Like anyone who observes the world, sometimes I’m right, sometimes I’m wrong, and often I’m not sure.  I try to always learn, gather information, and make as much sense as I can.  That said, I have put a lot of energy into both politics and being an armchair sociologist over the years and am encouraged by those times when I get it right.

I was never more right and endured more abuse than in my enthusiasm for and predictions regarding the likely success of Trump, both electorally and as President.  On the whole, I’ve not been disappointed.  Below are some thoughts I had as the events unfolded, as well as more abstract ones about why his deviation from “True Conservatism” as expressed by places like the National Review and the Weekly Standard makes sense as a more authentic expression of conservatism.

First, his basic appeal, then and now, remains the same.

Trump’s appeal comes down to a few things, but more than anything else, its source is his refusal to speak in the idiom of the ruling class, and his willingness to speak to the Republican base about things they have repeatedly expressed concern about, which the mainstream leaders pay some minimal lip service too, and then forget as soon as they’re elected.  We hate political correctness, are concerned about the third world reengineering of America’s people, and think the ruling class could care less about our economic prospects.

Even before he appeared, I predicted someone like him could win.

[A] revamped Republican party should trend nationalistic, abandoning its ideology of free trade, militarism, and uncritical support of big business, in favor of a genuine concern for the working, productive classes who face predations from a motley crew of the super poor, the super rich, idiotic campaigns of nation building abroad, and hostile newcomers at home. If not the GOP, then a new party might fill this space. The GOP appears finished if it follows the idiotic counsel [of moderation] coming from the RNC’s pathologists.

His style, far from being a liability, is part of his appeal to the put-upon people of Middle America, who felt particularly beleaguered during the Obama years:

[H]is style is part of the message.  It translates into how we would expect a President Trump to deal with the media and Washington elite’s neverending campaign of shaming language, trying to force leaders to compromise on core beliefs.  Bush the elder succumbed and violated his “no new taxes” pledge, the McCains of the world have shown this on such varied issues as gay marriage and immigration, and we see it now with all of the candidates, save Trump, in their totally bizarre obeisance to Israel and its lobby, as if they were running for Mayor of Tel Aviv and not President of the United States.

Trump’s harsh tone and his failure to back down from it show a certain kind of strength that signals immunity from the usual Stockholm syndrome we can expect of any American president. In other words, he may be appear a bully, but he’s not; he’s more like a bodyguard, fighting the various bullies and charlatans who have bullied the American people for two generations. His contempt for political correctness is bracing and a testament to the fragility of the current kultursmog, and that level of contempt for the usual pieties of our political culture is part of his appeal.

Having now failed definitively on Russian Collusion, the latest Trump Scandal is getting little traction, his alleged tete a tete (a decade or so ago) with the ridiculously buxom, Stormy Daniels.  But most of his supporters are shrugging, and the reason is pretty plain that this was all baked in the cake.  His love for the ladies, like Bill Clinton’s, was already widely known. We saw hints of all this when the Cruz affair rumors were rampant during the primaries.

Now that Rubio is gone, someone with an axe to grind got this to the National Enquirer, and here we are.  It does matter if it’s true, particularly to Cruz’s supporters, because his alleged virtue is the raison d’etre of his campaign and the keystone of his message.  Trump, by contrast, is anti-fragile to the usual attacks because he does not claim to be Mr. Virtue, his Christianity is toned down and nominal (like many Americans today, incidentally), and his whole schtick is that he does not play by the usual rules and is politically incorrect

While many conservatives today hearken back to Reagan, I think Trump’s man is Nixon.  He was Trump’s president as Trump was starting out in business, and he won massively.  On domestic policy, they are almost perfectly matched, and both mystify, annoy, and strike fear in the Ruling Class, broadly understood.

[Nixon] won massively against McGovern in ’72, but was hated by elites, who truly did not understand him and his appeal.

He governed from the center, angering free market types with his price controls during the inflation episodes of the early 70s and angering movement conservatives with his pragmatic approach to the Cold War.  He enlisted he help of China for realpolitik reasons against the Soviet Union and rammed through a “peace treaty” to allow a swift withdrawal from the failing Vietnam War.  He was something of a foreign policy minimalist, in contrast to the more grandiose fantasies of hardcore “movement conservative” Cold Warriors who wanted to risk nuclear war to roll back Soviet communism.

Nixon stood for a basic, somewhat authoritarian cultural conservatism, but was economically pragmatic and centrist, and made largely symbolic gestures against the growing disorder of the times.

It remains to be seen if the latest rapprochement with North Korea is a trick or will be a master stroke, like Nixon going to China.  But one area where Trump has succeeded wildly so far is the economy with a mixture of Reaganite cutting of regulations and nationalism on trade. The anemic Obama recovery, which we all took for granted as “the way things are” has given way to real growth, particularly in the area of manufacturing and in places like the Midwest and rural America, which were consigned to oblivion by the elites of both parties.

I’ve supported something like this for a long time, writing in 2012:

I notice outside of DC, lots of conservatives are nationalistic and mildly protectionist. At the same time, Free Trade is an article of religious faith among economists and certain social classes, but it’s not clear how empirically supported it is. Indeed, much of economic “science” consists of a priori deductive reasoning based on hypothesis of how people behave and why they can be viewed artificially as mere consumers and not also as citizens, potential soldiers, countrymen, enemies, potential welfare cases, etc.  At the most basic level, people are both producers and consumers. They need to earn and make wages to consume.  So it matters if our consumption temporarily goes up while our productive capacity goes down.

We also face competition in other areas of life with our free trade partners, such as China, and may find we’ve built up their wealth only to empower their military expansion. It’s notable that the most vociferous supporters of free trade often work in jobs little impacted by global competition, or that are otherwise supported by substantial protections.

Romney is worrisome in this regard, as he appears to have the cosmopolitan businessman’s view of this. He also has the skills to be a potentially very useful president. I believe our president should behave like the CEO of Walmart, driving extremely hard bargains with all of our trading partners in order to benefit Americans as a whole. And we should hobble communist countries like China and slowly strangle them economically, as they are hostile nations.  Their growth has done nothing to liberalize them and much to endanger us.  At the same time, it has also done much to weaken us and impoverish our formerly high wage industrial workers.

Our nation is too important and the writing on the wall too apparent to allow the ill supported ideology of free trade to stop us from taking sensible measures to strengthen ourselves relative to our global competitors.

Trump’s electoral win, his success as President, and the devolution of  checklist conservatism dominant for the last eight years all come from a common source:  opposition to globalism, with which elites of both parties are complicit, and the explicit offering of the alternative of nationalism.

Nationalism is the truest conservative impulse today, just as the anti-socialism was in yesteryear.  Conservatism is dynamic, because it is fundamentally an approach to change and an attempt to preserve or restore a known way of life.  The threat then was Soviet Communism and a homogenizing welfare state at home, but the threat today is homogenizing multiculturalism, mass immigration, and unrestrained global trade.  Changes along these axes form the core anxiety of Middle America, and this is the problem for which only candidate Donald Trump had any concern or antidote.  Let us hope he remembers how he was elected and to what end.


A very important piece by Queen Ann on why the entire establishment is somewhat at fault in Parkland due to an Obama-era initative to stop the “school to prison” pipeline by simply ignoring the crimes of young criminals.

As you can imagine, this brilliant ploy has (a) made life unpleasant for those unfavored groups who must go to school with these criminals and (b) required authorities to ignore the numerous warning signs and real crimes by someone like Nicholas Cruz in favor of falsely presenting him to society as a decent human being so that he can get a job (as if the underlying behavior itself may not be a problem for he and others similarly situated).  Cruz was a nut who had committed numerous disqualifying crimes prior to going on a shooting spree, but we wouldn’t want this kind of record to stop him from becoming an astronaut some day.

This kind of statistical legerdemain makes me skeptical of the entire nationwide drop in crime in recent years.  How much is driven by the desire to paper over the real cost of diversity not only in schools but everywhere?  After all, if cops are under great pressure from the powers that be not to “turn a good boy bad” by giving him a felony, they can engage in the equivalent of “catch and release,” the crime never gets counted, and thus we can say things are great when they are not.

Added to this are emerging technologies like Netflix, Amazon, and the like.  Even in a time of great diversity, the middle classes have simply avoided malls, theaters, and the other places they may encounter diversity, even when living in increasingly diverse locales.  The e-commerce economy functions, in part, to permit all of the benefits of a highly advanced society without ever having to leave the house.

Finally, homicides are hard to hide, but they are definitely down.  We must remember, however, that medical care is very good and always getting better.  What would have been homicides years ago may now be mere maimings, and no one cares much about those.  

So between gaming the stats, self-help, and expert medical care, the nationwide crime drop may be concealing an increasingly friction-filled world, particularly in places like South Florida, where everyone is from somewhere else and little holds these communities together.


All normal people are horrified by mass shootings, particularly when the victims are young people, just as we all are horrified by large plane crashes and other tragedies.  But for some of these shootings, such as the recent one in Parkland, Florida, the talk of “act now” has become more prominent.

The “we have to act now and STFU” rhetoric from the left is disturbing.  Doesn’t it matter if a law is going to do any good?  Doesn’t it matter if such a law may lead to massive civil disobedience?  Doesn’t it matter that so few such shooting sprees and crimes with rifles generally ever take place?  And finally doesn’t it matter that everywhere from Egypt to the Soviet Union to Cuba and the Jim Crow South, we have seen instances of oppressive government that were limited, in part, by the right of lawful gun ownership?

Facts have no place in this debate.  It’s a culture wars thing.  The whole point of these calls for gun control is to set up lines of demarcation between the evil and the elect.  Standing up for gun control shows one’s good faith by separating oneself from the uncouth, potentially violent, backwards, and otherwise disagreeable gun-owning class.  Other cultural issues, from violence-saturated movies and video games to divorce and the decline of trust and the widespread use of antidepressants are all totally off the table.

This failure to even attempt to offer reasoned arguments and counter the arguments of opponents is perhaps he biggest reason certain cost-effective compromises–perhaps raising age to buy AR-15s to 21–is not possible.  The goal to ban and confiscate guns is evident, and it is also evident that this arises from a more general desire to oppress, control, and hate the group that owns guns, that is the conservative, mostly white, flyover voters that brought about Trump.

The Memo

I don’t have much unique to add to the already roaring voices of discontent.  I believe the memo exposes the use of a shady, Clinton-campaign funded opposition research memo to authorize FBI resources to spy on the Trump Campaign.  Further, this was done multiple times, and the provenance of the memo was concealed by the DOJ and FBI from the Court to whom it should have been revealed.  Comey, McCabe, and Rosenstein are all over this.  This is a  complete and total abuse of law enforcement powers for low, partisan purposes.  Shameful.

Byron York has a good write up, as does Chris Bursick and the Wall Street Journal.  

Just a few thoughts.  #MemoGate shows that the only Russian collusion was between Hillary campaign and Russia, through Fusion GPS and its spy, Christopher Steele, who paid, bribed, and listened to various Russians who defamed Trump for various reasons, including, perhaps, undermining his presidency should he win.  Imagine if George W Bush used lies to get FISA warrants against Kerry or Obama based on shady oppo research?  This is an incredible abuse of power by a politicized FBI under Obama.

Second, the FBI’s halo needs to be brought down.  There is no “independent” FBI, and, like the CIA, NSA, the military, and all the rest that is part of the executive branch, it is answerable to the elected President and Congress.  We should remember the FISA Court itself is a product of the Church Commission, which investigated FBI abuses during the 60s and 70s.  Why assume that rogue ethos has completely disappeared?

Truthfully, other than those at the top, I expect there are few died-in-the-wool libs among the rank-and-file agents, but, nonetheless, they should be generally speaking held accountable. And the memo shows that their claimed need for secrecy is as much about avoiding embarrassment as it has anything to do with national security.  The memo has been treated as both a “nothing burger” and the destroyer of worlds.  Both can’t be true.

Finally, is there no common ground anymore?   Nancy Pelosi moved heaven and earth to expose the CIA’s use of potentially illegal torture to root out al Qaeda.  Right or wrong, at least then she stood on the side of transparency and exposure of information to the public, which mostly shrugged upon learning of this act taken in extremis.  Is there anything that could be exposed done by the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Obama administration more generally that would raise more than a shrug? Is there any common principle–other than mere partisanship–that extends from administration to administration?

Nixon lost the Republicans with his cover up.  But, as Clinton showed with his sheer force of will during his scandals, simply pressing forward seems to have some value politically speaking.  People are forgetful. And many of the top Democrats, I would say, are quite simply more partisan and more lawless than Republicans, particularly as they are as incensed about Trump as Republicans were about Obama.

And that’s not a good thing, as both parties should and do, to some extent, keep an eye on the other when it is in power.  Both should have some common respect for the broad ideal of the rule of law.   But the Swamp, sadly, seems to look at the people and their oversight as a whole as the problem.  For them, the rules are merely for show, for the little people, and as tools to get their opponents, rather than being internalized as limits on their own conduct.  It’s really sad that more people aren’t troubled by these apparent excesses and abuses.  Because there are worse things than a Trump or an Obama getting elected, depending on your point of view; it is more troubling if elections no longer matter and are policed by a very unqualified group, a group with extensive authority, whose chief interest is their own power and privilege.  We are entering Soviet territory these days, and, like the late Soviet Union, may find the gap of privilege and wealth from the nomenklatura and the rest of us is simply too much for ordinary people to bear.

During the campaign, Trump spoke of cleaning the swamp, and it’s hard to believe that a rough-talking and sometimes crude Queens businessman would be the person to do that.  But the Swamp is a metaphor, and it’s more like a reeducation camp, a loony bin, or a decadent Versailles of a new age.  Trump is exactly the person to straighten it out, because the straight jacket of our age comes wrapped in soothing platitudes and new standards of politeness:  sensitivity, being inclusive, celebrating diversity, and all the rest.  And, in the process, we are giving away our country, our native born sons are in decline, and our collective flourishing is being undermined by violence, disunity, and parasitic newcomers.

Trump is asking the right questions on immigration that have been relegated to the sidelines or worse by the bipartisan consensus:  Who should come here? How many? And what qualities should these people have? And how do they contribute to our common good, if at all, once they are here?

Andrew Klavan, with whom I was not previously familiar, had this excellent analogy to the role Trump is playing and the nature of the pieties he is upsetting:

I frequently compare Trump to Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loudmouthed, ill-mannered roustabout from Ken Kesey’s brilliant novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. McMurphy comes into an insane asylum controlled by a pleasant, smiling nightmare of a head nurse named Ratched. Nurse Ratched, while pretending to be the soul of motherly care, is actually a castrating, silencing tyrant. Her rules of good manners, supposedly fashioned for the benefit of all, are really a system of mental slavery. All of McMurphy’s salient character flaws suddenly become heroic in the context of her oppression. Only his belligerent ignorance of what constitutes good behavior can overturn the velvet strangulation of her rule.

If one can’t call Haiti a shithole without this being controversial, something is seriously wrong with our culture and its leaders.  This fact is obvious, and how much any failed nation’s traits are contagious through mass immigration of it nationals is an issue worth taking very seriously or we may find ourselves with a Toussant Louverture in our midst.  I’d rather have a leader that speaks the truth, the real truth that matters, rather than someone who politely supervises our collective destruction.

Haiti Struggles With Death And Destruction After Catastrophic Earthquake

How dare anyone fail to see the charms of Haiti?

Watching media freak out over Trump’s “shithole” comment reminds me why he won. He said something everyone knows is true. You can’t deny these countries (Haiti, Honduras) are not very nice.  They’re poor, dirty, poorly governed, chaotic, corrupt, and generally the opposite of the United States of yore.  One or two photos make it clear.  Nor if you are logical can you deny that a decent amount  of their people aren’t very nice or talented either.  It’s not the physical environement, but the demographic and cultural one that made these countries the way they are.  And, indeed, there are degrees of bad, as the sharp line of demarcation between unforested Haiti and forested Dominican Republic makes clear if you ever happen to fly over them.

These people want to come here for a reason.  Obviously, many are good and motivated people, dissatisfied with the countries they’re born into.  But they risk turning our country more like they countries they came from if too many come. Everyone knows this. This is normal dinner table talk. And the media is losing it and the Democrats are about to fall into a trap by showing their enthusiasm for low-skill, poor, third-world immigration and denying the obvious about the countries they come from.  After all, if these countries aren’t shitholes, what’s so bad about deporting people to them?

Half of Trumps appeal is destroying taboos of political correctness. What we think and what we “are allowed to say” is more divergent than in the late Soviet Union. And people know it and are sick of it.

It’s starting to unravel, and the naked partisanship behind the story is becoming more and more clear.

Andrew McCarthy as usual has done yeoman’s work here and here.  In short, the basis of the spying on the Trump Campaign was the totally unreliable Steele Dossier created by Fusion GPS for the Hillary Campaign.

Another rundown here.  Long Twitter string, but overall a good point that the chief assumption of the n’er do wells was that Trump would never win regardless.

Finally, an analysis of the recent blatant lying on the subject by Susan Rice, Obama’s NSA advisor.

Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of the Russian Collusion thing is it being totally out of tune with Trump, his ethos, his stated passions, his demonstrated policies, and his manifest nationalism for his own country, the United States.  It seems more like a combination of defamation and alibi for Hillary losing the election.