The Alt-Right rejects the conservative intellectual tradition and all serious ideas in favor of Populism, yet at the same time a number of its mouthpieces are prone to strike poses of learned Classicism, using pennames out of Livy like “Publius Decius Mus,” making reference to the strategic deficiencies of Hannibal, and throwing in a bit of Greek (thymos/Î¸á¿¡Î¼ÏŒÏ‚) for purposes of insult.
I’m afraid that trying to pretend to be Victor Davis Hanson, Donald Kagan, or Cato the Elder while trying to peddle a combination of the politics of Pat Buchanan and Millard Fillmore does not really impress anyone.
I am referring, of course, specifically to The Flight 93 Election, the latest grand Trumpkin manifesto, which Claremont Review ought to have been ashamed of publishing.
“Publish Decius Mus,” hereafter referred to as “Mousey,” inevitably commences with the most popular thesis in the Trumpshirt party line: the claim that this particular election is uniquely climactic and apocalyptic. Were Hillary to win, we are given to understand, her re-election is inevitable, the successful passage and implementation of heaven-only-knows-what next jolie cadeau de la RÃ©volution franÃ§aise is inevitable, the Republic is doomed, and the war against the forces of darkness is lost forever.
Mousey’s thesis is, of course, arrant rubbish. Hillary is just another democrat, a democrat not even as leftist as the current 8-year inhabitant of the White House. Hillary isn’t nearly as ideological as Obama, nor is she nearly as slippery and competent as her spouse. Doubtless, were she to be elected, it would be a bad thing, and we could expect a re-play of the first Clinton presidential term. We should expect Hillary to try for One Big Leftwing Thing. If the Republicans in Congress turn back her assault, we again win the mid-term elections, Hillary pulls in her horns, and (blessed) governmental gridlock recurs. Hillary hasn’t got Bill’s gifts and there is no reason at all to assume that she would be a popular president or be likely to win re-election. On the contrary, I think there is an excellent chance that Hillary will screw the pooch, wind up buried in more scandals, and end her term putting the democrat party right behind the 8-ball for a long time to come.
Trump, on the other hand, is an extremely dangerous gamble. What might, or might not, an incredibly spoiled, willful, narcissistic 70-year-old millionaire, who may not be playing with a full deck, do? It is impossible to predict. That is the problem with making a geriatric Caligula president.
Ben Shapiro, at Daily Wire, did a fine job of demolishing Mousey’s nonsense.
What sort of â€œfundamentalâ€ change is Publius looking for, you ask? (“Interesting choice of phrase, that.” — Barack Obama) Not conservatism â€“ thatâ€™s failed: â€œDecentralization and federalism are all well and good, and as a conservative, I endorse them both without reservation. But how are they going to save, or even meaningfully improve, the America that Continetti describes? What can they do against a tidal wave of dysfunction, immorality, and corruption?â€
No conservative would actually write this. Decentralization and federalism, combined with a renewed societal focus on virtue implemented at a familial and communal level, are the solution to an encroaching federal government. They are the only solution.
But what is Publiusâ€™ solution? Why, Trump, of course! â€œ[Matthew] Continetti trips over a more promising approach when he writes of â€œstress[ing] the â€˜national interest abroad and national solidarity at homeâ€™ through foreign-policy retrenchment, â€˜support to workers buffeted by globalization,â€™ and setting â€˜tax rates and immigration levelsâ€™ to foster social cohesion.’ That sounds a lot like Trumpism,â€ writes our Roman hero.
So in other words, screw conservatism, letâ€™s get the Big Government corporatist ad hoc blue dog Democrat in here. The guy who donated to Hillary Clinton will surely fix things better than founding ideals ever have.
From there, Publius moves on to blame. Why wonâ€™t conservatives just agree with him? Because they must be paid off! â€œPecuniary reasons also suggest themselves, but let us foreswear recourse to this explanation until we have disproved all the othersâ€¦. So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseysâ€”and paychecks.â€ This is the last refuge of the desperate Trump advocate â€“ everyone with whom they disagree has been bribed. The system is rigged. Someone ought to ask Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham or Breitbart.com just how much money theyâ€™ve lost backing Trump with the ardently hot passion of a thousand smoldering suns. The answer: not a dime. And theyâ€™ve gained ratings and presumably, the massive money that comes along with such ratings. Some of us have actively foregone significant money not to worship at the Trumpian altar. Itâ€™s truly incredible how Trump supporters darkly suggest that Jonah Goldberg is somehow getting rich off of opposing Trump but simultaneously say National Review is going bankrupt. Which is it, dolts?
Read the whole thing.