Pragmatically Misguided

pragmatic2by Pat Tarzwell5/27/16
Sorry, I just had to respond to this so-called minister, Mychal Massie, who wrote the article, Trump Is Not Conservative, He’s a Pragmatist. There’s nothing unique in this article at all; this is just more Trump Apologetics. The author implies that he has a concept of the conservative ideas or the principles that made this nation great. He uses the term “so-called Republican conservatives.” But what he is really saying is that the Republican Party has lost its way. That is the only place where I agree with him. Sure, some of the problems he refers to are real, but Trump may make all of those worse if he does what he says he will do.

He calls Trump a pragmatist. Well, I suppose you could say the same thing about a lot of history’s tyrants: they were pragmatists; they saw a problem, and they used their power to fix things the way they saw fit. (Like getting rid of those pesky Jews for example.) I do not know how Trump will govern (nor does anyone else, not even Trump). There is a slight chance he will do well. There is a bigger chance he will be horrible, but we do not know. We are supposed to learn from history, and his story (Trump’s, that is) is replete with Trump using the power of government to get his way, no matter who gets hurt in the process.

He is a pragmatist, for sure: he buys politicians whenever he needs their assistance in getting his way, no matter who he steps on “he is antithetical to the ‘good old boy’ method of brokering backroom deals that fatten the coffers of politicians.” He has been the one doing those backroom deals most of his life. (“Antithetical” – I do not think that word means what he thinks it means).

He is a pragmatist, you bet: he can, and does, take whatever side of any issue that suits him at the moment. Principles are things that get in the way, and values can only be applied to material things. In December of 2015 he is full Pro-Choice up to and including partial birth abortion. In January of 2016 he is Pro-Life, praise God for changing his heart, we hope, somehow. And I might be cynical here, but I think he is just being “pragmatic.”

Those of us who are awake recognize his ability to lie with such ease as normal political speak. We are just not used to it coming from someone who is so transparent in his lies, while having so many, otherwise, intelligent people buy the crap sandwich he is selling. He is a pragmatist! Of course he is – a more beautiful woman comes along, and he sees no reason why he should make any effort to live up to the covenant vows he made before God. He gets what he wants when he wants it. So, yeah. He is “free of idiomatic political ideology.”

Trump has no idea of what made this nation great or what is great about America or how to make it great again! This “idiomatic political ideology” that this minister seems to disdain – the idea that our rights come from God, that no man can take them away and that we cannot cede them to any government, that we need, as a people, to look to God for our salvation – are these the problem? Apparently, according to this guy, they are.

Those of us willing to stand up for these “idiomatic political ideologies” and live this “idiomatic political ideology” understand that being pragmatic is not what we need. I contend that it is long past time for the churches to stand up and stop being pragmatic, stop worrying about butts in the seats, and start worrying about God’s Word (not the IRS and their 501(C)(3) tax status). The churches have shown the way of pragmatism: water it down, and live in fear of speaking the truth, because it could affect the bottom line and their tax status. Very pragmatic and free of those nasty Ideologies, indeed.

What this guy is claiming about the Republican Party is because of pragmatism: they need to stay in power, so they are pragmatic and take a lot of money from the likes of Trump to get re-elected, (very pragmatic). They need to reach across the aisle and compromise on things like life, marriage, gender specific bathrooms, assisted suicide (and the list goes on and on). If they just give a little on minor issues like those (very pragmatic), then we can win on things like the debt or the out of control government spending and growth or stopping religious persecution of Christians in this Christian nation.

But wait – we need to give in on those as well, just to be “pragmatic.” Just re-elect them, and then they’ll start to fight for you. Oh, that’s right, these are more of the hollow political promises of “pragmatism,” a la Donald Trump. If the majority of Republicans had even a tiny bit of the ”idiomatic political ideology” of the Founders, or if the bulk of the pulpits had any courage left, maybe we would not be in the dire straits we are in today. (We only spend $200,000+ per second and borrow $40,000+ per second, but attempting to stop that would not be “pragmatic,” so we don’t even try.) Massive government debt – don’t worry: it’s for the children.

I will fight on, because that is what all of us “idiomatic political ideologues” must do. But when I see a so-called minister writing this kind of tripe, I must confess, I have concerns, in the same way Thomas Jefferson did when he wrote, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” If self-described ministers cannot stand up for the truth, then maybe God will turn his back on this nation. I know he will not turn his back on those individuals who seek Him. But we need His blessings for this nation now more than ever, and we need people to ask for His help to have the courage to fight for Him and this nation. This so-called minister shows that the battle is more than political – it is also spiritual – and without God’s help, we will not win.

And, yes, the only reason I despise Trump is because I have never accomplished anything; I have always played it safe, never willing to risk anything. Although I admit, I can do nothing, except by that which God has given me. I would think, as a minister, he would understand this; but I guess he is just being pragmatic, so it is OK.

“If the liberties of America are ever completely ruined…it will in all probability be the consequence of a mistaken notion of prudence which leads men to acquiesce in measures of the most destructive tendency for the sake of present ease.”  —  The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906), Vol. II, p. 287, Article Signed “Candidus,” originally printed in the Boston Gazette, December 9, 1771.

Pat Tarzwell was born conservative, runs a successful hi-tech business, and lives a red-state life in a deep blue one. • (1795 views)

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76 Responses to Pragmatically Misguided

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    No overtly political articles are being allowed on the front page. We are trying to wall ourselves off from sheer nonsense. However, Pat is our resident Koch Brother. And as they say, if you want freedom of the press you need to own one. He has donated more than enough to StubbornThings to say that he does.

    But this is really terrific stuff. In a perfect world, I’d be paying him for this. Pat points out a deep moral problem in this nation. This so-called minister (must have gotten his certificate from a box of Cracker Jacks) is representative of the lack of even a modicum of wisdom. He’s a talking point gone wrong.

    This is a terrific paragraph by Mr. Koch Tarzwell:

    Those of us willing to stand up for these “idiomatic political ideologies” and live this “idiomatic political ideology” understand that being pragmatic is not what we need. I contend that it is long past time for the churches to stand up and stop being pragmatic, stop worrying about butts in the seats, and start worrying about God’s Word (not the IRS and their 501(C)(3) tax status). The churches have shown the way of pragmatism: water it down, and live in fear of speaking the truth, because it could affect the bottom line and their tax status. Very pragmatic and free of those nasty Ideologies, indeed.

    Because this nonsense article came from a minister, it’s appropriate that Mr. Koch frame the question in terms of churches and pulpits. But this ability to pronounce nonsense and to lie to ourselves is by no means restricted to the church.

    I get the sense that conservatives — particularly those who support Trump — don’t know much about history. On the other hand, I know that Mr. Koch does know a bit about history, including the history of “pragmatic” leaders who “just get things done.” Only someone uninformed and/or seduced by power (or grievance) could turn a blind eye to the torrents of tears caused by giving power to merely “pragmatic” men.

