Are We Going to Be Lucky Enough ?

Another good insight from Richard Fernandez.

Otto von Bismarck said, There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.

Is it true? I think we may find out, especially if Hillary Clinton, in spite of all her crimes and corruption, is elected President.

Shimon Peres said, I said, “America will win no matter what you do.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Because they are lucky, and you are not.”

Is that true ? I wonder.

The last eight years have been one unending liberal search for the Great Man of history, the belief that “history can be largely explained by the impact of ‘great men’, or heroes … who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or political skill utilized their power in a way that had a decisive historical impact.”

Liberals thought they had it in Obama 2008. They think they have it in the historic First Woman, Hillary in 2016. They may even think they have it in Kerry. Steve Clemons of the Atlantic asked America’s top diplomat in the context of his diplomatic record: what exactly is the “John Kerry secret sauce?” And Kerry patiently explained that it was coming to an agreement with rival negotiators. “You have to figure out whether you can find in the adversaries a meeting of the minds on any of the interests and/or values.”

This, I assume, is why they think negotiation can solve all differences.

The New York Times Magazine thinks it knows the answer.

The conservative media has always been a playground for outsize personalities with even more outsize political ambitions. The National Review founder William F. Buckley fashioned much of the intellectual genetic code of the Reagan Revolution, while also writing fringe groups like the John Birch Society out of the conservative movement and, for good measure, running for mayor of New York against the liberal Republican John Lindsay. In 1996, the former Nixon media consultant Roger Ailes brought his attack-dog ethos to Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel and built the network into a transformational power in Republican politics before his fall this year amid accusations of sexual harassment.

But alongside the institution-builders like Buckley and Ailes, the conservative-media landscape has also produced a class of rowdy entrepreneurs who wield their influence in more personal, protean ways. The godfathers mostly came to power in the 1990s: Clinton-administration antagonists like Rush Limbaugh, who began broadcasting nationally in 1988 and became talk radio’s hegemonic power in the Clinton years, and Matt Drudge, who started his pioneering Drudge Report online in 1996.

“Hegemonic Power?” Talk radio was the only alternative to left wing news media, especially the New York Times. All other media outlets were in the hands of the left.

What does George Will think ?

Recently I visited Will at his office, a three-story Georgetown brick rowhouse erected in 1811. Its walls are covered with framed photographs, several of them depicting the writer in his youth alongside Reagan and other titans of his former party. The dean of conservative pundits, now 75, wore a crisp pinstripe shirt and gray slacks, his customary owlish Mona Lisa expression a bit tighter than usual, owing to the subject matter. Will told me that he cast his first vote in 1964, for Barry Goldwater. He voted for the Republican candidate in every succeeding presidential election, until now.

“I don’t use the word ‘frightening’ often,” he told me. “But it’s frightening to know this person” — Trump — “would have the nuclear-launch codes. The world is getting really dangerous. His friend Mr. Putin is dismantling a nation in the center of Europe. Some trigger-happy captain of a Chinese boat with ship-to-ship missiles might make a mistake in the next three years near the Spratly Islands. All kinds of things can go wrong. And the idea that this guy will be asked to respond in a sober, firm way? My goodness.”

He seemed genuinely despondent. “Given that, could you see yourself urging your readers to vote for Hillary Clinton?” I asked.

Will’s lips pursed slightly. “Well,” he said, “it’s clear from everything I’ve written that I think she’d be a better president.

Well, that determines it, then. Or does it ? How about this ?

Did Trump beget all of this? If so, what begot Trump? Erickson argued that the fault lay with Beltway Republicans. “They’ve broken so many promises,” he said. “They promised to defund the president’s immigration plan. They promised to defund Obamacare. They promised to fight the president on raising the debt limit. At some point, the base of the party just wants to burn the house down and start over.”

That is pretty close to how I feel. I have had serious reservations about Trump.

However, he seems to have struck a chord with the American public that elite disapproval only stokes.

We will what happens.

26 thoughts on “Are We Going to Be Lucky Enough ?”

