Sunday, July 4, 2021

A National Refounding?

The first article, linked by Frank, is actually better than good. It's one of Angelo Codevilla's more thoughtful pieces, and it provides substantive food for thought to everyone who wonders where the road ahead leads. The other two articles, in their own ways, address that concern as well.

Codevilla riffs off Machiavelli's distinction between founding and refounding a political order--in our case, a republic:

To Rescue a Nation

Restoring America requires dedicated citizens to re-found our Republic.

Codevilla sets the problem in a way that's difficult to dispute:

Machiavelli wrote that [resetting a country on its proper basis] amounts to re-founding a nation, and that this is considerably more difficult than founding one in the first place.

What does it take to re-found a nation? The question is lively for twenty-first century Americans because the changes that have taken place in the bipartisan ruling class that controls nearly all our institutions have explicitly denied and denigrated what had made America itself. Today’s ruling class leads and even forces Americans to act, speak, and think as if all that they had thought good were bad, and vice versa. Almost as if a vengeful power had conquered the country. At least half the country yearns for some kind of rescue.

Codevilla's major emphasis is on leadership. A "refounding", he maintains--again, pretty incontrovertibly--amounts to a revolution, and requires a leader with whom would be revolutionaries can identify as embodying their ideals and values. It's no secret that Codevilla doesn't regard Trump as that leader, although his sharpest criticism of Trump in this article is this somewhat muted observation:

leadership worthy of its name consists of actually organizing successful acts of resistance and affirmation.

On the one hand, we can all agree that Trump's appointments served him ill, and to a great extent prevented him from "organizing successful acts of resistance and affirmation." On the other hand, I hope we can also agree that that criticism fails to do justice to Trump and what Trump accomplished. Trump, as an outsider to both political parties, was hamstrung in making appointments. Codevilla doesn't offer examples of what he would have considered to have been "successful acts of resistance and affirmation". Personally, I believe that Trump's public affirmation of his agenda--resolutely focused on what would make the nation great again, focusing on national identity, and above all on affirmation of the goodness of human life lived in the traditional manner of our ancestral generations--was an enormous step toward a refounding. It was also a step that had never been taken by any previous Republican nominee in recent memory. Whatever the shortcomings of Trump's SCOTUS appointments, the fact remains that their confirmations were accomplished with the knowledge that confirmation for each represented--no matter their future behavior--a victory for those who affirmed Trump's agenda. In my mind that's no small thing going forward. It's a benchmark for anyone who hopes to succeed Trump.

To see how this is so, consider Codevilla's own words--what other public figure at the level of Trump's presence on the national stage addressed and followed through in so many ways on the issues that Codevilla cites. And yet Codevilla appears blind to the significance of this. A refounding requires in the first place a rallying point. Trump has provided that, has provided hope. Consider Codevilla's closing paragraphs, in which he appears to envision a fractured America:

This intermingling [of Woke and Traditional America] is more fraught with horrid consequences than the 19th century division between Northerners and Southerners. Both of those sides, Lincoln reminded them, “prayed to the same God.” Their family lives, their personal habits and preferences, were identical. All revered America’s founders, albeit somewhat differently. None doubted the others’ probity. Today, by contrast, America’s Woke side regards worship of the God of the Bible as the source of the White man’s rapacity, racism, and oppression. It regards the very words male and female, mother and father as poisonous, and rejects reason itself as the arbiter of argument in favor of identity. Through education, it enforces relativism regarding mathematics—never mind sexuality—and wholly denigrates anything that America has been other than the enabler of themselves.

... Now every national election, every judicial nomination, is about who shall kill whom under what circumstances, who shall go into whose bathroom, who are the heroes and who the villains, and which children shall and shall not be filled with alien hormones.

The good news is that the U.S government has less credit, and hence less real power to decide such matters than ever before. Alas, it also has lost the capacity to prevent opposite sides of these bellicose questions from taking their preferences into their own hands. The United States of America is coming apart. The only question is whether it finishes doing so to avoid violence, or as a result thereof.

Republican Americans’ success in the aforementioned defensive battles should convince the oligarchy to limit its absolute power to the people who want to live under it. The persons whom the republicans choose in successive elections will have substantial power to define the terms by which America’s tribes relate to one another. ...