    Note that “pragmatism” as typically understood means “non-ideological.” And yet Pat has made a good argument for how that actually would play out. A “pragmatic” Trump would simply cave to the Left who are not “pragmatic” but highly ideological.

    We need to be highly ideological. That is the element missing. And this ignorant ministry does not realize that the problem with the Republican Establishment has been their lack of ideological fervor. They are merely “pragmatic” — at least in regards to doing what they need to do to stay in power and make money and avoiding controversial things such as having an ideology.

    We need full and healthy doses of conservative ideology, from the pulpit and everywhere else, because it, not some deluded and twisted notion of “pragmatism,” is what can solve our problems and save this country from the decidedly non-pragmatic forces of the Left.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I make a division between short-term and long-term pragmatism. The latter involves developing policies that will solve existing problems. Obviously, this can be morally neutral in that, for example, the problem could be too many Jews or too much crime. Still, when applied to what we could real problems, it’s useful I consider conservatism to be a pragmatic ideology.

    Short-term pragmatism is another matter. This involves the desire to “do something” — without much regard for what. Thus, George Bush 41 wanted to pass a “civil rights” bill, whereas the Democrats wanted to pass their bill. You can guess the results, and this is what usually happens with short-term pragmatists.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      One definition I found online for pragmatism is: an approach that assesses the truth of meaning of theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

      Merriam-Webster says: a reasonable and logical way of doing things or of thinking about problems that is based on dealing with specific situations instead of on ideas and theories

      So what we have again is word salad. If I’m “pragmatic,” by definition I’m reasonable and logical and will solve problems and not get bogged down in ideas and theories — as if those are the things to be avoided.

      Certainly it’s pragmatic if I just stomp on the mosquito and don’t worry about the Picasso that it is resting on.

      I’ll bet 95 out of 100 people have this same Merriam-Webster idea of pragmatism. It is very common to hear or read something like, “I just wish the two sides would stop fighting and get something done.” I heard or read this just yesterday. And I’m thinking, Get what done?

      What we have here is ideological blindness and an unwillingness to even think. It’s a very safe bet that if anyone thinks we need to just “get things done and quit squabbling over ideology” has no idea of his own ideology. He’s likely inhaled it with no more thought than taking a breath of air. For him the things to be “done” are self-evident. But without being able to clearly bring these things to specifics, and backed by reasons (including a general philosophy), this is just living in the cloudy and usually destructive world of “good intentions.”

      We don’t all breath the same air. We don’t all have the same goals or general idea of what government should do (or not do) and what makes for a good society. “Pragmatic” gives absolutely no clue about any of that. And there are some general differences. Dennis Prager attests to a revelation in his own life. He used to believe that the right and left had the same goals but simply disagreed about the methods. Now he knows better. They have completely different goals that are incompatible.

      So if we say, “Stop bickering over the purity of your ideology and just fix things” we have to ask, “Fix what?” Do people want, for instance, Obamacare fixed by scrapping it and getting back to letting the market work or “fixed” by taking it to the next step, single payer?

      Trump is a blank slate, as other writers (particularly David French at NRO) has pointed out. You can read into him anything you want. And for people who cannot be bothered with dealing with first principles, this is convenient. Here’s a man who will just “do something.”

      Like, what? Be specific. What do you want done? What should be fixed? How should it be fixed? And is there any reason to believe that there is any kind of intellectual guiding light in Trump that can truly fix what is broken, for all he seems to promise is more executive interventionism. And that is a win by the Left almost by definition.

      And that, my dear friends, has been 90% of the problem, a Federal government that has tried to “fix” everything and in the process has screwed it up. But there is no acknowledgment by Trump or his supporters of this phenomenon. They, too, are speaking in generalities. And when a general mess is made of things, no one should be surprised.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pat, you’re a pretty good writer. I love The Princess Bride reference in particular. My job here is to encourage people with good souls to pass on their thoughts and life experiences to the yutes (and others) who have been a victim of Progressive culture. You’ve done that splendidly.

    • pst4usa says:

      Thanks for that Brad, I hope that I am improving, for someone who does not read books, (unless you count listening to audiobooks), it has been a struggle to write with any degree of clarity. Thanks for your patience and the example of so many of the fine writers here. This one cam out fast and furious, or to put it bluntly, he really pissed me off.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Yes, audio books count, but I’ll be damned how you can absorb anything from them. I’ve tried them before and it’s always a matter of “Stop the tape!” There’s some concept I didn’t get the first time around and/or my mind was wandering. It happens all the time when I’m reading the printed page. But a good reader with a well-written book (and someone with a mind quicker than mine…I’m a slow reader) can obviously make it work very well.

        One of the audio books I tried — a birthday gift from my brother — was one of Ann Coulter’s books read by Ann Coulter. I just couldn’t do it. She’s too much to listen to for any length of time. Does Prager read his own audio books?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I don’t pay much attention to audio books, but I do have a few in the list of MP3 music files. I did listen to the first chapter of Sarah Palin’s first book, and liked it well enough. But I’ve never gotten around to going further.

        • pst4usa says:

          Brad, He read the forward to “Still The Best Hope” and it was not very good, he speaks so well, but he is not a great reader, a little mechanical. I spoke with Jonah Goldberg once at conference and complimented him oh his reading of one of his books and he said it was the hardest thing he had ever done and would never do it again. He said a good reader is worth every penny. The money he saved vs. the time it took to get it right meant he got paid about $.50 per hour. Like every thing else, it is worth it based on time to pay those that are good at what they do. If you do something for the experience or the fun or education, well that is a different story.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Thanks for the info, Pat. And sometimes when I’m reading I change the voice in my head to Prager or whomever I am reading. Seriously, how can you read a Prager article and *not* hear his voice inflections and such?

            • Timothy Lane says:

              The voice in my head is generally neutral and non-descript, even when reading something by someone I’ve heard (such as David Limbaugh). I’m not sure it differentiates between male and female writers. I do recall that when I read A Whiff of Death by Asimov, the voice in my head when the police detective spoke was that of Columbo. Asimov was a bit frustrated by this, noting that people who read the book after the TV series came out would think he based the character on Columbo even though the book was written a decade earlier.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                You mean I’m the only one hearing voices in my head? Yikes. Better see a shrink. But at least my lips don’t move when I read.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Larry Eisenberg once wrote a story (part of a series} in which a professor came up with a new speed reading program. It turned out that some people still moved their lips when reading, and the results were unfortunate for them.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Does Trump ever talk about the Constitution? Does he mention the Declaration of Independence? Does he utter a word about the principles upon which this country was founded and built? I do not recall hearing him expound on any of these subjects. But perhaps it is because he knows his audience, a large percentage of which appear to be ignorant boobies who may know how to manipulate the latest information technology, yet use this technology to spread the equivalent of grunts as communication.

    As for the “so-called” minister, he appears to be just another self-promoting scalawag which one encounters on the path of life. (I read the “Bio” he publishes about himself) Another “pundit” who is more interested in profiting from conservatism than promoting it.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Does Trump ever talk about the Constitution? Does he mention the Declaration of Independence? Does he utter a word about the principles upon which this country was founded and built? I do not recall hearing him expound on any of these subjects.

