Riding to the Sound of the Guns; Defending Men

I’d guess that by now you’ve all heard of the American Psychological Association’s guidance for treating boys and men. No, I haven’t read it, nor do I intend to. Most of what I’ve heard is intensely negative, making ‘pure crap’ sound like a compliment. Plus I’m a technical, engineering type guy, you know, yes or no, right or wrong.works or doesn’t work, ‘0’ or ‘1’. If it’s not absolutely right, it’s completely wrong. I’m mostly digital, not analog, although I do tend to have quite a lot of empathy for the fixes people get themselves into. Been there, done that. I still sort of believe the engineering school definition of psychology: “Nuts and S**ts. Deal with it, that’s the sort of guy I am.

But I’m not everybody, and more and more I notice a lot of young guys (girls too) seem a bit screwed up, so maybe somebody should help them and I’m very likely not that guy, so maybe psychologists do have a place. But I don’t think these guidelines, or at least what I’ve read about them, are helpful.

Quillette Magazine reached out to 12 well-known practitioners (some I’ve even heard of, and even read some of their stuff). What they said is about as balanced as I’ve seen. And it is interesting. A few excerpts follow. much more at the link.

Introduction — John P. Wright, Ph.D.

Thirteen years in the making, the American Psychological Association (APA) released the newly drafted “Guidelines for Psychological Practice for Boys and Men.” Backed by 40 years of science, the APA claims, the guidelines boldly pronounce that “traditional masculinity” is the cause and consequence of men’s mental health concerns. Masculine stoicism, the APA tells us, prevents men from seeking treatment when in need, while beliefs rooted in “masculine ideology” perpetuate men’s worst behaviors—including sexual harassment and rape. Masculine ideology, itself a byproduct of the “patriarchy,” benefits men and simultaneously victimizes them, the guidelines explain. Thus, the APA committee advises therapists that men need to become allies to feminism. “Change men,” an author of the report stated, “and we can change the world.”

But if the reaction to the APA’s guidelines is any indication, this change won’t happen anytime soon. Criticism was immediate and fierce. Few outside of a handful of departments within the academy had ever heard of “masculine ideology,” and fewer still understood how defining traditional masculinity by men’s most boorish—even criminal—behavior would serve the interests of men or entice them to seek professional help. Instead of passing quietly into the night, as most academic pronouncements do, the APA’s guidelines did what few such documents have ever done: They engendered a social media maelstrom, and likely not only lost professional credibility, but potentially created new barriers for men who need help. […]

We are heartened by the criticism that emerged from the APA’s guidelines. Why? Because we don’t believe that most of the backlash resulted from crass political motives. Instead, much of it was rooted in a deep concern about men and boys. The culture wars have not been kind to men, and data from an assortment of surveys tell us that boys and men are not thriving. Documents can be edited, but goodwill is a commodity no one should erase. If the APA is truly concerned about the mental and emotional health of men, it will recognize the goodwill and constructive intent underpinning much of the criticism, and consider the feedback as a starting point for a broader and more productive discussion of how to most effectively provide successful treatment for boys and men.

A sample from one contributor.

Who Will Mount Up and Ride to the Sound of the Guns? — B. Christopher Frueh, Ph.D.

The APA’s latest manifesto is an embarrassment to the discipline of psychology. It is an abdication of scientific responsibility, denying biological and evolutionary realities in favor of a progressive fantasy pushed by “social justice” and “feminist” ideologies. It is harmful to all members of our society and dangerous to our national security. Masculine qualities like rugged individualism, courage, stoicism, ambition, and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others helped secure the freedom and prosperity that so many now take for granted.  

At a time when many academics are virtue-signaling by whining about “toxic masculinity,” taking offense at every imagined “microaggression,” and listing their “pronouns” in their email signature blocks, we should ask where does this line of absurdity end? Perhaps the next APA manifesto will seek to abolish religion, athletics, heterosexual marriage, eating meat, etc. Whatever happened to common sense? And where does this take us? Will we next ban books, movies, and podcasts by people named Ernest Hemingway, Clint Eastwood, or Jocko Willink?

