The Alt Right is Nothing

The alt-right is nothing more than a category of memes, consumed seriously by a few neckbeards in basements and enjoyed ironically by a few others.

The alt-right is not an organized ideology, or movement.  It is a label, slapped on to anyone with racist or nationalistic tendencies, only to advance a certain “progressive” political agenda which only flourishes if it has those tendencies to combat.

Racism does still exist.  But we cannot say that it exists politically, or meaningfully in any sense other than the rantings of rednecks; hardly politically powerful.

Trump did not win because of racism.  There was very little that was actually racist about his program, all of the percieved racism as projected by others who were being  little over-dramatic.  No, he won because he seemed to offer solid economic solutions to a country which has not sufficiently recovered.  The “recovery” we have had has not really been much of a recovery in most respects, but rather a normalization: we’ve just become accustomed.

Clinton could offer nothing substantive; everything she said was a rehashing of what was given to us in 2008 and 2012, which came to nothing.  This is why Trump won.  I will be the first to admit that his economic policy is based on shaky ground, but it is simply the illusion of something different that was enough to have him elected.

 

Trump in no way represents any of the supposed interests of the “alt-right.”  Sure, they will celebrate the victory of Emperor Trump, but Trump has taken a moderate line since his victory, and arguably even before, save for a few issues.

Statistically the alt-right is a small, minuscule number; yet the media and the left treats the “movement” as if it were taking over the right!

Honestly, the full amount may be a couple thousand who lurk on the internet.  Little more…

A safe space for Donald…

The right wing has had a good time making fun of the throngs of University students who, when faced with a negative aspect of reality, scurry quickly to a “safe space.”

There, universities are offering coloring books and play-dough in order to help students “cope” with harsh realities.  I’m all for reconnecting with childhood, but this is a bit much.

The right wing likes to sit back and laugh at the liberals who are offended by everything.  Indeed, it is more than a little amusing.  Problem is, the right wing is equally susceptible to the same behavior.

You’ll notice the offended right wingers come out of the woodwork whenever someone disrespects a flag, or refuses to stand for some sort of pledge, and so on.  So really, it’s not whether they choose to be offended or not, but simply deciding what “issues” are worthy of this irrational outrage.

And this is the problem with our deteriorating political culture: so much of the ideas are based on emotions, and as previously noted here, reactions.  Both sides are extremely guilty of this.

To his credit, Mike Pence himself was not at all outraged and took the “Hamilton” incident in stride; but we all know that Commandant Combover was not so understanding.

I wonder what Milo Yannopolis now has to say about Trump demanding a safe space and apologies?

The Death of Democracy?

The events of last night – do they indicate the death of the great American Democratic experiment?  Or does it mean that a certain portion of the American people, so long neglected and mocked, finally took their revenge, and that is Democracy is actually supposed to work?  A little of both, I suppose.

Should we go into mourning?  Is this really the death of Democracy?

No.  In fact this surprise, predicted by almost no one, shows that Democracy is indeed “working” as well as it can be expected to – and that’s nothing to get particularly excited about.

The other possible outcome from last night would have been equally as dismal (honestly, this article would nearly be the same had the opposite result occurred) simply because Democracy didn’t just suddenly die on November 9th, 2016 – it has been dying throughout the year and a half of this business.

If you want to hop on the boat sailing on the rivers of leftist tears, you might insist that the system was ‘rigged’ for Trump (when it wasn’t just a week ago, when Clinton led in the polls?) or that the ‘system isn’t working’ because of this result.  I can see very clearly, however, if Clinton had got the 270 requisite electoral college votes, but Trump had won in the popular vote, leftists would suddenly insist that the system is working properly and that we ought to accept the results, without hesitation.

Thus, democracy has become reactionary, and not based on any discernible principles.  To me, this means that it is as good as dead.

Not only would democracy have “died” with either result, but there could only be one thing that brought on this death: democracy itself.

The purpose of a government is to protect, and punish infringements upon, our naturally held rights: life, liberty, and property.

The government, in order to accomplish this goal, can take any form.  A democracy, a republic, even oligarchies or monarchies, if those who govern are honest, can fulfill this goal.

The founders long ago decided that the governed ought to have a hand in their own governance, but not completely so.  They designed a system which was accountable to the people, but did have insulation between the presidency and the whims of the majority (as well as the senate also; Senators were originally chosen by State Legislatures.) Thus they understood the flaws in both a government directly accountable to the people, and one not accountable to the people at all.

The people of the revolutionary generation were capable of self government; they were willing to stake their lives, fortunes, and reputations in defense of an idea they believed in.  By extension, they would elect men to their system that also would do so.

These days?  Well, that is not easily seen.

