Letting President Trump Do His Job

Some of my friends are panicking about Trump and the bump stock executive order. They feel betrayed and think the “end in near.”  I told them to calm down, take a deep breath and look away from the news for a couple of days.  Here is my logic.  School shootings panic women.  Women turn on a dime against gun rights.  The midterms are coming around.  So that accounts for President Trump demonizing bump stocks.  He needs something to say he’s “doing something.”  He’s placating the idiots.  Do I like this? No.  Am I wringing my hands and banging my head against the wall and denouncing the President?  No.  I trust that he will cut the best deal we can get.  He’s the right man for the job.  I wouldn’t want any of the usual suspects getting involved (McCain, Rubio, Romney).  I don’t even prefer that a Second Amendment hard-liner take the lead.  Trump’s the man for the job.  Hopefully he can get the damage control done as quickly as possible and move onto his agenda.

 

After a year in office my motto is “Let Trump be Trump.” He’s got better skills and instincts than anyone else.  How would we do better than to let him do his thing.  I feel my best action is to spread the gospel.  I try to calm the nervous.  And believe me I understand.  We’ve been betrayed by the weak and the wobbly and the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  It takes courage to trust.  But I think I’ve seen enough from this man to give him some space.  As Ann Coulter said “In Trump We Trust.”  It’s remarkable to see how few of our politicians know anything about human nature.  Politics in a democracy is a combination of salesmanship and coalition building.  Sounds like the place for a deal maker.

 

Of Trump, the Alt-Right and Me

So, the Trumpocalypse came to pass, as foreseen by the Alt-Right.  Some will argue that he got lucky, that he was just as likely to choke and lose as badly as a mainstream republican like JEB!.  Possibly, but I don’t think so.  Reading the reasons that the Alt-Right give for Trump’s success I think they have identified some very important facts:

  1. There was a pool of white voters that felt unrepresented by both the democrats and republicans. These were the so-called Reagan Democrats who stopped voting after 1988.  They were forgotten by George Bush Senior and didn’t like what either the democrats or the republicans were doing to the heartland.  They were abandoned by the corporations who used globalization as a way to access cheap labor in Mexico and other developing countries.  This stayed the same under Clinton, Bush Junior and Obama.
  2. The Progressives have successfully moved forward an agenda over the course of the last fifty years that is aimed at progressively disadvantaging and demonizing white people in general and straight white men in particular. To achieve this, affirmative action laws and the progressives in the media and education were used to incrementally deprive them of opportunities and dignity.  The narrative of female and minority oppression at the hands of straight white men was endlessly reinforced on television, in the movies, in the news, at school and by government agencies that enforced these discriminatory practices.
  3. The Democrats were endeavoring to bring in enough Illegal immigrants to ensure that white Americans would no longer be a majority of voters. This would allow them to easily remove the parts of the Constitution (freedom of speech and right to bear arms) that interfere with them permanently controlling the country.
  4. And finally, the Republican Establishment, from Bush Senior on, was complicit in this immigrant plan as a way of providing cheap labor for their crony capitalist friends. In addition, they were allowing these corporations to shut down all major industrial activity in the US and move it to the third world (China).  This was the so-called new world order of Bush Senior.

The only one of these that is at all surprising is the last.  It had always seemed perplexing that Bush Junior was unable to achieve any conservative reform during his first term when he had a virtual mandate from heaven to do as he pleased and which Congress would rubber stamp.  He lowered some taxes but that was for his corporate friends more than for anyone else.  All his other efforts were indistinguishable from progressive programs.  Now it seems clear to me that the Bushes, McCain, Romney and most of the rest of them are identical to the Democrats.  They use fear of progressive control to get themselves re-elected every few years but they are much more interested in their own careers and the connections they cultivate in office than in helping to conserve the way of life that is systematically under attack from their friends on the other side of the aisle.

On all these points, I am now in unanimity with the Alt-Right.  Beyond this is where I differ.

Many (if not all) on the Alt-Right feel that racial differences preclude modern America from going forward as a united country.  They predict that the US will splinter into separate racial homelands with descendants of the British colonists self-segregating themselves into one nation and other groups dividing up along ethnic lines.  They state that a propositional nation based on rights and equal treatment will not last and shouldn’t.

