Know Your Establishment-Men

EstablishmentGOPby N. A. Halkides6/26/15
A Guide to Identification in the Field  •  The fissure in the Republican Party between Conservatives and what I’ve been calling in the pages of ST the “Establishment-men” is not a new phenomenon – we only need consider the 1964 GOP Presidential contest between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller to realize that it’s been present for at least fifty years – but it is only recently that a condition of open warfare has existed between these factions.  Why that is so is not hard to understand (the betrayals of the Conservative base of the Party by the Establishment and its repeated capitulations to the Democratic Left having brought the United States closer to becoming a bankrupt dictatorship than most of us would have believed possible), so it is not my subject today.  Of greater importance at the present time is being able to identify the Establishment-men among us and so deprive them of our support, with an eye to taking control of the GOP.

This is critical not only because many Establishment-men (hereinafter “E-men” for short – not to be confused with a comic-book superhero team like the X-Men) have become quite adept at deliberate deception to obtain the support of the Conservatives they secretly despise, but also because Conservatives themselves, desperate for heroes, often mistake any Republican who isn’t an obvious RINO (Republican in Name Only, or Democrat calling himself a Republican) for the next Ronald Reagan.  In past articles for ST, I’ve gone into specifics regarding why in my view certain Republicans are not Conservatives at all.  What I’d like to do now is provide a more general understanding of the Establishment-man so that his species may be identified and targeted by Conservatives – sort of a political field guide.

The first thing that struck me when regarding known E-men such as John McCain, Mitt Romney, and of course Mr. Establishment himself, Jeb Bush, is the class characteristics they have in common with most businessmen.  (I use the word “class” here taxonomically, not economically, although it will be noted that most Establishment-men are fairly well-off).  Businessmen tend to be hard-working, yes, but they also tend to be un-intellectual, amoral, and myopically fixated on short term profits to the exclusion of everything else.  Time and again we have seen that businessmen make disappointing statesmen when they go into politics, and that when they remain in the business world they eagerly cut deals with the politicians who would destroy them.

Consider, for example, the support of the insurance companies for Obamacare based on the short-term gains they would receive as the Individual Mandate forced people to buy their product, completely ignoring the fact that the Obamacare architects and Democratic politicians generally long to destroy the health insurance industry along with private medicine and replace it with a government bureaucracy (government-controlled medicine, euphemistically referred to as “single-payer”).  That Obamacare brings their industry a big step closer to being either placed completely under government control or legislated out of existence entirely did not lead insurance executives to fight tooth and nail for their rights; instead they agreed to cut a deal which in the short term would bring them more customers and, through some complex machinations, guarantee them against loss.  As Stalin so well put it, “When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use.”

Another obvious example is mass-immigration:  most businessmen want cheap labor in the short term to increase profits, regardless of the effects on our country.  Not only is this attitude unpatriotic, it’s also suicidal as third-world immigrants bring with them a culture in which private property is routinely seized and redistributed to the “poor”; thus to support mass-immigration is to support the eventual confiscation of one’s business (or its regulation to the point of destruction, whichever comes first under the rule of the Democratic Left).  What good are increased profits next year if you don’t have a business at all the year after that?  This is the kind of question most businessmen never think about – it’s apparently just too abstract for them, and the inability to think abstractly is a key characteristic of the E-man.

Now of course running a business is a practical affair, and when considering how to meet next week’s payroll or how much of a particular raw material to order no one would suggest that the businessman digress into abstract philosophical questions.  But as we have seen from the examples above, which could be multiplied infinitely, when acting outside the immediate sphere of daily business operations, ethics and politics become crucial matters, ones the businessman with his elementary concrete concerns is ill-equipped to handle.  We might express this more formally as the failure of philosophical pragmatism, or more ironically as the impracticality of pragmatism.

The most obvious common failing in the examples so far considered is that of myopia:  the insurance companies cut deals that bring short-term profit and long-term extinction as private enterprises; the Chamber of Commerce favors more Third-World immigration which reduces short-term labor costs but results in long-term loss of private property rights as the Left seizes power when these immigrants start voting; the capitalist profits today from the sale of his rope to the Left which they use to hang him on the morrow.  It is not, however, the only failing:  the dislike of abstract thinking and moral concerns are prominent characteristics as well.  For the capitalist to recognize the danger of selling the communists a quantity of strong rope, he must first understand that the communists want to hang him and why they wish to do so.  This requires a considerable amount of abstract thought.

Let us return to the world of Republican politics to see how this ties in by comparing the Conservative to the businessman.  The Conservative politician is motivated by a desire to conserve the political ideas that have moral worth and have lifted America to greatness, principally limited government and individual rights, but the businessman entering the political field has no understanding of these highly abstract concepts, his only guide to life being philosophical pragmatism.  Thus he enters politics with no political principles to guide him, yet he must be guided by something – what will it be?  Observation leads to the following answers:

  1. Bits and pieces of traditional morality, as he lacks the sheer lust for destruction that characterizes the radical (i.e. mainstream Democrat by today’s standards).  Such men are often against abortion, for example.  Nonetheless, they are generally inconsistent since moral consistency relies on adherence to fixed moral principles.
  2. The dominant philosophy of the time and place.  This, unfortunately, is statism/collectivism, and if you’ve ever wondered why many “moderate” legislators and judges become worse after years on the job, the answer is that statism is an even more pervasive ideology in their new environment of Washington D.C. than it was wherever they came from, unless they came from the universities, in which case they would be radical Leftist Democrats from the beginning, and they pick it up by a sort of default osmosis.
  3. A desire for a kind of superficial stability, that is, to preserve the status quo.  The businessman wants to preserve his own profits of course, but the truth is that change scares him and the idea of old businesses failing and going bankrupt to be replaced by newer, better businesses is upsetting to him even beyond the question of his own and his friends’ profits.  A perfect example of this attitude was on display during the financial meltdown of 2007-2008, where the universally-accepted priority among non-Conservative Republicans was to keep major financial institutions from failing, even if they deserved to fail.  (The Democratic Left cared little whether they failed or not, as long as increased government control of the financial sector was the result).  That the status quo in America is an unstable mixture of freedom and government control that couldn’t possibly be preserved for very long even if it deserved to be never occurs to the E-man.

Now up to this point I have been focusing my attentions on the businessman to clarify the discussion, but we can see that exactly the same observations could be applied to the non-businessman, non-Conservative Republican because he shares the businessman’s general outlook.  In view of #3 above, we might say that his desire is to preserve and protect the Establishment, meaning established (usually large) business interests, and we have at last achieved a comprehensive definition of the E-man.  In fact, we can now glimpse one of the reasons for his hostility to Conservatives, who intend to conserve (really restore) freedom, which will upset the status quo and challenge its welfare state premises.  We have not, however, entirely explained the E-man’s behavior or his failure to halt the progress of the Democratic Left, so let us do so next.

One key feature of the typical E-man is inconsistency; that is, a failure to adhere to a set of moral principles as noted in #1 above.  The E-man thus accepts what he hears from different sources, even when those sources are contradictory, as for example traditional religious morality from his upbringing and the statism/collectivism that dominates American culture outside the home.  This is why Senator John McCain can be simultaneously against abortion and in favor of censoring political speech (the McCain/Feingold bill and McCain’s attack on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United case), or Ohio Governor John Kasich can be against abortion and yet accept the basic immorality of the welfare state – the idea that one man’s need gives him a claim on everyone else’s life.  We should note that despite the early influence of traditional morality, the later acceptance of the welfare/regulatory state governs more of the questions that tend to come before a public official (abortion is in many ways unlike any other political question), thus the E-man is very often in agreement with the Democratic Left.

