Blaming David Frum

 

I am in rural Pennsylvania on vacation. The sole general retail store in the largest town (one stoplight, 1,500 – 2,000 residents) within 15-20 miles has a wide selection of Trump hats, stickers and banners for sale. Selena Zito would not be surprised, but a similar retail offering in my home county in the DC suburbs would likely result in some pretext for removing a business license after the police were called multiple times.

Assuming that free academic inquiry will be permitted in the not-so-distant future, a major question should be why it was left to the “extreme right” in Europe and the USA to address obvious ongoing defects in governance. The performance of the “expert” class during the COVID-19 outbreak was appallingly bad. The institutional self-interest of government entities is out of control. Lois Lerner was a symptom, not an exception. Clapper and Brennan presided over (personified?) an era of incompetence, dishonesty and raw unlawful partisanship. The bizarre horror show of students and faculty at our most elite schools cheering Hamas on behalf of sexual libertinisms leaves only the issue as to whether the intellectual or the moral deficiency is greater. We cater to the alarmist nonsense of grifters and the ignoratti while substantive men of the scientific method (Bjorn Lomborg, Roger Pilke Jr., Roy Spencer) are labeled fringe “deniers.”  The historical distortions and statistical denials underpinning the tendency to label the American project as a uniquely immoral, racist phenomenon permeate all levels of education and gut the impulse to protect our borders against an onslaught.

Why is it up to the typical Sam’s Club customer to mobilize to oppose this rot with the very limited means of the voting booth? Where the hell are the privileged, the elite? Why do they not perform the diagnosis and use their superior access to public platforms to address real issues?

Our Democracy™ was never opposed to the Mueller attempted coup, the suspension of rights and liberties by overtly bogus “expert” opinion during COVID, the ongoing destruction of urban jurisdictions where law enforcement has been suspended, the collapse of our borders or the weaponization of federal law enforcement.

Preventing a “takeover” (i.e., winning an election) by the Far/Extreme/MAGA Right could be done easily. Fairly and honestly acknowledge the existing moral and intellectual rot, purge grifters and ideologues, preserve the borders and offer better, more competent leaders who respect the values, traditions and legal heritage of the people, and the anger of the “extreme” right will dissipate faster than Facebook can block centrist views.

There ought to be an opening in major media for an American Cicero or Cato the Elder, but our elite is dominated by unoriginal, zeitgeist-surfing zombies, like David Frum (another symptom rather than an exception).

About an hour north of my current location is French Azilum, the site of an abortive attempt to build a refuge for French victims of the Terror in France and of slave uprisings in Saint-Domingue. Some had even suggested that Marie Antoinette be smuggled out and brought there before it was too late. I wonder if Her Majesty had been given the choice between a log cabin on the Susquehanna in Bradford County or the guillotine, she would have opted for the latter. Similarly, our elite chattering class would rather risk the supposed apocalyptic rise of The Right than sober up ideologically, find some humility and discover common cause with their working-class fellow Americans, and thus dissolve the righteous resentment driving so many of us.

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  1. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I think the elite is too imbedded in its privilege and arrogance to give one tiny bit of consideration to the Right. Besides, they need someone to demonize, don’t they?? Deplorables and Magas fit the bill well.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Old Bathos: We cater to the alarmist nonsense of grifters and ignoratti while substantive men of scientific method (Bjorn Lomborg, Roger Pilke, jr., Roy Spencer) are labeled fringe “deniers.” 

    The current Wikipedia article on the Great Barrington Declaration describes its recommendations as “fringe” and includes copious refutations from the usual suspects, including Dr. Anthony “I am the science” Fauci. This despite the Declaration having been generally shown to be not only reasonable, but prescient.

     

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    The Zeitgeist Surfing Zombies was the best band at Lollapalooza 2004.

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

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I think the elite is too imbedded in its privilege and arrogance to give one tiny bit of consideration to the Right. Besides, they need someone to demonize, don’t they?? Deplorables and Magas fit the bill well.

    Yes

    • #4
  5. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Tell us more about David Frum. 

    • #5
  6. She Member
    She
    @She

    I love rural PA.  (Looks like your vacation is taking place considerably to my East and North.)

