The Game of Lifeboat

by Brad Nelson7/7/15

Mark Tooley has been gracious enough to allow us to post several of his articles here. I thank him for that.

But I have to disagree with the general content of his latest article which I found over art NRO: Should Christians Still Celebrate July 4?

Yes, in general agreement, I don’t know that this has ever been an essentially and thoroughly Christian nation. Yes, we’ve had horrible Supreme Court decisions before. But here’s the main area of disagreement:

Should they consider retreating into a separatist mode in which they are merely resident aliens in a strange, lost land?

I get a hint of a bit of Establishment Republicanism from Mark, the general attitude that says, “It’s better to deny the current reality around you if you can’t change it.” Others here may disagree, and I welcome a robust (even insulting is okay) bit of give-and-take on this subject. I may be wrong. But I think there is little left to do in America but try to insulate yourself and your family from the excrement this is coming down nearly every day now.

Things are so bad, I think it is now appropriate to write a sort of survival guide. The main bullet points are:

+ If you love your children, home school them or put them in a private school if you can afford to do so.

+ Turn off the TV. The average American (who now is becoming increasingly vulgar, dumbed-down, and immoral) watches, on average, five hours per day.

+ Read a book. In fact, make reading a regular habit.

+ Stop bitching — unless you’re standing in front of the city council or some other group and airing your thoughts in a forum that has at least a tangential chance of changing hearts and minds for the better. Otherwise, do as Paul suggested and “shake the dust off your feet.” Don’t baste in negativism, resentment, or dissatisfaction. The best revenge continues to be living well.

+ Develop a network of like-minded and reasonably moral people (nobody’s perfect). Do business with each other if at all possible. Yeah, everything is pretty much made in China these days, but every bit helps.

+ Give yourself permission to “go along to get along” when there is very little alternative. Everyone will have to eat some excrement sandwiches here and there. Maybe your new job will require you to attend a “diversity training” orientation workshop or something like that. Choose your battles wisely. Consider, as I do, that the culture is mad and you can’t change everything all at once. You certainly couldn’t cure a mad cow just by pointing out to it that it was mad.

+ While sometimes necessarily “going along to get along” be ever aware that you are operating under cover. There’s no need to actually believe the baloney. Don’t let “getting along” turn into morphing, however gradually, into a “true believer.”

+ Anchor to something that is meaningful to you so that, for instance, you’re not tempted to paint yourself head-to-toe in silly and kitschy tattoos. Remember what your father always said: “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?” It is very difficult to resist the pull of culture. You’ll likely find yourself wanting to go on vacation to “Cabo” (or wherever is currently fashionable) just because everyone else is doing it. Deep down you may have no desire but to just sit on the local beach and read a book. Or do a bit of gardening. Or visit a friend in another city. But the “do the Cabo” pull can be strong. I know some friends who lost their house recently (blaming it, of course, on the mortgage meltdown which happened years ago). They couldn’t make their mortgage payment but somehow they found time to regularly go on expensive vacations to Mexico.

+ Watch old movies once in a while….from the 50’s or earlier. It helps to remind yourself that there once was an American culture that was not so vulgar, not so vapidly stupid, and that had a sense of true elegance and adventure. A little Sinatra can go a long way.

I’m sure you can think of more. This is just a topic-starter.


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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38 Responses to The Game of Lifeboat

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Actually, I think movies up to the late 1960s were still often good rather than trash. It was apparently around 1969 that filth became increasingly standard. Even so, there were plenty of good movies later on (for example, I rather enjoy Alfred Hitchcock’s final movie, Family Plot, which came out around 1975; and Star Wars came out in 1977). And how about Red Dawn and The Hunt for Red October even later?

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The advantage of earlier movies was that even if they weren’t of the highest artistic value, they didn’t preach filth, perversion and spread general stupidity.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There has been a lot of crap produced since the inception of movies. During the Golden Age, Hollywood was like a Henry Ford production line. They would crank them out. John Wayne, for instance, starred or appeared in a bazillion movie-mill Westerns.

