Response to David that wandered off

I think this supports your point, David, but prompted less by reasoning than impulse:  I am not discriminating in my television viewing,  but, frustrated when Trump seems less persuasive than he should be, I turn off his speeches and interviews.   I didn’t really want to vote for him, but to vote any other way was to betray America to a nominee and a party of grifters, liars, and if not actual traitors then a good imitation.  But within the first day he did many sensible and surprising things – and it continued. He was surprising, directed, somewhat idealistic but also practical.  Energy independence – at last someone who understood its value, the importance of energy!  So, his feckless opposition won and here we are – having thrown away an incredibly important position.   (Remember how Pelosi told us when Palin campaigned,  we couldn’t drill our way to independence?  Is it always 2008 or 2012 for those people?)

Talk of his totalitarian streak was absurd; he was bombastic, the force of his will and personality dominate any scene. But his belief that a buy-in from Europe was necessary for true partnership and for NATO to fulfill its mission was that of an honest partner; he thought Israel should be able to decide where its capitol was, he took seriously the North African sentiments – expressed before but not taken seriously – that they had other fears and other fish to fry, they weren’t solely defined by Palestine.  He thought Congress should take responsibility and the states should not be ridden over in a national power grab, he accepted the division of adversaries – the executive needed to stand up to foreign powers and the states should be responsible for keeping law and order, even if he found some mayors and governors frustrating.  This gaudy entrepreneur argued for prudence – lowering the price of the presidential plane, fighting waste and increasing productivity.  He accepted a structure that didn’t make him king.  He was not a tall Fauci and he hadn’t the Doctor’s Napoleon complex.  He understood schools’ influence, money and policies should arise from local entities.  He backed de Vos as she increased choices for parents and justice in controlling campus crime.  He valued the blood of our soldiers in a way that Biden never has.

More perceptive people got out of his speeches the energy and vision I appreciated.  Of course, I’d rather  a leader acted like a statesman than sounded like one and it would have been nice if idiots on the other side didn’t reduce everything to ad hominem. His defended himself  – fiercely, quickly, angrily fired back before all the lies or nasty memes became immersed in the wide subconscious.  Of course, you are right, a more systematic, rational presentation would have been useful; it also might have raised the level of discussion to policy (where I suspect much more than half the nation would have stood with him).  Unfortunately for us, the Churchills and Lincolns of the world don’t come around that often.  And even a well-formed argument isn’t a skill America values as it once did.  (I taught freshman rhetoric for years. Sure, we read Orwell, sure we talked about the fallacies, but I don’t think I knew and certainly didn’t teach the formal structures that help a writer solidify and reason an audience to agreement.)

I insisted on facts and objectivity and always assumed a knowable and falsifiable truth.  The following segues shamelessly to another tempting arena, demonstrating erratic organization.

An interesting take-down of CRT in terms of the Enlightenment/Romanticism is spelled out in the American Enterprise podcast, hosted by Thiessen and Pletka, “WTH is critical race theory? How a philosophy that inspired Marxism, Nazism, and Jim Crow is making its way into our schools, and what we can do”:

They interview Allan C. Guezlo  who has been mentioned before at Chicagoboyz, once when I was flailing about and again by Steve Karlson.  Guezlo is an historian of the mid-nineteenth Century (books on Lincoln and his time, latest on Lee, does some Teaching Company courses on the Founding and American survey).   He also had a course on the Founding and a book on Edwards.  Our Enlightenment and our Constitution owe the Great Awakening which just preceded the Founding, as well as European theory so we always coupled rationality with emotion, Jonathan Edwards as well as Thomas Jefferson, aware of man’s imperfection but creating a government that recognizes both our flaws and potential. The rich complexity of that history doesn’t seem emphasized sufficiently today.

