Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Reflections on the Trumpocalypse

First of all, I want to apologize for the unannounced month-long hiatus. A bout of depression hit, and it didn't do much for my muse.

Strangely, though, that depression lifted on election night. Mind you, I still don't like Donald Trump; indeed, I eventually voted third-party. But whatever my intellectual objections to the Republican candidate, something inside me evidently feared Hillary Clinton all the more -- and when the prospect of her presidency decisively evaporated, I was both shocked and slightly giddy. In fact, it has taken me until now to come down from the unexpected high.

So what do I make of this result in the more sober light of day? I think I'm going to frame my thoughts in the form of three letters addressed to the various constituencies involved.


Dear Trump Supporters (Reluctant or Otherwise),

You got me. I was wrong.

I thought Trump was going to be an utter disaster for the GOP. Obviously, I underestimated how averse to Hillary Clinton the electorate would be. I did not predict how profoundly her corruption and globalist bona fides would dampen enthusiasm and drive down turnout among the Democrats' usual constituencies.

I was #NeverTrump to the end, but please understand that my antipathy towards Trump was not accompanied by antipathy towards his backers. In reality, I actually agree with you on many issues. I agree that we must sincerely grapple with the negative effects of globalization. I agree that we have a right to defend our borders and enforce our immigration laws. And I agree that the media and the rest of the supposed "elite" need to be humbled with extreme prejudice. I didn't believe Trump had the right answers to these pressing issues - and I still don't - but when it comes to your general sentiments regarding the state of our nation and its desperate need for a reset, I am 100% in your corner.

I didn't oppose Trump because I wished to virtue signal or because I wanted to prove I was smarter than everyone else. I just wasn't convinced Trump would uphold Constitutional principles. That being said, I sincerely hope Trump will be the change we all desire -- that he will actually reinvigorate our love for the classically liberal federal system the Founders established and consequently ensure our domestic tranquility.

Sincerely, etc.


Dear #NeverTrumpers,

We have work to do. As movement conservatives, we can no longer be satisfied with our status quo. We have to start listening to Trump's voters and addressing their specific concerns.

What do we really have to offer to the working class besides bromides on lowering taxes and reducing regulatory burdens? As manufacturing has continued to move off shore, many have seen their previously stable communities crumble all around them. Reliable jobs have disappeared, and so too have support systems that once gave lives meaning. What are we going to do at the ground level to rebuild social capital and restore people's dignity and purpose?

We're already out there preaching libertarian economics, but I think we need to reconnect with and emphasize the more communitarian side of our intellectual heritage. I for one plan to search through the wisdom of my own faith tradition - and seek out our Founders as well - for possible solutions to our problems. Will you join me on this journey?

God bless, etc.


Dear Leftists,

A few of you actually get why you lost (see also: Jonathan Pie). But the rest?

The election results were not in your favor -- and it was entirely your fault. When you cry "ist!" and "ism!" so many times without good cause, people stop listening.

You yelled "ist!" and "ism!" at John McCain when he ran for president -- even though he was, by all reasonable standards, a moderate Republican. You yelled "ist!" and "ism!" at Mitt Romney -- even though he presided over the institution of the Affordable Care Act's predecessor in Massachusetts and has been, throughout his life, a deeply charitable person. For the past several decades, you've portrayed every Republican, no matter how benign, as the second coming of Hitler. So when you did the same to Trump, the electorate tuned you out.

I happen to agree that Trump was an awful candidate -- but I could prove that with his actual actions and his actual words. You, on the other hand, decided to exaggerate - and sometimes outright lie about - Trump's flaws. Moreover, your identitarian ideology kept you so focused on the fact that Hillary Clinton has a vag that you completely missed her manifest lack of fitness for the presidential office. This only cemented the voters' distrust.

Your behavior in the wake of Trump's election has also not served you well. Some of you are lying about being the targets of supposed hate crimes, which makes genuine victims less likely to be believed. Some of you are rioting in the streets, disrupting the lives of people who, by the way, probably also voted for Clinton. Many of you are spreading claims that Trump will destroy the rights of LGBTQ citizens/minorities/immigrants/the disabled -- claims that, so far, have no empirical basis in reality. Many of you are unjustifiably scaring your children, modeling emotional incontinence instead of rationality and principled dissent. And lastly, all of you are ignoring the Trump supporters who have been beaten or otherwise intimidated because of their vote. Congratulations, guys, for continuing to demonstrate why many Americans despise you and your beliefs.

Might I make a suggestion? If you want people to be more receptive to your concerns, maybe you should try persuasion instead of coercion and respect instead of condescension. And maybe - get ready for a truly radical idea - you should give genuine federalism a try instead of attempting to force your lifestyle on people without their consent. I'm perfectly happy to let San Francisco be San Francisco. Perhaps you should reciprocate and allow Provo to be Provo. If you let more cultural decisions be made at the local level, perhaps our national politics would no longer be a blood sport, and we could all feel more empowered and more in control of our own surroundings.

Just some thoughts, etc.  


  1. "If you want people to be more receptive to your concerns, maybe you should try persuasion instead of coercion and respect instead of condescension."

