The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Look Deeper

George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States, will be laid to rest today. He lived a life of accomplishment and by any standard, was a good and decent man. In death, Bush was praised in a bi-partisan manner, but there was a not-so-subtle edge to the praise, aimed squarely at the current president, Donald Trump. The tone was that Trump is the anti-Bush, and there's some truth to that. Here's what WaPo (certainly no friend of Trump) wrote: “Trump’s time in office, by contrast, has been defined by a war against virtually all of the norms and institutions that Bush held dear.”

But the WaPo's statement, although partially true, is hypocritical. Daniel Henninger comments on this:
Most of the Bush values can be found on any list of what are called—or used to be called—virtues. It is telling that these same simple virtues are now being praised by a media that has done so much in the past 30 years to undermine them.

Bush entered the White House in 1989. Since then, two overlapping currents have run through American life—one cultural, the other political. The big change that was coming in the political culture hit me hard at the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992 ...

The novelist Norman Mailer covered the Houston convention for the New Republic and what he wrote about Barbara Bush spoke for repelled liberals everywhere:

“That was just what she did in her speech on Family Values. It was no rhetorical gem. On the page, it read like one of those decaffeinated pieces of prose that used to blanket the old Reader’s Digest, affirmative, highly simplified, and emotionally available to anyone whose I.Q. had managed to stay below 100.”

The media, or much of it, chose to conflate “family values” with “the right.” (While we’re on the subject, the right’s dismissal of “the Bushies” even now is cut from the same uselessly reductionist cloth.) That stereotyping of popular concerns about traditional values was one reason why a partisan political gulf began to open in those years ...

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who by the time of their presidential campaigns represented the victors in the culture wars, still took time to rhetorically slam the losers, who by then really were clinging to what was left from those battles ...

Times change. Family values have been displaced by a more media-driven agenda: racism, identity, gender, immigration, tariffs. Taxes are a constant, but if President Trump raises taxes next year in a compromise with the Pelosi Democrats, don’t expect the Beltway press to give him the same praise 41 is getting this week for reversing his no-new-taxes pledge.

Perhaps, like Bush, Donald Trump will be a one-term president, and for the same reason—a slowing U.S. economy. But if you want to discover why America lost the personal and political values of George H.W. Bush, forget Donald Trump. Look deeper.
The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media don't want us to "look deeper." They would have us believe that Donald Trump is the source of all the political incivility, name-calling, bombast, and dishonesty we see in present day politics. But as Hennenger correctly states, Trump is the result of the political incivility, name-calling, bombast, and dishonesty that have been the modus operandi of the Democratic party and their media hamsters for decades. That's not an excuse for Trump's behavior, but it does help explain it.

The Bushes were vilified during their tenure in the White House, but they didn't fight back in any substantive way. They were gentleman in the old school tradition. Trump is different. He does fight back using the same political incivility, name-calling, bombast, and dishonesty that is directed at him. He is not the source of it, just the first president to return fire in kind. That isn't a good thing, but it's the reality of our current situation.

As I've mentioned in other posts, for the last 30 years, the Dems have used political incivility (think: Clarance Thomas), name-calling (think: Mailer above), bombast (think: pushing Grandma off a cliff) and dishonesty (think: "You can keep your Doctor") to bully anyone who challenged their positions or disagreed with their politics. They haven't been called on it because the media hamsters are nothing more than Democratic operatives with bylines. A bully never likes it when their target pushes back—hard. Trump, for better or worse, does just that and does it (via twitter) outside the control of the trained hamsters in the media. The Dems don't like it one bit.