Conservatism Beyond Trump

Eric Cunningham

Eric Cunningham is the editor-in-chief of Elections Daily. He is a lifelong resident of western North Carolina and graduated from Appalachian State University. You can follow him on Twitter at @decunningham2. @decunningham2.

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87 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    What’s the old line? “It happened very slowly and then it happened all at once.”

    I don’t really have a problem with not knowing what conservativism will look like in 10 years because my best guess for “what conservativism will look like in 10 years” is to look at “mainstream liberalism 15 years ago”.

    2005 Democrats is what conservatism will look like in 10 years.

    What I worry about is that I don’t know what Progressivism will look like in 10 years.Report

  2. Pinky says:

    Looking over the last 40 years, I don’t think presidents really do shape their parties that often. Reagan did, and Clinton shaped his party’s messaging. But did either of the Bushes or Obama?Report

  3. Chip Daniels says:

    Conservatism in 2020 is like Communism in 1955 after the death of Stalin.

    Its not that there aren’t shards of useful ideas somewhere in the rubble. But anyone purporting to be principled has to come to terms with the awful horrors that were the hallmark of it and draw a clear distinction to them.

    Right now most of the people named are uttering aesthetic critiques of Trump and not addressing the core of his attraction, the single issue that binds his followers to him with cult-like zeal.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      I don’t think there’s a single issue that constitutes the core of his attraction. For those who have supported him the longest, it’s nationalism. Among those who support him the most, it’s social conservatism. The widest support he gets is arguably for his personality, or for (up until recently) the economy.

      I assume the core issue you were thinking of was white supremacy, which I’d argue he doesn’t represent. At a minimum, the fact that we can’t even agree on his core issue suggests that there isn’t one.Report

      • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky says:

        Maybe not white supremacy, but good ol’ garden variety racism fits just fine.

        Trump serves as the useful idiot for the nationalists and social conservatives who have glommed on to him. He’s nothing more than a means to an end.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

          There have been plenty of people who point out how the idea of white male supremacy runs through all the various factions of conservatism; For example how the cultural conservatism and anti-abortion stance of the white evangelicals is powered by it, and the bellicosity of their foreign policy is driven by it, and even the economic populism aims to delivers its greatest benefits to white men.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

          How does one be a racist without being a white supremacist? This seems a bit too cute by half.

          I don’t think I agree with the second sentence. Trump’s vulgarity and zeal allowed them to achieve more than they ever would be able to. Notice how every defeat causes Stephen Miller to triple down on anti-immigration measures. The Trump admin is very good at going at warp speed to gut regulations and destroy immigratio and do whatever it wants.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Israeli treatment of Palestinians seems to be an example of racism without White Supremacy.Report

          • Slade the Leveller in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            Racists can be any color.

            I’ll agree Trump’s presence allowed the R’s to speed along their nativist and anti-regulation agendas. That doesn’t mean they weren’t there all along.Report

          • Zac Black in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            “How does one be a racist without being a white supremacist? This seems a bit too cute by half.”

            If you’ve never met a virulently racist non-white person, who believes that their race sits at the apex of a hierarchy supplied by their culture, I suggest you get out more. Bigotry is a universal condition of the human race, and exists in all places and among all groups. You are confusing local conditions for global ones.Report

            • veronica d in reply to Zac Black says:

              To begin with, there is Louis Farrakhan. In India, there are the Hindu Nationalists, which I guess is more “religious intolerance” rather than racism proper, but that is a distinction without a difference. Japan has a history of racial supremacy movements, which still play a large role in their culture. The list is long.Report

            • LeeEsq in reply to Zac Black says:

              The comment was about Trump or his supporters being a racist but not a white supremacist though. In the United States, this means white supremacy.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Zac Black says:

              Sure but the context here is Trump. Trump offers pure unvarnished white supremacy.Report

              • Zac Black in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                No doubt, but Trump offers succor for bigots of every color, I assure you; some of them have been co-workers of mine or parents of friends. The Venn diagram doesn’t have to be a perfect overlap. These people aren’t exactly Rhodes scholars, generally speaking. The impulses behind white supremacy are deeper than that structure, and are far vaster than any one race or nation.Report

  4. Marchmaine says:

    My wife and I were just discussing this over coffee… it’s a good question.

    My personal take is that the Republican party ought to die; it ought to have died gracefully some years ago; instead it will probably die a Covid-19 type death… mostly alone.

    However, owing to the electoral structure of our system, Parties don’t die so much as re-invent themselves… so the reinvented Republican Party? Honestly? Inertia will pull it back to a boring Center Right party owing to the Donor funding.