I have disparaged the superficial pragmatism of the E-man, but it does grant him a small measure of deference to the facts of reality that the radical Leftist does not possess.  Bearing this in mind, we can now explain why the E-man is better than the Democrat on national security issues and why he is more concerned about deficit spending (a necessary consequence of the welfare state) than the completely unconcerned Leftist.  Thus an E-man like President George W. Bush recognized the threat of Islamic terrorism, and viewed the ties of Saddam Hussein with his WMD programs to Islamic terrorists with great concern.  We will not enter into a discussion of whether the Iraq War was good policy, but merely contrast Bush’s concern with the indifference of the hard-core Leftist, who views America as evil and therefore always at fault in international conflicts.  (As a matter of fact, many Democrats agreed with Bush at the time (in 2003) that Saddam Hussein should be removed from power, but as their Party drifted Left, they pretended they had been somehow misled by Bush.  The nauseating story is told in Party of Defeat.)

So E-men are better than Progressives on national security in that they actually do care about defending America from her enemies, but their intellectual limitations tend to lead to policy mistakes nonetheless.  Many of the later problems we had in Iraq were caused by Bush’s reliance on conventional wisdom, represented by the counsel of Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, neither of whom apparently understood the fundamental nature of Islam or Islamic terrorism, or the difficulties in trying to build a modern Western nation in a land where tribalism and Islam together act as strong brakes on moral or political progress.  Both had adopted the Left-contaminated ideas of the academy (especially Rice, who came from there) – a characteristic of the Establishment noted above.

When it comes to government budgets, the E-man nowadays is generally faced with large amounts of debt and unfunded liabilities caused by welfare spending and over-generous agreements with public-sector workers entered into usually by Democrats in exchange for votes and money (kicked back from union dues).  He looks at these problems in a very superficial way, seeing the danger of continuing liabilities that will be difficult or impossible to pay but never recognizing the fundamental causes as (1) the welfare state, and (2) the collusion between Democrats and public-sector unions to fleece the taxpayer.  Further, being averse to abstract moral considerations, E-men typically propose modest reductions in the previously-planned rate of spending increases as opposed to true spending cuts, perhaps together with tax increases.

The E-man (Governor or President) now runs into a brick wall:  Democrats are unwilling to cut welfare spending because that’s how they buy votes, and on top of that they shamelessly demagogue the issue.  Tax cuts may be easier to get if Republicans control the legislature, but without being coupled to spending cuts they may not help the fiscal situation (it depends on exactly how high the old tax rate was – see the Laffer Curve).  The E-man’s reliance on pragmatism – looking for solutions without reference to any principles – means tax increases become as likely as tax cuts (see e.g. George H.W. Bush’s broken promise on taxes and Jeb Bush’s approval of same).  With the E-man unable to make a moral case for spending cuts, spending tends inexorably to rise and the state (or federal) government moved further to the Left in consequence.

Another way to see the problem on domestic spending issues is that the E-man basically agrees with the Progressive Left on the most essential point:  that it is the proper purpose of government to engage in various welfare programs which at base are no more than income redistribution schemes.  E-men want the welfare state, but as “practical” men they want it on the cheap – “Dime-store New Dealers” to paraphrase Barry Goldwater – and of course they want their own hands on the levers of power.  Once you accept this fatal premise, it is impossible to fight against any new spending undertaken on the basis of alleged need, hence the repeated Republican capitulations to Democrats over the past fifty years on everything from Medicare in 1965 to “Cromnibus” in 2014.  To cut domestic spending would mean “not caring about people,” “Taking food out of children’s mouths,” “Throwing Grandma off a cliff” etc.

This is also one reason why Republicans (always led by E-men) have generally been far less successful politically than Democrats:  they are less consistent.  Both those who agree with the Democrats’ basic statism and those who disagree with it see little reason to vote for a Republican Party which recognizes big government as a good thing but is less willing to follow through on that assumption than their opponents.

Now for the payoff this article promised at the beginning:  how can we identify these E-men the better to replace them with Conservatives?  The E-man may be recognized by any of these common characteristics:

  1. No consistent political philosophy and in particular no commitment to limited government.
  2. A myopic fixation on winning the next election with no plan to do much after that but mark time and enjoy the perks of office (one the main motivations of the E-man to seek office in the first place).
  3. No firm commitment to spending cuts (reductions in planned increases are not cuts).  Failure of a state governor to cut state spending (or at least attempt to do so on a per capita basis) should be considered a red warning flag – this governor isn’t likely to do much as President either.
  4. No unequivocal statement that the government is far too large and far too powerful for the good of the people (this is really a restatement of #1 above).
  5. A general dislike of abstract thinking.  The self-described “problem solver” who promises to solve unspecified political “problems” with no reference to fixed political principles is certainly an E-man or worse.  Never enunciating any basic principles is a dead giveaway that we’re dealing with an E-man.

Equally important, we must understand that Conservatism may not be inferred from any of the following positions:

      1. Cutting taxes – most businessmen are in favor of this.
      2. Being anti-abortion – this position can be left over from traditional moral instruction during the E-man’s early life (Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, John McCain).
      3. Being against gun confiscation (but often willing to go along with “common sense” regulations that always make it harder for good citizens to acquire arms).

The E-man, with his un-intellectual nature and disinterest in basic principles, has neither the inclination nor the mental equipment to fight the Democratic Left.  What we need are principled Conservatives, i.e. statesmen of good character who understand and believe in the principles of the Declaration of Independence:  that the proper purpose of government is to secure liberty and property, not regulate every aspect of human life and provide “services” such as food, clothing, shelter, and cell phones at taxpayer expense to those who vote for a corrupt and redistributionist Democratic Party.

Nik is a freelance writer, former professor, and has written for FrontPage Magazine.
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26 Responses to Know Your Establishment-Men

  1. Steve Lancaster says:

    Wow, very much to the point and surprisingly libertarian.

    “basic immorality of the welfare state – the idea that one man’s need gives him a claim on everyone else’s life”

    “that the proper purpose of government is to secure liberty and property”

    Ayn Rand would be proud

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, I think some of Nik’s statements are unfortunately libertarian. The proper purpose of government is far more than just to secure liberty and property. It is also to form an ordered and civil society.

      But then this all does depend, of course, on the purpose of the people who formed the government. Some governments are formed (or exist) for various reasons, or weight different aspects differently. There is no “the proper purpose of government” because that purpose can be whatever we want it to be.

      The proper purpose of our American-style government includes securing liberty (with a very long discussion needed to define liberty…it certainly doesn’t, and shouldn’t, mean “freedom from fear” or freedom to abort on command, or freedom to buy nuclear weapons because you have the cash) and securing property (not including other human beings)…as well as promoting commerce and providing for the common defense. Our own Constitution even makes provision for a post office. There are some basic purposes of government (such as collecting trash or providing water) that are legitimate but have little to do with liberty or property, per se. And there are, at least in the American conception, different purposes of government according to which level of government we are talking about. The governments of states generally have additional or different purposes, such as public education.

      Nik has always swung a bit libertarian. I think some of the principles that libertarians think they own are just part of the overall recipe. Libertarians tend to make them the only ingredient, trying to bake a cake with just the flour.

      But I do agree with Nik that the welfare state (redistributing wealth or trying to enact some fuzzy notion of “social justice”) is immoral because it, as Daniel Hannan had mentioned, punishes the productive and rewards the unproductive. In essence, “free stuff” tends to turn us all into beggars and thieves. It erodes our moral character (a very important aspect not included in the terms “liberty” or “property”). As Mark Steyn says, it changes the relationship between the state and citizen to pusher and addict.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        I suggest that you can not have an ordered and civil society unless liberty and property are secure. And yes, that is not an exclusively libertarian view, Montesquieu says much the same in Spirit of the Laws. If you unpack Madison and Adams you will find the good baron staring back at you.

        I don’t think you know enough real libertarians and your experience with those you come in contact are what I call faux libertarians. No libertarian I know is as crazed as the Pauls, or as dogmatic. Maybe Arkansas grows a different type?

