Summary: Before we start a new year, let’s see the extraordinary events that made 2018 an inflection year in American political history. Let’s make 2019 a great year – but in a good way, unlike 2018.
What were the big geopolitical events of 2018, from an American perspective? Here are my guesses. First, the Deep State revealed itself for all to see. Second, another great betrayal came to a climax (the second in our history).
“There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.”
— Attributed to Lenin.
(1) The Deep State reveals itself
Every family has a crazy uncle. For years American’s crazy uncles regaled their families with tales about the Deep State. That key aspects of national policy were controlled by the 1%, supported by both political parties, the news media, the NGOs, academia, and the mega-corps. In recent years, some of us slowly came to believe that there was some truth to this. 2018 was shattering to anyone paying attention.
This clip from The President’s Analyst captures the way that many of us felt in 2018 (it is a fun flick from 1967, I recommend it). Our suspicions about the Deep State seemed paranoid. Then we learned the truth …
In 2018 we found that all our elites were part of the Deep State. First, we learned that there was a Deep State. On 6 September the NYT ran “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, an op-ed by a “senior official in the Trump administration.” He confessed that they have an active program, and that “This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.” “You say potato, I say patahto.“ As William Lind explained, this was an inflection point in US history.
This admission resonated with many Americans because on issue after issue we see the grand alliance of our elites, as the supposedly terrifying “polarization” and “gridlock” magically vanish. Trump, as promised during his campaign, attempted to expand the wall on our border with Mexico (As Martin van Creveld explained in Defending Israel: A Strategic Plan for Peace and Security, walls have worked well throughout history. See how walls have worked for Israel). Yet both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have opposed Trump. As have the press, academia, and the major corporations. To them, open borders rule! For us, we get an echo – not a choice.
Even clearer was the reaction to Trump’s “announcement” that he was “thinking” of some kind of partial withdrawal from Syria – and perhaps from Afghanistan. In an amazing display of solidarity, almost the entire DC establishment went berserk, spouting hysterical lies (details here). Expansion of war gets broad support. They oppose any hint of slowing in the Long War.
In none of their calculations does our interest play a role (remember, America is well-run. Not by us. Not for us.) That is the reward that sheep deserve and get.
(2) Another great betrayal
The first great betrayal in American history was the Republican’s abandonment of their long proud history to embrace racism – exploiting the Democrat’s sponsorship of the civil rights bills (details here).
The second was the Democrats’ serial betrayal of their principles, making them into a new party (just retaining the same name). These trends grew to a crescendo in 2018, unmistakable to anyone paying attention.
- Democrat’s embrace of Wall Street, let by Bill Clinton. That was logical, in a sense. Wall Street pays better than having principles.
- Democrat’s big steps to weaken our civil rights under the Constitution. Obama signed a Bill Attainder (explicitly prohibited by Article I Section 9 of the Constitution). Obama embraced the Surveillance State created by Bush Jr.
- Democrat’s embrace of explicit racism (directed against white) and sexism (directed against men), reversing the generations-long effort to make those unacceptable in either Party.
- Democrat’s embrace of the Long War (and tapping the limitless funds of the war industry), begun by Bill Clinton, continued by Obama (expanding in Afghanistan and Africa), and brought to a climax by the Democratic Party’s opposition to Trump’s tentative proposals for slowing the Long War.
The lesson to learn from 2018 is that we are alone in the defense of the Republic. Our tribalism makes us weak and easily led. I suspect that political reform remains impossible in America until we develop new coalitions, new goals, and new leaders. It won’t be easy. Let’s start in 2019.