February 11, 2018
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
The Coming Civil War, Part II: Donald Trump, Conservatism and the Deep State Effort to Put Us in "Concentration Camps"
This morning I want to pass on two important essays which are, in many ways, self-explanatory as well as fundamental to our understanding of just what has been taking place in the American nation since 2016 (and before). Neither one requires much commentary or introduction (on my part), as both authors very clearly and succinctly present their observations. And although neither item is long or involved or hung up in deep philosophical discourse, yet they offer some of the best commentary on our current political (and cultural) condition that I’ve read in some time.
The first is by writer Frank Cannon; it was cited by Pat Buchanan in his column that I made reference to back on February 9 (see: http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/2018/02/february-9-2019-my-corner-coming.html ). And printing the full column is fully justified as, I think, Cannon really gets it right.
Cannon makes the case that President Trump is not a “conservative” in the sense that we have, for the past several decades, come to understand the meaning of that term to be. Trump is an anti-Progressive, for certain, and a vigorous “street fighter,” for sure, and someone who is not afraid to “get outside the box,” so to speak. In other words, he does not play by “the Marquess of Queensberry rules” that have so debilitated, even castrated, “movement conservatism” for the past thirty or forty years.
I have been making that same point since September 2015 (for those of you on my mailing list since then).
First, the current “conservatism inc.” movement is in many ways a perversion and distortion of the older Rightist conservatism that began to present its intellectual case back in the 1950s.
Second, that during the late 1970s-1990s various “cold war” Trotskyites and non-Stalinist Leftists made their pilgrimage into the older conservative movement, and, after some furious battles with the older Right, basically took dogmatic control of conservatism, most of its journals and institutions.
Third, these “Neo”-conservatives shared distinctly leftist viewpoints on subjects like civil rights, gender issues and feminism, and “open borders” (e.g., see the most recent comments by George W. Bush at: https://apnews.com/fb98faa8f69b4135a9a866e0b61a6593) with the “farther Left” cultural Marxists (as the origins of both were on the Left). And in foreign policy, unlike the older “America First” Right, they were zealous globalists who wished to send American boys to fight (and die) in every forsaken desert oasis and jungle on the globe to make “world safe for [American-style] democracy.”
Fourth, from the Reagan years until 2012 the Neocons dominated the Republican Party, offering the nation such intellectual pygmies and losers as G. H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney—not a genuine traditional Rightist amongst them.
Fifth, enter Donald J. Trump who defeated sixteen “establishment” conservatives, literally sweeping them into the dustbin of history, and who did so with a much more populist, tough-minded “America First” agenda…and, most importantly, a willingness to fight and not to retreat at the first accusations by the Mainstream Media of “racism” or “sexism,” those shibboleth words used to keep the Neocon elites in line and on the Deep State “reservation” sucking hind tit.
Sixth, this has made most of those chest-beating, whining “movement conservatives”—whether NeverTrumper or quasi-NeverTrumper—pretty unhappy. And they have tried their damnedest to surround the president with “their people” so as to divert or soften the worst (for them) aspects of the Trump agenda. The results of this attempt to neutralize some of the Make America Great Again project are not yet in; in some ways, the Neocons have succeeded. Yet, the biggest roadblock they have is Trump, himself, his own instincts and intuition, and his, as they call it, “unpredictability.” And that is a good thing from the viewpoint of the millions of “deplorables” who voted for him—those folks who have become totally disillusioned not only by the ideological monstrosity called the Democratic Party but also by the fatuous intellectual whores and fat cats who dominate the GOP.
I would be the first to declare that there are some things about this presidency that unsettle me, that I find objectionable—the just-enacted budget, with its billions of new spending on social and welfare programs, is just one such example, as is any concession to the Open Borders and amnesty crowd. And, as I wrote last April, the American incursion in Syria violates campaign promises and could well get us mired in another Middle Eastern war we neither need nor which supports our national interests.
But the greater issue here—one about which I continue to remind myself—is that Trump’s enemies are my…our…enemies. That despite his occasional nods to the Neocons, he still is largely unharnessed and uncontrolled, that brash billionaire who very often acts, rightly, on instinct and intuition and thus infuriates his enemies, who are our enemies. And that, as I said, is a good thing.
