How could the Alt Right have misjudged Trump so badly?

Donald Trump.  What a depressing topic.  For something cheerier, see my meditations on death now on the Orthosphere.

That President Trump is reneging on his campaign promises is itself unremarkable.  Even those who disregarded my advice and voted for him knew that he might.  His Alternative Right advocates always acknowledged that he was an ideologically mixed bag, combining social liberalism and irrational hostility toward Iran with some sensible beliefs.  They just pointed out that someone who says crazy things half of the time is preferable to an establishment that says crazy things all of the time.  Many also acknowledged that he might be unable to deliver on his promises, that he might be obstructed by the permanent government.  I personally suspected that a President Trump might ultimately turn to foreign adventures after being defeated in his domestic agendas, a typical path for a Republican president.  Yet although I argued against voting for Trump, I am close enough to the Alternative Right that like them I did not expect him to impulsively launch hostilities with foreign powers in an irrational emotional fit so early in his presidency.  Who could have predicted such a thing?

Everyone outside of the Alternative Right, actually.  The liberals always said that Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president; the mainstream conservatives also have always said so.  Liberals were always worrying about Trump “pressing the button” because he’s crazy, and I always dismissed this because his campaign message was less bellicose than his rival’s.  We knew that Trump is inarticulate and that he has vast gaps in his knowledge, but did we take sufficient notice of his recklessness, with how easily he is manipulated by appeals to his sentiment and vanity?  Most of the discussion on our side of the Right with Trump’s character had to do with his lack of chastity, which historically has only a very loose correlation with leadership skills.  Even his detractors like me failed to weigh sufficiently his lack of character.

That we did so is understandable.  The media always says that people who disagree with liberals are crazy, hateful, emotionally unhinged, as well as stupid.  No matter how careful we are to be rational and dispassionate in our public engagements, the characterization of the hate-filled lunatic is always applied.  Criticisms of liberal beliefs are always “screeds”.  Dissidents are always “bigots”.  We have learned to discount character attacks coming from establishment sources like the media.  This is a blind spot for us.  There really are nuts and con men out there.

If something happens that no one expected, there’s nothing remarkable in the fact that we didn’t expect it either.  When something happens that everyone except us expected, that should prompt some serious self-evaluation.

13 Responses

  1. And now that their dire warnings appeared to be vindicated, they are cheering the president on.

  2. So you buy the story that he did this purely due to the images of injured children? And that he did it without anyone else’s consent?

    Regardless, even if you do accept the worst interpretation of Trump’s presidency thus far, would any of the other candidates have been better to support, from the Alt-Right’s position? They got a ton of press and their candidate won.

  3. Guilty as charged. I never thought Trump was going to start a Reactionary Restoration but I thought he was going to eliminate the most extreme excesses of liberal policies: immigration, foreign wars, culture wars… So we could have a bit more time before the collapse.

    But you have to understand us. Being a real conservative it’s an exercise in disappointment, pessimism and sadness. We have been losing for the last 300 years, mostly in a humiliating and complete way. We see all the insane things we have always opposed being accepted by everyone (for example, gay marriage). New things that are even more insane in process of being accepted. We see the things we cherish the most disappearing and being mocked (for exemple, Christianity in my homeland). We cannot speak our thoughts even with close family and friends.

    And one day, Trump appears. Handling masterfully the usual liberal insults (racist, nazi). Saying things we never dreamed of hearing in public. Winning against a candidate (Hillary Clinton) backed by the entire establishment.

    Suddenly, for the first time in our life, we had an illusion in politics, we had optimism about the future and it felt great. Changing our usual “we are doomed!” for “it’s possible for something good to come”. Feeling like a liberal must always feel about politics. So we deluded ourselves. Hope is so pleasant and we are humans.

    It was a tough awakening, but the dream was so sweet…

  4. The GOP having sided toward a managed trade (WTO, GATT, etc.) position since around the Southern Strategy, it has been a while since people saw an explicitly protectionist candidate. Thus, one naive assumption was that support for self-sufficiency at home is correlated with support for non-intervention abroad. Yet historically we see William McKinley and others being both ardent protectionists and ardent interventionists.

    Talking points about immigration that were standard fare for Democratic candidates until quite recently were blown up by the VDARE crowd and others as being a sign that Trump is the next Lothrop Stoddard. I think it can be attributed to the desperation of a drowning victim. With demographic crisis at hand, the smallest sign of hope becomes practically messianic.

    Much of it boils down to the right incorrectly interpreting the signals sent by the press. The press deemed Trump a fascist, and the right started genuinely believing this might really be the case, since the press is getting so worked up over it. As usual though, it was only using its leverage in order to amplify the party line. They can afford to display outrage disproportionate to the issue at hand. It should not have been interpreted as some structural political weakness so easily.

  5. > would any of the other candidates have been better to support, from the Alt-Right’s position?

    No, but then the thing that impressed me with the Alt Right was that it got a bunch of young men fired up on rejecting democracy, something my own style of throne and altar conservatism has failed to accomplish.

  6. If it is any consolation it isn’t just the Alt-Right, lots of people project their aspirations on objectively awful candidates, as we just witnessed on the left with Sanders and Clinton. You can console yourself that at least you are not a Democrat.

  7. The problem always was that there is no possibility of positive change until *after* people change for the better (because ‘the people’ – and especially elites – are in a deeper than ever state of unrepentant sin – indeed of active and vigorous advocacy of sin).

    First a spiritual awakening – then positive political change. No short-cuts are possible.

    Whereas the Alt Right (aka the secular Right) said, in effect: “First give us the power, *then* we will create the socio-political circumstances to make better people”. Obvious nonsense – unacknowledged, unrepentant sinners don’t even try to make tough decisions and changes for good. Why should they?

    Since DT is not ‘a good man’ he obviously was not going to do (overall) good things (some good things, yes, that’s easy – but overall good is only very rarely achieved, and never in the past half century) – the most that could be hoped for was a kind of ‘pagan’ common sense… well, that is precisely what is no longer possible in The West. Secular Common Sense *always* sells-out. Why shouldn’t it?

    The exact mechanism by which the Global Establishment swiftly corrupts and enlists *all* Western Leaders I don’t know – I suppose it is some mixture of bribery and threats – probably mixed with some demonic initiation stuff (which would explain the extraordinary and inhuman – inexplicable to normal people – levels of systematic paedophilia/ severe child abuse among the elites).

  8. I’ll say it again, Pat Buchanan was our man. But he was unelectable because he wasn’t a sleazy celebrity. I don’t mean he was some sort of magic savior that I’m deifying, just that he was the type of leader we needed but don’t deserve.

  9. Folks are desperate to believe that they have practical, tactical options for solving intractable centuries-old problems which are fully in the hands of Providence. Being born in the middle of a well established dystopia which will undoubtedly persist for generations after you die is an impossible pill for the ego to swallow.

    Trump has always been a less articulate less temperate version of Bill Clinton, and nobody has any excuse for thinking otherwise. But people believe what they want to believe. The lefties and cucks want to believe he is Hitler. The alt right wants to believe he is the God Emperor. But he isn’t either of those things. He is the same Donald Trump who has been around for the last half century, the kitschy casino owning beauty pageant reality TV playboy who has had more sheer volume of public exposure than just about anyone else in history: a known quantity if ever there was one.

    At least Pope Francis was relatively unknown, so projecting expectations on him was perhaps more understandable. But he also turned out to be just what we should have expected: a provincial South American Jesuit mid level bureaucrat combining mundane milquetoast Oprahtastic liberalism and Peronist dictatorial rage into an incoherent cocktail of sentimental comprehensively mandatory anarchy.

  10. Trump promised to build a wall. The wall is not yet started, but ICE agents have started. Men with guns have reduced illegal immigration to a fraction of previous levels. The wall will just be icing on the cake.

    Trump has stopped the abuse of H1B visas. He is fighting the courts over legal Muslim immigration.

    Trump has said he will and will not invade Syria. It is more likely that he is lying to his and our enemies, than that he is lying to us.

    What ICE agents are doing today tells me that the wall is going to happen.

  11. Trump seems to have made quite a few decisions to inconvenience the abortionists.

  12. Nothing to do with the post but I thought you would like this Paul Gottfried post I just saw:

    ““In its peculiar way, the modern state has revived the alliance of throne and altar once cherished by nineteenth-century enemies of the French Revolution. The complementarity of the secular and ecclesiastical swords has been restored, in the sense that the dominant religious culture gives aid and direction to state purposes.” Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt

  13. The Syria strike got him temporary praise from the NYT, the rest of the MSM and the neocons. It may have derailed the ongoing coup attempt that is based mainly on Russophobia. Not that I liked it.

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