Anyway, these are waters I probably shouldn’t be swimming in, but others may want to look at two opinion pieces that continue the argument.  The first is Thiessen’s in the Washington Post, which summarizes Guezlo approvingly.  Not surprisingly with a subject as fraught as this, the comments session is huge; it prompted a take-down by Tim Suttle in “Paperback Theology.”   But Suttle’s straw men – Guezlo/Thiessen – present an argument he wants to debate rather than their own – they don’t doubt that much that is important cannot be explained by reason.  However, accusing your opponent of bad faith (as he – inevitably – does as the essay continues) pursues an irrelevant argument, as he himself illustrates.  Whatever motivations may prompt us, the truth remains objective and true – whether we, moved as we are by the subjective, can argue that truth persuasively depends on our argument. Such an attack produces heat by misdirecting energy. Surely, we can’t be expected to believe our desire for power and subjugation of others forms (and defuses) our argument while our opponent is free from such desires.

20 thoughts on “Response to David that wandered off”

  1. Civility in response to intellectual dishonesty is counterproductive in the defense of liberty … for it confers upon the dishonest a veneer of credibility.

    When facing the passive-aggressive fundamentalists of the Church of Woke, a systematic, rational presentation is not always an effective option. Said fundamentalists are quite adept at turning an underlying assumption in our society … that saintly appearances are more important for a President than respect for liberty, intelligent policy, and the exposure of corruption and arrogance behind the saintly appearances of others, lest we condemn the nation to “sinful” leadership … against us at the expense of our rights.

    But I too was a ReluctanTrumper in 2016, but not because of his coarseness … given his history of hobnobbing with the societal elite, I assumed he would be just another expedient squish in office, but at least he wasn’t Hillary.

    However, I was pleasantly surprised with his policies – energy independence, border control, regulatory reform, his respect for federalism once COVID hit – that were far more respectful of our rights and ability to get ahead, than those of the busybody Left who believe (like the good fundamentalists they are) that theirs is the One True Way on any issue.

    It is that underlying assumption, that opened the door to the Pseudodent we now have in the White House. The American people must begin to understand that respect for life AND liberty – even if it means that they themselves have to figure out more of the answers, instead of that little intellectual elite in a far-off capital – is the primary mission not only of a President, but the entire government at all levels.

    Even if it takes confrontation, at the levels of flipping over tables, cracking a whip, and calling out one’s dishonest opponents by calling them whitewashed tombs (which in the original usage was considered vulgar by the cleanliness-obsessed religion of the day).

  2. When you consider how the State Department is intended to function, it is in conflict with the way most humans function. In theory, State is supposed to be a conduit of information between our government and foreign governments. They aren’t supposed to DO anything or really think anything at all. They are supposed to convey the policy determined by the President as directed and any response to it, not make it. Some of them may be called upon to provide advice but will often find that advice discounted or ignored as all advice givers do.

    This is not a subordination that many people would find satisfying. It seems especially unlikely that people that have spent their life acquiring various elite credentials and consider themselves the smartest person in any room would subordinate their so well documented judgement with good grace to someone that has the temerity to point out just how disastrous that judgement has been.

    The enduring paradox of Trump is how someone who’s career must have depended on finding capable assistants failed so miserably to do so as President.

  3. “The enduring paradox of Trump is how someone who’s career must have depended on finding capable assistants failed so miserably to do so as President.”

    The problem is that he did not have carte blanche to pick his staff. With political appointees, he had to cooperate in this area with GOP Establishment leadership, lest they refuse to confirm his choices and/or obstruct his agenda in other ways. With the civil-service-shielded bureaucracy, he simply did not have the authority to treat them as at-will employees as he did in the private sector, if/when they gummed up the works so that their agenda was being advanced over the agenda of the Bonzo/Hitler cross (in their eyes) known as President Trump.

    And in areas like the DOJ and FBI, any decisive measures to deal with the rot would have given both Dems and GOP Establishment the evidence they would turn into “obstruction” charges and tie him down further. It’s a wonder that firing Comey didn’t bring more blowback on Trump than it did.

    Frankly, it’s amazing that (1) Trump accomplished what he did and (2) how much more he could have accomplished with a GOP contingent in Congress and within the Executive Branch that valued Trump’s liberty-advancing agenda over the “peaceful” operation of their institutions.

