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The Inauguration
“The Jacksonian Revolt”

As Donald Trump takes the oath today, we encourage you to read Walter Russell Mead’s latest essay in Foreign Affairs“The Jacksonian Revolt”—to get a sense for the historical forces that have shaped this moment. A taste:

Many Jacksonians came to believe that the American establishment was no longer reliably patriotic, with “patriotism” defined as an instinctive loyalty to the well-being and values of Jacksonian America. And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights. Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. Jacksonians locate their moral community closer to home, in fellow citizens who share a common national bond. If the cosmopolitans see Jacksonians as backward and chauvinistic, Jacksonians return the favor by seeing the cosmopolitan elite as near treasonous—people who think it is morally questionable to put their own country, and its citizens, first.

Jacksonian distrust of elite patriotism has been increased by the country’s selective embrace of identity politics in recent decades. The contemporary American scene is filled with civic, political, and academic movements celebrating various ethnic, racial, genderand religious identities. Elites have gradually welcomed demands for cultural recognition by African Americans, Hispanics, women, the lgbtq community, Native Americans, Muslim Americans. Yet the situation is more complex for most Jacksonians, who don’t see themselves as fitting neatly into any of those categories.

Do read the whole thing. (And of course, don’t forget to re-read WRM’s calling of the moment a full year ago in our own pages.)

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  • Psalms564

    It’s OVER!!!! We are FREE!!! Let us all enjoy this moment.

    • Disappeared4x

      Not so fast, he is speaking again at Joint Base Andrews. Give it another 15 minutes. 1:10 pm EDT
      split screen with POTUSTrump getting ready to unsign The Legacy. How bizarro is that?
      C-Span is better.

      • Psalms564

        I was watching it on a business channel. Liked his speech.

        • Disappeared4x

          whatever. It is now OVER!

  • Jim__L

    It’s nice to see that WRM gets it, and is willing to share it with the rest of the elite. There were a couple of questionable assertions in his Foreign Affairs piece, but for the most part he gets it.

    I’m deeply curious about what their reaction to it is, in public an in private.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Hoo Yaw!

  • FriendlyGoat

    Somehow I don’t think Trump will be calling for an end to the electoral college to “give the election of President and Vice-President to the people” as Jackson repeatedly proposed. I also don’t think Trump will be famous for vetoing legislation as Jackson was—–at least not until the present Congress is reformed in 2019 after going nuts in 2017 and 2018.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Oh, so now it is ‘until Congress is reformed in 2019’?….Tell you what….put your money where your mouth is, and place a wager. I will match anything you care to put up that in 2018 the GOP will pick up at least 1 (likely considerably more) Senate seats and hold or gain seats in the House. This is a public forum, you have lots of witnesses….prove you know what you are talking about by putting it to the test.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Pendulums swing. This one is going to swing further right than anyone thinks. By the end of two years, many people are going to want it to swing back to the middle. That said, I’m aware of the Senate map in 2018 favoring your side in the numbers. The way the midterms look now, though, may not be the way they look after two years of events.

        • f1b0nacc1

          So, will you take the bet, or will you acknowledge that you are talking through your hat (again)?

          Come now, the GOP controls all of government, Trump has already demonstrated his clear intentions through his personnel choices (something you assured all of us wouldn’t happen, and told us that we had ‘been had’ by that con man), and Congress has already shown that they are going along with it. What more do you need?

        • Johnathan Swift Jr.

          Pendulums do indeed swing back and forth, but rarely every few elections as we have seen recently. It was the Democrats who overplayed their hand, assuming that what they perceived as Sean Trende’s thesis after 2008 was correct, that their minority coalition marked a realignment, so that there would be a Democratic majority for years, even decades. It seems like every political consultant read the Trende book and assumed that a growing Hispanic population and then legalization of tens of millions of illegals and their families would guarantee the Democrats a majority. That was not of course what Trende wrote, but then long and detailed books are summarized into a few take-aways and that is what most people took away. As Trende points out in has recent articles, the Democrats do have a lot of minority voters, but they are largely grouped in already blue states.

          Unfortunately, the Hispanic share of the vote has only gone up by 1% or so each election cycle, so as Trump proved, it was more than possible to win by simply picking up a larger percentage of the white vote (along with more Hispanics than Romney received much to the prognosticator’s chagrin), which was relatively easy because the Democrats and their allies in the universities consider them responsible for all the ills of the world and preach eliminationist rhetoric against them. Because of the Democrat’s monomaniacal obsession with identity politics and victimization, they are becoming successful at making the whites see themselves as a vilified identity group to, which does not bode well for the Republic, nor the Democrats, because there are a lot more of them than the other groups.

          What seems to be happening is that the bluer areas are becoming even bluer and the red areas even more red, county by country with the rural areas (except for college towns which are blue outposts in seas of Indian country) almost entirely red along with countless suburbs. Meanwhile, the Democrats ruling over the Universities, colleges, the upscale areas where their donor base lives and then there is the Democrat’s ghettos and barrios, their carefully cultivated urban plantations, where a largely captive population lives, dependent on government largess, trading votes for benefits, generation after generation.
          What identity politics has done is to increasingly harden the borders of the red and blue areas, which would seem to mean we may keep seeing more of the geography going red, as we saw hundreds of Obama counties do this election, where the GOP did not nominate a nice, well-behaved candidate from central casting like Gov. Romney, but the most polarizing figure, the most polarizing figure since Mrs. Clinton or President Obama.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The thing is, GOP policies will not deliver consistent growth that does not benefit mostly the connected class in the long term. You can’t shift wealth and power dramatically upward and make it appear as though “something else” happened.

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            This is of course very amusing because everything Barak Obama did was to deliver economic growth that almost exclusively benefitted his billionaire donor base. Despite all his rhetoric about “income inequality” he simply jacked it up on steroids like we have never seen before. Why was he so popular with the richest of the richest? Because he delivered for them, his true base (not counting illegal aliens, terrorists and convicts).

            The difference between 2% economic growth and 3% is enormous – millions of jobs – and the notion that 2% is the “new normal” is of course preposterous. It is the new normal if your idea of a nation is a Western European social welfare state, many of which have scant growth year after year, but it has never been the normal between recessions in America and it need not be now.

            If Mr. Trump can deliver 3% growth, or even get things to spike up higher, then the economy will benefit many more people as wages, which have been stagnating, if not going down in many cases, will rise and the economy will gather steam. It is not brain science and it has worked for countless Presidents.

            We will all see, but even now, even before he has put a single policy in place, there is a new optimism, new investment, all because the new President is not perceived as hostile to business, especially to the development of America’s bounty of energy resources. The economic prognosticators around the world are optimistic about America’s future, which means investment, which means jobs and growth. So, remain in the bubble and we’ll see how the Democrats run the table in the Senate in 2018.

          • FriendlyGoat

            We will all be enduring a lot of the gloat and the snark you are peddling for a while. If and when we get to 3% growth, we will discover that virtually all of the ownership of it accumulates in the upper-most hands. With drastic high-end tax cuts, nothing else is even possible.

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            Simply not true, normal economic growth benefits everyone. The people at the top will alway make more, but this last “recovery” was unique in that there was virtually no benefit to anyone except the very wealthy. The Kennedy economy, the Johnson economy, the Reagan economy and the Clinton years all saw gains for everyone. If more people go back to work in manufacturing jobs, in energy jobs, the gains are broad because they pay far more than service sector jobs in the main. Obama promised to rebuild “our crumbling infrastructure” time and time again and spoke about “shovel ready jobs,” but the stimulus went to shoring up government employees by and large and there was no progress on infrastructure. We will see, but a public/private infrastructure plan could have some lasting benefits. Again, a point or a point and a half in economic growth is huge, it means many more jobs and much broader growth. When the growth is low in the United States it seems to accumulate much more to the top, not the other way around.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Since I have no choice AND you don’t either, we shall wait this out and observe the results—–or pass away in the interim.

          • Tom

            “We will all be enduring a lot of the gloat and the snark you are peddling for a while.”

            No wonder you freak out about JR. You think the post you’re replying to is gloating and snarky.
            Protip: I’m usually snarky, although not gloating.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, you are usually snarky. If you weren’t a church guy, that might be understandable. Since you are, it isn’t.

          • Tom

            Nah, it’s actually pretty understandable, if you’re familiar with the history of the church.
            Because John Calvin and Martin Luther (not to mention Paul) make me look like a cherub.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Actually, I don’t worship Calvin, Luther or Paul and don’t much care for anyone in church who does. They are not the model or the point, especially if they provide an excuse and justification for self-admitted snark.

          • Tom

            And that’s the final confirmation. You don’t care nearly as much about substance as you do style.

          • FriendlyGoat

            There are lots of kinds of presumed “substance, but only one Jesus. None of us are really obligated to define or confine Him to the strictures of Catholicism, Lutheranism, Anglicanism, Calvinism, Methodism, Pentecostalism, Mormonism, various Orthodoxy in various countries, or any of all the other “denominations” or even necessarily to Paul.

