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Has America Become An Aristocracy

Posted by Herb7734 8 months, 3 weeks ago to Philosophy
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The following is an excerpt from a speech by Frank Buckley, a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University. I have excerpted a section of the speech given at Hillsdale College on July 11, 2016. It can be found on line at http://Hillsdale.edu.
"In a corrupt country, trust is a rare commodity. That's America today. Only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958 according to the Pew Research Center. Sadly, that is a rational response to the way things are. America is a different country today, and a much nastier one. For politically engaged Republicans, the figure is six percent. That in a nutshell explains the Trump phenomenon and the disintegration of the Republican establishment. If the people don't trust the government, tinkering with entitlement reform is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
American legal institutions are consistently more liberal than those in Canada, and they are biased towards a privileged class of insiders who are better educated and wealthier than the average American. That's why America has become an aristocracy."

Is Mr. Buckley right? I think he is.


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  • Posted by ProfChuck 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    If you visit the Center for American Progress website you will see that the country has been divided into two groups; the great unwashed and the intellectual elite that must guide them. This is a self appointed aristocracy of the first order. This new aristocracy is already in place and has been accepted by a disturbingly large number of our citizens. Sheep are treated well right up to when they become mutton.
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  • Posted by wmiranda 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    As long as we have a Congress with no term limits, we'll have a political aristocracy class. Recently, we saw this with the Bush family. Jeb Bush went from anybody but Hillary in the primaries to the family going to "I'm with her". While I understand Jeb got a spanking by Trump and Senior Bush is acting like most protective parents of their children would, it is also evident that loyalty to the political aristocracy played an important part. This also happened within the Republican party too.
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    • Posted by  $  CBJ 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      Silver lining: the Bush dynasty is likely finished as a force to be reckoned with in the Republican Party. A fair percentage of the Republican elite will probably migrate to the Democrats. Of course, a new aristocracy may form around Trump.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 8 months, 3 weeks ago
        "A fair percentage of the Republican elite will probably migrate to the Democrats."
        When I read Bernie Sanders' article in the NYT basically saying he agreed with Trump's ideas but not the mean-spiritedness, I started wondering if the political landscape will eventually shift into an activist gov't party vs. a libertarian party. In this scenario, small-gov't Republicans go libertarian. Trump Republicans and handout-supporting Democrats go to one party, strange bedfellows who agree only that someone else is responsible for their lives' problems and gov't force is part of the answer. Democrats like me who are Democrats mostly because we want nothing to do with the bigot arm of the Republicans change to libertarians. At that point we have a party in favor of the gov't doing more and a party in favor of it doing less. The thing that concerns me in this scenario is the people who want an intrusive gov't might be the solid majority.
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      • Posted by strugatsky 8 months, 3 weeks ago
        I believe that you are quite correct about the migration. Most of the establishment is for life for one purpose only - power. The socialists have won and, although the "Republicans" have been socialists for a long time, might as well acquire an official label and join the power Party.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Re: "Only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958 according to the Pew Research Center." I consider that an improvement. The government may not have been quite as corrupt in 1958, but it was able to hide the corruption much more easily and take advantage of the public's naive trust in its institutions. The careers of Lyndon Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover and their ilk would not be possible in today's America. And if the Clintons had been political players in that era, most of their scandals would probably have never come to light.
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  • Posted by mminnick 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Take a look at the political establishment currently ruling the United States. How far back do they go into the political past of our nation? The Bush's, the Kennedys the Clintons. Look at the idea's and governing policies of this political class.
    Most stated with a true desire to serve the public. It soon morphed into a pattern of self-service and aggrandizement.
    The Washington political calss (Republican and Democrat) have more in common with each other than they do with the voting masses. Take the reaction to Mr. Trump. He received more votes in the primary season than anyone before him. The establishment is still trying to stop him from becoming President. The establishment had a favorite set of candidates and will stop at nothing to get one of them elected.
    Trump and Bernie represent uncontrolled persons and needed to be stopped. The democrats succeeded in stopping Bernie, the Republicans failed to stop Trump. The Republican establishment is not seeking to stop him from being elected with their non-support support.. They would like nothing better than to see Mr. Trump beaten by 10 to 20 points in the election.
    This would allow them to return to the business as usual in Washington with the "I told you so" smugness of the entitled.
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    • Posted by EdGoldstein 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      I had a certain amount of respect for the Bush clan until they "adopted" the Clintons into their extended family. The only possible conclusion is they are as corrupt a part of the mafia as the Clintons. There is only one mob with several families competing to rape the country.
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      • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
        Ed G.
        There is a big overlap between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans overlap into the right side of the Democrats and the Democrats overlap onto the left side of the Republicans. This creates the largest party of all, you might call them the "Republicrats." On the far side of each party are the Socialists on the left, and the Conservatives on the right. With just a small squeeze, it turns into the corrupt one party system.
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  • Posted by ohiocrossroads 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Governments are corrupt. Small governments have small corruption, big governments have big corruption. Our government has gotten big to the point that they feel comfortable in covering up their crimes with shabby lies and expecting the American people to always send them back to Washington to do it some more. The Dimocrap party and the Repuglican Establishment now feel the same entitlement to power that the ancient European nobles felt. (Remember Shrillary's lament a couple of weeks ago: "Why am I not 50 points ahead?") If Shrillary gets elected with most of the electorate knowing she is a one-hundred and fifty pound pile of lying excrement, it will be another nail in the coffin of liberty in the USA.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Agreed - in the terms of "those" days...However, in today's world, I take issue with: "Better Educated"...you mean, in today's terms...compartmentalized Bull Crap. lies, deceptions, misconceptions and progressively revised history...seems the delite ruleless class is dumber than the rocks in my yard.
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    • Posted by  $  allosaur 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      That "better educated" bit gave old dino an unpalatable rub, too, until you "in today's terms" interpreted in a way I was beginning to think it through.
      For it came to pass that within a fortnight past at the time of the Harvest Moon that Olduglycarl sayeth unto old dino that great minds think alike.
      Time out while old dino momentarily feels like the guy in the link does all the time while my great mind goes "Ummmmmmmmm!"

