Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: Politics

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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More Political Thoughts 2020 11 08

We remain a divided nation with two competing and incompatible narratives. One says we are irredeemably morally flawed and the other says we remain the land of opportunity and freedom, even if we are an unfinished and imperfect work. Trump may have lost but the latter vision remains intact.

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Election Night Thoughts and Observation 2020 11 04

At least half of America is not buying the woke zealot narrative. They may remain quiet due to the cancel culture, but you have not persuaded  someone because you have silenced them.

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The Political Immune System

“Our nation has a strong immune system against threats of the sort Trump presents. It has a very weak immune system against threats of the sort Harris presents. “

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Woke Book Burning

Banning books is no different than burning them.  Tolerating this nonsense is how tyrannical minorities assume power.

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Federalism and Health Care

Healthcare does more to illuminate the divide in political ideology than any other issue. It merges the ideological and pragmatic limits of central power;  the dispersal of interests (and thus the difficulty of consensus) and the dispersal of knowledge, the ‘fatal conceit’ that any central power can know how to manage complex markets for a vast and diversified nation.  Health care challenges the authority and the competence of central power.

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A Limited Democracy

“When the Supreme Court said for the umpteenth time that Congress cannot impose censorship on political critics, even if it calls that censorship “campaign finance reform,” Reid led an effort — supported by every single Democrat in the Senate — to repeal the First Amendment. Of course, he didn’t say that’s what he was doing, but a First Amendment that doesn’t protect political speech from government control is not a First Amendment.”

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If Trump Wins

The illiberal politically correct, identity politics, cancel culture was behind his first success and these forces only seem to have become worse. You do not persuade just because you have silenced someone, and the voting booth is the ultimate safe space. Political power requires the building of coalitions; identity politics is the opposite.

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The Rise of Neo Progressives

Political power comes from building coalitions; identity politics is the opposite. It will get support from the woke left as long as it serves their interest or until they exhaust themselves. The left can take a legitimate cause and squander potential support with the exercise of radical means. Their only hope is to embrace the liberal traditions of our political culture.

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Zealots by Another Name

“Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Both are collectivist: Group identity trumps the individual. Both tolerate—and often glorify—violence carried out by zealots.”

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Economic and Political Freedom

Just as a slight difference in the angle at it origin can dramatically change the direction and distance of a trajectory, a seemingly slight change in a definition can dramatically change the the outcome from from the use of a commonly used term or idea.

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Atlantic Journalistic Malpractice

Yes, it could be true, but that is poor grounds for a reporter.  The more outrageous an accusation the greater care should be taken to prove it.  If they are unwilling to go on the record and there is contrary evidence it should be shelved.  Rage makes you stupid.

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Free Speech Revisited

“Such cases show what happens when our heightened eagerness to take offense meets institutions’ innate desire to avoid trouble. If hearing a contrary opinion feels like a personal assault, then any potentially controversial statement is equivalent to shouting fire in a crowded theater. It’s much easier for a business or a school to avoid trouble, and potential liability, by shutting down discussion altogether.”

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The 1619 Riots

But the 1619 Project claims that the entire founding was motivated by the most immoral objectives.  History is much too complex to be reduced to a single theorem; good and evil often ride on the same horse.  George Floyd may have ignited the riots but the idea that we are irretrievably racist, that it is in our DNA, not only ignores the incredible progress made, but ignores scores of other influences on our social and racial constructs.

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Ancient Liberties and Newfangled Rights

“And he’d warn that the damage being done — to civil order, public property and, most of all perhaps, to the values demonstrators claim to champion — may not be easy to undo. “Rage and phrensy will pull down more in half an hour, than prudence, deliberation and foresight can build up in a hundred years.””

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