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The Pathetic Inadequacy of the Trump Opposition

While it may have significant popular support, much of the anti-Trump “Resistance” suffers from a severe weakness of message. Part of the problem is with who the Resistance’s leading messengers are: discredited neoconservative poltroons like former president George W. Bush, unwatchable alleged celebrities like Chelsea Handler, and establishment Republicans who routinely slash and burn the middle class [1] like Senator Jeff Flake. Furthermore, what exactly is the Resistance’s overriding message? Invariably their sermonizing revolves around vague bromides about “tolerance,” diversity, unrestricted free trade, and multilateralism. They routinely push a supposed former status quo that was in fact anything but a status quo. The leaders of the Resistance have in their arsenal nothing but buzzwords and a desire to feel self-satisfied and turn back to imagined pre-Trump normality. A president like Donald Trump is only possible in a country with opposition voices of such subterranean caliber.

Remember when Trump steamrolled a crowded field of Republicans in one of the greatest electoral upsets in American history? Surely many of us also recall the troupes of smug celebrities and Bushes and Obamas who lined up to take potshots at Trump over his unacceptably cruel utterances that upset their noble moral sensibilities? How did that work out for them? They lost. The more that opposition to Trump in office takes the same form as opposition to him on the campaign trail, the more hypocritical and counterproductive it becomes. Further, the resistance to Trump’s policies is coming just at the moment when principled opposition most needs to up its game and help turn back the hands of the Doomsday Clock. It’s social conservatives who are also opposed to war and exploitation of the working class who have the best moral bona fides to effectively oppose Trump, which is why morally phrased attacks on Trump from the corporate and socially liberal wings of the left, as well as the free market and interventionist conservative establishment, have failed and will continue to fail. Any real alternative is going to have to come from regular folks with hearts and morals who aren’t stained by decades of failure and hypocrisy.

A majority of Democrats now have favorable views [2] of George W. Bush, and that’s no coincidence. Like the supposedly reasonable anti-Trump voices on their side, Bush pops up like a dutiful marionette to condemn white supremacy and “nativism,” [3] and to reminisce about the good old days when he was in charge. Bush also lectures about how Russia is ruining everything by meddling in elections and destabilizing the world. But how convincing is it really to hear about multilateralism and respect for human rights from Bush, who launched an unnecessary war on Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and left thousands of American servicemen and women dead and wounded? How convincing is it when former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who famously remarked that an estimated half a million Iraqis dead from our 1990s sanctions was “worth it,” haughtily claims that she’s “offended” by Trump’s travel ban [4]? “Offended”—is that so, Madame Secretary? I have a feeling millions of Muslims in the Middle East may have also been “offended” when people like you helped inflame their region and turned it into an endless back-and-forth firestorm of conflict between U.S.-backed dictators and brutal jihadists, with everyone else caught in between.

Maybe instead of being offended that not everyone can come to America, people like Albright, Kerry, and Bush shouldn’t have contributed to the conditions that wrecked those people’s homes in the first place? Maybe the U.S. government should think more closely about providing military aid to 73 percent of the world’s dictatorships? [5] Sorry, do excuse the crazy talk. Clearly all the ruthless maneuvering by the U.S. and NATO is just being done out of a selfless desire to spread democratic values by raining down LGBT-friendly munitions on beleaguered populations worldwide. Another congressman just gave a speech about brave democratic principles so we can all relax. 

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Generally, U.S. leaders like to team up with dictators before turning on them when they become inconvenient or start to upset full-spectrum dominance. Nobody have should been surprised to see John Kerry fraternizing in a friendly manner with Syrian butcher Bashar al-Assad and then moralistically threatening him with war several years later, or Donald Rumsfeld grinning with Saddam Hussein as they cooperated militarily before Rumsfeld did an about-face on the naïve dictator based on false premises after 9/11. Here’s former president Barack Obama shaking Moammar Gaddafi’s hand in 2009 [6]. I wonder what became of Mr. Gaddafi?

It’s beyond parody to hear someone like Bush sternly opine that there’s “pretty clear evidence” [7] Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Even if that were deeply significant in the way some argue, Bush should be the last person anyone is hearing from about it. It’s all good, though: remember when Bush laughed [8] about how there hadn’t been weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2004? It’s all just a joke; don’t you get it? (Maybe Saddam Hussein had already used all the chemical weapons the U.S. helped him get [9] during the 1980s on Iran in the Iran-Iraq War, which killed over one million people by the time the coalition of the willing came knocking in 2003). That’s the kind of thing people like Bush like to indirectly joke about in the company of self-satisfied press ghouls at celebratory dinners. However, when the mean man Mr. Trump pals around with Russian baddie Vladimir Putin, mistreats women, or spews out unkind rhetoric about “shitholes,” it’s far from a joke: it’s time to get out your two-eared pink hat and hit the streets chanting in righteous outrage.

To be fair, Trump is worthy of opposition. An ignorant, reactive egotist who needs to have his unfounded suppositions and inaccuracies constantly validated by a sycophantic staff of people who’d be rejected even for a reality show version of the White House, he really is an unstable excuse for a leader and an inveterate misogynist and all the other things. Trump isn’t exactly Bible Belt material despite his stamp of approval from Jerry Falwell Jr. and crew; in fact he hasn’t even succeeded in getting rid of the Johnson Amendment [10] and allowing churches to get more involved in politics, one of his few concrete promises to Christian conservatives. He’s also a big red button of a disaster in almost every other area as commander-in-chief.

Trump’s first military action as president reportedly killed numerous innocent women and children (some unnamed U.S. officials claim some of the women were militants) as well as a Navy SEAL. Helicopter gunships strafed a Yemeni village for over an hour in what Trump called a “highly successful” [11] operation against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). A senior military official felt differently, saying that “almost everything went wrong.” [12] The raid even killed eight-year-old American girl Nawar al-Awlaki, daughter of previously killed extremist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, whose other innocent child, 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was also droned while eating outdoors at a restaurant in 2010 (with several friends and his 17-year-old cousin). The Obama administration dismissed Abdulrahman’s death at the time as no big deal [13].

The list goes on with the Trump administration, a hollow outfit of Goldman Sachs operatives and detached industry and financier billionaires helping out their hedge fund friends and throwing a small table scrap to the peasants every now and then. As deformed babies are born in Flint, Michigan [14], Ivanka grandstands about paid parental leave [15]. Meanwhile, Trump and Co. work to expand the war in Afghanistan [16] and Syria. It’s a sad state of affairs.

So who are the right voices to oppose the mango man-child and his cadre of doddering dullards? Not degenerate celebrities, dirty politicians of the past, or special interest groups that try to fit everyone into a narrow electoral box so mainline Democrats can pass their own version of corporate welfare and run wars with more sensitive rhetoric and politically correct messaging. Instead, the effective dissidents of the future will be people of various beliefs, but especially the pro-family and faith-driven, who are just as opposed to what came before Trump as they are to him. The future of a meaningful political alternative to the underlying liberalism, materialism, and me-first individualism on the left and right will revolve around traditionalists and pro-family conservative individuals who define their own destinies instead of letting themselves be engineered into destinies manufactured by multinational corporations and boardroom gremlins with diversity outreach strategies. It’s possible, for example, to be socially conservative, pro-worker, pro-environment, and anti-war. In fact, that is the norm in most countries that exist outside the false political paradigm pushed in America.

If enough suburbanite centrists who take a break from Dancing With The Stars are convinced that Trump is bad because George W. Bush and Madeleine Albright say so, it shows that these people have learned absolutely nothing from Trump or the process that led to him. These kind of resistors are the people nodding their heads emphatically as they read Eliot Cohen talk about why he and his friends can’t stomach the evil stench of Trump [17] or Robert Kagan whine about fascism [18] in The Washington Post. Here’s a warning to good people who may not have been following politics closely prior to Trump: don’t get taken in by these charlatans. Don’t listen to those who burned your town down as they pitch you the contract to rebuild it. You can oppose both the leaders of the “Resistance” and Trump. In fact, it is your moral duty to do so. This is the End of the End of History As We Know It, but there isn’t going to be an REM song or Will Smith punching an alien in the face to help everyone through it.

