Steyn, correct yet again.
According to exit polls, in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, two out of three GOP voters favor Trump’s proposed temporary ban on all Muslim immigration – despite the universal reaction from the massed ranks of the politico-media class that this time he’d really gone too far. In other words, as I said all those months ago, it’s the old Broadway saw: Nobody likes it but the public.
The only reason any pollster is even asking this question is because Donald Trump proposed it. As those numbers suggest, any of Trump’s rivals could have helped themselves by “stealing his issue”. And yet no other candidate has gone anywhere near it – or anything like it. Perhaps one reason why American elections have the lowest voter participation rate of almost any developed nation is because the political class mostly seems to be talking about its own peculiar preoccupations. Consider this astute observation by Steve Sailer:
American citizens have turned in large numbers to old-white-guy candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. For all their differences, both give the impression that they are running for president of the United States, not president of Davos.
I live in northern New Hampshire, where every town that isn’t a ski resort is dead. They were pleasant, sleepy places in genteel decline 20 years ago. Now they’re hollowed out by heroin and meth, and offering no economic opportunity beyond casual shifts at the KwikkiKrap. And when you listen to the Dems they’re worried about micro-aggressions and transphobia and when you listen to Congressional Republicans they’re talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The two-party one-party state has nothing to say to tens of millions of Americans.
What the hell, as long as the suckers keep on coughing up on Tax Day every year and don’t notice where it’s all going, the Ruling Class is fine with that. Meanwhile, on the Democrat Socialist side:
She was the first First Lady to be turned publicly into the First Doormat. And, because of that, Democrats felt sorry enough for her to give her a Senate seat in a state she’d never lived in. She accomplished nothing as senator but felt she was owed the presidency. This time Democrats felt that was a consolation prize too far and went for a more glamorous and seductive rival. This time the consolation prize was responsibility for America’s foreign relations. Again she accomplished nothing: She traveled while the world burned. Everywhere is worse than it was in 2008: Iraq, Libya, Syria… Afterwards, she joined her husband in massively enriching herself by giving six- and seven-figure speeches to those who understand that, while you can never really own a Clinton, you can put down a deposit for services to be rendered. She became a senator, a presidential candidate, a secretary of state because she was Mrs William Jefferson Clinton – and her sense of entitlement was such that she never felt obligated to make anything of the job other than using it as a springboard for personal enrichment.
And even then it need not have mattered had her campaign had a rationale other than her curious belief that somehow she’s entitled to be president.
By contrast, Bernie is all policy. Lunatic policy to be sure, but policy nevertheless. Hillary is nothing but “I’ll never stop fighting for you”. She has no platform. Nothing. Its vapidity is encapsulated by her pledge to the young voters who have abandoned her all but totally – that even though they aren’t there for her she will always be there for them. You can almost hear the snorts of derision in response.
She’ll always be there: That’s the problem.
It surely is. Apparently, they ALL will, Republicrat and Demican alike. Like cockroaches, you can’t get rid of them by negotiation or even threats; you have to fumigate the joint now and then, as Jefferson recommended. Even then, they’ll just come back again unless you keep your eyes peeled and stomp ’em whenever you see ’em. The Jefferson quote I’m thinking of? Oh, you know it already, but it’s always worth tossing out there again:
Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independent 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century & a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century & half without a rebellion? & what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.
Oh, how far we’ve “progressed” since then. Can anyone even imagine such a rebellion a-fomenting in Massachusetts now, in the era of “Boston ‘Strong,'” no matter the severity and audaciousness of the provocation? If so, you’re a more fanciful and, umm, visionary person than I’ll ever be.
UNEXPECTED update! Peggy Noonan, of all people, for the most part getting it:
I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. Gloria Steinem thought she owned feminism, thought she was feminism. She doesn’t and isn’t. The Clintons thought they owned the party—they don’t. Hedge-funders thought they owned the GOP. Too bad they forgot to buy the base!
All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military.
The mainstream journalistic mantra is that the GOP is succumbing to nativism, nationalism and the culture of celebrity. That allows them to avoid taking seriously Mr. Trump’s issues: illegal immigration and Washington’s 15-year, bipartisan refusal to stop it; political correctness and how it is strangling a free people; and trade policies that have left the American working class displaced, adrift and denigrated. Mr. Trump’s popularity is propelled by those issues and enabled by his celebrity.
In winning, Donald Trump threw over the GOP donor class. Political professionals don’t fully appreciate that, but normal Americans see it. They get that the guy with money just slapped silly the guys with money. Every hedge-fund billionaire donor should be blinking in pain. Some investment!
This leads me to Citizens United. Conservatives applauded that Supreme Court decision because it allowed Republicans to counter the effect of union money that goes to Democrats. But Citizens United gave the rich too much sway in the GOP. The party was better off when it relied on Main Street. It meant they had to talk to Main Street.
How ironic that, by refusing to listen, the Party establishment has now found that its dissatisfied but formerly docile base is no longer listening to them, either. As Noonan says:
Anyway, we are in some kind of moment. Congratulations to the establishments of both parties for getting us here. They are the authors of the rebellion; they are a prime thing being rebelled against.