Thursday, December 24, 2015

Trump, Dictatorship and Competing With An Illiberal Left

A number of editorials have appeared in center-right outlets accusing Trump supporters of wanting a dictator.

Well obviously.

Politics is a competition. Everyone wants to win the game based on the rules of the game. And the current rules of the game are not Constitutional. The left wanted a dictator. Obama gave them one. He implemented laws, started wars and took on powers which were not only beyond his authority, but which were opposed by the majority of Americans and elected legislators in Congress.

And he won. He got away with it. And that made his way of doing things the new game.

The media and some Republicans sputter that Trump's proposals couldn't be carried out. Well of course they could be. If Trump were to run things the way that Obama has.

There are two responses to this.

The left deems this unacceptable because it has a double standard. There's always some reason why its rulebreaking is okay, but why the rules must be applied to the right. Mocking the kids of presidential candidates is off limits... unless they're Republicans. Ruling by Executive Order is tyranny... unless a progressive does it. Starting wars based on lies is wrong unless... etc.

Now that kind of hypocrisy is only to be expected from politicians. The trouble is that the left encompasses the media, much of the legal system, academia and a raft of other key network institutions that make it impossible to have any kind of honest discourse about the rule of law.

That means the game is rigged. There are two sets of rules. So why play by them?

The conservative establishment has all sorts of replies, but none of them amount to much. Yes, the rule of law is important. But when the other side is breaking the law to destroy the law, the contention that it should be allowed to destroy the Constitution rather than violate the Constitution becomes idealistic absurdity. And it's not as if the conservative establishment is comfortable even doing what it can within the existing rules. It talks a good game and then explains why it can't do anything.

It's not hard to see why this state of affairs is intensely frustrating to activists and voters.

The support for Trump without regard to his qualifications, statements, integrity, credibility, knowledge, consistency, etc is the end result of this state of affairs. The claims that Trump is a Republican Obama are not completely wrong. Obama has shown that his way of doing things works. Not in the sense that he has fixed any problems. Instead he has made them worse. But he has delivered major policy wins for his base of supporters by flagrantly violating the law.

The Republican establishment understands the problem which is why their responses to Trump and his supporters are so much sputtering. Trump is running on his ability to get things done. This ability and his actual commitment to doing anything are dubious. But that doesn't matter when his opponents have no credibility at all when it comes to achieving any actual policy goals.

Worse still, in the Obama era, the idea that they will get anything done has little credibility.

Congressional Republicans laboriously explain their limitations. And then they pass a spending bill that offers all sorts of goodies to special interest groups while having no ideological victories to show their base. They're not completely incompetent. Instead they appear quite capable of self-seeking. It's just when it comes to delivering something for conservatives, they have come up completely empty after six years.

Is Trump's rise really supposed to be a surprise? Sure he has little credibility. But conservatives have been sold three bags of goods, they have spent a whole lot of money, and seen it go into the pockets of political consultants and their allied direct marketing firms. They're not in the mood for an idealistic speech from Marco Rubio about achievement. The base is bitter and burned out.

This isn't just the situation in the United States. It's also going on in the UK, in France and Israel, to name a few examples. It's the larger problem of competing with an illiberal left.

How do you uphold a liberal open system while fighting an illiberal left for control of it?

There are no easy answers. And most of the easy ones come down to messaging. But simply making a better argument isn't enough when the left flagrantly abuses power.

It's not simply a question of getting a Republican in the White House. Reagan and Bush II were both in the White House. How much did they really get done? Bush II had a Republican congress. But the left simply shifts power and legitimacy to whatever institutions it controls, elected or unelected, and then governs from there.

If the Republicans control the White House, the left proclaims that Congress is the true voice of the people and must be heeded while the guy in the White House is the next Hitler. If Democrats control the White House and Republicans control Congress, then we must all support "our president" and Congress is a bunch of obstructionist bigots fighting to bring back the Middle Ages.

If Democrats lose both, then the Supreme Court suddenly becomes the most legitimate institution. If they lose all three, then it's the heroic regulators, watchdogs and activist non-profits who matter.

The Senate was the House of the Lords, when it lacked a Democratic majority, but when Democrats held the Senate, but lost the House, suddenly the Senate was the voice of reason.

All of this amounts to the illiberal idea that an institution controlled by the left should be able to wield absolute power while institutions controlled by conservatives should not be allowed to wield any power at all. This illiberal contention is echoed by the entire opinion-shaping network of the left in the media and academia. And it is a shape-shifting tyranny in which the left is always in power.

