Leaders literally with no future

As we celebrate motherhood today, there is a significant trend worth noting.  We often hear “think of the children” when an unpopular or unwise piece of legislation is being proposed.  And yet, few of our leaders have “skin in the game” when it comes to their nation’s future:

Emmanuel Macron founded a new party, and his election as France’s president is said to herald the “revival of Europe.” Interestingly, Macron has no children.

This is not that notable in itself. After all, George Washington had no biological children. But across the continent Macron wants to bind closer together, there’s a stark pattern:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel also has no children. British prime minister Theresa May has no children. Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni has no children. Holland’s Mark Rutte has no children. Sweden’s Stefan Loumlfven has no biological children. Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel has no children. Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon has no children. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, has no children.

This is too remarkable to ignore. While Macron is young—39 years old—the rest of Europe is being governed by childless Baby Boomers

It’s clear which side has political power now. But the demographics point to a different future. In 2009 Phillip Longman noted that in France (for example) a tiny minority of women are giving birth to over 50% of the children every year. These women are either practicing Catholics or immigrant Muslims.

Contemporary childless leaders, however ascendant they feel today, may be the last gasp of secularism. The future is won by those who show up, and only the religiously orthodox are having children.

Those still swimming in the ancient streams of Faith and Culture in France will have the observant offspring of two rival religions living within the borders of one nation. The second Battle of Tours, (or Vienna, or Lepanto) might be extra bloody due to the policies of today, but the authors of those policies will not be around because they will be dead, and their offspring will not be around, because they do not exist.

Surely Macron, Merkel, Juncker, and the rest would argue that they can do their crucial jobs better because they don’t have children to distract them. C.S. Lewis provides the rebuttal: “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”

The elite have long been insulated from the effects of their piously pie-in-the-sky policies by doing such things as living in gated communities and sending their children to high-priced private schools.  As this article points out, they have even less reason today to worry about the effects of their futile utopianism.  This is probably a key reason why our leadership seems so out of touch with the people they allegedly lead, especially in the area of immigration.  It won’t be their children suffering from the resurgence of long-controlled diseases like measles and whooping cough.  It won’t be their children who will either have to fight or conform to alien ideologies that were allowed in through millions of adherents’ migration.   It won’t be their children who face falling wages due to competition from cheaper labor overseas and immigrant labor at home.  They can afford to wear utopian blinders in a way no parent can.

While I’ve excerpted a good bit, read the entire piece for yourself here.

Wars and rumors of wars

The United States has enjoyed a century and a half with no broad-scale combat taking place within its borders.  That said, I’m far from being the only one who sees those days may be coming to a tragic end:

Sinisa also pointed out that most civil wars start after a loss of trust in the government, particularly law enforcement: “One of the defining features of any state is a legitimate monopoly on the use of violence.” In other words, if we trust the police to handle bad guys better than armed groups of vigilantes, we’ll probably trust the government more than armed groups of insurgents.

“And if police are not seen as doing their job … I think that certainly has an impact.”

Colonel David Couvillon, a Marine Reserve officer who governed the Wasit province of Iraq after the start of the occupation, pointed out that insurgents can win without convincing anyone that they’re “right.” It’d be enough to push most Americans into the “both sides are evil” camp, which … isn’t an unfamiliar place for most of us to be…

And that no doubt feeds the fact that Americans bought enough guns on Black Friday this year to arm the entire United States Marine Corps.

I’m increasingly of the opinion the United States will not survive my lifetime in its present form.   When it breaks up, it’s going to be a bloody, confusing mess of various factions.  Over the past 10 years, I’ve been taking steps to prepare my family for this eventuality.

You need to be doing the same, because we may not have another 10 years.

A belated awakening

Millions of Americans are waking up to the fact the system is rigged to give the appearance of the Republic we once had, while functioning in reality as an oligarchy.  There are two sets of laws — one for the little people (even the not-so-little) and one for the self-appointed mandarin class.

Meanwhile, the trove of leaked emails reveal the web of relationships by which the media essentially takes orders from the Democrats, and the Democrats weaponize government agencies to harass their opponents.

If the ruling class can’t be bothered to even maintain an illusion of representing the average person, then why should those average Americans respect–or obey–the rotten system?  At least one former Army colonel is now convinced the system is too far gone to retain our loyalty:

We owe the system nothing. Nada. Zip. Instead, the system owes us fairness and honesty, and without them it has no right to our default acceptance of its results. That acceptance must be earned. This means that the system must aggressively police its own integrity, and this year it has utterly failed to do so…

Is this dangerous talk? Hell yes – but the danger doesn’t come from us pointing out the corruption. The danger is the corruption. I walked through wrecked villages in the aftermath of a civil war, so I sure as hell don’t need your lessons about what lies at the bottom of the slippery slope your ruling class is tobogganing down.

I could say the same: I deployed half a dozen times during my time in uniform.  I know a little of what war looks like, too, and that’s why I often tell people who seem a little too eager for war to become how we settle our differences here that they don’t know what they’re saying.

That doesn’t mean I’m not also wondering how much longer the charade will last.  The Declaration of Independence seems relevant here:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Pray that we don’t have to travel that road again.  But prepare for the journey, just in case.

Parsing the pontifications

Some thoughts and interpretations (in italics and parentheses) as I read through the transcript of Hillary’s acceptance speech:

“Now America is once again at a moment of reckoning. Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.” (Pay no attention to how I’ve contributed to the fraying of trust by hiding my activities on a private server and deleting 30,000 emails after my highly questionable electronic practices came to light.)

“[Trump] wants us to fear the future and fear each other. Well, you know, a great Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than 80 years ago during a much more perilous time: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” (Of course, after saying that, FDR ordered the round up and interment of Japanese in America, due to the fear they could be an internal threat during a time of war. Kind of like the threat your refugee resettlement policy poses.)

“…remember, our Founders fought a Revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.” (But my former boss, Barack, didn’t let that stop him from using his ‘pen and phone.’ I won’t, either.)

“I get it that some people just don’t know what to make of me.” (Maybe that’s because you often change your tune to match the prevailing winds, and always in support of your own ambitions. Despite all the smoke screens, though, some of us DO know what to make of you…)

“Tonight we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union. The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president!” (And I’m counting on the “let’s make history” novelty vote to overcome that lack of trust I talked about earlier. Hey, it worked for Barack!)

“It’s wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.” (And that’s why I support oppose TPP (at least, some of the time) and will preserve H1-B. Oh, wait…)

“Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition free for the middle class and debt free for all. We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.” (By increasing government spending–and the national debt–even further. Barack only managed to double the national debt during his eight years. Wait until you see what I can do!)

“Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign. He loses his cool at the slightest provocation, when he’s gotten a tough question from a reporter…” (Something that, thankfully, my allies in the mainstream press help keep me from experiencing!)

“A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons!” (And a woman who passes the most sensitive national security information through an unauthorized, insecure personal e-mail server is not one we can trust with the launch codes, either.)

“I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns.” (Please forget here that I once stated “we’re going to take things away from you for the common good,” or that to my party, “common sense gun control” includes three extra words to throw you off the scent… it’s really just about ‘control.’)

“And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.” (Unless, of course, it’s coming from our camp.)

“More than a few times I’ve had to pick myself up and get back in the game.” (Usually because I was doing something questionable, got called on it, and had to play the coy “who, li’l me?” act in order to lull the gullible back to sleep. Like I’m doing now)

Don’t fall for it again, America!

Rotting from the head

Today’s USA Today editorial by the Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds) is a must-read.  Excerpt:

“…people may obey the law because they think that being law-abiding is an important part of maintaining a viable society. But that’s the kind of law-abiding behavior that’s at risk when people at the top treat the law with unconcealed contempt.
Being law-abiding for its own sake is a traditional part of bourgeois culture, and our ruling class has lately treated the bourgeoisie with contempt as well. Which raises the risk that this contempt will be returned.”

 

These days, to be in contempt of Congress shouldn’t be considered a legal state so much as a badge of honor that one is in tune with reality.  Only Congress has the tools at its disposal to rein in these out of control government agencies like the IRS, TSA, EPA, etc.  For instance, agencies that suffer “accidental” deletions of key evidence should find their funding zeroed out and the agency abolished on the grounds it can no longer be trusted with public business.  That Congress refuses to use such tools merely shows they are no longer the “people’s house,” but rather, in the words of a very wise man, “a den of thieves.”

Herding the mainstream press

The legacy corporate media is docile, controlled, manipulated, complacent, and utterly useless for anyone who believes the role of a free press is to hold those in power accountable (except for destroying the occasional Republican in order to maintain the facade).  That the New York Times would publish a piece that shows this so well only goes to demonstrate our ruling class believes they can do whatever they wish with impunity — and even laugh amongst themselves about how they sell their lies to a gullible press and public.

Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press.

As Rhodes admits, it’s not that hard to shape the narrative. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Rhodes said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Note that this individual, whose incredible level of foreign policy influence in the administration the piece makes clear, has absolutely zero background in that area.  No service in the State Department.  No military background.  Not even formal studies in international relations.  Instead, he holds a masters degree in fictional writing.

With a novelist charting policy and a young, D.C.-based press corps taking his view as gospel for their reporting, is it any wonder what was left of the Pax Americana has crumbled beyond recognition in recent years?

This shouldn’t be all that surprising since the current president himself was not elected based on any accomplishments or background.  No, the election of “The One” was itself a narrative of how America was going to atone for its past sins by finally putting a black man in the Oval Office.  Incredibly, in the face of eight years of economic stagnation, foreign policy missteps and retreats, broken relationships with long-standing international partners and passage of an Obamacare medical mess that increasingly resembles a Potemkin village, the nation’s chattering classes still want us to believe we did a good thing in 2008! (Incidentally, the same voices assure us that Hillary’s potential to be the first female president is more significant that all the swirling questions about corruption, influence peddling and neglect of national security information she’s accumulated in the past quarter century.  As the saying goes: “fool me once…”)

If you want to know what’s really going on these days, the last places you should be getting your information is a government spokesperson — or the legacy media.  The latter is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the ever-growing Leviathan that is Washington, D.C.

Quote of the day week month

David Brooks of the New York Times belatedly wonders if the mainstream media misjudged the Trump phenomenon because these insulated, pampered, prima donna self-appointed ‘opinion leaders’  “did not listen carefully enough” to the increasingly alienated, economically devastated and politically orphaned former American middle class that now makes up much of Trump’s constituency.

To which Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds responds:

The Tea Party movement — which you also failed to understand, and thus mostly despised — was a bourgeois, well-mannered effort (remember how Tea Party protests left the Mall cleaner than before they arrived?) to fix America. It was treated with contempt, smeared as racist, and blocked by a bipartisan coalition of business-as-usual elites. So now you have Trump, who’s not so well-mannered, and his followers, who are not so well-mannered, and you don’t like it.

Spot. On.  Glenn.   Trump is essentially the GOP base — including frustrated Tea Partiers who tried to address their concerns the “appropriate” way and were vilified for doing so — quoting the band Linkin Park to their self-proclaimed betters on both sides of the aisle:

The number one question is how could you ignore it?  …

Tried to give you warning but everyone ignores me
Told you everything loud and clear
(But nobody’s listening)
Called to you so clearly but you don’t want to hear me
Told you everything loud and clear
(But nobody’s listening)

I got a heart full of pain, head full of stress
handfull of anger, held in my chest
And everything left’s a waste of time
I hate my rhymes, but hate everyone else’s more

I don’t like Trump, but I like our self-perpetuating mandarin class even less.  And as I’ve pointed out, if the Trump reaction to insider shenanigans in previous elections is met by even more insider shenanigans to deny him the nomination even if he gets the requisite number of delegates, then our political chattering classes are going to like who comes after him even less.

I fear we all will.