was ok that people were out there saying there’s no such thing as Truth – they defended people saying that. The proper response is that while people are allowed to say it, they should be hated for saying it and, as far as practical, not given a public platform to shout such a vile absurdity. Like this: there was an attitude of anger that Conservatism was driven from college campuses, but no anger that Conservatism didn’t drive away those arguing that Truth is a social construct.

Think about it: would you or anyone be in favor of allowing in a medical school professorship someone who asserted that all disease is a mere matter of mind? There are people who believe that – that we get sick only because our minds are sick and if we’ll just get our minds right, our illnesses would vanish. Of course we wouldn’t want such idiots teaching in a medical school…but its no different when we allow someone to teach in a philosophy class that Truth doesn’t exist. The very assertion negates itself: if Truth doesn’t exist, then it is untrue to say that Truth doesn’t exist. Yet we allow such people to poison the minds of college kids all the time and no one in the so-called Conservative movement ever so much as hinted that such people should be driven out. And the reason we never had a Conservatism that would do that is because our Conservatism hasn’t been about conserving the things which need conserving: Faith, Family, Property. If those things aren’t your concern, then you’re going to be functionally ok with Progressives doing their thing. You’ll end up only caring that taxes be kept low so you can make money and live well, insulted from the effects of social disintegration.

You see, I don’t think the Conservative movement was really interested in defending things like the Second Amendment – that rose up from below: the people did that. Conservative leaders only got on board when, de-facto, that issue gave them a Congressional majority in 1994. Prior to then, there was no Conservative-led effort to protect or expand Second Amendment rights…and I feel confident that if it ever became a political liability to support the Second Amendment, the movement Conservatives would drop it like a bad habit. Same with abortion – the pro-life movement is entirely grass-roots, and it gets no real help from the Conservative leadership. Just a bit of lip service…and now that plenty of Conservative leaders are locked into Never Trump, they are starting to “evolve” on the abortion issue.

When your desire is to defend Faith, Family and Property, you start getting a different view of what is important. This is why, I think, Conservatives like me are ok with Trump’s background, which is clearly hedonistic (he might not be, now, but he certainly was once upon a time). It isn’t important – what is important is Trump doing things which people like me perceive as a defense of Faith, Family and Property. Trump’s adherence to the Rule of Law (his endlessly repeated demands that Congress take action, eg) is crucial to the defense of all three Conservative ideals. He’s done more for the pro-life movement than any other Conservative President, ever. You guys all know I was a vigorous supporter of the younger Bush…but let’s face the fact, for all his clear moral qualities, he never moved the ball in the pro-life direction. Am I supposed to be more happy with W on this, or Trump? Sorry, but I have to be more happy with Trump. He’s doing the things I think need doing.

You also start prioritizing things based on your ideals. For instance: while understanding that free markets are always better than regulated markets and that trade between nations is a good thing, you start to look around and realize that, still, the market and trade have to be at the service of Conservative ideals, not the other way around. What good is it to have a completely free market and completely free trade if my fellow Americans are thrown out of work and their small and mid-sized communities destroyed because the textile mill was moved to China? Understanding that sometimes a business has to die, you still start looking around…and once you do, you start to realize some things. First and foremost, that the United States rose from agricultural backwater to global economic dominance under Protection. That while we were under Protection, we still did massive trade with the world. That a free trade agreement many hundreds of pages long and regulated by faceless bureaucrats is likely not really a free trade agreement but is, instead, a mechanism whereby those juiced in get special rake-offs. Finally, and most important, that whatever else we do, we still need to make, mine and grow most of our own stuff because that is both economically healthy and necessary for national security.