  4. “The enduring paradox of Trump is how someone who’s career must have depended on finding capable assistants failed so miserably to do so as President.”
    Let’s imagine that Trump made a deal to build a baseball stadium, say. Something a bit outside of his usual projects. He might not know the exact architects, planners, etc., to hire. But if he did hire someone who he discovered was actively trying to make sure the thing never got built, what would happen? That person would be fired immediately, and never work again once the word got out. But as President Trump had to deal with people who were actively working against him, literally could not be fired, and who knew that not only would that not hurt them professionally, but would actually be a boon to them personally. I don’t think anything in his former life could have really prepared him for that reality.
    The other thing that I think he still hasn’t really realized is the difference between the celebrity media he’s dealt with for decades, and the political media. The former wanted him to give them good content, the latter wanted to destroy him.

  5. Brian: “But as President Trump had to deal with people who were actively working against him, literally could not be fired, and who knew that not only would that not hurt them professionally, but would actually be a boon to them personally.”

    Well said!

    What many of the “conservative” Never-Trumpers don’t seem to realize is that the same challenge would exist for any President with an (R) after his name — and will exist for any future Republican nominee. Just remember how Maverick Johnnie McCain (R) went from being a media darling (because he was always first in line to scupper any Republican plan) to being a disgusting old philanderer when Republican Primary voters decided he was exactly the kind of Republican they wanted to see in the presidency.

    Why did Republican Primary voters do something so dumb? Because of the power of the media. It shows us what President Trump was up against.

  6. Negative media coverage of a Republican is a finite asset for the Left. Something that they have failed to figure out, and which will come to bite them hard, in the end. Might bite the rest of us, too, because at this point, if a real Bad Person showed up at the head of the Republican ticket, who would believe them when they told us all about the badness of that person?

    We’re observing, in real time, what happens when an entire swathe of a culture or civilization loses its credibility. Same thing happened in Romania when the Soviet Union went away, and it ended the Ceaucescu regime pretty nastily. We’re on our way towards a version of that, today. Look around you at the various Democrat-run venues here in the US–How long do you think people are going to put up with the lawlessness before they take matters into their own hands, or start listening to a demagogue? A demagogue who is unlikely to come from the Left, what with them having utterly discredited themselves.

    Good God, the idiot prosecutor in LA, George Gascon? He’s at this moment working to remove “firearms enhancements” from the murder case of Jacqueline Avant, even sending out fundraising letters about it… Tone-deaf, much?

    They don’t realize it yet, but they’re setting up for a tremendous response to all this crap, and it’s going to blow up in their faces. This is how you get “Law and Order Republicans” running everything again, and outright vigilante action out in the streets. The general public is not going to react well to this outbreak of judiciary lawlessness, and the response is going to be draconian. You strip the minority communities of law enforcement via “defund the police”, start looking for those minorities to start policing their own, once they figure out that weapons are easily available here in the US (as they are not across much of the nations south of our borders…), and that nobody cares if a bunch of criminals silently “go missing”. Particularly if those criminals are across a race line… Some bits of American culture are pretty easily transmitted, and vigilantism is likely going to prove to be one of them.

    None of this is going to end the way the idiot class running the game at the moment think it is. I wish the FBI good ‘effing luck, penetrating some of the Central American families I know, who’re about as likely to talk to the FBI about what happened to those missing “doods” as I am to let the local Jehovah’s Witnesses in for a discussion of faith. Penetrating the KKK will look like a cakewalk–Those idiots talked and boasted about everything they did. The guys I’m thinking about? It’s gonna be hard to even find the evidence that the guys the FBI is trying to find ever even existed.

    Oh, yeah–Hint to criminally inclined: Prey solely on stupid rico Norteamericanos, not the recently arrived from Central America who still have that ethos about revenging family honor going on, and who’ve suddenly found themselves in a weapons-rich environment. Especially if you’re into sexual crimes involving children–Odds are pretty good that if the family catches you, you’re gonna be praying that the cops find you before they get all the cousins together to start work on you.

    The dumbfscks doing all this to our law enforcement system have no idea what evils they’re actually unleashing, or where it’s all going to end. Americans aren’t complacent, unarmed sheep–We have what we could term “alternatives” when it comes to policing and dissuading the criminal from committing crimes, most of which are going to be really unevenly applied.

