03 March 2016

Prelude: Five Excellent Analyses of the Political Situation

A few days ago I began writing my take on the presidential campaign with a view to opining why I might or might not support a given candidate.  It became clear very quickly that if I really wanted to go into all of the factors affecting my thinking that it would be a very long post indeed, even by my standards.

So, as an intro to that post still to come, I wanted to briefly post excerpts from some articles that put the issues in a context that: 1) makes sense to me; 2) comports with how I see the socio-political and religious landscape; and, 3) includes factors many (well-meaning, no doubt) Catholic and conservative commenters are ignoring. Consider this post a frame.

Of course the central figure in this election is Donald Trump, and the question is what are we to make of him:

Take 1: Thunderdome: Gone Savage for Trump
 by Ben Domenech

Pull back from the close ups on Donald J. Trump’s tweets, and the political realignment we are experiencing becomes obvious and impossible to ignore. The post-Cold War left-right politics of the nation have been breaking down in slow motion for two decades. They are now being replaced by a different type of inside-outside politics.

The Trump phenomenon is neither a disease nor a symptom – he is instead the beta-test of a cure that the American people are trying out. It won’t work. But this is where our politics are going: working and middle class Americans are reasserting themselves against a political and cultural establishment that has become completely discredited over time and due to their own actions.


Democrats and Republicans who still think that this is a phase – a fever they just need to wait out before a return to normalcy – are utterly delusional.  They keep talking about voters “waking up” to realize that Trump is a bad choice – but the whole reason Trump is the choice is because voters believe they have woken up to the truth about the American leadership class. 

Take 2: Donald Trump is the Next Barack Obama
by Angelo Codevilla
Like Obama, Trump is not about persuading anybody. Both are about firing up their supporters to impose their will on their opponents while insulting them. ...

This style of politics has grown, along with a ruling class that rejects the notion that no person may rule another without that person’s consent. As I have shown at length elsewhere, America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.

This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate. The ruling class insists on driving down the throats of its opponents the agendas of each its constituencies and on injuring persons who stand in the way. This has spawned a Newtonian reaction, a hunger, among what may be called the “country class” for returning the favor with interest.

 by John Hayward 

On the Republican side, the loss of faith in the GOP Establishment is palpable, building into an avalanche of distrust over the past three elections. It’s so obvious that it’s amazing even the clueless stiffs of the Establishment hierarchy didn’t see it. They’re so out-of-touch with their own base that they didn’t even realize how out-of-touch they were.

The immigration issue resonates because it’s such an obvious example of the Establishment holding a radically different position than voters… and relentlessly trying to shove it down their throats, year after year, no matter how much they protest. It’s like the customer in the Monty Python skit trying to order a meal without spam, from a restaurant that insists on cramming spam into every single menu item. No matter how loudly they object, Republican voters can’t get their party leadership to take immigration seriously.

The central premise of open-borders ideology is that people who are not American citizens have needs the U.S. government must prioritize above the needs of Americans. Big Republican donors want cheap labor at the expense of American workers. On both sides of the aisle, our elite lost faith in us, long before we lost faith in them.


Do you GOP power brokers finally understand, on this momentous Tuesday, how absolutely sick and tired your voters are of that formulation? We’re horribly disappointing, and we knuckle under to Democrats on countless issues… but we’re the only alternative, so vote for us!

In order for that lousy strategy to work, at least a shred of faith in the Party must remain.


The value of persuasion has been reduced, because socialism is compulsive – it’s not a debate, it’s Thunderdome. The losers are punished and looted. No one gets to sit on the sidelines.

Can we persuade the Left to rediscover the value of free speech… or must we send Trump to show them how it feels to be on the wrong side of their tactics? Can we persuade the Left to remember the importance of limited government and the separation of powers… or must we replace their beloved “benevolent dictator” with Trump, to frighten them back into constitutional government? 

Well, that's the flavor of it.  This post is already too long.  Read these articles, along with Take 4 by Pat Buchanan and Take 5 by Phyllis Schlafly-- two serious Catholics who ought to have serious credibility with any Catholic voter-- and check back later today or tomorrow for the finale.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Those are great articles. I think we're on the same wavelength.

The GOP-e remains in ignorance. Their desperation to stop Trump only angers voters more. NR's attempts at "reason" are an "epic fail" as the kids say.