Friday, June 14, 2019

Democracy. Whisky. Sexy.

Weird but dangerous people.
Trump is the symptom of the Republican Party’s turn toward illiberalism, not its cause; even before Trump ran for president, some Republican elites were plotting to diminish the political power of minorities and enhance those of white voters. Whatever their disagreements, the leaders of both the populist and establishment wings of the Republican Party have concluded that they cannot be allowed to lose power simply because a majority of American voters do not wish them to wield it. The president speaks of imprisoning his political rivals and his voters cheer. He valorizes political violence and his followers take note. His attorneys argue both that Congress cannot investigate criminality in the executive branch, and that the president has the authority to end criminal investigations into himself or his allies, while ordering them against his opponents. Trump’s supporters exult in the head of state attacking private citizens who demand equal rights, then wave the banner of free speech exclusively in defense of expressions of bigotry. In the end, Trump will dictate the course of his party on these matters, and his base will do whatever he gives them license to do. Writers like French and Ahmari cannot shape this course, they can only argue about it after the fact.