The Flight 93 Election: The Last US Election before Total Leftist Victory, by Publius Decius Mus.
This piece has had a big reaction in the US. It speaks to people who are impatient or fed up with ineffective establishment conservatives, who are “too down in the weeds” and “can’t see the big picture.” It’s a long piece and an interesting read. Here are some excerpts:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You — or the leader of your party — may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
To ordinary conservative ears, this sounds histrionic. … Can things really be so bad if eight years of Obama can be followed by eight more of Hillary, and yet Constitutionalist conservatives can still reasonably hope for a restoration of our cherished ideals? Cruz in 2024!
The author is very tired of professional conservative do-nothings:
Conservatives spend at least several hundred million dollars a year on think-tanks, magazines, conferences, fellowships, and such, complaining about this, that, the other, and everything. And yet these same conservatives are, at root, keepers of the status quo. Oh, sure, they want some things to change. They want their pet ideas adopted — tax deductions for having more babies and the like. Many of them are even good ideas. But are any of them truly fundamental? Do they get to the heart of our problems? …
[I]t’s quite obvious that conservatives don’t believe [what they say is important], that they feel no such sense of urgency, of an immediate necessity to change course and avoid the cliff.
A recent article by Matthew Continetti may be taken as representative … The usual litany of “conservative” “solutions,” with the obligatory references to decentralization, federalization, “civic renewal,” and — of course! — Burke. Which is to say, conservatism’s typical combination of the useless and inapt with the utopian and unrealizable. … What can they do against a tidal wave of dysfunction, immorality, and corruption? …
What explains … the stance that Things-Are-Really-Bad—But-Not-So-Bad-that-We-Have-to-Consider-Anything-Really-Different? The obvious answer is that they don’t really believe the first half of that formulation.
Is conservatism correct, or not? If so, act like it!
To simultaneously hold conservative cultural, economic, and political beliefs — to insist that our liberal-left present reality and future direction is incompatible with human nature and must undermine society — and yet also believe that things can go on more or less the way they are going, ideally but not necessarily with some conservative tinkering here and there, is logically impossible.
Let’s be very blunt here: if you genuinely think things can go on with no fundamental change needed, then you have implicitly admitted that conservatism is wrong. Wrong philosophically, wrong on human nature, wrong on the nature of politics, and wrong in its policy prescriptions. …
[T]he whole trend of the West is ever-leftward, ever further away from what we all understand as conservatism. If your answer [is more of the same form establishment conservatives] then you’ve implicitly accepted that your supposed political philosophy doesn’t matter and that civilization will carry on just fine under leftist tenets. Indeed, that leftism is truer than conservatism and superior to it. …
Conservatism, Inc. seems to find preposterous the ideas that (a) the republic is dying, and (b) the stakes in 2016 are — everything.
[W]hat has conservatism achieved lately? In the last 20 years? …
How have the last two decades worked out for you, personally? If you’re a member or fellow-traveler of the Davos class, chances are: pretty well. If you’re among the subspecies conservative intellectual or politician, you’ve accepted — perhaps not consciously, but unmistakably — your status on the roster of the Washington Generals of American politics.
Your job is to show up and lose, but you are a necessary part of the show and you do get paid. To the extent that you are ever on the winning side of anything, it’s as sophists who help the Davoisie oligarchy rationalize open borders, lower wages, outsourcing, de-industrialization, trade giveaways, and endless, pointless, winless war.
All of Trump’s 16 Republican competitors would have ensured more of the same — as will the election of Hillary Clinton.
[Republican] “opposition” may be in all cases ineffectual and often indistinguishable from support. But they don’t dream up inanities like 32 “genders,” elective bathrooms, single-payer, Iran sycophancy, “Islamophobia,” and Black Lives Matter. They merely help ratify them.
He could be writing about most (but not all) of the Australian Liberal Party. It’s like this in all western countries now: the leftist party is team A of political correctness, the rightist party is team B — so how can you vote against PC?
