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Friday, January 13, 2017

The Politics of the Possible

Classicist and historian VDH attempts to make sense of the Trumpist ideology, such as it is:
Tradition

Trumpism promotes traditionalism. Trump showcases “Merry Christmas!” because his parents did. He believes in dressing formally and being addressed as Mr. Trump. And he insists that his children be well-behaved and polite.

You might object that Trump is thrice-married, Petronian in his tastes, and ethically sloppy or worse in his own business dealings. No matter: Trump seeks a return to normalcy all the more. His personal excesses apparently spur his impulses for traditional norms.

Perhaps Trump is like many Baby Boomers as they enter their final decades: They look back at their parents and grandparents, and wonder how they put up with their offspring — and see how far this generation has fallen short of their forebears’ ideals, which in turn sparks a desire for a return to normalcy in the wayward. Deists were believers in the abstract who otherwise shunned a living Christianity yet thought that active religion had social value for others. Similarly, Trump is a non-practicing moralist who believes traditional morality can restore structure and guidance to society.

So Trump is foul-mouthed but wants a return of decorum; he has been conniving but thinks his own recklessness is not necessarily a model for the nation.


National Greatness 

Nationalism is another Trump axiom — the deliberate antithesis to the progressive and Socratic idea of being “a citizen of the world.” In Trump’s mind, the U.S. is a paradise thanks to its exceptional values and the hard work of past generations; the mess elsewhere (to the degree Trump worries about it) is due to human failing that is not America’s fault. Trump laments self-inflicted misery abroad but feels that he and his country are not culpable for it, and, other than Good Samarian disaster or famine relief, we cannot do too much about it in the long term.

If Mexico wants good jobs or Europe seeks to re-arm, then they can first make their own necessary adjustments to give them what they need without necessarily involving the U.S., whose first obligation is to make sure that its own citizens are well, secure, and employed. It seems that in Trump’s view, America’s poor and forgotten have claims on this country’s attention that far outweigh those of the illegal immigrant or the globe-trotting internationalist; the lathe worker in Des Moines and the real estate broker in Manhattan, by virtue of being American, deserve more of Washington’s attention than international bureaucrats or foreign royals. The least American is preferable to the greatest foreigner.

To the Left, this is xenophobic, nativist, and Peronist; in the Trump mind, it is a long-overdue pushback against 21st-centurty globalism. Good borders make good neighbors; illegal immigrants who arrive by breaking the law will certainly keep breaking the law to stay. Americans cannot pick and choose which American laws to follow; why would they allow foreigners to do what they themselves cannot and should not do?
I would describe Trump's approach to governance, which is not an ideology proper, but rather an attitude more akin to conservatism, as the politics of the possible. Do what you can. Don't worry about what you can't. And always keep in mind that the best people, the very best, can accomplish more than anyone else thinks.

The God-Emperor Ascendant is the rare combination of ambition and optimism with pragmatism. It is, as we are beginning to see, a potent combination. And I, for one, will not be at all surprised if, eight years from now, he leaves the White House and enters the history books being widely regarded as a better and more popular president than Ronald Reagan.

That may sound absurd, but note that Trump is already showing signs of being much better at team-building, delegating, and holding his subordinates to high expectations than any president of the modern era.

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68 Comments:

Blogger jfreddd January 13, 2017 8:26 AM  

"ambition and optimism with pragmatism"

Add a bucket of shitposting, and that wouldn't be a bad foundation for a political movement! Oh, wait...

Blogger Salt January 13, 2017 8:27 AM  

How many President-Elects have already begun shifting the country one week prior to Inauguration? Even the Iranians waited till Reagan's Inauguration Day to release the hostages. My bets would be that were that happening today with Trump, they'd be released even now.

Anonymous The Other Donald January 13, 2017 8:27 AM  

This blog is a consistent purveyor of excellent ideas. Thank you, and please continue. (My first comment here.)