    1. This is the Marco Rubio gambit… he’s experimenting with the “words” of an Upper Left coalition – but he’s 100% boughten goods. Still, he’s my guess for the play the Donor class will make: National Compassionate Conservatism that’s all Tax Cuts, Jingoism, and Faux Solidarity to replace Culture Wars. Part of me hopes Rubio is a better man than I give him credit for… but I know too many people who know Rubio and the Donors.

    2. There are no Integralists. I say this from Ground Zero of Integralism… I know Pater Edmund and his Father, his Teachers, and all the people once removed. There are no Integralists. There’s a flawed syllogism that even the most ardent, orthodox, and wistful Catholics don’t recognize as a valid syllogism. Vermeule is working an Arcane Constitutional Legal Theory for his personal benefit; it’s not an “Integralist” project. Sohrab is literally a Controversialist looking to cultivate notoriety for his “brand”. I’m genuinely fascinated how people who hate Integralism “want” integalism to be a thing so they keep talking it up. What’s odd is that while there are no Integralists, all this talk might create some. But it definitely won’t have anything to do with the Republican Party – that’s just a colossal category error.

    3. Neo-Cons. Their only hope is for FauxRubio (Fauxbio) to let them back in to run his foreign policy. These aren’t “Principled Conservatives” and never were. They were the gatekeepers of the old Establishment, however; so their influence far outweighed their support. For that reason, you can’t write them off Post-Trump… but they are incapable of “building” a coalition, just exerting (or attempting to exert) influence on whatever comes out of this.

    4. The real wild-card is re-branded Trumpism… in my Topology it’s not National Conservatism because that’s the Co-opted wing… it will be something different and will hinge upon a Personality who can Rebrand Trumpism in his (or her) own Image. People throw out Hawley and Cotton, maybe even Haley… but while I think there’s an attempt that will be made (by someone, more likely a Trump scion)… I kinda think none of them have the Charisma to pull it off; plus, the simple fact that Trump didn’t really make a movement so much as cash in on the exhaustion of the Republican Consensus. The consensus is dead… so the moment is past.

    That said, I don’t see a viable Republican Party until it does the political coalition building and legwork that will come with realigment.

    So, good news Democrats… enjoy your ascendancy. Use it wisely.Report

    • Aaron David in reply to Marchmaine says:

      Eh, Republican (and to the same degree Democrat) is just the name for one side of the political aisle, and thus will never die. Because in any polity there is a right and a left. How they form at any given time mutates depending on the preceived lay of the land.

      That the current make up of this group (R’s) doesn’t currently feed the ego’s of a select group of people who are nominally on that side of the line (and I suspect most of the right-wards here at this time fall into that catagory) is of very little consequence outside that specific group. Sucks if you are in it, but this happens. It happened to me when I was a Dem, so I do understand. But time waits for no man, as they say.

      This is a feature of our sysem, not a bug. See, the mutation allows the organism to change with the times, to assimilate new ideas and cast out old ones that no longer fit with the current people who are actually in charge of it. The left side of the aisle is more noticable to me due to being much closer to it and where it stood when I was party to it, but the right is the same.

      What is clear to me is that as the two parties stand right now in my eyes, the left is the party of stagnation, as it became the cultural king of the hill a while ago. And one feature of being king of the hill? You are always punching down.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Aaron David says:

        Just to clarify… I’m not and have never been a Republican; I’ve fought a good fight against Catholics identifying as Republican (or Democratic) since the 90’s. That said, I’m definitely writing from “behind the lines” as it were of the Republican side of the aisle… so when I talk about “Republican Politics” its from the perspective of a reverse Pauline Kael.

        I take your point about Parties “evolving” and not really being ontologically grounded or anything; to the extent that our political system “is what it is” I won’t raise a ruckus (at least in this thread). But, I have grave doubts about our first past the post plurality Party lock-down. I don’t think it will serve us well in the future, and IMO it’s a big part of the problem we have right now. And I’ll leave it at that.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine says:

      I would love to see the Republican Party wither into the 21st Century Whigs.

      But I have to remember that the Party as it stands right now commands about 40% of the electorate. They aren’t going anywhere, even if the Democrats run the table this November.

      America has to reckon with this. The Republicans as they stand, have taken a revolutionary stance where they refuse to accept the legitimacy of the remaining 60% of Americans.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Sure… Team Red can muster 40% of the vote +/- no matter what… that’s just a symptom of the sclerosis of the the electoral system.