            By our raising, or by our localities, or by our local congregations, we get sucked into thinking we MUST do this. But it ain’t so. We can each choose to be the Christian we (we) want to be and if we welcome the Holy Spirit in our minds and hearts, that is always an INDIVIDUAL matter, not a group matter or a matter dependent on any group’s doctrine. Insisting otherwise is just an exercise in imagining how right we are and how wrong all those “other groups” are.

            We do not have to “tribalize” ourselves to the point of snipping and snarking each other.
            Whatever churches or church leaders (past or present) there are who want to tempt us to snark, run away from them.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Then take my bet and prove your point. I am (unlike you) offering a measurable metric and a fixed time to check it against. Moreover, I am doing it in front of witnesses and offering to put some skin in the game. Until you can show you actually have a serious argument, you are (as is usual) talking through your hat.

      • Johnathan Swift Jr.

        The nation has been gradually realigning itself with the blue and red areas coalescing into hardening areas with fewer and fewer purple states. That means that the map was poor for the GOP as far as the Senate in 2016, which they survived, but the map looks to be potentially disastrous for the Democrats in 2018 as they defend eight or ten seats in states that Trump won, sometimes handily. So, it would seem that the economy will be the issue in many of these states. If he can simply deliver broader and deeper economic growth through reduced regulation, an all of the above energy policy and greater confidence on the part of investors and consumers, it would bode well for the GOP. People will even vote for someone who is addicted to Twitter if their lunchpail is being used and their family is better off.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Let’s all wait and see whether living-wage (living-wage) jobs are under construction or under assault on a net basis. I’ll pencil you in on my discussion calendar for about five years out.

          • f1b0nacc1

            How about some real metrics, not just general hand-waving? What, specifically, are you predicting, and when are you predicting it for?

        • f1b0nacc1

          The problem with your theory is that not only Nixon self-destructed, so did the rest of the GOP. Keep in mind that 1974 and 1976 were disastrously bad years for the GOP, and this lead to the debacle that was the late 1970s.

          On the other hand, this does support your point somewhat, as the overall collapse of the US domestically and in foreign affairs during the 1970s lead at least in part to the rise of the GOP and Reagan in the 1980s. So the real lesson here is that it is a little bit of both. Unlike the Texirias of the world, I don’t believe in demographic determinism or simple electoral cycles. While I don’t care to agree with FG on anything (if he stated that the sun rose in the east, I would at least try to find an alternative explanation for it!), he is right that if there is a disastrous collapse of things in the next 2 years, it would be very, very bad for the GOP. My reason for offering my wager to him (which he is too much of a coward to accept) is that I am quite confident that there will not be….and that is the whole point. Trump/GOP policies will most likely be moderately successful (perhaps a great deal more, but who knows?), so the ‘normal’ mechanics of the electoral cycle will predominate and the Dems will get waxed.

          Note: You (correctly) mention that Hillary came close to losing NH and MN as well as PA, WI, and MI, but you omitted any mention of how close VA was as well. The truth of the matter is that while the election was indeed won on a razor thin margin, it could have just as easily been a blow-out on an equally thin margin. This hasn’t been given much attention by the Dems (who are still pretending that the Russians – who if they did anything, did little more than simply expose the Democrats only ugly discussions – are responsible for all of their travails), and could potentially lead to an even more serious problem for them in the future. To use your earlier example, both parties ignored the extremely tight electoral results of the 1960s (ignoring 1964 for a minute, which I think that we would all agree was a rather unique election with numerous special circumstances), with disastrous results for both parties in the next decade.

          • FriendlyGoat

            MANY things can happen in two years, some utterly unforeseen. The one thing that is going to happen in the next two years which can be foreseen is that actual Republican policy preferences are going to be revealed in detail—-not danced around. There are going to be a lot of people who find it sickening—-even some of the Trump voters who thought they were getting “something else”. Whether that overcomes a bad Senate map for Democrats—-I have no idea, but GOP overreach is on the way as surely as the sun shines, and very soon.

          • Anthony

            One thing for sure, the GOP can no longer avoid “accountability” (via their anti-government strategy concocted during Gingrich/McConnell leadership in congress). Up to now, said strategy has not revealed an electoral costs. That is, “Our distinctive political system gives an anti-government party with a willingness to cripple government an enormous edge. With the strategic guidance of these two congressional leaders, Republicans launched a self-reinforcing antistatist cycle. First they made government less functional. Then they highlighted that dysfunction to build political support. The capacity to generate and then benefit from voter alienation reinforced all the other potent factors that encouraged the GOP’s rightward shift: a large and passionate base, amplified and mobilized by strong organizations, and reinforced by imbalanced turnout and the emerging structural advantages associated with our political system’s growing rural bias. Alongside rising voter disgust and mounting political dysfunction, these powerful trends encouraged a sharp and ongoing turn toward the right.” (American Amnesia)

            Now as you have inferred in numerous replies, the cover (mask, if I might) will finally be off as the GOP has complete functional control – let’s see going forward how our affected polity responds.

