Abraham Lincoln: One matter further, gentlemen. We fight on their level. With trickery, brutality, finality. We match their evil. I know, James. I was reputed to be a gentle man. But I was commander in chief during the four bloodiest years of my country’s history. I gave orders that sent a hundred thousand men to their death at the hands of their brothers. There is no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war except its ending. And you are fighting for the lives of your crew.
Captain Kirk: Your campaign, Mister President.
Star Trek: The Savage Curtain 1969
One of the most amusing things about the Trump years has been the shock of the left at not only the success of the Trump years but of the President’s success in turning their control of the culture, media and press against them.
It was not always so, for a very long time the powers that be in the GOP eschewed the tactics of their enemies on the left, considering such tactics beneath them and coincidentally were regulated to a permanent minority. The left was free to push America in their direction confident that the tools of the press and the culture would always be theirs to control and even when a Rush Limbaugh a Fox News or even social media came up they were secure in their superiority to keep them safe, in effect taking to heart the famous quote by Belloc from his poem the modern traveler concerning 19th century Europeans encountering natives in various parts of the world:
Whatever happens, we have got The Maxim gun, and they have not
Or in short it didn’t matter if the right gained some temporary victory as long as the left controlled the narrative via culture and media they could essentially do what they wanted.
With the advent of Barack Obama, a corrupt Chicago pol, this was extended to government which was weaponized against their opponents from the IRS on down and even when things went wrong such as the running of guns to Mexican drug cartels to enable gun control legislation or the disaster at Benghazi the administration felt secure because to paraphrase Belloc: Whatever happens we have got, Hollywood & Media and they have not.
This is the reason why the FBI felt secure in crossing every line imaginable in going after Trump prior to the election and why Barack Obama had no problem governing by “a pen and a phone” because they were sure that their superiority would be maintained forever and shortly extend to government and the courts. They believed once Hillary was elected government and the legal system would be added to that line right after Hollywood and media.
Alas for them they had not read enough of Belloc because if they had they might have seen this rather prophetic piece concerning the west superiority over Islam from 1936:
There is nothing in the Mohammedan civilization itself which is hostile to the development of scientific knowledge or of mechanical aptitude. I have seen some good artillery work in the hands of Mohammedan students of that arm; I have seen some of the best driving and maintenance of mechanical road transport conducted by Mohammedans. There is nothing inherent to Mohammedanism to make it incapable of modern science and modern war. Indeed the matter is not worth discussing. It should be self-evident to anyone who has seen the Mohammedan culture at work. That culture happens to have fallen back in material applications; there is no reason whatever why it should not learn its new lesson and become our equal in all those temporal things which now give us our superiority
over it_whereas in we have fallen inferior to it.
The point concerning Islam and science and mechanics was just as equally true concerning conservatives and media. There was nothing inherent in conservative philosophy that prevents us from countering the other than our unwillingness to make the fight.
But once Donald Trump surprised everyone with his victory that changed. Trump is a Jacksonian and as a Jacksonian fights by the same rules that his foes do as the late great Steven Den Bestie once put it at the turn of the century:
to Jacksonians, trust is foolhardy. There are a lot of good people out there, but there are also a lot of bastards, and if you turn your back someone will stab you in it. “Trust, but verify” is a purely Jacksonian watchword. Those who act honorably will be treated honorably, but those who cheat will be crushed.
And as Walter Russell Mead put it once a Jacksonian like Trump gets into a fight, even one he doesn’t want he fights to win
During this year’s war in Kosovo, Jacksonian opinion was resolutely against it to begin with. However, once U.S. honor was engaged, Jacksonians began to urge a stronger warfighting strategy including the use of ground troops. It is a bad thing to fight an unnecessary war, but it is inexcusable and dishonorable to lose one once it has begun.
America’s enemies oversees have rediscovered this truth over the last 18 months but it is Trump foes in both media and Hollywood who have been completely shocked by it, but they shouldn’t be.
Donald Trump has been operating in the enclaves of the left all his life, his empire has had to deal with blue state bureaucracy and both liberal media and pols coming to him hat in hand for decades. He’s attended their parties, laughed with them, schmoozed with them and seen and heard all they have said for half a century and most importantly did so while completely sober when they were not.
Put simply there has never been a President better equipped to turn the Maxim gun of the media back on them and having never had to defend against said gun they are indignant that their tactics are being used against them:
“We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals,” she added. “If we are OK with that then really, who are we?”
Bee continued by standing by the mission of her show: “I can tell you, as long as we have breath in our bodies and 21 minutes of airtime once a week, repeats on Saturdays, that we as a show will never stop shouting [about] the inhumanities of this world from the rooftops and striving to make it a better place. But in a comedy way.”
This is Samantha Bee a card carrying member of the Harvey Weinstein left while being honored for it’s coverage of the #metoo movement.
“Our staff poured everything we have into these #MeToo pieces,” Bee said while accepting the award. “They wrote jokes through tears and panic attacks, they pushed each other to be honest and more fearless. I can only imagine what it takes to say these powerful famous, admired men abused me and I won’t be silent. No matter the consequences, Me Too. Leaders of the #MeToo movement are changing the world. And we are honored to stand with you and support you as best we can. There is power in saying what you feel without apology… OK, and sometimes you also have to apologize.”
Bee got plenty of laughter and applause for that line, as well as when she opened by declaring, “it actually means so much to accept this with everyone here behind me, these incredible writers and producers.”
Of course the irony that none of these #metoo pieces were written or broadcast while the knowledge of what Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer et/all had done was still confined to the Hollywood/Media left because they were still of use to the said Hollywood/Media.
The Samantha Bee’s, Joy Reid’s et/all of the world are meeting a brave new world when their media monopoly is threatened by a President and new media willing and able to challenge it and a population willing to use that Maxim guy that their betters had held back from them.
No wonder they are so upset. As Curt Schlichter has said: The won’t like the new rules, but the reality is these aren’t really new rules it’s the left’s own rules applying to them for the very first time.