        I think this should temper your overstatement of a “single unifying” idea… it’s a broad anti-partisanship. And to rebut your obvious rejoinder that it’s about Democratic racial politics, Douthat beat me to it.Report

      • Zac Black in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        As was said before the 2016 election, back when everyone was sure it was going to the other way: if you and nine friends decide to vote on what to get for dinner, and six of you vote for pizza, and four of you vote to kill and eat the other six, then pizza won, but you still have a very real problem on your hands.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Not sure what you meant by that last sentence. I don’t want to jump down your throat, but my least favorite pair of accusations are that the president will refuse to leave office and its mirror, that the powers that be will never allow the president to complete his term. They’re the laziest accusations, and every four or eight years the worst people on each side switch theories. But no one ever admits it when they’re wrong. I hated it when people said both things about Obama, and I hate it now.Report

        • veronica d in reply to Pinky says:

          The question isn’t whether Trump would refuse to leave. The question is, could he actually get away with it? If he could, he’ll certainly try. If he clearly cannot, he won’t, but he’ll scream and sulk on his way out the door.

          How do I know? Because Trump is a malignant narcissist. Everything follows from that fact.Report

          • Pinky in reply to veronica d says:

            Every administration, people “know” that. It’s like the people who predict the Yellowstone supervolcano eruption. I guess eventually they’ll be right, but it doesn’t make up for the innumerable failed predictions.Report

          • Pinky in reply to veronica d says:

            I understand your position, but the frustrating thing is it’s unfalsifiable. Heads, you win; tails, Trump didn’t think he could get away with it. But in any other situation, would you consider him a reasonable person who doesn’t overplay his hand?Report

            • veronica d in reply to Pinky says:

              I’m not proposing a scientific theory. Thus, I don’t need to be falsifiable. I’m not making a bet, so I don’t need clear win/lose conditions. I’m not trying to win or lose. None of that is the point.

              What I am doing is predicting a person’s behavior based on their character. Trump is selfish, narcissistic, cruel, and impulsive. As a narcissist, he has the emotional sophistication of a spoiled five year old. What does a spoiled five year old do when you force them to share their toys? They scream. They rage. Sometimes they break their toys.

              What will Trump do? That depend on what he is allowed to do.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

          What I mean is, the Trumpists hold themselves to be the only Real Americans.
          Their culture, their religion, their taboos and sacred totems are the only ones that matter.

          Those who are not part of their tribe they consider to be unreal, illegitimate and although they may be tolerated, they must never be allowed to be in power.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

            You know what my next question is going to be, right?Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

              I really don’t.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                OK: Couldn’t you say the same thing about the left? I mean, really, the exact same thing? They don’t consider Trump to be legitimate, they have zero respect for their opposition’s culture, every other thing you said.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                No you can’t. At least, not credibly.

                There isn’t any credible claim of persecution and mistreatment of the people who make up the Trumpist base.

                That the Democrats are alarmed and outraged by the behavior of the Trump base is obvious.

                But there aren’t any equal proposals on the left to say, Sohrab Amari or Adrian Vermeule. There is no liberal Stephen Miller. There are no liberal books like the Bell Curve.

                However fiercely or angrily the left denounces the Trumpists, the main advocates on the left are not suggesting that there is something intrinsic to whiteness or maleness or Christianity that are evil and incompatible with the American project.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:


              • Jesse in reply to Aaron David says:

                It’s amazing hoe many conservatives only heard that one line from MLK, and didn’t hear the other 99.999% of things he said.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Right now, at this cultural moment, you’re making this case? Cities are on fire, a portion of Seattle is cordoned off as a lawless zone, people are pulling down statues of the Founding Fathers, and you’re arguing that the right is a threat to order and culture? I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone on the left who *isn’t* saying that whiteness, maleness, and Christianity are evil.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                If you think that white Christian males are an oppressed class, feel free to make the case.

                More to the point, look at the manifesto put out by the most extreme radical group CHOP and describe how their list of demands marginalizes white Christian males as illegitimate.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If I thought that white Christian males were an oppressed class, I would have made the argument. I don’t.

