Populism and Condescension, Part II

Today’s Washington Post carries the story of a Utah man, reportedly a sometime left-wing activist, who was inside the Capitol during the insurrection. Rep. Mo Brooks and Rudy Giuliani have climbed down from the President’s lap long enough to use this as supposed evidence that the insurrection was actually an Antifa operation. That fantasy deserves no attention, but this does: Were it true, what would it say about the Trump supporters who marauded through the Capitol, apparently not only blindly devoted to the President but also blindly obeying the manipulative directions of their political enemies? The fact that Brooks and Giuliani see … Continue reading Populism and Condescension, Part II

Insurrections and Abstractions

Ben Kleinerman and George Thomas have eloquently said what most needs saying about yesterday’s unspeakable events. There is not yet enough distance to process them soberly. But a preliminary thought: The insurrectionists’ chant, and apparent self-justification, as they plowed through security barriers, scaled walls and smashed windows of the U.S. Capitol, was “Our House!” Never mind whether they act that way in their own homes. The question is: Whose house, exactly? This was an “our” contraposed to a “them”: real Americans versus traitors, with the latter category encompassing not only 81 million Americans who voted for Joe Biden but also, evidently, the millions more who … Continue reading Insurrections and Abstractions