Blogger Dirk Manly January 13, 2017 8:30 AM  

Indeed, I never thought I would see a president better than Reagan, but Trump is making him look clumsy, timid and foolish bycomparison.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 13, 2017 8:33 AM  

The Iranians hated Carter. They waited dir Reafan tobe inaugurated so rhat Carter wouldn't get credit dor the hostages being released.

Blogger Beau January 13, 2017 8:41 AM  

I think Trump's cabinet will be regarded as eclipsed only by the cabinet of George Washington.

Blogger Harsh January 13, 2017 8:41 AM  

The rumor is that his first official act in office will be to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and to hear the lamentations of the women.

Anonymous TLM January 13, 2017 8:42 AM  

Trump's energy and work ethic are truly something to be admired by all. The guy is 70. I have relatives etc in their mid to low 60's and they couldn't keep up with Trump for half a day.

If the wall is built, the H1Bs sent packing back to Mumbai, and the muslims out and/or cut off from bringing more in, Trump will be the greatest President in the history of the nation since Washington & Jackson. My bet is he'll accomplish much more.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric January 13, 2017 8:43 AM  

Salt wrote:How many President-Elects have already begun shifting the country one week prior to Inauguration? Even the Iranians waited till Reagan's Inauguration Day to release the hostages. My bets would be that were that happening today with Trump, they'd be released even now.
Speaking of which... http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/01/11/mexican-gov-returning-nationals-report-one-way-trips-ahead-trump/

Blogger machinephilosophy January 13, 2017 8:48 AM  

If the left's bigot-labeling doesn't stop and soon, Trump will be the least of their worries.

Blogger Beau January 13, 2017 8:48 AM  

America is like a lackluster team that's suddenly acquired a championship quarterback. Tebow elevated the play of those around him; Trump's drive to win will be a great tonic for the nation.

Anonymous Bob Ramar January 13, 2017 8:56 AM  

"America’s poor and forgotten have claims on this country’s attention that far outweigh those of the illegal immigrant or the globe-trotting internationalist; the lathe worker in Des Moines and the real estate broker in Manhattan, by virtue of being American, deserve more of Washington’s attention than international bureaucrats or foreign royals. The least American is preferable to the greatest foreigner."

Isn't this what having a nation is all about? When you put it this way, it is obvious how far we have strayed from our national roots.

Anonymous ZhukovG January 13, 2017 8:57 AM  

Many on the Left will be thankful they had Trump to blame for making them normal again.

Blogger Salt January 13, 2017 9:07 AM  

machinephilosophy wrote:If the left's bigot-labeling doesn't stop and soon, Trump will be the least of their worries.

Definitely. If war is the extension of politics by other means, then violence against Leftists is no more than extension of free speech by other means.

"Can you hear me now?"

Anonymous To Mock a Killingbird January 13, 2017 9:14 AM  

"Tebow elevated the play of those around him"

It's funny you bring him up. It was watching people declare him as unacceptable as a quarterback because of his athleticism and unorthodox throwing style-something that would have been unacceptable if he were black that really opened my eyes to the NFL.

Of course Peyton Hillis' treatment by the black linebackers who believed there was no place for him as a pill carrier, helped-his job was to block or gain 60 pounds and be a guard, right?

It'll be interesting to see how the NFL dismisses Christian McCaffery. At 200 pounds, he can't be called a "powerback", so maybe they'll dismiss him on "durability" concerns.

Blogger VD January 13, 2017 9:19 AM  

unacceptable as a quarterback because of his athleticism and unorthodox throwing style

The problem wasn't the style, the problem was the wild inaccuracy. I liked Tebow. I very much enjoyed his unexpected shining moment of success. But he was NEVER going to be a successful NFL quarterback. Never.

Blogger dc.sunsets January 13, 2017 9:21 AM  

The key here is a shift in the winds of attribution.

Why are parts of the world chaotic?
Why are some people chronically poor?
Why do some people live amidst chronic violence?
Why are some people so afflicted by chronic illnesses?

The answer to all these questions eight centuries ago was, "God's Will." As literal Christianity faded from the Middle Ages, the dominant explanation shaded toward "the poor, sick, etc., asked for it with their behavior."

