Are you willing to take a gamble on Trump? No matter what Gary ‘Not-A-Chance’ or Jill ‘What’s-Her-Name’ says, there are only two choices: Trump or Hillary. Which do you choose?
The utterly brilliant article on Claremont, entitled ‘The Flight 93 Election’ is an astute and thoughtful assessment of Election 2016 and of the head-in-the-sand ‘Never-Trump’ Republicans that are in denial about the possible fate of America.
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
The author, using the pseudonym Publius Decius Mus, explains the problem with Conservative ‘thought’:
One of the paradoxes—there are so many—of conservative thought over the last decade at least is the unwillingness even to entertain the possibility that America and the West are on a trajectory toward something very bad. On the one hand, conservatives routinely present a litany of ills plaguing the body politic. Illegitimacy. Crime. Massive, expensive, intrusive, out-of-control government. Politically correct McCarthyism. Ever-higher taxes and ever-deteriorating services and infrastructure. Inability to win wars against tribal, sub-Third-World foes. A disastrously awful educational system that churns out kids who don’t know anything and, at the primary and secondary levels, can’t (or won’t) discipline disruptive punks, and at the higher levels saddles students with six figure debts for the privilege.
Conservatives spend at least several hundred million dollars a year on think-tanks, magazines, conferences, fellowships, and such, complaining about this, that, the other, and everything. And yet these same conservatives are, at root, keepers of the status quo.
Conservatives agree on what the problems are… but then what? The author goes for the jugular:
If conservatives are right about the importance of virtue, morality, religious faith, stability, character and so on in the individual; if they are right about sexual morality or what came to be termed “family values”; if they are right about the importance of education to inculcate good character and to teach the fundamentals that have defined knowledge in the West for millennia; if they are right about societal norms and public order; if they are right about the centrality of initiative, enterprise, industry, and thrift to a sound economy and a healthy society; if they are right about the soul-sapping effects of paternalistic Big Government and its cannibalization of civil society and religious institutions; if they are right about the necessity of a strong defense and prudent statesmanship in the international sphere—if they are right about the importance of all this to national health and even survival, then they must believe—mustn’t they?—that we are headed off a cliff.
But it’s quite obvious that conservatives don’t believe any such thing, that they feel no such sense of urgency, of an immediate necessity to change course and avoid the cliff.
The author cites a recent article by Matthew Continetti in the ‘Weekly Standard’ about “The ‘Condition of America’ Question”.
Continetti serves up the same platitudes and canned answers that Conservatives decrying the Progressive re-writing of American values always bring up: de-centralization, federalization, civic renewal, and Burkean Conservatism.
That’s all great. But, let’s use an analogy: if Rosie O’Donnell didn’t mow down cheeseburgers and hopped on an elliptical, she’d be as svelte as Cindy Crawford. (She’d still be a loud-mouth blow-hard, but at least a slim one.)
Wishing for a tautology to enact itself is not a strategy.
To continue with the analogy, Rosie’s gonna need to want to change, then make a concerted effort to change. Duct-tape over her mouth (though an appealing option) won’t work, as she can just yank it off anytime she waddles past a Burger King.
Ah, but then there’s this little nugget:
Continetti trips over a more promising approach when he writes of “stress[ing] the ‘national interest abroad and national solidarity at home’ through foreign-policy retrenchment, ‘support to workers buffeted by globalization,’ and setting ‘tax rates and immigration levels’ to foster social cohesion.” That sounds a lot like Trumpism. But the phrases that Continetti quotes are taken from Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, both of whom, like Continetti, are vociferously—one might even say fanatically—anti-Trump.
The author says that those who embrace Conservatism and yet aren’t concerned about 4 (or 8!) years of ‘President Hillary’, are just fooling themselves with the ‘Conervative’ label.
Let’s be very blunt here: if you genuinely think things can go on with no fundamental change needed, then you have implicitly admitted that conservatism is wrong. Wrong philosophically, wrong on human nature, wrong on the nature of politics, and wrong in its policy prescriptions. Because, first, few of those prescriptions are in force today. Second, of the ones that are, the left is busy undoing them, often with conservative assistance. And, third, the whole trend of the West is ever-leftward, ever further away from what we all understand as conservatism.
The ‘Conservative’ Brand keeps taking a hit from Progressives, and this would only increase exponentially with Hillary as President.
A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. Nor is even that the worst. It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already in the censorship practiced by the Davoisie’s social media enablers; in the shameless propaganda tidal wave of the mainstream media; and in the personal destruction campaigns—operated through the former and aided by the latter—of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else.
Sure, Trump isn’t perfect, but he’s the GOP Nominee:
We can lament until we choke the lack of a great statesman to address the fundamental issues of our time—or, more importantly, to connect them. Since Pat Buchanan’s three failures, occasionally a candidate arose who saw one piece: Dick Gephardt on trade, Ron Paul on war, Tom Tancredo on immigration. Yet, among recent political figures—great statesmen, dangerous demagogues, and mewling gnats alike—only Trump-the-alleged-buffoon not merely saw all three and their essential connectivity, but was able to win on them. The alleged buffoon is thus more prudent—more practically wise—than all of our wise-and-good who so bitterly oppose him. This should embarrass them. That their failures instead embolden them is only further proof of their foolishness and hubris.
Read more: Claremont
It’s a long article, but should be made mandatory reading by anyone who claims the name ‘Conservative’.