I've drastically cut back on my web browsing, but David Harsanyi is one reason I kept the Federalist in the loop. He recently wisely updated the political map: 'National Conservatism' Is A Dead End.
Since a civil war is about to break out and destroy the modern Republican Party — fingers crossed — let me tell you what grinds my gears.
Young NatCons, many of whom I know and like, seem to be under the impression that they’ve stumbled upon some fresh, electrifying governing philosophy. Really, they’re peddling ideas that already failed to take hold 30 years ago when the environment was far more socially conservative and there were far more working-class voters to draw on. If Americans want class-obsessed statists doling out family-busting welfare checks and whining about Wall Street hedge funds, there is already a party willing to scratch that itch. We don’t need two.
“National conservatism”— granted, still in an amorphous stage — offers a far too narrow agenda for any kind of enduring political consensus. It lacks idealism. It’s a movement tethered to the grievances of a shrinking demographic of rural and Rust-Belt workers with high school degrees at the expense of a growing demographic of college-educated suburbanites.
Wondering what Harsanyi means by "30 years ago"? He's talking about this guy.
Kevin D. Williamson does a post-election analysis on "right-wing populists" and concludes, simply, that They Got Took.
Skipping down to a mention of our fair state:
The Democrats rolled the dice in a big and bold way in the midterms, putting more than $40 million into the campaigns of the nuttiest nut-cutlets contesting the Republican primaries, hoping to advance the worst of the crackpots, coup-plotters, and conspiracy kooks to the general election. This was based on the theory that these howling moonbats would be easier to beat than would some boring, buttoned-down, golf-playing Republican type who might want to talk a lot about inflation rather than Jewish space lasers or the Venezuelan cyber-commandos who run our elections. It was cynical, undemocratic, and immoral—that is, everything you might expect from the mind of a Steve Bannon or a Rudy Giuliani.
Except for the fact that the Democrats won.
In every major race in which the Democrats helped to elevate the kind of Republican who is even more daft and irresponsible than the average Republican, the Democrat-backed Republican loon crashed harder than Lynyrd Skynyrd. In New Hampshire, Don Bolduc didn’t lay a glove on Maggie Hassan; in Michigan, Trump-endorsed and Democrat-funded moonbat John Gibbs defeated normie Republican Peter Meijer in the primary and then lost to Democrat Hillary Scholten; in Pennsylvania, conspiracy kook Doug Mastriano rose to the Republican gubernatorial nomination on Democratic wings and not only cost the GOP that race but probably weighed down the rest of the ticket enough to cost television quack Mehmet Oz the Senate race against a cognitively impaired hipster poseur who used to be the mayor of a town you’ve never heard of. The story played out in more than a dozen races.
Folks who voted for Don Bolduc in the GOP primary should listen to the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" on a loop until the message sinks in: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
Arthur C. Brooks diagnoses a general problem: America Is Pursuing Happiness in All the Wrong Places.
As a social scientist, I believe that happiness should be understood as a combination of three phenomena: enjoyment, satisfaction, and meaning. Enjoyment is pleasure consciously and purposefully experienced, so it can create a positive memory. Satisfaction is the joy of an achievement, the reward for a job well done.
And then, there’s meaning. You can make do without enjoyment for a while, and even without a lot of satisfaction. But without meaning, you will be utterly lost. That is the psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl’s argument in his classic book Man’s Search for Meaning. Without a sense of meaning—a sense of the why of our existence–our lives cannot be endured.
My general advice to those searching for meaning is "Buy a dictionary." But Arthur has a different take, and it may be useful to you.
Good news from Thomas A. Berry and Nicholas DeBenedetto at the Cato Institute: The Police Can't Arrest You for Making a Zombie Joke.
In March of 2020, during the uncertainty of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Waylon Bailey of Rapides Parish, Louisiana sought to make light of the situation by posting an obvious joke on his Facebook page. His post consisted of a faux‐urgent warning to his Facebook friends that the Rapides County Sherriff’s Office had been instructed to shoot “the infected” on sight. His over‐the‐top post was complete with all‐caps text, emojis, and a hashtag reference to Brad Pitt’s role in the zombie movie World War Z. Exchanges between Bailey and his friends in the comments on the post made it clear that Bailey was joking and that his friends and readers were in on the joke.
And you won't believe what happened next.
OK, smartie, you probably will believe what happened next.