EVERYONE is in a fine froth about the failure of Ryancare (or Trumpcare) last week, and everybody is busy blaming someone.
It was Speaker Ryan, who should have known that you don't do major health care reform in a month.
It was the House Freedom Caucus that would compromise on anything.
It was President Trump, who didn't appreciate how difficult and complex health care is.
It was Steve Bannon, who threatened the House Freedom caucus guys.
Then there is the meme that Trump, or Ryan, or the Republicans, have spent all their political capital and are finished.
Well, which is true?
I don't know. But my smart retort is that government is a total disaster all the time. Almost everything it does is stupid and wasteful and cruel and unjust. It is almost impossible to get anything worthy and sensible done.
That is why governments employ flacks whose sole job is to tell us what a wonderful powerful guy the president is, on down to the worthy bureaucrat churning out life-saving regulations and "our" nurses and schoolteachers who are saving lives and caring for our children.
So the Republicans in Congress tried to do something really difficult and President Trump was trying to push whatever it was over the finish line.
And they failed.
And leaders are supposed to never fail.
I suppose this is all about the Pharoah being a god, and a god being necessarily omnipotent, and therefore any political failure bringing into question the divinity of the Pharoah.
Or, as the Chinese say, losing the Mandate of Heaven.
But it's pity, because normal human activity on this world constantly encounters problems and setbacks. The measure of a man or a woman is how they handle adversity. It's a bit hard to expect presidents and speakers to be perfect.
And the fear of failure seems to haunt all the folk in the political sphere. They have to appear omnipotent, or nothing at all.
Perhaps it arises out of the impossibility of a political career. As I read once, it is an amazing achievement for a Briton to get a seat in the House of Commons. But backbenchers are nobodies. It is even more astonishing to become a junior minister, practically impossible to become a front-rank cabinet minister, etc.
So every politician is haunted by the fear that the astonishing run of luck is about to run out.
On the other hand, I understand the necessity for oppositions to say See, I Told You So at every opportunity.
But here's a scary item from The Telegraph's eternal pessimist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. He says that US corporate credit is contracting at a record rate, almost as bad as 2008, so...
This morning energy stocks are down.
WE conservatives are naturally angry that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced that he will vote against the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. And he will probably filibuster Gorsuch too. But what else is Schumer to do? The liberal base is all riled up and it demands "Resistance!" The great and powerful United State Senators cannot just wink at each other and let a Republican Supreme...
REMEMBER when the Democrats were shoving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through Congress back in 2010? It seemed like they were all singing from the same hymnal. Everyone knew to repeat the same talking points: If you like your plan... If you like your doctor... etc. But with the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare it's like the gang that couldn't shoot straight. ...
YESTERDAY I read a profoundly troubling piece about Islam, an interview of a Pole that converted to Islam. I was alerted to the article by a reader of this blog. Today we have a jihadi attack on the Westminster Palace, the home of parliaments. This is personal to me because, 50 years ago, I used to walk across Westminster Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament, exactly where the car crashed ...
WE won't be posting to this blog any more.
Go to an American Manifesto instead.
HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me." Mona Charen makes the point directly. Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich. But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the ...
MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange. How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple. It is honor. Lefties don't understand honor, male or female. And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...
YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point. Forget the "new" ideas. How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...
EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder. Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on. The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...
Download latest e-book draft here.
A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elitethe spectre of conservatism.
The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasnt supposed to be like this.
Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.
Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.
Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.
The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.
A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.
The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?
From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.
The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.
The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.
Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.
The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state
The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?
The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?
Liberals and the Welfare State
Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.
From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.
The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the last best hope of man on earth.
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.
But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?
With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.
In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.
Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.
I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.
Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.
The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness...
But to make a man act [he must have]
the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove
or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action
But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie
that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel
Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says we should....
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity