Modems, Recruiting, and Beau (Fighter) Geste

Sorry about yesterday, if anyone noticed. It seems our cable modem died, and then the new one wasn’t optimized for anything but a simple computer with no protection, which doesn’t describe here, so It took some time. Seems, OK now, which is the main thing.

Recently the Washington Examiner held a symposium on what it means to be conservative in America today. Some of the participants couldn’t spell conservative, but overall, I agree with Ace on this one.

Larry Arnn’s piece is okay, Olsen’s piece is good, and Antle’s piece that the neocon plan — “Depose Trump and we get our phony-baloney jobs back!” — is a pipe dream is okay for that point, but it’s Mollie Hemingway who brings the hot fire:

MOLLIE HEMINGWAYOne of the ways that Vladimir Putin retains power in Russia is to permit a systemic, yet insincere opposition in the legislature. Technically, these individuals are in an opposing party, but they are generally fine with Putin’s government. Putin uses them to monitor his opposition and to create an illusion that there’s an outlet for contrary opinions.

For too long, the conservative movement in Washington, D.C., functioned as the systemic opposition to progressivism’s march through American institutions, public and private. Technically, they were opposed, and they’d make some sounds about opposing the growth of the administrative state and the cultural rot. But they were never terribly successful at returning the country to its first principles or constitutional order, despite the millions of supporters who put them in power and expected not just rhetoric but results.

Conservatism now is about rejecting this rigged system and taking the risk of working outside of it to advance its principles and policy objectives. The fact that conservatism had become a checklist of watered-down progressive policy prescriptions only served to hasten the demise of the old system.

What was conservatism’s last great accomplishment? The expansion of Medicare Part D? The failed efforts to spread democracy by force through the Middle East? Wasted years talking about the repeal and replacement of Obamacare? Sitting idly by while Silicon Valley tech oligarchs took control of our discourse and set the parameters for acceptable thoughts and speech?

There is a limit to how long people could ride the high of the Reagan years without successive accomplishments.

Conservatism today is properly understood as constitutionalism and a revisiting of first principles about securing the blessings of liberty. It’s a movement that demands meaningful free-trade agreements instead of just agreements based on the hope that someday China will play fair. It seeks hearty discussions about national sovereignty and meaningful borders. It acknowledges the limits, and costs, of military action. It recognizes that crouching cowardice in the face of cultural losses led the country to its current precipice, where people are terrified to speak freely and speak the truth.

And it doesn’t care one whit if it has to completely upset the existing political order.

You just can’t go wrong with Mollie!

It seems the British army has some new recruiting posters: From Samizdata.

Well, OK, I suppose, noting that we do need their skills, and perhaps their bodies if our experience is any guide. Still, the British army would no doubt do better in recruiting if the government tried at least a bit to stand behind their soldiers, instead of opening them up to prosecution based on things that happened clear back in the Troubles. Soldiering ain’t something that can be done in the ivory tower, its a dirty, messy business, and the troopers deserve better So, maybe it all right, but it surely is different from the one from a bit over a century ago that leads this article.

Also, I note with alarm that the US Army is having trouble meeting its recruitment goals, not surprisingly mostly in liberal areas. This ain’t current either, although it still spoke to us when I was young in the sixties.

As the author reminds us:

AFAIK, the case continues… What would Field Marshal the Earl (Horatio Herbert) Kitchener say were he spinning in his cold, watery grave? That Wing Cdr Ken Gatward DSO DFC* AE was named for him, and lived up to it, might give one pause for thought.





About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

9 Responses to Modems, Recruiting, and Beau (Fighter) Geste

  1. the unit says:

    And what it means to be a recruit in the U.S. military. If you’re one…you’re in the 30% fit to serve. 🙂–of-Americans-Can-t-Serve.aspx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicholas says:

    Back with some sobering thoughts – damn good ones. This post reminded me a bit of some of the comments I read at Cranmer a few days back. People were discussing the fact that democracy in and of itself is not the same as doing the right thing. It seems to me that is the problem institutional “conservatives” have: they’re so scared of losing votes of losing that elusive middle ground, that they refuse to make the really hard choices necessary to return us to our first principles. Nor are they confident in defending the nation from internal foes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Close, I think. What I see are people who lack the confidence to go against the crowd, even at the cost of breaking friendship (which is what we are really talking about when we talk about cocktail parties) to do the right thing. But yeah, they lack courage in all things, it just took a while to see.

      Liked by 1 person

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