        Most of us in our little island of Galt’s Gulch in Arkansas think very little of the Paul/Rothbard wing of the party and tend to favor economic solutions reached in the free market, more like uncle Milt (Freidman)

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I don’t suppose you ever met Samuel Konkin, a libertarian SF fan of definitely kooky views, or read L. Neil Smith, a libertarian writer of equally kooky views (not that this kept me from enjoying many of those books). I could name a few other examples as well. And I’m as sympathetic to basic libertarianism as anyone here but you. (After all, there’s a reason Ayn Rand was my first choice in doing biographies of Jewish-Americans for Salem Press.)

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            Seems to me that Smith wrote some star wars titles about 20 years ago. I was out of the book business then so it might have been longer.

            Of course there are libertarians who lack common sense and actually do damage to the cause of liberty.

            I tend to hold more with the professor in “Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, pass any law you like if it makes sense I will live with it, if not I will not.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Rational anarchy. A very interesting theory. Incidentally, F. Paul Wilson in his libertarian revolt novel An Enemy of the State (about the founding of the LaNague Federation in one of his future histories) had a ship called the Bernardo de la Paz).

              As for Smith, I’m particular referring to some of the books in his Commonwealth series, which began with The Probability Broach.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I suggest that you can not have an ordered and civil society unless liberty and property are secure.

          I agree. I’ve never said anything contrary to that.

          Whether our libertarians in Washington State are typical or not, I don’t know. The last one I talked to told me that the United States is actually 50 separate nations. What does one do with that? If such basics can’t be agreed upon (that we are a federal republic, a federation of states that have come together to create something that is bigger and different from the sum of the parts, with the basic outline described in our Constitution) then what can I do?

          It’s just not enough for me for you to say “Oh, but most libertarians are reasonable.” That’s not been my typical experience, Steve.


        I’ve never thought of myself as a Libertarian, Brad, especially considering my withering criticism of the movement here in the pages of ST and despite the fact I’ve never cared for the writings of Edmund Burke, but I do believe in a strictly limited government. Actually, if it were not so unwieldy to do so, I could have added a few other minor functions of government, such as protecting animals, acting as custodian of commonly-held property for the good of all, etc. But most of what government should do is indeed to protect life, liberty, and property (the view of our Founders, remember). Conceding that we must always have a large welfare state is fatal – to Conservatism and ultimately this country since welfare statism always leads to ruinous deficit spending.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    One difference between establishment Republicans and others is that the former are only willing to pretend to stand up to the Left. This has become known as “kabuki” and “failure theater” — they’ll pretend very nicely, but never really do anything serious to challenge the Fascist Messiah.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Rush was sounding like me today. He noted (and I don’t remember his exact words) that conservatism to a large extent has become little more than complaining about things rather than doing anything. He even mentioned that it often was little more than about writing books. (I’ve noted the “book club” aspect of conservatism many times.)

      He also noted (yesterday, I think) that conservatism has become little more than fine-tuning the welfare state.

      It’s not easy being on the cutting edge. But sometimes we are.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    A desire for a kind of superficial stability, that is, to preserve the status quo. The businessman wants to preserve his own profits of course, but the truth is that change scares him and the idea of old businesses failing and going bankrupt to be replaced by newer, better businesses is upsetting to him even beyond the question of his own and his friends’ profits.

    An important point which too many people do not understand. This is particularly the case with the bureaucratic types which one finds in corporations. They are not entrepreneurs, rather they are political placeholders. Internal company politics is a major part of their careers.

    I have long said that businessmen are not heros. Predictability and stability are high on their list of demands. I sometimes say, only somewhat tongue in cheek, that if a hundred men were marched out and shot everyday the captains of industry could live with it as long as they could predict it and include it in their budgets. Do not look for morals in corporations.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      My view is that businessmen may make good executors of policy, but they are rarely good at determining it. Intellectuals (those who escape the occupational hazards of the intelligentsia) may be better in that respect.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        Beware the intellectual in office, their focus is not on people but programs. It was intellectuals that gave us the great society and other aberrations.

