The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 iSteve BlogTeasers
Time to Pivot from Individualistic Conservatism to Solidaristic Conservatism for Awhile
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

David Frum tweets in response to an interview with Speaker of the House / potential GOP Hubert Humphrey-style nominee Paul Ryan:

‏@davidfrum
1) A personal statement first. It’s been my perception since 2008 that US politics are shifting left, as they shifted right after 1970

Pedantic quibble: I suspect that Frum, who has written a book on the 1970s, meant to say “1970s” rather than 1970. There were two peaks of liberalism, 1964 and 1974, with the country then definitely moving right in policy from, say, 1979 when the Carter Administration started to switch to Reaganism Lite (inflation fighting, symbolic defense build-up, etc.) under the disheartening events of that year.

2) It seemed to me that this was a moment for conservatives to offer timely concessions to mitigate even worse possibilities.

3) EG yield on universal healthcare coverage to avert pressure for more radical income redistribution.

4) To put it mildly, few other conservatives shared this view. They saw the same landscape, and saw a country ripe for Reagan-Kemp 2.0

5) While high turnout elections (2008 and 2012) confirmed my assessment, low turnout elections (2010 and 2014) seemed to confirmed theirs

6) Result: while Democrats turned to center after their beatings in 80, 84, 88 – Republicans turned further right after 08 & 12.

7) The problem was, that the Republican leadership’s version of a right turn – Paul Ryan’s version – was not what the base had in mind

The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country. Of course, these citizenist stirrings were contemptuously rejected by the left as the racist twitchings of dying white men etc.

8) So as GOP generals stood at Armageddon to battle for the Lord, i.e. Reagan, their troops were deserting to Donald Trump

9) Trump being a candidate whom most Republicans elite regard as a Goldwater-style disaster who will drag whole party to defeat after him

10) But (as Ryan told Harwood), desperately as GOP elites seek an escape, they cannot see it. They will allow themselves to be dragged

11) The big clarifying election Ryan yearns for is much more likely to consolidate D control than R control- as he must see.

12) Yet even as the R elite sees what’s probably coming, it won’t believe it. What worked in 1980 must work again. It just *must*.

13) I’ve spent a lot of time being dismissed as a RINO squish, or worse, because I think to save most of conservatism, we must change some.

14) The dominant faction on my side of the argument, however, has insisted that it can win all, by changing none.

15) Instead, the “change-nothing” faction has lost control of their own presidential nomination. We’ll see what more there is left to lose.

Individualistic Reagan-Kemp conservatism had a good run in its day, but then it hit diminishing marginal returns. So, it’s time for solidaristic conservatism for awhile. Do the low-hanging fruit that have been neglected, like build a border fence, implement E-verify, fire the SJWs from Executive branch sinecures, eliminate the most plutocratic tax loopholes like carried interest for hedge fund guys, encourage the most desirable global manufacturers to set up factories in America (as Reagan reluctantly did with Japanese car companies), etc.

Then when solidaristic conservatism starts to run out of ideas and gas, individualistic conservatism can have another shot, after they’ve been away in the wilderness for awhile and have had time and incentive to come up with some better ideas. First, though, let the solidaristic conservatives have a time to fix the biggest weaknesses in the individualistic model, such as not defending the nation’s borders in an age of ever increasing smartphone-enabled Third World migrations.

In general, I’d like to emphasize that you can change your mind about what policies you’d like in the future without admitting you were wrong in the past. The smuggest way to rationalize changing your mind is to emphasize that your old policies were so successful that the current reality is so different that it simply requires a reasonable course correction.

I tend to think like this because I have a pretty good historical memory, and I’m old, so I remember a fair amount about what the past was like. Most people aren’t going to remember the past that well, so they will tend to look for Permanently True policy ideas that they can support under any and all circumstances. They will especially tend toward demanding more of the same of whatever worked for them in the past, whether tax cuts for the 0.001% if they are Republicans or more minority rights/privileges if they are Democrats, even if they’ve largely won those battles are now mostly engaged in bayoneting defeated enemy stragglers trying to hide in the bushes.

 
    []
  1. NOTA says:

    The diminishing marginal returns idea is especially important when you’re dealing with ideas like decreasing tax rates and deregulating industry. How much it makes sense to pursue those policies depends on how high taxes are and how heavily regulated industry is. A world where the CAB is setting airline fares is a lot more ripe for deregulation than one where the top two companies in some space can routinely merge without antitrust worries (like Sirius and XM, say). Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric–when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it’s probably a pretty bad direction to take policy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rod1963
    The problem is we've never done conservatism in this country, at least in recent memory. What has passed for it has been nothing but free gimmes for the monied elite and Wall Street since the 80's. The so-called GOP conservatives did nothing to protect our Constitution, society, communities or people. In fact there were often at the forefront of excusing predations by Wall Street and Madison Avenue all in the name of mindless consumerism or crony capitalism.

    About the only thing GOP "conservatives" did in the social domain was fight for the 2nd amendment to some extent.

    And look at the two GOP presidents we had since Reagan, neither could be labeled "conservative" at all. Both were globalists who had no use for borders or the American people for that matter. The last Bush wrecked the GOP brand so badly it made a 3rd world mulatto look attractive to the American people. The Republicans in Congress have often been at the forefront of promoting legislation that has harmed the lower classes and the country as a whole. NAFTA, PNTR with China, GATT, killing Glass-Steagall, etc.

    I just can't find anything "conservative" about the GOP.
    , @Wilkey
    "Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric–when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it’s probably a pretty bad direction to take policy."

    Soaring inner city murder rates show how easily all the ground we've gained can be lost. Now we have Republican politicians advocating voting rights for felons, reduced sentencing, and even - in Utah of all places - a nearly successful push to abolish the death penalty.

    It may well be that tough on crime rhetoric is no longer enough to help win elections. At the very least, though, they can leave the system where it is now and address other issues.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    From a political perspective alone, it's been obvious that income tax cuts were approaching diminishing returns for the GOP for a while. First, Clinton raised top rates and the economy did great; then, W. cut rates across the board temporarily; finally, Obama let W.'s cuts expire for highest brackets and kept them for the lower ones. Thanks to that W.-O combo, there's no longer a broad enough constituency for lowering income tax rates.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson
    I wish you had not used:

    the CAB is setting airline fares
     
    as an example. Air travel was at least an order of magnitude better, and maybe two orders better, before deregulation.

    If you travelled then, and you travel now, you would not use that as an example of a case where deregulation improved conditions.

    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /isteve/time-to-pivot-from-individualistic-conservatism-to-solidaristic-conservatism/#comment-1359286
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Question: What would be an ideal pivot away from individualistic conservatism toward a more solidaristic conservativism on say, foreign policy issues?

    In other words, the neo-con mode of “Invade the world” just cause we need to bring democratic institutions to faraway places that never had them in the first place, should that be chucked out the window?

    Would a more solidaristic conservatism be along the lines of: For now, let’s bring most of the troops home. Perhaps place many of them on the southern border while the wall/fence is being built to help beef up border security. Also, we’re pulling of Afghanistan and Iraq, period. AND we’re not gonna start any new wars/endeavors in faraway places. If faraway places really want to build a democracy in their own lands, that’s great. We’ll supply the moral encouragement. Let us know when they’ve succeeded. But meanwhile, we’re gonna take care of our own right in the good ol’ USA.

    I mean, the logical opposite of the neocon “invade the world, invite the world” results in “the world’s not invited ’cause they first have to wait their turn in line legally, and we’ve called off invasions of the world ’cause we’re more focused on the homeland.”

    Regarding foreign policy from a more solidaristic conservatism, that would seem to be the logical conclusion. The complete opposite of invade and invite.

    Aside from the possibility of a Trump administration, its difficult to see any major candidate in either party implementing even ten percent toward that kind of solidaristic foreign policy, and with Trump, at best one could hope for would be about ten percent of it being implemented.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    ...the neo-con mode of “Invade the world” just cause we need to bring democratic institutions to faraway places that never had them in the first place...
     
    That was never the real reason for invading the world. (Nor was national security, for that matter.) Those are just lines they've been feeding you to get your support for their agenda, but your sentiment is well-taken.
    , @guest
    Neoconservatives are constantly telling us what the opposite of their foreign policy is, when it's not one worldism: isolationism. Because they call almost anything that falls short of starting wars every other year and doesn't involve U.S. troops wearing blue helmets, that doesn't tell you much. But, yes, calling troops home to defend our actual borders instead of the borders of our empire, is to them isolationism. This has nothing to do with individualism versus solidarity, though. You can easily be an individualist and an "isolationist."
    , @Anon99
    We can switch to a war of reprisal model for the pivot. Indicate that it is a military rather than politically driven strategy (of course that won't be entirely true). Wars of reprisal are good, they give you a lot of stock photos of air power, etc, give you a full up test of your newest weapons, get some combat experience and decorations in the ranks, and make the nation feel good. Plus they are very low risk. We are great at kinetic, first day of war type operations. Modern military campaigns seem to hit an adamantium wall of diminishing marginal returns after the first 3 weeks of shooting. So limit all wars to 3 weeks. No nation building or hearts and minds. Better for everyone.
  3. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Question: What would be an ideal pivot away from individualistic conservatism toward a more solidaristic conservativism on say, foreign policy issues?

    In other words, the neo-con mode of "Invade the world" just cause we need to bring democratic institutions to faraway places that never had them in the first place, should that be chucked out the window?

    Would a more solidaristic conservatism be along the lines of: For now, let's bring most of the troops home. Perhaps place many of them on the southern border while the wall/fence is being built to help beef up border security. Also, we're pulling of Afghanistan and Iraq, period. AND we're not gonna start any new wars/endeavors in faraway places. If faraway places really want to build a democracy in their own lands, that's great. We'll supply the moral encouragement. Let us know when they've succeeded. But meanwhile, we're gonna take care of our own right in the good ol' USA.

    I mean, the logical opposite of the neocon "invade the world, invite the world" results in "the world's not invited 'cause they first have to wait their turn in line legally, and we've called off invasions of the world 'cause we're more focused on the homeland."

    Regarding foreign policy from a more solidaristic conservatism, that would seem to be the logical conclusion. The complete opposite of invade and invite.

    Aside from the possibility of a Trump administration, its difficult to see any major candidate in either party implementing even ten percent toward that kind of solidaristic foreign policy, and with Trump, at best one could hope for would be about ten percent of it being implemented.

    …the neo-con mode of “Invade the world” just cause we need to bring democratic institutions to faraway places that never had them in the first place…

    That was never the real reason for invading the world. (Nor was national security, for that matter.) Those are just lines they’ve been feeding you to get your support for their agenda, but your sentiment is well-taken.

    Read More
  4. guest says:

    That supposed shift to the right on the 70s was mostly rhetorical. What was so damn conservative about “We’re all Keynesians now,” the EPA, OSHEA, Law and Order, endless foreign wars and nation building, the Americans With Disabilities Act, endless covert liberal Supreme Court nominees, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and so forth. This is what we got from the success of “individualistic conservatism?” Oh, we got tax cuts and some deregulation. Whoppee.

    Bill Clinton, in fact, got more credit than any Republican president ever did against “Big Government.” That’s how competent the individualistic conservative movement has been. But Republicans talked a lot about free markets, so I guess we have to pretend they governed that way. That’s what it comes down to, really. Government goes on governing regardless of who’s in office or what philosophy they espouse, but we pretend it’s shifting left or right because the parties talk like they’re to the left or right of eachother. All the while, near as I can tell things are always going leftward. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but always leftward. And often it goes faster leftward under Republicans than Democrats. For instance, the Nixon years and Clinton years were opposite of the way they were sold, at least going by the president. Who doesn’t much count, to be frank.

    Frum’s desire is apparently what we already got, which was neoconservatism, i.e. conservatives doing what progressives want, only a little less. Those are the guys who thought up Obamacare in the first place, and now they want universal healthcare. Next they’ll ask for universal feeding and housing, too, lest leftists come up with something worse.
    What he most wants is for the window to remain narrow, and for “extremists” to remain outcasts. He sees the popularity of admitted “socialist” Sanders and either far right “wing nut” or not very conservative Trump, I don’t know. I haven’t read Frum’s thinking on the Trump issue. Trump might represent to him a possible Goldwater-esque landslide. Anyway, the point is Trump isn’t a neoconservative or mainstream liberal and as such is outside polite company and as such is anathema to Frum.

    You may be right about Individualistic Conservatism versus Solidaristic Conservatism, so long as we stipulate that we’re talking about how we sell things rather than reality. But that’s not to say going solidaristic means going left, or not going as far to the right. There are other rights besides the libertarian right (which, I keep insisting, never has been in power, despite the little bit of libertarianism we get from time to time; the ruling class, for instance, are free traders for reasons entirely separate from libertarians, for instance). Trump taps into the so-called Middle American Radicals, the ones who briefly popped up when Joe McCarthy and George Wallace, for instance, were in the news. To Frum they are worse than outright socialism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    For clarification's sake, I don't want to say there was no rightward swing; I just want to put it in perspective. Compared to the New Deal the Reagan so-called "revolution" was like seventeen thousand steps forward, two steps back. Reagan himself said he stood still from the time he was a New Deal Democrat to whenever he went conservative, and the left moved away from him.

    There was true revulsion from the New Left, which I think explains the Nixon phenomenon. Then again, the New Left had its Long March through the institutions, and they are part of the ruling class today. A much bigger part of it than the neocons, who lost the culture war they're always going on about. So who really won, Nixon or the hippies?

    The genuinely individualistic conservative part of the ruling class you'd need a magnifying glass to find. It's astounding, for instance, that an actual follower of Ayn Rand got to be chairman of the Fed. But not that astounding, because Greenspan was anything but Randian by the time he got there. Forum talking about the supposed rightward shift from the 70s to '08 reminds me of someone who thinks Onjectivists took over the Federal Reserve in the 90s. People like Frum got more jobs starting around 1969, and that's about the most you can say.

    Oh, and we got to hear about "free markets" from candidates in the past few decades, which means about exactly squat to me. Except that it tainted the terminology, which is now associated in people's minds with how they've governed. Same way with how "conservatism" now means Iraq and bailouts.
    , @Ragno
    Will somebody give this man a regular column here, please? More plain truth in this one reply than in a month of op-eds, on the Right or Left.
  5. Luke Lea says: • Website

    The decreasing marginal returns idea, while ubiquitous throughout nature, has been little studied as a scientific idea (Google it if you don’t believe me). Yet we see it everywhere:

    In chemistry: the law of variable proportions

    In agriculture: you can’t grow world’s food supply in a flower pot no matter how much fertilizer you add

    The diminishing marginal utility of income

    The physiology of pleasure and pain

    The increasing marginal disutility of effort (physiology of fatigue)

    Or scaling up, if one carpenter can build a house in a year and twelve in a month (or even less with economies of scale), why can’t a million carpenters build a house in less than a minute?

    And of course in the sociology of human societies concerning policy, which Steven discusses.

    What is the underlying physics that ties all these phenomena together (assuming there is one)? My hunch is that it has something to do with the principles of geometry, as in how many solid bodies can touch at once in a three dimensional world. Maybe related to the four color map problem in two dimensions. Can somebody give it a precise mathematical expression?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    Private business owners sucessfully apply this principle intuitively. Inside large organizations, they often run into blocks put up by analytic types, or paint-by-numbers (spreadsheet) managers.

    My father and his generation called this analysis paralysis.

    It should be obvious to people when you should stop squeezing the sponge, but some just can't quit -- especially when they are well-paid to keep inventing new ways to squeeze.

    The problem is, we humans are built to apply things linearly in the small scale, the short term. We think of the world as flat, because it looked that way everywhere we went until recently.

    We should be better about this. Anyone who cooks knows a little salt helps, but a lot ruins things.

    The political problem comes down to the average stupidity of people. Most are no good at grasping anything beyond a linear relationship that climbs or falls to infinity. Many can't even think in those terms.

    , @res
    Great point. Doesn't economics explore diminishing marginal utility in some depth?

    Can somebody give it a precise mathematical expression?
     
    Not a complete answer, but logarithmic perception versus linear costs affects some of these. For example, the diminishing marginal utility of income and sensory perceptions (physiology of pleasure and pain).

    Another relevant effect is saturation. A linear response changes to nonlinear (e.g. ceiling or log, or even reversal) above (or below) some threshold. This is often a problem because much analysis is done assuming linear effects (e.g. low cholesterol fanatics, take a look at this chart of total mortality vs. cholesterol) and people assume the linearity extends indefinitely.

    Another example of this is the Laffer curve and tax cuts. Especially since I don't think anyone has ever made even a good case for a specific maximum point or detailed curve shape.

    Negative (or positive) feedback (in the systems engineering sense) is also relevant since it introduces nonlinearities. This is a big part of what makes climate science difficult IMHO. Especially since it's hard to judge which mechanisms will be important outside of our normal region of operation.

    P.S. Steve, I really like your post. This seems like the kind of thinking that could lead to a useful political center in this country.
  6. Hepp says:

    The fact of the matter is no people on earth believes in conservative or libertarian economics. Every democracy in the world has universal health care, for example. There is support for cutting government in the abstract, but not for any actually programs.

    So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.

    Yet the establishment wants to take away the only reason anyone actually votes Republican.

    There is no more clueless people on the planet than the Republican establishment. Those on the left have a version of the red pill they’ve taken. They’re blind to the stupidity of their own demographics, but know that conservatives only vote based on identity. Yet GOP establishment types are living in a fantasy world where you win in democracy by having the policy proposals that are best for growth.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party."

    The GOP Establishment sees Black Lies Matter as less evil than Donald Trump, so they are no longer the less anti-White party. They are just as equally anti-White as The Democratic Party.

    GOP Establishment types who side with Black Lies Matter over Donald Trump remind me of English people who bash Polish Catholic immigrants, but would never do the same to Pakistani Muslim immigrants.
    , @Leftist conservative

    The fact of the matter is no people on earth believes in conservative or libertarian economics. Every democracy in the world has universal health care, for example. There is support for cutting government in the abstract, but not for any actually programs.
     
    true, dat.

    So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.

     

    true dat....as the Dems push whites away with the anti-white platform, the GOP scoops them up just by being less anti-white.

    Yet the establishment wants to take away the only reason anyone actually votes Republican.
     
    members of the establish wants to get more donor money and secure a good economic future for themselves. So they do as big money wants.

    There is no more clueless people on the planet than the Republican establishment.
     
    They are not clueless; they just know which side of their bread is buttered. Big Money says 'jump" and the GOP establishment says "how high"

    They’re blind to the stupidity of their own demographics, but know that conservatives only vote based on identity. Yet GOP establishment types are living in a fantasy world where you win in democracy by having the policy proposals that are best for growth.
     
    Big money wants more immigrants in america, in the job market, buying homes, consuming etc.
    And multiculturalism makes that happen.
    , @Bill
    They are not clueless. They are brilliant.

    From the POV of white Christians, the US was pretty great before 1965. Our evil elite managed, over the intervening 50 years not only to completely change the US into the depraved sewer it is now but to get white Christians actively to demand many of the changes. That's damn impressive.

    They created two parties. There is the cultural marxist, pro-worker party and the pro-oligarch, anti cultural marxist party. Both parties get their votes from the latter of their two characteristic positions. Then, when the parties are in power, each only delivers on the former of their two characteristic positions. And, somehow, they manage to disguise this fact from their voters for decades on end.

    Imagine if you had taken a typical white Christian in 1964 and offered him what was to come. Taxes on the oligarchs will be cut to a fifth or a tenth of their current level. Meanwhile, the middle class will be crushed in favor of those oligarchs. Oh, and your granddaughters will be whores. What percentage of the vote would that plan have received?

    It's amazing what they've done.
  7. guest says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Question: What would be an ideal pivot away from individualistic conservatism toward a more solidaristic conservativism on say, foreign policy issues?

    In other words, the neo-con mode of "Invade the world" just cause we need to bring democratic institutions to faraway places that never had them in the first place, should that be chucked out the window?

    Would a more solidaristic conservatism be along the lines of: For now, let's bring most of the troops home. Perhaps place many of them on the southern border while the wall/fence is being built to help beef up border security. Also, we're pulling of Afghanistan and Iraq, period. AND we're not gonna start any new wars/endeavors in faraway places. If faraway places really want to build a democracy in their own lands, that's great. We'll supply the moral encouragement. Let us know when they've succeeded. But meanwhile, we're gonna take care of our own right in the good ol' USA.

    I mean, the logical opposite of the neocon "invade the world, invite the world" results in "the world's not invited 'cause they first have to wait their turn in line legally, and we've called off invasions of the world 'cause we're more focused on the homeland."

    Regarding foreign policy from a more solidaristic conservatism, that would seem to be the logical conclusion. The complete opposite of invade and invite.

    Aside from the possibility of a Trump administration, its difficult to see any major candidate in either party implementing even ten percent toward that kind of solidaristic foreign policy, and with Trump, at best one could hope for would be about ten percent of it being implemented.

    Neoconservatives are constantly telling us what the opposite of their foreign policy is, when it’s not one worldism: isolationism. Because they call almost anything that falls short of starting wars every other year and doesn’t involve U.S. troops wearing blue helmets, that doesn’t tell you much. But, yes, calling troops home to defend our actual borders instead of the borders of our empire, is to them isolationism. This has nothing to do with individualism versus solidarity, though. You can easily be an individualist and an “isolationist.”

    Read More
  8. George says:

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.

    One curious statement he made that in the past would have been a litmus test for all candidates is is stance on F-35. He brought it up once, and nobody asked him about it, and none of the other candidates brought it up.