Let me put it another way: Antifa, Black Lives Matter, Hollywood, the Mainstream Media, the dominant foaming-at-the-mouth academic Left, the Democrats and Clintonistas, those wild-and-wooly shrieking #Resist demonstrators and #MeToo womyn, and the Deep State establishment (including our infiltrated intel agencies) literally hate and despise Donald Trump and will do anything, including murder, to stop him, maybe impeach him.
The president, therefore, must be doing something right to have earned such enmity and unhinged and frenzied venom.
And more: That he threatens to take the Republican Party, or at least part of it, in another direction—that he threatens to undercut those lucrative perches of power that “movement conservatives” have occupied, as the kept whores and eunuchs of the Deep State for the past three or four decades, must be applauded.
Like the late Phyllis Schlafly (in her posthumous The Conservative Case for Trump), I would suggest that while the president is definitely not a conservative as those who watch Fox News or get their intellectual mead from Rich Lowry’s National Review might understand it, he does reach back in some ways to an earlier, deeply American Rightist tradition. So, while I agree with Frank Cannon that Trump is “not a conservative,” but an “anti-progressive,” I would amend that just a bit, historically.
The second item is a recent essay/column by Ilana Mercer (“Whodunit? Who ‘Meddled’ With ‘Our Democracy’?” February 9, 2018, at: ), and it is an excellent discussion of the rampant guilt of both political parties in the hollowing-out and destruction of our Constitution and, specifically, the protections of the all-important 10th Amendment. For far too many years Americans—those farmers in Iowa and Wisconsin, those hard-pressed families (like my formerly Democratic-voting neighbor) who have seen their liberties disappear as their taxes went up and their jobs disappeared to Mexico and China, those small businessmen everywhere—have understood this, if not exactly able to express it in long, footnoted essays in prestigious journals. The frustration was there, just below the surface, but rising…until along came that non-conformist bull-in-a-china-shop, who telegraphed to millions of “deplorables”: “I’m not going to put up with it anymore!”
And what has happened since November 2016 has been a result of you-know-what hitting that proverbial fan, so to speak—the frantic and hysterical reaction of the Deep State elites, unprecedented because the election was unprecedented—and with a totally unexpected and unplanned result.
So, that is where we are today…but more and more of the folks on our side, those whom I have called the “normals,” who seek only to lead their lives with some semblance of order, raise their families, worship God in their churches, and get along (to quote St. Thomas More, to “do none harm”), are being forced to recognize that the frenzied Left and all those forces and minions vomited up, it seems, out of the bowels of Hell itself, will not permit, not let us live our normal lives. Those epigones of the Deep State not only want to eliminate the president and throttle his announced agenda, they want, at the very least, to put us back in chains, back in our place, so to speak (all in the name of their viciously totalitarian totem of “equality”).
They may succeed, but for the first time in my nearly seven decades I see real resistance and opposition. There is even hushed talk of…civil war. It may well be too little, too late. But little essays by writers like Pat Buchanan, Ilana Mercer, Frank Cannon, Jack Kerwick, Paul Gottfried and Peter Brimelow, now online for all to read, are signs of contradiction and signs of hope.
Here is Cannon’s essay, and a link to Ilana Mercer’s column follows. Please access these items:
As the president’s actions have shown, he is at war with the progressives who have co-opted American society — and is willing to go further than any previous conservative to defeat them.
President Trump is often criticized by detractors on both sides of the political spectrum for his willingness to attack our nation’s institutions. Whether it be the FBI, the NFL, or even CNN, no “nonpartisan” institution has been spared. This has bothered many, especially elite conservatives, who have great respect for these long-standing institutions and believe them to be the bedrock of our republic.
This betrays a fundamental naïveté — that these institutions are somehow above reproach and not subject to the same infectious politicization to which the rest of society has succumbed. That assertion, of course, is ridiculous on its face.
As most conservatives outside the beltway understand, and as President Trump’s voters surely understood in the 2016 election, progressives have successfully captured the vast majority of our nation’s institutions, distorting them to serve their own ends. Although many of these institutions — academia, the media, entertainment, legal and judicial — once stood above politics in serving all Americans, most have now surrendered to progressives’ relentless push to turn every area of civil society into a propaganda arm for their politics.
