The Real Problem Is: We are Losing

 

Anyone on the right can look back at the last 50 years and see the long string of losses to the left. They have set the agenda and they have set the direction. A Republican made nice with China and took us off the gold standard. While Reagan won the Cold War and cut taxes, everything else on the domestic front went the Left’s way. Bush and Clinton both raised taxes. Deficit spending has been the way of the nation in almost every year I have been alive. We no longer need any sort of war to spend and spend. Each President of the last generation more than doubled the previous president’s debt.

The Left controls all the big companies, all the universities, and thanks to the administrative state, they write all the new rules that are effectively laws. From Sea to Shining Sea, the Left has moved from victory to victory, and the Right goes from defeat to defeat. I will admit we have made progress on guns, but that looks to be a lot less safe a win for the Right, than say Obamacare was for the Left.

Who do I blame? Conservatism, Inc. for signing on to the Globalism vision. We are now dependent on China, an avowed enemy, for too many vital goods and services. We have gone from a nation of manufacturing to a nation of service employees. We are losing the Republic and we are losing against China, which will soon eclipse us in every way possible. I expect my children will be my age in a world dominated by China.

Of course the people at Conservatism, Inc. will long be dead.

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  1. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

     

     

     

    This is a great political economy analysis of where we are now.

     

     

     

    • #1
  2. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    There was a time when we were winning at least the economic argument (Reagan) and having some success on the deficit spending argument (remember Clinton declaring that the era of big government was over)

    The culture wars we lost outright.    Frankly, with the exception of some fights by Evangelical groups, we rarely even fought.

    • #2
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    • #3
  4. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Well, Conservatism, Inc. could stop being against the Trump voters for a start. It could work to demand that Republicans actually follow through on promises. It could actually work to advance conservatism instead of being dismayed at the direction of the nation. 

    But none of that will happen. 

    What needs to happen is to primary out and take over the Republican party at the local levels, and use the party for conservatism. But I think we are out of time.  

    • #4
  5. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Figure out what exactly we mean about being conservative.

    Conserving the status quo? No. The status quo changes over time and sometimes isn’t worth conserving.

    Conserving institutions? No. Sometimes, the institutions are corrupt.

    Conserving my way of life? No. Sometimes, your way of life is safe while others’ are sacrificed to keep the illusion that you are fine.

    We always should have been about conserving the constitution and the nation that produced it.

    • #5
  6. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Figure out what exactly we mean about being conservative.

    Conserving the status quo? No. The status quo changes over time and sometimes isn’t worth conserving.

    Conserving institutions? No. Sometimes, the institutions are corrupt.

    Conserving my way of life? No. Sometimes, your way of life is safe while others’ are sacrificed to keep the illusion that you are fine.

    We always should have been about conserving the constitution and the nation that produced it.

    I’m all for conserving the Constitution and the nation. But what if most Americans are emotionally, reflexively conservative, but not particularly knowledgeable about the Constitution? What if they just want normal, sensible policies?

    For example, the Constitution is silent on the issue of young men competing in women’s athletics, but that’s probably a great issue around which to rally normal, conservative Americans. Maybe we should try to embrace everyone who opposes the progressive project and would just like things to stop, or at least slow down, and maybe even go back to the way it was not too long ago.

    I think conservatism is the biggest of big tents, and might easily attract more than half the country if it simply spoke common sense and did so boldly.

    • #6
  7. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    It’s probably too late now, but I think the biggest thing would be to wipe out the ACA and overhaul the health insurance system. 

    Education is a really bad value and there is too much indoctrination. 

    It’s too late to do anything about the Fed, the financial system, unfunded liabilities, and overspending,  but that is the most regressive factor outside of the two I mentioned.

    Trump did a pretty good job of exposing the media. I think the GOP gets it. 

    The bureaucracies have largely been exposed, but that is a really tough one.

    • #7
  8. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I’m all for conserving the Constitution and the nation. But what if most Americans are emotionally, reflexively conservative, but not particularly knowledgeable about the Constitution? What if they just want normal, sensible policies?