    The Arbery case is just a precursor; people don’t recognize it, but the real reason that happened? The cops and the legal system weren’t doing their jobs–And, because of that, Arbery died when someone else decided to do it for them. Had actual police shown up from the beginning to deal with Arbery as he behaved suspiciously, he might have ceased casing the properties he was casing, and avoided that neighborhood entirely. Because the cops couldn’t be troubled, well… He died.

    Going to be a lot more of that, going forward, as people’s faith in “the system” breaks down. You’re going to see a case before long where the citizen justifying their killing of the criminal will say “Well, I see that if I call the police, nothing will happen… So, I made sure this guy wasn’t coming back to rob me, again…”. And, then a jury of his peers will nod along with that defense, and acquit them. Right afterwards, the corrupt media will explode in rage, failing to connect the dots that they helped lay down, and we’ll all hear about how evil the general public is for killing someone over property or whatever else it was.

  7. yes arbery was an abject lesson, not to do that, if I was them, I wouldn’t have done it in the daylight with people watching, what was the rush,

    everything that’s logical must be deemed insane, and vice versa, thousands of years of gender distinction must be destroyed, the constitution must be thrown out the window, in Cuba, in the 30s, they decided on their own green nude eel, the Constitution of 1940, convened by many of the grey eminences, it promised free health, education et al, guaranteed employment, of course it could never work, but they insisted on trying to make it work, this was one of Fidel’s promises

    andy ngo’s assailant gets probation, and antler man gets nearly four years, because costume, the denver jihadist is deemed not competent for trial,

  8. miguel, this stuff might work elsewhere, but the unfortunate fact here in the US is that it’s a nation founded by and on far different principles than the authoritarian/aristocratic foundations of much of the rest of the world.

    Here, people are going along with it all, mostly out of habit. Once they’ve had their noses rubbed in the brutal realities of the “New Deal” the idiotarian class is offering and trying put in place, things aren’t going to go so well. It’s going to take some time, but I think the mass of the American people will eventually experience an awakening, and then the whole thing will come to a very ugly denouement. Well, ugly for a lot of people–Many of us will be watching what goes on and silently nodding along with it all, happy that “they” are finally “getting theirs”, in terms of just desserts.

    There’s something almost pathologic in how the Left constantly comes around to defend the criminal and deviant, instinctually. It’s like they understand at a root level that they, too, are criminal and deviant, so they act to enable that criminality and deviancy at all levels, while mouthing the pious words of tolerance and understanding. Once enough evidence accrues that they’re actually using those words falsely, and are actually on the side of criminality and deviancy? Watch what happens; there will be a preference cascade, and then the Ceaucescu show will start up, with an awful lot of people finding themselves in front of various walls, nation-wide. Or, alternatively, dangling from lamp post and convenient trees by the neck.

    Lots of media figures are going to be numbered among those standing before the walls or dangling. Anyone defending what’s been going on, or who will be seen as a part of the “long con” will likely suffer right along with the criminal and deviant.

  9. President Trump had to deal with people who were actively working against him, literally could not be fired, and who knew that not only would that not hurt them professionally, but would actually be a boon to them personally.

    And THAT’s what Trump’s mainstream supporters refer to by the term “Deep State”. Of course there are also Trump’s fringe supporters who use the same term to refer to pedophiles and lizard brains who rape children under pizza parlors. Of course the mainstream leftish media deny that the lizard-pedo-Deep State exists; and therefore ALL Trump supporters are idiots deserving of mockery.

    The thing is, that whether or not lizard-brained pedos exist or not, the “Sir Humphrey Appleby” sort of senior permanent administrators who is actively thwarting the efforts of elected officials CERTAINLY exists. In any large bureaucracy, such permanent entrenched self-interested officials exist. And among other problems is that the senior permanent staff protects other, junior or otherwise members of the permanent staff. So bishops protect priests, whether peculators or pedophiles, against the deacons and congregations. So accountants protect the CEO against the board and stockholders. So the Gotham police conspire against Commissioner Gordon and “The Batman” — denying the failures of Arkham Asylum and the dangers presented by the Joker and Penguin. The general public knows this from life, from art, and from economy theories of principles and agents. We know the Deep State. And we deeply resent being compared to idiots by members of that clique.