OK, I’m not neutral in this fight, and Dr. Frueh says what I think, so I featured him here. That makes neither him nor me correct, but he damn sure raises a valid question. Read the whole thing, I found that each of the 12 contributors has something valuable to add. None of this is simple. I can’t speak for you, of course, but often I wonder exactly why I think, speak, or write as I do. Dr. Frueh also quotes one of my favorite authors, and it is important that we keep it in mind as we move forward. Remember, life is movement, if we’re not moving forward, we are slipping back.

“We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

—C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1943)

Saddle Up!

 

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SOTU 2019, and The Old Dominion blows up

The President gave an outstanding SOTU the other night, If you missed it, here it is. I know the feeling, I finally found enough time last night.

One of the things that is very rare is that he is very good with a set piece speech like this, while also being very good with the off the cuff ones, like his rallies. Very unusual for anyone to be good at both. PowerLine and others report that CBS and CNN snap polls found 76% approval.

He’s got a good message, a quite traditional pro-America message when he can get it through the media, who does their best to stifle it. The shutdown delay, and associated hype, probably helped him, as well.

One of the losers of the night was the Dems and their Mean Girl Caucus. It’s not a good look when Congresscritters (who are unpopular, all on their own) remind all and sundry of both the cool kids in junior high and the KKK. You know, like this.

And that is how they came off to me, and probably a lot of others. Sitting there stone-faced at the receipt of much good news about America, only cheering for themselves. As usual.

Then there is the mess the Dims have made in Virginia. Melanie Phillips explains it well.

But now Democrats have revealed a brutalised contempt for life itself.

In the Virginia assembly, Democrat delegate Kathy Tran proposed a law loosening restrictions on abortion in the final stages of pregnancy. She later confirmed that this would permit the termination of a pregnancy up to the very moment of delivery, in other words after labour had started.

The capacity to keep premature babies alive at an ever earlier stage in pregnancy has produced a fraught debate about the need to reduce the abortion time limit. But if a baby is in the process of being born, it is by definition capable of life. It is not longer a foetus; it is indisputably a baby on its way into the world. The suggestion that it might be killed at the very moment of its birth is grotesque – and it’s hard to understand how in practice this could be done without committing infanticide.

The Tran bill failed to pass, but not before it was defended by Virginia’s Democrat governor Ralph Northam, who is himself a paediatric neurologist. He told a WTOP radio show that Tran’s comments were “blown out of proportion” and said third-trimester abortions were rare.

These were done, he said, “in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s not viable. If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen.The infant would be delivered. The infant would be comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother. So I think this was really blown out of proportion”.

Northam was immediately accused of promoting infanticide, an accusation he vehemently denied. His spokeswoman said he had been “talking about prognosis and medical treatment, not ending the life of a delivered baby”; his words were being taken out of context by Republicans, she said, and the notion that he would approve of killing infants was “disgusting.”

But what else would any such resuscitation “discussion” be about? Moreover, Tran’s proposed measure wasn’t about non-viable foetuses or catastrophic deformities or allowing terribly sick newborns to die. It was instead about third-trimester abortion, the deliberate extinction of any viable infant life, in circumstances where continuing with the pregnancy was deemed to threaten the mother’s life or her physical or mental health.

You already know my views, I could be persuaded that anyone espousing such views should be aborted themselves before they can hurt more kids. YMMV, but I’d be surprised.

In any case, the world blew up for Dims in Virginia, Melanie again.

So either Northam was being disingenuous, or he didn’t understand what Tran’s proposals actually were.

What then happened, however, graphically demonstrated how the Democrats are now being sucked into a woke vortex of their own making. It was revealed that in 1984 Northam had featured, on his medical-school yearbook page, a photograph of a man in blackface and a man in a KuKluxKlan hood. Northam immediately apologised for appearing in the picture; then said that neither person in the photograph was him; then he said he had put on blackface decades ago to look like Michael Jackson for a dance contest.

All hell then broke loose and Northam’s future as Virginia’s governor – an office he won after accusing his opponents of racism – is now in jeopardy.

But Virginia’s Democrats then descended into yet another circle of politically correct hell. Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, admitted that he also had worn blackface in the 1980s. And Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who was poised to succeed Northam if he was hounded out of office, was suddenly accused by a fellow Democrat of sexual assault.

It gets better. The Atlantic reports:

“Fairfax has emphatically denied any wrongdoing and says he had a consensual sexual encounter with his accuser, Vanessa Tyson, a professor of politics at Scripps College. (He has also accusedLevar Stoney, a rival Democrat who is mayor of Richmond, of spreading the story. Stoney denies doing so.) This week, Tyson hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her in high school. Fairfax has also refused to resign.”

