On August 25, Clinton’s strategy came to the fore. In a speech in Nevada, she officially anointed Ryan as the exemplar of the Republican Party’s sensible, “normal” wing, sidelining Trump as the dangerous (“alt-right”) exception. All this, of course, was intended to expedite the defection of Republicans offended by their party’s nominee.
“You begin to take all kinds of ways of changing people’s perception: who the Other is. And as soon as you can lower the Other—which, you know, Trump has done wonderfully. He’s used the word rapist. That’s a horrible word. Murderer . . . One group has been lowered; a different group has been raised. And the difference is that the one group can tell the other group to leave. Put on buses and taken away.”
It would take more pages than there are minutes in the day, of course, to document fully the ways Paul Ryan Republicanism—“regular” Republicanism—should not in any way, shape, or form be considered “normal.”
Ah, those craven fiends atop the Republican Party, whoring before power and calling it “unity.” Consider Chris Christie: We haven’t seen political hypocrisy this flagrant since Richard Nixon savaged Harry Truman in 1960 for uttering the word “damn.”
Our wise founders were radical impersonalists. When they wrote arguments for publication in newspapers, they preferred to do so anonymously, using pseudonyms like “Publius”—lest the attachment of a distinguished name distract the reader from the content and quality of the argument. Trump’s personalism, on the other hand, is how he pushes away the protection of constitutional principle with every fiber of his being.
How to explain Donald Trump? It has nothing to do with polls, political rhetoric, tactics, strategy, or history. It has everything to do with reality TV — which the chattering classes don’t know jack about. Some of us might even be proud of that. Yuuuuge problem.
Today the Weekend Reader brings you The Naked Society, by journalist and author Vance Packard. This 1964 classic was certainly far ahead of its time, discussing the dangers of new technology infringing upon our right to privacy. While worrisome then — with new developments in surveillance methods during the 1960s — it is far more salient today. The […]