Here’s hoping this post makes it past the Google censors.
“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good. In area after area – crime, education, housing, race relations – the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation. The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.” ~Thomas Sowell, Is Reality Optional?, 1993
(C)onservatism is not so much based on ideas, but on simply observing what works, and then generalizing from there. – Dr. Robert Godwin
If not for my heresy of voting for Trump, I might be redeemed – but I would never be trusted.
I started blogging in May of 2003 after spending time in the trenches of Usenet, on bulletin boards, and as a contributor to a failed experiment known as Themestream. Why? Because I was pissed. I forgot to mention that in my CV. I’m a pissed off old(er) white cisgendered heterosexual male.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that this pissed-off white cisgendered heterosexual male is also a Debbie Downer. I’m a pessimist by nature. I’ve said that being a pessimist is generally a pretty good way to go through life – you’re seldom disappointed and occasionally pleasantly surprised. I’ve had very few pleasant surprises recently.
This post is no different. You’ve been warned. Logorrhea to follow.
I’ve spent the last twenty-six years figuring out how this nation got to this point. I’ve read dozens of books, hundreds of court cases, and gigabytes of essays, news stories, op-eds (but I repeat myself), white papers and blog posts. I’ve engaged in probably a hundred online arguments, and written the better part of a million words of my own (and quoted a lot of others.)
I said in my 2005 essay Other People’s Ideas:
Reasonable People is not a stand-alone essay (though it does stand quite well on its own). It’s the third (at least) in a series, beginning with True Believers, followed by March of the Lemmings. Hell, it’s part of a long ongoing theme here – coming conflict due to the the dichotomy between what works and how we’d like it to be. Eric Hoffer’s ideas simply reinforced a concept from an angle I hadn’t considered – a new rising mass-movement. But as soon as I processed his ideas it became pretty obvious what “Bush Derangement Syndrome” represents – the attraction of the “average person on the street” to the early stages of the movement. It is a movement capable, as Dr. Santy said, of “being able to convince normally sane people that the source of all evil in the world is George W. Bush.”
And that idea scares the shit out of me.
So please, pardon me for babbling.
If you’ve got an hour or six, you might want to skip this short piece and read those three links. After all these years I’m (largely) done repeating myself. However, I did babble on considerably since then. If you’ve got a couple more hours, read Metastasized Marxism and Endgame from last July. Nothing I’ve come across in the interim has changed my mind on that coming conflict though, only the villains have changed.
I concluded in 2012 that the United States as established under the Constitution in 1790 as Prof. Randy Barnett put it in his 2004 book Restoring the Lost Constitution, “a sea of liberty surrounding islands of government power,” was well and truly over. The majority of that part of the population engaged in voting had re-elected Barack Obama to the Presidency. Not that the Republican Party had done much of anything to stop him, but the damage was complete and irreparable. There was no way to fix it, and anyway, too few thought anything was broken. I decided, as the saying goes, to “embrace the suck” and ride this thing down to its eventual, inevitable crash.
Then 2016 rolled around. Hillary controlled the DNC to the point that she was finally the shoo-in nominee (after all, it was HER TURN!!), but Bernie’s popularity surprised everyone – except me. One hundred-plus years of public education made that predictable. What wasn’t predictable was the campaign of Donald J. Trump. While the Democrats have an iron-fisted grasp on their party apparatus, the Republicans are a bunch of fumble-fingered imbeciles by comparison. Trump destroyed his opposition, and from the Left it looked like they couldn’t possibly lose. The Most Qualified Woman in the World was running against an orangutan!
And then he won. The Left was so convinced of Hillary’s inevitability, they neglected to turn on the fraud machinery, and Trump’s team gamed the system expertly.
Against all logic I felt a little hope. The system wasn’t completely rigged. Since Trump was equally despised by the Democrats, the media (but I repeat myself) and the Republicans, the most I hoped for was four years of gridlock. As George Will once said “Gridlock is not an American problem, it is an American achievement!” Instead, against four years of unprecedented and steady attacks – spying, leaks, overwhelmingly negative media coverage and three years of “investigation,” Trump was actually able to accomplish things, many that his predecessors had labeled impossible or unwise. Except under Trump, they were possible, and the predicted negative consequences didn’t occur. A guy with zero prior political experience proved that career politicians were either incompetent or malign. After all, if you’re not part of the solution there’s a lot of opportunity in prolonging the problem.
Here’s just a very short list:
- The U.S. Embassy to Israel was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018. The “Experts” warned it would cause instability in the Middle East. Instead, at the end of 2020 we have three Middle Eastern nations signing treaties recognizing Israel’s existence, the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, with apparently more to follow.
- He pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. That was supposed to be a disaster, too, but we’re the only nation that met the targets of that agreement.
- He withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA agreements and renegotiated to get us better terms. That was supposed to be impossible.
- He finally treated the People’s Republic of China as a nation hostile to the U.S. (which it is) and got at least a few more people to realize it. The Experts were aghast.
- He got the leader of North Korea to a negotiating table, something no President since Truman had done, and he did so by threatening his life – which all the Experts said would cause WWIII. We’re all still here.
- He wrote a 2017 executive order requiring that for each new regulation promulgated on the nation, two existing regulations have to be removed. (Very few people know about that one.) Deregulation is to Experts as holy water is to vampires.
- Under his leadership the U.S. military effectively destroyed ISIS, and he didn’t start a single new conflict during the four years of his administration. In fact, he has actively tried to draw down our presence in the Middle East while facing severe pushback from the Experts.
