Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Putting Mobbishness on the Shelf

 

In episode 342 of the Ricochet podcast, James Delingpole said, “I don’t even know why anyone even cares what conservatism is anymore.” And I’m so glad he did. This is exactly what I was getting at when I wrote There’s No Philosophy In It two weeks ago.

You see, James Delingpole is at war. He says so explicitly. David Limbaugh says the same in episode 340. And they are right. There is a war. They are at war. But I’m not.

This war they speak of is not my war. This is not a war between the philosophical left and right. It is not a war between liberals and conservatives. It is not a war between Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. It is a war between the Democrat mob and the Republican mob.

And as Chesterton said of mobs:

This popular spirit may take a good or a bad form; and a mob may cry out many things, right and wrong. But a mob cries out “No Popery”; it does not cry out “Not so much Popery,” still less “Only a moderate admixture of Popery.” It shouts “Three cheers for Gladstone,” it does not shout “A gradual and evolutionary social tendency towards some ideal similar to that of Gladstone.” It would find it quite a difficult thing to shout; and it would find exactly the same difficulty with all the advanced formulae about nationalisation and internationalisation and class-conscious solidarity.

That one mob is preferable to another in a strict binary sense might be true. But it’s the mobbishness I deplore.

What good are conservative policies if effected by a mob? What good is a wall if built by a king? What good is winning a race to the bottom?

I genuinely don’t see any good in it and the topsy-turvy arguments to convince me otherwise only make me dizzy.

Chesterton again:

We have grown used to a habit of calling things by the wrong names and supporting them by the wrong arguments; and even doing the right thing for the wrong cause. We have party governments which consist of people who pretend to agree when they really disagree. We have party debates which consist of people who pretend to disagree when they really agree. We have whole parties named after things they no longer support, or things they would never dream of proposing.

Tomorrow I’ll begin my Lenten Ricofast. I intend to sink deep into higher things and leave this exhausting war talk behind. I hope to return to calmer waters (both on and off Richochet) and to bring something fresh and new to the table. (And I hope to return to a Pirates 12 game winning streak.)

May your Lent be blessed and joyful. And may Ricochet be well.

There are 39 comments.

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  1. Paul Dougherty Member

    Recent politics have me looking forward to lent as well.

    Well stated.

    • #1
    • February 28, 2017, at 3:20 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. DocJay Inactive

    That one mob is preferable to another in a strict binary sense might be true. But it’s the mobbishness I deplore.

    One mob is far preferable to me. Was there a better way to counter the democrat mob? I think so, but what the GOP was doing was ineffective.

    I suspect you will return here to see an even more divided country but hopefully a civil thought provoking website. May the Pirates win it all.

    • #2
    • February 28, 2017, at 3:42 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. PHCheese Member

    Here is a question for you Casey. When is Lent over? Or more to the point when will you be back?

    • #3
    • February 28, 2017, at 3:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  4. MLH Inactive
    MLH

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Here is a question for you Casey. When is Lent over? Or more to the point when will you be back?

    Easter.

    • #4
    • February 28, 2017, at 3:54 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Have a good and meditative lent my friend, hopefully the Devil does not come to tempt you. I agree with your assessment whole heatedly. We find ourselves in a bad spot where everyone has chosen to engage in political tribalism into which all aspect of their lives become consumed. Chesterton as always remains relevant to the problems of the day, offering great insight.

    @phcheese Lent ends with Easter. I think technically it ends on the Thursday before Good Friday, but since Good Friday is also a day of fasting and prayer it doesn’t seem like much of a change. Now Easter Sunday is a feast day and so all the mood changes from contemplation, fasting, and prayer to celebration, feasting, and prayer.

    • #5
    • February 28, 2017, at 4:00 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Casey Inactive
    Casey

    DocJay (View Comment):
    Was there a better way to counter the democrat mob?

    The answer, of course, is yes. And it is also true for them. But we found ourselves in a bit of a prisoner’s dilemma. And everybody loses.

    • #6
    • February 28, 2017, at 4:02 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Casey Inactive
    Casey

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Here is a question for you Casey. When is Lent over? Or more to the point when will you be back?

    I’ll be back after I recover from my Easter lemonade.

    • #7
    • February 28, 2017, at 4:03 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Thank you, Casey. I deplore mobs, too. I mourn the loss of commitment to values, critical thinking, discretion and clarity. It is also difficult to avoid getting caught up in the flood of denigration, accusations and arrogance. But I’m trying. And I won’t blame anyone else for those times I forget and join in. There is always an opportunity to rise above it all once more, and although it takes a great deal of energy, I’ll keep doing it. Have a blessed Lent.

    • #8
    • February 28, 2017, at 4:25 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. PHCheese Member

    Casey (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Here is a question for you Casey. When is Lent over? Or more to the point when will you be back?

    I’ll be back after I recover from my Easter lemonade.

