Tidewater Libertarian Party of Virginia
Saturday, November 21, 2020 9:15 am
In May 2016 and in June 2019, I gave reports on the 2016 and 2018 elections to the Tidewater Libertarian Party of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Summaries of those reports have been posted at http://www.academydl.com/libertarian-party-may-7-2016 and at http://www.academydl.com/2019-prognosis-election-2020
It’s possible that my host expected a different assessment of the prospects for the GOP after the election of 2016 and stunning losses in the by-election of 2018, but Robert K. Dean and his hardy band can take just about anything I throw at them.
When it became apparent that Donald Trump was going to be the GOP candidate in 2016, I was certain that anyone working for President Trump would regret it and I reflected on my service in the Reagan Administration and compared that to what those who served in a Trump Administration would experience.
Much of that story is told in this essay titled “Advice for Those with a Bad Boss.”
Despite his odious character flaws, I approved of eight of the President’s policies: first, President Trump’s rejection of the ideology of democratic idealism first fashioned by Woodrow Wilson and the recent presidents representing that Internationalis ideology.
Second I approved of Trump’s nationalism visible in the theme “Make America Great,” and third Trump’s admonishment of our allies in NATO was long overdue.
Throw in a fourth attitude, his hatred of war, and five, six, seven and eight policies–his tax cuts, restrictions on Muslim immigration, shutting down the reliance of material and goods from Communist China and judicial appointments–and President Trump is my kind of guy.
By the measure of eight of the President’s policies, what has been gained or lost by the election of Joe Biden?:
1. Biden will not reject the ideology of democratic idealism;
2. Biden will reject Trump’s nationalism visible in the theme “Make America Great”;
3. Biden will not admonish our allies in NATO;
4. Biden’s hatred of war stops with willingness to go to war to advance the “Democratic Project”;
5. Biden will raise taxes,
6. Biden will open our borders to Muslim and other immigrants,
7. Biden will seek better relations with Communist China.
8. As for his judicial appointments, every Leftist with a law degree aspiring to winning an Attorney General election or seeking a judicial appointment stands with Biden.
In other words, the Biden administration will revive 60’s Liberalism sixty years after its faults became known.
Five years ago St. Augustine’s Press published my critique of Woodrow Wilson’s Internationalist idealism, The Conservative Rebellion, which you can
read if you’re inspired to learn more about modern ideology. Or you can read this brief essay titled “Conservatism and Spiritual and Social Order” published at “The Market for Ideas”
Despite those eight Trump Administration policies of which I approve, Trump did not understand the character of the “administrative state,” nor how government agencies can be brought to a grudging acceptance of a conservative Republican chief executive elected by the voters.
And President Trump lacked an essential skill for government service: President Trump suffers from Dyslexia and finds reading difficult. He has difficulty reading legislation and intelligence reports and prefers to learn from listening and watching radio and television.
His understanding of market economics is limited, as is his understanding of tariffs, and he lacks previous government service. Most important, he lacks knowledge of persons who approve of his policies—except for fellow New Yorkers Rudy Giuliani and Larry Kudlow.
Lacking knowledge of persons of similar beliefs, the Trump administration did not have a functioning Office of Presidential Personnel and after he leaves office, he will not leave a legacy of former appointees to advocate his policies.
Those nominated for leadership of government agencies in the Trump Administration tended to be the wealthy, military professionals and an odd assortment of friends and family of GOP politicians.
Of course, his appointment of members of the Trump family to service on the White House staff was a mistake.
Add to that inadequacy, his intolerance of staff who brought him ideas that were not his (Steve Bannon) and his consistent attacks on journalists unnecessarily hurt his Administration. “Never attack anyone with a printing press” is a maxim based in common sense that Donald Trump violated.
Add to this list of transgressions Trump’s appointment of pro-Russia political operator, Paul Manafort, as his campaign manager and his curious subservience to Russia’s Vladimir Putin, and you can see why American voters chose a politician with substantial government service.
But Biden’s 60’s Liberalism causes him to prefer policies that cater to a minority of the electorate. His choice of a woman of color and radical political inclinations as his Vice President plays to that by giving in to racial and gender policies that can only further divide, not unite, American society.
The good news I can report is found in failed State public opinion polling that were off by a mile and predictions of a “Blue wave” did not occur. And despite fraudulent ballot counting, Republican gains in the House with women candidates inched the GOP toward a possible House majority in 2022.
That’s the good news, and that is due to the common sense of the American electorate—Donald Trump notwithstanding.
What then is the future of the Republican Party and the future of our country?
Election results in 2020 did not suggest an endorsement by voters of far-Left elements in the Democrat Party. Moreover, if the GOP wins runoffs in Georgia, McConnell’s mainline Republicans will keep control of the Senate.
If Biden nominates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as Secretary of Labor and Treasury respectively, that will reveal a total lack of support for radicals in the Democrat Party by voters.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, contests will occur between the House Speaker (age 80) and committed utopian socialists including Alexandra Ocacio-Cortez (age 31). Their many radical, hyper-active proposals will weary observant voters, and give the GOP time to recover from the Trump presidency.