Can you defeat that by winning elections and better messaging? Maybe. But so far Republicans haven't done it. They rarely even name the problem directly. And so it's unsurprising that they have lost the confidence of much of their own base. Or that confronting illiberalism with illiberalism is increasingly appealing to conservatives tired of empty promises and no results.

The GOP has failed to confront this basic problem and so it has no ability to fight off Trump.

Feeble efforts such as "Jeb can fix it" or claiming that Rubio killed ObamaCare don't impress anyone. Outsider candidates are thriving because they have more credibility when it comes to confronting that Gordian Knot even if, like Trump, they have no real idea that it exists or understand the left's threat.

The fundamental question of this race is, "How do you plan to defeat an illiberal leftist opposition?"

Few candidates in this race can answer it. Trump probably couldn't, but he doesn't need to. He answers it implicitly with his attitude. He's running on absolute confidence. No one else is.

This leaves the GOP with a major problem. It has lost to the left. Now it's losing to its own base.

Cameron faced that problem in the UK from UKIP. He managed to consolidate his position. In Israel, Netanyahu and Bennett, facing a similar revolt from a base that has heard some great speeches, but seen too many surrenders to the left, have backed the left's purge of the right, beginning with Yinon Magal and moving on the Duma hoax to smear the right as extremists and terrorists.

It's the same cynical gambit, albeit bloodier, that the GOP is running against Trump, Cruz and their supporters.

If you can't beat the left, you can always ally with the left to beat your own base. This preserves the status quo. A status quo in which an illiberal left is always in power and a right that plays by the rules always lets them win, in or out of office. Conservatives win elections, but lose policies. 

The conservative establishment reinvents itself as the centrists standing between right-wing extremists and the left. In their deluded minds it's win-win, when it's really lose-lose.

Eventually the contention that anyone to the right of a mild-mannered establishment that talks tough during elections and surrenders between them is a fascist, an extremist, a Nazi or even worse leads to  the real thing. The actual extremists, the ones who want to smash everything and impose some sort of glorious totalitarian state, start getting a hearing and picking up members. Their goal is to splinter the right. That's also the goal of the establishment which would like nothing better than to be the only conservative alternative to actual crazies and so they feed off each other. And the left wins again.

The Tea Party revolt was launched to fight an illiberal left by restoring the Constitution. The trouble lay in the details. It still does.

Restoring the Constitution is going to mean prying an illiberal left from power across a wide network of institutions. There are plenty of activists, but few politicians, with the stomach for that fight.

And that fight will be tremendously ugly. Trump, by sheer force of personality, appears to offer a convenient shortcut. He'll Make America Great Again and hopeful activists read all sorts of implications into that slogan. The biggest one is that he'll fix everything so that they won't have to.

It's not dictatorship. It's anti-dictatorship. It's Cincinnatus temporarily becoming a dictator to stop a populist plot by a radical to seize absolute power by handing out free stuff to the masses, killing him, semi-legally at best, in a ruthless fashion. How America was Cincinnatus? Aside from Cincinnati, the Society of the Cincinnati was presided over by George Washington, who was often compared to the old Roman, along with two dozen signers of the Declaration of Independence, and quite a few officers. (The Society's message to Aaron Burr and fellow radicals was quite explicit.)

Trump isn't Washington. And Burr and his fellow radicals were eventually put down by Jefferson and cooler heads. The Republic survived Burr's various treasons and conspiracies. We did not go the way of the French Revolution. But the question of how to defeat an illiberal left remains.

If the Republican establishment really wants to defeat Trump, it needs to find a credible answer to this question. Instead of thinking about how to defeat Trump, it really needs to answer how it will defeat Obama and the forces that gave rise to him. If it can't figure out how to defeat illiberalism, it will be defeated by it.


Jew613 said...

Is there any chance you will write a book detailing how the phony right has repeatedly betrayed Israel from Menachem Begin at Camp David, Geula Cohen organizing the banning of Rabbi Kahane zt'l and Bibi's machinations?

Mace said...

If the bizarre does happen and the Republicans control everything, the illiberal Left will march and protest in the streets on the nightly news, every night.

Anonymous said...

Augusto Pinochet showed us how to deal with the illiberal left. Trump doesn't have the will to go that far, but it's where we'll eventually wind up...

Edward Cline said...

An ominous prognosis, Daniel. "The support for Trump without regard to his qualifications, statements, integrity, credibility, knowledge, consistency, etc is the end result of this state of affairs." One could just as well say, "The support for Obama without regard to his qualifications, statements, integrity, credibility, knowledge, consistency, etc. is the end result of this state of affairs." 2016 will reveal Trump's inner angels and inner demons. If he keeps up his "act" I can't help but see him winning, regardless of what the GOPHERS do or say to him or about him. They'll need to out-Trump Trump and say things we all know they don't want to say. But I sense that they can't decide which they fear most: Trump or actually standing for something and not succumbing to the temptation to screw their voter base again.

Bilal Ch said...


Y. Ben-David said...

BRILLIANT! You quite correctly pointed out how this is being done right now in Israel with the artificially created hysteria about a supposedly "dangerous" Right in Israel. Mainline Right-wingers like Bennett and Netanyahu are forced to line up with the Left because of fear of the media. The goal as you said is to divide the Right, just as Trump is doing in the US. This is a pretty frightening situation. It seems the American people have grown tired of the democratic Constitutional system that worked so well for them in the past but which many now don't seem to believe in any more.

Anonymous said...

@Daniel Greenfield: As always - I say that with my sincerest appreciation - your post hits every nail on its head! A superbly written analysis of the current and political affairs in this country.

One can safely conclude that the GOP and their establishment in DC have already totally capitulated to the illiberal left when Ryan - the wolf in sheep clothing, the savior - presented the GOP/establishment's last hurrah named: 1.1T dollars omnibus spending bill.
Rather than doing what is right, what their duties required based on their oaths - they made no attempt to either right this ship, stand up or even breach this subject of tyranny by the illiberal left.
As you've stated in your observation: "If you can't beat them - join them! They did just that.

There is fury and cold anger throughout America felt by voters who trusted these cowards during their campaign only to be betrayed time and again yet - they still don't get the appeal of Trump!

The illiberal left is the cancer in the US and the world over - their spread goes deep and wide.

Rather than focusing on the illiberal left figuring out how to stop this nonsense and the damage they have caused and continue to do - they lash out at us while calling us all kinds of names.
They demand we continue to fall in line and as we can see once again - they want THEIR pre-selected tool, the 'Jeb can fix it' but not giving us a reason and cause to believe them.

How to beat the illiberal left and defeating them once and for all is difficult but it can be done.
As always is the case - Eventually they expose themselves due to overconfidence. Obama and his crew, the political uni-party in DC just don't get that americans finally acknowledge the overreach, the many betrayals, the road to serfdom they attempt to force on us but most of all that they are playing footsy with our security, life and happiness.

Voters have enough and won't take it anymore! History taught us that it takes just one honorable person to stand up and tell the naked truth about the illiberal left and their tools. Trump may not be that person however - his 'in-your-face confidence gives hope to many of finally having a voice. He says what many americans feel and think without any concern to his own standing. He has $alls - he has guts, he calls them out and despite his boisterous, controversial demeanor at times - it all resonates with angry and frustrated americans.
The illiberal left has no morals ergo the many lies they tell, the slander, their actions and most of all their arrogant overreach will be their own demise. They are really loud but they do not ooze confidence. They are bullies - like elephants in a china shop and worse.

It all will come to a head because their is no other way to confront the illiberal left. They are not teachable because they are unable to discern or reason. Its all a big big bluff despite their sick confidence.

Its still ways off to the next election and much can happen but one issue will not change but rather to increase and spread: the anger and frustration felt by most americans.

Donald Trump personifies confidence! He shows the way voters that it takes confidence to stop the bleeding inflicted on us by those in DC who are determined to remain in their powerful positions and deliver to their masters while gaining wealth beyond imagination.
The establishment class in DC - the uni-party has lost legitimacy and they know that they are despised by those who's vote they need to remain in their seats. Importing cheap labor and individuals from countries wanting to do us harm will not go unnoticed. The welfare state does not survivie on its own.

Anonymous said...

The thing is Trump can win, Cruz will make for a cool looser. All the rest are not worth a mention.

Dennis Latham said...

All this isn't going to matter after some psycho we have allowed into this country because we can't offend anyone detonates a nuclear device suitcase. It is no wonder most people are looking for someone to lead the way. I, personally, don't know anyone who is happy anymore. Not one person. The left destroys everything it touches with corruption, insane ideas, and ignorance (being taught about what is supposed to be real life by people who have never been out of school is insanity.) Most young people truly believe there is no future for America. Makes me glad I'm old.

LetsPlay said...

Sultan ... the Republican Establishment HAS already been defeated by illiberalism.

Mr. Cline ... the GOPHERS are gutless wonders who are more afraid of losing their positions than standing for something. They will never say what Trump is saying and that is the beauty of having Trump in the hunt. He is saying and forcing the hand of professional politicos whose only interest is self-interest. Screw the American public or the constitution they take an oath to serve.

Anonymous said...

Disagree. At least with your terminology.
Trump's supporters in no way seek a dictator.
Sure, they want a "fighter."

