Monday, March 27, 2023


After reviewing Donald Trump's weekend rally speech, Ed Kilgore conclues that Trump thinks America is a shithole country:
At the end, as his closing music swelled, Trump offered the most scorching, systematic denunciation of his country any alleged superpatriot has ever delivered. It made the famously dark “American Carnage” inaugural address of 2017 seem like something from Sesame Street. The climax of Trump’s 2024 stump speech is pitch-black doom and gloom....
I see Kilgore's point. Trump said:
We are a failing nation. We are a nation with the highest inflation rate in 50 years, where banks are collapsing and interest rates are far too high. We are a nation where energy costs have reached their highest level in our history ... We are a nation that is consumed by the radical left’s new deal ... everyone knows ... will lead to our destruction....

We are a nation that is hostile to liberty, freedom, and faith. We are a nation whose economy has collapsed ... whose stores are not stocked, whose deliveries are not coming, and whose educational system is at the very bottom of every single list. Large packs of sadistic criminals and thieves are able to systemically rob stores and beat up their customers and workers and leave with armloads of goods with no retribution.... Where the authority of our great police has been taken, where their families and patient — and pensions have been threatened, and their lives were being destroyed because of the mere mention of the words law enforcement ... Fentanyl and illegal drugs are more easy to get than formula for our babies ...
That's dark. Will it be too dark for voters' tastes in 2024? Probably not:
Patriotism, religious faith, having children and other priorities that helped define the national character for generations are receding in importance to Americans, a new Wall Street Journal-NORC poll finds....

Some 38% of respondents said patriotism was very important to them, and 39% said religion was very important. That was down sharply from when the Journal first asked the question in 1998, when 70% deemed patriotism to be very important, and 62% said so of religion.

The share of Americans who say that having children, involvement in their community and hard work are very important values has also fallen. Tolerance for others, deemed very important by 80% of Americans as recently as four years ago, has fallen to 58% since then.

Democrats have long been accused of hating America, and in this survey only 23% say that patriotism is important -- but among independents the number is only 29%. And while far more Republicans value patriotism, the number is only 59%. In the last Journal poll to ask this question, in 2019, the GOP number was over 80% (and Democrats' number was over 40%).

Republicans used to talk about America as a country that was flawless except when Democrats temporarily wrested control of it and grotesquely (but temporarily) altered its obviously perfect nature. Now many Republican catastrophists seem to believe America may not be redeemable -- or simply doesn't exist now (or won't exist soon) because it is (or will soon be) unrecognizable to them.

I've been saying that Ron DeSantis needs to whine about being persecuted as much as Trump does if he wants the Republican presidential nomination. Maybe he also needs to stop crowing about how awesome a job he's done in Florida and tell voters that the barbarians are at the gate there, too, and he's having a hard time keeping them (us) out. He tells a story about Florida that sounds upbeat if you're a Republican. But to paraprhase Leonard Cohen, I think these days Republicans want it darker.

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