It’s been a big election week for yours portly; even though I lost to a surprise write-in candidate, I feel pretty good about it. It’s also, of course, a huge (yuge?) election year, with the fate of the United States dangling in the balance.
Right now, President Trump is down in the polls, and there’s a lot of black-pilled commentary on our side (I’m certainly guilty of it). Z Man wrote a scatching post yesterday—entitled “Flight 93 Crashed“—that argues that Jeff Sessions’s defeat in the Alabama US Senate Republican primary to former football coach Tommy Tuberville marks the end of any significant, mainstream nationalist and immigration patriot influence in national politics. Sessions was, indeed, a John the Baptist in the Senate, crying out in the wilderness of the cheap labor lobby, a lone voice for immigration restriction.
I do think President Trump has treated Sessions shabbily at times, but when Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, he allowed hostile forces to take the reins, resulting in two years and millions of wasted dollars on a politically-motivated investigation that nearly put Roger Stone in jail for a meaningless process “crime.” More importantly, it stymied the Trump presidency, putting a stop to the energy and excitement of those early days of his administration.
Sessions was, I believe, doing what he thought was right, but his fatal error was he assumed we were still playing by the old playbook of political decorum and fair play. By taking that path—however honorable in the particular—he unleashed incredibly dishonorable forces, albeit unintentionally. To add insult to injury, Democrat Doug Jones won his Senate seat away from Judge Roy Moore, a huge hero for social and religious conservatives.
All that said, Z Man’s assessment that we won the 2016 election only to crash the plane seems premature. Not voting for Trump—or, God forbid, voting for Biden—isn’t going to make the situation any better. Indeed, it will likely get far worse. The only upshot to a Biden victory would be the race riots and Antifa foolishness would stop or diminish immediately: progressives use street violence mostly when they aren’t in power.
He is correct, though, that Trump has got to do more to deliver on his America First and Law and Order messages here in these crucial months leading up to the election. Waffling on the international student visa issues wasn’t a good look. Trump’s instincts seem to be on the immigration patriot side of the equation, but he’s letting the Conservatism, Inc. cadre and his son-in-law call too many of the shots.
Go with your gut, President Trump! It’s not too late to rally.
For voters, remember the stakes here. Michael Anton’s “The Flight 93 Election” is still relevant. His discussion (quoted below) of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings is a stark reminder of what we’re up against. For better or for worse, we are not dealing with a loyal opposition here. The Left has told us much: they are the Resistance, one that is well-funded and well-organized.
Here’s 13 February 2019’s “Flight 93 Election Follow-Up“:
In September 2016, just two months prior to Donald Trump’s unlikely-but-historic election to the presidency, Michael Anton, writing under the pseudonym “Publius Decius Mus,” penned a groundbreaking essay, one that sounded like a thunderclap through the Right, and which doubtlessly swayed a number of independents. The now-famous essay was “The Flight 93 Election,” and it spelled out the high stakes of the then-pending election. If you haven’t read it, do so now.
(If my proposed History of Conservative Thought summer course makes, it will be one of the readings for the final week of class, which will cover the 2016 election and the various branches of conservative and Dissident Right thought surrounding the election.)
Anton has a new piece now, “What We Still Have to Lose” (thanks to photog at Orion’s Cold Fire for linking to this piece on his excellent blog), which serves as a follow-up of sorts to his original essay. The piece serves as reminder of what is still at stake for the United States, and to promote, somewhat mildly, Anton’s new book, After the Flight 93 Election: The Vote that Saved America and What We Still Have to Lose.
According to Anton, critics of the original essay argued that he had no positive view for America, and merely argued that electing Trump was a desperation play—gamble on the dark horse, because the known evil of Hillary Clinton is too great—to prevent further disaster. Anton concedes that even he underestimated candidate Trump, and that President Trump has exceeded his expectations.
As such, Anton sets out in this essay (an excerpt from the book) that he does, indeed, possess a positive vision for how America and conservatism can advance. This essay doesn’t get much into that vision, but it does highlight that there is still much to lose.
To prove that point—and to defend against claims of “apocalypticism” in his analysis of the 2016 election—Anton points to the infamous Kavanaugh confirmation hearings:
What the Kavanaugh affair has made clearer to me than ever is that the Left will not stop until all opposition is totally destroyed. The harm they do to people, institutions, mores, and traditions is, in their view, not regrettable though unavoidable collateral damage; it is rather an essential element of the project. It’s a bit rich to be accused by nihilists of lacking a positive vision. But such is life in 2018. To stand up for truth, morality, the good, the West, America, constitutionalism, and decency is to summon the furies.
America cannot long go on like this. Something’s gotta give, and something will. What that “something” will be depends in no small part on the actions of men and women of good character, good judgment, and goodwill. Among the most heartening things I’ve seen in my lifetime was the way the president, the Republican establishment, and most of the conservative movement stood together in the face of what a few took to calling “the Flight 93 Confirmation.” In that instance, justice was done. Many more tests are coming. Victory will require not just spirit and spine but the right arguments that explicate the right principles.
I agree that “something’s gotta give.” I generally despise using the verb “to feel” in writing—it’s weak and transient—but I certainly feel as though we’re on the verge of some cataclysmic paradigm shift. The political and cultural atmosphere certainly seem different since the 2016 election, and the Left is showing its true colors—its penchant for violence, its destruction of the reputation of an innocent man, its dominance of Silicon Valley to deplatform rivals—as the levers of power slip away.
I’ll have to pick up Anton’s book to read more of his vision for America. If it’s as bold as his “The Flight 93 Election” essay, it could wake up many more Americans to the continued perils we face from a bitter, Cultural Marxist Left.