What Caused the Conservative Crack Up?

By | 2016-10-21T14:07:17+00:00 October 21st, 2016|
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Steve Hayward has written an indispensable guide to what he calls the “conservative Black Swan event” precipitated by the candidacy of Donald Trump. Few could have done it so well.  Hayward does it right because he plays it straight. This is not an election year polemic, but an honest and educated look at the deep divisions on the Right. One of the good guys, Steve describes himself and his role thus:

I have good friends who are enthusiastic pro-Trumpers and good friends who are adamant Never Trumpers, and I’m doing my best to stick with my friends. I’ve always been a fusionist conservative, finding merit and insight in every corner of the right-wing galaxy and often acting the diplomat in trying to reconcile the competing kingdoms in our ideological game of thrones. 

Yet, his is not a plaintive cry of “Why can’t we all just get along.” It’s an explanation of the crisis in American politics – a century or more in the making – that brought the nation to the point that the Democrats nominated the corrupt and corrupting Hillary Clinton and Republican voters’ best option to oppose her coronation was political novice Donald Trump. It is not an electoral issue to be fixed at the mid-terms, it is a political and cultural sickness that demands a determined response from the people themselves.

Hayward offers, if not yet a cure, at least a a diagnosis:

What is that crisis? It’s not the litany of items that usually come to mind—the $20 trillion national debt, economic stagnation, runaway regulation, political correctness and identity politics run amok, unchecked immigration that threatens to work a demographic-political revolution, and confused or unserious policy toward radical Islamic terrorism. These are mere symptoms of a much deeper but poorly understood problem. It can be stated directly in one sentence: Elections no longer change the character of our government…

The political character of the administrative state is more important than the economic inefficiency or arbitrariness of bureaucracy that is the usual target of conservative ire, because it represents a new answer to the classic political question: Who should rule? The premise of the Constitution is that the people should rule. The premise of the administrative state, explicitly expressed by Woodrow Wilson and other Progressive-era theorists, is that experts should rule, in a new administrative form largely sealed off from political influence, i.e., sealed off from the people.

In a particularly damning critique of conservative geekery and its tendency to miss the forest for the trees, Hayward offers this:

In opposition to the slow-motion Progressive assault on self-rule by the people, the conservative establishment has been offering mostly what can be called “checklist conserv-atism,” i.e., policy ideas with indirect or negligible political effect. What do Progressives stand for? Justice, equality, and the “right side of history”! What do conserv-atives stand for? More tax cuts, school choice, enterprise zones, a balanced-budget amendment, medical savings accounts, a statutory cost-benefit standard for regulation, and other policy wonkery. All worthy ideas, to be sure, but none of them reach very far to halt the steady unraveling of constitutional government.

And then Hayward quotes this bit from John Marini, who has probably done more than any other scholar to explain the threat to self-government posed by the Left and the administrative state.

Post-modern intellectuals have pronounced their historical judgment on America’s past, finding it to be morally indefensible. Every great human achievement of the past—whether in philosophy, religion, literature, or the humanities—came to be understood as a kind of exploitation of the powerless. Rather than allowing the past to be viewed in terms of its aspirations and accomplishments, it has been judged by its failures. The living part of the past is understood in terms slavery, racism, and identity politics. Political correctness arose as the practical and necessary means of enforcing this historical judgment. No public defense of past greatness could be allowed to live in the present. Public morality and public policy would come to be understood in terms of the formerly oppressed.

As with anything Hayward writes, take the time to read the whole thing: Crisis of the Conservative House Divided.

 

 

About the Author:

Chris Buskirk
Chris is the Publisher and Editor of American Greatness and the host of The Seth & Chris ShowThe Seth & Chris Show on 960 The Patriot. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute. and received a Fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's Morning Edition. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Connect with Chris on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk
  • Michael Baranowski

    I’m wondering about one of Mr. Hayward’s basic assumptions – is the premise of the Constitution really that ‘the people’ should rule? It seems to me that a more accurate reading might be that the premise of the Constitution is that elites should rule, but with some input from the people.

    • Severn

      a more accurate reading might be that the premise of the Constitution is that elites should rule, but with some input from the people.

      I don’t know if that’s Haywoods basic assumption or not. I’d lean towards “not”. In any case it’s not the Founders belief.

      • Michael Baranowski

        Not at all? Between no direct election of Senators, the Electoral College, and some of the comments a number of the Founders made about the general public, don’t you think that it’s at least a reasonable interpretation?