Here’s a thought for those finding themselves enthusiastic about the Resistance and horrified by Trump: maybe, just maybe, the water was already starting to boil before you cried out in pain and alarm.

Paul Brian is a freelance journalist. He has reported for BBC, Reuters, and Foreign Policy, and contributed to the Week, The Federalist, and others. He covered the fledgling U.S. alt-right at a 2014 conference in Hungary as well as the 2015 New Hampshire primary, and also made a documentary about his time living in the Republic of Georgia in 2012. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian or visit his website www.paulrbrian.com [19].

48 Comments (Open | Close)

48 Comments To "The Pathetic Inadequacy of the Trump Opposition"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On February 16, 2018 @ 1:14 pm

Trump is definitely a castor oil antidote. But if not him, then them.

#2 Comment By Frank On February 16, 2018 @ 1:19 pm

Now this is TAC material!

#3 Comment By Kent On February 16, 2018 @ 1:48 pm

“The future of a meaningful political alternative to the underlying liberalism, materialism, and me-first individualism on the left and right will revolve around traditionalists and pro-family conservative individuals who define their own destinies instead of letting themselves be engineered into destinies manufactured by multinational corporations and boardroom gremlins with diversity outreach strategies.”

They will have to lose their faith in “Free Market God” first. I don’t believe that will happen.

#4 Comment By Aaron Paolozzi On February 16, 2018 @ 2:56 pm

I enjoyed the heat. The comments made are on point, and this is pretty much what my standard response to reactionary trump dissidents are. Trump is terrible, but so is what came before him, he is just easier to dislike.

Keep it coming.

#5 Comment By One Guy On February 16, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

Even with inadequate opposition, Trump has managed to be the most unpopular president after one year, ever. I’m guessing this speaks to his unique talent of messing things up.

#6 Comment By RVA On February 16, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

Wow! Paul! Babylon burning. Preach it, brother! Takes me back to my teenage years, Ramparts 1968, as another corrupt infrastructure caught fire and burned down. TAC is amazing, the only place to find this in true form.

Either we are history remembering fossils soon gone, or the next financial crash – now inevitable with passage of tax reform (redo of 2001- the rich got their money out, now full speed off the cliff), will bring down this whole mass of absolute corruption. What do you think will happen when Trump is faced with a true crisis? They’re selling off the floorboards. What can remain standing?

And elsewhere in the world, who, in their right mind, would help us? Good riddance to truly dangerous pathology. The world would truly become safer with the USA decommissioned, and then restored, through honest travail, to humility, and humanity.

You are right. Be with small town, front porch, family and neighborhood goodness, and dodge the crashing embers.

The Flying Burrito Brothers: ‘On the thirty-first floor a gold plated door
Won’t keep out the Lord’s burning rain…’

God Bless.

#7 Comment By Donald On February 16, 2018 @ 5:50 pm

I agree with Frank. This was great.

The depressing thing to me is how hard it is to get people to see this. You have people who still think Trump is doing a great job and on the other side people who admire the warmongering Resistance and think Hillary’s vast experience in foreign policy was one of her strengths, rather than one of the main reasons to be disgusted by her. Between the two categories I think you have the majority of American voters.

#8 Comment By Stephen Neetz On February 16, 2018 @ 6:20 pm

Thanks for pointing out at least part of what needs to be said. However, I’ve really had it with the “resistance” moniker. The Resistance is what brave people called themselves as they risked, and in some cases lost, their lives fighting Nazis in WWII Europe. The losers who live on hatred of Trump desecrate the memory of those brave people using the name.

#9 Comment By One Guy On February 16, 2018 @ 6:26 pm

No, Donald, the majority of American voters didn’t like either Trump or Hillary. You dodged that category.

#10 Comment By Colin Chattan On February 16, 2018 @ 7:31 pm

Saeva indignatio worthy of Juvenal. Well done, Mr. Brian!

#11 Comment By Jim O5 retired On February 16, 2018 @ 9:13 pm

“the effective dissidents of the future will be people of various beliefs, but especially the pro-family and faith-driven,”

And just who are these “faith driven” people? Evangelicals who support Trump despite his flagrant moral short comings? Those who flog the good book while closing their eyes at the many transgressions of this buffoon?

And who, exactly, is anti-family? Is a family like mine that supports a woman’s right to choose, people of the same gender being able to have the same legal rights as traditional couples and sane legislation to protect our families from those whose irrational fears drive the sale of more and more guns..are we “anti family”?

#12 Comment By David Nash On February 16, 2018 @ 9:56 pm

OK, you got me.

The headline for this article gave me an instant reaction, thinking it would be a song of gushing praise for His Majesty, Emperor Donald I by a former Conservative-turned-Trumpeteer.

Instead I get a good, if insult-laden statement of much the way I see the current mess. When Democrats have stopped even pretending to care about ordinary folks, and Republicans have sold their souls to a door-to-door salesman, there’s not much about those connected with the ancien régime to raise an eyebrow. (Do they all think the rest of us are that stupid as to go along with their hypocritical nonsense? Yes, they do.)

A pox on all their houses.

Good job.

#13 Comment By EngineerScotty On February 17, 2018 @ 1:45 am

The problem with this analysis is that people who aren’t any of a) Randian uber-capitalists, b) neocons, or c) budding white nationalists… tend not to identify as conservatives at all.

Groups a and b, after all, tried to ride the tiger of c until it devoured them.

This is not to say that Democrats or liberals are blameless, but if you can’t out the Jeff Flakes and Mitt Romneys and George Wills… who is left in the GOP? A handful of religious conservatives, and the MAGA crowd.

If you want a political who isn’t a supply Sider, nor a warmonger, nor a racist–you need to go looking in the Democratic Party.

#14 Comment By Realist On February 17, 2018 @ 3:34 am

Trump doesn’t appear to have core principles.

#15 Comment By Dan Green On February 17, 2018 @ 7:26 am

Well said, covered the entire spectrum. And folks on the left, wonder why Trump was elected.

#16 Comment By connecticut farmer On February 17, 2018 @ 9:11 am

“A president like Donald Trump is only possible in a country with opposition voices of such subterranean caliber.”

Bingo! Truer words were never written.

#17 Comment By high plains drifter On February 17, 2018 @ 9:12 am

“don’t get taken in by these charlatans [Bushies, Cohen, Kagans, etc.]”

No sir. They were the problem before Trump was the problem. And Trump is a problem in great part because he almost immediately reverted to neocon and Establishment defaults.

The only real problem they have with Trump is that he didn’t start out right, and that he says things that embarrass them among their nice liberal friends. Too much “America First” and “both sides” and not enough “more war” and Emma Lazarus. But after a year in which he did nothing about immigration, work visas, or trade deals, in which he stripped away the meager defenses built to prevent another financial collapse and taxpayer ripoff, in which he spread and intensified the Middle East wars and did nothing to roll back the surveillance state built by Bush and Obama, neocon complaints about Trump sound half-hearted if not hollow.

Because for the neocons 90 percent of it is always about “what does Israel want?”. On that score, Trump hates Iran, handed Bibi a check for $38 billion, moved the embassy to Jerusalem, humored Saudi Arabia’s butcher prince and Egypt’s butcher president, and openly kicked the Palestinians to the curb. The other ten percent for the neocons is keeping the ForeverWars raging and immigration flowing. No problem there either. Syria – check. Yemen – check. Libya – check. Afghanistan – check. Africa(!) – check. Plus more immigrants per year under Trump than Obama, and Trump actually lifted the cap on work on visas for Wall Street and Silicon Valley. So, in their hearts, they really love Trump. The only real quibble they have with him now is who controls The Swamp, who gets to hand out government jobs and other largesse.

#18 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 17, 2018 @ 9:27 am

I just think that Pres. Trump has unmasked what the “never trumpers” so called have always held in secret.

I think what they hate is that he is demonstrating what has been reality behind closed doors. The violations of others states sovereignty is just as much a part of his polity as trheirs. He iis expanding the Syrian and Ukrainian issues. He is expanding spending. He is expanding homeland security. There hasn’t really been a deep change in the economic policy reigning in free wheeling unfair business practices. He folded on immigration —-

I am unsure what it is they have to complain about — the superficial yakity yak about color politics, age old private behaviors, his uncouth manner . . .