    Trump wants to ‘fire’ F-35

    http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/10/29/trump-wants-fire-f-35/74800906/

    So Trump is the least militaristic candidate running. Hillary is the most militaristic, just like Goldwater. But these are different times.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    , @dfordoom

    Hillary is the most militaristic
     
    So have Democrat voters become more militaristic, or is this another case of a party out of touch with its own supporters. Are Democrat voters really keen to see WW3?
  9. Steve,

    It seems to me that what your view boils down to that conservativism would be best served by essentially adopting most of what the Democratic party has been advocating, minus the social justice warrior nonsense (which, for purposes of simplicity, would include not asking any questions about perhaps restricting immigration) and acquiescing to neocon foreign policy prescriptions. If that’s basically the case, then, to be fair to the Conservatism, Inc. folks, it may prove to be even more of a loser in presidential elections than the last two go arounds. Granted, Trump v. Hillary in a general election might not be the best laboratory experiment to find out who’s correct given Trump’s other issues (which disgust sober folks like Charles Murray).

    On the other hand, had Jim Webb pursued the Republican nomination from the start….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bugg
    Trump may be fox-like crazy smart enough to make Webb his VP.

    Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump's live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237.

    If anyone call explain why the like of Ryan and Romney are trying to sell warmed over Bush nonsense, they deserve an award.
  10. rod1963 says:
    @NOTA
    The diminishing marginal returns idea is especially important when you're dealing with ideas like decreasing tax rates and deregulating industry. How much it makes sense to pursue those policies depends on how high taxes are and how heavily regulated industry is. A world where the CAB is setting airline fares is a lot more ripe for deregulation than one where the top two companies in some space can routinely merge without antitrust worries (like Sirius and XM, say). Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric--when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it's probably a pretty bad direction to take policy.

    The problem is we’ve never done conservatism in this country, at least in recent memory. What has passed for it has been nothing but free gimmes for the monied elite and Wall Street since the 80′s. The so-called GOP conservatives did nothing to protect our Constitution, society, communities or people. In fact there were often at the forefront of excusing predations by Wall Street and Madison Avenue all in the name of mindless consumerism or crony capitalism.

    About the only thing GOP “conservatives” did in the social domain was fight for the 2nd amendment to some extent.

    And look at the two GOP presidents we had since Reagan, neither could be labeled “conservative” at all. Both were globalists who had no use for borders or the American people for that matter. The last Bush wrecked the GOP brand so badly it made a 3rd world mulatto look attractive to the American people. The Republicans in Congress have often been at the forefront of promoting legislation that has harmed the lower classes and the country as a whole. NAFTA, PNTR with China, GATT, killing Glass-Steagall, etc.

    I just can’t find anything “conservative” about the GOP.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Indeed.
    , @Bill Jones
    Dear God, are you such an infant that you do not remember Silent Cal?
    , @random observer
    Bush I's foreign policy was Tier I Realist and his New World Order looked nothing like his son's.

    He had to actually be a statesman and not assume the US lived in a bubble. That included managing the retreat and collapse of the USSR in some way that facilitated the end of communism in Europe and the end of the USSR's imperial position and then existence, allowing a whole bunch of historic nations to resume normal operations and a few crappy ones to try their best. It also included managing the backlash of all that everywhere else in lieu of anyone else being able to do it, keeping the UN as a tool for the US like it was supposed to be when it was created, and not letting anyone else take advantage of a world in flux to turn it from a US-advantage world to a US-disadvantage world.

    What it didn't include was trying to make the whole world America/Democracy or whatever nonsense the neocons wanted. They weren't as strong then.

    And Bush I managed every bit of that better than any president since has managed foreign policy challenges, or many before him, and in the US national interest. And he even paid with his office, career and reputation for not being wedded to endless, context-free tax cutting.

    He may have been a globalist of some sort, but it doesn't look like globalism much stronger than, "hey America may be the strongest country but it's just one and maybe we are better served by taking notice of things and cooperating instead of either assuming they are all like us or hiding in our basements shouting "lalalalala" with our hands over our ears".

    His domestic and even foreign policy were hardly flawless, but compared with any of his successors he was a statesman of Metternich-calibre.
  11. ben h says:

    Yes, Trump is basically the next evolution of the Tea Party – which started populist, as the GOP house initially torpedoed the TARP bailout, which was when unconstitutionally passed by the Senate, first. Its become less popular because its been used by deep pockets the Koch Brothers etc to advance their libertarian agenda.

    The establishment is doing to Trump what they are doing to other Tea party candidates they didn’t like. They actively work against their own party candidate, undermining them directly and indirectly.

    Read More
  12. Thomas says:

    A fact I keep having to point out to Reaganite conservatives: the US median age in 2016 is 38. That means that more than half the country was either under the age of 3 or not born yet when Reagan was inaugurated, and under the age of 11 when he left office.

    Read More
    • Replies: @okie
    I totally agree

    I am a pretty old man , and i was too young to even vote in 84. i mentioned to the folks in the room when i was watching the speeches back in Feb, that appealing to Reagan now is like appealing to FDR in 1976 it's twenty eight years after he left office 32 years since anyone could vote for him and while he didn't die in office, his Alzheimer's shut him off from being active after office just as effectively.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Well that is just peachy that you have pointed that out.

    Because pointing that out relieves us of thinking about, or discussing, George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter.

    And what of the Constitution? Should we may dismiss it because no one living now witnessed its creation, defense and adoption?

    So nothing that has happened in living memory, before a majority of the people aimlessly wandering around in America today, has any bearing on what happens now?

    Possibly it has not entered your mind that Reaganite conservatives do not need you to point out useless facts to them. Perhaps your historical myopia is problem.

    “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

  13. anonn says:

    This analysis falters just a bit in that it assumes the elites on the right actually have any real core principles. I see no evidence of that. When the answer to every question, from economic growth to liberty, to law and order, to foreign policy, to science, to environment, etc, is always the same – deregulate and cut taxes for billionaires – you begin to wonder if the only principle that matters is the rich must get richer.

    This comes from the perspective of the far left, so take it with a grain of salt if you want. But it seems to me the best thing for the Republican party would be to go all in with Trump, maybe lose Goldwater-64 style (or maybe not, who knows?), and redefine the party for a generation. If you framed it well enough, all of the stench of the corrupt Washington/Manhattan elite washes off, while staying with Hillary and the neocon Democrats.

    The Republicans won running against the 60s in 68, 72, 80, 84, and 88. If they were smart enough to throw NYC financiers and Beltway war profiteers under the bus, and redefine the party as opposing DC/NYC, they could run against the 2010s (what are we calling this decade anyway?) for the next five or six elections.

    Read More
    • Replies: @27 year old
    Apparently I haven't commented enough lately to use the "agree" button but I think this is a great post.
    , @Anonymous
    Taxes and environmental and other regulations have incentivized offshoring. Trump has proposed cutting taxes and has criticized regulations which make building and industry difficult in the US.
    , @RamonaQ
    The problem is, with 8 more years of Hillary's open borders, it won't be possible, demographically, for GOP to win anymore
    , @iffen
    Damn demographics deliver Democrats. Tick-tock.
  14. Immigrant from former USSR [AKA "Florida Resident"] says:

    I tend to think like this because I have a pretty good historical memory, and I’m old, so I remember a fair amount about what the past was like.

    Dear Mr. Sailer:
    I agree that I you have a pretty good historical memory.
    But judging by the rate you generate important ideas, you aren’t old.
    I hope one day you will get Economics Nobel(ish) Prize
    “For introduction in sociology
    of the notion of AFFORDABLE FAMILY FORMATION “.

    Read More
  15. @Luke Lea
    The decreasing marginal returns idea, while ubiquitous throughout nature, has been little studied as a scientific idea (Google it if you don't believe me). Yet we see it everywhere:

    In chemistry: the law of variable proportions

    In agriculture: you can't grow world's food supply in a flower pot no matter how much fertilizer you add

    The diminishing marginal utility of income

    The physiology of pleasure and pain

    The increasing marginal disutility of effort (physiology of fatigue)

    Or scaling up, if one carpenter can build a house in a year and twelve in a month (or even less with economies of scale), why can't a million carpenters build a house in less than a minute?

    And of course in the sociology of human societies concerning policy, which Steven discusses.

    What is the underlying physics that ties all these phenomena together (assuming there is one)? My hunch is that it has something to do with the principles of geometry, as in how many solid bodies can touch at once in a three dimensional world. Maybe related to the four color map problem in two dimensions. Can somebody give it a precise mathematical expression?

    Private business owners sucessfully apply this principle intuitively. Inside large organizations, they often run into blocks put up by analytic types, or paint-by-numbers (spreadsheet) managers.

    My father and his generation called this analysis paralysis.

    It should be obvious to people when you should stop squeezing the sponge, but some just can’t quit — especially when they are well-paid to keep inventing new ways to squeeze.

    The problem is, we humans are built to apply things linearly in the small scale, the short term. We think of the world as flat, because it looked that way everywhere we went until recently.

    We should be better about this. Anyone who cooks knows a little salt helps, but a lot ruins things.

    The political problem comes down to the average stupidity of people. Most are no good at grasping anything beyond a linear relationship that climbs or falls to infinity. Many can’t even think in those terms.

    Read More
  16. guest says:
    @guest
    That supposed shift to the right on the 70s was mostly rhetorical. What was so damn conservative about "We're all Keynesians now," the EPA, OSHEA, Law and Order, endless foreign wars and nation building, the Americans With Disabilities Act, endless covert liberal Supreme Court nominees, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and so forth. This is what we got from the success of "individualistic conservatism?" Oh, we got tax cuts and some deregulation. Whoppee.

    Bill Clinton, in fact, got more credit than any Republican president ever did against "Big Government." That's how competent the individualistic conservative movement has been. But Republicans talked a lot about free markets, so I guess we have to pretend they governed that way. That's what it comes down to, really. Government goes on governing regardless of who's in office or what philosophy they espouse, but we pretend it's shifting left or right because the parties talk like they're to the left or right of eachother. All the while, near as I can tell things are always going leftward. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but always leftward. And often it goes faster leftward under Republicans than Democrats. For instance, the Nixon years and Clinton years were opposite of the way they were sold, at least going by the president. Who doesn't much count, to be frank.

    Frum's desire is apparently what we already got, which was neoconservatism, i.e. conservatives doing what progressives want, only a little less. Those are the guys who thought up Obamacare in the first place, and now they want universal healthcare. Next they'll ask for universal feeding and housing, too, lest leftists come up with something worse.
    What he most wants is for the window to remain narrow, and for "extremists" to remain outcasts. He sees the popularity of admitted "socialist" Sanders and either far right "wing nut" or not very conservative Trump, I don't know. I haven't read Frum's thinking on the Trump issue. Trump might represent to him a possible Goldwater-esque landslide. Anyway, the point is Trump isn't a neoconservative or mainstream liberal and as such is outside polite company and as such is anathema to Frum.

    You may be right about Individualistic Conservatism versus Solidaristic Conservatism, so long as we stipulate that we're talking about how we sell things rather than reality. But that's not to say going solidaristic means going left, or not going as far to the right. There are other rights besides the libertarian right (which, I keep insisting, never has been in power, despite the little bit of libertarianism we get from time to time; the ruling class, for instance, are free traders for reasons entirely separate from libertarians, for instance). Trump taps into the so-called Middle American Radicals, the ones who briefly popped up when Joe McCarthy and George Wallace, for instance, were in the news. To Frum they are worse than outright socialism.

    For clarification’s sake, I don’t want to say there was no rightward swing; I just want to put it in perspective. Compared to the New Deal the Reagan so-called “revolution” was like seventeen thousand steps forward, two steps back. Reagan himself said he stood still from the time he was a New Deal Democrat to whenever he went conservative, and the left moved away from him.

    There was true revulsion from the New Left, which I think explains the Nixon phenomenon. Then again, the New Left had its Long March through the institutions, and they are part of the ruling class today. A much bigger part of it than the neocons, who lost the culture war they’re always going on about. So who really won, Nixon or the hippies?

    The genuinely individualistic conservative part of the ruling class you’d need a magnifying glass to find. It’s astounding, for instance, that an actual follower of Ayn Rand got to be chairman of the Fed. But not that astounding, because Greenspan was anything but Randian by the time he got there. Forum talking about the supposed rightward shift from the 70s to ’08 reminds me of someone who thinks Onjectivists took over the Federal Reserve in the 90s. People like Frum got more jobs starting around 1969, and that’s about the most you can say.

    Oh, and we got to hear about “free markets” from candidates in the past few decades, which means about exactly squat to me. Except that it tainted the terminology, which is now associated in people’s minds with how they’ve governed. Same way with how “conservatism” now means Iraq and bailouts.

    Read More
  17. Who do Frum’s tweets (and most of the comments) make no sense to me?

    Much of it sounds like randomly generated phrases and words, and sometimes even randomly generated syllables. Is it just me? Did I have a stroke this morning or something?

    Is it because they are tweets?

    Read More
    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    I had the same reaction. I couldn't make heads nor tails out of what Frum purported to be talking about.
    , @Bill
    Because Frum is trying to stake out a space which doesn't exist. For some reason, he has decided to try to draw off support from paleos to his neo-with-crappy-paleo camouflage weirdness. He is a total waste of time.

    Personally, I think he went a little insane right after the "we turn our backs on them" incident. Or maybe it was getting fired from AEI which did it. Who knows.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Nah, it's because Frum is Canadian.
  18. res says:
    @Luke Lea
    The decreasing marginal returns idea, while ubiquitous throughout nature, has been little studied as a scientific idea (Google it if you don't believe me). Yet we see it everywhere:

    In chemistry: the law of variable proportions

    In agriculture: you can't grow world's food supply in a flower pot no matter how much fertilizer you add

    The diminishing marginal utility of income

    The physiology of pleasure and pain

    The increasing marginal disutility of effort (physiology of fatigue)

    Or scaling up, if one carpenter can build a house in a year and twelve in a month (or even less with economies of scale), why can't a million carpenters build a house in less than a minute?

    And of course in the sociology of human societies concerning policy, which Steven discusses.

    What is the underlying physics that ties all these phenomena together (assuming there is one)? My hunch is that it has something to do with the principles of geometry, as in how many solid bodies can touch at once in a three dimensional world. Maybe related to the four color map problem in two dimensions. Can somebody give it a precise mathematical expression?

    Great point. Doesn’t economics explore diminishing marginal utility in some depth?

    Can somebody give it a precise mathematical expression?

    Not a complete answer, but logarithmic perception versus linear costs affects some of these. For example, the diminishing marginal utility of income and sensory perceptions (physiology of pleasure and pain).

    Another relevant effect is saturation. A linear response changes to nonlinear (e.g. ceiling or log, or even reversal) above (or below) some threshold. This is often a problem because much analysis is done assuming linear effects (e.g. low cholesterol fanatics, take a look at this chart of total mortality vs. cholesterol) and people assume the linearity extends indefinitely.

    Another example of this is the Laffer curve and tax cuts. Especially since I don’t think anyone has ever made even a good case for a specific maximum point or detailed curve shape.

    Negative (or positive) feedback (in the systems engineering sense) is also relevant since it introduces nonlinearities. This is a big part of what makes climate science difficult IMHO. Especially since it’s hard to judge which mechanisms will be important outside of our normal region of operation.

    P.S. Steve, I really like your post. This seems like the kind of thinking that could lead to a useful political center in this country.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NOTA
    The 80/20 rule draws on the same insight as diminishing marginal returns.
  19. Thomas says:

    I’m increasingly convinced that the individualistic, 1980-style, Reagan-worshipping core of establishment conservatism has essentially become the political equivalent of a cult. One of the distinguishing features of a cult is that the core tenets of belief and ideology are highly resistant, if not utterly immune, to change or reexamination. The principal activity of any cult is to try to convert more people to adopt the unchanging beliefs, rather than be forced to reexamine those beliefs themselves. (In other words, the beliefs can’t change to fit the world, so try to change the world to fit the beliefs.) What you get in the context of the Reagan cult are things like the post-2012 “Growth and Opportunity Project” “autopsy,” which came to the conclusion that all was well in the world of conservatism, if only it could sell the same ideas to new people (i.e., “natural conservative” Hispanic immigrants, women, other minorities, etc.). In this context, Trump, and anyone who supports him, are not rivals or challengers, but heretics.

    Read More
    • Agree: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Cicatrizatic
    Completely agree. Their cult-like behavior has become very apparent as a result of recent events (Trump). For example, on Twitter, Dan McLaughlin of RedState declares that resistance to Trump is a "test of character" and that "if you support him, we'll know who you are". Matt Walsh and Amanda Carpenter (Conservative Review) are putting together a list of conservatives who have "betrayed" conservatism by supporting Trump and thus deserve to be “blackballed”. People like Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, etc. What do they hope to accomplish from this? Why would Coulter, who already operates outside the mainstream conservative media, and has for years, need their recognition? Or Limbaugh, whose influence dwarfs anything they could even imagine? Pure lunacy.

    The fact that Trump supporters have become conscious of the failure of the conservative movement - and thus have abandoned it in favor of an alternative that will better preserve our culture - doesn't register with them. No doubt that they are familiar with this critique, but “Conservatism” for them has become a cult. And now they are pretending to excommunicate people who have formerly recognized it as a cult and have already left it behind of their own volition.
  20. Ed says:

    Partisan politics gives some evidence, though not alot, to a shift more to the left.

    With presidential politics, the Republicans won 5 out of 6 presidential elections between 1968 and 1988, inclusive. In only one of these elections, 1976, a real outlier, did the Democratic candidate carry more than a dozen states, and only in 1976 and 1988 did the Democratic candidate get over 43% of the popular vote.

    In the next six presidential elections, between 1992 and 2012, the Democratic candidate got at least a popular vote plurality five out of six times. This included a majority twice, as opposed to once (barely) in the earlier six elections, and winning at least 47% of the popular vote in all these elections except for 1992.

    The presidential votes are important because that is what people pay attention to and where they vote their ideology. Most of the electorate doesn’t bother to vote in the down-ballot races. And when they do, ideology places less of a role, almost none in local races. This decreases the importance of the huge wins the Republicans have been racking up in Congressional, state, and local elections since 1994, especially since the Congressional majorities seem to have been due to wiping out what used to be a a considerable caucus of conservative Dems. I suspect that there has been substantial deterioration in the Democratic Party organization that is being masked by the general public starting to prefer them more on the presidential level.

    In terms of policy, on economic policy there has been a clear shift to the right, if you define “right” and “left” the way that it has been traditionally defined, more vs less inequality. Median income in real terms has fallen, and the share of wealth going to the top has increased, and this is plainly due directly to policy changes such as the “free trade” agreements. The police have more power, more people are in jail, and there is more surveillance. In foreign policy, the US has taken to invading countries seemingly at random and changing their governments. All these used to be regarded as right wing ideas.

    On red state blogs, such as this, I have seen what I wrote about in the above paragraph explained away either through outright denial that these trends are happening, claiming that the traditional definitions of left and right don’t exist and these things are happening and part of a left-wing agenda, or pointing to the fact that the culture doesn’t push the 1950s style nuclear family with clear separation of gender roles much, which is true, but then greatly overemphasizing the importance of this vs the other things going on. The 1950s was something of an outlier, the nuclear family and suburban lifestyle pushed in that time were much less prevalent earlier. Also I question diversity training at the workplace, basically private employers getting their workers together and lecturing them on how they should think about non-workplace issues, is really a left-wing project.

    So yes, policy has been shifting to the right, to the point of running into diminishing marginal returns, and the general public is not as supportive of this as in the past. There has also been a deterioration, or lack of precision, or outright inversion in the use of political terms that makes it difficult to describe what is going on. Also more difficult for tradition-minded people who want more equality of income and put alot of value on civil liberties to find a team to root for.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    "I suspect that there has been substantial deterioration in the Democratic Party organization that is being masked by the general public starting to prefer them more on the presidential level."

    A lot of that has to do with the fact that Obama has avoided helping local Democrats. Like all touchy and insecure men, he wanted a weak base so nobody on his own side would argue with him or challenge him about his policy decisions, and it's why he's cultivated all those loud-mouthed PC radicals. Obama encouraged them much the way Mao did the Red Guards, though to less murderous effect, and he intended the PC radicals to terrorize his own base into submission, using them to shut up moderate Dems and make them cower. He didn't want a challenger in 2012 from his own side.

    Of course the PC radicals were also aimed at Republicans, but Obama had a duel purpose in mind. Obama know how to pull off crap like that because he knows his leftist history (see Mao above) quite well. His relentless propaganda and street teams effectively quelled both local Dems and national Republicans, but Obama doesn't have enough Dems living evenly spread throughout the country to be able to control everything. This is why ticked-off Republicans were able to win so many lower level races in the mid-terms. Republican support has also been bolstered by moderate Dems fleeing Obama's dictatorship.
  21. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country.

    Yes, this is accurate. They are symbols and expressions of patriotism, rather than ideology, for most of the Tea Partiers.

    To your wider point regarding the tension between conservatism and solidarity, this is largely due to the fact that the Republican Party now includes major segments of the old Democratic coalition that favored solidaristic ideas and have migrated over to the GOP since the 60s. “Solidarity” is basically old left, labor liberalism. The GOP was traditionally the party of northeastern business elites and Midwestern and Western independent farmers and small town businessmen. The northern working class and the South switched tot he GOP, which now includes these divergent tendencies. This can be seen in the geographic divide between Cruz and Trump’s electoral successes, and Trump is even extending these trends by bringing in many former Dems and Independents into the GOP.

    If I had to guess, I suppose the GOP will move in a more solidaristic direction, and Trump’s success may just be the beginning. The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don’t have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Excellent comment!

    If the "solidarity" faction grows in influence could it get strong enough to drive out the globalists?
    , @Desiderius

    The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don’t have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.
     
    No, they (and those who've followed their lead, especially Jews) still do, they're just doing it for the Ds nowadays.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    It's interesting who the Powers that Be are afraid of and of whom they aren't. Obviously, they were very afraid of the Tea Party. Democrats reviled it as if it were the latest resurgence of the KKK. The Republican establishment was threatened by it and its leadership clearly despised it. Fortunately for them, Tea Party candidates like Marco Rubio turned out to be pretty easy to buy off once elected.