        My preference is randomocry every two and four years ss numbers go into a hat, and 535 are drawn + 2 for the executive, they serve their term, kind of like a prison sentence and are set free for the rest of their lives never burdened with the shame of public office.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          That’s why I specifically mentioned intellectuals who escaped their occupational hazard (arrogance, lack of regard for the value of experience, lack of concern for non-intellectuals). Phil Gramm and Dick Armey (each with a Ph.D. in economics) weren’t bad sorts, and Condi Rice was a lot better than her replacements (and her predecessors as well, going back over a decade).


      Indeed businessmen are not heroes, as you note. Ayn Rand, recognizing the importance of businessmen to society, tended to idolize them. But bitter experience (such as you and I have apparently shared) shows that if there are any John Galts or Hank Reardens among today’s CEO’s, they’re certainly keeping a low profile!

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Rand idolized some businessmen, but note that in Atlas Shrugged there were plenty of them on the wrong side. One suspects that Scudder was telling the truth when he said that Hank Rearden’s full-throated defense of capitalism found its least popularity among his fellow businessmen.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Conservatives themselves, desperate for heroes, often mistake any Republican who isn’t an obvious RINO (Republican in Name Only, or Democrat calling himself a Republican) for the next Ronald Reagan.

    At the risk of being repetitive, they are all politicians. Even Reagan was just a politician, albeit a very moral one with his head screwed on right. All politicians must be kept under observation and disciplined on a regular basis. This takes time and effort thus is beyond the abilities and desires of most of the electorate.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Ditto, Mr. Kung. And something that further sweetens the pot toward RINOism is the excessive power and reach of the government. The world was amazed when George Washington surrendered his sword to the Continental Congress and went home to his Virginia plantation. Such things are unheard of.

      So it’s no surprise that politicians — even ones who are conservative — take hold of and use the reins of government. And we’re such a girlified culture now, the idea of taking power from the government and telling people “It’s up to you to run your lives” is a horrifying thought to most. It’s now considered scandalous and definitely uncompassionate for the government *not* to try to solve some problem.

      And even if you wanted to remove a piece of government like a bad gallstone, there are just too many obstacles. So what tends to happen is it makes everyone a liar. Yes, even conservatives. They’re left to campaign with all kinds of nice-sounding talk, but when they get into office it’s often difficult to distinguish them from the Democrats. They’re just sucked into a system that is far bigger than they are. They are left trying to micro-manage the beast, at best. Worse. You’re inherently in a position of lying to the public because you know you can’t do much.

      Mitt Romney was the near perfect example of that. Few on the right doubted that he was a decent man and loved his country. Those traits alone were enough to qualify him for president considering the alternative — a fundamentally dishonest man (Obama) and one who hates America.

      But nobody believed he was conservative. Nobody believed he would reduce the footprint of government. Nobody believed he would actually take any kind of hard line against the Left. He was your prototypical modern Republican in that he simply would have “managed” the bureaucracy better (supposedly).

      If we didn’t have enemies abroad, if Washington DC were hit by a destructo-ray and was vaporized, we wouldn’t miss it. We would all instantly be the better for it. Of course, most state governments have become top-heavy versions of Washington DC….sometimes even worse, such as in Washington State where the environmental Nazis are probably second only to those in California.

      So, really, we have a systemic problem. And you don’t want to hear my solution because it’s not politically correct.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        At worst, the difference between the conservative (at least partly so) Republican and the Democrat is the difference between the corrupted and the corrupter. If nothing else, the GOP will sell us out more slowly and less completely. And sometimes, they’ll even do the right thing. And if we could get some real fighters into the leadership, even more might be accomplished. Probably not enough at this state, unfortunately. “Wear a crepe of mourning for a civilization that held the promise of joy.” I was premature in using that as a poetic message in the FOSFAX immediately after the Fascist Messiah’s initial election (I include some such message in the list of reasons for receiving the issue), but I believe it’s finally coming true after the SCOTUS decisions (Obamacare, disparate impact in housing, and redefinition of marriage) of the past 2 days, as well as the cultural purge after the Charleston atrocity.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    but they also tend to be un-intellectual, amoral, and myopically fixated on short term profits to the exclusion of everything else.