      But still, as Mr. Kung so wisely stated, I think it wasn’t always the high artistic value, per se, of this Golden Age but that rush of innocence, when you could watch a movie and be entertained more than simply shocked into submission. As much as we today might laugh at the Code system they had, can we pronounce from the year 2015 that they were wrong to worry about what would happen to movies, the arts, families, and our nation if there were no standards?

      Granted, the gist of my post here is about setting our own standards and not being a mere buoy bobbing up and down on the cultural ocean. But people don’t live in a vacuum. The nature of our culture matters enormously. And some standards (such as traditional marriage) can and should be upheld. That horse having bolted from the barn, there’s no closing the gate. So if the body is indeed the temple of the soul, then it matters what we put into it. Just because they offer Cheetohs in the grocery store does not mean we have to eat them. We can, and should, filter.

      Star Wars is indeed a flashback to earlier times. I believe I remember Lucas and/or Spielberg (Indiana Jones) saying that he wanted to create the kind of Saturday afternoon matinee sense of innocent adventure that he experienced as a kid. This is not such a bad thing. And he proved how marketable it was as well (both of them…I forget who said what, but there are some similarities in each).

      Besides the doofuses (doofi?…your call, Mr. Lexicon Man) with the pierced ears and bodies painted to look like cartoons, I think there is no better at-a-glance view of the degradation of our culture (at least its taste) than to view the offerings on the display at a Red Box machine.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        And there are other links, such as Pale Rider (modern, but by Clint Eastwood) and Shane (Golden Age), which we finally saw one year when AMC did a lot of such movies in homage to the Oscars.

        At InConJunction, they ran a bracket at Opening Ceremonies for “the best time-travel movie”. The 1950s Time Machine was a late addition at the suggestion of a number of fans (including me; Elizabeth also voted for it persistently). The first 2 Back to the Future movies and Terminator movies made the list, along with Time Bandits and Time After Time, which I think won. (I think Back to the Future 3 should have been in there, too.)

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          “Time After Time” is a cult favorite and I don’t think I’ve seen that in years. Here’s someone’s list of The 25 Best Time Travel Films. In no particular order, my favorites are:

          + Planet of the Apes (and series)
          + Time Bandits
          + Terminator/Terminator 2
          + The Time Machine

          Honorable mentions: Somewhere in Time. The Philadelphia Experiment. 12 Monkeys. The Lake House. Peggy Sue Got Married.

          One I watched (most of) the other day was listed #2 on this site: Primer. What a horrible piece of trash. I get that they’re trying to stretch a thin budget. But there’s little interest for me watching two guys basically talk like two old hens, inventing conversational drama.

          Back to the Future commonly fills the #1 spot. But that’s just not a movie that does well in repeat viewings.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Escape from the Planet of the Apes was in the voting. Somewhere in Time, 12 Monkeys, and The Philadelphia Experiment all made it (though I haven’t seen any of them), as did The Final Countdown (which I have seen), Groundhog Day, and Star Trek IV (well-performed, but with a number of flaws; we once worked up a list of possible sequels in FOSFAX).

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I’ve seen “Brigadoon” listed. I saw that for the first time recently and wasn’t bowled over by it. “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is often listed, but this movie can’t be taken seriously. But Jean-Claude Van Damme’s “Time Cop” can be and is worth at least one viewing. “Final Countdown” (which isn’t all that different from “The Philadelphia Experiment,” if memory serves) is a worthy view, but certainly not “best of all time” material.

              Star Trek IV is a favorite of the lists as well. And it’s hard to argue with that and Groundhog Day.

              Before the awful convoluted timeline of the Planet of the Apes sequels (prequels, whatever), the first in the series was monumentally good for a time travel movie…although it’s not technically a time travel movie until the very end. I think that and The Time Machine are very strong classics deserving of being at or near the very top of any short list.

              Note that I gauge by story. The modern sensibility has been dumbed down, as if imagination is no longer a premium, nor is the idea of character development. Many today would write off a movie merely for being in black-and-white. Many would likely write off The Time Machine for its relatively crude special effects. No deductions are ever made for me for such things unless there are special circumstances.

              This is actually a view into the soulless modern man. I’ll admit that, technically, everything tends to look very good on screen in a modern movie. But the characters tend to be paper thin, the plots stupid and convoluted, and the movie itself riddled with the kind of juvenile cliches we should have outgrown by the age of eleven.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Brigadoon was in the brackets (and I voted for it at least once), as was (I think), Time Cop. (Last year they had a bracket of alien encounter movies, which Little Shop of Horrors won.)

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                technically, everything tends to look very good on screen in a modern movie. But the characters tend to be paper thin, the plots stupid and convoluted, and the movie itself riddled with the kind of juvenile cliches we should have outgrown by the age of eleven

                This is the form over content mentality which was so common in Asia. Gift giving is very common especially in Japan. They could gift wrap a $5 dollar gift as if it were a 2 carat diamond. The gift itself was not so important. It was important that one followed the standard procedure.

                Our movie moguls have guessed the US audience has gone for this type of mentality. Content is not important, just give me shiny wrapping paper.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                We see this when certain movies are praised for their special effects rather than on their characters and plot. Those who prefer substance to symbolism can treat that as (generally) a leper’s bell warning us against the movie.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            What, “Somewhere In Time” is not no. 1?

            I have only seen a couple of minutes of this film, but it is incredibly popular in Asia. From Japan to Singapore, this is a movie young Asian women love.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    In my opinion, the USA is the greatest political experiment of all time. Unfortunately, it appears to be failing.

    I believe the country was founded upon the idea to maximize personal freedom, balanced by the least amount of government intervention commensurate with reasonable safety for the public. This balance has always been tense, but the Republic moved toward greater freedom throughout most of its history. Furthermore, the belief in this principle was widespread, even if there were disagreements on its concrete interpretation.

    Somewhere around the early twentieth century, the elites of our society began to lose this ideal and started looking for “equality” but just as importantly they began to worship “efficiency” and “scientific governance”. The combination of both have been devastating for our country. We are at a point where our Constitution is nothing more than a historic relic. The Politburo known as the Supreme Court has usurped power from the legislature and the people. The Executive rewrites laws as blatantly as does the Politburo, but it does so under much less scrutiny. The Legislature are on par with the Roman Senate under the late Caesars, intent on maintaining their position and wealth. They too have concluded the country is going under so they might as well enjoy the champaign and caviar before the boat sinks.

    I do not think there is much chance of a change from above because there is little call for such a change from below.

    Enjoy the bacchanal as the sun sets in the West on the West. I prefer Brut to Demi- Sec.

  3. Anniel says:

    Oh, the temptation to withdraw from society at large does loom on the horizon like a big black cloud. As I watch friends and family members falling into an abyss of nothingness it becomes harder to keep my mouth shut, but I genuinely love some of these people. I don’t understand where they keep their brains anymore.

    Every morning I need to count my blessings, to stop several times during the day and count again, and again. I know in the deepest part of my being that God is not through with this nation yet. He is still the Author of Liberty.

    I have never paid much attention to Donald Trump, but by golly he knows how to speak my language.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That’s why he’s so popular. But is he the real deal, or just a demagogue?

      But the point about our blessings, including what is left of the American way (which is more than some people are willing to admit, though we have no way of knowing how much longer that will be true), is why I suggested Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” in the poetry section some time back.

