Disruptive Politics in the Trump Era: Yuval Levin or Victor Davis Hanson?

The crucial question for the American Right today, as it has been for at least 60 years, is: What is the nature of its confrontation with modern liberalism?

Is it a policy argument over how to achieve the common goals of liberal democracy? Are we working to expand liberty, equality, and prosperity for all citizens? Do we share the same principles with American liberals but differ with them  over policy and how best to implement those principles? Is it really,  as  Yuval Levin has said, “a coherent debate between left and right forms of liberalism”?

Or is this conflict a much deeper existential struggle over the very nature of the American “regime” itself—its principles, values, institutions, mores, culture, education, citizenship, and “way of life”? Is it, as Victor Davis Hanson has put it, that we are in a “larger existential war for the soul of America”?

I would argue that Hanson is essentially correct: We are in the middle of a “regime” struggle.

Put another way: We are in an argument over the meaning of “the American way of life,” because the weight of opinion on the progressive Left rejects the classic constitutionally based American regime.

Instead, progressives envision a new way of governing in both politics and culture based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, and gender rather than on our common American citizenship.    

Progressives don’t really deny this. Recall President Barack Obama, who in 2008 famously (or infamously) announced his administration would be “fundamentally transforming America.” America, as it actually existed at the time, was something Obama viewed as deeply problematic—permeated with “institutional” racism and sexism.

There can be no doubt that Obama understands the ongoing progressive-liberal campaign against conservatives and traditional America as a “regime struggle” (“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion” and “the arc of history” is trending their way). But somehow, many Americans still want to resist or deny the implications of these words.

The Foundations of Modern Conservatism

Sixty years earlier and across the political spectrum, the founding fathers of modern American conservatism in the mid-1950s at National Review also envisioned, not the give-and-take of bread and butter politics, but an existential conflict over the regime, i.e., over the “American way of life.”

In the premier issue of National Review, William F. Buckley, Jr., wrote that liberals “run just about everything….Radical conservatives in this country [among whose numbers he  included himself and the NR editors]…when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those on the well-fed Right.”

This sounds familiar.

In response to the “profound crisis of our era” the new magazine would “defend the organic moral order” and stand “athwart history, yelling ‘Stop!’” These are not exactly examples of political rhetoric as usual, certainly not in 1955.

One year later, National Review senior editor Frank Meyer charged that “contemporary Liberalism” regarded “all inherited value—theological, philosophical, political—as without intrinsic virtue or authority” and, therefore declared, “Liberals are unfit for the leadership of a free society.”

In those early days at National Review, the adversary was modern Liberalism itself, often spelled with a capital L. At the same time, of course, classical liberalism was part of what was labeled conservative “fusionism” alongside cultural traditionalism and militant anti-Communism.

Willmoore Kendall, another National Review senior editor and Buckley’s mentor at Yale, declared: “the question ‘Is Liberalism a revolution?’ can have only one answer. Since it seeks a change of regime, the replacement of one regime by another, of a different type altogether, it is, quite simply, revolutionary.” Kendall further asked, “Is the destiny of America the Liberal Revolution or is it the destiny envisaged for it by the Founders of the Republic? Just that.” 

James Burnham, National Review’s foreign policy guru and Buckley’s closest advisor, posited that liberal ideology thoroughly undermined not only the American regime, but the entirety of Western civilization itself. He wrote in Suicide of the West, “Liberalism permits Western Civilization to be reconciled to dissolution.” The “principal function of modern liberalism,” Burnham tell us, is to facilitate the suicide of Western civilization. Moreover, this suicide would be rationalized “by the light of the principles of liberalism not as a final defeat, but as a transition to a new and higher order in which Mankind as a whole joins a universal civilization, that has risen above the parochial distinctions, divisions, and discriminations of the past.”

Administrative State and the Cultural Leviathan

In the second decade of the 21st century, the twin pillars of the ongoing progressive-liberal revolution to fundamentally transform the American “regime” are the administrative state and the cultural leviathan. In recent years the foremost observers of “regime conflict” are associated with the “West Coast Straussians,” students of Harry V. Jaffa, and centered in or around the Claremont Review of Books.

The leading theorist of the administrative state, Claremont Institute scholar John Marini, has traced the successful progressive-Left advance through the political and cultural institutions of American life. In the political arena, a powerful administrative state often exercises legislative, executive, and judicial powers in what can only be described as an illegitimate exercise or “post-constitutional” manner. Liberal-dominated regulatory agencies and politicized courts make crucial policy (rather than judicial) decisions while an elected Congress (under both Republican and Democrat control) has lacked the will and confidence to confront these post-Constitutional usurpers. Indeed, at times, they have encouraged it.

align=”right” In the second decade of the 21st century, the twin pillars of the ongoing progressive-liberal revolution to fundamentally transform the American “regime” are the administrative state and the cultural leviathan.

In the cultural sphere, Marini notes, we have witnessed a “new kind of civil religion” in which Americans are judged not as equal citizens “but by the moral standing established by their group identity.” Under the all-consuming concept of “diversity,” mainstream liberalism enforces ethnic and gender group rights and political correctness in the major institutions of civil society that the progressives have captured. Liberals under the banner of “diversity” are establishing what Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci called “ideological-cultural hegemony” in the moral-intellectual realm of society, the sector that Tocqueville called “mores.”

Today the facts on the ground tell us that the progressive Left dominates major institutions of American life: the universities, the mainstream media, the mainline churches, the entertainment industry, and the human resources departments of the Fortune 500. Thus, Harvard, Yale, CNN, the Episcopal Church, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley (all private sector institutions of the often vaunted civil society) are part of a nexus that I will call the “cultural leviathan,” which is allied to the administrative state.

Let us take an empirical look at this cultural leviathan. In October 2016 Econ Journal Watch published a study of faculty voting registration at forty leading American colleges which revealed an overall Democrat preference over Republicans by 11.5-to-1, among history professors the ratio was 33.5-to-1. In May 2015, the Crimson reported that between 2011 and 2014, (long before the political rise of Donald Trump) 96 percent of political contributions by Harvard professors in the Arts and Sciences were for Democrats. At Harvard Law School, 98 percent of political donations went to Democrats. The Center for Responsive Politics revealed that in 2012 Barack Obama crushed Mitt Romney in Hollywood celebrity fundraising 9-to-1.

In October 2016, Five Thirty Eight noted that, except for Peter Thiel, “nearly all of Silicon Valley’s political dollars are going for Hillary Clinton.” In the fall of 2016, the liberal Center for Public Integrity published a report entitled “Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash” revealing that around 96 percent of the political contributions of media professionals went to Clinton.

Not surprisingly then, in May 2017, researchers at Harvard’s Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that 93 percent of coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days from CNN and NBC was negative. The New York Times was 87 percent negative, with the Washington Post 83 percent negative, and the Wall Street Journal’s news section 70 percent negative.

Enforcing the Opinion Corridor

The rarely stated, but clear function of the cultural leviathan is to enforce the boundaries of the Overton window, or what the Swedes call the “opinion corridor.” In other words: what is acceptable public discourse, and what isn’t; what is tolerable and intolerable, within the context of political correctness, with the goal of promoting the overarching “diversity” project.

Year after year, the opinion corridor narrows. Larry Summers was forced out as president of Harvard University for angering the forces of the diversity project on campus. Brendan Eich, a major high-tech pioneer and innovator, resigned under pressure as CEO of Mozilla, after it was disclosed that he contributed $1,000 to the pro-traditional marriage campaign in California. James Damore, an engineer at Google, was fired by the Silicon Valley giant after he wrote a reasoned, well documented memo challenging some of the major assumptions of gender and ethnic group preferences. The vestry of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Alexandria, Virginia announced that after 147 years they would remove memorial plaques of their most famous parishioners George Washington and Robert E. Lee. The church vestry told the congregants that a plaque that simply states, “in memory of George Washington”—“make[s] some in our presence feel unsafe.”

I gave three examples (but could have presented 300) of efforts to enforce and/or manipulate the opinion corridor or the Overton window. Every day our history and our culture are under assault.

The California NAACP denounces the National Anthem as “racist,” and another speaker is shouted down on our nation’s campuses. Clearly, George Washington and the national anthem are de-legitimized and denigrated by the cultural leviathan, because America’s past and America’s common culture must be repainted in negative colors, if the progressive future is to be achieved. Decades ago, George Orwell famously reminded us in Nineteen Eighty-Four that “he who controls the past, controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”

What Should Be Conserved?

The relentless advance of the administrative state and the cultural leviathan in both the public and private sectors presents a classic historical dilemma for those who call themselves “conservatives.” What should be “conserved” when the major institutions of civil society are anti-conservative? Do conservatives focus on recovering redeemable sectors of the status quo or is a more revolutionary conservatism required? Is it even accurate to call what is needed here “conservatism” or does that terminology only add to our confusion?  In America how do “conservatives” restore the Constitution and our culture when doing so would seem to involve tearing down now long established institutions?

In the Spring issue of Modern Age, Yuval Levin asks whether conservatives “won or lost” in the 2016 election and concludes it  “might be wise to sustain and cultivate such uncertainty as a way of understanding ourselves and our role in the Trump era.”

Levin describes Trump’s winning political coalition as a “coalition of the alienated” that fostered “disruption.” Trump gave “voice to a growing (and in key respects surely justified) alienation from dominant streams of the culture, economy, and politics in America.” Because of this alienation from the elites running major American institutions, Levin contends, many on the Right “welcome[d] the potential for disruption that [Trump] introduced.”

The concept of alienation is at the center of his essay. “Alienation can sometimes make for a powerful organizing principle for an electoral coalition,” Levin declares. “But it does not make for a natural organizing principle for a governing coalition.” He worries that “the upsurge of this alienation on the right is even more of a challenge to conservatism in particular, because alienation cannot help but make the right less conservative.”

“Conservatives,” Levin notes “incline to be heavily invested in society and its institutions” and even when these institutions are “dominated by the left . . . conservatives by instinct and reflection tend to argue for reclamation and recovery—for building spaces within these institutions more than for rejection and contempt for them.”

At several points, Levin poses a stark contrast between “disruption” and “transformation” (meaning cultural renewal). The former is negative, the latter is positive. Conservatives, he says, should not be “mistaking disruption for transformation.” Finally Levin emphasizes that conservatives should not focus on “programmatic policy objectives, but rather the preconditions for a healthier politics.” Specifically, this means, “A constructive conservative politics in the Trump years must therefore be first and foremost a politics of constitutional restoration.”

Few conservatives would disagree with Levin’s goal of a constitutional restoration. How best to achieve this through “disruption,” cultural “transmission” or some combination of the two is another question.

align=”left” Remain aloof, cultivate one’s own garden of the little platoons in quietist, and often, ironic fashion . . . —or go on the offensive against the progressive left and renew the fighting faith of the founders of modern conservatism and their spiritual heirs . . .

“We are called to enable a revival, not to mount a total revolution,” Levin says. Yet an important segment of conservative thought from 1950s National Review to today’s Claremont Review of Books envisions both as complementary, not contradictory, revolution (against progressive-liberalism) and revival (of American constitutionalism) or “disruption” and “transmission.” Some form of disruptive activity (in politics, the academy, the media) against progressive hegemony is necessary at first in order to achieve the renewal that Levin and the rest of us seek.

Historically, no political reform movement of the Left or Right (civil rights, temperance, suffragist, abolitionist, conservative) has ever succeeded without a two pronged “bad cop-good cop” approach, without a radical wing and a mainstream wing working in tandem, at least implicitly, if not explicitly. The American Revolution itself is a classic example. Without the radicalism of Tom Paine and Samuel Adams the moderation of George Washington and John Adams would not likely have succeeded.

While some movement conservatives emphasize a conservative “disposition” others decade after decade have embraced the metaphor of “revolution” as in the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s, the Gingrich Revolution of 1994, and the Tea Party uprising of 2010. Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation labeled his history of modern American conservatism as “The Conservative Revolution: The Movement that Remade America.”

While Yuval Levin asks whether conservatives “won or lost” the 2016 election and suggests that we “cultivate such uncertainty”—progressive-liberals have no doubt that they lost the Presidential race and exhibit no ambiguity about what to do next.

As Victor Davis Hanson has written, “the election of President Donald J Trump…presented a roadblock to an on-going progressive revolution” and “unlike recent Republican presidential nominees,” (he specifically mentions McCain and Romney), Trump “was indifferent to the cultural and political restraints on conservative pushback.”

“Even more ominously,” for progressives, Hanson notes, “Trump found a seam” in the blue wall and “blew it apart,” actually carrying Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and winning the election.

The result, Hanson notes is that “We are witnessing a desperate putsch to remove Trump before he can do any more damage to the Obama project….The branches of this insidious coup d’etat are quite unlike anything our generation has ever witnessed.” (all italics added)

So, again, the question remains what should conservatives do in the current situation, in the middle of an all-out attempt by powerful elements in the administrative state-cultural leviathan axis to nullify the 2016 Presidential election?

Remain aloof, cultivate one’s own garden of the little platoons in quietist, and often, ironic fashion; talk mostly of civility and temperament; write carefully tailored “moral equivalence” essays faulting both Trump and his critics in equal measure on issues of the day, such as the NFL national anthem or historical statues controversies; work like some center-right commentators with liberals to form a new political alignment, a “New Center”—or go on the offensive against the progressive left and renew the fighting faith of the founders of modern conservatism and their spiritual heirs: Frank Meyer; Willmoore Kendall; Jim Burnham; Bill Buckley in the first decades of National Review; Harry Jaffa and his students; and Publius Decius Mus?

“Approved Conservatives” of the Past and Present

We should remember that it was not only the leadership of the John Birch Society and Ayn Rand who were “expelled” from the mainstream conservative movement in those early days, but also some faux New York Times style “new conservatives” including Clinton Rossiter and Peter Viereck who condemned the National Review circle for “thought-control nationalism” and described the magazine’s writers as “rootless, counterrevolutionary doctrinaires.”

Clinton Rossiter declared that America was “a progressive country with a Liberal tradition” and “a liberal [political] mind.” The goal of his conservatism was “to sober and strengthen the American liberal tradition, not destroy it.” Peter Viereck proclaimed conservatism as a “centrist philosophy” that was not intrinsically hostile to liberalism. He touted the liberal Democrat Adlai Stevenson and progressive Republican Senator Clifford Case as exemplars of a genuine American conservatism.

Needless to say, NR editors hit back. Frank Meyer mocked the “new conservatives” as unprincipled, focused mostly on “tone” and “mood,” and anxious to be received into “polite society.” He continued, “This is not a problem of tone nor attitude, not a difference between the conservative and the radical temperament; it is a difference of principle.” (italics in the original) In a similar vein, Willmoore Kendall wrote that Viereck and Rossiter explained “how you can be a Conservative and yet agree with Liberals on all not demonstrably unimportant.” In an interview Buckley told historian George Nash that the phrase “new conservative” was “a way in which liberals designated people they thought respectable.” It was a means, Buckley contended, by which liberals separated “approved” conservatives (Viereck, Rossiter) from National Review writers.

Today, history repeats itself, as neither tragedy nor farce (pace Marx), but in an eerily familiar manner. A gaggle of liberal “approved conservatives” essentially play the role that Rossiter and Viereck played sixty years ago. They parrot what National Review called the “Liberal propaganda Line,” whose “fons et origio,” Professor Kendall noted, was the New York Times.

These “approved conservatives” are permitted (actually, enthusiastically welcomed) to use the columns of the New York Times and the Washington Post for two purposes. First, in general, to support a type of conservatism centered on tone and temperament that does nothing to challenge and, on the contrary, everything to reinforce, progressive ideological-cultural hegemony among the chattering classes. However, like the original “approved conservatives,” the contemporary breed, pretends a conservative temperament while hyperventilating in the Times and Post about other conservatives (and, of course, the president.) Second, and most importantly, these writers help promote the foremost immediate goal of American Liberalism—the removal of Donald J. Trump from the Presidency of the United States.

On the contemporary conservative continuum Yuval Levin stands between the Never Trump “approved conservatives” and Trump-friendly right of center intellectuals at the Claremont Institute; among social conservatives; immigration hawks; defense specialists; and the editors and writers of American Greatness. Levin emphasizes Burkean gradualism with a genuine restrained style. Unlike, the hysterical, gratuitous, and sanctimonious language of Never Trump New York Times-Washington Post “approved conservatives” (Max Boot, Michael Gerson, Jennifer Rubin, and Bret Stephens come to mind), Levin’s critiques actually are sober, reasoned, and worth answering.

Are we in a crisis or not?

Besides his unease over the welcome of “disruption” in the Trump era by many on the American Right, Levin suggests the fear in 2016 of a Hillary Clinton presidency was overwrought. He downplays both the power and the animosity of the Progressive project (exercised by the cultural leviathan and the administrative state) towards traditional America, noting that some conservatives assign “to Progressives much more malice (and competence) than is warranted and credits them with far more than they have actually achieved and it sells our society short.” Further, he argues that it is a mistake to believe that we are facing a unique crisis today, just as it was a mistake for conservatives in previous generations (in 1933 or 1955 or 1980) to believe that they faced a unique crisis.

The hope for conservatives, Levin tells us, is “generational.” The endurance of an unchanging human nature means it is possible to win the next generation, or at least thoughtful elements within it, to a sober conservatism. Levin, of course, is right to emphasize the centrality of winning the young for the revival and renewal of the American way of life. But this crucial task of promoting conservatism among both the young (who are often attracted to an insurgent mindset rather than a conservative disposition) and the not so young, has become more difficult for a variety of reasons.

One reason would be the changing demographics resulting from massive, continuous low-skilled immigration which is combined with an anti-assimilation “multicultural” approach to integrating newcomers into American life. Another reason would be the almost complete leftist conquest of American universities that occurred the past few decades as the patriotic Arthur Schlesinger-style liberals and the few remaining conservatives have retired or died out, replaced by tenured radicals.

align=”right” So what is the nature of modern progressive-liberalism and what should be the conservative response in the Trump era? Are we involved in politics as usual or a “regime” struggle?

What could be successful is a new form of “bad cop-good cop” disruptive-transformative conservativism. By “bad cop” I do not mean unsophisticated analysis, but a sharper, more polemical style (James Burnham’s Suicide of the West would be a case in point.) On immigration policy, for example, conservatives have moved after years on the defensive to an offensive strategy, including an array of what I will call “bad cop” discourse (a new emphasis on how liberal controlled “sanctuary” jurisdictions and lax diversity visa policies threaten American lives with reference to specific cases, e.g., Kate Steinle and Sayfullo (Sword of Allah) Saipov respectively, have helped change the shape of the immigration debate.

A combination of bad and good cop discourse has helped to dislodge modern liberalism from the moral high ground on the immigration question. The commanding heights of the debate are now contested space. Put in non-metaphorical terms, progressive-liberals and Republican “wets” who place their highest priority on securing amnesty for the so-called “dreamers” (many now in their thirties) are forced to deal with immigration hawk arguments on ending chain migration; implementing mandatory electronic verification identification for all employment in America; and abolishing the senseless “diversity visa lottery.”

Today Trump-friendly conservatives are openly and consciously seeking to dismantle the post-constitutional administrative state. In a powerful Wall Street Journal essay my Hudson colleague (and former AEI President and Reagan administration regulatory expert) Christopher DeMuth explains that the Trump administration with a phalanx of de-regulation stalwarts (Scott Gottlieb, Scott Pruitt, Ajit Pai, Ryan Zinke, Betsy DeVos, Elaine Chao, Neomi Rao) is in the process of making “the administrative state less stultifying and more constitutional.’” At the Federalist Society’s national convention, the White House counsel, Don McGahn called for preventing “the unconstitutional transfer of legislative authority to the administrative state.”

For a little over a century, the administrative state has expanded massively and exponentially as generation after generation of conservatives fought the growth of this unconstitutional “fourth branch of government.” Were those earlier conservatives mistaken (as Yuval Levin would have us believe) to think they were in some unique “crisis” in their own time? Were earlier conservatives overreacting to the power grabs of Woodrow Wilson and FDR in portraying their historical period as one of “crisis”? Was Ronald Reagan crying wolf in 1980 when he envisioned a “crisis” as he sought to overturn the malaise and stagnation of the 1970s? I think not.

What has happened is that the “regime” conflict which has been with us since the early 20th century progressive era has witnessed (particularly after the eight Obama years) the massive expansion of a powerful post-constitutional administrative state that is now simply become too big and too dangerous to ignore.

So what is the nature of modern progressive-liberalism and what should be the conservative response in the Trump era? Are we involved in politics as usual or a “regime” struggle? Levin says  our political divisions are a family argument between two forms of liberalism: progressive liberalism and conservative liberalism. For the Trump era, he suggests a strategy of cautious ambiguity towards the administration, while focusing on the promotion of the “revival of intermediary institutions of society” and a recognition of twenty-first century public policy by “allowing solutions to rise from the bottom up.” Our conservative project, Levin says, “must ultimately be understood as a civic labor of love not a political fight to the death.”

Hanson proposes a very different response to the Progressive Project and the Trump administration. As noted earlier, Hanson declared that we are in a “larger existential war for the soul of America.” Further, he states, “warts and all, the Trump presidency on all fronts is all that now stands in the way of what was started in 2009” (Obama’s “fundamental transformation of the United States of America.”)

“The Marquess of Queensberry world of John McCain and Mitt Romney,” Hanson tells us, will not halt the march of the Progressive Left, a form of disruption is required. “Either Trump will restore economic growth, national security, the melting pot, legality, and individual liberty or he will fail and we will go the way of Europe,” Hanson writes. “For now, there is no one else in the opposition standing in the way of radical progressivism.”

What is the proper role of “disruption” in the conservative strategy? Does the conservative project embrace the vision of Yuval Levin or Victor Davis Hanson? In the months ahead, conservatives will be making their choice. I have made mine.

