Trump, Clinton, and Sanders
May 5, 2016 6 Comments
First, I want to thank you all, our little point – counterpoint experiment on Brexit led to the best two-day readership in a very long while, not to mention a good discussion. We’ll have to try it again if we can find something else we disagree on. 🙂
I suppose it is time to say something about Donald Trump. He has, after all, essentially won the nomination, and done it fairly and decisively. I think the three left (Trump, Clinton, and Sanders) are perhaps the worst candidates ever, but it says something about where we are. And that isn’t good, but it is a reasonable reflection of where the country is, maybe. In keeping with our trans-Atlantic theme the best theory on this came yesterday from Archbishop Cranmer.
Much has been written about this eventuality, and even more will now be written about the “nightmare” (©Bishop of Guildford, 2016) possibility that Trump will soon be ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Most of this journalistic comment will focus on the ‘gaffes’. How can a man who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the US; build a great wall to keep out the Mexicans; says African-Americans have no spirit; opposes same-sex marriage; favours prosecuting women who procure illegal abortions; leches over his own daughter; repudiates climate change; mocks the disabled; jokes about shooting people in the streets; and who offends women with crude references to the breasts, backsides and menstrual periods possibly become President of the most powerful nation on earth?
It is really quite simple: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either,” […]
Donald Trump may be crass, crude, boorish and offensive. He may demean mature political discourse with his self-absorbed narcissism, and insult all thoughtful, intelligent and enlightened people with his childish tantrums and shallow spirituality. But he speaks with a different voice and exudes a strange confidence. And millions of Americans like what they hear and are mesmerised by a courage which refuses to bow to the embarrassment of being.
Read more via Archbishop Cranmer
Yup, I do see that, and His Grace is, as usual, correct. In fact, in a lot of ways, he speaks to me as well. My problem is that he’s been on almost every side of every question at some time. Of course, no doubt His Grace can relate, you could say much the same of Henry VIII and his relationship with Canterbury.
But if we really look at the labels, what I am is a classical liberal, as are many of you, we look back to the founder of whiggism, Edward Burke, even more than our British compatriots, and mix in a lot of that canny Scot, Adam Smith. Lately, we seem to be becoming an endangered species, and that is not a good sign for America. John O. McGinnis has some thoughts on that.
At the beginning of the campaign for the Republican nomination, many thought that it was a libertarian moment in which even Rand Paul might well emerge victorious. But with tonight’s results from Indiana, the Republican Party seems poised to nominate the most illiberal candidate in its history—someone who wants to restrict trade and civil liberties and has no interest in taming the growth of the state. Trump’s prospective nomination suggests that classical liberalism in the more classically liberal of our two parties is in radical decline. If so, what is most distinctive about America—its foundation in liberty—is at risk. We need to know why classical liberalism has so signally failed in 2016 if this failure is to be reversed. –
Who’s right and who’s wrong, if anybody? I don’t know, but my motto lately has become Adam Smith’s remark, “There’s a lot of ruin in a nation.” I hope we don’t find out just how much.