Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.
There are, broadly, two strains of liberalism in this country. The first is less a political philosophy than an exclusive club. It assumes that all wisdom was born in Europe and North America and that the truth is kept alive here by the mainly white suburban middle classes, who alone know what is best for the rest. It is far more interested in what political philosopher CB MacPherson called “possessive individualism” — the right of people of property to hold on to what they believe to be rightfully theirs — than in building a free and just society. This strain of liberalism is intolerant of all views but its own and its adherents, ironically, share many of the attitudes of Stalinist Marxists — only they know the truth and to disagree is not to hold a different opinion but to be plain wrong. Inevitably, its view is usually communicated in a sneer designed to show superiority and so it does more to antagonise than to persuade. This strain is destined, for obvious reasons, to wield little influence over our future — a prospect that perversely pleases those who espouse it as it confirms their belief that they are surrounded by Philistines. – Steven Friedman in Business DayBACK TO TOP