Crazy Town

In Fear, the latest spasm of gossip and fear-mongering by the infamous (among people of any sense and decency), Bob Woodward, the gullible American public is given a portrait of the Trump White House as a cross between Bedlam and the palace of Caligula.  Trump supporters are outraged.

Why bother?  We know what side Woodward is on--he has been on that side since he and his odious partner egged on the lynch mob that drove  a popular and successful president from office.  It is the side of government.  Their simple credo, repeated infinitely in the media and expressed in every one of their programs and policies:  Government good, people bad.

The American people are stupid, unlettered, lazy, bigoted, and selfish.  They are so selfishly stupid they don't know how to rear their children, arrange for their education, provide for their retirement, manage their business, get along with neighbors, or pay for their medical care.  Fortunately, the wise and benevolent rulers, endowed with all the wisdom of Confucius, Marx, Dewey, Timothy Leary, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, are heroically saving ourselves from the ruin we deserve.

When the jackals brought down Nixon for offenses that were so childish that they converted me from being an inveterate hater of the President into his defender, they spouted off dozens of motives and justifications.  Of course, there was more than a hint of paranoia in Nixon's effort to nail the Democrats as the traitors they were.  And yes, his domestic policies--which he regarded as bribes to the Left, which earned him the right to have a free hand in foreign affairs--were disastrous.  And yes, our President was indeed a crook, as nearly all our Presidents have been James Buchanan left office.

The truth is, though, that whatever he might have done, we were in a very dangerous situation at the height of the Cold War.  The lunatic Kennedy had played a game of brinksmanship with the Soviets and then panicked; Johnson had escalated the ridiculous war in Vietnam.  Nixon, however, was playing high stakes poker, ending the war,  embracing the Chinese as allies agains the Soviets, and generally showing that the US was still the world power it had once been.

What did Bob Woodward or the Democrats care?  They had their little soap opera.  To Hell with national security, they had a job to do, and that was to defend the power of of the permanent bureaucracy against a rogue president who thought he was in charge.  In fact, that very point was made by a liberal writer for The New Republic and the Washington Post, who argued that Nixon's resignation showed what happened when a powerful president took on the permanent establishment.

What exactly did Woodward and Bernstein actually do?  Their "investigations" were nothing more than a series of meetings in which a disgruntled FBI employee used them to get even with his agency and with an administration that had failed to promote him.  This pair are quite properly taken as the models of "investigative reporting," because they  eagerly embraced the opportunity to serve as tools for a permanent intelligence apparatus that despises  the American people and overturns election results.    They are the worthy allies of Comey, Brennan, and Mueller.

Well, here we are again.  There is a flawed paranoiac President in the White House, making mistakes every day and inventing policies on the fly, but a president who is actually making things work again.  From the perspective of the permanent government, Trump's dynamism and improvisation are turning Washington into Crazy Town, by which they mean that this maniac is determined, when he departs,  to leave the country in a better shape than it was when he came into office.  Even to imagine this could be possible, is a sign of megalomaniac insanity.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

5 Responses

  1. Raymond Olson says:

    Indeed! I’m not even a Trump supporter, and I still automatically said to myself of Woodward’s newest sedative, “So what?”

  2. Robert Reavis says:

    “Fortunately, the wise and benevolent rulers, endowed with all the wisdom of Confucius, Marx, Dewey, Timothy Leary, and the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, are heroically saving ourselves from the ruin we deserve.”

    Deserved repeating in my opinion. As true as anything that could honestly said about their educational development. I thought for years mistakenly they hated our cultural past but in wiser years I understand you can’t hate what you don’t know.

  3. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    Amazingly, half the voters do not understand who really runs this country. I hope the other half prevails.

  4. Allen Wilson says:

    Interesting statement, Mr Reavis, and true enough; but then, it seems that they just hate what they think they know. They fight imaginary dragons. The asylum is bigger outside the walls.

  5. Robert Reavis says:

    They know more than they are willing to admit about what they dislike. It is a one way conversation as we listen and are not allowed to speak or at least that is their preferred “dialogue”. True enough. But quiet condescension is about the only humane outlet we have left for masking our frustration and justified anger towards our Dear Leaders! You are a wise reader Mr. Wilson.