They believe this will be sparked when white people become a minority in the US and revolt at the treatment they receive at the hands of the minority majority.  In their estimation, this would have preceded more quickly if Trump had lost the election.  They see a Trump administration as a band-aid and a delay before the inevitable revolt.  They believe that the other ethnic groups and their allies in the sexual grievance communities (women, the various sexual deviants) will push white men too far and they will secede from the country.

So here we are.  I will be the first to admit that much that they say about our present situation is accurate.  And I’d be the last to deny that the treatment of white men in the last fifty years has been outrageous.

From my point of view, the leftists have followed a strategy that will divide this country in much the same way Yugoslavia disintegrated.  This is a truly frightening possibility.  The misery and destruction such a conflict would represent is hard to overestimate.  When you consider the possibility of outside forces getting involved, the scope of the disaster could be virtually apocalyptic even on a global scale.

But I shy away from the idea that people can’t exist under a government that treats its people impartially.  To this end I tried to envision what changes to our government would forestall this rupture of the American people.  Here they are:

  1. The recognized status of the family uniquely defined as a man and a woman producing and raising children.
  2. The elimination of government interference with parents raising their children as they see fit.
  3. The elimination of affirmative action or protected status in any government law or program based on race, gender, sexual orientation or any other discriminatory factor.
  4. The elimination of government interference to free association. This includes any forced association by government decree.
  5. The elimination of automatic citizenship to the children of non-citizens.
  6. The curtailment of all but minimal immigration for the foreseeable future.

I believe that if these changes were made to the government, normalcy would be restored.  Of course, seeing these kinds of changes initiated would require action by the three branches of the government well beyond any effective action seen since the Great Society legislation of the 1960s.  So, it’s hard to see how this will happen.  And although I am unhappy with the Alt-Rights vision of the future, I don’t think I can dismiss it as unrealistic.  Based on the wide-ranging disruptions occurring every day around the world it’s a bold man who would preclude almost anything as impossible.  So, that’s where things stand.

I admit to the accuracy of the Alt-Right’s assessment of what is going on in the world right now.  I hope that they’re wrong about the fate of our country.  I think I see what changes would improve our union.  And I don’t have a sense of how likely it is that we’ll fix these problems.  Time will tell.  In the meantime I’ll enjoy the spectacle of the Trumpocalypse for as long as I can.

 

September 11th Election Update

September 11th is too solemn a day for me to publish a Trump comedy. I’ll just sum up the bizarre combination that surrounds the events of this day and the impressions they leave. When September 11th 2001 occurred there was still the semblance of a united country. That has long since dissolved into a hodge podge of leftist grievance groups, disillusioned citizens and ignorant children. Watching as Clinton puts on the clown hat that Trump has momentarily dropped is tragically funny. To see the US presidency contested by two truly awful human beings and realize that in some sense each one is sort of what the country deserves is simultaneously enormously funny and heartbreakingly tragic.

But we have no choice but to see it through. As I’ve said before I look forward to the election’s completion.

If Clinton wins then I can read a eulogy over the United States of America. Hillary intends to appoint leftists to the Supreme Court and gut the 1st and 2nd amendments. That will more or less end the experiment started in 1776. It will also end my concerns with this sinking ship. After that I’ll just concentrate on me and mine and any like minded folks I find. Amen.

If Trump wins I’ll be almost disappointed because I won’t be out of my misery. I’ll still have to bang my head against the wall over the endless foibles of the lunatic asylum that Trump will usher in. But I guess the old saying about life and hope remains. So let’s say that would still be the more favorable outcome.

Anyway after the bizarre occurrences of Hillary’s fainting spell it’s not beyond possibility that the democrats end up with a different candidate. Maybe Fauxcahantas or Crazy Uncle Joe. Either way we are about to see a circus like nothing dreamed of before. Watching Trump berate the democrat candidate and the democrat moderators will be close to a Monty Python skit. After this morose and boring post I’ll try to uphold my plan of mock chronicling the election as a farce with all the mockery and sarcasm that both sides richly deserve. With any luck Trump will prevail and I’ll be able to continue the comedy in the inaugural season. If Hillary wins I’ll have to quit this project. Under her regime this writing would probably be a felony. I’ll move on to something more profitable (and less candid).

