Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Not So Super

Super Tuesday 2016 might very well become the day when liberals and conservatives stood united in common cause. It took their shared opposition to Trump of course to bring this to fruition.  Read here but a few examples.

Roger Cohen in today's Times.
This disoriented America just might want Trump — and that possibility should be taken very seriously, before it is too late, by every believer in American government of the people, by the people, for the people. The power of the Oval Office and the temperament of a bully make for an explosive combination, especially when he has shown contempt for the press, a taste for violence, a consistent inhumanity, a devouring ego and an above-the-law swagger.
And Bret Stephens in this morning's Journal.
That’s the future Mr. Trump offers whether his supporters realize it or not. Bill Buckley and the other great shapers of modern conservatism—Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, Robert Bartley and Irving Kristol—articulated a conservatism that married economic dynamism to a prudent respect for tradition, patriotism and openness to the wider world. Trumpism is the opposite of this creed: moral gauchery plus economic nationalism plus Know Nothingism. It is the return of the American Mercury, minus for now (but only for now) the all-but inevitable anti-Semitism.
Let us heed the warnings of both right and left.

I understand the anger.  I recognize the frustration.  Trump is the anti-politician.  

But politics is how we get things done.  It is the messy business of democracies. It is how communities survive and countries thrive.  It means that we will not always get what we want.  If we are to live with others we cannot always have everything we want.  We must compromise.

Trump represents the apotheosis of the self-curated individual in which the world is shaped around personal wishes.  The wants of the individual, and all those who "like" his or her views, replace a faith in the common good.  We assemble worlds around individual desires and shared likes.

Compromise is not a dishonor.  It is not the abandonment of my faith but instead a reaffirmation of my commitment to country, community and even family. 

This isn’t just an American phenomenon. Politics is in retreat and authoritarianism is on the rise worldwide. The answer to Trump is politics. It’s acknowledging other people exist. It’s taking pleasure in that difference and hammering out workable arrangements. As Harold Laski put it, “We shall make the basis of our state consent to disagreement. Therein shall we ensure its deepest harmony.”
Today I will allow those who sit opposite from me to have the last word.  And I will continue to welcome those who do not share my beliefs to my table.  I continue to believe that reasoned disagreements make us stronger and better.

Perhaps this day can still become super.

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