Right Wing Fighter

Month: May, 2016

Arguments v Declarative Statements in Politics

Declarative statements work well in getting your message across. This is something the right is bad at. Declarative statements get lodged into people’s thinking and change how they view the world. But the right keeps acting like politics is a debating society, and instead makes arguments, based on evidence.

Declarative statements don’t need to be fictional to be effective. The most effective ones in fact are true ones that we’ve seen some evidence for ourselves.

The weakness with arguments is they take time and sympathy to unpack. In an argument, first you make your claim, for instance, that taxes should be lower. Then you present your evidence to support it, say, the boost tax cuts gave the economy during George W. Bush’s administration.

The problem with this is it all takes time. We’ve all watched Sunday talk shows where a guy is asked a question, and then gets about six seconds to lay out his thought before he’s interrupted. Once interrupted, the thought is broken and we lose track of the argument.

A second problem with arguments is they are more intellectually demanding. Having to hold in mind a claim, along with several pieces of evidence is demanding work. Remember that in politics you’re speaking chiefly to people that work five days a week and don’t have the time or mental energy to devote to digesting political problems. That is another reason why declarative statements take the prize.

Answer which of these is more effective:

“In my view tax cuts are essential to economic growth. During the Bush administration, reductions in tax rates for the low and middle classes allowed them to keep more of their own money and thus stimulated economic growth through increased purchasing.”

Or this:

“Taxes are too high. Washington taxes more of our money every year. We pay enough. Let’s cut tax rates.”

Both are just slightly atypical, since I’m just coming up with these off the top of my head. But the second one will be more effective because it is easier for tired people to digest.

That must be the metric for successful political speeches and writings: can tired people make sense of this? Because those are the people you are talking to.

It’s also a great metric for any old writing, from novels to business letters.

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What the Modern Right Wants

This, at bottom, is what the modern right wants:

That people should be good, without being at all compelled to be good. That the economy should function well, but without the government compelling it in any way. That foreign policy should just “work,” and not involve either (A) a humongous military establishment or (B) large expenses.

They also want people to not use drugs, but again without being compelled to avoid drugs. They can’t bring themselves to prosecute the War on Drugs, but yet they want America to be drug free.

They want America to be largely traditional in outlook and manners, but wont halt the immigration invasion that is changing the entire character of America. They also want government to be debt-free, but wont make the necessary spending cuts.

The right consists of more than one faction of course, so it’s hard to nail them down to one single motive. But broadly speaking, the right wants America to be good, but without compulsion. This is why the right is a failure: it refuses to do what is necessary to make America good, and thus has to take out its desires in dreams.

So broadly speaking, the whole problem with the right is that it wont compel anyone or anything. Their desires are generally good, but their refusal to compel anyone against his will has paralyzed them. The rot runs deep now, and much of the right consists of battered sentimentalists that spend their time reassuring each other that they’re right, and that all it will take is for the American people to “wake up” for all to be well. That this will never happen without leadership is lost on them. They wont bring themselves to see that, though the American people are our brothers and sisters and we love them, that yet they wont organically organize themselves and make a cultural revolution.

All reformations are driven by leaders: they never run from the bottom up. The modern right more or less knows how America should be, but it wont put its hands on the controls. It wont take control, because it refuses to compel. It is too deeply wedded to the idea of liberty. That, broadly speaking, is what neutralizes the modern right as an effective force in politics and culture.

The Cowardice of Darwinist Political Thinkers

Darwinism is the de facto religion of science and politics today. It is, to these “thinkers,” the only rational way to think about politics.

But at bottom it comes out to cowardice. We all know there is right and wrong. But Darwinists, by making survival the measure of all things, essentially only side with whoever is strongest. Political science is utterly pathetic today. It doesn’t have the guts to say or do anything that isn’t dominant, since it only cares about being with whoever is strongest.

It is not a science anymore. It is a cheerleader camp for whatever is strongest right now.

Gary Johnson Will Do Badly Against Clinton and Trump

Gary Johnson has been nominated as the Libertarian Party candidate for president. Some people think that since Clinton and Trump are unpopular in many polls, that he’ll be able to scrape off enough support to win.

That’s pure fantasy. Bill Kristol is saying the same thing about his efforts to organize a third party to run against Trump. It will fail, because at bottom nobody is going to trust the government to an essentially unknown party.

It’s common knowledge that the American electorate likes to stick to what it knows. The Republicans and Democrats, despite their faults, are known to the electorate and will be the only serious options in the fall. Other parties, like the Libertarian and Constitution parties, are never taken seriously and are a pure waste of time. The American people aren’t going to vote in a candidate from an unknown party.

What is the Future of Employment in America?

I’ve written a lot about the effects of outsourcing and immigration on American workers. But what effect will automation have on US workers? Additionally, what can be done about it?

To briefly state the problem: automation is when a machine is built that can do the job of a human worker. We’ve all seen the images on TV news reports about robots that are building cars and cutting the need for automotive workers. But what about the human impact of such technology? What happens to the workers that are fired because their jobs were taken by robots?

