Lord Wellington, in his voluminous and eloquent dispatches, often referred to his critics as “croakers.”
Wellington – a conservative-cum-reactionary – also said: “to begin reform is to begin revolution.”
Wellington was no fan of either reform or revolution. In his day, men – “scum of the earth” – who stepped out of line were flogged, shot or hanged.
Wellington did not like change.
But if Wellington were to see our society today?
Moldbug asked his readers to imagine reading the newspaper as if you were Lord Wellington.
I can say it is an interesting exercise.
What would the Iron Duke’s response be to this?
Anyway, here I want to gently prod some of the “croakers” in Nrx, who, along with others in the alt-right, have been doing a good bit of “croaking” recently.
This is all friendly stuff, knockabout stuff, My Good Lords.
Yet, nowhere did I claim that Trump was a reactionary. In fact, I don’t think I even ever called him a conservative, or even discussed his ideology -instead I called Trump a “political entrepreneur”.
Here is what I said months ago:
I used to never care about Donald Trump.
I never watched the Apprentice.
When Trump began the game, coming down the escalator, I was in China. I thought, like most people, it was some kind of joke and I never paid any attention.
I do, however, pay attention to many things.
One of the things I pay attention to is Islamic terrorism.
For the last fifteen years, I have paid attention to Islam and studied it most assiduously. For ten years, I have collected nearly every terrorist attack that has occurred — across the entire globe.
Then, I go onto say:
One of my predictions (if current trends continue X is likely or will happen) was Islam becoming a dividing point in politics.
A dividing point in a democracy is when subject X requires an either or position — no middle ground. Either you are for something or against something.
So, my prediction was that at some time T1 a political entrepreneur would take a stand on this subject and say something like “no more Muslims.” (Emphasis mine.)
I stand by that description.
Trump is probably a narcissist, a Machiavellian and a sociopath.
Nearly all leaders will have a tremendous ego which radiates as confidence to others (narcissism); he will be a real people person/persuader, in other words he will be a charmer (Machiavellian); naturally competitive, he will tell any lie, will crush anyone, will do anything…..to WIN (sociopath).
This is one reason, gentlemen, why the left tend to always win. Think on that gentlemen.
Trump is a real player – an entrepreneur – he wants to WIN WIN WIN.
So, Trump’s moves with Syria acted like a reactionary Rorschach test for all of us.
Spandrell says it does not look good.
Citadel says he was wrong.
Gray Enlightenment was disappointed.
Tsang says he feels betrayed.
Landry is measured.
Jim is working the angles, but is still positive.
Heartiste is upbeat, however.
Gentlemen, the GAME IS THE GAME.
What is the object of the GAME?
The object is to win.
And what is Trump?
How does Trump win?
By getting re-elected.
How do you get re-elected?
By persuading a sufficient number of people, in specific locations, to vote for you.
That is the formal reading however.
The real reading, however, is that in order for Trump to win re-election, he has to carefully manage, not just individuals, but coalitions, and not only in America but all around the world.
He has to reward allies with pay, prestige and perks and either defeat enemies or win them over – or at least convince them to be neutral.
He has to keep some allies, sacrifice some, and win over new ones.
He has to manage appearance and reality.
Who ever said Trump was a reactionary?
One of the core ideas of neoreaction is the distinction between form and reality. Don’t pay so much attention to the form (word, text or speech) and more to reality (action and consequences).
Remember, Trump, like all players (which includes politicians) wants to get and keep power. Thus, what he must aim for is re-election in 2020. In order to win in 2020, he will need to not only maintain his base, but expand it.
In all likelihood, outside of a blackswan, Trump will win. The left is going down to defeat everywhere; however, because we still have democracy, Trump will have to pander to people.
Unless Trump does something extremely silly – like do an Iraq on Turkey and bring ten million Muslims into America, his base will vote for him.
This game is a marathon, and not a sprint, and the prize is power, prestige, perks and payment – always and everywhere. Always.
What Trump just did over the last several weeks, is to make him look human/sentimental/humanitarian and also strong/decisive and competent with the Syrian strike.
He has killed the whole “Hitler thing” by “crying” over babies.
Hitler never cried over babies.
Trump has to guard against a potential Republican challenger in 2020, so he needs to look competent and tough – but compassionate. Also, he needs to defang potential charges from Democrat challengers that he is a heartless, reckless, warmonger: “babies! Dead Babies”.
So Far, So Good.
Also, Trump – seemingly – has “put” Bannon in his place – which is a great move politically.
Because Trump can make it seem to the media, and thus the public, including the liberals, that all the “ugly stuff” came from Bannon – this makes Trump look like a “moderate” – which helps with his public relations – “grow the base.”
Also, by seeming to knock Bannon down a bit, it makes Trump look like he is in charge and not Bannon (does anyone watch SNL?) If I was Bannon, I would have suggested this line of attack myself.
