- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Explosive Politics? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

Before Election Day we were urged to “defuse our explosive politics.” Okay, maybe — but they were explosive for a reason. Now that the Democrats have won the House of Representatives, politics is likely to get even more explosive. So now what do we do?

For many decades American politics was essentially a one-party affair.

From 1933 to 1981 the Democrats controlled both houses of congress except for two periods, 1947–1949 and 1953–1955. Republicans were junior partners in the firm and showed respect to their betters.

With the election in 1980 of Ronald Reagan, a serious conservative who wanted to bring serious change to Washington (unlike two previous Republican presidents, Eisenhower and Nixon), politics began to get nasty. They got nastier still after Republicans won the House in 1994. It’s never been the same since. And it isn’t going back.

Advertisement

During all that time, the culture was changing. The Sixties’ civil rights movement was a great moral crusade, but it didn’t by itself change what might be described as the moral tenor of the country, though it may have sown the seeds for some of our present discontent. Bussing and affirmative action took the bloom off the movement, even as the counterculture warriors were changing … the culture.

Exactly why, how, and to what extent is up for debate. The rich got richer, family life declined, divorce became common, illegitimacy became so common it became un-PC to call it illegitimacy, and the culture became coarser (foul popular music and pornography went mainstream). And then what might be called the second sexual revolution hit: the tsunami of identity politics, involving — among other positions — a veritable alphabet of bizarre sexual practices.

Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement and fly it to Sodom and Gomorrah.

All the while, Hollywood, academia, and the media were pushing left-wing nostrums. Prominent lefties called half of the country “deplorables” and “the dregs of society.”

If you think the penance you are doing now for your sins is not adequate, try reading The New York Times. Article after article, editorial after editorial, op-ed after op-ed, show unrelieved hostility to President Trump, or bizarre pieces on sex, or pieces on bizarre sex (e.g., “Why Sex is not Binary”) that you wouldn’t want your children to read.

In the face of all that, we are to “defuse our explosive politics”?

Well, perhaps we should. But we are not likely to. Ideas matter. They have consequences. And the consequences, when they are negative, are visited on the most vulnerable of our citizens, who are not the people who live in the super zip code gated communities described by Charles Murray and who write for The New York Times.

Charles M. Blow, a columnist for the Times, wrote a column just before the election titled “Liberals, This is War.” In it he claimed that “the founders, a bunch of rich, powerful white men, didn’t want true democracy in this country, and in fact were dreadfully afraid of it. Now, a bunch of rich, powerful white men want to return us to this sensibility, wrapped in a populist ‘follow the Constitution’ rallying cry and disguised as the ultimate form of patriotism.”

Even though the Democrats now have a majority in the House of Representatives, much of what happens politically in the next two years is likely to be managed by the same “bunch of rich, powerful white men” so feared by Blow, suggesting that politics is not likely to get less explosive.

Perhaps the most optimistic scenario for the coming two to four years is the awakening, finally, of individually powerless men and women in the black community to the realization that they’ve been had for decades, by Democrats, the party of segregation for so many years.

It’s easy to hurry past the salient statistic: that black unemployment is the lowest ever. But the meaning is as significant as the results of the civil rights movement. It would be celebrated from New York to San Francisco — if it had occurred under Democratic leadership. But it didn’t.

Yes, the Democrats have won back the House of Representatives, but the music of increasing prosperity in minority communities will be the dirge of the Democratic Party. Our politics is likely to become even more explosive, not less, the fuse having been lighted by Democrats in reaction to Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. The conflagration will be great, and the smoke of the Democrats will go up as the smoke of a furnace.

Explosive politics? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Daniel Oliver is Chairman of the Board of the Education and Research Institute and a Director Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy in San Francisco. In addition to serving as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Reagan, he was Executive Editor and subsequently Chairman of the Board of William F. Buckley Jr.s National Review.

Email Daniel Oliver at [email protected] [1].

23 Comments (Open | Close)

23 Comments To "Explosive Politics? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet"

#1 Comment By JeffK On November 10, 2018 @ 9:32 am

“Perhaps the most optimistic scenario for the coming two to four years is the awakening, finally, of individually powerless men and women in the black community to the realization that they’ve been had for decades, by Democrats, the party of segregation for so many years.”

How about this. The awakening, finally, of individually powerless men and women in the *white underclass* community to the realization that they’ve been had for decades, by *Republicans*, the party of *greed, tax cuts, class warfare disguised as patriotism, and elitism* for so many years.