    Now we have Hitler running for office in the form of Trump. He is so thoroughly despised in Washington I'm not sure if he would be physically safe there, much less be able to govern the country. He might have to stay in Mar-a-Lago and phone it in.

    But who isn't feared? Radical movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter don't seem to worry anyone at all. The Democrat Party embraces them and the Republicans ignore them. A radical candidate, Bernie Sanders, doesn't seem to worry anyone much either. The man is basically a communist and no one makes too much of it. I don't think it's just because they don't expect him to win, either. They were freaking out about Trump long before anyone thought he had a realistic chance to win.

    So it's interesting to ponder whom the establishment regards as dangerous threats. Left-wing and racial radicals . . . eh. A presidential candidate who is at the very least a fellow traveler . . . . yawn. A movement of middle-American patriots--Eeek! A populist who promotes American interests --it's the end of civilization as we know it!

    It must be kind of deflating to be an angry leftwing radical and know that no one is worried about you.
  22. NOTA says:
    @res
    Great point. Doesn't economics explore diminishing marginal utility in some depth?

    Can somebody give it a precise mathematical expression?
     
    Not a complete answer, but logarithmic perception versus linear costs affects some of these. For example, the diminishing marginal utility of income and sensory perceptions (physiology of pleasure and pain).

    Another relevant effect is saturation. A linear response changes to nonlinear (e.g. ceiling or log, or even reversal) above (or below) some threshold. This is often a problem because much analysis is done assuming linear effects (e.g. low cholesterol fanatics, take a look at this chart of total mortality vs. cholesterol) and people assume the linearity extends indefinitely.

    Another example of this is the Laffer curve and tax cuts. Especially since I don't think anyone has ever made even a good case for a specific maximum point or detailed curve shape.

    Negative (or positive) feedback (in the systems engineering sense) is also relevant since it introduces nonlinearities. This is a big part of what makes climate science difficult IMHO. Especially since it's hard to judge which mechanisms will be important outside of our normal region of operation.

    P.S. Steve, I really like your post. This seems like the kind of thinking that could lead to a useful political center in this country.

    The 80/20 rule draws on the same insight as diminishing marginal returns.

    Read More
  23. NOTA says:

    Our foreign policy is mostly isn’t driven by the individualism/solidarity split. But I’d love to see a widespread recognition that there, too, we have gone well past the point of diminishing returns with our eagerness to bomb every helpless third world country and invade every ungovernable hole on the globe. A willingness to occasionally use military force in the nation’s interest is necessary. But we do way too much of it.

    My guess is that we overdo the foreign interventions because they pay off for the decision makers: juicy military contracts, tough-guy posturing before the election, making a name for yourself as the person who saved Libya (oops), etc. It seems obvious that most of our foreign policy adventures aren’t paying off for us, but the folks at the top seem committed to ever more adventures. Let’s pick another fight with Russia! Let’s get our special forces involved in another interminable African civil war! That stuff never gets old.

    Read More
  24. Wilkey says:

    “Result: while Democrats turned to center after their beatings in 80, 84, 88 – Republicans turned further right after 08 & 12.”

    So Democrats kept turning to “the center” after each defeat – except in years divisible by 4.

    To me it seems the greatest “victory” the Democrats had wasn’t so much that they turned to the center, it’s the complete Republican surrender on cultural and immigration issues thanks to Jack Kemp (the supposed “future” of the GOP who never won an election other than his congressional district) and, especially, George W. Bush.

    Under their leadership the GOP gave up fighting the Dems on issues like affirmative action, political correctness, and immigration. The Democrats didn’t become more centrist from the 90s on – they just looked more centrist thanks to the fact that Republican leadership abandoned every issue but cutting taxes for rich people and fighting wars in the Middle East.

    What we see today under Obama is the result of 20 years of Republican surrender. The Left is so brazen only because it knows there won’t be much pushback from major Republican politicians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    The Republican Party transitioning to a nationalist populist party is the right, and only, thing to do. That this hasn't happened earlier is credit to the power of the special interests. I really think Pat Buchanan losing to George HW Bush was a critical turning point that has setback the US, and the West, perhaps irretrievably.
    , @RamonaQ
    Yes, just like New Labour, the Democrats shifted right (neo liberal?) on some issues but this was overshadowed by complete domination on culture and immigration. Unlike the stupid party, the Dems play to win in the long term
  25. Wilkey says:
    @NOTA
    The diminishing marginal returns idea is especially important when you're dealing with ideas like decreasing tax rates and deregulating industry. How much it makes sense to pursue those policies depends on how high taxes are and how heavily regulated industry is. A world where the CAB is setting airline fares is a lot more ripe for deregulation than one where the top two companies in some space can routinely merge without antitrust worries (like Sirius and XM, say). Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric--when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it's probably a pretty bad direction to take policy.

    “Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric–when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it’s probably a pretty bad direction to take policy.”

    Soaring inner city murder rates show how easily all the ground we’ve gained can be lost. Now we have Republican politicians advocating voting rights for felons, reduced sentencing, and even – in Utah of all places – a nearly successful push to abolish the death penalty.

    It may well be that tough on crime rhetoric is no longer enough to help win elections. At the very least, though, they can leave the system where it is now and address other issues.

    Read More
  26. @George
    Trump's statements are all over the place.

    One curious statement he made that in the past would have been a litmus test for all candidates is is stance on F-35. He brought it up once, and nobody asked him about it, and none of the other candidates brought it up.

    Trump wants to 'fire' F-35
    http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/10/29/trump-wants-fire-f-35/74800906/

    So Trump is the least militaristic candidate running. Hillary is the most militaristic, just like Goldwater. But these are different times.

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.

    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn’t doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that’s where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world."

    I would rather ISIS die and not Israel. Israel is not committing a Holocaust against Christians in The Middle East. What ISIS is doing to Christians is no different than what Turks did to Armenians.

    Every member of ISIS deserves to burn in hell. They are the epitome of Demonic evil.

    , @Sean
    ISIS may ultimately give the Jewish State of Israel the chance to finalise the conquest of 1967. It would be a good thing for the Western world if Trump saved Israel from the current inexorable course toward Apartheid or full rights for Palestinians (I assume that a meaningful Arab state in the West Bank is now unfeasible due to the settlements).

    The Arabs of the West Bank in the Palestinian state (ie Jordan) and Israel secure as the Jewish state while dumbfounded counter-jumping neocons are exposed as having been only interested in their own personal aggrandizement (as Americans). The West freed to resist replacement immigration, and live with manageable minorities (as Israel will be doing with citizen Arabs). Beautiful.

    , @AndrewR
    I hate Israel but ISIS is far worse. Get a grip.
    , @Hanoi Paris Hilton
    Perhaps you'd elaborate, Mr. Diamond, on why "ISIS ... ultimately bring[ing] down the State of Israel might even be a good thing for the world"?

    Because ISIS/al Qaeda would stop there and settle down pleasantly occupied with their countless and spectacular executions of local captives and their sex slave seizure and trading, and leave us —finally and totally— in peace?

    What about those twelve million or so "enemies of Allah" Jews (maybe including yourself?) who don't live in Israel, who may or may not be Zionists nor religiously inclined, and in the near term at least, who wouldn't be within reach of ISIS? Maybe we could further consolidate our safety by pre-emptively bringing them down as well?

    And is it at least hypothetically possible that US interests and Israeli interests may align more closely than would appeal/appear to people like yourself?

    , @Dennis Dale
    A hawkish view of ISIS is a sop to the Lobby and US Jews. It doesn't make sense, and the Israelis might view ISIS as beneficial in the short term anyway, in that they threaten Assad and other regional enemies. I'm willing to bet Netanyahu's gov't is calculating ISIS isn't going to be able to scale up to the level of a state that can challenge them. But for the usual idiotic reasons, it pays Trump, if he's honest about his non-intervention elsewhere, to compensate for that here. And ISIS is the Big Bad Guy of the moment.
    I'm eager to see what transpires at this AIPAC appearance. Trump is scaring people not just because he represents a repudiation of the whites-as-central-scapegoat political dynamic, but because he further prospects an accommodation between whites and those influential Jews for whom, in the end, it's all about the security of Israel. He sells himself as a negotiator and nationalist; he's likely to guarantee Israel's security but demand something in return. That would be their worst possible outcome, American sovereignty restored and the world doesn't end--not the American Reich they're trying to scare us with.
    , @Cwhatfuture
    ISIS bring down Israel?? In your perverse dreams. ISIS cannot even bring down Iraq and Syria which are not even functioning states. But add ISIS to the list. The list being the Arab League, Pan Arab Nasserite nationalism, the Ba'ath party of Iraq or Syria, the Iranian revolution, the Wahabis, let's see who else has said they want to destroy Israel? The Houthis? Yes they did too.
    , @dfordoom

    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS?
     
    Agreed. I can't for the life of me see how ISIS is any kind of threat to the West at all.
  27. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Ed
    Partisan politics gives some evidence, though not alot, to a shift more to the left.

    With presidential politics, the Republicans won 5 out of 6 presidential elections between 1968 and 1988, inclusive. In only one of these elections, 1976, a real outlier, did the Democratic candidate carry more than a dozen states, and only in 1976 and 1988 did the Democratic candidate get over 43% of the popular vote.

    In the next six presidential elections, between 1992 and 2012, the Democratic candidate got at least a popular vote plurality five out of six times. This included a majority twice, as opposed to once (barely) in the earlier six elections, and winning at least 47% of the popular vote in all these elections except for 1992.

    The presidential votes are important because that is what people pay attention to and where they vote their ideology. Most of the electorate doesn't bother to vote in the down-ballot races. And when they do, ideology places less of a role, almost none in local races. This decreases the importance of the huge wins the Republicans have been racking up in Congressional, state, and local elections since 1994, especially since the Congressional majorities seem to have been due to wiping out what used to be a a considerable caucus of conservative Dems. I suspect that there has been substantial deterioration in the Democratic Party organization that is being masked by the general public starting to prefer them more on the presidential level.

    In terms of policy, on economic policy there has been a clear shift to the right, if you define "right" and "left" the way that it has been traditionally defined, more vs less inequality. Median income in real terms has fallen, and the share of wealth going to the top has increased, and this is plainly due directly to policy changes such as the "free trade" agreements. The police have more power, more people are in jail, and there is more surveillance. In foreign policy, the US has taken to invading countries seemingly at random and changing their governments. All these used to be regarded as right wing ideas.

    On red state blogs, such as this, I have seen what I wrote about in the above paragraph explained away either through outright denial that these trends are happening, claiming that the traditional definitions of left and right don't exist and these things are happening and part of a left-wing agenda, or pointing to the fact that the culture doesn't push the 1950s style nuclear family with clear separation of gender roles much, which is true, but then greatly overemphasizing the importance of this vs the other things going on. The 1950s was something of an outlier, the nuclear family and suburban lifestyle pushed in that time were much less prevalent earlier. Also I question diversity training at the workplace, basically private employers getting their workers together and lecturing them on how they should think about non-workplace issues, is really a left-wing project.

    So yes, policy has been shifting to the right, to the point of running into diminishing marginal returns, and the general public is not as supportive of this as in the past. There has also been a deterioration, or lack of precision, or outright inversion in the use of political terms that makes it difficult to describe what is going on. Also more difficult for tradition-minded people who want more equality of income and put alot of value on civil liberties to find a team to root for.

    “I suspect that there has been substantial deterioration in the Democratic Party organization that is being masked by the general public starting to prefer them more on the presidential level.”

    A lot of that has to do with the fact that Obama has avoided helping local Democrats. Like all touchy and insecure men, he wanted a weak base so nobody on his own side would argue with him or challenge him about his policy decisions, and it’s why he’s cultivated all those loud-mouthed PC radicals. Obama encouraged them much the way Mao did the Red Guards, though to less murderous effect, and he intended the PC radicals to terrorize his own base into submission, using them to shut up moderate Dems and make them cower. He didn’t want a challenger in 2012 from his own side.

    Of course the PC radicals were also aimed at Republicans, but Obama had a duel purpose in mind. Obama know how to pull off crap like that because he knows his leftist history (see Mao above) quite well. His relentless propaganda and street teams effectively quelled both local Dems and national Republicans, but Obama doesn’t have enough Dems living evenly spread throughout the country to be able to control everything. This is why ticked-off Republicans were able to win so many lower level races in the mid-terms. Republican support has also been bolstered by moderate Dems fleeing Obama’s dictatorship.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    ...but Obama had a duel purpose in mind.
     
    Typo, or pun?
  28. Svigor says:

    encourage the most desirable global manufacturers to set up factories in America (as Reagan reluctantly did with Japanese car companies), etc.

    Foreign management may be (theoretically) less desirable than domestic management, but global manufacturers setting up here is infinitely preferable to them setting up elsewhere. What is there to be reluctant about, even in theory? In practice domestic management are curs and I’d almost prefer dealing with the Japs or the Germans. Americans can buy as much stock as they want, so it’s not like the profits have to go elsewhere.

    What’s the real down side?

    P.S., most people don’t like changing their minds because they aren’t very bright, and see their ideas as an extension of themselves, rather than as tools.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    Some people think a Ford made in Ontario or a GMC in Québec is American, but a Honda built in Alabama is not.
  29. Sean says:

    PAUL RYAN: This is the first nation built on an idea, not on an identity. Not on an identity on class, on race, on religion, on an idea. The condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life. Our rights our natural. They’re God-given. They’re pre-government. It’s a very special notion. That’s what’s great about this country. And immigration is based on assimilation over our common understanding of these beautiful ideas. That is still the country we are today.

    Did leading Republicans really say things like that 35 years ago?

    Read More
  30. Jefferson says:
    @Hepp
    The fact of the matter is no people on earth believes in conservative or libertarian economics. Every democracy in the world has universal health care, for example. There is support for cutting government in the abstract, but not for any actually programs.

    So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.

    Yet the establishment wants to take away the only reason anyone actually votes Republican.

    There is no more clueless people on the planet than the Republican establishment. Those on the left have a version of the red pill they've taken. They're blind to the stupidity of their own demographics, but know that conservatives only vote based on identity. Yet GOP establishment types are living in a fantasy world where you win in democracy by having the policy proposals that are best for growth.

    “So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.”

    The GOP Establishment sees Black Lies Matter as less evil than Donald Trump, so they are no longer the less anti-White party. They are just as equally anti-White as The Democratic Party.

    GOP Establishment types who side with Black Lies Matter over Donald Trump remind me of English people who bash Polish Catholic immigrants, but would never do the same to Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

    Read More
    • Replies: @celt darnell
    Re: GOP Establishment types who side with Black Lies Matter over Donald Trump remind me of English people who bash Polish Catholic immigrants, but would never do the same to Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

    Do such people actually exist in England? I mean outside of certain columnists' heads?
  31. iffen says:
    @Anonymous

    The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country.
     
    Yes, this is accurate. They are symbols and expressions of patriotism, rather than ideology, for most of the Tea Partiers.

    To your wider point regarding the tension between conservatism and solidarity, this is largely due to the fact that the Republican Party now includes major segments of the old Democratic coalition that favored solidaristic ideas and have migrated over to the GOP since the 60s. "Solidarity" is basically old left, labor liberalism. The GOP was traditionally the party of northeastern business elites and Midwestern and Western independent farmers and small town businessmen. The northern working class and the South switched tot he GOP, which now includes these divergent tendencies. This can be seen in the geographic divide between Cruz and Trump's electoral successes, and Trump is even extending these trends by bringing in many former Dems and Independents into the GOP.

    If I had to guess, I suppose the GOP will move in a more solidaristic direction, and Trump's success may just be the beginning. The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don't have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.

    Excellent comment!

    If the “solidarity” faction grows in influence could it get strong enough to drive out the globalists?

    Read More
  32. Jefferson says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    “ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.”

    I would rather ISIS die and not Israel. Israel is not committing a Holocaust against Christians in The Middle East. What ISIS is doing to Christians is no different than what Turks did to Armenians.

    Every member of ISIS deserves to burn in hell. They are the epitome of Demonic evil.

    Read More
  33. Sean says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    ISIS may ultimately give the Jewish State of Israel the chance to finalise the conquest of 1967. It would be a good thing for the Western world if Trump saved Israel from the current inexorable course toward Apartheid or full rights for Palestinians (I assume that a meaningful Arab state in the West Bank is now unfeasible due to the settlements).

    The Arabs of the West Bank in the Palestinian state (ie Jordan) and Israel secure as the Jewish state while dumbfounded counter-jumping neocons are exposed as having been only interested in their own personal aggrandizement (as Americans). The West freed to resist replacement immigration, and live with manageable minorities (as Israel will be doing with citizen Arabs). Beautiful.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    the chance to finalise the conquest of 1967

    How many years before something is recognized as final?

    2016-1967=49 years
  34. LondonBob says:
    @Wilkey
    "Result: while Democrats turned to center after their beatings in 80, 84, 88 – Republicans turned further right after 08 & 12."

    So Democrats kept turning to "the center" after each defeat - except in years divisible by 4.

    To me it seems the greatest "victory" the Democrats had wasn't so much that they turned to the center, it's the complete Republican surrender on cultural and immigration issues thanks to Jack Kemp (the supposed "future" of the GOP who never won an election other than his congressional district) and, especially, George W. Bush.

    Under their leadership the GOP gave up fighting the Dems on issues like affirmative action, political correctness, and immigration. The Democrats didn't become more centrist from the 90s on - they just looked more centrist thanks to the fact that Republican leadership abandoned every issue but cutting taxes for rich people and fighting wars in the Middle East.

    What we see today under Obama is the result of 20 years of Republican surrender. The Left is so brazen only because it knows there won't be much pushback from major Republican politicians.

    The Republican Party transitioning to a nationalist populist party is the right, and only, thing to do. That this hasn’t happened earlier is credit to the power of the special interests. I really think Pat Buchanan losing to George HW Bush was a critical turning point that has setback the US, and the West, perhaps irretrievably.

    Read More
  35. @anonn
    This analysis falters just a bit in that it assumes the elites on the right actually have any real core principles. I see no evidence of that. When the answer to every question, from economic growth to liberty, to law and order, to foreign policy, to science, to environment, etc, is always the same - deregulate and cut taxes for billionaires - you begin to wonder if the only principle that matters is the rich must get richer.

    This comes from the perspective of the far left, so take it with a grain of salt if you want. But it seems to me the best thing for the Republican party would be to go all in with Trump, maybe lose Goldwater-64 style (or maybe not, who knows?), and redefine the party for a generation. If you framed it well enough, all of the stench of the corrupt Washington/Manhattan elite washes off, while staying with Hillary and the neocon Democrats.

    The Republicans won running against the 60s in 68, 72, 80, 84, and 88. If they were smart enough to throw NYC financiers and Beltway war profiteers under the bus, and redefine the party as opposing DC/NYC, they could run against the 2010s (what are we calling this decade anyway?) for the next five or six elections.

    Apparently I haven’t commented enough lately to use the “agree” button but I think this is a great post.

    Read More
  36. In short, the Republican establishment needs to figure out how to learn to stop worrying and love The Trump.

    Read More
  37. RamonaQ says:
    @Wilkey
    "Result: while Democrats turned to center after their beatings in 80, 84, 88 – Republicans turned further right after 08 & 12."

    So Democrats kept turning to "the center" after each defeat - except in years divisible by 4.

    To me it seems the greatest "victory" the Democrats had wasn't so much that they turned to the center, it's the complete Republican surrender on cultural and immigration issues thanks to Jack Kemp (the supposed "future" of the GOP who never won an election other than his congressional district) and, especially, George W. Bush.

    Under their leadership the GOP gave up fighting the Dems on issues like affirmative action, political correctness, and immigration. The Democrats didn't become more centrist from the 90s on - they just looked more centrist thanks to the fact that Republican leadership abandoned every issue but cutting taxes for rich people and fighting wars in the Middle East.

    What we see today under Obama is the result of 20 years of Republican surrender. The Left is so brazen only because it knows there won't be much pushback from major Republican politicians.

    Yes, just like New Labour, the Democrats shifted right (neo liberal?) on some issues but this was overshadowed by complete domination on culture and immigration. Unlike the stupid party, the Dems play to win in the long term

    Read More
  38. Is Frum trying to make the case that the GOPe wants to moderate but Trump is too economically far-right and thus killing the party? Is this guy totally delusional? His own example (health coverage) disproves this.

    Read More
  39. AndrewR says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    I hate Israel but ISIS is far worse. Get a grip.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    Israel illegitimately acquired nuclear weapons, making it a major threat to world peace. Moreover, Israel (through the American Jewish lobby) buys the U.S. government. ISIS has no comparable effects on American interests.
  40. Bugg says:
    @blah blah teleblah
    Steve,

    It seems to me that what your view boils down to that conservativism would be best served by essentially adopting most of what the Democratic party has been advocating, minus the social justice warrior nonsense (which, for purposes of simplicity, would include not asking any questions about perhaps restricting immigration) and acquiescing to neocon foreign policy prescriptions. If that's basically the case, then, to be fair to the Conservatism, Inc. folks, it may prove to be even more of a loser in presidential elections than the last two go arounds. Granted, Trump v. Hillary in a general election might not be the best laboratory experiment to find out who's correct given Trump's other issues (which disgust sober folks like Charles Murray).

    On the other hand, had Jim Webb pursued the Republican nomination from the start....

    Trump may be fox-like crazy smart enough to make Webb his VP.

    Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump’s live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237.

    If anyone call explain why the like of Ryan and Romney are trying to sell warmed over Bush nonsense, they deserve an award.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump’s live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237."

    Donald Trump a New York City Yankee Agnostic did extremely well in the South, when you factor in that it is Ned Flanders bible belt land. He overperformed in that region and Ted Cruz underperformed.
  41. @Anon
    "I suspect that there has been substantial deterioration in the Democratic Party organization that is being masked by the general public starting to prefer them more on the presidential level."