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174 responses to “Disruptive Politics in the Trump Era: Yuval Levin or Victor Davis Hanson?”

  1. Brilliant !
    Thank you, sir.
    Note to readers: Fonte (& Hanson) always great–and this one is especially outstanding.

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  2. A fine assessment of the situation. The reality is that every revolutionary eventually becomes a ‘conservative’ in order to sustain the gains made during the revolution. This is why the arguments on the Left look more like ‘conservative’ arguments every day (my personal favorite is the ‘This is not who are’ shibboleth). The author has made good points as to why arguments from the Right sound more revolutionary (‘unraveling’ the administrative state).

    From an intellectual standpoint, I see the biggest stumbling block to the American understanding of politics is the assumption that American politics begins with, and revolves around, the Constitution. This reverence for the Constitution obscures the fact that the Constitution was the result of a revolutionary process (and a violent, bloody one at that). The Republic is a palimpsest, resting on a foundation of a distinct kind of conservative American anarchism. ‘Liberty’ is a compromise based upon the recognition that individual powers improperly exercised are destructive of human flourishing and so the exercise of those powers must be constrained in a pact of mutually-assured enhancement based upon the recognition of the inevitability of mutually-assured destruction. This sophisticated analysis of the harnessing of anarchic conditions and impulses to fashion ‘liberty’ all operated under the principle of ‘enlightened self-interest’.

    The problem is that both the Left and various strands of ‘libertarianism’ (as well as capitalism itself) emphasize ‘self-interest’ over all other considerations, and the ‘enlightened’ part was lost long ago. Without the ‘enlightened’ part of ‘enlightened self-interest’, we have returned to the anarchy of the Revolutionary era. Conservatives are lost because they think that the centripetal power of the Constitutional republican order is still operative at a level that allows ‘restoration’. But, if my analysis is correct, such is not the case. Rather we, in fact, in a time when anarchy has to be refashioned into ‘liberty’ through the restoration of the explicit recognition of mutually-assured enhancement and destruction.

    The Left operates without fear of their opposition, with assumption (and veritable fact of) immunity for consequences by an opposition. Remove this immunity from and things look quite different, as I am sure it did to Old Order in Europe and the Americas (in the pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary era). Out of the anarchy, people crafted the ‘new order for the ages’ of popular sovereignty.

    • Our politics begins with and revolves around the Declaration of Independence. Who stands for its principles these days, let alone the broader Enlightenment philosophy from which it sprung?

      • I appreciate your civil response. I used the Constitution as a point of reference, because it is a governing document, versus a manifesto such as the Declaration. However, my comments apply equally to the Declaration. What follows is a ‘long way ’round’ to say that, I do not think that Enlightenment notions are all that effective for understanding our current political situation, because they were never the source of our form of governance. ‘Custom’ not ‘the individual’ formed the foundation, because ‘custom’ is the anarchic equivalent of ‘law’.

        In my view, every political form — including a republic — is an unstable harnessing of anarchic impulses to achieve ends that anarchy cannot. I am not using ‘anarchy’ as a pejorative, but in its purest, technical sense of ‘without rulers’ or, more narrowly, ‘without the State’. Americans don’t mind the State so long as it ‘securitizes’ our basic anarchic impulses to ‘do as we please’ or, to put in more anarchic terms, ‘the free exercise of one’s powers’. The essence of the republican political formation is ‘liberty’. ‘Liberty’, in this anarchic perspective is that state that emerges when ‘a people’ recognize that they can have a more secure existence if they agree to curtail some of ‘free exercise’ of their power in balance with others. Otherwise, exercises of one’s powers inevitably leads to conflict and, without some other form of reasoning than ‘do what you will’, violence. But the recognition that potential opposition is structural to the reason for ‘liberty’ changes how we understand republican politics.

        I look at the Constitution as the schematic for a republican decision-making machine, rather more like a sausage grinder than the sausage itself. The ‘sausage’ is the result of what goes into the grinder and is, as such, outside the grinder. To bring this back to the Constitution, the political opinion of ‘the People’ is ‘the meat’ that goes into ‘the grinder’ of Constitutional decision-making process, resulting in the decisions that become law and regulation. The conservative theory of governance is that this process results in the codification of custom, the progressive theory is that custom is irrelevant to some other set of values. Since the Enlightenment is predicated of the super-cession of custom, conservatives are ill-advised to turn to Enlightenment notions of ‘liberty’ for guidance, as the central notion of the Enlightenment is not ‘custom’ but ‘the individual’.

        Emphasis on ‘the individual’ inserted into our political discourse a corrosive narcissistic vision of American anarchism, and yet, when one reads the actual complaint the comprises the bulk of the Declaration, what we see is a frequent invocation of ‘custom’ and common law. What allow natural anarchy to stabilize relations without the State is custom. One could argue that the notion of ‘citizen’ arises for the widely-held custom of hospitality among the Greek ‘gens’. The custom of hospitality created a ‘super-tribal’ notion of ‘the Greek’ that allowed the notion of the ‘demos’ to emerge.

      • I had posted a long and complicated reply but Disqus ate it. The short version: I think our political theory revolves around Enlightenment tropes, but our actual political foundations are ‘custom’ and common law. As evidence, see the ‘Facts’ offered in support of the severance from England, which constitutes the bulk of the Declaration. What one finds here is an invocation to custom and common law, not Enlightenment notions of ‘the individual’.

    • The tired old arguments of the Left don’t look conservative, they look (and are) reactionary. Conservative and reactionary are most definitely not the same thing.

  3. Bust the Federal unions. Bust the University “grant” pipeline and tax free endowments. Dept of Ed make PUSH for online degree certifications and HS diplomas. The left has insulated themselves from market forces. Find those enclaves and chip at their bulwarks. Make ’em compete on a fair plane and I think things will go very well going forward. Regulatory overreach is another arena, but Trump is already attacking that. Oh, and the courts. Great article. I’m with VDH on this one.

    • I think you are on the right track. What needs to be done, at least as a start, is to expose the left’s dominance (in education and media, for examples) to the plurality of market, and to shrink its areas of dominance, such as the administrative state by shrinking that state. The unchanging nature of human nature referenced above will help rebalance the badly listing state/society.

    • Interestingly, even Samuel Gompers, FDR, and Walter Reuther (who ran for office on the Socialist Party ticket, for goodness sake) strongly opposed public sector unions.

  4. The current demographic trajectory ensures that we holdouts will have little choice in the matter.

  5. Levin is clueless. That kind of naivete is why the Right was so unsuccessful for nearly a century in even slowing the Progressive project. Bring on the disruption and revolution! Call it John Brown Republicanism

  6. The NROniks – here represented by Levin – are not conservative in any meaningful sense. The only thing they seem interested in “conserving” is the general progressive status quo. For America the country and America the people they display a rather pronounced degrees of animosity. Virtually everything printed in NRO over the past two years has been identical in both substance and tine with what you’d find in the New York Times.

    The real eye-opener was their denunciation of the Republican party base as being stupid, easily led, and/or white-supremacist neo-Nazis. In other words, they have completely internalized everything the left believes.

    I think that the sort of alienation that was evident in some of Trump’s
    supporters is very dangerous for the American right because it tends to
    make the right less conservative. And to make the right hostile to its
    own society. First of all, I think America doesn’t deserve that. We have
    a lot of problems, our institutions are in real trouble, but things are
    not nearly as bad as the way in which Trump described them. Just think
    about the convention speech and, in some respects, even the inaugural.
    This describes an America that is much darker than reality

    And there you have the top-down elitism of NRO-style “conservatism” in a nutshell. “The people are mindless rabble, we know what’s what and we’ll tell you which things are and are not problems”. It’s hard to imagine a way of looking at things more at odds with the republicanism of the Founding Fathers..

    • “This describes an America that is much darker than reality”

      No, this describes an American that is much darker than the largely fantasy America in which Rich Lowry and most of the rest of the NR crowd reside and which they want to ‘conserve.’ If they lived where we do — our jobs, the streets on which our women can’t walk alone after dusk and in some places dare not go at all, the stores in which most customers don’t regularly speak English, the schools in which it is near-impossible for a child to get a decent education in spite of the greatest spending ever — they’d share our feelings and those of our President.

  7. “The Marquess of Queensberry world of John McCain and Mitt Romney,” Hanson tells us, will not halt the march
    of the Progressive Left, a form of disruption is required.

    I’ve seen nothing from McCain or Romney which would suggest that they have the slightest desire to halt the march of the Progressive Left. In fact the evidence before us indicates that they support the march of the Progressive Left. One thing is certain – they oppose the foes of the Progressive Left with vastly more ferocity and intensity than they have ever opposed the Progressive Left itself.

    Levin says our political divisions are a family argument between two forms of liberalism: progressive liberalism and conservative liberalism.

    That’s wishful thinking from Levin. NRO would like the world to consist solely of NRO-style liberalism and Think-Progress-style liberalism. One of the common complaints about Trump over at NRO has been that he will upset the “bipartisan consensus” which the ruling elites of both parties have agreed on among themselves. We should be so fortunate.

    • Agreed … the only discernible diff between the ruling elites’ on the left / right is the pace at which they manage the decline of the US … not the goal, sadly so

    • I am not sure that any of the Repubs listed above or DJT identified with opposing “the march” of the etc. Trump is serving that purpose very well but I don’t think it was the reason he got into politics. I think that Trump resistance to “the march” is heaven sent even if it is an accident. One thing for sure. If McCain or Romney had won we would still have the old status quo.

    • Progressive thinking is not “liberal thinking”. Progressive thinking is exclusionary. Anyone not adhering to the progressive line is banned and then folded, spindled, stamped, and mutilated. They are banned from the totalitarian society the progressive envisions. There is no room for compromise on the part of the left. There is only submission or banishment. .

  8. Brilliant analysis. You can see Trump’s intention to (if necessary, singlehandedly) restore traditional American values (intrinsically tied to Judeo-Christian values) in every speech he makes.

    Only Trump could have withstood this unprecedented barrage. Absolutely amazing that an admittedly otherwise (deeply?) flawed man should be the individual to so appropriately reflect the adage “Cometh the hour, Cometh the man”.

    • The only traditional American value Trump wants to restore is the timeless Gilded Age tradition of bilking the public out of money for the rich.

      • Ah the age-old attempt to cast a slur on the other tribe.

        I recall another flawed individual, from another century, who became the Man of the Twentieth Century.

        It would seem not unlikely, should he succeed in his Herculean task, that Trump might, in retrospect, be acclaimed Man of the Twentyfirst Century.

    • I must have missed something…I just don’t see the flaws.

      He’s had a very long career, employed how many thousands of people, had contact and employment power over hundreds (thousands?) of gorgeous women (Miss Universe Pageant, etc.), and yet, in spite of the massive machine arrayed against him, and the everyday tactics the Leftists use to SMEAR their opponents with phony scandals (see the Roy Moore Alabama race), they never came up with any of these ex-employees to participate in one of their SMEAR campaigns……hmmmm.

      • Some of us think that personal character is relevant to public service.

  9. As far as Hanson versus Levin is concerned, Fonte is correct to side with Hanson. He badly errs when he urges conservatism to return to the fighting tradition of the early NR days because THAT species of conservatism, the conservatism of Burke, Kirk and Burnham, whatever its other merits, has been totally ineffective because it stood for nothing coherent. In this respect, conservatism too has its own “opinion corridor”, perhaps best characterized by the implication that Ayn Rand was somehow analogous to The John Birch Society and thus equally deserving of being driven out of the movement back in the 1950s. In point of fact, warts and all, she had some important things to teach conservatives, predictions that she made that have panned out exactly as she said the would, things that conservatives refuse to learn. The most important of these are: the moral argument always trumps the “practical” one and that absent a coherent philosophy with a message that is not just clear but understood to be true, one cannot fight a movement that has one.

    The progressive or (falsely so-called “liberal”) movement has many flaws including many contradictory specifics. However, it paints itself as – and indeed sees itself as – moral and just, standing for the right side of history. It uses language that supports these claims, although by refusing to define its terms (and not being called to do so), it stakes by on those. A movement that seeks instead to stand athwart history and yell “Stop” will sooner or later be steamrolled because it stands for nothing in return. The right, however, tends to argue on pragmatic, practical grounds, on tradition, on religion, on our history, but never on an integrated, coherent, rational system of ideas which it defends as right because it is true. Indeed, it is severely limited in its ability to mount even a counterargument because one of the tenets of modern conservatism is that a coherent philosophy is equivalent to an “ideology” and ideology is wrong and dangerous because it represents a “rational” construct that cannot be imposed on a complex world, with complex and unique peoples (the fact that reason is the tool to understand the world and that philosophy is constructed from observations of said world, and thus that logical but arbitrary theories and systems are not rational is something conservatism seems unable to grasp). In fact, all too often, modern conservatism concedes reason to the left. It seeks instead to built a pseudo-philosophy around a series of un-integrated claims (e.g. belief in transcendent truth or moral order) some of which might be true but which cannot be defended unless on defines what those things are and why they are in fact rational, objective truths, not merely subjective dogma. Consequently, conservatives refuse to embrace reason, validate the truths of their beliefs, and to construct a philosophical system that is in fact rational, true and defensible. Absent that, a political movement with unified objectives becomes impossible because one can’t provide a rationale for actually pursuing it. Restoring constitutionalism is fine but only if constitutionalism is right. Progressives claim it isn’t. What are our arguments? Why are they right?

    The above is also the reason why conservatives appear so spineless. When cornered, they can’t fight passionately as well as intelligently not because they don’t actually have something to defend but because they don’t have an argument, a rational argument, as to why what they stand for is true.. Kirk and Burnham and Buckley could point passionately to the problems with mid-century liberalism and progressivism, but could not formulate a reason for, let alone a coherent response to it. So, they fulminated, and wrote some insightful and powerful things, but that was a far as they went or could go. That’s why the NR crowd is such a dead-end, a collection of young old fogeys. The Founders, in contrast, stood for self-evident truths grounded in a set of Enlightenment ideas that emphasized the individual, reason, and honest self-interest. The acknowledged religion but also held to religious truths as based as much in a real, natural order as in revelation. Modern conservatives, contra Rand, are highly equivocal about individualism, self-interest, profit (except as utilitarian). How many defend the inalienable right of the individual – all individuals – to live their own life, peacefully and productively, for no ends but the ones they themselves choose? Not many. They believe it leads to licentiousness. How many accept the necessity and morality of a regulatory welfare state with entitlements? And how many do so on moral grounds as much as timidity? When one digs deep enough, one finds that too many conservatives share too much with their nominal opponents to be really different. That this is most evident with the McCains, Bushes, Rommneys and their ilk doesn’t make this less true for the rest. Objectivists and libertarians have their flaws – many flaws – but they are far more coherent and far more in line with our Founding ideals than are modern conservatives. They can speak the language of rights, of justice, of morality, of truth. They can condemn post-modernism as WRONG because it is UNTRUE in ways that a movement equivocal about reason, reality and objectivity cannot. Until conservatives actually understand this, until they fight out not just what they stand for but why they stand for it, they will continue to struggle. The existential struggle for our country’s future depends on resolving this. Simply being against the left is not enough.

    • Fantastic post! The differences are fundamental and based on reason not rhetoric. Recognizing this requires clarity of thought and the courage to defend against rhetorical (only) attacks.

    • Now boil that down to 1/3 as many words and you might have a program of action.

    • I don’t think you exhibit the slightest understanding of Russel Kirk.

    • Well put. Modern conservatives need to revert to their roots in classical liberalism. Most of the compassion that modern liberals and compassionate conservatives refer to is located in interpersonal culture, not government.

    • I would love to see a document of principles that define us as conservatives. We need unifying ideas to counteract the divisiveness of progressives and to give clarity to the movement. Perhaps it should get annual updates to avoid castigation as dogma, to respond to legitimate criticism, and to convey dynamism.

  10. Inserting dividers into a melting pot is not a good idea.

  11. “’Either Trump will restore economic growth, national security, the melting pot, legality, and individual liberty or he will fail and we will go the way of Europe,’ Hanson writes.”

    Well, not exactly. If Trump fails then we will go in another, more American direction toward restoration of liberty. As one of the columnists said the other day, Trump isn’t OUR last chance, he is the last chance for the Democratic Party to back away from what it imagines it wants without suffering serous consequences.

    We pray that he succeeds.

    • the economy is doing well and he is still not liked. That never happens. He must be really hated.

  12. National Review. Once the premier chronicler of conservative intellects, now best known for playing checkers in a chess match, willing to concede two or three Supreme Court picks and a generation of federal judges to the ideological opposition because of petty personality conflicts. Playing to lose.

    • Right on Bob. They can’t “see the forest.”

      • Any politician who fails to acknowledge that compromise with the left is only endorsement of an ever leftward shift is either too ignorant to hold office, or too anti-American to ever represent the constituency that elects him. Progressives must be defeated and crushed under foot. Bipartisanship only works one way, and is suicide to a free society.
        Our founders realized that people of progressive’s ilk must be fought, sometimes violently, lest the civil society wither and die.

      • Exactly. And what astounds me more is how all the lying liberals and all their toady lickspittle propagandists in the MSM can get away with blaming any failures in their policies (i.e. “unintended consequences”) on conservatives, for crying out loud. Why have we put up with this BS for so long? Are the Establishment GOP nothing more than palookas, willing to take a dive for a few ducats ($$$)?

      • Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
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  13. Until recently, feeling unsafe was mainly a physical experience. We felt unsafe when driven in a speeding car on an icy road or in the presence of someone carrying a weapon. We felt at the risk of an identifiable personal harm. Ideas could sometimes make us feel unsafe. Machiavelli’s contemporaries feared the message contained in his Prince. A Jew listening to Hitler in the crowd at one of his Nuremburg rallies would have feared his words. But the modern meaning of the phrase to “feel unsafe” is exclusively about ideas and affects only the political Left. No one on the Right ever demands the protection of a safe space. A conservative speaker on campus makes liberal students feel unsafe although he offers them no violence and the only threat of violence comes from themselves when they use force to stop him speaking. A church plaque commemorating Washington who has been dead for more than two centuries makes some parishioners feel unsafe because he might in some way cause them psychological harm. No two parishioners need feel unsafe for the same reason. It is sufficient for them to state their psychosis for it to be considered valid. Feeling unsafe is a matter of personal perception. It is enough for a person to say he feels unsafe for his feeling to be true provided he is politically Left or a member of a protected minority. Some people say they feel unsafe because Trump is president. Would anyone have received the same sympathy if he had felt unsafe when Obama was president. Yet both men can plausibly be said to be equally divisive though in different ways. The whole concept of safety is a political fraud that liberals have imposed on us all as a means of shutting down free speech and ideas that they dislike and cannot counter.

    • Yes, what you say is all true, and it is so obvious to normal Americans, and your need to state the obvious and make a strong argument against the obviously inane, is just an indication of what an incredible situation we find ourselves in, confronting the absolute INSANITY of the Leftist Cult Movement, which was totally ASCENDANT …until our now president Trump came upon the scene, and, against all odds, won against the combined forces of the Democrat party, the Hollywood cultural propaganda machine, and the Lying Leftist Media.

      There is no need to for you to continue the denigration of Donald Trump, even in the mildest forms. The Left is doing that for you…..in spades. It is time to recognize who your ally is, and who your enemy is.

    • Having read some of your other comments I’m coming around to seeing you as a sensible person. However, I still disagree profoundly with some of your comments on the issue relating to what amounts to state indoctrination of our children in schools.

      Keep baking the cakes.

  14. Our politics begins with and revolves around the Declaration of Independence. Who stands for its principles these days, let alone the broader Enlightenment philosophy from which it sprung?

  15. We don’t have to like Trump’s manner, to recognize that Hanson is right.
    If the left succeeds in removing Trump–as is clearly their goal by ANY means–
    then we are done as a constitutional Republic.

    Donald Trump is the constitutionally elected President of the United States.
    Whatever our qualms about his temperament, to defend Trump against the
    leftist assault now is to defend the Presidency itself against an attempted coup.
    It is high time that “institutional” and “tonal” conservatives join with “movement”
    or “populist” conservatives to recognize the true enemies of the Republic on the
    implacable radical left. In simple terms there is room for both “good cops” and “bad cops”
    as long as we have the same goal of restoring the rule of law and limited government
    of the US Constitution established by the Founders.

    • no conservatives should not join with the devil. Conservatives are not the end justifies the means.

      • Only fanatics –religious or political–see the devil behind everything they don’t like.
        Conservatives, i.e. classic liberals, see imperfect human beings, and have enough
        sense not to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

        Trump was not my candidate but he is the President, and far, far better than the alternative.
        The behavior of the left since his election has removed all doubt that he was the better choice.

  16. After a long career in energy engineering, I winch at buzz words. I have learned that those who control the definition of words without any real meaning, e.g. the words “clean coal”, control our society. They, like Alice in Wonderland, mean exactly what I mean today, no more, no less. Liberal is such a word. By any global overview, the most conservative leader in the USA is a liberal. Trump does not favor drawing and quartering his opponents. He would be a liberal in the jolly old England of the 17 th century.

    Dr. Hanson is absolutely correct. America is undergoing a struggle, at its deepest Constitutional level, a regime change. It is the only explanation for the monolithic positions of Congressional votes. Clearer evidence is the number of KIA and medals awarded to Ivy League people, faculty and students, in WWII vs. today. In our prior struggle for life or death, the averages for these very bright people was above the general population. Today these heroes are almost non existent. When a person decides to put his body on the line, you have commitment.

    We did not understand Obama; this was purposeful. He came to power to destroy much of America and subjugate it to foreign forms of governance.

