THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2022
One way in particular: Michael Wolff wrote three best-selling books about the presidency of Donald J. Trump.
In this morning's New York Times, Wolff writes a guest essay about the newly-emerged Candidate Trump-All-Over-Again. Wolff's essay carries this headline:
The Chaos Inside Donald Trump’s Mind
Wolff pictures chaos—and "disorder." At one point, he offers this snapshot:
WOLFF (11/17/22): Having written three books in less than four years about Mr. Trump, with near constant input from his closest aides and friends, as well as hours of rambling from him, I have come to two primary conclusions: that there is almost never any true plan, strategy or forethought in Trump world and that everyone around him lives in the prison of his monologues, which allow for no interruptions or reality checks and overrule any plans others have tried to make. His fixations, misunderstandings and contempt for better minds that might correct him reign.
[One] aide recently described the constant churning within Trump world, as grievances and resentments are rehashed and blame assigned, as the workings of Mr. Trump’s “blender brain.”
Chaos suits him, allowing him again and again to turn what ought to be humiliating and defeating disorder into potent conflict...
Again, we'd like to see (carefully selected) medical specialists offer their thoughts about this apparent mental disorder—especially since the person Wolff describes could, within the realm of possibility, become the Republican nominee for president once again.
It's possible that Candidate Trump could win nomination again! Along the way, Wolff alludes in passing to a second point of concern:
WOLFF: Joe Biden will turn 80 this month, clearly frail and with obvious mental lapses. This is, admittedly, a weak hand...
"[T]he Democrats yet have a critical advantage." Wolff opines—"the professionalism needed to administer a modern presidential campaign." That said, we continue to face an uncertain near future on both sides of the presidential aisle—and there was Senate candidate Herschel Walker, orating at astounding length yesterday about the important differences between werewolves and vampires.
Walker could still end up in the Senate. This is the state into which we've fallen over the past several decades.
Here within our floundering nation, this is the breakdown we've chosen! Within our history of the era, we'd start the chronology in 1992, with the mainstream press corps' long-running, undiscussed wars against both Clintons and Gore.
We'd start the chronology there, rather than with the most extreme version of this rolling disorder. That (even) more extreme disorder arrived on the scene in 2015 with the first emergence of Candidate Trump, who had already established himself as our reigning "king of the birthers."
As time passed, the king of the birthers became the King Arthur of QAnon. In the face of this sprawling mental disorder, voting in this month's House elections currently stood as shown as of 9 o'clock this morning:
Votes cast in House elections (to date):
For Republican candidates: 53.3 million (51.2%)
For Democratic candidates: 49.2 million (47.3 %)
Many votes remain to be counted, especially in California. But in the face of the lunacy of these most recent years, our blue tribe's party will have received, at best, something like half the national vote!
In the next presidential election, the GOP may nominate someone who isn't visibly disordered in the manner of Candidate Trump. The Democrats may nominate someone who, at age 81, may in fact seem to totter around on occasion.
To the extent that we currently live in a "nation" at all, our nation's public discourse, and our national politics, have long been a visible mess. It was in that context that Kevin Drum published his recent list.
Drum listed seven things we liberals are perceived to do—perceived behaviors which may tend to annoy some voters. We were especially struck by two items on this list:
Drum: "Things centrist voters don't like about us"
1) They think we're too lax on crime.
2) They think we're constantly making up stupid new rules.
3) They think we want to let in too many illegal immigrants.
4) They think we want to spend money endlessly and drive up the debt.
5) They were appalled by the looting and rioting during the BLM protests of 2020 and think Democrats should have denounced it more vigorously.
6) They think wokeness is ridiculous. They want us to stop talking like academics from another galaxy.
7) They do not like being called racist.
Is it possible that we blue tribers sometimes behave in ways which keep our team from winning more votes? Is it possible that we sometimes behave in ways which drive voters into the other tribe's camp?
Even more importantly, is it possible that we sometimes do such things—and that we do them somewhat dumbly? Is it possible that our judgment is sometimes quite poor—on the merits as well as on the possible politics?
As we looked at Kevin's list, we were struck by two of its points. We were struck by points 6 and 7, which are somewhat intertwined.
When we wonder why it is that Republican candidates in this year's elections got 53.2 million votes (and counting), it seems to us that we should consider those last two points. We'd especially look at point 7.
Having said that, let us also say this:
Within our tribe, we have a long-standing, instant explanation for those 53 million votes. The people who cast those votes are racists, and misogynists, and quite a few more "ists" besides!
Rather plainly, that's the way our tribe is inclined to speak. It seems to us that we need to consider this part of our tribal culture.
Thee woods are lovely, dark and deep, but how sharp are we blue tribals? We're known to be deeply self-impressed. That said, are we actually all that sharp?
"Bing Bong! The warlock is dead," our tribe has been saying this week. We've also been exulting about what the democracy-loving American people have supposedly said.
In our view, we're way out over our skis when we make these claims. Also, we do perhaps have a tribal tendency to be less than sharp, along with quite unwise.
Tomorrow: "The American people have said..."