    A lot of that has to do with the fact that Obama has avoided helping local Democrats. Like all touchy and insecure men, he wanted a weak base so nobody on his own side would argue with him or challenge him about his policy decisions, and it's why he's cultivated all those loud-mouthed PC radicals. Obama encouraged them much the way Mao did the Red Guards, though to less murderous effect, and he intended the PC radicals to terrorize his own base into submission, using them to shut up moderate Dems and make them cower. He didn't want a challenger in 2012 from his own side.

    Of course the PC radicals were also aimed at Republicans, but Obama had a duel purpose in mind. Obama know how to pull off crap like that because he knows his leftist history (see Mao above) quite well. His relentless propaganda and street teams effectively quelled both local Dems and national Republicans, but Obama doesn't have enough Dems living evenly spread throughout the country to be able to control everything. This is why ticked-off Republicans were able to win so many lower level races in the mid-terms. Republican support has also been bolstered by moderate Dems fleeing Obama's dictatorship.

    …but Obama had a duel purpose in mind.

    Typo, or pun?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Austen
    The guy wanted to bring a gun to a knife fight you punderstand.
  42. Gabriel M says:

    The thing is that there are some issues that don’t fit neatly into this scheme. The most important is monetary policy. Monetarists and Austrians are both individualists but they differ on the most basic practical issue of monetary policy: can you boost economic output by lowering the rate of interest below its market level, or can you only create the temporary illusion of prosperity by doing so. This is not some abstract question. Interest rates are at historically unprecedented low levels across the western world and it really does look like they can never be raised, both because the economy will tank and because almost every western government will become insolvent. How does moving towards a more solidarist model of conservatism do anything to address this issue? Whether the banking system is deregulated or in straightjacket makes precisely no difference to the fundamental question.

    I supported Ron Paul in the last election (despite never liking him as an individual and still less as a spokesmen as well as being a lot more neocon sympathetic than I am now and finding libertarianism as an ethical theory pretty laughable) because I thought that monetary issues were just more important than the other stuff. Since then I’ve become persuaded that immigration is just as important, partly because I learned a lot about HBD and partly because I came to appreciate what kind of numbers we are dealing with. However, that doesn’t mean that I decided the monetary system is not important or that this round of the fiat currency is not entering it’s terminal stage. Sometimes, though it seems a lot like to get on the Trump train I’m expected to endorse things that I couldn’t really care less about (tax rates) or things that I know are stupid (tariffs) because otherwise I’m part of “Conservatism inc.” or whatever.

    I’m still with Trump because when the meltdown happens I’d prefer it to happen in a West that is still majority white and with as small a Muslim component as possible. But at least on a rhetorical level I’d like to say that I still believe in the free market, all the way, and you can’t make me stop just because we’re all supposed to be into solidarism now or whatever.

    Also, on the subject of diminishing returns, I think this article about neoconservatism says most of what needs to be said on that topic. (Though Goldman talks abject nonsense about economics).

    http://atimes.com/2015/08/two-cheers-for-the-neo-conservatives/

    “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To the neo-conservatives, every country looks like Poland, whose democracy movement in the 1980s was the thin end of the wedge that ruptured the Iron Curtain. When the self-styled “realist” Stephen Walt taunts the neo-conservatives as “wrong for so long” about Iraq, he occults a more important piece of history: the neo-conservatives won the Cold War and rescued the world from a nightmarish half-century. They did this when Prof. Walt and the so-called realists had one foot nailed to the metaphorical floor and were turning tight little circles in pursuit of “balance of power.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "Spengler" aka Goldman is wrong , as he usually is about everything. Realists like Brzezinski were instrumental in winning the Cold War. Jews like Goldman just try to take the credit for everything.
  43. @Svigor

    encourage the most desirable global manufacturers to set up factories in America (as Reagan reluctantly did with Japanese car companies), etc.
     
    Foreign management may be (theoretically) less desirable than domestic management, but global manufacturers setting up here is infinitely preferable to them setting up elsewhere. What is there to be reluctant about, even in theory? In practice domestic management are curs and I'd almost prefer dealing with the Japs or the Germans. Americans can buy as much stock as they want, so it's not like the profits have to go elsewhere.

    What's the real down side?

    P.S., most people don't like changing their minds because they aren't very bright, and see their ideas as an extension of themselves, rather than as tools.

    Some people think a Ford made in Ontario or a GMC in Québec is American, but a Honda built in Alabama is not.

    Read More
  44. Jefferson says:
    @Bugg
    Trump may be fox-like crazy smart enough to make Webb his VP.

    Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump's live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237.

    If anyone call explain why the like of Ryan and Romney are trying to sell warmed over Bush nonsense, they deserve an award.

    “Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump’s live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237.”

    Donald Trump a New York City Yankee Agnostic did extremely well in the South, when you factor in that it is Ned Flanders bible belt land. He overperformed in that region and Ted Cruz underperformed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Al Smith won the Deep South in '28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Donald Trump a New York City Yankee Agnostic did extremely well in the South, when you factor in that it is Ned Flanders bible belt land.
     
    Adlai Stevenson was a Unitarian, about the worst Yankee thing you could be, and divorced to boot, yet swept the South twice against Ike.
  45. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @anonn
    This analysis falters just a bit in that it assumes the elites on the right actually have any real core principles. I see no evidence of that. When the answer to every question, from economic growth to liberty, to law and order, to foreign policy, to science, to environment, etc, is always the same - deregulate and cut taxes for billionaires - you begin to wonder if the only principle that matters is the rich must get richer.

    This comes from the perspective of the far left, so take it with a grain of salt if you want. But it seems to me the best thing for the Republican party would be to go all in with Trump, maybe lose Goldwater-64 style (or maybe not, who knows?), and redefine the party for a generation. If you framed it well enough, all of the stench of the corrupt Washington/Manhattan elite washes off, while staying with Hillary and the neocon Democrats.

    The Republicans won running against the 60s in 68, 72, 80, 84, and 88. If they were smart enough to throw NYC financiers and Beltway war profiteers under the bus, and redefine the party as opposing DC/NYC, they could run against the 2010s (what are we calling this decade anyway?) for the next five or six elections.

    Taxes and environmental and other regulations have incentivized offshoring. Trump has proposed cutting taxes and has criticized regulations which make building and industry difficult in the US.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ILL-iterate
    This is a trickle-down talking point that needs to die. It's bogus, completely debunked, and in fact the opposite is true.

    Cutting taxes for businesses and the rich people that run them does not create jobs. If you give a business $50K in the bank via lower taxes, why would they use that money to create a job? Just for no reason, out of sheer benevolence? Businesses create jobs only when there's more demand for their product or service. You create jobs by stimulating aggregate demand and using taxes to target money that is not being spent. The bottom 90% of earners in America spend on average 96% of their annual income. The richest 1% only spends 62% and I'd wager the richest fractions of the 1% spend much, much less. We need higher taxes on hoarding, not lower.

    Also the "carried interest loophole" is another BS talking point. It's not a loophole; it's part of a fundamental flaw in the tax code meant solely to benefit the rich that says long term capital gain is taxed at a lower rate. 85% of all capital gain is incurred by the richest 3% of tax returns. We need to combat the problem by saying all income is treated as ordinary income.
  46. RamonaQ says:
    @anonn
    This analysis falters just a bit in that it assumes the elites on the right actually have any real core principles. I see no evidence of that. When the answer to every question, from economic growth to liberty, to law and order, to foreign policy, to science, to environment, etc, is always the same - deregulate and cut taxes for billionaires - you begin to wonder if the only principle that matters is the rich must get richer.

    This comes from the perspective of the far left, so take it with a grain of salt if you want. But it seems to me the best thing for the Republican party would be to go all in with Trump, maybe lose Goldwater-64 style (or maybe not, who knows?), and redefine the party for a generation. If you framed it well enough, all of the stench of the corrupt Washington/Manhattan elite washes off, while staying with Hillary and the neocon Democrats.

    The Republicans won running against the 60s in 68, 72, 80, 84, and 88. If they were smart enough to throw NYC financiers and Beltway war profiteers under the bus, and redefine the party as opposing DC/NYC, they could run against the 2010s (what are we calling this decade anyway?) for the next five or six elections.

    The problem is, with 8 more years of Hillary’s open borders, it won’t be possible, demographically, for GOP to win anymore

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    That would be true if Kasich, Rubio, or any other open-borders Republican won too. I'm not totally confident about Cruz either.
  47. I think the underlying binding element to the ‘solidaristic conservatism’ we are witnessing, expressed vis-à-vis the Trump phenomenon, is the desire to pop the bubble of P.C.’s overreach. At the nexus of Trump’s appeal is the unifying role of P.C., that festering cancer stifling debate on a series of important issues. Because of P.C., over half of the country is not allowed to articulate non-liberal positions on hot button issues like: illegal immigration; H1-B visas; Muslim refugees; BLM; generalized anti-white violence; generalized anti-white, anti-male, and anti-Western sentiment; etc. I think the recent YouGov poll establishes this quite firmly:

    What separates Trump voters from those supporting other candidates is the importance of the issue of immigration. While Republican voters generally think the economy is the country’s most important issue, no matter whether they are for or against Trump, Trump’s supporters are nearly five times as likely as supporters of other candidates to say immigration is the issue that matters most to them. But Trump’s brashness may be more important than his issue positions. The most important reason people support Trump, chosen by both Trump supporters and opponents in the party, is that he is not politically correct.

    Once ‘solidaristic conservatism’ pops that bubble (one hopes), and once it becomes largely acceptable for conservative whites to articulate un-P.C. opinions without fear of H.R. dept retribution, and once Trump’s #1 issue (border wall) is enacted to slow down the Latino Demographic Wave, then individualistic conservatism will resurface.

    It’s a Hegelian dialectic, of sorts.

    “The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country. Of course, these citizenist stirrings were contemptuously rejected by the left as the racist twitchings of dying white men etc.”

    The incipient Tea Party was something of an implicitly white, unformed mass struggling to leave the womb. Once again, the Left has often been ahead of the curve with their radar signaling the coelescing of white consciousness, labeling of course such sociological contours (e.g., the overwhelming whiteness of Tea Party rallies) as ‘racism’, ‘white supremacy’, and the like. The Tea Party crowd’s continued denial of Constitutionalism’s deep cultural roots in a white America of yesteryear leads, naturally, to Glenn Beck’s current Trump Meltdown. Beck’s entire philosophy begins with the bizarre notion that the Constitution was “created by God” (and seemingly appeared out of a vacuum), rather than the idea that the Constitution emerged from a particular social milieu, itself borne from centuries of Anglo British common law tradition, civil struggles, and slowly acculturated cultural norms.

    When you refuse to make the implicit whiteness of the Tea Party an explicit whiteness, you are left with the likes of Beck, Mark Levin, and many others in seeing Trump as a force for evil rather than a force for good.

    Similary, the Left is ahead of the curve with their clarion call warnings of Trump ‘fascism’. This is not to say Trump is a fascist, nor that a fascist could make substantial headway within the U.S.’s ‘checks and balances’ political system. It is to say, however, that when a collective sense of anomie saturates the indigenous people of a nation, a sense that the entire political system is failing, corrupt, or completely dysfunctional, there is a natural longing among this indigenous people for a more authoritarian leader, someone who will repudiate the creeping relativism, socialism, and (in our current situation) multiculturalism. They look for a forceful correction involving moral assertions long suppressed.

    If you look at the post-WWI preconditions of fascism in places like Italy, Germany, Spain, and France, you see striking patterns: general senses of foreigners immigrating into the host nation fundamentally transforming the nation, sapping jobs, leading to indigenous dispossession, etc. There is a sense that one’s nation (aka ‘culture’) is under foreign occupation.

    To say that such collective sentiments necessarily leads to fascism is, of course, an ad hominem fallacy (something we are contending with now in the case of Trump), but this again shows how the Left’s alarmism is a useful ‘canary in the coalmine’.

    Read More
    • Replies: @IA
    Nice analysis, and well presented.

    The sense that one's culture is under occupation is no delusion. Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, 1915. Dada is to western culture what the International Style is to architecture. It's not just anti-ethnocentric, however. The new Whitney looks like a factory on Mars that makes nothing at all. It's a joke - an irrational, empty and ironic gesture for insiders. But modernism needs a lot of very rich, alienated people to keep it going. The Corcoran couldn't survive. Not enough super-rich elites in DC.

    The upside-down ziggurat on the Mall. It could be a double bank shot inside joke, i.e., ethnocentric and making a mockery of the surrounding monuments' "gravitas."
  48. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jefferson
    "Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump’s live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237."

    Donald Trump a New York City Yankee Agnostic did extremely well in the South, when you factor in that it is Ned Flanders bible belt land. He overperformed in that region and Ted Cruz underperformed.

    Al Smith won the Deep South in ’28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Al Smith won the Deep South in ’28. It was all he won.
     
    He won Massachusetts, as well. Earth-shaking, when you think the Commonwealth's recent governor was in the White House at the time.
    , @Jefferson
    "Al Smith won the Deep South in ’28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections."

    But FDR wasn't Agnostic. He regularly attended Catholic Sunday service. How often does Donald Trump go to church to pray?

  49. okie says:
    @Thomas
    A fact I keep having to point out to Reaganite conservatives: the US median age in 2016 is 38. That means that more than half the country was either under the age of 3 or not born yet when Reagan was inaugurated, and under the age of 11 when he left office.

    I totally agree

    I am a pretty old man , and i was too young to even vote in 84. i mentioned to the folks in the room when i was watching the speeches back in Feb, that appealing to Reagan now is like appealing to FDR in 1976 it’s twenty eight years after he left office 32 years since anyone could vote for him and while he didn’t die in office, his Alzheimer’s shut him off from being active after office just as effectively.

    Read More
  50. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Gabriel M
    The thing is that there are some issues that don't fit neatly into this scheme. The most important is monetary policy. Monetarists and Austrians are both individualists but they differ on the most basic practical issue of monetary policy: can you boost economic output by lowering the rate of interest below its market level, or can you only create the temporary illusion of prosperity by doing so. This is not some abstract question. Interest rates are at historically unprecedented low levels across the western world and it really does look like they can never be raised, both because the economy will tank and because almost every western government will become insolvent. How does moving towards a more solidarist model of conservatism do anything to address this issue? Whether the banking system is deregulated or in straightjacket makes precisely no difference to the fundamental question.

    I supported Ron Paul in the last election (despite never liking him as an individual and still less as a spokesmen as well as being a lot more neocon sympathetic than I am now and finding libertarianism as an ethical theory pretty laughable) because I thought that monetary issues were just more important than the other stuff. Since then I've become persuaded that immigration is just as important, partly because I learned a lot about HBD and partly because I came to appreciate what kind of numbers we are dealing with. However, that doesn't mean that I decided the monetary system is not important or that this round of the fiat currency is not entering it's terminal stage. Sometimes, though it seems a lot like to get on the Trump train I'm expected to endorse things that I couldn't really care less about (tax rates) or things that I know are stupid (tariffs) because otherwise I'm part of "Conservatism inc." or whatever.

    I'm still with Trump because when the meltdown happens I'd prefer it to happen in a West that is still majority white and with as small a Muslim component as possible. But at least on a rhetorical level I'd like to say that I still believe in the free market, all the way, and you can't make me stop just because we're all supposed to be into solidarism now or whatever.


    Also, on the subject of diminishing returns, I think this article about neoconservatism says most of what needs to be said on that topic. (Though Goldman talks abject nonsense about economics).
    http://atimes.com/2015/08/two-cheers-for-the-neo-conservatives/

    "To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To the neo-conservatives, every country looks like Poland, whose democracy movement in the 1980s was the thin end of the wedge that ruptured the Iron Curtain. When the self-styled “realist” Stephen Walt taunts the neo-conservatives as “wrong for so long” about Iraq, he occults a more important piece of history: the neo-conservatives won the Cold War and rescued the world from a nightmarish half-century. They did this when Prof. Walt and the so-called realists had one foot nailed to the metaphorical floor and were turning tight little circles in pursuit of “balance of power.”

    “Spengler” aka Goldman is wrong , as he usually is about everything. Realists like Brzezinski were instrumental in winning the Cold War. Jews like Goldman just try to take the credit for everything.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Busby
    Brezinski? Seriously?

    Try Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope, with the Saudis in an important supporting role as the plucky kid next door with gushers of crude oil in his back yard.

    Or as 44 million Americans said in 1980, "What has Jimmy Carter ever done for us?"

    It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job. It's a depression when you lose your job. It's a recovery when Jimmy Carter loses his job.
  51. @Anonymous

    The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country.
     
    Yes, this is accurate. They are symbols and expressions of patriotism, rather than ideology, for most of the Tea Partiers.

    To your wider point regarding the tension between conservatism and solidarity, this is largely due to the fact that the Republican Party now includes major segments of the old Democratic coalition that favored solidaristic ideas and have migrated over to the GOP since the 60s. "Solidarity" is basically old left, labor liberalism. The GOP was traditionally the party of northeastern business elites and Midwestern and Western independent farmers and small town businessmen. The northern working class and the South switched tot he GOP, which now includes these divergent tendencies. This can be seen in the geographic divide between Cruz and Trump's electoral successes, and Trump is even extending these trends by bringing in many former Dems and Independents into the GOP.

    If I had to guess, I suppose the GOP will move in a more solidaristic direction, and Trump's success may just be the beginning. The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don't have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.

    The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don’t have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.

    No, they (and those who’ve followed their lead, especially Jews) still do, they’re just doing it for the Ds nowadays.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    No, they (and those who’ve followed their lead, especially Jews) still do, they’re just doing it for the Ds nowadays.
     
    Perhaps you could name some of these northern WASPs with so much influence, because I sure can't. The ridiculous Chafee family name doesn't seem to resonate beyond the tight borders of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

    Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Carson, Fiorina, Clinton, O'Malley, Sanders... the two ladies and ¡Jeb! were the only WASPs in the race. Fiorina and Bush were Southerners, by ancestry or adoption, and Rodham-Clinton of immigrant stock, albeit English immigrant stock.

    Are any of the major donors old-line WASPs? Gates and Buffett have their opinions, for sure, but where's their influence felt?

  52. @Anonymous
    Al Smith won the Deep South in '28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections.

    Al Smith won the Deep South in ’28. It was all he won.

    He won Massachusetts, as well. Earth-shaking, when you think the Commonwealth’s recent governor was in the White House at the time.

    Read More
  53. @Jefferson
    "Suspect the hammer is about to fall on Cruz in the northeast and western states where there are fewer evangelicals and Trump’s live and let live benign neglect on social issues will give him 1237."

    Donald Trump a New York City Yankee Agnostic did extremely well in the South, when you factor in that it is Ned Flanders bible belt land. He overperformed in that region and Ted Cruz underperformed.

    Donald Trump a New York City Yankee Agnostic did extremely well in the South, when you factor in that it is Ned Flanders bible belt land.

    Adlai Stevenson was a Unitarian, about the worst Yankee thing you could be, and divorced to boot, yet swept the South twice against Ike.

    Read More
  54. I think the move to solidaristic conservatism is a very difficult one, institutionally.

    The problem is the donor class. They literally profit from unrestricted immigration and globalism. For them, anything that encourages such policies is good, and playing the race card is nothing but a positive. They want to pander to Hispanics for the most venal — and therefore most unyielding — of reasons.

    And what does the donor class do? Not only does it pay the politicians, pay the lobbyists, it also pays the “think tanks”, and the right leaning media.

    What’s left of the conservative movement, institutionally, once these are removed from the scene?

    Read More
  55. @Desiderius

    The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don’t have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.
     
    No, they (and those who've followed their lead, especially Jews) still do, they're just doing it for the Ds nowadays.

    No, they (and those who’ve followed their lead, especially Jews) still do, they’re just doing it for the Ds nowadays.

    Perhaps you could name some of these northern WASPs with so much influence, because I sure can’t. The ridiculous Chafee family name doesn’t seem to resonate beyond the tight borders of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

    Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Carson, Fiorina, Clinton, O’Malley, Sanders… the two ladies and ¡Jeb! were the only WASPs in the race. Fiorina and Bush were Southerners, by ancestry or adoption, and Rodham-Clinton of immigrant stock, albeit English immigrant stock.

    Are any of the major donors old-line WASPs? Gates and Buffett have their opinions, for sure, but where’s their influence felt?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    I spoke of those following their lead. The bulk of that leadership was provided long ago:

    https://nickbsteves.wordpress.com/foundational-readings/american-malvern/

    We are living in their future. Looking Backward from our advantageous position, one can see clear the influence of the Bellamys.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bellamy
  56. Trumpism transcends “movement” conservatism, and every other brand except the TRUE conservatism that Kirk recognized: “kith and kin, blood and soil.” And it also transcends the two parties.

    The conservative parasite class is about to have their rice bowls taken from them. Maybe then the country can be saved for those who once served it.

    Read More
  57. I think David Frum is really onto something. I definitely think the GOP should switch over to solidaristic conservatism right after President Trump delivers a cage full of Frum and the other neocons to the people of Baghdad to do with as they wish. A “big, beautiful cage”, as Trump would say.

    Read More
  58. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    Perhaps you’d elaborate, Mr. Diamond, on why “ISIS … ultimately bring[ing] down the State of Israel might even be a good thing for the world”?

    Because ISIS/al Qaeda would stop there and settle down pleasantly occupied with their countless and spectacular executions of local captives and their sex slave seizure and trading, and leave us —finally and totally— in peace?

    What about those twelve million or so “enemies of Allah” Jews (maybe including yourself?) who don’t live in Israel, who may or may not be Zionists nor religiously inclined, and in the near term at least, who wouldn’t be within reach of ISIS? Maybe we could further consolidate our safety by pre-emptively bringing them down as well?

    And is it at least hypothetically possible that US interests and Israeli interests may align more closely than would appeal/appear to people like yourself?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
    ISIS (with a few prominent exceptions) fights in the homelands of its members. Simply put, they have the right to be there, and I trust that without imperialist aggravation, the locals could eventually coordinate against them. If not, there's nothing to be done.