The leaders of the so-called Conservative movement never got ’round to thinking about any of that. Give the TruCons their way, and we’ll have low taxes and all our things will be made overseas and, in the by and by, every last bit of Progressive drivel about social relationships will be enshrined not in law, but in a series of Supreme Court dictates. I’d rather not, thanks very much. I happen to think that not only I, but my most vigorous opponents would do better under a genuinely Conservative governance. They might officially hate some aspects of it, but they’ll very much like the stability, rule of law and peace and prosperity that it affords. To me, to allow anything liberal or Progressive to happen is a degrading failure: that we might, in a pluralist society, have such things happen is a given…but any real Conservatism is going to fight to prevent any of it from happening. A lost political battle is a lost political battle: but what our Conservative leaders have done is merely surrender, again and again, each time the Progressives really pressed an issue (except on taxes, of course: but, here, you must note, our Conservative leaders had Progressive allies…even among the left, there are those wise enough to know that if you overtax everything, you destroy everything).

I guess, by now, I’m Deplorable. Perhaps so. But, if so, I’m in some fine company. I defy any TruCon out there to say that Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, was anything but the most rigid Conservative. And here’s what he had to say:

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

It is ok, then, to be Deplorable. Such provides the insipid common sense. I’m not an expert. Neither is Trump. Neither are all those people with MAGA hats and American flags on their social media pages. Most of them not only can’t quote Locke, they have no idea the man ever existed. They don’t know the exchange rate between Chinese and American currency. Heck, some of them would probably have trouble pointing to China on a map. But they are the people who make this country work – they grow up, get married, have kids and go to work. They work their whole lives and build up a small savings and then propose to have a quiet retirement until they die and are replaced by people who are almost indistinguishable from them. They want peace and quiet in their neighborhoods and around the world. They might gossip a bit about what the neighbors are doing, but they far more often just mind their own business. They don’t care what religion another person has, nor about what political creed they adhere to. In the day to day, they only care that a person is honest and pulls his or her weight. They have no objection to providing even generous assistance to anyone down on their luck, but they can’t stand to see someone laying about on purpose. They love their country and, if called upon, will fight and die for it. They are the True Conservatives…they are Conservative, even if they can’t articulate it. I’m with them: the Real Conservatives…and all I do will be to defend them doing what they do.

Open Thread

The Philadelphia Eagles have decided to make a massive, in-kind donation to Trump’s re-election effort: Trump has disinvited them to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory because some players are still carping about kneeling during the anthem. Trump has this ability to make his opponents do stupid, self-destructive things. It is why I consider his re-election in 2020 to be near-certain. Right now, he’s got them once again defending kneeling during the anthem – not even a couple weeks after they thought the NFL had put the issue to rest.

The EU and Italy are in dispute about economic and migration policy – with the Italian government bucking against EU-imposed economic strictures and also not happy at all with what the EU has utterly failed to do with Italy’s influx of migrants. Powerline has a nice run-down on what is at stake. The biggest problem with the EU is that the people didn’t create it. They were willing to go along with it while it, apparently, ensured prosperity and peace…but right now, especially in places like Italy, it is providing neither…and the people of Italy are getting fully awake to the reality that no people of Europe gets to set EU policy…it is all set by un-elected bureaucrats who hold the people of Europe in profound contempt.

Don Surber notes how Trump just plays the MSM like a fiddle – this time over whether the President can pardon himself. The reality: Trump is working to make the 2018 mid-terms at least in part a referendum on whether or not he should be impeached. He knows – as I’ve long known – that if it is a central issue, his Trumpsters will troop to the polls in numbers never seen in a mid-term election. Naturally, the MSM is falling for it.

Bill Clinton, being Bill Clinton, got himself all bollixed up over questions about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Kurt Schlichter has been pointing out – as I have, too – that Never Trump is a gateway drug to being a Progressive. Here’s your proof.

Smart and Dumb

Lots of discussion of late about smart and dumb – mostly Progs and Never Trumpers saying they are smart while Trump and we Deplorables are dumb. Let’s examine that a bit.

Real genius is rare. So rare, in fact, that it hardly ever shows up. Plenty of people are given the title these days, but that is merely a reflection of our Participation Trophy society. For instance, various pop stars have been called geniuses…which is absurd when you compare them to Mozart, who really was a genius (he started composing at five years old, guys). Now, this isn’t to say that some people aren’t very talented – many are. Some of them even approach genius…but genius has this thing about it: it isn’t bound by what has come before. That is the mark of it – when you see someone striking off in a new direction that no one suspected was there before, there’s your genius.

You can’t force genius to be – it seems to be innate in some people. They just have a mental ability (probably a combination of genetics and environment) which simply moved their mind into a new groove which we non-geniuses can’t see (but the most perceptive of us can perceive..and thus allow genius to go its way, only occasionally tapping on the breaks so the genius, in exuberance, doesn’t drive us mere mortals off a cliff). This doesn’t stop people from trying – “gifted” courses in school are a symptom of this; a genius doesn’t need a gifted course. The genius is going to go someplace new long before you even know where he’s going. Quite often, a genius is going to be a flop in school, as it turns out…not for lack of understanding, but because they understand it too well almost intuitively and are bored with it and want to move on to whatever it is that is interesting them.

How many geniuses have we had? Well, in Western Civilization (which I am most familiar with) I count maybe seven or eight in the last 300 years. Mozart, already mentioned…but also MacArthur, Einstein, Lincoln, Bismarck, Napoleon, Churchill, Van Gogh…maybe a few others. And it is a debatable subject. One man’s genius might be another man’s merely talented person. You’ll note that I didn’t include Edison…because I view him as a product of his time who took a systematic view of how to get things done; but there wasn’t a lot of “flash of genius” in his work…just a lot of hard work and persistence (which is invaluable, by the way). The bottom line is that even if you add a few more to my list (and take a few away from it), you’re not talking a lot of people. Three political geniuses in 300 years: Bismarck, Churchill and Lincoln (all three charted a course no one could see; all three were despised not merely by their opponents, but by most of their allies, most of the time). And keep in mind that Bismarck, for all his genius, was the ruin of a civilization. We’re on our 45th President, and we’ve only had one genius (as an aside, I think the only other President who might be considered a genius is Teddy Roosevelt…nearly as much of a disaster as Bismarck, but clearly a man of gigantic intellect and talent).

Most of us are not geniuses, of course. And even geniuses can be quite stupid at times. A story I once read said that Newton got himself a pet cat and cut a hole through his door so the cat could go in and out at will. In the fullness of time, this cat had three kittens. The great genius pondered this event and after profound reflection, cut three, smaller holes in the door. Most of us are average, or at least our intellect clusters around the human average (which is why its called the average). Some few are very stupid, and some equally few are very smart. We can’t rely on either supreme stupidity or supreme intelligence: it is too rare to take into account in our day to day actions. Most of the time, we just have to go forward as best we can and assume that everyone else is pretty much just like us – smart, but not that smart and thus capable of astonishing error.

The problem we have with our Progressives and Never Trumpers is that they really do believe that they are all extra smart. In the quiet of their hearts, they probably (most of them) account themselves geniuses. They assume their superior intellect and thus expect us to obey – after all, if we were smart like they are, we’d be just like them. It is nonsense – most of them are no smarter than any of us. It is almost certain that none of them are geniuses, just as it is almost certain that none of us are. That there might be a genius on their side (just as there might be one on ours) is a chance so small as to not be worth considering. And, main thing, if there is a genius, then that person (whatever side he or she might be on) is likely despised by everyone else…that is another problem geniuses have; being so intelligent and able to see things that others can’t, most people mistrust them and think they are doing something wrong (as in morally wrong). And if there is a genius on either side, that person is going to take (drag, really) there side in a direction they never wanted to go and award them astonishing victory they kicked furiously against.

Last thing on this: another thing about genius is you can’t always tell its there until after it has completed it’s task. So many people are carping and complaining, and public doubts are so stirred up, that the sheer brilliance of the course isn’t recognized until the destination is reached and everyone starts going, “wow; this is cool!” after the fact.