Donald Trump is the wild card who may disrupt civil discourse by signaling that he will seek election in 2024, but his influence with all but a radical core of supporters will force the GOP to find new leaders.
Fortunately, there are signs of life in the GOP from elected women Members of Congress: Elise Stefanik of New York, Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma, New Mexico’s Yvette Herrell, Michelle Fischbash in Minnesota, Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida, Ashley Hinson in Iowa, in South Carolina, Nancy Mace and Lauren Boebert in Colorado are evidence that the GOP has a great future.
So strongly do I believe that a Republican woman will become President in 2028, in mid-September I purchased a biography of Margaret Thatcher. What made Thatcher “tick” may be present in one of these GOP House members.
THE problem with the GOP can be attributed to a long line of Internationalist presidents from Eisenhower to Obama who were committed “Wilsonian idealists.”
In that historic combination, Presidents of both parties imbibed the Kool Aid of democratic idealism—until Donald Trump reintroduced a form of “nationalism” that gave priority to America’s interests over “the Democratic project.”
That concept–“the Democratic project”—is a manifestation of modern political religion—an ideology that places a commitment to “Democracy” before the national interest.
Even today, 29 years after the demise of the Soviet Union, otherwise intelligent observers refer to the United States as “Leader of the Free World.”
We do have foreign enemies but they do not represent a unified force against a “free world.”
The concept of a “free world” an anachronism from the Cold War and a deeply held belief for those ideologically committed to what they call “the Democratic project.”
“The Democratic project” means pursuit of policies not directed toward our national interest but to expanding democratic idealism in every part of the world—by war if necessary.
During 105 years from America’s entry in WW I through 2020, the lives of Americans have been disrupted by wars. Wars are disruptive of lives and attitudes that create a culture and stifles creativity, misdirects material assets, destroys lives and divides members of civil society.
In World War 1 citizens of German descent were careful to avoid notice by speaking German and sauerkraut was renamed “Liberty cabbage.” In World War II Americans of Japanese descent were placed in “camps.” And during the war in Vietnam students of draft age disrupted campuses, burned draft cards and went into exile in Canada. Those who were drafted and returned were spit upon as “baby killers.”
We can compare the 105 years of turmoil from 1915 to 2020 to the 147-year period from 1033 to 1180 in Western Europe when an exuberant culture of Christianity celebrated itself as successor to the order of ancient Rome.
Historians call the 600-year period from the fall of Rome in 410 AD to 1100 AD–“First Europe.”
Persons who lived during the 600 years from the fall of Rome Europe to the millennial year suffered in ways that occur in every period of social disorder and wars.
But by the year 1100 AD persons in “the West” experienced an outburst of artistic, cultural and philosophic accomplishment. That was evident in the work four intellectuals who lived from 1033 to 1180: St. Anselm, Roscelin, Peter Abelard and John of Salisbury.
Or consider the outburst of creativity during the “Periclean age” of ancient Greece:
During the “Great Age” of Pericles (c. 495-429 BC)—the civilization of ancient Hellas was ornamented by the names of these men and their works:
Aeschylus (c. 525-455 BC)—Suppliants & Oresteia
Euripides (c. 480-406 BC)—Medea & Iphigene in Aulis
Thucydides (460 -c. 395 BC)– History of the Peloponnesian War
Herodotus (450 -420 BC)—The Histories
Sophocles (497-406 BC)—Antigone & Oedipus Rex
Socrates (469-399 BC)
Xenophon (c. 430-354 BC)– Anabasis, Memorabilia & Apology
In that context, Donald Trump’s commitment to keep America out of war and his redirecting foreign policy toward pursuit of the American national interest was his greatest achievement.
We should worry that political commentators now look to Joe Biden to revive “the Democratic project.”
My deepest worry is that our foreign enemies will interpret this as a sign of weakness and seek their advantage during a “weak Presidency.”
Vladimir Putin strives to recreate the Russian Empire and needs to take back Ukraine.
Xi Jinping will continue to repress dissidents in China and move to bring Taiwan under PRC control.
The Islamic radicals in Iran will necessitate military action against that Islamic regime.
None of these moves by our enemies would be made during a Trump administration.
And finally, we have university problem.
As early as 1910 our law schools were invaded by “Progressives,” an ideological movement of utopian socialists who argued for a Constitution unburdened by limits on the power of the State that changed with the times. During the Great Depression classical liberalism was replaced by advocates of utopian idealism, and during the period from 1968-1973, curricular requirements were abolished and replaced with “cafeteria style” education accompanied by the exclusion of political conservatives from academic employment.
A “Left university” is now dominant and families live in fear that by sending their college age students to college to earn a college diploma their children will be turned against them.
This is not the 1960s, however, and increased numbers of Republican House Members and the likely retention of control of the U.S. Senate suggest that there is still some life in the Grand Old Party—thanks to the common sense of the American people.