I would say it's moreso that we want to fight fire with fire.

The GOAL of the Left's "fire" is - agreed here - despotism/tyranny/dictatorship/totalitarianism, pick whatever tem you wish, I think we agree.

OUR goal, however, is quite the opposite.

The MEANS to do so is Trump: Trump, as an anonymous blogger once wrote, is our kill the GOP Establishment and its master the Democrats.

Agent J said...

The GOPe doesn't realize they've already lost, no matter who wins. If the GOPe succeeds, with Dem help, in purging their base, they'll never hold power in DC again, not in Congress or the presidency, for they'll lose half their votes as the party suffers a schism. If the enraged base succeeds in nominating Trump, and the GOPe sabotages Trump's run, the result will be the same. On the other hand, Trump, if successful, will surely wield the Bully Pulpit and purge the squishes from the GOP, or at least thwart their efforts. He will likely do so using Obama's pen/phone technique, as our host so ably described here, *and nobody will be able to stop him*. After a couple of mass firings, even the bureaucrats will fall in line. Yes, the GOP has chosen the form of the Destructor, and he is Donald Trump.

Nedd Ludd said...

Imagine controlling both houses of Congress and the Republicans still manage to lose to Harry Reid's minions.
'Cheese eating surrender monkeys' of the first water.

Way back in July I posted a comment on Trump that you pulled for some reason - Here it is again, as nothing has changed except that Trump has continued to rise in the polls:

Trump's message is pretty simple:
He's running as a nationalist, not a globalist.

He wants to take control of our Southern border and
to build an Israeli style fence on it.
His message recognizes that uncontrolled, illegal, peasant immigration from Mexico and Central America is a very bad idea for the US.[and of course now he's added Muslim 'refugees' to that list]

No other Republican will say this.

Trump also opposes the globalist trade pacts.
After the betrayal by McConnell & Boehner, joining with Obama to pass TPP, against the wishes of their own constituents, how can any conservative support the 'mainstream' Republican establishment?

Once nominated, I have no doubt, that every other Republican candidate will become the captive of the big donors - The US Chamber of Commerce and the other corporate members of the cheap labor lobby.

The Donald has already cost himself millions by running this campaign.
All the other candidates are hoping to make millions for themselves.
Trump is the only one who is actually sacrificing something to run.

I live in NH.
I've seen up close and personal, the endless stream of nonentities the Republicans manage to cough up every four years - Dole, McCain, Bush, Romney, etc.

In this year's NH primary, for a change, I won't have to chose between an assortment of RINOs. Trump is certainly not my optimal candidate, but an optimal candidate isn't running.

Trump is a chance for conservatives to poke their collective thumb in the eye of the entire repellant PC Republican establishment.

Do I think Trump will win the election? Most likely not.
But if Jeb, or Christie, win the nomination, exactly what would be the point of even bothering to vote?

Trump's good on guns, immigration and trade - I'll take that, comb-over and all.

The above was written on July 7th 2015 - The only thing I'd change now is that I think that Trump has a better than even chance to beat Hillary in the general election.

historian said...

If anyone wants to understand the events we are living through, I recommend "The Ominous Parallels" by Peikff.

The issue here is that the Left has a set of principles, to which they adhere, and the GOP has none. This is a war of ideas, and those who love Liberty in these presently united States must stand for their ideas. The GOP is a lost cause; they lust for power and everything else is secondary.

Andy Texan said...

To paraphrase W we must set aside the constitution to save the constitution. The Left (and their collaborators in the GOPe) must be rooted out by unconstitutional means. After the job is done then the civil, liberal society can thrive again. Call it the second civil war.

simplytimothy said...

To expand on Nedd Ludd's point that Trump is "is running as a nationalist, not a globalist.".

John Derbyshire, formlerly of NRO, tweeted: The great divide today is between nationalism and demographic stability on the one hand, globalism and mass immigration on the other.

Trump is the unapologetic defender of American nationalism and demographic stability. The GOPe is the passive-aggresive, cowardly promoter of globalism and mass immigration.

Trump of forced their hand, the omnibus se

Daniel Greenfield said...

I prefer the term transnationalist to globalist myself, but yes.

"The Western left has committed itself to multiculturalism, the Western right has committed itself to free enterprise-- and both positions make it hard to choke off the flow of migrants. The social welfare left and the anything for a buck right need more immigrants because there are jobs that the natives just won't do, like work without under the table without benefits while putting eight kids and two wives on the welfare rolls. The irresponsibility of corporations and social welfare lobbies inflates budgets and increases crime, while the blame gets passed around."

But people are attributing ideological views to Trump, a non-ideological guy, who has in the past been an unapologetic defender of immigration, and who still veers back and forth.

Trump is less of a defender of anything than he is a confident unapologetic figure whom people want to see as a defender of their views.

"Romney’s solution of “self deportation” for illegal aliens made no sense and suggested that Republicans do not care about Hispanics in general, Trump says.

“He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal,” Trump says. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote,” Trump notes. “He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”

The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy “to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country,” Trump says."

Brooks Imperial said...

Your analysis of the mercurial morphing Left who show up everywhere Republicans are not, really captures the problem. The entrenched bureaucracy (fed/state/county/city/town/taxing district/planning agency) is the toughest set of nuts to crack - completely beyond voter control. Our uniquely American form of socialism will not go quietly into that good night, and most people don't even know how they are governed by them.

Daniel Greenfield said...

It's the Deep State and its infrastructure is often funded by the government and sometimes it's in the government.

Much of it can be cleaned out but it would take a dedicated effort to crush it financially, cut off its access to power and take away its power.

A committed president who built a dedicated staff could do it. It can be done through legal means, or at least as legal as the means Obama has used to get things done.

But it would take two things

1. An understanding that the left is the enemy, it's not "incompetence" or "bad policies", that must be defeated.

2. A willingness to build a staff and pursue an extensive campaign to pry out the Deep State

I see no sign that Trump gets point 1, let alone point 2. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson appear to get Point 1, but what Cruz believes is one question and what he would do is another.

So I'm not pushing a favorite candidate here.

Anonymous said...

The GOP is a lukewarm, me-too version of the democrats since FDR. Until they reject the self -sacrifice of Christian Socialism , they are next to useless. Until they reject the pragmatic strategy of "don't rock the boat" they become more and more irrelevant.
We have had, in effect, a one-party system and todays situation proves it. By their "gray" look-alike tactics, they will never defeat the left, but only be dragged along as a phony alternative.

As for the Trump phenomenon, I've told friends that the positive reaction to him is either the last-breath death rattle of a dying America, or the first wails of a new-born 1776 baby.
He is a NYC-street rebuke of self-denigration, tell-it-as-he-sees-it philosopher. He may be (time will tell) more than a "rock-the-boat" populist, but he does voice the emotional "it's not supposed to be like this" outrage of the American rank-and-file.
Will he be the one to articulate the idea that it is not immoral to explicitly voice the idea that it's moral to
preserve and protect what is good about America, to be un-apologetic about its exceptionalism? We he say that America is the best thing that has ever happened to man-kind?

Daniel Greenfield said...

But in terms of general principles, the Deep State has to

1. Lose organizational funding

2. Lose government jobs

3. Lose any financial and political backing, from access to scholarships to niche professions, e.g. environmental consultancies, to any advisory role by any leftist for government at any level

It is doable by legal methods, even without a public campaign, by a president who gets it.

I really wish we had one of those.

Daniel Greenfield said...

Much of this will require "burning down the forest" where the left hides

That means shrinking government, eliminating some types of non-profits entirely, using financial pressure to eliminate entire categories of courses at universities, using trust and monopoly laws to break up media groups and leftist corps, etc...

Some of this would be illiberal and give libertarians fainting fits, but it would work.

Anonymous said...

I want Trump to be the nominee because he will attack Hillary Clinton as she deserves to be attacked. The other GOP hopefuls are compromised, cowed into silence and corrupted by money. Nobody owns Trump. Will he win? Question of the day . . . but even if we are doomed to a Clinton presidency he will have set the tone and solidified the opposition. We are perhaps heading into the last election before political disintegration, and I want a fighter on my side.

Doug Mayfield said...

Excellent article.

In truth, many top Republicans don't give any thought to defeating the Left and Obama, because, as semi-socialists, they hold many of same premises, big government, more government, more taxes, higher taxes, and an ever expanding bureaucracy dedicated to taking over our lives, cradle to grave.

The evidence for this is plain, both the actions taken by powerful members of the GOP, for example, Paul Ryan's recent obscenity of a budget, as well as the utter lack of any coordinated, sustained Republican congressional opposition to Obama and everything he does. The GOP leadership of the House and Senate should be ashamed of themselves.

While I have some doubts about Trump, I applaud him for standing up for what he believes and not backing down in the face of criticism. Because he does so, much of the top of GOP hierarchy hates and fears him. But the GOP desperately needs a big dose of courage and perhaps Trump will provide an infusion of that courage. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Great piece - as usual.

Our Nation was Founded, in part with the precept that "one should care for their neighbor" - not the state. For us to destroy the state's imposing role in our lives, will require us to re-embrace this ethic.