    I wonder if the reason that such rational behavior is left to the “extreme right” (LOL), at least in the US, is that most of the folks (at least where I live) simply go about their business every day and really don’t give much of a fig about what’s going on in DC and with the elites.  In short, most of what’s setting hair on fire, whether it be that of loons like AOC, or nitwits like Former Canadian David Frum, just doesn’t figure all that much in our daily lives.

    The whole Covid thing was a bit inconvenient, to be sure, and while statewide mandates–when we couldn’t avoid them–were burdensome, particularly in technology-challenged areas such as mine, we otherwise ignored most of the day-to-day limitations and got on with our lives, among ourselves and together.  Even some of the doctors, the hospitals, and the schools bent a few of the rules.  Nudge nudge, wink wink.

    I’ve always thought such a thing was a feature of life out here.  But perhaps it’s a bug.  Maybe we should have made a stink. Stormed Harrisburg.  Hung, upside-down, portraits of Presidential Cabinet Ministers who offended us. (Martha-Ann Alito, do you read me?)

    Perhaps we overestimated the zeal with which our elected representatives would work for our interests in this, the twenty-first century. It’s possible that–by acting as if we believed that we had the right to run our lives according to our individual and community standards–we overlooked the self-interest and power factor that appeals to so many of them, and which they seem to be determined to impose on us willy-nilly.

    I think those days are over.  The sleeping giant has awakened.  I’m not sure if that’s a feature or a bug, either.  But I do know that most us, at least in this neck of the woods, have lethal weapons.

    In any event, Washington County’s Annual Whiskey Rebellion Festival (we have a long history of intransigence) will be held the second weekend of July.  This year, the twelfth and thirteenth of the month.  Anyone who’s within shouting distance of southwest PA, please stop by.  Its a very fun time.  If you can, and if you need a rest stop or a bed, I’m only a few miles away.

     

    • #6
  7. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I could have picked some other arrogant lefty clown clone. Some vintage lightweight groupthink from Mr. Frum today on X.com:

    To unpack, a guy who slept through or cheered every abuse of the Deep State now regards an imminent dreaded populist electoral democratic victory as the end of democracy and a dark century. (Dark century!? Greta Thunberg and Joyce Behar seem calm and measured by comparison.) Even worse, he is oblivious to the actual economic experience of the ungrateful proles, fully employed with two part-time jobs their employer was kind enough not to toss to some illegals.

    I am not wrong about this guy. 

    • #7
  8. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    As I recall, Frum has a long history of dealing dishonestly with those with different opinions: He will misrepresent their views and do his best to demonize them. The erudite Jerry Pournelle referred to him more than once as “the egregious David Frum”.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    As I recall, Frum has a long history of dealing dishonestly with those with different opinions: He will misrepresent their views and do his best to demonize them. The erudite Jerry Pournelle referred to him more than once as “the egregious David Frum”.

    Isn’t that what most Leftists do?

    • #9
  10. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I could have picked some other arrogant lefty clown clone. Some vintage lightweight groupthink from Mr. Frum today on X.com:

    To unpack, a guy who slept through or cheered every abuse of the Deep State now regards an imminent dreaded populist electoral democratic victory as the end of democracy and a dark century. (Dark century!? Greta Thunberg and Joyce Behar seem calm and measured by comparison.) Even worse, he is oblivious to the actual economic experience of the ungrateful proles, fully employed with two part-time jobs their employer was kind enough not to toss to some illegals.

    I am not wrong about this guy.

    Stupid or liar. Where was he when Trump had actual full employment and rapidly rising wages? 

     

    • #10
  11. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    As I recall, Frum has a long history of dealing dishonestly with those with different opinions: He will misrepresent their views and do his best to demonize them. The erudite Jerry Pournelle referred to him more than once as “the egregious David Frum”.

    The Democrats are the worst sort of demagogues.  I have never seen anything so disgraceful from our political and pundit class as I have witnessed between the Charlottesville hoax, the persecution of Trump, the Georgia voting law and now this Supreme Court ruling.  It’s disgusting, absolutely disgusting.  When and if the epitaph of the American Republic is written, it will have “DEMOCRATS DID THIS” in large letters.   