    Contrast with Israel, which exists at the expense of Palestinian sovereignty and consequently is a dangerous provocation to its Arab neighbors.

  59. Jefferson says:
    @Anonymous
    Al Smith won the Deep South in '28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections.

    “Al Smith won the Deep South in ’28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections.”

    But FDR wasn’t Agnostic. He regularly attended Catholic Sunday service. How often does Donald Trump go to church to pray?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    I think you have your facts scrambled:

    1. FDR was not Catholic so what was he doing in Catholic services?
    2. Most Southerners hated Catholics almost as much as they hated Jews and blacks. The South was Democrat because the Republicans were the party that had waged (and won) a war against them.
    3. Southerner's support for FDR had nothing to do with his religious beliefs - see #2 above plus the fact that FDR's programs (e.g. TVA) were helpful to the Southern poor.

    The great irony of black loyalty to Democrats is that the Democrat party was the one that was most opposed to the end of slavery. But then FDR starting giving out goodies and all was forgiven/forgotten.
  60. MLK says:

    Oh boy! There’s definitely a lot of overthinking going on.

    I’ll keep it simple because no one listens to me anyway. The following isn’t the whole story but it is the place to begin to understand 2016:

    2016 = 1988, with the parties reversed.

    It’s ironic that all that has the political and media establishment surprised, confused, and deeply agitated, derives from the conventional wisdom that has held since it was glued into place in 2008, Hillary as the Democratic nominee.

    If only Obama had ushered in the Democratic equivalent of the Reagan Revolution I would say Hillary is more likely than not to win as Bush did in 1988. But there is a good reason no one speaks of the Obama revolution, for good or ill. It didn’t happen, though Obama could have been as consequential a president as Reagan or even FDR.

    Everyone seems to forget that Hillary planned for and intended to run a replay of Obama’s successful 2008 or, if necessary, nasty 2012 election strategy. Just with First Woman Presdient plugged and played for First Black President. That has been abandoned, at least for the moment, in favor of George H.W. Bush’s 1988 experience and third-term for Reagan election strategy.

    Read More
  61. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @NOTA
    The diminishing marginal returns idea is especially important when you're dealing with ideas like decreasing tax rates and deregulating industry. How much it makes sense to pursue those policies depends on how high taxes are and how heavily regulated industry is. A world where the CAB is setting airline fares is a lot more ripe for deregulation than one where the top two companies in some space can routinely merge without antitrust worries (like Sirius and XM, say). Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric--when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it's probably a pretty bad direction to take policy.

    From a political perspective alone, it’s been obvious that income tax cuts were approaching diminishing returns for the GOP for a while. First, Clinton raised top rates and the economy did great; then, W. cut rates across the board temporarily; finally, Obama let W.’s cuts expire for highest brackets and kept them for the lower ones. Thanks to that W.-O combo, there’s no longer a broad enough constituency for lowering income tax rates.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Yeah, the tech boom had nothing to do with the economy under Clinton.
  62. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    George P. Bush could conceivably run as a 1980 Reagan-Kemp Republican in 16 years if, by that time, the pendulum has swung far enough back to ’80s conditions

    Read More
  63. Jack D says:

    Why not both? Why can’t we have BOTH solidaristic conservatism AND individualistic conservatism? There is nothing about a border fence that is inconsistent with individualism.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Jack- I think Steve would agree with you which is why Steve subtly pivoted from Frum's point by omitting universal healthcare from his suggested list of solidarity conversative principles.

    I think Mark Steyn is riggt- if you nationalize healthcare, it becomes the locus of politics for the rest of its existence. That pretty much rules out any kind of serious conservatism going forward-especially in the Anglosphere where blood and soil hybrid parties like the FN in France struggle to succeed.
  64. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @rod1963
    The problem is we've never done conservatism in this country, at least in recent memory. What has passed for it has been nothing but free gimmes for the monied elite and Wall Street since the 80's. The so-called GOP conservatives did nothing to protect our Constitution, society, communities or people. In fact there were often at the forefront of excusing predations by Wall Street and Madison Avenue all in the name of mindless consumerism or crony capitalism.

    About the only thing GOP "conservatives" did in the social domain was fight for the 2nd amendment to some extent.

    And look at the two GOP presidents we had since Reagan, neither could be labeled "conservative" at all. Both were globalists who had no use for borders or the American people for that matter. The last Bush wrecked the GOP brand so badly it made a 3rd world mulatto look attractive to the American people. The Republicans in Congress have often been at the forefront of promoting legislation that has harmed the lower classes and the country as a whole. NAFTA, PNTR with China, GATT, killing Glass-Steagall, etc.

    I just can't find anything "conservative" about the GOP.

    Indeed.

    Read More
  65. Jack D says:
    @Jefferson
    "Al Smith won the Deep South in ’28. It was all he won. A fellow New Yorker, FDR, won all of the South in the next 4 elections."

    But FDR wasn't Agnostic. He regularly attended Catholic Sunday service. How often does Donald Trump go to church to pray?

    I think you have your facts scrambled:

    1. FDR was not Catholic so what was he doing in Catholic services?
    2. Most Southerners hated Catholics almost as much as they hated Jews and blacks. The South was Democrat because the Republicans were the party that had waged (and won) a war against them.
    3. Southerner’s support for FDR had nothing to do with his religious beliefs – see #2 above plus the fact that FDR’s programs (e.g. TVA) were helpful to the Southern poor.

    The great irony of black loyalty to Democrats is that the Democrat party was the one that was most opposed to the end of slavery. But then FDR starting giving out goodies and all was forgiven/forgotten.

    Read More
  66. dr kill says:

    Boy O Boy. That personal statement of his certainly is insightful. What do you suppose he makes a year, thinking such deep thoughts? This is the same exact stuff that got him canned at the AEI six years ago. I’m thankful for Frum and Brooks and Rubin and Lowry and Goldberg and Beck and Levine and Hannity; they have convinced me I’m not a conservative at all.

    Read More
  67. Dutch Boy says:

    Conservatism is inherently solidaristic, so dump the libertarianism and get on with it.

    Read More
  68. @AndrewR
    I hate Israel but ISIS is far worse. Get a grip.

    Israel illegitimately acquired nuclear weapons, making it a major threat to world peace. Moreover, Israel (through the American Jewish lobby) buys the U.S. government. ISIS has no comparable effects on American interests.

    Read More
    • Replies: @random observer
    What does "illegitimately acquired" actually mean? Were they a NPT signatory at the time? [Yes, this would apply to Iran as well. There can be few people who do not recognize that US opposition to Iranian nukes has been national-interest based, not law or morality based. Although Iran is more likely to used them in an aggressive role than Israel. Israel doesn't need them that way as much as they need them as deterrent/shot from the grave.]

    Or does it just mean they stole some information and kit? As if the US has not carried out intel operations to enhance its military capability.

    I'd like to agree about the threat, though it is difficult. Israel's nukes more likely pose a threat to regional than world peace. And even then, the most likely circumstances in which they would be used require that regional peace have not only already collapsed, but that Israel is losing a conventional war. At which point, if I were them, I'd use them too. That's ultimately the same circumstances in which America would have used them, except even more existential for Israel.
  69. @Hanoi Paris Hilton
    Perhaps you'd elaborate, Mr. Diamond, on why "ISIS ... ultimately bring[ing] down the State of Israel might even be a good thing for the world"?

    Because ISIS/al Qaeda would stop there and settle down pleasantly occupied with their countless and spectacular executions of local captives and their sex slave seizure and trading, and leave us —finally and totally— in peace?

    What about those twelve million or so "enemies of Allah" Jews (maybe including yourself?) who don't live in Israel, who may or may not be Zionists nor religiously inclined, and in the near term at least, who wouldn't be within reach of ISIS? Maybe we could further consolidate our safety by pre-emptively bringing them down as well?

    And is it at least hypothetically possible that US interests and Israeli interests may align more closely than would appeal/appear to people like yourself?

    ISIS (with a few prominent exceptions) fights in the homelands of its members. Simply put, they have the right to be there, and I trust that without imperialist aggravation, the locals could eventually coordinate against them. If not, there’s nothing to be done.

    Contrast with Israel, which exists at the expense of Palestinian sovereignty and consequently is a dangerous provocation to its Arab neighbors.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Palestinian sovereignty

    Where was this? Real world, not imagination or hopefulness.
  70. Leftist conservative [AKA "Make Unz.com Great Again"] says: • Website
    @Hepp
    The fact of the matter is no people on earth believes in conservative or libertarian economics. Every democracy in the world has universal health care, for example. There is support for cutting government in the abstract, but not for any actually programs.

    So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.

    Yet the establishment wants to take away the only reason anyone actually votes Republican.

    There is no more clueless people on the planet than the Republican establishment. Those on the left have a version of the red pill they've taken. They're blind to the stupidity of their own demographics, but know that conservatives only vote based on identity. Yet GOP establishment types are living in a fantasy world where you win in democracy by having the policy proposals that are best for growth.

    The fact of the matter is no people on earth believes in conservative or libertarian economics. Every democracy in the world has universal health care, for example. There is support for cutting government in the abstract, but not for any actually programs.

    true, dat.

    So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.

    true dat….as the Dems push whites away with the anti-white platform, the GOP scoops them up just by being less anti-white.

    Yet the establishment wants to take away the only reason anyone actually votes Republican.

    members of the establish wants to get more donor money and secure a good economic future for themselves. So they do as big money wants.

    There is no more clueless people on the planet than the Republican establishment.

    They are not clueless; they just know which side of their bread is buttered. Big Money says ‘jump” and the GOP establishment says “how high”

    They’re blind to the stupidity of their own demographics, but know that conservatives only vote based on identity. Yet GOP establishment types are living in a fantasy world where you win in democracy by having the policy proposals that are best for growth.

    Big money wants more immigrants in america, in the job market, buying homes, consuming etc.
    And multiculturalism makes that happen.

    Read More
  71. @RamonaQ
    The problem is, with 8 more years of Hillary's open borders, it won't be possible, demographically, for GOP to win anymore

    That would be true if Kasich, Rubio, or any other open-borders Republican won too. I’m not totally confident about Cruz either.

    Read More
  72. @Thomas
    I'm increasingly convinced that the individualistic, 1980-style, Reagan-worshipping core of establishment conservatism has essentially become the political equivalent of a cult. One of the distinguishing features of a cult is that the core tenets of belief and ideology are highly resistant, if not utterly immune, to change or reexamination. The principal activity of any cult is to try to convert more people to adopt the unchanging beliefs, rather than be forced to reexamine those beliefs themselves. (In other words, the beliefs can't change to fit the world, so try to change the world to fit the beliefs.) What you get in the context of the Reagan cult are things like the post-2012 "Growth and Opportunity Project" "autopsy," which came to the conclusion that all was well in the world of conservatism, if only it could sell the same ideas to new people (i.e., "natural conservative" Hispanic immigrants, women, other minorities, etc.). In this context, Trump, and anyone who supports him, are not rivals or challengers, but heretics.

    Completely agree. Their cult-like behavior has become very apparent as a result of recent events (Trump). For example, on Twitter, Dan McLaughlin of RedState declares that resistance to Trump is a “test of character” and that “if you support him, we’ll know who you are”. Matt Walsh and Amanda Carpenter (Conservative Review) are putting together a list of conservatives who have “betrayed” conservatism by supporting Trump and thus deserve to be “blackballed”. People like Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, etc. What do they hope to accomplish from this? Why would Coulter, who already operates outside the mainstream conservative media, and has for years, need their recognition? Or Limbaugh, whose influence dwarfs anything they could even imagine? Pure lunacy.

    The fact that Trump supporters have become conscious of the failure of the conservative movement – and thus have abandoned it in favor of an alternative that will better preserve our culture – doesn’t register with them. No doubt that they are familiar with this critique, but “Conservatism” for them has become a cult. And now they are pretending to excommunicate people who have formerly recognized it as a cult and have already left it behind of their own volition.

    Read More
    • Replies: @rod1963
    The fact that Trump supporters have become conscious of the failure of the conservative movement – and thus have abandoned it in favor of an alternative that will better preserve our culture – doesn’t register with them. No doubt that they are familiar with this critique, but “Conservatism” for them has become a cult.

    It's certainly a valid way of looking at what has happened. What passes for conservatism today is anything but "conservative" and you're right people are walking away from it.

    It has nothing to offer white working and middle-class people at all. Then again the GOP purposely did nothing to even attract those voters. How could they when they ceded culture and community to the Democrats, opened our borders and sent millions of jobs to Asia just to benefit a small elite at the top of the food chain. For 30 odd years they basically poked these voters in the eye with a stick.

    Now they are freaked out that people are leaving and don't know why.
  73. Dennis Dale says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    A hawkish view of ISIS is a sop to the Lobby and US Jews. It doesn’t make sense, and the Israelis might view ISIS as beneficial in the short term anyway, in that they threaten Assad and other regional enemies. I’m willing to bet Netanyahu’s gov’t is calculating ISIS isn’t going to be able to scale up to the level of a state that can challenge them. But for the usual idiotic reasons, it pays Trump, if he’s honest about his non-intervention elsewhere, to compensate for that here. And ISIS is the Big Bad Guy of the moment.
    I’m eager to see what transpires at this AIPAC appearance. Trump is scaring people not just because he represents a repudiation of the whites-as-central-scapegoat political dynamic, but because he further prospects an accommodation between whites and those influential Jews for whom, in the end, it’s all about the security of Israel. He sells himself as a negotiator and nationalist; he’s likely to guarantee Israel’s security but demand something in return. That would be their worst possible outcome, American sovereignty restored and the world doesn’t end–not the American Reich they’re trying to scare us with.

    Read More
  74. “Diminishing marginal returns” is a difficult topic. I don’t understand it. If you think you do, try looking at the St Petersburg Paradox.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Petersburg_paradox

    Read More
  75. B36 says:

    So maybe it’s more the Right that is a coalition of the fringes and that is coming apart now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @This Is Our Home
    Yes because single women, blacks, Hispanics of all origins, Asians, Indians, gays and Muslims all just love each other...

    I'm guessing you are one of these Americans who have neither travelled nor paid any attention to the rest of the world.
  76. @Reg Cæsar

    No, they (and those who’ve followed their lead, especially Jews) still do, they’re just doing it for the Ds nowadays.
     
    Perhaps you could name some of these northern WASPs with so much influence, because I sure can't. The ridiculous Chafee family name doesn't seem to resonate beyond the tight borders of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

    Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Carson, Fiorina, Clinton, O'Malley, Sanders... the two ladies and ¡Jeb! were the only WASPs in the race. Fiorina and Bush were Southerners, by ancestry or adoption, and Rodham-Clinton of immigrant stock, albeit English immigrant stock.

    Are any of the major donors old-line WASPs? Gates and Buffett have their opinions, for sure, but where's their influence felt?

    I spoke of those following their lead. The bulk of that leadership was provided long ago:

    https://nickbsteves.wordpress.com/foundational-readings/american-malvern/

    We are living in their future. Looking Backward from our advantageous position, one can see clear the influence of the Bellamys.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bellamy

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    We said his cousin's pledge at the Scout meeting tonight. I always change it to "republics".
  77. iffen says:
    @anonn
    This analysis falters just a bit in that it assumes the elites on the right actually have any real core principles. I see no evidence of that. When the answer to every question, from economic growth to liberty, to law and order, to foreign policy, to science, to environment, etc, is always the same - deregulate and cut taxes for billionaires - you begin to wonder if the only principle that matters is the rich must get richer.

    This comes from the perspective of the far left, so take it with a grain of salt if you want. But it seems to me the best thing for the Republican party would be to go all in with Trump, maybe lose Goldwater-64 style (or maybe not, who knows?), and redefine the party for a generation. If you framed it well enough, all of the stench of the corrupt Washington/Manhattan elite washes off, while staying with Hillary and the neocon Democrats.

    The Republicans won running against the 60s in 68, 72, 80, 84, and 88. If they were smart enough to throw NYC financiers and Beltway war profiteers under the bus, and redefine the party as opposing DC/NYC, they could run against the 2010s (what are we calling this decade anyway?) for the next five or six elections.

    Damn demographics deliver Democrats. Tick-tock.

    Read More
  78. @Anonymous

    The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country.
     
    Yes, this is accurate. They are symbols and expressions of patriotism, rather than ideology, for most of the Tea Partiers.

    To your wider point regarding the tension between conservatism and solidarity, this is largely due to the fact that the Republican Party now includes major segments of the old Democratic coalition that favored solidaristic ideas and have migrated over to the GOP since the 60s. "Solidarity" is basically old left, labor liberalism. The GOP was traditionally the party of northeastern business elites and Midwestern and Western independent farmers and small town businessmen. The northern working class and the South switched tot he GOP, which now includes these divergent tendencies. This can be seen in the geographic divide between Cruz and Trump's electoral successes, and Trump is even extending these trends by bringing in many former Dems and Independents into the GOP.

    If I had to guess, I suppose the GOP will move in a more solidaristic direction, and Trump's success may just be the beginning. The northern WASPs that make up the traditional GOP don't have the demographic and cultural influence, even within the white population, let alone the wider population.

    It’s interesting who the Powers that Be are afraid of and of whom they aren’t. Obviously, they were very afraid of the Tea Party. Democrats reviled it as if it were the latest resurgence of the KKK. The Republican establishment was threatened by it and its leadership clearly despised it. Fortunately for them, Tea Party candidates like Marco Rubio turned out to be pretty easy to buy off once elected.

    Now we have Hitler running for office in the form of Trump. He is so thoroughly despised in Washington I’m not sure if he would be physically safe there, much less be able to govern the country. He might have to stay in Mar-a-Lago and phone it in.

    But who isn’t feared? Radical movements like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter don’t seem to worry anyone at all. The Democrat Party embraces them and the Republicans ignore them. A radical candidate, Bernie Sanders, doesn’t seem to worry anyone much either. The man is basically a communist and no one makes too much of it. I don’t think it’s just because they don’t expect him to win, either. They were freaking out about Trump long before anyone thought he had a realistic chance to win.

    So it’s interesting to ponder whom the establishment regards as dangerous threats. Left-wing and racial radicals . . . eh. A presidential candidate who is at the very least a fellow traveler . . . . yawn. A movement of middle-American patriots–Eeek! A populist who promotes American interests –it’s the end of civilization as we know it!

    It must be kind of deflating to be an angry leftwing radical and know that no one is worried about you.

    Read More
  79. iffen says:
    @Sean
    ISIS may ultimately give the Jewish State of Israel the chance to finalise the conquest of 1967. It would be a good thing for the Western world if Trump saved Israel from the current inexorable course toward Apartheid or full rights for Palestinians (I assume that a meaningful Arab state in the West Bank is now unfeasible due to the settlements).

    The Arabs of the West Bank in the Palestinian state (ie Jordan) and Israel secure as the Jewish state while dumbfounded counter-jumping neocons are exposed as having been only interested in their own personal aggrandizement (as Americans). The West freed to resist replacement immigration, and live with manageable minorities (as Israel will be doing with citizen Arabs). Beautiful.

    the chance to finalise the conquest of 1967

    How many years before something is recognized as final?

    2016-1967=49 years

    Read More
  80. iffen says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond
    ISIS (with a few prominent exceptions) fights in the homelands of its members. Simply put, they have the right to be there, and I trust that without imperialist aggravation, the locals could eventually coordinate against them. If not, there's nothing to be done.

    Contrast with Israel, which exists at the expense of Palestinian sovereignty and consequently is a dangerous provocation to its Arab neighbors.

    Palestinian sovereignty

    Where was this? Real world, not imagination or hopefulness.

    Read More
  81. Busby says:
    @Anonymous
    "Spengler" aka Goldman is wrong , as he usually is about everything. Realists like Brzezinski were instrumental in winning the Cold War. Jews like Goldman just try to take the credit for everything.

    Brezinski? Seriously?

    Try Reagan, Thatcher and the Pope, with the Saudis in an important supporting role as the plucky kid next door with gushers of crude oil in his back yard.

    Or as 44 million Americans said in 1980, “What has Jimmy Carter ever done for us?”

    It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job. It’s a depression when you lose your job. It’s a recovery when Jimmy Carter loses his job.

    Read More
  82. @Jack D
    Why not both? Why can't we have BOTH solidaristic conservatism AND individualistic conservatism? There is nothing about a border fence that is inconsistent with individualism.

    Jack- I think Steve would agree with you which is why Steve subtly pivoted from Frum’s point by omitting universal healthcare from his suggested list of solidarity conversative principles.

    I think Mark Steyn is riggt- if you nationalize healthcare, it becomes the locus of politics for the rest of its existence. That pretty much rules out any kind of serious conservatism going forward-especially in the Anglosphere where blood and soil hybrid parties like the FN in France struggle to succeed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    You don't have to nationalize healthcare to have universal coverage.
    , @random observer
    I'm a Canadian and I get where Steyn was coming from on this, but he seemed to get hysterical at the end.

    I don't see how Canadians are enslaved to the state by our health care, at least not specifically by it. We can move employers and retain our basic state coverage easily. There are some limits in moving province to province, but far less than seems to be endured by Americans in moving job to job, and they usually amount to proving residency and passing a waiting period. The price of federalism. I have yet to see any political movement or belief system extinguished in Canada by the state by holding over its members the threat of denying them health care. You might say any political party at some point has to note that it doesn't plan to take health care away, but that kind of strikes me as a policy debate about health care and a clear requirement by the crushing majority of the body of citizens, not a threat by the state to use health care as a weapon or an imposition on the freedom of [again, the overwhelming majority] citizens. So I'm not sure what freedom it has cost us or is going to cost us.

    It's still not the locus of politics exactly, except in the sense it is one of what we consider public services/public utilities, and public services/utilities [however a society defines them] are always and everywhere the locus of politics in any kind of society that has any kind of government [ie not anarcho-capitalist or some such] and any kind of public input at all [ie politics is not restricted to courtiers or their equivalent, arguing solely about the allocation of power and rights among themselves].