          • FriendlyGoat

            The affected polity is going to suffer a lot of damage from which it may never recoup the political strength to respond. As I have opined before, that might all depend on whether the church folks finally notice themselves having been whacked by conservatism.

          • Anthony

            Let us pray!

          • f1b0nacc1

            So in other words, you still won’t put your money where your mouth is, or even commit to anything more than a gauzy “GOP overreach”…

            I suspect that you are more afraid that the next two years will NOT result in disaster and that the Left will again be revealed as all hat and no cattle. Put up or slink away into the outer darkness…. Note: I do not say “shut up”, since 1) I believe in free speech, even yours; and 2) The more you speak, the more your undermine your own cause….

          • FriendlyGoat

            Good grief. There is nothing gauzy about GOP overreach. It is going to be as much “winner take all” as can possibly be engineered to shift wealth and power straight upward—–stretching dynamic scoring and “reconciliation” to outer space. Whether there will be a “disaster” within 24 months is anyone’s guess as we do not know what could happen in hostilities or in markets. But OF COURSE there are going to be 1) high-end tax cuts which make the already-rich permanently richer, 2) compensating budget cuts which take away jobs from wherever the money was previously being spent, 3) diminishment of workers rights from DOL to NLRB to any number of other agencies, 4) appointment of lifetime judges who will rule more often for corporations than for people. 5) Assaults on CFPB, public broadcasting, net neutrality, safety net programs of many kinds. All of those are absolute givens.

            Stop badgering for bets. First of all, I would no more reveal my personal identity to you to either pay off or collect than I would fly. Secondly, the whole idea is infantile and demeaning to the gravity of what is going on.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Ah, now some hard and fast predictions, such as they are…

            1) I think that you are likely to see tax cuts across the board, but certainly the high end earners (who pay the most in taxes, and thus are likely to have access to anything ‘targeted’) are likely to see the biggest benefit. Like it or not, Romney was right about the 47% who pay little or no tax…tax cuts won’t benefit them no matter how you structure them, so yes, the rich will likely benefit more. Still, if you favor tax cuts on principle (as I do), then this is an inevitable part of the system

            2) Budget cuts are long overdue, and amazingly enough (if we are to believe Reuters and AP), we are talking about real cuts, not just reductions in the rate of growth. This will not ‘take away jobs’ (well, in some cases some ‘crats are going to be unemployed, but I hardly see that as a negative), but if it is likely to reduce the burden on the taxpayer, and thus free up more money for a demand led recovery. Lets be clear, I would like to see very significant cuts where possible (and yes, the various ‘cultural’ subsidies for upper-class boomers should be the first thing to go), and that includes wasteful spending in the Pentagon.

            3) Diminishment of ‘workers rights’ sounds like an outstanding idea. If you mean the outright sell-outs to Big Labor and the various market distortions that harm low and middle income workers, these changes are long overdue for repeal. I see this as part of a broader regulatory rollback (see below), so I am all for it.

            4) Judges who will rule with the law, rather than with social engineers strikes me as a delightful idea, and fortunately enough there are a great many openings (if I remember correctly we are looking at 14% or so of the entire federal bench, not counting new appointments coming up) to work with. The Left, having used the courts to secure what they couldn’t get at the ballot box for decades, will now discover the truth of the phrase ‘sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’…I hope you enjoy the taste!

            5) Shutting down the various subsidies and attempts to manipulate the markets for various cronies (net neutrality was an outright giveaway to the tech titans like Google, for instance) strike me as a superb idea, and one that will save money as well. As for the ‘safety net’, give me specific examples, and lets talk, but just vague hand-waving isn’t going to cut it…

            6) Dealing with voter fraud and rolling back politically motivated tribunals to interfere with state control of their voting systems (which after all, the constitution supports) is a wonderful idea. To take a line from the Democratic hymnal…show me examples of voter suppression at work (and that doesn’t mean differential voting rates, which are likely as not to be a matter of behavior rather than legal impediments), and we can talk…. If you find it hard to win elections when you cannot raise the dead to vote or import illegals, that is hard cheese for you, don’t expect me to care very much. On the other hand, when you can find real examples of real suppression, count upon my support….but then you can’t, can you?

            7) While I have some sympathy for your position here, I would take it far more seriously if you weren’t using the likes of BLM and other racist groups as the foci of your effort. As I mention above, find some real examples, and I will stand with you, but if this is just another social-justice crusade to mau-mau the rest of us…get used to being frustrated for quite a long time. Focus your efforts on real issues, and you will find yourself with real allies….

            8) Deregulation will do more for the economy (and will do more than to benefit millions of Americans of all income levels, the lower ones far more than those at the top) than any other single step, and I hope that you are absolutely right about what is about to happen. You are focused on the financial markets here (where the Dems who have controlled things for 8 years have done nothing that would threaten their Wall Street paymasters, and nominated a candidate even more beholden to them than the previous president), but my hope is that we see a broad and deep deregulation across the entire economy.

            Now, as to my suggestion that you put your money where your mouth is…my reasoning is very simple. I don’t dispute that many of the things that you believe might happen will (though I don’t agree with your characterizations of them, as I point out above), but I believe that the RESULTS of these actions will be positive. We agree that there are always surprises that nobody can predict, but the overall outcome (success or failure) can typically be relatively easily identified and metrics given to measure it. I offer some real metrics for outcomes (and lets be blunt, the results of elections are wonderful for that sort of thing), but you, who enjoys gassy windbagerry when it comes to dire warnings, seem to decline any sort of accountability when it comes to actually acknowledging success or failure.

            You have told us that Trump wasn’t serious about his campaign promises, and that we see him back down on almost all of them. Strange that his personnel choices seem to suggest the opposite, and the (admittedly few so far) actions he has taken as his administration gets going indeed seem to be aimed to implementing those very promises. I expect to be quite happy with his SCOTUS appointment in the next few weeks (likely 2 or less, though one never knows), and from your comments above, you seem to think so too…though you didn’t at the time of the election.

            Like most on the Left, you are big on talk, small on consequences. Talk has taken a flight to Palm Springs to begin his retirement, Consequences has arrived to pick up the pen and phone…. Welcome to the party pal…

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            Thanks. This whole election has been fascinating for those of us who are perhaps less excitable than some on both sides. I was not a Trumpeter, nor a Never Trumper, as I understood that in the end it was a binary choice and the last thing I wanted to do was to return the personally and politically corrupt Clintons to power and see the Democrats further weaponize the federal government.

            But, by late Spring I decided that Trump was onto something, that perhaps he – and only he – could win because only he had a message for the disenfranchised Midwesterners and Rust Belt Republicans. My elderly mother, like many in the GOP was worried about his alienation of the Hispanic voters because of his stand on open borders and illegal immigration. But I kept telling her that perhaps he could more than make up the difference with a larger percentage of the white vote and that Hispanics are not all for open borders and the idea of turning the United States into the type of nation people flee.

            It was in the end, like Waterloo, a close run thing. The thing is that without his self-inflicted wounds – the response to the Kahn job or the grab her right by the _____ remark, he almost certainly would have won New Hampshire and perhaps Minnesota, it was these personal defects that kept many others from pulling the lever or punching the card for him, while a Clinton will always be a Clinton, corrupt, mendacious and willing to sell themselves or anyone else for a contribution, always working on the next campaign, seed money for the next grift or con. But the thing is that all those revelations only shock people once, so if he can put these type of outrages behind him and govern effectively, their defense is even harder, for they have already shot everything that they have at him.

            He had the GOP and Democratic establishments against him, seventeen primary opponents, 95% of the media, all of academia, virtually all of the entertainment industry and most all of the world’s billionaires and his opponents spent far, far more, threw everything they had at him and he still won. Its hard to imagine. Yet, the greatest irony is that it was the Clintons and more than that, Clintonism, that made him possible. Before Clinton a man with his record, his affairs, marriages, messy business affairs, could never have been a credible candidate, but after Bill, anything is possible, pigs can fly and a thrice married man with a checkered past can be President.

            Your other observations are all good. 1964 was unique. I used to have a lot of political memorabilia dating back to the last century and you see the same outpouring of grief and lionization after each President was assassinated, which is often a shot in the arm for their party and their agenda. Ironically, Garfield’s corrupt VP carried out his reform agenda. Johnson won in a walk, but Goldwater was the town crier for a new movement, one for the first time based on ideas and principles, not pragmatism. Up to then, everyone was more or less on the Progressive train, not understanding what the drift from Constitutionalism would do to the country. Goldwater in the end, along with Nixon and the GOP’s collapse, the hay made from Watergate, gave us Reagan and the rise of Constitutionalism.

            As far as the Russians, there is not a shred of evidence that anyone has brought forth than the election was effected by the Podesta/DNC tranche of e-mails. They did not even appear as an issue in the exit polling. They were inside baseball, great for those of us who pay close attention, but far off the normal person’s radar. It was Hillary’s secret server, the cover-up and the drip, drip, drip of lie, then revelation, then another lie, any truth revealed, that in the end doomed her, plus the fact that she is a terrible candidate who does not like crowds, the common people, nor campaigning. Who would have thought she could lose?

            The trouble for them in the future is that the Democrats have a small bench. Lizzie Warren is getting old and is a particularly nasty leftist. Biden will be too old, Schumer will be too old and has no interest in the Presidency, Bernie will be ancient and just said that the United States was the worst nation on earth. That means that either Obama will run for a third term in 2020 or Kamela Harris, another grandstanding far leftist in the Warren mold, will be the candidate. The problem with the Democrats is that now they are addicted to the electoral crack of identity politics, so in order to keep their base angry, aggrieved and voting they need a candidate who is Latino, black or a woman, so two out of three will win the day and Harris will look like a winner to them, someone to rain glass on the GOP, who can put on her pink knit cap and grab the GOP right by the _____. It will be impossible for them to resist that high!

          • f1b0nacc1

            We seem to share many of the same perspectives. Like you, I was not an early (or even middle-range) supporter of DJT, and only came to support him when it became clear that the only alternative to him was the even worse Clintons. Even then, had the SCOTUS not been in the balance, I am not entirely sure (much to my shame) that I wouldn’t have simply sat out the election. In all fairness, Trump’s choices since the election (his appointments, and his inauguration speech) have far exceeded my low expectations, and I hope that I will be able to say that I was wrong about my very low overall assessment of Trump.

            I am not quite as sure as you are that only the Clintons would have lost to Trump. Trump ran a brilliant campaign (well, after bringing on Conway, and actually LISTENING to her…the latter I credit him with…good advice is worthless if it is disregarded), and if he had to depend upon fortuitous events, when they did occur he responded and used them. Yes, the specifics of the emails were inside baseball, but they did a wonderful job of added to the overall impression of HRC and the DNC as amoral clowns who couldn’t be trusted and had sketchy (at best) ethical compasses. This meant that the overall support for the Dems declined, and why they were never able to truly land a serious blow against Trump. So yes, the first order impact of the emails was minimal, but the second order ones were deadly.

            The thin Democratic bench is nothing new (it was even thinner in 2008), but it is a problem that is now compounded by the rise of a deeply destructive tendency on the Left. You need only look at the minor-league version here in the comments (I am sure I don’t need to point them out….grin…) to see the paucity of ideas and where that leads. I always stated that Obama would be comfortable with a HRC defeat because his real goal was to cement his control of the Democratic party, and she represented the last bastion of what passed for (feeble though it is) moderate thought in the party. The fact that people like Ellison is even being considered for party leadership shows how seriously the rot is. The GOP is certainly not immune from trouble (the GOPe is not dead, and they will be a menace going forward that must be destroyed, preferably with fire and acid…grin…), but the party doesn’t lack debate, ideas, or conversation, so there is at least some hope.

            This is a great opportunity, and there is hope that we can use it to move forward, but the battle has only begun and the challenges are great. Churchill said it best, “This is not the beginning of the end, only the end of the beginning…”

          • Johnathan Swift Jr.

            It’s always difficult to know what truly goes on behind the scenes, but I suspect that your views on Obama v.s. the Clintons has some merit, that is the view of Ed Klein, but I am always skeptical of his inside information, as skeptical that anyone has any idea of what goes on inside the Kremlin, as the Russians are masters of misdirection and disinformation as are the Ukrainians who had years of study under the masters.

            But, I suspect that Obama was not too terribly unhappy seeing Hillary melt away before our eyes and the foundation – which was the source of their power and their piggy bank – begin to crumble. I noticed that she still has the mystery man following her with the bug zapper. Obama’s actions on behalf of domestic terrorists and he and the left’s continuing love affair with Castro show the true direction that they want to take the country. He let out one Puerto Rican terrorist after another and made an agreement to shelter domestic terrorists in Cuba.

            There is simply no way that anyone, like Obama can admire Castro, to put him on a pedestal and not be in favor of a leftist dictatorship for the rest of us. If someone has framed pictures of Jesus on their wall, I would assume that they were Christian, if they have an image of FDR on their wall, I would assume they were a New Deal Democrat, if they have a framed photo of Ronald Reagan on their wall, I would guess they were conservative, if they have a framed image of Hitler, I would assume they admire the Nazis and National Socialism and if they admire Che and Castro, I assume that they are a blood thirsty revolutionary.

