A bunch of political commentary I’ve been reading…

“‘When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation (with evil), which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.'” …

The best way to save the lives of prenatal children, at least in our current political reality, is to provide women in difficult circumstances the resources to keep and support them. Right now, with no paid family leave, hopelessly expensive child care, and a massive disparity in pay, women are put in a difficult spot. Abortion rates tend to be significantly lower in countries with stronger social welfare systems.

Yes, Catholics may vote for Bernie Sanders (COMMENTARY) | Charles Camosy | February 8, 2016

“The big worry among such [active, stalwart] Republicans is that there is a Trump movement out there that they can’t see. “That’s how we got burned by Obama,” the politico said, recalling the 2008 race in which the Obama campaign used technology and social media to build a level of support that escaped the notice of Republicans stuck in an earlier era of campaigning. Today, clued-in Republicans know and respect Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who goes way back in New Hampshire. Corey’s good on data and technology, they told me. They wonder if he’s got something up his sleeve, and they just don’t see it yet.’ …

I talked to a Republican political operative who has done a lot of work in New Hampshire. He has done so much work, in fact, that he knows many of the streets throughout the state by heart, and knows which houses display candidates’ political signs at primary time and which don’t.

He described driving down a street on the west side of Manchester, checking out the houses. He noticed Trump signs in front of houses that he knew had never displayed signs before. Seeing that, he began to think that all the talk about Trump appealing to a different kind of voter might be true. …

Republican elected officials in New Hampshire are in a delicate position when it comes to Trump. Plenty of them don’t like him, but they know that many of their voters do. So even if they’re inclined to criticize Trump, they stay quiet. When was the last time a big New Hampshire Republican up for election this November blasted Trump? Not lately.

Also, down-ballot GOP candidates need Trump. One thing they’re all trying to do is to sign up as many potential voters as possible, to get contact information in hopes of shepherding those voters to the polls. Trump’s big rallies are great places to do that. Trump events are where the people are, and the other campaigns know it.

So the candidates constantly hear their communications advisers, if they have them, advise against going after Trump. What’s in it for the campaign to be crossways with the front-runner? At this point in the race, nothing. …

Perhaps the most fundamental reason veteran Republicans can’t quite get their heads around the Trump phenomenon is that, if it is real, it would say something about their state that they don’t quite understand.

Byron York: GOP fear and loathing in New Hampshire – By BYRON YORK (@BYRONYORK) • 1/24/16 7:22 PM

He also suggested that Trump’s success in the GOP primary shows that being tough appeals to the party’s base.

“This is why Donald Trump is doing so well. Because at least he knows how to negotiate. Our appropriators, our leadership, has absolutely no clue how to negotiate,” Labrador said in response to a question from The Hill.

“Maybe they should read ‘The Art of the Deal’ and figure out how it is you negotiate big deals,” he added sarcastically, referring to the real estate mogul’s best-selling book. …

February 11, 2016, 05:59 pm – Lawmaker: GOP should take page from Trump on budget – By Cristina Marcos

According to its leaders, the American people don’t really exist. There’s something called the United States, a landmass filled with citizens (and uniformly virtuous immigrants) who are hardworking and industrious. This geographic entity is “exceptional” and uniquely blessed by God, as are its swelling number of random inhabitants. But there’s no nation. Instead, there’s a collection of individuals, all “free,” united only by certain “principles” and “ideals.” And our leaders always say our best days are still before us. 

Thus, American politics isn’t about securing our interests as a people or a nation. Instead, it is an endless argument about the American Creed, the slogans handed down to us from our founding about freedom and liberty and all men being equal. The Right and Left will emphasize one slogan or the other, but the vocabulary is always the same. And somehow, the more high-minded and abstract the rhetoric, the more comfortably it serves the interests of those who already hold power.

Of course, the historic American nation, the white American core of the polity, keeps the System creaking along, even as this indispensable ethnic group is dispossessed and deconstructed by its own government. …

[I]n terms of where we are in the historical development cycle, America is about due for a Caesar. But because this is America, Caesar may arrive in the form of a reality TV star. …

Rather than saying America is “exceptional,” Trump is saying we are a country like any other, one losing the global competition for power and wealth. There’s nothing inherent about America that makes it “great” — it takes decisive action and bold leadership to defeat our enemies and restore our power. Trump makes many conservatives uncomfortable because implicit in his approach is the idea that it’s possible for America to lose. …

But contra the claims of some of the more excitable elements of Conservatism Inc., Trump’s imperial style doesn’t make him a dictator. He’s promised to work with Democratic leaders and cut deals. For this, he’s been attacked by the same conservatives who call him a tyrant in waiting in the next breath. …

In his own way, Trump is trying to build a national policy consensus. He says he will provide health care to the poorest among us, which conservatives turned into an accusation of supporting “Obamacare.” Unlike many conservatives, Trump has argued against raising the retirement age on Social Security and has no patience for slashing those programs which actually benefit his own supporters. Trump’s foreign policy promises an unsentimental defense of our own national interest, rather than the crusading idealism of George W. Bush. When it comes to political correctness, immigration, guns, and taxes, Trump outdoes just about any “movement conservative,” but when it comes to spending, he’s a moderate who believes in some form of a common good, rather than Margaret Thatcher’s sneer that “there is no such thing as society.” Rather than that of Ronald Reagan, Trump’s conservatism is that of Bismarck [sic!!!]. …

He’s using identity politics, but pro-American identity politics, something almost unheard of. He speaks in terms of our collective interest and distinguishes it from the interests of foreigners whose interests he regards as irrelevant. … And we can trust Trump, it’s implied, because his massive ego is now identified with that of the nation itself. “My whole life is about winning, and now I want to do that for America,” he says.

American conservatives have turned on him with savage fury. Their incoherent critique against him largely hinges on Trump’s supposed refusal to mouth the usual pieties about “the Constitution” and “freedom” which the Beltway Right doesn’t even believe. Trump’s tax plan alone shows he is hardly some populist demagogue. While conservatives downplay existential issues like immigration, we are told Trump must be rejected because of his support for ethanol subsidies and eminent domain, both of which will remain in place regardless of who is elected to the Oval Office.

It’s also striking how many conservatives have openly said they would rather lose than have him be the nominee. A key talking point of the emerging Alt Right is that the American conservative movement has failed to “conserve” anything important throughout its history, including traditional values, limited government, and the country itself.

Conservatism Inc. has confirmed it is designed to lose. Or more accurately, the Beltway Right believes it is impossible for conservatives to lose. Even if there was a President Bernie Sanders holding court over a 100 percent Socialist Congress, we’d be reading in National Review how America is still a “center-right nation.”

Not only is America not a “center-right nation,” its “Right wing” political tradition seems indifferent to the nation itself. Trump’s leading primary challengers, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are not even American in terms of heritage or mindset. Cruz was not born in the country, and for all his recitations of the Constitution, may not even be eligible to be President. To Cruz, the country is simply the subject of a laboratory experiment for his abstract creed of “limited government.” Cruz’s strange combination of Third World Catholicism and degenerate American evangelism means this Princeton/Harvard lawyer backed by Wall Street money LARPs as a kind of 21st century Billy Sunday. His crazed father tells the rubes his son is an “anointed king” who will return the nation to God. But Ted seems to have no particular interest in the country he’s adopted, viewing it merely as a vehicle for his own ambitions. And his own wife is part of a movement to abolish the country altogether.

While Cruz is indifferent, Rubio is actively hostile to the country’s core population. He’s assisted major corporations, especially Disney, in replacing his own constituents. He betrayed the conservatives who put him into the office almost moments after winning his election. He’s gleeful about plunging the country into another disastrous war in the Middle East, this time with Russia. Rubio represents the return of George W. Bush style neoconservatism, now with a white Cuban faux “Latino” as the Shabbos goy instead of afaux evangelical cowboy. As with Lindsey Graham, one can’t help but suspect “they” have something on him. …

Conservatives know neither Cruz nor Rubio would actually do much in office. As Cruz’s supporters in Iowa said, they wanted someone who “shares their values.” They take the hostility of every person he’s ever worked with as proof that he’s “principled.” Rubio’s supporters, especially the consultants, seem to believe he can “win,” and what he does after that is essentially irrelevant.

Yet what could a President Trump really do? In the unlikely scenario Trump wins, we’ll paper over the hole where our national soul should be with big projects designed to conceal the decline. True, the Great Wall of Trump would be a glorious symbol of our national will to survive. Unfortunately, unless we repatriate post-1965 non-white immigrants, legal and illegal, the demographic damage is already done.

One positive effect is the conservative movement would be reconstituted along nationalist lines, but without confronting demographic issues directly, there would be almost no way to reverse the underlying causes of American decline. Trump himself has said he would not challenge anti-white racial preferences and aside from immigration, would leave the multicultural spoils system essentially untouched.

While Trump has undoubtedly fueled the rise of the Alt Right, in office, he might function as a safety valve rather than an accelerant. Like Putin, Trump would impose a vaguely conservative, patriotic veneer on a state with crumbling ethnic foundations. It’s not that Trump is “pro-white”; it’s that he’s not anti-white, which makes him far Right in the current political context.

The best that can be said about him is that we don’t fully know what he’d do, meaning that unlike literally every other candidate, there’s at least a chance he won’t try make our lives worse. Besides, as every Alt Right supporter of Trump knows, it’s not necessarily what the would-be Emperor himself would do, it’s what he would lead to — a legitimate, nationalist American Right. …

Trump reveals, as a Maoist would say, the contradictions within the System. Trump dismisses the propaganda that America is somehow an exception to the laws of history. For America to “win and win and win” as he promises, it requires a nationalist approach in which our government aggressively privileges our own citizens over foreigners.

But that mostly means white people. The dominant ideology of egalitarianism requires that not only should white people not be protected by our government, they should be punished. At the same time, the American government relies on the very same white people it is so eager to dispossess for its terrifying economic and military power. …

[B]ecause America itself is built on an egalitarian lie and denies the ethnic basis for its own concrete existence, a Trump regime can only delay the inevitable. It might even hasten it, as the anti-white identity politics of the Left will be accelerated under a Trump presidency, as the universities and liberal city governments will practically be in outright rebellion. …

But regardless of what Trump does or does not do, the only future for the American Right is identity politics. In the more likely scenario Trump doesn’t win, it’s the end for conservatism. Even if a Republican candidate won the White House, Rubio, Bush, and probably Cruz would promptly work with the Paul Ryan Congress to pass amnesty, thus ensuring conservatism’s permanent extinction. …

Even more importantly, absent Trump, it’s the end of Americanism. Despite the universalism and claim that there is no “Them” in American conservatism, only whites really believe in Americanism. As demographics change, there is no longer a market for Americanism beyond Glenn Beck-style hucksterism and deeply cynical neocon appeals for “America” to fight Russia. If a billionaire with a massive media megaphone, a celebrity following cultivated over decades, and direct access to millions of Americans can’t break this quarantine on nationalism, no one can. The Donald is a Trump ex machina, and his movement ends with him. The demographics are such that a project of “nationalist” revival becomes impossible, as well as undesirable, in a matter of years. …

So where does that leave whites? Today, whites exist as a group in a negative sense. They are a force of privilege and oppression, a malevolent enemy to the larger world. However, we have no objective existence — “whiteness” is an illusion created by capitalism or an oppressive class system. We therefore have no legitimate group interests.

In contrast, other groups (including Jews) do have legitimate group interests. They also have an objective biologically determined existence, as shown by the Leftist fury directed at Rachel Dolezal. What People of Color lack is agency. Regardless of their numbers, wealth, or state institutions they control, they cannot be racist or sexist because they “lack power.” Even Jews masquerade as an “oppressed” group. People of color and Jews are devoid of moral responsibility, mascots for enlightened whites to use to atone for their existence.

To put it another way, whites are in the position of the Third Estate at the beginning of the French Revolution. What are whites in the American system? Everything, in terms of the core culture, the source of political power, and the fount of political legitimacy (as they created the state).

But what are they in the political and social order explicitly? Nothing.

What is our job? To make them something.

And to do that may require a process akin to the French Revolution.

