"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth—anonymously and posthumously."Thomas Sowell

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

ICBMs vs. Voting the Down Ticket

Many #NeverTrump voters insist that we must at least still vote. They say that voting the down ticket is still necessary and useful. But Trump proves that won’t work. After all, Ted Cruz was the quintessential down ticket vote for the last decade, and that down-ticket vote failed. But why did it fail? To understand this, we need only consider why the MAD American policy on nuclear ICBMs works, and understand where it can fail.

MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction—worked only to the extent that our missile shield didn’t. If the enemy launches 10,000 nuclear-tipped missiles, our shield had to be 100% effective. If it were any less effective, one missile would get through, and we couldn’t know which one it would be.

Now, the missile shield was useful, in the sense that it accomplished unilateral disarmament of the other side. That is, if our shield was 50% effective, then 50% of the opposition’s weapons were functionally neutralized: the shield reduced their effective throw-weight by 50%. But, ultimately, no one launched a nuclear war because we knew we couldn’t guarantee that all of the opposing force could be stopped. If only one nuke managed to hit a high-value target, we might easily see our entire strategic position unravel in front of our eyes.

When MAD fails

This year’s Republican presidential election demonstrates the problem in spades. Of the 17 candidates running, at least fourteen were down-ticket candidates. All of the down-ticket candidates lost. ALL OF THEM. LOST. One nuke got through, and the country will now go up in flames. That one missile got through because American citizens wanted it to get through.

It doesn't matter how many good down-ticket candidates are placed into office when no one is paying attention. When Americans do pay attention, they choose the nuke. they will nuke those down-ticket candidates. Constantly. Mercilessly. Until one of their nukes gets through. And one of their nukes will always get through. As soon as the public focuses its attention, the person in the down-ticket office dies or is neutralized (Kim Davis, this means you). When the nuke they deliver is the Presidency, as it was with Obama, as it will be with Trump/Hillary, we will watch our strategic position evaporate before our eyes.

Today, it is clear that Obama and the liberals have won the culture wars. Yes, he won. Yes, they won. Many people argue that since we survived eight years of Obama, we can survive another four or eight of Hillary or Trump. But this statement assumes a falsehood. We didn’t survive eight years of Obama. We died. I will say it again: Obama and the liberals won.

Let me explain.

What we were

We think of America as a single country, a mature entity, a rock-ribbed, unchanging reality. That isn’t true. America has been many different countries in the last 200 years.

At its founding in 1789, America was 90% agrarian in population. Dueling in the streets was legal, ordinary and expected. Slavery was legal in every state, states had religious tests for holding office, the tax burden was nearly non-existent. While we had mercantile tendencies, we were still essentially an honor-based society.

Fifty years later, (1830s) we were a different country. Half the states had outlawed slavery, dueling still happened, but was dying out, industrialization had begun, urban populations had already begun a century-long increase. There were still no federal taxes that directly affected the individual. Geographically, the nation had more than doubled in size, permanently changing our self-image.

Fifty years after (1880s), we were a different country again. Only 43% of the population was agrarian, but 15% were involved in the new industrial processes, mostly as small artisan shops on farms. The federal tax burden was increasing. 3.4% of the population now lived in cities over 1 million in size. The West was nearly completely settled, but Alaska had just been purchased. The last duel was fought in the streets of Fort Worth, TX (1887), slavery was gone, religious tests were gone, abortion was affirmatively outlawed, there was still almost no mandatory schools for children. Immigration from central Europe had caused a population spike.

Fifty years later, (1930s) we had changed again. Now we were a fully industrialized country, only 20% agrarian, while fully 20% was involved in manufacturing. All states required mandatory schooling for children, about 30% of the population graduated high school, and high schools had gun clubs, some with WWI-era machine guns to use on the high school rifle range. Abortion was a heinous crime against humanity. Dueling was outlawed everywhere, Massive immigration from the Mediterranean regions had caused an urban population explosion.

Today, we are 80% urban, perhaps 8.8% of the population are engaged in manufacturing, only 2.6% agrarian, producing more food and products than ever before in the history of the country. Abortion is now not only not a crime, but affirmatively a right and sometimes a social duty. The sale of the corpses of aborted children and their organs is tacitly accepted. Automation steadily eats away jobs in virtually every economic sector. Immigration from Central and South America is causing a population spike. Nibbling a pop-tart into the shape of a gun is grounds for expulsion. The national attention is focused on people who don't even know what sex they are or what bathroom they should use.

What we have become

This is the new America. May 3, 2016 marked a demarcation line, a sea-change. By choosing Hillary and the Donald as our nominees, we have broken the last bonds with an honor-based society, we have broken with being men and women of integrity. Trump and Hillary make no pretense of having honor, allow us to carry no illusion that they have integrity, or even that they have a policy that can be articulated. The country that elected Obama twice has now demonstrated that his election was no aberration. We will be ruled by increasingly narcissistic despots from here on out.

We have deliberately nominated two people who are proven and demonstrable liars, even supporters of rape (when it pays them). Yes, today you can laugh at a child who has been raped, you can call a convicted rapist a “real man”, and still gain the nomination to be President. We have nominated two people who boldly and nakedly pursue nothing but money, power and their own self-interest, celebrities who hold up, as examples, other celebrities who have successfully performed the ultimate acts of self-interest (rape and abortion).

Now, many of us have not surrendered our principles. Many of us refuse to support either of these nominees. But we are now clearly in the minority, and an extreme minority at that. In the past, Americans chose to be ruled by Christian principles, even if we did not always live by them. By nominating these two, the vast majority of Americans demonstrate they no longer wish their principles to be even nominally Christian. This current crop of Americans has successfully redefined the culture to the point where most are comfortable with naked narcissism. The country we once belonged to no longer exists.

America has once again changed, become a new country, and the Constitution is no longer fit to be our founding document. It is too good for us. We need a document fitted for the servile crudity that we have become. If you need further proof, contemplate this: Trump supporters say that he is the superior candidate because “nobody knows what Trump will do.” That is, Trump supporters argue that America-at-large has become the Democrat Congress it elected in 2008. That is, we have become a people who no longer debate issues, rather, we pass a bill, elect a President, in order to find out what is in it.

But even that is a lie. We know what Trump will do. We just comfort ourselves by telling ourselves this lie, pretending to ourselves that we are ignorant of what comes next. We know. We know what comes next.

What does it mean to be an American? With this last clearly defined change, this last clearly defined choice, we can look back at the last eight years and look forward to the coming eight years, perhaps even the span of a full generation, and we now clearly see what it means to be an American, as the Frenchmen of the Vendée looked towards 1789 Paris and saw what was coming. What it means is the Deluge. What it means is Obama, Bernie, Hillary and Trump. It means the narcissism of rape and child murder, celebrated every day. It means "the greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you, to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters."

As a citizen of the Vendée might have said about France, so I am today sad to say, I am no longer an American. I am a man without a country. America was a great country while it lasted. I forlornly hope it doesn't kill too many others while it goes through its death throes.

As a country, America is finished.


Tom Van Dyke said...

Steve, I disagree with not a single premise as you have laid them all out, but

The country we once belonged to no longer exists.

America has once again changed, become a new country, and the Constitution is no longer fit to be our founding document. It is too good for us.

is not yet certain. I suppose it comes down to what "country" or "nation" means. Is it merely the sum of its government, its laws?

France was France under Louis XVI, under the First Republic of Robespierre, et al., Emperor Napoleon, then Louis XVIII, under Napoleons II & III and also under the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and the current 5th Republic.

Even under Hitler and the disgrace of Pétain's Vichy. They still were fucking French.

We're still fucking American, and our history is anything but spotless, but has corrected itself over time. Let's see what happens.

Mark D. said...

I'm with Tom regarding his comment above -- I don't think we have lost the resources within our nation for renewal and revitalization in accord with our nation's founding principles. There is much still good and strong and noble about America and her culture, and while there is much to be reformed, so it ever was. America has never been a finished product because it is an experiment in ordered liberty, sometimes we get things right, and sometimes we get things wrong. But there has been real progress in our nation on some points since the founding era (we no longer have chattel slavery, for example). While there are new evils to combat, and older evils left in place, we can fight them if we have the confidence in the values of our nation's founding and the principles of our constitutional order. The Republic can only die if we let it.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, exactly. The Founding principles--ideals--may be self-evident but they are not self-sustaining. They were fought for to establish, and must be fought for in every succeeding generation.

Anarchy on one hand and tyranny on the other are always easily on offer, and when good men do nothing one or the other prevails.

Tim Kowal said...

No, I must say I agree with Steve. The patient might be breathing still, but his condition is terminal. What is there about an American culture that is self-sustaining, that is worth sustaining at all? The examples from history are either lost or becoming inevitably so. That we are religious and virtuous? Compared to Europe, but that's a pitiable low bar. That we are freedom-loving? Do tell. That we are crass? Yes, but that is not worth sustaining.

This is not a failure of the American people, but its elites, of whom Trump is certainly a member. Americans have always voted on single issues, and for stupid and low reasons. It was not the will of Americans that made America great but the will mediated by a ruling class who had some class. The new elites are falling over themselves in a race to the bottom. Thy will be done, on heaven as it is on earth. Yuck.

Tom Van Dyke said...

No, I must say I agree with Steve. The patient might be breathing still, but his condition is terminal.

There may be a reason that the Democratic Party is America's oldest, from that swine Jefferson


to the murderous Andrew Jackson, to the party of slavery, then of Jim Crow then of socialism then of easy abortion and the welfare state.

Perhaps any party is built on principles and not demagoguery ["democracy"] is by nature doomed.

Tim Kowal said...

"Perhaps any party is built on principles and not demagoguery ["democracy"] is by nature doomed."

I fear so. Ideology bears the weight of unconsidered outcomes of a particular objective. Shall we put education in the hands of the federal government? Experts may be summoned to give an impressive affirmative case. But theory helps us bear our ignorance of facts, and a theory of small government insulates us from the impudence of experts. But Trump represents an end of ideology. His think tank isn't AEI or Center for American Progress. It's Gallup.

You can't unify around something that has no center.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, the only thing worse than the tyranny of a minority is the tyranny of the majority. You don't even have numbers on your side. And to what might you appeal?

“In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

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