The U.S. Constitution’s letter gives nearly all powers of government to the states, and reserves unmentioned ones “to the people.” Surely that includes powers over bathrooms, marriages, who competes with whom in sports, etc. It certainly includes power over elections. ... Though a federal statute granting broad autonomy over such matters to the states’ constituted sub-units and giving enough likeminded people the power to form units that enjoy such autonomy would run against more than a century of court decisions, it finds no barrier in the Constitution’s letter. Congress and the president can do this.

The alternative is already unfolding: people on all sides have learned that “stop me if you can” is today’s operative constitutional law. Pretty soon, everywhere will be a sanctuary for something. The willful and well-organized obey what they will and disobey what they dare. Better for all if the separation follows the law of logic rather than force.

One needn't agree with the entirety of Codevilla's vision and argument to recognize elements of truth. How it plays out is up for grabs, and one may doubt Codevilla's preferred outcome is actually realistic and will emerge--a divided America agreeing to live and let live. One can also suppose that John Roberts may also be counseling what he sees as prudence to the other justices because he sees the same divisions that Codevilla does. But ask yourselves this: But for Trump ...? But for Trump's four years, where would the conservative movement be in all this that Codevilla is talking about?

As nearly as I can tell, Codevilla's continuing anti-Trump position rests on his view of Trump as personally divisive--that is, divisive because of his personality. A real leader, he appears to argue, would be one who could unite Americans in agreeing to live together in a divided land. That, he suggests, was Abraham Lincoln's failure and is now Trump's. I'm not convinced, and I offer more of Codevilla in argument for why Codevilla's preferred outcome is probably not realistic. Is the picture he paints of the oligarchy--his term--one that suggests a live and let live compromise?

Defending Americans against censorship by the tech giants and the rest of the media on the behalf of the oligarchy must begin with making clear that these are republican Americans’ enemies, which lie to us, build profiles on us that corporate partners use to sell us things, and that the Democratic Party uses to target and demean us. Once millions of Americans grasp this, Google’s and the lesser giants’ influence ends but for their own partisans. Then legislation becomes possible that makes them liable for perceived harm to individuals, to be adjudicated by juries.

Would this reality ever have been revealed to Americans--but for Trump? Would momentum to rein in censorship--still in its infancy--have ever emerged, but for Trump?


Organizing collective opposition is key to defending against being fired or otherwise disadvantaged for transgressing the Woke requirements that corporations and government agencies are imposing on employees and even on persons who deal with them. ...

Such joint refusals and lawsuits are also the obvious basis on which to organize republicans to stop the Democratic Party and its corporate partners from requiring proof of vaccination for traveling on public transportation, going to school, or even going into public places. ... But only national-level leadership can make sure that the American people treat this power grab as part of the oligarchy’s war on republican America.

Universities and colleges, largely financed through government, having been the fountainhead of the oligarchy’s intellectual/moral character, nothing would reduce that fountain’s pressure on republican America like curtailing that financing. ... And then do it, reminding parents that if they do not educate their own children, the government is sure to mis-educate them.

Who are the Republican leaders who are providing the leadership on this issue? Except for Trump? There may be some, but none have the traction. But the grassroots opposition to CRT that we see rising--even though many of those parents may not have been Trump voters, could that movement have developed but for Trump?


The oligarchy’s perversion of American law, its partisan seizure of the justice system, of the intelligence agencies, and of the military, is the deadliest weapon in the war of annihilation it wages against our Republic. Led and largely staffed by partisan Democrats, scarcely distinguishable from the private corporations and institutions it oversees, the bureaucracy legislates and administers against the rest of us. ...

The oligarchy within the justice system may be largely composed of partisan Dems, but the generals, the intel agency heads? Whatever they may be, besides being careerists, they can coexist with either branch of the Uniparty. What they cannot coexist with is a party led by Trump.


... In fact, the bureaucracy’s, the intelligence agencies’, the armed forces’ actions against republicans are not errors. They are the oligarchic regime’s acts of war. As the majority of Americans grasp that reality, they deprive the regime’s powers of the legitimacy that gives them force.

And yet, having said all this, Codevilla suggests as a possible outcome:

Success in battles to protect republicans will make it possible to work out some arrangement whereby peoples who now belong to two incompatible civilizations and who look for leadership to two hostile regimes may live in peace though intermingled with one another.

That doesn't actually sound like a national refounding, does it? Yet I don't want to simply dismiss Codevilla's many legitimate points.

The next article builds, in a way, off the one thing that I highlighted in red, above: 

America’s Woke side ... rejects reason itself ...

The article is more of a cri du coeur than anything else:

How Conservatism Lost Common Sense

Science is a fine thing, but blind faith in studies stops thought and deprives us of common sense.

Consider the beginning paragraphs:

"Trust the science”—that hackneyed mantra propounded by Dr. Anthony Fauci—has turned out to be the cry of anti-intellectualism. If we need studies to tell us everything, then we do not really know anything, and the only arguments available to us are arguments from authority. 

We should be able to know some things simply by using common sense. Unfortunately, however, common sense has many enemies, and Fauci is but one. Both sides today—conservatives included—assume that the key assertions of our time must be “proven” or “disproven” by scientific studies: Women have different interests and priorities than men; Conservatives are censored by social media companies more frequently than liberals; Systemic racism plagues America; Abortion is bad for society; Men who were born in the wrong body can be happy if they cut off their genitalia.

Common sense, however, provides an adequate standard for evaluating all such assertions.

I can certainly agree that the appeal to science is the cry of anti-intellectualism. Everyone I know who has uttered the words "follow the science" or "it's settled science" has turned out to be a shocking ignoramus. But, then, is it not also true that an appeal to common sense is also the resort of anti-intellectualism? If you doubt me on that, just ask a few people to explain, specifically, what exactly common sense is, and on what it is grounded. Instead, I'm quite sure that what you'll find, with only a small amount of probing, is that most 'conservatives' subscribe to the usual liberal positions: you can't legislate morality, for example. Why not? Because everyone disagrees and there's no way to objectively know the truth. Really? That's the slippery slide to where we find ourselves now. 

The reason we find ourselves in the mess America is in--as described both by Codevilla, above, and by this author--is precisely because bad philosophy has undermined the confidence that average humans should have that human nature is something that we can all know. Indeed, in a great book, Etienne Gilson's Thomist Realism and the Critique of Knowledge, we learn that the appeal to "common sense" in fact first arose out of despair in Enlightenment Europe over the ability of men to objectively know reality--and especially the reality of human nature. It was bad philosophy with its "critique of knowledge" (h/t Immanuel Kant) that led to that despair, but Gilson explains how to escape bad philosophy--not by rejecting intellectual inquiry for some ill defined 'common sense' but by rediscovering sound philosophy.

Bad philosophy is what has led to the social dissolution that Codevilla describes and our author here describes. The only solution, the only way to work our way back to an understanding the common good for man in society, is the recovery of sound intellectualism, as I've argued in the past: Perennial Principles.

There are no shortcuts. However, that doesn't mean retiring from public life. Short term victories can help in the longer term. The key is to understand what is long term and what is short term. What are perennial principles and what are tactical considerations. In fact, there is some hope that the short term awakening may ultimately induce some to consider the longer term. And with that I'll end with one final link:

The Democratic Party is Naked and Afraid

The Democratic Party is in trouble. They know they’re in trouble, and they are behaving more and more desperate, erratic, and irrational.


  1. I've enjoyed reading Codevilla's thoughts in the past, but the minute someone starts to complain about Donald Trump's demeanor, behavior, it what you will...I immediately tune them out, no matter how cogent their point or argument may eventually turn out to be. If not the Donald, then who? NO ONE ELSE in the GOP could have stood up to the cyclone of cynicism that beset the eventual nominee in the summer of 2016. And then, by some fluke, a Republican had won the Oval Office, their term would have consisted of nothing but backing down and apologizing for real and/or imagined slights.

    When I encounter such sentiments, I stop the conversation and demand a alternative, if you will...only to be met with the usual suspects, none of whom had the backbone of our VSGPDJT. Face it, we're down to one and only one "savior"...but at least the Dems are down to none IMHO

    Happy Birthday America...we're not worthy of those who sacrificed to get us this far, so let's get to work!

    1. Agreed. I just read Charles Murray's latest book "Facing Reality" in which he promptly slimes Trump and his supporters for a "rage" that led to the awful, no good, terrible insurrection. The data that Murray presented was good but Heather MacDonald had previously plowed the BJS reporting ground showing the outsized rate of black violent criminality. I know many dozens of Trump supporters personally and do not know a single one who feels anything akin to rage. Anger? Frustration? Betrayal? Yes. But rage? No. More like a steely, cold determination to find the right method, time, and place to throw off the ruling elite and their screaming chimpanzees. Those who characterize us a full of rage are, as usual, projecting their own unstable personalities on us.

