Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Never Mind NeverTrump

Today's little dust devil seems to be the NeverTrump crowd and the news that Bush 41 is probably voting for Clinton.

A lot of people are rather cross with the NeverTrumpers but I am not. I understand their situation; I feel their pain.

The best way to understand the whole thing is to shine the light of Mencius Moldbug's Cathedral concept on the 2016 situation. Moldbug's real name is Curtis Yarvin.

Moldbug's notion is that our present ruling class is a kind of Cathedral, a big church of which the universities, the media and the entertainment folks are the bishops and deans. And all the deans in their stalls in the Cathedral sing from the same hymnal and pray from the same prayer book. Politics, as Andrew Breitbart said, is downstream from culture, so politicians have to conform to the orthodoxies issued and enforced by the bishops at the Cathedral.

Under the rule, ideological and political, of the Cathedral there are two political parties. The Democrats are the Inner Party; when they are in power they rule. The Republicans are the Outer Party; when they are in office they govern.

The consequence of all this is that the Cathedral and the Inner Party decide what the Outer Party and its minions are allowed to say. They define, as we say, the Overton Window of acceptable discourse. Step outside the window and you are a racist sexist homophobe and may lose your job.

You can see where the NeverTrumpers fit in all this. They are intelligent people that have learned how to stoll around politely in the sacred precincts of the Cathedral close saying semi-conservative stuff knowing that their privileges could be withdrawn at any moment. Their careers depended on their good behavior and their proper genuflections before the altar of political correctness.

The point is that if they go with Trump and Trump loses, then what happens to the TV appearances and the book contracts? And as for the NeverTrump politicians, they have managed their careers in the knowledge that a careless word could be a career-ender. So why throw in with Trump? The potential downsides are too big.

So I understand the NeverTrumpers. They are just being careful, making the calculation that their careers depend more on sucking up to the Cathedral than taking a flyer on Trump.

And really. If Trump wins will the NeverTrumpers be out of a job? Probably not. But many of them probably won't get the plum jobs in the new administration. The A-listers will get jobs, because their presence in a Trump administration will add gravitas, but the mid-listers may miss out and molder away at their present policy-analyst jobs.

This is the way a revolution works, of course. Everything goes on in the good old way, with the wise heads of the old regime wisely stumbling from one mess to another and calling it progress. Everything goes on as before until the music stops, and the wise heads of the old regime are suddenly out of the swim, and new men, that nobody ever heard of, that were saying wild things that it was best not to know about, are suddenly in the saddle.

All of a sudden the place-holders of the old regime are scurrying around trying to find a berth in the new regime and trying to convince the new rulers that they are loyal and reliable.

Is that what is happening in 2016? Nobody knows, because we won't know what is happening until it has happened.

But meanwhile the prudent thing for Outer Party functionaries is to do the NeverTrump. They know the depth of cruelty in the present ruling class. The cruelty of the new ruling class is still just a possibility.

And Trump or no Trump, the Cathedral will still stand and the deans will still be singing in their old stalls.

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