|Righteous blowback: Why Donald Trump Is the Man Of The Current Year
By Daniel M. Ryan
2016 has certainly been a strange election! Virtually everyone in the political class was flummoxed by Donald Trump's victory – and they weren't the only ones. Your humble author bet real money on Trump winning the Presidency, but I had girded myself – right up to the 11 o'clock hour of Election Night – to losing the bet. (I had won an equal amount of money from the same friendly opponent when Trump won the nomination.) It's an odd feeling when your gut is opposed to your ratiocination – and your gut gets it right.
If you look at the excuses flying around, you get a peek at how the Dem-dominated echo chamber thinks. Most so in the SJW haunts. As sub-elites clinging to the elites, the SLWers act like blabbermouths. They telegraph what the Dem-affiliated elites are really thinking but prefer to keep from us. Put both together and you get support for the theory that America is becoming an elective monarchy. The real elites have appropriated for the government one of the prime duties of the King: "Protector of the Weak" (or weak-sounding.) As those infringements on free speech grow, it's clear that the next appropriation is "Defender of the Faith." Even if part of the Faith is wrapped in the mantle of science, part of it is definitely not. An intellectually honest Darwinian biologist is now pegged by the feminist gatekeepers of the Faith as people who "believe in biology." Their "belief" has not been targeted as heretical, as yet.
The Pashtunish worthies of the press have freaked out because President-Elect Trump didn't invite any of them to a steak dinner. It's a good time to be a historian of a European country during times of a powerful monarchy. Sixty years ago, college students would have snickered bemusedly when Prof explained why the King's snubbing the Master of the Bedchamber by having a butler empty out the chamberpot was an important political signal. Now, he can add: "just like the press got alarmed when President-Elect Trump went to dinner alone with his family." Sure, there'll still be the snickers, but they'll be knowing.
Consider this astounding paradox: legislatures at the State level are so red, the tilt towards the Pubbies is almost Rooseveltian in scope. The 2016 elections, in which the Republicans were purportedly dogged by Trump's reverse coattails, make the pro-Pubbie tilt even more lopsided. The state-level Republicans only need five more legislatures to pass an Article V Amendment - through a Convention of States bypassing Congress - without caring a whit what the Dems think. George Soros has some reconsidering to do.
This tilt has been extant for some time. American politics has seen blowouts, but they don't last long. Just as Obama was rebuked by a Republican House landslide in 2010, Lyndon Johnson was rebuked by the 1966 elections. So was Harry Truman in the 1946 election, in which house Republican scored a landslide victory with the two-word slogan: "Had Enough?"
Durable tilts only exist when a large swath of the American voting public sees a tilt as a necessary counterweight to some prevailing (often aggressive) force. In Roosevelt's time, when Dems were still populist, those supermajorities were seen as a counterweight to "economic power." Truly or falsely, or a blend of both, Joe Average saw a sea of blue as protective instead of aggrandizing. This counterweight theory is consistent with the oft-made observation that landslides at the federal level tend to bring divided government.
It's quite obvious that the progs have acted in accordance with this "landslide as shield" theory. The pro-Pubbie tilt in 2016 wasn't much greater at the state level than the tilt in 2014, but the progs weren't bothered in the least. They only got royally upset when Donald Trump won the Presidency. Even now, more than a few of them are ascribing his victory to befuddled voters. When you see or hear the phrase "real interests," you know what comes next: a specification of "real interests" that's both materialistic and file-cabinet banal. Try counting the number of feminists who are decrying the fact that too many white-women voters slipped out of the binder full of women – the binder labeled "Real Interests."
Note the incuriousness amongst the poohbahs about the value-voter phenomenon, even though a values-voter model perfectly explains a rich Dem who honestly doesn't mind paying higher rates of income tax. (At least ostensibly, those Dems value caring; there might be other relevant values.) The keepers of the gates even have difficulty living up to their real-interest materialism when the Blue-Collar Blows vote for Donald Trump for obvious reasons like more jobs, particularly in manufacturing, and higher wages. Any acknowledgment of such comes grudgingly or with hedging (with the notable exception of the Bernie Sanders circuit.) We're expected to believe that folks who are stuck in trailer parks in a jobless wasteland are turning to Trump because they're afraid of losing their "white privilege." We're expected to believe that there's something called a "patriarchy" even though the male-dominated Tory party in the U.K. served more-or-less docilely under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (If men so resented female power, Thatcher would have been thrown out on her ear in the late 1970s via a backbench revolt.) We're also expected to believe that the Tea Party was motivated by "authoritarianism," even though it acted a heckuva lot more like Claus von Stauffenberg than Ernst Röhm when John Boehner was the Republican Führer. Never mind the countervailing facts, as prog land is Narrative Land.
Increasingly, the Narrative – a Narrative with a hermeneutical immunity to contrary facts - is defended not only by social-media mobbing but also by laws. Back in the days before the Enlightenment, there were laws that criminalized seditious libel. What outraged Enlightenmenteers was the stand-out provision that truth was not a valid defense. If dissemination of facts were deemed to be injurious to the Realm, the disseminator was found guilty. Back then, you really did risk jail by spreading around "hate facts." (Case in point: saying in a pamphlet that Queen Anne Boleyn was faithful to Henry VIII, after he had her executed for high treason, would have been treated as disseminating a hate fact – until her daughter Elizabeth I became Queen.) Since the Enlightenment worldview treated "truth no defence" as an outrage against the free mind, seditious-libel laws were gotten rid of, implicitly but intentionally deemed unconstitutional, or allowed to fall into dormancy. As the Enlightenment proceeded, "truth always a valid defense" became the new custom.
Until relatively recently. One of the 'innovations' of hate-speech laws, such as Canada's notorious (and recently-repealed) Section 13(1) of its Canadian Human Rights Act, is the revival of truth no defense. Revived under the rubric of Protection of the Weak, or of a member of a protected class deemed Weak, is the contra-Enlightenment credo that spreading certain facts is injurious to the Realm. The United States came close to this in the high Obama years with the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. So close, the lawmakers back then felt obliged to add a Section 909 that explicitly says the Act cannot be used to infringe upon freedom of religion or expression. We've yet to hear from John Roberts about this.
True: the infringements against freedom of expression – the attack on the Enlightenment principle "truth always a valid defense" – are typically brought to bear against marginal and fringey figures, the bulk of which have odious opinions. We're continually reassured of this - just like our forebears were assured more than a hundred years ago that the income tax was only going to be levied on rich folks. I trust you're as reassured as I.
How reassuring to know that the same Obama Administration notched up a record as the most aggressive against whistleblowers. "Injurious to the Realm"….
Revolution From Above, Blowback From Below
To be charitable to the fellow, Obama only played a part in the post-modern Counter-Enlightenment. The most aggressive infringements against controversial speech and religious expression have not been governmental. Take a look at this list of SJW-purged Purgees. Granted, it would be hand-waving exaggeration to dross up that list as a "Book of Martyrs." But it does speak to a trend of shrivelling discourse to what the poohbahs deem non-outrageous, which is a step towards shrivelling it even more to "morally acceptable." In a recent video, Prof. Jordan B. Peterson revealed the results of a character study of people he labeled "SJW Liberals" and "SJW authoritarians." One trait of the latter is that they seem fine with actual censorship.
Like Obama himself, they're only part of a trend: the values-voter answer to the Enclosures Acts of Great Britain. These Acts authorized aristocrats to rip up the customary rights of their peasants so that the aristocrat-beneficiaries could put their lands to better use. Similarly, the current "Enclosure of Beliefs" rips up the customary rights of expression and religious belief:
Both are Revolutions from Above. Just as Parliament bore down on the customary rights of voteless peasants, the "Enclosure of Beliefs" push has seen the CEOs of huge companies bear down on a state legislature. The CEO of the publicly-listed company GrubHub recently told his Trump-supporting employees to take a hike, an order he softened when it was spread around.
Neither of these can be counted as government censorship, but they're certainly paving the way for the real thing. As Kevin Williamson recounted almost a year ago, the Dems are starting to get a taste for the real thing. Had Hillary won, the clear plan was to escalate the lean-ons into formal restrictions on disseminating hate facts that contradict the global-warming Narrative. Because they're injurious to the Realm, perhaps? Because criminalization of dissent Defends the global-warming Faith?
Thankfully, Joe Blow reacts badly when new customs are shoved down his throat. We saw this in the last Presidential election, which has made Donald J. Trump the Man of the Current Year. True, a lot of his support came from folks wanting a better shake in life. But the intensity of the support – and his immunity to his gaffes – was clearly caused by public anger over the politically-correct Revolution from Above. Mr. Blow does not want his values to be enclosed, God bless him.
Daniel M. Ryan, as Nxtblg, is shepherding the independently-run Open Audi Initiative Prediction Market Shadowing Project. He has stubbornly assumed all the responsibility and blame for the workings and outcome of the project.