        • jack dobson

          It is a reasonable interpretation and explains why the constitution is long-dead. We need a new governing instrument, and I would strongly recommend a diminution in the roll of chief executive if there is to be one.

        • Severn

          The Founders simply did not express the sort of anti-majoritarian sentiments which certain factions in the modern “Right” wish to project onto them. Nor did they construct the sort of government via their Constitution which could function in such an anti-majoritarian fashion. The Constitution does not assign political power by class – the very idea would have been anathema to the men who were rebelling against just that sort of class structure.

          The American Founders were Whigs, and rather radical Whigs at that. Some people now wish to imagine that they were Tory’s, but they were never that.

          • Michael Baranowski

            How, then, should we understand the Founders creation of the Electoral College, and not allowing for direct election of Senators? Don’t you think it’s fair to say that while some of the Founders were egalitarian, some of them weren’t, and the resulting document reflects this tension?

      • Steven Cobern

        The people are sovereign, period. Everything else flows from that. The progressives believe they are smarter than everyone else, therefore they should tell everyone else what to do. We live in an administrative state whose goal is to eliminate America as a nation state because it’s more convenient for the globalist plutocracy. Our representatives were suppose to represent our citizens, but they take their orders from the Davoisie rather than their constituents. obamacare and illegal immigration are two examples of our leaders ignoring the will of the people. They believe everything flows from above and ignore anything else. They are truly out of touch. they never saw Trump and Bernie coming. And even if Hillary wins, the discontent will live on.

    • JJ the Irredeemable

      The people elect representatives to vote their causes. I don’t see how that should equate to the elite, unless you’re interpreting 18th century parochial views into elitist speak.

  • Severn

    Here’s a wonderful illustration of the thinking from the anti-Trumpian faction in the GOP, written by Matthew Continetti. (Who happens to be Bill Kristols son-in-law)

    http://freebeacon.com/columns/crisis-conservative-intellectual/

    He goes on at great length and tries to invoke people such as Bill Buckley as being on his side, which seem dubious. But in essence he agrees with the nature of the two opposing camps as they are commonly described, the “populists” and the “elitists”. (He calls them “the Eastern Establishment” and “the New Right” respectively, which are probably more accurate terms than the elitist/populist nomenclature))

    It’s worth reading as one of the more honest (about their own goals) essays I’ve seen from the anti-Trump people. Usually they content themselves with calling Trump names and carefully refrain from offering their own ideas. Here he goes”

    We might have to return to the beginning to understand where we have ended up. We might have to reject adversarianism, (this is another of the terms he uses to mean the New Right or Trump supporters) to accept the welfare state as an objective fact, to rehabilitate Burnham’s vision of a
    conservative-tinged Establishment capable of permeating the managerial society and gradually directing it in a prudential, reflective, virtuousmanner respectful of both freedom and tradition.

    Which sounds very like him saying that his side “might have to” reject the ideas of everybody who was historically thought of as conservative and to accept the premises of leftist and “managerial society”.

  • Severn

    it is the stance of one corner of the right that is raising eyebrows and puzzlement all around: the writers associated with the Claremont Institute—aka the “Claremonsters”—and their fellow travelers.

    That shows a remarkable degree on insularity on his part. Perhaps among the members of Conservatism Inc the “Claremonsters” are the ones out of step with the crowd. But within the context of American conservatism in general it is Conservatism Inc which is drawing puzzlement and anger, by their actions to try to throw the 2016 Presidential election to Hilary Clinton

    One thing has become abundantly clear – the writers and workers at these well-endowed think tanks and magazines are every bit as disconnected from the reality of life in today’s America as are the Republican party leadership. All the people they associate with think in exactly the same way – a way which is sharply disconnected from the way in which ordinary Americans think.

    • RDittmar

      I have to strongly second your opinion on Trump vis a vis this claim of total inarticulateness. I’m not going to pretend he’s the most polished orator of all time, but this attempt to claim he’s inarticulate is linked to an odd dynamic I’ve seen throughout the year. Trump will come out and say something that is perfectly reasonable to anyone who gives it a moment’s thought, and the mainstream press and Conservative, Inc. quislings will go out and pretend it’s the craziest thing ever uttered in the history of civilization. The prime example I remember is when in the aftermath of the shootings in Orlando he came out to say that we should restrict Muslim immigration if we can’t determine who might be violent or not. The press acted like this was the most insane, anti-American and un-Constitutional sentiment ever expressed. Even this recent flap over “accepting the result of elections” is an example. Why should he come out and say he’ll accept any result without even knowing the circumstances surrounding it? Yet again, a perfectly reasonable sentiment painted to be somehow thoughtless and unhinged.

