I always enjoy and often agree with N.Y. Times center-right columnist Bret Stephens, but I felt a little pissed off by what struck me as a Trump-friendly column (1.11.24), titled “The Case for Trump …by Someone Who Wants Him to Lose“.
I’m not going to re-hash the essay chapter and verse, but it’s fair to say that Bret’s opinions about wokesters (i.e., “the progressive left”) are mostly on-target.
True: “Academia, mostly liberal, became increasingly illiberal, inhospitable not just to conservatives but to anyone pushing back even modestly against progressive orthodoxy.”
True: “Trump and his supporters called this out, [and] for this they were called idiots, liars and bigots by people who think of themselves as enlightened and empathetic and hold the commanding heights in the national culture. The scorn only served to harden the sense among millions of Americans that liberal elites are self-infatuated, imperious, hysterical, and hopelessly out of touch.”
I also agree with Bret’s statement that Trump “shared the law-and-order instincts of normal Americans, including respect for the police, something the left seemed to care about on Jan. 6 but was notably less concerned about during the months of rioting, violence and semi-anarchy that followed George Floyd’s murder.”
Except it wasn’t months — the Floyd riots lasted four or five weeks, something like that.
But I really hate the way Bret has minimized, looked the other way at and otherwise normalized Trump’s sociopathic nature and his brutish, anti-democratic, flat-out criminal behavior.
Others feel this way or the Times wouldn’t have posted a follow-up dialogue between Stephens and Patrick Healy called “Three Questions for Bret Stephens About His Trump Column.”