Commenter Archive

Comments by Wade McKenzie
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On “Holy American Major League of Nations (Notes on Baseball and the Re-De-Nationalization of Americanism)

…the desperate last-gasp radicalism of American reactionary conservatives before the demographic deluge and the expected relegation of white-European Americans to “minority” status in “their own” country. (Geopolitical theorist George Friedman, in his book The Next 100 Years, describes the Latino-ization of the United States and eventual total breakdown of the southern border as the one “threat” of them all that ascendant white-imperial America will eventually prove unable to defeat.)

One readily detects the hint of relish in CKM’s anticipation of “white-European Americans” (in other words, authentic Americans) being relegated to minority status in (scare quotes) “their own” country. A passage remarkable for its undercurrent of malice and resentment.

Now one can’t plausibly suppose that even a fellow as determinedly obtuse as CK MacLeod really believes that the “Latino-ized” USA of his rejoicing will continue to be the bedrock and pillar of the “liberal international order“--for which he otherwise professes such love and attachment--or any domestic liberal order, for that matter--and thus one is forced to conclude that MacLeod’s animus against “white-European Americans”--authentic Americans, as apart from the multitude of pseudo-Americans whom we’re constantly pressured to acknowledge and acclaim--is so spiteful as to be self-destructive of his own professed support for liberal political arrangements here and abroad. How to account for this strange paradox?

Incipit nihilismus

On “German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

Speaking of George Friedman...

The party of Chancellor Angela Merkel no longer uses the word “friend” to describe the United States in its platform. But in fact, Merkel has blamed Trump for a rupture he has little to do with. At issue are the national interests of both countries. Germany needs for the European Union to be economically healthy enough to buy the exports on which its economy depends, but the United States, which has little leverage or stake in the European Union, sees its disintegration as a European problem.

The divergence between the United States and Germany has been growing since 2008, and there is little Trump could have done to change things.

On “Charles Pierce: This, Right Here. This Is Where Obama Choked. – Esquire

This, right here. This is where they choked.

This, right here. This--here, right here.

“I don’t get it. You’re saying ’this here’ in response to ’this here’.”

Well let’s try again, shall we?

This, right here. This is where they choked.

This, right here. This--here, right here.

“I see. You’re making fun of the fellow for writing like this. It’s a silly way of expressing oneself.”

That, there--right there. This.

“And I suppose one who writes like that can’t be taken seriously…”

This. Right here. That.

“Well, what can you expect from a political movement whose central mythology is Star Wars? Juvenility is sort of baked into it.”

That. Right there. This.

The American people had damned close to an absolute right to the information their government already had.

In other words, they didn’t have an absolute right.

The most fundamental act of citizenship is the right to cast an informed vote.

Hm, I didn’t realize a right was an act--but perhaps I’m missing the “theological” significance of the term “right”.

The idea that the Obama administration withheld the fact that the Russians were ratfcking the election in order to help elect a vulgar talking yam, etc.

Surely I’m not the only one who sees the grotesque paradox of this sentence.

What’s more, it almost perfectly encapsulates the history of the United States over the past fifty years or so--whereby a cultural revolutionary “progressive” movement has dedicated itself tirelessly to the coarsening and vulgarization of our national life, but is now mortified at a coarse and vulgar President Trump.

Incipit nihilismus.

Would Donald Trump have raised hell if the White House released what it knew? Of course, he would have.

And he would have had an absolute ratfcking right to do so.

But, as it was, the American people went to vote with only about half of the information they needed to assess his candidacy.

They had all the information they needed and they made their choice--to reject Crooked Billary. (You remember Crooked Billary, doncha? He’s the one who had such a sense of the dignity of the Presidency as to diddle some intern’s twat with a cigar in the Oval Office.)

This was a terrible decision.

Sheez, “Mr.” Pierce--you’d think somebody grabbed your pussy or something.

On “note on anti-Americanist conservatism in re Obama in Israel

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 understood meaning (the kind of meaning that one will find in the dictionary definition of such terms) and lend that term a specialized meaning--one that serves the purpose of making something that is intrinsically implausible to common sense seem less so--then proceed to characterize those who don't use the term according to its specialized meaning as unsophisticated vulgarians and ignoramuses.

The tactic has more to do with rhetorical legerdemain than philosophy and we see it employed here with supremely eloquent cheek.

That being said, Larison certainly is an ideologue--though "bourgeois" strikes me as a better adjective than "vulgar".

On “Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

I don't know, CK, if you or anyone reading along has had a chance to see this yet, but it's so relevant to the discussion you and bob and I were having here, that I'd like to append it to the thread if I may.

I think it squares nicely with the position I took in the exchange--especially the idea that the Democratic Party is deeply troubled electorally, and that the roots of that trouble lie in the party's subscription to alienating ideologies.

Sifting through the wreckage of the 2016 election, Democratic pollsters, strategists and sympathetic academics have reached some unnerving conclusions.

What the autopsy reveals is that Democratic losses among working class voters were not limited to whites; that crucial constituencies within the party see its leaders as alien; and that unity over economic populism may not be able to turn back the conservative tide.

Equally disturbing, winning back former party loyalists who switched to Trump will be tough: these white voters’ views on immigration and race are in direct conflict with fundamental Democratic tenets.

On “German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

Congratulations on at least admitting when you, or your source, sbeen touched!

Thank you, CK. I blame my source--he fucked me.

...that plunge at the end of the opinion chart strikes me as a bit more like a total sudden collapse, or fall off a cliff, than the emergence of enthusiasm for Hula Hoops or nose-rings...

When sales of Hula Hoops or nose-rings or Beatles records undergo a total sudden collapse--or a total sudden increase--geopolitical realities remain unaffected. Phony Trumpmania will have the same non-effect. The faddish politics of baizuo don't matter to the mountain of Kunlun.

Another way of looking at the contretemps between Trump and das deutsche Volk is that it really doesn't matter regardless of one's analysis, since there isn't anything going on in Europe at the present time that need worry us or them. So what if they strike the obligatory pose of baizuo vis a vis Trump? Europe is at peace--and the bogeyman Russia, with one-tenth the GDP of NATO-Europe (one-tenth!) isn't really a threat.

The other part of President Trump's trip--the Middle Eastern part--seemed to highlight an improvement of relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel, in a region where improved relations with our allies might actually make a difference, given that region's continuing turmoil.

Having said that, I think you do make an interesting point about the latent instability of the United States and the prospective effect of that instability on geopolitical arrangements.

So long as we're having recourse to the figure of relations between states as marriages, the United States themselves are like a marriage--and an abusive one at that. Long ago, one party to the marriage--let's think of it as the wife--decided she couldn't stand to be married to her husband anymore and she upped and left. Unfortunately for her, her husband tracked her down and beat her to a bloody pulp, until she agreed to come back. The couple hasn't exactly lived happily ever after since and one might suppose that on that basis they never will.

On “Counter-Drizzle on the Hypothesis of the End of the American World-Historical Era (OAG #12c)

…After the Trumpian interregnum is over, the bodies buried and costs tallied, a more mature "condominium" ought to be achievable.

Or to put it only slightly differently: pace bohemian bourgeois Schwärmerei, the Trump presidency isn't liable to do much damage, if any, to the present world order. Everything depends on that mountain of Kunlun, and the boutique attitudes of baizuo won't even put a dent in it--one needs an infinitely sharper sword than that.

On “German Trust in America – the Trend (#OAG 12b)

Touché, MacLeod.

But let's not forget Bhadrakumar's overarching point--that geopolitical constraints will compel the German government to seek a close relationship with the dis-United States, regardless of the superficies of German public opinion's disapproval of NSA overreach and Donald Trump.

Disapprobation of Donald Trump is currently a Western fad, a kind of political fashion among the bohemian bourgeoisie, about as substantive as Beatlemania. Those sorts of voguish enthusiams don't compete well with geopolitical necessities.

On “The Economist: How to understand Angela Merkel’s comments about America and Britain 

...Mrs Merkel’s comments today illustrate how much Trumpandbrexit has hurt America and Britain in the past months.

From M.K. Bhadrakumar's take on Hausfrau Merkel's remarks:

By the way, this has nothing to do with Trump. The percentage of Germans who trusted the US plunged from 76% to 34% during the first six years of the Barack Obama presidency.

