No Trumpism without Trump and other commentary

Libertarian: No Trumpism Without Trump?

Despite GOP efforts to absorb Trump supporters, Trumpism is nothing without its namesake, argues Bloomberg’s Virginia Postrel. “On the right, politicians and commentators hope to attach Trump’s powerful brand, ­minus the less savory associations, to their own ambitions and favored policies,” but while Republicans like Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio may adopt Trump’s populist rhetoric, they lack the unrestrained flamboyance and “anti-bourgeois character” that attracted millions of voters to him. “For people tired of being bossed around, Trumpism offers relief: from minding their manners and policing their speech, from regulatory niggling and environmental pieties, from wearing masks and being nice.” Unless you have that, “Trumpism without Trump is like chocolate chip ice cream without chocolate chips. Missing its defining ingredient, it’s plain vanilla.”

From the left: Democrats’ Populist Problem

In an interview at Open Democracy, progressive analyst John Judis discusses populism in US politics now. President Trump and Bernie Sanders both rose because the neoliberal assumption, that “goods and factories could go wherever they wanted in the world, and labor could cross borders and it just wouldn’t matter, because we would become more and more prosperous,” just “hasn’t panned out.” Trump’s “anti-austerity” policies brought a strong economy that might have re-elected him, “if he had handled the pandemic reasonably.” The left’s problems include “a phobia toward nationalism, because it views it as xenophobic.” Lefties don’t understand that a genuine political community needs the bonds of sentiment nations sustain. And “social issues like gender and transgender or defunding the police or ending fossil fuels in a few years” just don’t fly “in much of the country.”

Conservative: How Elites Hurt Average Blacks

“Liberal black elites” attack Justice Clarence Thomas for “having the audacity” to disagree with them on issues like affirmative action, notes Jason Riley at The Wall Street Journal. Yet Thomas “was always more popular” with average blacks than the media suggested. And that’s just one example of the “divergence” between elites and broader society that can lead to “dire consequences” for blacks. The George Floyd killing, for instance, sparked calls to “defund the police,” though Gallup polling shows most blacks don’t want fewer cops in their neighborhoods. In Minneapolis, targeting cops led many to quit, fueling crime, and it’s “the city’s poor” who are “the most common victims.” Yet “so long as the shootings don’t involve law enforcement,” the elites “are unlikely to make much of a fuss.”

Gadfly: Pelosi’s Giveaway to the Rich

House Democrats frame Nancy Pelosi’s Heroes Act as supporting first responders and health workers amid the pandemic, but a team of auditors found that “the 50 richest places in the country” would get “$350 mill­ion in bailouts” from the bill, reports CEO and founder Adam Andrzejewski at Forbes. For example, Atherton, Calif. — “the richest town in America, with an average annual household income of $525,000” — is in line for $3.8 million. Other high-income winners include Scarsdale, NY, $8.8 million; Malibu, Calif., $6.3 million; and Palm Beach, Fla., $4.4 million. “Should the American taxpayers from lower-income areas be subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous?”

Culture critic: Don’t Know Much ’Bout History

If Americans were taught real history or learned Scripture, as past generations did, they’d know that slavery has been around for a long time (e.g., the Prophet Joseph’s bondage in Egypt), and that it was men like William Wilberforce who, inspired by Christian morality, took the first steps to abolish it. “Do we teach this now?” asks Bryan Preston at PJ Media. “I went through 12 years of public school and never once heard Wilberforce’s name.” Too bad: “If we knew and taught history better and more thoroughly, we might have to deal less often with the consequences of others ignoring history and making the same catastrophic mistakes others made back in time.” Plus, “every political argument wouldn’t end where CNN’s Christiane Amanpour took things the other day: You’re Hitler!”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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