      I’m actually even a little bit impressed as to how articulate he’s been about the abortion issue of all things. If I had to guess, I would bet that issue is of very little importance to Trump and that he’s never really thought all that much about it. At the same time, reasonable sentiment from him is treated as a gaffe. Remember when he said that women might have to face some consequences should it be made illegal? This is apparently some big minefield for GOPe squishes, but he came out and said the obvious – of course women actively breaking a law might face consequences. Now he’s also come out and said we should appoint Justices that promise to overturn Roe v. Wade. Why shouldn’t Republican appointments be just as overt in their allegiances as Democratic ones? I think a lot of what the egghead class regards as “inarticulateness” is just plain common sense to the Dirt People.

    • Deplorable Me
  • Party of Lincoln

    It would be best for conservatives not to play the blame game after November 8 and instead to work together to identify common objectives and core values. Each of us has our own view on the best regime forward but surely the following has to be shared objectives, given the reality of constraints we just can’t wish away.

    First, commit to restraining the growth of the administrative and entitlement states. We can’t abolish either but we can effectively restrain their growth by appeals to common sense in the case of regulatory law and fiscal reality in the case of entitlements. Put another way, we can philosophize all we want all day long but if we go bankrupt because we can’t generate enough economic growth to pay for entitlements we’re facing a debt crisis, “bigly”.

    Second, deal with immigration in a rational way. That means improve border security, deport those illegal aliens who have committed crimes in the US (even down, I suggest, to the level of misdemeanors) but establishing a permanent legal resident status BUT NOT citizenship to the remaining illegal aliens. This is bitter medicine for Ann Coulter but the alternative of deporting 11 million PLUS the 4 million American citizen of those 11 million illegal aliens is simply not a realistic possibility. And it’s long overdue that hardliners on “mass deportation” face reality.

    Third, do revisit NAFTA and other trade agreements involving countries where an adverse impact on American jobs can be attributed. This is harder worker than it sounds because powerful American interests have benefited from NAFTA et al while and once you open up an agreement you don’t get to cherry pick what you like and don’t like. Everything gets opened up. There is no easy answer on trade as it’s literally all about the details. There is magic wand that we can wave that allows us to have the best of worlds — cheap imports, robust exports AND a the kind of low-skilled manufacturing sector that we had in the 1920s or even 1950s.

    Fourth, reform education. Yes, it’s much easier said than done but it has to get done, finally, after decades of all talk and no action. One encouraging sign, perhaps the only, of the Trump campaign in the late summer began was the beginning of at least a passing reference to education reform in his stump speeches. Too little, too late, but Trump was right to walk into the heart of Detroit and other rotting inner cities to tell ’em like it is, how the Democrats have allowed the children of blacks and Latinos to toil in squalor in state-run classrooms. But here’s the dirty little secret about education reform — opposition to ed reform isn’t limited to the Dems and the teachers’ unions which fund them, but to well-to-do Republican enclaves as well. Whoever speaks to Republicans in the future needs to tell the truth that rich Republicans that they have to be a part of education reform, that they just can’t be satisfied with their own public schools and allow the inner cities to rot in hell.

    Trump would do well for himself and the republic were he to commit himself after November 8 to education reform. We shall see what he commits himself to, but the early signs are not heartening.

    Wealthy Republicans have good reason to be satisfied with the status quo — they’re wealthy and their kids are already set for life. But their own wealth and self-satisfaction is at grave risk if they simply allow the Democrats to rule the political roost for the next generation. Trump, in one of his few moments of eloquence, asked “What the hell have you got to lose?”. Well, all of us have something to lose if we continue down the same path of tax-regulate-spend-borrow that has marked every presidential administration since Reagan, and arguably going back to FDR.

    We can’t abolish the administrative state but we can tame the regulatory beast, we can make our tax code more effective in sponsoring economic growth that allows the federal government to pay for what it needs to pay for and we can rebuild the economic model of our educational system to produce students who can outcompete everyone else on the planet. As uncomfortable as it is to put this into words, the world is only safe if the United States dominates it economically, militarily and perhaps even culturally. We, and the world, cannot afford another generation of students who have trouble with basic reading and math skills.