      • Anniel says:

        Timothy, I do remember that. And Hillsdale College had a lovely chorus singing “America the Beautiful” on the 4th. I kept it up to remember by. I suspect true beauty of any sort is anathema to the complicitors.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      As I watch friends and family members falling into an abyss of nothingness it becomes harder to keep my mouth shut

      I’m shocked, shocked to hear that, Annie. Someone told me the other day, that as they are getting older, they find what they say is less filtered than it used to be.

      Clearly culture has always been a dramatic and powerful force for shaping how people think and live in their world. Culture isn’t going away anytime soon, nor should it. But the kind of culture we have now (the kind that makes one wonder how some “keep their brains anymore”) is one that is a degrading culture. As Dennis Prager says (and this should not be underrated), “Everything the Left touches they make worse.”

      And people seem to have dumbed themselves down to normalize this worse.

      • Anniel says:

        A friend called last night to tell me she had a book she knew I would love. No bad language, sex, blah, blah. I pulled up the sample on Kindle and realized it was full of all she said it didn’t have. Now I know just how perverted her taste has become. I could hardly wait for it to be gone, and hopefully keep it out of my mind. So I bought Winston Churchills little gem about the pleasures of painting instead. What a lovely read.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          So I bought Winston Churchills little gem about the pleasures of painting instead. What a lovely read.

          The man could write couldn’t he? He was also a very talented painter.

          I’m about 70% through the 5th vol. of the official biography and I get the sense that while he loved painting, it demanded a lot of him. It seemed he was often tired out after a day of painting.

          • Anniel says:

            Kung Fu, Churchill’s writings on the simplest of subjects are wonderful. I loved his description of colors in heaven and what he would learn in the first billion years. He had no problem hooking me on the idea and I certainly think he would make God laugh.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          A friend called last night to tell me she had a book she knew I would love. No bad language, sex, blah, blah. I pulled up the sample on Kindle and realized it was full of all she said it didn’t have.

          Oopsie. I realized I’ve probably done that regarding movies, Annie. Whether it is becoming inured to the language or you just blot it out, I have recommended movies to people that, in retrospect, turned out to be a lot less tame than I had remembered.

          • Anniel says:

            Brad, Not to worry. I recently got “Private Benjamin” for my grandson. I remembered only the boot camp segments and was a little surprised by what I had forgotten was in the movie.

            The book my friend recommended is “Orange is the New Black.” My oldest daughter was stunned about it being described by anyone as “sweet.” She says a porn TV show has been made about it and the people she works with love it. It’s about Lesbians in prison, so you can imagine how “sweet” it really is.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              The book my friend recommended is “Orange is the New Black.” My oldest daughter was stunned about it being described by anyone as “sweet.”

              It’s probably not too cool if I insult the heck out of your friend (but your eldest daughter certainly seems to have a good head on her shoulders). But this is a recurring theme: When engaging in bad things, we will try to normalize them — often to the extent of doubling-down on the vulgarity, the sin, the vice, or whatever. It’s as if we are suddenly moths attracted to a flame and can’t break free.

              It’s a remarkable thing. I don’t mind a four-letter word thrown in once in a while. And for a movie such as “Goodfellas,” one can make a case for the language because it’s a (supposedly) realistic portrayal of the underworld. And, truth be told, sometimes the only thing that can save a mediocre series (such as Showtime’s “The Tudors”) is the tah-tah factor. Men, we love our tah-tahs, and they (they usually come in pairs) can make one forget even the worst acting and dialogue.

              But then there’s that interesting phenomenon whereby I don’t think it’s just an expression of bad taste, undeveloped taste, or being inured to it all. All of those things regularly happen and probably contribute. But the really nasty factor I’m alluding to is the one where people double-down on the bad stuff in some kind of willful act to make the bad seem right. It’s the equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and shouting, “Nah nah nah nah…I can’t hear you.”

              Here’s a relevant quote from 1949’s “All the Kings Men”:

              You know, Judge, dirt’s a funny thing. Some of it rubs off on everybody.