  1. Trump has many unpleasant personality attributes, but he does not appear to be a *bitter* person. Hillary, on the other hand, comes across as extremely bitter. And I think bitter people are more likely to take apocalyptic actions.

  2. “due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or political skill utilized their power in a way that had a decisive historical impact”: of whom Otto v B was one.

  3. Amazing. How Will could be concerned that Trump would possess the launch codes, but that the unvetted son of a Communist who openly works against the country he swore to protect is acceptable. Hillary, who shipped arms to the modern equivalent of the Barbary Pirates, who’ve been killing American soldiers and civilians in the most brutal fashion, Hillary, who’s entire resume is one of corruption and malfeasance.

    Such statements go a long ways in explaining how Obama has been able to wage war against civilization virtually unopposed. It really is a uniparty.

  4. I can’t recall the last time I read a George Will column. I’m not even sure I can recall the last time I saw a link to one of his columns on a major “conservative” blog. He’s a nothing, as far as the grassroots are concerned.

    It’s remarkable that there is essentially zero support for conservative populism among conservative punditry. The best pundit I’ve seen in this cycle is Ace, who has repeatedly pointed out how overt the class distinctions are in the GOP and general campaigns, and how the upper class of the GOP are revealing their complete contempt for the lower class of what’s supposed to be the same party. The little people were supposed to grin and swallow the likes of the Bushes, Dole, McCain, Rommney, (and Rubio), but their betters feel no obligation to support either the manifestation of lower class desired policies, in Trump, or those policies at all (American-centric trade policies, and restricting low-skilled immigration).

  5. I think Brian has it right. It’s really about whose oxen Trumps is goring. He’s goring the oxen pulling the Establishment cart train.

  6. how overt the class distinctions are in the GOP and general campaigns, and how the upper class of the GOP are revealing their complete contempt for the lower class of what’s supposed to be the same party.

    I think we are seeing the same thing we saw with Bill Clinton. The stock market is doing well and that is all the investor class cares about. They could care less about the next crash. It is all about today.

    Maybe if I had bought Microsoft in 1981, as I considered doing, I would feel the same way. Ditto for people who bought Amazon.

    They are confident it will go on forever. Devil take the hindmost. I’m sure it was the same in 1929.

  7. I hear that question: “Can we allow this person to have nuclear weapons?” In every election. Will was apparently brain washed in 1964, when LBJ made Goldwater look nuts. In fact only one person has used nuclear weapons, a professional machine politician. Not one single dirtbag semisane tyrant has. Will’s thought has left reality and become unhinged.

  8. I actually don’t think this is a money issue, it’s a class issue. Trump is directly appealing to the wrong sort of people. The fact is that people in the suburbs are in many cases embarrassed and disgusted by current small town America. Look at the infamous NRO article about how awful and disgraceful people who still live there are. The GOP has run on nostalgia for small town America from 1950 or so, but Trump’s the first major candidate to try to speak to actual residents of small town America today, and the DC establishment and much of even their middle class voters are recoiling in horror.

  9. Anne Applebaum asked gloomily, “is this the end of the West as we know it?”

    I sure hope so. Let the Socialist west be abolished. America’s greatest achievements were abandoned as it squandered money on useless social programs and endless, futile wars.

  10. Trump’s the first major candidate to try to speak to actual residents of small town America today

    Sarah Palin, albeit merely the VP candidate, did it too.

  11. Sarah Palin, albeit merely the VP candidate, did it too.

    And she still does.

    It was interesting in Alaska to hear the bus driver make a disparaging joke about her. Yet, her home in Willow is still a tourist attraction,

    Maybe people who can afford to vacation in Alaska like her better than the locals.

    Someone else told me that recent immigrants to Alaska are usually favored when new employees are hired because so many locals are drugged up.

    I do know that when I applied for my Alaska medical license, I had to be personally interviewed by a member of the state Medical Board.

  12. As I have mentioned before I am ambivalent with Trump but he has sure struck a chord with millions – many traditional Democrats – and he has struck a chord with me. I too would like to burn the GOP establishment House down but the Congress – much as I have been disappointed in them – try to imagine it under Nancy Pelosi.

