Monday, February 29, 2016


R.R. Reno has a serious (but inescapably amusing) piece entitled "TRUMPAGEDDON!" in First Things (February 20, 2016). Just a few excerpts:
The Republican establishment has swung into defcon i, maximum force alert. Last month I contributed to a widely publicized symposium at National Review. Our hope was to stop his rise. The liberal establishment is, if anything, even more agitated. Trump transgresses the rules of political engagement, to say nothing of political correctness. A stream-of-consciousness, reality TV show insult machine leads the race for the Republican Party nomination. How did we come to this point?

The wonder is that we wonder. Trump is a creature of today’s political and cultural establishment. How could a master of comic mockery like Stephen Colbert object to Trump’s political style? Or Jon Stewart, who concludes his regular political rants with crude obscenity? I can’t think of any public figure on the Left who wouldn’t be flattered to share the stage with either man. Why should Donald Trump embarrass—other than the fact that his political positions aren’t liberal.

... And then there’s Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky affair, followed by the fire hose spewing money at him after his presidency, shows that there is nothing Bill can do to discredit him among liberal elites. I can’t think of any Democrat of standing, in public life or not, who wouldn’t be thrilled to have Bill grace their cocktail receptions or dinner parties. Why, then, should Donald Trump be held accountable for his many excesses?

Perhaps I too am being drawn into the body slamming race to the bottom. In all honesty, I find myself wanting to hit someone, if only to awaken him. This primary season is revealing an astounding blindness in the members of our ruling class, both Right and Left, as well as a remarkable lack of self-criticism. Donald Trump should be no surprise. He’s made in their image.


Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

He is a vessel for the righteous hatred of millions of normal men who have been continually screwed by the establishment and are sick to death of being told they are the problem with America and scolding then for voting for him is exactly what he desires and such a tactic will backfire and serve only to increase his appeal across party lines and economic strata.

The establishment - Stupid Party, Evil Party, Media - is responsible for Trump even as usurious Capitalism was responsible for socialism (Rerum Novarum).

Commentators just can not understand why the haughty vulgarian Trump is getting so many evangelicals to vote for him when it is quite plain and simple; they think Trump will protect them and this country.

Dad29 said...

Since no one else dares to bring it up, I will.

What about the O.T.'s tales of Israel being "smited" for its transgressions?

Gay "marriage"
Metadata-driven drone strikes

Shall I go on?

JM said...

Colbert, a publicly celebrated 'smart' Catholic.

One I imagine who prompts chuckles from the likes of James Martin, Cardinal Dolan, and John Allen.

Watch him yourself and you may no longer wonder why there is a marked divide.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

It was funny to read the bellowing of the bellicose blowhard, Billy Kristol.

Hey, Billy, is Israel xenophobic as regards immigration or is that irrelevant because the question for the Messias-Deniers is always, what's good for the Jews?

Billy told Bush he had to invade Iraq (He told Bush the attack had to proceed alphabetically, thus, Iraq and then Iran) for the sake of Israel and yet he has absolutely no idea he is a Neo-Con normal americans love to hate

Pertinacious Papist said...


You're right on the money. That's close to what I had in mind when I wrote "It all happened already once before" (Musings, Feb. 24, 2016).

JM said...

I was thinking that judgement might be now being expressed in the recent rise of several prominent leaders.

JM said...

WAPO "Liberty University students went big for Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in the GOP presidential primary, despite school president Jerry Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Donald Trump. Trump won only about 8 percent of the vote in Liberty’s voting precinct, compared to 44 percent for Rubio and 33 percent for Cruz."

Of course. Why would students be frustrated? They are 20 years old on average. Why would they be worried about immigration? They have grown up with it and assume Mother Government will make sure everyone is taken care of. They voted here based on group identification and the Christian tilt towards BeNice, and not on personal connection with life experience. They have practically none.

Carlos Santana said...

"Conservatism" is a loaded term, much as "liberalism" has always been. Liberalism over the years has been used to describe everything from Hubert Humphrey's enthusiasm for government giveaways to Vladimir Lenin's enthusiasm for precipitously elevating the lead content of the bodies of his political enemies.

There are basically two varieties of conservatism. Type 1 is sometimes called "neo conservatism." It has been the dominant type over the past couple of decades. Neo conservatives want to do two things: (1) make America an empire, the dominant global force of the planet, (2) treat Israel as our most trustworthy and indispensible of allies (for reasons unapparent to most rational observers).

Neoconservatives are responsible for duping the presidential dullard of the time into war in Iraq. If you recall, the plan was to turn Iraq into an American-style democracy, kind of a Massachusetts-on-the-Euphrates. Neoconservatives are not advocates of small government, because war and empire-building require big government. They are not nationalists or isolationists in any traditional sense because empire-building requires a globalist attitude, and a complicated web of alliances. Who are neoconservatives? Richard Perle, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol (and his son Bill, who practially sleeps on the couch at Fox News), Charles Krauthammer, and on and on. Who are these people? Google them and see for yourself. One way or another, each has helped to define the policies of the Republican party for the past few decades.

There is another variety of American conservatism, which one might call traditional conservatism. Traditional conservatives despise empire building. They want a powerful military, but they don't want to be parachuting it into all areas of the world to fulfill shadowy "commitments" and honor devious alliances. They have had enough with bailing Europeans out of their foolish entanglements. Screw 'em! They want small government, but a government that responds first, last, and always to the needs of AMERICANS: not illegals, not “refugees,” not hyphenated Americans, but AMERICANS!. They don’t want entangling economic alliances any more than they want entangling political alliances, because they know in their bones that the former are concealed givaway programs to third world nations. And they are furious to almost atomic levels because they have witnessed the migration of American manufacturing to these hovel nations, while they scramble to survive on burger-flipper wages with no medical benefits. They want borders that are impenetrable and strongly policed, immigration rules that are restrictive and strictly enforced, and an end to mewling cries for diversity and tolerance, which they know are political cover for penetrable borders and lax enforcement. They want walls, razor wire, maybe an electric charge here and there – machine gun towers are always a nice touch -- and they probably wouldn’t mind if several thousand acres of mine fields were thrown in, and to hell with what Vicente Fox thinks about it – or for that matter Pope Helterskelter I.

Carlos Santana said...


There are not many influential traditionalist conservatives left, just as there are not many influential traditionalist Catholics left in the Catholic Church. The great Pat Buchanan may be the last man standing. However, among normal American red staters, they survive in abundance. Their curse is that of constantly voting for republicans who betray them: establishment fungoes like Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and JEB! in this cycle -- republicans who talk out of one side of their mouth on their home soil and another side altogether in Washington, wherein they reveal themselves as greedy shysters who cheerfully follow the established republican neoconservative line. So traditionalists grumble, buy more bullets, and survive, while fairies and phantasms such as Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and the Saturday Night Live malcontents shriek and fling their feces at them.

Donald Trump has somehow tuned into the frustration of these people, and has done a spectacular job of making it work for him. His success enrages the chattering classes, who are knee-jerk elitists Reno chatters as much as any of them. My personal response to him and his companions at the juice bar is that of Captain Black to the world at large in "Catch-22": "EAT YOUR LIVER!!"

JM said...

Sitting back and observing the current civil war happening within the Republican party should come as no surprise to anyone who resides outside the beltway of Washington, D.C. Pundits, thinkers, writers, and radio hosts who I once admired, have now lost credibility as they have bestowed upon themselves the bastion of what is and isn’t “true conservatism”. Yet, while the civil war wages within the party, the party itself does a disservice to this nation for fighting the wrong battle at the wrong time as the war for the heart of this country wages on.

To myself, this has always been the main issue in regards to the Republicans. For far too long they’ve fought for the soul of conservatism as they’d like it to be, but not for the soul of the nation as it truly is. I highly doubt that the very pundits, thinkers, writers, and hosts whom I’ve come to follow are malevolent in their intent for overlooking this point but I have come to realize that they’ve overlooked it completely. I find it flat out astounding that they fail to recognize the zeitgeist of the times as America has reached a point in which the majority of the voters not only couldn’t give a damn about what is and isn’t conservatism, but have no idea what the word even means.