Trump and the Polls

A new poll after the nomination of the old hag as the Evil Party candidate suggests she got a mild boost from the show. Of course, Trump got a boost after his convention, but then the polling companies changed their methods in order put Clinton back in the lead. There are other polls showing Trump with a big lead and probably polls showing a dead heat. With the election more than three months out and most Americans enjoying the summer, the wild swings in the polls seems logical. It’s why partisans are prone to dismiss any poll that does not make them feel good.

Polling science is said to be much better now than in the past. After each election we’re told the pollsters got it close to right. Once in a while they miss, like we saw with Brexit or the last Parliament election in Britain. Obviously, the polling was wildly off with Trump early on and he did over-perform against the polls throughout the primary. That suggests the polling companies have not yet figured out how to identity the voter pool. Or, maybe the critics are right and the pollsters are lying to help the establishment.

It’s easy to be skeptical of polling. The sample sizes are so small, it is hard to see how they can be representative of the voter pool. What is never disclosed is the number of people who refuse to participate. It’s reasonable to assume that the hard thumping fanatics want to be polled, while normal people have better things to do with their time. A generation ago normal people may have been inclined to participate, feeling it was their duty as a citizen, but those days are long gone. The normies are woke.

Then there is that other reason to be skeptical. Everywhere you look the media is conspiring to deceive the public. A Muslim shoots up a gay club and we get stories about how he was a homosexuals struggling with his sexuality. All of those stories were lies. We get a dump of DNC e-mails showing a clear conspiracy between the media and the party, but the story they tell us is about Boris Badenov secretly conspiring with Trump. If you’re willing to lie like that, rigging polls is no great shakes.

That said, quantitative types will argue that some polls are pretty good. They get within a point or two of the results. Nate Silver’s new model was laughably wrong in the primaries, but his old model was pretty close to right in most of the primaries. He may have been off a few points, but he was picking the correct winner in every case. Investors Business Daily has been within a point the last few elections. They missed on the 2012 winner, but that was a close election and they were better than the rest.

The counter to this is that the range of possible results in any election is pretty small. Since the end WW2, the average difference in the popular vote is a little under nine percent. The big outlier was Reagan beating Mondale 58% to 40% in 1984. Most elections are within a 5% range so that means about five possible outcomes. In most of these elections, it was long clear who would win. Of those 16 elections, only six had any mystery to them and that’s counting 1968 and 2000.

Election Percentage Year
Barack Obama, Dem. defeats Mitt Romney, Rep. 3.86% 2012
Barack Obama, Dem. defeats John McCain, Rep. 7.27% 2008
George W. Bush, Rep. defeats John Kerry, Dem. 2.46% 2004
George W. Bush, Rep. defeats Al Gore, Dem. -0.51% 2000
Bill Clinton, Dem. defeats Bob Dole, Rep. 8.51% 1996
Bill Clinton, Dem. defeats George H. W. Bush, Rep. 5.56% 1992
George H. W. Bush, Rep. defeats Michael Dukakis, Dem. 7.72% 1988
Ronald Reagan, Rep. defeats Walter Mondale, Dem. 18.21% 1984
Ronald Reagan, Rep. defeats Jimmy Carter, Dem. 9.74% 1980
Jimmy Carter, Dem. defeats Gerald Ford, Rep. 2.06% 1976
Richard Nixon, Rep. defeats George McGovern, Dem. 23.15% 1972
Richard Nixon, Rep. defeats Hubert Humphrey, Dem. 0.70% 1968
Lyndon Johnson, Dem. defeats Barry Goldwater, Rep. 22.58% 1964
John Kennedy, Dem. defeats Richard Nixon, Rep. 0.17% 1960
Dwight Eisenhower, Rep. defeats Adlai Stevenson, Dem. 15.40% 1956
Dwight Eisenhower, Rep. defeats Adlai Stevenson, Dem. 10.85% 1952

The point here is that claiming you nailed 12 of the last 16 elections means nothing. Where pollsters are measured is when the final result is a mystery or debatable. Silver getting the 2012 election right made him a star because everyone else got it wrong. His star has now faded because he blew the primaries so badly. It suggests he was just lucky for a while or maybe his great insight was just a moment in time. The mood of the country has changed and the polling methods have changed, so his algorithm is now worse than guessing.

There’s also a new element here that we have not seen in our lifetime. The people in charge universally hate Trump. The media of both parties, the leadership of both parties, all sides of the chattering skull class, all of the beautiful people, everyone. They all hate Trump and the people backing Trump. This is a revolt of the elites and it is reasonable to assume that the pollsters feel pressure to put their thumb on the scales. If you’re going to do that, this is when you do it because everyone is doing it.

Even if the pollsters are playing it straight, they are facing an impossible task. What will this electorate be like compared to previous elections? We know lots of new voters are turning up. That was the story of the primary. We know lots of people are changing teams. Nationals Review, The Federalist and Red State are now wearing their woman cards, backing a candidate they excoriated just a year ago. At the same time, old Lefty warhorses like Susan Sarandon are flirting with Trump.