    Something Sgt Mom said stayed with me – that the establishment’s denigrating of the Tea Party brought Trump – I am not sure that is true – think he would have come in any event with the way establishment Presidential candidates have been (anyone for a 3rd Bush?) but he is filling a vacuum to be sure.

    People have hungered for a politician to say the things Trump has said. Like a rain on a dry and cracked desert.

    Whetner he believes them or not remains to be seen.

  13. Will is demonstrating his loyalty to the uniparty. He not only prefers Hillary to Trump, he prefers her supreme court nominees, he prefers her nominee for the deputy undersecretary of crippling regulations to Trump’s. Will is the perfect example of what a wretched hive of scum and villainy DC is.

    If Trump fails to pressure wash off the biofilm scum like Will off of our federal institutions, I fear I will have to advocate nuking Washington DC. It will be the only way to save America.

  14. Trump went into the first debate with at worst a tie and at best a slight lead. Barring Hillary dropping dead, the debates were going to be the main factor in breaking the stalemate. Trump responded to this fact by going in totally unprepared. Everyone knows the GOP candidate must debate not only the Democrat but also the Moderator, but Trump didn’t plan for this. He was completely bogged down and neutralized by the biased moderator’s personal attacks, which allowed Hillary to lower her defenses and basically do the easy clean-up work.

    Sure it isn’t fair, but that’s how it goes. It’s easily dealt with. All he had to do was say, ‘nobody cares about what I said 10 or 20 years ago as a private citizen when we’re facing crisis and strife on all fronts,’ but he just couldn’t resist talking about himself.

    This is the problem with Trump. No, he’s not the Hitler. No, he isn’t racist. Yes, he is an amateur too distracted by his self-absorption. His policies are all compelling and had found currency in the declining cultural and economic climate, but he’ll never get the message through to the wider public if he can’t keep his over-inflated sense of self-importance in check.

  15. Yeah, Trump is Trump. For better or worse, now and forever. I don’t understand why in the debate, or in the past six months, he never pointed out that this monster that Clinton et al portray him as being is in fact so awful that she gleefully attended his wedding. Meaning of course that’s she’s either a liar now, or was a complete grifter looking to rub shoulders with a billionaire then, or of course both. It seems like a pretty powerful point, but then I’m just some random guy on the interwebs and he’s Trump. But he’s neither Obama nor Clinton, and that’s not a small thing…

  16. “Yes, he is an amateur too distracted by his self-absorption”

    He is, unfortunately the best we have right now.

  17. @Brian I have thought about your question, and she would probably respond that she did it out of a feelinkg of obligation (which was probably true – they want that money to keep flowing)

  18. Bill: I think that answer would make her look really bad, especially to younger voters, and Trump could use to point out his outsider-ness and ability to change the broken system that makes political grifters come begging to folks like him.

  19. In my lifetime, the too crazy to be trusted with the nuclear codes meme has been brought out 3 times. The first time it worked, and gave us LBJ who turned Vietnam into a bloody mess. The second time it didn’t work, and Reagan won the Cold War without anything approaching the scale of Vietnam. You’ll forgive me I’m sure if I don’t take the argument all that seriously this time.

    I don’t particularly trust Trump, but then I’ve never really been a fan of populism from the right or left. But the idea that he is somehow more dangerous than Hillary “Can’t we just drone him (Julian Assange)” Clinton is a pretty weak rationalization for opposing him. Obama’s pathetic excuse for a foreign policy is a hell of a lot more dangerous than anything since the American paralysis in the wake of Watergate. And his SOS is somehow just the person to deal with this?

    Admit it George, he’s just too crass for your taste. Well, so was Andrew Jackson.

  20. One other thing about Trump. His businesses are based in the US and I;m not aware of a big exposure to global entities.

    Richard Fernandez also has some things to say about this.

    We have a principle agent problem in this country (and in many others).

