Articles by Publius Decius Mus

Kris Kobach for DHS Secretary

The Department of Homeland Security—the nation’s newest cabinet agency, founded only in 2002—is a mess. Everyone knows it. It’s taken formerly well-functioning agencies (e.g., FEMA) and made them worse, split up some (Customs) in ways that made them worse, combined others in ways that made them worse, and created perhaps the worst functioning federal agency […]

Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends

It’s so much easier to be in opposition. Since the electionis mirabilis, I’ve received a lot of entreaties to say something. Anything! These have come mostly from well-wishers looking for guidance. Tell Trump what to do next! Does anyone actually think I’ve told him what to do up to now? Or that he would listen […]

Dear Repentant NeverTrumpers: No One Else Could Have Won

Conservatives are taking their lumps with more grace than I thought they would. Perhaps the pleasure of seeing Hillary and the entire Clintonone Family go down—one hopes never to rise again—provides significant, and unexpectedly powerful, consolation. I know it would have for me had I been anti-Trump. However, a strain of residual bitterness remains that […]

The Bankruptcy of Conservative Intellectuals

Writing—no matter how many times you say the same thing, no matter how often—inevitably entails being misunderstood. In general, the causes are, first, obscurity from the writer and, second, ignorance, sloppiness, laziness, or willfulness in the reader. I like to think my writing is reasonably clear, but I leave that to others to judge. In […]

A Fool’s Errand: The Case for Trump and the Vindication of the Republic

I’ve never felt so flattered to be called a fool. Nathan Pinkoski—a doctoral student at Oxford whom I don’t know and had never heard of until this weekend—has penned an extraordinary account of my recent writings. He seems easily to have understood concepts that have bewildered so many others. This is doubtless owing in part […]

Conservatives: “We’re Doing Great! Just Ask Us”

Noah Rothman, in characteristic charitable fashion, takes on a view that he attributes only to “white nationalist[s],” “opinion writers who fancy themselves respectable sorts” (i.e., who are beneath a Commentary columnist), and people who wish for despotism. Got that? Racists, losers and fascists are the only people who question Conservatism, Inc.’s claim to rousing and […]

A Progressive Smear Against Pro-Trump Intellectuals

Write what you know, goes the old adage. Tom Wolfe added the exhortation—which dispiritingly few have heeded—that once you’ve written what you know but want to keep writing anyway, go do research and write about what you learn. But that’s a lot of work. Much easier just to wing it—the preferred method of 2016’s kidlet-pundits. […]

On Not Getting It

Unpopular writers have two choices: quit, and be accused by one’s enemies and critics of having no answer, of having acknowledged “defeat”; or keep writing and be accused of obsession, logorrhea, and repetition. Since we know we’re damned either way, we stubborn men choose the latter. I’m going to single out two persistent responders—Damon Linker […]

Conservative Quislings Laud Trump Tape — And Hasten Their Own Demise

So let me get this straight: the “conservatives” learned on Friday, via an old tape, that Donald Trump can sometimes say lecherous things. This has them jumping up and down for joy. Finally, a smoking gun that will slay the dragon! They’re happier than they’d have been if Hillary Clinton were caught red-handed deleting 30,000 […]

Who Will Rule: The New Oligarchy — or the American People?

Carl Eric Scott urges those of us on the pro-Trump right to “grapple with real anti-Trump arguments,” and he points specifically to this, by Peter Spiliakos. Not one to duck a challenge, herewith my grapple. Spiliakos, a columnist at National Review and First Things, begins with the common charge that Trump’s comments on libel law indicate a wish to abuse power. […]

The Case Against “the Conservative Case. . .”

Whenever you find an article that begins with the title, “The Conservative Case” for or against something, lock your door, check your wallet, and grab your gun. You know what’s coming is an unadulterated sell-out of everything “conservatism” purports to hold dear. The words directly following the ellipses usually denote some obviously non-conservative thing, like “a […]

What Trump Might Do That Hillary Will Not

Do you ever get the impression that the contemporary conservative movement is just a giant false flag operation? A living example of Conquest’s Third Law? There may be other explanations for its fecklessness, stupidity, and willful blindness, but this is the simplest. Attempts to refute my “Flight 93” thesis continue to trickle in and they […]

Prudence: For Trump

Reposted with permission from the Claremont Review of Books. William Voegeli has written thoughtfully about the reasons underlying Trump’s appeal, defended Trump’s supporters, and attacked some of his more breathless enemies. Still, Voegeli charges me—for making many of the same points—with exhorting people to “reckless, desperate actions.” When what I have actually exhorted them to do […]

Sanctimony as a Conservative Principle

Reposted with permission from the Claremont Review of Books. I admit to a bit of disappointment at the reaction to my two prior articles. I went into the agora with the hope of getting flayed by good arguments. Instead I got ankle-bitten on Twitter. What is it with conservatives and Twitter anyway? The enstupification of […]

Not ‘Reactionary’ But Right: Decius Responds to Damon Linker

If I were to try to correct every misinterpretation of what I’ve written, I’d never do anything else. But some are worth addressing because they present an opportunity to explore larger questions or drill deeper into ones already on the table. Damon Linker offers a case in point. In two columns at The Week, he […]

Decius Responds to Critics of “The Flight 93 Election”

Reposted with permission from The Claremont Review of Books.   Well, that was unexpected. Everything I said in “The Flight 93 Election” was derivative of things I had already said, with (I thought) more vim and vigor, in a now-defunct blog. I assumed the new piece would interest a handful of that blog’s remaining fans […]