Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Goldberg v. Klavan

 

I’d like to say that I’ve been dying for a Goldberg/Klavan (of the Andrew variety) long-form podcast for almost three years, all about Trump. I don’t want a “debate,” despite the intentionally incendiary (or at least flammable . . . or at the very least dyspeptic) title. I’d like to hear two sides of a divide discuss their differences because I firmly believe most conservatives aren’t Trump purists or Trump haters.

Perhaps I am an anomaly. Nonetheless, for almost four years now I’ve scratched my head trying to understand one side of the conservative movement that I have always respected (and still respect). I imagine the feeling is mutual.

I admit to being unread and unlearned in the so-called “conservative movement.” I haven’t read much that could rightly be called conservative intellectual work like Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America (or the underrated Tyranny of Cliches). I do listen. I listen to this great network of podcasts (obviously, not all). I listen to National Review’s podcasts (obviously, not all). I listen to the Daily Wire’s podcasts (obviously, not all . . . can you tell I’m a lawyer yet?).

Before all that, I listened to my father and with my father to talk radio. Early, I thought “conservatism” was primarily about preserving the good of the founding, insofar as possible. This always meant things like maintaining a small government, maintaining federalism or maintaining legislative supremacy in the name of maintaining individual liberty. Or restoring these things as far as practical, because conservatives are nothing if not practical.

This, of course, leaves a big intellectual tent. And there is a long intellectual history, allowing for other things most conservatives tend to like. Some for obvious reasons, such as free markets, low taxes, and minimal regulation. Some for less obvious reasons (but, I think, still related to liberty) such as institutional stability, strong national security, and being pro-life. Of course, this is an extremely poor discussion of the issues that have motivated what we might call “conservatism” over the past thirty to forty years, yet it’ll do for my purposes.

I raise these issues merely to note that I think what I’ll call “Trump critical” conservative voices are, on balance, letting their distaste of Trump, the man, get in the way of supporting the conservative successes of the current administration. Let me define “Trump critical.” Here, I do not mean “Trump derangement.” There are former conservatives who, for my money, have decided they’d be happy and willing to abandon every principle they supposedly held because of their distaste for Trump. I also do not mean conservatives who are obsessed with Trump, such that they cannot get through a day without discussing the man. I mean conservatives like Jonah Goldberg, David French, Kevin Williamson and many others (please don’t make me try to compile a full list) who, in good faith and with good arguments, appear to believe that Trump is worse for conservatism (or the country) than he is good for conservatism (or the country).

The names I have listed are thinkers I respect and whose apparent hostility to the Trump administration, I can’t quite understand. Andrew Klavan of the Daily Wire has a different take. Of course, so do others but I think Klavan is among the most interesting and nuanced. He argues, among other things, that Trump is a man of necessity, not wholesome but needed to fight the media; that Trump should be praised for his apparent dedication to federalism and a reduction of executive power. On a different note, Klavan appears to argue that free markets (at least in terms of trade between nations) is more than it’s cracked up to be. Most of all, Trump, for all his faults, has been right where the “elite” was the wrong time and time again. Nonetheless, Klavan has not been unwilling to criticize Trump for some of his many faults. Since I’ve already labeled the other guys (likely unfairly), let us call Klavan “Trump positive.”

The point of this way too long note is as follows: I think the “Trump critical” and the “Trump positive” sides of the argument as outlined above are the conservative mainstream. I am sick and tired of hearing arguments between alleged conservatives who would vote for a resurrected Stalin over Trump and alleged conservatives who would personally abort a baby to ensure Trump remained in office. Furthermore, I am supremely tired of hearing what I have just labeled mainstream conservatives argue against the hypothetical straw-man version of their opponent. What I would like to hear is an hour-plus discussion between two of the most interesting and reliable people on either side of the “Trump divide,” as it were. Namely, Andrew Klavan and Jonah Goldberg. Make it happen.

If you agree, tweet this dumb little article to @realdailywire, @thedispatch, @jonahdispatch, and @andrewklavan to annoy them into a special episode of The Remnant or The Andrew Klavan Show or whatever forum they would like.