At first they’ll change jobs, maybe even switch industries altogether. Some auto workers will become mechanics, for instance, since the industries are at least similar in some ways: they both work on cars. But with the contraction of industries because of automation, what will happen to the ever increasing pool of workers that aren’t hired since there aren’t enough jobs?

These people still have to live. The married workers still have families to support. How will they continue to live, to eat, in an economy that is shrinking jobs? I can only see two courses, in the long run:

(A): A permanent welfare state that supports these people since there aren’t enough jobs. The infrastructure is already in place for this, so it’s easy to imagine this coming about.

(B): Laws against automation. This will cut efficiency, but it will also keep these people working.

I don’t see any other options. These people have to live, so either (A) they’ll live from welfare payments taxed from those who can work / companies that sell products here and around the world; or (B), their jobs are kept up by an act of the government.

It’s easy to imagine all the objections that will be raised to these options. But life in politics is rarely about getting the best option: usually it’s about getting the best possible option.

These are big issues, and they require mature thought.

Was Ronald Reagan a Good President?

Was Ronald Reagan a good president?

I’ll answer that in the following essay.

First, let me define what a good president is: he is a man that solves his nation’s problems at the time of his administration. We are too often inclined to measure presidents by our own problems. We can’t do this without being markedly unfair to these men. They can’t be expected to foresee and solve problems which in their era were much smaller.

So what were the main problems during Reagan’s administration? They were:

  • A bad economy
  • The Soviet Union
  • The decline of nationalism

The Economy:

When Reagan took office, inflation and joblessness were rampant. It was a terrible time to be a worker in America. It was also a terrible time to be an investor, since inflation was eating the value out of people’s money. The bad economy was also hurting government revenue, since a poor economy is a poor tax base. Economically, it seemed the US was sliding into oblivion.

By the end of his administration, the economy was cooking right along. Revenue was up for the same reason. People could get jobs more easily, keep them more assuredly, and optimism about the economy was high.

There were mistakes made that hurt the economy. For instance, Reagan did not end the free trade policies of past administrations, which allowed our trade deficit to grow. This hurt our economy, and allowed the continued erosion of our manufacturing base.

At bottom, Reagan’s administration was a good one economically. He made some bad choices, especially on free trade, but overall he got the economy rolling again.

The Soviet Union:

In 1981, the Soviet Union was marching across the globe. During the past decade they had overtaken us in many military spheres, especially in terms of strategic missiles. They had added multiple countries to the Soviet bloc of nations and were successfully intriguing in South America and the Caribbean.

NATO, on the other hand, was weak and disunited. Soviet efforts to weaken the organization had been going on for decades, and were bearing terrible fruit. Closet communists and socialists were in many positions of power, sending information and sympathy back to Moscow.

Britain was resisting the Soviet Union, of course. But there was little the island nation could do to oppose so vast a power. Only the United States was strong enough for such a task. And unfortunately we had been neglecting the task for years, and had fallen behind militarily. So when Reagan came into the presidency, he had little less than a disaster on his hands.

But he strengthened our relations with those who were willing among our allies to work with us. He reinforced the military and rebuilt its confidence in itself. He invigorated our national science establishment, which hadn’t been done since Kennedy and the Space Race. He reinforced American confidence by his own confidence. He made us believe we could win. And win we did.

Within half a decade of his administration’s end, the Soviet Union collapsed. The Red Threat disappeared from the globe, pushed over by Reagan. Defeating this soul-crushing tyranny is enough to guarantee him a place in history. Few presidents have done so much for the United States in the realm of foreign policy as Reagan.

Overall, he succeeded completely.

The Decline of Nationalism:

After the “disillusionment” of the 60s and 70s, American confidence had been shredded. Assailed day in and day out by the media, by academics, and by our surrender in Vietnam, our confidence in ourselves had been battered to bits. We didn’t believe in ourselves because we didn’t win anymore.

With the “disillusionment” of those two decades came daily assaults on nationalism. People were encouraged to think of themselves as individuals living in a vacuum, without responsibilities to their country or their fellow man. The military was scorned in many places. Veterans often didn’t advertise their service in order to avoid jeers and insults. It was a bad time.

Reagan worked a mild cultural revolution in America. By the end of his administration, veterans held their heads high, and nobody outside of college campuses dared insult them openly. They were treated with respect. It was no longer popular to criticize America. The vast masses of the public, who had been quietly patriotic for decades, finally felt safe to broadcast their patriotism since they had a friend in the White House. Over the course of Reagan’s administration, the poisonous forces of anti-nationalism receded and hid away. For the first time in years, they where the ones that kept their mouths shut about what they thought. Nationalism became popular and normal again. People felt safe broadcasting their love of country for all to see.

There were ways in which his nationalist revolution were limited. For instance, whilst military and intellectual nationalism were fostered, Reagan was not economically nationalistic, as noted above. Our economic policy was still globalist in nature. But he still re-nationalized our military and our thinking. In these crucial ways he was a great success. Because he won much more for nationalism than he lost, he deserves to be called a successful president for nationalism.

Conclusion:

For the reasons stated above, Reagan must be considered a good president. There were many issues that I didn’t address, but these were the main, pressing issues of his time. A president never gets to solve all of the problems he inherits. It is always a question of tackling the biggest problems first, and hoping that the next president can work on the ones farther down the list. That successive presidents usually fail to do so can’t be held against a particular president. He is only human after all, and must make do with the best arrangement he can get.

Tax Cuts: Are They So Important?

The answer to that is: yes and no.

Yes tax cuts are a good thing, provided the government has the money it needs to function. But tax cuts shouldn’t make up so much of the right’s governmental program.

As long as the government has the funding it needs, taxes should be as low as possible. This is just common sense.

But the right ought to have more of a program than just “cut taxes, cut regulation, and let the economy boom.” Okay, but what about our bad trade deals? What about immigration and foreign competition? What about the educational problems we have, where students graduate high school and aren’t fit for good jobs?

Obviously cutting taxes and regulations is only the starting point. It is a good place to start, but that’s all it is. A much more mature economic program is needed than just cutting red tape. Back in the 80s, when high taxes, regulations, and inflation were the chief problems, it was correct to focus on them a lot. But now, the main problems are too much immigrant labor, too much foreign competition, and too much outsourcing. These are the main problems killing the US economy.

To deal with them, we need to be up to date. We can’t go recycling the economic prescriptions that were popular when our current political class were in their youth. We need to fix today’s problems, not yesterday’s.

The main problem on the right is that they are thinking like this is 1981. All of their economic, domestic, and foreign policy plans are based in the 80s. The problem is that times have changed. Yesterday’s problems and enemies aren’t today’s. This is why they are always prattling about the dangers of Putin. Yes Putin is a problem, but Russia isn’t the Soviet Union anymore. It has neither the strength nor the will to dominate the world. But the right is almost giddy when they get to talk about combating Putin. They love the idea of sparring with Russia, because it is an enemy they are familiar with.

And what about domestic policy? The right still blathers about “encouraging families and traditional values.” They are blind to the fact that the social structure that fostered families and good values is gone. What America needs is a social reformation. In essence, America needs social restructuring. The right thinks like the old ways are possible because it is blind to the changes that have taken place. It is living in the past, and with every day that passes, the right becomes less useful because it becomes less relevant.

What America needs is a clear-sighted assessment of what it is doing wrong, and advocacy for how it can do right. A reformation isn’t as hard as it sounds: it only requires people to change their thinking and thus their actions. But a reformation can only be started by people that are willing to look honestly at where we are now, and where we need to go. It can’t be done by people living in the past.

That is why the right is largely useless today. We are living in a period of vast, diverse changes all coming one after another. The modern right is living in the 80s, which were the jumping off point for the world of today. That is when America bid goodbye to the old ways. Reagan, who was born generations earlier, was 70 when he was inaugurated. He was a throwback president, sort of a final hurrah for the old ways of thinking.

After Reagan came the cold, calculating, bureaucratic H.W. Bush. Bush was in many ways a modern president: he had very little substance. Just like the modern era has very little substance.

These are hard facts, but they are true facts. They must be faced. But it must also be understood that these problems can be fixed. Our situation is not hopeless. But it can only be helped by a mature, intelligent view of our situation.

Believe me, our situation can be fixed.

Immigration Must End

As the title says, immigration must end. We’ve already imported many more people than we need. They do not consist of the kinds of people that built America in the first place, and they are changing the nature of the country.

This is perfectly fine for leftists: they never liked the country anyway. I scratch my head a few minutes everyday, trying to figure out why they don’t like America. But I’ve never come up with an adequate answer. Suffice it to say, they hate the USA.

It frequently makes Memorial Day feel phony when I think that so many of our politicians and bureaucrats hate America. How can you take a holiday seriously when many members of your own government hate what it means? A house divided indeed.

It feels like an occupational government. It gives official holidays a strange, unreal feel to know that many in our government pay lip service to them, but snarl at them in private.

Modern Conservatives Don’t Stand for Anything

It stuck me yesterday: for two decades now modern conservatives have been making Hillary Clinton out to be the devil in the flesh. They loved to pound on her day and night. Talk radio especially loved to attack Clinton as being the worst president imaginable.

And yet, many would rather lose to Clinton than win with Trump. Consider Bill Kristol and his efforts to get a third party going just to keep Trump from winning the election. Consider how day and night, many mainstream conservatives have been attacking him more than they are attacking Clinton or Sanders. If Clinton is indeed the devil to these people, how can they possibly be willing to lose to her unless they never actually believed in anything to start with? If she will destroy the country, and yet they prefer her, then what can you conclude other than that the country means less to them than defeating Trump?

They love to blather about their principles. Well what good are principles if you’ll throw away your nation to “preserve” them?

Sometimes I don’t get these people at all. In fact, I never do. I can’t understand how pathetic “principles” of free-market economics are worth more than the nation.

“America First”

Trump has rolled out the slogan “America First” for his campaign. This is fantastic because it says, in a single slogan:

(A): His view of proper US policy;

(B): It conceptualizes what US policy hasn’t been for 70 years;

(C): It is the perfect rallying cry for all patriotic Americans.

I can’t think of a better slogan for his campaign.