Only Conservatism Can Sustain Democracy

Kevin Williamson is becoming something of a favorite of mine lately – because he’s so consistently wrong, that it’s rather fun to read him and then go over the ways that he is wrong. It also helps that he’s a splendid writer. Anyways, he’s got a new article in Commentary about Democracy – Liberal or Militant. It is well worth a read. I was going through it and kind of checking off the wrong as I went along, but this passage was the first which seemed worthy of a direct response:

…a more immediately pressing question is whether liberalism can contain democracy—it is mass democracy itself, not jackbooted stormtroopers, that poses the most dangerous threat to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, property rights, and other fundamentals of citizenship. It is the democratic mob, not an autocratic elite, that demands conformity in life and thought and speech, and brooks no dissent…

The short answer to that is, of course, that liberalism cannot contain democracy. Liberalism is incompatible with democracy. It would take a whole book to write down everything wrong with liberalism, but among liberalism’s many failures is that it is anti-tradition. And tradition is crucial to the success of democracy. A quick bit by Chesterton on this:

But there is one thing that I have never from my youth up been able to understand. I have never been able to understand where people got the idea that democracy was in some way opposed to tradition. It is obvious that tradition is only democracy extended through time. It is trusting to a consensus of common human voices rather than to some isolated or arbitrary record. The man who quotes some German historian against the tradition of the Catholic Church, for instance, is strictly appealing to aristocracy. He is appealing to the superiority of one expert against the awful authority of a mob. It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated, and ought to be treated, more respectfully than a book of history. The legend is generally made by the majority of people in the village, who are sane. The book is generally written by the one man in the village who is mad. Those who urge against tradition that men in the past were ignorant may go and urge it at the Carlton Club, along with the statement that voters in the slums are ignorant. It will not do for us. If we attach great importance to the opinion of ordinary men in great unanimity when we are dealing with daily matters, there is no reason why we should disregard it when we are dealing with history or fable. Tradition may be defined as an extension of the franchise. Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross.

You see, it wasn’t the Constitution that preserved our liberties until just recently – it was tradition. Sure, sure: the words were written down and there was even reference made to the words in various laws and court cases. But the fundamental fact of life is that all the written words in the world don’t amount to a hill of beans if people don’t live by them…and they’ll only live by them via tradition. Why was it unthinkable for FDR to seek a third term in 1940? Because Washington had served two terms and then voluntarily stepped down, even though he could easily have obtained another term (indeed, he could have had the office for life, if he wanted). It became tradition – and even some very successful and popular Presidents felt bound by it and refused to run for a third term. Who broke the tradition? An autocratic elitist by the name of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It should be noted that Roosevelt’s vote total dropped by 400,000 from 1936 when he ran for re-election in 1940 – and this when the country, as a whole, was doing much better than it had been in 1936; while the GOP vote total increased by about five and a half million. Seems that some of the regular folks out there just didn’t like this break with tradition.

But, at least there wasn’t a law prohibiting it. So, there was that. But once you start setting aside tradition, then no tradition is safe. Just a few years later, the President of the United States committed us to war in Korea without a Congressional declaration of war. This action would have been unimaginable even ten years previously. It kinda went downhill from there – to Vietnam; to using the FBI to spy on Americans; to vile, little CIA actions around the world; to refusing to enforce laws against subversion and espionage because the party in power would take a big hit from it; to the use of friendly judges to enact into law things which no Congress would ever approve; to the bureaucracy entering into extra-legal agreements with pressure groups to de-facto make law outside of Congressional or judicial action; to, now, parts of the federal bureaucracy attempting to annul the results of a Presidential election because they don’t like the man who won.

None of this was done by popular demand. The crude and rude mob of American democracy wanted none of this. Because the crude and rude American democracy still clings to its traditions. Most of these people can’t put it into words and couldn’t quote Locke if their lives depended on it, but they know that the law is supposed to apply to everyone; that Congress is supposed to make the laws; that judges are to merely interpret the law; that the bureaucracy is supposed to do as it is told, not as it might want to do. The American democracy watched for decades as autocratic elitists twisted our system to their own liking and increasingly refused to even give lip service to the desires of the people. In the end, they voted Trump – someone as rude and crude as they are. And there is Trump – trying mightily to actually make the system work as it is supposed to work. You know: getting Congress to actually pass laws to do things; curbing the courts via the appointment of judges who know their proper place; insisting that the bureaucracy obey orders. And who is pushing back against this? Not the mob of American democracy…but the very autocratic elitists which Williamson thinks a lesser threat than the mob.

