Yearnings for a wiser ruler
August 02, 2016

I Want a President That Won’t Stiff the Opposition

by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

So Hillary Clinton has been nominated as the candidate for President of the United States, the first woman ever so nominated by a major party.

But let’s talk about something more important. It’s the reason that the era of gentlemanly conservatism is over, as I wrote last week. When a gentlemanly conservative like Jonah Goldberg is angry and depressed you know that something big has happened.

I blame President Obama. His reaction to the 2010 election, in which Republicans won the House, and the 2014 election, in which Republicans won the Senate, has been to stiff the opposition. Instead of recognizing that the voters had spoken and wanted a more conservative direction to national politics he turned to “phone and pen” and “Dear Colleague” governance in one last progressive Big Push, and tried all he could to prevent Republicans in Washington from making a difference.

Contrast that with President Bush who worked with Nancy Pelosi in 2008 to pass a stimulus bill. The voters had elected a Democratic Congress — damn them — and so Bush understood that he had to compromise with the new facts on the ground on Capitol Hill.

The consequence of Obama’s intransigence is that the good-old-boy Republican Party is done for, and I prophesy that liberals will live to rue the day. The effect of Obama’s refusal to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill has been to make the perfectly ordinary and reasonable GOP establishment look like ineffectual lapdogs. And voters don’t want lapdogs to represent them; they want good solid guard dogs that can show their teeth. So Obama achieved the remarkable result of humiliating the GOP leadership and enraging the GOP rank-and-file, and stampeding the white working class into the GOP. Nice going, Barack.

And now the Democratic Party has nominated Hillary Clinton. President Obama has said that there has “never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president[.]” I’d say that the Democrats have never nominated anyone more likely than Obama to stiff the opposition and divide the country. Like Obama’s intransigence? You’ll love Hillary Clinton, boss of the secretive Hillarycare task force in 1993-94 and inventor of the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

What is wrong with Obama and Clinton? Haven’t these educated leaders ever studied the founders and the whole point of representative government? Don’t they know what the separation of powers is all about? The clue is, of course, that both Obama and Clinton are devotees of Saul Alinsky and his activism politics. Their heads may know about Montesquieu and Tocqueville but their hearts belong to Saul, and Alinsky cares nothing for consensus and bipartisan deals. He only knows about the fight, to push and fight and take out the enemy, “to pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” OK, but what about after the election when it is time to end the war and hold the peace conference up on Capitol Hill where you re-establish trust and confidence? You won’t find that in Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, you won’t find it with Obama and Clinton, and you won’t find it in any of the endless legions of liberal activism. That’s why the civil rights organizations insist to this day that Jim Crow is ready to descend on black voters tomorrow and the gay organizations must still beat the drum against “hate” after the Supreme Court has legislated “marriage equality” for them.

At least governments demobilize their armies when the war is done, and politicians demobilize their campaign workers after the election. But not the liberal activist organizations. And not Alinsky followers like Obama and Clinton. Their fight is never won, because their very reason for being is the fight.

And now good little girls all over America being taught the faith of activism in our schools and colleges. They are taught to believe that politics is a protest group marching on City Hall with non-negotiable demands, rather than voters voting for politicians to cut deals and get them half a loaf in the political bazaar.

The point of human society, as for social animals in general, is to stop the fight and replace it with cooperation, even if it is cooperation tainted by inequality and pecking orders. But there is no suggestion of cooperation in the faith of the activist. Hillary Clinton made the point perfectly in her acceptance speech. As a Childrens Defense Fund activist she agitated for a government program to force schools to provide for disabled children. Very nice. But couldn’t we have sat down together and helped the disabled without government force?

I know what you are saying. Would Donald Trump as President treat his political opponents any better than the two Alinskyite opponent-stiffers? We don’t know.

But we still need a president that treats the opposition with respect instead of scorn. For the children.

January 03, 2017

I Want a President Who Loves America: Pre-Inaugural Edition

Two years ago in this space I wrote that “I Want a President Who Loves America.” I started out by telling how I fell in love with America 51 years ago on my first trip to the US over Christmas 1965.  MORE...

December 06, 2016

I Want a President Who Tells Us His Sense of the World

Why is the US in Syria? Why is the US in Yemen? What was the point of dumping Khadafi in Libya? Do you have a clue what is going on? I don’t have a clue about any of that either.  MORE...

November 01, 2016

I Want a President that Loves America, Part Trois

Back in January of 2015 I wrote my first piece in the “I Want a President” series and the title was simply “I Want a President Who Loves America.” I wrote simply about my love for America and how, in the Obama years, I longed for a president that loved America like I did. And now I see that an African American, “Gloria,” agrees with me.  MORE...

October 04, 2016

I Want a President Who Will End Victimism

Great news! The Obama administration is proposing a new race category. It’s for people of Middle Eastern and North African descent — MENA for those in the know. Why? It’s obvious when you go to USA Today and read the blather about how the new race category could solve all kinds of problems with community identity and private-sector discrimination. In other words, liberals are going full-speed ahead to square up Muslims as another victim group for their victim politics.  MORE...

September 06, 2016

I Want a President to Lift Government Off the Brow of Labor

Back in the 19th century William Jennings Bryan spoke for working men everywhere when he declared:  MORE...

July 05, 2016

I Want a President Born on the Fourth of July. Really

Eighteen months ago I started this I Want a President series with “I Want a President Who Loves America.” I wrote of my love for America and how I’d like a president that loved America as much as I did.  MORE...

June 07, 2016

I Want a President Who Can Tame America’s Lefty Rioters

There they go again. In San Jose last week, lefty demonstrators rioted against typical Americans leaving a Donald Trump rally, and the mayor of San Jose blamed Donald Trump for the violence. In the 21st century, in a democratic republic where “the people rule,” what is going on?  MORE...

May 03, 2016

I Want a President Who Can Teach Us to Accept Capitalism

In last week’s foreign policy speech Donald Trump had this to say about jobs:  MORE...

April 05, 2016

I Want a President to Teach Liberals a Lesson

The eternal frustration of every conservative is the way the public square is skewed in favor of liberals. “Right-wing extremism” is said to be a problem, but left-wing street riots are nothing but “peaceful protest.” We are to understand that anything less than a flat-out denunciation of loser David Duke and the pathetic remnants of the Ku Klux Klan is disqualifying while the accomplished racist agitator, Reverend Al Sharpton, gets White House invitations and fawning profiles in Vanity Fair.  MORE...

March 01, 2016

I Want a President Who is My Kind of Con-man

Many conservative pundits and principled Republicans are recoiling from Donald Trump on the grounds that he is a con-man, a confidence trickster. To which my retort is: So?  MORE...

February 02, 2016

I Want a President for Americans that Follow the Rules, Go to Work, and Obey the Law

It’s true! The pundits have just discovered that Republicans and Democrats really are different, after all. First, there’s the Kaiser Family Foundation poll that shows that Democrats want specifics from politicians and Republicans want principles. Then there’s the MSNBC campaign switch, reported by young Ezra Klein. He quotes Benjy Sarlin:  MORE...

January 05, 2016

I Want a President That Loves America. Again

It was just a year ago that I floated my dearest political wish upon the waters: “I Want a President Who Loves America.” It really wasn’t asking much. Since then, I’ve written again and again about what I want in a president.  MORE...

December 08, 2015

I Want a President Who Understands the Value of the Nation State

President Obama’s Oval Office address on Sunday night was par for the course: steady as she goes, and don’t let’s be beastly to the Muslims.  MORE...

November 03, 2015

I Want a President That Demonstrates Strategic Vision

Now that President Obama has sent boots on the ground into Syria, the question is: What’s the strategy? We know the president’s strategy on domestic policy; he wants to expand government-by-experts to the utter limit. And he wants to keep today’s hyphenated Americans by dividing them from “typical Americans” using Frankfurt School and Alinsky techniques to keep them hived off in identity silos. But what is the famed Lightworker’s strategy for the Middle East?  MORE...

October 06, 2015

I Want a President Who's "Unteachable." But Not Like Obama

Back in the glorious days of the Reagan administration Democratic wise man Clark Clifford opined that Reagan was an “amiable dunce.” That is Eighties-speak for today’s complaint that President Obama is “unteachable.”  MORE...

September 08, 2015

I Want a President That is a "Strong Leader." Not!

Last week, as I was practicing my French with DuoLingo, I heard Rush Limbaugh making a penetrating point about the 2016 election. It’s like 2008, he said, only this time it is conservatives that are investing all their hopes in an untried candidate and assuming he agrees with them.  MORE...

August 06, 2015

I Want a President Who Will Encourage the Millennials

If there’s one group in America that’s hurting worse than the African Americans in Prince George’s County looking at $300,000 mortgages on their $150,000 homes, it’s got to be the Millennials.  MORE...

July 07, 2015

I Want a President Born on the Fourth of July

Just in time for the fireworks, Gallup reports that the share of Americans that are “extremely proud” of America is down to 54%. It was 58% when America elected its First Black President (H/T PJMedia).  MORE...

June 02, 2015

I Want a President Who Cares About People Like Me

It is, I think, scandalous that Barack Obama won the “cares about people like me” sweepstakes over Mitt Romney by 81%-18% in 2012. The New York Post reported that it wasn’t an accident:  MORE...

May 05, 2015

I Want a President That "Gets" the Economy

Oh well, another day, another dollar, as the Obama economy continues to disappoint with a 0.2 percent growth rate for GDP in the first quarter for 2015.  MORE...

March 31, 2015

I Want a President Who Plays by the Rules

If you are a politician, why bother to play by the rules? Or if you are a citizen, why should you care whether the political leaders on your team play by the rules? (It goes without saying that we all care when the Other Guys break the rules.)  MORE...

March 03, 2015

I Want a President Who'll Dump the Stupid FCC

It was the Progressive Era that invented independent regulatory agencies. We needed an Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate those railroads. The noble idea was that we needed independent experts to protect the helpless farmer from the greed of the railroad barons. We needed a watchdog that was free of both of partisan taint and political patronage and also free from influence by corporate power.  MORE...

December 30, 2014

I Want a President That Loves America

I first fell in love with America 49 years ago. I flew from the UK to Denver visit my parents in Christmas 1965, and it was love at first sight. I fell in love with America, the land; I fell in love with America, the people. And I fell in love with the American way of life, the unconsciously optimistic approach to life and work and the future.  MORE...