You don’t have to look far to find a lot of fine internet sites who have become homes for ardent anti-Donald Trump sentiment. Some are even paid to be this way, which sort of takes the luster off of being a true conservative, if you stop to connect a couple of more dots. It’s sort of like being a very public man of the cloth, then seen sharing drinks with a hot chick on Ladies Night at a Holiday Inn 100 miles away. The man’s reputation descends one whisper at a time, but what is often placed in peril is the message he was carrying around in his coat pocket.
Worse than being called a rogue is being called a paid political hack, for the message in his pocket is often tarnished more than his own worthless hypocritical hide.
The #NeverTrump zeitgeist
Because, in the past, I have painted Ted Cruz in almost saintly terms, as a martyr with a halo who’s turned over tables in the GOP’s temple, even described him in Crusader dress, battle sword firmly planted in the ground and voted for him in the Virginia primaries, I feel I have some insights as to the risks one takes when he leaps those bounds of being for a thing, in this case, Ted Cruz, to suddenly defining oneself almost entirely by what he hates.
Besides, I’m old. I’ve seen all this before, and know that dark path many younger conservatives have gone down, and know are no easy exits or turnarounds. I know that saying “Oops, I wuz wrong” puts at risk the most precious of treasures owned by the young bright mind in love with himself…and risking his status among his peers, is an impossibility. So, for most, those exits are blocked at every turn by one’s own vanity.
Older conservatives already know this, but younger ones, not so much, namely that the Left has owned that territory for decades. So beware of blurring the distinction between yourselves and them, for people of lesser intellectual depth, the people conservatives are supposed to be representing, even protecting, will judge you more by your outward representations than the intellectual specialness you’ve convinced yourselves you possess. Many of you don’t possess it, I already know, but sadly, almost all of you will be judged by those rottenest of apples in your barrel. And in the real world of mainstream Republican voters, much of your #NeverTrump cant and conduct they already recognize, and despise, for it is indistinguishable from the down-the-nose disdain of the Left has heaped upon them since the 1960s. I suspect they also believe it is for the same reasons, which is why you’d better become more acquainted with what you are for….and shout that out from time to time.
That you may be taking up residence on ground the Left has cultivated and sewn for decades should cause you to pause and reflect…especially about the core principles that defines you “to be conservative”.
In short you may be doing greater danger to Ted Cruz than Donald Trump. In fact, I’m sure of it, for you’ve done Trump very little harm at all.
Some sites try harder than others to avoid this pitfall, but others (even well-known) are dismally cryptic and even juvenile, such as RedState, where I used to write. I’m never sure what greater conservative end they are pursuing, as their primary method of edification is to state a position then keel-haul any ass that disagrees….in the most insulting tones…under the presumption that what they are saying is correct based solely on the fact that they are saying it. And yes, there are hirelings.
This sort of behavior naturally attracts some age groups while running off others. If RedState were a radio station I’d say they changed their format from Classic Rock to Bubble Gum. If a real count were done, I think you’d find many of these sites are connected by fewer than a few hundred fellow travelers, each with a coterie of groupies, all connected in the same not-what-you-know-but-who-you know manner Barack Obama was well-connected, a mutual-admiration society possessing the collective average maturation age of 19. Low hanging fruit.
Flashing yellow caution lights are found here, for both the fate of conservatism and the Constitution hangs in the balance, since by a purely cultural marker, modern youthful self-described conservatives seem to driven more by the pleasure of the put-down and the back-stab, as if making up for some 5th grade playground insult that their generation did not allow to be settled with a bloody nose (and resulting manliness)…as mine not only did, but expected, than by any love of their fellow man. If so, our country’s in trouble, for our cause is being eaten up by the same multi-psychopathies that created the New Left in the 1960s, having nothing more to do with the miracle of America and tne mysteries of the Constitution than freedom for blacks did in the 1960s. It was all an illusion.
Imagine a conservative clergy with no discernible ability to speak of the Constitutional blueprint in religious tones…no one who can even speak of the miracle, or the mystery of the Constitution which Ted Cruz has always done brilliantly. I’ve often wondered how Christianity would have fared in the First Century if the first 120 missionaries who departed Jerusalem the day after Pentecost, entered every town by saying “Gather round ye sniveling snots and dummies, and let me tell you about a miracle that will change your lives.”
