Monday, May 2, 2016

Taking Our Conservative Dollies Home

A lot of conservatives are mighty offended by the rise of Donald Trump. We have #NeverTrump and now graybeard George Will is proposing that Republicans must keep Trump out of the White House, because Trump is a stain on conservatives' honor.

"Prudence..." he writes, " demands the prevention of a Trump presidency." But we must all work together to elect Republicans down-ballot.

Such a delicate effort of threading the needle, I fear, will not work. Politics is violence, civil war by other means. It laughs at such shilly-shallying.

And it fails to see the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

The Trump phenomenon signals the failure of conservatism to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans. You can see why. Whatever the honorable intentions of the Bush years, they resulted in a foolish war in the Middle East, and a nasty financial crash caused by government easy-credit policy.

Yeah, but Iraq regime change was Clinton policy, and mortgages for deadbeats was a Democrat wizard wheeze.

Too bad. The failures happened on Bush's watch.

Really, nothing spells uselessness better than a failed war and a failed credit policy. You can have all the stupid domestic policies in the world, but nothing fails like a mucked-up war and mucked-up money.

So conservatives should not be threatening to take their dollies and go home. They should be apologizing for their failure to deliver to the American people. All the American people want is peace and a stable economy in which to work and wive and thrive. Republicans failed to deliver.

In the words of many anti-Trumpsters I get the feeling that elite conservatives feel that they own the Republican Party. I don't think so, and my Three Peoples theory tells why.

On my Three Peoples theory the Democratic Party is a conspiracy between the People of the Creative Self and the People of the Subordinate Self against the People of the Responsible Self. The creatives offer to be the Big Man for the peasants and workers of the subordinate self. We will lead you, they say, and plunder the stuck-up bourgeoisie and the greedy 1% to give you loot and plunder. What is not to like?

But the People of the Responsible Self, who just want to go to work, follow the rules and obey the law, are not necessarily conservatives, or free-market enthusiasts, or adventurous entrepreneurs that just cannot sit still and work for the Man. They are not, you might say, conservatives by ideology but by temperament. They want the things that benefit them to continue, and the things that oppress them to be terminated. Like every other human.

They look at the world and see their kind of America coming to a close, and they want to stop it.

I have repeatedly said, following Ronald Reagan, that the post-war Republican Party is composed of people that feel that they didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left them. This is a cute way of saying that the Republican Party is not really in the business of searching out new recruits; the recruits keep showing up as they find the Democratic Party's neo-feudal approach to society unappealing.

In the case of the white working class, who seem to be the "base" of the Trump supporters, it is probably true to say that the Democrats threw them out, when the party changed from class politics to race politics around 1968. The bennies, and most important, the love have been going to women and minorities in the last 50 years, not to white working stiffs.

So Republicans should not be sneering at the Trumpers, but giving them love and understanding. They are just another group coming in from the wilderness. And the little girls threatening to go home and take their dollies with them should stick it out.

I suspect that the real impetus for the #NeverTrump movers and shakers is that they don't want to be associated with a campaign that they expect to be a blow-out failure.

Conventionally speaking, they are right. By all conventional yardsticks Donald Trump is heading for a rout, and a prudent member of the GOP elite should keep his powder dry, or even retreat to a nearby hilltop and wait for the smoke to clear.

And if Trump wins? Well, there will still be a need for conservative policy analysis and deputy under-secretaries.

In any case, I think that conservatives should be thinking the long game. The Bernie Sanders phenomenon should wake us up to the fact that our children get marinated in 20 years of lefty dogma so that 20 year old kids (and I know one) actually believe that socialism is the wave of the future. Talk about a war on science!

If there is one thing conservatives must do it is to break up the monopoly school system. We must teach America's mothers not to send their children into lefty government schools where, of course, children are taught ruling-class dogma. Vouchers, academies, home-schooling: let's push forward on all fronts. But don't let your kid be taught by a union schoolteacher.

And let's not pretend that teaching Trumpsters a lesson is going to do anything but give the Democrats another lease on Fundamental Change.

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