                Let me ask you, do you think more people have read Murray or Zinn? Has anyone called for the Republican candidate to pick a running mate based on her race and sex? Back to your “totems” comment, when did Trumpists pull down an MLK statue? Do the policies of those two could-be-random-syllable-generator names get as much buzz as, say the green New Deal or the UBI?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                How does any of this address your claim that liberals are the equal in holding themselves to be the only legitimate Americans?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You made half a dozen claims about conservatives. The “only real Americans” was only one of them. I’ve mainly been addressing the claim about cultural intolerance. But there’s plenty of overlap. My best recommendation is to look at liberal rhetoric with this in mind. Notice how many times conservatives are called “un-American”. Isn’t that the heart of the common condemnation of Christians as dominionists (and maybe now integralists)? Or the bare acceptance of the South as legitimate members of the union? And the right doesn’t talk about the majority-minority future half as much as the left does, with a kind of Manifest Destiny feel to it. How many people consider Obama to be “their” president, and Trump to be illegitimate? Hasn’t California’s self-veneration turned into a liberal superiority?Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’ve been thinking about this, and maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it seems like the only way you’d believe that I was making this claim is if you equate conservatism with white Christian male chauvinism. You’ve said as much, but i don’t think I realized how much of a problem it creates in conversation. You may believe that that’s underlying all conservative thought, but I think you’re equating the two things. You can’t carry on a conversation with a separate set of definitions.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                I honestly do believe that contemporary American conservatism has defined itself as white Christian male chauvinism. Everyone else they tolerate as a guest, but the cultural turf they claim as their own.Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The problem with your view is that conservatives aren’t hung up on sex or race. There are so many female conservatives that Hillary lost among white women. And it doesn’t explain why so many white conservatives follow Candace Owens, Elbert Guillory, Thomas Sowell, Anthony Brian Logan, and countless other black conservatives, nor why black and white conservatives seem to agree on almost everything, except where white conservatives are too shy and reticent about saying what they feel, whereas black conservatives aren’t.

                White conservatives even get along famously with Muslim conservatives who are outcasts in liberal Hollywood – because they’re Muslim conservatives who defend traditional American role models, whereas as liberals are trying to eliminate anything that’s male, American, or heroic, to create a new culture where everything is determined by a person’s race and gender identity and nothing is determined by a person’s intelligence, education, and character.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t know how to reply to that. First of all, you’re wrong. I’m a conservative, and I support the policies I do because I believe they’re best for everyone. The vast majority of those who have called themselves conservative since 1978 or so would concur.

                But that’s fine; you can be wrong about stuff and still carry on a conversation. I do all the time. You can’t carry on a conversation using words differently, though. I could get into an argument on one of our science threads about interpretations of string theory and it could be illuminating, but there’s no value if I do so with my own definition of string theory (something involving tabasco versus A-1 steak sauce).

                So I’m not jumping on my high horse and saying “I refuse to carry on this conversation unless you yield”. But I don’t think anyone can carry on a conversation if you expect him to defend positions he hasn’t taken, because you’ve defined words differently. It’s just nonsensical. It’s a conversation with a mechanic where you say “Mercedes” and mean “Lexus”.

                To put it another way: you can think whatever you want to about my motivations. You’re entitled to your own opinions. But not to your own definitions. If you want to make the case that one thing is equivalent to another, make it. If not, you can’t fairly expect the other guy to treat the things as interchangeable.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                It isn’t about you at all.

                We’ve had plenty of discussions here with earnest self described conservatives indignantly insisting they are principled and have only the purest motives for voting as they do.

                It just doesn’t matter what you believe or feel. What matters is what is happening.

                My claim that the Republicans have adopted a revolutionary stance as the only legitimate faction is based on my observation of their behavior, not yours.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Check the ol’ Venn Diagram. If your definition of conservatism is white Christian male chauvinism, and I’m a conservative who isn’t a white Christian male chauvinist, then your definition is wrong.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                Every conservative has a black friend, a gay friend, a lesbian friend at work.

                The America that MAGA refers to is the America of Star Trek where the white man from Iowa sits in the seat of power, surrounded by his friendly and nonthreatening cast of exotic friends.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                That’s why I appreciate Progressives so much more. They don’t have black friends (but they do have gay ones).

                “But I *DO* have black friends!”, the Progressive asserts. “My bartender! The guy who sells me Mother Jones at the kiosk! And I told the Pilipino server at my favorite tapas restaurant yesterday that Black Lives Matter as I explained that I didn’t believe in tipping!”Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                You missed the point.

                People who like to claim a black friend are strenuously avoiding discussions of structural racism, to turn justice into a matter of personal rectitude instead of collective policy.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You mean like zoning?Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                When liberals start in about that “friendly black guy with an interesting opinion” they talked to, conservatives say “Oh, in accounting? You mean Steve.”

                And you obviously never watched much Star Trek. Do you remember Sisko or Janeway, by any chance? Do you remember Kirk talking to the captain of the starship USS Saratoga, played by an actress was nominated for an Emmy for her role in “Roots”?

