The trauma of 9/11, the divisions of the Iraq War, and the fearful disorientation of the financial crisis left Americans agitated and anxious â€” but not in a way that put them in the mood for another return to normalcy. The pendulum began to swing madly: The trauma of the Bush years begat the Obama presidency; the radicalism of the Obama presidency begat Trump; the radicalism of Trump (which is not, for the most part, a matter of policy) begat . . . much that is undesirable: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, â€œresistance,â€ and the mainstreaming of socialism as a basic current of the Democratic party; Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in a crazypants radicalism arms race over whether we should confiscate the accumulated savings of the affluent at a rate of 2 percent a year or at a rate of 8 percent a year; a turn toward a politics of implacable hatred and demagoguery in both of the major political parties.
It is sobering to realize that there are young Americans serving in Afghanistan today who had not been born on September 11, 2001, who have only known post-9/11 politics and a post-9/11 America, with all the angst and paranoia that goes along with them. This profoundly abnormal period in our history is their normal, the only world they have ever known. For them, there is no return to normalcy and no possibility of it. â€œThe past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.â€ These young Americans were not around to hear all those fine speeches about how turning away from our national ethos of liberty and citizenship, turning toward fear and hatred and turning against each other, would mean, in the inescapable phrase of the time, that â€œthe terrorists have won.â€
The Urban Dictionary defines a “trainwreck” as “something that is so bad that you don’t want to keep watching or following but you just can’t look away from it.”
Kevin D. Williamson’s ex-wife wrote an enormously long, rambling, getting-everything-off-her-chest letter to the Atlantic’s editor, congratulating him for firing her ex-hubbie, which is as bad a trainwreck as you are ever going to find. Naturally, that leftist sewer site Medium hastened to publish it. You can’t believe that you are still reading this stuff, but you find that you can’t stop.
Dear Jeffrey Goldberg,
Thank you for firing my ex-husband Kevin D. Williamson. …
So thank you again for coming to your senses even if your due diligence was three days too late for the tastes of the Twitter â€œmob.â€
All that said, when Kevin turned my head, I was a senior in high school, and I came from a very dark, violent family where no one genuinely loved me, and he was the first man I ever slept with and he was nine years older than me. Whatâ€™s your excuse?
My allegations of spousal abuse were shot down when I filed a protection from abuse form. I was mouthy and disheveled in court because I had to go to a womenâ€™s shelter and it was my day to cook breakfast for everyone and I wore a hat, and the judge asked me why I was wearing a hat, and I said, â€œI didnâ€™t have time to do my hair.â€
Kevin got his due process. I lost that case, and I got kicked out of the shelter because the judge asked me when I was on the stand where I was staying, and I answered honestly, and that was enough of a disclosure to violate the shelterâ€™s confidentiality rules. All of this is a matter of record within our court system which used to dog my ex-husband from time to time, back when he was just a newspaper editor in Montgomery County and had nasty things to say that irked the League of Women Voters, but it also pains me because I kind of canâ€™t believe, on entirely separate intellectual grounds, that you would go so far in the direction of appeasement and accommodation as to hire him in the first place.
Here are the brass tacks disclosures. What Kevin and I have in common are that we are both from Lubbock, Texas, both grew up in incredibly violent, chaotic households, both like to read and write, and both offered to write for your magazine. What Kevin and I no longer have in common is that I am still a member of the white working class he actually despises and disparages in his anti-Trump writings. You hired him after your magazine turned down a piece I wrote about organizing my fellow servers at a restaurant last year. (Mobius picked up a better version.)
Unlike Kevin, I did not become desensitized to violence because of having seen my mother and stepmothers beaten by a man. Unlike Kevin, I have actually moved to a small town in Appalachia because I was living in a boarding house in a slum outside of Philadelphia, and I could not take the drugs nor the crime nor the cost of living in my neighborhood any longer. A quarter of the ceiling in my room caved in two winters ago. I did not have a stove, and for three years I had to wash my dishes in the sink of a bathroom barely more presentable than that in a truck stop. I lived next door to the same womenâ€™s shelter I had gotten kicked out of. This past winter, I was without power frequently because of how ill-equipped the old housing stock was to deal with multiple tenants. (It was a Victorian era building). After a snowstorm, I went two and a half days without running water, and in December a meth-addled prostitute who lived on a floor above me took an ax to a manâ€™s head.
Until last winter, when the house became really unsafe, I pretty much woke up every day and thanked God that I was there, instead of still married to Kevin, because he was just that mean.
Now that I have moved to a small military town between Philly and Pittsburgh, I feel that I understand conservatives in a way that I never have. The town is so beautiful and affordable. People are just so terrified it will change. It is also full of snaggle-toothed, mullet-sporting Confederate flag-flying freaks and plenty of people who want to assure me that the military is out there â€œfighting for our freedom.â€ This in spite of the fact that they fought only for enhanced state power, and since they have been over in Afghanistan and Iraq, I have lost habeus corpus, any expectation of privacy online or otherwise, and all of my income to student loan or medical debt and predatory auto loans. I have never had a credit card with more than a $500 limit. I havenâ€™t gone anywhere on vacation since I was 13 years old, except maybe attending a wedding with Kevin in Austin. My credit score is 185. During the Recession, I lost my job three times in five years. I am economically dead. I donâ€™t even have a pulse.
I didnâ€™t come here on assignment; my assignment is my life.
Bang up job theyâ€™re doing, those soldiers, protecting my freedom.
My downward mobility issues aside, I also moved here to be closer to the best friend of my late stepmother, an exquisitely kind, married, pro-life evangelical Christian. ….
Amanda Norris, a.k.a Penelope Gristelfink
P.S. If I have an abortion, Iâ€™m agonna name it Kevin.
Watching the State of the Union, Kevin D. Williamson saw America’s dispossessed Ruling Class, conscious of its ownership of the Permanent Mandate of Heaven, looking on, and seething in frustration, as an interloper, representing all the people and classes of society they detest, stood there in the place they know properly belongs to them.
President Donald Trump represents a genuine crisis in the American political order, but it is not the crisis we hear about from rage-addled Democratic hyper-partisans and their media cheerleaders. The fundamental cause of our current convulsion â€” studiously ignored by almost all concerned â€” is this: In the United States, the ruling class does not rule. At least, it does not rule right now.
Consider the context.
The ladies and gentlemen of Goldman Sachs liked Mrs. Clinton a great deal in 2016, and their generous donations to her presidential campaign outnumbered their donations to Donald Trumpâ€™s campaign by an incredible 70-to-1 margin. Mrs. Clinton was in fact the largest single recipient of Goldman Sachsâ€“affiliated donations that year, whereas Trumpâ€™s presidential campaign was way down the list behind not only Mrs. Clintonâ€™s campaign but also the legislative campaigns of such Democrat powers as Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Tim Kaine of Virginia, and newcomer Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The results were similar for many other financial firms: 19-to-1 at JPMorgan, 7-to-1 at Wells Fargo, 27-to-1 at Citigroup, 10-to-1 at Bank of New York, etc. Across the commercial banking industry nationwide, Mrs. Clinton out-raised Trump by a nearly 7-to-1 margin. She beat him 17-to-1 among venture capitalists, 8-to-1 among hedge funds, and 7-to-1 among private-equity firms.
Among people associated with Harvard, Mrs. Clintonâ€™s donations outperformed Trumpâ€™s by an an even more incredible 200 to 1. In fact, no Republican even cracked the top 15 at Harvard, and Marco Rubio, at No. 17, didnâ€™t even crack the six-digit mark â€” and the first of his five digits is a 1. At Princeton, it was Clinton 209-to-1. It was 128-to-1 at Yale.
Mrs. Clinton enjoyed a 100-to-1 margin of support among people associated with Facebook; 76-to-1 among Google employees; 135-to-1 at Apple. Mrs. Clinton beat Trump by only a 4-to-1 margin at Exxon Mobil and 3-to-1 at Walmart.
Presumably, the votes of these donors were distributed in roughly the same way, along with their general sympathies and allegiances.
But money is not the only currency in politics.
Mrs. Clinton also enjoyed the endorsements of the former chairman and CEO of General Motors, the executive chairman of Delta, the former president of Boeing, the chairman and CEO of Salesforce, the founder and chairman of Costco, the CEO of Airbnb, the CEO of Netflix, the founder of DISH, the CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, the former CEO of Avon, the CEO of Tumblr, the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner, the chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts, the owner of the Chicago Cubs, and many others. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich had planned to hold a Trump fund-raiser in his home and was bullied by his peers into canceling the event.
Among the nationâ€™s 100 largest newspapers in 2016, only two â€” the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Florida Times-Union â€” endorsed Donald Trump. Most endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and those included the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. USA Today, which does not typically endorse candidates, did not endorse Mrs. Clinton but ran a â€œnot-Trumpâ€ anti-endorsement, and other newspapers did so, too â€” more of them, in fact, than endorsed Trump.
Mrs. Clinton won the majority of the vote in almost every state capital â€” 47 of them. Trump won Carson City, Bismarck, and Pierre, the micro-capitals, respectively, in Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota, with fewer residents combined among them than Chattanooga, Tenn. Mrs. Clinton won an average of 76 percent of the vote in the ten largest U.S. cities. Trump won a majority in none of them, nor was he close to a majority in any of them.
All Donald Trump won was a majority of the voters in a substantial majority of the states â€” 30 states plus the second congressional district in Maine.