So now Virginia’s top three Democrat officials are simultaneously accused of advocating infanticide, displaying racial bigotry and committing sexual assault. […]

What’s happened in Virginia is that the cultural firebombs that the left repeatedly throws at its opponents over race, sexual violence and abortion have suddenly blown back at them and are setting their hair alight. As Rich Lowry writes, in the coming primary season no Democrat will be safe.

“Any lapses will be interpreted through the most hostile lens, made all the more brutal by the competition of a large field of candidates vying for the approval of a radicalized base. The Democrat nomination battle might as well be fought on the campus of Oberlin College and officiated by the director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion”.

You’d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

Meanwhile, over a sickening culture of institutionalised dehumanisation no liberal progressive turns a hair. Why should they? They created it.

In other words, conservatives are fighting back, using the tools the Dims developed and have been using forever. It’s time and way past time.

The Democratic Party is brutalised and degraded, perhaps irrevocably. And millions of decent Americans are watching this political and cultural death spiral, and drawing their own horrified conclusions.

As that old Progressive Democrat Harry S Truman said, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Thank God.

A Letter to Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic

It is not often, in fact, it is quite rare, for an Orthodox Rabbi to speak for this stick-in-the-mud Lutheran. Actually, it’s unheard of, especially to a bunch of Catholic kids. Yet it has happened. It is here, from Dov Fischer.

Dear Nick,

It now is some ten days since you unintentionally became famous, and you blessedly no longer are the news outside Covington. But I write to tell you that you are not forgotten for many of us whom you made proud. That includes me, an Orthodox Rabbi.

Obama once said that, if he had had a son, it would have been a boy like Trayvon Martin. Nicholas, I do not doubt that. Not for a moment. I would rather set the boys of CovCath as role models.

Nick, you came with a bunch of other kids from CovCath to Washington, D.C. to march for life and to have some clean fun in the nation’s capital. That is so noble, and that used to be what America is all about: kids getting to visit Washington, D.C., maybe meeting their Congressional representative and getting to sit in the gallery, maybe getting to visit the National Archives, the Smithsonian, the FBI building, Ford’s Theater, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, the Washington Monument. That was the big visit and family trip that teens all over this country hoped they one day could do with their parents and siblings. And maybe one day, if your red hat’s message of hope and change comes true, we all can make America great again.

On the day of CovCath’s visit, though, you found that all around you, millions of other Americans want the right to tear apart fetuses limb from limb. Women and men who are too tired or lazy to take simple precautions that they learn in California and New York elementary school classes end up causing an unwanted pregnancy and choose to undo their laziness and gross irresponsibility by paying someone to tear apart the fetus later. In the old days, when science was less advanced, they fooled themselves into thinking that a fetus has no life form to it, was just a collection of random cells. But now the science is settled: the heart beats, the body nourishes, the life exists. In a world of Andrew Cuomos and Kermit Gosnells, you came to defend life.

You also came wearing a MAGA hat. Good for you! Some people in this country believe that everyone except for the kids at CovCath has a right to free speech. They cheer high school drop-outs who say “F – – – Trump.” They photograph themselves holding a bloody decapitated head representing the President of the United States. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has held that free speech even includes the right to burn the American flag and to dance naked at strip clubs. So, Nick, our Founding Fathers gave us the Bill of Rights so that kids at Covington Catholic and others in yeshivas throughout the United States and others who are older and perhaps not even religiously trained may wear a hat that says “Make America Great Again.” Those words are not thefighting words of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942), nor a Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), incitement to imminent lawless action but words of hope and change: hope for a change from the Wasted Obama Decade.

In America we protect the biased Left mediacracy — people like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. These people report mostly true on local interest stories like a county fair or a new restaurant, but they intentionally distort and lie deliberately on national public-interest stories. You know that first-hand because you now have experienced it directly. That is why the President calls them “the enemy of the people” — because they are. They deliberately distort the truth and reality of what is happening in order to mislead the public into believing an alternate reality. When Walter Duranty of the sameNew York Times did that during the Stalin Years, he and theNew York Times contributed to the murder of millions of people who otherwise might have been saved if the truth of the Golodomor had come out. Instead, the people died, murdered by the enemies of the people. The same New York Times in a small way helped Hitler gas, bury, and incinerate millions of Jews during the Holocaust by hiding his crimes from the public. Did you know that the Times ran 23,000 front-page stories from 1939-1945, of which 11,500 were about the World War — but only twenty-six about Hitler’s mistreatment of Jews? Of course these evil villains are the enemies of the people.

