15 thoughts on “Rhinoceros”

  1. The problem is created by the fact that we have never really defined “Conservatism”.

    So maybe this is a start:

    There are two broad strains of thought that can generally be considered “Conservative”:

    1. Conservatism as a political ideology based on the concept that legitimate government is subordinate to the Natural Rights of the citizens. Its authority is derived through the delegation of the exercise of those Rights from the Citizens to the government.

    2. Conservatism as a political ideology based on the concept that Nations evolve customs and traditions to organize and regulate their communities, and while these might evolve and change over time, no government has any legitimate authority to impose changes on the Nation.

  2. If you watch the whole movie, or read the play, you can absolutely see the relevance of what Ionesco was saying. As a malign political or social movement gains power past a certain point, way too many people are eager to make excuses for it and to sing its praises. (The play was probably motivated largely by Ionesco’s own experience in Romania)

    And per AVI’s point: many if not most of the Progs do regard those who oppose them as Rhinos. I’ve seen posts that make this (asserted) connection with the play explicit.

  3. I used to use the label “conservative” to describe my political beliefs. Now? LOL… There are no “conservatives”, as conceived and described in days of yore. There sure as hell aren’t any in Congress, or elsewhere in DC. They haven’t done a damn thing they promised they would. We put them in office back during the Reagan years, with the expectation that they’d cut the deficit. In complicity with the Democrats, the Republicans went ahead and spent money like drunken looters in a city they’d just taken after a long siege.

    They promised us they’d tear down Obamacare. Then what?

    The whole thing is a mass of lies, fraud, and swindles. I trust none of these bastards to do what they say they will. Obamacare could have been shut down and defunded during the first two years of Trump’s presidency. What did they do? Oh, yeah–Nothing.

    We just today had the spectacle of the Senate “questioning” Rosenstein, the architect of the coup-attempt-by-lawfare just run for the last three years, culminating in a fake impeachment. What did they ask him about? Not a good goddamn thing pertinent to the obvious malfeasance he supervised.

    Put a fork in it. The Republic is dead, the Oligarchy lives. It was nice while it lasted, but I seriously doubt that we’re going to pull out of the nosedive we’re in–The vested “elites” are hell-bent on flying the aircraft into the ground, and there ain’t much hope that we’re going to be able to rush the cockpit in time to prevent it.

    Defining “conservatism” as anything other than “enabling the Democrats” is purest delusion. None of these people are actually what they say they are–They’re pantomime artists, throwing shadows up on the cave wall for us to watch, and there isn’t a knife’s edge of difference between the two.

  4. When I was much younger, I thought of conservatism as an appreciation of our limited constitutional republic based on strictly limited state powers coupled with political participation to keep or restore it from expansion into areas where it was likely (certain) to do more harm than good. Such efforts to prevent and reverse state expansion were urgent as expansion would sow the seeds of further accumulation of power and privilege covered by promising solutions in areas it could not successfully address.

    Based on the expansion of the state in the prior and present century, I think conservatism has devolved into fighting a delaying action to slow, but not stop or push back this expansion. The political process has become a battle of competing special interests for economic rents from this expanded state. This battle over the spoils is wrapped in populous labels designed to attract the casual support from various voting and funding groups.

    I find Kirks post largely true. Sad, but true. If people are willing to accept hollow promises based on slogans and sound bites, the limits on government clearly stated in our founding documents will simply be set aside as antiquated or reinterpreted to mean whatever is required to bolster further expansion. Written words can not restrain government capture by rent seekers without an educated and involved people dedicated to preserving their liberty and restraint of government expansion. We have largely lost that.

    Those considered conservative today have largely accepted and even have benefited by this vast expansion. Dismantling it is not remotely part of their agenda. Tweeking these programs is about the maximum we can anticipate, and that is not certain. Obamacare case in point.


  5. I don’t think the hostility toward Trump has much to do with liberalism vs conservatism. In many ways, Trump’s policies have been liberal, as understood in historical US terms his economic responses to Covid-19 have been along the lines of something FDR might have done, his trade policies are consistent with historical pro-labor Democrat policies. His withdrawal from foreign interventions is something the left side of the Democratic Party has been demanding for a long time.

  6. I have had mixed feelings about Trump since December 2015.

    It was quite evident at Meet The Press this morning as the guests expressed suitable horror at Mr Trump’s progress toward the GOP nomination.

