Maybe I should see them tonight? Everything I've heard is good.
• I recently noted Ross Douthat's attempt to portray the Donald Trump phenomenon as a boon to reform conservatism (i.e., the latest rightwing nerd jobs program). It appears the longer this thing goes on, the more slide-rule boys rush to offer their services. At the Weekly Standard, after some pro-forma yak about what a boor Trump is, Christopher Caldwell tells that Trump's "economic critique" -- yes, he's talking about Trump's brayings, to which he'd referred a paragraph earlier as "talking about how filthy rich the filthy rich are" -- "fits into a sophisticated attack on the present state of presidential campaign finance." Not sophisticated itself, mind you, but it fits into something sophisticated, just as Trump himself may be fitted into a $5,000 suit. Then, at Slate, Reihan Salam has all kinds of exciting ideas for Trump. Apparently inspired by single-issue candidate Larry Lessig's praise of Trump as a campaign finance reformer, Salam suggests Trump embrace Lessig's program, as this "would add intellectual heft to [Trump's] populism, which would force his media detractors to give him at least some begrudging respect." I don't know what's funnier: the idea of Trump's campaign acquiring "intellectual heft," or that of Trump showing respect for an egghead like Lessig who doesn't have his own private jet and probably eats in a school cafeteria like a schlub. Funniest of all, perhaps, is the idea of these pencil-necks hovering around Trump, telling themselves that if only they can press their policy papers into the paws of the Strongman, the Golden Dawn may be hastened.
• And what can make Trump talk worse? Peggy Noonan! Today she explains Peggy Noonan through the avatar of that Non-Partisan Nameless Friend:
I’ve written before about an acquaintance—late 60s, northern Georgia, lives on Social Security, voted Obama in ’08, not partisan, watches Fox News, hates Wall Street and “the GOP establishment.” She continues to be so ardent for Mr. Trump that she not only watched his speech in Mobile, Ala., on live TV, she watched while excitedly texting with family members—middle-class, white, independent-minded—who were in the audience cheering. Is that “the Republican base”?Hope so -- it'll be easy to beat an imaginary constituency. Also, Hispanics love Trump, Noonan's friend "Cesar" from the bodega tells her:
Immigrants, he said, don’t like illegal immigration, and they’re with Mr. Trump on anchor babies. “They are coming in from other countries to give birth to take advantage of the system. We are saying that! When you come to this country, you pledge loyalty to the country that opened the doors to help you..."
I will throw in here that almost wherever I’ve been this summer, I kept meeting immigrants who are or have grown conservative—more men than women, but women too.Take Peggy Noonan's word to the bank: Your neighbors from the DR, Trinidad, Sudan, Chile, Vietnam -- they're all raring to vote Republican so long as the party nominates a suitably aggressive TV clown. Morton Downey Jr. gazes on this from the Hereafter and sighs at what might have been.
• Stella Morabito, the craziest shrink since Robin of Berkeley, is back to tell us how PC is destroying everything by preventing sensible conservative discourse, like how horrible Caitlyn Jenner is:
A perfect example is how the transgender lobby has saturated the media and pop culture with its talking points through Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and incessant Hollywood shilling. Suppression is the PC practice of quashing ideas that compete with the PC message, usually through speech codes, shout-downs, or smears... The twin processes of saturation and suppression, if diligently applied, can produce the illusion of a public opinion shift, or a “cascade.”Fans of Morabito's work will understand that these "cascades" are bad because they make you accept homosexuals:
Consider how the Left’s propaganda machine manufactured an “opinion cascade” on the issue of same-sex marriage, by first using “surprising validator” conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney, polling pundit Michael Barone, and especially David Blankenhorn, who was one of the most persuasive and powerful supporters of organic marriage until he broke down and published a recantation. Not surprisingly, stealth conservatives—particularly those who work in increasingly politicized professions such as psychiatry, social work, teaching, or the arts—have enormous potential if they come out as surprising validators.Amazing what how much gay-PC we've accomplished thanks to stealth conservatives like Dick Cheney, eh? (Though personally I think it was the recantation of David Blankenhorn that really turned things around for us.)
Anyway Morabito bids her readers go out and make their own cascades:
So conservatives, engage in those polarized, gridlocked places—like the neighborhood picnic, the local swim club, the farmer’s market, the student union, etc.—and engage one on one. Come out to a neighbor or a classmate.Oh boy! Is this where we say "I hate faggots" and wait for everyone else to do the same, like Spartacus?
Don’t bother with talking points, because the purpose is not to win the argument but to simply to put a human face on your beliefs.
Just be who you are and be friendly. In today’s PC-saturated culture, that’s the only way to draw out the lonely like-minded person or to influence a fence-sitter. It’s also the only way to water down PC stereotypes of conservatives. Ultimately, it’s the only way to start those ripple effects that can create cascades of truth.Wait a minute -- your war against PC is to be nice? I gotta tell ya: 1.) If that's the plan, every other anti-PC conservative I've seen has definitely got the instructions upside-down; and 2.) If your goal is to get people to like you, maybe dispense with the hysterical columns for starters?