Thursday, 26 January 2017

Donald Trump meant everything he said

Interesting article by Christopher Caldwell in the Financial Times yesterday. He makes the point that Trump means as president what he said as candidate.  His is a sympathetic reading of Trump's inauguration speech. I doubt that Caldwell is actually a Trumpisto, which makes his reading of Trump one that's outside the common "wisdom" on the Left: namely that Trump is a dangerous egoistic loony. 
I've liked Caldwell since reading his seminal 2009 book "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe". His warning then -- that a culturally self-doubting morally equivocating Europe will cede to a confident, assertive Islam, an Islam that has no intention of integrating, but to hew Europe to Islam -- has turned out to be truer than many acknowledged at the time. If anything, things are worse than Caldwell predicted -- and many thought him too apocalyptic in 2009. For example in the book he thought that France's republican history, its laicite traditions, might well deal better than other European nations with the challenge of assertive Muslim immigrants. That's hardly been the case, as we now know. 
Globalisation is sucking the lifeblood out of the American yeomanry, one decaf mocha extra-skim Frappuccino at a time: anyone surprised that US President Donald Trump feels this way did not pay much attention to last November's election. 
Yet Friday's inaugural address seems to have thrown Mr Trump's adversaries into a state of shock. It turns out he actually meant those things. He spoke of "America first" as his principle; "protection" as his policy and "buy American" as his motto. Millions gathered on Saturday in cities across the country and globally for "women's marches" to protest against his presidency. Mr Trump accepts the radical implications of his world view. In fact, he has a good chance of enacting it. More....