Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. In praise of authoritarianism

 

Not from me; I say it’s spinach, and to hell with it. But others find it a good election message:

I don’t know if Ms. Berlinski endorses the particulars of D muthafargery. I don’t know if she just liked the swinging’-Richard coq-of-the-walk posture of muthafargery from an internet videosthat cherrypick moments from charismatic politicians who really said some things, y’all. But she’s on to something; weakness is not an effective message in 2020.

Still, it’s hard not to infer a trill of joy that the Ds are doing this, and hence will win. So. 

Is it just me, but when the Ds have embraced every statist “solution” and intrusion into the economy, elevated identity politics to a religion, let cities burn, lost their voice when it came to condemning mobs that spatter every civic structure with obscenities, shrug at Jew-hatred when the popular people say it, promise to make citizens of illegal aliens, and recast the national narrative to conform to the 1619 project – complete with witch trials and struggle sessions for anyone who does not parrot the new history – well, perhaps your enthusiasm for competent, ruthless people might be less than enthusiastic?

Maybe it’s just me! But I’m trying to imagine a scenario in which ruthless statists is a concept that makes conservatives stand up and cheer. 

Competent, ruthless people weld people’s doors shut to keep them inside when Covid strikes. Competent, ruthless people billyclub citizens who do not wear masks.

Competent, ruthless people enforce compliance with their ideas with every tool in the arsenal – legal, social, economic – because after all, the personal is the political. 

Competent, ruthless people pack the Supreme Court.

Competent, ruthless people gun down protestors.

Sorry, reductio ad absurdum there, utterly unmoored from history. Sorry! It’s different in this context, because “ruthless” in American politics means an unwavering desire to pursue the necessary policies through the established system by whatever means necessary, yet scrupulously adhering to laws, norms, and conventions. That’s all!

Whatever: at least we have a standard. Competency is not enough. The necessity of defeating Trump requires not just the absence of ruth but its abolition. It needs a hard, pitiless heart, and this sentiment is best expressed with Quentin Tarantino dialogue to make sure we get the point. You know people are serious when they use the really bad swears.

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  1. Judge Mental Member

    They don’t think they have to maintain the mask anymore (ironic, that), and they are letting their Fascist freak flags fly.

    “We have met the Nazis, and they is us.” And they’ve decided they’re cool with that.

    • #1
    • July 12, 2020, at 10:43 PM PDT
    • 24 likes
  2. Henry Racette Contributor

    I’m just having a hard time seeing the word “patriotism” playing well with the left half of the base. Doesn’t that imply a flag, or something else identifiably American?

    Or is this one of those “I’m an American patriot like your typical Greek is an American patriot” kinds of things?

    • #2
    • July 12, 2020, at 11:07 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    James Lileks: Sorry! It’s different in this context

    We all know that’s a lie.

    • #3
    • July 12, 2020, at 11:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Judge Mental Member

    We’re talking about a party that is becoming dominated by a movement that uses a clenched fist as their emblem.

    • #4
    • July 12, 2020, at 11:38 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  5. tigerlily Member

    Hey, I think we just got the new name for the Washington NFL team! The Washington Ruthless Statists. Yeah, that works for me. Washington’s a one-party town if there ever was a one-party town and that party is the Democrat party. They own the town lock, stock and barrel. And, even when the Republicans somehow cheat their way to the White House, the Democrats still figure out a way to run the show. The team logo’s pretty easy – a jack-booted thug stomping on a human face.

    Go Statists! Cancel the Racist Competition!

    • #5
    • July 12, 2020, at 11:39 PM PDT
    • 22 likes
  6. Samuel Block Support

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I’m just having a hard time seeing the word “patriotism” playing well with the left half of the base. Doesn’t that imply a flag, or something else identifiably American?

    As long as they’re the realer, most-betterist patriots. Then it’s, like…. ya know, cool.

