April 27, 2016

GOP primary is no longer the Conservatism Olympics

With the Trump army enjoying another week of yuge margin victories in the popular vote, and sweeping yet again nearly 100% of the delegates, the Conservative Movement faction of the old Republican Party is struggling for a way to rationalize their continued utter defeat.

Hey, I know -- "Those states don't count since they're just worthless liberal East Coasters that will never vote Republican in a million years."

Great mindset for winning a general election, dipshits.

Then again, when you look at how the Conservative Movement has been behaving all along, it's becoming clear that they never did want to win the election. If they did, they'd have to find some way to appeal to blue states so that they'd switch at least temporarily to red. And yet they have instead doubled down on hardline rhetoric about the culture war, laissez-faire economics, and neocon foreign policy, which they know will only peel off more red states into the blue column. ("I guess they weren't that red to begin with, then -- good riddance," moans the impotent bitter culture warrior.)

These types -- from anonymous internet commenters, to talking heads, to the leader of the Cruz Cult himself -- are angry that Trump has put so many blue states into play for his brand of politics in the general election. For the right-wing culture warriors, nothing could be more desecrating of their brand than to see Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, or Massachusetts listed in the same column as Texas, Kansas, and Utah.

The Cultural Right is more disgusted by the thought of New Englanders joining the Republican tent than they are about illegals streaming over the Mexican border, or their Tea Party heroes giving Obama everything he asked for in the omnibus budget.

For these ideological purists, the Republican primary is not supposed to produce a contender for the general election. Rather, it's supposed to serve as the Conservatism Olympics, where the candidates perform in a variety of events -- stump speeches, televised debates, sit-down interviews, in-person pandering, photo ops, etc. -- and are given a Conservatism score by a panel of judges, namely the outcome of the primary or caucus or convention.

Only some of those outcomes matter, though, since we are talking about the Conservatism Olympics -- Texas, Kansas, Utah, they all count, but we can just throw out the results from New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

The function of the nominating convention, then, is to formally coronate the gold medalist in the Conservatism Olympics. No one expects him to achieve anything in the general election, but that was never the point. The whole point was to stage an elaborate series of games for political athletes, creating a spellbinding spectacle for the right-wing audiences.

The candidates, their managing and consulting teams, the RNC, etc., all get to line their pockets with funds raised to put on the big show. The emotionally driven voters get to enjoy the spectacle. And the donors get to launder a shit load of money, and although getting nothing in return at the national level (their nominee will not become President), they can still enjoy influence at the local, state, and regional level.

None of the actors truly loses if the Conservative gold medalist loses in the general, so why would anything stop this circus from repeating itself every cycle?

In fact, if the contests of ideological purity kept going, pretty soon the Republicans would be glibly writing off every state except for Texas, Kansas, and Utah. "Yeah, well, Kentucky and Alabama used to be Conservative, but then they got drawn in by the Trump phenomenon, so like, nice knowin' ya." And then Texas and Kansas would get demographically replaced by Democrats, and it would be only Utah's caucus (electoral votes: 6) that mattered in the minds of the Conservative Movement.

The old Republican Party -- Wall Street shills at the top, and the Cultural Right as the base -- would have headed in that direction toward greater irrelevance, impotence, and invisibility. So the Trump movement's hostile takeover of the GOP is only saving them a slow and painful death. We are breathing new life into the party, but it is populism and nationalism that is animating the body politic, not Conservatism (or Liberalism, for that matter, on the Democrats' side).

Keep your eyes on the Cruz Cult, and you'll see the profound disconnect between their old failed style and the new winning style. They are plainly dismissive about winning any new states in the general election because that's not the point. The point is to see who scores the most points with the reddest of red states, for Conservative Movement bragging rights.

How about we cut to the chase and formally award Cruz with a gold medal in Conservatism, say at Trump Tower, and he can drop out of the race and let the Trump movement get on with the real-world business of destroying Hillary Clinton (we've already destroyed the Bush dynasty), and then on to making America great again!


  1. Yes, ideological purism cannot work in a two-party system.

  2. The Trump coalition could dominate for a while b/c it's based on sensible, aligned interests rather than purity signaling. Nixon was trying to do this with attracting middle class "ethnics" of the North (he even got the Teamsters' endorsement once IIRC) and flipping the South; then compare that with Goldwater's flop. The last few decades of immigration took California out of play, but maybe the recent arrivals are starting to realize they have more of a stake in the survival of the country as a whole than in ID politics.

