Open Letter to Crowdpac: Apparently you value participation… of only those who share your perspective

Friends… I’d like to address your recent decision to deactivate campaigns of Republican candidates unless they share your perspective on what you call “Trumpism.” I will start by commenting on what this reveals about your view of politics, and then organize my thoughts around your statement of values.

Lessons not Learned

“Trumpism” shows you do not yet understand what the 2016 election was about. If you go back and look at the electoral map, Donald Trump won the Electoral College over a significant popular vote win by Hillary Clinton because the Rust Belt got tired of a narrative (offered by both sides) which simply does not comport with their experience. They were told “free trade” (which is no such thing under current arrangements) was better for the economy. What they experienced, though, was twenty years of watching their dignity (which arises from actually making things) exported overseas. What they got in return were minimum wage, service sector jobs. The central assumption behind the Establishment narrative (can we call it “Clintonism” without being charged with sexism? If not, I’ll settle for “Romneyism”) is that a manufacturing sector job and a service sector job are socially and economically equivalent. While the folks in the Rust Belt probably cannot articulate it this way, Trump is President because he rejected that notion — and so did they.

Every friend on the Left has responded to this observation by asking why people in the Rust Belt believe Trump will actually do something about it. The question itself is a Red Herring. The lesson before us actually has nothing to do with Trump, nor with why someone would or would not believe him.

Peggy Noonan probably explained the lesson best: People voted for Trump not because they supported “Trumpism” — or because they believed him — but because they perceive the country to have been split between the “protected class” and the “unprotected class.” There is actually ample historical precedent for this. Andrew Jackson became president under similar circumstances. But no one talks about Jacksonianism… (Question for you: How much effort have you put into studying Jackson’s election and the parallels?)

There is a disgust right now toward the “protected class” and how they rule for their own benefit. You are choosing to see “Trumpism” as something Republican voters decided they supported. What really happened was a wide swath of voters from both major parties wanted the “protected class” to have to look in the mirror. And that is what Trump — in all of his boorishness — is: a mirror by which a disgusted electorate decided to force the protected class to actually have to look at themselves.

And the reason why they — the protected class from both parties — hate him with such passion (and nurture this false narrative of “Trumpism”) is because he does not bother to dress up the crassness in black tie tuxedos and otherwise hide it under a veneer of culture and refinement. They hate him because he has stripped away that veneer and now they and everyone else get to see what they themselves are actually like.

For the Trump Voter, he is R. P. McMurphy against Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over… You end up cheering him on as his lack of refinement decimates the intellectual slavery of the Ratched regime’s politics.

Now on to your stated values:

We value participation…

You are making judgments about the intent behind Voter ID laws, and then determining which candidates are allowed to use your platform based on whether they share the conclusions you have drawn. Is it “easier” to vote when it is harder to become informed about the candidates because a platform such as yours discriminates based on viewpoint? Here in California, jury summons are sent based on voter registration. These forms have an outline of reasons why the recipient would NOT qualify as a juror. One of those reasons is they are not a citizen. Attempts to review this data and compare those who indicated they were NOT citizens with those who have actually voted have been opposed at every turn by those on the Left. This is but one example of efforts to validate lawful voting which you choose to dismiss with a broad, prejudicial brush.

Do you believe non-citizen, but tax-paying, permanent residents should be able to vote? If this is the case, that is a legitimate public policy position to take, and while I am not in agreement, I will both respect and defend your right to advance that idea without being demonized with an “-ism.” Freedom is messy, and liberal democracy is hard work. Its first requirement is granting legitimacy to positions you oppose. And the stronger your opposition, the more important it is that you grant that legitimacy.

Are you honest enough to admit and advocate for what you believe about voting? Are you mature enough to grant legitimacy to points of view you strongly oppose? Are you intelligent enough to engage those opposing ideas without pejoratively branding them with the “-ism” de jour?

Have you reflected on the degree to which your value for participation seems limited only to the participation of those who share your viewpoints?

We value facts, science & evidence

(The Punctuation Nazi in me cannot help myself — Oxford Comma anyone?)

Quite some time ago, President Dwight Eisenhower warned us against two things. We all remember the first — the military/industrial complex. But do we recall the second? Here it is — in its larger context rather than just the salient blurb:

So, what exactly are “…the principles of our democratic system” that provide that larger, guiding set of ideals? I will suggest a very simple observation about our form of government: The authority to govern arises from the consent of the governed. It DOES NOT arise from anyone’s data, statistics, or even from science. The lettered scientist has rightly earned a place of regard and respect in our society. But the authority to govern was not conferred upon her with the PhD.

As a cyber security engineer and a 22 year data systems / information technology professional, I am keenly aware of how easy it is for special interests to manipulate data and then to propagandize the electorate with claims that their prescriptions are “scientific.”

I also understand data quality. The truth about climate research is scientists all work from the same basic data sets. Now if those data sets have quality issues (and they do — in spades), both “consensus” and “peer review” are meaningless. If they refuse to share the computer algorithms used to process data, their processes cannot be replicated and are therefore not “science.”

97% of scientists sharing a conclusion which arises from bad data simply means 97% of scientists are using bad data. Scientists who publish research which cannot be replicated because they claim intellectual property rights are not doing science. The value of their conclusions for public policy ought to be questioned. And no, you do not need to be a scientist to question “science” when it is deployed in support of public policy prescriptions. Science is inherently descriptive. When it is used in a prescriptive fashion in public policy, tough questions are not only justified — they are required if we are to remain a self-governing people.

Otherwise we end up exactly where Eisenhower warned us we would: “…we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

We value diversity…

Let me give you an example of how a pre-written media narrative warps the discussion on things like immigration. Trump used the terms “rapists” and “murderers” when talking about what is happening at the Mexican border. As one who grew up within sight of the hills of Tijuana — I practiced my Spanish with illegal immigrants as they were smuggled through my neighborhood before dawn as I worked my paper-route — I heard Trump referring to what we call the “coyotes.” These are the human traffickers, and two things are well-known here by the border. The first is that a young woman being smuggled up from Mexico or Central America will be raped multiple times on the way; the second is criminal gangs use the coyotes to smuggle members across the border.

But that does not feed the narrative of “Trumpism” so it is not considered a reasonable interpretation. Instead of responsible journalism we hear something Trump says interpreted in the most inflammatory way possible, then people are found to be outraged by this interpretation, and then the outrage is reported as if it is “breaking news.” It is, in fact, fake news!

Lastly, on Partick Little: You conveniently failed to mention that on May 5th the California GOP kicked him out of the state party convention in San Diego and loudly condemned his candidacy. Were you even aware of this? If not, why not? Does it not point to an uncritical willingness to only read and listen to things that confirm the narrative of “Trumpism” you are taking for granted as being a true and accurate reflection of today’s political environment?

It isn’t.

It is sad you are taking steps which are the exact opposite of the values you claim to support — and justifying them with a narrative utterly devoid of even a modicum of curiosity about what is really on the minds of the electorate at large — not just among Republicans.

John Horst
Republican Candidate for California’s 52nd Congressional District
My Crowdpac Site (we’ll see how long it remains available)

Written by

I am a charter member of the pocket-protector set, but old enough to make fun of them and otherwise have a healthy skepticism of tech. https://goo.gl/2z5Snr

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store