At least for now, no poll, even those that make you feel good, should be trusted. We are in uncharted territory in many ways. The pollsters, even those playing it straight, are just as lost as everyone else. More important, the people we tend to rely on for information are feverishly working against our interests to a level we have never seen. If they are willing to claim Trump is working for the KGB, they will say anything and do anything. All bets are off now, so trust no one.

Carny Folk

Some people are reportedly upset that actor Bradley Cooper is with Her. Given the age in which we live, the smart bet is that no one cares enough about Bradley Cooper to have noticed so his PR team wrote the story and sent it out to the media. That’s often how celebrity news gets created. The PR team sends e-mails to the media telling them their client will be doing something and included in it will be suggested story lines. A big chunk of sports “news” is cooked up by player agents.

Cooper’s people want the big shots in Hollywood to know that he, despite being a Pale Penis Person, is still firmly on the reservation. Another one of the strange parts of our current age is that those who make movies popular with the normies immediately fall under suspicion. American Sniper was a big hit with normal whites so the lunatics naturally suspect that Cooper may be some sort of spy for the enemy or even a heretic. Dressing him up and sending him to the old witch’s speech sends the right signal.

Now, actors are often quite stupid so their handlers don’t want them performing off-script. Even the smart ones, Cooper went to Georgetown, often have psychological problems that can lead them to say and do strange things when not on their leash. Cooper has suffered from mental illness and addiction. Putting him in a box so the cameras can see him and then planting the phony victim story gets the coverage they want without risking an embarrassing off-the-cuff comment from the celebrity.

Logic says entertainers should avoid politics. There’s no upside. On any given issue, close to half the public is on one side and the rest are on the other side.  On the other hand, people don’t really care what these people think so maybe there’s no downside either. People make sport of the Hollywood moonbats because it is easy, but it does not seem to alter anyone’s viewing habits. Susan Sarandon is nutty as an outhouse rat, but in her prime she was easy on the eyes and a popular actress.

Politics in America is entertainment, at least that’s how it is sold to us, so it makes sense for entertainers to be drawn to it. The people in charge assume we prefer things sold to us the same way Hollywood sells actors and they are probably right. Barack Obama won in 2008, despite being a foreign weirdo with a funny name. He’s a good actor and he reads his lines flawlessly. For all anyone knows he was hired out of a community theater somewhere as he never had a job prior to politics.

Up until last week, none of this would have mattered. For the bulk of human history carny-folks were at the bottom of the social ladder. Perverts, deviants and trouble makers ended up in the entertainment business. That’s true today, except we used to have the good sense to keep the carnies out on the fringe. They would come in, do their shows and then be told to move along. Decent people understood that you did not want these dirt bags hanging around too long. Now, the carnies are in charge.

Most actors are crazy liberal. They stake out positions that suggests they are divorced from reality. The rich, famous ones embrace third-world authoritarian politics, which if implemented, would land them in a work camp. The minor actors embrace the latest Progressive fads, usually in the most degrading fashion. People like Lena Dunham seem to invest most of her time finding new ways to humiliate herself on behalf of a cause. It turns out that stupid, crazy and liberal is not much of a handicap in Hollywood.

My guess is that there is a lot of overlap in cognitive qualities required to be an actor and be a loony-tune liberal. They say there is no dignity in television, because you will inevitably be required to degrade yourself on camera. To do that means you cannot have a high opinion of yourself. A healthy self-loathing and a desire to obliterate one’s own is going to be a necessary skill for an actor. Similarly, joining a mass movement like a political cause is best done by those seeking to exchange their identity with that of the group.

People in show business are always on the prowl for affirmation. They go on stage because they want the applause. What makes American Progressivism enduring is it imbues the adherent with the sense of intellectual and moral superiority. To be a liberal is to be super-smart so if you’re a super-smart good person, you are a liberal. That’s the belief. It’s why dimwits like Janeane Garofalo and Sarah Silverman kit themselves out as bohemian intellectuals. They just assume that their ability to remember the lines from the liberal catechism makes them intellectuals.

The wisdom of putting carny folk at the top of the social ladder is open to debate. My sense is the only people who think these people are at the top of the status structure are the actors and people who want to be actors. Everyone else gets that actors are low-lifes and fairly stupid. While there are exceptions, the public is conditioned to assume their favorite actor is nutty as a fruitcake in real life. Then again, the people running for office are often worse than the carny folk so maybe it is a good idea to put the carnies in charge.

My Problem With Atheists

My general impression of Richard Dawkins is that he is an unrelenting d-bag. I don’t know the man and I don’t know much about him. I read his one important book a long time ago and I am more inclined to his side in the great debate between Dawkins and Gould. I think Dawkins is a bit too narrow and reductionist, but Gould is simply afraid to face some tough facts about human biodiversity. None of that stirs much emotion in me. What has always bugged me about Dawkins is his evangelical atheism.

I’m not a religious man and I can’t say I’m a believer, but I’m not an atheist. To be an atheist is to know there is no god and as a matter of simple logic, no one can know that. In the set of things that are possible, no god is one member. A single god is another. Multiple gods is yet another. This set exists in the set of things no man can know, at least not in this life. You can believe, but you cannot know. Christianity incorporates this reality, which is why we have the expression “mystery of faith.”