    • #6
    • July 13, 2020, at 1:42 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    They are letting their ids run free. I don’t want to give them power. I want to give them Xanax.

    • #7
    • July 13, 2020, at 5:02 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    James Lileks: Is it just me, but when the Ds have embraced every statist “solution” and intrusion into the economy, elevated identity politics to a religion, let cities burn, lost their voice when it came to condemning mobs that spatter every civic structure with obscenities, shrug at Jew-hatred when the popular people say it, promise to make citizens of illegal aliens, and recast the national narrative to conform to the 1619 project – complete with witch trials and struggle sessions for anyone who does not parrot the new history – well, perhaps your enthusiasm for competent, ruthless people might be less than enthusiastic?

    Exactly. I wonder how many Democrat voters are re-examining their core beliefs and think, “You know, maybe this isn’t the way to go about establishing Utopia.”

    The November election is going to be interesting . . .

    • #8
    • July 13, 2020, at 5:12 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. MarciN Member

    It’s sad and disappointing to see Claire use that kind of crude and violent language. 

    • #9
    • July 13, 2020, at 5:48 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  10. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Claire wouldn’t know competence from a hole in the wall. 

     

    • #10
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:00 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “We’ll make the trains run on time and take care of those “deplorables” in society”…..

    • #11
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    And Kennedy would not be a Democrat in todays world.

     

    • #12
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • 26 likes
  13. Goldgeller Member

    Great post. I think it does a good job at pointing out the insincerity of this type of talk by using good historical points. The talk about competence and ruthlessness strikes me as insincere (if a Conservative said it…) and it seems we don’t get the competence and what is worse (!) is that ruthlessness becomes a substitute. Its a classic of statist political behavior behavior because their policies are often so difficult to implement if people won’t obey. Once your political career, and perhaps even your life, rests on riff-raff obeying, then you will do what it takes to get them to obey.

    We can muddle through riots and civil unrest (in a couple of blocks). I know some neighborhoods will be devastated, but we can survive that. The thing that will be harder to overcome is that we are seeing an open, developing, symbiotic relationship between a political party and groups dedicated to ongoing looting and civil unrest in order to achieve their political aims– either by exhausting or frightening the population. That is something that is hard to walk back from. (I’m talking about democrats and their relationship to Antifa and BLM btw.)

     

     

    • #13
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:13 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  14. Hoyacon Member

    Who is Don Winslow and why is he at all qualified to know whether patriotism is fake or not.

    • #14
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:19 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Seawriter Contributor

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Who is Don Winslow and why is he at all qualified to know whether patriotism is fake or not?

    Well, this Don Winslow understands patriotism, but he is a comic strip character. That one dated to WWII and is probably rolling over in his grave at Claire’s statement. He fought people like the Don Winslow who made the tweet.

    • #15
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:27 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Hoyacon Member

    “Fake patriotism”:

    We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations: July 4th, 1776. At those words, every American heart should swell with pride. Every American family should cheer with delight. And every American patriot should be filled with joy, because each of you lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world, and it will soon be greater than ever before.

    Our Founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America. And no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation.

    It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence. They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said: “All men are created equal.”

    • #16
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:32 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. MarciN Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    And Kennedy would not be a Democrat in today’s world.

    He hated the Communists. In fact, he forcefully criticized the Eisenhower administration for not supporting Taiwan (Formosa) sufficiently. Reading the debates between Kennedy and Nixon is startling today.

    Joe, Jack’s father, was soft on Hitler and Stalin and Communism. He was a loathsome despicable human being. The story about what he did to his oldest daughter Rosemary has forever placed him beyond redemption as far as I’m concerned. But Jack was the exact opposite politically.

    • #17
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  18. Patrick McClure Coolidge

    Stad (View Comment):
    I wonder how many Democrat voters are re-examining their core beliefs and think, “You know, maybe this isn’t the way to go about establishing Utopia.”

    None of them. They are so used to Democrats lying to get elected they don’t believe them.

