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Thursday, August 25, 2016

David French versus David French

Desperate to burn someone else's money to throw the election to Clinton, Bil Kristol talked a little-known lawyer named David French into running for president. That lasted about 72 hours. But French continues to write for National Review and remains true to the Hillary Brigade of the Never Trump Army (separated from those who are Never Trump but not openly trying to defeat him). And his skin is very thin. Someone told Huffington Post -- the new BFF of the National Review -- that Never Trumpers is “slick moral preening.”

But this isn’t “moral preening.” It’s moral argument. It comes not from a place of “moral superiority” but from a deep anguish, especially as concerns the fate of Trump’s alleged base, the struggling working-class and middle-class voters who so need positive change.
So it is moral preening from a snob.

Need I remind people that it is immoral to not do everything you can to stop the unethical, crooked, and corrupt Hilary Clinton from returning to the White House? To do otherwise is aiding and abetting the unindicted felon.

But Mister French denies that he is a snob. After all, he grew up in Kentucky and lives in Columbia, Tennessee, so there.

He also has a Harvard law degree. Not exactly the same as working at the filling station.

From his article:
As a result of my own life experiences, I’ve emerged with a number of deep convictions. First, the crisis afflicting working-class communities goes far, far beyond politics, so the more we sell a political solution to a spiritual crisis, the more we sell a lie. Second, these problems aren’t always near-term artifacts of closed factories and mills, but instead — especially in the South — often reflect cultural habits that have developed over centuries. Third, the last thing these communities need is more family instability, more drug abuse, more sexual libertinism, and less church.
What’s staggering, infuriating, and ultimately upsetting, then, is watching Donald Trump stride into their lives, and — helped considerably by billions in free media and a spineless GOP establishment — capture their hearts and minds with lies and outright nonsense. Like the snake-oil salesmen of years past, he promises the cure as he exacerbates the disease. There are few things in life more frustrating than watching your friends become victims before your very eyes and being powerless to stop it.
That's a nice sentiment. Blame Trump for the problems in the community French lives in. Of course, Trump is not doing what French says he is doing. Trump has spoken out since at least January about heroin problems in rural white America -- as well as drug problems in inner cities. As far as the closed factories not being a problem, French is full of himself. French knows that. The middle class has largely left Appalachia. The problem is they took the ballast of the communities with them. No coaches, no team. No team, nothing for boys to do but get in trouble.

Earlier, French defended Kevin Williamson's mocking of rural white America in Williamson's "The Father Fuehrer" piece -- a headline that implied Trump supporters are Nazis. French defended Williamson's branding of everyone in rural white America of "the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog."

Williamson's answer to rural, white America was to get off their lazy butts and move.

These are strong words, but they are fundamentally true and important to say. My childhood was different from Kevin’s, but I grew up in Kentucky, live in a rural county in Tennessee, and have seen the challenges of the white working-class first-hand. Simply put, Americans are killing themselves and destroying their families at an alarming rate. No one is making them do it. The economy isn’t putting a bottle in their hand. Immigrants aren’t making them cheat on their wives or snort OxyContin. Obama isn’t walking them into the lawyer’s office to force them to file a bogus disability claim.
So Trump isn't the answer. Moving is.

I am curious as to just where 100 million rural Americans of all colors are going to move?  Where are those jobs? Mexico? China? 

The moral preening hides the intellectual vapidity of the National Review's increasingly hysterical broadsides against Trump.


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  1. “moral superiority”, my foot.

  2. preen:
    1) devote effort to make oneself look attractive and then admire one’s appearance
    2) congratulate or pride oneself

    having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.

    I prefer to regard the #NeverTrumpers as arrogant, not preening. - Elric

  3. French is a) not helping, and b) not gonna help.

  4. Hillary may be corrupt, support abortion under any circumstances, want endless war in the middle East funded by working Americans, Amnesty for illegal aliens, etc, but at least she's not rude.
    The theme of the self absorbed nevertumpers.

  5. I live in Oregon devastated by the death of the
    timber industry (we import Canadian lumber now0
    Parts of Oregon are Appalachia
    the elites want this.
    Trump doesn't.

    1. I work with a guy who spent most of his life as a logger in Idaho. He says that every timber sale that is proposed is automatically protested by somebody back East. Now the only tools for federal forest management in the US are pine beetles and fire.

    2. I work with a guy who spent most of his life as a logger in Idaho. He says that every timber sale that is proposed is automatically protested by somebody back East. Now the only tools for federal forest management in the US are pine beetles and fire.

  6. French and his egghead intellectual cronies at NR and elsewhere are REALLY overthinking this. Surprise!

    Here's one thing I've learned in 2015-6: opinion journalism is mostly useless, and often quite damaging, to regular people, with rare exceptions.

  7. You're right Don - where are those jobs? Are there millions of jobs waiting for people to move into, especially in union-dominated, high-cost-of-doing-business, low-growth states like Illinois? No there are not. We can't just fulfill people's desire and need to work with coffee baristas.

    1. Been curious: When did we start calling counter help "baristas?"

    2. Takes some of the sting out of the low pay, I guess. LOL

  8. It seems to me that David French and NR are not where your attention should be focused because NeverTrump has suddenly became NeverMindTrump. Donald Trump couldn’t be trusted even on immigration — his signature issue.

    Trump supporter Ann Coulter had her new book launch spoiled by Trump's change on immigration. “There’s nothing Trump can do that won’t be forgiven,” the conservative pundit writes in her latest book, In Trump We Trust, “except change his immigration policies.”

    I guess that Trump is testing his loyal supporter theory. "You know what else they say about my people? The polls, they say I have the most loyal people. Did you ever see that? Where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible," Trump said.

    But Trump is making the folks at National Review to appear to be genius. From the Corner:

    Back in January Rich Lowrey told Megyn Kelly: “I don’t even believe . . . I think even on immigration, he is really conning people. This is someone who three or four short years ago was criticizing nice, pleasant, polite Mitt Romney for being too harsh on immigration. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day — if Donald Trump, if he gets the nomination — wakes up the next day and says ‘You know what, deporting people? The best people in the country have told me it’s not possible — forget it.’”

    Even JEB figured out the ending, telling MSNBC:
    ​The tragedy of this though, is that there isn’t going to be a wall built. And Mexico’s not going to pay for it. And there’s not going to be a ban on Muslims. None of that, this was all, like, a alternative universe that he created. The reality is, that’s not going to happen and people are going to be deeply frustrated and the divides will grow in our country. And this extraordinary country, still the greatest country on the face of the earth, will continue to stagger instead of soar. And that’s the heartbreaking part of this is I think people are going to really feel betrayed.