Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"...the candidate of Control-Alt-Delete..."; Walter Russell Mead, on Trump


"He is the candidate of Control-Alt-Delete. His election would sweep away the smug generational certainties that Clinton embodies, the Boomer Progressive Synthesis that hasn’t solved the problems of the world or of the United States, but which nevertheless persists in regarding itself as the highest and only form of truth. . . .

Myself, I don’t think the system is quite as corrupt as some Trump supporters believe or, perhaps more accurately, I lack their confidence that burning down the old house is the best way to build something new. But it would be equally wrong and perhaps more dangerous to take the view that there is nothing more fueling his rise than ignorance, racism and hate. The failure of the center-Left to transform its institutional and intellectual dominance into policy achievements that actually stabilize middle class life, and the failure of the center-Right to articulate a workable alternative have left a giant intellectual and political vacuum in the heart of American life. The Trump movement is not an answer to our problems, but the social instinct of revolt and rejection that powers it is a sign of social health. The tailors are frauds and the emperor is not in fact wearing any clothes: it is a good sign and not a bad sign that so many Americans are willing to say so out loud."
A few years back a local country business suffered a fire in its small building. Only half-burnt, the buillding was nonetheless totally useless. It set there for a while, presumably as the slow wheels of insurance turned. Then one day as I came back from the local town, I had to drive through smoke - again. The building was burning again, this time down to the concrete floor. Very soon after, a new building arose on the concrete pad, looking very much like the old building, only without the rot and termites.

It is possible that such will happen with Trump, too. The Republican Progressive Wannbes might regroup in four years and undo everything Trump does to restore the nation to respectability. But it's also possible that a much finer building might arise, and the voters might wish to keep the new building and not return to the old, who knows? Trump's main value is two fold: burn down the Republican inbred power structure which favors capitulation over strength, and to start to build something better. If he does those two things without stumbling too badly, he will probably get two terms.

No comments: