Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why Does Anyone Vote Republican?

The commenters at American Thinker gave me a good spanking yesterday for calling the GOP establishment a bunch of decent guys.

Because everyone knows the GOPe are liars that have sold conservatism to the voters at election time and knuckled under to Obama the rest of the time.

But it might be that they are compassionate leaders that don't want to send their followers into a wasteful bloodbath.

For myself I cannot contradict controversialist Vox Day who says that today's conservatism is doomed because it is basically defensive. And you don't win wars on defense.

That's been the bee under my bonnet ever since the Reagan Revolution. Only I wasn't smart enough to coin the Breitbart catchphrase that politics is downstream from culture.

He means that conservatism, or the free society, or whatever, can't just be a nuts-and-bolts policy analysis of tax cuts and spending restraint, or a retrospective look back at Edmund Burke. It has to start from a compelling vision for ordinary people in the United States in 2016 about life, the universe, and everything.

It would have to be a religious vision that captures the hearts and minds of Americans who just feel that something is wrong with the help-the-victims religion of today's educated ruling class.

It would have to be a vision for people did not think that it was a good idea for the government to regulate the labor market by increasing the wage limit subject to the time-and-a-half overtime rule, because it is just another cost on the employers that hire us all.

It would have to be a vision for people that did not think that the state should force schools and employers to make special bathroom provision for them.

It would have to be a vision for people that felt a slight revulsion every time they heard a politician offering free stuff.

It would have to be a vision that made people wonder why it was necessary for so many activities to be conducted under the shadow of government compulsion, when after all most people just want to get along.

Because right now in America most people are accustomed to thinking that anything they don't like ought to be fixed by the government. Which means by force.

It is said by Michael Barone that Republicans have historically always thought of themselves as "typical Americans." In today's context I think that means people that don't feel embattled. The whole point of Democratic Party politics is to encourage people to feel embattled, whether as workers, as women, as blacks, as gays, as artists, as anyone who wants force to be applied against his or her tormentors.

The "typical American," I imagine, is someone that says: "Don't bother me, government, by 'helping' me. Just let me get on with my life, and if I get into a really tough spot, I'll give you a call."

Or maybe that is wrong. Maybe the Republican Party is and must be people who have got fed up with the government. However victimized they may feel, they just decide that government doesn't help them, it just makes things worse.

The truth is that we all like free stuff; we like nestling under a powerful lord, and we like to catch the coins thrown into the street from time to time by his steward out of his private stash. Because we are all peasants.

Until we are not.

Meanwhile Donald Trump has won the Republican Party nomination for president by waving a magic wand promising to Make America Great Again out of pixie dust.

(I imagine he knows that what it takes is tax rate reduction and spending cuts and taking a pair of scissors to the regulatory state. But he can't say that. Why?)

I wonder if the bathroom brouhaha will cause a bunch of women to do the Ronnie and realize that they didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left them. Because one thing women really hate is men in the women's bathroom. You know, as in safe spaces.

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