I voted for their Pres. to do some gymnastics to change policy. To attend to the long work of changing direction — well, I am still waiting.

I am very fond of Pres bush and the Bush family, but a complaint the current President just needs a better suit to their model is not very persuasive. I voted for this candidate because he said he unlike the others in ways I approved to policy. But he appears to have been very adeptly corralled into what he opposed.

#19 Comment By Steve On February 17, 2018 @ 11:06 am

What a bizarre article. Is this HuffPo? Trump has done pretty good for someone whom the snooty East coast bow tie folk think is an idiot. You’d better get used to him; he’s going to be around for a long time and things will look very different by the time he’s finished. Sorry, Rod!

#20 Comment By Pear Conference On February 17, 2018 @ 11:10 am

If you start from the premise that “the Resistance’s leading messengers” are George W. Bush, Chelsea Handler, and Jeff Flake, then the rest of the argument is necessarily unmoored from reality.

#21 Comment By Michael Kenny On February 17, 2018 @ 11:12 am

Sounds like sour grapes. Since Putin is now openly interfering in the Italian election in favour of the Lega Nord, it seems imporbable that he didn’t also interfere in the US election, so the credibility of those who say so in the US hardly matters: we have it from the horse’s mouth! An intriguing point from the potted bibliography: I can’t help wondering what a US far right group that preaches “non-intervention” was doing a a conference in Hungary.

#22 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On February 17, 2018 @ 11:21 am

Unless the establishments of both parties understand that the universal attitude is “everything’s better than your lot”, the next one will be somebody making Trump look like a dove.

#23 Comment By PAX On February 17, 2018 @ 11:30 am

Flatout opposition to Trump is tough. Most liberals support Israel and its opportunistic foreign policy. Trump is Israel’s biggest supporter. Conservative business people are generally happy with the expanding economy. Many workers are fed up with open borders. Many regular folks are plain sick of having diversity thrust down their throats by political contrivers. In other words, Trump has expanded his base by default. Where would we be with Hillary? Same unselfish support for Israel, more correlative wars, a stalled economy, diversity mandated and institutionalized, and massive increases in immigration? Open borders? A dilemma? We need a JFK or Ron Paul type to step forward with American first values flowing through their veins and a real respect for economic justice.

#24 Comment By Stephen Gould On February 17, 2018 @ 2:40 pm

But do the faith-based voters think like that about Trump? Or is that faith – at least, electorally – a proxy for something else far less pleasant?

#25 Comment By Someone in the crowd On February 17, 2018 @ 6:28 pm

Amen.

#26 Comment By Mary On February 17, 2018 @ 6:44 pm

This is quite excellent! I’m not sure of the way forward, but I feel a little less alone as the world burns around me. Thank you for that.

#27 Comment By Chris in Appalachia On February 17, 2018 @ 7:05 pm

More from this author, please.

#28 Comment By Ziggy77 On February 17, 2018 @ 10:11 pm

Good to know TAC is still publishing unhinged weirdos. Unfortunately they are no longer of the paleocon variety.

#29 Comment By E On February 18, 2018 @ 2:17 am

Didn’t need to read past this.

To be fair, Trump is worthy of opposition. An ignorant, reactive egotist who needs to have his unfounded suppositions and inaccuracies constantly validated by a sycophantic staff of people who’d be rejected even for a reality show version of the White House, he really is an unstable excuse for a leader and an inveterate misogynist and all the other things

To be fair, this is boilerplate anti Trump garbage we’ve heard hundreds of times. Do you people think you’re the first to call him a misogynists or a idiot? We get. You’re not leftest and you’re above Trump. We get it.

The NeverTrump commenters and the status signaling posters may be why the sites dying.

#30 Comment By JeffK On February 18, 2018 @ 8:19 am

Good article. Nothing more to say.

#31 Comment By Les Than Paul On February 18, 2018 @ 12:58 pm

I’m going to start a website called “The American Liberal” and post conservative stories

#32 Comment By got that On February 18, 2018 @ 2:37 pm

@E “To be fair, this is boilerplate anti Trump garbage we’ve heard hundreds of times. Do you people think you’re the first to call him a misogynists or a idiot? We get. You’re not leftest and you’re above Trump. We get it.”

