Irrepressible Conflict

This long, rambling post by Jonathan Haidt is interesting for a number of reasons. Haidt is one of the few mainstream intellectuals who takes the hate-thinker community seriously. He’s not an ally, but he does not dismiss, out of hand, the cultural and moral arguments coming from the Right. Recently he has been writing about the popular resistance to globalism popping up all over the West. He appears to be searching for a way to reconcile elite globalism with what I call national populism.

Given what is happening at the ballot box, the next big thing among public intellectuals will be crafting ways to repackage globalism in order to make it more palatable to a skeptical public. The political class is in a panic, as all their old tricks are suddenly not fooling anyone. As a result, there is a demand for new rhetoric and tactics, but also a demand for new polices that will appeal to the voters. One thing public intellectuals do not do is miss an opportunity to monetize a crisis.

The trouble they will run into, as they search around for ways to sound a more populist tone, is that the underpinnings of the managerial class are incompatible with national populism. In fact, a big reason for the populist rumblings is the otherness of the people in charge of our societies. Turn on a television and the news is full of smug experts dismissively discussing the “white working class” and the “uneducated males” as if they were describing a trip to the African bush. There’s no way to make that sound good.

It is not just a matter of aesthetics. Even if you can somehow knock the smug off these people and give them a respectful vocabulary, they are still left trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. For instance, patriotism and multiculturalism can never coexist. The former assumes a set of value judgments based on nationality and ethnicity. The latter explicitly rejects those values. In fact, multiculturalism is nothing more than the nullification of patriotism and nationalism. There’s no squaring that circle.

The bigger issue is that the prevailing morality of the managerial class rests upon a set of contradictions that can never be reconciled. For instance, we are forever lectured about the glories of diversity. In fact, “diverse” has become an abracadabra word for our betters. Cruise through the on-line job advertisements and you will find a phrase about how the firm celebrates diversity. Marketing firms go to ridiculous lengths to make sure their ads have lots of diversity, even when it has no value to the sales pitch.

Yet, if anyone dares notice diversity in public, the people in charge will land on him like Puritan witch hunters. One of the hilarious parts of reading crime stories is how the reporters go to great lengths to conceal the race of the criminal. We end up with stories about a “tall man with a red cap” being jailed for murder. The result of this absurd contradiction is that diversity has become synonymous with danger and the promotion of it erodes trust in the people promoting it.

Similarly, the ruling class makes a fetish of democracy and free speech. We’re constantly told that the end point of human society is one where all people have a say in government and can speak freely in public. Yet, we see the ruling class working to defeat the results of democracy and cripple the free exchange of ideas. The systemic rigging of the Democratic primary is one example. The shenanigans on the social media platforms to eliminate dissent reveals a deep distrust of free speech and the marketplace of ideas.

For the managerial class, democracy is just a bus to ride from one point to another. Once the destination is reached, they get off the bus. The votes on gay marriage are a good example. They kept having votes until the right answer was reached. When that failed, they just had the court reference the invisible amendments to declare gay marriage a time honored natural right. This happened in Europe with referendums on he EU. Voting became a meaningless exercise to keep up appearances.

The fact is, the meritocratic system that supports the managerial class is ruthlessly authoritarian. If you don’t check the right boxes, you cannot advance. This system is by design intended to boil off anything resembling dissent or innovation. It is why the Buckley Right locked shields with the Left in opposition to Trump. Their loyalty is to a system that has bestowed credentials and honors on them, along with a lifestyle they could never achieve outside in the dreaded private sector. Political ideology is just a decoration.

A system that cannot tolerate dissent and makes war on anything that challenges it, cannot be made compatible with popular resistance to its polices. The managerial class can search about for tactics and language to try and square this circle, but they are faced with an irrepressible conflict. We either have normal countries with popular governments, responsive to the will of the people, or, we have an authoritarian, technocratic managerial state. It’s one or the other, but not both.

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Jak Black
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Jak Black

I’ve asked people to give me specific examples of the benefits of diversity. It’s hilarious.

Most just stammer and realize they’ve never actually pondered the question. Some come up with the old “different viewpoints” but when I patiently point out the intellectual homogeneity of “diverse” environments (e.g. universities) they usually become very busy with something else.

Drake
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Drake

Food is the easy answer. Chinese, Thai, Indian, Turkish, Mexican, Brazilian… I like those choices.

After that it’s pretty hard to find many examples.

Dorf
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Dorf

Don’t forget Beer; Pilsner, Lager, IPA, Stout et al. Then of course Bourbon, Scotch, Gin, Vodka and so on forever. Then Cordials, wine…….