    I believe these traits are especially pronounced in the corporate bureaucrat who is not a builder. Those who use OPM (other people’s money) tend to be less careful of it than they are of their own. It is not uncommon for managers, traders and other businessmen to make decisions on short term considerations which pad their pocket books. They then depart and do not suffer the consequences of their actions.

    It is often even worse in politics. Since most people do not pay attention to what their government is doing and even those that do have very short memories, is it a surprise that politicians act on short term factors without any real goal other than staying in power?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It is not uncommon for managers, traders and other businessmen to make decisions on short term considerations which pad their pocket books.

      Mr. Kung, tell me if this truism still holds true…or if it ever did. But the conventional wisdom has always been that Japanese businessmen plan much longer-term than the American businessman.

      I don’t know if this still holds true. And there could be definite benefits to striking while the iron is hot and catering to any momentary fad or trends. And perhaps modern “just in time” technology and systems have made it less necessary to plan for the long term. What say you?

      Regarding short-term vs. long-term in politics, I would say that, by and large, the Left has a long-term plan. Annie just reviewed a book that apparently talks about some of the Left’s long march through the institutions. Is there any analogy to this on the right?

      I don’t see any long-term let alone medium-term plan on the right. The only long-term plan I know about is that the GOP wants to dump its current base of conservatives and form a new base. This is the real push behind “immigration reform” and all the RINO candy-ass flip-flopping and never taking a stand against the Left. They don’t particularly disagree with the Left. How can you when you don’t believe in anything other than holding power or “me too-ing” the Left?

      I’ll give the Left their due: They have a vision for how society should be. The GOP does not. And the GOP is dead to me.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Mr. Kung, tell me if this truism still holds true…or if it ever did. But the conventional wisdom has always been that Japanese businessmen plan much longer-term than the American businessman.

        I think this is still, by-in-large, the case. The Japanese take a very long time to come to a consensus in which all parties are able to make known their concerns and ideas. Seniority in most large corporations is not simply based on aggressiveness, or the latest big deal someone has made. Age and experience are admired. The ability to help one’s team come to a mutual agreement, thus getting all those involved to give their genuine support to the company is required. Being a hot shot does not get one to the top.

        It should also be noted, generally speaking, Japanese corporations are not as sensitive to shareholders. This might be because the large Zaibatsu (large conglomerates) were built around a bank. Support by the government and a company’s bank is probably more important than that of one’s shareholders.

  6. Steve Lancaster says:

    In 1960 we were Kennedy democrats, by 1976 that kind of democrat was becoming rare, but most of us had not changed our politics to any great extent. In the 80s we were Reagan democrats or kind of borderline republicans. In the 90s we were mainline republicans. Never in those 30 years did our political positions change, but the parties kept moving away from us.

    John Kennedy could not be a democrat today. His position on taxes, if nothing else, would have him driven from the party. Our choices in the 60 election was based on how telegenic JFK or Nixon were. Both were stand up anti communists, favored free trade and a strong military. It was one of the closest elections in history, and if recounted, Nixon might have won a big difference from the elections of this century. The parties were much the same but damn it they were still American.

    We now live in an age when we are told that every election is the most important of our lifetime, no its not.

    There is little difference between the republican and democrat leadership its either progressive or progressive lite or more correctly the, “me too” republicans. Both parties have embraced the philosophy of the Frankfort School and practice market socialism. Now the debate is not about keeping the socialist and communists out but how much to let in.

    Rafael Cruz, Ted’s father said the other day, “when I left Cuba there was somewhere to go, if we lose America, there is nowhere to go”. I wish he were wrong.


      Good observations. I too have often thought that JFK wouldn’t be welcome in today’s Democratic Party, for he simply wasn’t that far Left. One can argue he was to the Right of Nixon!

  7. oldguy says:

    Commune thinking (communism) will always fail because of one simple reason: You can force people to pledge allegiance to the commune but you can’t get them to produce any more than to sustain themselves. From Russia and all the way back to the leaders of Plymouth Plantation in America it has failed every place it has been tried.