On “Theodicy of Trump – a Tweet-Drizzle (OAG #11)

Only the retrospective knowledge that Trump, against every establishment anticipation, won the election lends the idea that Hillary Clinton ought to have refused to participate in the debates in a (to my mind, Quixotic) attempt to "de-legitimize" Trump even the remotest plausibility. For one thing, a refusal to debate Trump would have been portrayed by the Trump campaign as an instance of the very pusillanimity of the establishment cum political class that you say (assuming that I understand you correctly--the compressed nature of a "tweet" may be an obstacle to my understanding) is "the one thing Trump & his voters had right".

In any case, the key reason why the Clinton campaign assumed it would not be in their self-interest to attempt to "de-legitimize" Trump was their conviction--universally shared by the establishment punditocracy--that Trump was unelectable (where "electable" is somehow supposed to correlate with "approximation to left-liberalism" or, perhaps better, to "liberalism simpliciter"), and thus Hillary Clinton, however moribund her candidacy, was assured of victory.

It is proverbial that the failure to cognize one's position as vulnerable or defeasible sets one up for disappointment or even astonishment--and the astonishment of left-liberals and of others whose political perspectives are approximations or echoes, however remote, of left-liberalism or liberalism simpliciter, is inscribed in their political deeds to this very day, some six-odd months after the election.

The left-liberalism that is concretized in the Democratic Party has quite obviously become a species of fanaticism--and, while I'd be the last person on earth to deny the virtue (and maybe even the sheer necessity at all times) of fanaticism--it seems to me that this particular iteration of the fanatic spirit isn't born of an underlying vitality but rather of a decay of vitality.

On “Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

If we view the character of the US government to be of, by, and for the people rather than of, by, and for the acres, the map points to a distorted view of electoral support for the President in November 2016.

My point, of course, had nothing to do with "government of, by, and for the acres" (a clever formulation, I'll grant) but rather with the Democrats' failure to win a crucial national election for the lack of a few more acres. Given the stakes, is the expectation that the Democrats ought to have been able to win a few more acres out in the dreary, retrograde and bigoted heartland--the "Jesusland" of liberal cartography--so unreasonable? And I submit that their inability to do so has everything to do with their myopia.

As to "government of, by, and for the people"--according to Harry Jaffa in A New Birth of Freedom, Lincoln's ideal of popular government which that famous phrase embodies has everything to do with strict conformity to law, with the "rule of law" as such, and the reason Lincoln associated the secession of the South with an assault on the ideal of "government of, by, and for the people" was that they did not seek to secede via a legal process, they just unilaterally decreed it.

On that reading, "government of, by, and for the people" really has little to do with the ostensible injustice of the will of the voters of L.A. County being frustrated as regards their choice for President of the United States--since a mound of ten million human beings doesn't really get at the ideal of "government of, by, and for the people"--and everything to do with "strict conformity to law". And that necessarily--and obviously--means the law pertaining to Presidential elections which mandates the Electoral College, and the laws pertaining to Congressional elections which, unfortunately for the Democrats, have an awful lot to do with acres and counties and states.

On “Kaila Hale-Stern: How to Read Director Comey’s Goodbye Letter – The Mary Sue

DONNIE TRUMPO HAS INVOKED A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS AND HE’S WIPING HIS ASS WITH OUR MOST SACRED DOCUMENT THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME I HAVE EXPLICITLY TOLD YOU THAT YOU HAD BETTER STEP UP

I really must commend the maturity and profundity of this sentiment. The image of President “Trumpo” wiping his hiney with “our most sacred document”--presumably a reference to the U.S. Constitution--is especially wise and illuminating. That Mr. MacLeod would bring an image of such probity and intelligence to our attention (where “our” effectively encompasses bob and me) is hardly surprising. After all, C.K. is the fellow who literally smears his excrement across the face of “Virtue” on a well-nigh daily or perhaps twice-daily basis.

SORRY YOU’RE GOING TO BE FIRED AS WELL BY THIS CANCER ON THE AMERICAN STATE IT’S GOING TO BE WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER BUT THE COUNTRY’S FREEDOM IS ACTUALLY AT STAKE HERE DESTROY HIM LIKE A GREAT AVENGING EAGLE

Another judicious sentiment. Of particular interest is the unstated assumption of the passage: namely, that the legitimacy of “the American state” is imagined to be more rightfully embodied in the authority of appointed officials rather than in the authority of a lawfully elected President of the United States. In any case, one can’t but admire the good sense and reasonableness of “destroy him like a great avenging eagle”.

IF I EVER MEANT ANYTHING TO YOU MY G-MEN AND G-WOMEN YOU WILL BURN THIS MOTHER DOWN

Who wouldn’t acknowledge the sage wisdom of the sentiment “burn this mother down”? As for those who would unwisely and unintelligently retort that to “burn this mother down” in response to President “Trumpo” being a “cancer on the American state” who’s “wiping his ass with our most sacred document” is a rather extreme course of action even in the face of such a grave threat--one can only suppose that their complete lack of wisdom and intelligence speaks for itself.

Thanks for sharing this, C.K. Coming on the heels of your regrettable citation of the airheaded Jennifer Rubin, you admirably decided to “up your game” by having recourse to the highly intelligent Ms. “Hale-Stern”. Nice recovery.

Well, I see that the timer for the next commercial break is almost down to zero, so I better get outta here.

On “Jennifer Rubin: Pro-Trump Republicans will get nothing, not even retention of a House majority – The Washington Post

Quinnipiac finds: “By a 54 – 38 percent margin, American voters want the Democratic Party to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives. This is the widest margin ever measured for this question in a Quinnipiac University poll, exceeding a 5 percentage point margin for Republicans in 2013.” You wonder whether that number has to hit 20 percent before Republicans, etc.

I'd like to think the flaw in this--regarding "control of the U.S. House of Representatives"--would go without saying.

When voters on a district by district basis begin to evince a similar tendency, then we'll know Republican control of the House is endangered, but not before then.

an incompetent, scandal-plagued and uniquely dishonest administration.

That's right, folks. More dishonest and scandal-plagued than the Nixon administration during the Watergate crisis--more dishonest than LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin--more dishonest than JFK and his serial adulteries and concealed health problems--more dishonest than Bill Clinton and "that woman, Ms. Lewinsky"--

remaining unconcerned with the precedent of firing an FBI director

There was widespread and bipartisan dissatisfaction with Jim Comey. As to "the precedent" of firing an FBI director, it certainly isn't unprecendented--and if it were, it would probably be desirable to establish one, since the position of FBI director itself has a somewhat chequered history.

confirming some of the worst nominees in history

Gee, that's "fairly described", isn't it? That's not a sectarian perspective.

including an attorney general who appears to have reneged on his promise to recuse himself

Really? So an attorney general who recuses himself from a particular investigation can no longer superintend the FBI director?

Well, even were that the case--which, of course, it isn't--that doesn't prevent the deputy attorney general (let alone the President of the United States himself) from superintending the FBI director.

"

they have no choice or interest-calculus other than to continue as they have been until someone or -thing compels them to stop.

Yes--and we've yet to hear any plausible scenario about what that "someone or -thing" would look like, let alone be. A Democratic Party besotted by an alienating bourgeois ideology practically calibrated to offend (and even demonize) the white working class and relegated to coastal enclaves, however locally strong (I mean, have you looked at a map of last year's election on a county by county basis?), almost certainly isn't the "someone or -thing". Ergo...

"

It occurs to me that, in my preceding comment, I said that the Democrats "lost the Senate to boot" in last year's election. I'd like to think that anyone reading along would take my larger meaning despite the mistaken expression, but before anyone corrects me, permit me to acknowledge the mistake. If I could revise that clause it would read something like "failed to take either chamber of Congress" or some such.

"

Bob, I really can't help but marvel at the stated assumption of your comment: namely, that the Republican control of the Presidency and Congress is "not durable against the long term trends." Granted, there's been a lot of talk on that line over the past fifteen years or so, much of it plainly self-serving. But what we saw in the last national election was a veritable collapse of the Democratic Party on a national basis--a showing that really ought to alarm every committed Democrat but apparently does not, given the paucity of self-critical analysis from that quarter.