      https://www.google.com/search?q=obama...
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      • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
        No wonder you don't get results. It's Ommmmmmmmmmm!
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        • Posted by  $  allosaur 8 months, 3 weeks ago
          I may fall under the dictionary definition for a mystic, but I don't care for that ommmm if hippified far east contemplate your navel stuff.
          Speaking of navels, I learned on the internet that shower water does not go where bathtub water can go. So if you only take showers, you may have a stinky navel you need to wash out for the first time in years.
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          • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
            Joke:
            A man was born with a golden screw in his navel. As he got older and the price of gold rose he tried to get it out, but it wouldn't budge.After trying for many years with no success, he came across a Hindu Mystic. The Mystic told him that on a warm sunny day, he should sit under a shady tree and visualize his navel. Picture the screw unscrewing itself. The man waited until there was a warm sunny day and he hurried to his backyard and sat beneath his shady Elm tree. He did as the Mystic said. To his amazement the gold screw started unscrewing itself. It went on and on because it was a very long screw. Finally the screw fell out of his navel and the man in a moment of joy jumped up -- and his ass fell off.
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            • Posted by  $  allosaur 8 months, 3 weeks ago
              LOL!
              Another joke but just for laughs. Came across it this afternoon and there's a claim its the funniest joke ever but me dino don't really know about that. Don't know it verbatim. Paraphrasing. Here goes~
              A woman gets on a bus with a baby in her arms. The shocked bus driver tells the woman how ugly her baby is.
              The woman reddens, tosses up her nose and finds a seat beside some guy for another passenger.
              Furious, the woman tells the guy that she wants to go back and tell that bus driver off for an unspeakable insult no one should ever have to endure.
              The guy says, "No woman should ever be insulted. Yeah, you go do that, lady! Here, allow me to hold your monkey while you tell him off!" .
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    • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      Old Ug:
      Right again. In today's world, better educated means that one has specialized and met certain standards, doctor, engineer, etc. or has graduated with the ability to spell most words properly or can construct an understandable sentence.
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  • Posted by  $  rbroberg 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Herb, is it possible that the external contention between the parties' candidates exists because there is marginal difference between the two parties' candidates in some way? For example, Hillary is covert to cover up the real politics, Donald is obnoxious to be sure to do the same.

    Policy positions may exist, but I would argue from an implementation and enforcement perspective, the end result will not differ significantly. Actual, tangible, or substantial differences in results are not anything we can test or know in this presidential experiment, perhaps due to the nature of the science or perhaps we have witnessed a spectacular and deliberate drama designed to bring about some desired result.

    Or I could be watching Homeland too much.
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    • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      I must admit that I am at a bit of a loss.. In Hillary, I detect an immediate descent into a collectivist hell, in Trump the same ultimate result but taking longer. With Trump , however, there is a tiny opening for a movement in the right direction.
      I think your observations are as correct as anyone's. Perspectives vary, but generally, when clinically observed, we are up to our chins in excrement and politicians are coming by in motorboats.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    It is sad that this country has become a bastion of of the criminal aristocracy or the Land of the Oligarchs (like Russia). Anyone who works in the Oligarch govt. of the USA is working to save their jobs. The FBI Director is one such person, he is only looking out for himself not for out for justice. I'm surprised that more Americans haven't raise their voices against this miscarriage of justice. I believe that most of our congressional representatives don't represent their constituency only special interests and those donors that help get them elected.
    It is almost time for a New American Revolution.
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    • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      As has been mentioned many times in this forum, politics in America has become a job to obtain wealth and power. It has little to do with a constituency except in order to get the job. And even getting the job has eroded into a game of go along to get along to get the money and support needed to win.
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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 8 months, 3 weeks ago
    Aristocracy describes a class of elites, not a form of government. The proper term is "oligarchy," which is rule by a small number of an elite. Congress has rendered itself impotent by allowing the Executive to legislate by executive orders and direction to cabinet agencies to regulate beyond their legal authority. The judiciary has been converted to a rubber stamp for the Executive by Congress conceding the appointment of activist justices at lower Federal courts, including appeals courts. The only element with some degree of independence is the SCOTUS, and that will be neutered with a Clinton Presidency.
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    • Posted by 8 months, 3 weeks ago
      Aristocracy is Mr. Buckley's word. I agree that I prefer oligarchy as you do. Aristocracy, however, has certain powerful connotations that grabs the attention.
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