Gloomy Conservatives

American conservatives seem to be extremely pessimistic about America. First up, Ann Coulter, in an article with a banner advertising her new book, Adios America: The left’s plan to turn our country into a third world hellhole. 

Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act allowed the Democrats to start winning elections the same way they win recounts: by enlarging the pool of voters.

Liberals couldn’t convince Americans to agree with them, but they happened to notice that the people of most other countries in the world already agreed with them. So Sen. Ted Kennedy’s immigration act brought in millions of poverty-stricken foreigners to live off the American taxpayer and bloc-vote for the Democrats.

The American people aren’t changing their minds. Americans are becoming a minority to other, new people.

Deft politicians used to know how to convince the 15 percent on the fence. But even Reagan would look at today’s electorate and say: Who are you guys? We live in a different country, and I don’t remember moving.

And then, not to be outdone, here’s Pat Buchanan:

As Christianity dies, individualism, materialism and hedonism replace it. “Selfies” could be the name for the generation for whom Easter Sunday long ago took a back seat to Super Bowl Sunday. More than a million abortions a year, assisted suicide and euthanasia are seen as the milestones of social progress in the new America.

“Panem et circenses,” bread and circuses, were what the late Roman Empire was all about. With us, it is sex, drugs and rock, with variations on all three.

Historically, as the faith dies, the culture and civilization to which it gave birth die, and then the people die. And a new tribe with its own gods comes to occupy the emptying land.

On the old and new continents, it is the native-born of European ancestry who are de-Christianizing, aging and dying. And the nations they created are the ones depopulating.

To occupy Rome, the barbarians came from the east and north. To occupy the West, they are coming from the south. And like the Romans of the fourth century, we seem paralyzed and powerless to stop them.

Christianity was the founding faith of the West. That faith and the moral code and culture it produced once united this disparate and diverse nation and civilization.

As Christianity fades away and the moral code and culture it generated recede into irrelevance, what will hold us together?

What struck me about these was their shared gloom. They’re both singing from the same despairing hymn sheet. They’re both citizens of the world’s current sole superpower, yet they’re both as gloomy as, well,… their opponents on the left.

Such despair seems to be the primary characteristic of our modern world, whatever anyone’s political colour. The sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll Buchanan cites are really just the recourse of introverts and escapists who want to flee from a confusing and threatening world into a private inner fantasy world. But he’s really just as pessimistic as they are. He’s just pessimistic about different things.

The same introversion and pessimism infect Britain and Europe. A hundred years ago, Britain had the largest global empire ever seen. There was nothing introverted about that empire. It was expansive and innovative and proud of it. And so, to a similar extent, were the empires of the French and the Belgians and the Spanish and the Portuguese. And if, like Germany and Japan, they didn’t have empires, then they were busy planning to get themselves one.

That world has passed away. It was destroyed in two colossal wars between the European imperial powers (WW1 and WW2), in which all the empires were incinerated, leaving the USA and the USSR as the world’s two superpowers.

And the post-imperial European states have all been looking for new confidence and new identities ever since. No longer rivals, the European states have begun to aggregate together, like lifeboats on the sea after some maritime disaster, or drunks leaning on each other after a punch-up. Imperialists without empires, all concerned see themselves as helpless on their own, and feel they must join forces with others to form a new ‘big battalion’, and of course a new empire, which is what the EU aspires to be.

The expansive, extroverted self-confidence and swagger of imperial days has gone.  And it has been replaced by introversion and despondency. In Britain, the British empire is now something to be rather ashamed of. As also is the Industrial Revolution, now that everyone detests industry of any sort whatsoever. And Christianity, now that nobody believes anything. And capitalism, of course.

These days one can almost imagine a British government – probably a Labour government under Harriet Harman or somebody – sending delegations to almost every country in the world, to apologise for Britain invading and occupying them a few centuries ago, and building ports and roads and railways and schools and hospitals and other eyesores. But en route they’d probably encounter a similar delegation of Italians traversing Europe to apologise for the Roman empire, and for foisting all those roads and aqueducts and bridges and temples and villas and towns on everyone. And perhaps a Mongolian delegation as well, apologising for the depredations of Genghis Khan in 1200. And almost coming to blows with each other over which of them was the very worst.

I think this loss of confidence and self-esteem is one of the reasons why almost every aspect of life is now coming under relentless attack. If people won’t defend themselves, they’ll come under attack. Their enemies sense this weakness, and use it ceaselessly.

Related: EU population movements changes. Red=increase. Blue=decrease. Click for expanded image. Source Daily Telegraph.


About Frank Davis

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17 Responses to Gloomy Conservatives

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    A nice editorial on rolling back the new outdoor smoking ban in Portland, Oregon parks: “Roll back tobacco ban in Portland parks: Editorial Agenda 2015” at The Oregonian.

  2. waltc says:

    I observe that Americans no longer feel like much of a Superpower, and in any case we’re certainly not the sole one if we’re still one at all. There’s Russia and China which seem to be outfoxing and out-aggressing us and the rest of the Western world. Every twerp (North Korea, Pakistan) has The Bomb, and Iran soon will thanks to whatever bad deal we’re negotiating. On a scale that goes from untoward aggression and interference (which we’ve been guilty of) to hollow gestures and cringing appeasement, our current administration leans far towards the latter and has certainly gone around the world apologizing, but mostly for the wrong things.