    Surely the Trump and NeverTrump factions can agree on all this and perhaps more. Keep the focus on tangible results, not philosophical musings. The American people aren’t interested in philosophy or what Strauss thought or how his students interpreted Strauss’s writings. One can hardly imagine Lincoln or Reagan thinking to themselves, “What would have Strauss thought?” The ancient texts can be safely put down. Americans want government to work for us not for the elites. We want our schools to educate our children, our children to be rewarded for their hard work, for our hard work to be rewarded with fair pay and for our homes to be safe at night. Americans don’t ask for too much, but what little we ask and pay for we expect to have delivered. To us, that is, not assholes in Manhattan, Hollywood and West Palm Beach.

    If conservatives can do that, focus on deliverable results and let the scholars debate among themselves the finer points of their pet theories, we’ll build a sustainable coalition that the founders and Lincoln would be proud of. With the upcoming disaster of the Clinton II Administration soon upon us, we conservatives have a chance to get it right and get it done. And make the founders and Lincoln proud. Will we take that chance or will we allow ourselves to get mired, and thus get nowhere, in theory?

    Trump, however massive his faults as a human being and as a candidate, pointed the way for the next Republican candidate for potus. Sure, his tsunami of negatives overwhelmed his few positives and in the end he might as well have been a paid chauffeur for Hillary right to the front door of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but he spoke to the people whom the elites of both parties forgot and they rewarded him with the benefit of their many doubts. What the next Republican must do is to reassure Trump’s hard core supporters that he (or she) will deliver results for them, but that Republican also needs to speak to modestly affluent suburban women as well as inner city blacks and Latinos that they are as much a part of what makes America great as the “working classes” in the industrial Midwest. To bring those voters home that Republican needs to speak in terms of fairness, delivering on the basics of what government is supposed to do to protect them from harm (in consumer products, pollution, criminals and more) and to assure them that we can and will pay for it ourselves and not dump all these expenses on the backs of our children.

    • jack dobson

      Good suggestions but they are much too late if Trump loses (and even if he wins in many aspects). Regardless of what happens and while cool heads can prevail, we need to discuss a new arrangement among the various states. At most, a Trump victory would provide a little breathing room between now and the formal acknowledgment we are in a post-constitutional, post-Rule of Law era and need a new governing instrument and arrangement that binds us to some degree. As badly as it has played out, something along the lines of the European Union as a basis for the fifty states to interact is likely a good idea.

      • Party of Lincoln

        “As originally formulated” constitutional government is indeed long dead, but that wouldn’t have surprised or disappointed the founders. Surely they could not have imagined that 225 years later constitutional government would have not endured transformational changes.

        Governments which don’t adapt die. This government has adapted to changing economic reality. Only conservatives of a certain stripe find it shocking and lamentable that ours is no longer the republic that it was in the 1790s.

        “Constitutional government” isn’t confined to the form that it took in 1790.

        • jack dobson

          Governments which don’t adapt die. This government has adapted to changing economic reality.

          The adaptation was without the consent of the governed. It is time to have a larger discussion about what form of government we want.

          Only conservatives of a certain stripe find it shocking and lamentable that ours is no longer the republic that it was in the 1790s.

          What they find shocking and lamentable is an often hostile form of government has been imposed on them undemocratically. No one is wanting a return to the 1790s.

          • Party of Lincoln

            Agreed, largely, but the fatal defect of the Decian thesis is that Trump and Trumpism is in any way a cure to the maladies you’ve identified. Decius and his band of brothers urge us to embrace, in effect, a suicide mission.

            Trump has never proposed a repeal of regulations and programs that were imposed undemocratically, meaning by administrative fiat. (see Obama). In fact, he has proposed continued use of executive action to accomplish his goals. And he has proposed a number of reforms that are antithetical to human freedom and constitutional norms.

            http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-06-27/trump-eyes-executive-orders-to-sidestep-congressional-gridlock

            Whether his policies, such as confiscating private property to pay for the wall. are wise or not is a matter to thankfully will be mooted after November 8, but to impose them by administrative fiat, as Obama has done, is what is offensive to so many conservatives. Trump would simply double down on the use of executive action to achieve his goals. The notion that Trump is a constitutional hero is a flight of imagination.

