Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Health Care, Media Bias, Politics, Progressives, The Constitution, Unemployment | Tags: Election 2016, Historicism, Voting Blocs
The picture in the post below of the young man holding a homemade sign saying “DEPORT FASHISOM!” was pretty typical. He probably has no idea what fascism is. One of the biggest problems of the Left is that they believe their own propaganda.
Lots of very big words flung around: populism, illiberalism, misogyny, historicism, positivism and of course, the inevitable and constant “racism,” that offer nothing in the way of understanding. John Marini offered some real understanding in the Claremont Review of Books. The piece is long, and I had to look up the big words, but it’s worth your time and provides real food for thought.
Since the end of the Cold War, American leaders have understood their offices in terms of global and administrative rule, rather than political rule on behalf of the American people and the sovereignty of the American nation. Yet those offices were established on the foundation of the moral authority of the people and their Constitution. Once elected or appointed, politicians and bureaucrats have utilized their will, in both domestic and foreign policy, in an unrestrained manner on behalf of bureaucratic rule. They govern on the implicit premise of elections as plebiscites, but it is no longer clear who confers the legitimacy of an electoral mandate. Bureaucratic rule has become so pervasive that it is no longer clear that government is legitimized by the consent of the governed. Rather it is the consent of the various national—and often international—social, economic, political, and cultural interest groups that determine the outcome of elections. True political rule requires, at a minimum, the participation of citizens in their own rule, even if not in government itself. But this is possible only when people understand themselves as citizens and when the regime recognizes them as citizens. This requires distinguishing American citizens from all others and identifying them as one people.
American elections have increasingly been framed by Washington professionals. Social scientists, media pundits, and policy professionals may tilt liberal or conservative and may differ in their party preferences, but they are united in their dependence upon intellectual authority, derived from empirical science and its methodology, in their understanding of politics and economics. At the same time, historicism or (critical theory) has established itself as the closest thing to a public philosophy when it comes to understanding history, society, and culture. Applied to elections, the empirical method required that politics be understood in terms of measurable and quantifiable aggregates. This proved compatible with the positivist understanding of law and interest group liberalism. Critical post-modern theory established personal autonomy and group diversity as central to what is morally defensible in terms of public policy. As a result, political partisanship and analysis has focused on race, class, gender, and other such demographics, to provide the kind of information that has become central to the shaping and predicting of elections and to legitimize dividing the electorate into categories that came to be understood in moral terms. Consequently, political campaigns have made a science of dividing the electorate into groups and reassembling them as voting blocs committed to specific policies and issues denominated by the demographic categories themselves. This strategy requires the systematic mobilization of animosity to ensure participation by identifying and magnifying what it is that must be opposed.
Do read the whole thing. Mr. Trump has brought in a great assortment of free market experts for advice as he works on filling out his cabinet and advisory team.
Here’s an astonishing fact about the expansion of the administrative state. President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Council numbered 25 people. Barack Obama’s National Security Council is over 400 people.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Education, Election 2016, Energy, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Immigration, Intelligence, Law, Politics, Progressives, The Constitution, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: A Long-Term War, The Election Aftermath, The State of Our Universities
I didn’t post anything yesterday, the freakouts around the country were just too much. When I got online this afternoon, checked my e-mail, and noticed the headline on one item “The Brain Restoration Project”, and I thought ‘oh good, they’re doing something about these ignorant protests’, but no such luck. It was a phishing thing trying to get demented older people to sign up for their medicine to prevent Alzheimers. But it’s still all riots and freakouts or speculation about who will be the next person named to the incoming administration and what Trump will do.
Here is clearly part of the remedy, but too late, too late! They’ve already become infantalized. Puppies and coloring books at some colleges, chocolates and puppies elsewhere.
There is something drastically wrong with our colleges and universities. It’s not something wrong with the kids, it’s the administration who are offering safe spaces and coloring books and puppies. How did this happen? And why aren’t the parents who are footing the bill raising Cain? Certainly they did in the case of Mizzou, and it affected their bottom line pretty dramatically.
