Programming note: Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be conducting another Clubland Q&A taking questions from Mark Steyn Club members live around the planet. The fun starts at 11am North American Eastern/3pm GMT/4pm British Summer Time, but do check local listings.
~Increasingly, America's two parties agree on almost everything that matters. It was the Uniparty, for example, that agreed to offshore American manufacturing and make China the dominant global power. Everything mass is made in China, everything boutique (Italian shoes, French cheese, English shirts, drinkable beer) is made in Europe, and Americans don't get a piece of either action. Think of the supply-chain disruptions of the last year and a half - the new automobiles sitting unsold at the plant for want of Chinese microchips - and you realize that Beijing no longer even needs to pull off the old EMP attack over the Mississippi River: They can bring us to our knees any time they want.
So the good news is we won't be losing the next war. The bloated US military which is already (in the dreary Britannic cliché) "not fit for purpose" - indeed, not fit for any purpose other than the self-enrichment of military-industrial hacks - will never be permitted to fight any war that conflicts with China's national interest.
In a functioning multiparty system, you'd do what Nigel Farage did in the UK and form a single-issue party to decouple from China. But the sclerotic political duopoly that has frozen the same-old-same-old in place since the Civil War does not allow such nimble innovations. Yet it's vitally necessary.
~The best opportunity for a party breakthrough was under the Trump of 2015. As I said all last year, the original Trump campaign was an alliance between Trump (the man) and Trumpism (the issues, principally the wall and other aspects of immigration). Both halves of the coalition needed the other: Trumpism required a personality frontman the size of Trump in order to break through the media's cries of "Racist!" for anyone antipathetic to mass immigration, and Trump required a coherent and distinctive platform for those otherwise immune to his charms. The Trump-Trumpism coalition won, and the latter promptly got subverted by the Republican "establishment" and the former taken out by the "fortifying" of the 2020 election.
As I noted last spring, Trumpism was a little under-served by the Jared/Ivanka campaign, to the point where, at a time when #BLM and antifa were rampaging through American cities, Trump was on the debate stage boasting about all the criminals he'd let out of jail. But Trumpism (an end to mass unskilled immigration and a decoupling from China) remains out there for Trump or anyone else to pick up and run with.
Oddly enough, I don't hear a lot about it from Republicans, do you?
If we can't decouple the Uniparty, we need a Decoupling Party (in the China sense, not in the Kristi Noem paramour sense).
~I see Ibram X Kendi, the father of Critical Race Theory, has just won one of those MacArthur "genius" awards, so he's two-thirds of a million bucks better off than he was a fortnight back. Before he went on to college and wrote his dissertation on The Black Campus Movement: An Afrocentric Narrative History of the Struggle to Diversify Higher Education, 1965-1972, he was a student at Stonewall Jackson High School in Virginia, which last year (thanks in part to the influence of Mr Kendi's theory) was renamed "Unity Reed High School", after a black man who was a longtime "security assistant" at the school, whatever that means. The student body is presently majority Hispanic.
Back in his Stonewall schooldays, Mr Kendi was Ibram Henry Rogers, but he took his bride's surname of Kendi, which means "loved one" in the tongue of the Meru people of Mount Kenya. I don't know a lot about the Meru, other than the sad end of the leader of the Mau-Mau rebellion: (self-proclaimed) Field Marshal Musi Mwariama died, alas, after sucking the leg of a friend who'd been bitten by a snake. Which is rotten luck.
One does not begrudge the late Mr Mwariama his self-conferred military rank, which he surely merits more than the Pentagon's beribboned buffoon, Thoroughly Modern Milley, deserves all those participation awards plastered from shoulder to scrotum. And I can appreciate why Mr Kendi berating Amy Coney Barrett for adopting non-white children is more persuasive than if he were doing it as "Mr Rogers".
There are fashions in identity politics. To those who knew him at Cambridge and the London School of Economics, Harry Lee was always Harry. "Harry, you're the best bloody Englishman east of Suez," as the perpetually drunk British Foreign Secretary, George Brown, once told him." But in the twilight of empire for a young man entering politics it was important to be "authentic", so back in Singapore Harry mothballed the anglo moniker and returned to his Hakka Chinese name of Lee Kuan Yew.
West of Suez, inauthenticity is all. The modern world was created by white men. It's unfortunate, but there it is. What to do about it? Erasing Rogers - as in Ginger, as in Roy, as in Rogers' Rangers - one Rogers at a time is too slow. Tearing down statues and chiseling the names off grade schools isn't much quicker, and not everything can be re-named after George Floyd. The example of Middlebury College, Vermont is instructive: on Monday, its trustees announced that Mead Memorial Chapel, honoring a eugenicist governor who advocated the sterilization of Abenakis and French-Canadians, will be re-named "The Chapel". That's the safe way to play it: How do you get to The Chapel? Turn left on The Street, hang a right on The Avenue, and drive past The Stadium and The Library until you come to The Building, just across from The Edifice.
Vermont is (with Maine and New Hampshire) one of the three whitest states in the Union. #VermontersSoWhite!, as they say at the Emmys. So the state's capital city, Montpelier, and the Burlington suburb of Winooski, have decided to let non-citizens vote in their elections. Hopefully, this will encourage some of those Covid-positive Haitian "refugees" and frisky Afghan "translators" to head to the Green Mountains.
Vermont's Republican Governor, Mr Squishpants McMilquetoast, is objecting to non-citizens voting on the grounds that it's just way too confusing having different eligibility standards for different municipalities: What if a non-citizen spends ten years voting in Montpelier and then moves to Enosburg Falls and is stunned to find he can no longer cast a ballot?
The state GOP, on the other hand, is suing the two towns for being in breach of the Vermont constitution. Like almost all US laws, the constitution is poorly drafted and capable of multiple interpretations - the relevant one in this case being that its insistence on US citizenship for voting applies only to state offices. But feel free to send money now to SendMoneyNow.com - because the suit will stagger on slower than molasses, so that eventually some Republican-appointed judge will rule that the Montpelier foreigners have been voting for so long now it would be cruel and unusual punishment to disenfranchise them.
Wokeism is the abolition of everything - of Westphalian precepts such as borders and citizenship, and of a civilizational inheritance transmitted down the generations. The American past will be utterly destroyed, leaving only a temporary void ("The Chapel") in which a new post-American narrative will arise. Perhaps it will be like Montpelier: aging NPR-listening white liberals cooing with the glow of self-admiration as a few Guatemalan landscapers and retired Somali warlords line up at City Hall to vote for Transgender Appreciation Month.
Or perhaps it will be a bloody, violent, Third World hellhole like nothing we've ever seen before.
~See you Thursday for our Clubland Q&A: Anyone anywhere around the planet can listen; membership is required only to ask a question. We opened The Mark Steyn Club well over four years ago, and I'm thrilled by all those SteynOnline aficionados across the globe - from Fargo to Fiji, Vancouver to Vanuatu, Surrey to the Solomon Islands - who've signed up to be a part of it. With exterior pleasures still canceled across much of the map (shows, pubs, sports, movies, restaurants) those in search of strictly in-home diversions can find more information about our Club here - and, if you've a pal who might be partial to this sort of thing, don't forget our special Gift Membership.