      Mr. Kung, one can have an appreciation for those who smelled a rat when the Constitutional Convention was convened. Many had no idea whatsoever that this group of politician would do anything other than “do something” or “fix something” in the Big Government mold of a Trump. Surely Patrick Henry knew a thing or two about the inherent dishonesty of politicians and the trouble they could cause with their pretense to ultimate expertise through government action.

      As it turned out, there was an unusual confluence of wisdom at the convention. That can probably never happen again. But I quoted what you wrote because it really captures the kind of skepticism we should have when politicians try to “do something” big or promise to do so. Can we expect them to wield power like a drunken man in a China shop swinging a sledgehammer or is there some wisdom, knowledge, and philosophical structure that guides the hammer so that it builds instead of breaks?

      And, oh, “so-called” is a very good word for that minister. I have little faith in the Christian bureaucracy these days. Lucky for us no bureaucracy is required.

  5. Timothy Lane says:

    As an antidote to Massie, Helen Raleigh has a nice article on Town Hall about seeing the new Avengers movie (reluctantly, at least at first).. She was enthralled by the plot, and especially inspired by Captain America’s comments, which persuaded her to go ahead and not support Trump. The link is:

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Okay, now I understand the quip I heard from some friends about this movie: “When are the super-heroes going to start fighting the bad guys instead of each other?” I think I’ll pass on the movie. But Helen has some interesting points.

    • pst4usa says:

      But Timothy, if she would fall in line like a “good” Republican and support this so-called Republican, she would be the very essence pragmatism. I love the quote from the movie, tell the whole world, “No . . . you move!”

  6. GHG says:

    Trump bad. Trump bad. Trump bad. Trump bad. I could go on, but let me get to the response – Hillary worse.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      If I could summarize Pat’s point (as well as read his mind a little), I would say that it’s worth taking note of the corruption of the Republican/conservative movement as people find all kinds of strange ways to justify Trump.

      Yes, he might indeed be better than Hillary. But that isn’t much of a standard. Something has gone very wrong with our thought process to bring us to where we are now. It’s worth understanding it.

      • GHG says:

        I am by no means justifying Trump. I’m not that delusional. If Trump becomes our next president, it will be like when the dog catches the car it’s been chasing – now what? But the alternative is worse. Perhaps far worse be it either Hillary or Bernie.

        My preferred candidate was Cruz, even though I didn’t think he would be effective in navigating the DC waters. The sole reason I’m on board with Trump is my hope he will wreck the PC culture that hamstrings every other conservative. A quote from the movie “As good as it gets” comes to mind where Simon tells Melvin “The best thing you have going for you is your willingness to humiliate yourself.” That sums up Trump for me. If he can accomplish nothing more than that it will be a success.

        “Something has gone very wrong with our thought process to bring us to where we are now.”

        I would say something is very wrong with our culture. Our thought process is just a reaction.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          If Trump becomes our next president, it will be like when the dog catches the car it’s been chasing – now what?

          LOL. Very good. If only Jonah Goldberg could capture the level of relevant wit. Sometimes he does.

          I’m on board with Trump is my hope he will wreck the PC culture that hamstrings every other conservative.

          I was reading an article recently on the troubles of Venezuela. I’m not intimately aware of the troubles of Venezuela, but then I don’t think you need to be intimately aware of the inner works of a heart attack to notice when one has happened. Venezuela is a victim of class-envy socialism. This would appear to be an entire country that is the model for where Obama would take us. The rhetoric against this group or that group would become the essence of politics (rather than enacting solutions to real problems). As the country crumbles, self-satisfied (but perhaps poor and unemployed) people would be at home (perhaps with their lights out for lack of electricity) thinking, “Well, finally, they’ll get theirs.”

          And that I believe is the very unhealthy attitude behind this “I hope Trump wrecks the PC culture.” That is a consistent theme amongst Trump supporters. They want something or someone wrecked. And, granted, I hope someone does wreck the PC culture. But we’re being rope-a-doped by a fraud. Trump isn’t politically incorrect. He’s simply vulgar and rude. And that’s not the same thing. This is a man who couldn’t even condemn Planned Parenthood or the idiotic idea of having men in the ladies rooms. He is the model of political correctness.

          I hope the Republican Establishment is put to the proverbial sword. But not simply for the sake of sating my emotions. The important point is replacing the Republican Establishment with committed conservatives who will enact policy and not simply rope-a-dope us with rhetoric (the very essence of the RINO…which I believe is a trait Trump shares). There is little point in merely wrecking something.

          So, from my perspective, I see Trump as the further Hugo Chavezing of America where the leaders rope-a-dope our emotions and we’re content simply to destroy, blame-shift, or be self-satisfied rather than to do the hard adult work of fixing.

          Corruption of thought and dilution of principles matter…as well as avoiding becoming a mob. This corruption, if you don’t mind taking five minutes, is perhaps best seen in this article from the New York Times. It’s an unintentionally funny opinion piece by Rick Gladstone about How Venezuela Fell Into Crisis, and What Could Happen Next.

          It’s funny because he asks himself a bunch of red-herring questions and then answers them using the same ideological cluelessness. It’s as if someone came across a burning building and saw a man with an empty gas can standing in front of it and then asked, “Is the real problem of arson the ability of flames to consume combustible material?”

          Astute fellows such as Mr. Kung will no doubt eke out more hilarity. But I found it humorous that a libtard New York Times writer blames the low price of oil for the problem. In the world of the New York Times, oil is always the problem. But dependence upon oil apparently isn’t a bad thing if you are a country that does not go by the name of “America.”

          Trump will most likey take us further into this New York Times land of unreality. And that is the big problem, Hillary or no Hillary — who would do the same thing, of course. Both have lofty rhetoric completely removed from any reasonable evidence that they can fix anything instead of making it worse. But they sure self-satisfy our entitled sense of outrage. As students of Orwell, we ought to be aware of the Two Minute Hate factor.

          • GHG says:

            “Well, finally, they’ll get theirs.”

            And that I believe is the very unhealthy attitude behind this “I hope Trump wrecks the PC culture.”

            “They’ll get theirs” vindictiveness is not the basis for hoping the PC culture gets wrecked, at least not for me. I see PC as the firewall to honest discussion and debate. It needs to be torn down in one fashion or another before conservative principles can be given a fair hearing in the court of public opinion. If Trump can mock the PC police to the point that it inspires others to grow a pair, pardon the vulgar expression, then whatever else comes along with the Trump package will have been worth it.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Well, I hope Trump actually takes on the PC culture. We’ll see. I think we’ll get a little here and lose a little there. At least he does seem willing to battle Hillary. I’m gun-shy after watching RINO after RINO just lay into the conservative candidate in the primary and then play footsie with the Democratic opponent in the general.

              Hey, Rush said Jack Nicklaus endorsed Trump. In Jack’s opinion, Trump is a great guy. And we keep hearing that from people who know him outside of his bombastic and immature stump speeches. Yet it’s a little troubling to me to have this Jekyll and Hyde aspect.

              Trump is the Magic Eight-Ball that we shake and hope it comes up with a good answer.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I’m not intimately aware of the troubles of Venezuela, but then I don’t think you need to be intimately aware of the inner works of a heart attack to notice when one has happened. Venezuela is a victim of class-envy socialism.

            Venezuela was screwed up before Chavez and Co. took over. They simply helped push the country over the cliff more quickly.

            Venezuela is simply another example of the sorry political culture which ex colonies inherited from the the mother country, Spain. I ask anyone to name a country in South or Central America which has functioned with a relatively honest and efficient government and responsible elites. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock….buzzzzzzzzz. Time’s up.

            What the Left and big business interests are doing is importing peons who have lived under the system which our elites are now trying to impose on the country. Corrupt government, corrupt business, curtailed freedoms, a placid and shifty populous which will avoid confronting the powers that be.

            We have forgotten just how special our cultural heritage is and that is what the Left wanted all along.

            This is the main reason I am so stridently anti-immigration now. Our Anglo-Saxon heritage is being erased.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            This article must be one of the most dishonest pieces I have come across in a long time. If this is the level of the Time’s journalists and readership, no wonder the paper is going down the tubes. An average ninth grader could see through this bilge.

            As to why the situation in Venezuela is so dire, the “journalist” writes;

            The political opposition in Venezuela is far more unified than it was during the era of Mr. Maduro’s popular predecessor, Hugo Chávez. He died in 2013, but many economists say his policies of state ownership, unfettered spending, subsidies and domestic price controls are at least partly responsible for the crisis today.

            Note the first sentence implies that the present political opposition is largely responsible for the state of affairs. Does this mean that things would be better if the opposition were weaker? How so?

            I also like the way the writer tries to finesse the complete failure of socialist policies by saying that “state ownership, unfettered spending,subsidies and domestic price controls” are “at least” partially responsible for the total screw-up that is the Venezuelan economy.

            This guy’s defense of Maduro and Chavez sounds like a patricide’s defense lawyer asking for leniency for his client because he is an orphan.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I’m glad you read that. It’s sometimes helpful to know just how deluded, misinformed, or dishonest those on the Left are, particularly in the press. It takes three syllables to get at the problem: Socialism. Or six: Banana Republic.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Note that even when the synoptic media cover events in Venezuela, they’re careful never to blame it on Chavez and his policies (executed now by Maduro). It wouldn’t do for millennials to be reminded of where socialism leads.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I believe that God is good and has a plan for my life much more than I believe in socialism. Shit happens, but who you gonna go to? There must be an ultimate.

              But all that atheists have is their dream of an earthly Utopia. It becomes a mean political fetish that murders truth (and quite often eventually people as well). There is an evil impulse in socialism. That’s why it bugs me all to hell to see these milquetoast RINOs — including Trump — not take a big baseball bat to the concept. It needs to be refuted.


        “Something has gone very wrong with our thought process to bring us to where we are now. It’s worth understanding it.”

        That’s very true, Brad. And while I’ve always considered myself only slightly less pessimistic than you are (I think you’re still the champ at ST) I will only suggest, briefly I hope, that what has gone wrong is not Trump’s nomination per se but the confluence of forces that led to it.

        For the Republican Party was already badly divided and likely to lose in November long before Trump showed up. It had, I believe, 17 candidates, but in the end only one of these proved to be a true Conservative – Ted Cruz. Walker’s and Jindal’s Conservative bona fides are debatable, but they dropped out early, so we can avoid that question here. Trump was arguably the second-best man in the race once those two dropped out, so what happened is that the second-best man, buoyed up by his celebrity and the fact that he got out in front of the immigration issue long before Cruz, defeated the better man. What is easily forgotten is that Cruz did much better than all the pro-Amnesty Establishment sell-outs – Kasich, Christie, ¡Jeb!, and even the charismatic Rubio – and that’s a very positive sign.

        Also, there’s the real possibility that some of Trump’s supporters expect him to be more Conservative than he actually is – and that’s a relatively good thing because it means these voters are basically Conservative and can be brought around to support a better man than Trump next time. I certainly would like to believe that’s the case with those who thought Cruz was Establishment, leaving Trump the only outsider. The rejection of the GOPe is the big story here, and a very good thing.

        So looking at the big picture, what should most concern us is that Trump was objectively better than so many of the GOP candidates. (I am assuming that all the Amnesty-supporters should be immediately disqualified from consideration). It’s not like we had a dozen good Conservatives and Trump beat them all; he beat one good Conservative and a bunch of Establishment losers. With a better Party and better candidates (who will have learned to respect the wishes of voters over those of the big donors, one hopes), the Trump circus will not be repeated. That doesn’t mean we’re in the clear; it simply means there is no such thing as “Trumpism” and that Trump is not going to remake Conservatism into his image.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And Cruz did all that without the name recognition of Trump and without the slightest trace of charisma. Even his brilliant campaign didn’t matter all that much unless and until there was an open convention. Imagine Ted Cruz with Rubio’s charisma and Trump’s cleverness in going after immigration as a primary issue.


            Exactly, Tim. Cruz is still very much a novice and a political naif, although I think Mitch McConnell’s lying to him has opened his eyes up quite a bit. Cruz had good organization, but he and his aides misread the mood of the electorate and let Trump jump out with an early lead. I think Cruz is going to be back, and we can always hope (and work for) other young Conservatives to work their way up through the ranks.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Also, there’s the real possibility that some of Trump’s supporters expect him to be more Conservative than he actually is – and that’s a relatively good thing because it means these voters are basically Conservative and can be brought around to support a better man than Trump next time.

          Nik, I think with Trump we’re relegated to watching a b-movie with bad acting and lighting and hoping the ending is so good it saves the film.

          And I don’t think voters are basically conservative or we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. Our culture has moved strongly left, so much so that conservatism will not mix well with this culture any more than water will mix with oil.

          Are we a culture ready for entitlement reform? No. Dealing with illegal aliens? No. Dealing sanely with economic/environmental issues? No. Dealing with moral issues? No. Dealing with Islamic issues? No again.

          What we are primed for is Kabuki theatre where the rhetoric of politicians tickles all the dumb, even perverted, little itches, bitches, and gripes we have. Despite eight years of Obama, never have Americans lived in more materially prosperous times. And yet so many people seem truly angry and alienated regarding one trumped-up hobgoblin or another and give demagogues such as Clinton and Trump far more ear than they deserve. It’s The Princess and the Pea syndrome on steroids.