Anonymous said...

All & all, it still seems that the root of this is a rotted out culture that puts up with (or worse, embraces) it. I'm all right jack, kind of attitude for some; sir, may I have another for others; and - for me - get the hell out of me!

I cannot imagine a leader coming on to the scene that makes this feel like something more than punching into the fog. Good times...good times. - djr

Linda Rivera said...

We live in The Age of Betrayal. Regardless of who is in power in Israel, Israel's patriotic Jews in Judea and Samaria have been persecuted, physically beaten, unjustly jailed and their homes destroyed by Israeli authorities for many years.

Israel's leaders shake their Fist at the Holy One and continue to allow the Muslim Waqf control over Israel's most sacred site - the Temple Mount, the holiest place on earth. In a Hostile, Wicked Act Against Almighty God, Jews are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount and arrested by Israeli police if they do so.

In Britain, if UKIP gained power they wouldn't do a single thing about the greatest threat the human race has ever faced: Islam. Patriotic Brits are barred from membership from UKIP. Muslims are welcome to run as MPs for UKIP.

Britain and all Europe is in great danger because our leaders colonised Europe with 50 million Muslims and recently invited the Huge Third World's Muslims to invade little Europe.

In America, almost all Republicans and Democrats are traitors who are DELIBERATELY destroying America.

112 said...

Before I say anything, you're the most brilliant political writer alive, and this article is pure gold, like everything that comes out of your fingers.

What do you mean what Cruz believes in one thing, what he would do is another? He's been consistent on everything I can see

Cruz is the only one that promised airstrikes on Iran. How could you not support him?

G-d bless you and your work Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield said...

That's a question to be asked about any and every politician, not just Cruz.

Anonymous said...

Good summary of the conundrum. You don't mention Cruz. Does he offer a non-Trump path to restoration by his acknowledgment of the Left's grip across the panoply of institutions?

Anonymous said...

Makes for a lot of unemployed people

Anonymous said...

Again, sounds like a lot of unskilled, unemployed liberals on the welfare lines...

denisO said...

Good article, as usual, and I was surprised that I found all the comments made good sense. One thing not to worry about is the "suitcase nuke". A truck nuke maybe, with the weapon loaded by a tractor. The lightest nuke that might do significant damage would probably weigh no less than 400 lbs.
Ryan's budget showed us that the first priority of Republican office-holders is re-election and the funds to pay for it. They work for the lobbyists willing to put up the cash, and everyone here seems to understand that.
Solving that first is the only way we can be heard. Without a voice, we'll never accomplish cleaning-up all levels of government, education and the Media.
The Left, following Communist tactics, has compromised education, history, knowledgeable voters, and the purveyors of opinion. They're way ahead of us, and comfortably on the road to totalitarianism. It is a mysterious death-wish they have come to love.
I support Cruz, who has demonstrated love of the Constitution, but Trump will do in the "pinch" we're in, and I'll take that chance.

Drew said...

I find it a little amusing that everyone, even Trump supporters denigrate him with the "he has no credibility, but screw everyone else and the parties" attitude.

You want him to be this media portrayed clown so bad that you are agreeing he is one 'because he's Trump' ; yet what proof has he given you beyond his boisterous methods that this is so?

Some of us who do support him have that mentality sans the 'he has no credibility' mantra.

We hope he will be the bloodless revolution that we need to purge us of our virus of bureaucratic tyranny.

I think and believe that Trump would do just that. I am placing a a bit of faith in his business acumen as it should apply to a citizen government; if it doesn't work, remove it, kill it, throw it away.

I hope he wins and uses a daily bully pulpit to berate, belittle and destroy the cronies and political nobles.

Anonymous said...

"where the left hides"???
I think they are stealth aristocrats of the socialist collective. As their leaders say, "one issue at a time". They don't need a violent, communistic revolution. They build from local issues and then make it a national issue.

The only thing that allows them the ability to succeed is "the power of the purse". I've maintained since I can remember that the income-tax amendment was the overthrow of the American Revolution and the beginning of the end. Defund their strategy and they'd be left with shining shoes on a street corner.

Anonymous said...

The GOP establishment plays the Washington Generals to the Democrats' Globtrotters.

There is no simple answer, as the Democrat base is more interested in outcome than process (I live among them in Westchester County, NY, so I hear the end justifying the means all the time). As long as the SCOTUS continues to provide cover, the base will have all the ammunition it needs to justify extra-constitutional governance. And the GOP establishment plays the lip-service game to keep its high-paying position as the fake opposition in the DC establishment - they get paid for being the foil that allows the Democrats to play to the base

AesopFan said...

