Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Politics

The Battle of the Bastards

The big question when Trump won in 2016 was whether his victory was the result of the rejection of the ideology of the left or the rejection of the deeply flawed Hillary Clinton.  The question few of us considered was if it was the attractiveness of either the character or policies of Donald Trump.  

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The Madisonian Insight

“This was the Madisonian insight,” he contends: “that you can make all sorts of promises on a piece of paper, and call it a ‘bill of rights,’ and it’s not worth the paper it’s written on unless you have some means to enforce it. Like any good contract, it’s only worth the enforcement mechanism it stands on.”

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Of the Elites, By the Elites, and for the Elites

“Progressivism was exactly a doctrine of the elites, by the elites, and for the elites. They said–I mean, their objection to market society was that markets function so annoying well, without the supervision of intellectuals.”

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Another Failed God

“the worst forms of tyranny very much include majoritarian tyranny. One might think that the Trump presidency would cause progressives to think twice about what William F. Buckley Jr. dismissed as “the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth.”

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Reconciling Flaws with Success

Even supporters have trouble reconciling Trumps flaws with his success.  Half of Trump supporters like him as he is, and half just like him more than the Jacobins running for the Democratic slots.  They prefer Trump’s character flaws to the bad ideas of the Democrats which pour forth uncontrollably.  The mobocracy fo the Kavanaugh hearing scares them more.

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A Watery Ceasarism

“Hence, there is such a thing as a human nature that is fixed and settled, not plastic to the touch of culture or government. That, we are more than culturally-acquiring creatures that take on the coloration of whatever social situation we are in. And third, from this flows the most important principle, which is separation of powers, to make government strong enough, to protect our natural rights, and not so strong that it threatens them. “

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Conrad Black on American Legal System

“The U.S. criminal justice system, because of the corruption of the plea bargain system that facilitates the prosecutors’ extortion of perjured inculpatory evidence with impunity, is just an immense kangaroo court.”

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Centrally Planned Ignorance

From National Review, Kevin Williams’ China’s Population Problem: Governments always operate in ignorance, and authoritarian governments suffer from this more than the governments of liberal societies. That is because in liberal societies, the spontaneous orders of markets, civil society, and…

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Jacobin Democrats

Hanson’s Jacobin moniker is more accurate than ‘progressive’.  It is a far more radical, illiberal, and often violent way to move  the political needle. It is different than populism;  it shares impatience and passion but lacks a root to the old order.  Among populists you sense a love for the country, even if it is an older version of it; with the Jacobins you sense a disgust for the country. One could argue that the Jacobin wing on of the Democratic Party is just a violent radical populist movement, but its lack of civil restraints make it far more dangerous.

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The Business Roundtable

Their compliance and subjugation to this class warfare rhetoric perpetuates the giant lie of the social justice warriors; that their wildest spending programs can be borne by a narrow band of the extremely wealthy.  If the middle class understood how much their share of the bill would be, they would lose in a McGovern style landslide.

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Incubator of Civility

While politics dismisses  ideology, it still underlies our differences.  The belief in permanent human nature and governing principles is what distinguishes the conservative from the progressive.

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The Self Righteous Mob

Half of Trump’s supporters like his in your face, hit back twice as hard, refusal to be intimidated, trolling, protocol style.  The other half fear the poorly thought, lunatic, illiberal, and authoritarian ideas and behavior of the Democrats much more than the ego and unpredictability of Trump.  The Kavanaugh hearing was a live rehearsal of how they handle power, like a self righteous mob. 

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Burnham Quotes

“No theory, no promises, no morality, no amount of good will, no religion will restrain power. Neither priests nor soldiers, neither labor leaders nor businessmen, neither bureaucrats nor feudal lords will differ from each other in the basic use which they will seek to make of power.”

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Modern Individualism

When the masses rise up the individuals suffer in mass.  Professed love of humanity often justified horrid treatment of individual humans.  The problems of division are not the result of individualism, but the poor substitutes that subvert it.

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The Uncertainty Tax and Friction Costs

Trump maybe correct in recognizing China’s destructive trade policies, but he is wrong to think that alone justifies a trade war.  He is wrong to think that Twitter is an acceptable negotiation platform, and he is wrong to think that he is the only national leader with stubborn pride.  Xi does not face an election in 2020 and has the political advantage of waiting him out, even if there are in a weaker economic position.

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Abandonment of Common Sense

Half of Trump supporters like his anti-elite, control the narrative, fearless and aggressive posture.  Half of his supporters have great problems with his style, lack of diplomacy, thoughtless tweets, and divisive rhetoric; but fear the radical ideas that are pouring from the barrel of Democratic candidates like liberal tourettes.

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Five Brief Book Reviews

Founders considered the Electoral College their crowning achievement of the Constitutional Convention.  The divisions by state make the system less corruptible;  the hanging chad problem in Florida was limited to one area of one state.  The system requires a candidate to appeal to a broad range of interests, not just the interests of a small if heavily populated area.

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Political Thoughts 2019 08 17

Identity Politics is just a politically correct form of racism.  We should not be surprised to hear more accusations of racism in response to greater reliance on identity politics as a political strategy.  The more that racism is used as a political weapon the less moral authority it retains.

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Real vs Hypothetical Evil

“…the real evils of censorship and suppression are considerably worse than the hypothetical troubles that a more liberal attitude toward unpopular speech might risk.”

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The Suicide of Identity Politics

This is the slow-motion suicide of identity politics. When everything is about race or sex it loses its power because it becomes impossible to identify. The Squad cannot even disagree with its own party and leaders without attributing differences to racism. Pelosi tried to minimize the power of these few House Democrats yet was unable to pass a meaningful anti-Semitic resolution against the support these few actors garnered. Yet they had little trouble passing a resolution condemning Trump’s ‘racist’ comment.

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