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  1. Kelly Cullen Coolidge
    Kelly Cullen

    F.. Me. Four years “now” not “know.” I refuse to read further to see what other dumb typos I failed to catch…

    • #1
    • May 23, 2020, at 11:16 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If Drew won’t do it, how about Mickey Kaus? 

    • #2
    • May 23, 2020, at 11:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Flicker Coolidge

    The two men are not in the same category. Neither Klavan nor Goldberg actually like the man. Klavan likes Trump’s policy work, and his fight; and doesn’t speak much of his personality. Goldberg hates the man himself; and I’ve never seen from Goldberg an honest or rational review of Trump’s policies or accomplishments.

    It would be like a screenwriter debating an alligator. We’ll see.

    • #3
    • May 23, 2020, at 11:48 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  4. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The two men are not in the same category. Neither Klavan nor Goldberg actually like the man. Klavan likes Trump’s policy work, and his fight; and doesn’t speak much of his personality. Goldberg hates the man himself; and I’ve never seen from Goldberg an honest or rational review of Trump’s policies or accomplishments.

    It would be like a screenwriter debating an alligator. We’ll see.

    Andrew’s mentioned as of late that he’s gotten angry replies from strong Trump supporters for noting at times that Trump can be his own worst enemy and could get himself beaten in November by going too heavy on the feuding and alienating swing voters who would be less passionately anti-Biden than they were anti-Hillary. On the other side, while Jonah at times sounds like he’d see that as feature, not a bug, AKAIK he hasn’t jumped on the Amtrak local to Wilmington with Joe yet, and hasn’t allowed Trump to essentially own his past conservative positions by the president coming out in support of those positions, as has been the case with Bill Kristol and a few others. If nothing else, a Goldberg-Klavan pair-up couldn’t possibly be as uncomfortable as Andrew’s interview with Max Boot about a year ago….

    (Also, as far as the headline goes, there is an ‘E’ in Goldberg but there are no ‘Es’ in Klavan.)

    • #4
    • May 24, 2020, at 12:11 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. JosePluma Thatcher

    I seem to recall that Klavan had Goldberg on his podcast. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to wade through all 900 to find it. A rematch would be a good idea.

    • #5
    • May 24, 2020, at 12:18 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Jon1979 Lincoln

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    I seem to recall that Klavan had Goldberg on his podcast. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to wade through all 900 to find it. A rematch would be a good idea.

    It actually popped up pretty fast in a search — it was December of 2017. If you listen to Andrew’s monologue right before the interview — since he’s talking about the Obama people falsifying the Russian collusion story — it pretty much sounds like he could have replayed it last week with very few alterations:

    • #6
    • May 24, 2020, at 12:26 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Trump can win without a single NeverTrump vote. He can win without a single hard core blue Dem vote. But if he doesn’t win a majority of the independents a second time, he loses. These are the people who are often derided on sites like ours as the “mushy middle”. In fact, not many are mushy; they’re a mixture of strong opinions that don’t line up precisely with either party. I think he will, or enough of them to peel off a win, because like them, he isn’t totally consistent either: a libertine in the past who defends the rights of the religious; a billionaire who is skeptical about how far the benefits of free trade really extend. 

    The worst one can say about Klavan–and I don’t think it’s a crime against conservatism–is that he thinks that the one man who could defeat Trump is Trump himself. Why is that heresy? It’s true of just about all politicians. Half the articles that Breitbart published at one point were worried warnings that President Trump better not betray the vision and the legacy of President Trump. And by the standards of breitbart.com, he hasn’t 

    • #7
    • May 24, 2020, at 12:44 AM PDT
    • 22 likes
  8. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Not sure you got that spelling of Andrew’s last name right. (There is a song, I believe, that helps with the spelling. It goes something like, “There is no ease in Klavan”. I think.)

    • #8
    • May 24, 2020, at 12:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Flicker Coolidge

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The two men are not in the same category. Neither Klavan nor Goldberg actually like the man. Klavan likes Trump’s policy work, and his fight; and doesn’t speak much of his personality. Goldberg hates the man himself; and I’ve never seen from Goldberg an honest or rational review of Trump’s policies or accomplishments.

    It would be like a screenwriter debating an alligator. We’ll see.