              Indecent people have the need to try to rub that dirt on the decent. It’s just the way it is. No one wants to think of themselves as being sinful and in need of reform. It’s much easier just to morally dumb-down others. Whether this factor was active in what your friend did in her book recommendation, I don’t know. But it’s common enough.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                In an introductory comment to The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk noted that he chose to use profanity (which is normally a part of routine conversation in the military) only when appropriate. By putting the note in he was acknowledging it while not battering his readers with it.

  4. Steve Lancaster says:

    Brad,
    Not bad, your not yet libertarian more of a proto-proto-libertarian but I think you get the gist of many libertarian concepts. I will give you some examples.

    Listen to the politicians of either major party. Democrats talk a lot about fairness, equality and social justice and Republicans talk about taxes and getting government off your back, but only in small ways without ever touching the real problem. Who talks about freedom and liberty?

    When did you last hear any politician argue that preserving individual freedom is the governments primary responsibility?

    You have painted the picture of ordinary people making an honest living minding their own business, the sort of person that makes up the vast majority of adults in every country around the world. The question your asking is does this person owe the government more than he is already doing?

    Ordinary people owe many things to people and institutions–family, church, community, employer, however, an obligation to government is different. When government decides you owe it something, money, loyalty or conformity it has deadly force and the power of law to compel your obedience.

    What I perceive you saying is that an adult minding his own business making an honest living has a right to be left alone to live his life as he sees fit. He is free and deserves to be let alone. Its the first steps to being a real libertarian not the faux kind of the Paul family and other quacks.

    We have our own Galt’s Gulch here in AR. All you need is the password. 🙂

    • Timothy Lane says:

      There are some Republicans (like Rand Paul) who do talk generally about individual freedom. More commonly, they profess pro-freedom views out of pragmatic rather than ideological motives.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        I think that the entire Paul family is treating individual freedom as a commodity to be bartered in the marketplace like so many tomatoes or eggs, or left on the wall to be admired like the elk shot last hunting season. The Paul’s will give up on freedom when the clock chimes. I don’t trust them.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Who talks about freedom and liberty?

      Steve, first off, I doubt I’m a libertarian just ready to break out of my chrysalis. Liberty is one of the prime ingredients of America, as founded. One need not be a libertarian to understand that. And I would say it’s often an impediment. One ingredient emphasized to the exclusion of all others is not the way to understand America. She is more than just liberty even if liberty is a big part of who she is…or should be.

      But the conversation about liberty or conservatism becomes a bit like trying to sell snake oil. Everyone says it’s good for you but nobody is actually drinking any of it themselves. The GOP has not just made a mockery of conservatism but they have fully turned on it.

      So what we have now, for all practical purposes, is conservatism and liberty becoming almost purely intellectual topics, as if we were wondering about how many planets in the galaxy might have life on them or how many angels can fit on the head of a pin.

      Society has changed. The only real question we have remaining in regards to America is how fascist it will become. Mark Steyn has some chilling words on the subject in his recent article. It’s hard to imagine people fighting back because, despite the conceit to niceness, people have, generally speaking, either been beaten into submission and become sheep and/or they have become indecent enough to not see what is occurring today as a problem.

      Conservative sites such as this have become irrelevant. The power is not in an idea but in government. And government has become so big, having such a hold on people, it can swamp nearly any good idea out there, any reformist movement, by its sheer weight.

      That leaves us three options: Revolution, emigration, or creating a conservative bubble. I’ve made a case for the latter. I don’t believe it is the only thing to do. But it is one possibility. Revolution is always in the cards, but I don’t believe there are enough people left with enough clarity-of-purpose to lead anyone to anything better than what we have now. And emigration is an option, but where? Mars? There are no continents or territories remaining that are virtually uninhabited by intelligent life unless you include California.

