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After Trump, conservatives must return to core values The lesson for the Right is a simple one: bad company ruins good morals

Credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty


January 20, 2021   6 mins

It was one of the weirdest moments of the last four years: President Trump, stood before a church, holding a Bible like he’d never seen one before.

Presumably, the point of the stunt last summer was to reassure godly Republicans that he was on their side, during the depths of the BLM protests and riots. But that, of course, is precisely their problem — American Christians chose a man like him to lead them, a man whose behaviour is completely contrary to everything the holy book stands for. As Psalm 141 warns: “Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!”

Or, to state the matter more bluntly, as St Paul does in 1 Corinthians 15: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Having eaten of Donald Trump’s delicacies, the Republican Party is in deep trouble. Its current path leads into the wilderness, while the alternative — a painful process of detrumpification — would tear the movement apart. But then there are no easy choices when your morals are ruined.

The lesson for conservatives everywhere is a simple one: be careful who you associate with. It’s no use them complaining that they’re held to a higher standard than the libs because, while they generally are, that’s all the more reason not to supply the enemy with ammunition.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, these days, conservatives have more bad choices to make. Conservatism used to be associated with the establishment, but that’s changing fast and in many countries the primary locus of anti-establishment feeling is to be found on the Right rather than the Left. Being on the outside looking in means that you have other outsiders to deal with, and thus what used to be the biggest problem for the Left (the extremists on their own side) is now the biggest problem for the Right.

Outsiders need representation too, but one must reject the worst of them — those who are too mad or bad to be anywhere else. And there are plenty of such people, willing to speak on behalf of conservatives; social media is crawling with them.

I don’t mean to suggest that there’s nothing mad or bad inside the establishment. Just think about our crazy campuses, woke corporations, dysfunctional bureaucracies and over-mighty tech giants. But this is mainstream madness and badness. Insiders get away with what they do and say because it’s normalised — even celebrated — by the arbiters of acceptability. As Eric Weinstein puts it, “the Official Idealism of every age is usually the cover story of its thefts.”

As they become an anti-establishment force, conservatives must keep in mind that the cover story does not cover them anymore, and the bad choices that they make will be fully exposed. It is thus ever more important that they choose their friends more wisely.

But if establishment values no longer define what a conservative ought to be, what criteria should be applied instead? The creation of an alternative establishment — a “conservative movement” of TV stations, websites and think tanks — might be a necessary way of countering media bias, but it has also trapped the Right within an echo chamber of its own making, and created the sort of ideological purity conservatives so dislike in the other side. Proper conservatism rightly shies away from tests of ideological purity and indeed ideology itself.

If conservatives everywhere wish to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Trump era, they need to return to first principles. In Ancient Greek philosophy, these are the “transcendentals” — the “properties of being” most commonly expressed as Agathos (“the Good”), Aletheia (“the True”) and Kalos (“the Beautiful”). If anything distinguishes conservatism from other belief systems in the modern day it is the idea that goodness, truth and beauty are not matters of mere opinion, they are real — indeed they transcend human experience.

Sometimes referred to as the “Platonic Triad” or the “Socratic Trinity”, the transcendentals were incorporated from Greek philosophy into Christian theology where they became building blocks of the western tradition. In recent centuries, that tradition has come under sustained attack from within. For those who believe that the physical universe is all that there is or that everything is subjective, there can be no room for the idea that abstract principles have objective reality.

Conservative thinkers, including CS Lewis and Roger Scruton, have led a counter-attack, reasserting the transcendence of goodness, truth and beauty. These things are unfashionable because they place limitations upon individual autonomy and a world in which transcendentals exist does not revolve around subjective experience. We therefore cannot allow our ethical, epistemic and aesthetic choices to be governed by our personal feelings alone.

That, however, is the essence of Trumpism. Last week I argued that Donald Trump was America’s first post-modern President — a practitioner of politics as if objectivity doesn’t matter. The Republicans allowed themselves to be lured into his make-believe world and are struggling to find their way out again — because there’s no hope for a conservatism that does not rigorously apply the Good, the True and the Beautiful to its political judgements.

Let’s look at goodness first. This, of course, is the most expansive of the three — indeed it could be viewed as the all-encompassing super-principle. However, we can narrow our focus with reference to the Greek word Agathos — which carries a particular meaning of “excellence of character”. It’s not our place to sit in final judgement on the state of someone’s soul, but we can ask of a potential leader “is he or she of excellent character?” In Trump’s case we don’t need to agonise over the answer.

We can’t expect perfection, of course — not from the crooked timber of humanity. But if someone lives their life in obvious violation of widely shared standards of decency, then that really ought to put us off.

The criterion of goodness can be applied to collective actions, too. Think of the mob that attacked the Capitol on 6 January. Can attacking police officers doing their duty be described as good? Or vandalising a public building? Or disporting oneself in a place reserved for the holders of high office? The answer to those questions should also be obvious — especially to anyone calling themselves conservative.

Now on to truth or Aletheia. The Greek word literally translates as “unhidden” or “out in the open”, and there’s an echo of it in the US Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” Self-evident truths are the foundation of unity — or, at the very least, honest debate.

This stands in contrast to the hidden “truths” of conspiracy theory. When such claims become the currency of public discourse, there can be no unity, only division; no debate, only propaganda. The last few weeks in America have made evident just how much damage this can do.

Of course, the truth isn’t always clear. There’s so much that we don’t know — and that we don’t know that we don’t know. Epistemic humility is therefore in order, a key principle of conservative thought, in particular its opposition to radical, untested change. Doubt is not the enemy of truth, but the homage that we pay to truth’s transcendent power to expose human ignorance.

Conservatives must beware those who only don the mantle of scepticism to question the convictions of the other side. When you see someone describe themselves as, say, a “climate sceptic” or a “lockdown sceptic’, ask them what doubts they entertain about their own position. Or, if the evidence isn’t available yet, ask them what, in theory, would it take for them to change their minds. The answers should be revealing.

Finally, we come to beauty. We’ve been taught to distrust the concept as hopelessly subjective. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder then it might seem unimportant — even to those who regard goodness and truth as real. And yet the ancients were unembarrassed to include the Beautiful alongside the Good and the True. That’s because they saw that the three concepts are related to one another: truth tells us about goodness and beauty draws us towards the truth. Hence the test that we should apply to what is presented as beautiful — does it enlighten and therefore improve us?

It’s a test that is relevant in politics. Aesthetic choices can tell you a lot about a political movement. Kitsch is not a good sign, nor is brutalism, nor an excess of minimalism or uniformity. Vulgarity is also suspect, but then so is snobbery — a mean love for a mean thing, to paraphrase Thackeray.

The Greek word for beauty — Kalos — also implies health and wholesomeness (hence “callisthenics”). If one thinks about the style, as well as the substance, of Trumpism one can hardly describe it as wholesome, or dignified or gracious. The tweets, the memes, the performances, never lacked for aesthetic distinctiveness, but the purpose was to provoke and outrage, not to enlighten or edify. The effect was one of sensation not inspiration — and thus should have been repulsive to a conservative audience.

Goodness, truth and beauty are related, but it’s possible to fail on one standard but not the others. For instance, a decent person can be consumed by conspiratorial thinking and thus fail on the standard of truth. Alternatively, someone might speak the truth, but using ugly language and thus fail the standard of beauty.

Trumpism is unusual in the degree to which it has transgressed all three standards — the Good, the True and the Beautiful. Whether the Republican Party can ever recover from its failure to see what was so obvious I don’t know. But, as a conservative, I hope that the lasting shame serves as a warning to conservatives elsewhere.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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Carl Goulding
Carl Goulding
3 years ago

So why did 75 million people vote for Trump? Surely they can’t all be “deplorables”? Maybe it’s because they believe the alternative is even worse?

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

Maybe they liked the fact he delivered on his promises.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Or at least seemed to at the time. He was very quick to build a small section of wall.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

His wall has been buttressed by extremely good relations with the Governments to the South. The President of Mexico appears devastated by his loss. Just the mere whiff of the Fraudster coming in has had the effect of caravans massing on all their borders.

And the border force is a border force now, not an enabling service like ours.

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

450 miles to date, a bit over five times the length of Hadrian’s Wall.
Not bad in four years.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  George Lake

No!
According to US custorms:
Newly built – 15 miles
Replacement/Refurbishment ( a regular program) – 350m
plant to build – 157 miles
under construction – 221

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Oh dear, this is worse than talking about the Bible!

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) web site clearly stated 452 miles. However when I double checked with the dreaded BBC, their interpretation of the CBP info matched yours!

Anyway it may not be the ‘Great Wall of Trump’, but a barrier is currently extant, even if there are many miles to go.
.
To change the subject completely, may I recommend a splendid little wine bar you may care to visit on your arrival in Luxembourg?
It is: ‘Dipso-the Wine Republic’ at 4, Rue de la Loge, off the Rue Large, close to St Michael’s church above the ramparts of the old city.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

At the time I worked for an American company in Kentucky. Everybody was a Trump fan because it was a move away from boring, career politicians. They liked the style more than the content.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

The style and tone were certainly part of it. Which is why I can’t see one of those Democrat children taking over and making a go of it.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

As an aside, I was in Houston for the St.Patrick’s Day celebration a few months after Trump took office. There was a parade of classic American cars and young people were giving out small American flags to wave. I kept six of them – there were all stamped with ‘Made In China’

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

You will find that to be the case in every country. Their flags are made in China. Back in the 70s I noticed a Christmas tree angel had been made in China too. It has been going on a long time.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago

I buy (most years) flags made in my own country (Wales) or for
the cheaper (once only type)
France. After Brexit, of course,
it will be Wales/UK only.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

That just says something about US culture which is troubling. We need to get back to the idea that boring is exactly what you want in politicians. Consumer culture is so rampant in the US that everything has to be a form of entertainment. Sad place.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

The same argument applies in reverse, of course. 82 million Americans voted for Biden and Harris, not necessarily because they were ‘woke’, but because they looked at Trump and believed the alternative was better.

A Republican party which is not full of hatred-filled climate change denying crazies waving assault rifles would be in a good position to pressure the Democrats to drop some of the woke nonsense. Until the Republicans change, they provide the perfect cover for it, because whatever the Democrats do, they can always win votes by pointing out that the alternative is Trumpism.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

A Republican party which is not full of hatred-filled climate change denying crazies waving assault rifles would be in a good position to pressure the Democrats to drop some of the woke nonsense.
Project much? Calling people ‘crazies’ sound like hatred on your part, Chris. And that leaves out the parroting of “assault rifles” which most users cannot even identify. As to climate, it’s not a question of whether it is changing; that’s one of life’s certainties. It is a question of the suspension of disbelief required to believe that professional politicians can regulate climate via policy.

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

It’s a very good way to win a technical point while alienating the wider audience, to insist that an AR15-type rifle (5.56mm semi-automatic, 30-round magazine) visually almost indistinguishable from the US service rifles) is not an “assault rifle”. (Let’s not start on how a scary black AR15 is an ‘assault machine gun’ while a traditional-looking Ruger AC-556 is a ‘sporting rifle’…)

Yes, yes, the various AR15 derivatives you can lawfully buy and own are not “assault rifles” because they lack fully-automatic capability, and can “only” fire as fast as the shooter can pull the trigger – but to someone not pedantically interested in firearms, they’re “the same rifle soldiers carry for killing people in all-out war” even though the fire-selector switch has two, not three, positions.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jason Lynch

Maybe those “not pedantically interested” should stop talking about things on which they’re ignorant and revealing themselves to be nothing more than pushers of talking points.

If I come at you with a butter knife, that’s technically an assault weapon but no sane person would characterize it as such. And that’s my point. Assault rifle is tossed out as if there is tremendous gravity in the words. There isn’t.

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Those folk who are uncomfortable with seeing someone ordering fast food while wearing a semi-automatic rifle ready for use (magazine fitted, presumably loaded and made ready), are the ones you need to persuade: and shouting at them that “it’s not actually an assault rifle!” doesn’t address the problem.

Telling them “you’re ignorant, it can only fire maybe two hundred times a minute, it’s not actually an assault rifle” likewise doesn’t convince or persuade that audience.

The people who know and care about the exact definition of “assault rifles” are very unlikely to be vehemently anti-gun, to be fully aware of the form and function of various firearms, even to enjoy and have owned some. But they are the ones already partly or wholly persuaded.

As the UK’s Labour party is painfully discovering, sitting inside a smug bubble of like-minded fellow believers congratulating yourselves on how superior you are to the ignorant horde… works about as well as Hillary Clinton dismissing Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables”.

Justin Hohn
Justin Hohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jason Lynch

I’d be willing to concede that point if you could convince others that the difference doesn’t matter because I should be able to buy a machine gun from Amazon and have it show up in two days.

No? You have a problem with civilian ownership of machine guns? (which are legal, but regulated as Class III items).

The “preposterous” distinction between an M16 (which hasn’t been fully auto capable since the A1 variant) and an AR15 wouldn’t be necessary if people hadn’t been led to believe that the 2nd Amendment wasn’t intended to protect “weapons of war.” War-like arms are *precisely* what it was intended to protect. And for over 150 years, there were no federal prohibitions on firearms and no difference at all between what the US Army might have and a cowboy might have. (usually the civilian was better equipped– the US didn’t have a large professionalized standing army until WW2).

There is nothing harmful you can do with any firearm that isn’t already illegal.

The gatling guns of the 1880s were perfectly legal for a civilian to buy and keep without government entanglement until 1934.
Ever wonder why the 1934 NFA didn’t outright ban machine guns? Because Congress was convinced it didn’t have the power to do so. Because it didn’t. So they tried a backdoor ban by enacting a then-prohibitive tax of $200.

Laws are a poor substitute for virtue. And that is what restrains bad actors, not a fear of legal reprisal. And the problem with trying to substitute law for virtue is that eventually we start to view legality as the ends instead of the means. And we forget the need to be virtuous. And we stop requiring it of people. And they no longer need to exercise it. And only then–much too late– to we recognize that law is an insufficient substitute.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Jason Lynch

Yes, yes-and they always refer to modern handguns as “semi-automatic” weapons…in other words-not a revolver.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Think Chris is simply reflecting what GOP looks like from the outside. And that is certainly close to the impression I get from the other side of the Atlantic.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Butler

Does the party look that way because of how writers insist on portraying it or because that’s how it is? This is the same party that spawned a Never Trump wing, one that has a few members who can be relied upon to buck their own side. Neither of those two things has ever been evident among Dems; they are much better when it comes to unity.

Justin Hohn
Justin Hohn
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

yes, because you are allowed to dissent in today’s republican party. Democrats, not so much.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I think it’s because (speaking from a UK perspective) it seems absurd to be arguing about the technical definition of an assault rifle. They’re guns, designed to kill people (not animals).
To the outside world it’s apparent not all Republicans have rapid firing guns, but pretty much all of the people who do vote Republican.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

and yet, these people manage to not run around shooting others. The worst gun violence comes from the places with the strictest laws, places that are not Repub.

I disagree on the absurdity of terms. The people misusing ‘assault’ do so on purpose; it’s not ignorance. The point is to treat metal objects as frightful things and, by extension, to cast those who own them as suspect people.