    1. What makes this so fascinating is that the establishment types who are most likely to criticize purity conservatives also hate Trump with a passion. They want a non-conservative like Kasich or their ultimate dream Jeb Bush...not Trump! They almost always get what they want too (Romney, McCain, Dole etc). This is a rare year such as 1964 and 1980 where the establishment is not getting one of their preferred candidates.

  3. good to see you have been correct. back in December I assumed Trump would do poorly in the South , because he was too moderate. Thankfully the people of the South realized the culture wars are over, not worth the energy to keep fighting for social conservatives. When Trump won South Carolina back in February I realized he could win it all. All the states East of the Mississippi realize the culture wars are over now. Same on the West Coast.

  4. A lot of the GOP establishment in the South still doesn't like him. We've been dealing with a kind of Texanization of the rest of the South proper that led to lots of support for Dubya. Hopefully this cycle is proof that we've grown out of that phase (remember the South was famous for populist politics before the 1970s, even if we didn't have the big unions that the Midwest did).

  5. Whether you want to call it Outer Party, a retirement program for failed consultants and politicians, the Loser Recruitment Club, or the Great Stumbling Block to Making America great again, the old GOP deserves nothing less than the label of "CONTROLLED OPPOSITION" until proven independent from this point on.

  6. I've been singing your praises for some time on the 2Kevins podcast I cohost. Would you like to be a guest on our show? Previous guests have been Steve Sailer & Ryan Landry (AKA SOBL). If you're interested, contact me via email address posted on my Twitter account.

  7. It seems like the media and his opponents have mostly dropped the "Trump is Hitler, he's promoting violence!" meme.

    The only time the media seems to show the huge turnout at his rallies is when some kind of scuffle happens between supporters and protesters. Speaking of which, it seems like the Soros directed agitation toward Trump supporters has diminished a lot over the last few weeks. Probably because it backfired terribly, what with the PC high command ordering doofus Millennials, immigrants, and uppity blacks to instigate crap against Trump's regular American supporters.

    These protesters have strangely disappeared recently, exposing how contrived and controlled they were.

    The media is also discreetly avoiding the fact that many talking heads swore in March that as other candidates dropped from the race we would see their supporters gravitate towards Anyone But Trump. But truth be told, in states that are natural territory for Trump (in the Northeast, the South, the desert Southwest, a sizable portion of the Midwest outside the Lutheran belt) Trump would've done even better had they all voted later when there were fewer candidates.

  8. In the recent primaries, some early Cruz or Kasich voters were dismayed to learn of the ignominious alliance to thwart Trump that stunk of incoherent desperation from guys whose scruples only go as far what is convenient to their present situation.

    Evidently Kasich's campaign forged the "strategy" for weeks, eventually persuading Cruz, only to be humiliated by Kasich reassuring everyone that he wasn't dictating who people should vote for. Right after his campaign made the plan public. Did Kasich back out at the last moment when he realized that being the face of a dastardly scheme would damage his rep and possible good will between himself and the next president? If Kasich threw Trump his delegates it would probably ameliorate some of the lingering hard feelings, even after this dumb scheme was announced.

  9. "What makes this so fascinating is that the establishment types who are most likely to criticize purity conservatives also hate Trump with a passion. They want a non-conservative like Kasich or their ultimate dream Jeb Bush...not Trump!"

    By now those voters have given up (not to say the pundits, consultants, and pols have done so -- publicly anyway, Trump says they're all calling him privately asking to get on board).

    Early on, even where Trump swept a state, he usually lost the major city and/or its burbs to Rubio back East and to Cruz out West.

    Look at last night, though -- Trump won Greenwich, CT, Philadelphia and its burbs, and the inside-the-Beltway suburbs of Montgomery County, MD. (He lost the DC burbs in Northern Virginia to Rubio back in early March.)

    Exit polls showing him winning with every income level and every education level, although as usual doing better among the least educated and poorest. When Trump is winning with Acela Corridor denizens raking in $200K+, and dominating even more with blue collars in the same region, you have to be shitting your pants if you're on Team Hillary.

    I'm not clear on why the elites have switched -- giving in to inevitability, wanting to minimize public hostility toward elites and siding with the common people's choice, or what.

    But there it is -- the elites have surrendered to the Trump army. And yet again we see the evangelicals going for Trump rather than the snake oil-selling cosplay Judaizer who isn't even American.

    Trump now has around 1000 delegates, and he's up in every district and statewide in California, not to mention New Jersey, West Virginia, and Indiana.

    The primary is over, now it's on to clearing out the Augean Stables on the Democrats' side.

  10. Lamentations of the Cuck:

    "None of the candidates are perfect, none of the commentators are perfect, I, Larry Kudlow, am not perfect. But I guess my plea to my fellow conservatives, and others, is to please seek civility rather than acrimony. Please argue--I don't want monolithic. I love arguments and debates. I've been in that business a long time. But there are good ways to do it and there are bad ways to do it, and when it spills over to your friendships, it is rough.

    Hearts are broken. And let me say this, I am not perfect, I have made mistakes. In one case I made a very bad judgment and I wrote this person--the other person--and asked forgiveness... I'm not a grudge guy... Anger and resentment are very bad. Talking policy is terrific. And conservatives have a big stake, we're not going to give up our values and principles--we don't want to do that."

    Basically, our country club has rules that we've painstakingly established for 40 years. And we can't let an interloper and his followers drag us down out of our comfy and ever more exclusive perch. Why, he's even driving us apart. Aren't we supposed to be united in our tireless mission to rule further above the people?

    Those Boomer culture prophets and their precious "values" and "principles". What about getting results? What about putting your ass on the line to get things done that will restore the basic foundation of a functioning country?

    As they get haughty over having Made It past the sore loser masses, they need only concern themselves with the opinions and goals of their fellow elites. From the late 70's 'til 2015, anyway. C'mon, more deregulation! Change the capital gains tax! Offshoring! Endless immigration! Unlimited campaign contributions!

    Kudlow isn't pleading to rescue Americans from the utter disaster of free trade and high immigration. He's instead nervous that Trump has blown up the idea that the conservative movement has been worth a damn for the last 40 years. Outside of the Reagan years (with help from the aids epidemic) making social conservatism hip for a little while, what exactly did modern conservatism do that's been good for the average person?

    He sounds kinda defensive when he boasts about conservatives being great people we need oh so bad. But what exactly does conservative mean at this point? The decidedly uneasy alliance of the privileged, the over-educated, the rootless sycophantic yuppie type modern GOPer and the gun or bibile toting gubmint hating rube hasn't done squat for us in decades.

  11. Frozen in the past. Boomer strivers still think it's 1970 and haven't given up on destroying the stifling institutions once dominated by those imperious G.I.s. Me Me Me. They're always quick to paint any issue in the most dire terms possible because at heart the most cynical and self-absorbed Boomers need excuses to validate their ego and sweeping judgements. They still haven't advanced beyond the "don't tell me what to do" stage, thus we see other generations continuing to snicker about Boomers not growing up, not accepting accountability, and not listening to or empathizing with most people.

    Sure, the G.I.s overreached on certain things and the Silents should've done more to deal with these mistakes. But at least they generally didn't fall into a self-indulgent stupor, in which doing your own thing (whatever it was) and showing off was more important than prudent sacrifice. They need to start knocking off the non-sense that the last several decades were onerous to the individual (yeah right) and the future will be a big gov. dystopia.

    X-er cultural zealots still think it's 1990 and we need to be more sensitive to insert cause/group here. Liberals want more tolerance of gays, blacks, immigrants etc. And they want girls and women to be respected and powerful careerists who don't need men (other than their daddy and Uncle Sam's PC laws and discrimination courts, I guess). Conservatives want society to be more pro-child, pro-christian, pro-fetus, pro-gun etc.

    Lost in all this pitting of mutual strivers and moralists is what is good in the long run for Americans who simply want to have a dignified and secure life. They don't want to be pretentious, or preachy, or domineering winners. They just want everyone to get a fair shake. Not a society where a handful of winners (either in monetary terms or cultural bona fides) gloats at the many losers below.

  12. You left out the concluding paragraph about Millennials being self-absorbed airheads with no political views whatsoever.

    Every exit poll shows Trump doing well with increasing age of voter.