That is the real question, in my mind. In 2020 will Trumpism have gained additional adherents due to success and results, or will it have petered out because it became obvious that Trump, and his supporters, have no grand vision, no operational expertise, and no ability to deliver for the Average Working Joe/Josephine.

Either option is possible. We shall see.

#2 Comment By David Wheeler On November 10, 2018 @ 9:34 am

Get out of here. Gingrich, Atwater, Rove, Fox News defines reckless nastiness.

#3 Comment By Lee On November 10, 2018 @ 10:21 am

Give me a break. Long before Hillary’s “deplorables” remark, which was itself deplorable, Democrats had been told they are not “real Americans” and the sitting President often refers to us as evil, determined to bring criminals into the country, America hating and all kinds of other stuff. Quit being such a snowflake.

Yeah, things are going to get more explosive as the President is revealed to be criminal to his core. Buckle up.

#4 Comment By polistra On November 10, 2018 @ 11:45 am

So what? Nothing will ever change.

This soap opera called “democracy” has no consequences except MONEY in the pockets of the politicians and media. It’s not worth spending even a moment of effort or money on a process with exactly zero results.

#5 Comment By g On November 10, 2018 @ 12:30 pm

It’s the baby boomers. I hate to say it but I can draw no other conclusion. They know they are going to deplete the social security trust fund yet they borrowed against it and refuse to address the issue. Write any of them and mention social security to see what happens. A form letter comes back saying they have no intention of lowering benefits. If you are a gen xer or millennial that pretty much sums up who they view as the largest voting block. I keep hoping that this will all sort itself out as the torch gets passed but when I hear that it is being passed to young socialists hope dims.

#6 Comment By A Russian On November 10, 2018 @ 3:33 pm

Editors of The American Conservative, why exactly was this piece published here?

I respect this magazine for its commitment to, as you yourself describe it, “a measured, pertinent, principled conservatism for our time.” No other U.S. right-wing publication I know of is even remotely intellectual; their lack of integrity is often quite reminiscent of our publications back home. This piece here, though, reads like something that would belong at either National Review or even Daily Caller.

The only remotely interesting point this piece makes is “illegitimacy became so common it became un-PC to call it illegitimacy”. An essay seriously analyzing the reasons for this shift may actually be interesting.

Instead, the primary thrust of this piece, with “Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement” and desperate plea for “the awakening, finally, of individually powerless men and women in the black community”, is fact-free drivel, at least in the way it’s currently written.

Like really, perhaps the best way to determine “reasons yet to be determined” is to ask at least some “blacks” who were alive at the time, and/or at least read what was written from this period, and only then submit this piece to take up the valuable server space of The American Conservative?

Likewise, this whole “plea for the awakening” could have both done with a few more conservations with black people, preferably those outside of Kanye West/Candace Owens clique. Speaking of Candace Owens, this post-midterms piece could have at least acknowledged that a) it rehashes the points of her “Blexit movement” and b) that movement appears to have utterly failed.

In conclusion, I would just quote this from TAC’s “About” page: “We keep faith with the best of what the generations before us learned and teach us. We apply those lessons to the dislocations, temptations, and crises of the present day. The greatest of those lessons is to incline always to trust in the ultimate wisdom of the American people.”

I believe this trust in “the ultimate wisdom of American people” should extend to the American black people as well. If so, then assuming they were all collectively asleep for decades (else no “awakening” would be needed) without bothering to ask for any of their past or present perspectives, hardly displays such trust.

#7 Comment By Steven Scott On November 10, 2018 @ 8:16 pm

“Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement and fly it to Sodom and Gomorrah.“

What in the world does this sentence mean?

#8 Comment By Redbrick On November 10, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

[Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement and fly it to Sodom and Gomorrah.“

What in the world does this sentence mean?]

That the movement and the Federal power that made it possible was sold as a solidly Christian movement…..giving voting and true citizenship rights to black Americans.

That movement has now become under the banner of “civil rights” a fight for homosexuals and transsexuals…..both of who already had voting rights. And both groups who are disproportionally white or Jewish and upper middle class and well off.

It was one thing for an Alabama cotton farmer to talk about discrimination in 1955. Laughable to hear some trust fund homosexual at Harvard say the same in 2018

#9 Comment By rhinegold cowboy On November 11, 2018 @ 5:35 am

Head of FTC under Reagan?

