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Samizdata quote of the day – a terrible US political establishment edition

A conclusion is hard to escape: America suffers from an incompetent leadership class. Its problem isn’t ruthlessness but softness, its inability to deal with the world without a media that constantly lies to make it feel better about itself.

Holman W Jenkins, Jnr.

What we are learning is that much of what Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds sometimes calls the “gentry class” is just not that good, competent, honest, or insightful. And more and more people have noticed.

13 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – a terrible US political establishment edition

  • Mark

    Well, we’re coming up on the inside and I expect we’ll pass some time around the new year!

  • Paul Marks

    Media lies come from academia lies (American journalists are trained in the universities) – American elite education has been dominated by the ideas of people such as Richard Ely (a great influence on both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) for more than a century – the idea that government exists to help-the-people and that any means (including lying) is justified to achieve the “noble” end of a government dominated society.

    So it is NOT “incompetence”, nor “softness” – it is the basic ideas (beliefs) of the elite (the political, media and corporate elite) that are wrong, horribly wrong.

    And not just in the United States.

  • bobby b

    I think they’ve shown a rather ruthless competence.

    But not at making my life better, as one would normally expect their job to be. They are competent at protecting their positions.

    It all depends on what you think is their main job.

  • Ferox

    without a media that constantly lies to make it feel better about itself.

    That certainly doesn’t describe our media. They do constantly lie; but their lies are about how our country is the worst country on earth, and how all the world’s problems are caused by the fundamental villany of our society. US media constantly hectors Americans about how terrible we are, and how great the rest of the world is.

    And I think our “ruling” class, and especially the Deep State bureaucracy actually in charge, believe these lies deep down in their bones.

  • Steven R

    It doesn’t suffer from an incompetent leadership class. It suffers because Americans treat politics as a spectator sport with “my team” and “your team” instead of paying attention to what’s going on, holding politicians’ feet to the fire, and demanding the press do its job of providing the facts and news and letting We The People decide for ourselves what is in our best interests instead of being openly the Pravda of the DNC and telling us what to think.

    tl;dr it’s our fault DC sucks, not the fault of the hired help we refuse to fire.

  • Mr Ed

    At some point over the last 20 years, the sort of nonsense politics that seemed to be confined to first and second year University students has spread like a political and cultural Chernobyl and has become mainstream. It’s not about competence, it’s about culture, and it is a culture of nihilist self-loathing or hatred.

  • Exasperated

    I’ve watched several panel discussions by Democrat activists over the Biden debate debacle. What jumps out at me is that most of the participants cannot carry on a conversation without dragging Trump into it. It’s been 8 years and they are still stuck on Trump, instead of their own failings. There is no effort to craft a vision of the future that would appeal to working America, a vision that doesn’t just benefit the governing caste and their allies. Not to mention, they can’t offer a vision for the future that isn’t feudal or bleak.

  • Gene

    If it’s an incompetent leadership class, perhaps it’s good that it’s also soft rather than ruthless?

  • Snorri Godhi

    If it’s an incompetent leadership class, perhaps it’s good that it’s also soft rather than ruthless?

    No, because the softness of the US establishment enables and finances the ruthlessness of Putin, Xi, the Iranian regime and its henchmen (in Gaza and elsewhere), and other Islamists such as the Taliban.

  • Paul Marks

    I partly agree with bobby b – but he misses the main point.

    This is NOT really about “protecting their positions” – there is a horrible perverted idealism about the ruling elite.

    Yes they are financially corrupt and all that – but this is NOT the main problem.

    The main problem, in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the rest of the West, is that the establishment really do believe in “progress” towards a society where the lives of ordinary people are totally controlled from “the cradle to the grave” – “for their own good”.

    The establishment is totalitarian – they really are. It may be totalitarianism with a smiley face mask on – but the desire is still totalitarian, the desire to control everything and everyone.

    And that goes for the international Corporate elite as well – they were educated in the same places, and they go to the same conferences. They believe the same things as the international political and media elite.

  • John

    I agree completely with Paul which is why it was such a mistake for so many people to continue to support a proven establishment party last week rather than embrace the opportunity to decimate them.

  • Fred_Z

    The incompetents are the voters and it is right and proper that a ruling class of competent confidence tricksters take advantage of them.

    It is immoral to let a sucker keep his money.

  • Paul Marks

    John – the Conservative Party was decimated, indeed far more than decimated.

    I would like to think that this would wake people up and lead to a clear out of the establishment at the top of the party – but we shall have to see.

    As for the Reform Party – it got 5 seats, and more votes for it would not have resulted in more seats for it (not really).

    By the way – the antics at the 1922 Committee elections made my heart sink even more. No disrespect meant to the successful candidate, but the election was not run properly.

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