Drake
Guest
Drake

You are describing how the Brits culturally enriched much of the world. I’ve spent much time in the former British Empire – Canada, the Bahamas, Antigua, and Sri Lanka. All were improved by their British colonial experience and now brew and distill fine beverages.

ganderson
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ganderson

When asking that question I preface it with the phrase: “Without using the word restaurant…”

Member

The primary benefits are “muh feels” for people who don’t have to live with the consequences.

jack
Guest
jack

“specific examples of the benefits of diversity”

Rainbows maybe?

CaptDMO
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CaptDMO

In the “intersectionality” of PoliSci and Economics, is it fair to use the managerial class
interchangeably with “rent seekers” in this track?

Member
James LePore

Walt Whitman was gay. I believe his his praise of diversity was motivated by his feeling of otherness in 19th century America. I don’t know what motivates people like Haidt and David Brooks. I’m pretty sure they are creeped out by Dirt People and would like to see us go away.

Severian
Guest

That’s just it — most of us, I imagine, can sympathize with that viewpoint. Seriously, try it — spend some time in WalMart on a busy Saturday afternoon, and marvel at how “elitist” you really are. The difference is, we non-liberals don’t feel guilty about this. It’s not *our* fault that the People of WalMart are the way they are. In fact, it’s nobody’s “fault” — they made their life choices, just as we made ours, and while I’d *prefer* not to see a whole socioeconomic class go full wigger, nobody gave me the power (or wisdom!) to run their… Read more »

The Bagman
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The Bagman

I feel a kind of hatred when I see these walmart people, but the hatred is for the poisonous media and socio-political systems that made them what they are. I’m not claiming to be free of elitism–I’ve personally known and worked with Amish, and was revolted by how they all smoked like chimneys–but as you say I don’t feel guilty about this. If anything I feel guilty that my own supposedly superior vices are ultimately more expensive to to me in all senses of the word. I love my blood relatives, but it is no contradiction that I wish there… Read more »

jack
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jack

Precisely. There used to be a sense of responsibility to bring these people along to some better place; economically, socially, morally..

That’s all gone now. They’re just cattle to exploit and disdain. Unfortunately they’re sentient cattle. They know what’s going on. That’s why many of them voted for Trump.

Member

The buddhists say to observe without judgment. To me that’s the same as being dead. I like your point; observe with judgment but without guilt,

Member

There are three posts above this one that deserve a shitload of up votes. Where are they?

Karl Hungus
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Karl Hungus

in your ass?

Member

There is an additional side to this. The managerial class on the left can only think in terms of government. When the losers of globalism say they are hurting, the solutions the managerial left provide are government gibs: free healthcare, free college, free childcare, etc. They can’t understand that people want good jobs and the ability to take care of themselves, and no amount of government gibsmedat will make up for that.

Doug
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Doug

This piece of incredibly cunning revisionism and excuses is a must read: ‘The Unbearable Smugness Of The Presidential Election’ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/commentary-the-unbearable-smugness-of-the-press-presidential-election-2016/ A nuclear weapon wouldn’t sanitize our country of the presstitues betrayal and malice in what has been done to us in the name of “transnationalism” and the globalists insatiable quest for absolute power. The “managerial class” is become so repugnant to us dirt people, it requires a leviathan of a government with unlimited-unrestricted administrative power, that it must employ threat and use of force, ultimately up the entire spectrum of coercion, to include lethal violence to enforce it’s “management”, aka… Read more »

Nunnya Bidnez, jr
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Nunnya Bidnez, jr

The article linked to above, “The unbearable smugness of the press. By Will Rahn” was written by the son of Peggy Noonan.. Here’s an old article from People magazine posted on February 26, 1990 which proves the family connection: http://people.com/archive/the-great-communicator-might-have-been-less-so-without-peggy-noonan-writing-his-lyrics-vol-33-no-8/ “in early 1988, Peggy Noonan, the former Reagan speech-writer, was driving to the supermarket with her mother, Mary Jane, and her then 8-month-old son, Will, when she heard a radio report that George Bush was in trouble in the primaries. “I turned to my mother, and I said, ‘Mom, could you take care of the baby?’ ” Noonan recalls. As… Read more »

jack
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jack

They can’t understand why any of these dirt people still insist on retaining their self respect and autonomy.

Member

This election has clearly shown what was labeled the Ruling Class vs. the Country Class. The Democrat/Republican charade can no longer hide the real dichotomy.