  10. It will continue until it no longer can; then, the inevitable blow-up will be characterized in hindsight as being “unforeseeable”, just like so many other failures of our elites.

    None of them saw the fall of the Soviet Union coming. They didn’t see Iran falling to the Islamicists, either. They didn’t foresee the IED campaigns in Iraq or Afghanistan–Despite being warned about the potentials well in advance. Same-same with just about every major crisis or “unfortunate event” of recent history–Even 9/11 was foreseen, given the Clinton-era destruction of the connections between counterintelligence and criminal investigations within the FBI.

    The self-named “elites” we’ve got running things are actually wearing the Emperor’s supposed new clothes, whilst running around naked waving their wing-wangs in our faces, challenging us to call them out on their effrontery and nakedness. At some point, it’s going to become clear to the majority what is going on, and that the majority is, in fact, the majority. This will be when the supposed “preference cascade” will take place, and the “elite” will get a wake-up call.

    In France of the Revolutionary period, that wake-up call came in the form of tumbrels and the guillotine. One does wonder what ours will look like, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it likely won’t be anywhere near as genteel and well-operated. I would not be a bit surprised to see an Ivy League degree being seen as a confession of guilt against the body politic, and one that results in the same set of responses as a patent of nobility got in France of those years.

    They’ve sowed the wind, and they’re going to reap the whirlwind. Not entirely sorry to witness the beginnings of it all, either–These people have been pissing down my back and calling it rain nearly all of my life, and I’m fairly tired of being the butt of all their little jokes. I don’t plan on starting any mob actions, but when the time comes? I’m gonna be following said mobs in the background, on the periphery, just to witness what they do to the traitor “elite” class. And, make no mistake about it–The mobs are coming, and they’re going to be coming for them all, from the race-baiting enablers behind BLM and the Blac Block to the Soros-supported district attorneys. What can’t go on… Won’t.

  11. I was so pleased when Trump beat Hillary. As well as he is a buffoon, I expected great things from him. I was not disappointed and he has done more to wreak your country than any other person could ever to do. So exactly what I wanted. You are at each other throats at this point, and everyone is armed.

    Now the other buffoon, Boris Johnson is teetering on the edge of losing his position. They will happily toss him as they don’t care. That cabal has really damaged Britain seriously and although that was not something I cared about a lot, is exactly what you would expect from those grifters.

    Now Putin is about to test NATO, as from his point of view he has little choice. If there is no undertaking to prevent further NATO movement towards his country he will create the buffers he needs by force. That will seriously set the cat among the pigeons.

    The entire force of G7 sanctions will be applied, but not much else. No one will face him in Ukraine, and he will take it. This will create the new world we are moving into rather fast. China, Russia and Iran with other attendant states, on one side, using the payment systems they set up for the ending of Swift, as a thing they can use, and the west on the other.

    Good times. ;)

  12. Hull down and buttoned up. Good luck, Fortress PenGun!

    Some people did foresee the collapse of the USSR. Anders Aslund, for one, but there were others. It’s true that you had to search them out, but I was in history grad school in the early 80s and considered a wackjob when I pointed out that they were as much a paper tiger as Reagan said.

    It’s illustrative of the reflexes of the learned that–leaving aside whether I was right or wrong factually–the usual response was to question my motives. I was sometimes accused of being a John Bircher: the poor sods didn’t even understand that the Birchers -feared- Soviet power and guile, and were sure that the Reds were winning.

    The collapse came quicker than I thought it would, as did German reunification, but neither should have been as surprising as they were to most people.

  13. And, yet… There were zero firings of the analysts who said that the Soviets were ten feet tall with eyes that shot lightning.

    The thing I most worry about with regards to the elite is that none of them seem capable of recognizing that they were ever wrong, about anything–And, they won’t learn. They can’t even identify that there are things they should be learning from.

    Go look at things across the board: Are there any people being called on the carpet for saying that we could “fix” Afghanistan? What about the ones who somehow missed how close the whole bloody thing was to collapsing? Who is being excoriated in the press for doing the things that they deliberately did, which speeded it all up?

