Mytheos Holt strokes his chin and analyses the phenomenon which is the Trump Candidacy. Amusingly, Mytheos assigns the blame to the pious Left rather than to the angry Right.
[I]f there was ever a man who was suited for a national moment because of his flaws rather than his virtues, I would argue that itâ€™s Donald Trump. …
Since the Republican implosion in the 2012 election, much of American political discourse has centered not so much on whether particular ideas are wrong as on whether they can be expressed at all. Sometimes this approach has helped to root out genuine ideological cranks, but itâ€™s also a style that has clearly favored the Left more than the Right. Witness the constant barrage of arguments that people who dissent from leftist causes are on the â€œwrong side of history,â€ as if history is something that can be predicted in advance like the weather.
To be sure, the impulse not to live long enough to see yourself become a villain or a footnote is a valid one from a pragmatic point of view. However, like all appeals to authority, this â€œdonâ€™t stand athwart historyâ€ argument only has a shelf life for as long as it appeals to a reasonable authority and condemns transgressors who seem genuinely bad. The idea that egalitarian principles require us to legally sanction gay marriage might be persuasive, but the idea the same principles should allow gay-rights proponents to trample religious freedom is a much harder sell. Therefore, prudence requires not overextending that argument for it to maintain its effectiveness
But the Left, high on their own success, has not just overextended this argument: it has strapped it to the rack and dislocated its limbs. The idea that certain sentiments canâ€™t be expressed without branding you as an artifact of a dark and unenlightened past has entered the realm of self-parody. Itâ€™s all well and good when your unenlightened feminist bogeyman is Todd Akin using cocktail napkin math to pretend rape babies donâ€™t exist; itâ€™s another thing entirely when itâ€™s Laura Kipnis questioning whether grad students dating professors is really such a monstrous imbalance of power. Yet, especially in its natural habitatâ€”the faculty loungeâ€”the Left just bulls right on, trying to write anything and everything to the right of Karl Marx and bell hooks out of existence, until even Bernie Sanders is getting booed for â€œwhitesplaining.â€
The avalanche of stories and think pieces about trigger warnings, mattress-carrying bluestockings, and freakouts over â€œmisgenderingâ€ someone who as of only a month ago was still a man have painted a very unflattering picture of our national culture. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, appears to be in danger of becoming the land of the fragile and the home of the breakable. Everyone, both Left and Right, is getting fed up with treating their fellow citizens like overpriced glassware.
Into this great American China shop steps Donald Trump, aka the bull.
If Donald Trump didnâ€™t exist, someone would have to invent him. While he probably wonâ€™t win the Republican nomination, the man will probably perform at least one public service by making it that much safer to speak honestly about your political views.
Only someone as rich, and seemingly immune to past failure, as Trump, could have played this role. A man who is at once worth so much, and also so used to bankruptcy court, is a man for whom the prospect of failure or disapproval no longer holds any fear.
In essence, Trump is wealthy and reckless enough to be immune from public opinion. Itâ€™s not that he has nothing to lose, itâ€™s that he doesnâ€™t care if he loses.
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