We hear endlessly about how Russia "stole" the election (by releasing internal comments of Clinton campaign and DNC insiders that were widely viewed as being offensive) and how Jim Comey disrupted Hillary's sure-fire election prospects at the eleventh hour. We've heard relatively little about how moribund Hillary was as a presidential candidate and as a corollary how moribund the Democratic National Committee cum Politburo is--the Wikileaks documents exposed the way in which the DNC rigged the outcome of the nomination process in the face of a groundswell of enthusiasm for Bernie Sanders. By contrast, we surely learned that the Republican National Committee played fair and square by their candidates--and proceeded to win a major victory.

Yes, the Democrats are strong in certain prominent urban enclaves on the West and East coasts. Yet, the fact that the Democrats failed to win the last election against a candidate widely presumed to be unelectable, that they lost the Senate to boot, and that they suffered a calamitous decline in their representation in state legislatures would seem to testify to the widespread unpopularity of the Democratic Party across an extensive geographic distribution--and, unfortunately for the Democrats, popularity across an extensive geographic distribution is just how elections for both the President and Congress are structured in this country. Whether talk of "long term trends" disfavoring the Republican Party turns out to be true or false, those long term trends won't affect the short term of the 2018 or 2020 elections.

If one is going to speculate on the imminent demise of the Republican Party on the national level, one can only do so by positing the correlative rise of the Democrats. It really doesn't matter much if millions of Hispanics keep piling up in California or if thousands of Somalis keep piling up in Minnesota. Long term trends like that don't help the Democrats win the Presidency or the Congress; and, in the meantime, those same trends antagonize the white working class throughout the country--and the white working class really is a critical constituency. Right now, President Trump has a lock on that constituency (witness the continuing enthusiasm of his rallies), which isn't concentrated in a few enclaves but is evenly distributed throughout the states. Will the Democrats do anything to pick that lock or will they double down on the same elite bourgeois ideology of "diversity" that lost them the white working class in the first place? All signs point to the latter prospect.

As for Speaker Ryan's comments on the "one shot" of passage for the AHCA, that seems to me a reference only to internal dynamics of the Republicans in Congress vis a vis Obamacare, not to their electoral prospects overall. I can't imagine that any Republican official at this point in time is sweating the party's prospects against a moribund Democratic Party that is in process of losing its historically core constituency.

On “Jeffrey Goldberg: The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P. – The Atlantic

The conversation that you and Bob were having at the time that I wrote my comment had everything to do with the recent missile strike on Syria and little to do with the specifics of Goldberg's piece, and it was to that conversation I was responding.

The idea that Obama's (hypothetical) response to the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria would have been superior to Trump's must be balanced against the univocal support given by the political establishments of the G7 countries to President Trump's action.

In addition, the strike has garnered widespread support from the U.S. political establishment--even Chuck Schumer gave his whole-hearted blessing to President Trump's deed. So I don't see how President Obama's ostensible premeditated consensus-building could be imagined to supersede President Trump's existing Congressional and foreign consensus after the fact.

In your original comment, you claimed that “[President Trump] doesn’t know what he’s doing!!!!!!”--a line that you subsequently removed before you published my comment. With or without its explicit presence in the documentary record, the expression of that sentiment itself was about the only thing really going on in your virtue-signaling exchange with bob (on both your parts) and I wanted to make the obvious point that, given the broad consensus on the part of political establishments both at home and abroad in favor of the missile strike--to say nothing of its seamless consonance with President Obama's policy--those same establishments must not know what they are doing either. (Right, my friend?)

I also want to make clear that I myself do not think that President Obama's refraining from striking Syria was a "blunder"--I only said "that [it] was widely construed by establishment commentators and politicians at the time [or better, afterwards] to have been a blunder." Again, I sought to make the point that Trump's action was fully in accord with political establishments here in North America and Western Europe.

You're certainly correct, though, that the missile strike represents an about-face from Trump's tweets at the time Obama was contemplating his own response to the Ghouta incident, as well as Trump's rhetoric throughout the 2016 campaign. I can only refer us all to the common-sense apothegm that runs, "Meet the new boss,..."