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

We’ve got very strict laws on guns in UK and very (compared to US) few people shoot each other.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

A pity that Lee Rigby was not armed…

J J
J J
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

It’s a good job his killer did not have an assault rifle, otherwise there could of been 50 Lee Rigby’s

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Of course professional politicians can regulate climate via the emission of greenhouse gases via policy. In the UK our CO2 emitted per kWh has halved in the last few years, under Conservative governments, due to incentives to use renewables. Meanwhile Trump gratuitiously relaxed federal limits on emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, even though players such as Shell urged him not to do that. He did it just out of bloodymindedness and the urgings of the more knuckledragging elements of the American Petroleum Institute, an organisation which is now split because some of its most influential members have declared that on global warming the API does not speak for them. And now Trump has been booted out of the White House, and the GOP has lost control of the Senate, and one of several reasons for that is that voters don’t believe the world can afford that kind of stupidity any more.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

emissions in the US went down with Trump in office and no politicians trying to regulate them, except some at the state level. But, sure; stupidity reigned.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“state level…”
You mean people vote in state levels for clean air….how terrible

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

no, I mean state level politicians who think they can control climate by policy. In one state, they couldn’t even supply enough power for residents. Progress.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

State level politicians are elected.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I didn’t say otherwise. And their election had consequences, among them steep gas prices.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

People can vote them out.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Instead, they’re voting with their feet. It’s odd that you refuse to consider the implications of grandiose policy initiatives.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yes, they vote with feet and vote – Hence Colorado became Democratic state.
And Virginia and Arizona

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

so they leave the excesses of one Dem state only to recreate the initial problem. In other words, they’re stupid.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

People vote
Mississippi is known for the intel of its people…right?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

they’re not the ones fleeing. It’s all those allegedly bright lights in CA and NY. Nice job of regional bigotry though.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

the clever ones do

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

the states with the greatest outward migration are the ones whose people run from their own voting decisions.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

And those people still vote Democrat

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

meaning they do not learn from their mistakes, and go on to repeat them. Eventually, they run of states to escape to.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

What is this bias you have against southern states?

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

People Can Vote them Out, When In UK Lib-Lab-Cons-SNP-Plaid-Greens all peddle gibberish ,High taxes

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Do you mean clean air, or do you mean elimination of Co2? Co2 is not a pollutant.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Reducing Co2 as much as we can. We are always going to produce CO2…but there is no reason why mummies should drive Range Rovers for their school run.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The reason 4x4s should not be used for the school run is that they are dangerously big, leaving no room for bikes, and they spew out diesel fumes and noise.

p5svhifnz2
p5svhifnz2
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Everyone picks on the mothers. Such a soft target

p5svhifnz2
p5svhifnz2
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I think perhaps our greenhouse gases have decreased at least partly because we have outsourced our manufacturing….

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  p5svhifnz2

Correct. And also moved significantly from coal to gas. Neither, I suspect, much due to environmental policy.

Blue Tev
Blue Tev
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I did a search for your “co2 emissions per kWh cut by half”
And the first proper article I found is basically commissioned by UK’s leading “biomass” based producer.

Which basically burns wood pellets produced by cutting trees and generates more pollution than coal – but they “offset” that based on the supposed positive impact in 20 years from new trees planted

In real terms, I suspect the per kWh metric hasn’t changed much, and the emissions have dropped because overall energy consumption has gone down.

Thanks, of course, from outsourcing manufacturing to countries that are much worse in terms of how they produce their energy

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

More Climate control tripe..Climate is Controlled by Sun and Volcanic Activity ..Some of The Warmest temperatures in 40/50 uS States are from 1930s, some of The coldest from 1980s&1990s …CO2 is necessary or You will have No forests,No crops ,

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Argument-by-gross-caricature is no argument at all.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

You lost. Feel free to keep arguing with the voters.

BTW, having seen the assault-rifle-waving Trumpite mob storming the Capitol and killing a cop, how do you think a rerun of November’s election would go now?

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

The only gun death at the capital was a point blank shooting of an unarmed woman by a policeman.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

How many firearms did you count?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Carl Goulding

If you believe that the democrats are going to eat your children…yes.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Yes, I think that they are hungry, and want to eat our children.

Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Literally? No. Metaphorically? You bet they do.

David Lawler
David Lawler
3 years ago

This is the result of surrendering to left over every issue for years and years. Conservatives turned to Trump because there was no one else prepared to take a stand against privilidged woke crybullies.

So now what? Is there no other option now than to watch the woke gleefully accelerate the terminal decline of Western civilisation?

George Lake
George Lake
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

We have had the ‘flash’, now let us wait for the ‘bang’.

Martin Butler
Martin Butler
3 years ago
Reply to  David Lawler

You articulate very clearly what most Unherd readers think I’m sure. The next job is to say actually say what all these issues are? Cancel culture is stupid and needs to stop but it is hardly a major threat. So what exactly do you have in mind?

William Gladstone
William Gladstone
3 years ago

Look Trump is gone there is no need for the TDS try and be a journalist and look at Trumps record and compare to the rest of the corrupt swampy trash and it is actually very good, and by the way the constant TDS detracts from anything else you have to say.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

the TDS animates their every thought. Some of these writers are going to need therapy now that they’ll have to do something more than clutch their pearls over mean tweets.

Cynthia Neville
Cynthia Neville
3 years ago

How about the ‘collective actions’ of the mobs that destroyed the city of Portland? Was that ‘goodness’ in action? If so, why were the mobs’ actions so ruthlessly suppressed by the woke media?

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago

“What about the other side” is not an argument against this article.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

It really is.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 years ago

The problem in the United States is that Republicans well… hate Republicans. Party members are always blabbering on and on about the importance of their “principles” and “values.” When those “principles” and “values” come under attack they never defend them. The same things are promised to voters every year. Yet year after year they never deliver on anything even when they control the House, Senate, and Presidency. Reducing illegal immigration is a particular one that comes to mind as well as the time they admitted they had no plan for an Obamacare replacement. The only argument they have for reelection is that they are not as crazy as the modern Democrat party. Ironically, Donald Trump had the political views of a 1970-1980s Democrat. The fact that many Republicans found him to be more traditionally conservative than most of the well known party members speaks volumes.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Yes, the Republicans are a joke and have been since Reagan, or possibly the first Bush. And it was because they were such a joke that Trump was able to storm through and become president. Whatever, they are all heading for the Reeducation Camps now.

It’s nice to see Eric Weinstein quoted in the article. He seems to be the most intelligent person in America.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Whatever, they are all heading for the Reeducation Camps now.

Another conspiracy theory?

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The Democrats call it “deprogramming” and they want to take the children away too.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

No, they’ve replaced schools and colleges.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

There seems to be a problem in American in that people regard their opinions as facts and dislike anyone who holds a different ‘fact’ to be true!

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Where have I seen that in these columns?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

And, also, believe that some nonsense they read on an echo-chamber website allows them to disregard the conclusions of thousands of scientists studying an issue for decades.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

He and his entire family are New York Democrats. He did a hostile takeover of the Republican party in order to carry out his programme – Nigel Farage and young Lawrence take note – and now both parties hate him equally.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Donald Trump was a Democrat in the 1970-1980s.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

And the Deep south was Democrat until Civil Rights Act.
They are rock solid Republicans now

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I guess Georgia isn’t defined as ‘Deep South’.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Look at the voting map – the cities/burbs voted Dem and rural (properly Deep South) voted Republican.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

I know!

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Reducing illegal immigration isn’t a principle or value it’s a policy.

benjamindavidsteele
benjamindavidsteele
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Barack Obama deported way more immigrants than Trump. But Obama simply did it without making big promises or bragging about it. He simply did it. Republicans are big on talk but weak on actions.

It’s similar to how, since the 1980s, Republican presidents have talked strong about fiscal conservatism while increasing the permant debt more than Democratic presidents. Once again, Democrats don’t preach fiscal conservatism nor make campaign promises about it. Yet when Clinton left office, there was a budget surplus that Bush inerited, spent, and then did massive deficit spending.

I’m not a Democrat, but this difference stands out.

benjamindavidsteele
benjamindavidsteele
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

“Ironically, Donald Trump had the political views of a 1970-1980s Democrat.”

And, ironically, recent Democratic presidents have had the political views of a 1900-1970s Republican: progressive taxation, business-friendly progressivism, moderate corporate regulations, social programs, neocon military policies, etc.

Think of Ike’s argument that liberalism was the way to government, whereas conservatism was for the private sector. Or consider Nixon passing the EPA and pushing for a basic income.

The GOP of Lincoln, Ike, and Nixon is unimaginable these days.

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago

The reason Trump rose to such prominence is because too many conservatives were engaged in their “core values”, which, in the present age, is to lose like gentlemen and not “bring down” the office. I hate to break it to the world, but conservatives are supposed to behave like Trump. Basically, beating liberals into the dirt and not actually being embarrassed or ashamed to do it.

Dave H
Dave H
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Francis

Beating liberals into the dirt by losing the house, the senate and now the presidency in four years. Good going there.

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave H

Two words — ballot stuffing.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Joe Francis

You certainly beat that policeman into the dirt when the mob stormed the Capitol.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Now he cares about a policeman…others have been injured this year-I cannot recall your concerns for them.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Are you OK with a Trump mob kiling a policeman, or aren’t you?

“Whataboutery” is not a reply, though for the record, I am against both right-wing and left-wing mobs harming policemen.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

are you okay with lefty mobs killing several dozen people and doing a billion dollars in damage? And yeah, it’s a bit rich that the side of defunding and ACAB suddenly embraces cops.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

As I’ve already pointed out, I’m against that. And I’m against Trumpite violence. But some here want to make excuses for the latter. And that’s symptomatic of the problem with the Republican party, until it rescues itself from the crazies.

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

There’d been a lot of online tutorials coming in from Democrat cities over the summer.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Please tell us the name and political
affilation of the person arrested for the
“Fire Extinguisher” incident?

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

I have the same values after Trump that I had pre and during Trump. It was never about Trump. It was never about tweets.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

I see you have a very bad case of TDS.
It seems to stem from the fact that you can quote from Ancient Greek philosophers and that makes you a better person – should go done well in the “red wall” seats!
You sneer at the way Trump holds the bible, but do not write about why he was there.
I must admit that I had to refresh my memory, about why he was there – due to the lack of any MSM talking about the reason.
It was during the BML riots (sorry, peaceful protests), and an adjacent Church building was set on fire.
I think it sent a very powerful visual message that the President deplored rioting and protecting churches is important.
Surely that is a message that most people would agree with?

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago

The Church, St John’s, is the Church used by occupants of the White House. But the President wasn’t allowed to make this silent protest.

Interestingly, the first BBC man on the spot, Peter Bowes, got the point at once and reported it faithfully, but it wasn’t long before a TD version was being peddled round the world.

Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

What did Peter Bowes report?
I do not watch the BBC.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

I almost worry what people like that will do now that their business model no longer occupies the White House. The American media will have particular difficult as certain cable networks will have nothing to talk about.

p minto
p minto
3 years ago

A discussion based on “first principles” and founded on a context drawn from Ancient Greece is completely irrelevant to real politics and the American context. Sounds good, (Agathos etc) but really it is just psuedo academic drivel. Like an undergraduate essay trying to impress the professor. Since when did truth have a place in politics? The Republican party has been a radical Northern nationalist party and a conservative Southern states rights party. The Democrats have been a Southern pro slavery, pro Jim Crow party, then a migrants, black party. When the Democrats abandoned the working class Trumps Republican party filled the vacuum. These are the kind of movements that need analysis not the relationship with CS Lewis. This is possibly the most futile, self absorbed, narcissistic political analysis i have ever read.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  p minto

The Democrats have been a Southern pro slavery, pro Jim Crow party, then a migrants, black party.

Those democrats (if not dead) are Republicans now and have been for the last 50 years.
Nice try though

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

That is simply not true. The South stayed mostly Dem until the ’94 mid-terms. Two Southern governors became president after the civil rights era. Another one was at the 2004 convention talking of a party that left him.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Reagan won the south
Bush Jr won the south
Bush Sr won the south
Nixon won the south
Trump won the South
Storm Thurmond is the perfect example of Southern Democrats turning into Republicans

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

And? Reagan beat an incumbent who was a son of the south and was challenged by his own party. Bush Sr lost to another one. And no, Nixon did NOT win the South, certainly not the Deep South. Wallace won that.

Ironically, in 68 Humphrey won Texas but Nixon took California.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Alex again demonstrates his campaign against truth. Ever heard of Lee Atwood and the ‘southern strategy’? Now, what party was he and who was he working for? Who passed the greatest civil rights legislation since the Civil War? It’s really not that difficult, Alex.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

More Democrat politicians than Repubican politician voted against the Civil Rights legislation. LBJ needed the Republicans to pass it.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

‘Southern Democrats’ who transmuted themselves into Republicans, or on retirement their political bases transmuted themselves into Republican support. As Sidney said, the answer is Lee Atwood’s Southern Strategy from 1968, following LBJ’s signature of the Civil Rights Act.

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

So Biden wasn’t photographed campaigning on a bus in West Virginia with a senior member of the KKK??

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
3 years ago

This article, though high-minded (and perhaps high-handed) boils down to “Orange Man Bad,” not much more. The reason people did not vote for Hillary Clinton (let alone Jeb Bush!) or Joe Biden, is because Trump promised (and at least partly delivered ) on THESE truths: (1) Nationalism: bring back manufacturing jobs and oppose China’s empire , stop endless wars, stop “open borders” mentality; (2) improve life for families: increase US investment and jobs for the least among us, school choice, etc. and (3) stop the court-ordered re-writing of the constitution (going on since the 50’s) by appointing originalist/textualist federal judges. Plus his STYLE was a middle finger raised to political correctness.

Surely an author who babbles Greek can find Truth and Beauty in that?!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Just think about our crazy campuses, woke corporations, dysfunctional bureaucracies and over-mighty tech giants. But this is mainstream madness and badness.
and because it is mainstream, it merits far more consideration that anything related to Trump. Because it impacts all of us, no matter our individual involvement in politics. All Trump did was push for a list of things that conservatives and Repubs, not always the same things, have claimed to support, from lower taxes and regs to constitutionalist judges.

This same “the party’s over” refrain played in 2008, too. How’d that work out? The pendulum never stops and attention spans are short. Why just four years ago today, there were dozens of arrests, arson, and other mayhem following Trump’s inauguration. That’s the one in which the principle did not have staff vet National Guardsmen for loyalty and have members of his party insult them by suggesting troops presented a danger to the man.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago

This misses the point of what American Christian Evangelists actually believe. They don’t for one second think that Trump is a Jesus-like figure. However, they do believe God moves through him, much like he did with the gentile rulers of the ancient world that associated with the Jews of the Old Testament.

I’ve noticed a stronger strain of anti-Christian sentiment running through the mainstream media lately. It seems that you can’t call yourself a real Christian unless you express vacuous tolerance for Democrat causes.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago

The mistakes of the Trump era? Name three.

We’ve had the most Reaganesque policy experience since Reagan. And let’s enumerate some of the policy successes:

* The cessation of Iranian adventurism in the Levant.

* Proving that coming to some sort of Chiliastic resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian issue is *not* the keystone to peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East. Indeed, Al-Monitor reports that Hamas is finding itself “irrelevant” and is now moving to be more accommodating.

* China’s adventurism in all spheres is now within the Overton Window, and the Administration did things about it. My own Chinese contacts were pleased. Trump’s pressure, they believe, could induce liberalization. Explain that.

* The reigning in of the Administrative State by drawing down regulation.

* Broad-based job growth and, relatedly, a return to a legal immigration policy.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Failure to control Covid.

Failure to take action on global warming.

Trashing Brand America round the world.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Dude:

* Total emissions are way down in the United States. Not so in the EU.

* And please explain why “global warming” is so bad, anyway. Agricultural production in all sectors has increased decade by decade all over the world. Yet, since the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s “Population Bomb” (1968) the climate change crowd has been predicting desertification and mass famine. It never happens.

* COVID, if you’ve noticed is everywhere. The median age of death from COVID is about 80. (It’s 82 in Italy.) That is the median age of death from plain old death.

* What obvious COVID policy would you implement? Can you even show any evidence that lockdowns work? You can’t. There is no correlation.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

I was going to point-by-point refute your 3 examples, but they are so laughably TDS and partisan…why bother, others are doing just fine rebutting all these TDS posts. Soon we will have the OBiden admin-that should be interesting…

Kevin Thomas
Kevin Thomas
3 years ago

If you read the Good Book and paid any attention to it, one of the things that would strike you is how often God chooses people you would think would be completely unworthy in his eyes to carry out his will. Saint Paul for example presided over the stonings of early Christian martyrs. Trump is merely rich, a bit of a skirt chaser and rude on Twitter. I’m not sure why that would make him more beyond the pale for the Lord.

I continue to believe nerdy types who were bullied at school (which accounts for a large share of liberals) tend to see Trump, a boisterous, unapologetic alpha male, as a substitute school bully and he gets under their skin like few others could.

Michael Dawson
Michael Dawson
3 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Thomas

I think Paul did repent and even changed his name as a mark of his transformation. They say God moves in mysterious ways, but I doubt He’s so mysterious as to use Trump as His vehicle.

Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Barker
3 years ago

It is of course undisputably true that Trump transgressed any and everything to do with The Good, the True and The Beautiful Itself. In fact he trashed these three primary qualities.
He has of course done so during all of his life.

He has always lived in the Beavis and Butthead realm of gross self-indulgence, anti-culture, anti-art, and/or the absolutized defeat of the Good, the True and The Beautiful Itself.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Barker indeed.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

I thank you for referring to Beavis & Butthead but B&B is a cult show. Trump is a degenerate.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

Surely the problem here is that you can only be President (or even Prime Minister) if you stand for a party. In fact, the Republicans and Democrats don’t actually stand for anything. They are grey men (gray in the US) who have no practical experience but they can speak clearly and follow an autocue. They have theories but they can’t identify with the people who vote for them.
Therefore, in my opinion, the electorates vote for ‘characters’ or ‘personalities’. This is the only reason I support the Royals – because if we had a President it could be Tony Blair.
(Thinking about grey has started me off on my Mark Drakeford moan again.)

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Is it really so important to constantly refer to Trump’s manner? I think it likely that everyone who reads and participates in these dialogues (including the authors of these screeds) know of LBJ’s casual use of racist terms-among other unsavory habits; or Kennedy’s and Clinton’s serial infidelities. Does anyone think that Teddy Roosevelt would get a pass today? I think that Donald Trump had a kind of epiphany, and wanted to help the country that helped him become rich and famous. He did not become a different person, but he did spend a vast fortune accomplishing the goal, while not taking remuneration for the position. Contrast this with the mysterious wealth accumulated by so many of our career politicians”ŠTrump addressed, in his often coarse manner, the hypocrisies and questionable governing decisions made, over decades, by our entrenched, self-enriching and aggrandizing professional political class. Clearly there was and is a constituency for this way of thinking-anyone who thinks that this issue-not Trump per se, but what he addressed in his admittedly often direct, non-political, coarse manner, is going away is not really paying attention. Change is in the wind. And, by the way, when did the “elite” become so effete? Perhaps we should bring back dueling.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Direct, forthright, eccentric even, but coarse? It was noticeable that in his vexing telephone call to the two Georgians there was no bad language. How many of his predecessors could pass that test?

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago

On a phone call to a super conservative republican born again Christian he was trying to strongarm into breaking the law… he didn’t swear? That’s your example that he’s not coarse? Wow, that could be the very definition of grasping at straws.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Hilarious, Stephen, just hilarious. Had an ‘epiphany’ to help the country? You apparently weren’t paying attention, because DJT cares about one and only one thing: DJT. Spend a vast fortune? What exactly are you smoking? His goal was to MAKE money, and he certainly didn’t spend any, either on his campaign or his policies. His tax cuts helped HIM. Really, you should compare your views with the facts sometime soon.

daniel Earley
daniel Earley
3 years ago

I would add that surely Truth, Beauty and Goodness are surely in the eye of the beholder and are entirely subjective?
One could suggest that Truth was the key point in the riots in Portland as their truth was that black people were consistently discriminated against and unfairly treated by the police but as it was a ‘hidden’ or ignored truth, the riots brought it our into the open. That is not a truth I adhere to’ particularly in the UK but I would also add that control of the language, as Orwell alluded to, allows one to determine what the Truth is.

Mark H
Mark H
3 years ago
Reply to  daniel Earley

Truth is not in the eye of the beholder – only that which can be objectively verified can be said to be true.

But I like your reference to Orwell because he pointed out how words were being robbed of power by ascribing meanings to them that are opposite to their literal meanings. As in the infamous “Ministry of Truth” whose function was to update written records to keep them consistent with the current political orthodoxy.

Beauty – well that’s something that is definitely a personal value, although one can often come to appreciate another’s idea of beauty.

Goodness is the tricky one. However I think there are probably a common set of moral values that can be found across all cultures.

Miriam UĂ­
Miriam UĂ­
3 years ago

Well said, Peter.

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
3 years ago

Culture – good, true and beautiful – is what you win an election for; it is not what you win an election with. Culture is exotropic – it requires energy to form – money, talent, love. And it costs energy, constantly, to maintain it against the more powerful forces of entropy – smallness, envy, greed, indifference, stupidity. That is why all Empires, political and cultural, collapse over time – good people give up the fight, because, most often, good people (you) get too “nice” to fight.
Trump is and always will be a narcissistic oaf. But he is on the side of the Angels. He has been fighting the forces of entropy in America. You don’t like him and you can’t stand his methods but it is you who are part of the problem.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago

How does entropy manifest in America and what did Trump do to fight against it?

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
3 years ago

I am a Briton so I tread these eggshells carefully but the culture of the American republic (which as a monarchist Briton I do not support), the shining City on the hill, manifest destiny, the engine room of the world economy, the land of opportunity has been under sustained entropic attack since the defeat in Vietnam and the co-terminous psychological loss of an imperial Presidency at Watergate. Upper class, opinion-forming, Americans lost the will to fight for their republic. The ensuing orgy of tv, film and media output attacking the institutions of the republic as corrupt and evil and self serving further undermined that culture. The real damage is now being done by the woke attack on American values supported by the Gramscian march through the US academic institutions that followed the disenchantment of Vietnam and Watergate. This relativism has permitted and encouraged Globalism, which has crippled the US economy.
First and foremost, Trump, alone, diagnosed and acknowledged the problem. Second he put together a political coalition of blue collar and middle class support that won the 2016 GE against all odds, showing his GOP colleagues a better way than the Tea Party.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

“This relativism has permitted and encouraged Globalism, which has crippled the US economy.”
No it has not! US economy is bigger and richer than ever. How is the wealth spread (Gini Coefficent) is a very different story.

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

F. you, Jack, I’m alright

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

I didn’t say that.

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Exegesis

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago

I’m looking for specific metrics of increasing entropy, not galactic generalisations. I want to test the hypothesis that Trump, uniquely, combatted entropy and how.

I find it amusing that you cite the disastrous Vietnam war as an instance of non-entropic greatness, when people “fought for the republic”, because of course that was one fight glorious Trump chickened out of.

Jonathan Munday
Jonathan Munday
3 years ago

You are, either deliberately or unavoidably, a very literal person so it is going to be very difficult to develop any argument with you but I would point out…
Entropy is, in this argument, a metaphor (Google it) and not intended to be taken literally and, specifically, not capable of a DS calculation.
I did not describe the Vietnam war as an example of greatness but a policy disaster and the trigger for all the rot that has followed. Trump avoiding the draft was a prime example of “Upper Class opinion forming Americans realising they were no longer prepared to fight for the Republic” but he was far from alone.
Trump has fought the liberal relativism that has undermined the traditional culture of America. You can hardly deny it, it is why you hate him. If you are looking for metrics, ask yourself how angry he has made You.
Je te plumerai

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Well, in fairness, the voters seem to be the problem for the Trumpite GOP too. And that’s even despite Republican-controlled States disenfranchising so many black voters.

Given that Trump is often described as a “Populist”, I’m reminded of Sartre’s sardonic comment after the East German communist regime put down the 1953 rebellion by the very workers whom the communist state was supposed to be serving: “Would it not …. be simpler for the government to dissolve the people and elect another?”

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

where has this disenfranchisement occurred? Certainly not GA which has a substantial black population. And Trump gained among blacks, so he had no reason to keep black people from voting. This is an ongoing talking point that is grounded in little more than soft bigotry, particularly the objection to voter ID, as if blacks are somehow incapable of securing identification.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 years ago

My eyes are exotropic … I think you mean isentropic, i.e. maintained entropy.
You give a superb thermodynamic metaphor for the cycle of empires, thanks.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

A funny thing about Trump and the Deep Swamp.
The outgoing Commander-in-Chief has also revoked his own Executive Order 13770, which banned branch executive branch officials from becoming lobbyists within five years. Go forth and prosper, ye loyal servants of democracy.

Did the Liberal Media Elite made him do it?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

how odd that this vulgarian is the one president who actually put this idea on paper. It’s not like noticing the revolving door between govt and lobbying groups is a new topic.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

He just revoked it!

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Obama rule. Nice try.

Justin Hohn
Justin Hohn
3 years ago

“Politics is downstream of culture.”– Andrew Breitbart
“First we shape our buildings, then they shape us.”– the famous architect NotgoingtoGoogle.

The Trump phenomenon is a lagging indicator. A republican party listening to its voters and acting to solve issues (vs showboating and fundraising) is one in which a Trump can never rise. Just as a healthy Germany after WW1 never gives rise to a Nazi party. (no, I am not comparing trump to hitler).

Several dynamics are at work–
1) Americans are generally too distracted and inattentive to bother to learn the truth of anything when they aren’t too ignorant to understand what they do learn
2) The utterly corrupt media will never portray the truth on a factual basis. (“fiery but mostly peaceful”). Finding what happened takes a lot of work and involves a lot of digging in the Misinformation Age. This is why we tend to go back to facebook and TV shows before getting actual information– the facts are too hard to find (and not by accident).
3) The US government is so large and complex that even the President is nearly powerless to meaningfully change it. NOBODY can “drain the swamp.” because the voters via Congress created it and made it too large to drain.
4) Congress has outsourced most of it lawmaking responsibility to executive branch agencies. Modern legislation is just a fill-in-the-blanks exercise. And thanks to SCOTUS decision in Chevron, those same agencies are now the final arbiter of the meaning of law. So they write, enforce, and interpret law. No separation of powers. All beyond the reach of a voter.
5) Americans have forgotten what it means to be free. We have consistently voted for more socialism because we want to socialize risk and not be personally accountable. We keep discovering more and more “rights” (healthcare, employment, income) that seem to mean someone else paying while we have less personal responsibility. And this necessarily means the old rights– private property, free assembly, unlimited firearms access, etc– have been gutted. There’s no right to a firearm now because someone else has a “right not to feel threatened.”

Ron Paul, that crazy old coot that he was, made an interesting comment in his retirement speech about how surprised and disappointed he was that freedom and liberty are generally viewed by Americans is pretty cheap things– severely overrated. Most Americans would (and have) readily forfeited huge amounts of liberty in the name of safety.

Sorry to tell you fellow Americans– your state, local and Federal governments spending 40% of the GDP means that you ALREADY LIVE in a massive European style welfare state with a huge government. The next step isn’t towards socialism; we are already there.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago

News from the US: It is no longer necessary to worry about Trump and the deplorables. Biden is being installed: a field of 200,000 flags representing the 200,000 who will not be at the capital are proudly waving: thousands of women have pledged to wear pearls today to honor our new V.P; Hillary is back – she never really went away – urging Nancy Pelosi to establish another 911 commission to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia: we have a transgendered cabinet member : 100 million of us are going to be vaccinated in the next 100 days as soon as we can find the vaccine.

Of course we are still all locked in our homes but otherwise life is good.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

No mention yet of Nancy’s List of %deplorables to be promulgated so that they can be shamed and villified. Not getting off to a very good start, are they?
%Republican Voters

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Nancy’s list. I’m sure it starts with the 150+ republican representatives who voted to overturn, for the first time in the 232 year history of the US, a national election. Well, other than that time we call the Civil War.

Kathy Brown
Kathy Brown
3 years ago

Peter Franklin’s comments about Donald Trump are almost enough garbage to make me want to resign from Unherd. And I have been referring this site to many Americans. All the negative “points” that PF makes are the Left-Wing trash that has been circulating since Trump became our greatest President! Get the facts right…….read his accomplishments, not the label that the Left has attached to him.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Kathy Brown

Greatest President ever?
Greater than Teddy? Lincoln? Washington? FDR?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Certainly not the great President ever. But the first one to do anything useful since Reagan, and one of the best three or four since FDR.

Jaunty Alooetta
Jaunty Alooetta
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

It’s true that Trump did more than any other president on the vexed issue of water pressure in taps, showers and toilets, but apart from that, I’m not so sure.

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

Liberals have been as withering of conservatives as Trumpists have of wokeists. ‘Basket of deplorables’ is a phrase that will ring down the ages for its withering scorn amongst small ‘c’ conservatives. That was why Hilary lost in 2016. She and Trump simply doubled-down on their respective sides.

Listening live to Biden – the delivery is unremarkable – but he talks of unity. ‘Let’s listen to one another, respect one another..’ I think on balance he’s right.

Now we have to have policies on both sides of the Atlantic which honour both sides. That means treating all people in all walks of life from all parts of both countries with respect. Everyone has a part to play. And then, pray God, we can start to treat people as people and not as token-members of particular groups or sects which only leads to disharmony and division. Clinton and Trump are symptoms of two polar opposites. We must hope Biden can be the anti-dote to both.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
3 years ago

The article reminds me of the purges made during the rise of Conversatism Inc (roughly from the start of National Review to the end of the failed Neocons); the author seems to want to revisit those purges but forgets that with the ascent of Conservatism Inc, American conservatives gradually became Beautiful Losers condemned to sniping at the regnant Left from highly principled positions, losing every skirmish and battle in the culture wars that was taking place behind their backs and generally not serving the common interests of the American people. Trump noted the rot in the GOP and defeated the old Conservative Inc crowd on a national populist platform. Now that he is gone, conservatism has to become more a dissident fighting faith (anti-establishment, anti-woke, anti-PC, anti-censorship, and anti-corporate) if it wants to retain its new main constituency, the working class and the middle class. If the Left uses corporate censorship and Antifa shock troops to enforce its will, why should the Right honour Marquess of Queensbury rules? It’s a dirty world out there.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago

“…conservatism has to become more a dissident fighting faith (anti-establishment, anti-woke. Anti-PC, anti-censorship, and anti-corporate)”. That’s it? That’s the policy that you’re offering to run a nation?

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! See you in 2022, after two years of real, honest, thoughtful and competent governance that actually works for the betterment of a nation.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
3 years ago

It’s the attitude behind conservatism I was describing not a concrete policy proposal. I was contracting the lame losers that the Left loves so much with the new type of conservative who tells the Left to pound sand. This new attitude is what is needed to make sure that the Extreme Left who are now in control of “policy” (apparently transgender toilet rights are high on their agenda if you look at the executive orders Joebama signed today) don’t run the USA into the ground making it worse than Venezuela.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago

I am a conservative and have been since I was twenty four. I have come to utterly loathe priggish snobs like Peter Franklin. Nothing about his article here bears any relevance to the greater themes which are at play in 2021. Pure bile and snobbery.

Vikram Sharma
Vikram Sharma
3 years ago

The right wing has lost its intellectual confidence and moral nerve all over the West. The Nuremberg trials shone a light on the extremes of racism and nationalism. No such trials were ever held for the extremes of the left, which actually exceed those of the right in the sheer scale of murder and suffering. Yet to be mildly right in the West is to be malign, but to be left is a badge of honour.
The right should be defending what needs conserving and apply pragmatic solutions to what can be fixed. But even to defend the family now is to be Nazi. We don’t need Trump vs anythingbutTrump debates but how the Right can offer an honest intellectual defence of the building blocks of society and community and to strengthen these while seeking prosperity for the many.

Tired Man
Tired Man
3 years ago

The reason people went for Trump was simply because he was the only one addressing their legitimate concerns. Those concerns have not gone away and they are not illegitimate. If to be a ‘Conservative’ is to ignore such things, then no one will be a ‘Conservative’ and you’ll end up being all alone, albeit praised by the Left for supporting them placidly (when it’s useful to them, otherwise you’ll still be smeared as a fascist, etc).

Gary Greenbaum
Gary Greenbaum
3 years ago

I don’t suppose it will matter, as it will be made insuperably hard for a Republican to win, but the 2024 GOP nominee will be either Trump or someone who states his thorough support for Trump. Never again will the Republicans nominate a McCain or a Romney, unless the party is left as a rump with the red states having gone elsewhere.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Greenbaum

After four years of the Fraudsters the need for a Trump programme will be all the greater – but as you say, the Fraudsters will be in charge.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Trump lost on the popular vote BOTH times and has now become the first one-term president in 28 years.

Trump lost the House.

Trump just lost the Senate by losing both Georgia seats.

Trumpism has antagonised the younger people who will still be around and voting when the angry old men are just memories.

If you feel Trumpism is the route to political power, feel free to keep doing the same thing and you will get the same result.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

Obama lost the House and later the Senate, in addition to about a thousand seats that flipped nationwide at the state levels. What’s your point?

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

(1) Given the rigged system which gives two Senators to states like Montana with 900,000 population, and two Senators to California with 40 million population, it’s a bigger deal for the Republicans to lose the Senate than for the Democrats to lose it.

(2) Given that Republicans held one of the Georgia US Senate seats from January 2003 until today, and the other from Jan 2005 until today, they held it during elections under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, but lost it under Trump. See the significance? You may plead ‘demographic change in Georgia’ if you wish, but there’s a lot of that demographic change around in the US and if you can’t cope with it then you are history.

(3) Georgia GOP candidate (and sitting Senator) for the US Senate David Perdue received 49.7% of the vote in November and the Libertarian candidate scored 2.3%, with the Democrat candidate on only 47.9%. Then Georgia voters saw Donald Trump refusing the accept the result of the Presidential election and trying to bully Republicans in the Georgia Senate to appoint Electoral College Electors supporting Trump even though Biden won Georgia. In the Georgia US Senate runoff in January, the Dem candidate won 50.6% to 49.4% In other words, once Trump had muddied the waters, Perdue couldn’t even hang on to the vote share he had scored two months previously, even though it was the Libertarian candidate’s votes which were up for grabs.

That’s my point. But feel free to keep endorsing Trump and keep losing. Your call.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

1) if you don’t understand the point of a republic and the Senate, then the system looks rigged. Perhaps you can explain why Montana should be ruled by California.

2) Since I live in GA, I’m clear on the demographics changes. I’m also clear on how a win today does not guarantee a win tomorrow. We saw this after 2008 when Dem majorities then were later lost, but I don’t hear much talk of how “Obama lost….” this or that.

There were also about a dozen or so seats in the House that flipped, many taken by Repub women in a story that went largely ignored.

I didn’t endorse Trump, so why the straw man?

Phil Bolton
Phil Bolton
3 years ago

I totally agree with the author of this piece. I fail to see why anyone cannot see what Trump is …. a self-obsessed, lying, irrational narcissist who cares not a jot for America, Americans or the world but only his own place in it. This is not the man needed to lead one of the major countries of the world at a time when there are so many major issues. The Republicans need to look at themselves and ask exactly what (not who) they represent. Biden is not ideal either mind you. The Democrats hardly had a great selection of potential candidates but surely he will be better than Trump who has ruled by tweet and undermined all the primary institutions of state.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Phil Bolton

There is none so blind as will not see, none so deaf as will not hear. And I don’t refer to the Deplorables, or as they are now designated, the Domestic Terrorists.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Jerry Fallwell Jr. a strong supporter of Trump and the President of Liberty University.
A leader in the Evangelical Community.
He loved watching his wife have sex with a pool boy in Miami (like a really bad porno movie).

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
3 years ago

Here’s another Trump-era success:

The unshackling of energy markets in the United States. The consequences?:

* Absolute carbon emissions are way down in the United States. Emissions have been going up in the Green Germany and down in the United States. Think about that. And why? Largely because cheap natural gas has induced industry to substitute out of coal and oil.

* The Middle East becomes less relevant to everything.

Not bad when one allows commodities markets to work on their own.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Absolute carbon emissions were going down during Obama’s Admin. That is because Natural Gas replaced Coal for electricity production. It was Trump that went to W Virginia and promised to bring back coal jobs…as he said “beautiful clean coal”…
Coal jobs went down during Trump Years.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

That is because Natural Gas replaced Coal for electricity production.
remind me again what Joe’s position is on fracking. And Obama is the same guy who saw energy independence as a pipe dream.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Joe wants to move away from fracking. Nothing to do with Trump.
It was under Obama’s admin that fracking boomed. And it was purely because of Wall Street willing to finance a losing operation.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

You can’t have it both ways. Joe was part of Obama’s admin. You know that, right? Derail a booming business. What a grand strategy.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

As i wrote it was because of Wall Street not Obama that US had a boom in fracking.
What part of that you don’t understand?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Wall St bought Obama. And it financing something that contributed to low-cost, abundant energy is now a “losing operation”? Sure, go with that.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Yes, investors have lost around $250 billion. This is a fact not an opinion. That is why in 10 years there have been 2 rounds of bankruptcies/restructuring.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Some investors have lost money, just as some dot-com companies went bust. But no one suggested that technology was useless.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Most INvestors lost money – total loss 250 billion.
And that means (thanks to QE) that America is the loser.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Wait…wait-what about Germany?

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Tearing up ancient forests for open cast mining of dirty brown coal – lignite. Because Frau M was worried about a 30 ft wave coming up the Rhine.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

No the German people didn’t want Nuclear Power. Wrong in my view and political cowardice from Merkel but democracy and all that..

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Yes, the Greens didn’t want Nuclear Power, because of the Japanese wave. She didn’t have to go along with that. She is supposed to be a scientist, married to another.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

Is Trump responsible for German energy policy?
Whataboutery at its best

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Certainly the free market is heading in the same direction in that respect. So there is a great opportunity to build on that.

But not when Trump relaxed limits on emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, even though part of the oil and gas industry was urging him not to. That was just ideology-driven bloodymindedness.

BTW, Germany is not ‘Europe’ – emissions have fallen in the UK – the Germans are unusual because they have moved out of nuclear due to Fukushima.

andrea bertolini
andrea bertolini
3 years ago

Another call for appeasement (didn’t help much with Hitler, did it?): don’t be yourself, you might offend someone out there, so tone it down, tone it way down, eventually you’ll look and sound like your adversary. What’s the point?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Democratic process in a Republic is not appeasement.

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

And on the same basis, constitutional Conservatives in Weimar Germany SHOULD have become Nazis, because Hitler was so much more extreme than them that he must have had right on his side! (I’m agreeing with you and disagreeing with Andrea)

Steve Gwynne
Steve Gwynne
3 years ago

Interesting. My own meditations were revealing to me, Truth, Love and Beauty whereby beauty was the experience of being immersed in the here and now. As you say, Beauty points us towards Truth and is sustained through Love or Goodness (through Newton’s third law in that every action has an equal and opposite reaction).

Presumably Goodness is then further detailed as the Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance.

I guess two general difficulties arise, especially in relation to much of the comments. The first, who determines what is Good, Truth and Beauty in any objective sense which takes us into the depths of postmodernism. The second, how do we establish that the transcendental dimension exists, especially when spiritual experiences are so elusive. The danger here of course is that these principles and the transcendental dimension on which they derive is seen as a dimension of the Occult with a large dose of the esoteric.

It is exactly these problematics that gave rise to postmodernism in the first place in that traditional authority was seen to be held by a select few and could only be accessed by a privilege few who had to go through secret or hidden rituals to gain access.

These characteristics of traditional power hierarchies still taint the image of Conservatives to this day with accusations of cronyism, corporate backers and the revolving door.

