Friday, September 25, 2015

Rebuilding a Conservative Movement I

The trouble with the donor class, by and large, is that it is resistant to change because it doesn't want to change. The Democratic and Republican donor classes donate for their business interests, but the Democratic donor class has a radical edge. Groups like the Democracy Alliance want a fundamental transformation of the country. And they understand how they can make money off that.

There are too many Republican single issue donors who are fairly liberal on everything outside that issue. And there are too many big business interests and financial folks who live in major cities and only differ from liberals in their economic policy.

The trouble with fiscally conservative and socially liberal is that the left is not a buffet. You don't get to pick a combo identity. Fiscally liberal follows socially liberal as day follows night. All those single people, their babies need assorted government benefits. No amount of lectures on "liberty" will change that. Austrian economics is never going to displace food stamps for the socially insecure.

A lot of the Republican donor class would like to have its cake and eat it too. It wants the fun of a liberal society without having to pay the bill. It wants cheap Third World labor without wanting to cover their health care, the school taxes and all the other social welfare goodies.

But it doesn't work that way. There's no free ride.

Yes, they can move to a township where the property taxes are killer, and dump their pool guy and tree trimmer and maid in some city to live in housing projects at the expense of that city's shrinking middle class and working class. And it can work for a while, until all those cheap laborers get community organized and the organizers take over the city. And then the state.

And then there are housing projects in the township, everyone is plugged into the same statewide school tax scheme and the left runs everything and taxes everything.

The wealthier members of the donor class can outrun this process longer. Or just live with it while funding groups that promote "Liberty", the way the Koch Brothers do, but the bill always comes due.

You can't outrun the political implications of poverty in a democracy. And you can't stop those political trends without addressing the social failures that cause them. A socially liberal society will become politically and economically liberal. Importing Third World labor also imports Third World politics, which veer between Marxism and Fascism all the way to the Islamic Jihad.

Everything is connected. You can't choose one without the other.

We're not going to have some libertarian utopia in which everyone gets high and lives in communes, but doesn't bother with regulations and taxes. The closest thing you can find to that is Africa. Nor are we going to be able to import tens of millions of people from countries where working class politics is Marxist without mainstreaming Marxism as a political solution in major cities across America.

People are not divisible that way. Human society is not a machine you can break down.

The left has fundamentally changed America. Much of the donor class hesitates to recognize this or prefers to believe that it can isolate the bad changes from the good changes. It doesn't work that way.

Getting the kind of fiscal conservatism that a lot of the donor class wants requires making fundamental changes to the country. You can't just tinker with economic regulations in a country where schoolchildren are taught to demand taxes on plastic bags to save the planet or where a sizable portion of the population is dependent on the government. Those tactics can rack up ALEC victories while losing the war.

Fiscal conservatism requires a self-reliant population that believes in the value of honesty and hard work. Those are not compatible with social liberalism or casual Marxism. Individually, yes. It's possible to make money while being a leftist. But spread across a large population with different classes and races, those individual quirks will not be replicated. And you can't create that population with slogans. You have to be able to shape national values, not just economic policy.

That's the hard truth.

There are no single issue solutions. At best there are single issue stopgaps. But the left is not a single issue organization. It has narrowed down most of its disagreements and combined its deck of agendas. Its coalition supports a large range of programs from across the deck. It's still possible to be a pro-abortion Republican, but the political representation of pro-life Democrats is disappearing.

You can be a Republican who supports the Muslim Brotherhood, but a Democrat who says anything too critical about Islam has a limited future in his party at any national level. The same is true across the spectrum. Kim Davis is a Democrat. How much of a future do Democrats opposed to gay marriage have? Meanwhile it's possible to be a pro-gay marriage Republican.

The Republican "big tent" is more a symptom of ideological disarray, as we've seen in this primary season, by a party that doesn't really know what it believes, than of tolerance. But the left has taken over the Democratic Party and made its agendas into the only acceptable ones.

There are still some national Democrats hedging weakly on gun control and environmentalism, but they're going to be purged. Their party will abandon them and Republicans will squeeze them out.

A lot of the donor class is really seeking an accommodation with the left. The election was warped when the Koch brothers decided to find common ground with the ACLU on freeing drug dealers. They dragged some good candidates in with them and down with them destroying their credibility on key issues.

You can't have an accommodation with the left. The left isn't seeking a compromise. It wants it all.

The left has to be fought all the way or surrendered to all the way. There's no middle ground here regardless of what philosophical objections are introduced, because that is what the left is doing. It's easily observable just in Obama's two terms.

The left has defined the terms of battle. And its terms are total control over everything.

You can't be pro-life and pro-Obama. You can't be pro-business and pro-Obama. You can't be pro-Israel and pro-Obama. You can't be fiscally conservative and pro-Obama. You can't be socially conservative and pro-Obama. You can't be anything less than full leftist and pro-Obama.

The left has to be fought totally or not at all.

Single issues can be important and it's good for people to pick one or two things to focus on, but that has to come with the understanding that there can be no accommodation with it in any other area. An organization fighting gun control is doing important work, but its backers should never fall under the illusion that the 2nd amendment can be maintained if the left wins on all the other fronts.

As Benjamin Franklin said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately". The quote is true today in all its implications as it was then. We must have a conservative movement that is united in a common front or we will be dragged down one by one. There will be no conservative issue islands left to stand on if the red tide comes in.

The final point is that it is not enough to resist. That's just delaying the inevitable. Even the strongest resistance can be worn away with time. If the left can't win directly, it focuses on the next generation. If cultural barriers are in the way, it goes for population resettlement, as it's doing in parts of this country and Europe. There is no such thing as an impregnable issue island.

Winning means pushing forward. Winning means advocating for change, not just fighting to keep what we have. Winning means thinking about the sort of free society that we want. Winning means having a vision to build, not just resist. Winning means advancing forward.

To do that, we have to accept that fundamental change is necessary. Right now we're fighting a losing battle. We're trying to keep the tide out, when we must become the tide.


Anonymous said...

Where do you start? I guess you can start locally.

- Halevi

Bilejones said...

The left did it by the "Long march through the institutions" which were, at the time politically naive.

I don't think that's a mechanism available to the right

That leaves the 1776 method.

Anonymous said...

Some think they can have the social agenda of the left (e.g. The Jesuits to which the Justicialist Pope belongs) without the lawlessness that comes with it. Bad news for them, the real objective of the resented Barries of the world is not the agenda itself, but the constant violence needed, no winter headquarters this time; that is the profound transformation! When everyone becomes PTSDed for nothing they win.

Anonymous said...

Someone get this message to groups like the NRA. O'Sullivan's law: "Any institution that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing over time" This column reveals why that is so well, especially as of the last 6 years of no-nonsense liberal extremism in our America.

Rudyard Kipling said...

The single most comprehensive summary of the current political situation. A masterful essay to be used by anyone intent on unmasking the delusions of Liberalism, Libertarianism, and GOP escapist-opportunism. Roll this up and put it in your back pocket. Read it twice a day and be ready be take on all comers.

Unknown said...

You start in your own home, then family, friends, neighborhood, town, county, state, and nation.

Y. Ben-David said...

Columnist Amnon Lord in the right-wing Israeli newspaper "Makor Rishon" made similar points in this weeks column. He said that people in the British Conservative Party are unjustifiably thrilled with the election of radical Leftist Corbyn to be the head of the Labour Party, thinking this will guarantee future election victories for the Tories. Lord pointed out that the goal of the radical Left in the US, Israel and Britain is NOT to win power in parliament. It is to dictate the national agenda and put the non-radical Left constantly on the defensive and they have succeeded admirably in this, as Daniel points out here. In the US, the radical Left doesn't need a majority in Congress, Obama only needed a minority in the Senate to ram through his Iran agreement, the Supreme Court decided for homosexual "marriage" on its own without any need for legislation by the people's representatives, and the mainstream media declares that anyone opposing the liberal/"progressive" agenda is a "fascist" or a "racist bigot" etc, etc. and the conservatives are constantly having to defend themselves against "when did you stop beating your wife" attacks.
The situation is very grim. Democracy is under the greatest threat it has been under since the 1930's and those who still support it don't seem to have the energy to defend it. People like Trump get excited about things like illegal immigration but he won't point out that the emperor has no clothes regarding the whole liberal/'progressive" onslaught.
I am aware of only one politician in Israel who is willing to point this out and that is Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Homne party but they are still a small party. An example of the challenges he faces is exemplified by Netanyahu''s response to the demand that that Israeli take in large numbers of refugees from Syria and Iraq. Instead of pointing out that obvious fact that these people are enemies of Israel and Israel has no obligation whatsoever to take them in, he squirms out of it by saying "Israel's territory is too small". I understand why he said that, he certainly agrees that these people are an enemy population but he doesn't want to sound "politically incorrect". It is this fear that we must get our politicians to overcome.

Keli Ata said...

"You can be a Republican who supports the Muslim Brotherhood, but a Democrat who says anything too critical about Islam has a limited future in his party at any national level. The same is true across the spectrum. Kim Davis is a Democrat. How much of a future do Democrats opposed to gay marriage have? Meanwhile it's possible to be a pro-gay marriage Republican."

Kim Davis recently and publicly announced that she is no longer a Democrat.

Anonymous said...

Steve Wozniak's solution was to move to AUS (specifically Tasmania), but I wonder what he'll do as izlamic-fascism becomes more and more dominant there? Maybe New Zealand will be his next stop...

Workingstiff said...

The 'ol Camel's nose in the tent tactic.Once you let him in, there goes the tent neighborhood.

I always hear crickets chirping from liberals when I ask during gun control debates what will be the acceptable threshold of gun related deaths were they stop advocating for more gun control regulations. They don't merely want "sane and reasonable" gun laws, they want total and complete ban, followed up by enforced confiscated. The line in the sand we draw is always subject to negotiation to them, since their morals shift as easy as sand in the wind.

Any consensus made with them can never be quid pro quo, because they never intended to fulfill their part of the devil's bargain in the first place. Boehner is just now finding that out, that all his compromises with Obama and the Dems at the expense of the Conservative voters who wanted otherwise has left him twisting in the wind with no friends or connections anymore. Unless of course, his reward all along was to be a tool so he could retire in his personal fief and rule the remains of the wreckage he helped bring about.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives must organize into a network of groups nationwide - on a local, statewide, and national level. An individual can not fight an organization. It takes an organization to fight an organization. The left has been very good at organizing. Conservatives must do the same. They must branch out into every sphere of influence, and they must reach out and bring new people into the fold. The name "conservative" may need to be changed as well. Yeah, the whole linguistic b.s. is something that the left does, but the term Republican and Conservative may have been so tainted at this point that it may be time to come up with something else. Either way, organizing is the most important thing to do. People also need to start hiring and doing business with Conservatives. The left does this, too, and it's time Conservatives start empowering like-minded people and start edging progressives out. This is a serious fight for the survival of this country, and one can not win worrying about being polite, "letting the truth speak for itself" - it doesn't, and reaching across the isle. The left doesn't worry about doing anything of the aforementioned things. It's time we start fighting to win and start going on the offensive.

Unknown said...

Thus far the central planners have deftly put off the monies that will be needed to pay for all promises made by the state. Promised public pensions are clearly underfunded. SS/Medicare at least have a dedicated collection systems in place - even so, collections will ultimately not fulfill promises. The biggest fiscal bomb is the newly created healthcare 'right' enshrined in the ACA Act (otherwise known as Obamacare). Other than the relatively minuscule 'fines' collected by those that do not have a healthcare plan and a few other minor tax schemes (tax on Gran'Ma'Ma's wheel chair ) -- there are no funds to be dedicated for healthcare (80 million Americans on Medicaid currently). Most are blissfully unaware that about a trillion dollars a year general tax funds pays for healthcare in this country.

Tom McLaughlin said...

This is a rant, Dan. I agree with it all, but you sound despairing. The key statement to me was when you said kids are taught in schools to demand deposits on plastic bags. They're also taught to question how they know they're male or female because they may actually be something else on the "gender spectrum."

We lost the schools, and it's going to be very difficult to get them back. Even if we do, it'll take a long time to inculcate understanding of limited government and liberty embodied in the Constitution.

I suggest another essay about where to begin reversing the enormous change the left has wrought here in the USA. I suggest starting with a conservative John Stewart or Stephen Colbert. It's time to ridicule the left, and there's a lot of material to use.