    Andrew’s mentioned as of late that he’s gotten angry replies from strong Trump supporters for noting at times that Trump can be his own worst enemy and could get himself beaten in November by going too heavy on the feuding and alienating swing voters who would be less passionately anti-Biden than they were anti-Hillary. On the other side, while Jonah at times sounds like he’d see that as feature, not a bug, AKAIK he hasn’t jumped on the Amtrak local to Wilmington with Joe yet, and hasn’t allowed Trump to essentially own his past conservative positions by the president coming out in support of those positions, as has been the case with Bill Kristol and a few others. If nothing else, a Goldberg-Klavan pair-up couldn’t possibly be as uncomfortable as Andrew’s interview with Max Boot about a year ago….

    (Also, as far as the headline goes, there is an ‘E’ in Goldberg but there are no ‘Es’ in Klavan.)

    I don’t know. I watch the eKlavan version on the internet.

    • #9
    • May 24, 2020, at 1:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Flicker Coolidge

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    Not sure you got that spelling of Andrew’s last name right. (There is a song, I believe, that helps with the spelling. It goes something like, “There is no ease in Klavan”. I think.)

    He just makes it look ‘Es”-y.

    • #10
    • May 24, 2020, at 1:05 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Flicker Coolidge

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    I seem to recall that Klavan had Goldberg on his podcast. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to wade through all 900 to find it. A rematch would be a good idea.

    It actually popped up pretty fast in a search — it was December of 2017. If you listen to Andrew’s monologue right before the interview — since he’s talking about the Obama people falsifying the Russian collusion story — it pretty much sounds like he could have replayed it last week with very few alterations:

    Thanks for the video. I’ve watched 15 minutes of the interview and I am simply reminded of why I stopped reading Goldberg.

    Goldberg: “And Trump just basically wants sycophants… I think he’s a theocratic bigot, and a crank, and a grifter.” And this was when Goldberg didn’t yet hate Trump.

    • #11
    • May 24, 2020, at 1:35 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  12. Larry3435 Member

    I think this post poses a great question and, for what its worth, I would like to offer my own answer. Before the 2016 election I described myself as NeverTrump. I thought (and I said on this site) that Trump was unfit for office. I did not vote for Trump in 2016. (Nevada offers the ballot option of “None of the above,” and I checked that box.) 

    On the day after the election I realized that I had a choice to make. I could either spend the next four years gnashing my teeth and rending my garments because I didn’t get the kind of President I wanted. Or I could recognize that Trump was the duly elected President and I could wish him well and observe his Presidency with an open mind. I also realized that if I chose Option 2 I would have to pay attention to what Trump did and not what he said. By that time it was already obvious that Trump was not articulate and he had a tendency to say any damn fool thing that popped into his head. It was obvious that Trump would continue to do that – he can’t control himself (at least, not all the time). So I would need a gibberish filter to tune out all that stuff and put all my focus on actions rather than words.

    I chose Option 2. I felt that, as an American, I was morally obliged to choose Option 2. And after three years I have been almost entirely pleased with the Trump Administration’s actions. If you look only at actions and results, and ignore the rhetoric, Trump has been the most conservative President since Reagan (maybe even since Coolidge) and has taken the country in a positive direction on every issue he has tackled.

    However, I understand that there are people who, faced with the same choice I described above, were simply incapable of setting aside their preexisting emotions and judging the Trump Presidency objectively and with an open mind. They had already decided that Trump was unfit for office and, by gum, they were going to say so (over and over) no matter what. Jonah is a great example of this approach. He might give a passing and nonchalant nod to Trump’s conservative accomplishments, just to check that box, but then he moves quickly into a passionate anti-Trump rant that could easily have been lifted from July 2016, as if the last three years never happened.

    I am pleased with my choice on this defining issue. But I understand that some people – consciously or unconsciously – chose Option 1. And I think the answer to the question posed by the OP can be understood based entirely on how people made that particular choice on the day after the 2016 election.

     

    • #12
    • May 24, 2020, at 3:23 AM PDT
    • 28 likes
  13. Kelly Cullen Coolidge
    Kelly Cullen

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    I seem to recall that Klavan had Goldberg on his podcast. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to wade through all 900 to find it. A rematch would be a good idea.