Then you presided over the destruction of American industry in the 80s and paved the way for an America full of junkies and part time Walmart workers…and Trumpism.

Real “conservative”.

#10 Comment By Lenny On November 11, 2018 @ 10:07 am

All the while, Hollywood, academia, and the media were pushing left-wing nostrums. Prominent lefties called half of the country “deplorables” and “the dregs of society.

Hollywood? You mean like the star of a show called the Apprentice?

Immorality? you mean like your porno president who’s guaranteed to lie the moment he opens his mouth?

Seriously?

#11 Comment By KD On November 11, 2018 @ 11:53 am

“Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement and fly it to Sodom and Gomorrah.“

I presume the author means that the original movement, attempting to end the practice of forcing Blacks to sit in the back of buses, and to permit talented and intelligent men of the wrong race to attend public universities, transformed into an attempt to mainstream and glamorize anal sex.

Perhaps there is a logical connection between these crusades, but there is a missing logical step in the argument for those who are not true believers.

#12 Comment By Joe from PA On November 11, 2018 @ 1:08 pm

We’re all real Americans – whether we live in a red or blue or purple state or whether we’re from a suburban, urban, or rural area.

This is not the message of Trump. We have all sorts of different frames of reference or mindsets and should not be called more or less “American” by anyone.

We should learn to work together and recognize that the President and central government can’t do everything and should not be on our radar every day.

America has a bright future and conservatives and liberals need to find a way to adjust and make it work.

I think Trump is only interested in being king of the Republican base – he and his lackeys in this PA Senate and Gov election failed to reach beyond the base.

We need to elect a President in 2020 who takes the job and its gravity seriously and who will listen and learn from all the American people – not just those enthralled by his poor demeanor.

I didn’t vote Obama twice — but he was a patriotic president and took his leadership role seriously. Quite a bit too liberal for me to ever vote for – but I’d rather Obama and his forward yet very flawed vision than Trump’s post-truth laments for a “great again” America that never actually was.

#13 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 11, 2018 @ 1:17 pm

“Washington (unlike two previous Republican presidents, Eisenhower and Nixon), politics began to get nasty.”

So you get the hijacking analysis correct — (well mostly) but fumble the nastiest period in which the hijacking took place. That was the Vietnam era politics to which Nixon was the most vilified target of the nastiness.

No. It was President Nixon who suffered the nastiest politics engaged by the same nasty tactics used by the hijackers you note. That hijacking has continued and morphed into a polity even supposed republicans adopted.

APA conference
Roe v wade
Vietnam
education
religion

Pres. Reagan — did nothing to stem that tide of assault.

What you are witnessing is the re-emergence of the hijacking out in the open – minus some of the polite clothing of rhetoric used to coverup the nakedness of 1970’s.

#14 Comment By lancelot lamar On November 11, 2018 @ 10:18 pm

Steven Scott:

It means that blacks allowed the same principles of identity and equality that helped win them civil rights to be taken over by the LBGT+ movement. Even though it was and is wholly illegitimate to equate mutable sexual practices with immutable skin color as a factor in human identity, and a dreadful insult to blacks to equate their historic slavery, genocide, racism, and persecution because of the color of their skin–as well as their ages-long struggle for basic human dignity–with the completely different categories of identity and struggle of LBGT people.

“Sodomy,” the old name for homosexual or anal sex, comes from “Sodom” one of the two cities in the Old Testament, along with “Gomorrah,” destroyed by God for their sexual immorality, most particularly for the practice of male homosexual sex.

It was the cleverest line in the piece. That you didn’t get the reference at all, and tried to blame your ignorance on the author for not being clear, shows that you must be the proud graduate of one of our finer modern universities.

#15 Comment By ked_x On November 12, 2018 @ 3:35 am

> Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement and fly it to Sodom and Gomorrah.

For the love of… ugh. Would conservative just stop bandying that whole ‘Racist Democrats Tricking Blacks’ argument about. The Blacks didn’t jump to the Democrats, they were pushed by the Republicans. Goldwater was against the Civil Rights Act. Nixon was all ‘law and order’ because as John Ehrlichman put it, “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” Lee Atwater with his famous quote about using ‘tax cuts’ to cover for saying ‘n-word, n-word, n-word’ along with that infamous Willie Horton ad. Even to this day, look at how Republican Secretary of State and Gubernatorial candidate, Brian Kemp, used every voter suppression trick in the book to keep blacks from voting in Georgia and keep Democrat Stacey Abrams from winning (and sadly Kemp may yet succeed). Anyone with even a glancing understanding of American history knows that Blacks switched sides after the Dixiecrats started switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party (“Southern Conservatives Are America’s Third Party”, [2]).