    There is no terrible distinction between a less social democratic society in which politics revolves around allocating resources to roads, railways, water rights, land rights, grazing, or whatever, and one in which the argument is about health care and social security, at least not a distinction of principle or kind [there may be a huge, fatal distinction in terms of monetary costs...]. Both are about societies using politics to allocate resources to what they perceive as public goods. That's what regular people expect politics to do and that is what it has always done, including in the US.

    If nothing else, that doesn't make a polity devoted to arguing about health care any different from one in which the public good under dispute is something else.

    That doesn't mean you have to have socialized medicine, just that it's no different from social security, or for that matter canal building.

    I am also reminded of Charles Krauthammer, whose constant refrain for years was that Obamacare was about to nationalize "one sixth of the economy". That always struck me, used as I now am to health care seen as utility, as an absurd situation in a purportedly capitalist society. One sixth (!!!) of the economy devoted to health care provision and insurance companies battling one another sounds about as productive as the [another sixth?] devoted to the profiteering of civil trial lawyers. If these sectors take so much out of it, you don't have a real productive capitalist economy anyway. You've just socialized some utility costs and privatized the rake-offs.

    The other thing that gets me on health care is that the health care available now [diagnostics, surgical and other procedures, pharmaceuticals] are by huge orders of magnitude superior to and more expensive than those available as late as the 1960s. Medicine has moved fast in my lifetime.

    A country could get socialized medicine providing 1960s-level care cheaply now, it's just that no patient would accept that kind of junky health care.

    Similarly, a country could have free-market health coverage at 60s medicine levels equally cheaply, but no one would want to pay for insurance that covered so little.

    So the answer seems to be socialized medicine with cost and access challenges being constantly managed and with difficulty, or a pure free market in which insurance that actually covers everything is inaccessibly expensive to most and the people on the discount packages slowly die off or are bankrupted to get the care they actually need, or a hybrid system like the US has long had and still has in which coverage is mixed, costs are socialized and profits privatized.

    It can go either way but as Derb has noted, the increasing awareness of pre-existing conditions means the insurance model is liable to implode anyway.

    You're right about the impact on political parties of the right though. In my dreams I would hope for a time in which the right can focus on national questions, political, security, social and economic in nature, and Trumpism may be a start. Too late for Canada, though. We left the world of real national identity and boarded the proposition nation train too long ago.
  83. @Desiderius
    I spoke of those following their lead. The bulk of that leadership was provided long ago:

    https://nickbsteves.wordpress.com/foundational-readings/american-malvern/

    We are living in their future. Looking Backward from our advantageous position, one can see clear the influence of the Bellamys.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bellamy

    We said his cousin’s pledge at the Scout meeting tonight. I always change it to “republics”.

    Read More
  84. I guess Frum has been reading me… right?

    When somebody writes something like “those of us who are comfortable with conventional Republicanism” it’s an indication that they’re not really thinking critically about politics as something that is separate from and reacts to conditions in the real world. [His] position is just “I like yesterday, so let’s not change anything in the political system and then tomorrow will be like yesterday too.” Frankly, that’s just not that smart.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/forward-how-republican-jews-utterly-failed-to-prevent-rise-of-toxic-donald-trump/#comment-1344698

    ; D

    Read More
  85. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    ISIS bring down Israel?? In your perverse dreams. ISIS cannot even bring down Iraq and Syria which are not even functioning states. But add ISIS to the list. The list being the Arab League, Pan Arab Nasserite nationalism, the Ba’ath party of Iraq or Syria, the Iranian revolution, the Wahabis, let’s see who else has said they want to destroy Israel? The Houthis? Yes they did too.

    Read More
  86. Anon99 says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    Question: What would be an ideal pivot away from individualistic conservatism toward a more solidaristic conservativism on say, foreign policy issues?

    In other words, the neo-con mode of "Invade the world" just cause we need to bring democratic institutions to faraway places that never had them in the first place, should that be chucked out the window?

    Would a more solidaristic conservatism be along the lines of: For now, let's bring most of the troops home. Perhaps place many of them on the southern border while the wall/fence is being built to help beef up border security. Also, we're pulling of Afghanistan and Iraq, period. AND we're not gonna start any new wars/endeavors in faraway places. If faraway places really want to build a democracy in their own lands, that's great. We'll supply the moral encouragement. Let us know when they've succeeded. But meanwhile, we're gonna take care of our own right in the good ol' USA.

    I mean, the logical opposite of the neocon "invade the world, invite the world" results in "the world's not invited 'cause they first have to wait their turn in line legally, and we've called off invasions of the world 'cause we're more focused on the homeland."

    Regarding foreign policy from a more solidaristic conservatism, that would seem to be the logical conclusion. The complete opposite of invade and invite.

    Aside from the possibility of a Trump administration, its difficult to see any major candidate in either party implementing even ten percent toward that kind of solidaristic foreign policy, and with Trump, at best one could hope for would be about ten percent of it being implemented.

    We can switch to a war of reprisal model for the pivot. Indicate that it is a military rather than politically driven strategy (of course that won’t be entirely true). Wars of reprisal are good, they give you a lot of stock photos of air power, etc, give you a full up test of your newest weapons, get some combat experience and decorations in the ranks, and make the nation feel good. Plus they are very low risk. We are great at kinetic, first day of war type operations. Modern military campaigns seem to hit an adamantium wall of diminishing marginal returns after the first 3 weeks of shooting. So limit all wars to 3 weeks. No nation building or hearts and minds. Better for everyone.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    That's the general idea behind the War Powers Act, except it's supposed to limit undeclared wars to 3 months instead of 3 weeks. The problem is that once troops are enmeshed in a conflict, there's a lot of political pressure on Congress to keep funding them.

    Another approach you could take is requiring Congressional approval ahead of time, but that's been the de facto requirement for big wars since the Gulf War, and Congress approved that one, Afghanistan, and Iraq Attack II.

    So maybe the solution is to cut the Army and the Marine Corps to the bone. Make them so small that there aren't enough active duty troops to start wars of choice in the first place. And pass a law restricting the use of the National Guard to within the 50 states.
  87. rod1963 says:
    @Cicatrizatic
    Completely agree. Their cult-like behavior has become very apparent as a result of recent events (Trump). For example, on Twitter, Dan McLaughlin of RedState declares that resistance to Trump is a "test of character" and that "if you support him, we'll know who you are". Matt Walsh and Amanda Carpenter (Conservative Review) are putting together a list of conservatives who have "betrayed" conservatism by supporting Trump and thus deserve to be “blackballed”. People like Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, etc. What do they hope to accomplish from this? Why would Coulter, who already operates outside the mainstream conservative media, and has for years, need their recognition? Or Limbaugh, whose influence dwarfs anything they could even imagine? Pure lunacy.

    The fact that Trump supporters have become conscious of the failure of the conservative movement - and thus have abandoned it in favor of an alternative that will better preserve our culture - doesn't register with them. No doubt that they are familiar with this critique, but “Conservatism” for them has become a cult. And now they are pretending to excommunicate people who have formerly recognized it as a cult and have already left it behind of their own volition.

    The fact that Trump supporters have become conscious of the failure of the conservative movement – and thus have abandoned it in favor of an alternative that will better preserve our culture – doesn’t register with them. No doubt that they are familiar with this critique, but “Conservatism” for them has become a cult.

    It’s certainly a valid way of looking at what has happened. What passes for conservatism today is anything but “conservative” and you’re right people are walking away from it.

    It has nothing to offer white working and middle-class people at all. Then again the GOP purposely did nothing to even attract those voters. How could they when they ceded culture and community to the Democrats, opened our borders and sent millions of jobs to Asia just to benefit a small elite at the top of the food chain. For 30 odd years they basically poked these voters in the eye with a stick.

    Now they are freaked out that people are leaving and don’t know why.

    Read More

  88. Steve,

    Obviously, this post is about 20 years too late…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    @ Ron Unz

    I know you were dealing with questions about the IMG tag recently. I couldn't get it to work. Not sure why...
    tried with and without " marks on src=...
    with and without S on https:...
  89. @Chrisnonymous

    https://40.media.tumblr.com/05c5f23b465b6b96ad04955468d73058/tumblr_o47ttlemg61vn2qq4o1_1280.jpg

    Steve,

    Obviously, this post is about 20 years too late...

    @ Ron Unz

    I know you were dealing with questions about the IMG tag recently. I couldn’t get it to work. Not sure why…
    tried with and without ” marks on src=…
    with and without S on https:…

    Read More
  90. @NOTA
    The diminishing marginal returns idea is especially important when you're dealing with ideas like decreasing tax rates and deregulating industry. How much it makes sense to pursue those policies depends on how high taxes are and how heavily regulated industry is. A world where the CAB is setting airline fares is a lot more ripe for deregulation than one where the top two companies in some space can routinely merge without antitrust worries (like Sirius and XM, say). Something similar works with tough on crime rhetoric--when the crack wars were filling up prisons and graveyards, getting tougher on crime might have been a good direction to take policy, whereas now, with historically low crime rates and a massive prison population, it's probably a pretty bad direction to take policy.

    I wish you had not used:

    the CAB is setting airline fares

    as an example. Air travel was at least an order of magnitude better, and maybe two orders better, before deregulation.

    If you travelled then, and you travel now, you would not use that as an example of a case where deregulation improved conditions.

    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.

    Only because now you have to mix with Hoi Polloi.

    I too miss the Business class of Pan Am's LHR-JFK service and the helicopter to 34'th Street.
    , @Bill
    If you want first class, then pay for first class.
  91. @Thomas
    A fact I keep having to point out to Reaganite conservatives: the US median age in 2016 is 38. That means that more than half the country was either under the age of 3 or not born yet when Reagan was inaugurated, and under the age of 11 when he left office.

    Well that is just peachy that you have pointed that out.

    Because pointing that out relieves us of thinking about, or discussing, George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter.

    And what of the Constitution? Should we may dismiss it because no one living now witnessed its creation, defense and adoption?

    So nothing that has happened in living memory, before a majority of the people aimlessly wandering around in America today, has any bearing on what happens now?

    Possibly it has not entered your mind that Reaganite conservatives do not need you to point out useless facts to them. Perhaps your historical myopia is problem.

    “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

    Read More
  92. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Sam Haysom
    Jack- I think Steve would agree with you which is why Steve subtly pivoted from Frum's point by omitting universal healthcare from his suggested list of solidarity conversative principles.

    I think Mark Steyn is riggt- if you nationalize healthcare, it becomes the locus of politics for the rest of its existence. That pretty much rules out any kind of serious conservatism going forward-especially in the Anglosphere where blood and soil hybrid parties like the FN in France struggle to succeed.

    You don’t have to nationalize healthcare to have universal coverage.

    Read More
  93. @Jefferson
    "So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party."

    The GOP Establishment sees Black Lies Matter as less evil than Donald Trump, so they are no longer the less anti-White party. They are just as equally anti-White as The Democratic Party.

    GOP Establishment types who side with Black Lies Matter over Donald Trump remind me of English people who bash Polish Catholic immigrants, but would never do the same to Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

    Re: GOP Establishment types who side with Black Lies Matter over Donald Trump remind me of English people who bash Polish Catholic immigrants, but would never do the same to Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

    Do such people actually exist in England? I mean outside of certain columnists’ heads?

    Read More
    • Replies: @This Is Our Home
    Yes, it is a way of recognising the main effects of mass immigration without seeming too racist. Also Muslim Pakistanis hate Poles. The Poles make England less Muslim and less Pakistani. Although they seem to happy that the Poles also make it less English.
  94. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Anon99
    We can switch to a war of reprisal model for the pivot. Indicate that it is a military rather than politically driven strategy (of course that won't be entirely true). Wars of reprisal are good, they give you a lot of stock photos of air power, etc, give you a full up test of your newest weapons, get some combat experience and decorations in the ranks, and make the nation feel good. Plus they are very low risk. We are great at kinetic, first day of war type operations. Modern military campaigns seem to hit an adamantium wall of diminishing marginal returns after the first 3 weeks of shooting. So limit all wars to 3 weeks. No nation building or hearts and minds. Better for everyone.

    That’s the general idea behind the War Powers Act, except it’s supposed to limit undeclared wars to 3 months instead of 3 weeks. The problem is that once troops are enmeshed in a conflict, there’s a lot of political pressure on Congress to keep funding them.

    Another approach you could take is requiring Congressional approval ahead of time, but that’s been the de facto requirement for big wars since the Gulf War, and Congress approved that one, Afghanistan, and Iraq Attack II.

    So maybe the solution is to cut the Army and the Marine Corps to the bone. Make them so small that there aren’t enough active duty troops to start wars of choice in the first place. And pass a law restricting the use of the National Guard to within the 50 states.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I didn't know that was the intention of the War Powers Act, that is interesting. Frankly a single navy task force, 3 flattops and a couple of MEUS could prolapse ISIS in a permanent fashion.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    Then say if the war will require anything that can't be landed from an LPD, catapulted off the front end of a carrier, or kicked out of an airplane, there must be some kind of national referendum. Add letters of Marque as a sort of tit for tat response to terrorism and you can keep the Middle East suppressed without costing a fortune.

    Makes me yearn for the age of sail when enterprising young skippers could handle these problems on their own cognizance without dragging the nation into a ruinous misadventure.

  95. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Why is Ben Carson so ugly? Really. I mean even if you out it on average he is ugly for a black person, compared to say, Kobe Byrant or Lewis Hamilton.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    How about compared to Tennessee Coates? BTW, they've been interviewing Herman Cain regularly on Fox lately. Invigorating to see a high-energy black man! He likes Trump, too.
    , @This Is Our Home
    Ben Carson isn't ugly at all. He's quite handsome, I think, in a kindly almost grandfatherly way. Not everyone can maintain their movie star looks like Mitt Romney into their older years. Indeed Dr Carson was quite dashing as a younger man.

    http://rackcdn.conservativebookclub.com/2015/10/Young-Ben-Carson-210x300.jpg
  96. @rod1963
    The problem is we've never done conservatism in this country, at least in recent memory. What has passed for it has been nothing but free gimmes for the monied elite and Wall Street since the 80's. The so-called GOP conservatives did nothing to protect our Constitution, society, communities or people. In fact there were often at the forefront of excusing predations by Wall Street and Madison Avenue all in the name of mindless consumerism or crony capitalism.

    About the only thing GOP "conservatives" did in the social domain was fight for the 2nd amendment to some extent.

    And look at the two GOP presidents we had since Reagan, neither could be labeled "conservative" at all. Both were globalists who had no use for borders or the American people for that matter. The last Bush wrecked the GOP brand so badly it made a 3rd world mulatto look attractive to the American people. The Republicans in Congress have often been at the forefront of promoting legislation that has harmed the lower classes and the country as a whole. NAFTA, PNTR with China, GATT, killing Glass-Steagall, etc.

    I just can't find anything "conservative" about the GOP.

    Dear God, are you such an infant that you do not remember Silent Cal?

    Read More
  97. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Dave Pinsen
    That's the general idea behind the War Powers Act, except it's supposed to limit undeclared wars to 3 months instead of 3 weeks. The problem is that once troops are enmeshed in a conflict, there's a lot of political pressure on Congress to keep funding them.

    Another approach you could take is requiring Congressional approval ahead of time, but that's been the de facto requirement for big wars since the Gulf War, and Congress approved that one, Afghanistan, and Iraq Attack II.

    So maybe the solution is to cut the Army and the Marine Corps to the bone. Make them so small that there aren't enough active duty troops to start wars of choice in the first place. And pass a law restricting the use of the National Guard to within the 50 states.

    I didn’t know that was the intention of the War Powers Act, that is interesting. Frankly a single navy task force, 3 flattops and a couple of MEUS could prolapse ISIS in a permanent fashion.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    Then say if the war will require anything that can’t be landed from an LPD, catapulted off the front end of a carrier, or kicked out of an airplane, there must be some kind of national referendum. Add letters of Marque as a sort of tit for tat response to terrorism and you can keep the Middle East suppressed without costing a fortune.

    Makes me yearn for the age of sail when enterprising young skippers could handle these problems on their own cognizance without dragging the nation into a ruinous misadventure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    If you go back further, the Marines' initial purpose was boarding ships, and fighting off boarding parties. They brainstormed the idea of amphibious invasions as a form of mission creep, but those are usually a terrible idea, which is why we haven't done one since I'm not sure when. Maybe Inchon?

    Now the Marine Corps is like a second army, with an air wing that's the size of the British Royal Air Force. Partly this bloat is a jobs program for Republicans, but the problem with having armed forces this big is someone (often an "idealist" like Samantha Power) is always itching to use it.

    Terrorism is a red herring when it comes to our military posture. The most ridiculous thing Marco Rubio said during the debates was about how we needed to "rebuild our military" to fight ISIS. Like we need more nuclear submarines to fight a bunch of guys with AKs and Toyota pickups. We don't even need to fight them at all. Just don't let them and their sympathizers in our country.

    Syed Farook's family should have been deported already. That would do a better job of deterring terrorism here than bombing Muslims in the Mideast.

    , @random observer
    I could see a national referendum if the US were going to:

    A) call for a mass volunteer army a la Lincoln [that seems like it should be restricted to national defence on or near home turf, or very popular causes or, presumably, suppressing other Americans (or rebelling against them)]

    B) reinstitute the draft [ditto, more or less]

    C) again deploy the National Guard overseas [it is almost certainly time to rethink Total Force or whatever that doctrine is now called- it was not meant for post-Cold War contingencies] en masse [maybe]

    But the regular force is just that- a regular force. All its members signed into a professional military, for whatever reason.

    , @random observer
    Also, there are faster communications now, more elaborate chains of command and more detailed rules of engagement. Any "enterprising young skipper" who engaged other forces, in peacetime and without being directly attacked himself, would likely be far outside his ROEs.

    Not being familiar with the law in detail, I can't say for sure, but exceeding orders like that would seem plausible grounds for a charge of mutiny. Especially as such actions might actually lead to the US being embroiled in a conflict it had not sought, rather than preventing or pre-empting one.

    If in recent years Presidents may have exceeded their constitutional powers in engaging the US in conflict, how much worse if military or naval commanders started doing it?
    , @Anonym
    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    USMC as self-sufficient heavy infantry? 3 Army divisions with swim training? This seems all kinds of wrong to me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Marine_Corps#Mission
  98. @Anonymous
    Why is Ben Carson so ugly? Really. I mean even if you out it on average he is ugly for a black person, compared to say, Kobe Byrant or Lewis Hamilton.

    How about compared to Tennessee Coates? BTW, they’ve been interviewing Herman Cain regularly on Fox lately. Invigorating to see a high-energy black man! He likes Trump, too.

    Read More
  99. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Anonymous
    I didn't know that was the intention of the War Powers Act, that is interesting. Frankly a single navy task force, 3 flattops and a couple of MEUS could prolapse ISIS in a permanent fashion.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    Then say if the war will require anything that can't be landed from an LPD, catapulted off the front end of a carrier, or kicked out of an airplane, there must be some kind of national referendum. Add letters of Marque as a sort of tit for tat response to terrorism and you can keep the Middle East suppressed without costing a fortune.

    Makes me yearn for the age of sail when enterprising young skippers could handle these problems on their own cognizance without dragging the nation into a ruinous misadventure.

    If you go back further, the Marines’ initial purpose was boarding ships, and fighting off boarding parties. They brainstormed the idea of amphibious invasions as a form of mission creep, but those are usually a terrible idea, which is why we haven’t done one since I’m not sure when. Maybe Inchon?

    Now the Marine Corps is like a second army, with an air wing that’s the size of the British Royal Air Force. Partly this bloat is a jobs program for Republicans, but the problem with having armed forces this big is someone (often an “idealist” like Samantha Power) is always itching to use it.

    Terrorism is a red herring when it comes to our military posture. The most ridiculous thing Marco Rubio said during the debates was about how we needed to “rebuild our military” to fight ISIS. Like we need more nuclear submarines to fight a bunch of guys with AKs and Toyota pickups. We don’t even need to fight them at all. Just don’t let them and their sympathizers in our country.

    Syed Farook’s family should have been deported already. That would do a better job of deterring terrorism here than bombing Muslims in the Mideast.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm in favor of killing people who kill Americans, especially when those people are executed publicly primarily due to their nationality. I think it's a dangerous precedent to allow that to go unpunished.

    The Marines, I love them but you're right, they are a mess, strategically. There hasn't been a big contested landing since they seized Da Nang at the start of Vietnam, and that was virtually bloodless. These days its a non starter but they continue to pour resources into dumb ideas like F35b and the AFV replacement. They just have no identity anymore and the Navy lost the balls to tell them to sit down, shut up, and learn some new tricks, like digging anti ship cruise missiles into unoccupied islands covertly or doing the same with transporter erector launchers. If they aren't going to serve a Navy objective, we don't need them on the payroll. Right now they are the tail that wags the dog.

    Micro Rubio just infuriated me with his babble, because he was so cocksure and condescending when spouting off these moronic military strategies of his. Trump has good instincts, like dropping the 35 and not galloping off to war with Russia. If he can just make a stand about ending the ongoing democrat social experiments with the services I'll die happy.
    , @Anonym
    If you go back further, the Marines’ initial purpose was boarding ships, and fighting off boarding parties. They brainstormed the idea of amphibious invasions as a form of mission creep, but those are usually a terrible idea, which is why we haven’t done one since I’m not sure when. Maybe Inchon?

    Now the Marine Corps is like a second army, with an air wing that’s the size of the British Royal Air Force. Partly this bloat is a jobs program for Republicans, but the problem with having armed forces this big is someone (often an “idealist” like Samantha Power) is always itching to use it.