By the time of Lincoln's War, those infected by the Gnostic Heresy deemed it the role of the state to "make men better" and "save them from Satan's temptation."

We got Prohibition. That went well.

My point is that the dominant philosophy became, "People are NOT responsible for their condition. The rich aren't deserving of their comforts any more than the poor are deserving of their miseries."

Decade after decade, this became what we have today: If some people are happy, they should be stripped of what makes happiness and it be given to those who are unhappy, and it's one's quantity of 'stuff' that determines happiness."

Winning or losing were conditions over which people had no control. Only the state, as GOD, could ameliorate conditions that led to such inequities.

Of course, this is bat-shit crazy. If you look at the CHOICES people make, it is obvious that individual agency has a huge influence over winning or losing, or better said, happiness or unhappiness.

What's very troubling, however, is that genetic science is revealing that the Levelers really are correct in one way. The basic raw material an individual has to work with is determined at the zygote level. This establishes a spectrum of probability, with a mean and an SD, for every human attribute. A man with an IQ of 80 will have a spectrum of the possible that does not include being a successful mechanical engineer or mathematician. A woman will have a spectrum of ability that is extremely unlikely to include being a successful fireman.

The real key is, what do people think is possible, and what system should affect it? The roots of the Universalist Cult were relatively benign; ameliorate suffering. It grew like cancer until it sees the mailed fist of the monopoly state as a means to make the impossible occur (e.g., make a man into a woman, an 80 IQ person into an engineer or a non-freakishly strong woman into a fireman.)

Both sentiments are wrong. The state isn't omnipotent and is a terrible tool for remedying objectionable conditions. And the destructiveness of removing personal choice (and natural, biological fact) from contributing mightily to a man's condition is so obviously dysgenic and dyscivic that one must marvel at a leftist's rationalization power.

We are in the early stages of changing attribution of condition FROM "impersonal forces" TO either "God's Will" or "individual agency + biological fact," or some combination of the two.

The Cult of Equality is headed for history's dustbin and an obsession with hierarchy has started its long path to apogee. Trump's approach (such as we understand it now) appears to be but an early indication that this reversal of attribution has obtained critical mass and will replace Utopian equality.

Blogger Some Guy January 13, 2017 9:28 AM  

I really like Trump and believe that he is going to be very successful. The problem is the transition from him to someone else who is observably less capable. Trump has a pedigree in making things work. I'm just hoping he lays a framework that can survive him not being a part of it.

Anonymous The OASF January 13, 2017 9:29 AM  

@6 "I think Trump's cabinet will be regarded as eclipsed only by the cabinet of George Washington."

I believe a clear distinction has to be made here between GREAT and BELOVED.

Reagan was certainly beloved, for a variety of reasons. Probably the greatest reason is that he was the last figure of a fading generation that embodied the old Republic. To quote Pitchfork Pat...

"He came from another time and place, Ronald Reagan did, a time long ago when love of country was as natural for a boy growing up in Illinois as was a faith that nothing was beyond the capacity of the great and good people whence he had come." http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/we-shall-not-see-his-like-again/

As far as greatest? Not even close. He widely opened the door to the neocon regimes, which have destroyed the prospects of my generation for what yet may be the rest of our lives. Yes, some of us have prospered - but upon carefully doing the math the devastation becomes readily apparent even for the better-offs.

Trump, if he can stay alive, will go down as probably the greatest and at the very least the greatest since Jackson and Jefferson (I especially like Jackson). Trump's second debate performance was the greatest display of any politician in all history, bar-none. If he can repeal and replace Obamacare with something of excellence that alone may seal the deal. The key factor that can't be forgotten is this: look at what he's ALREADY OVERCOME to position himself for the WINNING, to say nothing about the winning itself.

Blogger Deplorable Gaiseric January 13, 2017 9:39 AM  

dc.sunsets wrote:What's very troubling, however, is that genetic science is revealing that the Levelers really are correct in one way. The basic raw material an individual has to work with is determined at the zygote level. This establishes a spectrum of probability, with a mean and an SD, for every human attribute. A man with an IQ of 80 will have a spectrum of the possible that does not include being a successful mechanical engineer or mathematician. A woman will have a spectrum of ability that is extremely unlikely to include being a successful fireman.
That shouldn't be troubling to any Christian who understands his theology. "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey."

