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Archive of posts published in the tag: Kevin Williamson

The Liberal Q-Anon

“A note to our progressive friends: This is your version of Q-Anon — falling for obvious, ridiculous lies because you want to believe the worst about people you hate.”

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Democracy and Climate

“Progressives have long struggled with the tension between their desire, often genuine, to be democratizers and their desire to give experts (however unreliably identified) a larger role in the administration of public affairs. “

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The Agent Principal Problem

Because socialism always begins with a man in a workshirt and ends with a guy dressed up as Cap’n Crunch,

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Social Media Bypasses Important Mediating Institutions

“We need mediating institutions, because human beings are capable of extraordinarily evil things and very much prone to banal evil and petty corruption — and easily seduced by the crude stimulation of mere novelty.”

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Governing the Here and Now

“”What we do at the personal level, we also do at the political level. That is why we are so fixated on statues put up a century ago and on the average daily temperatures a century hence — anything to avoid looking soberly at our real troubles in the here and now.”

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The Great Fiction

“Federalism and localism aren’t aesthetic preferences or ideological leanings that come out of nowhere — they are peace-keeping mechanisms necessary to the stable functioning of a diverse society.”

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A Different Bundle of Prejudices

“Conservatives have long understood that our choice is not between a bundle of prejudices and enlightened scientific management but between a bundle of prejudices and a different bundle of prejudices.”

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Only Adversaries

“The first is that all personal problems and all moral or intellectual matters have become political; that there is no human misfortune not amenable to political solution. The second is that, since everything can be known and changed, there is a perfect fit between action, knowledge, and morality.”

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Economic Nationalism

“For the politician, jobs are not a means to some end — Cadillacs, bales of cotton, iPhones — but an end in and of themselves.”

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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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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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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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Effortless Contrition

Virtue Signaling is an effortless act of contrition that empowers a mob to act more like a mob. Real solutions require thinking, listening and effort; not threats, intimidation and scapegoating.  Systemic racism and white guilt is just a way to avoid accountability, using a narrative as a scapegoat.  

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Consensus and Credibility

“the diminished credibility of the major news media, the courts, the political professionals, and the academics is not the result of histrionic right-wing criticism. It is the result of shoddy work by the people entrusted with the care and development of those institutions, of corruption and intellectual dishonesty at the highest levels filtering down to high-school history classrooms.”

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Rights Trump Democracy

“The destructive nature of socialism comes not from its tendency to trample on democracy (though socialism often does trample on democracy) but from its total disregard for rights — rights that are, in the context of the United States and other liberal-democratic systems, beyond the reach of mere majorities.”

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Restricting Democracy

“The rising authoritarianism of our time is not an aberration but the ordinary natural fulfillment of mass democracy when it has overflowed its constitutional restraints”

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A Bottomless Well of Misery

“The problems of socialism are problems of socialism — problems related to the absence of markets, innovation, and free enterprise and, principally, problems related to the epistemic impossibility of the socialist promise: rational central planning of economic activity. The problems of socialism are not the problems of authoritarianism and will not be cured by democracy.”

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Impeachment Afterthoughts

The impeachment seemed liked a hail Mary from the inception, motivated more by rage than reason. That is precisely why the constitution designed the process as they did to start in the House and then move to the Senate.  Rather than viewed as a Constitutional crisis, it should be affirmed as its proper functioning. It does not become a threat to the constitutional order just because you disagree with the outcome.

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Democracy and Property

“The right of property is of course always and everywhere a necessary but not insufficient condition for the flourishing of genuine liberty, which is a different thing from genuine democracy. Democracy despises property when it does not envy it and envies it when it does not despise it, and hence Senator Bernie Sanders et al. extol democracy in their war on property, which is a war on liberty, its sometime synonym. “

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Democracy and Progressivism

Progressives wish for more democracy yet wish to move the accountability of the administrative state further from the accountability of the voter.  Progress comes from the unique output from a minority.  Minority rights should be protected from majority rule.  Freedom should not be sacrificed to the false god of democracy.

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