            Trump has indeed proposed repealing Obamacare (he has repeatedly spoken fondly of single payer), but Obamacare was enacted by Congress and signed by the President. Assuming a Democrat filibuster, Trump would no doubt attempt to repeal Obamacare by executive action. Whether the courts would allow the president to repeal statute by fiat remains to be seen, but it would certainly be “anti-republican” (small “r”) to selectively repeal by administrative fiat those statutes that you don’t like.

            As for what form of government we want, what we should want is a republican form of government. That means at the very least respecting the will of the people whether the people elect the candidates we like or don’t like. It also means a form government in which Congress and the President together make law, not the President alone. It means a government which does not delegate lawmaking power to regulatory agencies. It means a government in which the majority has no constitutional and enforceable power to undermine the rights of the minority. It means a government which takes seriously the proposition that all men are created equal and the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness are unalienable.

          • Orson

            “Trump has never proposed a repeal of regulations and programs that were imposed undemocratically, meaning by administrative fiat. (see Obama). In fact, he has proposed continued use of executive action to accomplish his goals.” But are these not the same things? Rejecting by Obama’s autocracy by the same means the despot used? (Which Trump has indeed proposed doing at his Gettysburg speech.) And exactly how does the president get the legislative branch to grow balls and a spine to exercise against the powers of the executive? – unless the legislators doe so by themselves? The #NeverTrump-ers have not explained this, not have you.

    • Steven Cobern

      You’re a typical anti-Trumpster. Your post is indicative of the GOPe, all talk and no action. Your empty words mean nothing. It’s rich when you talk about the blame game. The GOPe refused to support the duly elected repub nominee and you expect us to forgive and forget? The GOPe has betrayed their base three times and there will be no going back. The anti-Trumpster repubs have destroyed the party. You think you can blame Trump and his supporters for your dereliction of duty? What unmitigated gall, what arrogance. The GOPe is the rump of the party that was repudiated in the primaries. You’re going the way of the Whigs and for the same reason. You think it is more convenient and profitable to collaborate with the dems.

      Hillary will pack the Supremes with SJW’s and enfranchise enough illegals to secure the South from repubs. And without the South the repubs will never win the presidency. You hope to elect Hillary and you think you’re going to “bring us home”? Dream on.

      • Party of Lincoln

        Steve C., you need to acknowledge that Trump has catastrophically low support among women and Latino voters. The “GOPe” did not make Trump toxic with women and Latinos — Trump made himself toxic with those voters. He could have every white male in the US vote for him and it still wouldn’t be enough to overcome his problems with women and minorities.

        But let’s assume you’re not still convinced, that the GOPe is entirely responsible for women and minorities rejecting Trump. What exactly did the GOPe do to make women and minority voters reject Trump? Facts, please.

        I’m interested in factual evidence to support your assertion that Trump and his supporters can’t be held responsible for his own words and deeds, that everything that went wrong for Trump as he heads toward a landslide defeat is someone else’s fault, not his own.

        Yes, Hillary will pack the Supreme Court with liberals who will support the expansion of government power over individuals. And more. All the more reason we shouldn’t have nominated the one Republican candidate who guaranteed her election as potus.

        You Trumpians broke the Republican party and now you have some soul-searching to do over the next few months. If you want to keep it broken then so be it, but don’t blame everyone else when Hillary runs the table with her agenda of higher taxes, more spending, bigger government and weaker defense.

        • Marilyn James

          For some women, NO MAN would be able to get their vote. Among my female friends, those who can actually think, there are many who are pro-Trump. I myself am formerly a Democrat and am now a Republican and I am going to vote for Trump. I have not yet decided if I am going to bother to vote down ballot. I am sure there are many Democrats such as myself who are going to vote for Trump. I lived through those Clinton years in the 90s and I don’t want them back in the White House. If Trump loses, if Clinton is in the White House, I am certain there are many voters who will never vote again for any Republican. What will it matter? Our country as we have known it will be no more.

        • Christine Golden

          How traditional Democratic constituencies vote in November is not the point. It’s the personal attacks and insults, the slurs against people’s intelligence and values, the holier-than-thou snooty lectures about ‘true’ conservatism by the #NR crowd that have split the party. They broke it by publicly rebelling against the GOP’s duly-elected presidential nominee; they can fix it.

          As to where blame should be affixed if Hillary wins, that would be on those who refused to vote against Clinton. We tried to keep her out of the White House. What did you do?

        • JJ the Irredeemable

          Well, Trump was at a disadvantage because he has the wrong genetalia. Just like Obama carried all sorts of people who simply wanted the first black President, the same is true in this election with regards to women, who are for better and worse, more emotional creatures.