Now, I accept that many people will disagree with that formulation. Many religious people will argue that they do, in fact, know that God exists because God speaks to them. Many atheists will argue that the lack of a belief in God is the same as believing there is no God. I don’t accept the premise of the former or the logic of the latter, but I don’t care all that much either. I’m indifferent to these things because I don’t have to live with them. I don’t walk around worried about my relationship with God and I don’t worry about your relationship with God, or the lack of one.

What I do know is man is a believing machine. Belief most likely evolved with language, which means it is one of modern man’s defining traits. As is the case with much of evolution, this is a guess, but read enough history and you begin to think it is a damn good guess. There’s never been a time when man did not have strong beliefs about a transcendent order. Even communism is an argument about returning to the natural order. Commies may not believe in God, but they believe they can do his job.

The old saying is that “a man who believes in nothing will fall for anything” and that has been my observation. Humans are built to believe and it is only a question of what they believe and how strongly. Some are deeply devout and others, like me, are over on the skepticism side of the belief range. Those fervent atheist, those devout atheists, are simply believing in something that is just as unknowable and requires as much faith as any formal religion. They just lack the decency to admit it.

Unlike those Christian proselytizers, who knock on my door to tell me the Good News, atheists never fail to let me know they are here to bring the Bad News. Atheists take a great deal of pleasure in making others unhappy. In fact, it seems to be the point of their religion, a religion they never shut up about. I’ve never met an atheist who does not hold his fellow man in contempt. It’s not a reserved contempt either. It’s a public, snotty contempt like you see in this story.

Dawkins has been making war on God for decades hoping that one day God will join the fight. In fact, it’s the reason he gets in the news at all anymore. Like many celebrity scientists, he stopped doing any real work years ago. Now he is just a professional celebrity, who courts the admiration of Progressives by making war of Christians. It’s a shabby way to be famous, but a familiar one. Black Science Guy leveraged his management of an amusement park into wealth and celebrity, by mocking the right people.

Bill Maher is a grubby pervert who got rich running a TV ministry for dimwitted liberals. For those who grew up watching TV preachers, Maher’s act is obvious. His show is church for moonbat shut-ins. Dawkins is on the show not because Maher or his audience understands a thing about genetics or biology. No, the point is to have a show where the atheists jeer at those who believe in God. Pagans lit fires and sacrificed animals to please their gods. Atheists jeer at Christians to please themselves.

Atheism is a religion for those incapable of selflessness, but obsessed with venerating themselves anyway. It’s a religion for those who want grace on the cheap. The major world religions make demands of the adherent. The Mohammedan believes Allah commands him to act in specific ways. Christians believe God has specified rules for those who accept Christ into their life. There’s no one to make such demands on atheists, so they make demands on everyone else. It’s why they always have a look on their face like they just detected a bad odor. You’re not meeting their standards.

That’s my problem with atheists. I don’t care what you believe as long as it does not ruin the limited amount of time I have on this earth. I would not care about Islam if not for the fact Muslims tend to explode in public places. Similarly, I would have nothing to say about atheism if not for the fact atheists go out of their way to be such raging public douche bags. I would have no reason to think about Richard Dawkins, but he keeps showing up to make sport of those who believe in God. That makes him a giant douche, which appears to be only point of atheism.

Constitutional Scripturalism

Ted Cruz setting himself on fire at the GOP convention is a good example of how things are not always what they seem. The Wuss Right cheered because they hoped it would hurt Trump. They never cared for Cruz, which is why they refused to back him until the last days of the primary. Even those who were willing to back Cruz early on were muted in their enthusiasm. Once there was nothing to lose and he was throwing one last rock at Trump, they could let loose with full-throated cheers for Lion Ted.

The Wuss Right’s reticence with regards to Cruz is not all wrong. Cruz is a weasel, who can’t be trusted. He proved that the other night. He’s also revealed himself to be a fanatic, fully capable of stepping on a rake that he laid in front of his own path. Cruz seems to believe the things Glenn Beck says about him. He imagines himself as the throne half of the team, while Beck imagines himself representing the altar side of their thing. Their thing is a strange movement that blends evangelical Christianity, Mormonism and evangelical Constitutionalism.

Conservatives tend to define themselves as people who are faithful to the spirit of the law, as well as the letter. When it comes to the Constitution, the Right typically takes a narrow view. If it is not explicitly in the document, then it is assumed to not be in the document. This is in line with the traditional negative liberty that is the bedrock of the American system of governance. The state only has powers specifically granted to it. Put another way, the state must get permission from the citizens to act.

Listen to a Ted Cruz speech and he talks about the Constitution in the same way preachers talk about Scripture. You either read the document as the literal word of God or you are a sinner. An America that is not organized around the literal reading of the original document is failing in its duty to God. Similarly, liberty is a stand-in for salvation. One is either in a state of liberty or outside the light of the Founders. When a guy like Ted Cruz talks of religious liberty, it clearly means more than just being left to worship as you please. It’s liberty as a religion.

The irony of this evangelical constitutionalism is that it was Evangelicals who ushered in the whole “living constitution” stuff. The Christian reformers of the 19th century badgered the courts to accept a more expansive role in law making. This always meant chipping away at property rights in order to eradicate immorality from national life. The Abolitionist Movement was, after all, an attack on property rights. Slaves were property and freeing slaves is, legally speaking, no different than “freeing” someone’s car or their cash.