          • pst4usa says:

            Brad I do not disagree with any of your comments here. The only problem comes from my writing skills and responding in anger to this so called minister. Although my response focused of Trump, in anger, the real problem as has been stated here is the lack of principles in this nation. Pragmatism over principles will be the death of us if it hasn’t already killed us.
            I don’t think it was very pragmatic for the Puritans to cross the Atlantic for religious freedom! Same for the founding fathers to send that divisive Declaration of Independence to the King; jump ahead, it sure wasn’t pragmatic for Lincoln to fight against slavery and to keep the Union together; jump again to challenging us to put a man on the moon, not very pragmatic. We could put together a long list of times when Americans just skipped those pragmatic concerns and focused on principles, got busy and did the right or the bold thing.
            Is that dead now? Nominating Trump sure seems to indicate that it is, the best thing that anyone can say about him now is, He’s not Hillary, and that he is pragmatic.
            We had a candidate that has been willing to stand on principles, but somehow he was not pretty enough, charismatic enough, celebrity enough to win over the Pragmatism over Principles crowd. Or the 35% of the Republicans and the large number of Democrats that are so pragmatic that they were willing to vote for this POS, just because they knew their POS candidate had only one chance to win, and that was to choose the worst candidate in the Republican field. Even Fat Boy stood on principles from time to time.
            The good news here is that an election that could have been historically important has been relegated to a meaningless exercise in pragmatism, no matter who comes out on top in this election, America loses, don’t worry though, we will lose very pragmatically.
            See even now I fall into the Trump trap.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I don’t think it was very pragmatic for the Puritans to cross the Atlantic for religious freedom! Same for the founding fathers to send that divisive Declaration of Independence to the King; jump ahead, it sure wasn’t pragmatic for Lincoln to fight against slavery and to keep the Union together; jump again to challenging us to put a man on the moon, not very pragmatic. We could put together a long list of times when Americans just skipped those pragmatic concerns and focused on principles, got busy and did the right or the bold thing.

              Well said, my patriot friend, who just doesn’t prosthelytize from behind the keyboard but has been in-your-face involved in spreading conservative values and promoting conservative candidates and opposing liberal ones, both with time and money. (I, on the other hand, am mainly behind the keyboard.)

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I think some of your examples of non-pragmatic behavior might qualify as long-term pragmatism, which has room for paying attention to principles in trying to solve existing problems. They certainly weren’t short-term pragmatism, however.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Timothy, I’m in accord with what Pat said, and I think he said it very well. But I think “pragmatism” has become a word like “reason” or “science.” If I say I am “pragmatic,” that my ideas are based on “reason,” or that my ideas are “scientific,” it’s another way of trying to put a rhetorical gloss on what are often stupid or simply half-baked ideas. But put them in the oven of dime-store rhetoric and it’s surprising how appetizing they are to many people.

              In all honestly, I couldn’t tell you the practical different between “pragmatism” and some other belief system. It’s been reduced to a word. Think of those “no labels” clowns. They’d be more honest if they just told us what they wanted to do and how much opposition they would be willing to face down on the way to doing it.

              With Trump we can imagine that “pragmatic” means he will cave if he faces the kind of opposition that bothers him, such as his dislike for facing down the proponents of abortion or of men in the women’s rooms.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      At best, I believe Trump would most likely be a short term remission from the cancer (as represented by Hillary and the Dems) which has attacked the political and cultural fiber of our country.

      Unless we, as a nation, understand why we have become so ill and stop smoking (figuratively speaking) Trump will only mean a slight delay of the inevitable.

      What does this mean?

      It means everyone reading this must get involved in politics and the culture war.

      It means giving up some of your spare time, ease of living and putting up with a fair number of twits every now and then.

      It means not simply letting fools and idiots spout the pablum which presently passes for profundity without rebutting their destructive propaganda.

      It requires fighting, fighting and more fighting.

      It means continuous vigilance.

      Even then, who knows if we will win. But to repeat a John Quincy Adam’s quote I read recently (I believe here) “Duty is ours, results are God’s.”

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    John O’Sullivan has an article which generally translates as, “I’ve seen a lot of things happen. Things will happen again. Don’t worry.” This is said in the context of Trump.

    But he makes a good point about one of the real splits in conservatism:

    Take entitlements. Conservative writers have long pointed out that the present structure of such payments is fiscally unsustainable, destructive of self-reliance, unrelated to the contributions beneficiaries have paid in over years, likely to undermine the dependent–worker ratio on which the entitlements depend, and much else. All that is true, and as Jonah rightly points out, people like us are paid to tell the truth, the most relevant truth here being that if something can’t go on, it won’t go on.

    Most suburban conservatives don’t see it that way, however, and in particular they distinguish morally between different kinds of transfer payments. As Rod Dreher found when talking to his father, they think that welfare payments going to idlers are quite different from Social Security payments going to retirees. In the first case, they reward vice and/or encourage dependency; in the second, they are the return on their investment in America as hard workers, good providers, helpful neighbors, potential draftees, and patriotic citizens.

    He drops the ball in regards to the implications, though. I believe that you cannot have conservatism if there is a significant portion of the people who feel entitled to government handouts, whether talking food stamps or a Social Security check.

    I abhor the split between what I call the “Conservative book club” and people who actually work to implement conservative ideas. And yet count your splits. I think O’Sullivan is right when he writes:

    Both Trump admirers (broadly defined) and Trump detractors (ditto) see Republican and conservative establishments reeling before a hostile takeover by an invasion of populist Vikings and Visigoths who have come from nowhere under the banners of “No Entitlement Reform” and “America First” nationalism.

    I believe conservatism was eaten out and corrupted by entitlements long before Trump took the scene. He is only a playing out of this corruption as people pine for “America first” when what they really mean is “Dammit, I’m mad, and hands off my Social Security.” The incoherent ideology of Trump matches their own. They’re running on emotion and unwilling to look themselves in the mirror to see whether or not they are really conservatives.

  8. Tom Riehl Tom Riehl says:

    Pragmatism is highly overrated. Although Jonah is currently a frog in the near boiling Trump pot, he is prescient about the subject:

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Given Obama’s known dishonesty, once he proclaimed that he was a pragmatis rather than an ideologue, this meant the reverse is actually true. Obamacare, in any case, shows that his “pragmatism” has nothing to do with what’s best for the country or its citizens.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    American Thinker has an article today. And it’s one of those somewhat rare, thoughtful articles: Trump, Thomas More, and the Short route to Chaos.

    This gist of the article is that author points out that it might indeed be an important thing to hold to principle, particularly if it’s a good one, and in the face of a tyrant such as Henry VIII. The world is full of “pragmatic” people who throw away principle at the drop of a hat.

    He isn’t saying that there is a perfect match between Henry/More and Trump/never-Trump. But I would certainly say that without ideas, without good principles, we have only tyrants and chaos where law is ultimately whim.

    You may agree with this author’s point or not, but he makes his points in a very plain and sober way. And yet read the comments by the Trump assholes at the bottom of the article. The idea of having a principle is mocked. These are the idiots who tend to support Trump and I cannot be among the ranks of this mob — while stating, of course, that a vote for Trump as a vote against Hillary is a rational act.

    But I find very few Trump supporters to be acting rationally. When the idea of holding to principle is mocked, you get to the real core of the corruption of his supporters. These are the same people who are supposedly all pissed off that the Republicans, time after time, did not hold to principle. And now those who wish to hold to solid conservative principles are mocked.