      #NeverTrumpers just cannot help themselves--they cannot credit Trump or his supporters. I have come to think that Trump has become the ultimate political litmus test and pundits on the right would rather be obscure losers than

    2. I read very recently--but forget where--a review of that book. The review was favorable, but I came away with the impression of infantile anti-Trumpism. It's one thing to critique based on facts, but that wasn't it at all.

    3. To be fair, Murray only lapses into anti-Trump a few times. Most of the book is actually pretty good info for those who are unaware of the racial IQ bell curves, the crime statistics, and the terrible interaction between the two. He makes some good points (e.g., affirmative action set this whole race scam into motion).

      NOTE: end of prior comment got truncated: "pundits on the right would rather be obscure losers than give Trump any props."

    4. I feel the same way about the anti-Trumpism...I just don't see how his personality is relevant to all the issues concerning constitutional governing or public policy. People who bring up ad hominem attacks on Trump when they're not relevant to anything just display ignorance and I don't listen to anything they have to say. I stopped reading the recap in this post as soon as it went there. If personality tests become part of more job criteria, there will be a lot of people unemployed. otoh, if there was a more bombastic personality in the WH right now, maybe China wouldn't have moved into Afghanistan already, and the economy's 'central nervous system,' the computer networks, wouldn't be held hostage by Russian gangsters, etc. etc.

    5. I will simply add to the chorus of being suspicious of anti-Trumpism on the right. To be clear, I've never thought of him as a particularly savory character; I don't believe for one second that he was not out doing proverbial "hookers and blow" when it suited his fancy.

      And yet, at the end of the day, it is intellectually dishonest to deny that he is one of the most important characters in the conversation on America's future in the last couple generations or more. He may die broke, alone, god forbid killed by rabid rage, prevented from getting even with the system that destroyed him... you name it - but he will remain the Cassandra who finally forced us all to see, right left and indifferent, just how low we had gone, with no way to deny and pretend it hadn't been seen.

      And it will force us, each in our turn, to make the deeply personal decision of what we are willing to do to keep the republic, and to take responsibility for our actions (or lack thereof) to save it.


    6. Dreher has similar objections to Trump, calling him 'ineffective' and 'incompetent.'

      Dreher is wrong on both counts. He should have read Gulliver at Lilliput for the proper perspective.

  2. The sentiment that Trump’s appointees was lacking, may be, IMO, the best he could have done. Had he picked “outsiders” in key positions, the unelected bureaucracy would have tied them in knots with all of the regulations and paper that they thrive on. Our elected representatives are but the face of government. If term limits happen tomorrow, all those fresh faces that just got elected would be looking for experienced staff. Obviously, that would be the last person’s guy because they know the ins and outs of getting things done. Trump also had to rely on recommendations and unfortunately, a lot of those were made by people he trusted, but never should have. I believe it is easy to cast disparaging words on someone based on who they picked to get a job done, but Trump followed through with campaign promises like no one ever has before, even without the right staff available, or, for that matter, even hired to work due to “resist”.

    1. Agree. His appointments who failed us revealed how deep the rot went. Ho could Trump have known this? Hindsight is 20/20

    2. for real- the appointees were dishonest, immoral and unethical, for starters. The idea of taking a job and cashing a substantial paycheck for the purpose of sabotaging the employer and then later coming out and outright attacking the employer is just sleazy and unprincipled.

  3. Legacy media totally denied him any political capital to spend on "his" agenda (border wall) much less an agenda that would totally rethink the structure of DC (term limits and defederalizing sprawling bureaucracy away from the wealthiest counties). Pres. Trump hinted about it on 7/03 rally, that we'd be surprised at the people who were coming around to recognize that he was someone able and interested to cut deals across the isle, that benefitted all Americans. That was why the Faceboom / Chi Coms couldn't let him have another 4 years.

  4. I'll bet that "is it not true to that an appeal...." was meant to be
    "is it not true *too*,...."

    "A real leader... would be one who could unite Americans in agreeing to live together....
    That, he suggests, was Abraham Lincoln's failure and is now Trump's."

    Anyone who expected Lincoln or Trump, to make bigger dents than they did, in the political culture of the 1860's or 2010's, was expecting miracles.
    Once the Fugitive Act (and Dred Scott), and the 2008 crisis/ bailouts, went the way they went, the Union was, in each case, all-but irreparably fractured, and the best these two could do was, to rally those who respected the old processes to salvage something.