Absolutely the most cogent description of the Left's MO that I have ever seen; lots of people have kind of danced around the concept, but Daniel nails it.

As suggested in his additional comments, the Constitutional order can be saved through legal Constitutional means, but it requires a President (and Congress and Courts) willing to do it -- or at least quit actively undermining the Constitution.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Although the Republican Congress has given Obama a carte blanche, I doubt they'd do the same for Trump. They hate other Republicans more than they hate leftists.


I'm cool with Trump. He strikes me as a man who has had a plan for most of his life. Being wealthy, young and eligible in NYC during the days of the Studio 54 lifestyle must have offered Don Trump tremendous opportunity for self-destruction but he made it through and prospered.

Here is Trump talking with Larry King at the 1988 Republican convention. He come across as a very amiable young man.

Another thing: Trump is the kind of man that the Founders were. Wealthy, intelligent, competent, highly accomplished. Politics were not the first career choice of the Founders. Politics were something the Founders took up in defense of their own Liberty and the Liberties of their countrymen. The medium and the message is different today--not nearly as eloquent & articulate as the Founders. Trump's love of Liberty is as genuine as the Founders. Is there any evidence of tyranny & oppression in Trump's business practice or in the way Trump treats his employees? I daresay if there were, the Left Propaganda Complex would be shouting it from the rooftops 24/7.

I was a teenager during the Sixties. Every evening the family would sit and watch Cronkite or Huntley & Brinkley describe the Leftist atrocities being committed on-campus and in the workplaces. The turmoil seemed endless and it was oppressive. It remains so. The Relentless Left believes Karl Marx with the same ardent fervor as a devout Muslim believes the Koran. Muslims & Leftists both use Death & the threat of Death to achieve their ends. What is oppression & tyranny & loss of Liberty but a slow, agonizing death?

Donald Trump is no longer a young man. In his career he has dealt more or less successfully with some of the most corrupt & difficult people on earth. The final task Trump has set for himself will be the biggest task of all. Trump has said as much himself.

I pray Trump Godspeed and I hope Donald John Trump will avail himself of whatever counsel Daniel Greenfield & David Horowitz & many other thinkers & writers of goodwill may choose to provide if they are invited to do so. I believe Trump believes deeply in the genuine excellence of human accomplishment that the Constitutional Republic of The United States has made possible in its relatively brief history. I hope Donald Trump gets a chance to make good on the deal he is offering to We The People.

Anonymous said...

In 1972 the Democrat party abandoned me. Recently, the Republican party abandoned me. Now, sadly, all I have left is Donald Trump. Joe Polowski

Tom said...

I have put forth an argument as to why we cannot return America to its former glory. Go here to read it. Would love to get any comments if you find it interesting.

Anonymous said...

Donald Trumps bluster/brashness is superseded only by extreme narcissism. He is flimflam hucksterism in spades! If The Donald is the best hope to right the Republican Ship we will all need more life vests. Please, let us all determine to solve this dilemma with Reaganistic class and decorum.

jeyi said...

Interesting that nothing much is said about/heard from Sarah Palin these days. The GOPe consultants must have understandably freaked out over her VP acceptance speech (by far the most compelling rhetoric from any quarter in the 2008 campaign... go re-read it, it's online!) and even though she kicked McCain briefly over the top in the first post-convention polls, the Rethug establishment twisted enough arms to leave her gutted and bleeding on the floor within days... aided and abetted with the greatest relish by the Soviet Media.

dcbf2988-ac0f-11e5-b998-878d45258468 said...

we are Rome, it is 49 BC, and Trump is about to cross the Rubicon.

Cruz is Cato the Younger--and it is no accident that our Founding Fathers thought the best play ever was "Cato, a Tragedy."

Trump will in all likelihood win, and then be assassinated, either in fact or for all practical purposes. We will then keep the trappings of small-r republican government as Rome did, but we will become an executive dictatorship. For all practical purposes this has been the case since 2009, and once that corner was turned, turning it back is well nigh impossible.

Unknown said...

The problem is better shown in this little fact. During the Regan years Dems controlled Congress. All of Reagan's proposals were called "dead on arrival". Yet here we are 30 years later. The demographics are opposite. Yet Obama got the Republicans to roll over and give him everything. How is this possible unless Reagan was an abberation and we never really had an oppisition?

Anonymous said...

To Daniel, you said:

<< But it would take two things... 1. An understanding that the left is the enemy, it's not "incompetence" or "bad policies", that must be defeated.
I see no sign that Trump gets point 1... >>

Make no mistake, Trump gets it. I have watched most, if not all of Trump's speeches and have been studying him since he announced. I was torn between Cruz and Trump, so my motivation was to discern if Trump is pathological with his narcissism or simply your garden-variety egocentric businessman who truly loves his country and is motivated by frustration. (I have advanced training in behavioral analysis).

