The Weekly Standard is gone. But the future of conservatism is bright.

With the closing of the Weekly Standard, an influential publication that many considered a respectable, center-right, alternative to more pro-Trump outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News, and the continued ostracization of “Never-Trump conservatives” from the Republican Party, many wonder who, if anyone, will carry the torch of prudential conservatism while President Trump occupies the White House.

Just last week, a group of prominent intellectuals and political figures including Maryland Gov.

  • Larry Hogan,
  • Bill Kristol and
  • David Frum

gathered for a conference at Washington’s Niskanen Center titled “Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump.” The underlying assumption of the conference: It’s time for moderate conservatives to regroup and reconsider their relationship to a Republican Party that has been overrun by populists, nationalists and demagogues.

As someone who runs an organization founded at the time of the Iraq War with the aim of changing the direction of American conservatism, I can sympathize with their efforts, but I fundamentally disagree on their diagnosis of the problem. In the long run, both the conservative movement and Republican Party will be better off for having had Donald Trump shatter the combination of neoconservatism and Reaganism that held the political right captive and blinded since the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan was the statesman that America needed for his time, but the clock had run out on many of his policy prescriptions and it took a “hurricane,” as the Niskanen Center conference described it, like Trump to wake up conservatism — and America.

.. I need not provide an exhaustive list, as Time magazine’s October cover story by Sam Tanenhaus, “How Trumpism Will Outlast Trump,” did a good job surveying the landscape that includes thinkers such as

  1. Julius Krein at American Affairs,
  2. Daniel McCarthy at Modern Age,
  3. Yuval Levin at National Affairs,
  4. Michael Anton at Hillsdale College and
  5. David Azerrad at the Heritage Foundation.

.. What does this new program for the right entail if not a return to the neoconservatism of the George W. Bush years? It’s time for Republicans to embrace a “Main Street” conservatism that prizes solidarity over individualism and culture over efficiency. America needs a foreign policy that serves our vital national interests by securing the safety and happiness of the American people. This means putting an end to the regime-change and nation-building experiments that have devastated Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya; ending U.S. support for the Saudis’ involvement in the Yemeni civil war; reclaiming our national sovereignty; and prioritizing diplomacy over intervention

..  On domestic issues, especially when our country is bitterly divided along partisan lines, we must decentralize both political and economic power to bring it closer to the people. This would allow local and state governments greater flexibility to address their unique problems, letting California be California and Texas be Texas.

.. Regarding the problem of economic concentration, conservatives should stand up to the crony capitalism that has protected big banks and defense contractors, and revisit antitrust enforcement to prevent corporate monopolies from stamping out competition and entrepreneurship. And finally, conservatives should adopt a cultural platform with a renewed focus on civic education; implementing economic and social policies that strengthen families, such as paid family leave and an increase in the child tax credit; promoting vocational training as a dignified alternative to traditional universities; and working toward an immigration policy that better balances economic and cultural concerns.

.. When searching for a prudential conservatism today, it’s best to ignore the advice of those who brought us the Iraq War, the hollowing out of our industrial base and our broken immigration system. The future belongs to conservatives who take Middle America seriously and actually care about the systemic problems that drove the Rust Belt into the arms of then-candidate Trump.

 

 

Sam Harris & David Frum Dismantle Donald Trump’s Politics

The audio in this video is from Sam Harris’ Waking Up podcast, episode #65 — We’re All Cucks Now _ https://www.samharris.org/podcast/P7

Donald Trump got 3 things right:

  1. Crisis in American Rural Life
    • The “inner cities” are having a revival, but the rural areas are struggling, and had not been heard
    • The drug crisis
  2. Beliefs about Trade date back from times when other countries were democracies or small players
    1. Chinese trade imbalances have caused harsh dislocations
    2. We don’t have compensation like
  3. Immigration is described by economists as having no costs
    • The costs (cultural) are born by the bottom 30-40%

But none of that suggests that Donald Trump is the right person to deal with these 3 issues.

There is a game-theorist idea that it might take a bull in the china shop to deal with our adversaries.

  • Vested interests

Donald Trump is like a diamond that comes with a curse.

He is not cutting through bureaucracy.  He is not confirming his appointments.

An undisciplined America aids adversaries.

 

 

David Frum – Surviving The Trumpocracy

Trump thought you can’t buy an AR-15 in a store legally. (2 min)

This is not 1933, but Trump is eroding the norms.

Not everyone has had the same advantages, don’t apologize, but live up to them.  (20 min)

Donald Trump was rated as “more honest” because he doesn’t equivocate.  This may change how future candidates speak.

After Charlottesville, leaders of all branches of the military posted (on twitter?) comments condemning the President (33-34 min)

We can’t restore bipartisanship, but we can’t do certain things. You can’t threaten to default on the national dept. It’s not acceptable to filibustering

President Trump played a respected, competent, caring business leader, holding people accountable people who never always avoid accountability but everyday people are fired.

They thought here’s someone who is going to be able get something done.

There are certain promises you make– I’ll balance the budget — and then there are promises you keep — I’ll be at your fundraiser. (47 min)

Saddam Hussein had been a threat — he had gotten into wars multiple times. In the upheaval after 911 he was going to be a dangerous actor. I assumed there was good evidence for it. The sanctions regime was deteriorating.

The most important media companies are Facebook, Reddit, Twitter.

There is a tension between Democrats wanting to influence 2018 and those who care about 2020.

America’s problems arise from cultural and economic issues. When native population falls below replacement thresholds, immigration raises cultural concerns.

You want unilateral disarmament. If you adopt his tactics, you don’t stop him, you replace him. You want the people in power to accept limits, which means that you have to accept limits.

Lyndon Johnson lied about the Tonkin, but he gave you the tools to confront him. He never isn’t that it didn’t make a difference.The present situation is an attack on the way the executive branch functions (1:14 min).

Fox News accused CNN of manipulating the town hall questions. (1:16 min)

On the matter of the FISA warrents, it was obvious to everyone that Trump was engaged in contacts with Russian intelligence and was surrounded by people with Russian ties. When Henry Wallace ran in 1948, his campaign was staffed with foreign agents. Charles Limburg accepted a Natzi medal. Carter Page was signaling that he wanted to be used. If that person were on the left, we would recognize the symptoms. (1:20 min)

David Frum: Trumpocracy & The State of Western Democracy

The donors believe that Trump would be the vehicle for getting what they want and that the price would be bearable.

People drawn to authoritarians as a way to achieve and punish what/who they want.

It was not Trump’s cunning that allowed him to achieve ..  it was the complicity

 

They got the:

  • tax deal,
  • reduction of environmental restrictions,
  • Obamacare relief/stabotage,
  • Financial Regulation dismantalment,
  • Stop Financial Protection,
  • Neil Gorsuch is more important to the rank and file than donor class.

It has long been a debate about who pays the corporate income tax.  The rise of the stock prices shows that the market thinks the corporations will benefit most.

In the cold war, the presidency was respected and partisanship restrained.

Big Legislation: Tax Cuts and Health Care repeal were passed/attempted without hearings.

Autoimmune disorders: military leaders might be tempted to protect the country by escaping civilian control

How informative do you think the President’s Daily briefing is, knowing that the president is not very curious and gets most of his information from Fox and Friends?

John Kelly: If you have not served, you have no right to ask me questions. (Un-American)

Modern Authoritarianism is not 1933, it attempts to stop 5-6% of people to take power.

Quote: A Democracy only lasts so long as the people realize they can vote themselves benefits.

Reality: Asset holders are fearful and contemplate radicalism.

Americans don’t realize how out of date they are — the plans they have are solutions to different problems.  (not inflation: 1970s).  You can’t fetishize policy.

Conservatives will not abandon conservatism, they will abandon democracy. (43 min)

Women’s suffrage was enabled by the conservative idea that the women would suppress drunkenness, etc

You address broad-based radicalism by repressing the few and making concession to address the factors which make people sympathetic. (48-49 min)

 

He’s taking everything you out to be working on and putting it to a dead end.

The dissolusioned young men facing declining wages need a bigger answer than they’ve got to address their privilege.

Facebook has a business model that is very sensitive to government pressure: if they were ruled to be a “publisher”, they would have to hire human editors.  They have