    We did not fully comprehend Trump. I thought he was just a foul mouth entertainer. He is, but he has exposed the struggle, them, the Deep State, or us. They value CO2 more than what we perceive as freedom. They must have total control of our society: barbecue pits to engine design and all the costs are laid on our grand kids. They do not care if our national governance ceases to exist; to them it aint that great. Bernie Sanders is their hero, a man who never did anything real in his entire career. History is repeating itself, Karl Marx vs Robber Barons.

    We could do better.

  17. i suggest conservatives fix their flat tire. Get rid of the white supremacy element. Disavow any association with extreme natavistic nationalistic groups or policy

    • a nation IS it’s people, their ethnic and cultural heritage, their law abiding, peaceable civil society, and their economic prosperity, sustainability.

      Your transparent desire to ridicule the American People’s desire to retain all of the above is your outing of your HATRED for all of the above.

      The American People cherish all of the above……..and you HATE us for cherishing it.

      We cannot, must not allow your kind, the Leftist Cult Movement, of which you are a ‘true believer’ in, to gain a total political and cultural monopoly of power over OUR nation. You ARE the ENEMY. And the regular, normal American People need to wake up to the fact of what the true nature of the Leftist Cult Movement is, because it it the ONLY way we will be able to successfully fight you and your CULT Movement.

      This is a vicious, desperate WAR we are engaged in, and this war will NEVER end until the Leftist Cult Movement is utterly defeated, and consigned to the dust bin of history.

      • Dan may be blunt with his choice of words such as ‘war” but he is fundamentally right. A nation is a people, and if you replace Europeans with Mestizos, Blacks and Asians, you will have a different nation with different values and different achievements. Our country will resemble more Mexico and Somalia than England (pre- “diversity), France, Poland or Germany (pre-“diversity”)

      • ok look. it’s already past the tipping point.they are already here. there are more than enough legal asians, Russians, hispanics,yes even Arabs here that even if we got rid of every illegal alien the lsndscape of our population is psrmanently altered. i live in a high e d suburb with a top.school district. it’s already 30 percent asian. my son’s boy scout troop is 95 percent Chinese. at the high school and many college graduations I have attended all I mean all the academic awards go to Chinese, Korean and especially Indian kids.my point is these asians are very well educated, they will be our doctors, lawyers, scientist, business leaders. they will replace the jews as the most influential people on our society.
        I’m not too concerned because within two generations they become fully American but it is what it is.

        we might be able to decrease the flow of low end Hispanics but that’s about it. and who will clean the asians houses. the low end Hispanics and our kids if they don’t get more educated.

        side note I’m in accounting for 35 years and I notice the black accounting students coming into workforce these days are truly equally smart unlike in the 80s and 90s when they were just there because of affirmative actioj.somwthing changed? maybe we whites have become dumbed down by entertainment?

      • Replacing Whites with low IQ Blacks and Hispanics is a big problem – this is the likely scenario, since Asian immigration is nothing compared to Hispanic immigration and Asians, though are numerous, will start to decline as only Africa has sustained high fertility rate, while all other races are declining.

        Asians are tribal almost as much as Jews, Blacks and Hispanics. They look out for their own. Non-Jewish Whites are the least tribal. We don’t look out for our own. We disparage our own poor and lower educated. Who will stand up for those Whites? Nobody. While all other races are helping themselves, we are helping them and refuse to help our own helpless and refuse to stick together.

        If we care for the values and culture of Western Civilization we should not replace our civilization with a Chinese civilization either. The Chines, Japanese built a great civilization themselves. But it is different from our own. Why would we want to replace our Western civilization with a Chinese one? Anyway, the value system, the rebelliousness, the honesty level, the innovativeness of Asians is different from that of Europeans.

        We want to continue the civilization of Aristotle, Pythagoras, Thales, Da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Curie, Volta, Bell, Tesla, Edison, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Rachmaninoff and I could go on for pages just listing names.

      • I have met many immigrants. the vast majority if not all want to be American.
        maybe we should require western civilization courses all thru elementary school thru college. our dumbed down whites could really use it.

      • Most immigrants want to be American but they behave tribally, vote with the Left faithfully for more welfare, they have – in average – different work ethic, different view of the role of the government, different view of justice.

        A classic example of what lies ahead of our civilization is Supreme Court justice Sotomayor, who is a highly educated Hispanic but behaves tribally by thinking that a Latino woman can make a better decision than a White male. Her thinking, though she is highly educated, is still with her tribe, not meritocratic. Another classic example is Obama. He is also highly educated, nevertheless has been frequently advocating for Blacks instead of just for Americans.

        America is becoming a tribal society where even after superficial assimilation everyone is behaving tribal except non-Jewish Whites. Whites are forbidden to even mention any solidarity, are called out as racists or supremacist for the same actions or words Jews Hispanics Asians or Blacks are celebrated for. Whites therefore are on a destructive path where these other people will slowly degrade them until they are gone.

      • I disagree. immigrants are hustling making money anyway they can. whites either live at home off mommy and daddy or lower whites are all drug addicts.

        your other tribal stuff is im sorry to say a right wing myth.

        hey no insult intended. just what I have observed in 62 years.

      • If you have Hispanic and Black congressional caucus (no White caucus though), AIPAC, American Jewish Congress, ADL and countless other ethnic or racial lobby groups, while no mainstream White pressure group, you may recognize the tribalism of everyone except Whites.

        If you watch the everyday political discussions about White privilege, Whites being responsible for slavery, colonization, the poor outcomes of Blacks and Hispanics, and when you hear celebration of the “coalition of the people of color” and the inevitable Hispanic majority and white minority future of America from Hispanic leaders, you may recognize the tribalism that is getting stronger by the day

  18. You neglect to point out that the Left cannot help itself from veering ever more left and eating their own. Watch what happens when Lefty women become so nasty that average women cannot stand to hear them screech. You are seeing it already on college campuses… it’s not the administration shutting down the SJW faction, it’s normal students. The Left’s diversity politics rests on being able to treat all the factions equally-they must coexist in peace- but when the fraction that can coexist in peace is tiny when compared with the ‘enemy’ (white, or male, or over 50), guess what happens when the ‘enemy’ votes their own interests!

  19. It seems to me the author mentioned a combination of the more alarmist types – Reagan, for example – and those who would take a softer, behind-the-scenes approach to blocking the path to an ever-advancing leftist agenda. Maybe the softer approach can be put to good use if they would only accept that the louder approach is also critical to blocking the march leftward.

  20. I began making memes to help elect Trump….now, I continue, understanding that we are in a fight to the death with what I call the Leftist Cult Movement, which is what this article is writing about. The Leftists hate Christianity, calling it a cult and a superstition, yet refuse to recognize that if there is any large group following a cult in this nation, it is surely them. They HATE Western Civilization in general, and mean to supplant it and Judeo-Christian culture with their own ‘religion’, which is what I call their Leftist ‘Ididotology’, which seems to be made up on the fly.

    As one obvious example, no sooner do they redefine ‘marriage’ successfully in the law, and then they are off on a campaign to normalize ‘transgenderism’, a condition which those afflicted have a suicide rate 20 TIMES greater than the normal population, and yet, the Leftist Cult insists that our children must be indoctrinated to not only tolerate this mental illness, but to embrace it.

    Make no mistake, we are in a fight to the death with a cancerous, vicious, ruthless CULT, which will stop at nothing to eradicate our ethnic and cultural heritage, our peaceable, law abiding civil society, and our economic prosperity. Mass Migration from the Third World is one of their tools to achieve this eradication.

    Look through my ‘memes’, and you will see that I address many of these issues. The reason for the meme form is to make an immediate impact with youth, and then the attached essays are an in depth written expose of these issues.

    I am now turning to humor and ridicule in these memes…it is what the Leftist Cult does to us, the American rump population which has utterly FAILED to keep the control of how our children are raised and taught, and allowed the Leftist Cult Movement to inject our children with their deadly infection of Cancerous Leftist Idiotology.

    The 2nd American Revolution….

    One Picture Equals 1000 Words……..

    [to enlarge, click the double arrows >< in the lower right corner]

    [to send to a friend, click the curved arrow and choose your method to forward the link]

    • re: actual medical operations that “transgender” individuals who demand that this be done to them because of the emotional rewards that will benefit them.

      Have they been informed that suicide rates subsequent to this operation are 40%? That terrifying number should dissuade ANYONE from having the operation.

  21. What BS. The US has been “transforming” since its inception. Each new wave of immigrants brought with it progress towards that “more perfect union.” Hanson and his ilk only seek the preservation and restoration of human history’s patriarchy.

  22. An excellent article. VD Hanson has always been clear in his observations (empirical evidence) without the attempt to somehow equate the division in the USA to some high level academic/theory discussion like Y. Levin. What is happening in the divided USA is found in the literature but not in source quoted by Levin.

    Ernest Renan, the 19th century French philosopher, correctly wrote that the main characteristic of a nation was: “The
    willingness of the citizens to live together”. Implicit in the idea of a functioning nation is that a social contract exists with two important elements: a) solidarity among the citizens, and b) a state to help organize the defense of life, freedom and property.

    It should be obvious to most that the current USA fails to meet the condition “The willingness of the citizens to live together” nor does it have the necessary element a): “solidarity among the citizens”. Using Renan’s definition, the USA is no longer a “nation” but a multicultural democracy.

    What we are witnessing is the complete breakdown and failure of multiculturalism. Dictionary.com defines multiculturalism as “the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation.” That definition contains a glaring contradiction. A society cannot be unified if it preserves different cultures and cultural identities within itself. That’s why our national motto is translated “out of many, one.” To the multiculturalist it appears to be, “Out of one, many.” History demonstrates that no nation can long survive if it forgets why it exists. Our failure to inculcate American traditions, beliefs and history, even in the native born, not to mention immigrants, is rapidly destroying the country bequeathed to us by our forebears.

    In a recent article for Foreign Affairs, Kenan Malik, a columnist for The International New York Times, decried “The Failure of Multiculturalism—Community Versus Society in Europe,” and the lessons learned there, as he describes them in detail, are object lessons for every “Office of Multiculturalism” fiefdom in every university and city across America. “Thirty years ago,” he writes, “many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to
    Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them,” producing, “a mismatch that has eroded social cohesion, undermined national identities, and degraded public trust.”

    Our society’s frantic efforts to escape these truths gives us the farce that passes for a public debate in a multiethnic democracy. We set up entire social systems and ideologies at odds with our most basic instincts, and wonder why the world seems to have lost its mind.

    Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, virtually all American intellectuals publicly adhere to, if not espouse, a socialist utopia based on egalitarianism, i.e. the egalitarian fiction. And many demonstrate their party loyalty by enforcing the fiction in myriad small ways in their academic routine, say, by off-handedly dismissing racial differences in intelligence as “a racist claim, of course,” criticizing authors for “blaming the victim,” or discouraging students and colleagues from doing “sensitive” research. An eminent editor, after asking an author to soften the discussion in his article, recently published the revised paper with an editorial postscript admonishing scientists in the field to find a “balance” between the need for free exchange of research results on intelligence(IQ) and the (presumably comparable) “need” that “no segment of our society…feel threatened” by it. Enforcement of the egalitarian fiction is not a moral or scientific imperative; it is
    merely political. It is terribly short-sighted, for it corrupts both science and society.

    In order to make this new social multicultural fiction work, we need to use the power of law and the administrative state to force the new social reality on USA citizens. And it is precisely in that action that the competition for power and
    privilege becomes a source not of liberation, but of coercion and the very definition of a totalitarian society and government.

    Such a society would be well on its way to becoming totalitarian. It might not have concentration camps, but it would have re-education centers and sensitivity training for those sad creatures who still engaged in “white-male hegemonic discourse.” Rather than the hard totalitarianism of the Soviet state we would have a softer version in which our minds would be wards of the state. We would be liberated from the burden of thought and therefore unable to fall into the heresy of political

    What is certain is that large multicultural democracies like the USA inevitably collapse into smaller, more ethnically defined regions (Balkanize). The Western Roman Empire became the nations of Western Europe, the Ottoman Empire the nations of the Middle East and North Africa, etc. It has been said that Americans are incredibly naive if they think that somehow, someway, America will be the first nation in the history of humanity to avoid this fate.

  23. it will take a civil war to root out the leftists. the Second Amendment makes it possible to prepare.

    • Kevin Phillips, in his studies of the various civil wars, from the English Civil War to the American, was correct when he says that ethnicity and religion were the biggest determinants of which side you were on. Phillips explains how
      religious, ethnic, geographic, and class-based identities affect the loyalties of different groups. The implicit logic of his analysis suggests that the Revolution took place because the social, cultural, and economic factors he surveys converged in the mid-1770s to make Americans into revolutionaries.

      • so basically conservativism is clearly infected by white supremicists. And you wonder why you lost to the other side?

      • Why do leftists always have to bring up racism blaming? Is it a crutch to use when intellect is missing?

      • I’m not a leftist. I’m a centrist republican. I bring it up because embedded in the republican /conservative party there are racists and white supremicists and just plain bigots. also a lot of people who feel that our american identity is being changed by mixing of races thru immigration. I’m not saying the whole republican and conservative wing are totally that way, but it’s enough that democrats and their left wing can use it against republicans.

      • I’ve met many real white supremacists while living in the South and they were all multi-generational Democrats going back as far as anyone can remember.

      • the south was democratic historically but dont tell me the white supremacy vote went to hilary.

      • There’s not telling you anything, so don’t worry.

      • are you saying that most white supremacists are democrats? even though David duke and others praised trump?

      • No, only all of the ones that I’ve personally met. But you seem to personally know more.

      • i have never met a,white supremacist but from interviews I have seen I doubt they are supportive of the Obama democratic party of today. when I was a kid In the early 60s i do recall the south voting Democrat.

      • One other item I’ve learned from life experience of actually being there more than once: What you see on TV is NOT what really was said or what actually happened. It’s all been edited to support an ingoing agenda.

    • on what legal principle do you propose to murder your fellow citizens who you dont agree with?

      Define exactly who leftists are and how will identify your murder victims? all democrats? jews? urban people?

      • as noted by eggpoacher (below) Kevin Phillips concludes that “religious, ethnic, geographic, and class-based identities” are often used. the exact definition will probably depend on the opportunities for plunder. that’s what happens in a civil war.

      • very generic? you think the lines are being draws up now? Can you clearly identify the the combinations of the above that will combine into revolutionary activists? plunder what? or Whom?

      • “Murder your fellow citizens who you dont [sic] agree with”

        Like Abe “Civil War” Lincoln did?

  24. The failure of the Progressive-Left will be (and perhaps already is) self-evident.
    Nothing needs to be done.
    Most Americans have an intuition about where their over-reach leads.
    The smug elitist intellectuals of NR, et al are dinosaurs relegated to the past.
    This is the era of Trumpism.

  25. There are always people of ability who choose to seek power for power’s sake. Being without any moral compass themselves, they nevertheless recognize the importance of occupying the moral center of their society, the better to subvert it for their own purpose. They must continually be finding new issues to confuse, worry, and divide the people. Under cover of this razzle dazzle they advance towards their goal. This is the meaning and method of modern liberalism.

  26. I propose a test to determine whether Levin or Hanson is closer to the truth.
    Submit the following two-question survey to a random sample of residents of the District of Columbia and the largest city in each state, using a Strongly Agree, Strongly Disagree scale. Then interpret the results.
    1) Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.
    2) Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    • Too many multi-syllable words in those two questions to distribute among our public (non)education population.

  27. American Conservatism is dead…if it ever lived.

    It cannot define itself, it has no common objective, procedure, or leadership. It is as ethereal as “world peace” from where I sit.

    • I wouldn’t go that far. One of the main differences between conservatives and leftists is whether people should be treated as individuals or by their group identity.

      Conservatives feel people should be treated as individuals. Treating people as individuals though would lead to different group outcomes which is totally unacceptable to the left therefore they feel people need to be judged by their group identity and “under represented” groups need to be given affirmative action to help achieve equal group outcomes.

      A few years ago I happened to read a Chicago Tribune article called “Different standards for different students” about how the state of Illinois was changing school test standards. The new standards would set passing scores lower for blacks and Hispanics than for whites and Asians.

      I was at work ( in Chicago ) at the time so I told a Mexican friend about what I’d just read. He seemed quite shocked and startled by this. He said “But why!? Aren’t we all Americans here? Aren’t we all individuals?”. I told him white leftists do things like this because they want all groups to have equal outcomes.

      It was very sad to hear him say “But why? Aren’t we all Americans here? Aren’t we all individuals?”. I was sorry I told him about it. He’s a good guy and I hadn’t meant to hurt him. He has three kids in the Chicago public schools though so that’s why he was so shocked and insulted to hear that Hispanic kids are considered too stupid to keep up with white and Asian kids.

      I think of all the appallingly destructive things the left has done this business of judging people on the basis of their group identity rather than as individuals is by far the worst. Hopefully we’ll be able to somehow recover from the damage they’ve done to this society.

      • im pretty sure its jew hate particularity from the left

      • Jews are white and leftists despise everyone, even themselves, who are white. They feel they’re better than average whites though because they at least are willing to endlessly wallow in white guilt and to dedicate their lives to fighting whites who aren’t interested in such a pastime. The left is insane.

        I recently read a book called “Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa” by ILana Mercer. An excellent book. She also has some very good YouTube videos. I wish she were better known. She’s smart and articulate.

        I recommend reading ILana Mercer’s book and watching her videos, reading up on Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China and encouraging others to never vote for the leftist democrats.

      • Dirty Harry is right. As with all ideologues, there is always a purity battle. Thats what makes fanaticism and nationialism fail. You all eat your own.

      • Treating people as individuals means society accepts some will be poor, and some will rich, based on ambition and productivity…and not just birthright or “privilege.” From what I can see, Western society no longer believes such variabilty is “fair.” As such, the probability of a return to true individualism, I fear, is quite low.

  28. Joe Biden recently said “We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation.”

    During the 2012 presidential campaign Joe Biden appeared in Virginia before a group of supporters, a number of them African-American, and said this of Republican Mitt Romney: “He is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y’all back in chains.”

    Since Biden is a democrat leftists considered it perfectly acceptable for Biden to tell blacks that republicans would like to put them back in slavery. Leftists always consider it acceptable to stir up racial hate as long as it’s to their benefit. What a despicably evil thing to do.

    • i have seen plenty of examples of politicians on all sides of the spectrum pandering in those ways. You find it despicably evil when the other side does it but conveniently ignore it when your side does it. I know you are intelligent, but despite that intelligence , this kind of “blindness” occurs to those who are hard core idealogues. ( on either side of spectrum)

      • Have you checked your white privilege today? I’m sure you’d agree that every white person needs to do that on a daily basis to remind ourselves that we have an unfair and unearned advantage over people of color.

        Naturally, the only fair thing for us to do is to vote for Big Brother leftists who will redistribute wealth so that each faction in our wonderfully progressive society is awarded the same amount of wealth and the same amount of equality. Once we’re all equal we’ll all be equally happy and all will be well with the world.

      • thats hyperbole. most democrats that I know don’t think like that. i don’t agree with that. i feel that those of us who grew up affluent or middle class in healthy families in good neighborhoods should be appreciative of our good fortune to be born in good circumstances and not arrogantly assume it’s just as easy for say a ghetto black to succeed.

        you dont think decades of Jim crow and racism didn’t hurt our black citizens as a whole. I agree that good intentioned laws can lead to twisted consequences but it’s worth it to society to try to address poverty related issues.

      • Blacks are not forced to attend bad schools or to live in dangerous neighborhoods. They are the ones who ruin their schools and neighborhoods and then complain that they’re being oppressed because their schools are awful and their neighborhoods are deadly.

        I personally know whites and Hispanics in Chicago who were chased out of “changing” ( going black ) neighborhoods. That certainly does cause them to become “segregated”. Much of Chicago is off limits to me because I’m white. Does that concern you? Obviously not. You’re a hate whitey leftist who prefers to spend his time squeaking about how evil and racist white people are.

        In 2007 Oprah Winfrey gave up on trying to help inner city black school kids on the south side of Chicago because, she said, they’re just not interested in learning. She then opened a girls school in South Africa.

        This statement by Oprah about black kids not being interested in learning made blacks and white leftists very uncomfortable but there was no retaliation against her for saying it. What if a white celebrity had said this though? Obviously the retaliation would have been immediate and ferocious. Her career would have been ruined and she would have been forever branded as a “Racist!”. Yet you perverts then have the gall to claim that it’s white people who have “privilege”. The left is insane.

        How about these black kids that Oprah gave up on? They’re probably around 20 now and probably quite dysfunctional. Guess who blacks and our always faithfully progressive white leftists will blame for their dysfunctional lives.

      • max you can’t judge anything at all thru the lens of Chicago. Chicago is a separate world into to itself these days.

      • Chicago is a reflection of human nature. Nothing has ever changed in that. Some places just let it go further.

      • everywhere is a reflection of human nature. the situation and politics of Chicago today resemble very few other places in USA. all I’m saying you can’t say what happens inChicago is,happening everywhere else.

      • I agree that everywhere is a reflection of human nature. If you look at Black dominated areas, you see violent crime, poverty, low educational attainment. If you look at White dominated areas, you see far less crime, far less poverty, and higher educational attainment – in average.

        These reflect the human nature of Blacks and Whites, according to genetic science.

      • I disagree. They are a reflection of cultures. Ask any Nigerian emigre.

      • If I ask a Nigerian émigré, he will – if he is honest – tell us high level of corruption, crime, poverty low level of innovation, poor architecture, poor literacy and overall poor achievement in Nigeria, which reflects Black’s nature in Nigeria, other Sub-Saharan countries or Haiti for that matter.

      • Crime, corruption poverty and low IQ population in Eastern Europe? Not by far.

        Just travel to Eastern Europe. Travel to Prague, Krakow, Budapest or Saint Petersburg. You will be amazed how beautiful places these are with the average people living a higher quality of life than even in the US.