No, we get it alright. We voted for a New York real estate guy, and a New York real estate guy is what we got. It’s all about Wall Street, Israel, and f*** “America First”.

#33 Comment By told you so On February 18, 2018 @ 2:44 pm

New York rich guy screws the flyover folk who believed in him. Big surprise.

#34 Comment By Someone in the crowd On February 18, 2018 @ 5:39 pm

Just wondering out loud here … if TAC publishes and article on home canning and pickling, how will Michael Kenny manage to connect that to Putin and his centrality to everything? He’s proven he has the industry to come through, can’t wait to find out though.

#35 Comment By Someone in the crowd On February 18, 2018 @ 5:40 pm

Just wondering out loud here … if TAC publishes an article on home canning and pickling, how will Michael Kenny manage to connect that to Putin and his centrality to everything? He’s proven he has the industry to come through, can’t wait to find out though.

#36 Comment By Did you ever see a dream walking? On February 18, 2018 @ 9:31 pm

@E — “We get [it]. You’re not left[i]st and you’re above Trump. We get it.The NeverTrump commenters and the status signaling posters may be why the sites dying.”

TAC – dying since 2002!

Seriously, I reckon about half of us (TAC writers and commenters, and many more commenters than writers) voted for the guy, and that, at the moment at least, less than half those of us who voted for him would do it again.

And as to being “on the right” and feeling like we’re above Trump, you bet your ass we’re better than he is. The vast majority who voted for Trump are better than he is. We didn’t vote for him because we think he’s better than us. We voted for him because we thought he was likelier to do what we want than Hillary was. So far that’s not working out too well, and if it doesn’t work out, Trump’s gonna be gone.

#37 Comment By VikingLS On February 19, 2018 @ 12:28 am

“The problem with this analysis is that people who aren’t any of a) Randian uber-capitalists, b) neocons, or c) budding white nationalists… tend not to identify as conservatives at all.”

I am starting to believe somebody hijacked your handle, because it’s hard to believe after all these years commenting here, you actually believe this.

#38 Comment By Dan Green On February 19, 2018 @ 8:46 am

If nothing else, Trump has caused us to take a good look in the mirror. The Fantasies both parties have been peddling for such a long time were just that fantasy.

#39 Comment By Marc On February 19, 2018 @ 10:28 am

As I liberal, I can only say YES. There is no voice on either side that resonates enough to get through the static of Trump. But I also think that is because he has managed to achieve something no president has done: reduce the media to an untrustworthy pile of liberal elites.
And the media has itself to blame. They lapped up his candidacy as a ratings boom and gave him countless hours to spew his nonsense without a shred of journalistic integrity. (See: CNN) Once Trump positioned himself for the nomination, it was too late. He didn’t invent fake news, but he perfected equating it with any negative coverage.
Now we have a bubble successfully formed over 40 percent of the population that refuses to believe any credible reports of his many shocking actions. Is Meuller the answer to breaking this spell? Doubt it. We have at least three more years of this without nary a check and balance in sight. Let’s hope the economy or world is still standing by that time.

#40 Comment By Delia Ruhe On February 19, 2018 @ 1:05 pm

“It’s social conservatives who are also opposed to war and exploitation of the working class who have the best moral bona fides to effectively oppose Trump…”

Sure, there must be at least 6 of them somewhere in the US. However, their “moral bona fides” also include misogyny, anti-science, and semi-litertate biblical backwardness.

#41 Comment By tammie lee haynes On February 19, 2018 @ 1:26 pm

“Who, exactly, is anti-family? Is a family like mine that supports a woman’s right to choose, and blah blah blah…..?

You endorse murderous, barbaric, ignorant and stupid idea of killing innocent and defenseless human beings by the million, because without having even a coherent reason you decree them to be inferior human beings, so inferior they can be killed on a whim. When you do that, who cares cares whether you’re “anti- family”?

#42 Comment By Delia Ruhe On February 19, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

If you’re against abortion, tammie-lee, don’t have one. After all, you live in America, where you’re free to practice whatever religion you choose.

