But opportunism never sleeps, and with the rage and the resistance of recent weeks some far less noble characters have seen a chance to develop a new con. They’re up on the resistance bandwagon right now, rending their garments, shaking their fists and praying that no one holds them responsible for the dead end into which they’ve steered us over the years [that should read 'decades' really, my blurb]. Inveighing loudly against Trump has become, for the people I am describing, a means of rescuing an ideology that has proven a disaster.
And so the thinkers of the “center left” proceed to hold their failed leaders above scrutiny and to redouble their commitment to the shabby ideology that allowed Trump to win. Former prime minister Tony Blair, the British face of Clintonism and one of the principal forces behind the Iraq war has been doing just this. Writing the other day in the New York Times, Blair used his audience’s horror at the Trump phenomenon as an excuse to urge them into battle against, yes, the left.
And then there’s celebrated columnist and author Thomas Friedman. He called on “America’s business leaders” to pick up the banner of resistance and save “the country from a leader with a truly distorted view of how the world works”. Friedman listed the names of American CEOs from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, calling upon each and every one of them to stand up against Trump.
After all, he wrote, good and enlightened people know the formula for prosperity, and it’s “where business, philanthropies, the local school system and local government forge adaptive coalitions to enable every worker to engage in lifelong learning and every company to access global markets and every town to attract the smart risk-takers who start companies”.
“Adaptive coalitions.” “Lifelong learning.” Now that’s some resistance for you. Evidently the ideology Friedman has been trumpeting for years – government genuflection before “smart risk-takers” and the knowledge industries – need not change; it need only be hammered into us by a popular front of liberals and CEOs. That’s the way to challenge Trumpism: to tell the lowly that the answer for them is “lifelong learning”. Which is another way of saying that their situation is their own stupid fault.
H/T Doug Salzmann