Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sorry, Charles Murray, You Don't Get It

I revere Charles Murray, who has written books about politics that, I hope, will stand the test of the ages.

We are talking about Losing Ground, which told us that the liberals knew that their Great Society welfare programs weren't working. But they did nothing to fix them. Then we are talking about Coming Apart, a look at White America from 1960 to 2010, which told us that the bottom 30 percent of white America was not doing well. In fact, the men tend not to work and the women tend not to marry. Now, of course, we are learning that the white working class is dying of despair.

But today National Review is publishing Murray's #NeverTrump piece, "Why 'Hillary is Worse' Doesn't Cut It."
Barring a startling turn of events, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican presidential nominee. There are good reasons to question his fitness to occupy the presidency, because of both his policy positions and for reasons of character.
Perfectly true, but it misses the point. It assumes that the US is in normal mode, where we want a solid citizen on the bridge to watch the dials and suggest a course correction or two.

Yes, Trump's policy positions are a mess, and his character is questionable. And he lies. But that's not the point.

Let's trot out my catchphrases.

Government is force. That means that people on the receiving end of government aren't going to like it. At some point they are going to do something about it.

Politics is violence. It is not about choosing a guy with the best policy positions and who has never lied to us. It is about choosing a leader who will fight for us. That's what Hillary Clinton says in her slogan "Fighting for Us." The fact is that we conservatives and the GOP have done a lousy job of fighting for the typical American that votes Republican. We have allowed liberals to blame the white working class for the sins of racism and sexism, and the white working class has been dying of despair until Trump came along and spoke their language. And how. Have you heard him speak at one of his rallies? He doesn't make grand gestures, he just speaks in a low-key way that sounds like he is letting his audience into his confidence.

Government is injustice. It doesn't matter how the ruling class justifies its rule, to the people on the receiving end it looks like injustice. And sooner or later they are going to get really mad about it. On top of this the activism culture of the Obama years believes in government action as a founding principle. It thinks that un-negotiated administrative and regulatory action to implement the agenda of its supporters is politics as usual. It is not. It is injustice, straight up, and it is making people crazy with impotent rage.

System is domination. All the wonderful programs that liberals have been pushing for the last century have this one problem. They are administrative systems, on the Newtonian mechanical model. They treat humans as billiard balls to be knocked around a pool table. System is domination, and humans don't like to be dominated.

Politics is civil war by other means. Politicians like Barack Obama and the whole liberal culture like to think of government as helping people. It is not. Government is forcing people. And then they get mad.

Government never learns. This is baked into the cake of government. If government is force, then the whole point is not to listen to people saying "this doesn't work" or "this hurts people like me." Government is a bulldozer. It pushes through to victory, no matter the casualties. Victory isn't everything, it's the only thing. And anyway, as any leader knows, if you admit to mistakes then people are likely to start looking for another leader.

The bottom line is that conservatives and the GOP have failed to protect its voters, the people that think of themselves as typical Americans. So to complain that Trump doesn't have coherent policies, or the right character, misses the point.

And anyway, when did any party have coherent policies? All political platforms are a sludge of bad ideas gussied up for the ball. And as for character? Eisenhower was bonking his driver through World War II. Kennedy was bonking everything in sight. LBJ, nuff said. Ronald Reagan got divorced. Clinton, as a Democratic friend delicately told me in 1992, had a silver zipper. George W. Bush was a drunk. And so on.

Nations get lumbered with men on white horses when the regular ruling class has failed to do its job. And then things get worse before they get better.

But I will continue reading your books, Charles Murray, because you are a national treasure. And this one parting shot. Doesn't your By the People: Rebuilding Liberty without Permission kinda tell people to kick over the traces and start disobeying administrative government, because injustice?

1 comment:

  1. except nobody is oppressed by any government or systems in America, least of all the Trumpets. they are stupid, fat, lazy, diseased, but that's they're own doing- and nobody is poor by any standard. It's the opposite, too many subordinates have been falsely empowered and don't know what to do with all the consumption, so they are in turn consumed- but again that's they're own doing.

    all these so-called oppression happen in their own minds. The worst enemy we have is property taxes, insecurity of tenure in land, foreclosures and sometimes, prison.

    the rest of it is a vast mentalscape of waking dreams. People are just silly, in general. How is anyone with a modern standard of living at the lowest rung in America "pushed around like a billiard ball"?? this will be a self-fulfilling prophecy, a collective belief will translate into a fearsome reality. For now, this is all psychodrama. No TV and it wouldn't exist; therefore it only exists on TV.