What I’m feeling for the GOP is a kind of disinterested sympathy, punctuated with schadenfreude, the disinterest arising from never having been a Republican, the sympathy from the GOP identification of a plurality of my close friends – uniformly horrified by what is happening – and the schadenfreude from the abrupt collapse of three-plus decades of pharisaical social conservatism. Turns out that eventually enough of the electorate whose resentment you’ve been stoking figures out that it’s a waste of time and fastens on to something else, something that matches their actual resentments a lot more closely.
What happens next, and what to do? I suggest that the comforting American monomyth about great national trials producing great leaders may be disproved by near-future events. Even the most strenuous attempt at imposing an ex post facto narrative will find no analog to (the wartime) FDR or Lincoln or Washington in what Strauss and Howe predicted as the “Crisis of 2020,” that being the turmoil we began experiencing in 2008, which seems to have hit an inflection point around 2011 and is likely to tip into complete global chaos sometime in the next 2-5 years.
As for this year, it’s easy to predict that neither of the two candidates who did best yesterday will allow a loss in November, even by an apparently wide margin, to go uncontested. Their methods of contesting it and their accusations of conspiracy will be differently styled, of course, but semantically identical. The boundaries between geographically adjacent jurisdictions controlled by opposing sets of supporters may get pretty lively.
Longer-term, expect and plan for failure: institutional collapse, attempts at secession, show trials/purges, interfamilial betrayals, you name it. Nihilism ascendant, exactly as described by Gurri. All in combination with national-security “negative risk events,” as we say in project management, far deadlier than 9/11.
As always, however, “I do not bid you despair … but to ponder the truth in these words.” There are those who will respond by going into hiding. I vociferously disagree and counsel the exact opposite: greater engagement; superlative commitment to your country and its civilization, even if your country is divided against itself and its civilization is gravely attenuated by self-doubt; deliberate acquisition and cultivation of skills tailored toward the common defense, post-traumatic recovery – and not to overlook the obvious, peacemaking.
FDR et al are looking at you out of a mirror.
13 thoughts on “On This Texas Independence Day”
According to the Washington Establishment, if you vote for Trump, You will put your career at risk. you will be publically shamed and punished for your vote. You and your family will not be safe from their retribution. I got their greater engagement right here.
Chatter elsewhere on the web is that “Tongue-Tied-In-Twelve” Mitt is fixin’ to give a speech tomorrow night. The McDaniel tactic is already under full steam, with pundits ripping each others hair out debating who was responsible for the night riders.
“uniformly horrified by what is happening ”
I am interested in what is happening but not horrified. The GOP Establishment, as described by Angelo Codevilla, has had 30 years since Reagan to get it right. They came close in 1994. Then Gingrich got too interested in his book deal and got his feelings hurt by Clinton, who then cleaned his clock on the “shutdown.”
Hastert ran Congress as an extension of the Illinois Combine with his and DeLay’s “K Street Strategy.”
All the while, Democrats were hollowing out the financial sector with the ” Community Reinvestment Act” and the GOP did nothing.
Clinton neglected bin Laden and we got hit six months after Clinton left office, about like I expect to get hit next time.
Bush had a GOP House for years and they did nothing.
I supported the Iraq invasion but the occupation was botched.
Then the Democrats took Congress in 2006 and brought down the house. Almost brought down the country.
The story is here in all its ugliness.
“Last Chance for America?” By Thomas Sowell
March 1, 2016
“The “Super Tuesday” primaries may be a turning point for America — and quite possibly a turn for the worse. After seven long years of domestic disasters and increasing international dangers, the next President of the United States will need extraordinary wisdom, maturity, depth of knowledge and personal character to rescue America.
“Instead, if the polls are an indication, what we may get is someone with the opposite of all these things, a glib egomaniac with a checkered record in business and no track record at all in government — Donald Trump.
“If so, the downward trajectory of America over the past seven years may well continue on into the future, to the point of no return.”
After reading his article I noticed a common theme to many of his positions – the people exist to serve the interests of the US Gov’t and if Trump rejects this view and holds that the US Gov’t exists to serve the interests of the people then of course everything Trump speaks about or proposes is going to seem off-kilter to Sowell.
We must not build a wall on the Mexican border and we must not deport all the Mexican infiltrators because the US Gov’t needs Mexico as an ally:
You can’t have Islamic Terrorism in the US if there are no Muslims in the US. That’s a perfect state solution, while the more realistic compromise solution is to reduce the risk of Islamic Terrorism in the US by completely cutting off allowing anymore Muslims into the US. Foreign policy should exist to serve the interests of the people of the US. Sowell implicitly proposes that the existing regime continue on in place and in order to reduce the risk of ever increasing numbers of Muslims in the US our government must rely on the cooperation of other countries and the interests of Americans takes backseat to keeping the current regime in place.
We need all the allies we can get, from countries around the world, including Muslim allies in the Middle East. The last thing we can afford, at this crucial juncture in history is a president who alienates allies we have to have in a war against international terrorists.
Americans are concerned about domestic terrorists, not international terrorists. No Muslims in the US means no Islamic terrorism in the US. Sowell argues that in order to fight international terrorists we need to allow people coming from the same ideological breeding ground to come to America and this access will placate the leaders of those societies so that they will aid the US in fighting terrorists overseas and all it costs the US is increased levels of terrorism here in the US and increased levels of surveillance of ALL US citizens. See, the citizens exist to serve the interests of the state.
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump’s theatrical talents, including his bluster and bombast, may be enough to conceal his shallow understanding of very deep problems.
Deep problems? Why the continents had their shape was a deep problem until Wegener developed an easy solution to the problem. Planetary motion was a deep problem until Copernicus provided a simple model and Kepler codified it. What seems complex to Sowell, because his model requires citizens to serve the interests of the state, simplified dramatically, if the state exists to serve the interests of the citizens.
