Lasched to the massed

The article starts with the obligatory anti-Trump statement but once you get past the opening the text is not anti-Trump at all. Christopher Lasch is one of my favourite writers of all time and the article is Donald Trump and the Ghost of Christopher Lasch. So get past the opening with its “Trump would be the end of the world as we know it” to read this:

In The Revolt of the Elites Lasch foresaw the disconnect between the nation’s political classes and the governed, as UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge has recently observed. America’s elites have devoted so much energy to building their collective moral system that they expect ideological obedience. When Trumpists say strong families in the 1950s were a positive, the cognoscenti respond: “So what. It was a terrible time for minorities and gays.”

Trump’s armies feel the sting of comfortable, upscale, post-industrial winners who can barely conceal their contempt for those they dismiss as Wal-Mart people. The disdain for yeoman America—which is overwhelmingly white—is visceral, longstanding, and profound.

“Middle Americans, as they appear to the makers of educated opinion, are hopelessly shabby, unfashionable, and provincial, ill informed about changes in taste or intellectual trends, addicted to trashy novels of romance and adventure, and stupefied by prolonged exposure to television,” Lasch wrote in 1995, not yesterday. “They are at once absurd and vaguely menacing.”

And why does this matter?

As Lasch anticipated, the nation’s ruling classes style themselves to be citizens of the world, living in “a global bazaar” to be savored indiscriminately, “with no questions asked and no commitments required.” From Pacific Palisades to Cambridge, far from the madding crowd, well-heeled transnational citizens of the world may hold assets in Singapore or the Cayman Islands. Their identities are post-national. Amid the affluence, obsequious Third World helpers work at minimum wage or off the books, doing the scut work and producing an exotic, multicultural vibe as a bonus.

Abandoning the left’s original intent to protect the common man, Lasch observed, progressives chose instead to pursue diversity, secularism, and cultural revolution. Families, schools, and churches were left behind. For thought leaders, family values, mindless patriotism, religious fundamentalism, white racism, homophobia, and retrograde views of women stood in the way of progress.

Progress should, of course, be written as “progress”. And so how do those elites think, and remember this is Lasch who was writing this two decades ago:

For progressive elites, delicate moral confections and debatable ethical positions became acts of faith. “It is no longer necessary to argue with opponents on intellectual grounds or to enter into their point of view,” Lasch pointed out. “It is enough to dismiss them as Eurocentric, racist, sexist, homophobic – in other words, as politically suspect.” When these novel moral systems are challenged, Lasch added, progressives react with “venomous hatred,” the toxic ill feeling that seems abundant in the 2016 election year.

Go to the link and read it all right through to the end, which is not an attempt to dissuade anyone from voting for Trump.

A Trump victory of course is “impossible.” It would require a massive, almost unimaginable white, yeoman flight from the Democratic Party. It is quite likely that we are even now experiencing Peak Trump. But “impossible” now stands in quotes.

And my congratulations to the author, Gilbert Sewall, for putting this together in just such a way that it has been featured at Instapundit, by Ed Driscoll who would have understood it perfectly, but also at Powerline which perhaps was uploaded by Steve Hayward, but I doubt any of the others. Our elites are ruining the world and the only thing that might save them and us is this revolt from below.

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