With the nomination of Trump, Republicans (and not a few libertarians and Democratic conservatives) are now seeing the great gates surmounted by “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” and are panicking. A Trump Presidency, we know, would be a disaster. It would probably include wars, outbursts of anti-Islamic, racist, anti-semitic, and nationalist violence, and an economic collapse that would make 2008 look minor. I am seeing reactions to these likelihoods that seem to me grossly out of touch with reality.The final step into Satanism. Many Republicans, libertarians, Democratic conservatives, and even some Sanders supporters who ought to know better are simply supporting Trump outright.
The gates appeared from nowhere. Ezra Klein, quoted by Brad Delong (knew there was a reason I don't subscribe to Vox): "And I am, for the first time since I began covering American politics, genuinely afraid. Donald Trump is not a man who should be president." Almost everything Trump has said has been said before. In many ways, Trump is a coarser Ronald Reagan. But, no, there must have been no precedents. For a pundit to acknowledge otherwise would be to acknowledge complicity.
That's a stage set, not the real gates. The socialist scholar Corey Robin surprised me by claiming, first, that Trump has no chance (which is what liberals had been saying all along even as he rose to the Republican Presidential nomination) and then, second, by then pointing out that Trump's terrifying pronouncements on foreign policy had precedents. Which is true, but unlike those prior pronouncements they come at a time when the peace of European Union is unraveling and are therefore far more dangerous. The nightmarish echoes of the response to fascism on the part of some European socialists seem to me strong. Orwell, in response to Wells's errors during the depths of World War II, wrote: "Creatures out of the Dark Ages have come marching into the present, and if they are ghosts they are at any rate ghosts which need a strong magic to lay them." For people holding this view, it would seem that the threat is too terrifying to even acknowledge.
For myself, "I would see the White Tree in flower again…" I would rather see the threat acknowledged and actions taken to knit up the rents in our peace. But I'm a damn radical.
Why are peace and prosperity so hard to love? Why are these simple things so very radical?