To Democrats, this is an obvious injustice and an outrage. Theirs is the politics of manifest destiny, with their endless Hegelian insistence that capital-H History is on their side. And not only History but Harvard and Goldman Sachs and Facebook, too. Their sense of entitlement to political power is just a smidgen short of Divine Right, but not much. The obstacle to fulfilling their entitlement is the structure and the constitutional order of the United States, which is neither a direct democracy such as Switzerlandâ€™s nor a unitary state such as Chinaâ€™s but a union of states. Hence the aspects of the American system that most reflect this arrangement â€” the Electoral College, the Senate, and the Bill of Rights â€” are regarded by the Left as illegitimate, a way to rig the system against History and The People. …
There are many possible ways for the ruling class to respond to that political reality. One is to burrow into the cheap moralism characteristic of our times and insist that those who looked at the choices in 2016 and came to a different conclusion than did the executives of JPMorgan and Citigroup must be driven by some occult malevolence; this is Paul Krugmanâ€™s argument, that â€œgood people canâ€™t be good Republicans.â€ That is a sentiment unworthy of even so trifling and vicious a creature of the New York Times editorial page as Professor Krugman, who once was a highly regarded economist. Equally unworthy is the related sentiment: â€œOur candidate got 2 percent more of the vote than their guy did in 2016, so itâ€™s only technicalities keeping us out of power. Once we have rectified that, we will simply dominate the other side with our superior numbers.â€ Never mind that those are only slightly superior numbers and that this advantage is not as fixed as the stars but like all things in the affairs of men subject to change. Is the domination of one group of citizens with their own way of life and their own values by another group of citizens with a different way of life and different values the best outcome? Is that what liberty is for?
As the polling consistently demonstrates, this division is not about policy. It is about hatred.
Kevin D. Williamson attributes the outbreak of national Confederate Flag hysteria to the Left’s increasing sense of panic as the Age of Obama slinks and scuttles toward its end, but notes that, despite unfavorable electoral prospects, the Left can still lead much of the country around by the nose.
You have to credit the Left: Its strategy is deft. If you can make enough noise that sounds approximately like a moral crisis, then you can in effect create a moral crisis. Never mind that the underlying argument â€” â€œSomething bad has happened to somebody else, and so you must give us something we want!â€ â€” is entirely specious; it is effective.
Read the whole thing.
Community of Fashion, Freedom of Thought, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Kevin D. Williamson, Public Accommodation Laws, Religious Freedom, The Elect
Kevin D. Williamson notes that our ruling class is determined to eliminate private freedom of thought and opinion and make everyone in America conform in every kind of expression to the belief system of the optimates.
Adlai Stevenson famously offered this definition: â€œA free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.â€ We do not live in that society. …
When there is no private property â€” the great legal fiction of â€œpublic accommodationâ€ saw to its effective abolition â€” then everything is subject to brute-force politics, and there can be no live-and-let-live ethic, which is why a nation facing financial ruination and the emergence of a bloodthirsty Islamic caliphate is suffering paroxysms over the question of whether we can clap confectioners into prison for declining to bake a cake for a wedding in which there is no bride. …
Gay couples contemplating nuptials are not just happening into cake shops and florists with Christian proprietors â€” this is an organized campaign to bring the private mind under political discipline, to render certain moral dispositions untenable. Like Antiochus and the Jews, the game here is to â€œoblige them to partake of the sacrificesâ€ and â€œadopt the customsâ€ of the rulers.
Read the whole thing.
Kevin D. Williamson considers the implications of applying the principles behind Obamacare more widely.
I have heard it argued that the San Francisco Bay Area is not only the nationâ€™s but the worldâ€™s most desirable metropolis. I donâ€™t buy that for a minute, but itâ€™s not entirely implausible. Thereâ€™s great natural beauty, and many of the worldâ€™s most creative people and institutions choose to make the area their home. Itâ€™s pricey by American standards but still a bargain by global standards. Like New York City in its golden age, it is a glorious collision between culture and money.
Letâ€™s assume that the Bay Area partisans are correct in their high estimation of the metropolis. What might we do with that information? Why not pass a law requiring everybody in the United States to live there? As with the Affordable Care Actâ€™s approach to health insurance, we wouldnâ€™t be forcing an inferior product on people; weâ€™d be forcing them to drop their second-rate cities for something better. Sorry, Cleveland â€” you canâ€™t keep your crappy city, so deal with it. There would be some great economies of scale at work, and there are well-known economic benefits associated with population density, which weâ€™d have in spades with a population of 300 million. (Though if we define the Bay Area broadly, weâ€™d still have a lower population density than Manhattan, on average.) We could drop altogether thousands and thousands of redundancies â€” of school districts, police departments, fire departments, planning and zoning codes, tax laws, city councils. The rest of the country could be turned into farmland or left to revert to wilderness. Think of the efficiency we could achieve.
Once weâ€™ve decided where everybody should live, we can move on to the question of what they should eat.
Read the whole thing.