Neo-Con Bret Stephens’ ‘Futurism’ is about a strategic re-write of the Political Present. Old Socialist comments

Headline:What Will a Post-Trump G.O.P. Look Like?

Sub-headline: And consider, what will it take for the Republican Party to begin to heal itself?

Whenever Mr. Stephens predicts the political future, its a signal, that he hasn’t got too much to say about our political present, that isn’t in need of his self-interested re-write, to reach his conception of cogency.

The first paragraph of his polemic is framed by ‘if’ , and what will happen ‘if’ Trump is re-elected, and a report on  the collapse of public order in American cities ‘ in the present, as some kind of object lesson, instructive of not ‘a future’ but of ‘the future’ , and an actual ‘political present’,  that leads to an exploitable confusion: Neo-Cons specialize in fomenting exploitable chaos.      

If Donald Trump stages another come-from-behind victory in November — helped, in all likelihood, by the collapse of public order in American cities — the Republican Party will become an oddity for the Trump Organization: the only entity it owns but does not brand. Not only will Trump remain in office for another term, but the Trumpers will also dominate the G.O.P. for another generation.

Note the use of the word ‘brand’ one of the hallmarks of Neo-Liberalism’s toxic vocabulary. 

Future:

Look for Tom Cotton* to be the likely nominee in 2024 (with — why not? — Laura Ingraham as his running mate).

And if Trump loses? Then the future of the party will be up for grabs. It’s time to start thinking about who can grab it, who should, and who will.

Interpretive ambiguities in the 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887 could deadlock the House and the Senate. We could have two self-declared presidents on the eve of next year’s inauguration.

Continuing to read Stephens’ ‘Futurism’, in the political present, is to realize pessimism, at its most hyperbolic, or just call it by its name, fear-mongering.  About a future that none of us can know or predict. Mr. Stephens writes a carefully garnished History of A Future, made to measure, in the political present. As I said, Neo-Cons, specialize in fomenting exploitable chaos.

Old Socialist

*Tom Cotton is a student of Harvey Mansfield’s and protege of Bill Kristol! He and Stephens are fellow travelers!    

 

 

 

 

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.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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