It is axiomatic that the political class of a society is a reflection of the culture. That culture is what grows out of the biology of the people, but there is an interplay between culture and biology. The ethnic differences between Swedes and Danes, or even Swedes and Prussians, are trivial, at least in the purely biological sense, but, the culture of Swedes, Danes and Prussians are different in important ways. For that matter, the culture that produced The Lion of the North was very different from that of modern Sweden.
Another way of looking at this is that the type of men in leadership of a society are a reflection of the political culture. At the Founding, the political class of the American colonies was fertile ground. Even adjusting for two plus centuries of propaganda, the men that birthed America were extraordinary in quality and quantity. One or two great minds makes for a special generation of men. The 18th century colonial political class produced many great minds, indicating an amazingly fertile political soil at the time.
On the other side of this, during the same period, is the French aristocracy. One of the remarkable things about that period is that the political class had no able men. The history of the French Revolution is the story of one missed opportunity after another to reform and respond to the changes sweeping the country. All the famous names from that period are from well outside the political elite. The only reason anyone remembers Marie Antoinette is she lost her head over remarks attributed to her that she most likely never said.
Anyway, this comes to mind when seeing a story like this one.
Conservatives should “fight back” against the alt-right and white nationalists, and do a better job reclaiming classic terms to stamp out identity politics, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said on Thursday.
“We have to go back and fight for our ground and re-win these ideas and marginalize these guys the best we can to the corners,” Ryan said. “Do everything you can to defeat it.”
Ryan made the comments in conversation with National Review senior editor Jonah Goldberg. The two conservatives spoke at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute. Ryan had harsh words for the alt-right, an umbrella term for extreme right-wing individuals who reject mainstream conservatism and often embrace racism and white supremacy.
“That is not conservatism. That is racism. That is nationalism. That is not what we believe in. That is not the founding vision, that is not the founders’ creed,” Ryan said.
That goes beyond stupid. It is offensively stupid. Even today, grammar school civics lessons make clear that the Founders were crafting a new nation. The entirely of the founding myth is based on “creating a new nation in the wildness.” The Founders were so nationalistic, they even wrote it into the preamble of the Constitution.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
That is the very essence of nationalism. Now, Paul Ryan is entering that phase that reminds everyone why it is best to make a change as soon as it is clear a change must be made. When the employee puts in their notice, pay them their two weeks and send them home. Ryan is now unburdened from the need to lie about his true opinions, so he is speaking his mind, what little there is of it. That just underscores the fact that this feckless airhead is the best the current political class has been able to produce.
Ryan is not an isolated example. His predecessor was a raging alcoholic who would burst into tears at public events. Before him we had Nancy Pelosi, a women on so many psychiatric drugs she rattles when she walks. Look around at the elected officials and it is hard to find someone you would trust to run the second shift at a convenience store. Our political culture is not just a garden overrun with weeds. The weeds took over a long time ago and now there is nothing but weeds. It produces no men of merit.
It is not just a consequence of democracy. Take a look at the conspirators involved in the sedition scandal. Former CIA Director John Brennan, who helped form the conspiracy, is a former communist. He supported the Communist Party candidate in the 1976 election and it was not an act of protest. He was an actual communist. Today he is an unhinged fanatic who goes on social media demanding a military coup against the President. Again, this man was the head of the CIA under Obama. The CIA. How is this even possible?
It does not just stop there. Look at the “intellectual” side of the ruling culture. Paul Ryan gave that interview to Jonah Goldberg, who is waddling around with the title “Senior Fellow” at what is supposed to be a prestigious think tank. Probably the most famous public intellectual in the academy right now is Steven Pinker, who is prone to the most basic logical fallacies. The American college campus is a doctrinaire breeding ground for narrow minded fanatics hellbent on pulling the roof down on Western Civilization.
The political culture of a society can break off from the general culture or even start as an alien over class, as in the case of invasion. The French political class in the 18th century was so divorced from the rest of the kingdom, they as well have been foreigners. The Russian political class, what little there was of of it at the end of the 19th century, was wholly disconnected from the culture of the Russian Empire. There’s certainly a strong whiff of that in present day America. Our rulers are nothing like us now.
Even so, whatever the source material for the current ruling elite, what it is producing is of such poor quality, it suggest a very bad end. Donald Trump is our guy, but let’s face it, he should not be President. If he is what is necessary to prevent the country’s political class from strangling the rest of us through staggering idiocy, it is past time to think weeding the garden is enough. This garden of idiots is beyond the point where a good dose of weed killer will work. It’s time to plow it under and salt the earth, starting fresh elsewhere.