On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP

Notes:

  1. (Pillsy []

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8 Comments on "On Emulating the TP vs Trump’s GOP"

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[…] It works. […]

bob
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Your last comment is the most useful of the thread.

If we’re talking about the left’s tactics, I think we need to go back as least to the D primary. My view then, and still now, is that, among other things BLM organizers (too narrow a label, but they were the most visible) used the Sander’s campaign as a testing and proving ground for disruption and confrontation. One of the skills I think they learned in all of that was the need for discipline among both the organizers and the rank and file.

They were not natural allies of Bernie’s, but he seemed willing to be co-opted for the organizational boost.

The Women’s March was impressive in both its organization and discipline, allowing it to make effective use of an organic “moment”.

Afterwards much opining focused on the idea that while it was impressive, they needed to develop an affirmative program to go forward.

While true, this was trivial. The program has been under development now for months, mostly behind the scenes. The contest for DNC chair is something of a proxy fight not only between the 2 wings of the D’s Sanders and Clinton, but also the 2 wings of the Sanders coalition – Sanders and his young supporters, who initially faulted him for focusing too much on economics and not enough on intersectionality.

Kolohe
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Kolohe

Was the Republican success in 2010 because of the Tea Party, or was it *despite* the Tea Party. That’s still something of an open question in my mind.

There were at least two US Senate races (Delaware and Nevada) where nominating Tea party candidates shifted a probable GOP hold/pick up (respectively) to a Dem win.

In 2014, the Tea Party ardor had cooled substantially, the candidates were much more ‘generic Republican’ and the GOP picked up the Senate, and poached some governor’s mansions in blue states.

The above is why I disagreed with Elizabeth. The dynamics of how the ‘radicals’ and the ‘moderates’ interact to effect social change is interesting and complicated and can’t be answered in a tweet. (and I don’t have a fully formed answer, other than to say you need the ‘moderates’ on board to make social or political change stick)

wpDiscuz

Noted & Quoted

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To take power, May had to pretend that she, too, dreams these impossible dreams. And that led her to embrace a phony populism in which the narrow and ambiguous majority who voted for Brexit under false pretences are be reimagined as “the people.”

This is not conservatism—it is pure Rousseau. The popular will had been established on that sacred referendum day. And it must not be defied or questioned. Hence, Theresa May’s allies in The Daily Mail using the language of the French revolutionary terror, characterizing recalcitrant judges and parliamentarians as “enemies of the people” and “saboteurs.”

This is why May called an election. Her decision to do so—when she had a working majority in parliament—has been seen by some as pure vanity. But it was the inevitable result of the volkish rhetoric she had adopted. A working majority was not enough—the unified people must have a unified parliament and a single, uncontested leader: one people, one parliament, one Queen Theresa to stand on the cliffs of Dover and shake her spear of sovereignty at the damn continentals.

...Brexit is thus far from being a done deal: it can’t be done without a reliable partner for the EU to negotiate with. There isn’t one now and there may not be one for quite some time—at least until after another election, but quite probably not even then. The reliance on a spurious notion of the “popular will” has left Britain with no clear notion of who “the people” are and what they really want.

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The most extraordinary paragraph in this op-ed, however, is this one:

The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.

...First — and this is so obvious I can’t believe I have to type out these words — the United States can’t simultaneously proclaim “America first” and then claim any kind of moral strength. Saying loudly and repeatedly that American values are not going to be a cornerstone of American foreign policy strips you of any moral power whatsoever.

The second and bigger problem is that the “embrace” of a Hobbesian vision of the world by the most powerful country in the world pretty much guarantees Hobbesian reciprocity by everyone else. Most international relations scholars would agree that there are parts of the world that fit this brutal description. But even realists don’t think it’s a good thing. Cooperation between the United States and its key partners and allies is not based entirely on realpolitik principles. It has helped foster a zone of stability across Europe, North America and the Pacific Rim that has lasted quite some time. In many issue areas, such as trade or counterterrorism or climate change, countries gain far more from cooperation than competition.

Furthermore, such an embrace of the Hobbesian worldview is, in many ways, anti-American.

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The rise of the military, if coupled with the undermining of civilian aspects of national power, demonstrates a spiritual exhaustion and a descent into Caesarism. Named after Julius Caesar — who replaced the Roman Republic with a dictatorship — Caesarism is roughly characterized by a charismatic strongman, popular with the masses, whose rule culminates in an exaggerated role for the military. America is moving in this direction. It isn’t that some civilian agencies don’t deserve paring down or even elimination, nor is it that the military and other security forces don’t deserve a boost to their financial resources. Rather, it is in the very logic, ideology, and lack of proportionality of Trump’s budget that American decline, decadence, and Caesarism are so apparent.

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State of the Discussion

CK MacLeod
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+ (Well, I didn't, four years ago, call Daniel Larison a vulgar ideologue. I suggested that his polemic on that occasion stooped to that level, in [. . .]
note on anti-Americanist conservatism in re Obama in Israel
CK MacLeod
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+ Thanks, Mr. McK. I don't see the Rs in any better a position, nor the independents for that matter. All the People's Political Scientists and [. . .]
Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post
Wade McKenzie
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+ It's a common tactic in scholasticism (vide Edward Feser) to take a term of religio-philosophical significance (such as "creation" or "eternity") that has a commonly [. . .]
note on anti-Americanist conservatism in re Obama in Israel

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