    “The simple difference between the two is that the nation state derives its power through its promise to improve its citizens’ material wellbeing, while the market state is legitimised through its promise to maximise its citizens’ opportunities.” Or to put it another way, where the nation state – be it fascist, communist or democratic – is highly centralized, the market state is fragmented and is run by outsourcing its powers to transnational, privatized organisations.
    While the Nation State was focused on defending territory and nationality the Market State would be concerned with preserving a portable bundle of opportunities and rights its ‘citizens’ could use anywhere in a transnational world.

    Whatever else it is, real estate is local and has finite dimensions.

    why did the State fail to transition into the Market State? The key fallacy may lie in his belief that the market state would work to “maximize its citizens’ opportunities.” This belief rests on the unsupported assumption that such State would continue to act as the faithful agent of its citizens. Yet once a State has been relieved of what Paul Monk called the duty to maintain “sovereignty within territorial borders … and a public policy of large-scale social security for the population within those borders” it acquires a rival claim to its services: the World.

    “World leaders” no longer work only for their own countries, but for the World.

    Whatever else he is, Trump is the owner of real property,

    I remember reading one time that the failure of The Ford Motor Company to adapt to the new realities in auto manufacturing began when accountants and not engineers took over its operation.

  21. Re: Trump’s real estate holdings, this is without a doubt the stupidest political “hit piece” I’ve ever read:
    “Donald Trump’s real estate organization rented New York office space from 1998 to 2003 to an Iranian bank that U.S. authorities have linked to terrorist groups and Iran’s nuclear program…His five-year stint as Bank Melli’s landlord provides an example of the Trump Organization itself doing business with a government hostile to the United States.”
    And it’s only October 4. I can’t imagine what idiocy the MSM has in store for us over the next 5 weeks.

  22. Mike K…”I remember reading one time that the failure of The Ford Motor Company to adapt to the new realities in auto manufacturing began when accountants and not engineers took over its operation.”

    The initial failure to adapt to realities was when Henry Ford insisted on the Model T as the sole product, after the market had moved on. Falling in love with one’s own creation has downsides as well as upsides.

  23. I’ve been around the Car Guys vs Bean Counters debate my whole life, and I admit I have a lot of sympathy for the car guys. When you consider the big disasters like the Ford Pinto where they calculated it would be cheaper to pay damages than to fix the problems it’s apparent something went terribly wrong. On the other hand, like David says, the car guys aren’t blameless either when they get enamored with their pet projects like Edsels or Pontiac Azteks that don’t have any relation to the market place or real world. Or when one of them just goes off the deep end like DeLorean and starts building Greek tragedies instead of cars.

  24. The Edsel and the Aztec were not created by car guys. Bob Lutz who certainly is a car guy, said something very interesting about the Aztec. It was designed by committee with focus groups and according to the protocol Everything was done perfectly. From the focus groups to the consensus in design. The people who were responsible for the Aztec were very proud of it. But of course it was one of the ugliest cars ever made and the market rejected it.

    Cars that come from car guys generally have one strong individual behind them. Look at Zora Duntov for the Corvette Or DeLorean for the GTO which he really snuck in past the bureaucrats at GM who had a rule about so much horsepower per pound at the time

    Don’t think car guys really spend a lot of time with committee group think and focus groups. They create something and the market decides. And when it’s a success it’s a big success. Look at Lee Iacocca and the mustang. It was just based on the falcon chassis but ford had to spend so much money bringing it out that Henry Ford II told Lee said that “your ass is on the line ” if this fails. Anybody old enough to remember when The mustang came out it was a phenomenon Brilliant marketing to in the months leading to its introduction.

    But both Henry Ford and John DeLorean got caught up in one of their creations. The DeLorean had too many compromises. The model T as Mike said was way beyond its expiration date

  25. Yeah, I suppose you’re right Bill. The Edsel was really the creation of something probably even worse – the Efficiency Experts.

  26. An interesting book about car building in the current era is “Crash Course.”

    There are a lot of stories in it. The Saturn project, for example, was destroyed by UAW president Stephen Yokich but the GM bureaucrats also disdained anything not designed by them.

    It is also interesting that the Japanese car companies that were building plants in the US to avoid import taxes expected to have the UAW to cope with. They were surpised when the workers voted down the union.

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