    Hopefully it's just an age thing rather than a cohort thing, and X-ers and Millennials will be more stewardship-minded when they themselves are in their 60s.

    But for now, X-ers have little to gloat about, since they are the most likely to be caught up in the Cruz Cult.

    And Millennials are the most likely to go for the inoffensive Establishment types -- Rubio at first, now Kasich.

    You never thought you'd be thanking New York voters or Boomer voters in 2016, but that's re-alignment for you.

  13. "Would you like to be a guest on our show?"

    Thanks for the invitation. Maybe at a later time, once the climate shifts from primary to general, and the focus goes to winning over the Bernie voters. I get them, as a former anti-globalization activist and Nader voter from 2000 (only time I've ever voted).

  14. "We've been dealing with a kind of Texanization of the rest of the South proper that led to lots of support for Dubya."

    Not to mention the South's demographic Texanization. Georgia and North Carolina are both 10% Hispanic now -- crazy.

    Only difference is that Southerners don't take kindly to an influx of carpetbaggers, be they Yankee or Aztec or Mayan. That's the difference with Texas -- they have a shallowly rooted culture there, so they don't feel like something sacred of theirs is being erased and lost. Southerners have been living there for much longer and have a greater sense of tradition.

    They aren't just going to sit back and let Mexicans take the whole place over, all so they can save a couple hundred bucks on their kitchen remodel.

  15. And before someone from Texas chimes in, I know there are some families there that are deeply rooted. At the state level, though, there are tons of transplants -- themselves, their parents, or their grandparents.

    The history of the wide open Frontier meant that most people in Texas at any given time would be recent arrivals.

    Go back to Alabama or Kentucky or Ohio, and a lot of those folks have family trees that go back into the 1800s and earlier in that state or region.

  16. "remember the South was famous for populist politics before the 1970s"

    Of course, that goes along with being a more deeply rooted culture -- if there is a clearly defined "Us", then it's natural to be concerned about how well "We" are doing.

    The more that cultural group identity shifts around every generation, churning and churning, the less convincing it is that there is truly an "Us" that we're supposed to be concerned about.

    That's why Huey Long came from Louisiana rather than Texas. Louisiana was settled early (remember that map of settlement in 1830, which shows the lower part of the Mississippi River being settled by then, but not the upper part).

  17. I left Millennials out because they're too young to be accused of living in the past. A lot of Boomer strivers are stuck in the cynical 70's, while X-er strivers are pre-occupied with THE decade of the culture wars, the 90's. If we can start turning things around it seems like the youngest people will have a formative era to be proud of. Not an era of growing alienation and individualistic striving.

    And I know that Trump is most popular with older voters. It's easier to make people believe in a greater America if they actually once lived in a great America. I wonder too if a lot of younger people are tired of the drama of a lot of Boomer figures and are basically just waiting for things to blow over. Anxious to not get too involved because they'd rather not bicker with Boomers. X-ers went right along with (all the while muttering under their breath) so much of the BS of the last 40 years. They could've tried to get out of the shadows of Silent and Boomer domination but they never felt as though they were entitled to be more pushy.

    Nowadays the Boomers who once complained about young X-ers having an odd affect of detachment and volatility are now complaining about the very entitlement that they encouraged in early Millennials. And two entitled generations invariably clash for supremacy, as we saw with confident G.I.s and headstrong young Boomers.

    If it's true that X-ers are Cruz's flock, chalk up another victory for Boomers. Though of course alienated X-ers might deny that anyone is even on a generational team. Cruz isn't a courageous champion or anything. He isn't exactly engaging Trump in any meaningful way (he says crass things about Trump while co-opting Trump's effective stances on many issues). And most people aren't buying Cruz's act by now.

  18. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-donald-trump-california-voices-snap-htmlstory.html

    Just one (!) Cruz supporter. There's of course some anti-Trump hysteria and general fatalism ("they're all lousy", "I don't vote anymore"). But this random look into California's mindset backs up the polls (Trump leads by 20+). Cruz needs Nordic cucks, bible wielding cultural warriors, and misanthropic dwellers of later settled areas to prosper. Looks like it ain't happening for him in Cali.

  19. Appointing Fiorina was pretty hilarious

  20. $10 that Fiorina gets some Fox News gig as "former VP candidate" by the end of the year

  21. Congrats on making VDare:



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