    When I was enjoying lemonade Lent,was over at 3:00 PM on Good Friday at least that was the argument.

    • #9
    • February 28, 2017, at 4:25 PM PST
    • Like
  10. I Walton Member

    The Democrat party has used mob tactics and has been dominated by mob psychology for decades and it’s getting worse. PC is a mob thing, press frenzy is as well and of course so are the mobs running through the streets being mobs. But I’m sorry I don’t see it coming out of the White House now that Obama is gone. I don’t see it in the appointment of solid conservatives that are not mobbish at all. I do not believe that inarticulate criticism of the mobbish press for acting like a wing of the main mob as being a mob. Mob is group think with the absence of accountability or principle. So far the new Administration has undone some things that were definitely mob driven. That is not being a mob. Tonight maybe we’ll get a glimpse of a vision and a call to Congress to do things. Leadership to do real things isn’t a mob either. Let’s see.

    • #10
    • February 28, 2017, at 4:27 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  11. PHCheese Member

    MLH (View Comment):

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    Here is a question for you Casey. When is Lent over? Or more to the point when will you be back?

    Easter.

    Actually for Catholics Lent is over at 12:01 AM on Holy Thursday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday are church holy days.

    • #11
    • February 28, 2017, at 5:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Casey Inactive
    Casey

    I Walton (View Comment):
    But I’m sorry I don’t see it coming out of the White House

    The mobs are looking at the White House. I’m looking at the mobs.

    • #12
    • February 28, 2017, at 5:08 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Dr. Bastiat Member

    I don’t understand, in such polarized times, how we got Trump vs Clinton, instead of Cruz vs Sanders.

    • #13
    • February 28, 2017, at 6:00 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Casey Inactive
    Casey

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I don’t understand, in such polarized times, how we got Trump vs Clinton, instead of Cruz vs Sanders.

    I’ve been trying to figure this out for the last several years. My long answer from last June: https://ricochet.com/archives/the-noise-in-the-fog/

    My short answer is that we aren’t polarized along the right-left line anymore. There’s something else going on. I think we’re transitioning to a north-south polarization.

    • #14
    • February 28, 2017, at 6:52 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Jason Rudert Member

    Darn right, Casey. I look forward to your return.

    • #15
    • February 28, 2017, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Hammer, The Member

    Great post, Casey! (and not just because you quoted Chesterton)

    I also kind of cringed at Delingpole on that last podcast. James pushed back admirably, but he rarely sees these arguments through to their finish. Something about being the host, I guess.

    • #16
    • February 28, 2017, at 7:36 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well said, Casey.

    • #17
    • February 28, 2017, at 7:50 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Amy Schley, Longcat Shrinker Moderator

    What profit a man if he defeats the hordes of Sauron with the One Ring?

    • #18
    • February 28, 2017, at 8:21 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Damocles Inactive

    You should read this article by VDH, and it should encourage you to keep up the good fight.

    Does the Trump moment come despite or because of his take-no-prisoners rhetorical style?

    In some sense (to adopt a taboo military metaphor) is Trump a sort of shaped charge? That is, is Trump’s combative coarseness the radiant outer shell that is necessary to melt through the deep state and bureaucratic armor so that the inner explosive of a conservative revolutionary agenda may reach its target intact? Given the hysterical and entrenched opposition, I’m not sure that John McCain or Mitt Romney would have enforced immigration law, frozen government hiring, or embraced Reagan-like tax and regulatory reform, although to be sure, McCain and Romney would have avoided Trump’s rhetorical excesses, his Twitter storms, and his occasional coarseness.

    Which should properly be more exasperating: Trump’s over-the-top rhetoric that accompanies a possibly revolutionary and realized conservative agenda, or McCain and Romney’s sober and judicious failures at pushing a mostly Bush-like agenda? By not fighting back in take-no-prisoner terms, both Republican candidates failed, ensuring eight years of Obama — years that in my view have done far more damage to the country than anything envisioned by Trump’s first administration.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445294/donald-trump-metaphysics-bad-man-good-deeds

    • #19
    • February 28, 2017, at 10:10 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    What profit a man if he defeats the hordes of Sauron with the One Ring?

    What profit the free world if they aid the blood-drenched monster Stalin in order to defeat the possibly more monstrous Hitler? We whitewashed Stalin to keep our people on board with the alliance. (Speaking of Tolkien, he was absolutely disgusted that his homeland was working with Stalin) Nuclear physicists built weapons that they were uncertain could be used without setting the atmosphere on fire and exterminating all life.

    This election makes me think of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, or a last ditch holding action.

    The Republicans felt that they were under existential threat. The GOP congress was weak and unable to stop Obama, and Hillary would just walk all over them as she installed another set of hardcore liberals on the court, then proceeded to crush the First and Second amendments. We saw what happened after gay marriage was legalized – the left moved to crush all dissent. As we felt a sense of gathering doom, we became much less focused on ideology and more on defeating the Left before they defeated us.

