Trump and the Fecklessness of Europe

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Terrorist attacks in Brussels have left over thirty dead. Coordinated explosions hit the Brussels airport and the Metro station right next to EU headquarters. When we figure out what to put after the je suis this time, the West is planning a devastating hashtag riposte.Dialogue

Now I trust that by this time my lack of enthusiasm for all things Trump has been made evident to all. When he says crazy things, I take issue, and when he says sane things, I don’t believe him. I don’t trust him. But not everyone is suspicious of him in the same way, and so I want to take a minute to point out the exasperated sentiments that Trump is tapping into. They revolve around immigration, security, and jobs.

These sentiments are now being expressed irresponsibly by certain Trump followers, not to mention by Trump himself, and so the clean and pure punditry decries what they consider to be the revolt of the unwashed, calling it fascist and so on. And in Trump’s case, speaking of economics, in a technical sense he probably is fascist. He has no more understanding of free market economics than a June bug has of string theory.

But how did we get here? Well, in part by the intelligentsia calling everyone fascist if they differed with them in the slightest, and doing so for the last forty years. Glenn Reynolds has aptly pointed out that David Brooks, and people just like him, labored mightily to create the alienation we now see on display. For those who wish they could respect the forces animating the Trump revolt, and would certainly do so if they only would behave responsibly, this question arises. When the Tea Party was in its heyday, how did you respond to them at that time? Right. You called them racist, nativist, etc. when there was no evidence for it. There are now some among the alienated who have concluded that if they are going to be hanged for a thief no matter what they do, they might as well steal something.

Back to Europe. Islamic immigration is the disease, but political correctness is the AIDS. And the official cluelessness that is destroying Europe is well-entrenched here as well. Those who make it impossible to argue this case in responsible ways are in fact insisting — because the realities of the case have grown increasingly undeniable — that such opposition be registered in irresponsible ways. Behold, you have gotten your wish.

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Capen
Capen
5 years ago

“Islamic immigration is the disease, but political correctness is the AIDS.” = Brussels is the result.

Can you get that on a bumper sticker?

gfkdzdds
gfkdzdds
5 years ago
Reply to  Capen

By the time it was printed the last word will be San Francisco or LA or Orlando.

Michaela
Michaela
5 years ago

“Well, in part by the intelligentsia calling everyone fascist if they
differed with them in the slightest, and doing so for the last forty
years.”

This alienating tendency is human nature to be aware of for ALL (to not become what we detest)–even on a religious blog when someone disagrees with the status quo even in the slightest. “Troll” “racist” “pre-mill” “block them”, etc.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
5 years ago

Better dead than racist, right folks?

Moor_the_Merrier
Moor_the_Merrier
5 years ago

To summarize the article:

Trump is economically fascist, and maybe fascist in other ways too, but the fascist label is increasingly meaningless because it’s been wielded indiscriminately and Brussels is evidence that the political correctness that has rendered the word “fascist” meaningless is partly to blame for Trump.

Did I get that right?

KingAlbert
KingAlbert
5 years ago

Yes, those who cry “fascist” indiscriminately (the PC crowd) have discarded/discredited/decried polite opposition (by not engaging the polite argument, but resorting to impolite ad hominem attacks) . As the facts become increasingly obvious and lethal, polite opposition becomes less polite.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago

Fascism has two main components: 1) government and business in cahoots, and 2) a strong nationalism. #1 has been with us for decades and roots itself in the old mercantilism of the 17th century. #2 has been considered non-PC by the left since the 60’s, and pops itself up occasionally with populist candidates. That is why Trump is so irritating to the left.
The problem with nationalism, is it doesn’t have real answers to real problems. Or the only answer is “our way or war”.

Ben
Ben
5 years ago

“He has no more understanding of free market economics than a June bug has of string theory.”

Evidence?

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Even if true, the same could be said for every GOP president/nominee for the last 7 or so elections.

Jonathan
Jonathan
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I don’t think there’s much evidence they knew a lot about free markets either.

izrik (Richard Sartor)
Reply to  Jonathan

“I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system” – George W. Bush

David R
David R
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Tariffs

Ben
Ben
5 years ago
Reply to  David R

That it?

David R
David R
5 years ago
Reply to  Ben

– For ethanol subsidies
– For a Wealth tax
– For the Minimum Wage
– Against free trade
– For single-payer
– Forcing companies to not outsource/Magically getting Apple to make their products here
– He would somehow save $300 billion in prescription drugs costs when Americans dont even spend that much in a year.
– Against entitlement reform

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  David R

And good ol’ mainstream Republican are better? The kind who gave us

– Auto bailouts
– Bank bailouts
– No Child Left Behind
– Medicare Part D
– Keynesian stimulus
I’m not a fan of Trump’s economic beliefs (what little we really know), but I’m not convinced he’d be worse than other “electable” Republicans.

David R
David R
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Trump supported the auto and bank bailouts.

lloyd
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I’m no fan of Keynesian economic theory, but he at least said you should create debts in bad years and pay them off in good years. We arent even as level-headed as Keynes. We’ve no intention of ever paying off anything.

John Killmaster
John Killmaster
5 years ago

Let’s open the discussion a bit. Do we have any obligation to the working class in this country? Is it fair that they now have to compete with slave labor in the third world?

KingAlbert
KingAlbert
5 years ago

Fair? Like my county throws every year?
Oh, fair. As in, life isn’t fair (fit throwing, wailing and gnashing of teeth)! No, I’m certain you find it unfair that companies can buy land and employ laborers in various jurisdictions to not pay Seattle’s minimum wage dictates.
Litigation and labor unions have jumped the shark in the USA. I’m certain you find that unfair.

Obligation to the working class? Are we discussing positive vs negative rights again? http://tinyurl.com/q75fgx5 You need to be upset at NAFTA and the parties that advocate for “free trade”.

John Killmaster
John Killmaster
5 years ago
Reply to  KingAlbert

Is Christ’s command to love thy neighbor a positive right?

KingAlbert
KingAlbert
5 years ago

How you, as an individual, treat your neighbor and obey that command is between you and God. How you run your company is an outworking of your faith in Christ. God has also given certain authority/responsibility to governments in the treatment of citizens via justice and His Holy standards. (Remember that nobody is perfect and that these relationships will be executed flawfully)

When you agree to exchange labor for wages, you enter into a relationship voluntarily. If you do not accept the terms offered, in a free society, you may seek employment elsewhere.

John Killmaster
John Killmaster
5 years ago
Reply to  KingAlbert

I think that is right, but the situation we seem to be hurtling toward as a nation is one in which there are no jobs for which the working class can “seek employment elsewhere”. All those jobs are now done by slave labor or automation. What is to become of this large swath of the populace? It seems to me that if we don’t have a more nationalistic economy, then the result is going to be government support of the unemployable in the form of a “basic income”. I think I am more comfortable with the imposition of trade tariffs… Read more »

KingAlbert
KingAlbert
5 years ago

Not all tariffs are bad, but some have been used to spark economic (escalating to non-economic) conflicts. Careful what you wish for…remember that we owe these other nations a great deal in interest payments (Who’s zoomin’ who?)
The US manufacturing sector has been politically gutted by both parties over a generation plus. Perot tried to warn us, like a tiny billionaire troll under the bridge…

Arwenb
Arwenb
5 years ago

It’s not “fair” to deprive third-world countries of all the hard-working, motivated people seeking a better life. Just think of the good they could do for their own countries if they weren’t trapped (heh) in ours, earning less than minimum wage, being exploited for the sake of our cheap food.

/sarcnotsarc

Dabney Redivivus
Dabney Redivivus
5 years ago

Remember when the Tea Party was in its heyday and we all thought it might become a legitimate alternative to the Republican party? It didn’t happen. So the difference between the Tea Party and the Trump block is that the Trump block won’t be co-opted and assimilated.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago

“When the Tea Party was in its heyday, how did you respond to them at that time? Right. You called them racist, nativist, etc. when there was no evidence for it. There are now some among the alienated who have concluded that if they are going to be hanged for a thief no matter what they do, they might as well steal something.”
If that’s true it just suggests there was in fact an underlying current of racism and nativism in the Tea Party movement all along and that there was in fact evidence for it.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

Non sequitur much?

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

No. Miss implications much?

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

There was an underlying current because the MSM lied and caricatured them? How does that work? It didn’t hurt that SJWs went so far as to go to rallies and hold up racist signs. But even ultra-liberal Mary Frances Berry admitted “Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

“the MSM lied and caricatured them” begs the question. How does that work? Here’s how it works. A lie and a caricature are not exactly the same thing, the latter is an exaggeration of some feature that actually exists, so having said a lie and a caricature, you need to pick one. Doug Wilson (not me) implied that actual racism and nativism came out of the Tea Party movement. If that’s true (the way I started my previous statement) then you need to ask yourself how those things came *out* of the movement if they were not already either imbedded… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

Build a wall, deport them all.

Duells Quimby
Duells Quimby
5 years ago

Very good post. I think that’s a good read of the situation. While not a Trump supporter I can identify with the “If I’m going to be hanged as a Thief no matter what I might as well steal something.”

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
5 years ago

Liberals hang you before trial, conservatives after it; that is, liberals deny the legitimacy of disagreeing with them, while conservatives want to prove their opponents wrong.

holmegm
holmegm
5 years ago

Those who make it impossible to argue this case in responsible ways are in fact insisting — because the realities of the case have grown increasingly undeniable — that such opposition be registered in irresponsible ways. Behold, you have gotten your wish.

Well, yes. Some of us have been pointing that out for months. And been accused of insanity and of “worshiping” Trump by all the responsible folk …