Thursday, September 15, 2016
Is Hillary epileptic?
Those strange blue "sunglasses" Hillary has been wearing lately have now been identified as Zeiss f133 glasses, designed to prevent epileptic seizures. Can America afford an epileptic as Commander in Chief? Others are writing a lot on this (e.g. here) but you can be sure that vast efforts are being made to prevent any hard information getting out.
Even so, I think Hillary is finished. Her age has caught up with her. Those old bones can't hack it anymore -- unless she has a body double of course.
Inclusivity is something of a buzzword on the Left these days. It has always seemed complete nonsense to me. You don't include golf players in football games or vice versa. Far from being a good thing, inclusivity would seem to create one big muddle. Different people need to be treated differently, not herded into one big corral. It only makes sense if you believe the absurd Leftist doctrine that all men are equal. They may all be equal in the sight of God -- to quote a famous political compromise -- but God's optometrical difficulties are not widely shared.
I regard myself as having had a blessed life and at age 73 still laugh my way through the day. I don't sound very jolly in my writing a lot of the time but who could be jolly in discussing the slimy con-men of the Left?
Yet, as I have previously set out at some length, I have lived most of my life in a state of great exclusion. And I am delighted that I was able to separate myself from uncongenial company. Because "inclusivity" was not forced down my throat, I was free to go my own way and do my own thing. When most of my fellow pupils at school were running around chasing balls, I was reading books. From infancy on, chasing balls is clearly one of humanity's greatest pleasures but I much preferred books. And I could do that. I could separate myself from other people. I lived happily outside the big Corral. And to this day I have quite a small social circle.
So the great good to me seems to be discrimination. Each of us is very discriminatory in choosing things as diverse as our wine and our life partners so being discriminatory in choosing our company should be optimal for our life satisfaction. We do best by excluding the unsuitable, not by including it.
I suppose at this stage I must seem like a bit of a moron. I have been treating the desirability of inclusion as a general proposition. I think one does need to look at it in such an objective way but, in reality, it is a very particular policy goal hiding behind a generally good-sounding name -- in the usual Leftist style. Candy-coating their destructive proposals is what Leftists do.
What inclusion is all about was brought home to me by this article. The language was inclusion but the starting point of the article was was outrage at the occasional deaths of unco-operative black criminals at the hands of the police. Voila! Being inclusive means being nicer to blacks! That is the whole meaning and purpose of the doctrine concerned. I am all in favour of everybody being nice to everyone else but being permissive towards criminals of any skin color seems grossly maladaptive to me. They should be excluded, not included.
A defence of Trump
Trump is not the statesman I would have chosen for this moment. My preferences run toward Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, Reagan, and the like. Trump doesn’t measure up to any of them. But his flaws are overstated. One of the dumber things often said about Trump is that “you can’t trust him with the nuclear codes.” This statement, first, betrays a complete lack of understanding of nuclear command and control. More important, it’s an extraordinary calumny, one that accuses the man of a wish or propensity to commit mass murder on the scale of Pol Pot. On what basis does anyone make such an accusation? Can Trump be erratic, obnoxious, and offensive? Of course, he can be all that and more. But while these qualities are not virtues, they may well have helped him punch through the Overton Window, in which case I am willing to make allowances.
For this objection to be decisive, Trump’s personal immoderation would have to be on a level that aspires to tyrannical rule. I don’t see it. Not even close. The charge of “buffoon” seems a million times more apt than “tyrant.” And even so, one must wonder how buffoonish the alleged buffoon really is when he is right on the most important issues while so many others who are esteemed wise are wrong. Hillary Clinton launched the Libya war, perhaps the worst security policy mistake in US history—which divided a country between two American enemies and anarchy, and took a stream of refugees into Europe and surged it into a flood. She pledges to vastly increase the refugee flow from the Middle East into our communities (and, mark my words, they will be Red State communities). Trump by contrast promises not to launch misguided wars, to protect our borders, and to focus immigration policy on the well-being of the currently-constituted American people. Who is truly more moderate: the colorful loudmouth with the sensible agenda or the corrupt, icy careerist with the radical agenda?
Conservatives have shouted since the beginning of Trump’s improbable rise: He’s not one of us! He is not conservative! And, indeed, in many ways, Trump is downright liberal. You might think that would make him more acceptable to the Left. But no. As “compassionate conservatism” did nothing to blunt leftist hatred of George W. Bush, neither do Trump’s quasi-liberal economic positions. In fact, they hate Trump much more. Trump is not conservative enough for the conservatives but way too conservative for the Left, yet somehow they find common cause. Earlier I posited that the reason is Trump’s position on immigration. Let me add two others.
The first is simply that Trump might win. He is not playing his assigned role of gentlemanly loser the way McCain and Romney did, and may well have tapped into some previously untapped sentiment that he can ride to victory. This is a problem for both the Right and the Left. The professional Right (correctly) fears that a Trump victory will finally make their irrelevance undeniable. The Left knows that so long as Republicans kept playing by the same rules and appealing to the same dwindling base of voters, there was no danger. Even if one of the old breed had won, nothing much would have changed, since their positions on the most decisive issues were effectively the same as the Democrats and because they posed no serious challenge to the administrative state.