Trump is an opportunity for the System to save itself by giving whites a sense they are tied to the existing System. If Trump goes down, it means whites truly have no stake in the existing political order nor any legitimate means of political expression. But even if he wins, it’s only a temporary reprieve for the United States and for European-Americans. …

For Beltway “conservatives,” whites are simply raw material to be used for their ideological agenda or cogs in a cheap labor machine. For the Left, whites are the eternal enemy that unites their Coalition of the Fringes in an everlasting crusade of hatred. Donald Trump promises to stop the “assault” on the historic American nation. He’s the last American because he’s the last politician who will ever appeal to the core American population, in the name of the old American order, through the old democratic means.

Regardless if he ever wins a single primary, let alone the election, Donald Trump is already a transformational figure. He reveals the System is incapable of saving itself, and European-Americans should plan for what comes next.

Trump: The Last American – Posted By Gregory Hood On February 8, 2016 @ 1:59 am

Trumpism is an expression of the legitimate anger that many Americans feel about the course that the country has taken, and its appearance was predictable. It is the endgame of a process that has been going on for a half-century: America’s divestment of its historic national identity. …

Historically, one of the most widely acknowledged aspects of American exceptionalism was our lack of class consciousness. Even Marx and Engels recognized it. This was egalitarianism American style. Yes, America had rich people and poor people, but that didn’t mean that the rich were better than anyone else. …

Work and marriage have been central to American civic culture since the founding, and this held true for the white working class into the 1960s. Almost all of the adult men were working or looking for work, and almost all of them were married.

Then things started to change. For white working-class men in their 30s and 40s—what should be the prime decades for working and raising a family—participation in the labor force dropped from 96% in 1968 to 79% in 2015. Over that same period, the portion of these men who were married dropped from 86% to 52%. …

By the beginning of the 1980s, Democratic elites overwhelmingly subscribed to an ideology in open conflict with liberty and individualism as traditionally understood. This consolidated the Democratic Party’s longtime popularity with ethnic minorities, single women and low-income women, but it alienated another key Democratic constituency: the white working class. …

the central truth of Trumpism as a phenomenon is that the entire American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. …

Trump’s America -There’s nothing irrational about Donald Trump’s appeal to the white working class, writes Charles Murray: they have every reason to be angry (By CHARLES MURRAY, Updated Feb. 12, 2016 10:35 a.m. ET)

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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7 Responses to A bunch of political commentary I’ve been reading…

  1. Saint Theodore says:

    Complaining about women who work taking time off in the middle of their career to have children and expecting to advance the same as those who do not is totally unreasonable.
    Opportunity is there for those who make the right choices and are willing to work hard to attain their goals.
    I would not take a dime from the government but for those programs which I have paid into and am vested in.
    That is just one thing.
    I will be back.

  2. Zippy says:

    The important thing is to go light your pinch of incense to Caesar. Which candidate you prefer is a matter of mere prudential judgement — and is so irrelevant that it is a practical, mathematical impossibility for it to matter.

    People who refuse to voluntarily light the pinch of electronic incense to Caesar are traitors, have no right to complain, and should move to some backward medieval place where they are not ruthlessly forced to be free and equal like everyone should be. People who get in the way of comprehensive “live and let live” equality of rights should be rounded up and put into camps.

  3. Zippy. You are a trouble maker. ABS sent your series on voting to everyone he knows – which can be accessed via the internal links – and now nobody talks to him (well, you can’t blame them).

    You are a great source of info and a blast to read, even though you are way over the head of ABS.

    O, and thanks for being a trouble maker even though that is not what you intend- you intend to be a problem identifier and get-the-readers-to-think-about-the-problem man.

  4. Zippy says:

    ABS:
    One of the surest ways to become permanently disinvited from cocktail parties is to suggest that there might possibly be something to my sociopathic views on elections qua civic liturgy and liberalism qua political philosophy. If there is one thing upon which all respectable people agree it is that misanthropes who actively refuse to light a pinch of electronic or paper-chad incense to Caesar, and even discourage others from doing so, are at best indifferent shirkers of responsibility — and are, when actively recalcitrant against the gods freedom and equality, outright traitors. Before the god liberalism every knee must bend and every cap must be doffed.

  5. Socrates says:

    I guess God decided to take about 500 to 600 years to bring liberalism to its fullest: and to show its fruits.

    Christi pax.

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