Treating the founding documents as holy texts and the Founders as messengers of God seems like a natural evolution of Evangelical politics. In the 70’s and 80’s, Christian conservatives got involved in politics and ended up as a reliable Republican constituency. This traditional approach to politics got them nothing but disappointment as the liberals steamrolled conservatives in Washington on social issues. Strategy shifted to backing coreligionists, thinking that would result in more reliable politicians. Eight years of George Bush disabused most Christians of that belief.

Holding up a holy text as something more than words on a page is to expected. Religions only work when the rules are set forth by an authority higher than man. Otherwise, it’s just coercion. Deifying the Constitution the way we see with guys like Cruz and Beck, inevitably deifies the men who wrote it. It also assumes a transcendence that the writers never imagined. The men who wrote the Constitution fully understood that it was a grab-bag of compromises that were necessary in order to organize thirteen nations into a single country.

Just as important, the men who founded the country relied upon the work of others to form their opinions and debate how to best organize the newly independent country. Jefferson, for example, borrowed heavily from The Declaration of Rights with which Parliament asserted its rights against the King in the Glorious Revolution. Imbuing the Constitution with sacred authority inevitably turns the writers into something they were not and strips them of their humanity. The Founders were just men, but they were still men.

That’s what makes the Cruz speech and his refusal to back Trump interesting. The Wuss Right, filled with hatred for the rise of Trump and his nationalist backers, cheered Cruz as the heir to Reagan. The Cruz people, however, are not looking for Reagan. They tried that and got nowhere. They saw the Cruz speech and saw their savior, a man in the line of the Founders, sent by God to bring his people back into the light of the Constitution. It’s why his followers are sure God will punish America for rejecting their man.

Ted Cruz says he will run in 2020 no matter what happens in 2016. It remains to be seen whether this movement he is leading has legs. These things often fizzle out. With high profile people like Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson signing on and preaching from their Internet pulpits every day, it’s probably going to be with us for a while. Ted Cruz is the leader of the political version of the Westboro Baptist Church now. The founding documents are holy scripture and the leaders are men of God, sent by God.

Unnecessary Toughness

I finally finished up watching the series Justified. Binge watching is my preferred method of watching these things nowadays, but it still took me two months to watch the whole series. I guess I’m a slow watcher. Admittedly my taste in TV shows is pedestrian. I just don’t expect TV shows or movies to be art or anything close to art. They are intended to entertain the average person. Against that standard, I’d rank the series highly. It was not quite as good as Breaking Bad, but it was better than Sons of Anarchy, which went on too long and ended ridiculously.

I somewhat expected the same result as I entered the final season of Justified, despite the very good writing of the first five seasons. These long form dramas seem to lose their footing at the end for some reason. My hunch is the creators come up with a  great idea that works over a single season. They get picked up and put together a few more seasons and then run out of ideas or they can’t figure out how to bring it to a close. That was not the case here as the writers wrapped it up in a sensible way that worked with the rest of the series.

I don’t want to give anything away, in case I’m not the last person on earth to have watched the series, but what struck me about it was how the main character was a man from start to finish. By that I mean he was what we used to expect from leading men on TV and in movies. He was not racked with guilt or morally compromised. There were plenty of forks in the road where the main character had to figure out the right course, but there was none of the brooding and self-doubt we see in the modern leading man.

That’s not typical today. In fact, it’s rare. I mentioned Sons of Anarchy and that’s a good example of the modern leading man. The hero of that series is always racked with guilt, doubt and Lord knows what else. The rebooted Batman, the one I watched anyway, is mostly about the hero’s battle with mental illness, instead of his fight with the threats to society. That’s the model for the modern leading male. They are emotional cripples struggling to keep from leaping off a roof. Even James Bond has been turned into a head case. The last one I saw had him dealing with mommy issues.

Of course, male leads today almost always look like a pillow-biter’s wet dream. Steve Sailer has pointed out that most casting directors in Hollywood are effeminate gay men. The others are middle-aged women so the casting of male leads tends toward the fantasy male that appeals to old maids and queens. The result is steroidal freaks, who look like they spend all their time at the YMCA working out, among other things. That’s something else that’s changed. It used to be that a male lead lacked the sort of vanity that leads someone to steroid up and use “product.”

Tastes change and styles come and go so it may be nothing more than that, but I was struck by how out of place Justified seemed compared to modern dramas. The main character is a normal looking man, middle-aged with some gray around the temples. He’s not a cartoonish looking brute or a mentally unstable pretty boy. His physical confrontations happen within the laws of physiology, as well as the laws of physics. The striking thing is that he is a genuine tough guy in the old time sense. When it comes time to face off with the bad guy, he faces off with the bad guy.

The classic western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, addresses the issue of traditional male in the modern world. John Wayne is the classic tough guy who operates on the edge of society, protecting society, but never quite part of it. Jimmy Stewart is what passed for the beta male hipster back in the day. Wayne settles things the old fashioned way. Stewart settles things in court arguing the law and morality. The movie never resolves the tension between the two male roles in society, suggesting there is no resolution, just a balance and a tension.

