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The whole danged megilla

A characteristically long one from Daniel Greenfield—and characteristically brilliant, too. No way I can avoid a concomitantly lengthy excerpt.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a tribal response, not a political one. It’s triggered not by political agendas, but by cultural fiction. Before Trump Derangement Syndrome, there was Bush Derangement Syndrome. George W. Bush, like Trump, spoke the wrong way. He wasn’t one of our kind. Unlike his father. Reagan’s cowboy hat, Nixon’s poor fashion sense, Goldwater’s voice, and Eisenhower’s disdain for ‘eggheads’ had triggered similar frenzies of cultural derangement by the right sorts of people.

These frenzies have grown sharper as the culture has been reshaped, eliminating the middlebrow, indoctrinating contempt for traditional American ways of living, and holding up fringe lefties as cultural role models from pop culture to politics, and from the news media to academia. Generations of Americans, especially those in urban areas, cursed with higher degrees, and detached from religion and extended families, have grown up as members of a culture that is fundamentally at odds with America.

That is why we have both a political civil war, one being waged with subversion, impeachment, arrests, and investigations, whose goal is pure power, and a cultural civil war whose agenda is imposing a moral conformity with the mores, customs, and creed of bicoastal elites, and urban and suburban centers.

One is a power struggle. The other is a moral crusade.

Trump upsets them because he upends their status quo. He insults their totems, mocks their gods, and trifles with the sacred beliefs they imbibed from their semesters at Sarah Lawrence, their seasons of Netflix, and everyone else living in the literal and figurative cul-de-sac of their suburban neighborhood: its impossible property taxes adjusted to keep unwelcome minorities from nearby cities to a minimum.

MAGA hats, deliberately loud and unfashionable, infuriate them as the banner of an enemy tribe.

Trump Derangement Syndrome isn’t just about hating Trump. It’s a visceral disgust with the sorts of people they imagine would vote for him. And a horror at the idea of sharing a state or country with them. Ideological leftism may occasionally punch up, but cultural leftism always punches down.

Our political system is built to be shared with people we disagree with. As ugly as things get, the system is designed to bear the load. It’s why we have checks and balances, the electoral college, filibusters, and a complicated system of electing people who are different and will be sure to disagree with each other.

You know, diversity.

The Founding Fathers made sure we had real diversity in our government long before that became a buzzword for leftist conformists whose idea of diversity is three races, a hundred ethnicities, forty religions, sixty genders, and one political opinion.

We aren’t facing a civil war because of the strain on our political system, but on the tribes of our culture.

The Founders didn’t create a system for coping with cultural differences. We had one or we didn’t. While the Left claims to war on intolerance, no political system can do that. Only a moral system can. Our values can bring us together or tear us apart. They can convince us to fight for each other or kill each other. They can remind us of what we have in common or make us deadly enemies.

These days, it’s mostly the latter.

Trump Derangement Syndrome is an expression of a cultural civil war whose roots are deeper than the antics of the last few years. It is the friction of a country fracturing into warring alien tribes. We no longer agree on the essential premises of our Union, what makes one an American, on the essential premises of morality, what is human life, what is murder, and on what our future should look like.

We (are) no longer members of the same tribe, the same system or the same nation.

Trump Derangement Syndrome isn’t just a reaction to President Trump. It’s a reaction to America.

Despite what you might assume from the length of that excerpt, there’s plenty more yet to this one. It’s one of Daniel’s very best—and that, people, is saying something. Every now and again, somebody comes up with a piece so damned stellar, so piercing and perceptive, so well-written, that it just makes me wonder why I even bother. This would be one of those occasions.

1 thought on “The whole danged megilla

  1. This is absolutely correct, for once. And the tribe is that of Schwartz György.

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