Consequences, Consequences Everywhere - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Consequences, Consequences Everywhere
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I’ll just confess this up front, for reasons I’ll outline in just a second. I’m on a huge Kurt Schlichter kick at the moment.

Over the weekend I finished his latest political book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America, and found it very similar to my own book The Revivalist Manifesto. Kurt’s take is pretty similar to mine, though he comes about it differently. In his telling of what is and what’s to come, there’s a fairly thorough discussion of the various scenarios in which red and blue America simply can’t take any more of each other and attempt to go their separate ways; I don’t go there in mine. Kurt’s been exploring the national divorce idea — which he is most certainly not a fan of or advocate for — in his Kelly Turnbull novels, and there’s a new one of those coming out in a little more than a week.

I love those books. Can’t wait to read the next one.

And the fact we’re putting on an event in Mandeville, Louisiana, just across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, where Kurt’s going to be the keynote speaker, doesn’t exactly diminish my Schlichterism.

Why all this is germane to this column is something I have to attribute to Kurt. It’s his repeated reference to our “garbage elite” in this country. He’s so right about that, it hurts.

No, it literally hurts.

For at least the past 15 years, and probably longer than that, virtually nothing that has come out of the major institutions of this country, whether political, economic or cultural, has been up to the standard set in prior decades. And you wonder why we’re in such a steep decline on all fronts.

As Adam Smith said, there is a great deal of ruin in a nation, meaning you can go a long time making inexcusable mistakes before all hell breaks loose. And for most if not all of the current century our elites have proven that true. America still stands, though the flag is tattered and its virtue and prosperity is mostly gone. But the consequences of our failure are finally beginning to come to pass.

This column could become a book very easily with all the examples I have on offer, but I’ll just offer three — they’re blazingly obvious, clearly illustrative, and represent the three-headed monster of our elite failure in culture, economics, and politics.

The cultural example, which isn’t earth-shaking like what we’ll talk about below but is highly illustrative, might also be the most unintentionally funny. It comes from the garbage elite at Universal Pictures, who are so mind-blowingly out of touch with the ordinary folks in the country that they not only greenlit a true insult of a movie called Bros but gave it a $22 million production budget and a massive amount of marketing support.

It’s — get this — a gay activist romantic comedy. Complete with sex scenes, gay politics shot through the story line, and even a major plot point surrounding the question of promoting queer activism to second-graders.

Who’s in it? Nobody. The lead character is an obnoxious, whiny D-lister named Billy Eichner, who co-wrote the film. He’s not a talent, and he might even be less charismatic and more obnoxious than Lena Dunham. There isn’t a single actor in it ordinary moviegoers have heard of, so there’s no draw. It was marketed on the basis of its identity — that it was the first gay rom-com where all of the cast is queer.

This is Billy Eichner, by the way:

Some unmitigated moron at Universal thought that it was possible to make a profit off a $22 million production budget for a movie that would offend at least half of the potential moviegoing audience and utterly fail to appeal to at least three-quarters of the rest. That notion didn’t survive the first weekend, when Bros did less than $5 million at the box office.

In a blistering, fiery takedown of this disaster of judgment, Chris Gore calls its flameout an “earned failure.” In that he’s absolutely correct. It is, and it was always going to be. Hollywood seems to be legitimately shocked that Bros flopped, but of course it shouldn’t be.

As I noted yesterday at RVIVR, straight people — also known as more than 90 percent of the moviegoing market — will tolerate the queer lifestyle, and even generously appreciate art by homosexuals. But there’s only so much of that goodwill in the well. The idea that you’ll succeed trying to get female moviegoers (who are the audience for romantic comedies, so you’ll know) out to see a film about gay male romance — or especially that female moviegoers will get their boyfriends or husbands to such a movie on date night — is not one a professional studio executive should entertain.

Utter idiocy. Sure, Universal was probably browbeaten by politics to waste this money. Now they’ve lost, what? Counting the marketing, maybe $40 million on it?