      Some would say that slow reform is the way to go. And, indeed, that is the safest and sanest way to go. But to do so we need leaders. We need people in all walks of life (and not just in government) making the case. But, good god almighty, have you seen how messed up many of those “walks of life” are? Christianity — once a true anchor for what is good — has been significantly subverted by Cultural Marxism. Now the emphasis is on economics (“social justice”) and the individual is erased as a moral agent. He’s simply a product of “society.” So the job is to fix “society,” not morally instruct one individual at a time. We are not God’s children in this scenario. We’re simply cogs in a machine.

      We all know that higher education has become, as Dennis Prager calls it, “Leftist seminaries.” Business itself is no force for positive change having been on the leading edge in caving to liberal fascism (Firefox, Apple, etc.). The Boy Scouts have caved, or are in the midst of caving. Once staunchly conservative think tanks such as National Review are now worse than useless as they crowd out conservatism with Establishment Republicanism and often feature naive rookie writers who, frankly, couldn’t make the grade here.

      The military has gone PC and no longer can be counted on as any kind of seat of integrity. The people you can name who actually are giving good advice can fit on a 3 x 5 card: Thomas Sowell, Mark Steyn, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Jeffrey Lord, Theodore Dalrymple, sometimes Kevin Williamson, Andy McCarthy, sometimes Ted Cruz, sometimes Sarah Palin….and then I have to start racking my brain to think of more. The point is, common sense, an understanding of America and her founding, and the willingness to at least speak up for these things, is rare.

      Oh, the internet is full of people who are pissed off for one reason or another. But becoming pissed off is actually falling into the hands of the Left. Sowing discontent and the expectation that government should “do something” (even a conservative government) is more of the same and somewhat missing the point. YOU run your own life. YOU take care of yourself and your family. That doesn’t mean all forms of collective protection and collaboration are wrong or illegitimate. No society can be ideologically one thing, and never should be. But we are not now suffering from an over-abundance of self-responsibility.

      You’ll no doubt read that as “Oh, Brad is ‘this close’ to going libertarian.” But what I have said is completely consistent with America’s founding and conservative ideals. For libertarians to think they have invented such things is simply Leftism in another form…in this case the re-writing of history.

      We are no longer Children of God. We are Children of Government. And no matter how many red, white, and blue flags your neighbor has hanging off his house, he likely does not have your back. He will collect his Social Security and other “free stuff.” He’ll not be giving it back or turning it down. He has been bought and paid for to some extent. All that is left for us are these small, insignificant shows of independence (lots of “‘bang” during the 4th of July, but very little “boom” in terms of what it’s all about) while the reality of the central aspect of who were are now — government — remains the same.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I find Churchill has seen and done it all before. I am reading vol. 5 now and last night finished the chapter in which that fool Chamberlain returned from Munich and waved a piece of paper in his hand announcing, “peace in our time.” Of course, that he sold out Czechoslovakia for an illusion did not worry this scoundrel. During the years I grew up, we saw news reels of this occurrence in history class. I can see him, standing next to his plane with a big smile on his face.

        Churchill had been fighting this defeatism for over five years and does not feel too great about what happened. He had lost to the Tory defeatists. But this did not stop him from following the course he believed to be correct.

        He wrote an article in the Daily Telegraph stating;

        It is a crime to despair. We must learn to draw from misfortune the means of future strength. There must not be lacking in our leadership something of the spirit of that Austrian corporal who when all had fallen into ruins about him, and when Germany seemed to have sunk for ever into chaos, did not hesitate to march forth against the vast array of victorious nations..

        The forced arrayed against us are no less determined than Hitler and his followers.

        Again I quote Churchill, “never give in, never give in, never give in”.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          That’s a great quote by Churchill. Never heard that one before. So what we need is a little Austrian (Alaskan?) colonel (ex-governor) who will make a case for America, as founded, instead of this Progressive stuff.

          I agree. One of problems is how many people, to varying degrees, are already bought and paid for by government. Don’t forget that nearly everyone will draw Social Security. That’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of government in our lives. It has become a cult, a way of life, a way of thinking about one’s place in society and the universe. At the very least, it has monopolized enough of what we think of as our “self interest” to be monolithic.