The near total lack of traditional male leads today probably reflects the fact post-scarcity America has lost the will or ability to do the hard work of civilization. Maybe it’s simply no longer necessary. The people making TV and movies seem to think that’s the case. Hollywood is, after all, the agit-prop of the ruling class. The people in charge want docile males, who are willing to be bossed around by women in Lycra jumpsuits. For the same reason the schools dope up the boys, Hollywood promotes the ideal male as being the Stepin Fetchit for the womyn’s studies department.

The End of the Revival

Because America is run by a religious cult that rewrites history to suit the current fads, it’s easy to get history wrong. A good example is the Temperance Movement. Today children are taught that unhinged Christian fanatics banned alcohol. It was the good and liberal FDR, who beat back the lunatics and rescinded prohibition. The truth is, the lunatics banning alcohol were on the Left. Crusades against vice are the stock and trade of the American Left, but, history is written by the winners and Northern Liberals won the Civil War so we get an altered history.

Another example I like to use is the Great Awakening. It’s thought of as a Christian phenomenon and it was in the first iterations, but it was a northern phenomenon in America. It had a major impact in reshaping the Congregational church, which was the seedbed for Progressivism in America. One of the many things the American Left inherited from their spiritual ancestors is the frequent spasms of spiritual revival that result in fevered attempts to cure some societal ill. Even though they have dropped the language of their ancestors, Progressives are still moralists.

If you look at Progressive history in the context of the Great Awakening, you come up with a more complete narrative than when you look at the Left as a European import. Progressives go through periods of moral revival during which they make war on one bogeyman or another. These periods of revival are followed by a dormant phase in which the rest of society cleans up the mess and tries to get back to normal. The 1920’s, for example, were called the Return to Normalcy after Wilson’s excesses.

This current period of Progressive fanaticism got going in the 90’s, when the GOP won the ’94 election and Clinton tried to throw the Liberals overboard. The Green Party gained traction and the rumblings of discontent on the Left for the direction of the Democrat Party grew louder. The election of George W. Bush was the match that set the Left on fire. They saw Bush as a traitor to their kind. After all, his family is the bluest of true blue Yankees, but W rejected that and made himself into a Texan and an Evangelical Christian. “Witch!”

For Progressives, the Bush years were a provocation. Bush was not only a traitor to his people, he committed the cardinal sin of appropriating the ideas of the Left and then running with them. Bush spent extravagantly on education and the environment. He never stopped yapping about the wonderfulness of the “religion of peace” and the moral imperative of bringing democracy to the Mohammedan. This sent the Left into a purple-faced rage, in the same way that giving into a social justice warrior only makes them angrier.

To the Left, Bush was Fort Sumter all over again and it had to be answered. It was what they rallied around after the 2000 election. It’s also how we ended up with Obama. The bad whites, who put the apostate in the White House, had to be taught a lesson and what could be more horrifying to the bad whites than a black guy from a mixed marriage with a Muslim name? It’s why the Left never quotes Obama or pays any attention to his opinions. His utility is as a symbol, the Chi-Ro of the Progressive legions.

The last year strongly suggests that this Progressive Awakening is running out of steam. Participation in Democrat primaries was way down compared to 2008. The party was only able to muster two geezers to run for their nomination. Liberal support for Clinton is tepid, as they see her as a criminal loser. She was, after all, the person who tried to prevent them from spiting the bad whites in 2008. As far as the Left is concerned, Clinton is as a bad as those who sympathized with the South or sided with King George.

There’s also the fact that the Left has stopped mentioning George Bush. It’s not that they have forgiven him, or the Bush clan, for the 2000’s. It’s just that even the fiery passions of Progressive hate burn themselves out eventually.They inflicted homosexual marriage on the country. They allowed deranged men in sundresses to stalk little girls in public toilets. They toppled over the Confederate statues and angried up the blacks, to the point where they are killing cops. Like children throwing a tantrum, they have reached the point where they no longer remember why they are angry.

This is terrible news for Hillary Clinton, who imagines herself riding a wave of enthusiasm for old crones, into the White House. There may be some residual passion for finishing off the country, but the return to normalcy appears to be underway. The global revolt against globalism seems to be superseding old movements like American Progressivism. It turns out that puritanism is just as tied to national identity as everything else. In the post-national paradise, Progressivism becomes just another thing for the custodial state to regulate.

That may be the hidden strength of Donald Trump in the fall election. The New Right that is emerging is nationalist, but the old American Left was always nationalist. His appeals to national renewal resonate just as much with Progressives as they do for the alt-right. Hillary could very well be leading a party of sterile technocrats, who thought Mike Dukakis was sexy. A future run by colorless bureaucrats sounds wonderful to the managerial class, but it does nothing for voters, on the Left or the Right. People always vote for something over nothing.

The Restoration

The reaction to Trump’s acceptance speech was predictable, but illuminating all the same. The Left is in a panic because they have evolved into a bizarre identity cult that no longer cares about the practical aspects of politics. Trump’s talk of jobs, trade and culture may as well have been in a foreign language. The so-called Right has evolved into a wish list of policy positions dreamed up by government spongers living in the Imperial Capital. All of the boys and girls of Conservative Inc. are shrieking in terror at the Trump speech, yelling some version of “See? He is no conservative!”

