The Great Culture War

Now that Donald Trump is about to clinch the Republicans nomination, the professional pundits, who got everything about this election wrong, are now busy trying to explain what it all means. The increasingly deranged Left is trying to jam all of it into their bizarre world view that says they are noble heroes fighting the dragon of oppression. On the Buckley Right, they are feverishly searching about for villains so they can avoid facing the reality of their position.

The one thing both sides agree upon is that Trump is being carried to the nomination by a wave of heroin addicts from the hill country. These snaggletoothed losers are angry at having been out-competed by the dusky fellows in foreign lands. Left out of the global nirvana, where well-scrubbed boys and girls take up positions in the media and think tanks, these hapless losers are lashing out by supporting Trump. It’s the revolt of the hillbillies.

There’s another thing both sides agree upon. Modern Progressives and Buckley Conservatives both hate the people to their Right. As Progressives have relentlessly dragged the Overton Window to the Left, The Buckleyites have sprinted after them, fearful of being lumped in with the rabble to their Right. The window has been dragged so far to the Left that the number of people “on the right” is looking like a swelling majority. To the people peering out from their think tanks and limousines, however, we’re on the verge of mob rule.

All of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Trump disguises the fact that the American Left is collapsing. One place you see it is with their candidates. Hillary Clinton is a world class screw up planning to run as an old hen clucking about the men, with a mild whiff of lesbianism to spice it up. No wonder the 2000 year old man is giving her a run for her stolen money. The Left has nothing to offer so it coughed up these geriatric hairballs from the 1970’s.

In theory this should be good news for the Buckleyites, but that’s not been the result. Decades of trading away everything to the Left for a chance to guide foreign policy has left the Buckleyites incapable of winning fights over cultural and economic issues. They have been surrendering for so long, it is now their default response. Worse yet, they have been trained to scold the rest of us about the need for compromise whenever the Left assaults a part of the culture.

There’s another piece to this. Over the last quarter century, politics for both sides have become incredibly lucrative and largely unimportant. They risk nothing as money flows into Washington no matter which side is ascendant. When 90% of incumbents win reelection, there’s never really much at stake for them. For the metastasizing pundit and think tank class, politics has been reduced to theater, like the battles at those medieval themed restaurants. Winning is not important. Putting on a good show for each other is what matters to them.

Outside the government class, it’s a different story. Normal Americans are the ones paying the price for gesture politics. John McCain can be generous on immigration because he never experiences it. He lives in one of his wife’s 23 mansions, rides in government limousines and works in fortified government facilities. Men like John McCain live as strangers in this country. What they see of it is from a safe distance.

Similarly, the chattering skulls on television pull down six figure salaries and live in bunkered, whites-only communities. It is not an accident that they are crowded into the richest counties on earth, all of them around Washington DC. They are the petty royalty of the ruling class. To these people, normal Americans are aliens, indistinguishable from the people sneaking over the border.

The reality of the last quarter century for normal Americans is vastly different from the reality of the political class and the financial elites. Across the land has been a great stagnation, covered over by easy credit and financial legerdemain. For the average American, treading water has been a struggle, with many falling behind and losing faith in a system that no longer seems equitable. Mass media magnifies the yawning gap between the “winners” and the vast majority.

No one, on the Left or the Right, speaks to this. Instead it is a repetition of the old platitudes from yesteryear. One side promotes minoritism at the expense of the middle and the other side champions globalist capitalism dressed up with libertarian moralizing. The tone and substance of the rhetoric suggests both sides see the common American citizen as the threat. It is as if we have been colonized. The rulers need us, but they detest us for it and can never trust us, because down deep, they are not one of us.

Almost a quarter century ago Pat Buchanan gave his infamous Culture War speech at the Republican convention. In it he said, “This election is about more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe, and what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war, as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as was the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America.”

It’s taken decades, but the American people may be prepared to join the fight finally.

47 thoughts on “The Great Culture War

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  3. “Hillary Clinton is a world class screw up planning to run as an old hen clucking about the men, with a mild whiff of lesbianism to spice it up…”

    She often reminds me of an older, more unpleasant, Marcy Darcy from “Married with Children”.

  4. Don’t know how many here read Quadrant.org/au/ but it is a wonderful online mag with great conservative writing from down under. (Note, this is not a blog. I only go there about once a week or so.) They do not hesitate to call out that wretch Turnbull at every opportunity, are completely unafraid of moslums, despise the Green Blob and are very much defenders of all things that have made Western civilization the greatest thing to have ever hit this planet.

    Here’s a taste from one of their latest articles on Trump about four paragraphs in:

    “Perspective is needed across a broad area. The United States has federal government debt of $19 trillion. It has a growing underclass. Twenty per cent of households are on food stamps. The southern border is porous, with large numbers of Democrat-controlled cities offering legal sanctuary for illegal migrants. Pew Research estimated that the ‘illegal alien’ population in 2014 was 11.3 million [we all know that it’s more than 2X that at least. That number has been banded about since the 1980s.] The US military is being drawn down at a time when Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and ISIS threaten world security. Islam is plaguing the Western world. Europe is in an economic mess and intent on committing cultural suicide. The UK is only a little better off, courtesy of the English Channel rather than the wisdom of its political elite.”

    They are doing a bit more than warming up to him. This is yet another full-throated endorsement.

    URL:  http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2016/04/triumph-outsider/

  5. “well-scrubbed boys and girls…in pajamas FRESH from the drier in mummies basement”

  6. The real story is that Trump is toying with the snaggle-toothed middle. He is golfing buddies with Boehner. He has Hitlery to his wedding. He supports liberal democrats with cold hard cash. He has been a New York liberal all his life. Yet the rubes believe him when he talks the big talk, as he winks at the Establishment, letting them know he is just shooting off his mouth trying to win the election, then he’ll cozy right up to the Boehners and McConnells, and the Reids and Pelosis of the world.

    • There’s a good reason why Trump associates with those people. “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” It’s just good business to keep close tabs on the human scum that runs things in this country.

      • And of course, he NOW knows EXACTLY where the bodies are buried.
        I suspect just THAT may fuel the “infrastructure” of (ie)#nevertrump, form ALL sides
        of “professional” gub’mit nobility.

    • I can’t think of a reason that you would not be right. Trump is and never has been a man of principle (good or bad), but expedience.The federal government is overwhelmingly left, so he will seek accommodation. I’d be very surprised if we don’t get a “moderate” or two nominated to the Court. Trump is simply the only tool at had for voters to bludgeon their own party with. There is better purpose in that at least than in voting McCain and Romney.

      • You mean a moderate like John Roberts? Trump has the Heritage Foundation working on court nominees.

    • Has it occurred to any one that Trump has simply had it up to here with the kind of crap and crappos he’s had to deal with all his life?

    • Thought it was an interesting moment of truth when someone asked Trump why Hillary came to his wedding. His answer was along the lines of “well, I paid her to”. And that has been his answer all along to why he donated to both sides…if you don’t pay the political vig, your calls don’t get returned, your paperwork gets lost. Wonderful in its damning simplicity and directness.

    • If you were in business in New York, what would you do? If I were rich, I’d have less problems in WA state if I went Dem. Did you know that Ivanka and Chelsea Clinton went to the same school and were friends?

      I expect two things from a Trump administration. I expect an end to illegals getting free range in this country. I don’t care if it’s done with a wall or some other method. And I expect the country to be run with the expectation that our laws, our trade deals and our foreign policy will benefit Americans. Anything else he accomplishes will be gravy.

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  8. This is, in my view, a very important endorsement.  This gentleman’s blog may not be too widely read, but it should be.  Here’s his short bio:

    ” W. Lewis Amselem, long time US Foreign Service Officer; now retired; served all over the world and under all sorts of conditions. Convinced the State Department needs to be drastically slashed and reformed so that it will no longer pose a threat to the national interests of the United States.”

    Today, much to my pleasure (and also to my surprise) he has formally endorsed Donald Trump.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.thediplomad.com/2016/05/why-i-will-vote-for-trump.html

    (and you guys here should really go to his archives and read up on him. A really remarkable man. He absolutely loathes the Lizard Queen and Hussein and pulls no punches at all.)

  9. They are the petty royalty of the ruling class. To these people, normal Americans are aliens, indistinguishable from the people sneaking over the border.

    Well, no.

    To these petty royalty, normal Americans are very different from those sneaking across the border. And they are hated for being different, for wishing to preserve themselves and their culture, and labeled racissss in order to break down their resistance.

  10. Two quick comments. Re: “these geriatric hairballs from the 1970’s” (nice phrasing!), I once spent a few blog posts trying to come up with the last *new* idea the Left had. Most of their nonsense dates from the 1890s (the way they go on about economics, you’d think President Cleveland sent the army to bust up the Homestead strike just last week). The best I could come up with was Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization (1955), which argued that it’s capitalism’s fault you’re not getting laid. Re: ” the richest counties on earth, all of them around Washington DC,” well, that was one nice thing about aristocracy – they were all crowded into the King’s court back then, too, but competition for the monarch’s ear was red in tooth and claw. The parasites couldn’t get TOO parasitical, lest their enemies take them down (and the King, of course, was kept in line by his 24 cousins and their convoluted, but very real, claims to the throne). It wasn’t the worst system in the world, is what I’m getting at. Better than the current kakistocracy, anyway.

  11. I’m not sure that any non-American observer would agree that your Overton window has shifted terribly leftward.

    • Then those observers are not observing very observantly.

      Consider Joe Lieberman. Remember him? He was Gore’s running mate in 2000. That’s essentially the “crown prince” of the party since the sitting Veep usually has an inside track for the next nomination. He was a respected, mainstream Democrat.

      And yet in 2006 his party abandoned him in his home state. The Democrats nominated Ned Lamont (who Lieberman was able to defeat at the polls without working up much of a sweat). Why? Because Lieberman was cooperating with the Bush administration. You know, “bipartisanship” — that thing we’re always told we need more of when the Democrats want to bully Republicans into doing something. But if a Democrat “reaches across the aisle” he’s apparently a traitor.

      So a centrist, moderate Democrat who was considered possible Presidential material in 2000 was beyond the pale in 2006. And the shift to the left has only accelerated. Could Bernie Sanders have been a viable candidate for any national-level office in 2000 or 2006? Yet in 2016 he could become the Democrats’ standard-bearer. An out-and-proud socialist who never met an anti-American slogan he didn’t like.

      The Democrats have gone from being the party of JFK to being the party of Lee Harvey Oswald. I’m serious: name a policy of Obama’s that Lee would have disagreed with.

  12. I’m Canadian so I watch American politics carefully, probably more carefully than any of you. When the US elephant rolls over, the Canadian beaver gets crushed.

    I like Trump, and Cruz, because I too despise the courtier class that currently run your joint.

    Even so, Trump’s anti-global, anti-trade protectionist rhetoric is quite mad. I like his anti-illegal immigration stance, but that is the only thing that makes sense to economically protect Americans. The American middle and lower classes are not being ravaged by globalism and free trade, they are being ravaged by wage competition from illegals and insane government environmental, regulatory, tax and subsidy policies.

    How does Trump expect us to buy your exports if you refuse to buy our exports? David Ricard showed nearly 200 years ago that free trade benefits both sides, even if the other party is dumping below costs, and there is literally no credible counter-argument. Besides, you Yanks are utterly notorious for distorting dozens of markets, from sugar to corn, with ludicrous tax and subsidy policies.

    Ah well, may we live in interesting times.

    • I used to be a 100% free trader- but I have changed somewhat-as is often mentioned on this blog, free trade between similar countries is a good thing- but between dissimilar cultures can be an issue. I don’t think anyone wants to tear up NAFTA with regard to Canada, but Mexico is a different thing. You’re right that the regulatory and tax regime in the US is doing us no good at all.
      On another, but somewhat related note:
      I walk my dog everyday through the campus of one of the Little Ivies- where America’s elites send their kids to college- smart good looking, accomplished kids. Virtually all of them are leaving here to jobs in Finance, government, non-profits, or NGOs. Very few into industry, manufacturing, etc. Now, ther’s nothing inherently dishonorable about those careers (well, not so sure about many NGOs and some government agencies)) but the fact that so many of our best and brightest are going to work in the non-productive economy is troublesome. Now, I’m a public sector hack myself (high school teacher) so perhaps I shouldn’t be throwing this particular stone. I see it among my pupils, too- lots of bureaucrats, not many mechanics and engineers.

      • “I don’t think anyone wants to tear up NAFTA with regard to Canada, but Mexico is a different thing.”

        I think that’s because free trade, like almost everything else in the West these days, has been absorbed by the great Cult of Equality that the Zman has written about many times. Canada and the US can manage a system of free trade because they are very similar in the most important things. Culture, heritage, traditions, language are broadly shared in common. Trade is another thing that we can share because the same rules tend to apply in both countries. But throw Mexico into the mix and the whole thing seizes up, because almost NONE of the things we Anglo-North Americans have in common are shared by the Mexicans. But if your biggest value is Equality, that can’t be allowed to interfere with the project of Treating Everyone The Same. Mexico causes problems, but that can’t be admitted; we have to pretend that they’re honorary Anglos, even though everything they bring to the free trade agreement undermines and ruins what was there before. Doesn’t matter: Mommy Globalism loves all her children just the same, and won’t make any distinction between the smart and the stupid, the good and the bad, the quick and the slow.

        The same thing has happened in every free trade zone that can’t resist branching out and swallowing more and more incompatible components. France and Germany maybe can make free trade work (though they have a lot of dissimilarities). Spain and Portugal could probably work well together too. But that’s never enough for globalists, they have to yoke all these different animals together and pretend that they can all work together to create a happy team, because the horror of admitting that some are just not up to the standard is too appalling to contemplate.