    Thus, Trump. If the GOP had not been as submissive as the chick in 50 Shades of Gray, things might have been different.

    @casey You may not be at war, but the Left is at war with you.

    • #20
    • March 1, 2017, at 12:39 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  21. I Walton Member

    Casey (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    But I’m sorry I don’t see it coming out of the White House

    The mobs are looking at the White House. I’m looking at the mobs.

    • #21
    • March 1, 2017, at 2:39 AM PST
    • Like
  22. I Walton Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Casey (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    But I’m sorry I don’t see it coming out of the White House

    The mobs are looking at the White House. I’m looking at the mobs.

    OK fair enough but I get to see the Democrat mob everyday everywhere. Where do I go to see the mob on the right? And who and what are they destroying?

    • #22
    • March 1, 2017, at 2:50 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Ralphie Member

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    @casey You may not be at war, but the Left is at war with you.

    That is my view.

    • #23
    • March 1, 2017, at 2:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Casey (View Comment):
    My short answer is that we aren’t polarized along the right-left line anymore. There’s something else going on. I think we’re transitioning to a north-south polarization.

    Perhaps rural vs urban?

    • #24
    • March 1, 2017, at 6:15 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Casey (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I don’t understand, in such polarized times, how we got Trump vs Clinton, instead of Cruz vs Sanders.

    I’ve been trying to figure this out for the last several years. My long answer from last June: https://ricochet.com/archives/the-noise-in-the-fog/

    My short answer is that we aren’t polarized along the right-left line anymore. There’s something else going on. I think we’re transitioning to a north-south polarization.

    If Casey isn’t still following, does someone else understand what he means by the “north-south” polarization?

    • #25
    • March 1, 2017, at 6:16 AM PST
    • Like
  26. Robert McReynolds Inactive

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I don’t understand, in such polarized times, how we got Trump vs Clinton, instead of Cruz vs Sanders.

    Because the polarization is not built on ideology so much so as it is built on the ruling class and the country class. The ruling class is socialist because their rule depends on government power which is increased by socialism. The country class is populist because they neither subscribe to a full blown Rothbardian world of no government (or very little government) nor do they subscribe to a Keynesian world of major government intervention. They know they want their Social Security and Medicare, but they don’t want their Obamacare. They want lower taxes and relatively conservative social mores, but they don’t want to be forced in one social direction or the other. Since the post-Civil War era, Americans have never been all one way or another. They have been a hodgepodge of many different things. That’s why it was Trump vs. Hillary instead of Cruz vs. Sanders.

    • #26
    • March 1, 2017, at 11:06 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  27. Bishop Wash Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Casey (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I don’t understand, in such polarized times, how we got Trump vs Clinton, instead of Cruz vs Sanders.

    I’ve been trying to figure this out for the last several years. My long answer from last June: https://ricochet.com/archives/the-noise-in-the-fog/

    My short answer is that we aren’t polarized along the right-left line anymore. There’s something else going on. I think we’re transitioning to a north-south polarization.

    If Casey isn’t still following, does someone else understand what he means by the “north-south” polarization?

    My thought is of a grid with right-left on the x-axis (west-east) and some other division on the y-axis (north-south). Not sure what Casey is putting on that axis, but I’m assuming that’s what he means by a change in polarization.

    • #27
    • March 1, 2017, at 11:07 AM PST
    • Like
  28. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Casey: What good is a wall if built by a king?

    Well, this sentence is just silly.

    a) A wall is a wall. It’s an inanimate object. The good or ill it does is entirely independent of who built it. If a king builds a wall in the right place it does good. If a democratically-elected legislature builds a wall in the wrong place it does ill.

    b) It is entirely within the constitutional power of the President of the United States to propose a border wall and to ask Congress for the funds to build it. That is not a king’s prerogative. It is a president’s prerogative.

    • #28
    • March 1, 2017, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  29. Doctor Robert Member

    We are still at war, Casey. Meditative Gentlemen Lose Wars to Mob Instigators.

    Mitt Romney was not available for comment.

    Nicholas 2 was not available for comment.

    Aleksandr Kerensky was not available for comment.

    Louis 16 was not available for comment.

    • #29
    • March 1, 2017, at 11:28 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  30. Dr. Bastiat Member

    Robert McReynolds (View Comment):
    They know they want their Social Security and Medicare, but they don’t want their Obamacare. They want lower taxes and relatively conservative social mores, but they don’t want to be forced in one social direction or the other. Since the post-Civil War era, Americans have never been all one way or another. They have been a hodgepodge of many different things. That’s why it was Trump vs. Hillary instead of Cruz vs. Sanders.

    I think this is likely true. I wish it weren’t. But in the real world (not in that nice place in my mind I like to visit) this is likely to be true.

    • #30
    • March 1, 2017, at 11:35 AM PST
    • Like

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