     

    • #18
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I liked Claire when she was active here, and I still do.

    But I don’t like, and will not vote for, “competent, ruthless” statists who have no respect for the Constitution, particularly the first two amendments.

    Question for Claire: will competence and ruthlessness cancel out the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th Amendments too?

    • #19
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  20. Hoyacon Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    I liked Claire when she was active here, and I still do.

    But I don’t like, and will not vote for, “competent, ruthless” statists who have no respect for the Constitution, particularly the first two amendments.

    Question for Claire: will competence and ruthlessness cancel out the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th Amendments too?

    This is intended to be rhetorical, I assume. (?)

    Isn’t Ms. Berlinski in the category of those who, at some point, decided it was inconvenient to interact with the membership?

    • #20
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:48 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  21. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kozak (View Comment):

    And Kennedy would not be a Democrat in todays world.

     

    Sure he would. He would have changed as required.

    • #21
    • July 13, 2020, at 6:55 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We clearly need an investigation into Parisian tampering with American elections. At one point I would have read that from Claire as sarcasm, but having followed her political descent and warm endorsements of and camaraderie with the finally convicted libel artist Christopher Steele, the man the full weight and power of the FBI could not verify, it is clear that she is caucusing with Senator Palpatine now.

    Once she decided that Trump is the American Le Pen all manner of excess and opprobrium have issued from the city of magic. Trump has more flaws than money, but a close assessment of Trump and his opposition proves him to be the lesser of two weevils by far. The notion that he is as evil as the monster that consigned whole segments of the population to concentration camps, FDR, is sheer hyperbole. 

    If she, as a journalist, can be so utterly wrong about Steele, she really needs to focus on restoring her reputation or focus on her career as a fiction author. Mugging for Twitter mobs is not a good look for her. 

     

    • #22
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 23 likes
  23. MarciN Member

    Modern history sees the same story play out over and over again: a period of wealth generation during which the socialists salivate over the ways and means it can capture private bank accounts.

    Our president fixed the economy after the recession-inducing Democrat years. Unfortunately, rather than learn how to get an economy going again after a period of draining it with regulations galore, the Democrats, having run out of money when they were in office, see it as money to take for themselves. Socialism drains capital sources dry. It leaves nothing for investment and growth.

    If the American people are smart, they will reelect Trump because now more than ever, they need someone good at quick economic fixes.

    • #23
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I liked Claire when she was active here, and I still do.

    But I don’t like, and will not vote for, “competent, ruthless” statists who have no respect for the Constitution, particularly the first two amendments.

    Question for Claire: will competence and ruthlessness cancel out the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th Amendments too?

    This is intended to be rhetorical, I assume. (?)

    Isn’t Ms. Berlinski in the category of those who, at some point, decided it was inconvenient to interact with the membership?

    She went emeritus so as to work on her book… which it seems is never going to come to fruition as it has devolved into a moving target, valiantly fighting phantoms and ghosts.

    I’ve personally been wondering if it’s more that she found it inconvenient to interact with Americans on American soil. 

    My father in law is English, but a naturalized citizen here. He was back in Blighty last fall to visit with his family (until COVID, this was at least an annual meetup), and he was aghast at the way the media portrays the US. Even his more conservative relatives could not describe Trump in terms other than venomous, but the reasons they gave were ill informed. He sat down those who would listen and laid it out. “Believe nothing about the US, or especially about Trump, if it comes from your media,” and he walked them through several examples. He’s not sure he convinced anyone, but at least he sowed some doubts.

    I cannot help but think that Claire is likewise in that same bubble, unable to see things here except through the venom and spite and a bunch of snot-nosed European reporters who hate being stuck here.

    • #24
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:12 AM PDT
    • 25 likes
  25. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    And Kennedy would not be a Democrat in todays world.

     

    Sure he would. He would have changed as required.

    I’m not so sure about that. Kennedy came into office cock-sure that he knew everything, that Eisenhower had been an overly cautious idiot who had caused our Cold War with the USSR, and that Kennedy’s youth and “clean slate” would set a new bar.

    Berlin and Cuba and quickly proved the reality of Eisenhower’s positions, and Kennedy wised up. We’ll never know how much, but he did change in office, he did grow.

    • #25
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:15 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  26. Hoyacon Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I liked Claire when she was active here, and I still do.

    But I don’t like, and will not vote for, “competent, ruthless” statists who have no respect for the Constitution, particularly the first two amendments.

    Question for Claire: will competence and ruthlessness cancel out the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th Amendments too?

    This is intended to be rhetorical, I assume. (?)

    Isn’t Ms. Berlinski in the category of those who, at some point, decided it was inconvenient to interact with the membership?

    She went emeritus so as to work on her book… which it seems is never going to come to fruition as it has devolved into a moving target, valiantly fighting phantoms and ghosts.

    I’ve personally been wondering if it’s more that she found it inconvenient to interact with Americans on American soil.

    My father in law is English, but a naturalized citizen here. He was back in Blighty last fall to visit with his family (until COVID, this was at least an annual meetup), and he was aghast at the way the media portrays the US. Even his more conservative relatives could not describe Trump in terms other than venomous, but the reasons they gave were ill informed. He sat down those who would listen and laid it out. “Believe nothing about the US, or especially about Trump, if it comes from your media,” and he walked them through several examples. He’s not sure he convinced anyone, but at least he sowed some doubts.

    I cannot help but think that Claire is likewise in that same bubble, unable to see things here except through the venom and spite and a bunch of snot-nosed European reporters who hate being stuck here.

    I noticed that she is still listed as a contributor on the City Journal site, but I can’t recall the last time I saw anything by her there or in the magazine.

     

    • #26
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:16 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  27. TreeRat Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    I liked Claire when she was active here, and I still do.

    But I don’t like, and will not vote for, “competent, ruthless” statists who have no respect for the Constitution, particularly the first two amendments.

    Question for Claire: will competence and ruthlessness cancel out the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th Amendments too?

    This is intended to be rhetorical, I assume. (?)

    Isn’t Ms. Berlinski in the category of those who, at some point, decided it was inconvenient to interact with the membership?

    She went emeritus so as to work on her book… which it seems is never going to come to fruition as it has devolved into a moving target, valiantly fighting phantoms and ghosts.

    I’ve personally been wondering if it’s more that she found it inconvenient to interact with Americans on American soil.

    My father in law is English, but a naturalized citizen here. He was back in Blighty last fall to visit with his family (until COVID, this was at least an annual meetup), and he was aghast at the way the media portrays the US. Even his more conservative relatives could not describe Trump in terms other than venomous, but the reasons they gave were ill informed. He sat down those who would listen and laid it out. “Believe nothing about the US, or especially about Trump, if it comes from your media,” and he walked them through several examples. He’s not sure he convinced anyone, but at least he sowed some doubts.

    I cannot help but think that Claire is likewise in that same bubble, unable to see things here except through the venom and spite and a bunch of snot-nosed European reporters who hate being stuck here.

    Not so different from the media bubble over here, eh?

    • #27
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:21 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Her most recent piece in City Journal was published in April of last year, a good piece on the Notre Dame fire. No f-bombs.

    • #28
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:29 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Hoyacon Member

    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) (View Comment):

    Her most recent piece in City Journal was published in April of last year, a good piece on the Notre Dame fire. No f-bombs.

    Thanks. I probably have that around somewhere, but I thought it had been awhile. I never had an issue with her writing from Europe on events on the continent, since that’s her lane. On U.S. domestic matters, not so much.

    • #29
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:32 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. DrewInWisconsin, Doormat Coolidge

    I say it’s spinach, and to hell with it.

    I understood that reference.

    • #30
    • July 13, 2020, at 7:40 AM PDT
    • 10 likes