A Hillary presidency will be pedal-to-the-metal on the entire Progressive-left agenda, plus items few of us have yet imagined in our darkest moments. …
It will be coupled with a level of vindictive persecution against resistance and dissent hitherto seen in the supposedly liberal West only in the most “advanced” Scandinavian countries and the most leftist corners of Germany and England. We see this already … in the personal destruction campaigns of the Social Justice Warriors. We see it in Obama’s flagrant use of the IRS to torment political opponents, the gaslighting denial by the media, and the collective shrug by everyone else. …
For two generations at least, the Left has been calling everyone to their right Nazis. This trend has accelerated exponentially in the last few years, helped along by some on the Right who really do seem to merit — and even relish — the label.
There is nothing the modern conservative fears more than being called “racist,” so alt-right pocket Nazis are manna from heaven for the Left ….
The leftists have almost won and may soon move to the next stage, of dispensing with accountability and democracy.
So what do we have to lose by fighting back? Only our Washington Generals jerseys — and paychecks. But those are going away anyway.
Among the many things the “Right” still doesn’t understand is that the Left has concluded that this particular show need no longer go on. They don’t think they need a foil anymore and would rather dispense with the whole bother of staging these phony contests in which each side ostensibly has a shot.
If you haven’t noticed, our side has been losing consistently since 1988. We can win midterms, but we do nothing with them….
The deck is overwhelmingly stacked in favor of political correctness and against conservatives:
First, the opinion-making elements — the universities and the media above all — are wholly corrupt and wholly opposed to everything we want, and increasingly even to our existence. …
Second, our Washington Generals self-handicap and self-censor to an absurd degree. Lenin is supposed to have said that “the best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” But with an opposition like ours, why bother? Our “leaders” and “dissenters” bend over backward to play by the self-sabotaging rules the Left sets for them. Fearful, beaten dogs have more thymos.
Third and most important, the ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for, or experience in liberty means that the electorate grows more left, more Democratic, less Republican, less republican, and less traditionally American with every cycle. … This is the core reason why the Left … think they are on the cusp of a permanent victory that will forever obviate the need to pretend to respect democratic and constitutional niceties. Because they are.
It’s all about immigration of third worlders into the first world, for ultimate leftist control:
It’s also why they treat open borders as the “absolute value,” the one “principle” that … they prioritize above all the others….
Trump is the most liberal Republican nominee since Thomas Dewey. He departs from conservative orthodoxy in so many ways that National Review still hasn’t stopped counting. … On trade, globalization, and war, Trump is to the left (conventionally understood) not only of his own party, but of his Democratic opponent. And yet the Left and the junta are at one with the house-broken conservatives in their determination — desperation — not merely to defeat Trump but to destroy him. What gives?
Oh, right — there’s that other issue. The sacredness of mass immigration is the mystic chord that unites America’s ruling and intellectual classes. The Left and the Democrats seek ringers to form a permanent electoral majority. … The junta of course craves cheaper and more docile labor. … The Republicans and the “conservatives” … of course desperately want absolution from the charge of “racism.”
Trump is a huge break from any major US politician since Reagan:
This is insane. This is the mark of a party, a society, a country, a people, a civilization that wants to die.
Trump, alone among candidates for high office in this or in the last seven (at least) cycles, has stood up to say: I want to live. I want my party to live. I want my country to live. I want my people to live. I want to end the insanity.
Yes, Trump is worse than imperfect. So what? …
Since Pat Buchanan’s three failures, occasionally a candidate arose who saw one piece: Dick Gephardt on trade, Ron Paul on war, Tom Tancredo on immigration. Yet, among recent political figures … only Trump-the-alleged-buffoon not merely saw all three and their essential connectivity, but was able to win on them. …
When America possessed a vast, empty continent and explosively growing industry, high immigration was arguably good policy. It hasn’t made sense since World War I. Free trade was unquestionably a great boon to the American worker in the decades after World War II. We long ago passed the point of diminishing returns. The Gulf War of 1991 was a strategic victory for American interests. No conflict since then has been.
At least stop digging.
No more importing poverty, crime, and alien cultures. We have made institutions, by leftist design, not merely abysmal at assimilation but abhorrent of the concept. We should try to fix that, but given the Left’s iron grip on every school and cultural center, that’s like trying to bring democracy to Russia. …
By contrast, simply building a wall and enforcing immigration law will help enormously, by cutting off the flood of newcomers that perpetuates ethnic separatism and by incentivizing the English language and American norms in the workplace. …
The same can be said for Trumpian trade policies and anti-globalization instincts. Who cares if productivity numbers tick down, or if our already somnambulant GDP sinks a bit further into its pillow? Nearly all the gains of the last 20 years have accrued to the junta anyway. It would, at this point, be better for the nation to divide up more equitably a slightly smaller pie than to add one extra slice — only to ensure that it and eight of the other nine go first to the government and its rentiers, and the rest to the same four industries and 200 families.
