Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Deliciously Ironic


The following excerpt was written by Eric Sasson, who frequently contributes to The Wall Street Journal. 

“They could have come out against Trump without backing Sworn Enemy Number One.  Susan Collins and John Kasich, for instance, are two notable Trump resisters who have not thrown their support behind Clinton. 

“These Republicans could have chosen to back a third-party candidate like Gary Johnson, or, if that wasn’t palatable, explain that they will be abstaining in the presidential race and voting Republican down-ticket. Endorsing Clinton is, for all intents and purposes, an admission that the progressive Democrat—the woman who has promised to build upon the Obama agenda, the ‘corrupt,’ ‘crooked,’ scandal­–plagued, Benghazi-lying former secretary of state—is the person they prefer to see as president.

“Supporting Clinton in the face of Trump may not be tantamount to endorsing all of her policy prescriptions, but it sure as hell is saying that she has a better vision for America.  By rejecting the leader of their party, these Republicans—whether they mean to or not—are rejecting what their party has become.  Perhaps they think that by defeating Trump resoundingly, they will be able to root out the extremists who have taken hold of their party.  This assumes there will even be a party for them to return to after Clinton wins—which she now looks likely to do, overwhelmingly—and not some drastic mutation they no longer care to be a part of.  

“There is something deliciously ironic about members of the Republican Party establishment, which for years has at least tacitly embraced all of the most vicious conspiracy theories about the Clintons and the Obamas, now turning to Clinton as their savior.  Where, one must ask, was their loyalty to country when right-wing media was running Vince Foster conspiracy stories and 24-7 Benghazi marathons?  What has made them decide that this is the moment they must finally speak up, and not, for instance, when Mitt Romney was getting Trump’s endorsement after he ran off at the mouth about Obama’s birth certificate?

“For decades, the right has caricatured Clinton as a power-hungry, corrupt she-devil.  The hyperbolic, conspiracy-tinged approach was applied to Obama as well, with Republicans maligning him as an illegitimate foreigner who was the worst president of their lifetimes (if not ever).  If all these accusations are true, shouldn’t Republicans be doing everything in their power to ensure an end to his reign?  Clinton may save them from Trump, but she won’t be saving them from the cementing of Obama’s legacy. 

“Perhaps, then, what these Trump defectors reveal to us is not the sacrifices they are making for the good of their country, but rather how hollow and disingenuous Republican hatred of Clinton really is.  One doesn’t endorse ‘Lucifer’ unless she’s not really all that bad—indeed, far better than the guy picked by your own party.

“How is it, then, that the Republicans have nominated their own greater of two evils?  Push a narrative long enough—keep feeding your base that their president is illegitimate and his would-be successor a crooked liar—and you can’t really be surprised that many of them believe Clinton really is the devil, someone who should be ‘locked up’ and ‘be put in front of a firing line and shot for treason.’  Just because party establishment types know to take the most extreme rhetoric of talk radio and right-wing media with a grain of salt, doesn’t mean the average Republican voter of 2016 does.”

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