        The Cult of Equality contaminates everything, and makes all of our lives more difficult. When we finally get sick and tired of Muslims creating a public stink through their belligerant behavior and refusal to cooperate, the government makes a huge effort and… punishes all of us. So NOBODY is allowed to wear religious objects or do religious actions like praying in public. It’s impossible to say “Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists aren’t causing any problems, so they can keep on doing what they’re doing. Muslims are being offensive, so they’re banned from doing X, Y, Z.” No, no, no. That implies that one group is unequal, and rather than do that, we’ll just pretend that *everyone* is a problem.

    • “The American middle and lower classes are not being ravaged by globalism and free trade, they are being ravaged by wage competition from illegals and insane government environmental, regulatory, tax and subsidy policies.”

      You’re right of course about the insane regulatory and tax policies, but you’re wrong about the first part. Wage competition doesn’t just come from illegal immigrants, it comes from the offshoring of jobs to places where the locals are happy to work for a few dollars a day. And it goes beyond wage competition; the entire local economy is undermined when the productive parts of it are sent overseas. It doesn’t matter how cheap the crap is at Wal-Mart, if you don’t have a job you aren’t going to be able to buy any of it. What’s worse is, third-world labor in a third-world country produces third-world quality. I would gladly pay 3x the price for anything at Wal-Mart if it would only last longer than a few years.

      Speaking of cheap communist-made Chinese junk…I’m old enough to remember when a “Made In Japan” label on something generally meant that it was cheap crap. But sometime in the early 70s, Japanese stuff really turned the corner. Brand names like Seiko, Sony, and Toyota emerged as world-beaters. Same thing happened to Korean stuff in the late 90s…remember how bad Hyundais used to be? By the year 2000 suddenly they were really good cars. In both cases it took about 20 years for industrialization to take hold and generate real quality products. Well, Communist China began to industrialize in the early 1990s, and well over 20 years later, nobody can name a single Chinese brand name that represents anything remotely resembling quality. They still produce crap.

    • “…wage competition from illegals”?
      Do you not recognize the wage competition from “our” (US) Free Trade Partners
      as an even MORE egregious “dent” in making sure everybody has something to do, and everybody is pulling their “Net Weight”.
      Mobile/migratory workforce no longer has to actually move to invade a country and consume it’s diminishing “infrastructure”.
      With a steady stream of rent-seeking “humanities” studies graduate specialist holding out their hands at EVERY step of the way.

      • I do recognize the wage competition from any trading partner. Even so, I see no way to avoid that and still trade.

        If some foreign place has workers prepared to accept low wages, that is exactly one of Riccardo’s comparative advantages that consumers in high wage areas wish to receive. It happens internally too. The last year for which I can find data New York average hourly wage was 19.19 and West Virginia 13.73. Will New York complain about goods made in West Virginia hurting their workers? How about workers in a rich part of town complaining about workers from the slums? How about you complaining about that creep across the street who always underbids you?

        Did I hear Americans yelling when Japanese and German auto companies opened plants in the USA to beat their own internal high wage problems?

        Don’t get me wrong, I have great sympathy for those who lose jobs because of trade with foreigners, but the easy, and wrong, solution, is to stop the trade, which brings in vastly more wealth than the costs of helping the displaced workers.

        The point of an economy is absolutely, totally and utterly to create goods and services using a minimum of inputs, including labor. Jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

        • Good question.

          People within a country can move to high wage areas (like many Canadians have moved to Alberta during the oil boom) and there’s no problem because the people are compatible. They are of the same culture and background, mostly. People moving outside the country for jobs means conflict because diversity+proximity=war.

          Free trade and free movement are inextricably linked. You can’t have one without the other.

        • You should be more concerned about the Chinese Dragon consuming you and the millions of Muslims your new Prime Minister will be importing, Fred.

          Look on the bright side, Fred. The Chinese don’t put up with any jihadi crap. They put bullets in the heads of their jihadis then dig them out and give them to their families as a warning of what will happen to all of them if another family member goes jihadi.

    • Tarriffs are not meant to boost exports, but to encourage domestic production and protect critical domestic industries.

    • I might have some sympathy for your beaver. But was it a descendant of the Loyalist/Tories who knob-slobbered over George III and fled our fair country during 1775-1783, choosing the Crown over liberty and freedom? Hmmmm?