Read it all, it’s the best thing I’ve read in quite a while. And yes, I agree with Rabbi Fischer completely. Well said, sir.

In a related matter, I not that the Governor of Virginia is openly supporting a bill that will allow the killing of an already born child. We have a word for that. It is murder, but this loon thinks it is fine. Perhaps he should be aborted.

Missing Rooster Cogburn

You know, like many of you, I’ve become desensitized somewhat to slurs on manhood, when I first saw that infamous Gillette ad, I didn’t quite get what was so bad. A second viewing fixed that, forever. Then came Lou Aguilar to put it all in context.

[S]omething detrimental to manhood happened in the late Sixties, planting an emasculative seed now sprouting in the loathsome new commercial by Gillette. Many of you have seen the shaving giant’s ad, nagging its male customer base for such unpardonable behavior as approving their sons’ rough play, laughing at a raunchy sitcom, or, gasp, approaching a sexy young woman, while brandishing the “MeToo” movement and “toxic masculinity” like hammer and sickle. What made Gillette think it could do this with impunity — even hiring a radical feminist filmmaker to sell razor blades while promoting pajama boy docility — has roots stretching back 50 years, from the end of a once popular genre, the Western.

We baby boomers, and our fathers and grandfathers, didn’t need Gillette and its ilk lecturing us on the liberal preference for male conduct when growing up. We had the Ringo Kid, Zorro, Wyatt Earp, Shane, Matt Dillon, Davy Crockett, Paladin, John T. Chance, Rowdy Yates, the Magnificent Seven, the Virginian, the Barkleys, and Rooster Cogburn for role models. They taught millions of us boys to be strong, tough, face down bullies, protect the weak, and absolutely respect women. Not one of those men would ever abuse or force himself on a girl, or allow less virtuous types to do so.

In the first classic Western, John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), John Wayne’s Ringo Kid is the only man who treats prostitute Claire Trevor as a lady, shaming others into doing the same. In Ford’s next Western gem, My Darling Clementine (1946), Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) realizes Doc Holliday’s genteel ex-girlfriend, Clementine, is more vital to pacifying Tombstone than his gun. Shane and his farmer employer’s wife, Marion, never act on their growing mutual attraction, out of respect for her role of wife and mother. An older John Wayne as Sheriff John Chance in Rio Bravo (1959) gets repeatedly flummoxed by Angie Dickinson’s sexual candidness. The Magnificent Seven risk their lives, and ultimate lose four, defending a dirt poor Mexican farm village. One of the seven, Charles Bronson, delivers the greatest speech about fatherhood in all of cinema, lecturing a group of hero-worshipping young boys.

“Don’t you ever say that again about your fathers, because they are not cowards. You think I am brave because I carry a gun. Well, your fathers are much braver because they carry responsibility. For you, your brothers, your sisters, and your mothers. And this responsibility is like a big rock that weighs a ton. It bends and it twists them until finally it buries them under the ground. And there’s nobody says they have to do this. They do this because they love you, and because they want to. I have never had this kind of courage. Running a farm, working like a mule every day with no guarantee anything will ever come of it. This is bravery.”

These were the men we baby boomers hoped to emulate in our adult life. Many of us to some extent succeeded.

You remember one of the lessons we learned from all of those films. Yep, that’s the one. There just ain’t no excuses, if you don’t get it done right, you are quite simply a failure. I’ve lived my life according to that time tested rule, as have many of you. But we’ve failed to pass it on. And this:

Yet so positively ingrained in the American male consciousness was the Western Hero, that one lone figure defied the liberal zeitgeist and continued making billions for the cigarette company he represented long after television tobacco ads got banned in 1970. The Marlboro Man rode on in print until 1999, when anti-smoking pressure and the internet finally unhorsed him. But we older guys remember him — roping a wild stallion then lighting up a cigarette, appropriately to Elmer Bernstein’s stirring theme from The Magnificent Seven. Watching him, even I wanted to smoke, and I didn’t. One of the most successful advertising creations of all time, the Marlboro Man could never occupy the same media universe as the chastened beta males currently populating the Gillette commercial. Neither can I. I threw away my Trac II in disgust.