    Trump apologists should be ashamed of themselves. If elected, we are rolling the dice with this guy. Not-Hillary as president could indeed be quite a difference. But if Republican voters have reverted to a mob where principle doesn’t matter, then count me out.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I consider Trump less bad than Hillary (if only because he might be good, unlike Hillary), as Thomas More no doubt would have considered Henry VIII better than the alternatives. But that certainly won’t keep me from criticizing him when he deserves it. The Trump acolytes never will. That’s a key difference between having principles and engaging in a personality cult.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I don’t think there’s every been anyone who seriously says that it is likely that Trump is worse than Hillary.

        But I’m saying, and have been saying, is that if you do throw away your principles in order to win, don’t come crying to me about the big, bad, Republican Establishment and the RINOs. In the end, because Trump is more in the vein of Roosevelt (a man of action who will “do something”…don’t ask him what specifically), the ratchet we will be turning may not necessarily be to the Left as much as it is further toward this increasingly magical view we hold of the presidency. And it will certainly be toward the cult of the President, executive power, and the idea that government can inherently fix anything if you just have the right guy in their pulling the levers.

        I acknowledge that the culture has moved Left, has become more vulgar, and has been dumbed-down to a considerable degree. I still smile at the fact that the general public willingly, and with enthusiasm, sat down and took in the multi-hour Lincoln-Douglas debates.

        Ours is now a degraded culture with a degraded electorate. I’m just pointing out the obvious. Trump supporters seem like an unschooled, unprincipled mob to me. The nose-picker generations are increasingly in charge now. And, like a child in a high-chair, he wants what he wants and will throw his strained peas against the wall and make a grand mess if he doesn’t like them, such minor principles as “good nutrition” now counting for nothing.


      For some of the reasons I gave above, Brad, I don’t think Republican voters have reverted to a mob, or that a whole lot of Conservatives suddenly abandoned their principles to support Trump.

      I didn’t see that article at American Thinker today, but I did see one by an intern at NRO which invoked the comparison of the man who refuses to vote for Trump with Sir Thomas More. While I do respect those who truly cannot vote for Trump out of principle (provided they accept the consequences of their decision and truly believe it’s better to allow Hillary to be elected), I think such a comparison fatuous and self-aggrandizing.

      A lot of us Conservatives didn’t get the nominee we wanted (Cruz mostly, with a few innocents pining for Rubio) and now have the unpleasant choice to make: Trump or Hillary. But we’re not in a position anything like that of Sir Thomas because of it. Voting for Trump is not to abandon Conservative principles; it simply means that one has concluded the cause is best served by keeping Hillary out of the White House (and preferably into prison, where she won’t be able to use the government to attack Conservative groups).

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        this quote from that idiot David Cameron sums up why Trump has done so well on immigration.

        The poll came as David Cameron, the Prime Minister, yesterday told an audience that the UK was now “on track to be the best multi-faith, multi-ethnic opportunity democracy anywhere on earth”.

        In other words, the society has no core. Everyone has duel citizenship and communities have no loyalty to the U.K. This criminal has sold out his country.

        Pluralistic societies of this stripe do not last over time. Labour and now the Tories have Balkanized the U.K. and the Dems and big business is doing the same here.

        If people want to come to America they need to assimilate. Many lesser communities may exist, but to stay united a dominant culture must be a country’s lodestar.


          Yes, and this in a country where Muslim immigrants apparently committed over a thousand sexual assaults against children in Rotherham which the authorities covered up to preserve the illusion that multi-culturalism works. It simply wouldn’t due for the truth – that the assaults were all committed by Muslims because they come from a rape culture – to be told.

          Cameron has helped turn the Tories into Labour-lite, just as the GOPe wants the Party to be Democrats-lite. I really don’t see England surviving much longer even as a semi-free state. It will most likely succumb to the Muslim invasion; the best case now is probably civil war, which is as dire a prognosis as I think can be made for a country.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Ditto. Somewhere there must have been someone who saw immediately that the Treaty of Versailles would lead to WWII.

            But it’s human nature to want to believe that the dangers we face are illusionary. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Britain and Europe are being irrevocably changed by the Muslim invasion (causef first, of course, by the Cultural Marxist invasion which allowed, even required, this).

            Civil war — the rise of a benevolent Hitler without the ovens — is the only thing that can save Europe. But if you kicked every Muslim off the continent — which would be a good idea — it still wouldn’t solve the problem of all these socialists. So the irony is that when the Muslims take over, which they will, Europe will be a more culturally conservative continent. Women will once again know their place. Men will be in charge. Homosexuality will be forbidden. Etc. Brought to you by The Nice People of the Left.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              There were definitely immediate critics of the Treaty of Versailles. Keynes opposed much of it, and even wrote a critical pamphlet about the economic effects. Some French general (Foch, most likely) said it was only a 20-year truce.

              And, of course, there have been those who saw what the future of the West would be if its elites refused to defend it against a third-world invasion. That, after all, was exactly what Jean Raspail predicted 40 years ago.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              So the irony is that when the Muslims take over, which they will, Europe will be a more culturally conservative continent. Women will once again know their place. Men will be in charge. Homosexuality will be forbidden. Etc. Brought to you by The Nice People of the Left.

              The Left are convinced that once they destroy our Christian heritage, with the aid of Muslims, they will be able to aim their weapons at the Muslims and destroy Islam as well.

              These people are delusional and power-hungry, a dangerous combination. I think it may be called megalomania.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I certainly think Progressives think that their multi-culti, tolerant, inclusive, “love-bombing” of the Muslims will smooth things over in the end. I think they rationalize that Muslims (just like them, you see) are lashing out against the huge injustices of the West who are guilty of a whole list of terrible crimes against minorities and “people of color.” So when, with their help, Western Civilization is destroyed, Muslims will just join “the great tapestry of humanity” and everyone will automatically get along. Kumbaya.

                As you well know, socialism in Marxist theory is but a transitional state to Communism. And in Communism the idea of Kumbaya is central. It is believed that the state will just melt away because people, now freed from all the influences that corrupt them (aka “capitalism,” Christianity, etc.), will not need governing. (Blow your mind regarding the libertarian linkages to this ideology.)

                Your typical low-information voter doesn’t know any of this and isn’t motivated by this. But he has been set against Western Civilization and is a useful idiot in this regard. Note (as I often have) how the typical person you meet in everyday life or online will tend to apologize for Islam while listing the crimes of Christianity. It can be no coincidence, too, that many Christian seminaries actually turn out unbelievers when many went in as firm believers.

                So it’s working. And I think Jonah Goldberg in Liberal Fascism captures the Rube Goldberg-like platform of the Left. They are always working according to The Plan. And The Plan can, and does, change from one moment to the next. What never changes is their core utopian ideology and deep grievance against their fellow humans who don’t believe in their cockamamy Utopian/totalitarian schemes.