    If we were capable of learning, which I am coming to doubt, someone would be looking at the parallels between the collapse in Vietnam and the collapse in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the same things were done, many of the same choices made. We keep trying to stand up these nation-states in our own image, failing to recognize that by building their security forces in such a way that they’re reliant on the things we provide, we’re setting them up for failure.

    I don’t see anyone learning, anywhere. We keep repeating the same mistakes, time and time again–Until you start to wonder if they’re really “mistakes”, or the expression of what the actual plans were, from the beginning?

    The “elites” like to claim they learn, but the demonstrated fact is, they don’t. Hell, ask anyone in that class a question about something that’s gone wrong over the last few generations, and they’ll tell you some BS that likely doesn’t even possess the slightest amount of contact with any of the realities that a non-delusional out here in the real world would be able to perceive. I have had conversations with these people, educated at the finest Ivy League institutions, and the amount sheer bafflegab and raw ignorance they spew forth with is incredible.

    What’s really amazing is that it has taken this long for it to become undeniably apparent to even the most apathetic witness out here in flyover country, and I fear for the eventual reaction once the rubes catch on to the fact that they are, in fact, the rubes in this long con.

    Like I said… It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that an Ivy League diploma on the wall could well become a ticket to whatever guillotine-equivalent gets set up. There’s an amount of raw animosity and hatred building up, as well as disgust for their perversions. CNN having a child molester on staff as a producer isn’t even a shock, any more. Can you imagine the headlines that would have garnered, even twenty years ago…?

  14. putin wants to reconstitute the Motherland as much as possible, what exactly are the parameters of that, that which was in 1917, there is also the fact that the ‘reforms’ were a license to steal, not that putin did not do well for himself, with the skim from dresden to st petersburg, I don’t think him that dangerous except for those he has enabled like the regimes in caracas and havana for instance, but crimean war redux with nuclear weapons

    silly penguin, trump tried to hold the country together, the regime is tearing the skin off the country, note I don’t regard shambling man, in control of anything but his bladder. yes epstein nxim, certainly were real, the first was protected by a multinational alliance of intelligence agencies for reasons, and deeply enmeshed in the corporate and political systems.
    allen dulles was one who missed flagging lenin, which provided his full employment program for some 50 years subsequently, it was his excuse for supporting german industry and their political patrons, he looked out for those clients over all, he was not unique in this forrestal and draper, were of like minds ,those who really took him at his words like frank wisner, well lost their minds, over the betrayal in budapest, and some other things they enabled like the gehlen org

  15. you solve a problem, you make yourself irrelevant, so take the example of dulles by the forties he knew what the soviet motivation would do, and how it affected his bank book, his deputies like cabell and barnes were similarly inclined, so was their inlaw and distant relative robert mueller,unskilled immigration and the problem it posed to honest farmers and ranchers were already an issue in material like Harper, the question of narcotics, what creates the demand, for this product, well deindustrialization contributes to it, a lesson from the opium war empowering crime specially violent crime, enables a segment of the security industry, broadly speaking, a competition between criminal bands, the winter hill over the rhode island explains the coverup at some point dissident elements realized they could leverage this to bring about systemic change if not violent revolution

  16. I wrote a paper about covert operations in college, it was up to the 80s, and I took a more understanding look at the various foibles then, with hindsight I was too charitable about their goal, the afghan operation was a rather small part of the story,

  17. “Some people did foresee the collapse of the USSR.”

    Indeed but it was Zbigniew Brzezinski who engineered the fall of the Soviet Union. A geopolitical genius really, and he drew the Russians into Afghanistan where he hoped to bleed them, and succeeded far better than he thought he would. Mika’s dad. ;)

  18. There is the other theory that President Reagan deserves the credit for the end of the Soviet Union. He struck a deal with the Saudis to flood the oil markets and drive down the price of oil. Since the USSR was exporting oil to pay for essential imported grain, the financial stress of the low oil price was unsustainable.

    The quid pro quo was that the US committed to defend the Saudi Royal Family from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The deal was then expanded to include the Kuwait Royal Family. Thus, when Saddam invaded both Kuwait & Saudi Arabia, the US had to respond.

    The fate of the USSR has a relevant message for the US today — a country can’t run a Balance of Trade Deficit for ever! Bad things happen.

Comments are closed.