    There apparently is at least one semi-sane one, Jarrod Golden from Maine:’

    “After the first presidential debate, lots of Democrats are panicking about whether President Joe Biden should step down as the party’s nominee. Biden’s poor performance in the debate was not a surprise. It also didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months: While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that…

    Democrats’ post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy. I reject the premise. Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system.”

    You have to look hard for the last part of the quote because only local news and conservative media are carrying it.  

    • #11
  12. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    As I recall, Frum has a long history of dealing dishonestly with those with different opinions: He will misrepresent their views and do his best to demonize them. The erudite Jerry Pournelle referred to him more than once as “the egregious David Frum”.

    The Democrats are the worst sort of demagogues. I have never seen anything so disgraceful from our political and pundit class as I have witnessed between the Charlottesville hoax, the persecution of Trump, the Georgia voting law and now this Supreme Court ruling. It’s disgusting, absolutely disgusting. When and if the epitaph of the American Republic is written, it will have “DEMOCRATS DID THIS” in large letters.

    There apparently is at least one semi-sane one, Jarrod Golden from Maine:’

    “After the first presidential debate, lots of Democrats are panicking about whether President Joe Biden should step down as the party’s nominee. Biden’s poor performance in the debate was not a surprise. It also didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months: While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that…

    Democrats’ post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy. I reject the premise. Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system.”

    You have to look hard for the last part of the quote because only local news and conservative media are carrying it.

    To be fair I don’t think Joe Biden will kill democracy. I think he will sicken it and move it closer to death like Marius and Sulla but he won’t be the Julius Cesar.

    • #12
  13. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    As I recall, Frum has a long history of dealing dishonestly with those with different opinions: He will misrepresent their views and do his best to demonize them. The erudite Jerry Pournelle referred to him more than once as “the egregious David Frum”.

    The Democrats are the worst sort of demagogues. I have never seen anything so disgraceful from our political and pundit class as I have witnessed between the Charlottesville hoax, the persecution of Trump, the Georgia voting law and now this Supreme Court ruling. It’s disgusting, absolutely disgusting. When and if the epitaph of the American Republic is written, it will have “DEMOCRATS DID THIS” in large letters.

    There apparently is at least one semi-sane one, Jarrod Golden from Maine:’

    “After the first presidential debate, lots of Democrats are panicking about whether President Joe Biden should step down as the party’s nominee. Biden’s poor performance in the debate was not a surprise. It also didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months: While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win. And I’m OK with that…

    Democrats’ post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy. I reject the premise. Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system.”

    You have to look hard for the last part of the quote because only local news and conservative media are carrying it.

    To be fair I don’t think Joe Biden will kill democracy. I think he will sicken it and move it closer to death like Marius and Sulla but he won’t be the Julius Cesar.

    It was a zombie by the time of Sulla.

    • #13
  14. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    David Frum tried to re-habilitate Woodrow Wilson – enough said

    • #14
  15. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I could have picked some other arrogant lefty clown clone. Some vintage lightweight groupthink from Mr. Frum today on X.com:

    To unpack, a guy who slept through or cheered every abuse of the Deep State now regards an imminent dreaded populist electoral democratic victory as the end of democracy and a dark century. (Dark century!? Greta Thunberg and Joyce Behar seem calm and measured by comparison.) Even worse, he is oblivious to the actual economic experience of the ungrateful proles, fully employed with two part-time jobs their employer was kind enough not to toss to some illegals.

    I am not wrong about this guy.

    Stupid or liar. Where was he when Trump had actual full employment and rapidly rising wages?

     

    Trump’s success was a delayed result of brilliant Obama policies, obviously. Frum was even a diehard believer in Russiagate. So maybe, if not Obama, we should thank Putin for the Trump economy.

    • #15
  16. E. Kent Golding Moderator
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    I am generally a WFB and National Review fan.  However,at one point WFB tried to convince David Frum to be the Editor of NR.    I am grateful Frum declined.

    • #16
  17. mildlyo Member
    mildlyo
    @mildlyo

    To restate the OP in my own lower reading level fashion: The US is a dying empire led by bad people.

    The people sitting in the seats of previous generations are really bad at their jobs. I reject their bleating about how it was ever thus and the US was never really exceptional.

    No. In living memory the United States was a shining city on a hill. It is no longer. maintaining high civilization is never automatic and requires sacrifice to a common purpose.

    Adulting is hard and you all suck at it.

    • #17
  18. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    I am generally a WFB and National Review fan. However,at one point WFB tried to convince David Frum to be the Editor of NR. I am grateful Frum declined.

    Wouldn’t he fit right in now? Just askin’.

    • #18
  19. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    cdor (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    I am generally a WFB and National Review fan. However,at one point WFB tried to convince David Frum to be the Editor of NR. I am grateful Frum declined.

    Wouldn’t he fit right in now? Just askin’.

    He was one of the original Biden-voting, No Labels, never Trumpers.  Now is some kind of editor at the Atlantic.  

    • #19
  20. Jim Kearney Member
    Jim Kearney
    @JimKearney

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I’m not a big believer in “by their Wikipedia Page ye shall know them.” 

    Nevertheless, here’s David Frum’s.

    • #20
  21. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Jim Kearney (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I’m not a big believer in “by their Wikipedia Page ye shall know them.”

    Nevertheless, here’s David Frum’s.

    He created the term “Compassionate Conservative”.  An idiotic term as conservatives gave more to charity in terms of time and dollar amount. Frum using the federal government to reallocate resources is compassionate. 

    • #21
  22. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Jim Kearney (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I’m not a big believer in “by their Wikipedia Page ye shall know them.”

    Nevertheless, here’s David Frum’s.

    He created the term “Compassionate Conservative”. An idiotic term as conservatives gave more to charity in terms of time and dollar amount. Frum using the federal government to reallocate resources is compassionate.

    Excellent point. By naming his big government and globalist policy as “compassionate conservatism” he inferred those that disagreed with his policies were uncompassionate. It was an insult and a misrepresentation hiding right out in the open.

    • #22
  23. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    It seems like it has been one major manufactured crisis after another to overwhelm, confuse and eliminate any kind of thoughtful judgement or the  ability to make decisions based on what we knew and still know to be right. Our history has been our compass. No country has it right but we have held to try to right the wrongs in our past, and create a better world for our citizens and others.

    What we have witnessed in recent years does not resemble any kind of decency or balance. We used to be able to have a discussion with our friends and neighbors. Now we all walk on pins. It seems other countries our going through the same, hence these recent right turning elections.

    I say manufactured because the same things happening here are happening overseas so it is not just the bad policies of our current government.  Those elites that you speak of are the ones in the shadows churning out these crises – they never seemed organic or natural. Things happened too fast and they keep happening quickly. Agenda 2030 is on track.

    • #23
  24. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    It seems like it has been one major manufactured crisis after another to overwhelm, confuse and eliminate any kind of thoughtful judgement or the ability to make decisions based on what we knew and still know to be right. Our history has been our compass. No country has it right but we have held to try to right the wrongs in our past, and create a better world for our citizens and others.

    What we have witnessed in recent years does not resemble any kind of decency or balance. We used to be able to have a discussion with our friends and neighbors. Now we all walk on pins. It seems other countries our going through the same, hence these recent right turning elections.

    I say manufactured because the same things happening here are happening overseas so it is not just the bad policies of our current government. Those elites that you speak of are the ones in the shadows churning out these crises – they never seemed organic or natural. Things happened too fast and they keep happening quickly. Agenda 2030 is on track.

    Nowhere has the turn to the right been sharper than Israel.  

    • #24
  25. Jim Kearney Member
    Jim Kearney
    @JimKearney

    Old Bathos: Where the hell are the privileged, the elite? Why do they not perform the diagnosis and use their superior access to public platforms to address real issues?

    Where? One answer: reading or writing for The Free Press.

    For example, this inquiry into the groupthink which concealed Biden’s growing incompetence.

    Or this piece earlier this week by Niall Ferguson.

    Legacy media (like Bari Weiss’ former employer) remain the most visible but the least likely to drift right. Their big brands attract doctrinaire young interns who intimidate their elders. When old media fail, wealthy Democrats step up to subsidize them. This kind of commitment to broad social influence (albeit one stuck in old paradigms) is a high status charitable contribution in their world.

    Alternatively, Substacks and podcasts are out there, but so numerous that the burden of access is squarely on us, the audience, to seek them out. Social media springboards to go viral work best if the “ricocheting” meme eventually hits the target in plain view. Hence, “surprises” like Biden’s 90-minute long senior moment on June 27. The  “Biden is too old” meme had bounced around conservatism for years until 50 million suddenly saw it on display.

    • #25
  26. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    It seems like it has been one major manufactured crisis after another to overwhelm, confuse and eliminate any kind of thoughtful judgement or the ability to make decisions based on what we knew and still know to be right. Our history has been our compass. No country has it right but we have held to try to right the wrongs in our past, and create a better world for our citizens and others.

    What we have witnessed in recent years does not resemble any kind of decency or balance. We used to be able to have a discussion with our friends and neighbors. Now we all walk on pins. It seems other countries our going through the same, hence these recent right turning elections.

    I say manufactured because the same things happening here are happening overseas so it is not just the bad policies of our current government. Those elites that you speak of are the ones in the shadows churning out these crises – they never seemed organic or natural. Things happened too fast and they keep happening quickly. Agenda 2030 is on track.

    Nowhere has the turn to the right been sharper than Israel.

    If that is the case, it is no wonder they are being ostracized worldwide. But it would also be evidence that when one is facing an existential situation there is no time to waste being woke.

    • #26
  27. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Old Bathos: Preventing a “takeover” (i.e., winning an election) by the Far/Extreme/MAGA Right could be done easily. Fairly and honestly acknowledge the existing moral and intellectual rot, purge grifters and ideologues, preserve the borders and offer better, more competent leaders who respect the values, traditions and legal heritage of the people, and the anger of the “extreme” right will dissipate faster than Facebook can block centrist views.

    Preach it!

    I only differ on citing Bjorn Lomborg as substantively on our side. Yes, he has a practical approach to weighing the costs versus benefits of the “green” movement and is probably more acceptable to the squishy middle. But, for this extremist climate catastrophe denier, he concedes too much of the premise. 

    I am, however, going to steal “ignoratti.” 

    • #27
  28. Jim Kearney Member
    Jim Kearney
    @JimKearney

    cdor (View Comment):

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Jim Kearney (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I’m not a big believer in “by their Wikipedia Page ye shall know them.”

    Nevertheless, here’s David Frum’s.

    He created the term “Compassionate Conservative”. An idiotic term as conservatives gave more to charity in terms of time and dollar amount. Frum using the federal government to reallocate resources is compassionate.

    Excellent point. By naming his big government and globalist policy as “compassionate conservatism” he inferred those that disagreed with his policies were uncompassionate. It was an insult and a misrepresentation hiding right out in the open.

    What’s worse, a “compassionate conservative” like George W. Bush, or a “severe” one like Mitt Romney?

    It’s interesting that Trump became the definitive “MAGA conservative”, by recycling Reagan’s Make America Great Again slogan.  Then his opponents try to define MAGA to mean what?  “Insane Trump cultists?” “Sam’s Club Republicans, a step below Country Club Republicans?” “People who live in places where they can wear those damned red caps and not get their tires slashed?” Whatever.

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Jim Kearney (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Tell us more about David Frum.

    I’m not a big believer in “by their Wikipedia Page ye shall know them.”

    Nevertheless, here’s David Frum’s.

    He created the term “Compassionate Conservative”. An idiotic term as conservatives gave more to charity in terms of time and dollar amount. Frum using the federal government to reallocate resources is compassionate.

    He is responsible for that?  Now you got me paying attention to him.  

    • #29
  30. E. Kent Golding Moderator
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    cdor (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    I am generally a WFB and National Review fan. However,at one point WFB tried to convince David Frum to be the Editor of NR. I am grateful Frum declined.

    Wouldn’t he fit right in now? Just askin’.

    No, he would not.   Try reading it on line.

    • #30
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