Death Is Easy: Survival Is Hard

Walter Hudson says if there’s to be a civil war in the GOP, let’s fight it to win:

hat said, the risk of a general election loss was first assumed by embracing Trump to this point. As our nominee, Trump will decimate what remains of our credibility. Our candidates up and down the ticket will be saddled with his horrendous personal behavior and called upon to answer for his irresponsible rhetoric. Efforts at developing new constituencies and expanding the base to suit rapidly shifting demographics will wither and die. Trump will further homogenize and calcify a party which needs now more than at any other time in its history to diversify and grow.

The only way to mitigate the damage Trump will cause, and repair the damage already done, will be for Republicans to oppose him as Republicans. We have to lay claim to our party and reject him as its standard bearer. We have to present a contrast, from within the party, to his vile persona and unprincipled authoritarian agenda. That means stepping outside our comfort zone, defying conventional expectations, and ruffling more than a few feathers.

The whole thing is worth a read.

As far as I’m concerned?

I grew up reading stories like “Endurance” (30 guys surviving on an ice floe for over a year, before rowing lifeboats across the subarctic South Atlantic to safety), and “Escape from Sobibor” (people escaping an extermination camp and surviving in the woods until liberation came) and “Rickenbacker” (surviving on a raft in the Pacific for three weeks) and “Alive” (people surviving in the Andes after a plane crash). Non-fiction, by the way.
Those are the stories I’ve kept in my mind as I’ve gone through some of my life’s own travails (and I’ve had some doozies – but nothing like the above. Which is, of course, the point).

The Trump “Crisis” and the battle for the soul of the GOP? Pffft. Bring it.
I’m not going to theatrically pack up and leave the GOP. Partly because I (and many people much better than I) have worked too hard to bring the MNGOP a long way from where it was a generation ago. Don’t believe me? Check out Arne Carlson’s and Dave Jennings’s budget numbers, and then let’s talk. It’s not changed enough, fast enough, but it’s changed.

And partly because I did it once. I left the GOP in disgust in 1994, and went to the Libertarians. The Libertarian Party is a clown car. It will never get anyone elected to office. It *can* never get anyone elected – because it is a glorified frat party that exists mostly to purity-test each other to a fine sheen. They can’t even run a state convention, much less a government (and they’ll say “that’s the point!”, and they’ll be correct, but not the way they think they are). And libertarianism is a lovely philosophy, which at its logical conclusion depends on a complete suspension (or ignorance) of human nature. It’s no less a fantasy world than “democratic socialism” is. I’ll write in my dog before I vote for a Libertarian.

Anyway – I’m coming around to Walter’s point of view. Give it a read.

27 thoughts on “Death Is Easy: Survival Is Hard

  1. Trump is economically illiterate beyond his small world of real estate investment (and with little demonstrated talent there). He is also scientifically illiterate, historically illiterate, oblivious as to how women or people of other cultures think or feel, and ignorant as to most of what happens beyond American borders. While cunning and capable of charm, he has never acquired any of the skill set one would want in a position of public governance (that includes dog catcher, as well as president).
    I’m not a big fan.

  2. But Emery….can he act!! Its almost like he’s playing the roll of a liberal’s view of a conservative.

    Problem with a Hillary regime…a couple of more Wise Latinas on the court and the first and 2nd amendments are gone. That will be Trumps legacy.

  3. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 05.06.16 : The Other McCain

  4. Mitch, darlin’, the MN GOP is a clown car, no better and possibly worse than the libertarians.

    Or have you forgotten fat Tony Sutton and the MN GOP pushing fiscal responsibility while being bankrupt and not paying their office rent?? And then all those good fiscal conservatives who ended up on the front page in bankruptcy, or for not paying their bills – Daudt, Nienow, are a few that come to mind.

    You should worry about Trump support; it represents the worst of the flabby crabby old white men who are bone ignorant and lacking in both current, accurate, reliable data/information, and in vision, who are mean spirited bigots besides.

    There is no ‘heart’ to fight for, only crumbs and dust.

  5. Chuck: Trump is a master of the medium. Just watch as Trump reinvents himself and attempts to out–moderate Clinton.

  6. DG,

    Do me a favor and leave a quick “hi”, to show that you actually read these threads after you dump and run.

    Because I’m becoming sorely tempted to change my comment policy.

  7. Word on the street is Dg has a doctorate in “bone”, so she is qualified to speak in regards to it.

  8. Our current president, endorsed by the economic and academic elites, put into office by a slim majority, is economically illiterate, historically illiterate, constitutionally illiterate, and scientifically illiterate. He is also a Left-wing ideologue. He has left our foreign policy in shambles. Race relations are worse than when he entered office.
    Trump is not a Reagan conservative, obviously, but he may be some kind of conservative. I won’t say that he cannot do worse than Obama, but that is a low bar to leap.
    Parties realign. Times change. This is not 1980. The ascendance of Trump at least shows that the GOP is capable of change. Meanwhile, the Democrats have reverted to McGovern’s 1972 platform. Bernie has forced Hillary to the far left.
    Hudson says:
    “For years and many election cycles, a growing disconnect has widened between the center-right electorate and the leadership of the Republican Party. That is one of the few points on which all Republicans seem to agree.”
    And then he proceeds to write as though this was not true. He does not acknowledge that, if not for Trump, we would likely be looking at candidate Bush or Rubio or a Kasich, and every conservative knows that these ‘big government’ Republicans would either lose to the Democrat or be as disappointing in office as GW Bush.
    I live in Hawaii. I’ve done enough body surfing to know that if you don’t ride the wave, the wave will ride you. If Trump is elected, and the GOP will not deal with him, Chuck Schumer will be more than happy to.

  9. Don’t believe me when I say the Dems have moved far to Left? Here is Bill Clinton in a 1990 speech to his now-defunct DLC

    . It is inconceivable that Hillary or Bernie would make this speech today. It sounds like something Jeb or Kasich would say:
    We believe the promise of America is equal opportunity, not equal outcomes; that the Democratic Party’s fundamental mission is to expand opportunity, not government; and in the politics of inclusion.

    We believe that America must remain energetically engaged in the worldwide struggle for individual liberty, human rights, and prosperity, not retreat from the world, and that the United States must maintain a strong and capable defense that reflects dramatic changes in the world, but recognizes that the collapse of communism does not mean the end of danger.

    We believe that economic growth is the prerequisite to expanding opportunity for everyone; that the right way to rebuild America’s economic security is to invest in the skills and ingenuity of our people and to expand trade, not restrict it; that all claims on government are not equal; that our leaders must reject demands that are less worthy, and hold to clear governing priorities; and, that a progressive tax system is the only fair way to pay for government.

    We believe in preventing crime and punishing criminals, not in explaining away their behavior; that the purpose of social welfare is to bring the poor into the nation’s economic mainstream, not to maintain them in dependence; in the protection of civil rights and the broad movement of minorities into America’s economic and cultural mainstream, not racial, gender or ethnic separatism; and that government should respect individual liberty and stay out of our private lives and personal decisions.

    We believe in the moral and cultural values that most Americans share: liberty of conscience, individual responsibility, tolerance of difference, the imperative of work, the need for faith, and the importance of family.

    Finally, we believe that American citizenship entails responsibility as well as rights, and we mean to ask our citizens to give something back to their communities and their country.

  10. Trump will merely be a disaster. Clinton will be an irreversible catastrophe with 3+ appointments to the SC and throwing the borders open. Sanders will be my cue to proceed directly to armed insurrection. YMMV.

  11. I read this comment on Althose. It sounds about right to me.

    I think we should surround Trump with solid advice and strong teamwork and stop trying to find a safe space for being conservative. He’s an initiator, not a policy wonk. He should be hearing how conservative policies would work when he wins and he has to govern. He should be hearing – here’s an idea, here’s a way; he shouldn’t be hearing – accept this or that baldly stated conservative position or we’ll throw ourselves on the floor, hold our breath till we turn blue and vote for Hillary.

  12. In a society designed to permit people to move from cradle to grave without ever once encountering a difficult idea, Trump is the ultimate personification of what it means to be a US citizen.

  13. Emery, nearly everything you’ve written about Trump applies equally well to Obama. What evidence is there that Obama ever struggled with a difficult concept or questioned the principles behind his beliefs?

  14. Obama’s proposed paths may be flawed, but Trump lacks any path to the future. . Trump is selling his supporters a bill of goods which cannot be delivered.
    Enjoy this funny op–ed cartoon.

  15. The path, Emery, is “make America great again.” It’s going to be terrific!

  16. It’s a historic moment, We actually have a major party Presidential candidate who once actually said in public he’d like to date his own daughter. It’s a little strange, Democrats have mocked Republicans for not getting their “crap” together this cycle. And they managed it before the Democrats did. I fact the Republicans managed to get all there crap together, put a suit on it and will nominate him in July.

  17. The difference between you and me, Emery, is that Trump’s boorish mannerisms and speaking style don’t bother me. I couldn’t care less if he shows reporters of his wife in a bikini, or thinks that posing with a taco bowl shows solidarity with Hispanics.
    What bothers me more is butt holes like HUD secretary Julian Castro:
    Pure bureaucratese. Notice the way he changes the word ‘people’ for ‘folks’? Like he has some kind of affinity with the people whose lives he is desperate to manage? I am certain that it’s a focus-group tested technique, but it doesn’t come natural to him. You can tell that in any circumstances other than a media interview or a public speech, he would say ‘people’, or the even blander ‘housing consumers’ rather than ‘folks.’

  18. I’m in Walter Hudson’s camp regarding Trump and the GOP. A more interesting question is what happens to the Democratic party if Trump’s populism changes the political axes in America?

  19. How appropriate for these times! Althouse has posted this quote from Walt Whitman:

    “The appetite of the people of these States, in popular speeches and writings, for unhemmed latitude, coarseness, directness, live epithets, expletives, words of opprobrium, resistance.
    “This I understand because I have the taste myself as large, as largely, as any one. I have pleasure in the use, on fit occasions, of—traitor, coward, liar, shyster, skulk, doughface, trickster, mean cuss, backslider, thief, impotent, lickspittle…. A perfect writer would make words sing, dance, kiss, bear children, weep, bleed, rage, stab, steal, fire cannon, steer ships, sack cities, charge with cavalry or infantry, or do anything that man or woman or the natural powers can do…. I like limber, lasting, fierce words. I like them applied to myself,—and I like them in newspapers, courts, debates, congress. Do you suppose the liberties and the brawn of these States have to do only with delicate lady-words? with gloved gentlemen words? Bad Presidents, bad judges, bad clients, bad editors, owners of slaves, and the long ranks of Northern political suckers (robbers, traitors, suborned), monopolists, infidels…. shaved persons, supplejacks, ecclesiastics, men not fond of women, women not fond of men, cry down the use of strong, cutting, beautiful, rude words. To the manly instincts of the People they will forever be welcome….”

  20. I’ll be the first to admit I underestimated the potential of Donald Trump. I had been moving away from the Republicans, mostly only voting for them at the state level while opting for Democrats nationally. If he is the future of the party it will make political decision making easier, for me at least.

  21. I think you have put your finger on the appeal of Trump, Emery.
    He is an American character. Bill Clinton was an American character. GW Bush was an American character, moreso than his father, by virtue of his American-style public declarations of his (protestant) religious faith.
    Biden, love him or hate him, is an American character.
    Sanders and Hillary are American characters of the minor sort, though they would probably deny it. Sanders is the street corner revolutionary and Hillary is the public scold, even the ‘church lady’.
    Obama is not an American character. If his father was an American Black, and Obama had grown up in poverty, he could be an American character. Ta Nahesi-Coates is an American character.
    But of course, Obama’s father wasn’t an American at all and Obama grew up with white people and Asians in places with no American Black culture.
    I suspect Obama knows that he is not an American character, and he is dull enough to think that the reason he doesn’t fit in is racism.

  22. Trump is more than a character. He is a personality with a cult that will follow him no matter how often he switches his position (minimum wage, taxes etc).

  23. You don’t need to be in a cult of Trump to call out many anti-Trumpers for their double standards. Fred Siegel in City Journal:

    It was Obama who showed that ignorance was no obstacle, and sheer demagoguery worked. When Obama spoke of the Austrians speaking Austrian, talked of 57 states, and referred to a naval translator as a “corpsemen,” it produced barely a murmur. When he met at the White House with the “activists” who incited those who laid waste to a section of Ferguson, Missouri, he instructed them “to stay the course.” That produced but a faint rustling.
    Our postmodern president, a good friend of mine points out, has proved that facts don’t matter. The weakest economic recovery in post-World War II history has been sold as a rousing success. We increased our troop levels in Iraq, but miraculously we still don’t have any “boots on the ground.” The man who told his supporters, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” was sold to America by the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the networks as a post-partisan—one who somehow found a way to blame Republicans for all the country’s ills. Obama also showed that bullying the Supreme Court—calling them out for their Citizens United decision in a State of the Union address—could pay dividends down the road. An intimidated Chief Justice John Roberts used pretzel-like logic to redefine the Obamacare mandate as a tax, though the administration had insisted that it was nothing of the kind.

  24. I still say the Republicans have nothing to complain about. Hillary Clinton is the best Republican candidate in years.

  25. I had been moving away from the Republicans, mostly only voting for them at the state level while opting for Democrats nationally

    How can you tell for sure when Emery isn’t plagiarizing someone? When it’s a laughably apparent lie.

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