Well, I haven’t although I considered it, but I only use the accursed thing when I have to fly somewhere, so I don’t have to buy blades for my safety razor instantly on landing. I did throw away my package of Gillette double edge blades though, I’ll stick to Wilkinson Sword from now on. If I can’t have the Marlboro Man anymore, I’ll have to make do with the defenders of Rorke’s Drift.

The Battle for Britain

LONDON, UK – CIRCA JUNE 2017: Statue of Boadicea Boudicca Queen of the Iceni who died AD 61 after leading her people against the Roman invaders (high dynamic range)

Some of you may wonder why we speak so much here about Brexit. After all, this is primarily an American blog. Well part of the reason is President Trump, for the moment he’s doing a superlative job for us, and so other than laughing at the deranged Progressives (yes, I repeat myself) there really isn’t too much to say. A nice change, isn’t it? Yes, there are things he could improve on, such as China, perhaps, but overall, there’s little to complain about.

Britain is a different case. After the people clearly stated that they wanted to preserve British sovereignty and leave the European Union, they have met a wall of resistance from their own government, including elected officials, the bureaucracy, and the rent-seeking corporatists.

It’s a battle for the Britain which led the world into ordered liberty, the land of Locke, of Burke, of Nelson and Wellington, and yes, of Churchill and Thatcher. It’s also an existential battle, one that must be won, or the British government will lose all legitimacy. As usual, Melanie Philips put the issues squarely and well here.

[…]Westminster is currently heaving with plots aimed at reversing the 2016 referendum result – while purporting to honor it. So MPs are coming up with demands to delay the legal date for the UK’s departure, demands for a second referendum, demands for “compromise” departure terms that are, in effect, forms of Remain.

This is all to break what is widely reported as the parliamentary “deadlock” over the issue. But there’s no deadlock. The legally binding default position is that if no deal with the EU is struck, Britain will leave on March 29 without a deal.

This is enshrined in an act of parliament passed last year. So the way forward is in fact very clear. The problem is that MPs who passed this act of parliament now want to dump it. They claim that leaving with no deal is out of the question because it would plunge Britain into chaos and ruin.

Britain has been subjected to a blizzard of scare stories about starving to death, running out of medicines or being unable to fly to Europe if it leaves with no deal.

These are ludicrous exaggerations. Much more to the point, the EU itself has far too much to lose from having no deal. But it will only do a deal on Britain’s terms if its own back is to the wall. In other words, leaving with no deal is essential to get the deal that Britain wants.

Yet instead of helping bring that about, Remainer MPs are spitting in the eye of democracy by seeking to reverse the referendum result, thus setting parliament against the people. Why?

At the core of much Remain thinking lies a profound indifference toward or even contempt for the very idea of a sovereign nation. For people who take pride in their cosmopolitanism and who regard national ties as a form of bigoted atavism, democracy can be endlessly reinvented in their own image.

Such Remainers thus grossly underrated the depth of feeling behind the vote for Brexit because they grossly underrate Britain itself.

Britain is a very special country; which is why it’s the one country to leave the EU. The countries of mainland Europe, with their long histories of mutual invasion, permeable borders, shifting national boundaries and attachments to democracy that are fitful and tenuous, have a shallow understanding of national identity.

By contrast, Britain is an island nation with an unequivocally distinct and separate identity. It hasn’t been invaded for 1,000 years and has consistently repelled attackers from across the seas.

This history has created its national character: independent of mind, stoic under pressure, opposed to extremism but ferocious in defense of its liberties and very, very averse to being bullied or told what to do.

This is why Britain was the cradle of political liberty. And this is why it voted to leave the EU – because despite the cultural demoralization of its post-war elites which took it into the European project in 1973, it still knows itself to be special.

There are three nations which have this view of themselves as being uniquely blessed: Britain, America and Israel. All have played an outsized role in bringing the benefits of civilization to the world.

Yes, all have had their faults. The British Empire had episodes of great cruelty; America had vicious racial prejudice; Israel’s political system is corrupt and dysfunctional.

All three countries, however, are beset from within by an intelligentsia determined to distort their nation’s history, exaggerate its failings and prove it was born in original sin.