#16 Comment By JonF On November 12, 2018 @ 6:48 am

sRe: the music of increasing prosperity in minority communities will be the dirge of the Democratic Party.

Nope. Or at least not as long as the Republicans continue to posture as the party of white nationalism. Consider the fact that Asian-Americans, often prosperous and not socially extreme, have switched from voting majority GOP to majority democratic over the last thirty years as they too do not feel welcome at the Grumpy Old White Folks Pity Party.

#17 Comment By Jennifer On November 12, 2018 @ 10:07 am

“The awakening, finally, of individually powerless men and women in the *white underclass* community to the realization that they’ve been had for decades, by *Republicans*, the party of *greed, tax cuts, class warfare disguised as patriotism, and elitism* for so many years.”

They did. Which is why they voted for Trump, against the wishes of the majority of neoconservative establishment. Remember when it was supposed to be a Bush who was President?

#18 Comment By MM On November 12, 2018 @ 10:52 am

JonF: “As they too do not feel welcome at the Grumpy Old White Folks Pity Party.”

Thank goodness for wealth, white, male guilt. And wealthy, white, female grievance. Without them, the Democratic Party wouldn’t have any white members.

In reality, white Americans are largely independents, 37%. Just like Hispanic Americans, 37%. And just like Asian Americans, 42%.

Other than Black Americans, most voters don’t identify with either political party and don’t self-segregate.

#19 Comment By mike On November 12, 2018 @ 10:56 am

Leave it to those sweet adorable cool kids!
Only they could get away with demonising ordinary decent law-abiding people as fascists – while they themselves proudly promote an ideology which has slaughtered 2 billion human beings over the past century (between mass executions, forced starvation, concentration camps, and abortions).
Bless their hearts. Who else could ever be fabulous enough to combine outrageous phony indignation at the slightest “insensitivities” with a maniacal devotion to the most savagely cruel, brutally inhuman political cult in world history.
You go girls! You are fierce!

#20 Comment By John Blade Wiederspan On November 12, 2018 @ 7:07 pm

Look at the titles of the books that have been written by Ranting Right authors. Listen (if you can stand it) to Rush Limbaugh. He has been on the air through Clinton, Bush, Obama; not exactly coming out of nowhere. And let me state to both liberals and conservatives, their behavior does not excuse your own. As a 70 year old baby boomer, I have seen a lot of political and social conflict. Legal segregation, Vietnam, Watergate, Monica, Desert Storm One and Two, 9-11, the present embarrassing presence in the White House. One simple lesson: Pick your enemies carefully, because you will end up just like them. More’s the pity.

#21 Comment By EliteCommInc. On November 13, 2018 @ 2:24 am

“Blacks, for reasons yet to be determined, allowed liberal-progressives to hijack their civil rights movement and fly it to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Blacks have consistently held between just and below 14% of the population. It was not hard for their real bread and butter issues to be consumed the agendas of the other 75-80%. This is a numbers game to an extent.

If the majority decides they would rather deal with light browns, yellows and more whites, then that is exactly what will occur. I suspect that is the turn being made. There’s no stopping whites in this country from skin color politics as a dominant polity.

Which is all of the they identity themselves as white is survey data – they aren’t fools – they no the card to play. I have often contended this as though blacks had a choice – they really do not.

And as it becomes increasingly that our dominant population are unable to divorce themselves from color and country – blacks will tend to be politically correct regardless of whether they are correct as republicans or democrats. And black men on either side will bare that double as they bow to politically correctness to white women of any party.

#22 Comment By BobS On November 13, 2018 @ 8:04 am

“Perhaps the most optimistic scenario for the coming two to four years is the awakening, finally, of individually powerless men and women in the black community to the realization that they’ve been had for decades, by Democrats, the party of segregation for so many years.”

Black people in the US should be grateful they have a white guy like Daniel Oliver to tell them what’s good for them.

#23 Comment By Buckley On November 15, 2018 @ 10:30 am

Good God. How much time was spent on writing this feverish delusion? I’m sure the black population recognizes which party George Wallace and Lester Maddox would be allied with now, and the direct connection to our infantile president. But of course Blacks should just be grateful the economy is good and go back to work, picking up garbage and driving buses, and appropriate sorts of work for those folks.