    Now, after months of whistling past the graveyard of Trump’s seemingly inexorable rise and assuring themselves that his candidacy will collapse as voters come to their senses, a CNN poll released Wednesday showing Trump now lapping the field has the GOP establishment in full meltdown mode. The survey shows Trump with nearly 40% of the primary vote, trailed by Ted Cruz at 18%, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio tied at 10%, and the also-rans (including great GOP hope Jeb Bush) limping along far behind.

    I am not a Trump supporter but I am intrigued at the steady progress he is making toward success. I have been a fan of Angelo Codevilla’s characterization of America’s Ruling Class.

    The recent collapse of Republican Congressional resistance to the left’s political agenda as noted in the surrender of Paul Ryan to the Democrats in the budget, has aggravated the Republican base and its frustration.

    Ryan went on Bill Bennett’s radio show on Tuesday to tell his side of the story, which involves the fact that he inherited from outgoing Speaker John Boehner an unfavorable budget framework, as well as some of the tradeoffs involved (especially defense spending). He also laid out the argument I’ve heard elsewhere, which is that he needed to “clear the decks” so that a real return to “regular order” budgeting next year will be possible. You may or may not be persuaded, but the contrast with Boehner is fairly plain, I think.

    Obviously, Ryan had no intention of doing what he said.

    Trump was elected as a desperation “Flight 93” president. He came into office with no allies and the entire DC establishment against him. That he has survived and done as well as he has is amazing.

    I go back to Angelo Codevilla and his explanation of what we see and still see in government. I have called it A Principal Agent Problem.”

  7. The way Trump’s mind works is different from the way that most politicians, journalists, and academics think.

    Trump has an intuitive pattern-recognizing thought process; he can put together diverse pieces of information–such as unemployment, the opioid crisis, and the offshoring of manufacturing to China and other places. Most of the political people, academics, etc, have strictly deductive minds, operating within the framework of truths that they have been taught to accept.

  8. Mattis and Esper this week are more evidence of how few allies he has. Mattis is laughable in accusing Trump of “divisiveness.” Obama was all over the riots in Missouri and the Trayvon Martin case.

    White Americans voted for Obama hoping it would end the myth of “systemic racism.”

  9. Trump has an intuitive pattern-recognizing thought process; he can put together diverse pieces of information–such as unemployment, the opioid crisis, and the offshoring of manufacturing to China and other places.

    Having been an engineer and a physician, I have thought about the ways people think. Engineers like puzzles and solving equations. Physicians, good physicians, are more into pattern recognition.

    I’ve been reading Henry Ford’s Memoirs lately. He is an archtypical entrepreneur. More like Trump, I would say. Military minds, like Mattis and McChrystal, are more structured and have trouble with innovation. Sherman and Patton were different. Sherman could cut loose across Georgia and Patton did not worry about his flanks.

  10. add general’s kelly and allen, who are part of the terrorist appeasement network, allen worked for brookings (read qatar) back in 2016,

  11. The problem is that Conservatives are naturally reticent about revealing any dogmas behind their beliefs, and it’s easy to see why. The institutions that now dominate modern life such as bureaucracies, universities, and broadcast media are only concerned with obliterating our standard way of life. Their perpetual shock and outrage sucks up all the attention. While Conservatives are content to act out their ideals by plugging holes, holding the line, and maintaining human interactions that don’t have any apparent sensational reasons to exist other than simply keeping the social fabric together. There’s no money or fame in that. Only the comfort and continuity of life rolling on.

  12. so I noted earlier how mattis joined the cohen group, where he works with mark grossman, one of joe wilson’s enablers and paul kern, one of the original mutineers against rumsfeld, back in 2006, jack posobiec points out the theranos trial is coming up soon, maybe that’s why he’s squawking so loudly, I little looking around I see john kelly, who is joining mattis’s peanut gallery, is working for caliburn, which is loaded with deep state players like mike hayden and general Zinni (another mutineer from that era)

  13. Yet one more time when Trump’s choice of advisor comes back to bite him. It sure seems the crop of Generals going back at least to Powell, maybe Haig has been mixed at best. A lot of prima donnas, that can’t seem to get the distinction between advising and governing with no stomach for actually seeking office themselves.

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