                That is to say, it’s unlikely that anyone on the Left looks ahead to the real implications of what importing an unintegrated Muslim horde means for the long-term survival of their culture. They, of course, don’t want the long-term survival of their culture anyway because their position is to be dead-set against it. And because Utopia never comes, they are always going to have that dead-set-against attitude. There never is a finishing line to cross. No matter the strides they make, they will get on camera and tell you that everything needs to change. Rush often points this out about Hillary’s stump speeches. She talks as if the eight years of Obama’s “fundamental transformation” never happened.

                And it may be hard for you or me or others here to relate to the atmosphere that these celebrities (nominally politicians) live in. This is the parallel universe where people will spend tens of thousands of dollars just to hear Hillary speak for twenty minutes. Hillary is no more qualified to be an American president than Trump or Obama is. And yet it’s not reality (actual temperament, qualifications, and sound principles) that matter. It’s the pop-bubble reality that they can fashion around themselves. And in a society where increasingly perception is reality, it’s very very easy for these guys — Leftist or otherwise — to exist in a bubble where actual things such as consequences do not exist. And if they do exist to some extent, they immediately just talk them away with rhetoric. (“What difference does it make?” “Lyin’ Ted Cruz.”)

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      I read the piece and, sorry, was not impressed. The situations are too disparate to invite useful comparisons. The premise that More’s situation is analogous to the authors is both silly and supercilious. He truly flatters himself by choosing this comparison.

      This passage was especially rich,

      There are three additional benefits to this brilliant strategy. If enough voters join in (in effect, bow out), whoever wins the election will have a weak mandate which may temper otherwise aggressive policies. The establishment of both parties will receive a clear message of frustration. And Trump supporters will be euphoric because we are, after all, modelling their hero and making a deal!

      Weak mandate? Does this guy really believe such hogwash?

      More than anything, I come away from this piece with the firm belief that the author is simply enamored of words and likes hear himself speak. (figuratively)

      • Timothy Lane says:

        In my response, I pointed out that what counted was not who one chose (Henry VIII was no great specimen either, but More served him well for a long time), but whether one maintained one’s own code in dealing with him (as More did, and as conservatives can with Trump).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Well, I was impressed. Someone at American Thinker has heard of Thomas More. Give the man some well-earned points.

        Yes, some of his conclusions (such as the weak mandate idea) are, well, weak. But if we close our eyes and imagine that we had nominated, say, a relative conservative such as Rick Santorum, if his opponent in the Democrat Party was Donald Trump, we’d think it as daft to vote for Trump as we think it is daft to vote for Hillary.

        But look how easily and quickly principles are thrown to the wind. I think his overall point about standing on good principles is a good one despite flubbing some other stuff.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Rick Santorum is much better than Donald Trump, whereas Slick Hilly is worse. So of course we’d prefer Santorum to Trump, just as we prefer Trump (particularly running as a Republican and at least nominal conservative) to Slick Hilly. The circumstances are crucial in these cases.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            The down-side of Santorum is that he has a voting record. We just can’t make-believe that he will act according to our own utopia-of-the-mind regarding our political and social wishes. Santorum has supported some Big Government stuff. But who hasn’t? Trump certainly has via his money. But in terms of what he might do as a government official, he is conveniently a blank slate.

            This again shows you that people are more interested in playing out their fantasies (or satisfying their sense of grievance) than choosing a president who can not only lead this country in a proper way but be a president we can be proud of. Can anyone be proud of Trump the way this monkey talks on the campaign trail?

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              Can anyone be proud of Trump the way this monkey talks on the campaign trail?

              oo ee ah ah ah, ting tang walla walla bing bang.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, the problem is that a lot of voters have fallen in love with Trump. (And, a minor fix, it should be “ooh ah ah”). But perhaps a witch doctor would indeed be useful. Or is that someone to treat Slick Hilly?

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I’ll accept that as a “No.” C. Edmund Wright has a very rational column in regards to all this that I posted this morning. Goodness gracious (or lack of graciousness), this man wants to be leader of the free world? He can’t even lead his party. He’s a narcissist. I don’t care that Rush and all his golfing buddies love him. Some egotists tend to come off well in person because they are people-pleasers. But then you get that alter ego in public which shows a much darker side.

  10. GHG says:

    So called conservative elitists, such as William Kristol and George Will, state they will endeavor to sabotage Trump because for them it is more important to stand on principle then to hand the presidency to Hillary. They fool only themselves, giving them the benefit of the doubt that there aren’t nefarious reasons for their treachery. McCain and Romney were hardly principled conservatives but apparently Trump is a bridge too far for them, or so they say. But the truth is that Will and Kristol know that should The Donald head their party they won’t have their esteemed opposition party seats at the $64,000 wordsmith consortium because their opposition will be against their own party. They’ll be just two more smarter than everyone else opinion makers with no one listening, except for themselves, of course, which is really what this is all about.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Holding to principle doesn’t involve voting for the Fire Witch, and doesn’t preclude voting for Trump as the lesser evil. Failing to criticize Trump when he deserves it would be another matter.

      Incidentally, Theodore H. White in The Making of the President 1964 had the moderate northeastern Republicans like Scranton reacting to Goldwater much as you have Will and Kristol reacting to Trump: it was their party, and they had to save it from Goldwater/Trump even if this required a landslide defeat.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Holding to principle doesn’t involve voting for the Fire Witch, and doesn’t preclude voting for Trump as the lesser evil. Failing to criticize Trump when he deserves it would be another matter.

        Very well said, Timothy. However, it seems deeply embedded in human nature that once we choose a side we rationalize away all the faults and play up (or invent) the good points.

        Conservatives, at least thoughtful ones, are careful not to drink someone’s obvious kool-aid. But in the case of Trump, apparently that doesn’t apply.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      McCain and Romney were hardly principled conservatives but apparently Trump is a bridge too far for them, or so they say.

      To be fair, Trump gives all evidence of being not emotionally stable enough to be president. Unfortunately for Kristol and Will, their past support for RINOs takes away most of their credibility.

      • pst4usa says:

        Brad, RINOs have shown one thing that Trump does not, a tiny bit of support for Republican Ideals. But hey, he does’nt even want our support, at least that is what he says. But most every thing he says, he himself contradicts, so which side can you believe?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’ll say one thing, Pat, had Ted Cruz more boisterously and forthrightly opposed the Left, including the chaos of immigration, he would likely be our nominee. I’m not blaming Cruz for Trump. But if you dig down to my commentary on a couple of the early debates, it was clear he was missing opportunity after opportunity to make a clear and fair point.

          That left a little daylight for this man-child, Trump, to bluster his way to the front, demagoguing to the rubes (and, yes, you are a rube if you believe what he says…no one has any reason to know how he would govern other than by the seat of his New-York-Values pants).

          Ironically, we’re left with this situation where “We have to elect Trump to know what’s in him,” reflecting what Nancy Pelosi said about the Obamacare bill. That’s progress? That’s reform? That’s republicanism?

          But, actually, it’s ironic again that republicanism, let alone conservatism, isn’t what Trump is about. As outraged as many were (including myself) when we learned that Jeb Bush planned to win without the base, this is exactly how Trump is acting. So those on the right trumping their horns now ought to be aware of the date-rape drug he’s slipped into their kool-aid.

