Friday, January 22, 2016


I like the Bob Luman version okay, but this one sounds lonesomer.

•   National Review has decided to stand athwart Trump, yelling "Stop!" -- which is rather ungracious of them because, despite their protests, he's their Frankenstein, his candidacy the logical evolution of their politics of demonization and dumbassery. Or maybe it's better to say he's NR's Shakespeare, a great popularizer, raiding their ancient classics to make blood-and-thunder crowd-pleasers. Nearly every shtick he pulls -- the superiority of the super-rich, peace through belligerence, xenophobia -- was previously promoted in the pages of NR, but writ fancy-like, to make it look respectable to dummies. Trump had the genius to realize that Republican voters, at least, no longer need all those pseud curlicues; why trifle with the coy racism of Mark Krikorian, for example, when you can hear about a Giant Wall Against Messican Rapists from a Man of the People, and roar along yourself?  In fact I'm sure that's one of the reasons National Review is going hard against him: when conservatism under Trump is reduced to its essence -- namely broadsides, ring shouts, and racial slurs -- what will happen to their editorial wingnut welfare? (The other reason, probably more important, is that Trump won't promise to destroy Social Security, which is a deal-breaker for the guys who pay their wingnut welfare.)

•   Should you venture into that National Review Trump thing and find yourself struggling, go straight to the Thomas Sowell part; while the other guys either sputter or rage or sputter with rage, Sowell is in approximately the same territory as the Major in The Magnificent Ambersons ("Sun... Earth came out of the sun, and we came out of the Earth..."), a place where Godwin's Law is not only broken but also strewn around in bits:
No national leader ever aroused more fervent emotions than Adolf Hitler did in the 1930s. Watch some old newsreels of German crowds delirious with joy at the sight of him. The only things at all comparable in more recent times were the ecstatic crowds that greeted Barack Obama when he burst upon the political scene in 2008.

Elections, however, have far more lasting and far more serious—or even grim—consequences than emotional venting. The actual track record of crowd pleasers, whether Juan Perón in Argentina, Obama in America, or Hitler in Germany, is very sobering, if not painfully depressing.
Perón, Obama, Hitler: An Eternal Golden Braid. Yeah, these guys will save conservatism.

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