As it turns out, pace Donald Trump himself, the president does appear to have a foreign policy--more or less the same foreign policy as his predecessor. And that would seem to be due to the fact that said policy is not and never has been the product of individual intention or inclination but is rather the consequence of permanent and constraining geopolitical interests that transcend and outlast any given administration. Appearances to the contrary tend to be cosmetic, as no one should know better than you.

"

President Obama articulated a doctrine of sorts regarding U.S. policy vis a vis the Syrian civil war, which more or less stated that the U.S. would not concern itself overmuch with the Syrian conflict unless chemical weapons were used. In that event, President Obama clearly suggested that an American military response would be in order.

When chemical weapons were subsequently deployed in the Ghouta incident, President Obama hesitated to carry out his implied threat--a hesitation that was widely construed by establishment commentators and politicians at the time to have been a blunder. Even so, the Obama administration managed to secure an agreement from the Syrian regime to surrender its remaining chemical weapon stockpiles.

The most recent episode of chemical weapons use in Syria--which U.S. intelligence is apparently certain was carried out by the Assad regime--suggests either that the Syrian government cheated on the previous agreement or has since produced fresh stock--clearly an unacceptable development for ongoing U.S. policy.

If President Obama were still occupying that office at this point in time, it seems probable that he himself would have carried out a strike not at all dissimilar from the one President Trump ordered. In any case, the strike--admittedly more symbolic than practical--is a logical step relative to a U.S. policy enunciated by the Obama administration and obviously embraced by the Trump administration as well--namely, expressing severe disapproval over the use of chemical weapons in contemporary conflicts.

Despite the fact that political establishments in both North America and Europe aren't inclined to laud President Trump, the missile strike has garnered widespread support from those same establishments, with the recent G-7 summit of foreign ministers being a good example. If "[President Trump] doesn’t know what he’s doing!!!!!!”, at least in this particular instance, then it is evidently the case that the same political establishments so beloved of C.K. MacLeod don't know what they're doing either.

On “Issie Lapowsky: Don’t Let Trump’s Win Fool You: America’s Getting More Liberal – WIRED

Upon further consideration, I've detected an apparent contradiction in my comment above that I'd like to bring to light and resolve.

In the first half of my comment, I cast doubt on the idea that Donald Trump "lost" the "popular vote" or would have lost the election had it actually been conducted on the line of a national popular vote.

There is, however, a standing supposition on the part of some observers that if presidential elections were conducted strictly on the line of a national popular vote, then the Democratic candidate would win every time, due to the strong grip in which Democrats hold California, NYC, et al.--and in the second part of my comment, I accept that speculation and remark that such a state of affairs would greatly distress the rest of the nation.

So which is it--do Republican candidates for president, including Donald Trump, stand a chance in elections conducted on the line of a national popular vote or would such elections rather be a shoo-in for the Democrat?

I think I'll reiterate my original skepticism concerning the outcome of a national popular vote for president. Conducting a presidential election on such a line would so alter the electoral dynamics that we just can't say whether or not Trump might have been able to accumulate more votes than the moribund and crooked Hillary Clinton. But if the supposition of a perennial national majority favoring the Democratic Party was indeed proved true, then I think repeated elections (without let-up) of the torchbearers of contemporary bourgeois left-liberalism to the presidency would be too much to bear for the vast parts of the country shut out from any hope of periodic control of the national reins of power--and the resolution of that problem would probably entail, at a minimum, reversion to the electoral college system of electing presidents. At a maximum, it would entail divorce.

Regardless of the methodology of U.S. presidential elections, the dynamics of such elections are changing in a profound way. Whites are finally being forced to confront the truth that the much-talked-about "browning of America" is finally coming into view. As we go forward, even bourgeois whites will be compelled to digest what their policy of "diversity" has wrought--and not least the cultivation of an explicit white ethnic identity and interest over against the manifold parochial identities and niche interests of the coalition of the diverse, aka the Democratic Party.

"

Not only did he lose the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes

Trump didn't lose "the popular vote"--there is no popular vote. That which everyone cites as "the popular vote" is purely notional as a "popular vote", and I'd like to think that the eminently sober and precise C.K MacLeod wouldn't disagree with me on this.

