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.