My conclusion is that he loves being underestimated (typical of blonds, I might add. :-) He instinctively knows that a direct and public conversation about this "incompetent" vs. "treasonous" question is simply not in his best interests right now. Not yet.

As just one example, on several occasions during his early speeches he has thrown out those cursory "Obama is incompetent" statements, only to follow it up with words such as, "...I mean, what ELSE could it be?" or "I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here." Each time he used these follow-up words, he paused and seemed to be gauging the crowd's reaction. OH yeah; he knows. But he also knows that timing is everything in high-stakes competition, and he plans on winning.

A major component of his love for winning seems to be outsmarting his competition. No doubt, you've noticed that he is always a few steps ahead of his enemies in this prolonged chess game. There was an article a few days ago in the LATimes where a woman who's known Donald for 40 years claims that the word "chaos" does NOT characterize how he operates. I hate that it was published right now because, speaking as one of those stereotyped dumb blondes, I know first-hand the advantages of being misunderestimated. :-)

Great article, btw. I love your work.

Ralph said...


Where are these constitutional Republicans? There are not any or they wouldnt be funding open borders and obamacare...

They dont exist - they are too the LEFT.......

Ralph said...

Just another MODERATED/CENSORED site

Pascal Fervor said...

Why do you compare what Trump faces to Cincinnatus? Cincinnatus was early republic and faced troubles from without.
Sulla was late republic and faced trouble within favoring the outliers coming in for free stuff.

Daniel. You have the intellectual might to follow out this line of thought.

Sulla succeeded in restoring republican institutionalization on its face, and retired; but ultimately it was too late for his republic as it may be too late for ours.

Should the fed-up voters go with Trump and he is inaugurated, what could he possibly do that Sulla failed to do that indeed could restore the republic?

Won't the Progs have ultimately succeeded in taking us where the wish to go once the dictatorial pattern is sustained?

Brian Keene said...

"Please, let us all determine to solve this dilemma with Reaganistic class and decorum."

sorry, this is a losing strategy at this point

Anonymous said...

Voting for Trump is McAullife at Bastogne. Socialism, Islam, multiculturalism - "Nuts."

epochehusserl said...

What we need is a pinochet or francisco franco. We need above all else to delegitimize the idea that everyone has the right to vote and everyone has the right to have children at everyone else's expense. We need to have the jews and gentiles come together to demonstrate there are ways in between the new left and nazism.

Anonymous said...


There are some places where the left is so strongly entrenched, it can never, ever be ousted. The Pacific states and the Northeast (from Maryland on up) are examples. California being the leftist goal taken to its ultimate conclusion - a one party, semi-totalitarian Socialist state, where white non-Hispanics are vilified and marginalized, the left controls completely all government branches as well as all media and educational institutions, and where "democracy" becomes a choice at election time between a Progressive Tweedle-Dee and an even further leftist Tweedle Dum.

The point being that Trump, or anybody else, cannot "save" all of America. Some of it is gone for good.

We will have to accept that any attempt by the right to gain power will result in a break up of the United States and possibly a bloody civil war.

I am prepared to live with that, but I do not know how many others are.

Bill Jones said...

"Restoring the Constitution is going to mean prying an illiberal left from power across a wide network of institutions."

Thanks for the laugh. The constitution was lost from day one.

Its purpose was to bail out the holders of the debts of the government created by the Articles of Confederation: the top 3%.
By the time Jefferson completed the illegal Louisiana Purchase, all hope was lost

Anonymous said...

Kudos for lumping non profits in with the other scoundrels.

But I wish that my smart set (my term of endearment for the writers I read regularly) would stop distinguishing between "media" and "academia."

College is exactly like any other subscribed-to magazine or televised news show: (1) tuition is academe-speak for subscription, (2) professor is academe-speak for news-caster (or weather-man), (3) a class is academe-speak for a situated group of subscriber-peers, (4) a degree (or "matriculation") is just academe-speak for the shiny bauble the magazine awards to its subscribers for, well, subscribing. Used to be Readers Digest would send you a porcelain doll or a miniature sailing ship just for paying for its copy.

I'll leave on a final note: whenever an organization creates such specialized labels to describe mundane things, like "regents" used to denote board members, for instance, that organization is signalling that it's mission depends on pretending to be something that it is not. Strip away all the semantic drapery and you will see that the academy is just another media company.

Freigeist said...

Trump- Netanyahoos next president?

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