October 9, 2015 5 Comments
The reason most often cited for the success of the nonpolitical candidates is the frustration with Washington; the sense that the system is broken. Voters feel that we have no control and that government has gone wild. Even people who don’t watch the news or closely follow politics are aware of the “overreach.” It seems that, perhaps, the messages the outsiders have been heralding on the trail has caught on.
Washington’s overreach has been rolled back—by courts and commissioners and, even, in response, the government itself. In little more than 30 days, there have been five distinct cases that you may have missed—each, a victory for responsible land use.
Overdue, but welcome.
And also …
Vladimir Putin is reshaping the Middle East to fit Russia’s interests by adhering to fundamentals of international affairs that America’s foreign policy establishment sets aside in favor of what they deem sophistication. Unlike our “realists,” who start out compromising our interests with those of local allies, Putin is bending theirs to Russia’s. Unlike our liberal internationalists, who try to lead by giving power to local allies, Putin directs them in operations of his choice. Unlike our neoconservatives, who endlessly deploy force piecemeal, Putin uses it decisively.
The Wall Street Journalrecently fretted that Putin’s tank, plane, and artillery expeditionary force is empowering Iran as well as Syria’s Assad: “Russian planes can target anyone Assad deems an enemy.” No. They are targeting anyone who stands in the way of Russia’s objectives. That’s a big, big difference. Neither Assad, nor Iran, nor Iran’s Shia allies in what used to be Iraq have any reason to delude themselves that Putin’s assistance will take them any farther toward their own objectives than is absolutely necessary for Putin to achieve his own.
Putin’s objectives are obvious: to secure Russia’s naval base at Tartus, surrounded by a substantial enclave of Alewis rendered reliably reliant on Moscow and who will serve as its pied a terre on the Mediterranean shore, and crush all challenges thereto; and, since ISIS is the apex of the Sunni militancy also infecting Russia through the Caucasus, crush ISIS. Unlike our geniuses, Putin knows that the Assad regime, the Shia militias, and the Iranians are the only people who will hazard their lives to save the Alewis and to crush ISIS. So he is arming and organizing them. But he has no intention of trying to re-unite Syria under Assad, or to try to re-unite Iraq under the Shia, much less of seconding Iran in its Islamic world war against the Sunni.
Use, Don’t Deny, People’s Strongest Motives
Simply the best I’ve read
Jeb Bush recently observed that America is “creeping toward multiculturalism” and called it “the wrong approach.” This unleashed the usual synthetic furies of the organized Left, ever ready to crush dissent on things that matter. This will not be the last time you will hear about this issue in the year to come.
The debate between assimilation and multiculturalism could very well be not just the sleeper issue of the 2016 campaign, but the current great question of the West. Our fights over immigration may be a cover for a more protracted deliberation over national identity—not just here, but in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and so on.
America’s identity is rooted in a unique culture that includes an exceptional attachment to constitutional government, volunteerism, and deriving satisfaction from a hard day’s labor—virtues intricately linked to America’s inordinate freedom and prosperity. The American public, sensing this connection at the all-important gut level, again and again tells pollsters they support the assimilation of immigrants; i.e., they not want their country to change.
Yep. And this:
One of the main reasons why I oppose the continued mass immigration of low-skilled workers is that little or no effort is being made to assimilate them. During our previous wave of mass immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both immigrants and American officials understood that assimilation into American culture, most importantly learning to speak English, was required. Immigrant parents made great sacrifices so that their children would grow up speaking English, and thereby enjoy the opportunities available to those who can participate fully in America’s economy.