    I too am gloomy. The center isn’t holding. The land of the free/brave is being turned into a simpering collective and breeding a generation that needs “trigger warnings” against “micro-aggressions.” while it glories in conformity, censorship, dependence. For most Americans, the economy sucks; a feckless, inconsistent-to-nonexistent foreign policy has left us in a mess. Our government lies to us at every pass and the press gives us double-think. We worry about the future hypothetical carnage of climate change and transfat and secondhand smoke and ignore the horrific depravities of ISIS.

    As for the rest, the imperialists-without-empires are simply turning their innate desire to dominate away from the lost but formerly conquered colonies and towards their own citizens. What else is the EU? And what are the (former) countries of Europe but conquered nations dominated by a remote dictatorial occupying force? As here, the federal government seems intent on similarly supplanting King George.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I almost added Thomas Sowell’s latest essay: Micro-totalitarianism. He’s pretty pessimistic as well.

      Ten years ago I was reading stuff by gloomy lefties, Now I read stuff by gloomy right-wingers. Conclusion: everyone’s very gloomy. So gloomy that it’s almost funny.

  3. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    Frank, it’s early and I have only just had my first cig of the day but I’m fairly sure that map shows ‘Annual Average Population Developments” ie not purely ‘migration/immigration’ . Saying “EU population movements” is liable to give Kippers the wrong idea (and have them reaching for the kleenex).

    • Frank Davis says:

      Well, one of the Germans/German speakers might be able to clarify this. If anything, the map seems to be suggesting that it’s not actually the UK that is suffering the greatest influx, but France (and Ireland), and that eastern Europe (and the former east Germany) are getting depopulated.

    • Reinhold says:

      that map shows ‘Annual Average Population Developments” ie not purely ‘migration/immigration’

      I can confirm that.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Reinhold, is the former East Germany becoming depopulated?

        I know that Galicia, in north-western Spain has become depopulated in recent decades. I used to go there and stay in a little village where most of the houses were completely derelict. But that happened decades ago, before I arrived.

        • Reinhold says:

          Reinhold, is the former East Germany becoming depopulated?

          Seems like that (on the map i.e.), and sometimes they say so – I’m not sure. The last time I’ve been there was 20 years ago.

          I know that Galicia, in north-western Spain has become depopulated […]. But that happened […] before I arrived.

          Glad to learn that you are not to blame! :-D

      • Reinhold says:

        Here’s what the explanation bottom right of the map says:

        Demographic trends in Europe

        In eastern and southern countries population decreases in many parts of the country

        In Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia and Romania, but also in Spain, Italy and Germany the areas with decreasing population comprise large parts of the country. Shrinking and growing communities are often located side by side. In the middle of Europe they meet at about the German-Polish border region. Especially sparsely populated areas have to deal with emigration, which may restrict the development prospects of these regions.

        The strongest growth of population shows up in Western Europe

        High growth rates occured in particular in France, with the highest increases in the west and in the south and also in rural areas. Also in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland and England in most of the areas growth shows up, partly on a very high level. Also remarkable is the situation in and around London that resembles a spiderweb by the growth in the center and along several radially directed axes.

        Population increases focus on cities and suburban regions

        Cities and suburban regions in almost all countries recorded rising population figures. In many countries, especially in Eastern Europe, they are the only growth regions. Smaller and medium-sized cities don’t necessarily benefit from this development, in the Baltic States e.g. and in Bulgaria the growth is concentrated only in the capital regions. There is a clear trend towards suburbanisation. But while cities and their surrounding areas grow in Western Europe cities, though often differently, in Poland e.g. there are very high growth rates in city surrounding municipalities while the population in the cities shrinks at the same time.

      • The Blocked Dwarf says:

        I can confirm that.

        Danke, I may dream in German and speak German (or rather Denglisch) all day long but for the first hour of the day, until the caffeine and nicotine kick in, I couldn’t decline an espresso let alone a German verb (to misquote M.Twain).

  4. nisakiman says:

    I see in the news today that the latest smoking ban in China is having the desired effect of turning people against each other.

    Beijing residents miffed with smokers defying a ban on lighting up in the city’s public spaces are outing them online.

    The usual ‘divide and rule’ tactics employed by Tobacco Control.

  5. chris says:

    Don’t waste your time with American conservatives.

  6. Rose says:

    This is one I haven’t heard before.

    On vapers – “They were also less likely to wake up in the middle of the night to vape than they were, in the past, to smoke.”


    I am reminded of when Clive Bates stunned me the other year by claiming that smoking involves “inhaling burning particles of organic matter and hot toxic gases deep into the lungs. I hope they give vaping a try.”

    It’s almost on a par with Murray Jarvik

    “”We put the tobacco on our skin and waited to see what would happen,” Jarvik recalled. “Our heart rates increased, adrenaline began pumping, all the things that happen to smokers.”

    Clearly, I have been doing it wrong all these years.

    • nisakiman says:

      Ye Gods, Rose, I’ve never in my life woken up to have a cigarette in the middle of the night, nor does anyone I’ve known. Where on earth do they get their (mis)information from?

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