    1. Yeah, I have to agree. The Lincoln bit was a puzzle to me.

  5. I'm not sure if much but I am utterly certain that history will look upon Donald Trump a lot more kindly than it does Angelo Codevilla, that is, if it looks upon Angelo Codevilla at all.

    Mark A

  6. In both the Fugitive Act, and the 2008 bailouts, the Feds were sent in to back the privatization of gains, but w/ the socialization of losses.
    Of such approaches are irreparably fractures made.

    1. Had the 2008 bailouts been followed by perp walks for Wall St. wheels, the damage to nat'l unity may've been reduced.
      Alas, not only the firms, but also the brass, became known as Too Big to Fail.

  7. funny thing is that these never-Trumpers were so sure that if they could steal the election from Mr. Trump, they'd be done with him and they could concentrate on taking the GOP back from the great unwashed deplorables by the time 2024 rolled around. Instead, IHMO, they have given new life to the Kid from Kweens and now they will have to deal with him for the next 4 years + the 4 after that when he pulls a Very Stable Grover Cleveland on them!

  8. Angelo Codevilla's piece is interesting, but I found it lacking.

    The word fraud did not appear in his essay, neither did progressive. Those are key issues that need to be addressed to change our culture. Another third rail, is mentioning the issue of Black Culture and the huge growth in Crime. Reminds me, a few more words that were missing were lawfare, chamber of commerce, government unions, and Soros.

    Another one of his essays had more impact on me:

    Coderville seems to be a luke warm anti Trumper, and does not recognize what Trump achieved. What Trump did is similar the Little Boy in the Emperor Wore No Clothes. Trump has moved the Overton Window in so many areas. And the amount of damage he has done to the reputation / credibility of the elite class is amazing.

    And Trump is still out there, speaking with a huge megaphone, even though he is being censored. IMHO - The Tech Giants censoring Trump is a huge strategic error. Same with the over the top Fraud that put Biden in office. Some level of fraud has always happened in US Election, but this was so blatant that the amount of fraud has been exposed to the masses. I thought myself pretty informed, a bit of politics junky, and I had no idea it was this bad.

    Perhaps Codevilla had to temper his comments, due to where he lives and works. And that to be too Pro Trump is just not socially acceptable. And this avoids being censored and ostracized, and even visits by our latter day Red Guard.

    My 10 Suggestions for the Right:

    1. Conservatives need to do Lawfare, and set up the infrastructure to make this happen.

    2. Focus on simple Slogans. Google Censored, People Died for example. Use protests. Go after Big Tech. Same with the Press. China Lied, ABC Aided and Abetted Them.

    3. Act like China is not your friend, and wants to destroy you.

    4. Take back the GOP, from the RINOS.

    5. Memorize and use Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.

    6. Train people on how to organize. The Left Does.

    7. Help non Soros DA's get elected.

    8. Fix Election Fraud. This should be the #1 issue for the GOP.

    9. Make Big Business and the Chamber of Commerce targets. They are not on your side.

    10. Go big on School Choice.


    11. Help defeat Critical Race Theory. Figure out slogans such as CRT is Government Backed Racism.

    12. Go after Antifa in the public opinion and use lawfare. Look at what was done to the KKK. They were sued to death.

    13. Set up your own fact checking sites.

    14. Support those fighting the crazy Trans Stuff. BLM and Antifa were there in LA. What a huge opportunity to show the true colors of both organizations. Force the conversations.

    15. Figure out how to fix the campaign funding issue. Does Mccain Feingold need to be repealed? Something is broken in campaign financing, making most of our elected officials into whores.

    16. Recognize the Left is on a mission. To keep on expanding the envelope to get to their utopia. Using cancel culture as a latter day Red Guard.

    17. Universities have been a safe zone for the Left. A protected rear area. Change that.

    18. Change how the accreditation is done for teachers. It is just a mass brainwashing system currently for the most part.

    19. Fix / Reverse Griggs vs duke power. Allow the use of testing to choose employees.

    20. Expose the bias of the main stream media. Set up a rapid reaction organization to do so. Build on what Project Veritas does.

    21. End Government Unions

    1. That's an impressive list, Ray.

      And if this was 2008 that would be excellent action points. It's too long a list to go through each but, in general I'd say that some are worth pursuing now while others...well, we need to accept the reality of our present darkness.

      We have to figure out just how far gone is the system. Afterall, if, for example, the courts are compromised then lawfare may be money and effort down the drain.

      I don't know the answer to this but the patriot community hasn't yet developed a consensus on whether we can vote our way out of this or not. That's a pretty crucial determination as your answer will channel alot of energy and money accordingly.

      So great conversations here and elsewhere.


    2. Within the last week I read an article that posed the question, If conservatives win should they 1) do unto others by getting even or 2) do the right thing by making it impossible for the abuses of the right are repeated.

      For my money it's a false dichotomy.

    3. Please clarify "making it impossible for the abuses of the right are repeated."
      You mean "making it impossible for the abuses of the Left to be repeated"?

      Insofar as there is a false dichotomy, what way of seeing this could/ would clarify/ reconcile such a dichotomy?

    4. I listed what the GOP should fight on.

      My expectations are at best 2-3 will actually getting Gop support. Too many of the GOP leadership are happy with business as usual.

      The joker in the deck is Trump.

      Trump being ostracized by the elite has forced him to focus.

      Overton Windows I expect Trump to move / shatter are:

      - election fraud
      - capital insurrection narrative - his question of who shot Ashli Babbitt is brilliant.
      - our system of justice is politicized

      Trump is actually fighting back, which is rare in the gop.

      At a state level there is lots of good pushback against the left’s efforts. Florida is leading this.

  9. In the last article linked above by Drew Allen in American Greatness there is one sentence that stood out: "The Democrats’ aggressive push to move quickly reveals that they are neither confident nor secure."

    This push includes trying to end the historical senate filibuster rules, packing the Supreme Court, and turning the January 6th protest into a continual sacramental political offering on the level of their obsession with George Floyd to continually inflame anti-police fervor and racial animosity among their followers. As in the Floyd case, can it be long before some of the historical statues being removed in DC are replaced with some of those brave lawmakers and their bodyguards who stood up against the mob? Sounds like 1984...

    The democrats, since taking over all aspects of the federal government, have promoted and taken stances on deeply unpopular issues the American people do not support, such as defunding the police, reparations, and young men invading female sports, etc. while blatantly pitting racial and ethnic groups against one another. I don't recall much of a democrat campaign or platform in the run up to the 2020 election with Biden hiding in the basement, but if they had shown their true colors then the outcome would have been much different in my view.

    There is another force that also knows time is short and that it must move quickly. Red China. It will likely never see such an opportunity where their primary Geo-political opponent is hobbled by a dementia addled and compromised leader propped up by a propagandist media, a nation drifting into civil chaos, and a deeply politicized military that has lost sight of its singular mission.


    1. Re China, they do have many problems and it's arguable that time is NOT on their side. Unless we choose to make it so.

    2. For dictatorial/autocratic communist governments which control and enforce allowable thought and speech, what could be a better way to unite the people than war - particularly against the intransigent Taiwan which refuses the Red China yoke of submission? Will they trade a short period of economic shunning to attain the prize of Taiwan and solidify a geographic region of control that would then threaten Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, even Australia? If the communist leadership has to kill several million of its own citizens to crush dissent through force or starvation, that seems a logical choice given current and historical evidence.

      The toothless UN would be exposed once again as the bought and paid for entity that it is while trying to provide diplomatic cover for Red China; and with Biden in office it is doubtful any substantial military support would be given to Taiwan, regardless of words written on paper...

      Time is short, but time will tell.


    3. @djl and mark

      Of course the counter argument viz China is that they have more to gain by letting the US disaster unfold so long as Trump stays out of power. Whatever problems they have they can likely hold it together for another 3 to 4 years while the US follows its ongoing dissolution.

      Because, one way or another, this..'thing' will be decided here. Realize that we are dealing with an absolutely merciless collectivist oligarchy who are following the Leninist/ Maoist playbook. They have no intention of ever relinquishing power from this point forward. They have too much to lose and they have committed too many crimes to turn nack now. They are all in. The only question is whether they can sufficiently purge the military to neutralize it as a counterrevolutionary force. That is why the bad guys, D and R, are in such a hurry to enact their programs. They have no intention of allowing anyone outside the approved circle into the WH in 2024, certainly not Trump.

      Meanwhile China makes gains and consolidates as they can and hopes for a civil war here where they might offer their help to whichever side offers them the most territory.


