Author Robert Bidinotto explains that Trump and Hillary truly do represent who, and what, Americans now are…
AS I WITNESS the slow, gradual, resigned acceptance within the Republican Party of Donald Trump (and within the Democrat Party of criminal Hillary Clinton and socialist Bernie Sanders) by more and more people -- people who, during a more civilised moment just months ago, would NEVER have tolerated the likes of such creatures -- I am reminded how a culture becomes corrupted, then lost.
The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- a thoughtful, pre-Clintonian Democrat and champion of Western civilization -- memorably described the process he called "defining deviancy down." It amounted to slowly lowering the bar of moral and intellectual standards, of social and cultural expectations, inch by inch. Pretty soon, what was unthinkable in January and intolerable in March becomes tolerated in June, then accepted in August -- and finally celebrated by November.
Because in order to accommodate and accept the once-intolerable, a person must surrender his standards, piecemeal...but then rationalise his self-corruption in his own mind. How better to rationalize the despicable -- and one's own acceptance of it -- than to turn it into virtue, and the despicable person into a non-conforming hero? (More on this in the comments section, below.)
I want my friends, some of whom are Trump or Hillary supporters, to understand how seriously I take this corruption.
I am not a bandwagon-joiner. I am not one to stick #NeverTrump hashtags everywhere. But neither can I tolerate this crude, ignorant, unprincipled narcissist simply because the alternative would be to vote for a criminal like Hillary. Trump represents the culmination of a process of corruption within the Republican Party, just as Hillary Clinton represents the same within the Democrat Party. To my great sadness, they have come to symbolise and accurately reflect the character of an American people who have, for decades, been defining deviancy down in their own lives and institutions.
I realise that an election is merely a tactical decision, almost always between less-than-ideal options. Oftentimes it is a choice for the lesser harm. But -- and I'm being stone-cold serious -- in a choice between Trump and Clinton, I have no clue who would cause the greater long-term harm to America or to my own values and interests. An unprincipled populist demagogue, whose answer to all problems, foreign and domestic, is an international trade war (see Robert Tracinski's cogent column if you still don't get this) -- or a pathological criminal with a progressive agenda? We're not talking about two characters who would continue the status quo of steady American decline. We're talking about two human wrecking balls. Each, in his or her own way, would accelerate American decline in a host of political, economic, AND CULTURAL ways.
The latter is what concerns me most, because it affects the character of America. As they say, "character is destiny." While these two bottom-feeders sadly reflect the country's slide into decadence, a national leader of character might decelerate that decline. These two would both hasten it.
It might be argued that Trump at least represents what Ayn Rand would have called "the American sense of life," which Hillary Clinton and the left despise and hate. Perhaps. But he has hitched that pro-American spirit to an ANTI-American policy agenda, foreign and domestic. He does not stand for constitutionally limited government, free markets, private property, or individual rights. He is trying to wed "Americanism" to populist statism, and call it "conservatism." That's bad enough on the level of political philosophy, and it would be disastrous on the policy level. But on the more-important level of personal character, Trump would bring into the Oval Office a gutter mentality and behavior, power-hungry narcissism, crude anti-intellectualism, and a mindless personality cult. Yes, America has elected and endured presidents who exhibited one or more of these various ugly traits; however, I cannot recall any single president who embodied them all.
Meanwhile, a vote for Hillary Clinton would be a vote for a pathological liar and crook, and a statist proponent of unlimited government power. And it would be a moral ratification of her despicable betrayal of four brave dead American patriots in Benghazi. That is intolerable.
Because of these considerations (and barring any last-minute, utterly unexpected, radical changes of circumstances in an already insane year), should the electoral alternatives sink to a choice between Trump or Clinton, I shall not vote for either.
I care too much for America's founders, for those who fought and bled and died for this special nation, to dishonor their memory and legacy with such a vote. If our nation has come to this, I believe the November 2016 election will be remembered as America's Jonestown -- and I for one shall refuse to participate in moral self-poisoning and political mass suicide.
- “But even before the speech began, Trump’s campaign was telling us that there would be no policy details in it, and they weren’t lying…
So Trump will hire really great people. He won’t tell you anything about them, but he can tell you what losers the other guys are…
“The majority of the speech was Trump criticising everyone else for being a loser while telling us almost nothing about what he would do differently. In other words, it was exactly like the rest of his campaign.
“Except that one policy issue was consistent: Trump’s desire for a trade war.”
Trade War Is Donald Trump’s Only Real Foreign Policy – Robert Tracinski, THE FEDERALIST
- ““America First” soon became associated with isolationism, antisemitism — and short-sightedness: Just three months after Lindbergh’s speech, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the U.S., making Lindbergh’s stance obsolete.
“Trump certainly knows the legacy of “America First.” And just as he seems unafraid of politically correct taboos on other subjects, Trump seems prepared to risk the backlash “America First” will certainly bring.”
Trump risks Charles Lindbergh label with 'America First' foreign policy speech – Joel Pollak, BREITBART
- “Defining Deviancy Down (DDD) was an expression coined by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1993. Moynihan based his phrase on the theory of Emile Durkheim that there is a limit to the bad behavior that a society can tolerate before it has to start lowering its standards…
“That same year columnist Charles Krauthammer expanded Moynihan's point by proposing the reverse -- that not only were we ‘normalising what was once considered deviant,’ but we were also’"finding deviant what was once considered normal.’"
Defending Deviancy Down – Manon McKinnon, SPECTATOR
- In fascism ever coming to the United States, Ayn Rand recommended “you read or re-read Sinclair Lewis’s t Can’t Happen Here with speccial reference to the character, style and ideology of the fascist leader Berzelius Windrip.” Now’s the time.
It really can happen here: The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal – SALON
Q: How would Donald Trump be rated in the DIM Hypothesis? [audio] – Yaron Brook, LEONARD PEIKOFF.COM .