October 9, 2016


So Much for That Classless Incompetent Trump (PETER AUGUSTINE LAWLER, October 9, 2016, National Review)

Now I too would never vote for Trump. But I've never been a psyched up "Never Trumper" either. He's why: An incompetent, classless buffoon with an incorrigible unwillingness to learn never had more that the faintest ghost of a chance to win the general election. I haven't lost a moment sleep over what a President Trump would do, because not even in my most anxious dreams have I been able to imagine him winning. [...]

[B]ecause he's incompetent, there always was little to no danger he'd be an authoritarian president or president at all. Now I do think the Constitution and our country could survive Trump's random cluelessness, but they're just not going to be put to that test. Among the seven habits of highly effective authoritarians is disciplined competence, and that includes a definite plan for action. Trump's authoritarianism, including his big promises as a leader, is a joke, because none of it was ever going to happen. [...]

[O]ne more thought: Most thoughtful Trump supporters (and there are some) think that the situation of our country is so bad that rolling the dice is the only choice on what would otherwise be the eve of our destruction. Their hyping of crisis, we have to notice, owes altogether too much to the extreme rhetoric of other Republicans, such as Ted Cruz. On this issue: I'm with the reform conservatives such as Yuval Levin. Things aren't that bad. American liberty doesn't end with another President Clinton. 

I still say never bet against America, but in the moderate spirit of acknowledging that things continue to get better and worse. On the worse side: We increasingly lack the words that correspond to our relational longings, and most of all we need to recapture the language of parents, children, citizens, creatures, friends, and lovers. We have to reconnect our singular privileges with our relational responsibilities. There are some ways in which America is greater than ever, but not in others. The nostalgia that guides our innovations has to be rigorously selective, not to mention generously inclusive.

...so there's never been any reason to take him seriously in and of himself.  The problem has been the damage he's done to the GOP brand, on the one hand, and the damage our friends who have supported him have done to themselves, an ugly extension of the way they've embarrassed themselves during the Obama years.  

Posted by at October 9, 2016 8:24 AM