    4. @pente

      Would have to agree. If you're China, no reason to back off on all the infiltration you've done to date, as no one is really manning the station anymore anyway. But there's also no reason to intervene further - we're doing just fine running toward the cliff on our own.

      In fact, if I were in charge of the Tawain invasion plans, I would set the clock to start the moment I see any number of US events, such as a mass shooting by the ATF or a border encounter with federal and NG troops. There is no plausible way, once that happens, that we will be focused on anything but internally. Overrun the poor island in a matter of days and roll the dice if the US even drops into the UN to lodge a complaint.

  10. Ray-SoCal Speak Heap Big Medicine! I would only add that those who want "Trumpism" w.o. Trump are delusional. Yes I know "The Ladies Who Lunch" think him uncouth; that he wares his ties too long, has garish tastes in interior design and likes (GASP) fast-food, but as one of his defenders once said: Hell, we didn't hire the Pope, we hired a Bodyguard!--He fights!" And he has more support among blacks than one might think. My wife recently struck up a conversation w. a black long-haul trucker staying at same motel we were. Turns out he'd made some mistakes as a youth, done time, but had turned his life around and was now solidly middle class. Some-how the suj. of politics & Trump came up and he exclaimed:"He's a Thug!" "Oh-oh" my wife thought, but he went on "you may not like to hear what he has to say, but he tells it like it is!" "He's OUR thug!" FWIW--YMMV

  11. "Not least of the reasons why this century’s American revolt against the ruling class only led to strengthening its grip is that it was too much about Donald Trump."

    I think Codevilla has a point here. Trump, much as I love him, does have a big ego, and he often fed the media when he didn't need to, and made it "all about him".

    He was the star, and he knew it, and used his star power to capture people and draw them together. But, making it about himself, repelled others. It was a great beginning, but I think Codevilla's point is that it won't do for the main event.

    On the other hand, just like Moses and de Gaulle, Trump also "resisted instinctively the prospect of doing it himself" for many years, if you look at the early interviews.

    But then my knowledge of Moses and de Gaulle is next to nothing, so I don't know if any comparison of Trump to them is valid.


    1. I don't really see that as a valid point. Rather than strengthening the ruling class' grip what Trump actually did was to reveal just how strong that grip already was. By galvanizing resistance to the ruling class, as he did and continues to do, Trump in fact weakened the ruling class. An awareness that one is a subject of a ruling oligarchy is the sine qua non for changing that situation. The illusion that America remains an uncorrupted city on the hill, a constitutional republic in which the system works, is the sine qua non for an increasingly dominant ruling oligarchy.

    2. I think of Trump as Toto, and the reply is:
      Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

    3. @mark wauck/

      I concur. An eloquent summation of the the current state-of-play.

  12. My two cents on Codevilla

    1. He misconceives the very nature of the present conflict. He somehow thinks that the people he names as oligarchs and elsewhere rulers are somehow amenable to the kind of civil opposition that he prescribes, that somehow they will realize they can't win and will agree to a super federalism that grants towns, cities and counties large amounts of autonomy so, presumably, the collectivists can live in nice contained hell holes while "republicans" can go back to their patriotic lives in peace.

    Anyone with any knowledge of collectivists know that they cannot allow anyone to exist outside the collective. By its very nature and design it is *compulsory*. Hence, the Berlin Wall. Anything less than full and total control dooms their project as all the best flee elsewhere and only the dregs and leeches stay for free stuff. (Eventually even these get fed up and leave). So the future Codevilla imagines is nice mental exercise but otherwise of no practical value. There simply isn't any future where the disciples of Lenin and Mao relinquish power peacefully.

    This is not to say, however, that Codevilla's ideas about federalism and local autonomy aren't good ones. Eventually, if we manage to win back (or found a new) republic it's imperative that power be devolved as locally as possible with safeguards as ironclad as possible. We never want a federal leviathan again.

    2. I disagree with his premise that The Man makes the nation. He subscribes to the Aristotelian idea of great, wise men who guide an otherwise pliable mass. It's not so simple. It's more a nation that brings forth the Man and then impels movement forward. Lincoln didn't orchestrate the Civil War, the ethos of North and South collided, a conflict between 2 interpretations of the Constitution that allowed states to leave or a "union forever." Slavery was a flashpoint and Codevilla is quite right that the imposition of abolitionist morality upon the slavers set in motion all the subsequent wars over segregation, abortion, homosexuality, religion, and now trans issues. The United States was born in 1865. Before then it was these united States. At any rate, Trump did not call forth Americans to border controls, fair trade, school choice, or patriotism over tribe, he responded to the call of Americans. Whether his calling has ended or someone else will arise is hard to say. He does effectively serve as a rally point for opposing the collectivists. That is no guarantee of future results.


    1. I address some of that, in my own way, in my new post. However, I caution against the delusion that there is a system--enshrined, perhaps, in a written constitution--that will somehow guarantee an enduring political solution ordered toward a human and common good.

    2. Oh absolutely, M. That's my concern, that the Constitution is not up for our current mess.

  13. "...There simply isn't any future where the disciples of Lenin and Mao relinquish power peacefully..."

    Yes, "There can be only one!" (h/t The Highlander movie series--sorry, it's SO Appropos)

  14. Interesting viewpoint pointing out issues. He also worked with Andrew Breitbart. I see a lack of actionable items, and no mention of how the gop establishment backstabbed Trump.

    I’m afraid of the answer to Mark’s question in another thread, about how much collusion was there between the state and federal GOP against Trump…

    What Is to be Done? Preparing the Information Battlespace
    Fourth in a series
    Michael Walsh

    1. @ray

      I read Walsh's piece. Do you buy it? I don't. Walsh is yet another pundit clinging to the illusion that the media convinced millions of suburban women to vote Biden and that somehow swung the election to the Fraudster. And Walsh's contempt for alternative media and news is undisguised. It's understandable. He desperately wants to believe that the old way of doing politics still matters, so pour billions into conservative media companies to compete against the liberal ones etc... oh and let's have no more of this Trump fellow who wasted time on stupid rallies instead of lining up a "Crassus" to bankroll a media machine.

      This is so exactly wrong i suspect Walsh is a plant for the oligarchs.


    2. "the illusion that the media convinced millions of suburban women to vote Biden"

      This is one of the things that make the Election 2020 narrative of legitimacy so hard to buy. Repeated studies by liberals have been coming out that show not only that Trump did far better than was thought among Blacks and Hispanics ... but also among women. That should translate into no way could a Dem win, especially one who can barely order an ice cream cone.

    3. @gint

      I would give the article a C-.

      I believe the media did inflame the anti Trump vote, especially among more educated Whites. I see it as brain washing and a huge echo chamber. Social Media / Big Tech is doing the same. And this does help the lefts voting margin.

      My parents think they are super educated. The read the la times daily, the week, economist, and may be are still getting Time Magazine. They also used to get scientific america.

      I can’t tell you how many times I have heard;

      I have read nothing in the newspaper papers or magazines about that, and I read…

      Good news is I got them a subscription to Epic Times :-)

      I’m still in awe how the Hunter Biden story was censored.

      I’m even more in awe of the media protection of Biden.

      The media’s bias is being picked up. The survey that showed the public’s trust in media is at 29%

      And trust in government is also low:

      My gut feeling is Trump win by a landslide similar to Reagan. It was only through massive fraud he was defeated.

    4. I'll bet that you meant "They read the la times daily, the week, economist, and may be are still getting Time Magazine."
      They "think they are *super* educated":
      It takes *super* burying of heads into sand, to not at least suspect that the MSM is, at very best, lazy as hell.
      This should've started to become obvious, no later than the OJ trial stampede, about which Mike Wallace said "It's not news!" (when asked about "60 Minutes" being an OJ-free zone).

    5. Anyone who is not at least a bit versed, in the thinking of folks like Dershowitz, Glenn Greenwald, Johnathan Turley, Bari Weiss, or Matt Taibbi, is, not super educated, but *Pseudo*.
      Those who have no idea that, let alone why, GG, BW, or MT fled the famous outfits The Intercept, the NYT, or Rolling Stone, may as well have been living under rocks.

      Likewise with being versed about folks "to their left", e.g. Chris Hedges, or those at The Jacobin.
      Likewise with folks harder to pigeonhole, e.g. at Consortium News.
      Likewise with folks "to their right", e.g. Sharyl Attkisson, Denninger, Kunstler, Prager, or the IDW crowd.
      Likewise with folks further to their "right", e.g. Mark, the folks at First Things, or CTH.
      Likewise with folks yet further "to their right", e.g. at AmRen or Unz (e.g. Derb, Sailer, or Paul Gottfried).

      A civilization sporting "elites", who know none of the above, is one moving toward Seppuku.