Notsothoreau
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Notsothoreau

I’m waiting for the Dems to say that you can’t win elections by demonizing half the country. (In fairness, the guy challenging Pelosi seems to get that but he doesn’t have a snowballs chance in hell of beating her). After all we went through with this election, people still do not realize how angry the Dirt People are.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Yes, and on the right we are still stuck with Ryan and McConnell much to our chagrin. With all the anger, just how do these clowns stay in power? They need to be sacked.

guest
Guest
guest

Jonathan “I never really encountered a conservative idea until i was 40″ Haidt, you can literally grasp liberalism in his demeanor and hear it in the voice, just like you can see hate for America on Michelle Obamas sour face, who knew it was possible to mime hate for your country?

Member

I like to use my theory that most utility curves are inverted U shapes: • Too little oxygen, you asphyxiate. Too much, you get poisoned. • Too little water you die of dehydration. Too much and you drown or die of hyponatremia. • Too little diversity you get group think. Too much and you get anarchy. It’s very hard to argue against that line of thinking. Even the dull and timid ones have been on a team whose members’ viewpoints were so widely divergent that they couldn’t agree on anything and failed. Of course as soon as they’re done with… Read more »

Member

A Ladder curve for everything. Brilliant.

Member

Laffer. Damn autocorrect.

Severian
Guest

Unoriginal, I realize, but: Trump voters just nailed their 95 Theses to the cathedral door. The late-medieval Church was the beta version of the technocratic managerial state. Once kings realized that they didn’t need clerics for clerks, nor fear excommunication, it was over. Anyone with anything on the ball had been going into royal administration for several generations, while the supposedly meritocratic universalist Church became a sclerotic bureaucracy, with Popes ineffectively playing secular politics as their few intellectuals debated angels dancing on pinheads. 130 years of brutal sectarian warfare later, we got the modern nation-state. Let’s hope it doesn’t take… Read more »

Solomon Honeypickle IV
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Solomon Honeypickle IV

force the managerial class into a conflict where their incompetence will have lethal consequences (for them). if Trump wants to head off a genuine “hot” civil war, he is going to have to really punish the leaders of the managerial class (e.g. soros, clinton, etc); otherwise they will never knock off the subversion. put real teeth into the prosecution of intentionally disruptive behavior.

Guest
Guest
Guest

I couldn’t be bothered to read past this paragraph in Haidt’s essay: “What on earth is happening? And why is it happening in some of the most economically successful countries in the world? Even the Scandinavian countries, which have experienced little political violence in the last few years, are seeing surging support for right-wing parties with strongly anti-immigrant and anti-EU views.” Has he failed to notice that the Scandinavian countries are being overrun by hoards of dusky migrants? If Haidt is this clueless and out of touch then he really has nothing of substance to offer in the discussion. He’ll… Read more »

Sluf
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Sluf

Funny, that’s exactly the point where I stopped reading as well. I’ve no tolerance for journalists who lie to me, or are so incompetent that they dismiss the obvious.

Karl Hungus
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Karl Hungus

it’s like asking a goldfish for information on the Pacific

Fuel Filter
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Fuel Filter

Trump isn’t president yet and look what he has done for us already.

*None* of what he has proposed was even in the public eye until he began running.

BEST ELECTION EVAH!

BillyTalley
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BillyTalley

“For instance, patriotism and multiculturalism can never coexist. The former assumes a set of value judgments based on nationality and ethnicity. The latter explicitly rejects those values.”

Ethnicity? Perhaps in Europe, this is true. But in the USA, nationality is conceptual, based on the precepts entailed in the constitution. So, what does zman mean by patriotic ethnicity?

Karl Hungus
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Karl Hungus

that one ethnicity — in every country with multiple ethnicities — is dominant. In the US that would be the Anglo-Europeans.

kokor hekkus
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kokor hekkus

Spot on. What it comes down to is that the left and the neocons/ Beltway “conservatives” have created a Globalist State that is more fascist than anything imagined by Mussolini. No dissent is tolerated on matters of policy, which is enforced by the Federal courts…The middle and working classes have been looted for 50 years by this State and its endless wars, outsourcing, social engineering, and population replacement..That process has accelerated and become visible to even the most complaisant, which is what led to Trump. Putting that genie back into the bottle is going to be the Globalists’obsession for the… Read more »

Member

That’s the big weakness to this despotism. People have to periodically vote in favor of it. The “conservative” elite were dependent on being able to take their voters for granted. Notice how quickly those formerly loyal republican voters jumped ship when they were given an alternative. I don’t think the republican establishment is going to be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together. Either Donald will succeed and the republicans will become the Trump party, or he will fail and the Republican Party will die and something new will replace it. I think the democrat party is also really close… Read more »

FaCubeItches
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FaCubeItches

“That’s the big weakness to this despotism. People have to periodically vote in favor of it.”

