Postmodern Conservative

Strategy and the Future

What the Blank Is Going On?

Well, our friend Henry Olsen is sending out messages explaining whom to vote for today in Maryland. It’s Kasich or Cruz, depending on your district.

I wrote back that this sounds like the strategizing of the Confederates in late 1864. But I certainly hope it works.

The deal between Cruz and Kasich, as strange and somewhat demoralizing as it is, is a confession by Cruz that he failed to consolidate the Never Trump forces. And Kasich is pathetic trying to explain it. Still, it’s less desperation than Cruz’s very calculated strategy on fourth down. He knows that if he doesn’t win in Indiana, his campaign will be over, even with all the delegates he’d have on the never-to-come second ballot. He’ll worry about what happens after Indiana later.

That mean Cruz’s effort in Indiana is now as huge as huge can be. I expect it will be successful in gaining him a plurality and a bit of momentum. Then he will have to do what’s certainly possible — avoid being blown out in California.

Here’s what might be good to avoid: a convention full of delegates who hate Trump’s guts but is still bound to nominate him. Nothing on House of Cards is stranger than that! Maybe what we should fear most are last-minute machinations that fail. Or, for that matter, succeed. The new struggle is to make the Republican nomination worth something. It’s not an easy one, despite polls that show even a candidate as vain and silly as Kasich could easily defeat Clinton.

Here is the big fact looming over American today: Trump and Sanders both stand at 45 percent among the voters in their respective parties. And Trump is up 16 percent on Cruz. Donald is coated with some substance much stronger and more impervious than mere teflon.

What does this fact mean for the realignment of our parties, Damon Linker asks?That’s impossible to know, given that it may turn out that we don’t have parties these days, especially a Republican one. It’s easier to know what the voters have repudiated: The center-left administration of Bill Clinton, as friendly as it was to free trade and America’s corporate elites. The humiliating incompetence – -especially the interventionism — of the administration of George W. Bush. The administration of Barack Obama, under which, as Bill Clinton just explained, the majority of Americans have become more economically insecure and have not received a raise. The condescending competency/diversity elitism of Silicon Valley. The Randian libertarianism of the Koch brothers, who are feeling the sting of the disconnect between big money and real political influence. I’ll add more stuff to this list later.

One thing that’s been affirmed by both Trump and Sanders voters is the egalitarianism of American citizenship. More soon on that too. 

Americans needs to study up on citizenship and the nation these days. My reading assignments: Roger Scruton, Pierre Manent, and the neglected American genius Orestes Brownson.

Peter Augustine Lawler — Peter Augustine Lawler is Dana Professor of Government at Berry College. He is executive editor of the acclaimed scholarly quarterly Perspectives on Political Science and served on President George ...

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