Williamson does note some of the outrages going on out there – specifically some of the anti-freedom actions along the lines of people trying to suppress dissenting voices and so forth. But it isn’t the people demanding this. A few thousand carefully organized demonstrators shouting for, say, Exxon to be destroyed in the name of fighting climate change isn’t the American democracy on display. It is what it is: a carefully orchestrated pressure group designed to give the appearance of popular support. It is created, organized and led by autocratic elitists. If you ask the Average Joe out there, you wouldn’t find one in a hundred who wants to punish Exxon…even among those who believe that climate change is real. No, the shouting mobs of zealots represent no one but a few elitists who want various climate change actions taken because such actions will increase their personal power and wealth.

The cure for what ails us isn’t to curb the mob – it is to allow the mob to rule. I know, we’re all supposed to be opposed to that, but I think our kneejerk disdain for the mob is built into us by a century of propaganda by elitists. You, my friends, are the mob – and either you will rule, or the elite will. Pick which one. As for me, I’ll trust myself to the good sense of the sometimes foolish, often ignorant American people…because, in the end, their core desire is that everyone be left alone to live their lives as they see fit. In a fit of anger they may howl for my blood, but once they calm down a bit they’ll leave me be. Meanwhile, the elite is relentless in its pursuing hatreds. For 60 years, for instance, my Christian views have been hounded until we are now very much a post-Christian nation, and yet these elites continue to demand the complete destruction of my Christianity. The very existence of it inflames them…and they’ll never, ever quit.

Liberals of old had some fine things to say – some good ideas, that is. But they were only good ideas when they were the fulfillment of American tradition. It was liberal to extend the franchise to all men and women…but it was only good because it helped to reinforce the Conservative, traditional idea that we will rule ourselves. And here’s something to ponder – some of the very same liberals who were pushing to enfranchise women in the early 20th century were also working diligently to cut the voting public out of decision-making via a strengthened federal government which would manage the country in spite of what the people might want. Think of all the things going on in this country you don’t like – pretty much if you can name the abuse of power, it was an abuse which was imposed on us, via a judge or a bureaucrat, who took no notice of what the people might want…even if the people had clearly stated their desires at the voting booth. It is no real surprise that elements of the bureaucracy are trying to annul an election…it is just a culmination of what has been going on for a century. That is, it is merely the logical end to a government which decided, not too long ago, that it can take your private property and hand it over to another private entity because that entity promised the government more money. A bureaucracy which can get away with things like that is not likely to think that anything is out of bounds for it.

What we need to save freedom in this nation isn’t more laws or more effective expositions of Constitutional theory – what is needed is merely that the government obey the law, and submit to the will of the people in the creation of laws. Sure, the people might come up with some bone-headed ideas from time to time; like Prohibition…but it should also be noted that the people fixed that particular mistake rather rapidly. Meanwhile, gigantic mistakes like the EPA are now pushing 50 years on with no end in sight…and even relatively smaller mistakes like federal funding for Planned Parenthood can’t be spiked no matter how many pro-life Republicans people send to Congress. The mistakes of the people may be fabulous, but they are usually short-lived…while the mistakes of the Elite seem to go on forever.

Let us endeavor to have the people make our own mistakes, rather than having mistakes imposed on them. Let we, the people rule – and we’ll likely rule most often much better than the elites have. After all, no genuinely fascist or communist or Nazi government really rose to full power via the people…Mussolini’s fascists seized power; communists in various nations directly seized power or infiltrated their way into total power; the Nazis got into office via a shabby political deal among the elites (in the last really free election of pre-Nazi Germany, Hitler’s goons only secured 33% of the vote). I’ll trust my fellow Americans, knowing that in the end, they’ll give me a fair deal.