A little democide will resolve that little hiccup. If the people fail to get with the program, just keep reducing headcount until they understand.

NunyaBusiness
Guest
NunyaBusiness

Ah, but you see, we Dirt People here in the US can shoot back, and will. That’s why they’ve had such a hardon for gun control now for almost a hundred years, because they can never go full jackboot until they’ve cleared the playing field of opposing players. The sides are much too close to parity for my comfort level currently, but the strong side is still the people, which is why the jackboots remain in their lockers instead of on the streets. If the machine ever senses that it could win the day easily, they wouldn’t hesitate to act.… Read more »

Member

The jackboots don’t have 100% certainty that the military and law enforcement will follow orders to kill civilians. In fact, I think the opposite is more likely. That leaves their civilians against our civilians, and we all know how that is going to turn out.

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

What causes you to believe the military and civilian law enforcement would side with the dirt people? Both institutions are vastly different than they were 25 years ago. There is a reason for the changes.

NunyaBusiness
Guest
NunyaBusiness

Exactly. Doubt keeps them in check.

It’s out job to make ’em keep doubting.

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

They would likely use tactical nuclear weapons against us after all we are not helpless brown people.

King George III
Guest
King George III

If USG ever nukes its own people, it will have signed its death warrant. Millions of people would descend on Washington, raze it to the ground, and salt the earth like Rome salted the earth of Carthage.

Some things can be done. Brainwashing people to accept the dusky flood is one of them. Nuking citizens, not so much.

Karl Hungus
Guest
Karl Hungus

too many guns here, for that. far greater chance of the elite hanging by piano wires, than they commit democide. dibs on Pelosi!

Karl Hungus
Guest
Karl Hungus

both the GOP and DEMS are dead. Trump will pull from both and form a nationalist party with 60+% of the total vote.

alzaebo
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alzaebo

This level of ethnic cleansing has never before without a war or plague.
It may be ‘quiet’ or ‘soft’, but it is still war.

james wilson
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james wilson

A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness. –Walter Bagehot

J Clivas
Guest

Finally, a succinct post.

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[…] SOURCE […]

Member

The crux of it is that globalism can’t reconcile with populism because they honestly have nothing to offer. Globalism is a racket set up to benefit the elite at the expense of people who work for a living. You can’t put lipstick on a pig, and the secret is out. Globalists have been substuting ideological struggles and “victories” to cover up their failures at providing broad, economic prosperity. Populists on the right have soured on the globalists for their failure to deliver even ideological victories, empty virtue signaling is no longer enough. The situation on the left is more interesting.… Read more »

james wilson
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james wilson

Globalism benefits the elite, but that is not the primary appeal of globalism even for the elite. A single world with a single word to rule is the age old dream of all peoples. Some, having crawled out of that instinctual hole for a time, came to believe their new state was natural. It is not natural. Learned experience must be passed on, instinct requires nothing to be experienced.

Member

As Z said, globalism was an accident. It was never the plan or the point. Globalism provides money. power, prestige and ideological victories, most of which have nothing to do with globalism directly. Globalism seems to be merely the vehicle to deliver all of that.

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

I beg to differ. Globalism, like liberalism is all about C O N T R O L. Control of everything. I do not believe it was an accident. Maybe the plan for how to achieve it was “accidental” in the sense that history intervened in various ways and starts and stops caused momentum change but there has been a concerted, long term effort to achieve what we are seeing. Ever wonder why after decades of making gains step-by-step, the movement went berserk with the election of Obama? Even now, he is trying his damnedest to do the worse on America… Read more »

jack
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jack

“For the managerial class, democracy is just a bus to ride from one point to another…… They kept having votes until the right answer was reached….Voting became a meaningless exercise to keep up appearances.”

Thus the stalking horse Democrat campaign to undermine Trump’s legitimacy through this absurd recount by Jill Stein, and now the revolting HRC herself.

Member

The internal contradictions are becoming apparent at a rate approximating light speed. If it keeps up we will be able to have direct confirmation of the special theory of relativity.
Wait. I’ll go further. When it collapses into itself of its own weight, we will also be able to confirm the general theory.

Christopher S. Johns
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Christopher S. Johns

Haidt’s resume at the bottom of the linked article says all you need to know about him: “Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at the NYU-Stern School of Business. His research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, politics, and religion. He was named a “top 100 global thinker” by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of 65 “World Thinkers″ by Prospect Magazine. He is currently writing Three Stories about Capitalism: The Moral Psychology of Economic Life.” In other words, Haidt is a well-credentialed confidence man and peddler of self-serving nonsense. He cites the fraudulent Khan’s manufactured speech at the DNC as… Read more »

Member

This was an excellent piece which also reveals why the Alt Right came into existence and also why it cannot be suppressed. There will always be a populist movement as long as we have freedom of speech.

MSO
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MSO

The world has discovered that the ctrl-left is just a key on a keyboard not connected to a computer.

Jim VA
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Jim VA

There are other even more fundamental issues with our intellectuals. Free trade is not free trade. With all the intellectuals researching and pouring over data, at what point will they acknowledge this? Currently over 90+ million people of working age have no job. At what point, say half the population, does the light come on? At what point does it become clear that every law and regulation now favors capital over production? Even our yardsticks, such as the dollar, which they devalue, and CPI, which they have rigged, favors capital. Simple supply and demand tells us that importing a million… Read more »

Member

This may be the best comment thread I’ve ever seen.

Member

” We either have normal countries with popular governments, responsive to the will of the people, or, we have an authoritarian, technocratic managerial state. It’s one or the other, but not both.” This is the key observation. The problem is that without national monetary sovereignty, it isn’t possible to have the former. If a banking cartel controls the currency and the financial system, the authoritarian, technocratic managerial state is inevitable, because it is responsive to the will of the cartel, not the will of the great unwashed, as in the “people”. The globalists multi-culti house of cards would quickly collapse… Read more »

Anon
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Anon

Z, can you explain again why you see Haidt as even remotely interesting? I barely got through that.

He hates the dirt people too. Instead of metaphorically killing us or locking us away, he seeks different ways to deceive us into believing the globalist light will help us.

Seen this act a million times.

meema
Member

What I hate most about this era of the Matrix is the adroit usage of what I call goody words. These are subjective nouns and verbs – love, hate, diversity, tolerance, inclusion, etc. that are flung out with self-righteous vigor into debate between devout humanists and pragmatists. The truth is a diamond. You can change the way it looks but you can’t change the reality of it. The only thing that matters is consequences. In the past, how things end up, how the human condition is either improved or destroyed, determines the next phase of civilization. Honestly, I fear this… Read more »

Lectrolink
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Lectrolink

It is instructive to note the reaction of various leaders to Castro’s death. You will hear leftists make vague reference to Castro’s ‘controversial rule’, but never condemn him. This seems proof that there still remains a hardon for Marxism or neo-Marxism among leftist leaders of the West. The decisive defeat of the collectivist Right (Nat’l Socialism and Fascism) in WWII meant that only the collectivist Left (communism/socialism) remained as an ideological choice for left-leaning intellectuals. These were the believers in International Socialism, as opposed to nationalist-based socialism. The continuing success of the capitalist societies, plus the revelations about Stalin’s mass… Read more »

King George III
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King George III

Trump is a complete failure if he doesn’t purge Washington with fire and steel and set up a proper line of succession to keep the levers of power permanently away from the forces of evil.

A.T. Tapman (Merica)
Member
A.T. Tapman (Merica)

The God Emperor plans to seize permanent power, punish his enemies, and drain the swamp in preparation of abdicating to his son Barron. Our form of government will be called a Barronocracy, it will be glorious!

LetsPlay
Member
LetsPlay

Your second to last sentence may be the key to the future. While Trump might be able to shore things up in the US for a bit, the global economy is beyond any one man’s ability to fix. Only a catastrophic situation will force everyone’s hand since no one is willing to be the first to “bite the bullet.” Maybe KGIII will get his “authoritarian” gummint but a free people don’t really want or need such a thing. Only those who are weak and scared of life want the gummint to protect them. “HI. I’m from the government and I’m… Read more »

King George III
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King George III

I don’t want an intrusive totalitarian state like we have now, hombre. Nor do I want an incompetent government, again like we have now. Nor do I want to be ruled by a bunch of Satan-worshipping child rapists and human sacrificers, also like we have now. I want a small, lightweight, effective government managed by people I can trust, and I want to have confidence that it isn’t going to degenerate back into late-stage decadent democracy that we have now. I don’t want my country deindustrialized. I don’t want to be inundated with tens of million of foreigners such as… Read more »