      • Party of Lincoln

        You still don’t get it. It’s women and minorities who are abandoning Trump in epic numbers. Whatever Trump was thinking when he got into the race, his strategy of denigrating women and minorities was moronic and guaranteed a Hillary win.

        On what basis could you possibly expect blocs of voters Trump went out of way to insult eventually voting for him.

        If Candidate X proclaims that German immigrants are rapists and criminals, do you really think German American voters are going to vote Candidate X? Of course not. Only a fool would think German American voters would rally behind a candidate who calls them rapists and criminals.

        Go ahead and keep dreaming but Trump and Trumpism are going down to a flaming defeat entirely because of the stupidity of Trump and the Rep primary voters who supported him when we had other outstanding candidates who could have beaten Hillary.

    • Christine Golden

      Trump plans to eliminate the position of SecEd and return control of our schools to the states. He also hopes to do the same with SecCom and EPA.

    • JJ the Irredeemable

      You can’t do any of that without national basics.

      1) Anyone pretending that pro-amnest and pro-illegal immigration groups actually care about the immigrants is lying. They want perpetual Democrat electoral victories, period. Import people who never took a civics class and they’ll vote D every time.

      2) If Clot isn’t prosecuted… if Comey is not prosecuted… if the IRS heads are not prosecuted, then we don’t have a legitimate government, period. A government like ours is only legitimate if it follows its own laws.

      We aren’t even giving lip service to the basics anymore. And now that that is clearly out the window, the rest is lost.

  • hcat

    Actually I’m in Metro DC right now (Ballston )arguing whether SUPers should have to wear leashes, life jackets, or both. I’m an advocate for leashes, not life jackets. But I’ve been very aware that the current election will be totally irrelevant to this aspect of the administrative law.

  • Steven Cobern

    Hayward is a total anti-Trump hack. he represents the globalist rump of the repub party. those GOPe have been supporting Hillary from the beginning.

    • Orson

      No, not really. (Even though he dances a toe-tap a line waay too much.)

  • Innocuous

    All this tsk, tsk, tsk about the administrative state. So called ‘conservatives’ tiptoe around the fact that the state is a behemoth and want to work within the current laws, rule, regulations and tax code to make it them appear ‘conservative’ in order to appease the base. All this does is grow the monster. Conservatives hate the beast but want to use it to foist their own values on the nation. Let’s make it larger but, only for our purposes. Peshaw!
    .
    With foreign policy it appears that ‘conservatives’ only care about is the State of Israel and how the United States is beholden to her. This in turn has created a convoluted foreign policy that causes more conflict and back room deals that are not part of the American idea of John Q. Adams’ benediction; “But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.”. Yes, yes the invective of ‘anti-Semite’ are sure to follow.
    .
    It is time to ditch the adjective “conservative’. It’s a word used to attract those who can’t think without a label that makes them feel like good Americans.
    .
    It’s time to kick the door in so the whole rotten structure will collapse in on itself.

  • Orson

    And if genuine revolution in government does not come by the ballot, then it shall come by the bullet – precisely as prescribed to us by those who defied being drawn, quartered, and staked out at the compass points with their carcasses for their so-called “treason.”

  • Forbes

    Post-modern intellectuals, shorter version: Everything before yesterday was wrong.

  • kenpuck

    Follow the money. Wall Street makes huge profits with carried interest, so they want Hillary, who won’t rock the boat so long as they cut her in. Manufacturers, like the Koch Brothers, Jeff Imelt, and Bob Iger, and their henchmen like Tom Donohue, all want cheap labor, so they’re all in for TPP, H1-B visas, and open borders; the devil take the hindmost..

    Meantime, fastidious overthinkers like Eric Erickson, Rich Lowry, Jonah Goldberg, and John Podhoretz are simply appalled that the Donald doesn’t know which fork to use for the fish course — and may, heaven forfend, employ a dangling modifier or a mixed metaphor in mixed company. Having learned nothing and forgotten nothing, they are steadfast — rock-ribbed — in their beliefs.