In this respect, perhaps it would be better to stick with notions of the ethical, epistemic and aesthetic from the point of view that what we are dealing with is not anti-good, anti-truth or anti-beauty (even in the case of Trump), but competing notions of the Good, the Truth and Beauty.

In other words, what links these three together is Power and who has the Power to define the Good, Truth and Beauty.

In essence, this is reconciled in the modern era by Democracy so I guess the imperative is to conjoin Democracy (Power) with the Good (virtuous), Truth (honesty) and Beauty (reverence??).

Possibly, this neo-Modern endeavour can be facilitated using the framework of the ethical, the epistemic and the aesthetic but needs to be done on the ecological dimension rather than just the human dimension otherwise Conservatism will lose its transcendental grounding.

That is to say, the Good, the True and Beauty (as defined by humans) cannot exist without the Power of Ecology.

In terms of a spiritual (or quantum) transcendence, it exists insofar that we can only comprehend an infinite regression as the limits of our Universe. For example, if we live in a closed system Universe with a beginning and an end, then a Creator of some form is needed which in turn needs a Creator. If we live in an open system Universe with no beginning or end, then we as LIFE are the Creator which is continually evolving into higher and higher states. So in either case, a transcendental Creator dimension exists in the form of a Universal or Cosmic Sustainer of Life.

In this regards, perhaps part of the postmodern malaise is the lack of belief in some form of God, whether it is external to our closed universe or internal to our open universe.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Steve Gwynne

“That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.” “‱ Albert Einstein

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

I did hope this piece would explain what conservatism is and what conservatives believe. What it delivered was that ideology isn’t a conservative thing and goodness, truth and beauty are worth pursuing. If someone could explain what conservative principles are I’d appreciate it.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Perhaps someone-not this author-who is actually conservative could help you. Read Victor Davis Hanson, he’s pretty clear and sober.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  stephen f.

VDH is an embarrassment for a “conservative intellectual”.
VDH (always sprinkling his articles with references to classical Greece/Rome for gravitas) has found “new and innovative” ways to justify Trump. Unless I missed it (NRO) he hasn’t covered much the Trump Riot.

I prefer Kevin D. Williamson. Way more honest.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

The word Conservative is the clue. Conservative of the things which are worth conserving: the family, the Church, the Constitution, law and order, the Monarchy here and the Constitutional Republic there. Also history, architecture, art, music, science, education. The body of knowledge which has been accumulated through the generations, manners, customs. That sort of thing.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

You want to conserve everything but nature…

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago

So basically, keeping the things we like. So what principles determine what you like?

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
3 years ago

Rosie, you just described the values of the Democratic party. Well done.

Lindsay Jenkins
Lindsay Jenkins
3 years ago

Peter Franklin should try doing a little research before he pens “weird” articles.

President Trump was standing in front of “the President’s church” just across the road from the White House. 200 years old, every US President in that time has worshipped there. Antifa had set fire to it. Efforts to contain the fire succeeded; damage was limited to one end.

To allow Trump to walk there police had tried for 24 hours or so to clear the mob many of whom had access to Molotov cocktails, sharpened railings and other “weird” symbols.

Antifa and their friends BLM were setting fire to shops, businesses, homes (often belonging to the very people they said they were backing ““ blacks) in some 35 cities across the US. To that they added churches, synagogues. In New York they were backed by the Mayor Bill de Blasio who thought destroying the tax base of New York was a legitimate target.
“Weird”, maybe. Deeply troubling certainly. Perhaps Mr Franklin is an antifa supporter. Certainly sounds like it.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Let me say it again (to the Trumpist here and the Deep StateSwam)

The outgoing Commander-in-Chief has also revoked his own Executive Order 13770, which banned branch executive branch officials from becoming lobbyists within five years. Go forth and prosper, ye loyal servants of democracy.

Did the Liberal Media Elite made him do it?

Derek M
Derek M
3 years ago

Why would people who are American or conservative or Christian take instruction from an writer who clearly is none of these things and neither understands nor agrees with them. The media is currently full of liberals (or perhaps more correctly left-wingers) telling conservatives what conservatism is.

Aaron Kevali
Aaron Kevali
3 years ago

Good, True and Beautiful. Oh please.
Article summary: “Don’t you conservatives even THINK of trying to escape the plantation again. You will vote for nice, safe and respectable candidates who don’t fundamentally disagree with us in any substantial way.”

Michael Whittock
Michael Whittock
3 years ago

Agathos,Aletheia and Kalos all have more nuances than you describe. Many of them figure in the Old Teatament much of which predates the Greek philosophers.
There have been times when excellence of character, insistence on truth, and the desire to be enlightened have been seen in political leaders. But this has been at times in history when these qualities were prized by society. I’m thinking particularly of the period between 1780 and 1850 – the age of Wilberforce and Shaftesbury when there was a an atmosphere of goodness, respect, compassion and integrity in political,personal and social life. It is significant that this was also a time of spiritual revival which did much to drive the moral renewal of the nation.
I’ve come across a book recently by a Harvard professor of History, James Hankins entitled “Virtue Politics: Soul raft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy”. It shows that much political thinking was focused on the need to foster virtue in leaders and people if a secure and peaceful society was to be established. The key was education in the humanities especially the study of the rediscovered classical philosophers.
It ought to be required reading for all in any kind of leadership role, especially our politicians.

Ivan Ford
Ivan Ford
3 years ago

I read the following some 2 year ago and sadly it seems as pertinent now as it did then. “The maps no longer describe the terrain we inhabit. There are no clear paths to the future. We trust that the species will blunder on, but we don’t know where to. We feel trapped in momentum that is not. Of our own making.
Sven Birkerts 1994 The Gutenberg Elegies
I don’t count myself as having a faith being a conservative or a person of any political persuasion nor do I seek to be a politician. However, I think your article should be required reading for any aspiring to any kind of public office. It seems to me that reference to the triad you identify is perhaps the only way in which a thinking person can navigate the modern world.

skogsvandrare
skogsvandrare
3 years ago

It’s a simple one: neoconservatism caused Trumpism.
Neoconservatism, as defined by Steve Sailer, equals “invite the world, invade the world”.
How many troubles are related to culture clashes and an asylum law which takes not into account the interest of the host country?
I’m Swedish and can testify to how immigration by asylum seekers from third world honor cultures have led to high unemployment (causing alienation and putting an enormous strain on our welfare system) and parallell societies, subject to their own laws rather than that of the majority society.
But I’m also pro American, or used to be, and discovered through the Bush administration how illegal immigration is tolerated by the elites in business and hence politics.
So one law for citizens, another for foreigners.
A majority of asylum seekers from the Mid East lack identity cards or passports. If that were the case every now and then, well, it could be deemed reasonable, but not if a majority shows up at your borders without any means of identification. Some even claiming to be under eighteen, when they are not.
And not only that: the Dublin Convention requires asylum seekers to seek asylum in first safe country, not the eight or tenth.
So a major cause to our predicament is a foreign population of twenty percent. And if you include second generation immigrants, close to thirty percent. That’s a more than any until recently homogeneous society can digest.
Now Sweden is extreme, I admit, but generally the situation looks pretty much the same in all Western democracies.
And to make things even worse, we have the American interventionist foreign policy. Especially in the Mid East, but really on a much larger scale. For instance vis à vis Russia, while for some reason being cozy with the Chinese Communist Party.
This state of affairs has caused enormous problems in all areas, and the growth of “right wing populism”/Donald Trump. Beleaguered
the elites react the same way as all elites have during history, when their power is being challenged. Through repression, since propaganda only works so far, the free speech situation now being kafkaesque.
Ergo, conservatives will have to rethink a lot of issues to avoid The Second Coming of Donald Trump.
After Trump, conservatives must return to core values – UnHerd

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
3 years ago

Hilarious. Reminds me of those sniffy, moralistic judgemental articles written by priggish marms towards the end of the 19th century, when some AWFUL VULGAR man passed by too close to them in the street. As political commentary goes, it’s absolute horsesnit.