Jim Treacher (pay attention, Publius, and see how it’s done) makes the absolutely best possible case for Trump.
He is responding (angrily) to the above tweet on “American Greatness,” one of those self-important little Alt-Right sites, founded, it tells us, because “The soil of the conservative movement is exhausted. It needs fertilization, re-sowing, and diligent cultivation if it is to thrive again.”
(Personally, as a life-long Movement Conservative, I get pretty sick of this bunch or that bunch of inferior writers who want to substitute Nativism (and frequently merely as the polite, public version of White Nationalism) for Conservatism telling me that Conservatives have failed them by not winning every election and public policy battle in their short lifetimes, and therefore all conservative intellectuals should step aside in favor of Pepe the frog and Donald Trump.)
Trumpkins like Mousey have only this one argument: if you are not for Trump, you are electing Hillary, and Hillary’s election would be the worst disastrous irreversible Apocalyptic thing, and it will be all your fault!
I don’t precisely fit the paradigm of Mousey’s conservative target, who is supposed to be saying: “I’ve always found a way to support every Republican nominee and mostly have been proud to do so, even when some of them had not been my ideal candidate and I found serious reasons for disagreement. Trump is the first one I consider beyond the pale, because of” — the reasoning varies a little. “As such, I simply cannot vote for him, and I find that to be the saddest thing ever to happen in my political life.”
Like a lot of people, I have no intention of voting for either Donald or Hillary. But this is not the first time I declined to vote for the Republican nominee. I didn’t vote Nixon in 1972, the first presidential election I was old enough to vote in. I considered (correctly) that Nixon was not a conservative and was not trustworthy, and I certainly wasn’t going to vote for George McGovern, running as the candidate of commies, either. I threw away my vote by casting it (ironically) for John Schmitz, a whacky Bircher.
I also voted for neither major party candidate in 1992. I knew personally and liked George H.W. Bush, but thought his breaking his word on “no new taxes” made it impossible for me to support him. I obviously wouldn’t vote for Bubba either. So I voted that time for Pat Buchanan (a vote I have come to regret over the years). I think Trump is less conservative and even less trustworthy than Nixon, and a more preposterous presidential candidate than John Schmitz. And I’m not sad in the least. I have no problem at all declining to support Trump.
Where I guess I differ from Mousey there is I never supposed that my single vote was actually determinative, so I do not believe that my abstention from supporting Trump means I will have elected Hillary. Au contraire, I would suggest to Mousey that the people really responsible for electing Hillary (who seems, at this point, unavoidably destined to win) are all the low-grade morons who chose to support an unqualified, unelectable laughingstock with an atrocious character over a huge number of qualified and legitimate other candidates, pretty much any of whom would actually have beaten Hillary with a landslide. When Hillary wins, I have to break it to you, Publius, old boy, it will really be your fault. Jonah Goldberg and Bill Kristol did not make all you lemmings jump off the cliff.
And you can stop all the recriminations and appeals. You bozos are not qualified, not remotely, to replace serious conservative intellectuals. In the first place, you are not really conservative. Your political posture is a kind of anti-leftism buried in a larger volume of anti-elitism and xenophobia. You essentially oppose at least some significant portion of the left-wing agenda by adopting precisely the reactionary postures of irrational animosity and failed resentment that the left loves to accuse conservatives of being all about. You are the left’s dream opponents.
We are obviously not really on the same side. You guys are Nativists (if not downright 1488-ers) with your knickers in a twist over some Hispanic worker with a leaf-blower in his hand. You don’t want limited government. You want entitlements for you, just not for those other guys over there. You want a Bismarkian alliance between a government on the Right and your own White lower middle class. You are not in favor of economic liberty or laissez faire or free trade. You want protective tariffs to defend you from foreign manufacturing competition, and you want closed borders and a wall to protect you from domestic labor competition. You are not interested in defending freedom outside the United States. That kind of thing is for Jewish neocons. You want nothing that is not all about you personally. The correct foreign policy is pre-WWII “America First” isolationism. No wonder you guys are not professional conservative intellectuals. You obviously failed both Economics and History at school.
And let me add one more very important point. The rest of us are really sick and tired of hearing about how you dipshit imbeciles are impatiently waiting to take over political and intellectual leadership from the unworthy cadre presently in charge on the Right. Well, Trump is going down in flames, and you are, as your candidate would say, Losers! Yuge Losers! You have nothing to sell but resentment, bad economics, and discredited and reprehensible political impulses. The Know Nothings lost in the 1850s and they are losing again in 2016. You are not taking over anything. You will be discredited by this election, and your kind will, in future, soon cease to have influence over Conservatism or the GOP.
On Nullarbor Plain near Cocklebiddy, Western Australia… a very isolated part of Australia with nothing but views of saltbush in all directions: Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) munching road-killed kangaroo.
A FB friend writes:
Out of 16 candidates in the primary, the disaffected Republican electorate cast a little over 3 million votes for Trump, abetted by 12 million democrats voting in open GOP primaries and sent Trump to the convention with majority of the delegates. The GOP shouldn’t have prevented a floor fight, but they did and we now are expected to vote for a democrat on the GOP ticket in the presidential election.
Another friend adds:
Utah has voted Republican since 1964. Trump has been ahead in Texas by about six points and at one stage, by just two. Romney took it by 16. Similar polls are found in other historically red states like Georgia, South Carolina, and Arizona which has been reliably Republican since Ike and has voted Democrat just once in the last 16 presidential elections. People who regularly vote GOP are abandoning the party in droves. And this didn’t start after the Tic Tac tape. In aircraft crashes this is what is called ‘Controlled Flight Into Terrain’. The only thing surprising about all of this is the near-delusional denial by some.
Christopher Columbus (detail), from Alejo Fernández, La Virgen de los Navegantes, circa 1505 to 1536, Alcázares Reales de Sevilla.
In his magisterial biography, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, 1942, Samuel Elliot Morrison observes:
[Christopher Columbus did] more to direct the course of history than any individual since Augustus Caesar. …
The voyage that took him to “The Indies” and home was no blind chance, but the creation of his own brain and soul, long studied, carefully planned, repeatedly urged on indifferent princes, and carried through by virtue of his courage, sea-knowledge and indomitable will. No later voyage could ever have such spectacular results, and Columbus’s fame would have been secure had he retired from the sea in 1493. Yet a lofty ambition to explore further, to organize the territories won for Castile, and to complete the circuit of the globe, sent him thrice more to America. These voyages, even more than the first, proved him to be the greatest navigator of his age, and enabled him to train the captains and pilots who were to display the banners of Spain off every American cape and island between Fifty North and Fifty South. The ease with which he dissipated the unknown terrors of the Ocean, the skill with which he found his way out and home, again and again, led thousands of men from every Western European nation into maritime adventure and exploration.
The whole history of the Americas stem from the Four Voyages of Columbus; and as the Greek city-states looked back to the deathless gods as their founders, so today a score of independent nations and dominions unite in homage to Christopher the stout-hearted son of Genoa, who carried Christian civilization across the Ocean Sea.
An annual post.