Prior to Trump, elite conservative leaders generally accommodated to this progressive framework. Because of their reverence for our nation’s institutions and the traditional sense of the appropriateness of the constitutional system, conservatives largely limited their attacks against institutions to the rhetorical and the ideological. The idea of calling the entire legitimacy of specific institutions into question, however, was beyond the pale.
An Anti-Progressive, Not a Conservative
In this respect, Trump is no conservative. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Trump never claimed to be a student of Russell Kirk or William F. Buckley. But as the president’s actions have shown, he is at war with the progressives who have co-opted American civil society — and is willing to go further than any previous conservative to defeat them.
Instead of “conservative,” the president would be more accurately described as a radical “anti-progressive.” The difference? Conservatives are willing to attack progressives — to a point — but never to the detriment of the institutions they cherish and respect. Playing by these rules, conservatives are doomed to fail as progressives, who do not share the same respect for institutions, capture and dominate every American institution with the full intention of using and abusing them.
But, like the progressives, Trump doesn’t play by these ridiculous rules designed to keep conservatives stuck in a perpetual state of losing — a made-for-CNN version of the undefeated Harlem Globetrotters versus the winless Washington Generals. Trump instead seeks to fight and delegitimize any institution the Left has captured, and rebuild it from the ground up.
It should be stressed, though, that contrary to the contentions of some #NeverTrump conservatives, Trump’s attacks are not intended specifically for our nation’s bedrock institutions themselves. Rather, Trump is attacking the progressive capture of those institutions and the distortion of their true purposes. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
The News Media and Sports
Consider the president’s war on “fake news.” This is perhaps the most prominent example of this attempted delegitimization. Although the president has been frequently accused by elites of both parties of attempting to undermine the freedom of the press, he is not targeting the concept of free press itself but rather the systematic bias that has emerged as a result of progressive media dominance.
For years, groups like the Media Research Center and others have pointed out the mainstream media’s prejudicial treatment of conservative ideas and leaders. However, Trump has been the first president — indeed, the first significant political leader on the Right — to take on the media directly for this bias (and win).
Or consider Trump’s attacks on the NFL, easily America’s most successful and popular sports league. “Why is the NFL getting massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag, and Country?” Trump amidst the anthem kneeling controversy.
Many conservative pundits speculated that battling the NFL might be too big a fight, even for Trump. Others argued it was beneath the office of the presidency. They were, of course, wrong. Picking a fight with the NFL was exactly the right tactic at exactly the right time, especially as corporate boardrooms across the country were drifting more and more to the Left.
Despite its fan base including a large portion of conservatives, in 2016, the NFL effectively acted as a campaign arm for the radical transgender movement, threatening North Carolina and other states with punitive economic action if they didn’t adopt the leftist social policies. In 2017, the NFL went even further, refusing to discipline (and even implicitly supporting) player protests of the American flag and national anthem.
In this context Trump’s aggression against the NFL ought to be read not as an assault on the league itself but rather on its misguided attempts to prop up the progressive agenda.
The Judicial System
Finally, there are Trump’s attacks on the legal and judicial system, in the form of comments against the FBI, the Department of Justice, and various activist judges who have obstructed his agenda. , recent revelations have called into question the trustworthiness of the FBI and other legal enforcement institutions, suggesting the presence of a “deep state” that has attempted to undermine Trump since the 2016 campaign.
Meanwhile, the judicial system has also increasingly overstepped and abused its authority, inserting itself into the policymaking process that ought to be the purview of the other branches of government. While Trump’s pushback against this has been often imprecise, the concerns he raises are valid. They are not attacks on the legal system itself or judicial independence, as some of his critics argue, but rather on the manipulation of these institutions by progressives attempting to accomplish their own ends.
For decades, progressives have sought to capture America’s institutions to marginalize conservatives and shut down conservative ideas. Prior to Trump, they were largely successful in doing that. Now they are facing an existential threat to the future of their movement — a Republican president who is willing to get in the mud, break a few rules (that previously only applied to Republicans anyway), and do whatever it takes to win.
Anti-progressivism is taking root in both Trump’s judicial and political appointments and his policies. Progressives intuitively understand this, which is why they feel so compelled to “resist.” Indeed, if they fail to defeat Trump, they may find themselves on the wrong side of history after all.
And here is the link to the Mercer column: