Friday, September 30, 2016

The New Pragmatists: A political movement...?

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, was interviewed a couple of days ago, mostly on an upcoming Hungarian referendum that will decide whether Hungary will give the finger to the EU on the immigration deluge (the metastasizing Jihad of the Feet).  At one point in the interview, Orbán made a very interesting observation:

The Leftists are looking at these [problems] as ideological questions, while we looking at them as real problems, which endanger our citizens’ everyday life.

That is why we react differently. The Left is dealing with theoretical questions, while we are dealing with concrete issues. 

This is, among other things, what I was saying in my 2013 essay, Is Islam an "existential threat"?

My answer in that essay was that while Muslims, PC MCs, and the Counter-Jihad Mainstream seem to think Islam is an existential threat, I think it's a mistake to frame it that way, because doing so has the effect (intended, by Muslims and hard-core Leftists, and unintended, by PC MCs and Counter-Jihad Mainstreamers) of obfuscating our clear vision of the pragmatic threats posed by Muslims -- and the pragmatic solutions (which, being pragmatic, will never be perfect) to those threats.

Trump certainly seems to be more of a New Pragmatist than Hillary and other mainstream politicos in both parties (including those he left in the dust over this past year), and that is no doubt why he has become so amazingly popular: Populism can be existential (the dreaded fascist demagogue, the bête noire ‎of the PC MCs and Leftists), or Populism can be pragmatic.  Trump in my estimation is decidedly the latter, or at least is trying to be.  At the same time, however, I've noticed his rhetoric (in the Ciceronian sense and otherwise) sometimes succumbs to the seduction of painting our problems with the lurid colors of existential drama -- a seduction which is the bread & butter of all other mainstream politicians.  One wishes he would be even more plain-spoken, blunter and earthier, than he has been thus far, rather than carefully calculating how to walk on eggshells around our politically correct Masters.


Other interesting and refreshing remarks by Orbán from the same interview revolving around this, what I would call the "New Pragmatism", I collected in another article of mine elsewhere.  When for example, Orbán says with such forceful eloquence the following --

Hungary is a cultured country, a European country with a thousand years of Christian history, and I am one of those who would like to keep it that way. If we let in the uncontrolled migration flow forced on us by Brussels, our county will change. I love my country, and I would like to keep it as it is, with its problems and faults, and with all its virtues.

-- I maintain that he is not, in fact, elevating the problem to the existential level, but in fact is standing his ground on the pragmatic perimeter below, in defense of the mountain whose lofty peak does indeed exemplify our deeper, broader existential purpose and principles.


Nobody said...

One wishes he would be even more plain-spoken, blunter and earthier, than he has been thus far, rather than carefully calculating how to walk on eggshells around our politically correct Masters.

In the primaries, he had been - particularly after the San Bernardino shootings, when he called for banning the entry of all Muslims into the US. It's now in the general elections that he has been calculating, after a month following the convention when he was trailing Hilary badly.

This is particularly understandable if one looks at his battle w/ Khizr Khan. Khizr Khan happens to be a gold star dad, but his main business is promoting Muslim immigration - he runs an immigration agency. As a result, he had a direct conflict of interest w/ Trump's proposal, had it gone through unchanged.

But people didn't see that. Instead, they saw Trump attacking Gold Star parents, and were outraged. But Khizr Khan wasn't invited to speak at the DNC b'cos of being a Gold Star Parent - he was invited to speak b'cos he was Muslim. More precisely, a Muslim face to the Democrat attempt to win over the entire Muslim electorate.

Given that, I don't blame Trump for going by Kellyanne Conway's orders.

Hesperado said...

Well, Nobody, Trump has been attacked by nearly everyone in the mainstream establishment about nearly everything he has said -- and yet his popularity has zooomed on an upward arc since he entered the race way back when. I maintain that most of the source of that popularity is for all the ties he has NOT been oh so careful about what he says. And more importantly, he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't; so why not do...?

Egghead said...

Ah Churchill:

Nobody said...

Hesperado, the argument is that he already has his original core support of some 30% of the electorate, plus a number of voters who'd vote for any GOP candidate. The rest of it is people in the middle, who think there is a choice b/w him and Clinton. It's to win over that segment that he has to be careful what he says, at least outside his rallies.

My favorite quote of his is when he cites the Al Wilson song 'The Snake' and reads it out at his rallies, obviously implying that letting Muslims in is like letting snakes in.