THE guardian of the conventional wisdom, Peggy Noonan, says that 2016 is "The Year of the Reticent Voter."
Not after this CBS News item about rust-belt Democrats leaving the sinking ship.
And not after yesterday. I was in line at the supermarket and a 50-ish white guy started rambling pro-Trump asides about Trump and Clinton. In the heart of Washington State's 7th Congressional District, one of the most Democratic districts in Congress! With women and minorities present!
Imagine someone daring to mention the name of Trump in the middle of Liberalville! Where the special snowflakes and the SJWs roam! The noive!
After leaving the store I realized that I should have sat him down, bought him a cup of coffee, and de-briefed him for the benefit of my readers.
No. I don't think this is the year of the reticent voter. I think this is the year that the Republican Party truly becomes the party of Middle America.
They used to talk about "country-club Republicans," and I suppose the insult had a grain of truth in it. Certainly, the GOP was heavily influenced by Buckley's National Review, by free-enterprise advocates, and latterly by the Religious Right.
And that meant that the "Reagan Democrats" could never really belong to the GOP, because, as we are seeing this year, the white working class wants the government to take care of it. It wants a degree of Patron/Client relationship, and if the old GOP stood for anything it was that it stood against Patron/Client politics.
(If you want an unsettling comparison of Patron/Client with Master/Slave and Lord/Serf, you could read this piece that a lefty calls a defense of slavery.)
But the truth is that in a country where the Patron/Client government programs of Social Security, Medicare, and government education are sacrosanct, then the championing of a government of personal responsibility is a dead letter.
That is what Donald Trump has demonstrated. And that is why the NeverTrumpers are so annoyed.
I've been watching recent Trump speeches, such as this one in Chester Township, PA, and can appreciate what he is doing. He is saying that when he is president he will care for everyone. He riffs off the Charlotte Riots by advocating for the decent folks that have to live in the riot-torn cities, trying to build a life of work and raising and educating children. Think of them, he says.
This line was startling to me, because the default conventional wisdom of the past decade has been to care about minorities and women -- as minorities and women -- and completely leaving out the ordinary non-minority-and-women people that are also struggling in these times. For Trump "inclusivity" means everyone, not just outreach to the previously "excluded."
You can see why the white guy at the supermarket would have been touched by this. Democrats haven't cared about people like him since before Archie Bunker was dispatched to Outer Slobbovia as a racist sexist bigot. But Republicans haven't cared either. They have appealed to people that obeyed the law, went to work, and followed the rules and didn't expect nuttin' from government. But people like my white guy want the government to care about people like him.
Well, Donald Trump has changed that, and he has changed the Republican Party.
It means, in the future, that the Republican Party won't be trying to do serious reform of the welfare state. Not until it is well and truly broken and the people demand that the government "do something" about it.
That's a pity, because when the welfare state breaks, it will be women and minorities -- and the white working class -- hardest hit. As usual.
LET'S start by telling it like it is. The last two nights were "The Charlotte Riots." Yet well into last night, September 21, the mainstream media were talking about "protesters." This is the result of our center-left ruling class allowing the rhetoric of the left to colonize our political discourse. It is simply misleading to characterize any street action as a "peaceful protest." All street ...
I was thinking deep thoughts in the early morning today. Or rather, deep thoughts were suggesting themselves to me, in the sense that Puccini meant when he said that the music of Madama Butterfly "was dictated to me by God." What came to me in the morning was this: Everything that the left advocates is poison for its clients. The Working Class. The left invited the working class to rise up ...
TODAY'S little dust devil seems to be the NeverTrump crowd and the news that Bush 41 is probably voting for Clinton. A lot of people are rather cross with the NeverTrumpers but I am not. I understand their situation; I feel their pain. The best way to understand the whole thing is to shine the light of Mencius Moldbug's Cathedral concept on the 2016 situation. Moldbug's real name is Curtis ...
Download latest e-book draft here.
A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elitethe spectre of conservatism.
The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasnt supposed to be like this.
Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.
Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.
Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.
The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.
A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.
The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?
From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.
The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.
The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.
Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.
The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state
The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?
The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?
Liberals and the Welfare State
Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.
From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.
The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the last best hope of man on earth.
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.
But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?
With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.
In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.
Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.
I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.
Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism