I don’t know anyone who voted for Donald Trump, or who later came to support him, because he thought the president was a candidate for sainthood.
On the contrary, people supported him, first, because of what he promised to do and, second, because of what, over the past two years, he has accomplished. These accomplishments, from rolling back the regulatory state and scores of conservative judicial appointments, from moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem to resuscitating our military, working to end Obamacare, and fighting to keep our borders secure, are not morally neutral data points. They are evidences of a political vision and of promises made and kept. They are, in short, evidences of what sort of character Donald Trump is.
Add them up and I think they go a long way towards a definition of good character that Donald Trump can clear.
Voltaire, writing against Rousseau and his self-intoxicated paeans to “virtue,” occupied a similar semantic neighborhood: “What is virtue, my friend?” Voltaire asked. “It is to do good: let us do it, and that’s enough. We won’t look into your motives.”
Character is not destiny. The future is not fixed. We have a right to hope.
And in this spirit, the best to you all for the New Year.
This is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel told attendants at an event by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin on Wednesday.
“In an orderly fashion of course,” Merkel went on to say. She even went so far as to condemn those in her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party who think Germany should withdraw from the controversial UN migration pact [as Australia has done]:
“There were [politicians]who believed that they could decide when these agreements are no longer valid because they are representing The People”.
And that is what they say in public.
And then there is this from Powerline which comes under the heading: Progressives are Crazy, which is more than evident
That is a proposition for which we see overwhelming evidence on a daily basis. For today, consider these two videos of progressives gone mad.
The first features, to all appearances, a man with long hair. But he goes insane in a game store when he considers himself to be “misgendered.” My favorite moment is when he threatens to “tell the entire LGBTQ community” about the horror he has experienced. PJMedia posted the Facebook video with a headline referring to ‘roid rage, which seems right. But do men take anabolic steroids when they transition? Not that I know of. The video has been viewed more than 9 million times so far:
The second video is another instance of progressive rage, although in this case the lefty doesn’t look like a steroid user. A guy goes into a vape shop wearing a MAGA hat, and the progressive clerk refuses to serve him. The customer gets out his phone and starts filming, which sends the clerk into a liberal rage against President Trump and free enterprise:
It would be a mistake, of course, to draw conclusions from just two data points. Nevertheless, I will hazard this observation: progressives are crazy.
Not to mention climate change [aka global warming]. This via Instapundit:
“The American people have demanded action to combat the climate crisis, which threatens our public health, our economy, our national security and the whole of God’s creation. Together, we must protect public health by reducing air pollution, create jobs by making America preeminent in green technologies, defend our national security by preventing climate-driven instability and uphold our sacred moral responsibility to leave a healthy, sustainable future for generations to come.”
Nor finally can we leave out their wish to impose a socialist state on the rest of us, from Teen Vogue of all things: The Economic Crisis in Venezuela, Explained. I’m not sure it was explained, but at least it was described. But this is where they will take us if we let them.
In part their value is in having things explained from a conservative perspective and partly it is to correct the lies that are never ending in the traditional media, and given how frequent and relentless they are, seem to be deliberate. This is therefore a useful guide to where to look among American websites to balance the phenomenal media distortions: Top 50 Conservative Websites for 2018. In Oz, there are only Catallaxy and Quadrant Online unattached to media organisations.
On the American list, the top spot goes to Drudge, but in the comments at Instapudit many do notice that Drudge has moved to the dark side. A sample:
I dispute that Drudge Report is any longer a “conservative” website…if it ever was. It was always more populist/libertarian/anti-establishment than it was “conservative”. But more than that, the Drudge flavor from even a few years has clearly been subverted. Whether Drudge has changed, or, as rumor has it, he has semi-retired and essentially sold his name to another management team is unclear. What is clear is that Drudge has moved leftward. There is an arguably anti-Trump tone, sly though it may be, to the headlines and the stories linked. This is doubly surprising because Drudge in 2015 was a Trump early adopter, strongly behind his anti-Washington campaign. Something is going on, and I suspect it is the slow, leftward move of the site, incrementally, which readers, like the frog in the slowly warned pot of water, will not notice until too late. Today there seems to be less support of Trump, with more attention paid to anti-Trump articles. There is considerably less vitriol against Democrat positions in general, although the antipathy to Hillary still seems strong. This rating as a “conservative” site strikes me as a kneejerk reaction, made out of habit, without real thought and attention to what is happening there today.
The quality certainly deteriorated in the last few years, and it wasn’t updated very often, but it was still worth a daily visit. However, Drudge seemed to take a severe leftward tilt right around the time of the midterms this year. In a couple of months, he went from a daily read, to a click occasionally, to an un-bookmark for me.
Also left off the list was Ace of Spades which is the site I send people to if they want to read a hardline conservative blog. And while it is not quite a blog in the same sense as the others, there is great value in going to Steyn Online.
But with the media as consistently far left as it is, there are not many places you can go to set the record straight.
Measured by its impact, the BDS campaign to isolate Israel has been about as successful as the Charge of the Light Brigade, say, or the theatrical run of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate, or any other cataclysmic failure that still inspires us, decades later, to ponder the bottomless depths of human ineptitude. And now, not content with their floundering boycotts, the champions of the anti-Israeli left have found a new villain: J.K. Rowling.
Why? Because Rowling is an outspoken critic of the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-Semitic Labour Party, a thought crime among those moral and intellectual degenerates who refuse to condemn hatred of Jews when it comes, as it so frequently does these days, from their side of the aisle.
National Socialists were not just socialists, which they were, but also vile and murderous anti-semites. It is obviously a thought process that is easily replicated in an entirely new era with entirely new circumstances. Socialist and anti-semitism seem to be a twin-set that will just never end.
There are two kinds of knowledge in the world, Crossword Puzzle Knowledge and then there is Knowing How Things are Done. As an intellectual with a social sciences background, I have the first kind of knowledge, where just about nothing I know or know how to do would be of any use to someone living either a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago or at any time besides the present. And then there are the genuine kinds of knowledge, which are based on the development of our scientific understanding of the natural world that surrounds us, the kinds of people who not only know “germs” cause disease, but are able to turn that knowledge into practical outcomes in real time for real people. Which brings me to this, whose title I have amended to this: Why Intellectuals Hate Trump. Here the focus is on why going even beyond the demented socialists of the left, even among those on the right there is a disdain for the American President.
The anti-Trump right-wing intellectual bristles at a political system that does not “appropriately” value their “expertise” and “superior” knowledge and which, consequently, elevates a “buffoon” like Trump to the presidency—and on the shoulders of millions of those “deplorables,” no less. Anti-Trump right-wing intellectuals traffic in information, the gold standard in today’s world, something upon which we are ever-more reliant. Yet, in this arena, the American electorate defied them and their harebrained “proposals,” offered coercively, not through persuasion. Brazenly so. Thus, they resent the man who smashed their pretensions of politics-as-white-paper-drafting-session and roundly repudiated their perceived “right to rule.
These people are the Crossword Puzzle (CWP) brigade, who know a million things like what’s the capital of Morocco, but not how to actually get things done. The President, who in fact knows quite a lot of CWP forms of knowledge, also knows how things work and knows how to get things done. And the resentment of the CWP types for those who know how to get things done is immense. But sickening.
President Trump visited the troops in Iraq at Al Asad Air Base on Christmas. Sarah Sanders announced on Twitter: “President Trump and the First Lady traveled to Iraq late on Christmas night to visit with our troops and Senior Military leadership to thank them for their service, their success, and their sacrifice and to wish them a Merry Christmas.” President Trump himself tweeted out the video below.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing about it if he said anything to question the existence of Santa Claus during his visit. Otherwise, maybe not so much. The video warmed my heart. I thought readers would find it of interest.
Quotable quote (Trump via the linked Politico article): “We’re no longer the suckers, folks. We’re respected again as a nation.”
Except by all the mongrels, Dems and #NeverTrumpers.
Such a sanctimonious fool. If she were really willing to be unpopular she would oppose the stupidities she is mouthing in relation to the facts she is so ignorant about. Disgusting and beyond idiotic. Knows nothing about anything she needs to know. A 15-year nitwit who knows only how to get approval from the semi-adults she is surrounded by at every turn. Could she even repeat a single argument actually made by those who disagree with her, not the empty phrases she mouths that will turn her life upside down if they actually become policy. Repulsive in every way one can think. Our crisis is the crisis of socialism and ignorance.
Posted with approval by Nicholas Gruen with the following comment:
Democracy For Young People is, in my opinion a very compelling analysis of the ills of our democracy. It’s a very simple idea – which is that electoral democracy massively underrepresents three classes of people whose influence on democracy the great anti-democrats of the ancient world (i.e. all the thinkers whose work has come down to us in any substantial form) were most hostile to. The young, the poorly educated and the poor.
I thought the ‘solutions’ section would end up at selection by lot, but it moved right along from that to lowering the voting age (dramatically!). But then the conclusion on what to do was an afterthought, and not really the focus of the podcast. The analysis was compelling. It’s good points are that the ideas are very simple, clearly important. They’re also clearly right to some extent, though of course there could be very wide reasonable disagreement on that extent.
So I recommend it.
I recommend it too, in the sense of know thine enemy.