    Plus it’s way too late to do idealistic boilerplate stuff. 

    It’s a real chore to watch, but I think that the long Frontline interviews of Steve Bannon get at this.

    • #8
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Praying can’t hurt.

    Sadly, I can’t think of anything that would help in a significant way, that would have any chance of passing.  In fact, I suspect that most of my suggestions couldn’t even get a majority here at Ricochet, much less among the electorate as a whole.

    Politically, perhaps we could manage consensus on 3 points:

    1. Stop all immigration for the time being.  Reconsider in 10 years.
    2. Dismantle much of higher education.  This could probably be accomplished simply by denying subsidies.
    3. No further concessions in the culture war.  Postpone any battle over SSM for another day, but reject the rest of the LGBT agenda in its entirety, including the “nondiscrimination” rules.

    The real fight is not political.  Politics is downstream of culture, as Breitbart said.  I agree with him, as far as it goes, but I think that culture is downstream of religion.  That’s another pickle, because even among self-identified conservatives, there is a great deal of disagreement about religion.

    • #9
  10. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Politically, perhaps we could manage consensus on 3 points….

    Good list, Jerry.

    Beyond that: speak up. Speak common sense even when it isn’t popular.

    I was among a group of friends recently when the topic turned to gender fluidity nonsense. One of them had a daughter who had decided that she wanted to be a boy and use the pronoun “they.” Several others dutifully went along, while I politely expressed my rejection of the pronoun nonsense and tried to encourage the parent to be loving but frank with the child, rather than catering to her faddish obsession.

    Sometimes it’s hard to be the one who sounds intolerant and unaccepting, and who encourages others to be less than doting parents. (Not for me, I’m unpleasant that way already. But for many people.)

    I was in a minor argument with my kid brother the other day about whether normal Americans are silent about stuff like this primarily out of fear of losing their jobs, or if it has more to do with our natural tendency to be reasonably polite and nonconfrontational. I think it’s mostly the latter, and that that’s something that has to change.

    • #10
  11. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Figure out what exactly we mean about being conservative.

    Conserving the status quo? No. The status quo changes over time and sometimes isn’t worth conserving.

    Conserving institutions? No. Sometimes, the institutions are corrupt.

    Conserving my way of life? No. Sometimes, your way of life is safe while others’ are sacrificed to keep the illusion that you are fine.

    We always should have been about conserving the constitution and the nation that produced it.

    Those words of yours are words I wish I could like one thousand times.

     

    • #11
  12. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Stina (View Comment):
    Figure out what exactly we mean about being conservative.

    This is why I always tell people to watch that David Stockman video. People have all of this stuff in their heads about the way things used to be, and I think it’s mostly wrong. If 41 had followed through on what Reagan was actually trying to do, it might have been different. You need to understand the actual state of the world to move things to the right, now.

    This is the other video. Obvious conservatism conserving. Except there is nobody in the GOP that ever thought like this except for Rep. H.R. Gross or something.

    We’re Living in the Age of Capital Consumption

    Ronald-Peter Stöferle

     

    https://mises.org/wire/were-living-age-capital-consumption

     

    This article is a page and a half. Can you think of any politician that really thinks like this?

    • #12
  13. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):
    Figure out what exactly we mean about being conservative.

    This is why I always tell people to watch that David Stockman video. People have all of this stuff in their heads about the way things used to be, and I think it’s mostly wrong. If 41 had followed through on what Reagan was actually trying to do, it might have been different. You need to understand the actual state of the world to move things to the right, now.

    This is the other video. Obvious conservatism conserving. Except there is nobody in the GOP that ever thought like this except for Rep. H.R. Gross or something.

    We’re Living in the Age of Capital Consumption

    Ronald-Peter Stöferle

     

    https://mises.org/wire/were-living-age-capital-consumption

     

    This article is a page and a half. Can you think of any politician that really thinks like this?

    Rufus, I don’t think that the economic issue is the real problem.  I think that the problem is cultural, and that the root is religious.  This economic message is essentially the politics of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, and it wasn’t successful.

    • #13
  14. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Rufus, I don’t think that the economic issue is the real problem.  I think that the problem is cultural, and that the root is religious. 

    I agree that the problem is cultural. I suspect it flows more from the consequences of easy prosperity and the recklessness and sense of entitlement that springs from that.

     

    • #14
  15. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):
    Figure out what exactly we mean about being conservative.

    This is why I always tell people to watch that David Stockman video. People have all of this stuff in their heads about the way things used to be, and I think it’s mostly wrong. If 41 had followed through on what Reagan was actually trying to do, it might have been different. You need to understand the actual state of the world to move things to the right, now.

    This is the other video. Obvious conservatism conserving. Except there is nobody in the GOP that ever thought like this except for Rep. H.R. Gross or something.

    We’re Living in the Age of Capital Consumption

    Ronald-Peter Stöferle

    https://mises.org/wire/were-living-age-capital-consumption

    This article is a page and a half. Can you think of any politician that really thinks like this?

    Rufus, I don’t think that the economic issue is the real problem. I think that the problem is cultural, and that the root is religious. This economic message is essentially the politics of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, and it wasn’t successful.

    Two things. First of all the Constitution was written for a certain type of people. I am a big fan of Judge Learned Hand and his spirit of liberty speech. People have to be on board with that or you need a more authoritarian constitution and that certainly isn’t what this country is supposed to be. I will post this now, even though I haven’t really gone through it much. Analysis of the great speech.

    https://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=1199

    The second thing is, in the Austrian view, when you get away from the way the country was set up, which is basically Austrian, people respond to bad policy. It’s a feedback loop. Woodrow Wilson puts in a bunch of bad policies, you have a bad feedback loop, and then it changes the character of the nation. Angelo Codavilla wrote a book about this which I am too lazy to read. (lol) I realize, that most people aren’t into this view but I will die on this hill. It’s a feedback loop.

    The other thing that goes with peoples character and all of that is the research that Deirdre McCloskey did. Bourgeoisie values create a productive functional country. She’s self identifies as an Austrian. King Banaian who used to write here, endorses her stuff.

    • #15
  16. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    It’s absolutely nuts to let in to0 many people, too fast, from cultures that don’t mesh with our system. Especially when they don’t disperse geographically. That Ted Kennedy 1965 immigration thing was a disaster. 

    • #16
  17. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Politically, perhaps we could manage consensus on 3 points….

    Good list, Jerry.

    Beyond that: speak up. Speak common sense even when it isn’t popular.

    I was among a group of friends recently when the topic turned to gender fluidity nonsense. One of them had a daughter who had decided that she wanted to be a boy and use the pronoun “they.” Several others dutifully went along, while I politely expressed my rejection of the pronoun nonsense and tried to encourage the parent to be loving but frank with the child, rather than catering to her faddish obsession.

    Sometimes it’s hard to be the one who sounds intolerant and unaccepting, and who encourages others to be less than doting parents. (Not for me, I’m unpleasant that way already. But for many people.)

    I was in a minor argument with my kid brother the other day about whether normal Americans are silent about stuff like this primarily out of fear of losing their jobs, or if it has more to do with our natural tendency to be reasonably polite and nonconfrontational. I think it’s mostly the latter, and that that’s something that has to change.

    How intolerant of you.  :)

    I don’t actually mean this as a (hopefully) humorous jab.  Tolerance is actually the problem, I think.  You cannot preserve cultural values unless you reject deviation from those values.  Such rejection is, necessarily, intolerant.

    Most societies don’t seem to have a problem with this.  The elevation of toleration to a preeminent virtue in our culture stretches back to Locke, at least, in rhetorical terms.  In practice, the breakdown in values doesn’t seem to have started until the first wave of feminism (around the 1910s), and to have accelerated in the second wave (the 1960s).

    I think that the elevation of tolerance as a virtue has been a mistake, but I don’t see a viable way to reverse the damage.

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Just for the record, I got started on this Austrian stuff by reading a hedge fund guy that pretty much followed it. People change the government, and then the government changes the people. It’s a feedback loop. If people have bad character a lot of it comes from that. Plus, you are just stupid not to use the system to get what you can. Keynesianism is theft and you have to get in on it. Now those geniuses have run out of runway.

     


    Victor Davis Hanson’s new book may have a lot of answers people are looking for. Long interviews are very easy to find right now.

    • #18
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Burn the GOP to the ground. Build a new party from actual conservatives.

    • #19
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This is another one. It doesn’t get into the character issues, but I don’t see how you can argue with what he’s saying. Woodrow Wilson screwed this country up and we never looked back.

    http://financialrepressionauthority.com/2017/07/26/the-roundtable-insight-george-bragues-on-how-the-financial-markets-are-influenced-by-politics/

     

     

    • #20
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    I was in a minor argument with my kid brother the other day about whether normal Americans are silent about stuff like this primarily out of fear of losing their jobs, or if it has more to do with our natural tendency to be reasonably polite and nonconfrontational. I think it’s mostly the latter, and that that’s something that has to change.

    Do most people have a strong opinion, one way or the other?

    • #21
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Burn the GOP to the ground. Build a new party from actual conservatives.

    Drew, this doesn’t seem like a good strategy to me.

    You’re a pretty pro-Trump guy, right?  I am.  About 90% of Republicans seem to be on board with the bulk of this agenda.

    I do understand that we have a problem with about 10% of Republicans, and that they tend to be overrepresented among the conservative intelligentsia.  I think that a better strategy is to convert them to our cause, or at least to convince them that they’ll get more of what they want in alliance with us than in alliance with the Democrats. 

    I think most of them will come around.  My buddy Gary Robbins actually seems to be coming around, slowly.

    • #22
  23. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    economic argument (Reagan)

    Reagan ran horrible deficits and the whole S&L crisis was a failure of government regulation.  He did hate Commies, which is a damn fine thing.

    • #23
  24. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    So… what should we do?

    Someone provide some constructive suggestions.

    Burn the GOP to the ground. Build a new party from actual conservatives.

    alas, what is an actual conservative?   That word means little to me even in the Ricochet context. 

    • #24
  25. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):
    Reagan ran horrible deficits

    He really did. It went straight up from there and we never looked back.

    • #25
  26. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The opening of Mark Levin is excellent tonight. It relates highly to this discussion. The corruption of the DOJ on this school board thing. America first legal apparently found a document that this was a coordinated political stunt with the NEA.

    I will try to post it tomorrow.

    • #26
  27. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Bryan,  

    Some of your other posts have convinced me that you are a dedicated Christian.    Read your New Testament.    Clearly, it is supposed to get worse until Christ comes again.  And it is.  Doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility to try to further the Kingdom of God,  and to evangelize those with ears to hear.     But it is going to get worse.  Until Christ comes again.

    • #27
  28. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Wow Henry!

    Call me you on my own thread and totally ignore my answer. 

    Classy! 

     

    • #28
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Bryan,

    Some of your other posts have convinced me that you are a dedicated Christian. Read your New Testament. Clearly, it is supposed to get worse until Christ comes again. And it is. Doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility to try to further the Kingdom of God, and to evangelize those with ears to hear. But it is going to get worse. Until Christ comes again.

    I don’t think the end times are near. People have been saying that forever. 

    • #29
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Bryan,

    Some of your other posts have convinced me that you are a dedicated Christian. Read your New Testament. Clearly, it is supposed to get worse until Christ comes again. And it is. Doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility to try to further the Kingdom of God, and to evangelize those with ears to hear. But it is going to get worse. Until Christ comes again.

    I don’t think the end times are near. People have been saying that forever.

    I mean, eventually they’ll be right, but the track record is dismal.

    • #30