photo credit: cnn.com
A few days ago I posted a link to a think piece entitled The Flight 93 Election, along with a few extracts. The essay, originally published on The Claremont Review of Books website here, generated a significant amount of interest in the blogosphere. It also generated a boatload of responses, much of it critical, to which the author, writing under the pseudonym Publius Decius Mus, responded on Sept-13 here.
Like everyone else, I am trying to navigate my way through the run-up to the November election, and I highly recommend both the original think-piece and the follow-up that responds to specific criticisms. Here are a few extracts from the Restatement on Flight 93:
Some also complained about the aptness of the analogy: the plane crashed! Well, yes, and this one might too. Then again, it might not. It depends in part on what action the electorate chooses to take. The passengers of Flight 93 roused themselves. They succeeded insofar as that plane did not hit its intended target.
The temptation not to rouse oneself in a time of great peril is always strong. In another respect, the analogy is even more apt. All of the passengers on Flight 93—and all of the victims at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—died owing in part to a disastrously broken immigration system that didn’t then and still doesn’t serve the interests of the American people. Which also happens to be the core issue at stake in this election.
. . .
[another reason that some conservatives oppose Trump is that] Trump might win. He is not playing his assigned role of gentlemanly loser the way McCain and Romney did, and may well have tapped into some previously untapped sentiment that he can ride to victory. This is a problem for both the Right and the Left.
The professional Right (correctly) fears that a Trump victory will finally make their irrelevance undeniable. The Left knows that so long as Republicans kept playing by the same rules and appealing to the same dwindling base of voters, there was no danger. Even if one of the old breed had won, nothing much would have changed, since their positions on the most decisive issues were effectively the same as the Democrats and because they posed no serious challenge to the administrative state.
. . .
[T]he current governing arrangement of the United States is rule by a transnational managerial class in conjunction with the administrative state. To the extent that the parties are adversarial at the national level, it is merely to determine who gets to run the administrative state for four years. Challenging the administrative state is out of the question [my emphasis]. The Democrats are united on this point. The Republicans are at least nominally divided. But those nominally opposed (to the extent that they even understand the problem, which is: not much) are unwilling or unable to actually do anything about it. Are challenges to the administrative state allowed only if they are guaranteed to be ineffectual? If so, the current conservative movement is tailor-made for the task. Meanwhile, the much stronger Ryan wing of the Party actively abets the administrative state and works to further the managerial class agenda.
Trump is the first candidate since Reagan to threaten this arrangement.
. . .
If Hillary wins, there will still be a country, in the sense of a geographic territory with a people, a government, and various institutions. Things will mostly look the same, just as—outwardly—Rome changed little on the ascension of Augustus. It will not be tyranny or Caesarism—not yet. But it will represent, in my view, an irreversible triumph for the administrative state. Consider that no president has been denied reelection since 1992. If we can’t beat the Democrats now, what makes anyone think we could in 2020, when they will have all the advantages of incumbency plus four more years of demographic change in their favor? And if we can’t win in 2016 or 2020, what reason is there to hope for 2024? Will the electorate be more Republican? More conservative? Will constitutional norms be stronger?
The country will go on, but it will not be a constitutional republic. It will be a blue state on a national scale.
The entire article is here. Should be a Must Read.
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