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2017 9:44 AM  

Trump's "recklessness" is called taking risks. He invested in and rehabbed famous NYC buildings at a time when everyone else thought it was too risky. That's how legitimate fortunes are made, and it's pretty much the story of many famous Americans.

Anonymous Athor Pel January 13, 2017 9:49 AM  

"17. Blogger dc.sunsets January 13, 2017 9:21 AM
...
If you look at the CHOICES people make, it is obvious that individual agency has a huge influence over winning or losing, or better said, happiness or unhappiness.
...
"



Dumb people think they're smart because they don't catch their mistakes.
Smart people think they're dumber than they are because they do catch their mistakes.

Bad things just seem to happen to dumb people and things never get better for them.
Smart people usually know why things went wrong and know what to do in order to avoid it in the future.

Blogger Robert Divinity January 13, 2017 9:52 AM  

It seems that in Trump’s view, America’s poor and forgotten have claims on this country’s attention that far outweigh those of the illegal immigrant or the globe-trotting internationalist; the lathe worker in Des Moines and the real estate broker in Manhattan, by virtue of being American, deserve more of Washington’s attention than international bureaucrats or foreign royals. The least American is preferable to the greatest foreigner.

American politics have deteriorated to such a degree that Professor Hanson's National Review colleagues disagree with the above excerpt as much as the communists and leftists. Trump took advantage of the opening and seized the moment because he understands nationalism since he is a nationalist. He reawakened that identity in many Americans.

Professor Hanson could ask his National Review colleagues what, exactly, is "conservative" about an ideology that finds the nation-state to be anathema. He won't pose the question because he knows the answer would be a shallow dismissal of nationalism as fascism.

Why would someone want to lead a nation-state who does not believe in territorial sovereignty and the betterment of the people within its borders, clearly defined? It clearly was a question that worked to Mr. Trump's advantage.

Trump is well on his way to greatness.

Blogger Johnny January 13, 2017 9:53 AM  

“other than Good Samaritan disaster or famine relief, we cannot do too much about it”
A model for helping people that actually works is what was going on in feudal Europe. The lower ranking person got the assist of the (social) superior person through submission. Attempting to make it into the White Knight hero saving somebody, when it is not transitory, promotes dysfunction. The admiration the hero hopes for comes to be seen as vanity, because it is, and gratitude turns to resentment.
To turn it to the Christian model, feed them if they are hungry, teach them to fish if you think they should, but after that it is the cold shoulder. Never get into helping anybody more than they engage in self help.

(Tebow was close but his passing was not quite good enough.)

Blogger dc.sunsets January 13, 2017 9:57 AM  

@20, it's troubling only if one assumes that happiness is measured by quantity of externalities, which is both common and stupid.

We all know people who have little "stuff," or are blind, or are missing a hand, etc., who are happy, and people who have pretty much everything (looks, brains, wealth, public adulation) who are miserable. Lots of the latter these days, poster children for the error of our dominant fad.

But since the quantity of "stuff" is something that can be redistributed by coercion, and happiness is not, and the Gnostic Heretics are like carpenters whose only tool is a sledge hammer,.........

We get the world to which our neighbors consent. They consent to whatever system is animated by the dominant fad or fashionable philosophy. Those who think they rule or run things are simply those who subconsciously grasp that fad/fashion and jump in front of the bandwagon, and then act like they steer it. They don't. This is why the Celebrity Left is dismayed. The bandwagon is turning and no matter how hard they try, it won't follow them.

It never did. It was they who followed, just like everyone else. Their sin was in attributing their fame and fortune to their skill and their virtue. It never occurred (or occurs) to them that their 15 minutes of fame was a coincidence and nothing more.

Blogger dc.sunsets January 13, 2017 10:03 AM  

@24 Never get into helping anybody more than they engage in self help.

Have they agency or not? That's the question whose answer is now changing from no to yes.

A TV commercial running constantly now is pushing some "charity" that promises to feed the "1 in 5 children in America who don't have food to eat over the weekend (when the schools aren't feeding them.)"

Never mentioned: the kids' parents.

Never considered: Kid is hungry, but mom has professionally done hair & nails. Kid is hungry, but mom sports a new outfit every other day. Kid is hungry but mom is a barfly, drunk off her ass several nights a week. Kid is hungry, but kid REEKS NAUSEATINGLY of cigarette smoke.

Eventually it will be "common knowledge" that you can't "help" kids without enabling (and REWARDING) their mother's (and father's if he's even around) worst vices.

Like I said, attribution is everything.

Anonymous Vin January 13, 2017 10:08 AM  

Trump will also be assisted in exceeding expectations by 2 things:

1) Growing and saavy Alt Right to fight alongside him vs the MSM, academia & Hollywood. Reagan had to fight them alone.

2) Islam. The Left coalition of 'victims' simply can't stay together if it continues to cover for Muslim barbarity. Hispanics, blacks & gays hate straight male Whitey but they're not completely suicidal. Supporting Islam - a bridge too far

8 years out is too hard to predict but I'm already feeling good about 2020

Blogger praetorian January 13, 2017 10:09 AM  

As far as greatest? Not even close. He widely opened the door to the neocon regimes, which have destroyed the prospects of my generation for what yet may be the rest of our lives. Yes, some of us have prospered - but upon carefully doing the math the devastation becomes readily apparent even for the better-offs.

The inimitable F. Roger Devlin (you've all read "Sexual Utopia In Power", right? [PDF]) on the failure of (and more dangerous, mythology of) Reganism.

Blogger Dirk Manly January 13, 2017 10:11 AM  

I realize Regan was in Reagan's cabinet, but ....

Anonymous LurkingPuppy January 13, 2017 10:14 AM  

dc.sunsets wrote:Both sentiments are wrong. The state isn't omnipotent and is a terrible tool for remedying objectionable conditions.
To put it less verbosely:

* Certain people stopped believing in God, but continued to believe that we needed a God.

* Certain people always believed that humans should not punish bad behaviour, because God will punish it for us.

And of course there was significant overlap between those groups. When those people stopped believing in God, they could no longer attribute the natural negative consequences of a bad action to God's wrath; allowing those negative consequences to occur would be punishment, and therefore against God's will. (They were insufficiently cognitive to feel the dissonance there.)

Anonymous BiigGayKoranBurner January 13, 2017 10:16 AM  

(((Americans))) cannot pick and choose which American laws to follow

He sure is naïve

The rumor is that his first official act in office will be... hear the lamentations of the women

I watched the view for the week after the election.

Many on the Left will be thankful they had Trump to blame for making them normal again.

They think they are going to win trannie bathrooms under TRUMP.

What's very troubling, however, is that genetic science is revealing that the Levelers really are correct in one way.

How many IQ points would you trade for being resilient to hookworms? For resistance to sleeping sickness(comes with 4x the rate of kidney failure)? Or ability to survive malaria without whitey's meds(sickle cell comes with lots of drawbacks)? Survivors in Africa made those choices by surviving.

If he can repeal and replace Obamacare with something of excellence that alone may seal the deal

They already are rolling out the stories of wetbacks who will go blind if they have to pay for their meds.

Never considered: Kid is hungry, but mom converted $100 of food stamps into $20 cash while thinking she is smarter than Whitey.

Hispanics, blacks & gays hate straight male Whitey but they're not completely suicidal. Supporting Islam - a bridge too far

I doubt more than 1/2 of those who survived being shot at PULSE have converted to islamorealists.

Blogger tz January 13, 2017 10:18 AM  

Surprisingly, or probably not, I think Government will shrink more under Trump than it would have under Ron Paul.

4GWw is won at the moral level. The blue-collar billionaire has the authority.

