The rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is kind of a shock to the American system. But a European would know exactly, in my opinion, where they fit in. Trump is not at all a conservative according to the American model of ‘fusion’ conservatism. But he does correspond to what Europeans call the ‘right.’ Le Pen, Joerg Haider, BNP, UKIP, and other such native [often anti European Union] parties do not advocate trimming the welfare state, imposing moral conservatism, or going on military adventures in other parts of the world. As for Trump’s antics, there’s Italy’s Berlusconi and his ‘bunga bunga’ for a model. Bernie Sanders, also, is not a ‘socialist’ in terms of government ownership of all property. He is a social democrat of a classic European type. Anyhow, it looks like American ‘exceptionalism’ is getting a little less exceptional. And, come to think of it, both Trump and Sanders seem to be most popular among Americans of European descent; the growing number of Americans of non-European descent seem to have little interest in either of them! But, once again, I will remind you of what Francis Schaeffer told us almost fifty years ago when Nixon coined the term ‘Silent Majority’. He told us that a minority within the Silent Majority were either Christian or had a strong Christian memory; but that the majority of the Silent Majority had only the two ultimate values of personal peace and affluence. Thus, the real ‘moral majority’ was a minority, not only of America as a whole, but even of the ‘Silent Majority’. This reality has explained local politics for a long time. This year it seems to be on the path to throwing over our ideologies and operating on a national scale.
In our time, politics and culture are increasingly oriented to the national scale on the one hand, and the immediate neighborhood on the other. A book, The Increasingly United States, by Daniel J. Hopkins, highlights this. However, in my view, besides […]
The United States has always been somewhat ambiguous about whether its primary loyalty was to the European Western World or to the Western Hemisphere (i.e., the Americas). The Founders thought of themselves as upholding the rights of Englishmen, which they […]
I always thought of Dick Dale as a local phenomenon, but his recent death got national coverage. The most thorough and best article was one in The New Yorker, a magazine which might well have turned up its nose during […]