Who wants a piece of my mind!

I thought about calling this, Who wants a piece of me!, but I’m not sure I want an answer to that one! Let’s keep it light instead. I’ve mostly been avoiding taking stands & proffering opinions on events, but I’ve found the yapping the mouth doesn’t go away that way, it just changes to another mode–people have wanted to know about the things I’ve seen & the thinking they occasioned on my American tour, so I’ve said a few things now & again, preferring mostly to have conversations instead of giving speeches. It’s a better mode, all thins considered, less confrontational & it offers more opportunities for people to tell their stories. Maybe we can do more of that? I was talking with Mr. Devereaux the other day… Continue reading

Happy birthday!

How do we love you, let us count the ways! Nanda, it’s good to have you on Ricochet, even on a temporary basis, & it’s great we’ve got the chance to talk to you here. Let us know a bit about the upcoming celebrations. Happy Birthday! You’re the top!

More postmodern conservatism

From Albion’s Seed to Mr. Trump, a Tocquevillian tour with Mr. Poulos–race is in it, religion is in it, & democracy. It’s really good writing. I’m now listening to Democracy in America on audiobook–the first English translation is on librivox, by the way–& I was thinking about the difference between the politics & religion of North & South only to run into this column. I guess I don’t have to bother writing. I’m just here to recommend it.

News on pomocon

Mr. Lawler writes about redefining conservatism in light of the Trump phenomenon: What too many Republicans have missed, in fact, is that lots of Americans have experienced this “progress” as loss of the secure safety nets that have cushioned them from being merely part of a meritocracy based on productivity.  On the Republican side, the name given to these Americans is “Reagan Democrats.” That means those who vote Republican but aren’t particularly libertarian or all that defined by “religious identity politics.” For them, being conservative means conserving what they now have and maybe regaining what they’ve lost. That means being for unions, the existing entitlements, the bonds of citizenship (that have been eroded by “the coming apart” of middle-class America into two classes isolated in every way from each… Continue reading

American Yahoo

Here’s my new essay on Heinlein & it’s secretively saying all sorts of things about American freedom! America was supposed to be a land of philosophy or a race of philosophers. American government was founded as a government of philosophers: It is the only government that prohibited tying a man’s legal standing to his confession of faith. American courts & all other public institutions are forbidden from requiring an oath by God. This is done on the assumption that God does not enforce those oaths. American government is no more guaranteed by God than the truth of the official speeches of any American citizen–or the good or bad that might come by that truth. Instead, a man speaks merely because is it natural to him to speak. Whether… Continue reading

A rare moment of populism in American politics

Folks, this is something about populism I posted on Ricochet–I started thinking about what some of the members were saying there–what’s at stake seems to me to concern the Reagan coalition, how it is falling apart, & what may be done & expected to happen in future. The discussion brought out two important lines of inquiry. (1) The discussion of the electorate, which concentrated on what’s changed such that the party & a crucial part of the electorate are now enemies. (2) The discussion of the principles of the Reagan coalition, which turned on whether the old fiscal conservatism-social conservatism-national security conservatism can bring together constituencies & connect voters to politicians any more. This distinction between talking about the electorate & talking about the ideology could also be looked… Continue reading

Star Wars–sounds good to me

I mentioned in the recent joke thread that I’d love to see sharks with lasers in space. Here’s RealClearSomethingorother publishing a Hudson Institute–I recommend it!–report. The style is ridiculous. This is how serious people talk… But the point is, there are people saying, we need space-based interceptors & lasers! Here, here! Let’s do this for Teddy Kennedy! I’ve a few questions: Does anyone think it’s ever going to be possible to create a new department in the Pentagon, for space war? Why not? What do you folks know or suspect about the departments? I’ve a Marine friend who tells me Navy sees it as their job to strangle the Marines bureaucratically. Does anyone have any idea what the military classes of America think about war in space?

The finest hours

Folks, I’m about to watch the new Jeff Nichols movie, Midnight special, so this is a chance to give you a reminder of movies conservatives should watch. By the way, the Batman v. Superman movie is pretty good & very American. I feel for the director, because I resemble his case: Trying to give popular spectacles intellectual & moral dignity in a world where the people who are pretentious about learning show their vulgarity by not finding insight in popular stuff & the people who enjoy popular spectacles concur that the things they enjoy are mindless. Few people are willing to say that criticism of popular spectacles should include an attempt to understand their intentions & some knowledge of the clever stuff they have to say. But the… Continue reading

Long rant on changing conservatism

Many of us on the right have come to believe & to say in louder & louder voices that it’s over: The (1)free market-(2)strong defense-(3)we’ll talk about maybe doing something about abortion, (3*)but no, we won’t! coalition of the Reagan era is over. Now, it’s change or become a minority party, with or without a massive organizational-ideological collapse. & it’s happening right before our eyes. 2016 is the most interesting year for conservatism since when? I think it’s been a generation since anything this troubling has happened… So last year I was telling people on Ricochet & wherever I could get them to listen: If you think you’ve only got a messaging problem, you have no idea what a problem you really have! If you think, it’s mostly that… Continue reading

Bill ‘I’ve got morals!’ Bennett: ‘What morals!’

Do you have fifteen minutes? Listen to this recent interview: This is what it takes to make me speak up for Mr. Jonah Goldberg, until recently a star in the intellectual firmament of recent American conservatism. He lays out his case against talk-radio-at-its-best for its connivance in the rise of Mr. Trump. Mr. Bennett, I believe, makes a fool of himself. Mr. Goldberg is all of respect & consideration–do not judge him by my tone, of course–but he points out what I think is true of all supposedly principled anti-anti-Trump speakers. They are all trying to have it both ways: Be committed conservatives & support–but only at arm’s length, only polemically, apparently–the man who is proving that conservatism does not matter. As I never tire of saying, the GOP has advanced from… Continue reading