TangoMan, you are reading things into Sowell’s column that contradict his actual positions, as anyone familiar with Sowell’s abundant writings would know. Also, where do you get ideas like “Americans are concerned about domestic terrorists, not international terrorists” or that international threats are less of a danger than domestic ones?
The Stink of desperation is in the air. The Mittster is now on everywhere pushing his “gravitas” as the last entry in the failure stakes of the GOPe race to retain the losing ground. I am busily trying to figure how to get him to include Ted Cruz in his vituperation. Somewhere the Trumpsters have really hit a nerve, haven’t they? I may have to reconsider my #NeverTrump membership. And the timing is also totally clueless – going into closed primary states where Trump will most likely do less well anyway.
Also, where do you get ideas like “Americans are concerned about domestic terrorists, not international terrorists” or that international threats are less of a danger than domestic ones?
San Bernardino (domestic) is of greater concern to Americans than Bataclan (international).
“San Bernardino (domestic) is of greater concern to Americans than Bataclan (international).”
Because, nothing like Bataclan could ever happen here.
Because, nothing like Bataclan could ever happen here.
If a Bataclan happened here, then it would no longer be INTERNATIONAL terrorism, it would be domestic terrorism.
The way to prevent Bataclan is to expel all Muslims, visitors and citizens. If you’re don’t want to go that far, with respect to citizens, then you have to accept some small risk of Bataclan happening here. If our Muslim population continues to grow, then so too does the risk of Bataclan.
Muslim presence in the US is already negatively affecting the civil liberties of all Americans. We endure mass surveillance because of internal Muslim threats, we endure airport “security” theater because of Muslim threats. The assaults on civil liberty are simply going to keep increasing as our Muslim population grows because we must follow the Prime Directive “Every sacred principle held in society must be thrown under the bus in order to keep multiculturalism functioning.”
I’m living in a Monty Python skit.
Romney develops a baritone speaking about Trump. The Lyin’ Hawaiian, not so much. And (drum roll) an Egyptian flight school attendee gets bounced for his heartfelt posts.
“Egyptian Flight Student” Just ponder that the next time your doing the TSA hopscotch.
TangoMan, you are splitting hairs. We face multiple threats, probably including some we don’t anticipate. We should aim for institutional flexibility and adaptability rather than focus too closely on one type of presumed threat.
A policy of expelling Muslim citizens would be extraordinarily divisive and difficult to implement even if it’s politically and constitutionally possible. Expelling Muslim non-citizens would be easier, but any such policy might antagonize more otherwise-pro-American resident Muslims than it would remove threats from terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. No such policy is going to be implemented unless our political leaders are so inept at preventing terror attacks that the public demands the crudest possible measures. We may get there but we aren’t anywhere close yet, and there is no reason for us to jump the gun. As with illegal immigration, it’s likely that electing a national government that doesn’t have a subversive agenda and that actually enforces our laws, as well as screening immigrants from Muslim countries and cracking down on terrorist incitement at US Muslim institutions, would go a long way to solving the problem.
Meanwhile we face significant threats from overseas enemies, including Islamist terrorists and hostile governments. We should be rearming, hardening domestic infrastructure (e.g., no part of our electric power grid should be connected to the Internet, and we should subsidize power companies to stockpile transformers and other critical spares) and strengthening our relationships with our allies. We should also be encouraging more civic engagement by citizens, rather than feeding the multiculti Balkanization by demonizing entire groups (we should distinguish between pro-American and anti-American Muslims and seek to support the former and punish the latter). My guess is that we won’t do any of this fast enough and that some or all of Jay’s predictions will come to pass, but we should prepare as best we can anyway.
A policy of expelling Muslim citizens would be extraordinarily divisive and difficult to implement even if it’s politically and constitutionally possible.
How badly does society want safety? At this point, we’re probably not willing to make the trade. Let a mini-nuke go off in Chicago and the impossible becomes very possible.
Expelling Muslim non-citizens would be easier, but any such policy might antagonize more otherwise-pro-American resident Muslims than it would remove threats from terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.
The first rule of holes is that when you find yourself in one, stop digging. Expelling non-citizens becomes a one-off affair, lots of angst while it’s happening and then it’s over and done with and doesn’t become a repeating endeavor.
We may get there but we aren’t anywhere close yet, and there is no reason for us to jump the gun.
Leadership can’t be that far ahead of public sentiment. Based on polling from the Republican primaries, 65% & 75% of voters were fine with banning Muslims from entering the US. Keep this in mind, multiculturalism was not imposed because it was the expressed wish of the people, it was imposed via a silent coup d’etat.
As with illegal immigration, it’s likely that electing a national government that doesn’t have a subversive agenda and that actually enforces our laws, as well as screening immigrants from Muslim countries and cracking down on terrorist incitement at US Muslim institutions, would go a long way to solving the problem.
When you allow Muslim immigration, no matter how well screened, you change the demographics and culture of the nature. Do Americans want to bequeath to their children a society which is influenced by a 25% Muslims population? Will Islamization of America be easier to arrest when 25% or 50% of voters are Muslim? Better to nip the problem in the bud. Constitutional principles are not a civilizational suicide pact. What worked, religious liberty, for Christian denominations completely falls apart when Islam is treated as a religion.
Meanwhile we face significant threats from overseas enemies, including Islamist terrorists and hostile governments. We should be rearming, hardening domestic infrastructure
We’re in agreement on this aspect but I go further – without Muslims in America the ability to conduct Islamic Terrorism in America is severely hampered. This allows us to live in a more free manner than if we had to structure society in order to protect from the enemy within.
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