    It actually popped up pretty fast in a search — it was December of 2017. If you listen to Andrew’s monologue right before the interview — since he’s talking about the Obama people falsifying the Russian collusion story — it pretty much sounds like he could have replayed it last week with very few alterations:

    Yup. Remember that and it’s why I specified long form. Klavan does very short interviews

    • #13
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:27 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    I think this post poses a great question and, for what its worth, I would like to offer my own answer. Before the 2016 election I described myself as NeverTrump. I thought (and I said on this site) that Trump was unfit for office. I did not vote for Trump in 2016. (Nevada offers the ballot option of “None of the above,” and I checked that box.)

    On the day after the election I realized that I had a choice to make. I could either spend the next four years gnashing my teeth and rending my garments because I didn’t get the kind of President I wanted. Or I could recognize that Trump was the duly elected President and I could wish him well and observe his Presidency with an open mind. I also realized that if I chose Option 2 I would have to pay attention to what Trump did and not what he said. By that time it was already obvious that Trump was not articulate and he had a tendency to say any damn fool thing that popped into his head. It was obvious that Trump would continue to do that – he can’t control himself (at least, not all the time). So I would need a gibberish filter to tune out all that stuff and put all my focus on actions rather than words.

    I chose Option 2. I felt that, as an American, I was morally obliged to choose Option 2. And after three years I have been almost entirely pleased with the Trump Administration’s actions. If you look only at actions and results, and ignore the rhetoric, Trump has been the most conservative President since Reagan (maybe even since Coolidge) and has taken the country in a positive direction on every issue he has tackled.

    However, I understand that there are people who, faced with the same choice I described above, were simply incapable of setting aside their preexisting emotions and judging the Trump Presidency objectively and with an open mind. They had already decided that Trump was unfit for office and, by gum, they were going to say so (over and over) no matter what. Jonah is a great example of this approach. He might give a passing and nonchalant nod to Trump’s conservative accomplishments, just to check that box, but then he moves quickly into a passionate anti-Trump rant that could easily have been lifted from July 2016, as if the last three years never happened.

     

    Excellent @Larry3435. I get sooo tired of the anti-Trump stuff because of that initial choice and no change afterward no matter what is done. Still would love a good discussion between Klavan or Scott Adams and Goldberg or Charan.

    • #14
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:30 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. E. Kent Golding Member

    KelKilken (View Comment):

    F.. Me. Four years “now” not “know.” I refuse to read further to see what other dumb typos I failed to catch…

    Hit the edit button, or Flag yourself and nicely ask a Mod to do it.

    • #15
    • May 24, 2020, at 4:45 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. GrannyDude Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Before the 2016 election I described myself as NeverTrump. I thought (and I said on this site) that Trump was unfit for office. I did not vote for Trump in 2016. 

    I remember that! 
    Why is this slightly heartwarming? Ah well. Carry on. 

     

    • #16
    • May 24, 2020, at 5:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    I also realized that if I chose Option 2 I would have to pay attention to what Trump did and not what he said. By that time it was already obvious that Trump was not articulate and he had a tendency to say any damn fool thing that popped into his head. It was obvious that Trump would continue to do that – he can’t control himself (at least, not all the time). So I would need a gibberish filter to tune out all that stuff and put all my focus on actions rather than words.

    I chose Option 2. I felt that, as an American, I was morally obliged to choose Option 2. And after three years I have been almost entirely pleased with the Trump Administration’s actions. If you look only at actions and results, and ignore the rhetoric, Trump has been the most conservative President since Reagan (maybe even since Coolidge) and has taken the country in a positive direction on every issue he has tackled.

    That’s pretty much my answer to the question, “What do you think of Donald Trump?” I am largely happy with the work the Trump Administration is doing. I think he is wrong on international trade, but there will never be an administration with which I agree on everything, so all in all this administration is as good as I could have realistically hoped for. But I am never going to admire Donald Trump, the man. I just can’t stand his personality. Does that make me NeverTrump?

    • #17
    • May 24, 2020, at 5:32 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  18. Kelly Cullen Coolidge
    Kelly Cullen

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    KelKilken (View Comment):

    F.. Me. Four years “now” not “know.” I refuse to read further to see what other dumb typos I failed to catch…

    Hit the edit button, or Flag yourself and nicely ask a Mod to do

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    KelKilken (View Comment):

    F.. Me. Four years “now” not “know.” I refuse to read further to see what other dumb typos I failed to catch…

    Hit the edit button, or Flag yourself and nicely ask a Mod to do it.

    haha… First post, didn’t see the edit button. I can hardly fix it now, because it makes me laugh.

    • #18
    • May 24, 2020, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    That’s pretty much my answer to the question, “What do you think of Donald Trump?” I am largely happy with the work the Trump Administration is doing. I think he is wrong on international trade, but there will never be an administration with which I agree on everything, so all in all this administration is as good as I could have realistically hoped for. But I am never going to admire Donald Trump, the man. I just can’t stand his personality.

    Same. Frankly, I think Trump is the embodiment of Milton Friedman’s comment that the way to accomplish good things in politics is not to elect the right people but rather to make it profitable for the wrong people to do the right things. 

    • #19
    • May 24, 2020, at 6:37 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  20. Franz Drumlin Member

    I’m unrepentantly middle-of-the-road squishy-washy: I like Andrew Klaven Klavan and Jonah Goldberg (and David French, and Kevin D. Williamson). I admire George Will and Dennis Prager. On the other hand, I’ve pretty much written off Bill Kristol and Max Boot. 

     

    • #20
    • May 24, 2020, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  21. Stad Thatcher

    KelKilken: Nonetheless, Klavan has not been unwilling to criticize Trump for some of his many faults.

    Kalavan has critized Trump for his faults. He just doesn’t do it over and over and over and over and over again like the others . . .

    • #21
    • May 24, 2020, at 7:17 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  22. Roderic Coolidge

    KelKilken: What I would like to hear is an hour-plus discussion between two of the most interesting and reliable people on either side of the “Trump divide,” as it were. Namely, Andrew Klavan and Jonah Goldberg.

    Goldberg refuses to acknowledge that anything good has come out of Trump’s presidency at all. If Trump does something that is undeniably good for the conservative movement, like nominating a good conservative for Supreme Court justice and then standing by him all the way to confirmation despite an unbelievable, hellish firestorm of accusations and criticism, Goldberg will think of some way to deny him credit for that. It wasn’t his idea, he was forced to do it, he did it for the wrong reasons, or whatever.

    It is as if Goldberg thinks that everything that Trump ever accomplished in his whole life was either the result of luck or of skulduggery and cheating. Everything. In other words, Trump deserves no credit for doing anything good whatsoever. A billionaire developer who has no real ability at being a developer, just a rich father and a lot of luck and cheating.

    By Goldberg’s calculus, Trump, who has done more for the conservative movement than anyone hoped for, is completely unprincipled while Bill Kristol, who wants a Democrat to win the presidency and dreams of Pelosi taking over as president after Trump and Pence succumb to COVID-19, is a paragon of principled conservatism.

    What’s the point of discussing the President with someone who thinks like that? It’s falsehoods all the way down. There’s no getting at the root of it.

    • #22
    • May 24, 2020, at 7:28 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  23. Roderic Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    I also realized that if I chose Option 2 I would have to pay attention to what Trump did and not what he said. By that time it was already obvious that Trump was not articulate and he had a tendency to say any damn fool thing that popped into his head.

    Trump doesn’t use the language in the way that reporters and other wordsmiths use it. He isn’t trying to convey information or ideas. He’s trying to get something done, to motivate people, to bring attention to or away from something. To that end he’ll say just about anything.

    He’s like the construction manager who will lie, cajole, threaten, patronize, praise, criticize, and generally say whatever it takes to get the job done on time and under budget.

    So you pay attention to what Trump has done and wants to do.

    • #23
    • May 24, 2020, at 7:48 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  24. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    The two men are not in the same category. Neither Klavan nor Goldberg actually like the man. Klavan likes Trump’s policy work, and his fight; and doesn’t speak much of his personality. Goldberg hates the man himself; and I’ve never seen from Goldberg an honest or rational review of Trump’s policies or accomplishments.

    It would be like a screenwriter debating an alligator. We’ll see.

