At a dinner party this past summer, one guest, an American Democrat, said that we were living in a period comparable to that in Germany just after the takeover by Hitler in 1933. No, said another guest, a retired psychology professor, we are living in the days like those after the takeover of the Italian government by Mussolini in 1926.
I then asked the table: “Has Nancy Pelosi been arrested? Is the New York Times still allowed to publish? Is Chuck Schumer still the Senator minority leader? Are the media and the Deep State and the Democratic party hindered in any way from labouring night and day to overthrow Trump?”
That skewed the conversation off the manifestly absurd into zones of more reasonable discourse. Maybe it was me, may be it was the presence of a sole dissenting voice calling them back to some form of reason. May be in a more irrational or less intelligent group they would have persisted. I cannot know.
The other night I was in conversation with two friends who are anti-Trump to the max. I was less persuasive with them.I urged them to pull back the frame of their vision to see the entire process of Mueller’s endless investigation into less and less, leaks from the White House, the New York Times anonymous op-ed piece, the prosecutions of subordinates for offences committed years before in matters unrelated to the election: to see it all as a slow-moving campaign to win the elections in the fall and subject Trump to impeachment, on no other grounds really, than that they disagree with his politics., or his lack of manners, or something.
I have been accused of being a “true believer” which I treated rightly as a code word for fanatic. I took most decided umbrage at this. I think Trump is pursuing rationally intelligible goals on behalf of the American working class and the rest of the American people in consequence.
You may not agree with those goals; you may – it seems to me – object to his character, comportment and his manners. Yet for all the defects, Trump is succeeding in achieving his goals: American employment levels are rising across all races, ethnicities and social and economic classes.
Yes, a lot of people are enraged, annoyed, beside themselves, out of their wits and minds because of Trump: people who ought to know better, and yet do not.
Something in my constitution allows me to see mass belief in nonsense, or very questionable propositions:
- Marxism in universities in the 1970s
- feminism and identity politics more generally
- climate catastrophism
- and now Trump.
Telling people to get over it is pointless. My suspicion is that a great deal of the psychic energy invested in various political false gods has been detached from their former targets. Since we have only so much time and energy to devote to hatreds, hating Trump allows people to concentrate their hatreds on one target, which he seems to welcome . I could not endure it, but I am happy he is bearing, and bearing well, the nearly insupportable burden of being hated by every leftist, bien-pensant, upper-middle class Volvo and Subaru driver, and conventional herd-belonging bovine in North America and beyond. He will win a second term as President because of this.