    Lol, if they weren't haters, they wouldn't be leftist. Most leftist that is, many are just clueless sheeple who main desires are virtue signaling and a paranoia of not being one of the 'cool' kids as sad as that is.

    I take no pleasure in this but after decades of observation, you can't reason with leftists. Most are malicious while the rest are just stupid. You have to crush them and keep crushing them until they realize that their behavior has consequences.

    Frankly, I'm not optimistic that this can be down without a civil war. The rot has progressed that far.

    1. Exactly. If they had an actual argument they would have offered it. I live in the lower intestines of the Liberal Beast here in San Fran Psycho Bayarrhea Kalifornia, and it is clear that all the freaks and weirdos have is threats and intimidation to support their lies and propaganda. If you don't agree with them already all they have to convince you is a truncheon upside your head.

  2. I don't want you to get off that easy. I'm not one of the downtrodden losers to globalism feeling great pain that you appear to think are the only ones who voted for Trump. I'm doing just fine. I saw Hillary Clinton as an existential threat to this country and would have voted for Mickey Mouse if it would have kept her out of office. Trump is no saint but you folks seem to have forgotten that the man who rises to match the age may not be a man you like.

    So you took the high road. Very Gandhi like. Problem is, Gandhi style resistance might work against the British, but it doesn't work well against barbarians like ISIS. Progressives, as we see so plainly now, fight more like ISIS than like the British. You chose poorly. You almost let the country get away from us. Acknowledge that and we'll be ready to listen to you.

    Thanks for nothing.

    1. While I was and still am sympathetic to principled conservatives in the NeverTrump crowd, Mrs. Clinton's election would have steepened the already slippery slope on the way to statist authoritarianism, so I voted, holding my nose with both hands and a Vice Grip, for Mr. Trump. The reaction to the election from the left has only confirmed my decision. If Trump only names a solid constitutionalist to the Supreme Court and voids all of Obama's executive orders (plus Kennedy's and Nixon's EO allowing federal employee labor unions) , I'll be happy.

    2. I agree.

      Until NeverTrumpers lift a shovel to help Trump's America for a year or so they can go screw themselves.

      A funding letter certainly doesn't cover it.

  3. Interesting thoughts. I shall return.

  4. OK. Let's think. American industry that has fled overseas might, in part, come back if the incentives to offshore in the first place were rolled back. Maybe. Some solid protectionism would do the trick, at disastrous cost. The postwar boom that defined the middle of the 20th century here was dependent on a mix of factors unlikely to recur. We have less than four years to come up with a real, substantive, functioning large-scale replacement for what we've lost in recent decades. I haven't a clue what that will be and it scares me to death. 300 million people selling each other hamburgers and lattes does not an economy make.

    On the plus side, we have relatively inexpensive energy again, and lots of it. We have manpower to spare, and idle industrial capacity, although less than we should. What do we do with it all?

    1. Private-sector space exploration?

    2. "On the plus side, we have relatively inexpensive energy again" - and the U.S. Geological Survey just announced that just one part of the Permian Basin in Texas has 20 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil. That's the biggest shale find in the U.S. ever. God bless American frackers!

    3. Fuz (and no, I'm not looking up the code for the umlaut) - My first thought was asteroid mining, but how to scale it up as fast as we need to? The retraining and retooling alone boggles the mind.

  5. My problem with 'conservatives' is that every time we've elected them, they become Rubio or Ryan, forgetful of their promises, dismissive of our outrage. Why should I have feared Trump? How would he be worse than McCain or Mitt? Indeed, how is he different from them?

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  7. In reply to Thomas Hazelwood:
    I couldn't agree more, that the Ryans and Rubios of the GOP are faithless lovers: that seems to go for many if not most of the party. The old saw that people go to congress middle class and come home rich rings true.
    As far as Trump... who knows? He IS different from them, in that he has no need to line his pockets at the country's expense, and he is apparently not one of those for whom making more money whatever the societal cost, is an end in itself. Did he do it for ego? Sure. The meek may inherit the Earth, but Washington DC is an annex of another location. (Hint: the Hot Place!) But I don't think that is sufficient explanation so we are left wondering. I don't know, but I am allowing myself to hope a little, that he is the rarest of birds; an 'Honest' man. That doesn't mean I believe he is honest in the conventional sense, but that he is a man who sees the status quo as intolerable, and is willing to put up with the avalanche of abuse and lies that have been heaped upon him to upend the system to the benefit of the people. That ego might just be our salvation as in his twilight years the thought of his entry in the history books, perhaps even as "The Great" has a stronger allure than all the gold in the world.

  8. Good stuff. I am posting to Facebook.

  9. Nice post.
    I want to understand something, not being snarky, I want to ask you : WHY were you Never Trump to the end?
    In retrospect, given your reaction to the election, would you have rather supported Trump rather than be a Never Trumper to the end?
    Even if it turned out that he lost, and Hillary won, given how happy you are now, wouldn't you have been twice as depressed if she lost and you knew you did not help defeat her?
    I guess I'm trying to ask - even if a cause appears hopeless but the alternative is terrible , isn't it better to fight for it anyway? ( aka "go down fighting")

    What do you think?

  10. I had, and have, my concerns about Trump, but my motto has been Hillary Delenda Est.