Rex Murphy: Don’t blame Trump … blame America
I agree Trump is ridiculous — but he is an illustration of a problem and not its cause. Trump is not the swamp: he is the creature emerging from it. For however ridiculous and appalling his candidacy may be, it is no worse and no more ridiculous and appalling than the whole pattern of American politics at this time.
Is his candidacy more lunatic than the idea of a third President Bush or a second President Clinton? More despairing than the idea of an America so bereft of political talent that two families supply the major pool?
Is he more manipulative than President “you can keep you doctor, you can keep you plan” Obama? Is he less venal or arrogant than Hillary “it’s my server and it’s my State Department” Clinton?
Is his candidacy less perplexing than parts of the Democratic party’s fixations? Is it less lunatic that the spectacle of a former governor, Martin O’Malley — one of the few Democrats wandering the no-man’s land of opposition to the Hillary machine — apologizing, more than once, for asserting out loud that “all lives matter”? The Democrats have drilled so deep into the factionalism and demagoguery of identity politics — sexual and ethnic — that any appeal to universalism, any echo of the greatest phrase in the Declaration of Independence — “all men are created equal” — is now toxic? Donald Trump may be annoying, but he has said or done nothing that equals the fatuousness of a system in which the claim that all lives matter is seen as a troubling deviancy?
Is Trump less serious than trigger warnings? Is he less repellent than false and theatrical rape hoaxes that have beleaguered American campuses from Duke to Columbia? Less repellent than the supine American college administrations who bend with every breeze of the progressive mindset, and who supplant legal due process with their safe spaces and “victim”-buttressing hearings on campus misconduct?
Is Trump less theatrical than a congresswoman who takes Emma Sulkowitz, who strolled around her campus with a mattress on her head (or in place of it) for a whole year as an “art project” following her highly dubious and most likely false accusation of rape, to the State of the Union? Is anything, so far, that Trump has said more obviously silly than the often seriously reported claim that American universities, the very Bethlehem cradles of progressive thought and practice, are hotbeds of a “rape culture?”
On the issue that threw him into the frontrunner position in the Republican race the question may be raised: are his over-the-top, crude statements on immigration more unsettling, more out there, than the actual realities of the system he’s condemning?
Whatever Trump has said on immigration is not more dismaying than the fact that the U.S. has for decades paid no respect to its own borders. A nation that does not respect its own territorial integrity, and protect the idea and status of citizenship as its first value, cannot expect others to respect it. It is not Trump who is the outrage. Rather it is the political class of both U.S. parties, which have for decades temporized, dodged, euphemized and evaded the question of the country’s sovereignty and the impact of illegal immigration on it.
Is anything Trump has said more staggering or depressing than the idea that in egalitarian America, a couple of small-time business owners can get fined $135,000 for not baking a cake? Where deviation from any of the “progressive dogmas” lights Internet fires and Twitter outrage flash mobs? More absurd than banning American soldiers the right to bear arms on their own bases and their home soil? More absurd than Fort Hood’s slaughter of 13 by a self-professed jihadi being labelled “workplace violence”?
Trump is not the swamp: he is the creature emerging from it.
Donald Trump and his campaign have a lot of catching up to do before he can be seen as more ridiculous, more frustrating, more crazy than the reality of American politics as it was before he entered it, and which itself both fostered and enabled a candidate such as he to become the force he now is.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
In a Nation of Leftist Absurdities...
Trump is an antidote, the Anti-Obama: