Wednesday, 9/28/16

  1. Trump’s promised perfidy
  2. HRC’s grievance-mongering
  3. Citizen, Client, Grievant
  4. The product, not just the launch
  5. Red Pill

1

Even those of us most worried about a Clinton presidency need to wield a plausible exit threat, else what influence can we really exert over any party? And if Donald Trump is not reason enough to follow through on this threat, what possible Republican candidate would be? David Duke?

Trump’s policies, such as they are, usually come down to America breaking its promises. In the debate, he doubled-down on his previous pledge to back out of defending our NATO allies (who came to our defense after 9/11). Later in the debate he casually said we can’t defend Japan, another nation with whom we have a mutual defense treaty. This promised perfidy is of a piece with his rhetoric about tearing up deals and starting trade wars …. He then brushed off the idea that stop-and-frisk policing was unconstitutional—not by taking the chance to give us any sense of how he understands the Constitution, but with flat denials. It seems that, like America’s treaties, the Constitution is just another document waiting to be renegotiated.

Donald Trump’s appeal is bound up in his transgressive persona. He does what is Just Not Done …

What were most disturbing in his first debate performance were the times he chose to acknowledge his past dishonors brazenly, to frame them as matters of pride. This was how he reacted when confronted about his refusal to release his tax returns (“that makes me smart”), his bilking of contractors (“I was unsatisfied with his work”), and his tax-dodging (“it would have been squandered”).

This year is a chance for conservatives to demonstrate that we actually care about America’s honor. We should not endorse a man who built his career and his campaign on faithlessness ….

(Alexi Sargeant) Read the whole thing; I left a lot out.

2

I gazed for days in horror at a 12-car pileup at the Stream:

From Ferguson to Baltimore, Tulsa to Charlotte — and on college campuses from coast-to-coast — a great divide is sweeping America [Is “sweeping” what a divide does?]. It is fueled [Divides need fuel to sweep?] largely, if not entirely, by half-truths and outright lies. Truth is irrelevant. Only the narrative matters. When “Hands Up Don’t Shoot™” can do so very much to further “the cause,” [Scare quotes! Something wicked this way comes!] it matters not that it represents a holocaust-denial-level [A second degree reductio ad Hitlerum!] of detachment from reality.

Which tells you everything you need to know about the cause.

This is by design. These embers of racial division [“resentment” seems more ember-like than “division,” no?] are purposely fanned to a red-hot flame by certain political leaders, “social justice” warriors and “community organizers” (cut principally from the same ideological cloth) in order to permanently ingrain a turbulent level of cultural division [It burns! It burns!] based solely upon the varying shades of people’s skin. This, in turn, is intended to provoke widespread governmental dependency and, thus, one-party political control in perpetuity.

Yet, even at its core the idea of racial division, of separate “races,” is a myth. To sub-divide humanity based upon varying levels of skin pigmentation and subtle physical features is to rely upon the weakest of genetic markers.

Science Dispels the Myth of ‘Race’ 

In a Feb. 5 Scientific American article titled, “Race is a Social Construct, Scientists Argue,” … [multiple paragraphs to the effect that race is a pigment of the imagination/social construct/whatever].

That race is a pigment of the imagination is a proposition with which I completely agree and which, like several truisms I believe, is completely useless for the foreseeable future in an America with a history of slavery and an underclass that disproportionately has darker skin tones.

I now suspect that Barber was trying to say something like this:

The facts in the Charlotte, NC, shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott are these: he was shot after refusing repeated loud verbal commands to drop a gun. A gun was found on the scene with his fingerprints on it, along with an ankle holster. Video recordings provide a clear audible record of these commands. Yet the Times story says: “Body and dashboard camera footage released on Saturday provided no clear evidence that Mr. Scott had a gun. In the video, Mr. Scott’s arms were at his sides and he was backing away from his vehicle when he was shot.

It happened that the various vehicles parked on the scene interfered with the all the video footage of the critical moment: dashboard cam, officer’s body cam, and the cell phone cam of Mr. Scott’s wife. But the insinuation seems to be that because the video doesn’t show a gun, perhaps there wasn’t one.

The police insist that Mr. Scott was holding a gun. Why is The New York Times bent on ambiguating this story? The officer who shot Mr. Scott was black. The Charlotte police chief is black. Does theTimes mean to say that they are incompetent, dishonest, and reckless? Does the Times seek to reinforce a popular notion that police in general, including black police and their supervisors, are determined to oppress black Americans generally? Does the Times wish to sow even more distrust and animosity between black America and the police?

It sure seems that way. And what is The New York Times’s interest in dragging out the supposed ambiguity of the Scott case? I shall tell you why: because yielding to the obvious truth in the matter would not support the election campaign meme that Black America requires the protection of the Democratic Party against genocidal police forces across the nation.

(James Howard Kunstler) In short, New York Times is playing a kind of identity politics.

In a similar vein, though he’s not as colorful as Kunstler, Rod Dreher cites a lawsuit against Palantir Technologies by the U.S. Labor Department (for hiring too few Asians, of all things) and a New York Times opinion essay by a $135,000+ per year Yale professor asking whether America has a plan for his life:

The reason I bring this up in light of the Labor Department’s lawsuit is to highlight the priorities of SJWs [Social Justice Warriors], and what we can expect from four more years of a Democratic administration. We can expect an administration so in thrall to progressive racial politics that it will go after firms like Palantir for relatively minor issues and see the racialized special pleading of a black Yale professor in the top 14 percent as a cri de coeur that deserves privileging by the state.

I found that Lebron essay because one of you readers wrote last night in this space that it may be an example of why Trump is doing so well. That could be. Me, I think Trump is racist to some degree, but I also believe it’s true about Hillary Clinton, in the sense that she, like many progressives, believes that racial bias when it’s exercised on behalf of nonwhites is virtuous. Put another way, I believe that Hillary is predisposed to think that the snowflakey complaints of a black Yale assistant professor (or a transgender high school student) deserve far more attention than the struggles of poor white people in Mississippi trailer parks. And, being a Democrat, she’s predisposed to believe that the absence of full equality can only mean that someone, somewhere, was treated unjustly, and that equality can and must be forced by government action, no matter how much injustice against individuals has to be committed by the government to achieve equality.

“Predisposed to believe” or not, Hillary will wage Social Justice Warfare to wed various identity groups (racial and sexual particularly) to the Democrat Party more securely.

I believe that’s the very plausible point of Barber, Kunstler and Dreher. Clinton would continue what Obama has been doing with his Title IX Potty Rule overreach, the Palantir lawsuit (perhaps), and others.

3

I’ve had the fleeting temptation to vote for Trump just because he’ll smash the regime quicker and more colorfully than Clinton. But (sigh!) those who say “it couldn’t get any worse” are invariably fools. Smashing just to see what emerges next is never conservative.

But if Hillary’s elected, we’re going to see a subtler turn, seemingly in continuity with the regime: the aforesaid identity politics, a label to which I prefer “grievance mongering.” In the end, it too may become a regime change, though thinking through how that plays out is above my pay grade beyond a crude 3-part schematic, of my own devising:

“Citizen” ——(FDR)——> “Client” ——(HRC)——> “Grievant”

4

… a marriage is always more important than a wedding.

It’s tempting to focus on the product launch …

(Seth Godin)

5

I should rename this blog “Red Pill” (H/T Rod Dreher), though someone beat me to it, sort of, at Reddit (which platform I totally don’t get). And I really should set aside an evening to watch The Matrix, the better to know what Red Pill connotes.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.