        Eastern Europeans have produced great scientists, such as Nikola Tesla, great composers such as Tchaikovsky, and so on. Eastern Europeans are intelligent, innovative, who contributed to our European Western Civilization greatly.

        The countries have crime rate comparable to the rest of Europe, as opposed to the very high level what you would see in Nigeria or any Black majority country.

      • And yet they flee their home country because they find it better in Germany or the UK.

        Standard of living is relative. Crime rates are higher in places and lower in others. Race doesn’t make you a criminal. If you look at disposable income and the price of goods, the US wins hands down. We have bigger cars, homes, roads, parks, everything. They have older cities and history. We can go there and enjoy it with our disposable income.

      • Decades of communism took a toll on Eastern Europe. Even that could not destroy the beauty of the European culture displayed there.

        Some Eastern European countries have comparable household incomes to the US, and the cost of living is significantly less.

        A lot of Eastern European migrants left the UK and Germany because of better opportunities at home. This particularly applies to Poland, whose citizens returned in droves even before Brexit, from the UK.

        Several right wing figures actually moved to Victor Orban’s Hungary for the more open political climate and great economic opportunities at the same time.

        Standard of living is not all money, consumerism by the way. Quality of life is way better in many Eastern European countries than in the US. There are real communities not centered around shopping malls, a culture centered around Opera, rock music, art, architecture instead of the Kardashians, Jay Zee, vulgar rap “artists, they discuss topics definitely not around racism, sexual assaults, transgenderisms, safe spaces, “body positivity” and the other idiot topics Americans are forced to consume every day.

        Going back to the original question you brought up: “everywhere is a reflection of human nature” Compare Eastern EUropeans and their rich safe prosperous societies to the societies of Black dominated countries, such as Nigeria, or Somalia, or Haiti, or Liberia. Blacks built terrible societies riddled with crime, poverty, low intellect.

      • While no other city in America is presently as bad as Chicago, many cities and even the state of California are heading down that path. Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit, DC and Oakland, for example are not far behind. Chicago is just the end state of progressivism.

      • “Blacks are not forced to attend bad schools or to live in dangerous neighborhoods.”

        Right, all they have to do is move to better neighborhoods, and overcome the disadvantages of a bad multigenerational upbringing, and get a better education, and overcome the unintended consequences of progressive policies, and earn more, and have two-parent families, and surround themselves with a strong community, and good models, and….

        Yes, they have responsibilities. But don’t pretend that it’s easy or simple when you start out with these challenges.

        Or that many have not fought that long uphill battle, and won.

        Or that many other people, who have had all those advantages, have not thrown them away.

      • Ah, the “at least we tried” defense. More evil as evidenced by the law of unintended consequences.

      • conservatives are utopian. you think by doing nothing mankind will achieve its highest State, despite the obvious history of greed and power hungry people dominating others and distorting the free market.

        democrats and liberals try to actually implement actions that might help the human race. yes they make mistakes but they utilize their god given powers to improve mankinds quality of life. ask yourself why have most scientists who have had an im pact on our world liberals.

      • Actually it is the opposite, but that is what you see in your mirror. I have no doubt that leftists think they are helping. They also have a tendency to lose patience once they have power and kill (or blacklist if that is all the power they have yet attained) those who don’t appreciate their “largesse”. I want you to be free to fail, and hope that you learn.

        But the learning part is completely up to the person.

      • Prosperity and a good education are the only proven solutions to poverty. Social redistribution may have a positive short term affect, but in the long term has always been shown to be self destructive. Johnson’s War on Poverty has in the end destroyed the black family and has generated multi-generational welfare sections of our society.

      • Our fortune is nothing other than to be inheritors of 2000 yrs of western civilization that includes ideas like honesty, hard work, thrift, self-restraint, education, marriage, personal integrity. Those ideas work for folks of all colors, shapes, and sizes. So, take your ridiculous concept of white privilege and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

  29. What a depressing article. Before the election of President Trump, I had written off the United States. I think that President Trump is and will be a great president; however, I believe that the probability is low that President Trump can make long-term change. One positive toward long-term change is the massive discrediting of the main stream media with their fraudulent news. The corruption at the top of the FBI for the Russian collusion scandal (There was no Russian collusion. The DNC computer was downloaded internally at 23 MB/sec, not hacked by the Russians at 16-18 MB/sec over the internet.) MAY put a wooden stake through the heart of the undead political left; however, the massive ignorance of the political left cannot be overestimated.

    • As to the first part of your post, sadly, I agree with you.

    • We do not have time for pessimism or defeatism. Join the battle, help with constructive ideas, or just go whine in the NRO comments section.

  30. Good elucidating piece overall, but it neglects some key realities. Firstly, the more the Constitutional order has been bastardized by ingressive Leftism, particularly in the Administrative State apparatus and its unaccountable usurpation of legislative combined with judicial and enforcement powers, the more dysfunctional the nation has become, leading to an overt and accelerating national decline. The ingress of Leftism has created a hybrid governmental structure that cannot work because the underlying ideology of Leftism is utterly incompatible and irreconcilable to the Founding tenets of the nation based upon classical liberalism. This situation is unsustainable and is really what is underlying the rising political conflict we see around us. Leftism is anathema to the concept of Traditional Constitutional America as originally conceived and vice versa. The writing is on the wall. The Left intends to destroy what is left of Traditional America. Much as some conservatives would like to be in denial, the middle has pretty much dissolved and is gone for the foreseeable future and we all will have to choose where we stand. This conflict will either be won or lost. I know where I stand.

    • We lack a common reality. We are simply incomprehensible to each other. We can’t communicate. What would happen though if we had a civil war and the blacks and white leftists killed off all the conservative white devils like me in the city of Chicago?

      How exactly would they govern this city? How would they deal with the fact that a great many Hispanics and Asians are appalled by black behavior and want nothing to do with them? What would they do about black social dysfunction?

      How exactly would they improve the schools? I have a Mexican friend at work who once told me his cousin teaches at a black elementary school on the south side of Chicago. He said she hates her job because the kids have no interest in learning, no respect for the teacher ( they often tell her to go F herself when she tells them to do something ), and no impulse control.

      At present, white leftists just blame white devils like me for this but what if all the people like me had been killed off and they actually had to deal with this? They obviously never have any answers to such uncomfortable questions.

  31. Evidently, the phrase: “Brevity is the soul of wit”, doesn’t apply at this place.

  32. To put it simply, there is no liberal left anymore. Leftism in America resembles more 1930s fascism in Europe than it does the sensible and gradual progressivism of say, Lionel Trilling, Adlai Stevenson and Henry Jackson. They must be fought tooth and nail. Victor Davis Hanson understands this.

  33. The Obama project to “fundamentally transform America” is a non-starter. But the undertaking of such an effort is a surefire way to lead to the devastation of America. Obamacare alone has caused innumerable problems. The implementation of that kind of philosophy is at odds with what makes the U.S. unique and successful in the world. Obama did not understand that because he didn’t have an appreciation or understanding of what makes the U.S. successful in the world. He seemed to be pursuing a theoretical utopian policy that had no basis in the U.S. economic or social system.

  34. I have to say, that is one big bumper sticker collection. But I’ve seen them all before, so–thanks anyway.

  35. The eGOP and the Progs are merely two sides of the same coin. Only Trumo is deconstructing the Progs edifice, which is why they have become so shrill and desperate…..cause it’s working!

  36. In the months ahead, conservatives will be making their choice. I have made mine.

    Great article, and it isn’t a choice at all. Hansen is right and Levin, NRO and the rest of “conservative” cuckdom are content to critique punctuation on the death sentence progressives have written for the American experiment. Open borders, cultural rot and bad trade deals seem to be all they’re good at “conserving” America needs none of those things and we no longer need their defenders.

    We don’t need their paranoia and emotionalism either. They’re as terrified of the “racism” and “fascism” boogeymen on the right as the progressives are. And when they say this, they aren’t talking about a phone booth full of weirdos at a rally in Virginia. They’re talking about us and anyone who thought handing Hillary the tools to destroy us was a very bad idea.

    Donald Trump has done more in one campaign to set the left back on their heels than Conservatism Inc has during my entire adult life. Perhaps incidentally or perhaps by design, he has exposed them as utter frauds along the way. Call it Trump’s genius, karma or divine intervention, (My favorite explanation) but it happened. Conservatives should not accept any retreat from the battle Donald Trump has joined with the left and the establishment right, because if we do we lose for good.

  37. Our leftists remind me of Mao’s Red Guard. I agree with those who say that what happened here is simply that the left traded class for race. Instead of groups like rich landowners being labeled as the source of evil in the world, as happened during Mao’s Cultural Revolution ( 1966/1976 ), our leftists cast white people as the devil. You don’t have to read much from leftist sites to realize that they consider white people evil.

    They also consider themselves evil but feel they’re much better than average whites because they at least are willing to endlessly wallow in white guilt and to dedicate their lives to fighting whites who aren’t interested in such a pastime. The left is insane.

    I’ve always liked reading history. Something that’s always bothered me about reading history though is that you realize how distressingly common it is for societies to become insane and self destruct. Just during the dreadful twentieth century we had major nations like Germany, Japan, Russia and China become horrifyingly insane for periods of time during which they inflicted terrible damage to themselves and others.

    Why does this happen? Why does this keep happening? I suppose it’s just a flaw in human nature. All we can do is hope for the best. Hopefully this time will be different. Hopefully fate will be kind to us and spare us from the abyss.

    • Would it be OK if I converted this comment into a stand-alone article for Writer Beat?
      There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and liked what you wrote. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. You can learn more about Writer Beat by checking out my profile or just say “sure” and I’ll handle thte rest.

      • You can use it if you want. It certainly is quite horrifying to see what’s happening here. America was very fortunate to have avoided the raging insanity that ripped apart so many countries during the dreadful twentieth century. Hopefully I’m wrong but it does seem to me that our luck has run out.

        I recently read a comment, apparently by a foreigner, who was gloating about the disintegration of America. He said we deserved it. The disastrous failure of the American experiment though is going to send shock waves all over the world and have a profoundly negative effect everywhere, even where he lives.

      • I just realized that Disqus blocked my effort to send you a link to your article. To find it, do a Google search on the following: On Leftists
        by Max Flasher

      • Thanks. I hope you realize though that leftists will accuse you of being an alt-right, far right Nazi for doing that. Last year I read that millionaires are fleeing from Chicago because they fear crime and race riots. I told a Vietnamese friend at work ( in Chicago ) about this and he said if he was a rich white guy he’d go to Asia to live because white people are respected in Asia and they’re not here.

        I probably would go to Asia if I was rich. I sure wouldn’t stay on this sinking ship.

      • The gratitude is mine. Please note, if you wish to engage your commenters the login is in the top right corner of the site. Click that and use the following access information:

        email – flasher (at) writerbeat (dot) com
        password – writerbeat

  38. climb up the ideology tree
    and fall down on your behind when the fat sack of garbage in the white house takes away your ladder

  39. The conservative movement and the Republican establishment has been hijacked by Leftists who claim to be conservative, but have no respect for conservative or right-wing social thoughts or traditions, let alone for Western Civilization. They only care for the economy and national security and disdain social conservatism.

