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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Overview of technopolitics

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Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Comment on this entry

Douthat’s “How Populism Stumbles” and Frum’s “How To Build An Autocracy”

John G. Messerly

Reason and Meaning

February 13, 2017

(I keep intending to return to my existential concerns about the meaning of life, but the troublesome situation in my home country keeps bringing me back to politics.)

In today’s New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat penned, “How Populism Stumbles.” Douthat argues that movements like Trump’s fail because of bigotry, extremism and, especially, hubris. With this in mind Douthat dismisses my worries about authoritarianism:


Complete entry


Posted by instamatic  on  02/13  at  07:11 PM

the threat to the American republic is greater now than at any other time in our history, with the possible exception of the period leading up to and including the American civil war

A greater threat now than the period leading up to and including the American civil war? This is partisan fear and panic-mongering.
Yet it does not pass notice that “possible exception” was included as a qualifier. It is always important for writers to cover themselves, to cover their bases.

We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered

Wrong again. Trump is nothing next to the egomaniacal LBJ. Was it before your time, John? Don’t you know what LBJ’s war did? That millions—yes, millions—of men were conscripted and sent to the meat-grinder of Vietnam? It was worse than the US Civil War—children were not napalmed during the Civil War.
The left refuses to admit to its own demons; everyone from Marx himself to Jimmy Carter.

Moreover, while the future is unknown, the vast majority of thinkers who have studied the issue agree with myself and Frum

That the future is unknown means the vast majority of thinkers may be entirely mistaken.

No mystery how Trump won: with a clueless left such as we have in this nation. The left and right deserve each other: they all deserve Trump. If one believes in karma, then Trump is a result of our karma—and it is possible, without exception, Americans deserve eight years of Trump.
Would you be willing to admit to yourself that eight years of Reagan were punishment for four clueless years of Carter? Or that Hillary and husband are at least as corrupt as Trump, and possibly, without exception, much more corrupt?

Perhaps conservatives like Brooks and Douthat dismiss the danger because it’s hard for them to admit that the side with which they’re partly allied has brought about such frightening results

The “side” which they’re “allied”? John, take your own advice: the way forward doesn’t demand the in-group loyalty and out-group hostility embedded in reptilian brains.

Express your support and sympathy for journalists...

Not starving and dying people, but, rather, journalists? Possibly Frum’s priorities are a bit awry?

especially women in journalism

Women in journalism are perhaps oppressed more by male journalists who step on them. Chivalry begins on the home turf.

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