    There has been perceived need for amphibious warfare by the allies in WW1 and definitely by the USA in WW2. Their Quantico school developed amphibious warfare doctrine in 1934, based in large part upon a study of the comedy of errors that was the Dardanelles campaign, an object lesson in what not to do.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Base_Quantico

    Ironically, what little of the USMC that was there was held back at Normandy, because the Pacific Theater required the bulk of the USMC, in an island hopping campaign that could not have fit the USMC's amphibious role more perfectly. It's extremely difficult to assault an island except amphibiously.

    As either a monopower or a superpower, the USA is similar to the British Empire as a naval power that must project force over the seas due to geography. If it is to do so, it needs to have a force very similar to the USMC because one never knows when the need for amphibious operations will arise - there is not always some handy allied country that will let you bring your army through. You can't build a suitable USMC type force from scratch each time you need one, though it can be scaled up from a smaller base.
  100. @Charles Erwin Wilson
    I wish you had not used:

    the CAB is setting airline fares
     
    as an example. Air travel was at least an order of magnitude better, and maybe two orders better, before deregulation.

    If you travelled then, and you travel now, you would not use that as an example of a case where deregulation improved conditions.

    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.

    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.

    Only because now you have to mix with Hoi Polloi.

    I too miss the Business class of Pan Am’s LHR-JFK service and the helicopter to 34′th Street.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Actually I like hoi polloi, for the most part. They participated in the overwhelming majority of my positive human-interaction experiences.

    I too miss the Business class of Pan Am’s LHR-JFK service and the helicopter to 34′th Street.
     
    I have no idea what you are describing, but then I live in Fishtown. I suspect that your Belmont home and your blue blood means that you are the one that does not like hoi polloi.
  101. @Anonymous
    Taxes and environmental and other regulations have incentivized offshoring. Trump has proposed cutting taxes and has criticized regulations which make building and industry difficult in the US.

    This is a trickle-down talking point that needs to die. It’s bogus, completely debunked, and in fact the opposite is true.

    Cutting taxes for businesses and the rich people that run them does not create jobs. If you give a business $50K in the bank via lower taxes, why would they use that money to create a job? Just for no reason, out of sheer benevolence? Businesses create jobs only when there’s more demand for their product or service. You create jobs by stimulating aggregate demand and using taxes to target money that is not being spent. The bottom 90% of earners in America spend on average 96% of their annual income. The richest 1% only spends 62% and I’d wager the richest fractions of the 1% spend much, much less. We need higher taxes on hoarding, not lower.

    Also the “carried interest loophole” is another BS talking point. It’s not a loophole; it’s part of a fundamental flaw in the tax code meant solely to benefit the rich that says long term capital gain is taxed at a lower rate. 85% of all capital gain is incurred by the richest 3% of tax returns. We need to combat the problem by saying all income is treated as ordinary income.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Treating all income as ordinary income would do a lot more to simplify taxes than reducing tax brackets. The Reagan/Bradley tax reform act of '86 did both. It's been downhill since then.
  102. I didn’t see all of Rubio’s town hall from Miami on MSNBC, but one of his answers jumped out as iStevish:

    TODD: Let me go to Daniel Bray (ph) here.

    He’s got the next question, also on immigration.

    (APPLAUSE)

    RUBIO: Hi, Daniel.

    DANIEL BRAY: How are you Senator Rubio?

    How are you Chuck?

    RUBIO: I’m good.

    BRAY: Um, if you were (INAUDIBLE) base immigration policy, wouldn’t you be showing — I mean, you know, shutting out your people like your parents?

    RUBIO: Yes, well, you wouldn’t shut them out, but it’s a different process, no doubt. My parents came in 1956. The world is a different place from 1956.

    When my parents arrived in the U.S. in 1956, my dad had a fourth grade education, maybe. My mom had about the same.

    If they came today, under those circumstances, they would really struggle to succeed, because in the 21st century economy, unless you have a certain level of skill or education, it’s very hard to find a sustainable job.

    So we always change policies when times change. And immigration policy is no different. And so today, in the 21st century, immigration policy has to be primarily based on merit.

    That doesn’t mean everyone is a PhD. It does mean that before you come in, you should be able to prove what skills are you going to bring to the US. It also, by the way, would open up more green cards for graduates from our universities, who are graduating at the top of their class in sciences and technology and other fields, and then they can’t stay.

    It — that doesn’t mean there won’t be a family-based component to it. There will be. But the priority and the base of the system needs to be merit-based, absolutely. It’s not the same system when my parents came across in 1956, because nothing looks like it did 60 years ago.

    TODD: Thanks.

    Thank you, Daniel.

    Read More
  103. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Dave Pinsen
    If you go back further, the Marines' initial purpose was boarding ships, and fighting off boarding parties. They brainstormed the idea of amphibious invasions as a form of mission creep, but those are usually a terrible idea, which is why we haven't done one since I'm not sure when. Maybe Inchon?

    Now the Marine Corps is like a second army, with an air wing that's the size of the British Royal Air Force. Partly this bloat is a jobs program for Republicans, but the problem with having armed forces this big is someone (often an "idealist" like Samantha Power) is always itching to use it.

    Terrorism is a red herring when it comes to our military posture. The most ridiculous thing Marco Rubio said during the debates was about how we needed to "rebuild our military" to fight ISIS. Like we need more nuclear submarines to fight a bunch of guys with AKs and Toyota pickups. We don't even need to fight them at all. Just don't let them and their sympathizers in our country.

    Syed Farook's family should have been deported already. That would do a better job of deterring terrorism here than bombing Muslims in the Mideast.

    I’m in favor of killing people who kill Americans, especially when those people are executed publicly primarily due to their nationality. I think it’s a dangerous precedent to allow that to go unpunished.

    The Marines, I love them but you’re right, they are a mess, strategically. There hasn’t been a big contested landing since they seized Da Nang at the start of Vietnam, and that was virtually bloodless. These days its a non starter but they continue to pour resources into dumb ideas like F35b and the AFV replacement. They just have no identity anymore and the Navy lost the balls to tell them to sit down, shut up, and learn some new tricks, like digging anti ship cruise missiles into unoccupied islands covertly or doing the same with transporter erector launchers. If they aren’t going to serve a Navy objective, we don’t need them on the payroll. Right now they are the tail that wags the dog.

    Micro Rubio just infuriated me with his babble, because he was so cocksure and condescending when spouting off these moronic military strategies of his. Trump has good instincts, like dropping the 35 and not galloping off to war with Russia. If he can just make a stand about ending the ongoing democrat social experiments with the services I’ll die happy.

    Read More
  104. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    Trump’s statements are all over the place.
     
    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS? Instead, he mindlessly calls for massive U.S. intervention. The U.S. is separated by two oceans from the terrorist threat, which becomes aggravated by blowback from just the kind of imperialistic intervention Trump recommends.

    Trump complains that Europe isn't doing its share. Then why not let Europe deal with ISIS, when that's where the terrorist threat is acute?

    The only putative interest America has in Middle East stability in our coming age of energy independence is the threat of ISIS to the State of Israel if ISIS is allowed to run completely amok. And the sacrifice of U.S. interests to Israeli interests is of the essence for AIPAC, which Trump courts.

    ISIS may ultimately bring down the State of Israel. That may even be a good thing for the world.

    Why does Trump fail to apply his noninterventionism to ISIS?

    Agreed. I can’t for the life of me see how ISIS is any kind of threat to the West at all.

    Read More
  105. dfordoom says: • Website
    @George
    Trump's statements are all over the place.

    One curious statement he made that in the past would have been a litmus test for all candidates is is stance on F-35. He brought it up once, and nobody asked him about it, and none of the other candidates brought it up.

    Trump wants to 'fire' F-35
    http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/10/29/trump-wants-fire-f-35/74800906/

    So Trump is the least militaristic candidate running. Hillary is the most militaristic, just like Goldwater. But these are different times.

    Hillary is the most militaristic

    So have Democrat voters become more militaristic, or is this another case of a party out of touch with its own supporters. Are Democrat voters really keen to see WW3?

    Read More
  106. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @ILL-iterate
    This is a trickle-down talking point that needs to die. It's bogus, completely debunked, and in fact the opposite is true.

    Cutting taxes for businesses and the rich people that run them does not create jobs. If you give a business $50K in the bank via lower taxes, why would they use that money to create a job? Just for no reason, out of sheer benevolence? Businesses create jobs only when there's more demand for their product or service. You create jobs by stimulating aggregate demand and using taxes to target money that is not being spent. The bottom 90% of earners in America spend on average 96% of their annual income. The richest 1% only spends 62% and I'd wager the richest fractions of the 1% spend much, much less. We need higher taxes on hoarding, not lower.

    Also the "carried interest loophole" is another BS talking point. It's not a loophole; it's part of a fundamental flaw in the tax code meant solely to benefit the rich that says long term capital gain is taxed at a lower rate. 85% of all capital gain is incurred by the richest 3% of tax returns. We need to combat the problem by saying all income is treated as ordinary income.

    Treating all income as ordinary income would do a lot more to simplify taxes than reducing tax brackets. The Reagan/Bradley tax reform act of ’86 did both. It’s been downhill since then.

    Read More
  107. […] Coming GOP Realignment? Steve Sailer quotes from a very interesting David Frum tweetstorm analyzing the GOP’s dilemma — this, in reaction to an […]

    Read More
  108. @B36
    So maybe it's more the Right that is a coalition of the fringes and that is coming apart now.

    Yes because single women, blacks, Hispanics of all origins, Asians, Indians, gays and Muslims all just love each other…

    I’m guessing you are one of these Americans who have neither travelled nor paid any attention to the rest of the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @B36
    They don't all love each other but they sure vote the same.
    Meanwhile, if you haven't noticed, neocons, paleocons, Tea Partiers, RINOs, libertarians, evangelicals, Wall Streeters are all at each other's throat. Wish it were otherwise...
  109. @celt darnell
    Re: GOP Establishment types who side with Black Lies Matter over Donald Trump remind me of English people who bash Polish Catholic immigrants, but would never do the same to Pakistani Muslim immigrants.

    Do such people actually exist in England? I mean outside of certain columnists' heads?

    Yes, it is a way of recognising the main effects of mass immigration without seeming too racist. Also Muslim Pakistanis hate Poles. The Poles make England less Muslim and less Pakistani. Although they seem to happy that the Poles also make it less English.

    Read More
  110. @Anonymous
    Why is Ben Carson so ugly? Really. I mean even if you out it on average he is ugly for a black person, compared to say, Kobe Byrant or Lewis Hamilton.

    Ben Carson isn’t ugly at all. He’s quite handsome, I think, in a kindly almost grandfatherly way. Not everyone can maintain their movie star looks like Mitt Romney into their older years. Indeed Dr Carson was quite dashing as a younger man.

    Read More
  111. @Reg Cæsar

    ...but Obama had a duel purpose in mind.
     
    Typo, or pun?

    The guy wanted to bring a gun to a knife fight you punderstand.

    Read More
  112. […] Sailer quotes from a very interesting David Frum tweetstorm analyzing the GOP’s dilemma — this, in reaction to an […]

    Read More
  113. anomymous says:
    @This Is Our Home
    Ben Carson isn't ugly at all. He's quite handsome, I think, in a kindly almost grandfatherly way. Not everyone can maintain their movie star looks like Mitt Romney into their older years. Indeed Dr Carson was quite dashing as a younger man.

    http://rackcdn.conservativebookclub.com/2015/10/Young-Ben-Carson-210x300.jpg

    Douglas macarthur? Reagan? Charles Dance?

    Read More
  114. @FactsAreImportant
    Who do Frum's tweets (and most of the comments) make no sense to me?

    Much of it sounds like randomly generated phrases and words, and sometimes even randomly generated syllables. Is it just me? Did I have a stroke this morning or something?

    Is it because they are tweets?

    I had the same reaction. I couldn’t make heads nor tails out of what Frum purported to be talking about.

    Read More
  115. Brutusale says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    From a political perspective alone, it's been obvious that income tax cuts were approaching diminishing returns for the GOP for a while. First, Clinton raised top rates and the economy did great; then, W. cut rates across the board temporarily; finally, Obama let W.'s cuts expire for highest brackets and kept them for the lower ones. Thanks to that W.-O combo, there's no longer a broad enough constituency for lowering income tax rates.

    Yeah, the tech boom had nothing to do with the economy under Clinton.

    Read More
  116. Ragno says:
    @guest
    That supposed shift to the right on the 70s was mostly rhetorical. What was so damn conservative about "We're all Keynesians now," the EPA, OSHEA, Law and Order, endless foreign wars and nation building, the Americans With Disabilities Act, endless covert liberal Supreme Court nominees, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and so forth. This is what we got from the success of "individualistic conservatism?" Oh, we got tax cuts and some deregulation. Whoppee.

    Bill Clinton, in fact, got more credit than any Republican president ever did against "Big Government." That's how competent the individualistic conservative movement has been. But Republicans talked a lot about free markets, so I guess we have to pretend they governed that way. That's what it comes down to, really. Government goes on governing regardless of who's in office or what philosophy they espouse, but we pretend it's shifting left or right because the parties talk like they're to the left or right of eachother. All the while, near as I can tell things are always going leftward. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but always leftward. And often it goes faster leftward under Republicans than Democrats. For instance, the Nixon years and Clinton years were opposite of the way they were sold, at least going by the president. Who doesn't much count, to be frank.

    Frum's desire is apparently what we already got, which was neoconservatism, i.e. conservatives doing what progressives want, only a little less. Those are the guys who thought up Obamacare in the first place, and now they want universal healthcare. Next they'll ask for universal feeding and housing, too, lest leftists come up with something worse.
    What he most wants is for the window to remain narrow, and for "extremists" to remain outcasts. He sees the popularity of admitted "socialist" Sanders and either far right "wing nut" or not very conservative Trump, I don't know. I haven't read Frum's thinking on the Trump issue. Trump might represent to him a possible Goldwater-esque landslide. Anyway, the point is Trump isn't a neoconservative or mainstream liberal and as such is outside polite company and as such is anathema to Frum.

    You may be right about Individualistic Conservatism versus Solidaristic Conservatism, so long as we stipulate that we're talking about how we sell things rather than reality. But that's not to say going solidaristic means going left, or not going as far to the right. There are other rights besides the libertarian right (which, I keep insisting, never has been in power, despite the little bit of libertarianism we get from time to time; the ruling class, for instance, are free traders for reasons entirely separate from libertarians, for instance). Trump taps into the so-called Middle American Radicals, the ones who briefly popped up when Joe McCarthy and George Wallace, for instance, were in the news. To Frum they are worse than outright socialism.

    Will somebody give this man a regular column here, please? More plain truth in this one reply than in a month of op-eds, on the Right or Left.

    Read More
  117. Mr. Anon says:

    “9) Trump being a candidate whom most Republicans elite regard as a Goldwater-style disaster who will drag whole party to defeat after him”

    Of course, a lot has happened since Goldwater. Notably, Lyndon Johnson. He didn’t work out to well, and one hopes that white Democrats and independents will take note of that.

    The media is making Trump out to be some kind of belligerent war monger – a Goldwater-lite. However Trump does not, for example, seem to believe that we should go out of our way to antagonize Russia. All the other candidates – Carly Fiorina included – practically vowed to personally engage Putin in a Texas-rules knife-fight.

    Read More
  118. The term “populist” is often interpreted as “rabble-rousing”, but it needn’t be.

    The Democrats no longer try to represent working people: instead they promote identity politics and welfare claimants.

    There is a huge opportunity for the Republicans to win votes from those who are currently without representation. Whatever his other virtues and vices, Trump can spot a good deal before anyone else, and he is ahead of the game.

    Read More
  119. Bill says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson
    I wish you had not used:

    the CAB is setting airline fares
     
    as an example. Air travel was at least an order of magnitude better, and maybe two orders better, before deregulation.

    If you travelled then, and you travel now, you would not use that as an example of a case where deregulation improved conditions.

    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.

    If you want first class, then pay for first class.

    Read More
  120. Bill says:
    @Hepp
    The fact of the matter is no people on earth believes in conservative or libertarian economics. Every democracy in the world has universal health care, for example. There is support for cutting government in the abstract, but not for any actually programs.

    So why do conservatives win elections? By being the slightly less anti-white, anti-male, anti-Christian party.

    Yet the establishment wants to take away the only reason anyone actually votes Republican.

    There is no more clueless people on the planet than the Republican establishment. Those on the left have a version of the red pill they've taken. They're blind to the stupidity of their own demographics, but know that conservatives only vote based on identity. Yet GOP establishment types are living in a fantasy world where you win in democracy by having the policy proposals that are best for growth.

    They are not clueless. They are brilliant.

    From the POV of white Christians, the US was pretty great before 1965. Our evil elite managed, over the intervening 50 years not only to completely change the US into the depraved sewer it is now but to get white Christians actively to demand many of the changes. That’s damn impressive.

    They created two parties. There is the cultural marxist, pro-worker party and the pro-oligarch, anti cultural marxist party. Both parties get their votes from the latter of their two characteristic positions. Then, when the parties are in power, each only delivers on the former of their two characteristic positions. And, somehow, they manage to disguise this fact from their voters for decades on end.

    Imagine if you had taken a typical white Christian in 1964 and offered him what was to come. Taxes on the oligarchs will be cut to a fifth or a tenth of their current level. Meanwhile, the middle class will be crushed in favor of those oligarchs. Oh, and your granddaughters will be whores. What percentage of the vote would that plan have received?

    It’s amazing what they’ve done.

    Read More
  121. Bill says:
    @FactsAreImportant
    Who do Frum's tweets (and most of the comments) make no sense to me?

    Much of it sounds like randomly generated phrases and words, and sometimes even randomly generated syllables. Is it just me? Did I have a stroke this morning or something?

    Is it because they are tweets?

    Because Frum is trying to stake out a space which doesn’t exist. For some reason, he has decided to try to draw off support from paleos to his neo-with-crappy-paleo camouflage weirdness. He is a total waste of time.

    Personally, I think he went a little insane right after the “we turn our backs on them” incident. Or maybe it was getting fired from AEI which did it. Who knows.

    Read More
  122. @rod1963
    The problem is we've never done conservatism in this country, at least in recent memory. What has passed for it has been nothing but free gimmes for the monied elite and Wall Street since the 80's. The so-called GOP conservatives did nothing to protect our Constitution, society, communities or people. In fact there were often at the forefront of excusing predations by Wall Street and Madison Avenue all in the name of mindless consumerism or crony capitalism.

    About the only thing GOP "conservatives" did in the social domain was fight for the 2nd amendment to some extent.

    And look at the two GOP presidents we had since Reagan, neither could be labeled "conservative" at all. Both were globalists who had no use for borders or the American people for that matter. The last Bush wrecked the GOP brand so badly it made a 3rd world mulatto look attractive to the American people. The Republicans in Congress have often been at the forefront of promoting legislation that has harmed the lower classes and the country as a whole. NAFTA, PNTR with China, GATT, killing Glass-Steagall, etc.

    I just can't find anything "conservative" about the GOP.

    Bush I’s foreign policy was Tier I Realist and his New World Order looked nothing like his son’s.

    He had to actually be a statesman and not assume the US lived in a bubble. That included managing the retreat and collapse of the USSR in some way that facilitated the end of communism in Europe and the end of the USSR’s imperial position and then existence, allowing a whole bunch of historic nations to resume normal operations and a few crappy ones to try their best. It also included managing the backlash of all that everywhere else in lieu of anyone else being able to do it, keeping the UN as a tool for the US like it was supposed to be when it was created, and not letting anyone else take advantage of a world in flux to turn it from a US-advantage world to a US-disadvantage world.

    What it didn’t include was trying to make the whole world America/Democracy or whatever nonsense the neocons wanted. They weren’t as strong then.

    And Bush I managed every bit of that better than any president since has managed foreign policy challenges, or many before him, and in the US national interest. And he even paid with his office, career and reputation for not being wedded to endless, context-free tax cutting.

    He may have been a globalist of some sort, but it doesn’t look like globalism much stronger than, “hey America may be the strongest country but it’s just one and maybe we are better served by taking notice of things and cooperating instead of either assuming they are all like us or hiding in our basements shouting “lalalalala” with our hands over our ears”.

    His domestic and even foreign policy were hardly flawless, but compared with any of his successors he was a statesman of Metternich-calibre.

    Read More
  123. @Stephen R. Diamond
    Israel illegitimately acquired nuclear weapons, making it a major threat to world peace. Moreover, Israel (through the American Jewish lobby) buys the U.S. government. ISIS has no comparable effects on American interests.

    What does “illegitimately acquired” actually mean? Were they a NPT signatory at the time? [Yes, this would apply to Iran as well. There can be few people who do not recognize that US opposition to Iranian nukes has been national-interest based, not law or morality based. Although Iran is more likely to used them in an aggressive role than Israel. Israel doesn't need them that way as much as they need them as deterrent/shot from the grave.]

    Or does it just mean they stole some information and kit? As if the US has not carried out intel operations to enhance its military capability.

    I’d like to agree about the threat, though it is difficult. Israel’s nukes more likely pose a threat to regional than world peace. And even then, the most likely circumstances in which they would be used require that regional peace have not only already collapsed, but that Israel is losing a conventional war. At which point, if I were them, I’d use them too. That’s ultimately the same circumstances in which America would have used them, except even more existential for Israel.

    Read More
    • Replies: @OutWest
    The threat is the perceived need to acquire nuclear weapons if your neighbor/adversary has them.
  124. IA says:
    @Logical Meme
    I think the underlying binding element to the 'solidaristic conservatism' we are witnessing, expressed vis-à-vis the Trump phenomenon, is the desire to pop the bubble of P.C.'s overreach. At the nexus of Trump's appeal is the unifying role of P.C., that festering cancer stifling debate on a series of important issues. Because of P.C., over half of the country is not allowed to articulate non-liberal positions on hot button issues like: illegal immigration; H1-B visas; Muslim refugees; BLM; generalized anti-white violence; generalized anti-white, anti-male, and anti-Western sentiment; etc. I think the recent YouGov poll establishes this quite firmly:

    What separates Trump voters from those supporting other candidates is the importance of the issue of immigration. While Republican voters generally think the economy is the country’s most important issue, no matter whether they are for or against Trump, Trump’s supporters are nearly five times as likely as supporters of other candidates to say immigration is the issue that matters most to them. But Trump’s brashness may be more important than his issue positions. The most important reason people support Trump, chosen by both Trump supporters and opponents in the party, is that he is not politically correct.
     
