Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Donald Trump: fresh material for anti-Americans

If Fox News and its celebrities had been on the air rather than Radio Free Europe it’s just as likely that East Berliners would not have taken down that wall.
The Stars and Stripes is now waved by teenagers in the Middle East and chalked on walls in Beijing. People are again taking chances to embrace the last century’s vision of America. In Canada and western Europe however, it’s still de rigueur to highlight America’s clowns and to scheme to get out from under America’s shadow, before she collapses.
No column in the Guardian on the complexities of the US deficit is complete without allusions to the Birthers and the Tea Party. Rather than close off every avenue of escape, and bore the reader, America’s approaching collapse is often simply morphed into a profile of the most recent clown on the presidential stage.
This weekend, the Globe and Mail dedicated 2/3rds of a page to Donald Trump, a strategic bankrupt, a real estate tycoon, and, currently, a happily married billionaire TV celebrity who thinks his talents are presidential. The headline is bracing “Is the Donald the leader America deserves?”
Ian Brown is a brave as well as talented writer. However, employing the ridiculous about Donald Trump to dismiss the competence and underlying commonsense of Americans generally is, sadly, nothing less than candy for anti-American snobs.
Brown effectively confesses, in closing, that the column is whimsy saying, “Sadly, the odds are nanoscopic that the “you’re fired” man will actually run: His financial past might not pass muster, and you know what they say about the unexamined life-it’s worth concealing.”
Nevertheless, Brown finds Trump’s potential candidacy sufficiently credible to damn America’s judgement, if notTrump’s. Trump’s reason for beating the more experienced Governor Mitt Romney strikes Brown as a home run: “I’m worth more.” America, Brown sighs, is just that crude.
“It’s the easiest kind of merit to measure, the simplest and least nuanced version of a man’s value. Mr. Obama can talk about rebuilding a grown-up society of tolerant values, but numbers (accurate or not) offer an absolute that is a comparative breeze to believe in. . .
“. . . the late Hunter S. Thompson, once observed that Americans like to get rid of anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable about who they are and how they behave. Barack Obama does that. Donald Trump, with all his shiny failings, does not.”
Of course, Gonzo journalists, at their lowest, never imagined that America’s crazy middle-class would have elected Obama in the first place. They must first be free of him before they bury America.

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