I hope it will be gratuitous for me to explain that, if we had elected the president in our most recent election on a strictly "national popular vote" basis, then the popular vote tally of that election would differ from the "popular vote" tally of the actually-existing election conducted on the line of the electoral college. We've no idea--short of prophecy--who would've won the election had it been carried out according to the norm of a national popular vote.

Trump’s election may represent the resistance of those who fear this left-leaning future, but it won’t change that future from coming to pass.

Ahh--and, as it turns out, Miss Issie is a prophet--not quite of the stature of the Prophet Isaiah, but the Prophetess Issie nevertheless. In all seriousness, the "prophetic" tendency of progressive liberalism testifies to its abiding faith that it shall not have to shed blood in the furtherance of its profoundly controversial and disturbing objectives--it will just all "come to pass" without further ado--though we may have to endure occasional hiccups along the way from detestable "raaa-cists", "climate change deniers" and other retrograde souls.

It really doesn't matter much if there is a (strictly numerical) "majority" for a "left-leaning future" in California, New York City, Chicago and Boston. It's always been obvious, and going forward it's going to become ever more obvious, that the "United" States are a collection of separate countries and peoples and it seems we ought to divorce one another and go our separate ways. In any event, just conduct a few presidential elections strictly on the line of a national popular vote--so that California, NYC, Chicago and Boston can lord it over the rest of us--and divorce proceedings will get underway right quick, I suspect.

It may be that the hinterland--the Jesusland of progressive liberal geography--is presently lording it over the citadels of progressive sophistication, but we only get to do that periodically, once in a blue moon. If we had presidential elections on a national popular basis, the paragons of sophistication would be lording it over the rest of us every single time--and that is a condition that would prove intolerable to us, buh-LEEVE me! But if liberal sophisticates (and hardened rednecks) lament the alternation of control over the reins of power, then shouldn't we just go our separate ways--Prophetess Issie into her left-leaning future, and I into my Southern juche future?

On “Si Vis Bellum, Part 3: Always Again

Admittedly, I've no idea what the adjective "Jacksonian" entails--and, frankly, I don't think I understand your reply very much, if at all--but I was myself responding to the spectrum you formulated as "ranging from left or right neo-isolationism and pacifism to one or another so-called Jacksonian, etc."--you clearly (and, as I say, pardonably--my pithy maxim does indeed sound an awful lot like the others you cited) assigned my precept to the Jacksonian pole and I just wanted to make clear that my own affinities are with the "isolationist" side of that equation--I sympathize deeply with North Korean juche--though, if you think my dictum accords with something like a "Jacksonian" isolationism, then that's fine by me.

"

As long as we're all doing clever variations of "Si vis pacem, para bellum", how bout this one:

If you want the white ethnostate, then prepare for "diversity".

"

Members of that virtual coalition will be found dissatisfied or appalled by each other’s preferred alternatives to the two-sided neo-conservative and liberal-international consensus, since those alternatives, ranging from left or right neo-isolationism and pacifism to one or another so-called Jacksonian, bloody-minded version of “more rubble, less trouble,” “Let Allah sort it out,” or “Build the Wall – Kill ‘Em All,” could not be more contradictory in spirit.

I certainly don't object to being quoted--and, for those who don't know and didn't follow the link, yours truly is the source for the "Build the Wall -- Kill em All" quote above--but the author has placed that (no doubt) "bloody-minded" sentiment in the category of a (rudimentary, for sure) foreign policy directive and thence assigned it to the "Jacksonian" camp. In my own mind, however, I wanted to affiliate myself with an extreme isolationism (not so much a "neo-isolationism" as an "archaeo-isolationism" along Spartan lines). "Kill em All" as a dictum was in no way aimed at foreigners outside the territorial bounds of the United States. To the end of making my meaning clear, the maxim might be paraphrased as "Keep em Out -- Root em Out". (Nonetheless, I do acknowledge that the author's misunderstanding of my intention is entirely pardonable.)

On “Si Vis Bellum, Part 1: “Militarism” and “Interventionism”

Though I disapprove of your suggestion that "a metrical approach" might help to clarify the "definitional vagueness" of the matter at hand upon which the original post insists--and which seems to be the only point of the post, leading me to suppose it only a sort of prefatory note, wherein the author is either paying his reverent due to the simultaneous possibility and impossibility of obtaining agreement (which impossibility is currently afflicting and undermining, perhaps undoing, the Western political and ethical order, with its teleology of expanding itself world without end) rooted in rival understandings of the meaning and significance--as well as rival valuations--of motivating ideals; or (or and/or): the author is laying the ground for dubiety of any "definite" position on the subjects of "militarism" and "interventionism" so that he may lightly esteem any conviction on these matters (other than his own?), on the grounds of their insufficiency vis a vis the unnavigable swirl of language (in either or both events, anticipate the customary obscurantism)--I found your (that is, bob's) citation of the Turkish experience of a militarism for the sake of Westernization to be interesting.

Turkey's Westernizing militarism being necessary in this case, and meaning here something like an intimidating degree of the possibility of applying coercive force, presumably because integration into the Western political and ethical order is/was so profoundly alien to the historical spirit, essence and/or existence of the Turkish people that it required threatening gestures of prospective violence to enact--"until it didn’t", as you say, meaning that, with the coming of a sort of live democracy to the Turks around the turn of the century--not the "liberal" sort, but rather more the classical, illiberal kind--it didn't take long for Turkey's populists to begin to unwind, unravel and undo Turkey's Westernizing orientation--a phenomenon that seems to be getting underway in the West as well. As it turns out, the Western political and ethical order in its liberal democratic phase is proving to be deeply alienating to all peoples, including its own.

That Western political establishments tended uniformly to approve of Turkey's militarized, forced integration into the liberal democratic order of the West suggests that Western elites are, pace liberalism per se, ultimately less interested in (what they cognize to be) ethical means than they are in (what they cognize to be) ethical ends. Even now, at the "end" of (the Whig interpretation of) history, it is, as ever, the ends that justify the means--an antithesis of political philosophic liberalism and which evokes perhaps the simple "befallen-ness" of this international political order and the consequent impossibility of "managing" it by means of human choice(s) or intention. The forced liberalization of a people gradually elicits either organized and determined resistance or, perhaps, a debilitating exhaustion, while the liberalization of a people along more "consensual" lines seems to eventuate in the exact same result. Either way, ongoing "liberalization" would seem to deconstruct or "unbuild" itself. That which befalls, in course or path of time, withdraws.

...the US approach which is perhaps to see the entire world as its “living space”.

This does seem to be "the US approach" and it poses vast problems for the peoples of the earth. They must either fight (militarize?) in order to secure the existence of their people and a future for their children, or they must essentially vanish into the anti-world oblivion of the U.S./Western administrative grid of techno-capitalism. Either way, hardship and harm beckon.

On “Si Vis Bellum, Part 3: Always Again

Interventionist can be descriptive without being necessarily pejorative, but militaristic cannot.

"Militaristic" most certainly can be non-pejorative, descriptive--it can even be a term of praise. It all depends on one's predilection, one's preference. If one is animated by an anti-militaristic passion or prejudice, then "militarism" is presumably a "pejorative" term. If one is animated rather by a martial passion, then "militarism" will be a laudatory term.

Sparta was militaristic and has rightfully had a multitude of admirers down through the ages. Prussia was militaristic--and had an admirer and apologist of the greatest intellectual stature and prestige in Hegel. Unified Germany carried forward the tradition of militarism right on up to 1945 and has its admirers even now, even in America. The Soviet Union was militaristic--I'm almost inclined to view the Soviet Union as Sparta on a continental scale--and carried out the most illustrious feat of arms in military history, the Great Fatherland War (as Harrison Salisbury translated that expression). No one could be blamed for admiring the Soviet Union in that respect--the Soviets saved Russia from extermination. Would a non-militaristic, "liberal" make-nice regime been able adequately to meet the onslaught? For those of us who admire these regimes, their "militaristic" character is no small part of why we do so.

Have you ever considered the possibility that the reason you are averse to militarism is more than adequately explained by the fact that the regime which formed your character explicitly taught you to disapprove of (rival) militaristic regimes like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union?

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