Tina Trent said...

With all respect, Tom M., issues like the schools are over. Those of us who were in academia before we were drummed out of academia have been howling at the moon about schools for a long time, but academia is so totally overrun that even the most conservative kids are utterly brainwashed by leftist propaganda. I gave a speech to Heritage interns a few years ago, mentioned the leftist "bullying" meme, and the kids scolded me that bullying was really, really bad. Even the best of them can't kick their way out of the spit cocoon of propaganda right now.

It's over for now. We are at war, and if we don't fight this war the way the Left does in this election, we have no other weapons or opportunities to fight. Look, Common Core was a great organizing issue -- it revitalized Eagle Forum and other SoCons and even some leftist allies, but the election is all that matters. It's great for smoking out the Chamber of Commerce proxies like Fiorino, but it can't be the focus now -- winning the election has to be the only focus now.

We need a transformative candidate who can scatter the chessboard, and immigration is the issue and Donald Trump, for better or worse, is that candidate. Vote for the Vulgarian: It's Important.

Anonymous said...

Do what practical people are doing already- move to red states. Build a wall of conservative values politicians there, and get fiscal control of taxes and regulations. Start seceding from federal school subsidies by privatizing and supporting charter schools, with local control of districts. Fight federal control of land and water.

Informal secession by labor self-choice. High tax high welfare states will start to look like Detroit, in a generation.

epoche said...

There's nothing left to conserve Sultan. The Conservatives today will be looking forward towards transgender inclusion. The only thing that we should be working towards is re-establishing and re-legitimizing the right of exclusion and undoing the worst excesses of the civil rights movement. Other than that we are headed towards anarchy.

Anonymous said...

The left has won the war and there is no point pretending otherwise. It is almost impossible to be hired in government or the schools unless you are a leftist. The left uses the IRS, FBI, DEA, BATF, EPA, Labor Dept and other agencies to attack anyone who doesn't toe their line. Memorize enough of the Koran to pass. Settle into your little apartment in some government rabbit warren, buy some government-approved reusable grocery bags, and pay most of your income in taxes. Die when you aren't useful anymore. It is all over except for the camps and the boxcars.

DenisO said...

The Left knew they had to take Education out of the hands of rational thinkers, and they have succeeded. They won that key battle because Conservatives didn't realize that an undeclared war existed. With it, they gained a whole generation, now two, of voters dumbed-down to only consider slogans as truth. Some States, even California, are realizing that "tenure" is making schools unsafe and too expensive. The Government doesn't care about education as much as the problem of parents refusing orders to keep filling those seats in dangerous schools. This is just one example of what is happening in the bastion cities of Liberalism. Societies cannot survive unrestrained crime and violence, but worse the disappearance of the tax base. Inner city criminals are not customers that businesses cater to; look at Baltimore and Ferguson, MO. Riding the tiger is exhilarating, becoming an exciting way to die, as their power distracts from asking what is going to happen next, until it's too late.

The failure of society is the Left's victory, but what to do when the savages start attacking their keepers? Winning is failure, but it's worth it, if you beleeve; you gotta hope and beleeve if you're a true progressive! What kind of progress comes out of ruin? True Communism; that's the "progress" they must want, or they're not thinking.

M. Simon said...

Well. OK then. You don't want libertarian allies.

And given your "gets high" comment - I assume you think continuing Prohibition is a winning issue. Because "drunk as a skunk" is better than "gets high". And the government should enforce your judgement on the matter.

FWIW I'm not voting for any candidate - left or right - that favors continuing Prohibition. Prohibition was a failure the first time it was tried and is faring no better this time around.

I'm not anti-left. I'm not anti-right. I'm anti-stupidity. A losing battle to be sure. But there I stand.

And of course I'm totally amused at the so called "small government types" who promote vagina police. Another sure winner. All those former Prohibition agents will need something to do. Why not have them policing vaginas? What could possibly go wrong?

Peter said...

But how does your solution not become its own form of totalitarianism? If there is absolutely no accommodation with the Left, then you end up in essentially the same boat you say the Left is in. What does "freedom" mean in such a picture? Freedom--but no deviation from absolutist opposition to anything that isn't "us." That seems like a bit of a pickle to me.

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