He is not Al Gore urging Middle Americans to drive less while he flies on his Gulfstream private jets, or Barack Obama who loves exclusive, expensive Sidwell Friends prep school for his own children but opposes charter-school choices for the less fortunate, or a Senator Barbara Boxer who lives in an irrigated desert oasis but seeks to stop contracted water transfers for those who grow food 

Instead of the political Kabuki even Reagan engaged in (e.g. First woman supreme - terrible), he's going directly to running things.

I think the first test is the next banking crisis - his SecTreas will want bailouts. He will need to fire the top bad management and boards, do a receivership, and save the little guy. I think the banksters think they can win.

And I hope Soros is extradited to Russia.

Blogger tz January 13, 2017 10:27 AM  

While Human Biodiversity is true, I don't think morality is dependent on it.
It is not IQ that would get someone to always show up on time to a blue collar job that they can do with an 80 IQ.

Worse, the midwit elite can rationalize every evil.

If there are no jobs for 80 IQ people, there will be a problem. If we pay women when they have children out of wedlock, they are stupid if they don't, and only morality can stop them.

The return to Tradition is a return to 1955 (h/t ex-army) when the US was 90% white and expected full assimilation to the overall culture. It had minorities but was not multicultural.

Blogger Boko Harambe January 13, 2017 10:36 AM  

@ 17 I'm tempted to copypasta this on my FB and ask for debate...but my friends are mostly ostriches and it would not register.

Excellent breakdown, thanks.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 13, 2017 10:44 AM  

Boko, the Dread Ilk have endless amounts of fun on Facebook tormenting and persecuting the ostriches, Spergy Libertarians, normies and frothing at the mouth feminists. Find Pinochet's Dank Meme Stash on Facebook. Request to join and I'll find you.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2017 10:47 AM  

> I'm just hoping he lays a framework that can survive him not being a part of it.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Anonymous LastRedoubt January 13, 2017 10:52 AM  

In the meantime, the butthurt at Forbes is glorious:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mattdrange/2017/01/09/chuck-johnson-troll-trump-transition-team

Blogger Johnny January 13, 2017 11:06 AM  

James Dixon wrote:> I'm just hoping he lays a framework that can survive him not being a part of it.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


Possible but not likely. Trump appears to think of himself essentially as a manager. Not that I am down on him for it. He has an impressive range of skills and is so much better than the other choices.

Blogger dc.sunsets January 13, 2017 11:11 AM  

Spergy Libertarians
Hey now, be kind to my ex-comrades, and please don't add Spergy Rightists to the list....(wink.)

@33 tz, I agree. There is no substitute for the proper personal (moral) framework, accumulated from the level of the individual to the social group.

We want to figure out for ourselves a coherent moral code and then live around people who share it. Our modern distress comes from our (too large) social group's progressive failure to do both.

To me, it's a sine wave now ending its most vertical declining phase, entering the approach of nadir and still quite some time before an identifiable uptrend is in place. The road ahead will be difficult, but presumably the burden will be lightened by conviction that the rate of decline is lower and upside reversal is coming eventually.

Anonymous Loki7 January 13, 2017 11:18 AM  

I can see the bumper sticker now: Donnie Trumps Ronnie!

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2017 11:24 AM  

> A TV commercial running constantly now is pushing some "charity" that promises to feed the "1 in 5 children in America who don't have food to eat over the weekend...

Yeah. I hear that figure all the time (some folks have it up to 1 in 4 now). They're lying. It's probably not even 1 in 20.

Blogger Sam Lively January 13, 2017 11:46 AM  

VDH being a lot more courteous to Trump than he was to Buchanan. That Mattis/Flynn appointments must have disarmed him.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 13, 2017 12:01 PM  

Feudalism didn't work Johnny, because it too promoted the "citizen of the world" meme today's Progs love. A citizen owes loyalty to the thing he is a citizen of. Feudal barons didn't consider themselves citizens of their own fiefdom, they considered themselves citizens of the nobility. They owed loyalty to other nobles, not the serfs infesting their estate. Serfs were chattel to be ordered about, squandered in petty wars of ambition, and managed like draft animals. Lords of the manor weren't accountable to the locals, only to the far-off, rarely seen King.

