The Bookworm Beat 9/21/2016 — the “hurry up” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265Trump has an ideology and it’s a good one. Trump has an actual plan that explains his appeal. How do I know this?  Because, for unclear reasons, decided to engage in actual journalism. Rather than viewing Trump as Satan in the Church of Leftism, Joshua Mitchell, a Georgetown professor looked at Trump’s actual platform and came up with some surprising conclusions.

It turns out that Trump is not Hitler reincarnated. Instead, he’s breaking the existing political paradigm and coming up with new ideas in American politics (although I view some of them as tried-and-true traditional ideas that worked well for everyone before the Democrats in the old South and the new Progressive party perverted them):

If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated.
These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989. That is what the Trump campaign, ghastly though it may at times be, leads us toward: A future where states matter. A future where people are citizens, working together toward (bourgeois) improvement of their lot. His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been.

Put that way, how could I not support Trump?

National Review’s bastion of #NeverTrumpism nevertheless churns out some amazing, insightful articles — including pro-Trump articles. Yes, National Review’s official policy is to oppose Trump. Despite this, it will print pro-Trump articles from long-time contributors. It also publishes amazingly strong articles on so many of the other issues facing America today. As with Jonah Goldberg, I’ve agreed with myself to disagree with National Review’s official position on Trump, while greatly appreciating its other material. Here are some winners:

Victor Davis Hanson has officially traveled the road I traveled: No matter how you feel about Trump, Hillary is infinitely worse and America may not be able to recover from the third (and fourth?) Obama term, especially with Clinton’s corruption thrown in. I wonder how long it will take before Hanson realizes that, accepting that Mitchell (supra) is right about Trump’s new political paradigm, he’s actually worth getting positive, pro-Trump votes, rather than negative, anti-Hillary votes.

Andrew McCarthy can be one of the best writers about America’s insane approach to Islamic terrorism at home — and sometimes the worst, when he gets a little too lost in the legal brief weeds. He showed himself at his absolute best in the article he wrote following the bomb attacks in New York and New Jersey this past weekend:

Because we are trapped in a politically correct fantasy world in which terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and Islam is innately American, the political class can never admit that obvious jihadist attacks — such as those that just occurred in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota — are international terrorism. Indeed, we are in a state of such self-parody that, this weekend, it somehow became “intemperate” and “un-presidential” to conclude that attempts (some successful) to detonate IEDs — as in, improvised explosive devices, a.k.a.bombs — were in fact bombings.

The playbook has become so tired. Nothing can be considered terrorism, even a mass-casualty attack with the objective of intimidating a civilian population or government (the legal definition of terrorism) unless and until there is convincing evidence connecting it to a known terrorist organization — usually ISIS or al-Qaeda. It is acceptable, you see, to label as “terrorism” an attack connected to these organizations because the political class has pronounced them as non-Islamic (even anti-Islamic), since they do not adhere to the imaginary, relentlessly benign Islam that the political class has dreamt up and designated as the one and only “true” Islam.

Thus, when a terrorist attack happens, the first thing we must do is worry about evil, divisive haters (we know who we are) who dare presume to call it a “terrorist attack.” After all, they could stoke a “blowback” — i.e., “hate crimes” against Muslims, committed mainly by the white racists with which America teems.

David French also takes a lesson away from the weekend bomb attacks that has nothing to do with the Progressives’ kneejerk response of “Islam is a religion of peace. Now ignore what you just saw.”

Here is a plain, inarguable truth: A series of Muslim immigrants and “visitors” are responsible for killing more Americans on American soil than the combined militaries of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Two more attacks over the weekend left 38 Americans wounded, and it appears that both were carried out by Muslim immigrants.


Despite making up a tiny fraction of the American population, Muslims are responsible for exponentially more terror deaths than any other meaningful American community. Even if you use the Left’s utterly ridiculous standard of “terror deaths since 9/11” (why exclude America’s worst terror attack when calculating the terror threat?), Muslim terrorists have killed almost twice as many people as every other American faction or demographic combined.

Dennis Prager on the fact that not all contact between men and women is assault. Greta Friedman, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, was the women in the iconic photo of a jubilant sailor on V-J Day, in his wife’s presence, grabbing a woman he thought was a nurse and planting a jubilant — and entirely non-threatening — kiss on her. (In fact, Friedman was a dental assistant.) For generations, people have looked at that photograph and understood that it was neither about sex nor about power. It was the act of a man who had just been released from death row. (Invading mainland Japan was expected to kill hundreds of thousands of American troops.) Trust the sick Left to try to destroy this image’s potency by making it about sexual assault. Prager pushes back.

A civil debate that the Jew-disliker lost.  Was historian Arnold Toynbee an antisemite? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve often thought he disliked the Jews because they refused to fit into his now discredited theory of historic determinism (one that sees all civilizations having a “rise, thrive, die” cycle). Whatever motivated him, by 1961, Toynbee was sounding precisely like today’s Leftists, equating Israel with the Nazis. Unlike today, though, Toynbee (to his credit) agreed to engage in a debate with Israeli Ambassador Yaacov Herzog (son of Israel’s second Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog and brother of its future president Chaim Herzog) at McGill university in Toronto.

You should read the article describing the debate. I’m not giving away anything when I say that a scholarly debate, stripped of hysteria, malice, and lies, always supports Israel.

You just know the media is lining up another attack on the Second Amendment. Ostensibly, it’s just a news report about American gun ownership. The terminology used, however, is a tip-off that the mainstream media is identifying a new American terrorist group that is not Muslim: “‘More guns in fewer hands’: US study charts rise of hardcore super owners.” Believe me, “hardcore super owners” is not an admiring turn of phrase.

Cheese!!! I like cheese. I especially like full-fat, hard, nutty cheeses such as cheddar or asiago. Happily it turns out that my dining pleasure may coincide with my good health. It turns out that fatty cheeses have a lot of good cholesterol. I still try to follow the advice my grandmother’s doctor gave her in the early 1920s:  “Everything in moderation.”

Even the Greeks (campus Greeks, that is) are fighting back.  I’ve said, pretty much as everyone else has said, that Trump’s popularity arises because of the same impulse that led to Brexit:  People are getting sick of being told that their normal activities are evil and abnormal. That impulse seems to be behind an article saying that, contra the American media’s take, fraternities are not rapist incubators but are, in fact, good places for successful, academically solid, generous young men. (Language alert.)

If you like variety in your daily reading, be sure to check out WOW! Magazine, the new, online collaborative magazine from the Watcher’s Council.