Ambivalence: Peggy Noonan on Trump’s electors



Peggy Noonan is akin to Christie Blatchford in Canada, in that we have at work a sharp intelligence, a genuine curiosity as to how things work, and a compassionate but undeceived eye for the foibles of human nature. I read both of them  with interest, as I would intelligence agents probing reality.
Noonan’s latest is entitled “The Year of the Reticent Voter”, which explores the reticence of Trump voters to admit their intentions, not only because they fear the abuse that will be heaped upon their heads, but because they fear in part that Trump could break more china than necessary, or engage the US in an unnecessary constitutional crisis out of his ignorance of how the system works.

Every four years I ask people if they’ll vote, and if they have a sense of how. Every four years they tell me—assertively or shyly, confidently or tentatively. This year is different. I’ve never seen people so nervous to answer. It’s so unlike America, this reticence, even defensiveness. It’s as if there’s a feeling that to declare who you’re for is to invite others to inspect your soul.

I think this is true, not merely as a description, but as a genuine insight: the state of your soul will be revealed. On the one hand, a guy who has no experience in government, a one-man-band and with a taste for braggadocio, against a corrupt elitist who may not be able to manage a box of Chiclets, and who will continue the decline. These are not happy choices.

Voters who talk about 2016 are very careful to damn both sides, air their disappointment, note that they’ve been following the election closely. They know each candidate’s history.

In Tennessee I asked a smart businessman who he’s for. He carefully and at length outlined his criticisms and concerns regarding both candidates. Then, as I started to leave, he threw in, from nowhere: “So I think Trump.”….

A final observation, underlying all. Under the smiles and beyond the reticence it is clear how seriously Americans are taking their decision, how gravely. As if it’s not Tweedledum and Tweedledee but an actual choice between two vastly different dramas, two different worlds of outcome and meaning. The cynic or the screwball? Shall we go to the bad place or the crazy place?

I do not think anyone who observes is deceived here about the true nature of each candidate. Hence no one is happy with their choice. No one is voting with a clear conscience that their choice is unequivically, unambiguously the best.

Noonan’s article is worth the read, and the comments upon it are equally enlightening.

The Flight 93 Election



Publius Decius Mus writes:

2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.

Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.

To ordinary conservative ears, this sounds histrionic. The stakes can’t be that high because they are never that high—except perhaps in the pages of Gibbon. Conservative intellectuals will insist that there has been no “end of history” and that all human outcomes are still possible. They will even—as Charles Kesler does—admit that America is in “crisis.” But how great is the crisis? Can things really be so bad if eight years of Obama can be followed by eight more of Hillary, and yet Constitutionalist conservatives can still reasonably hope for a restoration of our cherished ideals? Cruz in 2024!

Not to pick (too much) on Kesler, who is less unwarrantedly optimistic than most conservatives. And who, at least, poses the right question: Trump or Hillary? Though his answer—“even if [Trump] had chosen his policies at random, they would be sounder than Hillary’s”—is unwarrantedly ungenerous. The truth is that Trump articulated, if incompletely and inconsistently, the right stances on the right issues—immigration, trade, and war—right from the beginning.

As a Canadian, I find it necessary to distance myself, slightly, from the eleven-out-of-ten American hyperbole. Nevertheless, a strain in me thinks this is the correct analysis: that the United States cannot much longer endure a ruling class that despises at least  half of the people who compose the nation, and taxes the working classes to support the indigence and fecklessness of the ruling class’s welfare and disability clienteles.


Publius Decius Mus also puts his finger on an attitude in which I often take refuge: that things are bad but the decline can be endured  almost indefinitely.

Whatever the reason for the contradiction, there can be no doubt that there is a contradiction. To simultaneously hold conservative cultural, economic, and political beliefs—to insist that our liberal-left present reality and future direction is incompatible with human nature and must undermine society—and yet also believe that things can go on more or less the way they are going, ideally but not necessarily with some conservative tinkering here and there, is logically impossible.

Let’s be very blunt here: if you genuinely think things can go on with no fundamental change needed, then you have implicitly admitted that conservatism is wrong. Wrong philosophically, wrong on human nature, wrong on the nature of politics, and wrong in its policy prescriptions. Because, first, few of those prescriptions are in force today. Second, of the ones that are, the left is busy undoing them, often with conservative assistance. And, third, the whole trend of the West is ever-leftward, ever further away from what we all understand as conservatism.

I am forced to admit this: I think the United States is in a period of political decadence. Its constitution was designed by moral men for a moral people who, by and large, are being overwhelmed by relativism, leftism and its odious manifestation, political correctness. I think it is entirely possible that the United States as we have known it will cease to exist within fifty years, and some form of oligopolistic or caesarist government may yet replace the current constitutional division of powers. If you think like Decius Mus, this transformation has already happened. I could be persuaded of that too: think how the US has failed to react politically to the 2007 financial crisis by jailing its perpetrators and stripping them of their gains.

When Mus considers that, metaphorically, Trump may not know how to fly the plane, but that situation is better than the certain prospect of Hillary flying it into a mountain, it is clear that many conservatives in the United States think this is the last election they will ever see where the disaster could have been avoided.

And the other part of me thinks that, even if this view is exaggerated, the long term leftist cultural decline is showing signs of accelerating. Safe spaces. Black lives matter. Anti-pipeline agitation. I see no signs that this rubbish is being rejected by the body politic. Maybe today I am at glass half empty. Maybe I should believe my own analysis.




As the chattering classes begin to prepare themselves for the idea of a Trump victory, the blame starts to be scattered like blood from a severed jugular. Today’s column by Andrew Coyne was a blithering load of ninnyhood. After blaming Republicans, Democrats, and the electorate, he muses:

Perhaps it’s broader than that. Are the roots of Trump to be found in the coarsening of the culture, the celebrification of everything, the degradation of knowledge or civility in the age of social media, when everyone with access to a computer thinks he knows all there is to know about anything? Do they lie in the intellectual chaos of the times, the easy cynicism that claims all truth is relative, the nihilist pose that choices are without risk, that nothing matters because it’s all a joke anyway?

This is the man who wants to make Conservative government impossible by abandoning first past the post, and whose intentions may be discerned from what he preaches; who wants Canada never to have decisive government again, as parties, not citizens, decide who will be in government or not; who wants to fragment the country into enclaves of special-interest blocs; and who wants to make voting for this shit mandatory, so that we can all turn out like citizens of a dictatorship to approve the mess his ideas would create; this man, this learned, earnest fool.

He is not alone in completely losing all common sense about Trump. The New York Times is allowing itself to say:

“The creeping dread [of a Trump victory] has accelerated in recent days, reaching critical levels even by Democratic standards…

A cartoon in The New Yorker captured it best: A woman sits in her psychiatrist’s office, perspiring in distress. The doctor scribbles on a pad. “I’m giving you something for Hillary’s pneumonia,” the caption reads.”

I wish I could feel confident that Trump had the capacity to be an effective President, but I know that Hillary Clinton is corrupt, weak, over-proud, convinced of her own entitlement, and unlikely to fix any major American problem, and by not fixing them they will inevitably get worse.

There are many reasons to blame for Trump’s rise, but the major ones derive from the failure of American policies since Bush the Younger, and perpetuated by that self-regarding fool Obama.

Admit to yourself that your views are deplorable. Confession is good for the soul. Way more people  hold “deplorable” views than not, and way more people are tired of the tyranny of PC than who think political correctness is a just social arrangement.

If I could offer one, final, reason for the rise of Trump, it lies in the resentment that American people of good faith feel against the forces that prevent them from talking about their situation, without being labelled sexist, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic: their time is coming soon, and many more visits to psychiatrists’ office are in store for the Democratic elite.


I am a Deplorable




The British Army of 1914 was called “a contemptible little army” by the German Kaiser, and so they called themselves “the Old Contemptibles”. “Quaker”, “Protestant”, and “hippie” were all originally terms of derision that stuck, and were neutralized with the passage of time. I think Trump supporters should embrace being called “deplorable” especially when you see what the liberal media call deplorable.

  • 79% of Clinton supporters thought treatment of racial minorities in the US was a “very important” issue. Only 42% of Trump supporters felt that way.
  • 47% of US voters appear to think the Donald is a racist. 42% do not. (nothing about the Deplorables’ values here)
  • 60% of US voters believe the Donald is biased against women and minorities. (ditto)
  • Are you bothered when you come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English? 50% of Americans in general are bothered. 77% of Trump supporters are.
  • Is Islam at odds with American values? All American voters: 57% Deplorable Trumpians: 83%

So, as to the values held by Trumpians, they significantly are less concerned with American racial (read black grievance) obsessions, and are somewhat more concerned with Islamic aggression against the values of a liberal society than the already intolerant 57%. And I would  certainly be bothered when I come across an immigrant who speaks neither English nor French, but I never come across them, so sheltered am I.

