Saturday, 12 November 2016

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Trumpsit. Golly.

Douglas Wilson


So a number of officio-pundits are gobsmacked, flummoxed, pole-axed, and otherwise discomfited. Brexit. The Cubs. And now this. What a year. My initial reactions run along the lines of jumping Jehoshaphat, land of Goshen, and oh, my stars and garters.

But let me make a number of other snapshot observations, perhaps a tad more salient.electoral-map

Alas For The Pollsters

The polls were way off. In the aftermath of that, we are now enduring the spectacle of interviewed experts explaining how it was that the experts had it all wrong. They are experts on that too, apparently. The problem with polling is that even in the best of situations you are talking to 2,000 people in order to find out what 100 million will do. And when you are trying to predict an election, if you do it in any kind of disciplined manner, you will want to poll the “likely voters.” But likely voters are determined by looking at what has happened in past elections, and all the past elections were normal elections. But this was in no way a normal election. How was the most experienced pollster in the world to know how to identify the right people to ask their questions?

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Evangelicals went for Trump in numbers markedly higher than their support for previous Republican candidates. But this was, in my view, a function of detestation, not a function of enthusiasm. Evangelicals clearly have a much higher gakkk! level with regard to Hillary than other groups did.


Going into the night I was braced for a Trump victory, and looking forward to a Hillary loss. I was vindicated in the former, and absolutely delighted by the latter.
 Here is what I just tweeted to the rest of the world. “USA to the whole world @ our elections. RE: Trump: we are very sorry. RE: Clinton: you are most welcome.” I have been fighting the socialist left on everything my entire adult life, and a little before that. It will be a positive relief to have to fight the populist right on some things. I trust that I will be encouraged by some of the things Trump will do (i.e. the Supreme Court), hopeful about some things he might do (e.g. Trey Gowdy for Attorney General), and appalled by other things (being pro-business is not the same thing as being pro-economic liberty).

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

One of the things we are hearing from progressive elites is that they have now “realized they don’t live in the country they thought they lived in.” Right. But they most certainly live in a country that is very much like what they constantly accused it of being. This is the “boy who cried wolf” election. Having lived in an environment where simply being white was racist, where systemic racism explained all kinds of things up to and including climate change, where Tea Party advocates who wanted to do basic budgetary math were thereby racists, where moderate Republican politicos like Romney were pilloried for being racists, we have now arrived at the point where the meaninglessness of that word has been officially translated into electoral politics. People think they are doing nuanced “racism analysis,” and what they are actually doing is debasing the potency of the term.

And the same kind of thing is true with regard to other forms of political correctness. This includes issues like immigration, terrorism, treatment of women, etc. Everybody knows that Trump’s personal treatment of women has been detestable, and that is not the kind of thing that an election can wash away. But it is the kind of thing that an electorate, including the women in it, can be badgered into ignoring. Everything about Trump’s baggage that is both tawdry and now overlooked has been the direct result of overblown rhetoric from the cultural left.

Identity Politics Bites Back

On a related note, working class whites have been hectored for a generation on the high virtues of identity politics and so then, in an unexpected move, they finally decided to act as an identity group themselves. When you pour abuse on flyover country, and you do it for decades, this is the kind of reaction you will eventually get.

A great deal will be made out of the “non-college degree” levels of support for Trump, and how all the college-educated cool kids supported Hillary. The nature of the jab is obvious, but a bit of reflection should be spent on the fact that our colleges are currently functioning as factories for snowflakes and commies. In other words, remember that a college education ain’t what it used to be. And because this was a revolt against the elites, it turns out that nobody cares.

Too Big to Jail?

There is another problem, a practical thorny one. Outside the realm of overblown campaign rhetoric, Hillary really is a corrupt and mendacious politician who richly deserves to spend some time in jail. On the one hand, you don’t want a system where some people are above the law, “too big to jail,” and on the other you don’t want a system where the loser of an election goes to jail. In my view, in our situation, the latter outcome would be far worse, far more dangerous. So I think that one of the things Donald Trump needs to do is to let it be known that he will not interfere with any ongoing investigation of Hillary, but that if she is indicted and convicted of anything, he will pardon her. The price of the pardon would be that she would have to retire from public life—no memoirs, no Clinton Foundation, no nothing.


In any case, this is going to be an adventure. I wish the new president and his family well. I hope he surprises everybody as much as he already has, but for different reasons. At the same time, I am grateful to be in a position to support or oppose him, depending on the issue. Here we go.

No comments: