I felt a certain resonance with Lance Morrow’s recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:
The ’30s are a vanished world. Much of the 20th century has become a sort of Atlantis, and analogies between the old time and our own are tenuous. A political archaeologist might find that the most reliable common denominator is what could be called the unchanging metaphysics of lying. As Francis Bacon wrote 400 years ago, human beings have a “natural though corrupt love of the lie itself.”
Mr. Trump works with huckster falsehoods—the flashy superlatives of a car salesman. The progressive left works with conceptual falsities. Voters in 2020 will decide which style of lies they prefer.
Mr. Trump composes his reality after the manner of a Renaissance painter’s pentimento, except that he works at the speed of Twitter , making adjustments as circumstances shift. He slaps new paint over old facts when they become inconvenient. Mr. Trump’s abuses, he and his followers believe, somehow come right by coalescing in a larger truth—the mythic America that radiated from my father’s old Saturday Evening Post and came to its apotheosis in the Neverland of Dwight Eisenhower’s 1950s.
The progressive left embraces new visions of perfection—tamer in its methods than its 1930s predecessors, but sometimes outdistancing them in the fusion of dogmatic correctness with a fairly advanced decadence. Progressives are busy reinventing the Kingdom of God on Earth, trying to make their version as different as possible from his. They contrive elaborate new genders, for example—ones the deity didn’t think of. They invent vocabularies, terms ecstatic and bristling—“cisgendered,” “heteronormative,” “intersectionality”—designed to bully reality into compliance.
Their version of the kingdom mixes hopes of social justice with sexual nullifications and revenge fantasies. In my mother’s time, the far left in its dreams crushed capitalism and ushered the workers into paradise. Today they sweep white civilization and toxic males into the dustbin of history.
Affirmative action, now a permanent fixture of American society, remains out of step with the country’s basic idea of fairness.
“Diversity,” politicized and bureaucratically institutionalized, forms the basis for systems of un-American coercion.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s notion of valuing a man’s character over the color of his skin remains the gold standard, and yet even his greatest admirers claim it doesn’t really apply anymore—or never did.
The progressive notion of gender as a “social construct,” rather than sex as a fact of nature, contradicts ages worth of human experience about the biological roles of men and women in the drama of procreation and survival.
The rule of law is cast aside for a 13th-century dream of open borders and sanctuary cities.
The left disparages masculinity as evil and Western civilization as monstrous, hoping to extinguish the intellectual and moral legacy that created the U.S. in the first place. If we are not careful, the strategy might work.
His life’s trajectory is one that might well have been mine. Like his mother my father was a communist in the 1930s. By the 1960s he was a conservative. He had opportunities to follow politics as a career. Harry Truman asked him to be his campaign manager for his final senate campaign. He chose the law instead. My dad started out as a journalist; his dad was a journalist for most of his career until he became a speechwriter and advisor to Nelson Rockefeller.
We are conditioned to think of the present as a culmination but that’s an illusion. It’s just a way station and there is no straight line progression in human affairs. Bloodletting, phrenology, communism, and eugenics have all been mainstream views in their time, held by the very most forward-thinking and scientific minds.