Thursday, September 15, 2016

Not Just Obama, But Liberals Created Trump

There is a lot of good clean commentary on the rise of Trump, keyed into Hillary Clinton's "deplorables" speech. Here's a good piece by Laura Hollis on the ten things that Obama did to create him, with advice on what not to do, including:
Stop pitting Americans against each other; focus on the positive; don't apologize for America.
And so on.

But let us cut to the chase. The reason the white working and middle class have gone for Trump is that his slogan, Make America Great Again, provides them with a place to belong.

Marx wrote, famously, that "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."

No it isn't. That is complete rubbish. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of tribal warfare.

The class struggle arose in the context of the rise of the cities and the market economy, where the lower class migrated to the cities and their jobs, and there achieved enough strategic concentration that they could combine, for almost the first time in history since the fall of Rome, to agitate for their interests. The genius of Marx was to articulate this truth, and to teach the sons of the bourgeoisie that they could mobilize the working class for their own educated-class power project.

The rise of the bourgeoisie coincided with the rise of the nation state. I'm not sure that the bourgeoisie planned it that way. More likely the interests of the bourgeoisie coincided with the interests of the absolute monarchs because bourgeois merchant credit could be used to finance nation-state armies, and nation-state armies and navies could protect international bourgeois commerce.

I think it is fair to say that in the bourgeois era, the political question was who best deserved to represent the nation: the old landed aristocracy or the new merchant bourgeoisie.

In the last century the liberals, progressives, left, whatever, has tried to marginalize nation-state politics and replace it with class politics and now identity politics.

So the point of Hillary Clinton and her "basket of deplorables" is to marginalize the old nation-state politics and elevate the identity politics that the Democratic Party uses to gain power. Instead of doing a politics that heightens the idea of nation, and all people living in the United States as Americans united as one people, Hillary Clinton subscribes to a politics of identity, a race politics that heightens race identity, a gender politics that heightens the identity of women and LGBTs. The other side of this politics was to marginalize and anathematize nationalism as equivalent to Nazism or white identity politics.

And you have to give liberals credit on this. They have done an amazing job on a lot of Americans to get them to move their allegiance from America to their race or their gender.

But there is a problem with this. The United States is a nation state. The President of the United States is not just the administrative head of government, he is also the chief priest, if you like, of the national cult. There are, you will notice, several holidays -- holy days for the celebration of the national cult -- at which the president is expected to preside. He is expected to utter words that dignify the occasion and stir the national soul with the three principles of the national cult: that America is the best country in the world, and the American people are the best people in the world, and the American way of life is the best way of life in the world.

This is something that President Obama has not done. This is something that Hillary Clinton has not done. And so they have left a yuge opportunity for some fool candidate to run a campaign to Make America Great Again, and celebrate America as one nation and the American people as one people.

The point is that for the ordinary white middle class they have nowhere else to go. The ruling class has stopped celebrating the working class, and whites are not allowed to have a white identity politics. But what the white middle class can do is rally to the banner of America. And so they have.

This is the point to blame the GOP establishment that has failed to rally Americans to the flag in the last 20 years. But I am prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. The liberals and the media have made life very difficult for them, because, as Hillary Clinton has said, you are with us or against us. If you are with us you are all in favor of our identity politics. If not, you are a deplorable, and a racist, sexist homophobe besides.

It is not easy to figure out how to counter people that will stigmatize you as a racist for all time if you beg to differ with the liberal agenda. But in the end, someone would figure it out and that someone has done so. His name is Donald Trump.

Liberals like to think that they are beyond and above nationalism and the flummeries of celebrating America. To replace it they have chosen identity politics, which they will manage at home, balanced by a cosmopolitan globalism abroad. But that leaves the average American with nothing to believe in.

Maybe that is why a large majority of the American people have come to believe that America is on the "wrong track." Per David French it goes beyond a sour economy. He quotes Kellyanne Conway:
We noticed a number of years ago that the responses to the wrong track question are not purely economic . . . In fact, for many Americans, they are not connected to politics or policy at all.
Kellyanne Conway is now with the Trump campaign. Ahem.

When Al Gore lost the 2000 election I noticed that Gore, and following him, liberals, did not concede the election and say, OK, now we are all Americans. Instead they put bumper stickers on their cars to "ReDefeat Bush." But Bush sat down with Ted Kennedy to pass No Child Left Behind. Then in 2008 President-elect Obama did not reach out to Republicans and develop a program that both parties could support. He said "we won" and developed a program in Congress without a single Republican vote.

In the old days the candidates would say after the election that we are now all Americans and call for unity.

I am not saying that this sort of thing is bad for Republicans. I am not even saying that it is bad for America. Although it is. I am saying it is bad for Democrats.

It is bad for Democrats not to embrace the national cult. It is bad for Democrats not to say, after the election: we are now all Americans together. It is bad for Democrats to stigmatize your opponents as deplorables and racists.

This is something that progressivism, going back to Marx, does not appreciate. That's because Marxism and progressivism are really secular religions; they are using politics to implement their heaven on earth. There is a reason why the Founders proposed no establishment of religion, and Thomas Jefferson talked about a wall of separation between church and state. It is much harder to compromise questions of religious faith than to compromise questions of law and distribution of loot.

And the whole point of politics is to avoid civil war and compromise differences instead of fighting to the death.

Democrats and liberals are blind to this, probably because they do not understand that their progressive faith is in fact a religion.

My dearest hope is that African Americans and Hispanic Americans will rally to Trump's banner, and decide to think of themselves as Americans who happen to be black or Latino. Because then they will start to enjoy life in America instead of being shock troops for the liberal agenda.

One fine day, perhaps, we humans will rally worldwide, as merely humans, and not as tribes, or classes, or nations, or identities. But until that day the best thing going is the nation state and its supporting cult of the nation, the national people and the national homeland and the national government. The alternative that liberals propose, of warring sub-national identities presided over by a global elite of the educated and the evolved, is a royal road to conflict and the killing fields.

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