Understanding The Moment
pulling down the "institution"
On Mondays I always seem to be emptied out, after writing my American Thinker oped over the weekend. I read the usual stuff and my mind is a blur.
For instance I read a Quillette piece reviewing a book about the Trumpists, how they “support incoherent policy initiatives, offer incongruous facts and figures, and believe contradictory ideologies.”
Pleas for unity are often quickly drowned out in a roar of spite, and the body politic is groaning beneath rampant election denial, insurrectionary fervor, threats of violence, a proliferation of firearms, and general disenchantment with the whole idea of self-government.
Well, yes, of course. What would they know about the wise and coherent policy coming from the policy elites, with their carefully researched facts and figures and consistent ideology!
Then there’s piece in Unherd about the Left in Britain, trying to identify the Left. The writer, Richard Bourke, waffles around, first limiting the Left to “French, German, British and American politics,” and then noting its importance in the universities, and then noting the decline of the soft left since the end of the 1970s and the end of the hard left with the collapse of communism in 1991. So it has revived itself on the cultural side with obsessions about “‘inequities’ in race and gender” and on the political side “concerned with public sector funding.”
All very unsatisfying. But then I read Richard A. Tucker at Epoch Times. The question is, he writes, about whether the “present system whereby representative democracy persists as a mere veneer” or will we see “the swamp… truly drained, the administrative state gutted, the agencies disempowered.”
We live under a “system of administrative despotism” that includes
not just Dwight Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex but also a tech-and-censorship industrial complex that seeks full control over domestic life too, including commerce and culture.
Now we’re talking.
Then came 2016 and Trump.
Much to his amazement, and to the shock of myriad people he appointed, the entrenched machinery of D.C. control worked daily and hourly to thwart his every effort to drain the swamp.
Here’s another word for deep state or swamp: “institutionalist.” and New York Times Jamelle Bouie uses the word in describing the new Speaker of the House.
Mike Johnson is neither a moderate nor an institutionalist. Just the opposite. A protégé of Jordan’s, he comes, as you have doubtless heard, from the far-right, anti-institutionalist wing of the congressional Republican Party.
Says Tucker: “Are you getting the hint here?”
Institutionalist is a synonym for moderate, mainstream, and works and plays well with established state interests. Such a person is a defender of the institutions that exist. An anti-institutionalist in this context means someone who doesn’t obey the rules, doesn’t respect the corrupt system, doesn’t defer to the real rulers of the D.C., and is determined to make fundamental change.
So now we know where we are: “the people versus Goliath the institution.”
Thanks Mr. Tucker. I needed that.