121 Comments
author

Question: Do you like seeing these X Spaces recordings here on Substack? I'm experimenting with new formats this year and would love to hear your feedback.

Expand full comment

“The most important thing that Republicans can do is to cut off the money.” True.

Expand full comment
Jan 17Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Mr. Rufo- you left out the fourth criterion in the the cycle you mentioned. There are the three you included: hard men make for good times, good times make for soft men, and soft men make for bad times. The criterion that completes the cycle is "bad times make for hard men". Unfortunately I believe that, while you are doing good work out in the wilderness to harness a return to common sense cultural equilibrium, Western civilization is going to require an existential shock to the system to bring us to our senses. It may be in the form of war, infection, or economic calamity. But to raise a new generation of hard men, we're going to have to experience tragically bad times. Sadly, it will not be an academic exercise.

Expand full comment
Jan 17Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

No, it’s hard times make plumbers. Plumbers make good times. Good times make lawyers. Lawyers make hard times.

Expand full comment

The next Republican Administration MUST eliminate DEI across the board; commit to this 110% no exceptions; the only one who can do this in my belief is Donald Trump.

Expand full comment
Jan 17Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

I ran a moderate size county, Sarasota FL, for 14 years. The comments that were made in the last 20 minutes are backed by my experience. You need to starve the beast (stop feeding it money) and eliminate civil service protection (especially for the management class). I did just these two things, lowered property taxes by 1/3 and didn’t add any new employees for five or more years (except for public safety and voter approved services) and still managed to build all reserves to make us sustainable (translates to deficit mgmt at the Fed level).

Expand full comment

Hilarious article. Yes, DEI bad.

But come on: "75% of the American population of military-age males....too fat, too drugged, too tattooed, or too mentally ill to even qualify to join the military. But when you have a president that can hardly walk across the stage, that’s a problem."

Three in four young Americans are too unhealthy to serve....and it's somehow old man Biden's fault, for being a normal, healthy octogenarian!!! Ridiculous.

Your fundamental problem is that merely uprooting DEI doesn't change the factors that led to its rise in the first place. And it certainly doesn't change the factors making three in four young Americans unfit for military service.

DEI bad, but it's stupid to focus on it as some root of all evil. It's a mere fruit, and a late one. You are engaging in the same empty, pointless, identity-first, politics that they are.

You ask for a common ethos for the country, but *you don't have one.* Conservatives cannot even articulate a common ethos for themselves. That's why they lost their party to Trumpians, and lost it hard.

The unifying ethos of this country is Liberty. Our founding documents are rather clear on that subject.

Republicans & Democrats have alike betrayed that ethos - in differing degree, and in differing manner, but they have betrayed it. The golden door is closed, the lamp is gurttering, we've barred the huddled masses out.

Let me shut down your nativism before it starts. Do you want the United States to remain a foremost world power?

We're not going to do it with a paltry 400 million, not with 75% of our young men too sick to fight, not with 1 billion, 2 billion people in India, China, the EU. If that doesn't get it through your skull, consider this - immigrants *hate* DEI. Almost any immigrant from anywhere will be more culturally conservative than almost any suburban American. They want to have families and build lives.

It's ironic. Deeply. If conservatives welcomed newcomers, as everyone should, things like DEI and genderism would never have gotten a foothold. Immigrants are culturally conservative. Your nativism has in fact created the environment that birthed DEI and everything else of its nature.

So here's the carrot: As culturally-conservative immigrants in liberal towns, states and cities vote to roll back each and every piece of identitarian nonsense, you'll get to watch liberals scream bloody murder. Liberals only like their "sanctuary cities" because undocumented immigrants can't vote.

An ethos of Liberty gives you firm moral ground. You'd be the only one in the room with it. At the moment, you have nothing - just warmed-over, hollow, cultural-conservative platitudes. I mean, come on - the stuff you're fighting is some of the most bizarre, deranged, nonsensical crap anyone ever came up with. If you had an ethos, and didn't have Trump, you'd have won before this started.

