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The Trump administration

PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 08:15
by Gavin
There's probably a lot that can be said on this topic but I will just start the thread rolling on a specific issue - a point about perception of this administration - which has been irritating me. I could have put this post in a thread about "the mentality of the left" but I think it can also go here.

Today's "Daily Deal" at Audible happens to be a book called The Plot Against America by an author named Philip Roth, whom I have never read. It's a counterfactual fiction apparently a bit like "The Man in the High Castle" which I watched recently (quite liked it though it was typical Hollywood in many ways). I suppose a bit like Fatherland by leftist Robert Harris, too. Philip Roth is a Jewish man who apparently writes a lot about "Jewish and American identity", with one of his most famous books being:

a humorous and sexually explicit psychoanalytical monologue of "a lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor," filled with "intimate, shameful detail, and coarse, abusive language."

I had a look at the book on Goodreads to see what people thought, but Goodreads is a bit like the Wikipedia when it comes political bias - in fact far worse. Most readers on there are not only liberals but they have a supreme smugness and arrogance, and that is really the point of this post. You visit the page and you're faced with, for example, this in the very first comment:

A left-wing fantasist wrote:Breathtaking and highly realistic, The Plot Against America is Philip Roth's vision of an alternative path history could have taken had Charles Lindbergh have not kept his anti-Semitism as a private matter, but (like Mr Trump) brought it into the political arena.

He might as well have thrown in that Trump is a serial killer at the same time - he can probably find a way to argue it. Serious allegations such as this are often made very casually by leftists, as if everyone knows they are true, so who could possibly be offended by them unless they were, of course, a racist (the worst possible thing in the world!).

But in reality there is not the slightest evidence that Trump is antisemitic or even that Stephen Bannon is, to my knowledge. For goodness' sake, Trump is not even neutral on this matter: his daughter is married to a Jew who Trump is apparently allowing to greatly influence government policy, and he has recently reaffirmed his staunch support of Israel.

So: what are these people smoking? I can actually understand some frustration with Jews on the right since, as Milo said, they do seem to run a great many institutions and often run them with a left-wing bias apparently to the detriment of the majority American non-Jewish population. Possibly there is indeed nepotism too. Frankly I think there probably is something to these concerns, and authors like Philip Roth don't seem to help very much with their reputation either, but not all Jews are like this and of course I would not support any pogroms. We have to be able to speak openly.

One only needs to listen to podcasts and read articles to observe that many on the real "far right" are actually deeply concerned about how "Jew-friendly" Trump is. The word is that Kushner was promoted above Bannon simply because he is Trump's son-in-law, with Bannon nearly pushed out. Never mind for these leftists that Kushner is said to be close to the Russians (not something that particularly concerns me - in fact I think I exactly share John Derbyshire's viewpoint on all these issues, and I would not call him "far right" at all). But what are these leftists smoking to think for one second that Trump is anti-Jewish? This is surely sheer idiocy and in direct contradiction to evidence - yet it is said with the usual utter arrogance and smugness. It's probably not even being said by Jews.

I think these people - fantasists - just like to suggest that they can see a little more deeply than everybody else - they know what's really going on. Ah, that Trump, he's a Nazi really, you know! But when you listen to Jared Taylor or Richard Spencer (not actually "Nazis" either, by the way) they do not think Trump sees matters in racial terms, there is no evidence whatsoever that he is any kind of "racist" and there is plenty to the contrary. These people have never thought that Trump shares their point of view, since he is only a civic nationalist.

So what is it with these leftists? Do they just need a bogeyman?

Re: The Trump administration

PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 09:29
by Charlie
Absolutely, leftists do need an Emmanuel Goldstein and Trump ― correct me if I'm wrong ― is possibly the most philosemitic President the USA has ever had.

As for my take on it, most American Jews are high-IQ, liberal sorts, which is why they are so often guilty of what Bruce Charlton and Michael Woodley would term "clever silly" behaviour.

Charlton has written extensively about this and a cursory search for the term "clever silly" throws up lots of interesting material. For example:

Why are so many clever and creative people so fundamentally wrong?

James Kalb, liberalism and high IQ

Magical thinking in secular modernity

Woodley, meanwhile, who had an interesting chat with Stefan Molyneux recently, had this to say about the clever silly a few years ago:

I hope I haven't taken things way off course, Gavin, because I haven't really talked about the Trump administration; however, I do think that the insights of Charlton and Woodley explain an awful lot about the liberal people whom you describe and I hope you find the above interesting.

Re: The Trump administration

PostPosted: 28 May 2017, 10:13
by Gavin
Charlie wrote:I hope I haven't taken things way off course, Gavin, because I haven't really talked about the Trump administration

Not at all - I have begun this topic as much about the leftist mind as about the actual administration, but it all might as well stay here.

I will certainly look at the links. Many times one sees there is apparently gulf between IQ and wisdom. Think about someone like David Baddiel, for example. He probably has a high IQ, but you wouldn't call the man wise. Many others like this, too. In fact "smug" more comes to mind.

Re: The Trump administration

PostPosted: 29 May 2017, 21:33
by Jonathan
For much of the left, the world is divided into people who think exactly like them, and all the rest who are far-right, which really means fascists, which really means Hitler. Trump obviously doesn't think exactly like them, so he's a fascist, which means he's antisemitic, even if he's been clever enough to hide it. So all the devout left-wing reporter has to do is trawl through anything he said or did or omitted to do and spin it as antisemitism. He knows he's right. Everyone he knows knows he's right.

The Israeli press is no better. Usually they regurgitate a column copied from the Guardian or the New York Times. Everything Trump does is crazy, or astonishingly ignorant, or overrides every constitutional restraint or custom of international relations. The fact that he just gave Netanyahu a strong gesture of support only drives them into a deeper frenzy. The primary exception is the daily paper associated with Netanyahu, which would have you believe he and Trump are twins separated at birth, at the very least.

Most Israeli Jews - and I suspect also Jews living abroad - are grateful for American support for Israel. You'd think it's completely obvious that Trump is better than Obama, or an Obama clone. But it is in the nature of the leftist to decry precisely that which is in his own country's interest - hence the spectacle of leftist Jews in Israel bemoaning a display of support which their country badly needs. It's the affliction of our times.