Christopher Caldwell’s self-serving misapprehension of the Trump phenomenon. Political Cynic comments

‘Mrs Clinton misunderstood the electorate.’ Given the fact that Mrs.Clinton won the popular vote, but lost in the Electoral College, Mr. Caldwell’s contempt for the arrogance of Clinton Campaign and one of its apologists at The Daily Beast,Mr. Tomasky if memory serves? teeters on a self-serving political misapprehension? History as subject to a Caldwell re-write? or tangentially an example of ‘Mr Trump’s superior reading of the electorate’ as elucidated by our writer?

Mr. Caldwell’s statement of ‘The Republican party is in good shape.’ belies the fact that Trump is about to do battle with the Neo-Conservatives, the Tea Party , the Dixicrats  i.e. the Neo-Confederate/Originalists, and the Evangelicals, four very different political collectives within the Party. Utterly forgotten to this, not so nascent conflict, is the once dominant Eleventh Commandment of the Reagan years. Also subject to strategic forgetting is the Reagan/O’Neil pragmatic alliance. Include in the ‘good shape’ narrative the unslakable ambition of Paul Ryan and the Party, now dominated by the latest insurgency, makes  conflict inevitable, with the gloss of ‘closing ranks’ heavily applied as a necessary.The fact that Trump , being a caudillo, is not subject to ‘management’, but to the demands of his political ego and will make his own rules, remains outside the Caldwell ken.

What cannot be erased, no matter the Caldwell interventions, is that since 2008 the Republicans have practiced the politics of nihilism, expelling the old pragmatist Conservatives like Richard Lugar, though there is still a core group of political rationalists in the Senate. No matter the interventions of Caldwell the Trump manifestation is the issue of that ascendant Nihilism!

What follows is lengthy political chatter: a wan defense of Neo-Liberalism’s abject failure, dubbed Globalization by one of its many apologists. The losers in that ‘Globalization’ narrative are Trump voters.

But the final paragraph of Mr. Caldwell’s essay is instructive:

The Republican party has become something it has never been since it was founded a century-and-a-half ago: the party of outsiders. Mr Trump’s toughest job may be bringing his colleagues to terms with that.

The Party of Lincoln has ‘evolved’ into a platform for misogynists, xenophobes, racists, not to speak of money grubbing apologist: this collection of ‘political/moral virtues’ an acceptable Party Line for both The Weekly Standard and The Financial Times?

Political Cynic



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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