The election of 2016 is a test — in my view, the final test — of whether there is any virtù left in what used to be the core of the American nation.
If they cannot rouse themselves simply to vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests, and to vote against the one who openly boasts that she will do the opposite (a million more Syrians, anyone?), then they are doomed. They may not deserve the fate that will befall them, but they will suffer it regardless.
UPDATE: Ben Shapiro disagrees with the article above. His criticisms are often just name calling and nit-picking (perhaps he is part of the Republican establishment the article tore into?), but the sensible core of his criticism is as follows:
[I]f you believe that the world won’t end if Hillary’s president – if you believe that she’ll be a historically awful president, but that there will be another election in four years in a heavily divided country – then the Flight 93 analogy fails, and fails dramatically. If that’s the case, then 2016 isn’t Flight 93, it’s Dunkirk, and conservatives had best save their army for a later date when the reinvasion of the continent becomes possible. …
Decentralization and federalism, combined with a renewed societal focus on virtue implemented at a familial and communal level, are the solution to an encroaching federal government. They are the only solution. …
But what is Publius’ solution? Why, Trump, of course! So in other words, screw conservatism, let’s get the Big Government corporatist ad hoc blue dog Democrat in here. The guy who donated to Hillary Clinton will surely fix things better than founding ideals ever have.
Trump supporters … [have nominated] an amply unfit leftist for high office and calling him the solution to leftism. And now they insist that everyone join them, or undermine conservatism – the cause they say they don’t care about because it’s been losing for decades.
Shapiro is completely silent on the big issue of immigration, except basically to say “I’m not for open borders.” He ignores the big argument that the changing nature of the US population ensures leftists victories forever, starting real soon now.
Some of us have spent decades fighting the left. Publius has wasted ten pages of valuable paper excusing his own cowardice in failing to fight the left (where’s he been all this time?) on behalf of another coward who has failed to fight the left (where’s Trump been all this time, other than giving money to Democrats?).
UPDATE: James Kirkpatrick:
[G]rassroots fury with Conservatism Inc. is clearly building, even among those we think of as “mainstream” conservatives with a mass audience. For example, Rush Limbaugh read and discussed the piece at length on his radio program on Wednesday. He also blasted the lack of ready reaction from conservative intellectuals and suggested this was implicit proof “Decius” was right—“that it hit home so that people don’t want to react to it, just ignore it when somebody hits you with legitimate criticism, ignore it, don’t amplify it, don’t respond to it”
Yet what even Limbaugh downplayed was the existential threat a Clinton presidency poses to Conservatism Inc.—even the Never Trump faction. Even if we accept that the Beltway Right doesn’t care about the survival of the historic American nation, its racket can only go on as long as Conservatism Inc. still has some proximity to official power. If we get a second President Clinton, and her promised nation-breaking mass amnesty, Republicans will have no chance of winning a national election again. So why would donors even bother wasting their money on people who have proven not just to be parasites, but irrelevant?
The real reason conservatism is failing is that immigration is making the US more non-white and:
Non-whites do not want limited government. They have nothing to gain from it. Their professional classes rely heavily on Affirmative Action, the lower classes EBT and welfare. The current power structure caters to their ethnic identity.
Did anyone see this coming?
[T]he brutal reality [is] that this was all prophesied decades ago. More than twenty years ago, VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow and other voices predicted the electoral extinction of conservatives if mass immigration continued. Some courageous conservative luminaries such as Phyllis Schlafly also warned of the consequences. But they were ignored—and in fact “purged.”
UPDATE: Lion of the Blogosphere:
Just finished reading this great alt-right essay [the Flight 93 Election, above]. Of course, it’s only alt-right if the alt-right includes more than just a bunch of Jew-hating Stormfront types. I think that alt-right is a bigger umbrella than that. …
The big news is not in the contents, but that an alt-right screed is being taken seriously by the mainstream.
hat-tip David Archibald