Monday, March 6, 2017

We are not in Conservative Kansas Any More

I happened over the weekend to read a piece by Claire Berlinski on Richochet where she bemoaned what had happened to conservatism under Trump.
I’m outraged by Trump and what’s become of conservatism, I’m depressed by all of it and sad that I’ve devoted so much of my life to a political ideology that in the end looks as corrupt to me as socialism.
I get it. I got there at the Republican convention when I wrote: "All I Know is that Gentlemanly Conservatism is Dead."

But I think that Berlinski is wrong to say that conservatism was or is as corrupt as socialism.

What happened is that being nice didn't work. That was symbolized last week when conservative/libertarian scholar Charles Murray, a true gentleman, was shouted down at Middlebury College.

The whole point of Charles Murray is that he has spent his life painstakingly showing that liberalism doesn't work.

Moreover, he argued in The Bell Curve our current education system with its standardized tests and its college entrance by SAT is segregating America into the intelligent and the not-so-intelligent. And in that battle African Americans are going to lose out because they have lower IQs, on average, than whites.

It turned out that you are not allowed to say that in America. Because racism.

So Murray came back with a book about whites, and made the same point. If you are in the top 25 percent, the intelligent ones that get to go to the good colleges and meet and marry people just like them, you are doing fine. If you are the bottom 30 percent, white working class in Fishtown in Philadelphia, you are living in a place where the men don't work much and the women don't marry much. And this is a national disaster.

But Charles Murray was not allowed to tell the young heads full of mush about that, not at Middlebury College.

So gentlemanly conservatism has failed; the gentle art of persuasion has failed.

You can understand why. Leaving aside the questions of truth and science and ethics and culture and morality there is the simple fact that any change proposed by conservatives is going to reduce the political and cultural power of liberals. And since political power and cultural power is where liberals live, they are resisting change, any change, to the knife.

That is why we have President Trump. For the last eight years, at least, the Republican base has been complaining about leaders that talk a good line when they want to get elected but that fail to fight when they get to Washington DC. Ted Cruz understood that and designed his campaign to exploit it. But Ted Cruz was no match for Donald Trump in the fighting department. So Donald Trump won the nomination. And won the election.

Donald Trump won the election by winning the key demographic that Republicans have been trying and failing to connect with ever since Ronald Reagan left the White House: the white working class.

The grievance of the white working class is not the same as the Republican base. Their grievance, barely articulated, is that the white working class have been the ones forced to pay for the race quotas and gender quotas of the last 50 years.

But both groups want a president to fight for them, and not make nice with Ted Kennedy or Chuck Schumer or whoever.

That's why we have President Trump. He promised to fight, to Make America Great Again, and make America First.

That is shocking to the Claire Berlinskis of the world, and I am sorry that the world is turning out to be a rougher, tougher place than they had wanted.

So it is shocking to have President Trump go straight down the Democrats' throat on immigration. It is shocking to have President Trump turn the tables on the Democrats' RussiaGate and turn it into a DeepStateGate by accusing the Obama administration of spying on his campaign. No Republican has ever dared to do that, not in my lifetime.

We are just not used to a Republican going for the jugular, and that is because in the past it never turned out well to do so. The Democrats with the help of the mainstream media and its Democratic operatives with bylines could always impose their Narrative over any Republican that dared to challenge them.

The point of the administration of Donald Trump is to find out whether it is possible to turn the tables on the Democrats, the liberal ruling class, the Cathedral and its narrative.

If President Trump succeeds in turning the tables on the liberal ruling class then we are in a new era. If he fails then the liberals have won, and it is single-payer everything and the administrative state to rule over all.

Right now all we can say is that there is hope. It looks like President Trump has the chops and the strategic instinct to play the high-stakes game of challenging the liberal ruling class and its Deep State. But the fight in only in its first round. There is a long way to go, and many perils ahead.

But the old conservatism is dead, and we are not in Kansas any more.

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