So stay tuned for the fun. I predict that Mr Trump will continue his fascination with popular culture and bring great enthusiasm and dignity to all of his endeavors. And since I’m currently fascinated by all things Deadpool I predict more mashups of the two. After all what better metaphor can there be for the current chain reaction pile-up that is our world than the opening scene of Deadpool with a slow motion view of a spinning, tumbling car crash complete with mayhem and bodies ejecting to their deaths all to the tune of Just Call Me Angel In the Morning?

How Does a Civilization Die? Part II: The Fall

How Does a Civilization Die? Part I: The Decline

So Part I of this essay shows you how a strong free people transitions into an empire. Its successes and growth eventually channel its development into a complex social construct that requires interdependence and eventually destroys freedom and individuality in exchange for collective security and stability. And with the loss of individuality and initiative there comes a certain passivity and fatalism.

By the 120 A.D. the Roman Empire was said to be at its height. Trajan was a warrior emperor. He conquered what is Romania and defeated the Parthians thereby adding Mesopotamia (Iraq) to the empire. He was enlightened in his choice of successor picking a wise ruler instead of just going with familial loyalty. As far as anyone could tell the empire would last forever and eventually encompass the entire world. But within sixty years the roman world would be plunged into internal and external conflict from which it would never wholly recover. Its vitality quickly diminished and its intellectual, cultural and economic levels would all retreat from the high points they had reached during the republican period.

Many historians attribute this ebb to a plague in the second century A.D. Others say that the various barbarian incursions were responsible. I think they are mistaking effects for the cause. The Germanic tribes and Huns were no more powerful or numerous than the Carthaginians or the Gauls of previous times. In fact under the circumstances of the republican times these same peoples would have been eventually absorbed along the frontier of roman territory and converted into subjects and eventually citizens.

And under normal circumstances, the roman army was still an effective fighting force (although much diminished from its earlier might). So how was it dismantled by illiterate barbarians and who didn’t have the where with all to coin their own money or make their own arms?

The short answer was that the roman people didn’t know what to do. Whether they were the slaves of roman land owners or germanic overlords they were still slaves. And slaves don’t drop their ploughshares and grab swords to fight off invaders. They keep ploughing and hand over the fruits of their labor to the landlord regardless of whether he’s named Romulus Augustus or Odoacer. And long before the end, the lack of martial spirit had become so typical that the roman army took to outsourcing their work to the very barbarian tribes that they were supposed to be defending against.

Now let’s look at the United States.

I can remember hearing that during World War I young American men were hoping that the U.S. would get involved so that they would have the chance to fight. My own grandfather who was under-aged enlisted under the pseudonym of Charlie Young in order not to miss out on the adventure. What about today. Now granted, after the 9-11 attacks thousands of patriotic young men enlisted and did their part proudly. But look at the Millennials. They’ve been brought up to equate assault with saying “mean things.” How does someone who thinks in terms of “micro-aggressions” handle the Hun at the door? He doesn’t.

Economically, the globalist corporations and the last few administrations have dismantled almost all the industries that formerly employed millions of middle class Americans and shipped them to China and Mexico. With the help of Obamacare and the tax code they are now finishing off the small and medium sized companies that are left. Pretty soon the only ones not on welfare will be government emploees.
Socially, the first and second amendments are under attack and eventually we won’t be allowed to say or think anything the government doesn’t like. And without guns we’ll never get to change that situation.

So yeah, that’s sort of where the Romans started on the downward road to medieval serfdom. I think realistically we still have a few more years to change course. But I think it’s hard to be optimistic.

As a sort of exhibit of what the situation looked like in the final days of the Roman Empire I think the following example is instructive.

About 450 A.D. Atilla the Hun, the Scourge of God was sacking and despoiling the cities of both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. This almost exactly coincides with when historians mark the end of the Western Empire and the beginning of the Germanic kingdom of Italy.

Anyway, the Eastern Roman Emperor sent a delegation to Atilla’s camp to negotiate tribute to limit the Hunnish incursion. One of the delegates was a Greek named Priscus who wrote a history of his times that has survived. His description of this delegation includes his meeting with a renegade. This was an eastern roman citizen of greek descent who had been captured when the Huns sacked Viminacium (a city on the Danube). He adopted the Hun lifestyle. He was now a full member of Atilla’s court.

Priscus questions the renegade about his life. The renegade defends the Hunnish lifestyle and attacks the Roman institutions. He defends the life of a marauder describing how after battle the warriors can enjoy their spoils in leisure. Even balancing in the hardships and dangers of war the life was good. He compares this to how the Romans in time of war suffer from the poor quality of the army and generals and if their army is defeated the civilians have no arms of their own to defend themselves. In peace time they are burdened with crippling taxation and the laws and the courts are hopelessly rigged against the common man. It was not the life you would choose.

Priscus answers these charges by defending the fairness and well-meaning nature of the roman law and claims that the divisions of society are necessary for the efficient and proper function of life.

The renegade grants that in theory the roman world should be a good place but he concludes by saying that the rulers were corrupt and had ruined the roman world.

Looking at this window into the past it’s hard not to draw parallels to our own time. In theory all the things we do increase fairness and safety but in reality they damage the health of the nation. The government restricts freedom and amasses power into its own hands. The people become less able to improve their own lot and control their own destiny. They become more dependent on an all powerful state and less capable of acting independently in an emergency. Sound familiar?

So this is how a civilization dies. It regiments the populace into castes like insects in a hive and when a catastrophe disrupts the pattern of normal life the whole structure collapses like a deck of cards. The inhabitants lack the flexibility or will to adapt and save themselves and their world by changing.

How Does a Civilization Die? Part I: The Decline

Lately there has been a lot of talk about civilization and civilizations. You hear people talk about the “clash of civilizations” by which they are describing the tension between “The West” and Islam. And there’s a lot of talk. These are old concepts and they’ve been revived after the failure of “The End of History” which is to say after the 9-11 attacks.

And then there’s talk about the failure of western culture and the Fall of the West. Here the factors are the loss of cultural vitality and native population decrease and the dilution of identity through massive immigration. This is countered by the contention that the global culture is just replacing the outdated local identities. We’re all becoming citizens of the world. After all, we all (or most of us) have an I-phone and a gmail account. We can’t be that different.

So any way there’s a lot of talk.

I’ve been thinking lately about how a civilization dies. So when you do that you have to go back to the great-grand-daddy of all civilizational collapses. That’s right you guessed it.

“THE DECLINE & FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE!!!!!”

At the outset let me paraphrase Denzel Washington’s character in Training Day and say, “Edward Gibbon ain’t got nothing on me.”

That’s the textbook case for all theories and phenomena. And in the example of Rome there are a number of analogies to the United States. And this is not surprising because the Founding Fathers used Rome as one of the sources for their state building project.

In Part I of this post I’ll describe the reason for the decline. In Part II I’ll discuss the results.

Both states depended on the citizen soldier to defend her in her earlier days from more powerful enemies. Both were recognized as exceptional nations that combined practical innovation and great energy. Both states began as highly religious people who honored the family as the basis of its legitimate power and where the pater familias ensured that traditions were maintained and discipline was real. Both states started as a nation of small farmers. Both states began with a conscious intent to eliminate hereditary monarchs.

This similarity extended beyond the conditions at their founding. The other striking similarity was their success at expanding and consolidating their states and incorporating new ideas and things into their lives. Also it would not be an exaggeration to say that they had an almost unshakable belief in their greater destiny.

So what brought down the Roman Republic? It appears that the very success they had in war and their emulation of their more cultured neighbors was the eventual cause of the destruction of the republic. The contact with the greek and near eastern communities led to the adoption of more luxurious standards of living and the breakdown of family authority. The copying of fashionable greek homosexual behavior threatened the continuity of family life and traditions. The changed role of women in society also helped to degrade traditional home life.

The continuous state of war in the later republic and the scope and distance of the wars fought eventually made it impossible for the citizen soldier to exist. A man couldn’t drop his plow, fight a battle and then go back to his fields. He had to be gone for at least several years at a time. This required the need for conscription for very long periods of service. Eventually this produced the professional army that owed its loyalty to the ones paying its salary. Eventually they became very like mercenaries who could deliver the empire to the highest bidder.

Also the wealth amassed by the conquest of the older eastern states made some of the generals wildly wealthy and they used this wealth to build enormous farming estates in Italy to the virtual exclusion of the former small farm owners. As an added problem the wholesale importation of conquered peoples as agricultural slaves further devalued the worth of the small farmer. As the power of the state and the bureaucracy grew the majority of the citizens resembled more and more the medieval serfs, attached to a landed aristocracy and dependent on agricultural labor to remain alive. So by the height of the Imperial Age you had the paradox of a Roman State that had used its highly professional army to conquer all the neighboring states and basically eliminate external threats. But by the same token the majority of the citizens were essentially slaves to a highly oppressive aristocracy. And because of the strength of the army there was no reasonable hope for a revolt.

Now let’s compare the United States.

The traditional lifestyle and roles of Americans have been in flux since around the turn of the Twentieth Century and these changes have been accelerating ever since.
Female Suffrage, sexual freedom and the independence of children from parental authority has reached the point where even traditional family groups live a confused and unsatisfactory existence. With the advent of the homosexual rights movement and its subsequent mainstreaming by the Supreme Court it is fair to say that traditional family life is now viewed as aberrant by the trendsetters of society. The ability of society to protect children is now to be questioned.

Since the end of the Vietnam War the army has become virtually a professional volunteer enterprise. Nothing short of a direct attack on the US homeland (the 9-11 attacks) has been able to galvanize anything like a desire for general mobilization. Moreover, a concerted effort is being made by large segments of the government to discourage the belief in the need for the Second Amendment.

The era of the family farm started to disappear with the increase in manufacturing jobs in the mid-1800s. But these factory jobs were able to sustain a high average income and spawned the middle class. However, since the end of the 1980s automation and globalization have lead to great dislocation of workers and disruption of almost every facet of American life. Family life especially has been negatively impacted. With the advent of wholesale immigration of skilled third world labor by globalist “American” corporations the problem has reached a critical stage. It is easy to see how eventually this will lead to the majority of Americans being reduced to poverty and virtual serfdom. And with the advent of advanced artificial intelligence it begins to look like a very powerful government could use a professional armed forces to suppress any revolt (especially if that population has already been disarmed).

In Part II we’ll discuss how the changes in the Roman state (and modern analogs) made it inevitable that eventually it would collapse.

How Does a Civilization Die? Part-II: The Fall

What Price Would You Pay for Safety? The European/American Dichotomy

Recently I was involved in a rather heated on-line discussion over gun rights. The most strident gun control advocate was an Australian who insisted that the US must come to its senses and follow Australia’s lead by confiscating all guns. A chorus of European posters agreed and chastised the Americans for refusing to agree with the wisdom of dispensing with the Second Amendment.

On that particular message board which is associated with an artistic topic, very few members are pro-gun (or very few are willing to admit it). But enough of us were represented to draw up a pretty clear contrast between the two sides.

Basically, the anti-gun thesis is:
1) The more guns there are, the more gun deaths there will be.
2) The only ones who should have guns are the police.

The pro-gun points are:
1) A disarmed citizenry is basically an invitation to tyranny.
2) If you outlaw guns then only outlaws will have guns.
3) The additional risk associated with common gun ownership is warranted by the advantages associated with points 1 and 2.

The two sides metaphorically shouted at each other until both sides were blue in the face. No convincing occurred. This is typical. But since this is my blog, I thought I’d summarize my impressions.

I think the basic difference is based on what part of life is most essential. For Europeans and many countries colonized by them the greatest good is security. This translates into the desire for an orderly existence where society controls as many aspects of life as possible and everybody agrees what everybody should be doing.

Americans think that if you aren’t allowed to make your own decisions then you are basically a slave.

The European model has the advantage of minimizing risk. Everyone has healthcare, employment guarantees, pension guarantees, public transportation, etc.

Americans don’t have those things (except poor Americans and illegal aliens). But we prefer it that way. We’d rather be able to live the way we want rather than be told how we have to live (at least up till now).

But the disturbing aspect of all this is the similarity between the European point of view and the Occupy Wall Street mind set. It appears you can turn Americans into serfs. All it takes is getting to them when they’re young and away from their families.