I have always admired Andrew Sullivan’s erudition and rhetorical gifts and his remarkably nimble mind. I think that his self-identification as a conservative throughout his adult life is a courageous one. His book The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back was a tour de force, especially his brilliant summary of the life and legacy of Michael Oakeshott.
Yet, I am struck by how he apparently has allowed his addiction to fame and court culture acceptance to blind him to the utter debasement of the American ruling class.
Predictably, Sullivan’s worst animus is reserved for Donald J. Trump, who is now facing his second and unprecedented impeachment trial. Sullivan should know better. Granted, the 45th president is no saint. I and millions of other heartlanders find much of what the former president says to be maddening, intemperate and self-destructive. But Trump speaks on behalf of a deeply and legitimately grieved segment of American society, one whose anger and alienation is every bit as real and as legitimate as the groups that our oligarchical class has assigned accredited victimhood. To pander to a segment of society, which evinces the rankest form of hypocrisy – denigrating a deeply and increasingly alienated segment of society not only to signal its sophistication but also to preserve its own singular advantages – well, does not befit a man of Sullivan’s intellectual integrity, ethical foresight and essentially conservative convictions.
Sullivan is especially one among the cognoscenti who should know better. A quarter century ago, as editor of New Republic, he published an account of Richard Hernstein’s and Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve.” He editorial decision was something that any responsible editor should have applauded, given that the text offered a well-reasoned, researched and entirely legitimate critique of the previous quarter century of government social policy.
That courageous but responsible decision – one that any editor in his shoes should have endorsed – has haunted his career ever since. Indeed, because of this decision, now regarded by our elites as a serious breach of etiquette, Sullivan’s career has suffered egregiously. And this should serve as a lesson to him and to any other reasonably independent-minded member of the real nature of our oligarchy as well as of the Mandarin class that sustains it.
Donald Trump may not be a pleasant man, but the elites who despise and denigrate him are the principal reason why he wields so much clout, if not adulation, among roughly half of the American electorate. Some 74 million Americans have utterly washed their hands of the regnant managerial liberal class, and the spectacular ascent of Donald Trump has been a major driving force behind this rejection. And that is why our debased ruling class, consumed by a cloying sense of virtue and entitlement and enraged by this obstreperous act of rebellious contempt, is determined to erase Trump’s legacy and, ultimately, to marginalize and silence his electoral base.
Heartlanders know who the real enemies of ordered liberty are. They’re not the bedraggled, angry protestors who breached U.S. Capitol security last month. No, the real enemies are the ones in power who have used their agit/prop arm to transform this breach into the American equivalent of the Reichstag fire.
As I said, Andrew Sullivan should know who the real enemies are.
He very likely does.