          • pst4usa says:

            Yes Brad, there is plenty of things that Ted did wrong, from just about every perspective; too conservative, not conservative enough and everything in between, he did not win and that leaves him open to every critique under the sun. But the real problem as you stated is not what Ted Cruz did or what Trump has done or will do, it is what the left has done to our country and the idea of freedom and self-reliance, and we let them do it.
            To see the likes of the candidates we have left, well let’s just say it does not speak too highly of our ability to think beyond our “feelings” very far, now does it. Maybe mankind never has been able to do that.
            240 years ago, those we call founders were such an exceptional group, as to actually pull it off. There had to be some divine intervention just to pull off such a miracle. I think we do have some individuals that come along from time to time that get it, but having the combination of “sparkle”, (that thing that Ted Cruz lacked and Reagan had), and the conservative principles required to do any good, is a rare thing indeed.
            To sway the weak minded populace that can’t keep focused for more than 30 seconds, may just take another miracle. From what we see where we sit, the left has won and only the total collapse will bring the masses out of their long winter’s nap; that most likely will end very badly.
            You know, keeping our guns maybe just postponing the inevitable collapse, do we rip the band-aid off fast or slow? SLOW, I could just kick myself for even letting these thought creep into my head. That great gathering of men we call founders, did not have it easy, freedom did not fall into their lap, they kept fighting even at times when all seemed lost, and so must we.
            It is may be too late for us, but I have grand kids and they will have kids and if we let freedom slip away, if we do not teach them what it means to stand up to the mob of politically correct and leftist and do the right thing, than shame on us. As some of the founders wrote, history will judge what we do right now, and although we have been living off the fruits of the efforts of those that gave their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, freedom, indeed is worth the fight. Time for us to rise up and fight; to rise up and start to educate those we will be passing the torch of liberty to next; it does not take a lot of them, but it does take more than we have right now.
            Will God forgive us for letting the gift of freedom he has given us slip away and fall onto the ash heap of history? I do not know, but I would rather not find out. So like the JQA quote says, “Duty is ours, results are God’s”.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              To sway the weak minded populace that can’t keep focused for more than 30 seconds

              This is the truth. I was surfing the other day for some YouTube videos…basically reviews for some electronic gadgets. And, understandably, most of the reviews were by men (well, males, anyway). And swear to God, several of them seemed like they were hyped up on caffeine. They may well have been. But while giving demonstrations of the electronic gadget that I was interested in, it was like watching people with autism. And God bless the men and boys who suffer from that condition. It’s no picnic.

              But we seem to be a society that is inducing that condition. Hell, I got nervous just from watching them madly press buttons, mis-press, go back, and all the while their hands and voice were in constant fiddling motion. Now you can understand the draw of phones and texting. People become addicted to stimulation…so much so that many of them have lost their minds. They can’t slow down and they can’t contemplate things even in the most superficial way. They are like sharks who must constantly move forward to survive. (And, yes, I know all about at least some sharks who can rest in one place just fine.)

              Your kids and grandkids are frankly going to have to figure things out for themselves. They will be entering a world where the rules have changed. This society lives for diversion and entertainment. And when it decides to have a thought deeper than distraction, they turn to “social justice.”

              Maybe the world they create will be better. But right now we are a nation in transition. Conservatism is dead because there are not enough conservatives in effective positions who are articulating another vision of society. They’re too busy selling books. I listen to Rush Limbaugh now and just laugh. He spends most of his time apologizing for Trump. Trump has corrupted what was left of the conservative brand.

              So now it is time for these newer generations to decide what to live for, and especially to decide when enough is enough. So far they have shown themselves to be highly gullible with no “off” switch, no end to the baloney they will believe. And to the extent anyone is rebelling, it tends to take the form of libertarians or Occupy Wall Streeter types. They want drugs. They want free stuff. Same excrement, different day.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                But while giving demonstrations of the electronic gadget that I was interested in, it was like watching people with autism.

                I have a suspicion that more people with some type of autism spectrum disorder are in positions of power than ever before.

                I think this might be due to the major shift in technology and finance where math skills are much more important than social skills.

                If my conjecture is correct, it might explain some of the absolutely nutty social thinking and disregard for traditional behavior which is spreading throughout the culture.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                It’s not a matter of *if* you are right, Mr. Kung. It’s how much you are right. I have no doubt there is the amoral, been-counter, techie factor, especially in a society that has been taught that any kind of deeper philosophy is just religious hucksterism.

                Certainly a large aspect of libertarianism is the attempt to ground a life philosophy in atheism/materialism. And it tends to come out pretty kooky, as it does on the Left who try to ground it in Environmentalism.

                It is the decided point-of-view of this site that a mind is a terrible thing to waste and it is wasted if the deepest we ever go is one click on the glossy soft-touch keyboard of an iPhone, sending sweet (or perhaps idiotic) nothings constantly through the infosphere, sheer quantity substituting for quality.

                Without religious philosophy, political philosophy, social philosophy, and just philosophy philosophy, we are mere atoms vibrating in no particular order and for no particular reason. Hillary perhaps summed up this materialist, nihilistic philosophy best when she said, “What difference does it make?” And I think she really meant it.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I think you’re probably right about your final point. Of course, considering that Slick Hilly was expressing her lack of interest in what actually caused the attack in Benghazi (the city of the Holy Warrior) she was — dare I say it? — pragmatically misguided.

  11. Timothy Lane says:

    This may be as good a place as any to mention an excellent op-ed that Arlan K. Andrews Sr., long-time InConJunction toastmaster (and one of the people we’d look forward to seeing there this year if we were up to attending) has in today’s Curious Journal. It provides his explanation, based on his observations as a staffer in the Executive Branch (under Bush 41), on why Versailles-on-the-Potomac works (in a manner of speaking) as it does. The link is:

    • pst4usa says:

      Well Timothy, I am sure everything he wrote was accurate. There was a small book put out by Heritage I think, at about that time, called The Imperial Congress, where they spell out similar case in great detail. There still is a simple solution. Ted Cruz put it this way, make the Federal Government so small that it fits inside the Constitution. If we were to take away all of these task that are just too darn hard for the Congressmen to figure out, including the department he was working in, the problem he speaks of goes away. Does it create other problems? Maybe, but those most likely will be solved if the market is just left alone and given the time to work it out. Free markets when tried work, Socialism only fails every time.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Good suggestion there. Unfortunately, good luck on getting either the Congress or the public to go along with it, particularly since we can make a case that all federal entitlements are unconstitutional. (They could be done at the state level, though there would be — dare I say it — pragmatic problems there.)

        • pst4usa says:

          Go ahead and dare say it. Whether Congress or the people will go for it, I do not know, but at some point in time, on this current path, we will crash, and then what we get in return most likely will not be excessive freedom, liberty or justice.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      An interesting read, Timothy. Certainly that confirms what most knowledgable conservatives already know, although he does fill in some of the details.

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