- His tax cuts and deregulation boosted the economy in 2017, 2018 and 2019 far and away above the previous eight years of Obama. The “new normal” proved not to be.
No wonder they hate him.
So I felt some hope.
Bless your heart you poor sweet summer child.
For four years every media outlet save Fox News and talk radio demonized – and I use that word literally – Donald Trump and anyone who supported him. True, he didn’t help much with his Tweets, but all right-thinking people were told to despise the man. It was effective. We got “two minutes hate” against a modern Emmanuel Goldstein and his followers multiple times per day. It was obviously effective, spreading seeds on an already fertilized field. I’m not going to go into the 2020 election except to quote myself from the aforementioned Endgame,:
Trump has for the last four years shrugged off every attack as if he was dressed in Teflon coated Chobham armor, but now he’s up for reelection. Another four years of Trump will further damage the advancements that the Progressive Postmodernists have made over the last thirty years. So here’s the point (finally) of this essay:
The wheels come off the train and the train comes off the track in 2021, one way or the other.The End of America has been predicted by many people for quite some time. The Progressive Postmodernists appear to have decided that the time is ripe. The national debt cannot be ignored forever. The projected entitlement spending is unsupportable. All their preparation of the battle space through balkanization has brought us to this point. Black Lives Matter, itself organized and run by self-proclaimed Marxists, is the hinge on which the lid is swinging, but Pandora’s Box is certainly opening. I don’t think we’re going to stop the greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war, and death that will come flooding out of it, and there most likely won’t be much around afterward to put them back in.
Here’s my prediction: The 2020 election is going to be a clusterfuck. The Left does not intend to lose, and will do everything in its power to ensure that.
If the Democrats win, and they probably will since they’ll be cheating as hard as possible, they’ll take it as a mandate to really crank up the Progressive agenda, and the millions of us who haven’t swallowed that ideology will be their sworn deadly enemies. They have already weaponized the IRS and the Justice Department against Trump supporters, expect that to be cranked to 11 because the Deep State is deeply Progressive Postmodernist. There will be a breaking point. It might not be in 2021, but it won’t be long thereafter.
Things are “progressing” even faster than I had imagined.
As I illustrated in Endgame “politics” as “the art of compromise” is essentially over. We no longer have “the loyal opposition,” we have opposing enemy camps. The two sides have competing, mutually exclusive views of the way the world should work, and one side is convinced that anyone who opposes their agenda isn’t just wrong, but EVIL. The conflict is now religious in nature.
And I’ve repeatedly said, you don’t debate with Evil. You don’t negotiate with Evil. You don’t compromise with Evil. You pat it on the head until you can find a rock big enough to bash its skull in.
And full control of the government, they believe, is that rock.
This promises physical conflict. We’ve seen the beginnings of it with the riots last summer, and with the protest in Washington last week. It’s not going to go away, it’s going to get worse.
I’d like you to take a moment and read the quotes at the masthead of this blog. Re-read that last one. That’s Billy Beck’s 15 minutes of fame quote from 2009. It made the national news, as I recall. But Billy’s not promoting, he’s predicting. He’s stated plainly that a civil war would be an unmitigated disaster:
Here is the central problem surrounding what you people are talking about:
There is no coherent and cohesive philosophy underpinning it.
I don’t think he’s wrong. I do think there will be a “winner” though, and it won’t be the forces of liberty. “Coherent” has two definitions:
Coherent: (adj.) logically connected; consistent.
Neither side has that. Ours once did, but the public education system put paid to that early on. The other definition?
Sticking together; cohering.
Through the magic of identity politics the Left has produced coherence of a sort. It identified victim groups and one victimizer group, recruited victims, and got all them all to hate their victimizer. Eric Hoffer noted in his book The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements that
Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents. It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, makes him oblivious of his weal and future, frees him of jealousies and self-seeking. He becomes an anonymous particle quivering with a craving to fuse and coalesce with his like into one flaming mass. (Heinrich) Heine suggests that what Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred.
Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.
For eight years the Left had Ronald Reagan, then eight of G.W. Bush. For four years the Left had Donald Trump. Now they have his supporters, all 72 million of us, and possession of The Rock. That hate gives them coherence in the “sticking together” meaning, though they’re pretty incoherent otherwise.
Our side, as Billy noted, has no logically consistent underlying philosophy, and we’re not organized. This week we watched the Deep State, the media and Big Tech effectively silence a big chunk of their opposition. THAT’S organization. They don’t have a logically consistent underlying philosophy either, but THOSE cats are marching in formation. Liberté! Égalité! Fraternité! (Et sororité!) Amen and awomen!
And it will end as the French Revolution ended, with a sea of blood followed by that tyranny everyone’s shouting about. As James Lileks said, “Personally, I’m interested in keeping other people from building Utopia, because the more you believe you can create heaven on earth the more likely you are to set up guillotines in the public square to hasten the process., but that option seems off the table, now.
I said a few years ago that we needed a new version of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – the book that united a bunch of British colonists into a nation of Americans. I tagged Bill Whittle as the obvious author. He declined. No one else has stepped in, either, though Angelo Codevilla took a decent shot at it. I’ve concluded, though, that this never really had a chance to succeed. The public education system and Big Tech have guaranteed that the majority of the populace has the attention span of a flea (as illustrated by the acronym TL;DR), and is not interested in thinking. FEELING is the word of the day!
So I’m back to embracing the suck. Hold on tight, it’s REALLY gonna suck. I wonder what zoo animals taste like? I just hope to live long enough to find out.