Let’s look at an example: the elected senator from Oklahoma, the orange haired one reaffirmed last night, continually tells us of the virtues of fiscal conservatism.  But in Washington, he votes for spending increases which contradict these ideals he espouses, in the interest of keeping the government operational.  Remember, how much of our population relies on government employment – a temporary loss of that would reflect very poorly on the good Senator.  Therefore, the senator votes in the interest of keeping his job (as they all do) instead of any discernible principles or ideals.

We don’t elect Statesmen, we elect men who are good at public relations and who only concern themselves with keeping their jobs.  As a voting public, as a people, are we any different?

For example, we base our opinion on the “system” based on the results.  We really have no discernible ideals, but rather our opinions are entirely reactionary and emotional.

Changes and progress happen only out of political necessity; Hillary Clinton did not change her stance on gay marriage because it was the right thing to do, but rather, her position was always based on the political necessities of the moment.

When political victories do not mean a triumph of ideals, the perpetuation of freedom, but rather the continued protection of certain interests, we can say that Democracy has failed.

But it is disingenuous (and a tad bit over dramatic) to claim that it is failed because we don’t like the result.

Something else: we place, and continue to place, entirely too much importance on the presidency.   People seem to think that, because of Trump’s victory, they will be personally (and negatively) impacted.  I’m still not sure how serious that is, but it does indicate one thing: the powers of the government are too much, and the power of the presidency is too much.

Is this going to be what it takes to show the appeal of limited, restricted, government?

A final word about third parties in 2016

I operate under no illusions – this election will be won either by the Republican or Democrat candidate.  There is slim chance that a third party will disturb the overall result to throw it into the house of representatives.   Even if such a thing did happen, we can expect the house of representatives to give us the same dismal result that the people and the electoral college will give us.

I would be endlessly happy with a third party triumph, or even a significant rocking of the boat.  It’s not possible; but for me, from the start of the general election, it’s been less about the candidates and more about ballot access.  But what if this was not a consideration?

I have thought about how I might vote if Oklahoma was a state of consequence in the final result in the election.  If it were a swing state, where my vote would have some slight effect on the final outcome, would I give in and vote for a “lesser of two evils?”

I wouldn’t, because simply, that isn’t how this republic is supposed to operate.

It is up to us to find the best man for the job.  We do not take this as seriously as we ought to.  Voting for an unpopular candidate does not mean that my vote is wasted or spent in vain; no, it would be given to the cause I sincerely believe in: peace and freedom.  Third party supporters do not concern themselves with practicalities or expediency, but ideals.

When politics lost ideals in favor of practicality and expediency, it lost its dignity and legitimacy.  Instead of the better man, we pick the smoother more attractive one, the one with the best assurances, the better talker.  What have we to show for it?

We hear every so often that this is the end of democracy, or that it may end with the arrival of a certain result.  But it is nothing but democracy that could have allowed this to happen, or more particularly, the apathy and carelessness of the masses, all of which gives us a failure of democracy.

Everything that happened here, happened because we allowed it to.

On the right: we should not really think that Trump blundered his way into the nomination.  It has the external appearance that he did, but do you not think a wealthy man such as Trump came upon his fortune and reputation by mere blundering?  No; he is a smart man, and everything he did here was carefully calculated.  It was a hack of sorts: he said the right things, to appeal to a great mass of voters that has, for years, been ignored by conventional right wing candidates.  He got this part of the electorate excited, and it catapulted him to the victory; obliging more moderate right wingers to vote for him in a general election, thus implying that they are okay with this.

And thus it will continue, because nobody is willing to stand up to this new status quo on the ballot.

On the left: there is a tendency to say, especially now, that things are “rigged” when we don’t like the result, and then if we do like the result, it suddenly isn’t “rigged.”  But it was clear that the Democrat machinery,  which really should be unbiased,  favored Clinton from the start of this business.  Whether or not it was truly “rigged” remains to be seen, but there is some interesting (while not completely convincing) evidence to support this idea.  Either way, when the left wing, much of which supported Sanders, are implying their approval of this when they continue to lend their support to this corrupt political organization and it’s candidate.

Again, nobody is willing to stand up to this new status quo on the ballot.

This doesn’t just apply to the presidential circus.  We hear the same fallacies offered to anyone who thinks of voting for a third party at elections at any level of politics.

These fallacies are passed around without any attempt at reason or ideological harmony, all with the same object: to convince or guilt you into supporting their choice, as if yours is illegitimate.

It is a sad thing indeed that they must rely upon tearing down your candidate, instead of standing on the virtues of theirs.  Again, another bad result of democracy.

“It is a wasted vote,” “It will lead to the victory of Mr. X or Mrs. Y,” “Mr. Z has no chance,” “Vote for someone who can win.” etc.

