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Deluded Missionaries

from Sarah Hoyt, Poor Darlings:

It’s not what they think they’re doing.  Like deluded missionaries for a doomsday cult, they think they’re fighting for paradise.  Of which more later, and which is why you should pity them.  But it is what they’re doing: biting the hand that feeds them, pulling up the planks from under their own feet, generally making it impossible for the prosperity they were born to to exist.  And in the process taking us down too.  So we’ve been resisting.  For a long time we resisted inside our own heads, then we resisted in our friends’ group, in our tiny blogs, in our news reading and oh, very much in our voting.

What we didn’t do is put up big signs in our yards and throwing noisy fits.  Why not?  Because we’re not spoiled children.  If we screamed, cried and held our breath, we’d just get pulled along by our arms.

Generation Z

from Selena Zito,  Why the generation after millennials will vote Republican

“They are not as impressed with fame — celebrities, athletes, politicians — as are their predecessors, since fame in their lifetime has become rather easy to obtain with social media and reality TV,” Brauer added.

Generation Z is diverse. They are only 55 percent white and will be the last majority-white generation in America. And they have the most positive outlook toward the nation’s growing diversity of any previous generation.

Generation Z is a product of 9/11, global terrorism, school shootings, perpetual wars, the Great Recession, high unemployment and constant budget cuts. Because of all that, they are cautious, even fearful, of an uncertain world and economy. Security and safety are very important to them, as they have grown up in such an unstable society.

They are distrustful of “big” employers because they’ve seen good people, who did all the right things, get laid off from longstanding jobs and careers. They are cautious with finances, always looking for the best deals and the best value.

HKO

Selena Zito’s analytic creds are rising with me.  Interesting trend in youth voting… and they like Trump.

The Essence of Identity Politics

from Ed Driscoll and The Rise of the John Birch Left

The modern left is built around a trio of laudable principles: protecting the environment is good, racism is bad, and so is demonizing a person over his or her sexual preferences. (In the chapter of his book Intellectuals titled “The Flight from Reason,” Paul Johnson wrote that “At the end of the Second World War, there was a significant change in the predominant aim of secular intellectuals, a shift of emphasis from utopianism to hedonism.” ) But just as the Bircher right began to see communists everywhere, the new Bircher left sees racism, sexism, homophobia, and Koch Brothers everywhere.

HKO

Read the complete article . This is the essence of identity politics.

Means Matter

One of the problems with the ‘ends justify the means’ mentality is determining whose ends you are pursuing. The idea of a living constitution sounds fine to the left as long as they are pursuing the goals the left values, but when the government shifts you want the restrictions of the Constitution and its devolution of power to protect your interests. The means do matter, even when they do not deliver the ends you desire. Principles and ideology matters even when they frustrate pragmatic solutions.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds, law professor and blogger at Instapundit, makes this point in The USA Today in  A ‘living Constitution’ on the right?

What if right-leaning jurists listened to their critics on the left, and adopted a “living Constitution” approach instead of relying on what the Framers understood the text to mean? As Barnett asks: “Why would you possibly want a nonoriginalist ‘living constitutionalist’ conservative judge or justice who can bend the meaning of the text to make it evolve to conform to conservative political principles and ends? However much you disagree with it, wouldn’t you rather a conservative justice consider himself constrained by the text of the Constitution like, say, the Emoluments Clause?”

Where else might we see changes? Well, I’m neither a conservative (I’m a libertarian) or a living constitutionalist, but I can imagine a few places. One is in the scope of government power. During the New Deal era, the Supreme Court — after being threatened with “court packing” by FDR — endorsed a massive expansion of governmental power on the ground that it would lead to greater efficiency in the economy. Instead, we got a bloated bureaucracy with serious accountability problems, and a disastrous expansion in spending, regulation and federal debt. Based on this experience, I can imagine a conservative justice who sees the Constitution as a “living breathing organism” that must be kept in tune with the needs of the day deciding that the New Deal Court’s decisions were mistakes that violate the Constitution, and must now be rolled back.

Likewise for the Warren Court’s “one man, one vote” rule for state legislative apportionment, in which states — unlike the federal government under the U.S. Constitution — were no longer allowed to have a house of their legislature apportioned by geography rather than population. The result has been that states like California or Illinois, which is red almost everywhere but in the Chicago metropolitan area, are totally dominated by the large populations of urban centers.   Those states are also governed badly and suffer from considerable degrees of corruption and enormous debt. Perhaps experience turns out to show that the “one man one vote” approach was wrong, and that there was wisdom after all in the Framers’ approach of not apportioning everything according to population.  A “living Constitution” changes with the times!

But my advice to those on the left attacking originalist approaches is this: Be careful what you ask for, because you won’t like it if you get it.

The New Populism

From Noah Rothman at Commentary, The Age of Emotion and Unreason

The elites and experts in whom society has placed its trust have underperformed over the last decade. This phenomenon was discussed at length in the latest COMMENTARY podcast. In virtually every sector of rarified society, the failure of the managerial class to pass basic competency tests is endemic. There is, however, another side to that coin—a side that isn’t often discussed in an era of anti-elitism, in which the professed ability to channel the primal nature of the angry American voter is a prized commodity. It is the fact that the angry American voter is an emotional animal, and emotionality leads to bad policy. Too many have confused displays of pique and pride for intellectual argument.

At the moment, America’s intellectual class is transfixed by a forensic investigation into the present backlash against the political class in Washington. The risk of over-interpreting the results of an election in which one unpopular candidate managed to best another by fewer than 200,000 votes in three key swing states has been subsumed in the race to catalog the genus #MAGA. This mission has recently transformed, though, from the necessary enterprise of identifying the causes that led to a reaction against a comfortable class on the coasts into an effort to impose on this movement a kind of intellectualism absent in the actions and pronouncements of its standard-bearer.

The task of making America’s new nationalism into something of substance has become a preoccupation of both by Trump skeptics and supporters. But the fact that so many on the intellectual right are laboriously crafting a rationale for “America First” abroad and “economic nationalism” at home is an admission that no such rationale exists. These aren’t policies but sentiments—and not unearned sentiments, either. The noble, angry American voter may be a righteously aggrieved figure, but that doesn’t mean he knows much about public policy.