Let’s Play “Find the Socialist,” Shall We?
I see that the “Trump right” (i.e., the nationalist left) is all up in arms today, half hooting and half aghast, at the latest Marxist abomination from the revolution’s new mascot, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
From Right Scoop:
The latest socialist idea from the mouth of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is to put the government in charge of basic banking to use the US Post Office to run it.
— Take On Wall St (@TakeOnWallSt) May 9, 2019
To which Right Scoop’s editor-in-chief and lead author responds this way:
Ok first of all, does anyone think giving the government access to more money, to private money, is going to end well?
How naive must AOC be to think the government can be a responsible party with people’s money.
In other words, “This is insanity! This is socialism! This is a fundamental transformation of America! This violates the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution, the concept of a limited republic, the principles of federalism, the very foundations of the free market!”
Yes, I agree. Unfortunately, the Trump rightists getting all over-heated about this today do not agree, regardless of what they are saying at this moment. They just want Republicans to beat Democrats; the specific policies and principles involved in fact mean nothing to them.
How do I know this? I know it because their very own god was taking a much more radical position on government involvement with banks the last time banking was a heated issue, and yet it didn’t ultimately deter these cultists in the least.
Here is a brief excerpt from my very first article on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run, “Can Trump Restore America?,” from January 8th, 2016:
The crony capitalist alliance with big government has reached levels of paternalistic oligarchy that would have made J.D. Rockefeller blush. The modern benchmark of this oligarchy was the Bush-Obama “bailouts,” which sparked the rise of the Tea Party movement. Trump supported the bank bailout with this flippancy: “Maybe it works, and maybe it doesn’t. But certainly it is worth a shot.” And in April 2009, on Larry King Live, he went much further regarding Obama and the banks:
I do agree with what they’re doing with the banks. Whether they fund them or nationalize them, it doesn’t matter, but you have to keep the banks going. [Emphasis added]
Nationalizing the banks — a basic Marxist principle — “doesn’t matter,” as long as it “works.” If you needed evidence of America’s “fundamental transformation,” consider that the man who made that statement in the first months of Obama’s presidency is now the leading Republican presidential candidate.
So pardon me for not caring a tinker’s dam what these Republican establishment cheerleaders think about AOC’s disdain for the free market. They didn’t care about Donald Trump’s many overtly anti-market statements and proposals, or his flippancy about the pragmatic usefulness of nationalizing the banks, or his spirited defense of socialized medicine.
And they don’t care now about his love for tariffs — which, as Patterico points out, amount to huge tax increases on Americans, while hurting no one else — or his repeated bully pulpit threats against private companies whose business decisions he doesn’t like; or, for that matter, about his advocacy of gun control, or his preference for executive fiat, or his open and luxurious praise of, and deference to, communist tyrants and ex-KGB officers cum oligarchs.
Amusingly, just yesterday, for some reason, I stumbled across this screenshot from Glenn Beck’s Facebook page, from January 2016:
Ah, the good old days. Within a few short months of that post, Levin went through his “forty days and forty nights” phase, wherein he vacillated between being a virulent Never-Trumper and an unrelenting attack dog against all Trump critics, before finally coming out, amazingly, as a full-throated cultist and apologist — and, less amazingly, getting a Fox News show and personal meetings with the president for his troubles.
Beck, for his part, stuck to his principles much longer, making it all the way through the election, perhaps even the inauguration, before the stress of draining audience numbers and constant ostracism from the mainstream “conservatives” he had previously seen as his allies, got the better of him, and he too started making excuses for things he could see right through just a few months earlier.
I don’t mean to single out Levin and Beck for special criticism. They were both very good to me on multiple occasions “back in the day.” I merely use them as an easy representative sample. The same thing, more or less, happened, as far as I can tell, to almost every famous conservative media star — leaving aside the pure frauds like Limbaugh, Drudge, and Hannity, who would eagerly jump off a bridge and take millions of Americans with them if the establishment told them to — the only differences among these slow sell-outs being whether they held a finger up to test the establishment wind during the primaries, or sincerely tried to stick to their principles through 2016, until the pressures of career survival got the better of them.