(Remember that scene in Ender’s Game where Ender says to his new Spanish prick boss that he should pretend to punish him and Ender should pretend to care? The Game is the Game. )
Now, has anything of substance changed ala Bannon? He got removed from the “chair”, but he can still sit on the NSC. He still has access to the President. So, no real change.
Whoever said Trump was going to be an isolationist? An isolationist does not say “Bomb the shit out of em.”
Here is the test for Trump: punish enemies ruthlessly, reward allies generously; support leaders capable of holding down the barbarians; put fear and doubt into America’s rivals and make a deal or two and make it look like you’re a peacemaker one day, and a warlord the next.
If Bannon, Miller, Gorka and Anton get shit-canned, start to worry. If Sessions gets stumped, or starts to cuck, start to worry.
Is the above true?
Maybe, maybe not.
The above is a coherent interpretation of the facts.
There can be many different coherent interpretations however.
Perhaps, the only way we can really judge all of this is from the perspective of history – that is after the events in question have long past.
So, for Trump, all being well, in his opening campaign speech in 2020, he might say:
KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
(Trump, this time, will not be pitching to the public that he is a successful businessman, a political outsider, who wants to fix Washington. No. He is MR SMITH DONE GOOD AND ALL.)
They said Trump couldn’t win the nomination.
Trump won the nomination.
They said Trump couldn’t win the election.
Trump won the election.
They said Trump was not smart.
But Trump outsmarted them all. Look at my beautiful cabinet! Look at my tremendous cabinet – I choose them. Tillerson. Trump! Matthis. Trump! Kelly. Trump! Haley. Trump! Pence. Trump! I-Chose-Them.
They said Trump was a warmonger.
But Trump made great deals – GREAT DEALS – with Putin, with Xi and ripped up Obama’s bad deal – a horrible, no good, terrible deal – with Iran.
They said Trump couldn’t build a wall.
Trump built a wall. We Built a Wall Folks! WE BUILT THE WALL! (USA! USA! USA!)
They said Trump was not competent to deal with Islamic radicalism.
Folks, Bagdadi is dead. DEAD! DEAD!!!
They said Trump cannot ban criminals and terrorists from America.
Trump, thanks to my Supreme Court nomination, won. We can now ban terrorists and other dangerous Islamic radicals – ISLAMIC RADICALS – from our country.
Look at the polls, the military loves me, the uneducated love me, the folks from the “blue wall” (which we shattered last time) love me. (Oh BTW I love Michigan. I LOVE Michigan!) Women love me.
Now, folks, we have made real progress. REAL PROGRESS! real progress, it’s true, oh it’s true, In KEEPING AMERICA SAFE! America Safe! America safe.
We have made AMERICA FIRST! WE HAVE MADE AMERICA FIRST!
WE MADE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Now, NOW we need to KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
KEEP AMERICA GREAT!!!
USA! USA! USA!
That, or something like it, is a possible outline of a 2020 campaign strategy. The story begins by telling everyone how Trump has constantly upended expectations and predictions and proved successful. Then, you cite these achievements. Finally, put the fear into people over the other candidates.
If I was a strategist, my advice to Trump would be to take away as much of the white working and middle-class as possible who tend to vote blue in the swing states, or in Dem heartlands. This involves a story about “white hate” coming from the left and fear over physical, economic and social status insecurity.
Trump, also could win big by buying off some of the blacks who vote Dems.
Finally, Trump really needs to get white, single, women, on board. This is a tough one, but he needs to, on the one hand, be Alpha, but also show a caring, tender side. His daughter – Ivanka – is a real ace in the hole here.
So, for Trump to win he has to build a coherent coalition, while the Dems will be left to sputtering incoherence.
Events is what can spoil a plan, for no plan survives contact with reality.
Talking about events and British Prime Ministers……
In other news, Is Chairman May planning to reverse Brexit?
The reason she is having an early election is probably for the following reasons:
1: Golden opportunity to smash Labour.
2: Golden opportunity to nip any new Scottish referendum.
3: The election will NOT just be about Brexit, it will be about who governs Britain. However, May will use her election victory to push the claim that the entire British people are behind Brexit……..
4: Which strengthens her hand in negotiations with Brussels. How? Because Brussels will not be able to negotiate from a strong position and or push for stalemate and wind down the clock till 2020 and hope for a new government. Now, they must face a government with a “mandate” that can go all the way to 2022. And for the EU a lot can happen in five years.
5: If May waited, there is a good chance Labour would have had a new leader by 2018, then this leader would be more formidable than Corbyn.
6: It is also possible, that the French election may – may – have something to do with her decision.
However, I don’t really think May really wants Brexit, the comedy is that events – events dear girl – have forced her hand.