Peggy Noonan has an excellent column today suggesting she understands why Trump is popular with the non-elite countrymen (and women).
She discusses Angela Merkel and her invitation to Muslims to invade Germany.
Last summer when Europe was engulfed with increasing waves of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Ms. Merkel, moving unilaterally, announced that Germany would take in an astounding 800,000. Naturally this was taken as an invitation, and more than a million came. The result has been widespread public furor over crime, cultural dissimilation and fears of terrorism. From such a sturdy, grounded character as Ms. Merkel the decision was puzzling—uncharacteristically romantic about people, how they live their lives, and history itself, which is more charnel house than settlement house.
Germans are unhappy about the behavior of Muslim men, the majority of the immigrants.They are not happy.
The anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), now the third-most popular political party in Germany, adopted a manifesto calling for curbs to migration and restrictions on Islam. The document calls for a ban on minarets, Muslim calls to prayer and full-face veils.
May 2. Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, revealed that around 90 “predominately Arabic-speaking” mosques in Germany are under surveillance. He said they involve mostly “backyard mosques” where “self-proclaimed imams and self-proclaimed emirs” are “inciting their followers to jihad.” He called on moderate Muslims to work with the government to fight extremism and defend the constitutional order. Maaßen was speaking ahead of a security conference in Berlin at which he said that his agency we receiving on average four terror alerts every day: “The Islamic State is committed to attacking Germany and German interests.”
Missus Merkel is unmoved.
As the daughter of a Lutheran minister, someone who grew up in East Germany, Ms. Merkel would have natural sympathy for those who feel marginalized and displaced. Moreover she is attempting to provide a kind of counter-statement, in the 21st century, to Germany’s great sin of the 20th. The historical stain of Nazism, the murder and abuse of the minority, will be followed by the moral triumph of open arms toward the dispossessed. That’s what’s driving it, said the acquaintance.
Of course, Mrs Merkel is not opening her own arms. She is opening those of German citizens.
Ms. Merkel had put the entire burden of a huge cultural change not on herself and those like her but on regular people who live closer to the edge, who do not have the resources to meet the burden, who have no particular protection or money or connections. Ms. Merkel, her cabinet and government, the media and cultural apparatus that lauded her decision were not in the least affected by it and likely never would be.
The government is not amused by allegations that the Muslim “guests” are not behaving themselves.
During an investigation into the mass sexual assaults in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, a chief superintendent from the Cologne police department revealed that he was ordered to remove the term “rape” from an internal police report about the assaults. The superintendent, identified only as Jürgen H., said that he received a telephone call on January 1 from an official at the interior ministry in North-Rhine Westphalia, who told him in an angry tone: “This is not rape. Remove this term from your report. Submit a new report.” The revelation adds to suspicions that there was a political cover-up to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments.
Ms Merkel, of course, was not at risk of rape.
What does this have to do with Trump? Well, aside from his statements about Muslim immigrants, it is an indicator of why he is doing as well as he is.
The challenge of integrating different cultures, negotiating daily tensions, dealing with crime and extremism and fearfulness on the street—that was put on those with comparatively little, whom I’ve called the unprotected. They were left to struggle, not gradually and over the years but suddenly and in an air of ongoing crisis that shows no signs of ending—because nobody cares about them enough to stop it.
The powerful show no particular sign of worrying about any of this. When the working and middle class pushed back in shocked indignation, the people on top called them “xenophobic,” “narrow-minded,” “racist.” The detached, who made the decisions and bore none of the costs, got to be called “humanist,” “compassionate,” and “hero of human rights.”
Who do you think the chief “xenophobe is?” The Huffington Post is happy to tell you.
Trump personifies a fear and hatred of “the other” embodied by some of our history’s more frightening and despicable figures: Father Coughlin, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace. This has led to some of our most shameful chapters — lynchings, anti-immigrant violence, the internment of Japanese-Americans. Because such tragedies are so searing, we view them as unique.
But they do not arise from nowhere. Nor did Donald Trump. Those who are shocked by his success have given scant notice to the darker forces which stain our society and roil our politics. Or, more likely, they pretended not to notice.
The “dark forces” are the impression by the average citizen that elites care nothing about their concerns.
The larger point is that this is something we are seeing all over, the top detaching itself from the bottom, feeling little loyalty to it or affiliation with it. It is a theme I see working its way throughout the West’s power centers. At its heart it is not only a detachment from, but a lack of interest in, the lives of your countrymen, of those who are not at the table, and who understand that they’ve been abandoned by their leaders’ selfishness and mad virtue-signalling.
On Wall Street, where they used to make statesmen, they now barely make citizens. CEOs are consumed with short-term thinking, stock prices, quarterly profits. They don’t really believe that they have to be involved with “America” now; they see their job as thinking globally and meeting shareholder expectations.
They are not acting or thinking as Americans and it shows.
Affluence detaches, power adds distance to experience. I don’t have it fully right in my mind but something big is happening here with this division between the leaders and the led. It is very much a feature of our age. But it is odd that our elites have abandoned or are abandoning the idea that they belong to a country, that they have ties that bring responsibilities, that they should feel loyalty to their people or, at the very least, a grounded respect.
Exactly, and the Huffington Post and its readers have no clue. HuffPo again:
On learning that a homophobic American Muslim had slaughtered 49 LGBT fellow citizens, Trump’s first reaction was to congratulate himself for being “right on radical Islamic terrorism.” He then proceeded to trumpet his proposal for banning Muslim immigrants by — as is his practice — lying about the immigration process.
While Hillary Clinton has the father of the homophobic murderer on the stage at her rally.
Why was he there ? It was no accident. He was featured by her campaign.
This is certainly a weird election. Richard Fernandez has a theory.
But the curtain has gone up and now the audience is in shock. How? How? Even the administration’s supporters were left totally surprised by the trail of disasters so intense it propelled Donald Trump to a presidential nomination. Jesse Bernstein in Tablet thinks that the root cause of the blindness was insufferable smugness of the intellectual elite. Jon Stewart’s “Culture of Ridicule”, Bernstein wrote, left kept the best and the brightest from seeing the train wreck coming. “No single event or trend initiated the takeoff of Space Shuttle Trump. … but there is one culprit who … who deserves his due: Jon Stewart. Let me explain. … As Emmet Rensin so perfectly put it:
Finding comfort in the notion that their former allies were disdainful, hapless rubes, smug liberals created a culture animated by that contempt. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy. … Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style … and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that is opponents were, before anything else, stupid.
But to anyone outside the echo chamber the joke was on Stewart and his cronies.
Read the rest, as they say. See what Oz looks like when the curtain goes up.
it was these ineffably superior people who were the jokers, the clowns whose only tangible skill was to make fun of everybody so nobody would notice that’s all they were good for. In fact the only person they could stop with any probability of success and only if they ganged up on him was Donald Trump. That was it. They can’t see the audience in darkness beyond the footlights heading for the exits.
And so we go on to the election.