I think it’s fair for us to infer that many of conservatism’s most snarling voices have no idea what that transcendent miracle of the Constitution is all about. Rather, they look upon conservatism as a rice bowl, or perhaps just a safe, warm blogger’s cafe to write, which many seem to think is the be-all, end-all of the conservative gig. No missionary work, no leg-work, no mucking about with the hoi polloi and kitchen help, just a pool-side chair within waving distance of George Will. Makes me think of all those pool reporters who “wrote” the Iraq War never leaving the Green Zone in Baghdad. Or Joe Galloway, of UPI, who was with LTC Hal Moore throughout Ia Drang (1965) when the pool reporters were flown in after the battle. There are always a few men and women, Alphas, and there are always the others. True conservatives are Alphas. #NeverTrump is the revenge of the betas.
It does seem to have come to this. No longer do the people choose from among their betters to be their leaders. Both their betters and leaders are now chosen for them from what is beginning to appear like an increasingly incestuous hereditary class around which this kinder-conservatism orbits, as satellites, two generations removed from virtually every positive attribute of a free society or the survival instincts of keeping it that way. They remind me of the ancient Pythagoreans, who believed that mathematics was an art form rather than a science, which, when applied to hammer and nails, could make things. So they never once looked down at their feet to marvel that some rube in town had taken “their art” and fashioned out a pair of sandals and sold it to them, making their path through life immeasurably more comfortable.
They had lost sight of the connectivity of things.
Mark Twain would have said that such self-glorification is “un-American”. More precisely, it is French, for that is precisely how the French have defined themselves for a millennium; glorying in the notion they were not someone else.
When I was young this also defined modern liberalism, who did an unapologetic left turn in the early 70’s, leaving Civil Rights in the dust in much worse condition than when Dr King was at its center, selling blacks out to the Democrat Part in exchange for a seat at a table pursuing, among other things, Mother Gaia and all things Marxist. on that criteria alone. This was when I quit liberalism, when I found out that in order to love a tree I also had to hate the war…and all the men who fought it.
Since then I have tried to get lefties to tell me what it is they are actually for, only in language that goes beyond the trite Marxist slogans of the day “Hell no, we won’t go”, “Bush Lied, People Died”, the vapid Bernie-isms of recent weeks, cant in which #NeverTrump seems to bathe. Today, from high school students who just discovered the liberating newness of modern atheism, or the delight of peeing in restrooms designed for the opposite sex, to the Harvard law dean who won’t expel a 3rd year law student for asking an Isreali speaker “why she smelled”, lefties can only define themselves by what they are look down upon, totally helpless to elaborate further without resorting to psycho-babble.
So, as a Cruz guy, I felt qualified to do a series of “phenomenon” articles about Donald Trump (all found here at UP), and recently published them in Kindle format at Amazon.com, Donald Trump, The Common Man and the American Theology. (Caution: Since I go on and on about the virtues of the Constitution and the common man in this book, treating Trump as merely a vehicle, some self-proclaimed conservatives may find too many dots to connect.)
Case in point, Eminent domain and Higher use
So, I woke up recently to find a Tweet from Daniel John Sobieski, who I like, linking to an article he’d written at American Thinker, who I also like, about Trump’s approval of the Kelo eminent domain decision in 2005 in which SCOTUS said it was not a violation of the “takings clause” of Art V of the Constitution for a state to take property from a private party on behalf of another private party, ostensibly to enhance the state’s tax revenues.
Of course Trump would approve, he’s a free market American businessman, And he clearly is not a conservative, making him all the more important, even transitional, if modern conservatism is indeed being bequeathed to the brood I’ve just described.
(About Kelo itself, the Court also granted the people a way out–which I wish it had done in Roe v Wade–by telling them they could prohibit this practice in their own jurisdictions. Most states, but not all, quickly did just that, rendering the case moot in most American jurisdictions.” As a serious conservative issue, I think it’s something of a false flag.)