Because Conservative Inc. insists they own the trademark for “conservative”, they insist they get to define what is and what is not “conservative.” Conveniently, everything Trump says is defined as outside the bounds of conservatism, while everything they say is within the bounds of conservatism. Professional conservatives pretty much spend all their time proving they are inside the lines as currently drawn. The death rattle of every mass movement is when they begin to turn all their efforts to rule making and enforcement.

The one thing the Buckleyites have right is that Trump is not one of them. He’s no libertarian and he has no interest in kissing the ring of the identity politics crowd. Trump made clear in his speech that he thinks the globalist fantasies about the glorious future are nonsense. Trump is a nationalist in the old school sense. That is, he thinks separate countries, governed in the best interests of their people, is the right model. Those best interests are defined by the people and implemented by their representatives. Hardly anyone on Team Buckley holds these views.

That does not make Trump a conservative. In order to evaluate that, we need a better definition of conservative than what has evolved over the last three decades. The place to start for that is Russell Kirk. He’s a good example to use when understanding what went wrong with conservatism. Kirk fell out of favor with the Fusionists that make up Team Buckley and he was detested by the neo-cons. As a result he gets little run in conservative circles these days, outside of some geezer paleo-cons like Pat Buchanan and Paul Gottfried.

Despite having been thrown down the memory hole, Kirk’s conservatism is looking like it will be what survives the current ructions on the Right. Most Americans are what John Derbyshire calls “gut conservatives” in that they are instinctively attracted to tradition and skeptical of the latest utopian fads. Many reading this have been trained by our current elites to be skeptical of their neighbor’s judgement, but the everyday tasks that are essential to an orderly society are carried out by average Americans using their best judgement.

If you look through that list of ten conservative principles, you can make a pretty good case for Trump on a few of them. As is always the case when judging a man through the television, you end up projecting upon him things that say more about you than about him. For instance, Trump is not an Evangelical Christian, but he is not hostile to religion either. Whether or not he believes in a transcendent moral order is impossible to know. He has said nothing to suggest he does, but he has never said anything to suggest he does not believe it. We’re left to guess and that means guessing wrong.

Similarly, it is easy to say Trump is imprudent. His critics claim he is proto-fascist because he speaks forcefully about what he will do as president. Maybe it is just ego or maybe he believes it, but Trump certainly does not seem like a guy in awe of his own limitations. On the other hand, his statements on foreign policy sound a lot closer to John Quincy Adams than anything we have heard since the end of World War II. As with his spiritual inclinations, his prudence is not all that clear.

Determining whether or not Trump is a conservative in the Kirkian sense is further complicated by the fact that he is a natural pitchman. Trump is a self-promoter, in the old fashioned sense. He uses hyperbole freely and amusingly. You know he is polishing the apple and he knows you know he is polishing the apple. In the political realm, this makes it hard to pin him down on specifics. It’s an effective political tactic, in fact, it is a great tactic, but it makes it hard to know exactly how Trump will attempt to govern.

In all probability, Trump is a transitional figure, like Nixon in 1968. The still young Buckley movement was winning arguments, but not ready to win elections. Nixon should have been a bridge between the unhinged liberalism of the 60’s and a sober conservatism, but it never quite worked out that way. The New Right we see forming up in the form of the alt-right, dissident right and so on is not ready to be a full fledged political movement, but it can energize a candidate. Trump could be the shake down cruise for a restoration of the conservatism of Russel Kirk.

Life in a Theocracy

In Saudi Arabia, getting caught with alcohol can get you the lash. Maybe. It sort of depends upon where you are in the social order and who is determining your guilt. In Iran, listening to western music can get you sent to prison or perhaps cost you a job in the government. Again, it all depends upon who you are and who is judging your violation. It can also depend upon who is accusing you too. This was true in colonial New England where accusations of witchcraft were arbitrary and the trials mostly based on things other than religious doctrine.

We have the image of theocracies as places with long lists of precise rules governing morality, public conduct, social relations and so forth, but the reality is always the opposite. Written rules can be debated by anyone with the ability to read. There’s not much fun in being a priest if anyone can read the rules and render a judgement. In a theocracy, the religious order educates the public, handles the violations of morality and makes sure the laws comply with the official religion. The result is a high degree of arbitrariness for those who live in the theocracy.

Going back to Saudi Arabia, members of the royal family regularly head off to Dubai to drink, do drugs, fornicate with women, fornicate with men and otherwise live like rock stars. Everyone in the Wahhabist world knows about this, but they like living more than they like Allah so they say nothing. On the other hand, if you are a foreigner, who can be a bargaining chip for the royal family, then you can get jammed up for some pruno. Anyone that is a nuisance to the government can expect to have the religious police snooping around in their life, looking for a reason to send them to jail.

Theocracy is arbitrary. It is this arbitrariness that encourages neighbors to spy on neighbors, associates to rat on each other and even children to report their parents to the morality police. Being a rat brings grace. You see that in this story about the George Washington men’s basketball coach.

In early April, shortly after his team celebrated a postseason championship, a George Washington men’s basketball player visited a campus Title IX coordinator to log complaints about Coach Mike Lonergan. Lonergan, the player believed, had created an offensive, intolerable environment, evidenced in his mind — and in the minds of many of his teammates — by the spate of transfers during the coach’s five-year tenure.