    DJ • an hour ago

    “If white people had their own country this would not be happening.”

    The Black Dilemma

    “For almost 150 years the United States has been conducting an interesting experiment. The subjects of the experiment: black people and working-class whites.

    The hypothesis to be tested: Can a people taken from the jungles of Africa and forced into slavery be fully integrated as citizens in a majority white population?

    The whites were descendants of Europeans who had created a majestic civilization. The former slaves had been tribal peoples with no written language and virtually no intellectual achievements. Acting on a policy that was not fair to either group, the government released newly freed black people into a white society that saw them as inferiors. America has struggled with racial discord ever since.

    Decade after decade the problems persisted but the experimenters never gave up. They insisted that if they could find the right formula the experiment would work, and concocted program after program to get the result they wanted. They created the Freedmans Bureau, passed civil rights laws, tried to build the Great Society, declared War on Poverty, ordered race preferences, built housing projects, and tried midnight basketball.

    Their new laws intruded into peoples lives in ways that would have been otherwise unthinkable. They called in National Guard troops to enforce school integration. They outlawed freedom of association. Over the protests of parents, they put white children on buses and sent them to black schools and vice-versa. They tried with money, special programs, relaxed standards, and endless hand wringing to close the achievement gap. To keep white backlash in check they began punishing public and even private statements on race. They hung up Orwellian public banners that commanded whites to Celebrate Diversity! and Say No to Racism. Nothing was off limits if it might salvage the experiment.

    Some thought that what W.E.B. DuBois called the Talented Tenth would lead the way for black people. A group of elite, educated blacks would knock down doors of opportunity and show the world what blacks were capable of.

    There is a Talented Tenth. They are the black Americans who have become entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors and scientists. But ten percent is not enough. For the experiment to work, the ten percent has to be followed by a critical mass of people who can hold middle-class jobs and promote social stability. That is what is missing.

    Through the years, too many black people continue to show an inability to function and prosper in a culture unsuited to them. Detroit is bankrupt, the south side of Chicago is a war zone, and the vast majority of black cities all over America are beset by degeneracy and violence. And blacks never take responsibility for their failures. Instead, they lash out in anger and resentment.

    Across the generations and across the country, as we have seen in Detroit, Watts, Newark, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and now Ferguson, rioting and looting are just one racial incident away. The white elite would tell us that this doesn’t mean the experiment has failed. We just have to try harder. We need more money, more time, more understanding, more programs, and more opportunities.

    But nothing changes no matter how much money is spent, no matter how many laws are passed, no matter how many black geniuses are portrayed on TV, and no matter who is president. Some argue it’s a problem of culture, as if culture creates peoples’ behavior instead of the other way around. Others blame white privilege.

    But since 1965, when the elites opened Americas doors to the Third World, immigrants from Asia and India, people who are not white, not rich, and not connected have quietly succeeded. While the children of these people are winning spelling bees and getting top scores on the SAT, black youths are committing half the country’s violent crime, which includes viciously punching random white people on the street for the thrill of it that has nothing to do with poverty.

    The experiment has failed. Not because of white culture, or white privilege, or white racism. The fundamental problem is that American black culture has evolved into an un-fixable and crime ridden mess. *They do not want to change their culture or society, and expect others to tolerate their violence and amoral behavior. They have become socially incompatible with other races by their own design, not because of the racism of others – but by their own hatred of non-blacks.*

    Our leaders don’t seem to understand just how tired their white subjects are with this experiment. *They don’t understand that white people aren’t out to get black people; they are just exhausted with them. They are exhausted by the social pathologies, the violence, the endless complaints, and the blind racial solidarity, the bottomless pit of grievances, the excuses, and the reflexive animosity. The liberal elites explain everything with racism, and refuse to believe that white frustration could soon reach the boiling point.”—

    “You can’t legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government can’t give to anybody anything that the government doesn’t first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they don’t have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”

    Ian Duncan


      Not to sound petulant, but what does this have to do with my article, or with the Republican Establishment?

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