Likewise today, Progs consider themselves "citizens of the world" so they don't have to be accountable to their neighbors. They're only accountable to other Progressives, mostly living too far away to see how the smug Citizen of the World treats the waitress.

The only advantage Feudalism had over Progressivism is in feudal times, you couldn't be a secret king, you had to be a real one.

Nationalism did away with Feudalism, which is why Progs hate Nationalism so much.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 13, 2017 12:07 PM  

Yeah. I hear that figure all the time (some folks have it up to 1 in 4 now). They're lying. It's probably not even 1 in 20.

You must not live close to any place to get a good chimichanga.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents January 13, 2017 12:09 PM  

@33 tz
While Human Biodiversity is true, I don't think morality is dependent on it.

Is human empathy any part of morality?

Blogger Basil Makedon January 13, 2017 12:12 PM  

I think attempting to discern a fully developed philosophy of governance in Trump or Trumpism is largely a waste of time. Nor do I think having a developed philosophy of governance is necessary.

Principles are good, but attempting to adhere to what ammounts to a series of pre-programmed software modules is limiting, exploitable and ultimately counterproductive.

That being said, I respect VDH and have defended him here in this forum. He is a farmer (as well as a Prof.) in CA and has seen what unrestricted illegal immigration has done first hand in a way that Lowry and Co. back on Park Ave. have not.

Blogger Escoffier January 13, 2017 12:22 PM  

Harsh wrote:The rumor is that his first official act in office will be to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and to hear the lamentations of the women.

Speaking of what would make good political movements?

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2017 12:23 PM  

@43 They owed loyalty to other nobles, not the serfs infesting their estate. Serfs were chattel to be ordered about, squandered in petty wars of ambition, and managed like draft animals. Lords of the manor weren't accountable to the locals, only to the far-off, rarely seen King.

Not at all true of Bipartite Manorialism, the system of NW Europe and the UK. The Lord of the Manor could not survive without the peasants working the Manor, and those peasants had specified rights under both law and tradition. It was a high trust system.

Blogger Stg58/Animal Mother January 13, 2017 12:25 PM  

Chimichangas are overrated.

Anonymous Gen. Kong January 13, 2017 12:25 PM  

Yes, this is a pretty decent assessment of Trump. The fact that he was able to win desire the combined opposition of the left, the GOPe, and the Deep State is a remarkable accomplishment all on its own. We await the ascension of the God-Emperor and wish him the very best. Even so, we must not be forgetful of what has happened before, for those who are ignorant of history are often condemned to repeat it.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 13, 2017 12:51 PM  

Chimichangas are overrated.

Nah, chimichangas are great. It's just that the traditional method of preparing them generates a lot of negative externalities. Like busloads of kids signed up free lunch programs (which they may or may not really need).

Anonymous Gen. Kong January 13, 2017 12:52 PM  

I see Praetorian beat me to the punch on Devlin's excellent warning - and his exposing the reality of Reagan's failure. The 1980s were a decade of deception. SJWs converged many an institution in those years, foremost of which was public education nationwide (previous to then their ownership was largely confined to areas they inhabited (Northeast, etc.).

Anonymous BBGKB January 13, 2017 1:05 PM  

to crush his enemies, see them driven before him, and to hear the lamentations of the women.

Todays (((The View))) had the Bidens on and I thought Woopi was going to stroke out.

While Human Biodiversity is true, I don't think morality is dependent on it.It is not IQ that would get someone to always show up on time

Space Time and Math all require a minimum IQ. Showing up on time is now called future orientation.

Devlin's excellent warning - and his exposing the reality of Reagan's failure.

Trust but verify should have applied to the border wall for amnesty.

Blogger dienw January 13, 2017 1:18 PM  

@ Stg58/Animal Mother

I just put in join request for Pinochet's Dank Meme Stash.