                Of course, woke Star Trek has been an epic disaster because the writers tried to put modern liberals’ bizarre obsessions with race, gender, gender identity, and every other bit of nonsense into a show from the 1960’s in which humanity was completely past such notions.

                That’s because in Roddenberry’s future, race, class, and gender were almost meaningless constructs. It was a society where people were judged on the content of their character, their competence and accomplishments, not the color of their skin.

                Of course anyone who complains that the new Star Trek is racist, sexist woke dreck gets branded a right-wing fascist by the show’s current writers and producers.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                OK, we’ve all been sloppy here with our terminology, interchanging “left/right”, “Democrat/Republican”, “liberal/conservative”, et cetera. So maybe you meant something slightly different in your above comment about “MAGA”.

                Explicitly: are you calling me a white Christian male chauvinist, or are you reserving that term for so-called Trumpists?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                Trump’s appeal is to white Christian male chauvinism.

                There really is nothing else to him; He doesn’t pursue or even claim any other idea or concepts. So its only logical to assume that anyone who finds Trump appealing also finds white Christian male chauvinism appealing.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You apply that to all of conservatism, though, including those of us who don’t support Trump.

                And what about black Christian males? (Indulge me on this.) Couldn’t they be happy about the judicial nominees, and the strong words against abortion? Wouldn’t Christian Hispanics be happy about the pre-virus economic growth? Can’t the atheistic male libertarians support us not getting into wars? Have all of Trump’s words and actions only played to the trifecta of white Christian males? You may be able to play six degrees of Jerry Falwell Jr. but that doesn’t mean every Trumpist, conservative, or Republican need be motivated by whiteness, Christianity, and maleness. Maybe only by one or two of those traits. Maybe none. Female business owners can appreciate the rollback of regulations, or even the justice of the new Title IX policies.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                You’re right, there does exist a principled form of conservative thought.
                People like you, David French and the NeverTrumpers make a case for its existence.
                Except admiring Trump for things like regulation rollback ignores the overwhelming body of his work; Its a bit like admiring Stalin for his hydroelectric works while ignoring those other minor details of his reign.

                But your very need to make the case for Principled Conservatism in the abstract, instead of merely pointing to actual elected conservative elected officials demonstrates that Principled Conservatism is like Principled Socialism, a niche and powerless rump.

                Principled Conservatism has no power to motivate the 95% of the republican Party who support Trump, and in fact Principled Conservatives themselves are hated by the Republicans.

                The closest leftist analog to Trumpists might be the Rose Twitter crowd who have also taken a revolutionary stance of holding themselves as the only legitimate holders of power.

                The difference of course is that they occupy the same relationship to the Democratic Party as the Principled Conservatives do to the Republican Party.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What about my sister-in-law? She’s passionately pro-life, she voted for Trump, and I’ve never heard her use the phrase “own the libs” but she likes his confrontational style. She’s not me or David French, so do I have to assume she’s racist? I mean, the whole pro-life thing, your chart probably classifies her as anti-woman (I picture you consulting a chart), but must I think of her as anti-black-woman as well?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                What if I support ISIS because of their progressive stance on land use zoning, and as a protest against the corrupt Assad regime?

                Well, I’m still supporting ISIS.

                I’m still enabling all the horrors they unleash. Hiding behind “I had good intentions!” doesn’t change the outcome.

                We as enfranchised citizens of a republican democracy own our government.
                We own it the way a master owns a dog. When the dog bites someone, we hold the owner responsible.

                We don’t let him excuse his negligence with excuses about how he really needed a dog, how he only wanted the dog to bark and not bite.

                Every one of the 60 million people who pulled the lever for Trump owns everything that has followed, just as everyone who ever voted for any candidate owns their misdeeds.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Wait a second. I thought your position was that the Republican Party was acting under bad motivations, regardless of what they’re doing. You’re really saying that the Republican Party is doing bad things regardless of their motivation? More specifically, you’re saying that the through-line of Trump’s actions, not his rhetoric is pro white Christian male? Because if that’s your position, I can’t grant you any latitude at all. It’s simply not true.
                I’ts beyond not true; it’s absurd. When I thought you were just impugning motives, I could find it unpleasant but not a denial of visible reality. This, no, this is fiction.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                The example of ISIS should have clarified things, but I will try it again.
                It doesn’t matter if someone tells themselves “I’m not a white supremacist, its all about judges”;

                By turning a blind eye and accepting the white supremacy, they are giving assent to it.

                This is where discussions of structural racism come into play, where people create structures which give them plausible deniability and therefore hold themselves innocent.

                Trumpists own the white supremacy. It doesn’t matter if they wear white hoods or not, whether they have a black friend or not, it doesn’t even matter if they really really think they like black people.

                They are enabling it, all of it, and doing so in clear knowledge of the consequences.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I don’t think you have clarified it. Up until your ISIS comment, you were only talking about motivations and beliefs. You gave no hint that you thought the same thing about Republicans in practice. This new position is so transparently false that I’m worried I goaded you into it. I don’t think I was being too aggressive, but I know I can be, and maybe tensions are high or something. I just reread your comments on this thread, and you gave no indication you were talking about anything other than presumed motives. And you can’t expect people to deduce that you were talking such an extreme position. I feel like we’ve been talking all day about how amazing it is that we landed on the Moon, with such primitive computers and then you say “that’s why I don’t believe in it”. I don’t know, it’s like I have to allow that you might be just lashing out.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                All you’re doing here is niggling over the difference between indifference and intent.

                E.g. “I didn’t intend to run over the pedestrian, I only intended to get drunk and drive home.”Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m not playing semantic games. I see you as having taken three different positions on this thread. No crime in that; we all have a lot of beliefs about different things, and this thread has covered a lot. But it’s been frustrating for me because I’ve been trying to pin down exactly what you’re saying. These three positions aren’t contradictory, but don’t necessarily flow one to another either.

                – Trumpists are motivated by white Christian male chauvinism.
                – Conservatism is uniquely culturally intolerant to the point that it doesn’t accept its opposition as legitimate.
                – The Trump Administration has operated to the benefit of white Christian males over others.

                Would you agree with each of these statements? Could I phrase them better?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky says:

                Yes, I agree with all three.

                Lets just make sure that in this statement, “conservatism” is synonymous with “Trumpism” because Trump captures about 95% of Americas conservative party.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I’m still enabling all the horrors they unleash. Hiding behind “I had good intentions!” doesn’t change the outcome.

                It wasn’t *REALLY* Islam.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Or, “There exists a Principled Jihad, and we who advocate for it should not have our honor besmirched.”

                Or, “ISIS is the flawed and vulgar tool of the Lord who will bring about righteousness.”

                Or even, “Can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.”

                Yeah, we’ve heard them all.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Just because there are a couple of bad apples in the department doesn’t mean we should abolish the police union!”Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                My claim that the Republicans have adopted a revolutionary stance as the only legitimate faction is based on my observation of their behavior, not yours.
                Yeah, I mean, the R’s are running around, pulling down statues, rioting… Oh, wait…

                Dude, when a different political party assumes power legally and reverses actions that your ideology supported but are controversial, that isn’t any sort of revolutionary stance. That is just electoral politics.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

                Putting up the statues honoring those who committed treason in defense of slavery was the revolutionary act.

                Waving the Confederate flag is, in the most literal way possible, an act of revolution. It declares that the founding principle of America, that all people are equal, is null and void.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What about the American flag, and presidents?Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Wow, move the goalposts much? But, for the moment, let us play your little game. The statues were either put up by private parties (and thus are free speech at its most primal level) or were done under the approval of elected officials, thus being done democratically. Waving a Confederate flag is again, an act either approved by elected officials, or done by private parties, and thus protected by the 1st. Something that scares a… revolutionary… party. And we can easily see what removing it looks like with a private party, as we can see that most recent example of NASCAR. See, this is how it is done. Not what a… revolutionary… party would allow.

                Further, Confederates were allowed to reintegrate as a society that had just been at war with itself. And after such an action, the victor must either annihilate or assimilate any opposition. We did the latter, as we are a democracy. It would be a…revolutionary… party that did the former.

                And there is a method of removing the statues, democratically, though I feel that you are afraid of that term. It is called doing via elected officials and consensus. Something a… revolutionary… party is deathly afraid of. Again, democracy.

                No Chip, those are what a free society can do, which scares the ever-loving piss out of a… revolutionary… party. A party that can not get its ideas across in a democracy that allows free speech.

                No, statue topplers are a revolutionary party. Flag banners are a revolutionary party.

                A totallitarian party.Report

              • Slade the Leveller in reply to Aaron David says:

                The statues were either put up by private parties (and thus are free speech at its most primal level) or were done under the approval of elected officials, thus being done democratically.

                To address the 2nd clause of your sentence, I’m not sure I would characterize the erection of Confederate monuments in the Jim Crow South the true exemplar of the democratic process.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                That is a very good point, and it should help in the democratic process of removing them. Remember, we want to be better than those we preceded us.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

                This is a good time to note the staggering level of lawless revolutionary violence by the Confederates, AFTER the Civil War had ended, in overturning the democratically elected terms of Reconstruction, and installing a neo-Confederate series of state governments by force.

                Another nugget of history which was memory-holed by the Confederates, and only recently remembered.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Aaron David says:

                This stuff about private parties is irrelevant.

                Erecting statues to traitors and waving the flag of treason is a statement. It declares that the government is illegitimate.The entire concept of the Confederacy was a direct refutation of American founding principles.Report

              • Aaron David in reply to Chip Daniels says:


                “We had to burn the village to save it.”Report

              • George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well Chip, I’m sure you’ll be voting against Joe Biden, who is an unreformed supporter of racial segregation and the glorious Confederacy, who won high praise from George Wallace. I get that you hate Confederate statues, but Joe Biden is one.Report

  5. Saul Degraw says:

    I don’t think Trumpism is going anywhere. He unleashed in rawer language feelings of biogtry and white supremacy that have existed in the United States for years but were dog whistled about in hushed tones. The fact that there are still people who will argue that Trump has not done this and feel compelled to write “not all Trump” supporters is not surprising but is frustrating. At some point you at least show you are okay with Trump’s vulgarity, bigotry, and stupidity by supporting him because it owns the libs or whatnot or because you can’t quit the low government/zero taxes sweet sauce.

    The majority of Trumpist voters are old but the newer generation of right-wingers proves itself to be filled with reactionary firebrands. Trump had no problem appointing a lot of young judges who worked for homo and transphobic organizations like the misnamed Alliance Defending Freedom. Young right-wingers are more likely to grift than anything else like Ben Shapiro or Jacob Wohl.Report

  6. While many are supportive of Trump as long as he wins

    You know who else was populate as long as he won?Report

  7. JustTheFacts says:

    {Previously Banned Commenter -Trumwill}Report

  8. Jesse says:

    Conservatism in 2024 is going to be Nikki Haley losing her home state of South Carolina by 30 points after Tucker Carlson attacks her for being “just another liberal elitist who bent the knee to cancel culture when she took down the Confederate flag” during a debate.Report

  9. CJColucci says:

    Maybe it’s just that I’m old, but I remember when advocating much of what all sorts of people now claim to believe was “UnAmerican.” I remember what kinds of views could cost you your job — and which ones couldn’t. I remember an orthodoxy far more stifling than anything that exists today, and what it prescribed. I remember when the politically correct stuff we were taught in school lacked the merit of, at least, being factually correct. I remember when the presence of a Negro (if you were polite enough to use that term then, which I sometimes use now just to piss off my wife — I know, I’m a terrible person) walking in my neighborhood would insure a police response.
    Maybe as I get even older, I won’t remember these things any more, though I’m told it’s the short-term memory that goes first.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to CJColucci says:

      I remember when the presence of a Negro (if you were polite enough to use that term then, which I sometimes use now just to piss off my wife — I know, I’m a terrible person) walking in my neighborhood would insure a police response.

      I, too, am old enough to remember this past February.

      Without being facetious, as the parent of a gay child I still get amazed reactions from some people when I tell them I don’t really care. As Jaybird said above, change comes gradually, then all at once. No one remembers the decades of hard work people have put in to just get what their government has promised them from the get go.Report

    • North in reply to CJColucci says:

      You’re absolutely right about every part of that. It is a reason to celebrate AND to be wary. We’ve seen the attitudes you’re talking about, the inquisitional mindset and mob behavior, wielded before. We’ve seen what it did to the causes of those who wielded it. Maybe, maybe, instead of putting the one ring on to use it to help racial and sexual minorities, we might be better off instead casting it into the volcano.
      But it could do so much good! And the privileged chattering over-educated elite who are so drawn to it this time think it looks so pretty on their fingers!Report

  10. JS says:

    They better do something fast — their support is elderly and shrinking. Their numbers with the under-30 crowd are atrocious, and their primary demographic (non-college white males) is really shrinking. They might still hold non-college white women long-term — Trump clearly makes them unhappy, but they might come back after only four years.

    That really doesn’t help though.

    What’s pushing younger voters and minotiries away from the GOP are the deeply entwined strands of racism and bigotry in the GOP. Anti-gay marriage, anti-trans, outright white supremacy, and of course Donald ‘Dog Whistles aren’t loud enough’ Trump getting all that applause as the rest of the party bows down to him.

    But those racists and bigots are a large chunk of the GOP’s own base. Jettison them, and the GOP can’t win. Keep them, and the GOP’s ability to win will continue to shrink .

    Offhand, their best hope is for some sort of vast realignment. Ditching the Southern Strategy and the racists on the right, and the left splintering along the progressive/moderate split. The GOP could embrace technocratic policy approaches, moderately regulated capitalism, and a robust foreign policy. But if your best hope is “I hope the other guys break up too so we can cobble something together”, it’s not a great plan.Report

    • North in reply to JS says:

      The GOP needs what it has direly needed since, at the very latest, the end of Bush W’s presidency: a long, bitter, stint in the political wilderness.
      In 2009 clever,clever Mitch discerned a shortcut back to power and it’s worked really well. All it cost them was every last shred of their principles. A small price to pay.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to JS says:

      There are some saner Republicans who realize that the party needs to be moderate/technocratic including the former Governator. These people have negative sway in the current Republican Party and I do not see how they get influence except if the GOP spends many years in the wilderness. The California GOP itself decided that they would rather be a rump party of freak flag flyers constantly owning the libs than a competitive party of Javits’ esque moderate technocrats.

      That being said, I don’t see this happening that quickly. The American electorate to a certain extent seems thermostatic. The GOP suffered huge defeats in 2006 and 2008 but was able to come roaring back in 2010 and 2014. The reasons for this are really complex. Something about a rout defeat in U.S. politics causes the other side to get hopping mad and active. Racism played an account. There seem to be very few years howling in the wildnerness like Labour in the UK had from 1979-1997.

      The other issue is that there are still enough relatively to very old people who can carry the GOP for another 10-20 years. The youngest Boomers and oldest members of Gen X were young enough to be Reagan youth and are still very Republican.Report

      • North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        The defeats weren’t big enough. 2006 was a midterm and 2008 was a presidential election; by that definition the Dems suffered successive routes in 2012 and 2016. If you look at history it took losing 2 presidential elections successively for the Dems to reluctantly go along with the DNC’s rightward shift on economics and enable Clinton to get elected.

        My read on history was the GOP was destined to do something similar when Bush W wrecked shop and sank the party and Obama land slided in but they chose to take the easier route by embracing McConnell’s total opposition strategy, which in turn led to the doublespeak that finally let Fox et all overwhelm the GOP’s own institutional thinking capacity, which in turn led to Trumpism.Report

        • JS in reply to North says:

          Strangely enough, Democrats might be the problem.

          2006 and 2008 were brutal losses. But 2010 saw Democrats stay home, secure in the knowledge they’d fixed everything forever. Which saw a crop of newly minted Tea Party Republicans take office.

          Then of course the GOP lost in 2012 — and notably lost several winnable Senate seats thanks to candidates who were too extreme.

          It’s well known that GOP turnout, mid-term and Presidential years, is fairly static. It’s Democratic turnout that varies widely — and often decides election.

          Unfortunately, it’s very easy to construct a pattern where “unapologetic” Republicans win and “sell-outs” lose. But that requires ignoring Democratic turnout entirely, and then ignoring all the cases where “unapologetic” Republicans lost.

          I have no doubt that most GOP politicians — or at least their advisors — know the score. But it’s rather hard to sell to your voters, when they see “tea party” years where extreme conservatives win hard, and then see Mitt Romney come along and lose. (And now of course see Trump win). Turnout numbers are nebulous, distant, and kinda intellectual. The Tea Party won, Trump won, Romney lost — those are easy to see and to draw patterns from their politics.

          It’s got to be frustrating from the GOP perspective. The base sees the “elite” keep selling them out for moderates, and the “elites” keep seeing the base toss away elections on long-shots that, best case, win for a few years and heavily damage the brand further.Report

          • North in reply to JS says:

            Mmm I think I get you, but the GOP vote is not only static, it is very gradually downwardly inclined as the demographics shift. And, certainly, we can curse the wildly fluctuating turnout numbers the Democrats posess but I don’t know if it’s a problem that you can tackle. The Democratic voter pool just seems to ebb whenever they think things are in the bag or when they think things are good. The Republican voter base seems to vote simply to vote (though they also have turnout fluctuations, it just has a higher floor).

            I have utterly no sympathy for the GOP’s frustrations. They chose which elements of their base to pander to and what relationship to have with it. Into that gulf of lies and disdain swam Trump. The GOP richly deserved what Trump did to them, it’s just a pity the country had to suffer it too (god(ess?) damn it HRC, you had one job).Report

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