The first thing to notice are the code words for morality. Title IX has become holy writ in the Progressive faith. Like the Bible, it is a mysterious source of authority to the adherents. Most Christians never bother to open their Bible and few Progressives can tell you anything about Title IX. They just know it is the highest of law on the holiest of sites, the college campus. To be the Title IX coordinator is no different from being the mutaween in Saudi Arabia. This person is the supreme moral authority on campus.

Then we have the complaints lodged against the coach. Notice the vagueness here. On the college campus, “offensive” is the same as blasphemous. Any word or deed can be called offensive if it is deemed to have violated some tenet of the faith. Since these tenets are arbitrary, just about anything can be offensive, as long as someone in good standing with the religious authorities is willing to say they were offended. Again, you’ll notice that it matters who is accusing and to  whom the accusation is being leveled.

Read the whole 2400 word article and you struggle to figure out what exactly the coach had done to warrant being thrown off the roof by the PC enforcers. That’s probably why the writer resorts to quoting various shaman in the Title IX sect.

“They have an obligation to make sure the school is operating an environment where there is no sexual harassment,” lawyer Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a Title IX expert and a former Olympic gold medal swimmer, said when apprised of the players’ complaints. “He is sexually harassing both the athletic director and the athletes.”

Notice the language again. They never say who is obliging us in this quest. The God of Puritanism is now just a mysterious blank space, a void that can never be mentioned, but must always be acknowledged. In other words, if you know you are obligated to enforce the one true faith, you are an elect. Of course, the quest to which we are supposedly obligated is equally mysterious. What does “an environment where there is no sexual harassment” look like? How do we know we are in one? The answer is one of the priestesses of the faith will tell us.

“Priestess” is the right word. In the America theocracy, women run the cult. Take a look at the bio of Nancy Two Names in the Post story. The hyphen is the first clue. She is or was married to a cuck. People assume that hyphen indicates feminist, but it is a gang symbol within feminism to indicate the adherent has bagged and tamed a male. Second, her bio tells us she went from college into the order and has spent her life as a professional nuisance. Hassling men is her all consuming passion. It is what defines her life.

As with Iran or Saudi Arabia, the accused in the America theocracy often make the mistake of thinking they can beat the charges. After all, if they have done nothing wrong, what do they have to fear? In a theocracy, however, the unwillingness to submit and confess is proof of guilt. Coach Lonergan is a dead man, he just does not know it.  He will play by the rules, or at least the rules written down, but the Inquisitor is not bound by rules so the coach will be broken on the wheel and cast out of the campus.

That’s life in a theocracy.

Whither the Fanatic?

Churchill supposedly said “a fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” I think of that almost every time I visit National Review Online these days. As I’m writing this, the featured article is by the unhinged lunatic David French. He’s the nutter who thought about running for president on Bill Kristol’s Trotskyite party ticket. There’s another article by French on the sidebar, which is a rant about Trump. Above that is a tantrum about Trump by Jonah Goldberg.

If you were new to the scene, you could be forgiven for thinking that National Review is some sort of leftist site that was created for the sole purpose of howling about Trump. I have not counted, but others tell me that more than half the posted articles over the last year have been about the terribleness of Trump and Trump voters. Someone told me they went back a few months counting posts on their blog and the anti-Trump posts outnumber the anti-Clinton posts five to one. I’m not going to test the assertion as it seems in-line with what I’ve observed.

National Review is the flagship operation of Buckley Conservatism and it has given itself over almost entirely to anti-Trump lunacy. For over a year now they have been pumping out anti-Trump content to the point where there’s no point in reading any of it. The striking thing is not the volume so much as the total lack of content. Their rants fall into one of two categories. There are the base personal attacks, calling Trump a big meanie that makes them cry. Then there are the rants claiming Trump is not a “movement conservative” as if that has any meaning.

That’s really the issue at the heart of what’s happening. I’ve often argued that Buckley Conservatism was just anti-communism with things like small government and social conservatism as decorations. Buckleyites were fine trading authority for those decorative items over to the Left so they could have the whip hand on foreign policy. Once the Cold War ended and intellectual communism fell out of fashion, the Buckleyites were left without a purpose. They were a mass movement without an enemy. To quote Hoffer, “Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”

Thinking back, the fall of the Berlin Wall was in ’89 and then Clinton won in ’92. All the smart people at the time were wondering what would come of conservatism, but then the Republicans won the House in ’94 for the first time in fifty years. Republicans were able to impose spending limits on Clinton and for the first in generations and it appeared that the ratchet was going to click the other way. The smart people suddenly shifted gears and started wondering what would become of liberalism. Even Clinton thought the era of big government was over.

Rolling back the welfare state was going to be dirty work and there’s not a lot of fun in it. The Buckley Conservatives had been bred for generations to trade away authority over domestic policy so there were few with a real desire to get into the trench warfare that would be required to claw back the concessions of the previous generations. The ugly fight over welfare reform “taught” the Buckleyites that there were no parades for the party that cut spending and shrunk government. Fighting wars was much more fun and less risky, to them at least.