Anonymous teapartydoc January 13, 2017 1:26 PM  

I know it's in Plutarch, but I have trouble believing Socrates believed himself to be a citizen of the world. If he did he would not have drank of the hemlock, but would have gone into exile as some of his friends wished.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2017 3:20 PM  

> You must not live close to any place to get a good chimichanga.

No (no thanks to Obama's efforts), but I do live in one of the poorest states in the country.

Blogger Aeoli Pera January 13, 2017 3:50 PM  

The God-Emperor Ascendant is the rare combination of ambition and optimism with pragmatism.

Don't forget intelligence!

Blogger bosscauser January 13, 2017 5:31 PM  

Man oh man it's going to be a Hell of a ride!

#PresidentTrump

Blogger American Spartan January 13, 2017 6:03 PM  

BiigGayKoranBurner wrote:(((Americans))) cannot pick and choose which American laws to follow

He sure is naïve



How many IQ points would you trade for being resilient to hookworms? For resistance to sleeping sickness(comes with 4x the rate of kidney failure)? Or ability to survive malaria without whitey's meds(sickle cell comes with lots of drawbacks)? Survivors in Africa made those choices by surviving.


They already are rolling out the stories of wetbacks who will go blind if they have to pay for their meds.



They did not make any choice, and as for the wetbacks? Fuck`em....

Anonymous Jack Amok January 13, 2017 6:40 PM  

James, you know being poor isn't really why most people are on assistance programs.

Anonymous Test January 13, 2017 6:53 PM  

Test

Anonymous Eric the Red January 13, 2017 8:05 PM  

VDH has never understood that we are in an internal war the left declared a long time ago, that this is not politics-as-usual. He's too much Mr. Nice Guy. Listen to him speak sometime; his voice, mannerisms, and attitude are those of someone who thinks we can all get past our current difficulties and find a way to get along. In his analysis and conclusions he will always go so far but no further. I can't stand to listen to him anymore.

VD and others can classify him somewhere in the alpha-beta-gamma taxonomy; I've never understood the nuances.

Anonymous Eric the Red January 13, 2017 8:07 PM  

VDH has never understood that we are in an internal war the left declared a long time ago, that this is not politics-as-usual. He's too much Mr. Nice Guy. Listen to him speak sometime; his voice, mannerisms, and attitude are those of someone who thinks we can all get past our current difficulties and find a way to get along. In his analysis and conclusions he will always go so far but no further. I can't stand to listen to him anymore.

VD and others can classify him somewhere in the alpha-beta-gamma taxonomy; I've never understood the nuances.

Blogger Harold January 13, 2017 8:08 PM  

The least American is preferable to the greatest foreigner.

Pretty much what I think the attitude of those in power in the United States should have.

Blogger scimitar January 13, 2017 8:10 PM  

I love VDH.... He sees right to the matter...He's a good 'un at NRO/NR

Anonymous Jack January 13, 2017 8:19 PM  

VDH: "You might object that Trump is thrice-married, Petronian in his tastes, and ethically sloppy or worse in his own business dealings. No matter: Trump seeks a return to normalcy all the more. His personal excesses apparently spur his impulses for traditional norms."

He's comparable to Augustus in this way. Christian Kopff has an excellent lecture contrasting the leadership styles of Pericles and Augustus over at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute - https://home.isi.org/node/542 - championing Augustus and his traditionalism, in spite of his hypocrisy in regards to his personal life.

Blogger peter blandings January 14, 2017 4:17 AM  

i used to read VDH and NRO before g.w. bush invaded iraq. i never saw an article by VDH that i could not rip to shreds effortlessly. he is an idiot. there is no difference between him and andrew sullivan the queer. it is long past time to re-evaluate reagan. he was a traitor, and asleep most of the time. trump is already a far greater and more accomplished president even though he hasn't even taken office yet. there is no need to wait 8 years to determine that.

Blogger James Dixon January 17, 2017 7:47 PM  

> James, you know being poor isn't really why most people are on assistance programs.

On assistance does not equate to going hungry, which was the original comment (1 in 5 children don't have enough to eat). Like I said, they're lying.

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