Liberty is a treasure that can not be stored up. It sours. Yet share & cast & sow its seed, and every year it multiplies.

Expand full comment

Oh, and while it’s top of mind, eliminate two words from the vocabulary and EVERYTHING associated with the two words: CLIMATE CHANGE, the Global elitist pricks scam to screw the middle and working classes.

Expand full comment

Terrific! Thank you CRufo If CRT became a footnote in the dustbin of history it would be a gift to humanity.

Expand full comment

Amen! I worked in the military for 45 years. Right after 9/11/01 we stood up a number of new organizations. They were light (in terms of personnel count) and both efficient and fast. We largely ignored the Pentagon and its bureaucracy while doing what was legally and ethically right. But after about 2008 the Pentagon bureaucracy started to creep back in. The head count swelled. The number of useless reports and rules proliferated. The level of micromanagement was stunning. And efficiency dropped like a rock. Things we had done in a matter of weeks before now took years and was completely screwed up in the end. Good people got frustrated and left. With the right leadership recovery is possible.

Expand full comment
founding
Jan 17·edited Jan 17

Chris, once again a great thought provoking piece. You point out so clearly the need to cut the funding to our institutions. Yes, the unproductive layer has been ideolog-ized. As they say, idle hands are the devil's workshop.

I also agree that the unproductive class needs a new purpose. A healthier purpose. As a conservative it must require moving them back into the free market.

But I also believe this discussion may need a new CG (center of gravity) because we cannot talk simply about slashing institutional finances 80% without discussing "purpose."

We need serious discussions about how to make America strong with the elimination of crazy woke and crazy DEI to make us a more rational nation, and more financing of national infrastructure projects like coast-to-coast bullet train projects to make us stronger, and more space exploration to feed our dreams, and so on... as we cut the finances of our institutions and pay off our national debt.

I would love to see congress delivering "negative" trillion dollar cost proposals that dismantle the funding of old institutions and allocate half of the trillions to debt reduction and the other half to important private-sector infrastructure projects of national importance.

Expand full comment
Jan 17Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

There was some discussion of an almost universal human desire for excellence. Maybe I misunderstood the concept that was presented. Based on my experience, I don’t believe that a desire for excellence is universal.

I went to a small 4-year high school with 400 students. I was well acquainted with a wide spectrum of my fellow students even though I graduated in 1965 as my class valedictorian, I saw mostly a desire to get by. Even when I was at the US Naval Academy there was a lot of “2.5 and survive” mentality. I also saw a lot of that when I worked in the private sector and as a federal employee

Expand full comment

The author of this quote can't be determined although it seems to find it's origin in either G. Orwell or R. Kipling?

' We sleep soundly in our beds at night because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those that would do us harm. '

Expand full comment

Ideology is the refuge of scoundrels. Remember the old water cooler jokes of the past. As a former (California!) state government worker, my cubicle was in close proximity to one of those. The entire morning and, if anyone remained at work that long, extending into the afternoon, I was forced to endure the endless, breathless, discussions of the micro world of that particular bureaucracy. It was endless, repetitive gossip designed specifically to eat up large portions of the day. I’m sure that is where some of the seeds of DEI were hatched.

Expand full comment

Meanwhile in Canada: “But rest assured, sleeping Canuck sheep: your Charter of Rights is a facade,” he wrote. “And you will be fleeced while you bleat.” Jordan Peterson.

- https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/exclusive-jordan-peterson-loses-fight-with-psychology-college-over-mandatory-social-media-training/ar-AA1n5jXT?ocid=socialshare&pc=DCTS&cvid=75f118a675fe40dcb7d9e2dbac9c9704&ei=20

Expand full comment

On a side note, my husband asked me if we’ll have another Civil War, he’s really worried about the possibility. I tell him not to get all worked up over it, the Democrats seem like they’re itching for CW2, they’ll probably start it just like the first one. And like the first one, CW2 will end badly for the Dems. THIS time, the Republicans have about 90% of the guns and 10 billion bullets, while the Democrats will be too busy trying to decide which of their 64 genders to send into battle.

Expand full comment