The Corner

Politics & Policy

One Man’s Reax

Everybody’s got reactions. I do too. More than once have I been called a “reactionary”! Some quick points.

‐Trump began by praising Obama for cooperating in a model transition. Trump must have changed his mind. On December 28, he tweeted, “Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition — NOT!”

‐Before the Republican convention, I had this thought: that Trump’s acceptance speech would be artful, nuanced, pretty — not the true Trump. Trump with a mask on. I was wrong. It was pure, 100 percent Trump. Total Trump.

Same with today’s speech. Same with the inaugural address. Exactly the same.

‐There was almost no difference between this inaugural address and Trump’s convention speech, or one of his rally speeches. Is that commendable? The opposite? Should Trump be thanked for his consistency? For wearing no mask?

‐The inaugural address was just like Trump’s final television ad — his “closing argument” of the campaign. The address, like the ad, painted America as a kind of hellscape. Today, Trump used the phrase “American carnage.” Elites conspire to do down the little guy.

I do not think this view comports with reality. But it is Trump’s view, and that of millions. (It has always been so, frankly, in places around the world.)

‐Especially in ’08 and ’09, we conservatives mocked Obama for a Year Zero mentality. “Before me, nothing; with me, everything.” In this respect, Trump is even worse.

‐Contrary to what Trump says, our government has always been controlled by the people. Here, the people have always ruled — through administrations we have liked and administrations we have disliked. Trump is the people’s choice (via the Electoral College). So were Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter …

(I will grant you that Ford was unique! And an excellent man.)

‐Trump will eradicate Islamist terrorism from the face of the earth? Good. That’s a mighty vow.

‐When the speech ended, I could almost picture Steve Bannon smiling and thinking, “Couldn’t have said it better myself.”

‐Trump’s inaugural address was boastful, huffy, ungracious, half cocked, and demagogic. It was almost certainly the most demagogic inaugural address in our history. And millions loved it, even as they love him.

How do I know that millions loved it? I have heard from some of them on Twitter! They use pretty strong language (about me in particular). And they stand for a great many others, of course.

There is a gap between those who think that Trump is fit for the presidency, in mind and character, and those who don’t. That gap is damn near unbridgeable.

‐To my ears, Trump’s address was nasty and borderline un-American — for all its talk of patriotism and “America First.”

‐My favorite part of the address was its brevity.

‐We on the right love to mock the Left for “safe spaces.” For feeling “triggered.” I trust that no conservative will ever need a safe space on hearing criticism of Trump. Better to leave those things to Brown University.

‐Finally — I should have begun with this! — God bless America. See you.

Most Popular

Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More
Books

Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones

People often dismiss shy, quiet characters in literature. Readers prefer to identify with Jo March, Elizabeth Bennett, or Anne Shirley -- those delightful, bold, and charming characters who made a deep impression on us when we first encountered them. While there’s nothing wrong with emulating or admiring these ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Culture

New England Journal of Medicine Pushes Reparations

Reparations would grant African Americans government benefits not paid to other Americans to rectify the awful sin of slavery and the "peculiar institution's" residual harm. It is a favored policy of hard progressives, so of course, the New England Journal of Medicine -- which regularly promotes left-wing causes ... Read More
Media

Wajahat Ali, Ctd.

I gather he didn’t like my comment on his New York Times op-ed on the folly of reaching out to Trump supporters. He snipes, “I await The National Review’s piece on reaching out to Biden voters and reading about their ‘elegy’ and understanding their ‘economic anxiety.’” After the 2016 election, ... Read More
Media

Wajahat Ali, Ctd.

I gather he didn’t like my comment on his New York Times op-ed on the folly of reaching out to Trump supporters. He snipes, “I await The National Review’s piece on reaching out to Biden voters and reading about their ‘elegy’ and understanding their ‘economic anxiety.’” After the 2016 election, ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More

The Imaginary Trump

Like Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump is man who represents the age in which he lived. Whatever you may think of the age. Jackson embodied a generation of men who had risen and made their mark in a young country. He represented their desire for greater representation, even if it had costs for slaves and Indians. He ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More
Economy & Business

Shopping Superstitions

It’s the boss-bossiest time of the year, when Americans getting ready to open up their wallets to buy Christmas presents are lectured by illiterate halfwits about where and how to spend their money. The usual demands: Buy local, or buy from small businesses. This is pure nonsense, and you should feel free to ... Read More