In other words, what I said about Levin and Beck is equally true of American Thinker, RedState, Right Scoop, Erick Erickson, Ben Shapiro, and virtually all the rest of the people who make their living in the “conservative media.” That is to say, financial interests trumped principle in the end, causing many formerly serious people to turn into expert rationalizers and obfuscators in defense of…their bank balances.
Money and ideas. Or to state that more accurately, money vs. ideas. Those conservatives inclined to imagine the free market will solve everything ought to take a good, hard look at the dynamic I have just described. That is what material self-seeking (i.e., “the profit motive”) does to thinking, and hence to political opinion, which in turn means to practical politics. You can fantasize that it wouldn’t happen to you. I’m sure Levin, Beck, Erickson, and Shapiro, for example, harbored the same fantasy at one point. Perhaps they still do, which is even more pathetic.
So here we are, mocking and sounding alarms about a two-bit first term bimbo spouting high school socialist rhetoric about experimenting with “non-profit alternatives” in banking. Meanwhile, the Republican president of the United States has openly expressed a willingness to support an all-out nationalization of the financial industry — far more than the bimbo is proposing — and the same people are cheering him on as their, America’s, and the world’s, savior.
Just today, I see Right Scoop is also running this headline:
“Trump is the victim!” – Mark Levin summarizes the entire Democrat plan against Trump from 2016 until now – and it’s fantastic!
A few weeks back, I wrote about the ten essential warning signs of cult behavior. Here is number ten from my list:
10. The cultist is perpetually convinced that the leader is the victim of unjust persecution, that he has nothing to answer for, and that any criticism or disagreement is by definition irrational, petty, and vindictive in nature.
Amusingly, the reader whose correspondence inspired me to write that article subsequently accused me of conveniently describing what I dislike about Trump supporters, and simply labeling this “cult-like.” In fact, as I explained to him, quite the contrary was the case. My list was constructed following many standard lists of cult behavior, all of which predated the Trump era. That the reader mistook the accuracy of my account as evidence that I was cooking the books to make Trumpists look like a cult was very telling, as it showed me just how accurately I had hit the target.
At the Cult Education Institute website, there is a list of “Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader,” item three of which is the following: “Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as ‘persecution.'”
Donald Trump, while in his sixties, a major political donor, and beginning his turn away from the Democrats and toward the Republican establishment, supported in principle not only the government bailouts of major financial institutions, but also the idea of nationalizing the banks, an explicit plank of the Communist Manifesto. If my stating that documented fact — along with any of the other well-documented facts that show Trump to be a direct opponent of the principles of a free economy and a limited republic — makes you angry at me, or makes you scoff at me, or makes you accuse me of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome or being a hater or being a NeverTrumper or being an establishment hack, then you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself some hard questions.
And if your favorite conservative media personality, who makes money from your listenership or viewership, is encouraging you to live in denial of the above-mentioned facts, or belittling their significance, you need to ask yourself why.
Patterico had a short post on his blog yesterday, entitled “General Note,” which I wish to quote in its entirety:
It seems to me that fewer people come here these days.
If I drive people away by expressing what I truly believe without regard to the conventional wisdom of the day, then I am driving away the right people — and it only makes me appreciate those who remain even more.
So thanks for reading.
Amen, and I second that with reference to my own site and readership. Patterico was fired from his job at RedState during their Trumpstablishment purge, which I wrote about at the time. I was not fired from anything, because I never wrote for pay, but I was in effect excommunicated from my old political home, American Thinker, when AT joined the Church of Trump.
The conflict between material interests and honest thought occupies no territory in my soul, and never did. I wish I could say the same for a few millionaire “commentators” out there whom I used to hold in some regard, and who, for their parts, used to seem to have some respect for me too.