Of course under the Obama administration any university that receives federal money has been required to have diversity officers, same-sex bathrooms and I’m sure there have been many other rules handed down. The Left wants the kids indoctrinated, and that’s what is happening.
Filed under: Freedom, History, Law, Politics, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: A Blessing from the Founders, Understanding the Constitution, Why not a Straight Popular Vote?
It’s about the time of year when people start complaining about the Electoral College, sure that it must be a bad thing. Understanding how it works and why we have it is important. It’s a very American institution, and it really is a good thing. We have a lot to be grateful to the founders for.
Ask yourself just why we have a Senate, with every state assigned two Senators. The House of Representatives represents the people and the population, The Senate represents the States, so that big populous states like California and New York have equal representation to the small state with fewer people. The Founders did a very impressive job of creating our Republic.
The Electoral College is based on the same principles. Since Hillary did very well in the popular vote, you will hear plenty of outcry from the Democrats, demanding that we do away with the Electoral College. This brief video from Prager University explains why that would be a very bad idea.
Filed under: Election 2016, Free Markets, Freedom, History, Humor, Media Bias, Politics, Progressivism, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Election 2016, Newsweek Magazine, The Telegraph UK
From Britain’s The Telegraph today. “Hillary Clinton signs a copy of Newsweek’s ‘Madam President’ commemorative magazine on November 7. They printed one for Donald Trump, too, just in case. The old photo of Harry Truman holding up the newspaper with the Dewey wins headline remains a caution to the press. Can’t help but enjoy it.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Crime, Domestic Policy, Economy, Education, Immigration, National Security, Politics, Progressives, Taxes, The Constitution, Unemployment | Tags: Our Public Servants, They Don't Mean That, They Forget Their Place
Instead of polling the American people about Washington D.C. some academics from Johns Hopkins tried something new and different. They reversed the question, and polled Washington about the American people.
“What they found was a combination of ignorance, contempt and disdain.”
Survey data from the polled group — staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill plus career civil servants and the policy community of lobbyists and others who work closely with government from outside it — indicate that the functionary class thinks of itself as our betters. Our bosses, not our representatives. They see their own judgment as being far superior to that of the rest of us — the people whose wishes they are supposed to be carrying out.
The findings were revealing: By a huge margin, the bureaucrats said they knew better than the public what was right for the public. On Social Security, twice as many bureaucrats said they knew best. On crime, three times as many bureaucrats said their way was superior. On the environment, the ratio was almost four to one.
Why am I not surprised that they feel so self-important on matters environmental?
The academics presented the bureaucrats with simple multiple-choice quizzes. 65 percent of the DC insiders guessed that the median household income was lower than the reality (about $52,000 a year). Four out of five respondents thought the percent of the population that is white (78 percent of Americans) much less. Sixty four percent thought the percentage of American who had a high school diploma was much lower than it is (85 percent). Eighty percent of respondents thought the rate of homeownership is much lower than it is (67 percent).
They proudly call themselves “public servants” but they define it a little differently.
Thus the instructions they give us are usually off the mark. They are usually pushing “urgent, disastrous fixes for imaginary problems.” Out-of-touch doesn’t even begin to cover the problems. Half the problems with Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare can be laid to poor regulations. Officials vastly overestimate (by 8 percentage points) the proportion of Americans who support increasing government spending in areas like education, welfare, child care and crime prevention. They are sure that we want them to solve more of our problems.
They think enforcing existing immigration law as unnecessary or even undesirable. It would be impractical or racist anyway. They believe that terrorism or jihadism is under control. (71 percent of the public thinks its a big problem.) They don’t think that the people know anything about the policies created to deal with these problems. They think of themselves in a paternalistic fashion, taking care of the people. The poor unfortunate stupid people to whom they report. Do read the whole thing. It explains a lot.
“The revelations in the new book “What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People,” by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg, serve up the side benefit of providing a partial explanation for the rise of Donald Trump.”