Which points to the far more important reason. The current governing arrangement of the United States is rule by a transnational managerial class in conjunction with the administrative state. To the extent that the parties are adversarial at the national level, it is merely to determine who gets to run the administrative state for four years. Challenging the administrative state is out of the question. The Democrats are united on this point. The Republicans are at least nominally divided. But those nominally opposed (to the extent that they even understand the problem, which is: not much) are unwilling or unable to actually do anything about it. Are challenges to the administrative state allowed only if they are guaranteed to be ineffectual? If so, the current conservative movement is tailor-made for the task. Meanwhile, the much stronger Ryan wing of the Party actively abets the administrative state and works to further the managerial class agenda.
Trump is the first candidate since Reagan to threaten this arrangement. To again oversimplify, the question here is: who rules? The many or the few? The people or the oligarchs? Our Constitution says: the people are sovereign, and their rule is mediated through representative institutions, limited by written Constitutional norms. The administrative state says: experts must rule because various advances (the march of history) have made governing too complicated for public deliberation, and besides, the unwise people often lack knowledge of their own best interests even on rudimentary matters. When the people want something that they shouldn’t want or mustn’t have, the administrative state prevents it, no matter what the people vote for. When the people don’t want something that the administrative state sees as salutary or necessary, it is simply imposed by fiat.
Don’t want more immigration? Too bad, we know what’s best. Think bathrooms should be reserved for the two biological sexes? Too bad, we rule. And so on and on.
To all the “conservatives” yammering about my supposed opposition to Constitutional principle (more on that below) and who hate Trump, I say: Trump is mounting the first serious national-political defense of the Constitution in a generation. He may not see himself in those terms. I believe he sees himself as a straightforward patriot who just wants to do what is best for his country and its people. Whatever the case, he is asserting the right of the sovereign people to make their government do what they want it to do, and not do things they don’t want it to do, in the teeth of determined opposition from a managerial class and administrative state that wants not merely different policies but above all to perpetuate their own rule.
If the Constitution has any force or meaning, then “We the People” get to decide not merely who gets to run the administrative state—which, whatever the outcome, will always continue on the same path—more fundamentally, we get to decide what policies we want and which we don’t. Apparently, to the whole Left and much of the Right, this stance is immoderate and dangerous. The people who make that charge claim to do so in defense of Constitutional principle. I can’t square that circle. Can you?
(To those tempted to accuse me of advocating a crude majoritarianism, I refer you to what I said above and will say below on the proper, Constitutional operation of the United States government as originally designed and improved by the pre-Progressive Amendments.)
One must also wonder what is so “immoderate” about Trump’s program. As noted, it’s to the left of the last several decades of Republican-conservative orthodoxy. “Moderate” in the modern political (as opposed to the Aristotelean) sense tends to be synonymous with “centrist.” By that definition, Trump is a moderate. That’s why National Review and the rest of the conservatives came out of the gate so strongly against him. I admit that, not all that long ago, I probably would have too. But I have come to see conservatism in a different light. To oversimplify (again), the only “eternal principle” is the good. What, specifically, is good in a political context varies with the times and with circumstance, as does how best to achieve the good in a given context. The good is not tax rates or free trade. Those aren’t even principles. In the American political context, the good is the well-being of the physical America and its people, well-being defined (in terms that reflect both Aristotle and the American founding) as their “safety and happiness.” That’s what conservatism should be working to conserve.
Trump seems to grasp that the best way to do so in these times is to promote more solidarity and unity. The “conservatives” by contrast think it means more individualism. Neither of these, either, is an eternal principle. Prudence calls for a balance. Few would want the maximized (and forced) unity of ancient Sparta or modern North Korea. Only fool libertarians seek the maximized individualism of Ayn Rand. No unity means no nation. No individualism means no liberty. In an actual republic, a balance must be maintained, which can require occasional course corrections. In 1980, after a decade of stagnation, we needed an infusion of individualism. In 2016, we are too fragmented and atomized—united for the most part only by being equally under the thumb of the administrative state—and desperately need more unity.
Which means that Trump, right now, is right and the conservatives are wrong. His moderate program of secure borders, economic nationalism, and America-first foreign policy—all things that liberals and conservatives alike used to take for granted, if they disagreed on implementation—holds the promise of fostering more unity. But today, liberals are apoplectic at the mere mention of this program—controlling borders is “extreme” but a “borderless world” is the “ultimate wisdom”—and the Finlandized conservatives aid them in attacking the candidate who promotes it. Conservatives claim to deplore the way the Democrats slice and dice the electorate, reduce it to voting blocks and interest groups, and stoke resentments to boost turnout. But faced with a candidate explicitly running on a unity agenda they insist he is too extreme to trust with the reins of power. One wants to ask, again: which is it, conservatives? Is Trump to be rejected because he is too moderate or because he is too extreme? The answer appears to be that it doesn’t matter, so long as Trump is rejected.
So that’s my “immoderate” case for Trump: do things that are in the interests of lower, working, and middle class Americans in order to improve their lives and increase unity across all swaths and sectors of society. And in so doing, reassert the people’s rightful, Constitutional control of their government. “Dangerous.” “Extreme.” “Radical.” “Poison.” “Authoritarian.”
Much more HERE.
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Posted by JR at 12:28 AM