I used to say that the worst thing to happen to Buckley Conservatism was the Bush family, but the death blow was actually 9/11. The Buckleyites went all in on the Bushism because they were sure they had found the successor to the Evil Empire. It was like old times. They eagerly gave the Left whatever they wanted on spending and government, just as long as they could wage the great crusade against the Muslims. It was rank boosterism, devoid of anything resembling principle, but the movement had finally found a new devil and that’s what really mattered.

Now that making war on the Muslims is out of the question, the Buckleyites are once again in search of a devil around which they can base their movement. Anti-Trumpism for fanatics like David French is not going to be a fulfilling cause in the long run. Trotskyites like Bill Kristol and the other neo-coms can probably busy themselves with it for a while, but even they will tire of it eventually. Maybe they go back to being Progressives or maybe they just go away. Pat Buchanan thinks (hopes?) they will just go away, having been rejected by the public.

That’s not the way to bet. Fanatics will always be with us. The lesson of the Clinton years was that the ideologues would eventually adapt to the post-Cold War world. The Progressives dived head first into the cesspool of identity politics while the Buckleyites launched a crusade to pacify the Muslims. Now that the Coalition of Weirdos is blowing apart and the Buckleyites are reeling, we may enter a period of cultural sobriety, but it’s hard to know. Perhaps neo-nationalism will the next big thing to sweep the West. Maybe it will be something else, but the fanatics will eventually find their causes.

Never Hire a Powerskirt

Looking back, we had, in the person of Teddy Roosevelt, the finest President in the history of this country. He had the spirit and determination that matched the times and the land. Then the women got the vote, and everything went to hell. While our boys was overseas fighting the Kaiser, the women got Prohibition put in. Drinking and gambling and whoring were declared unlawful. All those things which come natural to men became crimes.

–Judge Roy Bean

A quarter century ago, I was sent to my first reeducation camp. The company I was with at the time had been infected with the virus so everyone in a management position was sent off-site to be hectored about the importance of tolerance in the workplace. We did not yet have the word “diversity” to throw around as we were still in the “tolerance” stage of multicultural lunacy outbreak. At least that was the case in my part of the world so they called it “sensitivity training,” which everyone said using air quotes.

The people responsible for starting the sensitivity training were the women in the human resources department. They had changed the name of it to something stupid like “people and relationships” but it was an HR department. For reasons I’ll never understand, the men in charge of the company decided to pack the HR departments with women who immediately started making mischief. Talking to friends at the time, this was happening all over the business world. HR departments full of hens were morphing into sensitivity department full of bitter shrews.

Not long after I had returned from the reeducation camp, I was informed by HR that one of my charges had been making one of the women uncomfortable. She did not like the way he was looking at her. This woman dressed like a street walker and had to be told multiple times to stop showing off her smoking hot body at work. That made no difference. I was told I had to write him up, which I refused to do. That got me in some trouble and forever on the HR hit list, but it was the shape of things to come. My policy was going to be zero tolerance for this sort of terrorism.

That was a long time ago and things have only grown worse. The implosion of Fox News is a great example of why you should avoid hiring women.

Blogger Matt Drudge put up a headline at the top of his popular aggregation website The Drudge Report this afternoon that Ailes will exit the company with a “$40+ million parachute.” There is no link to a story, but a source subsequently told Deadline that Ailes is in exit talks, saying terms of the settlement are being hammered out tonight.

“With internal allegations mounting, it was deemed time for him to go,” the well-placed source said.

21st Century Fox, however, said in a statement: “Roger is at work  The review is ongoing. And the only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”

Ailes’ ouster comes after Fox News hostGretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him on July 6 after her contract was not renewed.

Ailes, the architect of the Fox News as a ratings behemoth and political force, in of June 2015, signed a multi-year contract to continue running Fox News, Fox Business Network, and Fox Television Stations.

Earlier this morning, Drudge linked a headline to today’s New York Magazine story,alleging Fox News star Megyn Kelly had told 21st Century Fox’s investigators that she had been the recipient of unwanted sexual advances from Ailes about a decade ago when she was a correspondent in the Washington bureau. But Drudge used a headline saying Kelly was twisting the knife into her boss.  That post, and headline,  from the wildly popular and influential conservative blogger got media reporters to sit up and take notice.

Perhaps I am more cynical than most, but how did Ailes not see that Megyn Kelly was trouble? There’s nothing wrong with hiring bimbos to read the news on TV, just as long as the bimbos are fine with being bimbos trading on their looks. Women like Kelly trade on their looks, but they are forever bitter about it. That bitterness curdles into a viscous nastiness that almost always leads to claims of discrimination or sexual harassment, when they don’t get what they want. Once again, the facts of life are turning out to be Trumpian.

The lesson here, of course, is to never hire women like Megyn Kelly. It’s like inviting Dracula into your house. No matter how much garlic you have around your neck, you still have a bloodthirsty vampire in your midst. A good rule of thumb is to hire homely women for positions of responsibility, preferably older women. They have no illusions about how males view them. For entry level work like clerks and paralegals, hire mothers as they need the job more than they need to strike a blow for the sisterhood. They are too practical to be feminists.

Otherwise, never hire a powerskirt.