    The author and Hanson is right about recognizing the need for restoration of our culture, nevertheless they don’t understand that the melting pot only worked when the ingredients were closely related genetically, culturally (Europeans). We will never be able to integrate Mestizos, Africans to our European created (formerly European, increasingly 3rd World) country.

    They are still idealists and not realists. They don’t want to admit the huge unbridgeable gap between Europeans and other races and ethnicities and the fundamental role that genetic differences in abilities between these groups resulted in their building of different societies that no melting pot will be able to cook into a European society.

    America will continue on a path to be more like Africa, Asia and Mexico and less like Europe because Europeans are diminishing from 90% of the population just a few decades ago 62% today and below 50% in just a few years.

    • I don’t agree. I know many Vietnamese, Hispanics and a few Asian Indians. I feel I have infinitely more in common with them than with hate whitey, white leftists who were born and raised here as I was. I’ve had white leftists tell me they can’t be anti-white since they themselves are white.

      Mao’s Red Guard though was Chinese and they devastated China during the Cultural Revolution ( 1966/1976 ). I’ve read they destroyed an estimated 90% of China’s priceless cultural heritage. Temples, books, art works and millions of lives were destroyed. The Red Guard believed China’s past and any link to it was a dead weight which was helping to hold China back. They wanted to destroy China’s past so they could create a bright new future where all would be equal. All they really created though was a hellish nightmare. Even Mao finally got tired of them and sent them to rural areas “to learn from the peasants”.

      • The problem is not that these are good or bad people. The problem is that they are different and will irreversibly change – destroy – our Western civilization. They don’t care about the founding fathers, they don’t care for Western Civilization and its values. Asians are closer to Whites than Blacks in terms of their intelligence, work ethic, but they are not the same.

        If we want to see a World by the end of this Century where all the White cultures are destroyed by multiculturalism and Berlin, London, Paris all look like Detroit while Asians and Africans maintain and thrive in their racially pure homelands, then we can bring in more Asians and others to “diversify” White countries. But if we want to preserve White countries as Western Civilization, then we must not allow that. We must behave like the Chinese, Japanese, Nigerians, Koreans or basically every non-White country: preserve your people to preserve your culture.

      • By the way, I agree communism was terrible and caused terrible destruction. But the egalitarianism fantasy of the Left continues its destruction of our cultures in a more subtle way, with the power of capitalist economic system but culturally Marxist ideology.

    • Would it be OK if I converted this comment into a stand-alone article for Writer Beat?
      There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community anvd liked what you wrote. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. You can learn more about Writer Beat by checking out my profile or just say “sure” and I’ll handle the rest.

      • I just realized Disqus blocked my attempt to send you a link to your article. To find it, do a Google search of the following: The conservative movement has been hijacked by Leftists by Dex Triumph

      • Thank you. I would be glad to contribute and reply to some of the comments on your website.
        Please send me the login info to dex.triumph [at] protonmail.com

  40. What I find ironic about such long-winded “intellectual” articles is that Trump himself wouldn’t understand it. Not enough superlatives like “fantastic”, “terrific”, or “tremendous”. And nowhere in the article is “very very”. How would Trump be able to recognize the most important points? Well, maybe I’m being harsh. He might understand it if it were read out loud and I then explained by somebody on Fox and Friends. Still, without the article summing everything up with his favorite phrase (“we’ll see what happens”), I’m not sure he would get anything out of it.

    • You make a good point. Too many people project their own ideas onto Trump, who himself is clueless.

      • it’s the ends justifying the means. thats why Jonah Goldberg at al are concerned that trump will forever change conservatives into something more idk authoritarian.

  41. The “fusionism” of the earlier conservative movement between conservatives and libertarians (classical liberals) seems to be what is at issue here, to a large degree.

    I would submit that what happened over time is that libertarians came to dominate the conservative movement, and conservatives were given lip service, patted on the head and dismissed with empty hands.

    Trump, while not perfect and not 100% consistent, is quite conservative. But not much of a libertarian. He is a correction in that sense for a drift that has happened for a long time. It is also a political correction on the part of voters. The twin pillars of Trump’s deviation from recent orthodoxy are trade and foreign policy, which have become extremist liberalism in the first case, and Wilsonian progressivism in the second.

    Those who think nothing is wrong, and Obama wasn’t that bad, are not conservatives. Libertarians have had a long run of dominance and have become excessive. The country is again in need of conservatism. That is, the elevation of God, Family and Country and policies that strengthen those loyalties. Law and Order, which gave been increasingly ignored by the administrative state. And so on. Conservatism is not hard to define. There are just a lot of elites who hate it.

    • So only you and other paleo-conservatives (Pat Buchanan’s term) are true conservatives? Who put you in charge? No one is going to change their belief system to conform to YOUR definition of a conservative.

  42. It’s just: who in hell would recommend a course of moderation when the other side is attempting a coup? We’re at war, and there is no moderate response to that, is there?The other side is shooting our Congressmen, destroying the lives or regular people on our side, and attempting to manufacture a revolution. The only question is: how much radicalism would be too much? I’m not prepared to answer, frankly.

  43. This piece ranks up there with the Flight 93 essay. Very, very well done.

    Sign me up to the Hanson school. I think the argument is compelling and, at this point, the downside of disruption appears to be significantly less than Levin’s passive aggressive approach to eventual capitulation. The idea of convincing some young cadre of the next generation of the logic of a lifestyle they’re not currently experiencing, when they’re not even learning logic as a discipline, is especially unconvincing.

    Hanson is working hard to win over the Never-Trump crowd, with limited success so far. That is because the NT crowd truly do buy in to the liberal project, just in a way that keeps them “well fed.” The space between NR and “acceptable conservatives” looks to be subatomic and any of the old animosity is gone. Why? Because they no longer have any beliefs that transcend themselves; there is simply nothing worth making a sacrifice over.

    If there is nothing transcendent, why worry about what the outcome of a grand project intended to harmonize the entire world? These people will not be won to a project of disruption and probably should be viewed more as collaborators than allies.

    So, we’re left with a mess:
    – The cultural leviathan has consumed our young, and most of us are old;
    – We have few theoretical or practical institutions to develop philosophy and policy;
    – We lack Soros-level energy and funding;
    – We have woken up at virtually the last possible minute.

    But, fortunately, and we should be nightly proclaiming glory to God for both Hillary and for such an unlikely and unexpected outcome, we have Trump and his electoral majority (at least for now). We also have the built-in yearning of humans beings for freedom on which we can build. And we know that any society built upon an oppressed class is inherently unstable! Trump’s election showed that liberal identity politics almost necessarily creates an class that believes itself to be oppressed.

    The obvious first priority is to defend Trump, at any cost, including that of sins we ascribe to the opposition (e.g., Clinton). We must hold our noses and follow the Clinton example to survival if necessary. The opposition’s take-no-prisoners and ends-justify-the-means attitudes has forced us into the gutter along with them. It’s hard to see how we have any chance if we tie an arm behind our back. This is the cost of joining the battle late. We must seek the fight, not shy away from it. Liberals must experience the risks of their tactics.

    We need funding. If we can’t find an anti-Soros, we need to go to the grass roots.

    With funding we need to create infrastructure and begin proselytizing, and we simultaneously need to begin building the foundation and framework of ideas that outline the way forward. Trump’s wrecking bar is doing great work for now, but that is not much of a policy to advance the cause. He needs help finding ways to destroy the liberal godzilla and reinforce a free and open society.

    Perhaps, in the end, all we can do is to build up the class most oppressed by liberals as a counter-weight to impede liberals from winning the war. But, if we can find a way to culturally revitalize and energize those who love freedom, perhaps the country can be saved.

    At this point, like Trump, we just need to begin doing something. We no longer have the luxury of time to build philosophy and infrastructure. Let the REAL Resistance begin.

  44. Which is more likely to stop the Left?
    The bow-tie brigade at National Review, with their 60 watt microphone?
    Or the tweets of Trump, with his million watt microphone?

  45. Yuval Levin writes: “Our conservative project must ultimately be understood as a civic labor of love not a political fight to the death.”
    The saying goes: “Never give a sucker an even break.”
    The classical liberal believes that the law gives him the right to exploit the sucker. The progressive liberal believes it is unethical to exploit the sucker.
    I am with Levin and the progressives.

  46. Directly on point of this essay on how President Trump is dismantling the Administrative Swamp is this wonkish December 30th Washington Post article titled How the Trump era is changing the federal bureaucracy.

    Nearly a year into his takeover of Washington, President Trump has made a significant down payment on his campaign pledge to shrink the federal bureaucracy, a shift long sought by conservatives that could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades.

    By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with most shedding many hundreds of employees, according to an analysis of federal personnel data by The Washington Post.

    The diminishing federal footprint comes after Trump promised in last year’s campaign to “cut so much your head will spin,” and it reverses a boost in hiring under President Barack Obama. The falloff has been driven by an exodus of civil servants, a diminished corps of political appointees and an effective hiring freeze.

    Even though Congress did not pass a new budget in his first year, the drastic spending cuts Trump laid out in the spring — which would slash more than 30 percent of funding at some agencies — also has triggered a spending slowdown, according to officials at multiple departments.

    The White House is now warning agencies to brace for even deeper cuts in the 2019 budget it will announce early next year, part of an effort to lower the federal deficit to pay for the new tax law, according to officials briefed on the budgets for their agencies. One possible casualty: a pay raise that federal employees historically have received when the economy is humming.

    The administration’s effort so far to reshape the workforce of nearly 2 million civil servants that serves as the backbone of the government already has provoked a contentious culture shift.

    Federal workers fret that their jobs could be zeroed out amid buyouts and early retirement offers that already have prompted hundreds of their colleagues to leave, according to interviews with three dozen employees across the government. Many chafed as supervisors laid down new rules they said are aimed at holding poor performers and problem workers to account. (more)

    In so many words, just as in the judicial appointments, President Trump is filling his campaign promises.

  47. “The hope for conservatives, Levin tells us, is ‘generational.’ The endurance of an unchanging human nature means it is possible to win the next generation, or at least thoughtful elements within it, to a sober conservatism.”

    Clueless. Unchanging human nature? You mean like when the Obama administration threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that didn’t accommodate the idea that one could be considered a “woman trapped in a man’s body”–as in reality itself comes down to self-identification? By that “standard” 2+2 CAN equal 5, if enough SJWs are “offended” by 4, and “endurance” becomes totalitarianism in short order.

  48. The Amgreatness.com site is a memory hog–my processor just cycles endlessly when I’m on it. Good article though.

  49. I’m with VDH. Levin has always struck me as warmed-over, go-along-to-get-along Queensberry rules conservatism, i.e. prefers losing while staying above the fray, rather than break a sweat trying to win. He’s a member of the one-party establishment in DC.