    None of these worthies gives a rat’s patootie that our manufacturing base has been hollowed out, that the unrestricted influx of low-skilled, penniless immigrants is overloading and crashing our welfare system and public schools, that violent crime is on the rise, that drugs are flooding our schools and neighborhoods, that the shared belief in the American way of life is becoming a thing of the past, that one out of three working-age Americans are not working, that half of all college grads under 25 are unemployed or underemployed, and that fully 50% of Americans now get an unearned federal subsidy. Or that the Federal Resrve is a ship of fools, whereby it now takes a dollar to buy what 4 cents bought in 1907

    All that matters is the quarterly dividend.and untaxed earnings from carried interest — and the devil take the hindmost. Although corporate earnings cannot continue for much longer in this scenario, and a horrific crash impends that will make 1929 look like a hiccup, get what you can while you can…and buy a bolt hole in New Zealand and a Learjet to fly you there for when all the wheels finally come off.

    If all this doesn’t make you want to vote for Donald Trump, you are a heartless, soulless, witless — and probably wealthy — shell of a human being. For if Hillary does win, she’ll be the last chapter in the great American novel..

    • JJ the Irredeemable

      It can be explained more easily than that.
      For the last eight years, and during the end of W Bush’s term, all major economic stimulus went straight to Wall Street, which was supposed to create jobs and improve the economy through increased lending. That happened to some extent.

      But what happened to fiscal stimulus directly back to the individual taxpayers? The government would rather us be enslaved to a bank than to give us our own money back when the economy is growing at a slow pace.

      It’s certainly by design. There is something to a systemic basic protection of bank depositors, but not the banks themselves. Too Big To Fail was a perversion of any capitalistic principle. A natural migration of failed bank assets to more prudent banks at a discount would have permitted those banks to negotiate properly with the defaulting borrowers. There was no need to take taxpayer debt and give it to the irresponsible banks.

      Kasich, Rubio, Bush, etc. would have all bailed out the banks, and a Clinton will as well. We didn’t need new regulations. We simply needed to let the people who owned those banks lose THEIR fortunes to teach them a lesson.

  • Orson

    Let me take a different tack than the one Hayward uses for his exegesis. Establishment conservatives still act as if they have honest partners in Washington, DC, in the National Opinion forming circles. They don’t. This delusion defines their dangerousness.

    Here’s where Hayward starts his thesis: elections don’t actually change government anymore. True assertion – but a mistaken place to begin the dialog.

    The problem lies with the Left, precisely where Hayward winds up. During the 1990s, while PoMo radical epistemological modes of thought were escaping from universities, the Real Deal was in power, for whom the ends justified the means because – precisely as PoMo teaches – all that matter is Power!

    Therefore, President Clinton argued “depends on the meaning of what ‘is’ is….” And lies don’t matter. And the National Media agreed that his impeachment was All About sex, despite there being no mention whatsover of the term sex, nor any of its derivatives or synonyms in the Bill of Impeachment.

    What led to his impeachment was lying. Why then did the Democrats, the media, and many Pubbie squishes in the Senate completely cave to this mad charade?

    This brings us back to the Founders and Montesquieu: a republic requires virtue to be maintained. And what was being vanquished during the 1990s was the primacy of honesty. Without people possessing the virtue of honesty, there cannot be Truth seeking, truth-telling. Without these virtues, the body-politic devolves into mean and sordid power lust we see today.

    More functionally, the problem for governance is the fact that without a polity embodying honesty, real problems cannot be identified, defined and solved. Instead, pseudo problems dominate.

    Today we have our “better” in power who pursue “race problems” like racist police murder that doesn’t exist; we have a “climate crisis” what doesn’t exist; we have transgender discrimination whose “solution” lies in rooting out all denial of genetic science, as well as decades of post-opp therapeutic findings. And we have a security state that denies all linkage between Jihad in Islamic religion and terrorism, such that no “enemy” can be identified except us.

    In short, the Powerful, including the admin state, become completely dysfunctional, wasteful and destructive of actual honesty and Truth-seeking debate.

    Enter the controversial Donald as the anodyne. Because only with bold Truth-tellers can real problems be identified.

    The Left has ceased to care about “debate” under Obama. Functionally, it has ceased to be, except for its power lust. Therefore whether by plebiscite or revolution, it must be rooted out and destroyed.

    PMS PoMo, dolende est.

  • ADM64

    Rand pointed out long ago the fundamental problem with conservatives accepting the basic moral premises of their enemies, and also of the fundamental relationship between reason, virtue, individualism (properly understood) and freedom. She made many errors, but she was right about these. Burke and Russell Kirk and fundamentalist, evangelical Christianity do not underlie the founding principles of our country, and are no basis for “conservatism.”