          Hitler was trying only to knock over a weak experiment in democracy and replace it with (eventually) a totalitarian system. We need to try to replace a totalitarian system with a somewhat weak republic. A republic is just an idea. The totalitarian (nearly so) system in place now touches everywhere. And if it doesn’t now, the tentacles are in place to do so in regards to the regulatory apparatus of the state.

          Hitler filled a void…first with something that was arguably better and productive. Germany was beaten, bankrupt, and bitter about it. What energizes people today? The Confederate flag? Sanctifying with the word “marriage” by a man sticking his penis in another guy’s anus? The fraud of global warming? Saving some obscure species of fish while dumping trillions of gallons of needed water into the ocean? Hating white people (and hating themselves)?

          I’m trying to think of the large constituency in America who could rally behind a corporal (or Mamma Grizzly) to the point of changing things for the better. I don’t see it.

          And with all due respect to Churchill, England went from defeating National Socialism to instituting British Socialism…with him sometimes in charge of it all.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            And with all due respect to Churchill, England went from defeating National Socialism to instituting British Socialism…with him sometimes in charge of it all.

            Nevertheless, the sentiments expressed are something the Left certainly follow. And they have been following these sentiments before Churchill was born. But they are very flexible as to how to make a buck.

            Unfortunately, the Republicans and, their counter-parts during Churchill’s time, the Tories only follow this sentiment if “business” is involved.

          • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

            I’m coming late to this discussion, Brad, but I would sound one note of hope: I think we can’t know whether a substantial number of Americans would rally behind another Churchill or not because we don’t have any Conservative leaders of anywhere near that stature (and the purely Republican leadership is absolutely execrable). Everything I see suggests a Conservative movement desperately searching for a leader of the stature of Ronald Reagan and, of course, not finding one yet. That is the reason for the irrational bursts of enthusiasm we have seen for some of them (my generally low opinion of the leading Presidential candidates for 2016 is fairly well-known here at ST so I won’t go into details here).

            Should a figure of real intellectual power and political talent emerge, we might actually begin to fight against the Left in the political sphere. Right now, there isn’t anyone like that and as everyone has heard me say a thousand times, we don’t even have control of a political party yet.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I haven’t been following Ted Cruz’s campaign. But someone ought to try running as an unabashed conservative — just as an test case — and see what happens.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, Cruz has at least avoided pandering to Iowa voters over the ethanol mandate. That’s certainly very promising. And Walker is touting his actual experience fighting the Left, though in many he’s just another politician. Fiorina shows some promise as well, and is very good at attacking Slick Hilly.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Chamberlain, unlike his modern successor Obama, wasn’t a scoundrel, merely a fool. Note that Churchill kept him in the war cabinet — and in the crucial debate around the time of Dunkirk, Chamberlain sided with Churchill and continued war rather than Halifax and negotiating peace with a victorious Hitler.

          But it might be well to recall his full quote, which I believe was, “I bring you peace with honor, peace in our time.” We may yet hear his successor say the same thing re Iran, just as falsely — but not as naively.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I would have agreed with you before reading the Churchill bio. Although I would agree with you that he was more of a fool than a scoundrel. When I read his comments about his meetings with Hitler I had to laugh.

            But given his actions in the government for years prior to Munich I am forced to conclude there was more to it than foolishness. His covering up and lying about the actual state of things, particularly things military, along with the blocking of increased military production makes me conclude the man as more than simply a fool.

            I do not know why Churchill kept him in the war cabinet, but I am sure I will find out in vol. vi. In any case, he was in ill health and dead within about 6 months after Churchill took over.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              One thing to remember is that Chamberlain’s scientific aide was Tizard, the man responsible for the British radar network. Whatever his flaws, he made an essential contribution to his nation’s survival in 1940.

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