So I am definitely a Deplorable. You probably are too, with your two university degrees if you are reading this website. Imagine what all those coal-mining hillbillies feel like. Deplorable, indeed.

Liberal Democrat and Dalwhinnie exchange polite disagreement

I had the privilege of exchanging views with a very liberal democrat on another listserv. Herewith is the exchange. It did not start with anything I wrote, but we capture it in the middle, when Liberal Democrat is responding to other Republican commentators.

Liberal Democrat wrote:

I’d rather be smug than entertaining treasonous delights.
…. I have absolutely no shame in being a coastal liberal.  We’re a key cog in how this Union stays together. Last I checked, it was the states full of coastal liberals that subsidize all the poor, downtrodden, and left behind conservative states that cry about how horrible the federal government is while they use all the services and infrastructure it pays for, hand out for the next round of transfer payments. Do I complain about those payments? No. I see it as the price of national progress and a hope that the next generation of Mississippi kids might not live in abject poverty, get an education, and maybe escape the crushing cycle that has kept many citizens of these states in perpetual marginalization, which is exactly where their right-wing political leaders want them.
I, for one, am fine with the moderating effect that our two party system has on marginalizing political extremism, and will gladly vote for Hillary in November.  No, she is not my preferred candidate, but she is the only candidate qualified to be President. It is the outcome of compromise, just like it was when I begrudgingly accepted no public option in the ACA and less than ideal restrictions on Wall Street in Dodd-Frank. We can’t always get what we want. Somehow, there is a vocal minority who seem hell-bent on ignoring that reality.
But back to Crusty Conservative’s original point. I don’t think Twitter, Facebook, or traditional media should close speech because it’s abhorrent and it’s because of what I fear.  I am not afraid of ISIS. I have not need afraid of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Saddam Hussein, or any other Hitler of the week we’ve had propped up as our enemy in the past twenty years. I am afraid of the next Timothy McVeighs and Dylann Roofs, the people in our midst who want to destroy our consensus in this country because they think they’ve been left behind by history. And they have, because they seem to think our greatest days are in the past and they’ll do what it takes to force us backward, where women, minorities, LGBTQ and non-Christian people are second-class citizens and the advantages of being born white and male were enough to succeed. That is what scares me and if we close public speech to what scares us, that speech will go underground and rot. At least we know who to fear when these monsters speak.
The last paragraph caught my attention. I ventured a reply:
Greetings all:

I cite our worthy LD:

I am afraid of the next Timothy McVeighs and Dylann Roofs, the people in our midst who want to destroy our consensus in this country because they think they’ve been left behind by history. And they have, because they seem to think our greatest days are in the past and they’ll do what it takes to force us backward, where women, minorities, LGBTQ and non-Christian people are second-class citizens and the advantages of being born white and male were enough to succeed. That is what scares me and if we close public speech to what scares us, that speech will go underground and rot. At least we know who to fear when these monsters speak.

I would put it to people of this view that we all live and want to live in a reasonable, tolerant and dare I say liberal society. By liberal I mean freedom loving, not left wing conformist. At least I do. And you do too, else you would not be on this list. So in the  contest between Islamist nutcases and nutcases like Dylann Roof, Anders Breivik, Timothy McVeigh (name a few more if you can), the clear and present danger seems to be coming much more from the Islamic direction than from fundamentalist Christian direction. At least the body counts seem to be a numerical expression of the scale of risk, and from what direction.

The question for the pragmatic among us is: Who has the most power actually to “force us backward”?. I would put it to the people who are more concerned with Christian and white-nativist reaction than they are with Islam, that they are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

My second assertion is that vastly more people agree with this view of mine than they do with the benign views of my colleague Mr LD.

