Letter 2 America for March 1, 2023

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Dear America,

On Sunday, January 15 of this year, the New York Times printed two editorial positions on facing pages that demonstrated the schism in the Republican Party.  On the left side was the commentary of David Brooks and Bret Stephens.  They are both Republicans of long standing, but both are disillusioned with the direction of their party.  Their editorial took the form of a dialog between the two of them that strove to ascertain the direction the party should take if it is to redeem itself in their eyes and in the perception of those of the party's voters who are disaffected, and thus are reconsidering their voting preferences for the future.  Brooks and Stephens disagree as to where the party should go exactly, but they are playing the same chord intellectually: the Republican Party has to change its direction in order to endure.  According to Brooks it must become more egalitarian in its choice of leadership, along with the rest of the party's ethos, disenfranchising the intellectual, liberal elite that Brooks sees as in control, in favor of a more "everyman" style of leadership.  Stephens is more of a classic conservative: in favor of Reaganomics and smaller government as  governing principles...separating winners from losers on the basis of economic success, which I frankly see as the current underlying rationale of the party.  But whether one is more inclined to the Brooksian view of socio-economic realism and the cognate drive for justice that he thinks will prevail or cleaves to the Stephensian creed that economic success is equivalent to moral virtue, the Republican Party's old guard is looking for a new breed of standard bearer.  In essence, these two particular self-designated conservatives see impurity of purpose in the party's current leadership and direction, and thus the necessity of profound change if the Republican Party is to have a future.

On the facing page was a well camouflaged and shamelessly inflated Trump panegyric intended to snatch victory from the jaws of the megalomaniac former president's embarrassing, and fortunately futile drive to become the American Putin.  You may remember its author, Kellyanne Conway, from her role in the Trump administration as The Boss's apologist in chief.  She was the one who took to the Sunday morning stage to refute the observation that the crowd for the inauguration was by far less abundant than her mentor claimed.  Trump claimed that his inauguration was viewed by more people than had viewed any previous inauguration while the overhead view of his speech showed a half empty venue on the West Front of The Capital in contrast to the plethora of in-person attendants at Barrack Obama's inauguration at the same location, which actually was the most attended event in Washington, D.C. history.  When she was confronted on the subject, she famously claimed to Chuck Todd of NBC that Trump's team was relying on "alternative facts," to which Todd replied that "Alternative facts are not facts.  They are falsehoods."  And in her essay for the New York Times, she pursued the same course.  She characterized Trumps campaign as that of an insurgent, apparently, inter alia, referring to Trump's claim that he would "drain the swamp" when in fact he filled his cabinet with corporate executives and self-serving billionaires.  She claimed that he renewed American manufacturing when the one specific commitment he extracted from a major corporation to keep one of its factories here seemed to be forgotten within a year as the facility was moved to Mexico.  She touted what she claims were economic accomplishments when in fact, Obama brought unemployment down from about 9 ½% to less than half that while Trump managed to bring it down only minimally, albeit to near a decades low.  And despite Conway's claim of Trump's foreign relations prowess, all he managed with North Korea was a one sided "bromance" with a dictator who never changed a thing to accommodate Trump or the United States and instead went on his merry way to becoming a nuclear world power, and all the while, he was in the process of alienating all of our traditional allies.  Then, in spite of Conway's claim of Trump's success in combating the drug epidemic, it continued to rage through his term until today.  Her claim that Trump stared down Putin before he invaded Ukraine is ludicrous to anyone who saw Trump's obsequious lap-dog performance at a joint press conference with the Mad Russian in which Trump characterized Putin as "strong and powerful" in his denials of electoral interference that our intelligence community informed Trump certainly took place.

So Conway is the present Republican Party and Brooks and Stephens say that she and her ilk have to go for the party to succeed in the future.  While Conway claims that Trump is still a force to be reckoned with, and approvingly so, Brooks and Stephens convincingly point out the viable alternatives to Trump.  The question is, who is right about the nature of the party?  My guess is Conway, though it may not be Trump but some epigone who leads the party into the 2024 election.  My guess is that the Republican Party will continue to harbor its true sub rosa sentiments under the stewardship of some MAGA hypocrite in denial of the true worst self that actually motivates him and his supporters.  I just hope that enough people show up at the polls who are truly of the American ethos so that those who aren't can't pretend that they are what patriots should be.

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on March 1, 2023 4:06 PM.

Letter 2 America for January 29, 2023 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for March 14, 2023 is the next entry in this blog.

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