Tuesday, May 30, 2017
What do you mean, "orchestrated?" Trump vs. the left
Let's start at the beginning. The night Trump's victory was first announced (early AM, actually), New York Times immediately ran op-ed headlines on its mainpage calling America a "failed state" and "failed society," lamenting "not to recognize my country any longer." The "news" pieces had a similar tinge of end-of-the-world hysteria to them, despite the fact that half the country (the half that works!) was happy enough with the outcome. But Democrats -- who have denied the legitimacy of every presidential election they've lost since Reagan -- immediately went into resistance mode (resisting democracy!) Democrats attacked the ballot counts in Michigan, Wisconsin, and other states (an effort that went silent when a recount in Wisconsin showed Trump's margin had been understated, and in Michigan there were improprieties that made ballot totals non-recountable, committed by election officials in Detroit, where Hillary was an overwhelming winner). Democrats next attacked the Electoral College, denying its legitimacy, trying to convince electors to be faithless, and death threats against electors. Also, the day after the election Democrats began discussing impeachment, even though Trump could not possibly have committed an offense -- he wouldn't even be president until several more months had passed.
And we now know that Susan Rice, Hillary's advisor and former State Dept. official Evelyn Farkas, and may others, began an operation to spread political intelligence and rumor on Trump throughout the federal bureaucracy for later use against him. (Leaks, anyone?) The Obama administration also began shifting political appointees into civil service positions so that they'd remain in place once the transition to a new administration occurred.
Leftists groups also quickly announced plans to oppose Trump at every step, including lawsuits, demonstrations, marches, and riots. For example, the ACLU --which is always sending me requests for money (I was a member back in the '80's, back when they still believed in civil liberty and weren't simply part of the Democrats'left wing) announced plans to sue Trump -- for what, they weren't sure, since the Electoral College hadn't even met, Trump had done nothing and wasn't President, and there were no grounds for a suit. Also, George Soros and other major donors to the left began earmarking funds for "the resistance."
Soros is an interesting case. He's not someone who simply writes checks and then forgets about it. That's not to say he micro-manages things he finances, but he does watch them closely. For example, a friend of mine who taught in a former communist country with the Open Society program told me about meeting Soros, that he tried to meet with everyone in his operations, not to manage but to make sure things remained on the track he wanted. Soros has occasionally announced goals for the United States, including gun control, the elimination of free market theorists from academic economics, and the defeat of conservative political candidates. He's spent hundreds of millions in these endeavors and has largely failed. It's impossible to believe he's spending hundreds of millions more without ideas for how to be more effective in the future, i.e. without a plan, a "conspiracy" if you like.
These sources of opposition to Trump -- the MSM, the Democrat party, the federal bureaucracy, leftist NGOs and donors -- can be engaging in coordinated efforts to destroy Trump without there being "one big conspiracy." A big, centrally organized conspiracy is rarely, if ever, the way things work. Rather, like-minded individuals coordinate and complement each others' efforts without central direction -- spontaneous order. When birds of a feather flock together, the flock can look as if it has a single led\ader following a single plan, but that's an illusion. Individuals simply manage to coordinate their behavior -- kind of like an orchestra, which performs regardless of how the guy standing in front of them waves the baton around.
(Aside: some of the less-thoughtful among libertarians equate "spontaneous order" with "benign,"a remarkably foolish mistake. Only under a specific set of constraints -- respect for and protection of individual rights -- will spontaneous orders tend to be systematically benign.)
It's clear the Democrats in Congress have organized themselves to try to impede President Trump in every way and to impeach him if possible. They said so before he was in office. It's clear that leftist groups, NGO's, donors, etc. have done the same. A part of the federal bureaucracy is engaged in an attempt to overthrow Trump. The MSM (mainstream media) has abandoned pretense of being anything other than Trump's opposition. Even some of the Republican leadership is in on the effort, Senator McCain being a prime example. Every one of these announced plans to get him well in advance of the presidential inauguration. One would have to be rather stupid at this point to cry "conspiracy theory" at my observation that Trump faces orchestrated opposition.
An interesting question arises -- what should libertarians make of all this? Well, that depends on whether they are classical liberal libertarians, or post-modernist libertarians. That will be the subject of an upcoming post.