The Gathering Cloud of Political Madness

The year is ending in an increasing cloud of political madness. The January 6 commission and Trump-hating nightly media commentators professed to find in the fact that Donald Trump’s family and Fox News Trump personalities Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity warned the then-president of backlash if he didn’t take a strong line against the trespassing and vandalism at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, proof that the melee was a pre-planned insurrection and that Trump’s complaints of election fraud were unfounded. (It confirms merely that like almost everyone, they disapproved of the attack on the Capitol, but did not deny Trump’s and his law-abiding supporters’ grievance.)   

Hillary Clinton choked back tears and sobs last week as she read the victory statement she had prepared to give on election night in 2016. The most inappropriately named person in the Western world, Joy Reid, accused Elon Musk of cultural theft against the African-American community by referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Karen”—the one-word summary of airheaded, self-indulgent, and overprivileged white women often used in black culture. Woke black America has now taken ownership of the English language, as well as the right to smash and grab, and otherwise steal what they want.        

Joe Biden and the Democrats are embarking on a new campaign of terror over the Omicron variant, (“a winter of . . . death” for the unvaccinated), which is, in fact, a Christmas blessing. There are fewer than 10 fatalities reported in the entire world as a result of this new variant on COVID. It is like a conventional flu, except that 90 percent of the people afflicted have mild or no symptoms and all of those afflicted benefit from the reinforcement their immune systems are getting against all variants of the disease. No greater gift to herd immunity from the COVID family of viruses could have been sought or imagined. Yet it is being used to justify a renewed campaign to transform Americans into a nation of cowardly, paranoid, and hypochondriacal moles.        

The defenders of the Biden Administration have almost vanished. Chris Wallace, who was trilling on Inauguration Day about Biden’s speech being the greatest inaugural address of Wallace’s lifetime—not excluding John F. Kennedy in 1960—has scuttled over to CNN and professes delight at joining “Jeff Zucker’s great team” (of Trump-hating myth-makers). Historian-for-hire Jon Meacham, who deserted the Bush hagiography industry to become a speechwriter of Biden’s and then a TV commentator praising Biden for being poetic and generally praising his speeches without mentioning his own role in composing them, has gone mercifully silent.

Where once there was a chorus of thanksgiving for the liberation of America from the Trump menace to democracy and his assault upon good taste, and window-rattling ululations of joy over the man of dignified moderation and humane intelligence that was replacing him, there is now a subdued relief that the bad orange monster has gone, tainted by wistfulness that his replacement is dangerously inadequate. 

This is a way station on the rockslide of the Trump-hate myth. The public policy disasters of the Biden Administration—immigration, inflation, COVID, crime, pitiful feebleness in response to China, Russia, and Iran, and the horrifying debacle in Afghanistan, which caused the British Parliament to express its contempt for Joe Biden while Biden pronounced the evacuation “an extraordinary success”—fills all Americans with foreboding.    

But, as Andrew Sullivan frequently does when writing at The Dish, Biden’s boosters can see his failings with the naked eye, but do not see that they had to obscenely magnify Trump’s shortcomings in order to see them. After blithely assuming the swift demise of Trump’s support, they now see the dangers of a Trump/Republican return in 2022 and 2024. But they appear to have an airtight mental block against contemplation of their own role in elevating a U.S. administration that is destabilizing the world by the self-mutilation of America.    

They are incapable of contemplating the fact that Trump achieved great successes in sharply curtailing illegal immigration, unemployment, oil imports, Chinese and North Korean provocations, and bringing greater prosperity to low-income minorities than any president in history. They are as blind to his accomplishments as to the fraudulence of their claim that he threatens democracy. The same people who falsely accused Trump of colluding with Russia during the 2016 election, and claimed that an unexceptionable telephone call to the president of Ukraine to ask what happened in the Biden family’s commercial activities there—not to try to dictate the condemnation of the Bidens—was an impeachable offense, are still raving that Trump is a fascist and even putschist mountebank. Sullivan wrote of “the Trump nightmare” but the real nightmare was created by Trump’s febrile, lawless enemies. Trump’s stylistic lapses were sometimes toe-curlingly embarrassing, but they were not illegal, and did not justify the defamatory hysteria of his enemies.

For these purposes such hysterics cling more fervently than ever to the myth of the January 6 “insurrection.” There is not a scrap of evidence that Trump approved any illegalities or had any notion of overthrowing the government. Most Americans are, quite rightly, contemptuous of the Congress—it is corrupt, ineffectual, and its paper-thin Democratic majority is trying to enact a mad left-wing program which the electorate has not authorized and does not approve, and which if enacted would produce a national disaster in every policy field.         

George Will professes to believe that he and his employees in their Georgetown office, miles away from the Capitol, were in physical danger. The impulse to make clear to the legislators what the country thinks of their incompetence and venality and self-serving extravagance is perfectly comprehensible, although carrying it to the point of trespass and even vandalism is obviously unacceptable. But the blame for this indignity resides clearly with the egregious mayor of Washington, D.C., Muriel Bowser, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who were repeatedly warned (including by Trump) that some hooligans might attach themselves to the large gathering of Trump voters and try to breach Capitol security, something which Trump himself admonished his supporters to avoid.   

It is a dangerous time for America and the West. Donald Trump saw the extent of public discontent in 2016 and aroused the most extreme instincts of righteous self-preservation in the bipartisan Washington political class. They went to extremes to defeat the intruder. They threatened the Constitution trying to dispose of Trump and falsely accusing him of unconstitutional conduct, and parachuted in a thoroughly incapable replacement for Trump. They may now face a perfectly constitutional electoral defeat by a landslide. 

The anti-Trump Republicans, or NeverTrumpers, are the most inexcusable wrong-doers: They pretended to support a president they actually conspired to defeat, by illegal means. All who righteously engaged in defamation and skullduggery to remove Trump share in the guilt for the abject failure of Biden. They have sown and they shall reap.

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About Conrad Black

Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

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