March 7, 2018

AND NOT EVEN PSYCHOLOGY, BUT EMOTION:

Trumpism Is a Psychology, Not an Ideology (JONAH GOLDBERG, March 7, 2018, National Review)

The intellectual effort to craft or divine a coherent Trumpist ideology didn't fare much better. Just over a year ago, Julius Krein launched a new journal called American Affairs to "give the Trump movement some intellectual heft," as Politico put it. As I wrote at the time, American Affairs' dilemma was that by associating itself with Trump, it would be forced to either defend the incoherence of his behavior or break with him to defend its own consistency.

Six months later, after the debacle of Trump's response to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Va., Krein recanted his support for the president.

On the left, there's an enormous investment in the idea that Trump isn't a break with conservatism but the apotheosis of it. This is a defensible, or at least understandable, claim if you believe conservatism has always been an intellectually vacuous bundle of racial and cultural resentments. But if that were the case, Commentary magazine's Noah Rothman recently noted, you would not see so many mainstream and consistent conservatives objecting to Trump's behavior.

Intellectuals and ideologically committed journalists on the left and right have a natural tendency to see events through the prism of ideas. Trump presents an insurmountable challenge to such approaches because, by his own admission, he doesn't consult any serious and coherent body of ideas for his decisions. He trusts his instincts.

Trump has said countless times that he thinks his gut is a better guide than the brains of his advisers. He routinely argues that the presidents and policymakers who came before him were all fools and weaklings. That's narcissism, not ideology, talking.

He's our first female president.

Posted by at March 7, 2018 4:22 AM

  

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