November 19, 2022

1. The Red Wave That Wasn’t

One of the peculiarities of the recent election is that Democratic organizations funded Republican candidates in primaries — candidates whom they thought would be easy to beat in the general election. One Republican pundit, Rich Lowry, said “Democrats favored and supported MAGA candidates because they believed (rightly) that they’d be easy to beat.” Kevin Robillard said, “Every single Republican who won their primary with help from Democratic meddling has lost in the general election.”

So the Democratic strategy worked. Lowry called it, “A loathsome tactic that worked.” Even many Democrats had qualms about this tactic. As Robillard said, “Democrats from across the party’s ideological spectrum said the strategy was unwise, immoral or both. Thirty-five former Democratic elected officials signed a letter suggesting the party was playing with fire.” According to the New York Times, Democrats helped MAGA candidates, and used “skulduggery” to discourage more mainstream candidates from running.

Democrats are using new tactics, Machiavellian tactics. Doubtless they would justify these tactics by saying, “Republicans generally support Trump, and Trump is so harmful to the country that any tactic is justifiable if it helps to defeat Republicans.” But once norms are violated, they won’t be re-established. Once “loathsome” tactics are used, they’ll be used again if they prove successful. If the motto of both parties is “Anything Goes,” what will happen to the country?

Democrats have become totally unscrupulous in order to defeat a movement that they view as totally unscrupulous. It was these unscrupulous Democrats who, when Biden first took office, wanted to pack the Supreme Court, create new states, pack the Electoral College, etc.

* * * * *

Shouldn’t every American say “We’re all in this together”? If the nation crumbles, every American will suffer, and if the nation endures, every American will benefit.1 But if the southern border is open, how can anyone say “We’re all in this together”? How can anyone speak of “we” or “together” if people are streaming across the border? Who are “we”?

How can anyone say “We the people of the United States...” if the borders are porous, if the borders are open to the world, if the borders are open to every spy, every terrorist, every drug dealer? A unified, cohesive nation is incompatible with an open border; an open border fosters disunity and division. Without a border, you don’t have a nation, you don’t have a “we.”

Why are Democrats satisfied with an open border? Why do they make so little effort to secure the border? Their border policy is doubtless an attempt to influence future elections by importing people whom they think will eventually vote Democratic; they know that if they can turn Texas blue, they’ll win every Presidential election. This is the same Machiavellian thinking that we saw above — the same Machiavellian thinking that prompted them to donate to MAGA candidates. Biden’s open border is the largest political plot in the nation’s history, it makes the riot on January 6 look like a Halloween prank.

Perhaps Democrats don’t want a nation, don’t want a “we.” Perhaps they think nationalism is silly, unhealthy, old-fashioned. Perhaps they think we should be open to the world, citizens of the world, focused on global problems like climate change. But only a functioning, orderly nation can deal with a problem like climate change, just as only a functioning nation can resist someone like Putin.

If order breaks down, the strong do what they want, while the weak are trodden underfoot. If order breaks down, the strong will decide what happens in national parks, and how much methane is sent into the atmosphere. Only a nation with Law and Order can manage the environment, and protect the atmosphere.

2. Class Book

Every five years, there’s a Class Reunion and a Class Book. Here’s my ClassBook entry:

I continue toiling in the fields of philosophy, where I’ve been toiling since my high-school days. I still think the world needs philosophy, the old religions can no longer do the job. Neither science nor economics nor politics can fill the void left by the old religions. There’s a need for some sort of philosophy or worldview — something that will satisfy both our intellectual and our emotional sides. Without a genuine philosophy, people will grab onto a dangerous substitute like Islamic radicalism or Marxism.

A young man in Japan said to his father, “Life has no meaning or purpose,” then he went on a shooting spree. When I hear about a shooting spree, I think “There’s someone who didn’t find a meaning in life, who didn’t feel that the world made sense.”

This is a great time for philosophy, maybe the greatest time ever. We’re integrating Eastern wisdom into Western philosophy, exploring human nature through psychology (Freud, Jung, etc.), learning about matter through quantum physics, etc. We enjoy many advantages over earlier philosophers. When Nietzsche spoke of a Great Noontide, I think he was talking about our generation.

I’ve yet to make my first penny from philosophy, but hope springs eternal. I eke out a living through frugality and investing. One of my greatest pleasures is a long walk. I study geology, botany, etc. to make walks more interesting.

Recently I discovered Indian stones, that is, the stone structures that Indians built at some point in the past. There are many Indian stones in New England. Appreciating them brings us closer to the natives, who had a deep feeling for nature. I had the good fortune to grow up on 8 acres in Westport CT, so the woods and fields of New England are in my blood. I’ve always been interested in Indians.

© L. James Hammond 2022
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1. The situation in parts of Ukraine shows what happens when a nation crumbles: the bestial impulses in human nature are unleashed, and you have all-day every-day rape, torture, and murder. True, Russian tanks are a long way from Peoria, and they won’t get to Peoria anytime soon, but the effect of a civil war would be similar to the effect of a foreign invasion. And the effect of a general breakdown of order would be similar to the effect of a civil war. back