#43 Comment By Edward Hara On February 19, 2018 @ 10:45 pm

The election of 2016 was the first election in which the American public had a clear choice: vote for Satan or vote for his sister, who is actually much more evil than he is, he being simply stupid. Satan’s nephew made a good-showing until the sister pulled some strings to get him hauled back to his little Socialist paradise in the Northeast.

The age of statesmen with no moral skeletons in their closets and shining ethics is long gone. I just wish I wasn’t so old – it would be interesting to see who picks up the pieces and how it gets rebuilt.

#44 Comment By EngineerScotty On February 20, 2018 @ 1:41 pm

“The problem with this analysis is that people who aren’t any of a) Randian uber-capitalists, b) neocons, or c) budding white nationalists… tend not to identify as conservatives at all.”

I am starting to believe somebody hijacked your handle, because it’s hard to believe after all these years commenting here, you actually believe this.

I said “tend not to”.

I’m well aware of the existence of “seamless garment” Christians who are progressive on issues of foreign and economic policy, conservative on social issues, and not motivated by racial animus–and who side with the conservative coalition because, e.g. they think abortion (or some other issue) trumps all other concerns. Many of them chime in here. Many of them despise Trump, even if they held their nose and voted for him to secure Gorsuch or block Hillary.

But there just simply aren’t that many of them.

I also know many socially conservative Christians who hold their noses and vote for Democrats simply because the GOP has become too toxic due to various combinations of a, b, and c.

Most Republicans and conservative-leaning voters that I know, OTOH, ARE motivated (to some extent) by one of those three factors. Perhaps they aren’t “Randian uber-capitalists”, but they want lower taxes and a smaller social safety net, which they believe breeds dependency among the lumpens. Perhaps they aren’t “neocons”, but they enjoy militarism and knee-jerk patriotism far too much, and believe nonsense about “apology tours”. And perhaps they aren’t anything near a Klansman or a neo-Nazi, and may have friends and neighbors who are minority–but view advancing minority rights (and an increasing minority population) as a threat.

People are, of course, complicated.

#45 Comment By Fender Bender On February 20, 2018 @ 5:07 pm

@Les than Paul : “I’m going to start a website called “The American Liberal” and post conservative stories”

Okey doke. Just make sure they’re conservative stories as in American conservative, not “conservative” like Fox News, WSJ, other globalist Murdoch cult crap.

#46 Comment By EliteCommInc. On February 20, 2018 @ 8:33 pm

“Sure, there must be at least 6 of them somewhere in the US. However, their “moral bona fides” also include misogyny, anti-science, and semi-litertate biblical backwardness.”

Obviously you don’t many or any for that matter. But allow me to reflect your sarcasm. I should admit my moral failing here:

post graduate, I actually enjoy and appreciate the value of science, love women with brains kindness and long legs, etc. are whhhufta in my view, though I confess to a low level of biblical expertise

But I wouldn’t take seriously anyone who contends that murdering children in or out of the womb is moral because they disabuse the very basics of human development – one repeatedly verified by science. Human development begins at conception — humans create humans.

Maybe my bible ignorance is getting in the way.

#47 Comment By Jordan Ramsay On February 27, 2018 @ 3:27 am

Interesting read.

If you are upset by this being anti- or pro-Trump, I suggest you look at the larger scheme of what he is arguing. This is bigger than the Trump era. This pokes at the hypocrisy of those who are just now calling out political injustice and are blindly attributing all of it to Donald Trump. While he sure deserves a substantial amount of that criticism, Brian is very clearly (and usually objectively) calling out both sides of the aisle for their damaging contributions to humanitarian crises on a global scale.

Mr. Brian, you take an interesting perspective here. It is reminiscent of something quasi-anarchist and almost includes populist sentiment deriving from the dead center (or perhaps slightly to the right of) the political spectrum. I see your argument clearly, but I think it often gets lost in tangential deviations that distract what credibility and logic you offer via objectively reported historical examples.

I’m critiquing this piece for an American Political Thought course and found this to be extremely interesting piece. Brilliant in some ways, offsetting in others, but in general, a worthwhile piece to consider.

Looking forward to reading more from this author.

#48 Comment By Sid Finster On August 13, 2018 @ 11:58 am

Gangsta article. More of this, please.