My third and wholly superfluous assertion is that this group of people are becoming very tired of the net direction of society in the post-Christian world, insofar as what appears to be a tidal wave of Islamic reaction to modernity is ignored by the bien-pensant elites, while the lingering outposts of people unpersuaded by the world view of the New York Times are held to be the true enemy. To me this seems both mistaken as to fact, in a very large way, and to be the result of a failure to imagine what a truly alien political religious ideology Islam is. It is off the map, so to speak, and cannot be conceived. Since it is inconceivable, whereas Christian fundamentalism is a more familiar target, the enemy of my enemy is somehow imagined to be my friend. Here I speculate as to motive and am less certain than I am of the previous assertions

The gap between the bien-pensants  (the well-thinkers, the morally superior) and ordinary opinion has seldom been wider, and the views of the ordinary people less tolerated by the morally superior, and held in greater contempt.

I have seen this past summer normally quite conservative (that is to say sensible, centrist, moderate, well educated ) people explode in rage at the effrontery, ignorance, cretinism, red-neckery of the less educated classes in daring to disagree with the least jot and tittle of the Official View. It is stunning to see the contempt directed at the lower orders by their social betters.

It will not end well, regardless of the outcome of the current US presidential election.


LD replied:
Excellent points.
I have to disagree on the Islamic fundamentalism threat, however, as I believe it is wholly related to conservative American Christianity. Whether a crusade in name or in practice, the Christian west has used the infidels in the Islamic world for a millennium as a useful rallying point for unity and a distraction from more localized concerns.
But, look on the other side of the equation? How easy is it to teach western decadence when we abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion was repelled? How can you not be swayed by stories of the infidels’ crusade when planes drop bombs on your civilian neighborhood? How can you not be angry when your all-knowing occupiers failed to account for civil disturbances after de-Baathification in Iraq, leading to countless deaths?  We applauded Arab Spring, but did little to nothing to help these countries transition to democracy and establish stability.
We all know Wahhabist clerics are breeding this hate, but no one wants to mess with the flow of oil from Saudi, so it’s almost American policy to let it bleed.  And don’t get me started on Turkey, where European islamophobic policies and the unaddressed Syria threat has let it drift closer to religious-based totalitarianism.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the Middle East and Arab World–Bahrain, UAE, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi, Morocco, to name a few–and seen both the good and bad with my own eyes. They’re still humans, still just trying to survive.  They love American movies and music and, based on the Popeye’s at Amman’s airport or the Dunkin’ Donuts in Dubai, some enjoy our weaponized cuisine, but are vastly under -educated as to who is inhabiting our countries. If we spent 1/10th the money on cultural engagement as we did on military ones, both to show them our values and counteract the nutbag imams, we’d be in a different world. But, for the most part, Americans stay here and they stay there, and the only cultural references point Americans have is screaming idiots on Fox and CNN telling us how much they hate us. That’s a horrific foundation for dialogue.
I am just not as easily convinced that the creeping Islamic threat is any worse than when it was in Spain or on the steps of the Holy Roman Empire. I am convinced that, as you said, it is alien enough to Americans–who generally only had a two week crash course in Islam during high school and still think history ended after we won World War II–that it’s still a useful crutch to rile us up and I think we’re afraid to learn that our “enemy” is not that much different than us on Maslow’s hierarchy. Parents in Virginia two years ago pulled their kids out of class for learning about Islam and Arabic script, like the language, script, and the Koran are Instant Soup-style indoctrination.  That is just fear and ignorance. We are afraid of the unknown, even if it’s knowable, and I think it makes it easier to dehumanize 1/5th of the world because of it.
The greatest risk our children have from Islam today is, as it was for our generations, one thing: Al Gebra. As it seems, fear of complex math is at the center of Republican tax policy. 😉
As for our Republicans, I wish we had a Canadian-style Conservative political party. I miss the pre-Newt GOP, one that wasn’t so anti-science and anti-compromise, even if I could not align on its policies.
My final response was this:
Thank you for a civilized and well written reply.

I remain unpersuaded that the main issue of our time is somehow American ignorance, or policy errors. They exist, and Americans in their ignorance keep making errors, as any nation does. Perhaps the US elites have been making more than their fair share of late, and this is the subject of the election now underway.

In respect of Islam you wrote:

“I am convinced that, as you said, it is alien enough to Americans–who generally only had a two week crash course in Islam during high school and still think history ended after we won World War II–that it’s still a useful crutch to rile us up and I think we’re afraid to learn that our “enemy” is not that much different than us on Maslow’s hierarchy.”

I recall a liberal American official at the FCC one time complaining about Republicans, insofar as their world view and knowledge came from one book, the Bible.

I admit the justice of that critique. One book is not enough.

But we have had a Reformation, and its subsequent wars and reorganization of the European state system;  we have religious freedom, we have social freedom, we have a large measure of political freedom, even if, in your view, it is used in error.

Muslims in Islamic countries have none of these things. They still hold, in principle, that all necessary knowledge of the world, comes from one source only, given one time to one prophet, indelibly, indisputably, inerrantly, and that not a word can be revised or re-interpreted. Exclusive reliance on the Koran for guidance in all matters has led to social, intellectual, political and economic stagnation across the Islamic world. When they had strip mined the contributions of the previous Christian, Zoroastrian, pagan, Buddhist, and pre-Islamic intellectual accomplishments, they were culturally unable to generate new insights because inquiry is haram, forbidden. Most of what we call Islamic contributions to knowledge were pass-throughs from previous cultures.

At the same time, they were promised that they would be the final revelation, and that in principle and by right, they would be the conquerors of the world by now.

So they are caught in a gigantic cognitive dissonance between what they believe they ought to be doing, that is, governing the world, and as a part of their regime using its non-Muslim women as their sex toys, on the one hand, and the fact that they are at the back of the class in every dimension of accomplishment. A UN report of 2004 or thereabouts, and written exclusively by Muslim intellectuals, pointed out that the people of Finland, population 4 million, produced more absolute GDP than 77 million Arabs produced in non-petroleum exports. The economic value created by Finns, population 4 million, was greater than the economic value created by all of the Arab world, excluding petrochemicals. Arabs are excruciatingly conscious of their inferiority, and many seek simple answers, found in the Koran, as to what is to be done. Its name is jihad.

So here is my second point.

Weighed in the balance against the 1/5 of humanity, a large proportion of whom seem to be stuck in the cultural assumptions of tribal Arabia in the 6th century AD, or who wish they were so stuck, then purely domestic squabbles among the citizens of the US do not seem to carry the weight or importance that many Americans think (or believe passionately) that they have.

My observation is that a serious engagement with the issues requires one to step back from exclusively and parochially US partisan concerns. Even if we assume that Republicans and Democrats say largely true things about one another, we do not engage the relevant question or questions. It is of very little use to suggest to an American that they see things in excessively partisan terms. You are likely to get your head shot off. Especially in a presidential election year.

I am ducking behind a wall as I write. Thank you for an entertaining discussion.

Be well.

LD’s response was a cheerful paean to the valour of the Finns, in which we were both agreed.


Time in Chicago, time in the country

This summer I have been a submarine, surfacing rarely. I have been surrounded by Democrats and by liberal Republicans, all of whom are shocked, shocked to hear a word in favour of Trump. So by and large I have kept my mouth shut, and listened to the ranting.

I recently attended a board meeting in Chicago. One of the board’s close advisors is now a member of Hillary’s team. He was purring with satisfaction at the chances of Hillary winning. The Democratic electoral team is expecting an October surprise from Putin in some form or another, and they are confident enough of their chances that they are threatening Putin with dire consequences should  he unleash intercepted or stolen emails, after Hillary wins.

I see polls, and Hillary is generally somewhat ahead at the moment. Trump occasionally catches up. Frankly, unless there is a high degree of suppressed opinion out there, Hillary will win. I happen to believe that, like Brexit, a large number of people are holding their mouths shut lest they be mistaken for troglodytes by their more liberal neighbours. But I was equally mistaken about Romney, and was confounded by Obama’s second victory.

Stay tuned folks. Trump has an uphill battle.





Trump and down-ballot impact

This is not a prediction of Trump’s demise, but rather an opinion on Trump’s impact on down-ballot candidates in case he loses. This election, more so than other elections, is saturated with “complex, layered, and divisive issues”, to use Oban’s phrase.

In the event of a Clinton landslide, it is very unlikely that down-ballot Republican candidates will suffer. The electorate has learned their lesson from the 2008 wave election which by April 2009 had handed the Democrats a filibuster-proof 60-40 majority in the Senate. This combined with 257-178 seat majority in the House of Representatives, allowed Democrats a free reign to run amok. The electorate realized the error of its way and in January 2010 took the matter into their own hand. This led to a dramatic upset, where the thoroughly solid blue Massachusetts, handed Edward Kennedy’s old seat to the Republican Scott Brown. It is likely that the same scenario will come into play this time and with the same thought permeating through several locales, instead of just one as in January 2010, it is entirely possible that the electorate might overdo it, thus handing the Republicans larger than expected majorities in the House and the Senate. The converse scenario is also applicable in case Trump wins, with comments about Trump and his coattails leading the coverage. A Clinton landslide, along with Republican loss of House and Senate, is a view that is simplistic and based on conventional and pedestrian thinking.

