We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Trump and Graham, the End of an Ugly Friendship

17th January 2018

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Lindsey Graham, the Arlen Specter of the South, has been trying to ingratiate himself with President Trump, his former adversary. By doing so, Graham hopes to achieve his longtime dream of granting amnesty to illegal aliens.

One happy byproduct of the unfortunate “S***thole” controversy is that, in all likelihood, Graham’s friendship with the president is at an end. It’s over not because of that controversy, but because of what led to it. Simply stated, Graham tried to bamboozle Trump.

As Harry Truman once famously said, ‘If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’ One of the distinguishing characteristics of politics, not just in America but almost anywhere, is that ‘friends’ of politicians will inevitably try to use that ‘friendship’ to gain some sort of advantage through the proxy use of that politician’s authority. This is a reversion to an earlier cultural type, still nearly universal in the Third World, where someone in power is expected to use that power, not for the general good, but for the particular good of that person’s ‘friends & relations’. One of the most significant aspects of ‘American exceptionalism’ is the weakening of this ancient expectation and its replacement by the expectation that public officials will act for the general good, not just that of their personal affinities.

Democrats, of course, are the primary proponents of preserving the traditional orientation, as any examination of that hoary Democrat institution, the metropolitan political machine, makes clear. This is, I suspect, one reason why the Democratic Party was the usual object of the affection of organized crime — they both have the same approach to the use of political power. (When was the last time you heard of the Mafia trying to steal an election for a Republican?)

Republicans, on the other hand, take their cues from the classical Roman republican tradition, in which the service fo the res publica, the ‘public thing’, was paramount over la cost rostra, ‘our thing’ (sorry for mixing languages). There are recorded instances of Roman fathers having their sons executed for theft and treason, which in any other ancient civilization would be considered insane. The Founding Fathers of the American Republic were, needless to say, thoroughgoing republicans, if not Republicans.

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