American Elephants

What Indeed Does It Mean to Be A Conservative? by The Elephant's Child

When I got online yesterday, I had a message from Ricochet that they had a new podcast with Jay Nordlinger and Yuval Levin talking about “What Does It Mean to Be a Conservative?”— and my initial thought was”Oh no, Here we go again!” As a long-time Republican and, I thought, a Conservative—I have reached the conclusion that there is a section of the Republican party that is far more comfortable speaking and writing about what it means to be a Conservative, and sharing memories of Buckley and Reagan than discussing such intractable ideas about the fat kid in charge of North Korea, or the people revolting in Iran. They care about the history of Conservatism, and the thoughts of early Conservatives, and the words of the founding fathers. It’s comfortable.

There is within the Republican party a group of “Never Trump”people who seem to be offended by President Trump’s tweets. We’ve never  had a president before who tweets. It’s not presidential, they say. Why not? Tweeting is popular, the language is usually coarse and insults fly. The president’s tweets seem more designed to tweak the very unfriendly media than anything else. The list of real accomplishments keeps growing.

He speaks a little differently, but Dan Bongino, who is from Queens, says that President Trump talks like somebody from Queens. This is apparently grounds for insisting that the President is insane, intellectually challenged, ignorant, dumb, and a psychiatric problem running around loose in the White House, when he should be incarcerated.

Yet for someone so intellectually challenged, he defeated  16 of the most qualified candidates ever to grace a Republican electorate. He is clearly ignorant, yet the stock market is reaching new highs, corporations and small businesses are celebrating the removal of unneeded regulations. Business is investing. Almost everyone is getting a tax cut. And the president is working for free.

Daniel Greenfield, who has a sharp eye and a sharper pen, says that the new civil war is being fought by lawyers in blue or gray suits not with bullets, but with bullet points.

From the Mueller investigation to Federal judges declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the right to control immigration policy or command the military, from political sabotage at the DOJ by Obama appointees like Sally Yates to Patagonia’s lawsuit over national monuments, the cold civil war set off by the left’s rejection of the 2016 election results has been a paper war largely waged by lawyers.  …and

Federal judges have seized previously unimaginable amounts of power by not only blocking orders that had always been considered an essential part of presidential authority on flimsy premises that when dissected amount to a critique of President Trump’s character (not to mention the sovereign entitlement of the University of Hawaii to set national immigration policy for the entire country based on its urgent need for Syrian grad students), but by demanding that agencies under the control of the President of the United States enact their orders, such as accepting transgender military recruits.

Some have insisted that it is a “class” matter. Americans usually choose their presidents from the governing class. Politicians, who understand how politics is played, and who speak in the measured tones of what is considered acceptable and what is not. But we have learned and are learning anew that the political class is not and never has been of sterling character and without flaws, foibles and faults. It’s a thankless job, and when they’re through, biographers will sort out all their many character failings, disparage their accomplishments, and they will go on the list of past presidents, to be blamed for future events that don’t turn out well.

So far, in spite of all, we remain a free people. Democrats form organizations like the Democracy Alliance, an exclusive club for leftists of great means who will invest their political dollars together to have the greatest influence. The Center for American Progress controls the language and issues talking point judged to be most effective in the political battle, which will be repeated endlessly by the leftist-leaning media. President Trump’s emerging tax plan will benefit at least 80% of taxpayers, yet the public is opposed to his tax plan—because most believe that the tax cuts are only for the rich, as Democrats have been screeching for weeks. And Conservatives are still huddling, and talking about what it means to be a true conservative.

We are deep in a political war for control of the country. Republicans care about free speech, free people, and the Democrats want control. Human nature is messy, we fight, quarrel, invent, fail, are foolish, brilliant, succeed and fail. You never know what to expect. Democrats want a more orderly world of which they approve. Everyone, in their glorious future will be equal, there will be no more wars, no more quarrels. That will not be allowed. They are a little short on history, and assume that they have dreamed up something new.

6 Comments so far
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Trump *is* one of the “leadership” class, though– he’s been doing political stuff since forever.

Dems don’t like him because he’s a traitor, and he’s effective. Double-KO!

Republicans have different reasons– I am not sure I trust him, although given the chance I’d thank him and praise him to his face for the good stuff he’s done. (Not sure if it’s a genuine change of heart or if he’s just pissed at the various underhanded stuff and is going “I’ll show them all!” About the only thing I am sure I believe him on is his pro-life conversion, and I can’t place why I believe him– it just rings true. I suspect his lady wife may be involved if there’s been a change of heart.)

Some Republicans don’t like that he’s rocking the boat, and some object to various philosophical differences and choices of allies. (the Breitbart mess, for example)

Some object because he’s a *really effective* example of someone burnt by the Dems coming over to the Republicans, and that tends to work about as well as people fleeing California taxes for the new place they find. -.-

Oh, and there’s a definite string of reasons to be worried in some of his followers, who I think are more responsible for the idea that Trump is a hardline Dem who just likes screwing with people than he is!


Comment by Foxfier

Donald Trump has operated successfully in a very Democratic city for years, and of course that is playing politics. But politics within the federal government is an entirely different thing. For Conservatives, he may be a Republican, but he’s not a real “Conservative” They don’t like the way he talks and they don’t like the way he tweets, though he seems to be playing the media successfully.

His appointments are outstanding: Nikki Haley, Jim Mattis, John Kelly, Scott Pruitt, a raft of justices even beyond the Supreme Court , and I could go on and on. The accomplishments so far are really significant.
The economy is on fire, employment is way up, unemployment low, business is hiring, investing and expanding. More foreign investment. Trump doesn’t get to choose his followers, no president does—you are falling for the Democrat talking points which are attempting to discredit the president because he has some questionable followers, yet Bill Ayres, the Commies, and all the crooks on the Democrat side are fine? All those sexual abusers don’t seem to be Republicans. Republicans seem to be unaware that we are in a war for our survival as a free people quite literally, because the whole effort of the Obama administration was to limit that freedom permanently.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

you are falling for the Democrat talking points which are attempting to discredit the president because he has some questionable followers

No, I am using the same sane standard I use for anybody else– if a whole lot of really, really bad people thing somebody is the bee’s knees, and their reasons are objectionable, then I consider that maybe they have a point, especially when there is support for what they say they like about him.

That standard is why I didn’t like Obama, and if I’d been old enough to make a judgement before it became publicly obvious I wouldn’t have liked the Clintons, and hell why my reaction to most “feminist allies” is to figure out where I left my gun and what improvised weapons are at hand.


Comment by Foxfier

Keep commenting. I enjoy your comments.


Comment by The Elephant's Child


As you probably noticed, I enjoy your writing. You’re one of my trustworthy news-routes, all the more because you can hold your side of an argument. (I’ve had to drop several places because they flatly melt down when they hit something they don’t like– you, OTOH, challenge yourself)


Comment by Foxfier

Conservatives are a dying breed in our federal government which is a shame. Republicans have moved to the left in last 18 years. Recent evidence of this is failing to repeal the dreadful ACA aka Obamacare. In last years election, our $20 trillion debt was a non issue. Trump is no conservative and won on a populous campaign. Trump has done well in the first year as president. His tweets can get off message but not a big deal to me.


Comment by Douglas Allen

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