All of these, and other bad arguments, are based upon these false premises:

  1.  That there are only two legitimate candidates;
  2. That by virtue of belonging to the conventional political organizations, they are entitled to my vote;
  3. That a vote with-held from one will lead to the election of another;
  4. and that because most everyone else chooses to support someone else, it makes my supporting of a certain candidate silly.

When there are three candidates in the ballot, then there are three legitimate candidates.  If there are four on the ballot, there are four legitimate candidates, and so on.  In the case of the presidential election, when there is a candidate on the ballot in all states, then that must mean they are a legitimate candidate.  Popularity does not imply legitimacy.

As anxiously as we await the final result of this election, we are also anxiously waiting to see what sort of effect the third party vote will have on the outcome.  We know this much:  it will be more significant than in previous years.

But one more thing: if your candidate does not win, do not even think of blaming a third party for this occurrence.  Blame the insufficiency of your own candidate.

 

 

 

How I’m Voting

I would never be so presumptuous as to tell someone how they ought to vote.  However, there is nothing wrong with throwing a few thoughts out there which, I hope, my reader will consider.

Item by item:

Presidential.  My support of Gary Johnson has been well known.  I have never feared “handing” the election to a certain candidate because of my voting for a third party;  I prefer, so far as possible, to vote based on principle and not being guilted into voting “practically.”  However, I know that the fashion is to vote practically, as it has been in the last few decades (landing us nowhere.)  Very well; let’s look at this matter practically.

Trump is going to carry Oklahoma by a sizable margin, perhaps even by a landslide.  Clinton’s defeat in Oklahoma is a certainty.  However, there is one thing that is not so certain: continued access to the ballot for the Libertarian party in the state of Oklahoma.  For this to continue, the Libertarians have to receive 2.5% of the presidential vote.  The presidential rate was dismal in every way, and the only good that can come of it at this point would be ballot access for next election.  This would be a victory itself.

U.S. Senate:  As a libertarian, naturally I will be supporting the libertarian candidate, Robert Murphy, against James Lankford.  Partly because Lankford is a fraud, but also Robert Murphy is a long-time and well respected Oklahoma libertarian.  But there are also two other independents (Mark Beard and Sean Braddy) which are also worth your consideration.

District Four House of Representatives:  Again, as a libertarian, I will be supporting the libertarian candidate Servier White.

A long standing habit of those who want to reject the status quo is to reject all the judges, no matter who they are.  I feel that usually that would be too hasty and ill-considered, however in this case it would work; there is no compelling reason to keep either of these judges (Douglas L. Comb and James R. Winchester.)

State Questions:

State Question 776, regarding a constitutional amendment to guarantee the right of the state government to execute convicted criminals.  A yes vote would add this amendment to the state constitution.

I will be voting no on this question, as I oppose the death penalty and think it’s unnecessary to add to our state constitution.  Besides, legislation to this effect already is on the books in our state, so this question isn’t necessary at all.

State Question 777, “Right to Farm.”  This one is a little difficult.  A “yes” vote would prevent the State government from passing additional legislation regulating agricultural activities, unless there is a “compelling state interest.” Regulations that already exist will continue to be enforced.

Personally, I will be supporting this.  Granted, the most oppressive agricultural regulations are Federal, not state – however, anytime we can remove a little power from any level of government, it is a sort of victory.

Concerns have been raised about this allowing corporate farms to flourish, bringing about the end of family owned farms, polluting our water supply, etc.  I think these concerns are a little exaggerated, but the corporate farm is a very real possibility.  Is this something to be concerned about?

The modern tendency is toward corporate farms because they are ultimately more efficient and offer more inexpensive food to the consumer.  This is a tendency of the free market.  If we fear the aforementioned effects of this question, then we fear the effects and tendencies of the free market in operation.

Sure, we can be nostalgic for the days of family owned farms, but are we going to let a little nostalgia get in the way of the progress made by a free market?

State Question 779, Boren’s Sales Tax plan,  to add 1% to the statewide sales tax rate for educational purposes.

I will also be voting no on this one, as this will make our sales tax rate the highest in the nation and it would adversely affect our economy.  Furthermore, it’s not like more money given to the schools has ever “improved” education – for decades, we have been appropriating more and more money for the use of public schools, and what has come of this?  The same, mediocre result.

State Questions 780 and 781: I will be supporting these measures.  I have long been of the opinion that Oklahoma’s drug laws are too harsh for what essentially amounts to a nonviolent crime.

State Question 790: Regarding the appropriation of public funds for religious purposes.  This one is easy; I will be voting no.  Always looking for ways to save taxpayer money, this is one obvious way.

State Question 792:  Even easier.   Should consumers have more choices regarding where they can buy alcoholic beverages?  I think so; vote yes.