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Who Is Conning Whom?

PAUL Krugman has a typically annoying piece today on the "Wrath of the Conned," specifically the GOP conned.

Both parties make promises to their bases. But while the Democratic establishment more or less tries to make good on those promises, the Republican establishment has essentially been playing bait-and-switch for decades. And voters finally rebelled against the con.
While the Dems gave 20 million of their faithful Obamacare, Republicans just toyed with the base.
Their party has historically won elections by appealing to racial enmity and cultural anxiety, but its actual policy agenda is dedicated to serving the interests of the 1 percent, above all through tax cuts for the rich — which even Republican voters don’t support, while they truly loathe elite ideas like privatizing Social Security and Medicare.
Which raises the question, what do those "aggrieved white men" that the GOP strokes with "racial enmity and cultural anxiety" really want?

Well, you tell me. What does the broad middle class of married people with children, who obey the law, go to work, and follow the rules, want from government?

Well, they want to Make America Great Again. They want to feel that the government honors them, and doesn't make it hard to get a job, get a home, raise their children, and doesn't bully them and hector them all the time. And when they have spent a working lifetime paying taxes they feel they have earned their Social Security and Medicare benefits.

The truth is that the GOP has monumentally failed to do this for a variety of reasons, starting with the fact that the GOP is the Outer party and doesn't control the culture. And followed by the fact that the GOP went down a rat-hole in Iraq after 9/11, and let the housing bubble pop on their watch.

But what about those "aggrieved white men" and their "racial enmity and cultural anxiety?" Well, I'd say that the GOP has been pretty embarrassed by aggrieved white men over the years. That's why Donald Trump has run the tables in the GOP primaries thus far. The Democrats have been running down white males for 50 years, and nobody until Trump stood up for them. The GOP has been frozen in the headlights by race for 50 years, and utterly discombobulated by the LGBT rights movement and the general left-wing "activism" culture. The GOP faithful know there is something wrong with this, but their party leaders have been unable to draw a line against the race politics of quotas and diversity, and unable to defend ordinary bourgeois marriage-and-children culture against the anti-cisnormative brigade.

So I'd say that the wrath of the GOP voters is not so much the wrath of the conned as the wrath of the badly-led. The job of GOP leaders and their cultural supporters is to promote and defend the culture of the People of the Responsible Self and they have done a pretty bad job of it. The reason for the failure is that conservative cultural and political leaders have been playing the game according to the rules set by liberals, in which, e.g., the racist Al Sharpton is invited to the White House while Republicans are racist for not excoriating David Duke and the KKK on demand. Obviously nothing is going to happen until the GOP grows a pair and kicks over the liberal chessboard and says: we ain't gonna play that game any more, pal.

The other wrath on display is the wrath of the abandoned. We may say that the GOP faithful are badly led, but the white working class that is rallying to Donald Trump was once the Democratic faithful that the liberal elite led, only too well, into the New Deal and powerful unions and payroll-tax-fed retirement benefits. It worked beautifully, and the Dems led the working class from victory to victory for years and years.

But then the Democratic leaders dropped their working class supporters off by the side of the road and recruited a new political army of minorities and women. Now the abandoned are rising up, and -- surprise  surprise -- they are rallying to the Republican Party.

Lots of people still don't realize that the New Deal and the Great Society were all a big con, buying peoples' votes with their own money. But the marks instinctively feel that something is wrong and they are finally revolting.

perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 04/29/16 5:43 pm ET

Free Trade and the American People: It's the Science, Donald

EVERYONE is against free trade, except an occasional economist, and you can see why. Free trade, in domestic affairs or foreign affairs, means that everyone surrenders to the market, and does not try to use force to alter the verdict of the market. So when Donald Trump announces that The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical of international unions ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 04/28/16 6:39 pm ET

But Can Trump Beat Clinton?

MY man Steve Sailer took one look at the Trump 5-state sweep of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Delaware, and predicted the Democrats' race-based general election strategy, based on the six states that were closest to flipping in 2012: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan. The Democrats are going to go to Florida and Nevada and tell Hispanics that ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 04/27/16 6:31 pm ET

The Bigger Task for Conservatism

POWERLINE contributer Steven Hayward asks today "How Did the Left Get the Drop on Us" after the resounding conservative victory of the Reagan years? His answer is that we conservatives assumed we had won the victory of the big ideas and just needed to work out the details. And it was easy to argue against socialism and its totalitarianism during the Cold War rather than against the amorphous ...

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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 04/26/16 5:26 pm ET

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“I Want a President”

Georg Simmel’s Sociology

Charles Murray’s By The People

Thomas Piketty’s Capital

The Spirit Level

McCloskey’s “Bourgeois Era”

Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation

A Look at the Left: “Contra-deBoer”


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IT IS TELLING that the Muslim terrorist and unemployed electrician, Ibrahim Abdeslam, arrested just prior to the Brussels bombing, was struggling by with his wife on just 1,000 euros a month from welfare. I raise that question because, to me, there is nothing more important to a terrorist than an independent income. How can you plan your bombings and sew your suicide belts if you have to show up at the construction ...

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The Primal Scream of the Policy People

I was talking with a friend, and he said that his son would probably go get a PhD because he wants to do “policy” in education. ...

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Go Ahead, "Peaceful Protesters," Make my Day!

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RMC Contents
Chapter 1: After the Welfare State
Chapter 2: Down in South Carolina and Out in Brooklyn

THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM among western cultural elites is that God is dead and we are well rid of him.... more

Chapter 3: Awakenings of Monotheism
Chapter 4: The Nineteenth Century From the Top Down
Chapter 5: The Nineteenth Century From the Bottom Up
Chapter 6: Popular Religion in the Nineteenth Century


RMC Book of the Day

Sowell, Thomas, Conquests and Cultures

RMC Books on Education

Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education

Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system

James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in

RMC Books on Law

Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law

Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present

RMC Books on Mutual Aid

James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland

RMC Books on Religion

David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China

Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation

Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


Sponsored: The 3 Week Diet
8 Rules of Fat Loss. Warning: Fast Results! Click Here to Watch Video...

Derb’s Canceled Williams College Hate Address
and he has some interesting things to say.

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Don't tell Bernie Sanders, but capitalism has made human life fantastically better. Here's how - AEI | Pethokoukis Blog » AEIdeas

NCPA Report on Crash of 2008
review various factors causing crash.

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Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Here’s how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>


The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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