Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Thoughts On The Elections

It went about how we all thought: the Democrats took the House, and the Republicans strengthened their hold on the Senate. In 2 years, the GOP will have more seats to defend in the Senate. That should benefit the Democrats. Events, of course, have a way of upending that, as always.

I absolutely think this election was a referendum on President Trump. I also think he both hurt, and helped his party. The moderate GOP of Romney and Kasich is dead, at least in the Congress. They lost over and over in districts carried by Clinton. They'll keep losing, until Trump is gone. There was nothing to be learned for the young progressive Democrats. They'll feel vindicated by their close losses, and give no quarter to the disaffected moderate Republicans. I call all that a net negative for the nation. After all, the establishment found the same hostility within the GOP.

I don't mourn for the loss of Senator Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. I'll tell you why. Even if he's less enthusiastic about abortion than activists would want him to be,--even having personal convictions against it--he isn't willing to speak about it as a matter of public morality, and objective reality. It helps Democrats even to this day to appear to struggle with it, even as a matter of religious conviction. Yet that natural law reality is not being discussed. It's not a matter of religious conviction, as such; it is a matter of basic moral reasoning. There will, and ought to be, an ongoing discussion about the surrounding economic and social circumstances that fuel abortion. I have no problem with a gradualism of many kinds, with respect to which evils to combat first. That said, I have no use for politicians who cannot see the moral issue clearly, and to speak accurately about it. I suppose that results in having no use for most politicians.

So even as it may be of a benefit that the Democrats are getting younger, and less white--for a slew of good reasons--this moral blight upon them tempers any celebrating I might do, as thoroughly disgusted and disaffected as I may be with the GOP. It is true that the GOP have ceased to be a serious political party, essentially ceding or denying a great many issues of great consequence. They have become servants of their voters' irrational appetites and resentments. They deserve whatever electoral disaster befalls them. Nevertheless, I don't see a case for joining the Democrats. The same things are true of them.

If there is anything left of our nation, we'll need leaders with more courage, wisdom, and foresight. I don't mind saying, perhaps the nation needs me. That's neither here nor there, for now.

I lament the continued death and dearth of civility, not as a matter of sentiment, but as the means to create the civic space to think, to reason together, and to compromise. Notice we don't even make gestures of civility and unity toward opponents anymore. That is tragic.

I was overall satisfied for now, at the results. Anything other than divided government would have been worse in the short-term.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Kidnapping Is Wrong, But...

Would it really be that wrong to kidnap Dr. Patrick Deneen, and force him to go on a car trip with me, and Confirmation Sponsor Guy? Does he even know how awesome that would be? [Probably not, since you said "kidnapping".--ed.] It's a term of art, OK? [It's also an aggravated felony in most states.--ed.] Details, details! Anyway, he would become aware of my elite fanboy status, which is fine. It's not my fault his books are great! Whether he wins the argument(s) is almost secondary to the sheer pleasure in reading the guy, in thinking his thoughts after him, and so forth. I definitely wish I had studied political science with him as an instructor! [Are you ever going to review "Why Liberalism Failed"?--ed.] Yes. My real life has intruded, but yes. And then I'm going to read Dr. Jordan Peterson. He's earned the right. I'm guessing Deneen has better things to say, but everyone is reading, watching, and talking about Peterson. I might want this blog to be relevant at some point. [Are you now saying Deneen is irrelevant?--ed.] Absolutely not! But if you translate his name from the original Gaelic or whatever it is, it means, "papist niche market". [Touche.--ed.] So there! [So you're boldly implementing Deneen's grand vision of localism, tradition, and virtue ethics by capitulating to market demand for Jordan Peterson.--ed.] Exactly! Uhh, wait.

So anyway, I think the blog will be fairly entertaining the next few weeks. Stop in! America's foremost public intellectuals have their books shredded--I mean, reviewed--by yours truly! And no kidnapping. Hopefully.