Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The end of the Trump era?

Angelo Codevilla writes in American Greatness,
...when Trump joked that his supporters would stand with him even if he shot somebody on Fifth Avenue, he had already fallen into the delusion that dooms so many politicians—believing that people support him for who he is rather than as a vehicle for their own concerns.

The 2016 election cycle was not about Donald J. Trump. It unfolded as it did because most Americans were seeking desperately to shake off the uniform, bipartisan, progressive class that rules the country unaccountably—a class including most of the bureaucracies of federal and state governments, the judiciary, the educational establishment, the media, as well as major corporate officials that had separated itself socially, morally, and politically from the rest of society. It’s a class that affirms its superior worth by endlessly humiliating other Americans, people who feel good about themselves by deploring, hating, and hurting those they deem their inferiors.

...What they truly fear is the Deplorables’ resistance to their rule. Their purpose was and remains to crush the Deplorables’ resistance.

...But Trump has proved he is no barrier, no defense. Today, Trump notwithstanding, political correctness weighs upon Americans more than ever, and speech is becoming more constrained by the day. Being on the wrong side of the right people is more dangerous than ever.

Trump’s fiery speeches had led some supporters to look past the fact he has found it easier to proclaim victories over middle America’s enemies than to achieve them, that he makes loud statements and then quietly walks them back, that often he protests the ruling class’s outrages while gratuitously acquiescing in them, as he did on March 23, 2018, when he signed the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that financed every progressive cause and priority but contained not a dime for a wall. That is also what he did on September 14, 2017, by signing a joint congressional resolution that urged all U.S agencies to combat “hate speech”—and defined “hate speech” in such a way as to accuse his own supporters of it. Having finally declared that he would declassify some of the trumped-up documents by which the intelligence agencies had maligned him to the media, he let himself be convinced to continue letting these agencies play their illegal games. Bluster followed by surrender has political legs both short and shaky.

...His voters continued to believe that, in a crunch, Trump would be true to his vows.

Then the crunch came. What Trump did on January 25, 2019, was infidelity itself, of the in-your-face, unforgivable kind.

...Trump’s self-humiliating surrender to the ruling class, despite his possession of full power to trump that class by declaring the national emergency that he said he was ready, willing, and able to declare, showed he really had never prepared nor meant to declare it. Or if he had, he had been frightened into blowing with the prevailing wind. Thereby, the president proved either contempt for his supporters, cowardice with regard to his opponents, or both. By so doing, he cut one of his own main political arteries and started a hemorrhage of support that it may well be impossible to stop.

Subsequently, the Left crowed victory, not in one battle, rightly, but in the war itself, mistakenly. They ridiculed Trump, whose promise to fight another day is incredibly sad.

...For better and for worse, the Trump era is over. Time to deal with the stark choices that our would-be totalitarian ruling class poses. We cannot know who will lead 2016’s winning coalition in 2020. Positively and negatively, Trump’s virtues and vices helped define what the characteristics of that leadership must be. Neither ambiguity nor flirtations. Integrity, personal and political. Commitments explained relentlessly and redeemed with every ounce of available power. The ruling class’s “full court press,” answered in kind and in detail. Bloodyminded determination to undo the layers of unearned privileges that are making a mockery of the idea that “all men are created equal.”
Read more here.

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