If one thinks that thing are acrimonious now, then just wait. A Clinton presidency, with its Court appointments, is likely to lead to liberals controlling the Supreme Court till 2050. Republicans finding their spine by refusing the acquiesce to a replacement for Scalia, is indicative of what the future holds. Garland was nominated on March 16, 2016 and his nomination has remained before the Senate since then. This constitutes a period longer than any other Supreme Court nomination. Atlantic magazine also opines on this scenario.

It’s 2020, four years from now. The campaign is under way to succeed the president, who is retiring after a single wretched term. Voters are angrier than ever—at politicians, at compromisers, at the establishment. Congress and the White House seem incapable of working together on anything, even when their interests align. With lawmaking at a standstill, the president’s use of executive orders and regulatory discretion has reached a level that Congress views as dictatorial—not that Congress can do anything about it, except file lawsuits that the divided Supreme Court, its three vacancies unfilled, has been unable to resolve.

On Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan resigned after proving unable to pass a budget, or much else. The House burned through two more speakers and one “acting” speaker, a job invented following four speakerless months. The Senate, meanwhile, is tied in knots by wannabe presidents and aspiring talk-show hosts, who use the chamber as a social-media platform to build their brands by obstructing—well, everything. The Defense Department is among hundreds of agencies that have not been reauthorized, the government has shut down three times, and, yes, it finally happened: The United States briefly defaulted on the national debt, precipitating a market collapse and an economic downturn. No one wanted that outcome, but no one was able to prevent it.

As the presidential primaries unfold, Kanye West is leading a fractured field of Democrats. The Republican front-runner is Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame. Elected governor of Louisiana only a few months ago, he is promising to defy the Washington establishment by never trimming his beard. Party elders have given up all pretense of being more than spectators, and most of the candidates have given up all pretense of party loyalty. On the debate stages, and everywhere else, anything goes.

A parting forecast, if Clinton wins she might have to pardon herself.

Trump is not inevitable

As of this week, with Trump 7 points behind,  it is likely that he will lose the election to Hillary. I hardly know what to think. I am torn between my liking for Trump as a goad to the opinion-shaping classes, and for his policies towards Islam, political correctness and trade deals, on the one hand, and my concern that the man is not up to the job.

[I am not going to discuss Hillary here, beyond noting she ought to be on trial for various crimes and malfeasances. Corrupt only gets to the edges of her nullity].

In the past few weeks I have seen otherwise sensible conservatives become enraged at the thought of Trump. I do not mean Republicans in Name Only; I mean sensible church-going conservatives, people whose opinions are usually reliable. People have been outraged at the idiocy of the American working classes and lower orders for supporting Trump, and have been nearly able to contemplate denying them the vote.

I have read social science bloviation that Trump supporters are authoritarians, which I dismiss out of hand. This is the usual leftist prattling that anyone who dares disagree with their Narrative must have something wrong with their souls.  Outside the 1%, American incomes have stagnated for several decades. There is no reason to believe that free trade will induce technological progress in advanced economies. Free trade has meant that your clothing and consumer goods have been made more cheaply, over time, and roughly in order, in the following countries: Japan, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and now Cambodia, as the great uplift of human wealth proceeds to work its magic. But the redistribution of wealth from the first world to the third has brought with it stagnation of incomes and closing opportunities for the working classes here and for the children of people who are inclined to read this blog.

I am not sure if a high tariff policy can fix this, but at least Trump is talking about the world we are experiencing.

What bothers me about Trump is the gracelessness, the inability to strike a conciliatory note, the inability to court the undecided. Trump has already got the 45% of people who are pissed off. He needs another 5, 6, or 7% to ensure his victory.

He will not achieve this victory unless unless he maintains decorum, and minds his manners. Americans are ready for a policy change, and a personnel change, but they need to be wooed, not bludgeoned.

He frightens a lot of people, some of whom need to be frightened, but others of whom need a little reassurance that he can act like an adult, like a President of the United States. Unless he can do this, I am concerned that the tired old Democratic/1%/bankers’ regime, with its anti-white, anti-Christian and anti-male bias,  will continue under  Hillary Clinton.

I  await a storm of protest from those who think I have gone soft. I have not. There is far too much truth is Donald and Hobbes, a sample of which is below.

donald and hobbes

I wan Trump to win, but I am concerned that the Trump I want is a figment of my imagination.



The imperturbable smugness




The sad decline of the National Post from a conservative newspaper into the Canadian voice of Wall Street continues. I take some comfort that the first rate minds, such as Conrad Black’s and Rex Murphy’s, continue to see that the impetus behind Trump is the conclusion that things have gone seriously wrong in the United States and in the world more generally. Whether they support Trump, as Conrad does, or sympathize with the reasons why others do, as Rex Murphy does, they are at least talking about the world that we see before us.

To highlight the bad news and the nonsense:

  • incomes have stagnated since 2007, and there has been no robust recovery from the looting of the economy by Wall Street;
  • factories have closed to foreign competition and those jobs are not coming back;
  • the elites seem more concerned with non-existent global warming and the benign effects of more CO2 in the atmosphere than they are with Islamic terrorism and jihad;
  • consequent to the global warming fixation, our energy polices are needlessly raising prices of home heating and lighting as massive amounts of money are transferred from ratepayers to agencies favoured by the political class;
  • American black males are killing each other in large numbers, but this has become unmentionable; it is all the white man’s fault, especially the cops’, hence the doublespeak coming out of Obama’s mouth on the subject of violence directed at American  policemen;
  • worst, the moral inversion of the ruling classes has reached such a point that right has become wrong, so for example, citing a statistic about anything contrary to the “Narrative” is a firing offence. The Narrative has become the agreed set of lies, and the agreement lasts for but a  moment. The Narrative changes, weekly if necessary, to the interests of the ruling classes, which happen to be ‘liberal’ in the American sense of the word and Democratic.
  • hence, in the Narrative, white people, particularly Christian white people, are the epicentre of the world’s evil, and they are to be held to account for the criminality, laziness, and uselessness of large portions of America’s black population, and much else besides.
  • Other people are in general, accounted to be Victims, and Victims are sacred to the leftist mind. Hence the sacralization of American blacks proceeds, despite all evidence of  disproportionate criminality and uselessness of a large portion of the African American tribe. The criminality is only the expression of resistance to white hegemony.

Today’s Post carries a clever article by Michael den Tandt, which praises Donald Trump as the ultimate scaremonger.

Quite the contrary; the United States I know is a land of peace, plenty and generosity, populated by people who are with very few exceptions friendly, courteous, law-abiding and kind to strangers.

The northeastern economy has been hit hard by factory closings, no question, and income inequality has spiked since 2008. But even so the U.S. remains the world’s most vibrant democracy and largest economy, possessed of the world’s most powerful military, by far. It has no enemy, foreign or domestic, that comes close to posing a threat to its existence.

Yet you, through the alchemy of your rage and the echo chamber of social media, have managed to persuade millions of your fellow citizens that the opposite is true. You are the first American politician to tap into the millennialism that has infused Western culture for the past 25 years. And you may just turn the world upside down as a result. Bravo sir. Bravo.

It is not what the United States is or remains, it is the perceived direction, Mr. den Tandt. It may seem to you, from the deck of whatever club you drink at in summer, that all is well in the best of all possible worlds. Maybe after a drink or two you might be compelled to admit that the Muslim Thing is worrying, or maybe not. Maybe you could be induced to admit that family incomes have been stagnant or declining in real terms for a decade. Maybe the cop assassinations in the United States would concern you.  Perhaps the energy policies being pursued to save us all from what is, to you and your kind, scientifically proven global warming might seem expensive or even foolish. Yet nothing that happens seems to penetrate the imperturbable smugness.

I have arrived at a deeper mystery than the depressing fatuity of most of the National Post. I have arrived at the core  of the question that disturbs me about politics in this time. Why, despite everything happening: stagnation, jihadist killings in Europe, uncontrolled immigration in the United States, to name the principal causative factors, why is the governing class so smug? Why?

Is my trigger level extraordinarily low? Do I perceive threats earlier than others? Is a conservative in my sense a person who smells the smoke before others, who hears the footfalls of the intruder before his sleeping wife? That could well be true. I do not deny my alarms are always ready to go off, that I am, in Mrs. Dalwhinnie’s phrase, ‘the canary in the coal mine’.

But I do not think it takes some special degree of perspicacity to be alarmed at massive Muslim immigration into Europe, or the fact that, because of Islamic immigration,  everywhere is becoming like Israel. I do not think it takes special insight to see that our children are having a tougher time than we did to establish themselves economically. I do not see how one can fail to perceive that “white people need not apply” has become unremarkable.

The left wing thing, whatever it is – and I do not really understand it – seems to think that we can invert the moral hierarchy of Victorian England: male, white, Christian, protestant, and somehow reach the egalitarian Utopia they claim to love. On the contrary, the newly inverted moral order that proclaims the female, the coloured, the pagan or the Islamic as the highest expression of humanity has merely inverted the moral order without changing it. Equality for everyone except white males, who have a special penance to perform for having invented the modern world.

The further effrontery of the Left is that we are all supposed to celebrate the end of “white privilege” that is to say, the liberal market democratic order we have built for the last two hundred years, and join in the slide into anarchy, poverty, racialism, and Venezuelan politics that Trump is fighting against.

Perhaps, when Mr. den Tandt considers politics from this perspective, he might agree with me that Trump is at least talking to some broadly shared concerns that do not derive from scaremongering by Trump, but from objective conditions in the political sphere.

But then he would not be so imperturbably smug.




Mateen’s confession is not a ‘distraction’; it is the essence



By now you will have been made aware that Attorney General Loretta Lynch was forced to issue the unedited transcript of Omar Mateen calling Orlando 9-1-1.

The new transcript still replaces the Muslim god “Allah” with God:

2:35 a.m.: Shooter contacted a 911 operator from inside Pulse. The call lasted approximately 50 seconds, the details of which are set out below:

(OD) Orlando Police Dispatcher

(OM) Omar Mateen

OD: Emergency 911, this is being recorded.

OM: In the name of God the Merciful, the beneficent [Arabic]

OD: What?

OM: Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God [Arabic]. I wanna let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.

OD: What’s your name?

OM: My name is I pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State.

OD: Ok, What’s your name?

OM: I pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may God protect him [Arabic], on behalf of the Islamic State.

OD: Alright, where are you at?

OM: In Orlando.

OD: Where in Orlando?

[End of call.]

It is hard to know what would have been left of this transcript if the references to Islam had been removed.

Said Breitbart, quoting Lynch:

“What we’re not going to do is further proclaim this man’s pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups, and further his propaganda,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch declared Sunday, before the administration reversed its decision.

Again and again the liberal (I use that word with irony) communities refuse to grasp the meaning of the events in Orlando: falsely claiming the massacre is about gun control, or Islamophobia (why would you not be afraid?),that  it is about anything than what it really concerns: the Islamic admonition to assert the social codes expected by Islam anywhere, in any country, regardless of citizenship. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali calls it, it is the admonition by the Prophet to punish what is wrong and assert what is right. No oath of obligation to a country is binding to a Muslim. Citizenship is irrelevant.

An example of this distraction is  given by Fred Litwin, the gay conservative, in why he chose not to attend the LGBTQ-whatever vigil for Orlando victims:

Not one speaker at either rally spoke about Islamism, the murderous ideology raging throughout the Muslim world. Surely everybody knew that Mateen had claimed allegiance with ISIS. Don’t they know that ISIS regularly throws gay people off of buildings. Why wasn’t this mentioned?

Google the terms “Orlando anything but Islam”, and a rich supply of articles will appear.

You do not have to approve of gay marriage, gay sex or gay anything: you are only required not to go about killing people for being or acting gay. Is that too much to ask? Apparently it is, for the religion of peace.

As to the Obama regime, they give reason to believe that Trump was right when he said Obama was more  angry at him for drawing attention to Obama’s failure to use the words Islamic terrorism than he was with Omar Mateen for killing fifty-odd people.

But the real horror is the Obama regime’s  belief that, like Oceania in 1984, the historical record can be successfully changed. That anyone could have entertained that discussion inside the White House for ten seconds shows how far gone they are. It took me a second or so to realize quite how outrageous that kind of thinking is: that they could do this a get away with it.