James Poulos, recently named Executive Editor of American Mind, a worthy publication of the Claremont Institute, joins me for a conversation on the changes digital technology has created and revealed in this time of elite crisis in America and around the world. We also talk up a triad of cultural criticism whose moment has come: Philip Rieff, Christopher Lasch, and Marshall McLuhan. I’ll go so far as to boast that our conversation is a good example of what this triad has to offer by way of analysis of elites.More
Humanity is trapped in a vise. The two competing social models in the world–the small ethnic state and the large commercial empire–have proven equally prone to sudden outbursts of mass violence. Multi-ethnic empires are vulnerable to spirals of elite divide-and-conquer tactics that eventually trigger a civil war, while monoethnic states have a tendency to fight […]
Red-blooded, real Americans are sick of America’s elites punching down on them. Authentic American politics, like authentic American comedy, roots for the underdog and punches up, not down. The problem with today’s elites is their down is up and their up is down: Our elites believe they’re signaling their superior virtue by “punching up” when they ridicule heartland America, but of course what they’re really doing is using their privileged social status to punch down on heartland America instead. Or that’s how it seems to many of us. For those unfamiliar with this punchy lingo, comedian Ben Schwartz explains,
“Punching up” and “punching down” are relatively new pop-political terms, often found not far from words like “mansplaining,” “problematic,” and “trolling.”
Reading about Hollywood’s posturing poseurs delivering their goods at the Oscars (who can stand to watch this event?), as they ooze with self-righteousness and narcissism, triggers a pesky thought that no doubt erupts in the minds of countless normal people. That is, none of those luminaries strutting across the stage are affected by events or ideas targeted by their feverishly stroked, ego-driven drivel. Thus, the question arises, what if they were? More than that, what if America’s elites in the entertainment industry, political realm, media complexes, and academic institutions were forced to suffer the consequences of the views they hold, the policies they force on the rest of us? This tantalizing hypothetical is worth a thought experiment or two.
Let’s start with Obamacare, which many pundits on the right predict will collapse, implode, or turn into a pumpkin at midnight. Whatever. But nothing in Washington happens by itself; no policy ever self-destructs; it takes the political equivalent of plastic explosives piled as high as a skyscraper to make something happen. Unless, of course, Obamacare suddenly (and inexplicably) were applied to members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, their staffs, and everyone else on a government payroll. Then, before you could say “Affordable Healthcare,” Obama’s signature legislation would vanish overnight. And to the devil with the two trillion or so beneficiaries who would lose their coverage, according to the CBSO, the Congressional … um … Office. In short, forcing the lawmakers to obey their own laws would do wonders to clarify minds and speed up lethargic congressional processes.More
If you watch this video, please note one thing that is important about it: it was the fact that Newt went after the elites. It wasn’t the issue on the table but how out of touch our ruling class is that brought the people to their feet. Newt was dismissive of the questioner, too. More
I consider myself a principled conservative, and I have no reservations whatsoever in voting for Donald Trump. “How can you make that claim?” you must be thinking. Well, let me explain. As a principled conservative, I believe that 99% of everything championed by the Left is wrong for this country. As a former military officer […]
I’m surprised no one here has written about Ben Rhodes, “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru,” and his startling profile in the New York Times Magazine. (By “startling,” I mean, “Sadly, not the least bit surprising.”) I’d love to write a searing piece about he, Jonathan “stupidity of the American people” Gruber, and the […]
Most of America is celebrating Veterans Day. But several progressives can’t join the rest of us in giving a simple “thank you” to the millions of men and women who guaranteed our freedoms.
For example, Salon.com featured an article titled “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy”:More
In 1780, François de Barbé Marbois, a French diplomat, sent a series of questions to each of the 13 states. His goal: To compile a report, to be sent back to Paris, on the economic life of the new country. In Virginia, the questions were forwarded to the state’s governor, Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson’s answers were eventually published as Notes on the State of Virginia. Among its most famous passages is Jefferson’s paean to agriculture:More
The Democratic Party is working hard to make America a land ruled by an elite kept in power through fraud and coercion; a land in which people are fired for their personal beliefs; a land in which individuals are denounced if they contribute to causes opposed by those in power; a land in which private […]