Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Politics

Heartless Tyranny of Ideas

“Above all, we must at all times remember what intellectuals habitually forget: that people matter more than concepts and must come first. The worst of all despotisms is the heartless tyranny of ideas.”

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Fragile Institutions

“True conservatives tend to have a particular understanding of the fragility of things. They understand that every human institution is, in its way, built on sand.”

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Ending Partisan Vengence

“But we must not imitate and escalate what we repudiate. Our duty is to govern for the public good. The United States Senate has a higher calling than an endless spiral of partisan vengeance.”

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The Age of Anger Algorithms

“We all like being told not merely that our opinions are reasonable but also that we’re the only group left standing between America and an imminent socialist or fascist hellscape.”

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Doubling Down on a Losing Hand

This is the narcissism of minor differences.  We will react more strongly to disagreement within our tribe than a greater threat from outside the tribe. Sunnis and Shiites; Catholics and Protestants.

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The Necessity of Auxiliary Precautions

The dignity and flawed nature of man and the need to restrain his access to central power, the necessary limits on democracy, and the need to view freedom in the individual rather than collective have become the defining tenets of modern conservatism. History has confirmed their value.

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Noble Ends Require Noble Means

Each side justifies divisive means to achieve their ends; but even when you win a race to the bottom you end up at the bottom.

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Checking Government Power

Not only is the growth of central government power antithetical to the founding principles, it has proven as short of necessary competence as it is short of legitimacy.  As economics has rivaled politics for our attention new scholarship has observed the dispersed nature of knowledge that separates knowledge from power at the federal level.

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Trump Clickbait

Trump will not go away because 1) despite his flaws he reaches a demographic no one else reaches and 2) the left will not want to give up the lucre of Trump click-bait.

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Expunging Guilt from Affluent Liberals

“Human history for these guys is just an endless rotation of oppressor and oppressed, a revolving door of masters and slaves in Hegel’s view, proletariat and bourgeoisie for Marx, privileged white people vs. marginalized people of color in Critical Race Theory. “

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Federalism Ends Where the Bill of Rights Begins

“States can grant more liberty than required by the Bill of Rights, but they cannot grant less.”

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A Nicer Form of Tyranny

“The village may have replaced the state, and in turn may have replaced the fist with the hug, but an unwanted embrace from which you cannot escape is just a nicer form of tyranny.”

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The Neo Progressive Era

While the second Wilson Administration pushed illiberal policies such as the Sedition Act of 1918, today we have voluntarily embraced illiberal mean to achieve liberal ends. I find this even more disturbing. The cancel culture and politically correct curbs on free speech has eroded legitimate debate and made the voting booth the last remaining safe space. This is magnified by a media that has replaced objective journalistic standards will the protection of partisan narratives.

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The Voice of the Neglected

Trump’s behavior was less foreign to their local norms than it was to the national audience. He resembled the local party bosses that protected their constituents, spoke plainly, and responded quickly and harshly to criticisms and disloyalty. Muravchik spoke of an honor culture in these towns very much like that found in groups of ethnic minorities. What seemed thin skinned to the coastal elite appeared normal to them. Trump spoke the language of local politics on a national level.

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The Attack on Our Institutions

The media, regardless of their descent, should not be our scapegoat. We are too willing to accept wild haired conspiracies rather than our own shortcomings and faults, and we are more eager and willing to demonize an opposing view than even pretend to understand it. Each side denies their complicity; and both are guilty, but that does not make it acceptable. The media is selling outrage, but we are willing buyers.

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Politics and Policy

I lament the subversion of ideas and policy to the passions of the electorate, but it is hard to escape that reality.  The more distant we get from our founding principles, both chronologically and intellectually, the more divisive we become.  When you do not know what you believe everything becomes an argument.  Without the unity of commonly held ideas we descend into the combat zone of identity politics.

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Thought on the Election Message 2020 11 22

The mark of an intelligent mind is to hold two conflicting thoughts in your head at the same time. The voters said that character matters but not at all costs. They rejected Trump’s character but also rejected the extreme policy elements of his opposition. It became possible to reject Trump and still reject the woke zealotry of the left. A vote against Trump was not a vote for socialistic policies, defunding the police, or acceptance of America as permanently morally scarred by its past.

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An Objective Moral Order

“To atheists like Mr. Dawkins, Sacks applied a beloved aphorism, adapted from an Oxford don: On the surface he’s profound, but deep down he’s superficial.”

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Reality Based Reporting

“It turns out that the only place that blue wave existed was on Twitter or in a poll — never once in an experience or an interview.”

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