Our National Schism

Responding to the Dr. Kim post below, Reader Tom G makes this thoughtful comment:

“Hi Kim, while judging people as stupid is easy, there are many things Trump has said that are problematic.

“The point is that, if Trump is NOT Hitler, this will become more clear over time. Just as a huge part of the Trump supporters were actually more anti-Hillary, many Dems are more anti-Trump than pro-socialist.

“For the Trump-haters, “this, too, shall pass”. So better to pause the friendship for a couple of months, rather  than ending it.”

Tom, the problem is that the schism in our body politic long predates Trump — he’s just the reaction to the fact that the Left has persisted in its Long March through all our public institutions, making the schism all the greater. The Trump Derangement Effect is largely because up until now, the Left has hardly ever been challenged by the likes of the GOP establishment (GOPe) and near-Republicans like Bush 41 and 43. The Left’s hysteria is nothing new — they said the same stuff about Goldwater, Reagan, GWB and all the Republican presidential candidates to one degree or another. Now it’s just at boiling-point, because, maybe for the first time, they’ve encountered serious resistance to their so-called “progressivism”, and the depth of that resistance (Trump: 2,626 counties won, Hillary: 487 counties) has frightened them (hence their screaming about “popular votes”). It’s also frightened the GOPe almost as much. As Instapundit commenter Lars from Centerville put it:

“The Left has been at war with American citizens for several decades. They are attacking culturally, socially, politically, financially, and with weaponized government institutions. The GOP has proved unworthy and unwilling to fight back. A major reason why Trump was elected. It is time to crush the Left decisively. That means crushing the GOP if they stand in the way. Ryan, McConnell, McCain, and Graham ought to pay attention. The clock is running and the dates on their packaging has expired.”

I don’t think this conflict is going to die down. When two irreconcilable philosophies clash, the result is war — not always literal war (e.g. civil war), but a bitter war nevertheless, fought in the media, on campuses, in the streets sometimes, and in social gatherings. This war will not end, and the couple months’ pause in friendship that you suggest may well turn out to be permanent.

And I’m sorry, but when people fail to see that their socio-political philosophy is worthless and venal despite all the evidence thereof, then I think they’re stupid. The only other alternative is “evil”, but that’s what they’re calling Trump (without foundation), so I’ll just go with stupid. For now.


  1. Kim, don’t know if you saw it but I wrote a piece last month on that schism entitled “The Death of Civility” which expands upon this very topic. It’s been a religious war for the Ctrl-Left for decades now, but the difference is that the Right seems to be waking up to that fact. And of all wars, religious wars seem to be the nastiest.

    1. KB, I’m ashamed to say it, but I haven’t been looking at any blogs for nearly five years. (Insty doesn’t count.)
      I will head over to your place ASAP.

  2. ” when people fail to see that their socio-political philosophy is worthless and venal”

    I think there’s a place between Stupid and Evil, maybe called Willfully Blind, inhabited by morally shaky folks who’ve been selling (out) their souls piecemeal. Their only motto seems to be “Go along to get along,” and they want to be buddies to people who despise them. Dirt People fooling themselves that, with just the right credentials and connections, they will be admitted to the ranks of the Cloud People. Ain’t gonna happen.

      1. True dat.

        I teach at a state university. Some days it breaks my heart to see talented, motivated kids falling for the “college diploma = success” pitch, especially when I know they’d be happier as welders, electricians, or aircraft mechanics. But they–and their parents–have been indoctrinated by their Hysterical White Women Teachers* since kindergarten, and nothing but that diploma will do. And about 70% of them crash and burn in the effort.

        *who come in a variety of colors and sexes

  3. The stupid have already demonstrated their willingness to escalate to violence. I hope that the smart can show them their folly before we have to return that violence in kind. -og

    1. Og, I’m afraid that the “smart” are the ones egging them on. It’s we Deplorables who may have to apply corrective action if the thing gets out of control and Teh Riots begin in earnest. Honestly, I hope that day never comes.

      1. I don’t think it really will — these rioting idiots are doing so only until they have any real pushback. They’re typical bullies who will collapse once punched in the nose a few good times.

        In my opinion. It remains to be seen if the Left actually has balls.

  4. Super long story short:

    I no longer believe the axis entirely pivots on Right vs Left.

    I was using the term “collaborative establishment” until I encountered the term “Deep State”, which I think is probably more apropos.

    Viewed as dispassionately and as objectively as I can muster, the federal US government is a machine whose function is to ingest a significant fraction of the people’s productivity, and transform that wealth into various benefits and favors. Both establishment parties fully, 100% agree that this machine shall persist and grow, and will drop all differences towards that end, collaborating fully. Where the parties compete is on the output end, crafting such packages of benefit such that they will believe will attract the most power, votes and influence.

    This is the single largest coherent economic activity on the planet, and is jealously guarded as such, with all the violence implicit in a gang banger protecting his profits on a single drug corner. The “military industrial complex” was merely the prototype for the “governmental economic complex”.

    The election of 2016 is entirely about the people of the US recognizing that they’ve lost control of their government, (even if they couldn’t articulate it in similar terms) that this was the result of normal electoral politics, and that the the cost of rejecting the continuation of the status quo via the Established candidate Hillary was electing the outrageous blowhard and loose cannon Trump, in the wild hopes that doing something different would result in a different outcome.

    The extent to which Trump simply recognized and rode that wave to the Oval Office is a subject of academic debate.

    For myself, I think that this is a temporary respite on the long march to Deep State Progressivism, for it is the Progressives, an inherently statist, totalitarian and parasitic entity that is the primary architect of its favorite tool, the Deep State.

    Nonetheless, Trump is neither the solution nor antithesis to this. The most we can hope for is enough demolition to the underpinnings of the Deep State’s mechanisms that some deep reform will be made possible, but on this, I am not optimistic.

    1. Hmph…no edit function?

      Then I’ll have to awkwardly add to the end of the 2nd to last paragraph:

      , as well as the primary antagonist of the infiltration and subversion of the institutions of influence whose purpose is now to position in the public’s mind the essential necessity and centrality of the Deep State as the most critical component of a just society and source of the good life.

      1. Geeky, sorry; this “edit your post” thing is seemingly beyond WordPress’s ken, or else there’s some button that needs to be pushed or something. Tech Support v.2 is probably looking at it as we speak…

        But your point, while bleak, is quite valid.

    2. “…a machine whose function is to ingest a significant fraction of the people’s productivity, and transform that wealth into various benefits and favors.”

      This has gotta be one of the best concise definitions of our Overreaching State that I’ve ever read. From that alone, it’s easy to understand why we’ve become a Nation of Grifters, clamoring for free handouts that are most often trivial and demeaning.

      I’m guardedly optimistic, however. A few months back, I attended a presentation from a Bexar County Commissioner, speaking to a large group of San Antonians. The upshot of his pitch was a proposed tax increase to fund residential property improvement grants (Ooh! Handouts!). At best, he was trying to bribe us with our own money; at worst he was paying off some real estate developer buddies. When he got to the Q&A at the end, perceptive members of the audience sh*t all over him. Then our host and MC, a prominent city councilman, politely explained how the proposal could be profitably employed as a suppository. We’ve never heard that pitch again.

  5. Excellent post, Kim- and I fully agree with your point that the Left is at boiling-point because this is the first time they’ve really experienced a setback (at least since Reagan, and sadly Ronaldus Magnus wasn’t gifted with a Congress amenable to the changes he wanted to make, so he accomplished much less than we had hoped.)

    I still have great hopes that the Progressive State, which grew and prospered so much ever since Bush the First, and hugely under Obama (spit!) can be dialed back significantly. It would seem to be a slam-dunk, as Republicans now hold both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency; but that is an illusion, as geekWithA.45 points out. We have a Uniparty; they uphold globalism and are intent on keeping their place at the trough, and these “elites” are all alike in that way. Far too many “Republicans” are only paying lip-service to the idea of opposing the Democrat progressivism. They give uplifting speeches about how they’re going to repeal Obamacare, but when the rubber hits the road– why they’re all having a picnic (at our expense, of course!) together with the Obamacare proponents. I’m sick of this “collegiate colleagues” crap! President Trump certainly has his faults, but he is a fighting man, and that’s exactly what we need!

    President Trump is fighting not only the Democrats, who have gone totally insane, but also the GOPe; who are more stealthy about their opposition, and disguise themselves much like “concern trolls” do in the comments. Oh, we’re so concerned that Trump uses salty language! Oh, we’re so concerned that he still possesses a huge business empire! Oh, we’re so concerned that his daughter Ivanka… ad infinitum, ad nauseum. The “Deep State” seems to me to be an excellent description of what we’re up against.

    Constantly I’m reminded of that alarmingly accurate, but extremely funny, English TV show from the early ’80s: “Yes, Minister” followed by “Yes, Prime Minister.” That program showed the elected official, with his “mandate” for change, or at least his own agenda that he wanted to accomplish- and how he was constantly foiled by the bureaucrats who actually ran the Ministry. That’s a great deal of the Deep State right there. Cutting that back will be very difficult, but so far President Trump is doing OK. Personally, I’d like to see a brick wall where bureaucrats were lined up, blindfolds optional, where the firing squad was composed of Marines… well, that isn’t going to happen. Still, just the thought lifts my spirits!

    OT- I don’t know who can help me on this, but when I registered here somehow I managed to screw up my registration for Daily Pundit; I didn’t realize when I chose my password that submitting it wiped out all my other WordPress passwords- but apparently that’s what happened. Now, I get a message box telling me that I have to wait 2400 hours to re-register at DP. I thought at first that meant “24 hours” but no, it meant 100 DAYS. I’ve tried choosing another username & password, but that also seems to be verboten. Anybody got any ideas?

    1. Re: my OT post above- my login for Daily Pundit has now been restored, by the “God knows, but I sure don’t” function that sometimes happens when you wait long enough. Or something.

      So thank you all very much, but the problem has gone away, so no help is needed!

  6. I’d go with less “stupid” and more “cognitively disabled,” if I may delve into amateur neuropsychology.

    Lefties occasionally like to point out the studies showing conservatives have more developed amygdalae, especially in the right side, and think this explains everything about why we’re so deplorable, because our fear centers are overdeveloped, you see. However, it’s probably more accurate to describe the amygdalae as the situational awareness centers (both – emotional reaction; right- threat recognition, action-taking, usually better in men; left- reactive thought, detail recall, usually better in women).

    I would suggest that the Prog’s version of Cooper’s situational awareness scale goes simply White-Pink-Red. Not only can’t they handle Yellow, but they tend to be disturbed by people who can. People who show competence in the real world and look after their own seem to trigger some primal fear of being left out in the jungle. Prosperous individuals and wealthy societies, therefore, look like logjams that must be broken up to prevent that situation.

  7. Stupid is as stupid does. Stupid is not irredeemable; it just is. In order to redeem stupidity, however, they’ll need to go about the process of educating themselves. Something most on the left (and to a lesser degree the alt-right) do not do particularly well. Ignorance is bliss, so they say. Guess that explains why so many of us struggle to stay upbeat!

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