Wednesday, July 25, 2018

VDH on collective derangement

With thanks to Dr. V: an essay by Victor Davis Hanson on the US left's Trump-derangement problem: "Just How Far Will the Left Go?"

The Left lost what it thought was a sure-thing election. There is now no assured 16-year Obama-Clinton regnum that would complete what the Obamas had called the final “fundamental transformation” of the United States. It cannot accept that it blew certain victory. A huge fundraising advantage, a toady media, massive defections of Republican establishment intellectuals and pundits, the lack of prior military or political experience of candidate Donald Trump, and a popular vote plurality all proved for naught. The unimaginable then became all too real.

And fantasy was substituted for reality as smears, slurs, and denials ensued. Think of the 2000 election cubed.

Trump is not a George H.W. Bush or Mitt Romney. He knows no etiquette. He is no gentleman. He is a bruiser, brawler, exaggerator, and performer. What created President Trump was not just “The Apprentice” or the Manhattan real estate market (such a résumé only honed his pugilist skills).

Rather, half the country was tired of Republicans grimacing as they were portrayed as throwing grandmothers off cliffs. They were tired of seeing political commercials of bodies of the murdered dragged behind trucks, or charges that Republicans cruelly put their pets on their car roof. They were tired of the anti-Semitic and racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a presidential candidate’s personal pastor, being off limits, but not the supposed senility of John McCain who in 2008 was pilloried as a doddering multi-millionaire who forgot how many houses he had owned. In 2012, it was Mitt Romney’s wife whose sins were wearing equestrian clothes.

Given the growing furor over half the country as demonized clingers, deplorables, and crazies, if Trump did not exist, a don’t-tread-on-me street fighter would have had to be invented. Progressives have gone ballistic that any opponent would reply to them in kind. Think of “Caddyshack,” when uncouth Rodney Dangerfield burst into smug Ted Knight’s country club.

The Left did not just lose the 2016 election, it lost the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court. And it lost them all to a rash, uncouth Queens-accented Manhattan billionaire reality TV star, who systematically planned to dismantle eight years of Obama Administration executive-orders. And unlike almost all prior politicians Trump when in office kept his promises and systematically went about to halt the supposed progressive future. Think of a liberal nightmare something akin to Sarah Palin as president in 2012.

As for "lost the Congress," well... I guess we'll see what happens in November.

ADDENDUM: a very close friend of mine, and a dedicated liberal, has decided he's no longer my friend, and that I'm no longer welcome in his foyer. His reasons? A hilariously bad misreading of this post, which he took to mean that I'm actually eager for a coming civil war. Completely ignoring the "Princess Bride" quote that I attached as a way of reframing the warmongering prose in a sadly ironic light, my friend thinks I want to see "[his] brains on the sidewalk." Talk about derangement—this is derangement in the extreme, and when the reality-distortion filter dominates a person's perspective to that extent, well... it's sad, but maybe the time has indeed come to part ways. All I can say is that I was the one who was tolerant of differences in thought (it would never have occurred to me to repudiate my friend just because we fundamentally disagree about politics), and he's the one who's cutting off all chances for discussion. For a guy with a doctorate in English, he's a bit of a moron.


King Baeksu said...

Donald Trump is a return of the repressed – not of the right, but rather of the left.

The essence of leftism is to deny reality. It seeks to replace this world with ideal world – indeed, with fantasy. This can only be managed for a limited period of time before reality bursts forth once again with a vengeance.

Addofio said...

I’’m curious, do you still consider yourself a centrist? Because you consistently post material critical of the left wing, and (in my awareness—I haven’t done a rigorous search) rarely if ever material critical of the right. You attack liberals, Democrats, progressives, but not Trump or Republicans or his supporters. Indeed, in my perception, you even defend him/them. Are you sentiments moving to the right?

John Mac said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. It's happened to me (but not by someone I would call "close". I think when they have no counter argument to offer they prefer to go away and pretend other views are non-existent. Either that or they a petulant crybabies.

Kevin Kim said...


I consider myself a centrist who is generally migrating rightward. I don't often criticize the right because the left does that for me, and in relentless, nonstop fashion. Finding criticisms of the right—both rational and unhinged—is as easy as looking at the mainstream news, listening to most college academics, and hearing/reading the tweets and testimonies of Hollywood celebrities. Although I dismiss a large percentage of what emanates from the left as blather, I trust that a healthy percentage of it is, in fact, legitimate. Obviously, I'm not going to parse what is blather and what is legitimate here in this comment, but you get the idea.

My criticisms of the left have certainly intensified since the 2016 election. Part of this is a reaction to my own grave mistakes that year. As you'll recall from my "mea culpa" election postmortem, I underwent a sea change in my thinking as I realized the so-called "alt-media" have had it right all along, whereas the mainstream media have been weaving untruths and propaganda around innocent viewers, readers, and listeners. To those still under the MSM's spell, I undoubtedly sound like a crazy person. My now-ex friend probably thinks I've morphed into Hitler, although I think that's more a reflection of his own tendency to be overwrought than because he's a liberal.

I don't consider myself a fan of Trump, but if you've read my "Trump: one year on" post, you know I agree with much of his platform. I have my doubts about what he's doing in Korea; I've expressed plenty of skepticism about that in several blog posts. The big question is: could I see myself voting for Trump in 2020? The best answer I have right now is a very hesitant maybe, but much depends on the economy, which does, for the moment, seem to be improving.


I feel a sense of anger and bereavement right now, but this will pass. I respect my friend enough to let him make his own decisions. He knows the door is open if he ever wants to talk to me again, but I fear he's treating me the way he's treated his (conservative) father, with whom he has had long-standing issues. Given that I'm not speaking with my own dad, I don't have a leg to stand on regarding my friend's building of a wall to shut certain people out. (Hoo, boy... walls!) It is what it is, I guess. Very sad.

King Baeksu said...

Jim Goad today on Twitter: "One of the worst things you can do to someone is unmask their sacred beliefs as bullshit. They will hate you more than if you'd stabbed them."

Kevin Kim said...

I don't know who Jim Goad is, but he speaks da troof.