The Corner

Culture

That’s a Rap

In today’s Impromptus, I quote Bryce Harlow, the aide to Eisenhower and others: “Trust is the coin of the realm in Washington, D.C.” It is the coin elsewhere as well. When President Trump talks — no matter what he says, or tweets — there are people who say, “Oh, that’s Trump being Trump. Don’t take him so seriously, and certainly don’t take him literally!”

Well, what a president says is important. A lot of people believe him, whoever he is. And Americans want to believe their president. Why shouldn’t they? A president ought to tell the truth (like everyone else).

A post-modern, or post-truth, or alternative-truth, presidency should be desired by no one, of any political stripe.

Anyway, I begin my column today with an item on this theme. And I end with an item on LeBron James, the NBA star known as “King James.” Here on the Corner, I’d like to publish some mail. And speaking of King James …

Jay,

You’ve had a couple of language notes recently on the King James Bible. This reminded me of something I heard on a podcast about the Bhagavad Gita. One of the most popular translations was done by a gentleman named Juan Mascaró in the ’60s. The BBC podhost said that, in his opinion, one reason that translation is so popular — particularly for young Hindus who grew up in the West (like me) — is that it’s redolent of the King James Bible. Those of a Western linguistic bent are drawn to it.

And before any SJWs start whining about “cultural appropriation,” my older relatives (born and raised in India, and students of Sanskrit) assure me that Mascaró’s translation is accurate linguistically and spiritually.

In an Impromptus last week, I had an item on Chance the Rapper, who recently donated $1 million to the Chicago public schools. He is a religious rapper, singing, “When the praises go up, the blessings come down.”

A student at Arizona State, Stefan Modrich, sent me a piece he wrote about Chance, religion, and politics. And in a note to me, he said,

Chance led a group of young voters to the polls in 2016, and most of them probably cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton. I’m not suggesting he could seamlessly be converted into some kind of Bruce Springsteen for the Right, but I would like to think that if he met with people like Mia Love, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott, he could become a beacon for an entirely different — and refreshingly new — youth movement.

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