Monday, October 7, 2019

“Not A Member Of The Club”

     Quoth Roger Simon:

     We all know why impeachment is really happening -- and when I say all, I include especially the Democrats and their devoted media allies/leaders. They know because they live in fear of what they wrought and desperately want to hide it or bury it (under impeachment) before it is laid out before the public.

     I refer, of course, to the imminent exposure -- at least we hope it is coming -- of the predicates of the Russia probe, easily the most despicable and seditious attempt to unseat a president in American history. This attempt to impeach or, at that point, to interdict began on or not long after June 16, 2015, the day Donald Trump announced his candidacy.

     Concealing the mechanics of the “Russian collusion” narrative is the immediate reason – i.e., the object most imperative at the moment. But the last sentence in the above is what intrigues me: the immediate perception, from June of 2015, by the “better sort” that the upstart might succeed at gaining entry to the corridors of power. How did they know?

     Political establishments have always been hostile to persons they deem “not a member.” Nor is the reaction peculiar to the United States. However, only in a nation where a popular vote has the potential to break through the elite’s defenses is the ascendance of a populist in such a dramatic fashion a possibility.

     Establishments don’t need to be “respectable.” Indeed, those outside North America and Western Europe seldom are. Consider the regimes of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines as recent cases. From my own survey of establishments over the past millennium, I would conclude that “respectability” is a recent innovation. At least that seems to be the case.

     “This is the way things are done around here,” a superficially conservative attitude, has been the reflexive defense of establishments of all kinds. It couples nicely with the notion that only those who have “been around” should be trusted with the reins. They who prattle about “qualifications,” in speaking of a political candidate, are quietly invoking that idea. By triumphing over “the most qualified candidate in history,” Donald Trump smashed that precept to flinders. But the most interesting aspect of the matter was that our political establishment sensed the threat from “unqualified outsider” Trump in mid-2015, well before his popular support could materialize.

     Yet it wasn’t Trump’s first sally toward the presidency. He’d stepped forward in the 2000 presidential campaign season, though the seriousness of that earlier effort is open to dispute. His 2000 gesture might have served to reassure the establishmentarians. “The dilettante merely wants a new arena in which to test his mettle,” they might have said to one another. They didn’t; they took his candidacy seriously from its first days, arguably before anyone outside their number did so. How did they know of the threat he posed them?

     I hadn’t intended to write anything today. I’m on a retreat from political commentary just now, for the sake of my equanimity. But Roger Simon’s brief article got my engine turning. Call it Porretto’s First Law of Motion: once I’m in motion I tend to keep going. (“He’s like the lazy preacher who wrote long sermons. He got to writin’ and was too lazy to stop.”)

     I distrust simple explanations for complex political phenomena. They can be correct, but when something so unexpected is the subject – and the overturning of every political applecart in the District of Columbia came as a considerable surprise – I tend to look for connecting threads. One that’s been much on my mind recently is the swelling support for a literal interpretation of the Second Amendment.

     In truth, there’s never been a good case that the Founding Fathers “didn’t really mean it,” as many commentators hostile to the right to keep and bear arms have claimed. After all, they were the survivors of a revolution in which the American colonists defeated the Western world’s preeminent military power. Had the British succeeded in disarming the colonists before hostilities could erupt, what chance would they have had?

     President Trump is the most ardent defender of that right to reach the Oval Office in a century. No, he’s not perfect; the bump-stock ban should put that notion to rest. But he’s criticized restrictive concealed-carry laws and supported national concealed-carry reciprocity. Which of his predecessors could say the same?

     That the citizen has a God-given right to keep and bear arms is the most populist imaginable stance...and it’s being more widely, openly, and vibrantly asserted than since before the Civil War. The various arguments against it are all falling in the face of the evidence that an armed citizenry is safer, in aggregate, than a disarmed one – and not just against the “private” predator. The issue is a perfect match to the rise of Trump the Disruptor.

     I can’t say of my own knowledge whether Donald Trump was as open and vigorous a supporter of the armed citizen before he announced his candidacy in June of 2015. But the stance dovetails beautifully with the unprecedented swelling of support for him, virtually from the moment he stepped off the Trump Tower escalator.

     Was that what alerted the political elite to the threat to their bastion, or was it merely one ingredient in a larger stew?

     Trump in 2020, and damn the weeping and the gnashing of teeth from the mandarins of “the way things are done around here.” Their machinations have failed them. God willing, they will fall as well. It’s long past time.



Trump was not my first choice - that was Scott Walker. He, in retrospect, would have been a fine President but would not have undertaken the effort to drain the swamp.

My second choice was Ted Cruz; immensely sharp and a fighter, I don't think he had the bar-brawler mentality in sufficient quantity. Still respect the man enormously.

Trump fights, as has been pointed out. Here's a local-to-me blogpost that sums it up:

There's a lib blogger I know and have, occasionally, sparred with. On some things I actually agree with them - notably the threat posed by mass automation to employment. But their sneering arrogance like (paraphrased) "We don't hate you, we're just more educated than you" combined with "Be civil, be civil" makes me grasp that "IT" is coming.

We've tried being civil.

Jim in Alaska said...

Wandered over here via the Woodpile Report, interesting blog. Also went over to smashwords to check out your writing, not bad for a youngster that's short, bald, homely, has bad acne and crooked teeth.

No worries 'bout your 13,000 volume library destroying stability of the North American tectonic plate, my 28,000 volume library up here on top of the wold (North Pole, Alaska) counterbalances it quite nicely.

"I distrust simple explanations for complex political phenomena." Personally I think most things lend themselves to simple explanations, politics included.

Left against 2nd Amendment? Enlightened self interest; they, of course don't want you or me to have firearms however they'll have as many armed guards as necessary to protect themselves from us, the hoi polloi.

Against free speech? Enlightened self interest; just against any speech they disagree with.

No one in America should be a billionaire? Against it only until they is one.

Against Trump? The quote attributed to Hillary; "If he's elected we'll all be in jail!"

Enlightened self interest seems to cover it all.