Patterico's Pontifications


Jeff Goldstein: The Alt-Right Philosophy Is At Odds with America’s Fundamental Principles

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:33 am

An excellent piece at The Federalist. I agree with virtually every word. Some excerpts to whet your appetite:

American exceptionalism, which neither Barack Obama nor Donald Trump understand or can articulate, was born of our founding. This exceptionalism is found not in its genetic makeup (after all, we fought other white Europeans for our independence) but in a collage of Enlightenment ideas our Founders pulled together to create what became our national portrait.

To reclaim our birthright, we need only reclaim the Constitution. We need to re-embrace American exceptionalism and reject the kind of toxic identitarianism the Left uses to divide us, manage us, and place us into needy voter blocs they then collect to win elections, and through which an institutionalized progressive cancer spreads to eat away its bones.

. . . .

Vox Day claims “The Alt Right is an ALTERNATIVE to the mainstream conservative movement in the USA.” In this he lumps together all who have described themselves as conservatives and writes them off as only nominally so. Elsewhere you’ll see alt-righters refer to “Conservative Inc.,” which is shorthand for this claim. But this, too, is nonsense. Again, one is “conservative” or not based on what he believes and how he governs — and, importantly, based on the way the label is currently understood.

Simply adopting the label as it suits you doesn’t make you something you aren’t, much like calling your hamburger a carrot doesn’t make you a vegetarian. It is about a set of principles that, once they’ve become too commingled with self-serving pragmatism or “realism,” devolve into a mash of weak progressivism.

. . . .

According to Vox Day, “The Alt Right believes in victory through persistence and remaining in harmony with science, reality, cultural tradition, and the lessons of history.” Yet that same alt-right simultaneously misunderstands history, embraces tribalism, eschews American exceptionalism, and relies on the legitimate science of population genetics to draw pseudo-scientific racialist conclusions that glut the burgeoning field of white nationalist sociology.

This country was born out of clashes within the very homogeneous and unadulterated tribe he pines for.

Similarly, it speaks of a “cultural tradition” it can’t possibly define. Cultures are amalgams. To distill them down to that mythical moment of original purity is to pick a particular point in time to declare the culture the culture. It is an act of will, and a self-serving one at that. Making Vox Day’s support of a nationalism “homogeneous and unadulterated by foreign invasion and immigration” just another instance of rank tribalism — one that forgets this country was born out of clashes within the very homogeneous and unadulterated tribe he pines for.

Calling themselves anti-globalist, the alt-right defines itself against free-market capitalism. As Vox Day puts it, “The Alt Right rejects international free trade and the free movement of peoples that free trade requires. The benefits of intranational free trade is not evidence for the benefits of international free trade.” He does so shortly after declaring that the alt-right is “scientodific” — it “presumptively accepts the current conclusions of the scientific method (scientody).” Yet it rejects any evidence free trade has been a net positive for the United States in terms of living standards for citizens, wealth accumulation, and so on.

Read it all.

P.S. His avatar at the link is pretty funny.

*Cough* Hillary Having a *Cough* Hard Time These *Cough* Days

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 am

Painful to watch. I have been prone to coughing fits like this myself, though never in front of thousands of people. I imagine it’s tough to get through a talk this way. But, as commonplace as a coughing fit like this can be, she has to be dreading that it might hit during a debate. Given the state of our electorate, there’s no doubt that one coughing fit lasting even a third as long as this during a debate would do her in.

Meanwhile, for the fraction who care more about substance, here is Ben Shapiro noting all the new evidence showing Hillary’s criminal intent. A sample:

1. Hillary Used TONS Of Different Devices. According to the FBI, Hillary used at least 13 mobile devices “associated with her two known phone numbers.” That blows up her original lie that she set up a private server so that she could use one email address and one device.

2. Her Aides Destroyed Her Old Blackberrys…Or Lost Them. The FBI report states that Hillary’s aides were tasked with discarding of Hillary’s SIM cards when she’d switch devices – but “[Huma] Abedin and [Monica] Hanley indicated the whereabouts of Clinton’s devices would frequently become unknown once she transitioned to a new device.” According to another aide, he destroyed Hillary’s cellphones by hitting them with a hammer.

3. Hillary Told The FBI She Had No Idea How Classified Intelligence Worked. Yes, that’s right – the Most Qualified Candidate In World History™ admitted to the FBI that she had no idea how classification worked. The FBI explained, “Clinton could not give an example of how classification of a document was determined…[she] did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.” She even said that a classified email regarding a drone strike in Pakistan didn’t present a problem: “Clinton stated deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification.”

4. Hillary Hid 17,448 Work Related Emails From The State Department. The FBI reported that they’d “recovered from additional data sources and reviewed approximately 17,448 unique work-related and personal e-mails from Clinton’s tenure.” Hillary has claimed that she turned over all work-related emails and was fully transparent.

Nah, forget substance. A new online poll taken over 21 days shows Trump doing well. Release the hounds.

Hillary Clinton Answers A Few Questions From Her Fans, Uh, I Mean The Press…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:10 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a surprising move yesterday, Hillary Clinton invited the press to join her on her new campaign plane, Hill Force One . During a flight to a campaign rally, Clinton fielded questions from reporters seated at the back of the plane. We are being told that this constitutes a real “press conference,” thus ending a 270+ day holdout:


Here are some of the more revealing takes from the “presser,” aside from the really hard-hitting questions like, “How was your Labor Day,” and “Are you ready?”:

On whether an inability to recall briefings related to email classifications indicate a “casual attitude” toward the way secrets were protected while she was secretary of state:

“No, not at all. . . . I went into to the State Department understanding classification. I’d been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for years before I was secretary of state. I take classification seriously. The fact that I couldn’t remember certain meetings, whether or not they had occurred, doesn’t in any way affect the commitment that I had and still have to the treatment of classified material.”

On whether Chelsea Clinton should no longer be involved with the Clinton foundation if she is elected president.

“We’ll reach that if I’m elected, but I just want to say how proud I am of the work the foundation has done. And it’s world-renowned for what it’s accomplished. Since my husband started it, 11.5 million people get low-cost HIV/AIDS drugs that would have had a hard time doing that. . . .They brought the price of malaria drugs down 90 percent so that is now readily available. They’re working on a program to get the antidote to heroin overdose into every high school in America, and there’s so much more.”

On whether having some of her employees go back and forth has contributed to “blurred lines” between the State Department and Clinton foundation:

“No, I don’t. Everything I did at the State Department I did in furtherance of America’s interests in our security. The State Department has said there’s absolutely no evidence of any kind of external influence, and I know that to be the fact, and I know that the people who worked with me were devoted as well to pursuing the foreign policy that the Obama administration set forth.”

So there you have it. A Hillary Clinton press conference where she gives her standard, “I’m just an innocent bystander” line, and no one pushes back.

And please, stop making such a Big Deal over the fact that she hasn’t held an official press conference in more than 273 days one day. She hasn’t done one (since yesterday), because she’s just really uncomfortable in that setting:



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