AoSHQ Podcast #138: April Fools | Main | Donald Trump: Actually, Now That I Think About It, Let's Leave the Abortion Laws As They Are
April 01, 2016

Interesting: If You Want to Fight Demagoguery, You Have to First Restrain Your Own Doctrinaire Impulses

Very interesting article from Fred Bauer, excerpted at Hot Air.

Bauer goes back to James Fennimore Cooper to set up a struggle between two wicked sorts: demagogues, and the doctrinaire type.

I was just talking about this in the podcast. I mentioned that in the nineties, when Perot challenged Clinton on NAFTA, Clinton, at least, arranged for a debate on NAFTA. (Al Gore vs. Ross Perot.)

Give Clinton credit -- he was willing to debate the issue. He attempted to persuade people he was right. He briefed his Wooden Puppet Moron on some talking points and put him on Larry King Live to do this.

Public persuasion -- what an idea.

Where has that idea gone?

Anyone trying much of this on the right, lately?

Chiefly the form of "persuasion" one sees on these issues lately is ever more ghastly and baroque insults directed at the white working class.

The idea seems to be that if this cohort is insulted in even more vicious terms than the liberal ruling class did, they'll finally see the sense of supporting the right-side ruling class.

Apparently there is some idea aborning that the 10% of the country that constitutes the right-leaning urban upper-middle-class college-educated cohort (the Urban Haute Bourgeoisie, in Wilt Stillman's phrasing) is just going to form its own party and win a lot of elections with its huge one-tenth of the electorate.

One problem I have with the Establishment is that they simply YELL THEIR DOGMAS AND DOCTRINES LOUDER, AND WITH MORE SNEERING, rather than take the time to explain why the dogmas they favor should be favored.

This is usually a sign of one of two related symptoms:

1, they're lazy,

and

2, they don't actually know why they believe what they believe; they just know all the Right-Thinking People are supposed to believe it.

I think part of the sneering contempt, that emotional response, stems from the frustration that they actually can't explain why they believe whatever Cult Dogma they believe.

This is exactly the sort of posturing -- "argumentation" by mere assertion combined with sneering contempt for anyone who wasn't swayed by the third repetition of the same naked assertion -- that turned post-WWII liberalism into a desiccated husk.

I happen to think our open borders position with regard to both labor and trade ought to be subject to questioning -- and when questions are posed, they should be answered with actual answers, not huffy posturing and foot-stamping.

I've never been sold on this ultrafriedmanism. I've also not been strongly against it.

But I do know that a lot of the people who huff off when their ultrafriedmanite dogma is even challenged do not themselves know what the hell they're talking about, or they would simply answer questions. People love giving answers for questions they know -- everyone does. Everyone loves vaunting one's knowledge.

Ergo, when people just stamp their feet and shout louder, I strongly suspect they don't know what the hell it is they're talking about, and ergo cannot provide an answer any better than the foot-stamp.

The fact that this is now the preferred attitude of the alleged intellectual class -- which ought to be interested in the details and justifications of the ideas they claim to so firmly believe -- speaks to a basic rot in the intellectual class of the conservative movement.

Again, the selfsame one which afflicted the liberal movement in the 70s and 80s. An establishment which isn't questioned enough soon gets a bit lazy about answering questions, and ultimately finds it can't answer them, and that therefore the only way to respond to them is to create an uproar in hopes the questioner just goes away.

There may be good reasons to believe in strong-form open-borders-for-everybody-and-everything. If there are good reasons, I sure hope the people who are in possession of them get around to sharing them -- letting these reasons cross their own personal borders to the outside world -- at some point.

The foot-stamping tantrums are getting old, guys. And they ill-suit the people who are simultaneously posturing as the informed adults in the room.

Open Thread. Happy Friday.

By the Way: Even if Trump is beaten this election, that doesn't mean these questions go away. Trump has now demonstrated for anyone willing to see that it's very easy to win a Republican primary -- you have to just not be as grotesque a specimen as Trump and be somewhat informed on the issues, but otherwise you can run pretty much on the same issue/ideology profile as Trump and laugh your way to an early knockout win in a primary and have the whole thing wrapped up by Super Tuesday.

Trump may be beaten -- and probably will be. But he'll have been beaten for reasons having little to do with the issue profile he's running on. He'll have been beaten due to the mere circumstance of his utterly unsuitable character and unschooled mind.

But the next person to run won't be kind enough to cede these points to the Establishment.

So if the Establishment wants to ever win an election every again, it really ought to get crackin' on thinking why they believe all the religious dogmas they're so possessed by, and work out a way to explain these ideas to people who do not already share their convictions.

Otherwise, they're just an even less palatable version of Obama -- a narcissistic bunch who just thinks the country isn't virtuous enough or smart enough to receive their own received wisdom.

Managed Democracy: Similarly to Trump failing not because of his issue profile but because of his grotesque personality defects, Mario Rubio's (or Paul Ryan's) open borders agenda should not be implemented simply because they are educated men with handsome smiles.

This annoys me about the a certain style of thinking: We will avoid actually inviting the public into an open discussion (and permitted consideration) of our issue profile. Instead, we will manage them into agreeing to our agenda without every actually seeking their agreement, by simply deeming that only this guy or that guy is electable and physically attractive enough to be elected.

There seems to be a lot of avoidance of the discussion of actual ideas by the party which once upon the time styled itself -- no, really, it did -- as the "Party of Ideas."

Now ideas are passe and kind of dangerous. Now the idea is to hide ideas from the public, and just talk about pablum and loving American and loving grandpa, and having a handsome-but-not-threateningly-so guy deliver this pablum, and thereby manage the voters into giving up a vote without ever actually giving any consent.

You can't avoid the ideas you plan to implement and run on a variety of trivial distractions and then claim some kind of mandate to implement them later.

This isn't the consent of the governed. And this isn't treating the voters as peers worthy of respect.

This is the management of thugs, morons, scoundrels and various sorts of social inferiors who you plainly do not trust to do the right thing (or to believe the right things) by manipulating them by all means except honest persuasion and argument.

Conservatism used to have this sort of everyday egalitarian populism to it -- we trust the people to do the right thing when provided all the information. It's the dreaded liberals who wish to hide their agenda and thereby avoid any actual engagement with the electorate.

Where did that conservatism go?

Or was that always, like so much else, just a stupid faithless lie?

Was the argument always just about which fat, soft comfortable elites would be in control?

Proposed Debate: Let's actually have a debate on open borders, huh?

My nominees for the border security/restrictionist side are David Frum (yes, he's on this side), Mickey Kaus, Mark Krikorian, and Tucker Carlson.

The other side can nominate whatever Open Borders hucksters they like -- probably mostly from the WSJ editorial board and Jorge Ramos. Whoever.

And let's actually see what the public really thinks.



digg this
posted by Ace at 06:21 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "Also, play music to motivate you. ([i]METAL!!![/i ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "PaleRider, set a timer and do 20 mins of tasks and ..."

PaleRider, simply irredeemable : "I need some motivation. Should be writing a few ..."

Yor, the Hunter from the Future: "The shoot from which the banana fruit grew should ..."

Steve and Cold Bear: "[i]I have another conjecture: maybe most of the ga ..."

plum: "Posted by: All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes ' ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "Posted by: hogmartin at December 16, 2017 02:22 PM ..."

logprof: "This New Orleans Bowl has actually been pretty fun ..."

JEM: "[i]have another conjecture: maybe most of the gang ..."

All Hail Eris, She-Wolf of the 'Ettes 'Ettes: "I live vicariously through Horde gardens and seed ..."

plum: "Anyone know if the Whole Seed Catalog is worth the ..."

stace : "That is just awful that the Thomas fire is still r ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64