Wrestling with the Other Inconvenient Truth

wringing hands

I just posted about a very inconvenient truth.  It is a truth so monstrous that it is very hard to deal with.

Today Ross Douthat, like many others, assures us that Donald Trump Is Not a Sinister Genius: His race-baiting is impulsive and unpopular, not a brilliant strategy to win white votes.

Mr. Douthat invites us to choose between two alternatives: (1) that Donald Trump is a political genius and (2) that Donald Trump is an impulsive clown. Douthat comes down hard for the second explanation.

If I were forced to pick between those two alternatives, and only those two alternatives, then I, too, would pick option two over option one. But I do not believe that Douthat has captured the true picture.

Like some diabolically crazed social psychologist, Donald Trump is performing an experiment to test a working hypothesis, namely, that significantly more than half of our white population are so attached to their white privilege that, if forced to choose, they will embrace racism over diversity.

It’s as if he’s playing out, on the national stage, something akin to the famous unethical experiment where an elementary teacher tried making all the children of one eye color superior to all the children of another eye color.

“Impulsive” is a poor word to describe the vile game that Trump is playing. He has a plan, it’s just a plan that no one else since George Wallace has had the evil will to pursue.

I think I know how Trump’s social psychology experiment will pan out, but we won’t know for sure until it runs its course.

An outstanding article in the Washington Post tells us how things are beginning to look on the ground in Ohio. I highly recommend it: Ohio’s Hamilton County may test whether Trump’s divisiveness will help or hurt him in 2020.

I particularly commend it to any hand wringers and garment renders among my readership.

And, further to the issue of Trump’s forced choice between blatant racism and exit from the Republican Party, you may also like Andrew Egger, Will Hurd and the Hollowing Out of the Republican Party. I just have to say: it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.