  13. Bill Simmons had internet billionaire Chris Sacca on his podcast today. Eventually the discussion got around to politics, which led to Trump, naturally. Sacca’s take was hilarious, and his rather bizarre logic went something like this: your average American tends to idolize successful, high-profile businessmen, and will trust them implicitly. This allows Trump to say obviously idiotic and ignorant things and get away with it for now, but then Hillary will beat him in the general election, because, of course Trump can’t win. He went on to add that his friend Mark Cuban will be the next President after Hillary because Mark is also a high-profile billionaire, but is much more reasonable, so therefore he will win.

    These people are fucking clueless.

  14. Domestically speaking, a bright line has emerged between Americans and anti-Americans. Speaking as an American, it is a conflict we did not choose. None the less, it has chosen us. November represents the last chance to resolve the issue in a peaceable manner. Failing that, we will be obliged to pledge our sacred honor and our lives to preserve the only successful revolution the world has ever known for our posterity. May God be with us.

  15. I thought better of my earlier comment. The central issue in this election is our sovereignty as American citizens, about whether or not this country is still a sovereign nation state. To put it crudely, it’s Americans vs the anti-Americans in our own country. Horrible as it may be to contemplate, there exists in the US at this moment millions of people who would discard our traditional nation state status for something else – what exactly that is I can’t imagine.

    Zman, what is this transnational alternative they seek? How would you describe it? Trump, it appears, is the American candidate. The rest would apparently bargain away that status. Am I losing it, or does this sound right?

    • They are globalists. They are those folks that tell us we should be more like Europe and that they are “world citizens”. They are the sort of folks that think all cultures are equal and that taking a trip to visit North Korea sounds like fun.

      • Same logic that would call Trump a misogynist and gay basher on the one hand, but go at great lengths to defend tossing gays off rooftops and female circumcision and “respect of other cultures”. The problem is that we keep trying to understand the left’s viewpoint using what I suppose one could characterize as the rational and logical thought framework Spinosa gave to Western Civilization. Big mistake.

    • Let me get to the absolute heart of the matter: The leftists are virulently anti-white. White countries whether the US or Europe, or South Africa (or Israel) are targeted for transformation into non-White. That is what it means to be transnational or globalist. Trump is wakening the white masses in this country who have been unconscious to the transformation for a long time. The hysteria has just begun.

  16. I guess Trump is savvy enough to kick a world-class screwup’s nasty ass, even if the game is a little rigged in her favor. Cruz, too, probably. But you are correct. Us snaggletoothed rednecks have got to get off the porch and go make it happen!

    Whichever one wins, we still need some Article 5 action, because the only way the federales are going to give up any of their stolen money and power is to have it snatched away. And article 5 is probably the only non-catastrophic way for that to happen. What we need a Trump or a Cruz to do is reverse the leftward lurch toward bankruptcy. Then we need to put the government back in its box.

  17. Another heart of the matter post from the best blogger in America.

    I think you’re exactly right, Zman; it’s the trans-national aristocrats against the middle class roundheads. Last time this confrontation occurred the king lost his head. But let’s see if we can avoid another Cromwell this time.

  18. It has been an eye opener to see how much “conservatives” despise the Dirt People. Was reading an article at Red State. They said it didn’t matter if Trump got his 1237. The mighty Cruz should just do his delegate voodoo and deny the nomination to Trump anyway. It wouldn’t matter because Trump supporters aren’t real Republicans and are too stupid to do anything but stay home from the election. It is really amazing how delusional the Cruz supporters are. They are far worse than any Bernie supporters. (I don’t know any Kasich supporters).

    Did you see this today?

    http://libertyfight.com/2016/trump-supporter-walks-through-thugs.html

    At some point, we will be fighting back.

    • If trump is too stupid or too incompetent to get delegates, don’t blame the system or Cruz, blame trump. His campaign is run like a lemonade stand, or one of his many bankrupted companies. The system is set up that the side which wins the most delegates wins. Votes have never mattered. You keep on deluding yourself that they did though.

      • Marty! My man! You’re pretty smart…….for a turnip! Last I looked the Trumpster had about 500 more delegates than busTED, a 24 point lead in the polls in Indiana and about a 10 point lead in Cali…..if by “lemonade stand” you mean “brilliantly conceived” since Trump spent little of his own money, then you’re right. Now, back to the Cruzmobile/tricycle for you!

      • Lemonade stand? I guess if that’s all it took to secure the GOP nomination while the schiesters behind the scenes spend millions upon millions to prop up Yeb Bush, Rubio, Carson and Fiorina – well, Trump must be a hell of a lemonade salesman.

    • Does give one a sense of just how easy it would be to roll up these little nitwits when it becomes necessary. I’m still waiting for one of them to bring an argument to the game that isn’t 50% use of the word “fuck”.

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