How often can you drop stinkers like this before the consequences become existential? We might be finding out soon. Hollywood is dying, and quickly. What will replace it I can’t say, but something will.

Then there’s our economic failure. I’ll use the OPEC example, just because it’s new and terrifying, but I could go in any direction I want here. So many stupid decisions costing so many people so much money thanks to our corporate and political elite being well-educated dunces make it almost a fait accompli that we’re rolling into another Great Recession, if not a depression. But what happened Monday just makes for a view into the yawning chasm of economic malaise to come.

Which is that OPEC is now going to chop its production by more than a million barrels of oil a day. Maybe even by two million barrels a day. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board puts it this way:

Oil prices rose Monday on news that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies may agree on Wednesday to cut production. The Saudis and Russia are underscoring the folly of President Biden’s limits on oil and gas production, and his non-emergency release of oil from the national petroleum stockpile.

A couple of months ago Mr. Biden sojourned to Saudi Arabia to beg the Crown Prince for help containing surging U.S. gasoline prices. Now it looks like the meeting was worse than unproductive. Reports say OPEC and its allies including Russia will consider slashing their production targets by a million barrels a day when they meet this week.

Analysts estimate this would lift crude prices to about $100 a barrel from the $80 to $90 range of the last month. OPEC countries may be seeking to boost their budgets to cope with rising food prices and the strong dollar. But the timing couldn’t be worse for Mr. Biden and Democrats in Congress.

The Administration has released 200 million barrels or so from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve over the past year and about one million barrels a day in recent months. These drawdowns were scheduled to end this month, but the Administration recently extended the releases into November, no doubt worried that a taper would increase gasoline prices before the midterm election.

But oil traders aren’t naifs. They know the releases will soon end and the Administration will also have to start refilling the reserve, which is at its lowest level since 1984. Much of the oil that remains can’t be efficiently processed by U.S. refiners. So if there were a true national emergency—say, a cyber attack on a major oil pipeline—the U.S. might not have enough inventory to keep supply flowing.

To refill the reserve, the Administration may soon have to buy oil at a higher price than it has been selling it. Sell high and buy higher wasn’t supposed to be the strategy, Mr. President. A smarter strategy to reduce U.S. energy prices would have been to encourage more domestic production.

Emphasis mine. So we’ve hamstrung domestic production and begged OPEC to make up the difference, and instead they’ve recognized they’ve got a wide-open opportunity to drive the price through the roof and cripple the U.S. economy.

This could be ruinous. Of course, it carries with it a silver lining, because the consequences of it will likely burn away most of the climate alarmism and Great Reset stupidity our economic and political elites have been trying to impose on us.

S(tuff)’s about to get real.

This could obviously carry over to the political realm, and it obviously does. Oil prices shooting skyward in October of an election year will likely be devastating to the governing party’s electoral hopes, because it’ll make for sharp pain among average Americans who are already unhappy with the state of things.

After all, check out the finding from a Monmouth University poll released this week:

Yikes. He’s underwater on everything but COVID, which he himself said is not a thing anymore.

And Monmouth didn’t even ask about geopolitics, foreign policy, or the prospect of war with Russia, which at this point is the really terrifying, unfolding failure.

If you didn’t see Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs’ recent appearance on Bloomberg, it’s worth a look:

It’s come out here and there that opportunities have been rejected — by both sides, to be sure — to go to the peace table and put an end to the Russia–Ukraine war, which has gone on long enough and now looks like it could escalate, as Sachs says, into a nuclear exchange. Even Elon Musk suggested making peace, and for his trouble Ukraine’s high officials insulted him.

Europe is in a tailspin, our economy could well follow, and you can’t talk about the necessity of ending a hyper-dangerous war without being called names by a regime that is weaponizing law enforcement against political dissidents.

Monmouth showed without even talking about this subject, quite possibly the worst of all of our elite’s bunglings, that the status quo is utterly unsustainable.

The consequences are coming. In fact, they’re already here. Buckle down and get ready, and do everything you can to help rid us of our garbage elite whose failures are making all this trouble.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and RVIVR.com, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at Amazon.com. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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