Conservative Principles and the French Revolution

The monumental failures of the French Revolution illuminated the importance of  essential conservative principles.

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History Can be Discovered but not Dictated

“It is unprofessional for historians to view the multifarious and complex motivations of millions of people over hundreds of years through a single prism, as for example the 1619 Project does in its attempt to view all American history solely through the monstrous story of slavery. Similarly, although more and more people believe in conspiracy theories, they do not make good history. If there is a choice between a conspiracy and a mess, the truth is usually the mess. Or a messed-up conspiracy.”

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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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Postmodernist Blinders

Oppression was held to be an expression of bourgeois power that, like sin, was all-pervasive. But widespread though it was, the demonic realm of oppression somehow didn’t include Eastern Europe under Communism.

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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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The Post Covid Economy

When the vaccine is implemented and the pandemic is behind us, there will a powerhouse of pent up demand that will propel a booming recovery. Tax revenues will grow accordingly even without a tax rate increase, but there is a downside.

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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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Temperamental vs Classical Conservatism

“One of the paradoxes of American conservatism is that one of the things American conservatives seek to conserve is American liberalism, which is rooted in the Anglo–Protestant liberalism of Locke, Smith, et al. “

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The Ignorance of Experts

Science begins with guessing and then proceeds to proof.
Scientists is a susceptible to cognitive biases as any human and must work to overcome them.
Separating the cranks from the visionaries requires judgment and patience.
“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
Politics can and often do pollute science.

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The Journalistic Malfeasance of the 1619 Project

The 1619 Project is shoddy history and shoddy journalism, debasing an honest accounting of slavery and racism in America; rewriting history to support a narrative rather than illuminating a problem. As we have progressed in racial understanding we seek to slay smaller and smaller dragons. Magnifying these dragons does not make them larger; it only appears so.

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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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