History is the tale of results. And conservatism is the tale of pretending otherwise.
Both of which lead me to wonder how many of those on the respectable right believe that reaching a desirable location occurs simply by meticulous adherence to proper driving protocols. For instance, does a fully-serviced vehicle—with hands at nine and three—driven precisely according transportation regulations and manufacturer recommendations take its passengers to a positive destination simply by virtue of process?
Ok kids, according to theory if we stay within the speed limit and signal all lane changes we should end up somewhere nice…maybe even Disney World. So cross your fingers!
I imagine the more cynical members of this father’s brood would be less concerned with the process of driving than in the results of where it takes them. And that’s the type of kid who has a bleak future in mainstream conservatism.
The right’s long retreat in America is littered with paeans to process over results. Vast conservative multitudes profess to an implicit belief that just following the constitution will surely take our country somewhere nice. Yet quietly does that parchment squawk when ostensible adherence to its prescriptions advances the left’s agenda in opposition to that of its own defenders. What an eerie indifference. It’s almost as if it’s not even human.
Of course the Supreme Court has always been our most visible petri-dish for observing this repetitive behavioral phenomenon. The extreme right-wing of that eminent tribunal routinely takes the extreme position of following the country’s founding charter, whether it leads to Disney or Camden. In contrast, their opposing faction simply locks the wheel left and produces sententious pap whenever they can muster five votes. So if I only care about the destination and you only care about a check sheet, where do you think we’re going to go?
It goes without saying that when one side is oriented to process and the other results, the eventual winner is so obvious that even Nate Silver could predict it four times out of ten. And that’s the history of our most political branch of government.
Today offered an example so lurid that I couldn’t resist remarking on it. The court decision concerned a legal resident Filipino named James Demaya who is, of course, just as American as any other foreigner who wants to live here. I trust readers will not swoon to learn that Mr. Demaya’s All-Americanness took shape in burglarizing his neighbors. These multiple efforts to just-trying-to-make-a-better-life-for-himself triggered rare activity in what must have been a dusty and cobwebbed deportation hearing chamber. Within which the government’s solicitors argued that his infractions could be characterized as “crimes of violence” by virtue of the fact that violence was visited upon the window pane shattered in furtherance of his illicit entry. That’s actually not a joke.
And as a violent offender-American, Demaya was subject to the hideous and inhuman punishment of being returned to his home country. Some atrocities simply must be said.
Based on varying opinions of precisely what constitutes a violent crime under immigration law, the case eventually percolated up to the Supreme Court, where newly enshrined Justice Gorsuch was perched to cast the deciding vote. Now without needing to be told readers will know that the liberal results-oriented branch of the court needed no testimony beyond Demaya’s country of origin to satisfy their conviction that he remain here. And, contra my assertion of conservative process-groupies, four members of the vague right had formed ranks for the result that he leave. In war, prudent generals contemplate the paperwork after they win the battle.
Well as fortunate for Mr. Demaya as it was unfortunate for their posterity a true conservative jurist rode to the constitutional rescue. Observing the law with an eye untainted by his children’s future, Gorsuch cast the decisive fifth vote with the prog bloc in favor of Filipino burglars, and then the black robes all turned to flit out. As the Washington Post says: Deportation dies in darkness.
But profits definitely prosper in darkness if CEOs are to be believed, so with Demaya set to return to his old burgling grounds we can expect soaring ADT renewal rates. Obviously one can hardly make the claim that immigrants don’t aid the economy.
And this is how honest, well-meaning conservatives lose the future with smiles of smug satisfaction. It is easy to grasp Gorsuch’s logic in this decision. The law is vague and its application of violence in this case was almost laughable. But that really wasn’t the underlying issue. Because if a thousand mile forest grew in one row, only the most simple men would think about a single tree. Imperfect law or not, Demaya should have still been deported. Because that’s the only future destination where we can have the freedom to debate how much of our stuff other people will take. In other cultural destinations that decision is already made.
The point is that America’s future won’t be forged by process, but results. The Court’s left-wing understands this as clearly as men like Gorsuch do not. His four confederates in this case did not vote to overturn the law because it was vague or unconstitutional, but because it did not advance their primary agenda of white disembowelment. The rational counter is not panting Gorsuchian pining for blind lady justice, but rather ruthless prejudice in favor of your own results.
Obviously that isn’t an ideal stance on disentangling the law in a peaceful society. So do conservatives think the left is at peace with them?