Category Archive 'Democrats'
19 Nov 2020

Progressive Policies Make Decent People into Chumps

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James B. Meigs, in City Journal, describes the way Progressive generosity tends to penalize good conduct and playing by the rules. Relaxation of standards and selective release from conventional obligations of democrat constituencies that complain, he predicts, inevitably infuriates salt of the earth ordinary Americans who earned everything they have and who accept the world as it is without claiming victim status.

Last January, a small but telling exchange took place at an Elizabeth Warren campaign event in Grimes, Iowa. At the time, Warren was attracting support from the Democratic Party’s left flank, with her bulging portfolio of progressive proposals. “Warren Has a Plan for That” read her campaign T-shirts. The biggest buzz surrounded her $1.25 trillion plan to pay off student-loan debt for most Americans.

A man approached Warren with a question. “My daughter is getting out of school. I’ve saved all my money [so that] she doesn’t have any student loans. Am I going to get my money back?”

“Of course not,” Warren replied.

“So you’re going to pay for people who didn’t save any money, and those of us who did the right thing get screwed?”

A video of the exchange went viral. It summed up the frustration many feel over the way progressive policies so often benefit select groups, while subtly undermining others. Saving money to send your children to college used to be considered a hallmark of middle-class responsibility. By subsidizing people who run up large debts, Warren’s policy would penalize those who took that responsibility seriously. “You’re laughing at me,” the man said, when Warren seemed to wave off his concerns. “That’s exactly what you’re doing. We did the right thing and we get screwed.”

That father was expressing an emotion growing more common these days: he felt like a chump. Feeling like a chump doesn’t just mean being upset that your taxes are rising or annoyed that you’re missing out on some windfall. It’s more visceral than that. People feel like chumps when they believe that they’ve played a game by the rules, only to discover that the game is rigged. Not only are they losing, they realize, but their good sportsmanship is being exploited. The players flouting the rules are the ones who get the trophy. Like that Iowa dad, the chumps of modern America feel that the life choices they’re most proud of—working hard, taking care of their families, being good citizens—aren’t just undervalued, but scorned.

RTWT

12 Nov 2020

Grateful Candidate

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10 Nov 2020

His Senility Accidentally Tells the Truth

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06 Nov 2020

The State of the Republic

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Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire: The Consummation, 1836, The New York Historical Society.

Pedro Gonzalez pessimistically describes the inexorable advance of the credentialed class of sophisters, calculators, and economists whose interests inevitably coincide with the cause of collectivist statism.

Before the storm of steel that was World War I, Robert Nisbet wrote that the federal government, for most Americans, was a stranger—something they mainly encountered only on visits to the post office. This may be hard for us to fathom now, we who have been born and raised long after the chains of industrial and technological conglomeration crushed the social, cultural, and political independence middle America knew just a few generations ago.

Different thinkers gave different names to this revolution of mass and scale in virtually all areas of organized human activity. James Burnham heralded its rise, as a system that would replace capitalism not with socialism but “managerialism.”

Burnham defined managerialism as the centralization of society in which the distinction between the state and the economy is eliminated, the separation of ownership and control is effected, and, most importantly, power—real power—rests in the hands of “managers.”

If it seems there is little room for republicanism or constitutionalism in this scheme, that’s because there isn’t. “America still has a written constitution, but it is nearly impossible, theoretically or politically, to comprehend the distinction between the government and the Constitution,” John Marini writes. “The theoretical foundations of social compact theory have been so undermined as to make constitutionalism obsolete as a political theory.”

Demystified, the “managers” of our post-constitutional cruise through the truculent waters at the end of history are business executives, technicians, bureaucrats, journalists, administrators; the whole host of technically trained experts who constitute the credentialed class which produces nothing and owns little but without whom mass society would not function.

“Agricultural and industrial societies always had their unhappy intellectuals—lawyers, clerks, teachers, radical journalists—men whose profits lay in ideas rather than things, and who were thus in the vanguard of upheavals and demands for reform,” Kevin P. Phillips wrote in Mediacracy. “But the intelligentsia was always a small subclass, influential at times when it could channel public unrest, otherwise subordinate.” Now the managers throttle their enemies with the levers of power and, to a large extent, manage unrest while overseeing the managed deconstruction of the civilization they did not build but inherited.

RTWT

They are winning because they have accomplished the Gramscian Long March and control the institutions that define the Culture.

05 Nov 2020

Always a Threat

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20 Oct 2020

The Impending Internal Democrat Party Civil War

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Joel Kotkin argues that, even if the democrats manage to win the presidency this year, the tripartite Democrat Party coalition is inherently unstable and its factions are bound to fall apart.

The [Democratic] Party now enjoys predominant influence over mainstream media, rising influence among wealthy elites, a stranglehold over education and entertainment industries, and the domination of the burgeoning non-profit world. Remarkably the self-styled “party of the people” now accommodates the big Wall Street firms and tech oligarchies alongside the progressive, neo-socialist, activist base and an ever-diminishing remnant of traditional working-class voters.

This powerful coalition is also a fundamentally unstable one—a three-headed hydra whose heads, particularly after Trump leaves, will soon be biting each other furiously. One faction, the corporatist elite, genuflects and even profits from the progressive mantra on climate, gender, and race. Some, like former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, are so committed to gentry progressivism that he recently suggested those who don’t get with the program could “face a firing squad.” Others, like the Marxists and rioters of BLM, seek a total social revolution and increasingly speak of ending “racial capitalism.”

Many on the Right, having learned nothing since Reagan, simple-mindedly identify each of these two dominant groups as “liberal.” A more accurate assessment would be “corporatist” and “socialist.” …

[I]ncreasingly, the policies of the party’s two dominant factions—the corporatists and the socialist Left—are out of sync with working- and middle-class interest. On issues like climate change, patriotism, and housing, notes Berkeley law professor Alli Joseph, both the progressives and corporatists evidence “class cluelessness or class condescension” that undermines the party’s populist appeal. The Left’s agenda, as epitomized by the New York Times’s 1619 project, and widely adopted by the corporate elite, is no winner on Main Street. Even the World Socialists see it as “a gift to Donald Trump” and “a falsification of history” which denies “the great Democratic legacy of America’s revolutions” and alienates most working class Americans.

RTWT

01 Oct 2020

Democrats Lying About “White Supremacists”

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The democrat party left is systematically using its control of the media to fabricate a completely imaginary racist and dangerously violent right-wing movement supporting Donald Trump and poised to initiate street combat at his command.

It’s total bullshit, designed to establish a kind of co-equal guilt and responsibility on the part of Trump and his Republican supporters for all the violence and destruction going on all over the country at the hands of BLM and ANTIFA thugs. This is nothing other than the classic Big Lie. But note how Biden even shamelessly references Kyle Rittenhouse as a case of “White Supremacism.”

Ann Coulter marvels:

After four months of looting, arson, window breaking, vandalism, intimidation, physical assaults, stabbings and shootings by Black Lives Matter and antifa, the first thing on the media’s mind is … getting Trump to condemn “white supremacists”!

It would be as if, on the morning after Pearl Harbor, the League of Nations demanded that FDR condemn American aggression in the Pacific.

Why on earth was Trump being badgered by both debate moderator Chris Wallace and Democratic nominee Joe Biden to denounce “white supremacy”? And why wasn’t Biden ever asked to condemn the nonstop violence by antifa that actually has been consuming the country for more than 100 nights now?

RTWT

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Evita Duffy, at the Federalist:

If Chris Wallace’s goal during Tuesday night’s debate was to deflect from the months of left-wing violence from Black Lives Matter extremists and Antifa and instead blame it on President Donald Trump and his supporters, he did an excellent job.

“You have repeatedly criticized the vice president for not specifically calling out Antifa and other left-wing extremist groups,” Wallace, the debate moderator, said to Trump. “But are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?”

Ignoring for a moment that Trump’s criticism of Joe Biden was absolutely warranted and that Wallace asked Trump to condemn white supremacists but did not ask Biden to condemn Black Lives Matter arsonists and looters, the question itself was specious. The violence in Kenosha was spurred by left-wing extremist groups, not white supremacists. We know — because we were there. …

Wednesday it was announced Rittenhouse is pursuing a libel case against Biden and his campaign for the advertisement suggesting he is a white supremacist. Rittenhouse’s attorney, Lin Wood, said he plans to “rip Joe into shreds.”

Not only was Wallace’s debate tactic dirty, but it is factually wrong to say the violence and destruction that consumed Kenosha was spawned by “white supremacists,” given that the overwhelming majority of arrests were of left-wing rioters. …

Many voters and residents of these torn cities aren’t buying it. “You’re telling me you’re going to burn down my neighborhood?” Valerie, a 25-year-old black woman and former Democrat from the inner city of Milwaukee, told the Federalist in Kenosha of Black Lives Matter. “No, I don’t want to be a Democrat anymore.”

So MSNBC can keep standing in front of burning cities and calling them “mostly peaceful” protests, and Chris Wallace can keep pretending the right is to blame for the violence. But we were in Kenosha. We talked to people on the ground. Voters know who the peaceful protesters are and who the rioters are.

28 Sep 2020

Then and Now

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28 Sep 2020

Guilty of Being White and a Trump Supporter

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No embed available. Click on image to go to video. Read the Coulter column first.

Last May 30th, bar owner and Marine Corps veteran Jacob Gardner, in the course of defending his father and his property, ran afoul of BLM protestors. Two protesters knocked him to the ground and began grappling with him. He fired two warning shots and they retreated, but another protester named James Scurlock put him in a chokehold from behind. Gardner shot Scurlock who then died. Scurlock had been engaged previously in vandalizing businesses and had an extensive criminal record.

An open-and-shut case of self defense, you’ll say. Right! Well, not in democrat-controlled cities like Omaha.