I’ve found Trump’s positions on a broad swath of issues worthy of analysis, because they are not ideological, as most citizens are not. That’s the key, Trump is no politician. In many ways, he is an ordinary citizen, albeit with $12B in the bank, with a B, not an M, but still more like small-town real estate developers than political scientistss at Heritage. Who Donald Trump is not is John Galt, who Ayn Rand depicted as a Philosopher-Capitalist (straight out of Plato’s Republic) and who. in all my life I have never known to exist in nature. Still, the chattering class believes a private sector man must be a John Galt before qualifying as president…but only because that plays to their wheelhouse. I’m quite sure the people don’t see it that way. (I’m told Andrew Carnegie, the 19th Century steel magnate from Scotland, may have been that one exception, but mention Carnegie’s ancestry here because, for one, that is also mine. And also, that Donald Trump is half-Scottish himself, or did you not know that? This heritage point is actually immaterial, but since media are hoisting all sorts of false flags about both Trump and Cruz I thought it might be interesting to lay a false shot across a false bow in response. I just know that Trump’s religious education as a child was real and I have a better sense of what it was like than Glenn Beck, adding to a composite of Donald Trump almost no one wants to acknowledge.)
The simple fact is that every American entrepreneur, especially builders, (malls, hotels, office buildings, etc) from the beginning of time, would have had the same position on eminent domain as Donald Trump. They all would have lobbied for legislation that would have allowed them to use eminent domain to enhance the state’s tax base. There’s not a philosopher among them, and while deplored by the professional conservative class, I find the idea of a president from the private sector a wonderful idea, especially since Donald Trump didn’t pick the people, the people picked him.
If Trump had tried to move in on property owners with a heavy hand, or bribe state officials, the way organized crime did taxi companies in Chicago and New York in the 1920s, then I think a righteous squawk would be justified. It has always been in the nature of private business to glad hand state officials just as it has always been in the people’s interests for their legislatures to set limits of how greasy that handshake can be. The same with eminent domain. The people and their laws always define what is criminal and what is not when business reaches out to government. (It’s when government reaches out to business, as has happened regularly under both the Clintons and Obamas, that the handshake becomes fascism. If you can make that case against Donald Trump please make it….but I think you mean General Motors.)
So I tweeted Daniel John Sobieski a title of a book, still available, by a fellow named Roderick Nash, “Wilderness and the American Mind’, first published in 1965. (Nash was in his 20s at the time, which you should find instructive as to his type of thinking.) I read it in 1969, while in law school. I was an environmentalist then, a law clerk for a gen-yuu-wine Marxist attorney in a state environmental regulatory agency (strip mining), who recommended I read it, which continued my long history of disappointing bosses and professors by not taking from a book what they wanted me to take from it.
With his book, Nash turned me against the entire “ideology of the environment’, still in its infancy at the time. So I quit the movement.
Higher Use and the American wheelhouse
What Nash was selling was the notion that the Europeans who came here had an understanding of wildness (the forests, and later the prairie) that was rapine in nature; that the American wilderness was something that needed to be destroyed and replaced with a “higher use”…usually food production. In short, when pioneers came here and cut down trees and cleared land to grow things, they were raping a land the native inhabitants had husbanded for thousands of years without ever scaring a single sugar maple. (This notion of the “noble savage” was from Rousseau, one of the Left’s original founding fathers, and later proved to be a lie, as many of the Native American tribes despoiled wide swaths of the American landscape.)
Of course, to stay consistent with leftist objectives, Nash blamed this ideal of “higher use” to 1) private property, 2) greed, growing food for profit with surplus, which during the formative colonial years was the American colonies only source of income and 3) to religion, namely Christianity, by saying that it was central to the Christian ethic to go forth an multiply by turning ground into food and pasture so as to herd animals for nourishment and profit. Meat and taters. He touched just about every leftwing totem you can imagine except gay marriage….although the book’s in its fifth edition, so who knows?
I agreed with almost everything Roderick Nash said about higher use…except that it was a bad thing. Higher use defines perfectly the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, without permission of the state. It defines ten generations of Donald Trumps. It defines the freedoms and shoulders we stand on.
The first capitalists in America weren’t just farmers, they were independent, family-owned farmers. By the time Thomas Jefferson took pen in hand and wrote those famous lines that “…all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…” most of those created equal men had already been private businessmen for more than 150 years. And they all bore the swagger of self-made men. Alphas. By the time of the Declaration they were teeming ashore by the thousands. Can you see Leon H Wolf at RedState clearing ten acres and hitching up a team of mules? Just like me, those are the shoulders he’s standing on. I just try not to pee on mine.
Now builders on the scale of Donald Trump were a product of a later period, the late 19th-early 20th Century, when Donald’s father and grandfather began building housing units in New York. Eminent domain was more common for government projects than private in those days, but it was a common practice. I don’t how many times Trump may have tried eminent domain successfully to get property for a building project, but doubt it was many, or Glenn Beck would have taken out a full page add in the New York Times telling us about it.
Bottom line, somewhere after 1960 the allure of ‘pursuing life, liberty and happiness’ as an entrepreneur has lost its cultural appeal in America. Better to rise through an existing company than build your own from scratch. We now have a class of people in America who think of themselves more as English gentry, men who should be idle-rich, dabbling in creative arts like thinking and writing, but regrettably still have to make a living at it, looking down their noses at common tradesmen and real estate developers, the men who built their house, install and service the A/C, and earn ten times what they do in the process….proving themselves as it has the Left for generations, and for the same reasons, that America ain’t fair.
If you don’t recognize it, this is the same sort of penis-envy that defined Karl Marx’s views on capitalism, which sadly has found a home in many niches of the modern right
If this isn’t the case, I want any conservative to tell me how Donald Trump managed to be demoted “down there” while so many ne’er-do-well writers who never built a thing any bigger than a resume for the next higher-paying job, can sit “up there” and judge any American’s ability to represent people not of their caste.
We’re supposed to celebrate such men, for that is the one ingredient that sets America apart from the rest of the world, who still are largely of the left.
The War Between Heaven and Hell Depends on the Choices We Make
So choose wisely in the general. The time for choosing between Ted and Donald is nearly done. Then it will be between Heaven and Hell.. Beck and Erick Erickson have placed a moral, even religious imperative in denying Trump, even in the general. If you believe Satan sent Trump to seduce us, then connect all the dots, for Satan already has a dog in the general, and those dogs’ allegiance to Old Clewfoot goes back two centuries in this Marxist incarnation alone, thousands in previous ones. So do your homework. An absentee ballot for Satan works as well as 206,000 new felony votes in Virginia
But if you don’t believe in God or the Devil but do believe in Nature, you’re still voting in the larger war between Heaven and Hell for nature has taken sides in that war as well, between Freedom’s survival and demise. Nature doesn’t tell us which way to lean, it just tells us what will happen when we do. Again, an absentee ballot is just as good as a vote in Nature’s calculus. God and Satan are not wood nixies and we aren’t Druids, we can’t just wish them away.
And neither can we continue to believe there are an endless number of tomorrows, awaiting the next Lochinvar to come rescue us in that very special way we insist on being rescued. (I find the short-sighted teat-fittery of the #NevrTrump crowd stunning.) At some point the “political head of the rest of the world” will shut the hatch down tight and you will learn that you cannot wish Evil away. The Left has had a playbook for two centuries. When the time is ripe, they always shut that hatch down tight. True, they always fail, but not before denuding everything they have touched. America was designed so as to not let that happen here. So read their play book instead of swapping attaboys with your pals on Twitter..
One of Satan’s greatest strength in America has always been in convincing our brightest that he doesn’t exist. Another has been in teaching us to love ourselves about all others things.
Testing one, two, three
Indeed, the desperation of the #NeverTrump crowd seems to have turned them into everything they have railed against for years, and curious how quickly and easily they were able to make that switch.
Also curious is how many of them also seem to be the same ones that have so strongy pushed for a Convention of States, with the same attitude towards nyone who would disagree.
Thanks for dropping by. You see it too. That’s a relief. We may be onto a clue about the shift of emphasis in modern “conservatism” from ideology to culture, esp a culture of self-interest, for many even, teat-fitter I can find no romance with America in anything they do or say. “Ecce homo!”