The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016


The results of the Super Tuesday primaries are still not in, but polls indicate another big win for Donald Trump. As regular readers of this blog know, I am not a big fan of Trump, believing him to be a bully, a blowhard, and somewhat less than one question deep on any policy matter that might be importance to the future of the country. But it's increasingly likely that Trump will become the GOP nominee, and the operative question is "Why?"

In her recent Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan provides what has to be one of the best explanations to date of the Trump phenomenon in the United States and the unraveling of the political elite in Europe. She writes:
There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.

Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.
It is the last sentence that is the most salient. The protected (what I have called the 'elites' in media, politics, and entertainment) tell the unprotected (the rest of us) what the laws are, how we are supposed to view the world, and how we are supposed to interpret national and world events. In effect, how to think.Yet the protected live by different rules that insulate them from the pronouncements they make concerning the rest of us. A trivial example—the protected created Obamacare and forced tens of millions into a flawed, expensive medical insurance system. Yet the protected don't participate. Perfect!

And if the unprotected balk at the coercion from the protected, heck, if we even think differently—if we view big government as intrusive, or gun ownership as a right, or open borders as a national disgrace, or political correctness as a delusional view of the real world, or radical Muslims as an ever-present threat—we are accused of illiberal attitudes, violent tendencies, xenophobia, racism, or Islamophobia. We know that those accusations are abject nonsense, but the propaganda-like repetitiveness of them, coupled with the official or unofficial negative consequences imposed by the protected (boycotts, sanctions, shaming, or overt government action) on those who think differently has begun to grate.

When someone declares that the protected are hypocrites who don't have to live with the consequences of their fantasies when those fantasies are actualized as policy, that someone becomes the champion of the unprotected. From Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club:
The inmates of the castle [the protected] are beginning to understand that the strange lighted dots in the distance represent men with torches and pitchforks on the move. The old deference to authority [by the unprotected] has weakened suddenly and catastrophically.
I'm not sure this is a good thing—but decades of political mismanagement and corruption along with blatant bias on the part of a media that shields the protected from serious inquiry (particularly when the protected as Democrats) has taken its toll. The result is the rise of demagogues like Donald Trump or Marie Le Pen. The unprotected have finally found a voice—for better of worse.


Angelo Codevilla (read the whole thing) defines a possible (some would say probable) end-result of a Donald Trump presidency. Trump will be supported by the unprotected initially, but his presidency would be designed to screw them over in the end. By the way, a Clinton presidency would do exactly the same thing, but with a little less bravado.

Codevilla writes:
Like Obama, Trump is not about persuading anybody. Both are about firing up their supporters to impose their will on their opponents while insulting them. Throughout history, this style of politics has been the indispensable ingredient for wrecking republics, the “final cause” that transforms free citizens into the subjects of emperors.

This style of politics has grown, along with a ruling class that rejects the notion that no person may rule another without that person’s consent. As I have shown at length elsewhere, America is now ruled by a uniformly educated class of persons that occupies the commanding heights of bureaucracy, of the judiciary, education, the media, and of large corporations, and that wields political power through the Democratic Party. Its control of access to prestige, power, privilege, and wealth exerts a gravitational pull that has made the Republican Party’s elites into its satellites.

This class’s fatal feature is its belief that ordinary Americans are a lesser intellectual and social breed. Its increasing self-absorption, its growing contempt for whoever won’t bow to it, its dependence for votes on sectors of society whose grievances it stokes, have led it to break the most basic rule of republican life: deeming its opposition illegitimate. The ruling class insists on driving down the throats of its opponents the agendas of each its constituencies and on injuring persons who stand in the way. This has spawned a Newtonian reaction, a hunger, among what may be called the “country class” for returning the favor with interest.
The key to understanding the arrogance of the power elite is to examine their abject failure in virtually every realm that is broadly defined as "government." Think about it -- is government more efficient, less corrupt, less beholden to special interests or more effective that it was, say, 50 years ago? Is it less intrusive in its dealings with citizens, more willing to encourage individuality and initiative, less likely to promote the notion of victimization, and more likely to discourage division? The answer in every case is "NO."  Given that, it can be argued that in many ways, the elites have made things worse, much worse.

UPDATE (3/2/16):
Moral preening by the Democrats has begun as Donald Trump looks ever more likely to become the GOP nominee. A CNN political commentator named Sally Cohen stated that Democratic voter turnout in November will be up, thereby "stopping us from becoming Nazi Germany." This delusional statement tells us far more about the fevered thinking of left-leaning Dems that it does about Donald Trump.

I am no fan of the Donald, but suggesting that he is a harbinger of a return to a genocidal regime that murdered 40 million people is ... well, INSANE!

Then again, there are no bounds on the Left, allowing them to get a pass regardless of how crazy their pronouncements are (think: Bernie Sanders). And it's only beginning.