Scurlock’s family complained, a couple of sexually-deviant state senators demanded Gardner be indicted, and democrat district attorney Don Kleine obliged. Gardner was charged by a grand jury on September 15th with Manslaughter, attempted first-degree assault, making terroristic threats, and felony use of weapon. He faced a potential 95 years in prison. On September 20th, the day Gardner was scheduled to surrender to police, he killed himself.

Moral: Whites guilty of self defense in democrat political strongholds with large black populations are going to get the kind of justice that we have heard so much about occurring a century ago to blacks in the Deep South. The only answer I can see is just don’t live, work, or do business in such locations.

Read Ann Coulter on the Jake Gardner tragedy.

21 Sep 2020

Tweet of the Day

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11 Sep 2020

“This Election Is Not About Trump”

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A comment on the upcoming election by Tony Donadio (9-5-2020), posted on The John Galt Line Facebook groop.

Those treating it that way are making a serious mistake.

Understanding what’s truly on the line in November requires taking a broader cultural and political perspective than a focus on personalities. Particularly troubling are the very real threats to freedom of speech today, which is under direct assault by the political left.

I think it’s clear that America is now effectively facing civil war at the hands of a neo-Marxist insurgency. And I have to say that not appreciating that reality — especially on the part of some people who I think ought to know better — comes across to me as naive, tone-deaf, and lacking in awareness of what is actually happening in the nation’s culture and politics.

I want to make a “statement for the record” on what I think and where I stand on this. I wish I had more time to discuss it in detail, but I have projects due soon and will be too busy for the next few weeks to engage in much debate. So for now I’ll settle for simply listing a few examples of what I think we’re facing. There are a LOT more.

First, the democrats will pass a national version of AB5 (the PRO Act). Biden’s already endorsed it, and it will effectively make it illegal, everywhere, to work for yourself as an independent contractor. Instead your livelihood will be tied to a unionized “employer,” which will have the power to hold that “job” over your head if you don’t toe the line, and behave and speak as expected. In addition to being an attack on the right to earn your own living, this will be a direct assault on the freedom of speech.

The left has weaponized the intel and law enforcement agencies. This is not conjecture or a “right-wing conspiracy theory.” It’s a scandal that makes Watergate look like jay-walking, and the fact that the MSM has erected a wall of silence around it only makes it all the more damning. If they can use that power against a sitting president, they won’t hesitate to use it against anyone — including you and me. This is a profound and direct threat to freedom and the freedom of speech, and it dwarfs anything Trump has done or that we’ve seen from the right.

The left’s calls to “defund the police” will lead directly to de-facto censorship. That’s what happens when you neuter the social institution tasked with protecting citizens from violence and intimidation, and with maintaining law and order. When the anarchy of local gangs moves in to take its place, and people can be threatened, attacked, killed, or have their property taken or destroyed with impunity and without accountability for displeasing those gangs, then freedom of speech is dead and it’s time to go on strike.

And, of course, the left will, if given power again, pass single-payer, finally destroying the nation’s last vestige of freedom and self-determination in health care.

None of this is about treating Trump or the GOP as paragons of capitalism. I am not so much voting for them, but against the Democrats. But I do want to emphatically reject any attempt at equivocation or moral equivalence between the Republicans on the one hand, and a left that has embraced actual wage-slavery, violence in the streets, and the fascist weaponization of federal law enforcement. Yes, today’s right deserves criticism. It is not even in the same galaxy of bad as the Democratic party of 2020.

EDIT and Postscript: Here are some comments I’ve written elsewhere about this. I thought this would be a good place to collect them as well.

“The problem is that the Democrats have become a historically unique threat to the future of the republic. They weren’t even close to this bad at the time of the last presidential election. As I look at their actual policy platforms, and understand that they will put these into practice if they are given the power, I don’t see how I can do anything other than oppose them. However bad I may think Trump is, what the Democrats are proposing now is an open declaration of war on the rest of my life.”

“Calling for a fight to defeat ‘Trumpism’ is waging a battle that is already long lost. That was my clear takeaway from what happened four years ago, and its scope is wider than just Trump and his supporters. As a result, I’ve come to regard the mission of ‘saving the right and the Republicans’ as a fool’s errand that is frankly divorced from a real-world appreciation of where they are as a political and intellectual movement. It’s earlier than you think.

“With respect, many people seem to be treating a presidential election as a method of culture-change intellectual activism. That is not only wrong, but I think it’s a hierarchy inversion. And because ‘Trumpism’ is a symptom of wider trends in our current culture, ‘defeating’ it will NOT save the right or bring it around to anything better. I think the Democrats, who are subject to the same cultural forces, have already demonstrated that. They responded to political loss by quadrupling down on precisely the worst elements of their platform, ideology, and naked power-lust.

“What I think all of this indicates is a need to start treating politics, at least for the time being and until we can make more pre-political headway in changing the culture, as a holding action designed to protect ourselves from the worst of the existential threats that we now face in the political landscape. And today, those are overwhelmingly coming from the Democrats and the left. That’s why I will be voting this November with the explicit goal of stopping them.”

09 Sep 2020

“We Are Democrats”

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HT: Vanderleun.

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