    Andrew’s mentioned as of late that he’s gotten angry replies from strong Trump supporters for noting at times that Trump can be his own worst enemy and could get himself beaten in November by going too heavy on the feuding and alienating swing voters who would be less passionately anti-Biden than they were anti-Hillary. On the other side, while Jonah at times sounds like he’d see that as feature, not a bug, AKAIK he hasn’t jumped on the Amtrak local to Wilmington with Joe yet, and hasn’t allowed Trump to essentially own his past conservative positions by the president coming out in support of those positions, as has been the case with Bill Kristol and a few others. If nothing else, a Goldberg-Klavan pair-up couldn’t possibly be as uncomfortable as Andrew’s interview with Max Boot about a year ago….

    (Also, as far as the headline goes, there is an ‘E’ in Goldberg but there are no ‘Es’ in Klavan.)

    I don’t know. I watch the eKlavan version on the internet.

    The music in full version of the “There are no ‘Es’ in Klavan” bit reminds me of the old Marshmallow Fluff commercial from the 1960s (and I actually knew there were no ‘Es’ in Klavan from back then, because WNEW slapped ads for his dad’s Klavan & Finch radio show all over the buses in Manhattan).

    • #24
    • May 24, 2020, at 8:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Jeff Petraska Member
    Jeff Petraska Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Besides a Klavan-Goldberg debate, I’d also like to see a Klavan-Nordlinger/Charen debate and a Klavan-French debate.

     

    • #25
    • May 24, 2020, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jeff Petraska (View Comment):

    Besides a Klavan-Goldberg debate, I’d also like to see a Klavan-Nordlinger/Charen debate and a Klavan-French debate.

     

    Jay can be reasonable, even if vehement, and reserves his ire predominantly for Trump himself, not his supporters. French too, to a point, if certain subjects are avoided. Mona? She’s not gone full Jen Rubin by any stretch, but she maintains an undisguised contempt for anyone even suggesting the position @larry3435 has taken above. I’m not sure that would be a productive interview at all.

    • #26
    • May 24, 2020, at 10:01 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  27. MiMac Thatcher

    Duplicate post for some reason

    • #27
    • May 24, 2020, at 10:04 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  28. Steve C. Member

    I used to be a conservative purist. From 1985 to 1988, the conventional politicians refused to “Let Reagan be Reagan.” Our revolution died aborning. With experience comes wisdom. I’ve learned Reagan’s best trait was knowing what policies to pursue and more importantly, when to pursue them. It’s satisfying one can celebrate Reagan’s admirable public persona and his political success. But, cognitive concordance is a rare thing. More often we are stuck with good people-bad policies (Jimmy Carter) or bad people-good policies (Donald Trump).

    Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    And as Marx said, “Those are my principles. If you don’t like them…I have others.”

    • #28
    • May 24, 2020, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I tend to agree with Victor Davis Hanson that Trump is a tragic figure who will probably fail at redirecting the bureaucracy that turns America away from the “Principle Agent Problem” that has seen us lose our way since 1932 and certainly since WWII. Federalism was probably destroyed by the Civil War. The Progressive Movement gave us a taste of Fascism in the WWI era and it seems to be coming back under the pressure of the epidemic.

    https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/56322.html

    The Principle Agent Problem.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/donald-trump-tragic-hero/

    Trump as Hanson’s tragic hero.

    • #29
    • May 24, 2020, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  30. MiMac Thatcher

    MiMac (View Comment):

    Boy, if you thing Jonah is bad look at Bill Kristol! I don’t like Trumps style or rhetoric-but many of his policies are great (Deregulation, judges etc). You should never idolize politicians (except for the left- Obama is the 2nd coming, Beto is the new RFK etc) all relationships with them are transactional. Many of the Never Trumpers refuse to look at anything but his style- & it is much like Bernie & Bloomberg- ie NYers. They also forget the left begat Trump- if GWB is a cross between Hitler and a chimp, and Romney is a probable wife beater, Paul Ryan wants to throw granny off a cliff, why should you remain civil since all it gets you is abuse & contempt? Trump is also a product of Obama constantly presenting ludicrous strawman versions of conservative positions- all to the applause of media. So now Trump treats the lefts’s arguements with equal disdain – turn about is hell. The argument that Trump is a new low is garbage- the Kavanaugh smear had nothing to do with Trump (except he had the guts to fight it out). All politics comes down to a choice and frequently neither is great-so choose the lesser of two evils.

     

    • #30
    • May 24, 2020, at 10:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes