“Another consideration is the current information system, if one can even use the phrase. For much of the base, the sources of information are Fox News, talk radio and other practitioners of alternative facts. Exposures of Trump’s misdeeds and absurdities that arouse liberal opinion are easily interpreted as attacks by the corrupt elite on the defender of the little man, in fact his cynical enemy.”
Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union, interview by George Yancy, NYTimes, July 5, 2017
“It shouldn’t be a surprise that a post-literate conservative world should have been so quick to embrace a semi-literate presidential candidate. Nor, in hindsight, is it strange that, having retired the role Buckley once played in maintaining conservative ideological hygiene, the ideas he expunged should have made such a quick and pestilential comeback.”
Conservatives Go Third ‘I’ Blind, by Bret Stephens, NYTimes, July 6, 2017
“So much for the passing scene. We need, in searching for consolation, to remind ourselves that the missionary is not automatically to be dismissed as a demagogue, practicing or inchoate. The apparent demagogue is, of course, a candidate for the respect owing to a prophet. John Brown was hanged. If he had lived and fought a hundred years later, there’d have been a national holiday named after him.”
“On the other hand, a sovereign democratic responsibility is to measure the claims of a candidate by empirical standards: Is he right for the United States? Now? And if he is right, is he the person to incarnate that mission? John Brown was wrong even as Martin Luther King Jr. was right, and a study of the two, and of their two movements in history, illustrates what we need to know about demagoguery and prophecy.”
Insights: Politics—The Demagogues Are Running, by Wm F. Buckley, Jr., Cigar Aficionado, Mar/Ap 2000
I never thought I’d miss WFB, Jr., but I do.
Ah, post-literacy. Just watch the pictures; caption reading is optional. We’re so doomed. Yeah, I know I wrote that in 2004, too, and I really hope I’m still wrong.