    Once 'solidaristic conservatism' pops that bubble (one hopes), and once it becomes largely acceptable for conservative whites to articulate un-P.C. opinions without fear of H.R. dept retribution, and once Trump's #1 issue (border wall) is enacted to slow down the Latino Demographic Wave, then individualistic conservatism will resurface.

    It's a Hegelian dialectic, of sorts.

    "The Tea Party struck me as an implicit solidaristic conservative movement organized around an individualist ideology of libertarianism, but less for reasons of ideology than of patriotic history: America was founded by liberty lovers, so this history was seen (murkily, I admit) as offering a potentially unifying national theme in an increasingly diverse and fractious country. Of course, these citizenist stirrings were contemptuously rejected by the left as the racist twitchings of dying white men etc."

    The incipient Tea Party was something of an implicitly white, unformed mass struggling to leave the womb. Once again, the Left has often been ahead of the curve with their radar signaling the coelescing of white consciousness, labeling of course such sociological contours (e.g., the overwhelming whiteness of Tea Party rallies) as 'racism', 'white supremacy', and the like. The Tea Party crowd's continued denial of Constitutionalism's deep cultural roots in a white America of yesteryear leads, naturally, to Glenn Beck's current Trump Meltdown. Beck's entire philosophy begins with the bizarre notion that the Constitution was "created by God" (and seemingly appeared out of a vacuum), rather than the idea that the Constitution emerged from a particular social milieu, itself borne from centuries of Anglo British common law tradition, civil struggles, and slowly acculturated cultural norms.

    When you refuse to make the implicit whiteness of the Tea Party an explicit whiteness, you are left with the likes of Beck, Mark Levin, and many others in seeing Trump as a force for evil rather than a force for good.

    Similary, the Left is ahead of the curve with their clarion call warnings of Trump 'fascism'. This is not to say Trump is a fascist, nor that a fascist could make substantial headway within the U.S.'s 'checks and balances' political system. It is to say, however, that when a collective sense of anomie saturates the indigenous people of a nation, a sense that the entire political system is failing, corrupt, or completely dysfunctional, there is a natural longing among this indigenous people for a more authoritarian leader, someone who will repudiate the creeping relativism, socialism, and (in our current situation) multiculturalism. They look for a forceful correction involving moral assertions long suppressed.

    If you look at the post-WWI preconditions of fascism in places like Italy, Germany, Spain, and France, you see striking patterns: general senses of foreigners immigrating into the host nation fundamentally transforming the nation, sapping jobs, leading to indigenous dispossession, etc. There is a sense that one's nation (aka 'culture') is under foreign occupation.

    To say that such collective sentiments necessarily leads to fascism is, of course, an ad hominem fallacy (something we are contending with now in the case of Trump), but this again shows how the Left's alarmism is a useful 'canary in the coalmine'.

    Nice analysis, and well presented.

    The sense that one’s culture is under occupation is no delusion. Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, 1915. Dada is to western culture what the International Style is to architecture. It’s not just anti-ethnocentric, however. The new Whitney looks like a factory on Mars that makes nothing at all. It’s a joke – an irrational, empty and ironic gesture for insiders. But modernism needs a lot of very rich, alienated people to keep it going. The Corcoran couldn’t survive. Not enough super-rich elites in DC.

    The upside-down ziggurat on the Mall. It could be a double bank shot inside joke, i.e., ethnocentric and making a mockery of the surrounding monuments’ “gravitas.”

    Read More
  125. @FactsAreImportant
    Who do Frum's tweets (and most of the comments) make no sense to me?

    Much of it sounds like randomly generated phrases and words, and sometimes even randomly generated syllables. Is it just me? Did I have a stroke this morning or something?

    Is it because they are tweets?

    Nah, it’s because Frum is Canadian.

    Read More
  126. @Sam Haysom
    Jack- I think Steve would agree with you which is why Steve subtly pivoted from Frum's point by omitting universal healthcare from his suggested list of solidarity conversative principles.

    I think Mark Steyn is riggt- if you nationalize healthcare, it becomes the locus of politics for the rest of its existence. That pretty much rules out any kind of serious conservatism going forward-especially in the Anglosphere where blood and soil hybrid parties like the FN in France struggle to succeed.

    I’m a Canadian and I get where Steyn was coming from on this, but he seemed to get hysterical at the end.

    I don’t see how Canadians are enslaved to the state by our health care, at least not specifically by it. We can move employers and retain our basic state coverage easily. There are some limits in moving province to province, but far less than seems to be endured by Americans in moving job to job, and they usually amount to proving residency and passing a waiting period. The price of federalism. I have yet to see any political movement or belief system extinguished in Canada by the state by holding over its members the threat of denying them health care. You might say any political party at some point has to note that it doesn’t plan to take health care away, but that kind of strikes me as a policy debate about health care and a clear requirement by the crushing majority of the body of citizens, not a threat by the state to use health care as a weapon or an imposition on the freedom of [again, the overwhelming majority] citizens. So I’m not sure what freedom it has cost us or is going to cost us.

    It’s still not the locus of politics exactly, except in the sense it is one of what we consider public services/public utilities, and public services/utilities [however a society defines them] are always and everywhere the locus of politics in any kind of society that has any kind of government [ie not anarcho-capitalist or some such] and any kind of public input at all [ie politics is not restricted to courtiers or their equivalent, arguing solely about the allocation of power and rights among themselves].

    There is no terrible distinction between a less social democratic society in which politics revolves around allocating resources to roads, railways, water rights, land rights, grazing, or whatever, and one in which the argument is about health care and social security, at least not a distinction of principle or kind [there may be a huge, fatal distinction in terms of monetary costs...]. Both are about societies using politics to allocate resources to what they perceive as public goods. That’s what regular people expect politics to do and that is what it has always done, including in the US.

    If nothing else, that doesn’t make a polity devoted to arguing about health care any different from one in which the public good under dispute is something else.

    That doesn’t mean you have to have socialized medicine, just that it’s no different from social security, or for that matter canal building.

    I am also reminded of Charles Krauthammer, whose constant refrain for years was that Obamacare was about to nationalize “one sixth of the economy”. That always struck me, used as I now am to health care seen as utility, as an absurd situation in a purportedly capitalist society. One sixth (!!!) of the economy devoted to health care provision and insurance companies battling one another sounds about as productive as the [another sixth?] devoted to the profiteering of civil trial lawyers. If these sectors take so much out of it, you don’t have a real productive capitalist economy anyway. You’ve just socialized some utility costs and privatized the rake-offs.

    The other thing that gets me on health care is that the health care available now [diagnostics, surgical and other procedures, pharmaceuticals] are by huge orders of magnitude superior to and more expensive than those available as late as the 1960s. Medicine has moved fast in my lifetime.

    A country could get socialized medicine providing 1960s-level care cheaply now, it’s just that no patient would accept that kind of junky health care.

    Similarly, a country could have free-market health coverage at 60s medicine levels equally cheaply, but no one would want to pay for insurance that covered so little.

    So the answer seems to be socialized medicine with cost and access challenges being constantly managed and with difficulty, or a pure free market in which insurance that actually covers everything is inaccessibly expensive to most and the people on the discount packages slowly die off or are bankrupted to get the care they actually need, or a hybrid system like the US has long had and still has in which coverage is mixed, costs are socialized and profits privatized.

    It can go either way but as Derb has noted, the increasing awareness of pre-existing conditions means the insurance model is liable to implode anyway.

    You’re right about the impact on political parties of the right though. In my dreams I would hope for a time in which the right can focus on national questions, political, security, social and economic in nature, and Trumpism may be a start. Too late for Canada, though. We left the world of real national identity and boarded the proposition nation train too long ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    As long as you stay home. There's a constant debate in the Ethics Committee meetings at my girlfriend's hospital about levels of care they can give Canadian citizens and still get paid.

    Danny Williams paid cash.

  127. @Anonymous
    I didn't know that was the intention of the War Powers Act, that is interesting. Frankly a single navy task force, 3 flattops and a couple of MEUS could prolapse ISIS in a permanent fashion.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    Then say if the war will require anything that can't be landed from an LPD, catapulted off the front end of a carrier, or kicked out of an airplane, there must be some kind of national referendum. Add letters of Marque as a sort of tit for tat response to terrorism and you can keep the Middle East suppressed without costing a fortune.

    Makes me yearn for the age of sail when enterprising young skippers could handle these problems on their own cognizance without dragging the nation into a ruinous misadventure.

    I could see a national referendum if the US were going to:

    A) call for a mass volunteer army a la Lincoln [that seems like it should be restricted to national defence on or near home turf, or very popular causes or, presumably, suppressing other Americans (or rebelling against them)]

    B) reinstitute the draft [ditto, more or less]

    C) again deploy the National Guard overseas [it is almost certainly time to rethink Total Force or whatever that doctrine is now called- it was not meant for post-Cold War contingencies] en masse [maybe]

    But the regular force is just that- a regular force. All its members signed into a professional military, for whatever reason.

    Read More
  128. @Anonymous
    I didn't know that was the intention of the War Powers Act, that is interesting. Frankly a single navy task force, 3 flattops and a couple of MEUS could prolapse ISIS in a permanent fashion.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    Then say if the war will require anything that can't be landed from an LPD, catapulted off the front end of a carrier, or kicked out of an airplane, there must be some kind of national referendum. Add letters of Marque as a sort of tit for tat response to terrorism and you can keep the Middle East suppressed without costing a fortune.

    Makes me yearn for the age of sail when enterprising young skippers could handle these problems on their own cognizance without dragging the nation into a ruinous misadventure.

    Also, there are faster communications now, more elaborate chains of command and more detailed rules of engagement. Any “enterprising young skipper” who engaged other forces, in peacetime and without being directly attacked himself, would likely be far outside his ROEs.

    Not being familiar with the law in detail, I can’t say for sure, but exceeding orders like that would seem plausible grounds for a charge of mutiny. Especially as such actions might actually lead to the US being embroiled in a conflict it had not sought, rather than preventing or pre-empting one.

    If in recent years Presidents may have exceeded their constitutional powers in engaging the US in conflict, how much worse if military or naval commanders started doing it?

    Read More
  129. OutWest says:
    @random observer
    What does "illegitimately acquired" actually mean? Were they a NPT signatory at the time? [Yes, this would apply to Iran as well. There can be few people who do not recognize that US opposition to Iranian nukes has been national-interest based, not law or morality based. Although Iran is more likely to used them in an aggressive role than Israel. Israel doesn't need them that way as much as they need them as deterrent/shot from the grave.]

    Or does it just mean they stole some information and kit? As if the US has not carried out intel operations to enhance its military capability.

    I'd like to agree about the threat, though it is difficult. Israel's nukes more likely pose a threat to regional than world peace. And even then, the most likely circumstances in which they would be used require that regional peace have not only already collapsed, but that Israel is losing a conventional war. At which point, if I were them, I'd use them too. That's ultimately the same circumstances in which America would have used them, except even more existential for Israel.

    The threat is the perceived need to acquire nuclear weapons if your neighbor/adversary has them.

    Read More
  130. @Bill Jones
    I enjoyed flying then. I hate flying now.

    Only because now you have to mix with Hoi Polloi.

    I too miss the Business class of Pan Am's LHR-JFK service and the helicopter to 34'th Street.

    Actually I like hoi polloi, for the most part. They participated in the overwhelming majority of my positive human-interaction experiences.

    I too miss the Business class of Pan Am’s LHR-JFK service and the helicopter to 34′th Street.

    I have no idea what you are describing, but then I live in Fishtown. I suspect that your Belmont home and your blue blood means that you are the one that does not like hoi polloi.

    Read More
  131. […] Steve Sailer has an interesting post titled “Time to Pivot from Individualistic Conservatism to Solidaristic Conservatism for Awhile”: […]

    Read More
  132. B36 says:
    @This Is Our Home
    Yes because single women, blacks, Hispanics of all origins, Asians, Indians, gays and Muslims all just love each other...

    I'm guessing you are one of these Americans who have neither travelled nor paid any attention to the rest of the world.

    They don’t all love each other but they sure vote the same.
    Meanwhile, if you haven’t noticed, neocons, paleocons, Tea Partiers, RINOs, libertarians, evangelicals, Wall Streeters are all at each other’s throat. Wish it were otherwise…

    Read More
    • Replies: @This Is Our Home
    The coalition of the fringes will turn on each other sure enough. Unlike the core which is held together by ancestry, culture and even blood, and so can fight and then forgive, the fringes are only together because they are all feeding off the same carcass. One day however the fringes will finish consuming the carcass of America or at least there will be little left and then we will see the same thing that happens in every country in the world where those groups rubs against each other without a dominant core to hold them in check.

    Indeed, the whole globe currently has Europeans as a dominant core to hold the worst impulses of everyone in check. Subtracts Euros and, let's be frank, there would be an outbreak of truly genocidal wars all over the globe.

    Nor would only the most vulnerable ethnic groups be casualties but so too would all elements of the Euro progressive agenda. These elements only have credibility because of the material success and domination of the Euros after all. Once that influence is gone there will be no real feminism, or gay rights or pluralistic society. Which means that given current trends those concepts have about fifty years left, quite possibly less. Or a hundred years from 1968.

  133. @B36
    They don't all love each other but they sure vote the same.
    Meanwhile, if you haven't noticed, neocons, paleocons, Tea Partiers, RINOs, libertarians, evangelicals, Wall Streeters are all at each other's throat. Wish it were otherwise...

    The coalition of the fringes will turn on each other sure enough. Unlike the core which is held together by ancestry, culture and even blood, and so can fight and then forgive, the fringes are only together because they are all feeding off the same carcass. One day however the fringes will finish consuming the carcass of America or at least there will be little left and then we will see the same thing that happens in every country in the world where those groups rubs against each other without a dominant core to hold them in check.

    Indeed, the whole globe currently has Europeans as a dominant core to hold the worst impulses of everyone in check. Subtracts Euros and, let’s be frank, there would be an outbreak of truly genocidal wars all over the globe.

    Nor would only the most vulnerable ethnic groups be casualties but so too would all elements of the Euro progressive agenda. These elements only have credibility because of the material success and domination of the Euros after all. Once that influence is gone there will be no real feminism, or gay rights or pluralistic society. Which means that given current trends those concepts have about fifty years left, quite possibly less. Or a hundred years from 1968.

    Read More
  134. Brutusale says:
    @random observer
    I'm a Canadian and I get where Steyn was coming from on this, but he seemed to get hysterical at the end.

    I don't see how Canadians are enslaved to the state by our health care, at least not specifically by it. We can move employers and retain our basic state coverage easily. There are some limits in moving province to province, but far less than seems to be endured by Americans in moving job to job, and they usually amount to proving residency and passing a waiting period. The price of federalism. I have yet to see any political movement or belief system extinguished in Canada by the state by holding over its members the threat of denying them health care. You might say any political party at some point has to note that it doesn't plan to take health care away, but that kind of strikes me as a policy debate about health care and a clear requirement by the crushing majority of the body of citizens, not a threat by the state to use health care as a weapon or an imposition on the freedom of [again, the overwhelming majority] citizens. So I'm not sure what freedom it has cost us or is going to cost us.

    It's still not the locus of politics exactly, except in the sense it is one of what we consider public services/public utilities, and public services/utilities [however a society defines them] are always and everywhere the locus of politics in any kind of society that has any kind of government [ie not anarcho-capitalist or some such] and any kind of public input at all [ie politics is not restricted to courtiers or their equivalent, arguing solely about the allocation of power and rights among themselves].

    There is no terrible distinction between a less social democratic society in which politics revolves around allocating resources to roads, railways, water rights, land rights, grazing, or whatever, and one in which the argument is about health care and social security, at least not a distinction of principle or kind [there may be a huge, fatal distinction in terms of monetary costs...]. Both are about societies using politics to allocate resources to what they perceive as public goods. That's what regular people expect politics to do and that is what it has always done, including in the US.

    If nothing else, that doesn't make a polity devoted to arguing about health care any different from one in which the public good under dispute is something else.

    That doesn't mean you have to have socialized medicine, just that it's no different from social security, or for that matter canal building.

    I am also reminded of Charles Krauthammer, whose constant refrain for years was that Obamacare was about to nationalize "one sixth of the economy". That always struck me, used as I now am to health care seen as utility, as an absurd situation in a purportedly capitalist society. One sixth (!!!) of the economy devoted to health care provision and insurance companies battling one another sounds about as productive as the [another sixth?] devoted to the profiteering of civil trial lawyers. If these sectors take so much out of it, you don't have a real productive capitalist economy anyway. You've just socialized some utility costs and privatized the rake-offs.

    The other thing that gets me on health care is that the health care available now [diagnostics, surgical and other procedures, pharmaceuticals] are by huge orders of magnitude superior to and more expensive than those available as late as the 1960s. Medicine has moved fast in my lifetime.

    A country could get socialized medicine providing 1960s-level care cheaply now, it's just that no patient would accept that kind of junky health care.

    Similarly, a country could have free-market health coverage at 60s medicine levels equally cheaply, but no one would want to pay for insurance that covered so little.

    So the answer seems to be socialized medicine with cost and access challenges being constantly managed and with difficulty, or a pure free market in which insurance that actually covers everything is inaccessibly expensive to most and the people on the discount packages slowly die off or are bankrupted to get the care they actually need, or a hybrid system like the US has long had and still has in which coverage is mixed, costs are socialized and profits privatized.

    It can go either way but as Derb has noted, the increasing awareness of pre-existing conditions means the insurance model is liable to implode anyway.

    You're right about the impact on political parties of the right though. In my dreams I would hope for a time in which the right can focus on national questions, political, security, social and economic in nature, and Trumpism may be a start. Too late for Canada, though. We left the world of real national identity and boarded the proposition nation train too long ago.

    As long as you stay home. There’s a constant debate in the Ethics Committee meetings at my girlfriend’s hospital about levels of care they can give Canadian citizens and still get paid.

    Danny Williams paid cash.

    Read More
  135. Anonym says:
    @Anonymous
    I didn't know that was the intention of the War Powers Act, that is interesting. Frankly a single navy task force, 3 flattops and a couple of MEUS could prolapse ISIS in a permanent fashion.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    Then say if the war will require anything that can't be landed from an LPD, catapulted off the front end of a carrier, or kicked out of an airplane, there must be some kind of national referendum. Add letters of Marque as a sort of tit for tat response to terrorism and you can keep the Middle East suppressed without costing a fortune.

    Makes me yearn for the age of sail when enterprising young skippers could handle these problems on their own cognizance without dragging the nation into a ruinous misadventure.

    So say under the new war powers act, you can only deploy Navy, Marine, or Airborne Army units and Tactical Air Force assets. And restructure the Marine Corps back into its designed role as self sufficient heavy infantry instead of just 3 Army divisions with swim training.

    USMC as self-sufficient heavy infantry? 3 Army divisions with swim training? This seems all kinds of wrong to me.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Marine_Corps#Mission

    Read More
  136. Anonym says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    If you go back further, the Marines' initial purpose was boarding ships, and fighting off boarding parties. They brainstormed the idea of amphibious invasions as a form of mission creep, but those are usually a terrible idea, which is why we haven't done one since I'm not sure when. Maybe Inchon?

    Now the Marine Corps is like a second army, with an air wing that's the size of the British Royal Air Force. Partly this bloat is a jobs program for Republicans, but the problem with having armed forces this big is someone (often an "idealist" like Samantha Power) is always itching to use it.

    Terrorism is a red herring when it comes to our military posture. The most ridiculous thing Marco Rubio said during the debates was about how we needed to "rebuild our military" to fight ISIS. Like we need more nuclear submarines to fight a bunch of guys with AKs and Toyota pickups. We don't even need to fight them at all. Just don't let them and their sympathizers in our country.

    Syed Farook's family should have been deported already. That would do a better job of deterring terrorism here than bombing Muslims in the Mideast.

    If you go back further, the Marines’ initial purpose was boarding ships, and fighting off boarding parties. They brainstormed the idea of amphibious invasions as a form of mission creep, but those are usually a terrible idea, which is why we haven’t done one since I’m not sure when. Maybe Inchon?

    Now the Marine Corps is like a second army, with an air wing that’s the size of the British Royal Air Force. Partly this bloat is a jobs program for Republicans, but the problem with having armed forces this big is someone (often an “idealist” like Samantha Power) is always itching to use it.

    There has been perceived need for amphibious warfare by the allies in WW1 and definitely by the USA in WW2. Their Quantico school developed amphibious warfare doctrine in 1934, based in large part upon a study of the comedy of errors that was the Dardanelles campaign, an object lesson in what not to do.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Base_Quantico

    Ironically, what little of the USMC that was there was held back at Normandy, because the Pacific Theater required the bulk of the USMC, in an island hopping campaign that could not have fit the USMC’s amphibious role more perfectly. It’s extremely difficult to assault an island except amphibiously.

    As either a monopower or a superpower, the USA is similar to the British Empire as a naval power that must project force over the seas due to geography. If it is to do so, it needs to have a force very similar to the USMC because one never knows when the need for amphibious operations will arise – there is not always some handy allied country that will let you bring your army through. You can’t build a suitable USMC type force from scratch each time you need one, though it can be scaled up from a smaller base.

    Read More
  137. […] Time to Pivot from Individualistic Conservatism to Solidaristic Conservatism for Awhile, by Steve Sailer. […]

    Read More
  138. “So we’ll give in to some of their demands in order to appease them so they’ll stop asking us for more.” When has that ever worked in the history of anything?

    Read More

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The evidence is clear — but often ignored