            If you turn criminal aliens back on American streets, help MS-13 get as many young gang bangers as they want by paying to ship them across the country, if you let hardened terrorists out of Guantanamo right and left, if you speak ill of the United States at every opportunity abroad, if you pardon hundreds of felons, if you may ransom to America’s biggest enemy and provide them with billions to spread terrorism, than I can only conclude that you hate the United States. The Democratic Party has been taken over by radicals, lock, stock and barrel, the fact that Robert Creamer was at the White House 340 times and that the communist miscreants of Black Lives Matter were greeted with open arms, tells you the whole party has gone full retard.

            Meanwhile, obeying the Constitution of the United States, believing in the whole Bill of Rights and the merits of the Declaration and treating everyone equally before the law, none unequally is now seen as “radical” by the news media, AKA “Democrats with Bylines.”

          • ljgude

            Great discussion with f1b0nacc1. Just a note – the 22nd amendment prevents a president running for a third term even after a break. So if an Obama runs in 2020 it would have to be Michelle. And I would add that I have thought for some time that the source of Hillary’s troubles have been Obama. It is pure speculation but I think Obama has always wanted to dominate the Democratic party going forward and I think he will try to control who runs in 2020. I also think he will try to use his hooks in the bureaucracy to sit in Washington and eviscerate the Trump administration. I saw Sanders as a stalking horse for Obama as well as a trial balloon for an overtly leftist agenda. I cheerfully admit that I could be entirely wrong, but I think going forward we will get greater clarity about his accomplishments and failures are as well as what actions have his fingerprints on them.

  • (((kingschitz)))

    If Trump can be loosely compared to Andrew Jackson, then to whom do his critics from the media-academic-political class compare? As a professional historian, I’d like to recommend a book, for those so inclined: The late Professor George M. Frederickson’s The Inner Civil War: Northern Intellectuals and the Crisis of Union, (New York, 1965).

    For those unfamiliar with this tome, Frederickson’s thesis is that Jackson’s creation of the Second Party system ended not only the dominance of New England Federalists but, relative to political power, marginalized them. Understanding the Federalists as a discrete social class, Frederickson suggests that adrift during the 1840s and ’50s, they were galvanized by the Civil War and used the conflict as a means of returning to relevance.

    Comparisons are necessarily imperfect but the book stands as a case study of marginalized elites and how this class used events to restore its status. I’ll concede it’s a heavy lift but well worth it.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      Some comparisons to Jacksonian populism and the popularity of Trump with the old Jacksonian base of Scotch-Irish seem to be valid, but other those comparisons that they would seem to have little in common. Of course, when they speak of Trump being coarse and pugnacious I have to laugh, for Jackson was shot and stabbed and had inflicted similar wounds on a number of other men, along with a horsewhipping or two, yet he was a successful and popular President and the Republic survived him. Compared to that a rancid tweet or two is meaningless.

      Meanwhile, the past President released thousands of criminal aliens into the American population, sent countless hardened terrorists back to the battlefield, released a number of vile domestic terrorists and went so far as to protect criminal fugitives in Cuba, the one thing that all of these people had in common was their hatred of America and its people.

      • (((kingschitz)))

        Frederickson’s study is relevant here (and now) as an examination of class displacement. It’s a phenomenon certainly not limited to Jacksonian America (think Huizinga’s Waning of the Middle Ages, Cervantes’ Don Quixote or former slave holders during Reconstruction); displacement matters now because the post-1945 world order is changing rapidly; media, academic and some economic elites that were created by that order are likely to find themselves at sea.

        A small event today reminded me of just how encrusted and defiant some of those elites are: in defiance of some longstanding but senseless tradition WH Press Secretary Spicer refused to call on The AP for the first question and instead went to the NY Post, Univision and several other networks. The MSM was angry: lese majesty.

    • ljgude

      Thanks just looking at it used on Amazon. Agree If Trump manages to establish a new governing coalition the elites will be plotting how to regain power. Right now I think they are simply going to try to use the old tools in the bureaucracy, media and academia to delegitimize him hoping to win back the house and or senate in 18 and the presidency in 20. If they fail at that then they may be reading this book for pointers. 😉

      • (((kingschitz)))

        For first wave Jacksonians, the triggering issues were Nullification and the more importantly, Nicholas Biddle and the Second National Bank.

        Today’s elites are embedded far more deeply into the coalition around our Deep State. Their props will be found in the tax code, especially the tax privileging of non-profits, NGOs, foundations and universities; ending tax subsidies to these upper and upper middle class entities would go far in diminishing the complex.

        The second prop to destroy are elite set-asides in the federal budget. Someone I know well works for a a certain Washington think tank that is no more than a parking lot for Democrat pols out of office but who wish to hang around Washington. It receives a $20 million annual check from Uncle Sam. Multiply this by thousands and you get the picture. Consider NEA, NPR, CPB—all upper middle class subsidies built into funding.