A nation cannot be defended unless its people love and admire it, and unless it is led by men and women who acknowledge it for what it is rather than what they want it to be.

People look for leaders who will defend their way of life, promote the historic culture that binds their society together into a nation they can call their own, and take all necessary measures to keep it safe and inviolate.

The failure by the political establishment to deliver that led directly to the Brexit vote, the election of US President Donald Trump and, in Israel, to the destruction of the Left as a political force.

Read it all, and you will likely have more understanding of why so many Americans, here in a country created by British liberty, are so fierce in our support of our cousins. Once again, as in 1940 and in 1916, and in 1805 they fight a battle that we both have and will have to again fight. I think they’ll win, but if they don’t things will be very dark in Europe.

I’m reminded of this, by A. P. Herbert.

Boadicea from the Bridge looked down,
And saw the Yankee tanks invade the town.
Boadicea held her head more high
To hail the Sherman and the proud G.I.
‘Eyes right!’ she said. ‘Fine fellows though you are,
You’re not the first to drive an armoured car.
Halt, soldiers, halt! For here is one can tell
A tale of fighting chariots as well.
Look up, brave girls. In a.d. 61
I led the lads, and saw the Roman run.
God speed you too against an alien mob:
God bless you all for joining in the job.
By Grant! By Sherman!’ said the queen of queens.
I wish I’d had such men, and such machines.’

They passed. And Parliament, across the way,
Discussed the principle of equal pay

GOPe and Corporatists

If you haven’t heard yet, Theresa May lost in Parliament, 432 to 202. Which should be a decisive, humiliating result, leading to a change in government, but probably won’t. She is supposed to present her ‘plan B’ to Parliament within three days, and Corbyn has called for a vote of no confidence. FUBAR, in other words. We’ll keep an eye on it.


John Daniel Davidson over at The Federalist wrote about the argument Tucker Carlson unleashed about conservatism, noting what that noted sorta conservative Russ Douthat has commented.

It is time, I think that we have this conversation, as I look around, I see lots of casualties, but let see what the article says.

Over the weekend, Ross Douthat of The New York Times weighed in on the ideological battle sparked by Tucker Carlson’s recent Fox News monologue excoriating GOP elites for slavish devotion to market capitalism and indifference to its negative effects, especially for working-class families.

Carlson’s fusillade provoked a host of reactions from conservatives, some who criticized Carlson for exaggerating the problems caused by capitalism while ignoring its benefits, some who argued he has a point about how capitalism has failed to protect families and create a prosperous working class. “If there is to be a healthy American right, after Donald Trump or ever, this is the argument that conservatives should be having,” writes Douthat, and he’s correct.

Douthat zeroes in on a line from David French of National Review, a critic of Carlson, who wrote: “There are wounds that public policy can’t heal.” Douthat concedes that this is true, but argues it can become “a trap, a cul-de-sac, an excuse for doing nothing.” Too often, conservatives have “leaped to despair without even trying policy.”

He cites a few examples, like the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the disappearance of wages that can support single-income households, but then pivots to censorship and prohibition. Douthat notes that the right was once comfortable using public policy to promote private virtue, “But in recent decades, the right’s elites have despaired of censoring pornography, acquiesced to the spread of casino gambling, made peace with the creeping commercialization of marijuana, and accepted the internet’s conquest of childhood and adolescence.”

Douthat’s point is that while public policy can’t cure every social ill, it can be a “corrective”—if conservatives don’t simply throw in the towel.

There is no doubt about it, we’ve taken a lot of losses in the last almost thirty years. Part of the trouble, not the solution, is the GOPe, which talks a good game, but if you don’t like their principles, well they’ll find others.

‘Market Capitalism’ is a good place to start, it ain’t; it’s corporatism, rent-seeking, whatever you’d like to call it. It is designed to benefit the rich, the large, often multi-national corporation at the expense of the citizen and the worker. It’s not an accident, it’s a feature. See Elon Musk, or Enron, or many other examples.

For most of this, remember that politics is downstream of culture. Culture is where we need to win the culture wars, not politics. And you know, I think the pendulum has nearly reached the end of its swing and is starting to return. Be prepared, the war has merely begun. Will we win? Nobody knows but does it really matter, as far as I can see, my duty is to do the right thing and do it to the best of my ability, and what will be, will be. And as always, God decides. But we have before, many times.

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