        It won’t be easy but this kind of stuff can be eliminated.

        • ljgude

          Thanks. I find that very helpful.

  • Eurydice

    I was following along until I got to “And they were not wholly wrong, by their lights.” I would think that “by their lights” they would be 100% right. I wonder in which way Jacksonians felt they were wrong.

  • ljgude

    The next to last sentence of WRM’s Foreign Policy essay reads:

    “The challenge for international politics in the days ahead is therefore less to complete the task of liberal world order building along conventional lines than to find a way to stop the liberal order’s erosion and reground the global system on a more sustainable basis.”

    I believe that erosion comes in two big helpings. The moral erosion of the ruling classes leaving the working classes to the Devil while enriching themselves in ways that range from insider deals embeded in trade pacts to outright fraud like mortgage backed securities. And the education backed erosion of nation and culture where the young are taught that to assert the positive importance of nation or the reality of culture results in ostrasization. Reform of these two problems is urgently needed. I believe I differ somewhat from WRM in that I do not see Trump as necessarily overdoing nationalism and taking us back to the kind that caused so much conflict in the first half of the 20th century. (if that is a fair characterisation of his remarks in other posts on nationalism.) I think one way forward is to recognise the limits of internationalism and reassume the responsibilities of the nation state where experience has taught us that policies like open borders cause short term chaos and long term social problems. Australia, often accused of being 20 years behind the rest of the Western world began to engage this issue 20 years ago with the rise of Pauline Hanson and now has retaken control of it borders. A second general direction is to create trade pacts that do not just benefit those with a seat at table but specifically the working men and women of the countries negotiating the deals. Trump’s announcement that he will negotiate a trade deal with the UK as a mater of priority has it just right because it recognizes that culture counts. Add some English speaking members of the Commonwealth and you have a trading block based on cultural affinity in contrast to the EU and one that could potentially balance a rising China. Eventually I would see India with its population and blue water navy as part of the balance of power. Very speculatively then, I see a potential world order where we still trade between blocks but where there is a natural balance of power based on fairly loose cultural cultural coalitions of Westphalian nation states. Given out experience of the League of Nations and the United Nations and now the EU transnational institutions have not succeeded.

    • Lonestar78730

      Build the Anglosphere !!!

  • jeburke

    Andrew Jackson wouldn’t trouble himself to spit on Trump.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      No, he would probably have knifed him, as that was his general disposition, stabbing and shooting and slaving.

    • f1b0nacc1

      And that is why he would lose. Ignoring for a moment whether Trump is a good or bad man or a good or bad president, he is quite obviously a capable politician, and one who shouldn’t be taken lightly. I know that *I* made that mistake for quite a while, and certainly I was not alone in this. Trump won against absolutely inconceivable odds, and to pretend that his own skills had no part of this is to make the mistake that the Democrats are trying to avoid confronting even as we speak.

      • Disappeared4x

        Admit to letting the question of Jacksonian-isms percolate, because it seems that Trump45 accomplished more in 8 weeks since the election than O44 did in 8 years, in shaping the changes DJT promised.

        While checking on the WH bowling league of Trumps, saw this news. google lede from Daily Mail at 9:00 pm.:
        “Most of the 230 rioters arrested after violent protests erupted in Washington D.C. following Donald Trump’s inauguration will
        be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said on Saturday. The charge carries a punishment of up to ten years in prison…”
        Heck of a To-Do list.
        Yes, FLOTUS Melania’s inaugural ball gown made history, still counting the ways…

  • Anthony

    WRM does what he does best (on this issue). He outlines, describes, and gives place to a Jacksonian (oppose to a Hamiltonian and Wilsonian) American temperament. WRM has done it before elsewhere and now gives the Foreign Affairs Magazine audience a 2017 update. “Over the past quarter century, Western policy makers became infatuated with some dangerous oversimplified ideas. They believed capitalism had been tamed and would no longer generate economic, social, and political upheavals. They felt that illiberal ideologies and political emotions had been left in the historical dustbin….” Well, not so fast says WRM’s Jacksonians.

  • lukelea

    “Many Americans with cosmopolitan sympathies see their main ethical imperative as working for the betterment of humanity in general. ”

    Which is so much easier when your own economic interests just happen to coincide with “moral imperatives of global free trade and mass immigration. To the working class in their own country they were in effect saying, “Let’s you and him share.”“m4BG

  • Arkeygeezer

    While I appreciate WRM’s Jacksonian analysis, I think Pres. Trump comes closer to Theodore Roosevelt. Of course he has yet to get his face on Mt. Rushmore, but he has his name on the Manhattan equivalent.

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